Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard maintains offices in Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington, North Carolina. The firm is recognized by IFLR1000 for its work in M&A and real estate.
The firm has an active M&A practice that has advised Mickey Truck Bodies on the acquisition of Emerald Transportation Solutions, Cross Technologies on the acquisition of assets of JA King Company and Franchise Management Investment on the acquisition of franchised restaurants.
Highlight real estate deals focus on acquisitions within the real estate market and include advice to HLM Realty on the acquisition of office buildings in Cary, North Carolina and Concord Hospitality Enterprises on the $500 million sale of hotel brands. The firm also works on real estate development, financing, leasing and other real estate matters.
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, based in New York, is a national firm that is well-known for its structured finance and securitization and financial services regulatory practices. The firm has five offices total and is also located in DC, Charlotte, London and Brussels.
In North Carolina, the firm broke into the banking rankings in Charlotte this year.
Lawyers from the firm’s Charlotte office are active on advising clients on financial services regulatory matters, though the details of these are confidential. The firm’s financing team advised MUFG Bank as administrative agent on an out-of-court refinancing and workout of $2 billion of Noble Americas Corp’s debt. The firm also advises on real estate finance deals. For example, the firm advised the lenders in an $850 million floating-rate syndicated mortgage loan secured by One Liberty Plaza in Lower Manhattan for an affiliate of Brookfield Property Partners.
Over the research period, the firm created a LIBOR Preparedness Team to address the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) which is replacing the London Interbank Offered Rate, and Charlotte lawyer Jeffrey Nagle was one of the lawyers involved in the team.
Mayer Brown, founded in Chicago, is known nationally for its highly regarded structured finance practice. The firm has received recognition for its work in New York, Illinois and North Carolina.
The firm has made a number of notable hires over the research period. In Chicago, Jaime Gatenio joined the banking practice, James John Antonopoulo joined the banking and structured finance practice and Ameer Ahmad joined the M&A and capital markets practice. In New York Ryan Suda joined the banking and structured finance practice, Mae Rogers joined the banking practice and Anna Pinedo and Jerry Marlatt joined the capital markets practice.
Partner Stuart Litwin is based in Chicago and co-heads the firm’s structured finance practice. In banking, the firm advised Goldman Sachs in granting a $300 million uncommitted revolving credit facility to SLF and advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as administrative agent in a bilateral revolving credit facility with KKR Revolving Credit Partners II. The firm also advised Global Bank Corporation on obtaining a $163 million syndicated credit facility and advised BREF V REIT on an increase to its existing financing.
Chicago-based lawyer William Kucera is co-chair of Mayer Brown's M&A practice in the Americas. Wells Fargo is an active corporate client for the firm. For example, the firm advised the bank in selling Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA and Safehold Special Risk to USI Insurance Services. The firm also advised Wells Fargo & Company in its $1.75 billion sale of its auto finance business in Puerto Rico to Banco Popular de Puerto Rico. The firm also advised SCANA Corporation, which owns South Carolina Electric & Gas Company on a $14.6 billion merger with Dominion Energy. Furthermore, the firm advised Caesars Entertainment Corporation on its $1.7 billion acquisition of Centaur.
Mayer Brown may be headquartered in the Windy City, but its New York location has no lack of corporate talent. M&A is a main focus for the New York office, especially in regard to private equity clients.
A large proportion of the firm’s banking practice is also based in New York, where it handles numerous significant transactions in sectors such as financial services and energy. One recent deal saw Mayer Brown advise the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in connection with a $1.25 billion credit facility for the KKR Asian Fund III.
Among the many industries that Mayer Brown’s New York M&A group works in, insurance and real estate are two that have given them a considerable amount of recent activity. One highlight from late 2017 was Hartford Financial’s $1.45 billion acquisition of Aetna’s US group life and disability business. Mayer Brown represented Hartford on the deal.
The firm conducts a significant amount of its banking and structured finance work out of Charlotte. Carol Hitselberger, an IFLR1000 Highly Regarded lawyer, and co-leader of the firm’s banking & finance practice works out of the Charlotte office.
Moore & Van Allen maintains North Carolina offices in Charlotte and the “research triangle,” as well as an office in Charleston, South Carolina. The firm is recognized by IFLR1000 as a top firm in the financing and M&A space.
The firm maintains a strong lenders’ practice, where it has advised prominent banks such as BofA Merrill Lynch on key transactions. This includes guidance to the bank on granting a $7 billion credit facility to Amazon.com, on granting credit facilities to Celestica to finance its acquisition of Impakt Holdings and on refinancing credit facilities of CACI International. Other lender clients advised over the research period include American AgCredit, PCA and CoBank.
The firm’s finance team also demonstrated its ability to work on high value capital markets transactions through its advice to Nucor on its $1 billion senior note offer.
M&A is also a key practice area for the firm, where it works across a range of sectors. Over the research period, the firm advised Sonic Automotive on Corrum’s acquisition of a railcar leasing corporation and advised Simplr on the sale of Simplr to an affiliate of Clearlake Capital Group.
The firm added Todd Ransom to its finance practice from Haynes & Boone.
