District of Columbia


Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

International firm Akin Gump is among the top DC law firms in M&A and restructuring.  

Over the research period, the M&A team led an impressive number of deals. In one standout deal, the firm represented The United Distribution Group on its acquisition by SunSource. 

The restructuring and insolvency team was involved in the representation of the unsecured noteholders of Breitburn Energy in connection with its Chapter 11 cases. The team also advised LifeCare on the restructuring of its capital structure.

Covington & Burling

A standout firm in M&A, Covington & Burling is a global firm headquartered in Washington DC. Since its founding in 1919, the firm has expanded within the US to cities such as New York, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  

With more than 700 lawyers, Covington’s DC office stands out for its M&A and restructuring practices.  

The team represents Global 100 companies, private equity firms and investment banks as well as venture-backed companies in public and private transactions worldwide, including public acquisitions and divestitures. The firm worked on a number of sizeable deals over the research period, with one being the representation of pharmaceutical company Merck on its acquisition of Antelliq for $2.4 billion. In another deal, the firm advised Elbit on its $350 acquisition of Night Vision Business.


Dentons’ Washington DC office stands out for its restructuring and insolvency practice, which serves a large base of global and DC-area clients. The team focuses, in particular, on the health care and financial sectors, and it advises creditors and debtors in connection with large restructurings, nationally and internationally. 

Over the research period, the team worked on many impressive matters. In one standout case, the team served as lead bankruptcy counsel to Verity Health Systems, a large California-based health care system, in the second largest Chapter 11 hospital bankruptcy in American history, valued more than $1.4 billion of debt and assets worth at least $850 million. The Washington office’s role focused on more than $600 million in distressed pensions and dealt with bankruptcy labor issues. 

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Established in 1977 to headquarter Gibson Dunn’s international practice, the firm’s Washington DC office has become a leader in the community and among the top players in merger and acquisition practice. Over the research period, Gibson Dunn represented public and private companies, equity sponsors and their portfolio in a broad range of transactions, including M&A, leveraged buyout, spin-off and joint ventures.  

The M&A Washington DC team led some impressive deals over the research period, as can be seen from the firm’s representation of WGL on its $9 billion acquisition by AltaGas, creating a North American leader in the energy sector. The M&A team also advised Welltower on its $4.4 billion joint acquisition with ProMedica Health System of Quality Care Properties and HCR ManorCare on a first of its kind of partnership between Welltower and ProMedica.  

Gibson Dunn’s M&A and private equity practice group had a transformative year, with four partners hired from Kirkland & Ellis’s private equity and M&A practice. In May 2018 George Stamas, Mark Director, Andrew Herman and Alexander Fine joined Gibson Dunn.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Headquartered in Philadelphia – where the firm was founded in 1873 – Morgan Lewis & Bockius is a leading national firm. In addition to its headquarters, the firm operates 16 other US offices, including in New York, San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles. Morgan Lewis has a particularly extensive reach in the Northeast, with offices dotting smaller cities such as Hartford, Connecticut, Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey.   

The firm’s Washington DC practice focuses on capital markets and has advised issuers and underwriters on equity and debt transactions. 

Over the research period, the team advised WGC USA Asset Management on the formation and offering of SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust. 

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough is based in Columbia, South Carolina, but the firm has 18 offices across 11 states and DC. The firm acts on a range of matters in the mid-market and is ranked by IFLR1000 for its work in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. 

A distinguished firm in restructuring and insolvency, in Washington DC Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough handles different types of bankruptcy, insolvency and financial restructuring engagements. The firm is involved in many major regional and national reorganization and liquidation cases as well as local matters.  

The restructuring and insolvency team advises banks and creditor syndicates, real estate owners, energy companies, media companies, technology companies, retailers, manufacturers and insurers. 

Over the research period, the team was involved in numerous deals. One standout case came from representing FCA US in connection with two bankruptcy cases in New York. In addition, the firm represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in the specialty Hospital of Washington DC case. 

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Washington DC office has a very strong restructuring and insolvency team. 

The restructuring group represented lenders and debtors over the research period. The team worked on sizeable deals, with an emphasis on the energy, technology, transportation and insurance industries. Recently, the group served as debtor’s counsel to Ocean Rig on its global restructuring and for Lily Robotics on several distressed energy and infrastructure situations. 

Washington DC’s office expanded the firm’s technology group with the addition of partner Geoff Willard, who joined from Cooley.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

One of the most well-known firms in the English-speaking world, Skadden is a top financial and corporate firm. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in most of the US’ largest legal markets, including Houston, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Boston, Chicago and Washington DC.   

The firm’s Washington DC practice focuses on M&A transactions. The team conducts a variety of deals and advises clients in domestic and cross-border matters, including mergers, tender offers, asset sales and purchases, joint ventures and recapitalizations. 

The team’s extensive experience in high-value M&A transactions can be seen in its representation of Brookfield Asset Management on its $11.4 billion acquisition of Forest City Realty Trust by a Brookfield real estate investment fund and in its advice to Dynegy on its stock-for-stock $20 billion merger with Vistra Energy.  


WilmerHale is a global firm headquartered in Boston and DC, with offices across the United States, Europe and Asia. The current firm known as WilmerHale was created through the merger of the Boston-based firm Hale and Dorr and the Washington-based firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering. Since then, the firm has played a leading role in different practice areas, such as M&A, capital markets, restructuring and banking. 

WilmerHale's Washington DC office is strong in M&A and restructuring and insolvency.  

The restructuring and insolvency team represents shareholders in financial restructuring through Chapter 11, cross-border insolvency proceedings and out-of-court restructurings. 

In the M&A space, the Washington office advises domestic and international clients on a wide range of corporate transactions with a particular focus on merger and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances and financings.