“Moore & Van Allen provides top quality legal advice along with excellent speed of service and at a fair cost. They are well versed in current market conditions and have depth in talent on their team. I don't have any areas of weakness to note as they consistently answer the bell with the assignments they are engaged and consistently seek to improve their service and offerings.” – Banking, Capital markets
“Moore & Van Allen provides top-notch service every time. They are experts in syndicated finance across the various markets (i.e. sponsored, non-sponsored, middle market, large corporate, etc.). I trust that I am getting sound advice when I work with them, and they are always very responsive.” – Banking
“MVA does a good job helping us navigate around roadblocks during loan closings. They help me narrow in on the most important business issues, which are often times complicated by legal drafting. I also appreciate how they generally do not involve or seek my opinion on legal risks. As far as areas of improvement, I would suggest that they proactively offer checklists for loan closings since many of our clients like that and oftentimes the client managers like to have a reference checklist to help track closings.” - Banking
“Very business oriented in finding solutions for complex structures. Dedicated team that was available 24/7.” – Capital markets
“Excellent work at all times with very good judgment,” – M&A
“Charlie delivers thoughtful solutions to challenging issues. He makes sound arguments and digs in on the points where necessary to protect my interests but does not negotiate for the sake of negotiating. Not only do I like working with Charlie, my clients and their counsel like working with Charlie. Finally, he is very reasonable from a cost perspective. “
“[Provides] top quality work and is both very knowledgeable and experienced in his area of expertise. Tom is extremely responsive, has a command of the business and goes the extra mile to ensure client satisfaction.”
“Tom is our preference for loan closings where sponsors are involved. He has a good handle on the market and a very pragmatic approach to closings. He has an even temperament and is seemingly always available when needed.”
“Very good communicator. Effective in finding solutions with difficult opposing counsel Very deep experience base and exceeds expectations in turning documents quickly.”
“Nothing but strengths. James is thorough, very good, communicates well, solves problems, meets deadlines and brings in other subject experts. Really excellent!”
Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson has North Carolina offices in Charlotte and Chapel Hill, as well as a South Carolina office in Rock Hill.
The firm’s financing team is active on credit facilities and bonds. The firm has advised arrangers, borrowers and served as bond counsel, and has been particularly active on transactions in the healthcare and energy sectors over the research period. One deal saw the firm advise the arranger on the $1 billion revolving credit facility to Premier Health Care Management, and another deal saw the firm act as bond counsel on Atrium Health’s eight series of bonds, worth $564 million in aggregate.
The firm is a leader in M&A. The firm works on deals across a range of sectors and many deals have some private equity component. The firm advised Springs Global US in the $126 million sale of its textiles and home furnishings business to Keeco and advised Fresenius Medical Care in its $2.15 billion divestiture of its controlling interest in Sound Inpatient Physicians Holdings to an investment consortium led by Summit Partners.
Smith Anderson operates one office in Raleigh and has built a strong practice in the life sciences, pharmaceuticals and technology sectors. Within North Carolina, the firm is a top M&A firm. Smith Anderson is also a member of Ally Law, a network of over 70 independent firms in over 40 countries.
The firm’s M&A team advised on Cree, a manufacturer of LEDs, on its acquisition of assets of the radio frequency power business of Infineon Technologies.
The firm also advised Precision BioSciences on its $145.5 million IPO.
Winston & Strawn, founded in 1853, is based in Chicago. The firm also has offices in North Carolina, California, Texas and Washington DC.
Within Charlotte, all of the firm’s banking and finance matters are confidential, but the firm has advised a couple of international banks on financing facilities. Partner Jason Bennett leads the firm’s deals out of the Charlotte office.
Womble Bond Dickinson is a result of a 2017 merger between US-based Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice and UK-based Bond Dickinson. Within IFLR1000, the firm is highlighted for its work in North Carolina, South Carolina and Delaware. The firm has active finance, M&A and real estate practices within North Carolina and South Carolina and an active restructuring and insolvency practice within Delaware.
The firm’s financing practice is active on both banking deals and capital markets deals. On the bank financing side, the firm advised Qorvo as borrower on a $700 million credit facility. Many of the firm’s capital markets deals involve public finance matters. In one deal, the firm advised Wake County on bond issues to finance its plan for schools, community colleges and other matters.
Key M&A clients include AccessOne MedCard, Frontier Capital and ATI Worldwide Logistics. In one M&A deal, the firm advised Cox Industries on its $200 million sale to Koppers Holdings.
The firm also has a strong real estate practice. The firm has advised clients on deals related to land acquisition, leases, financings and other real estate matters. One matter saw the firm advise Publix Super Markets with land acquisitions and the development of a new supermarket. One real estate financing matter saw the firm advise SunTrust Banks on a $64 million loan to finance Bell Partners’ acquisition of a 212-unit multifamily development in Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California.
Womble Bond has an active restructuring and insolvency practice where most deals were led by Constance Young and included Chapter 11s, a Chapter 12 and litigations. In one matter, the firm advised PNC Bank on the Chapter 11 of Jeff Benfield Nursery.
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton’s sole office is in Raleigh, North Carolina, part of North Carolina’s “research triangle.” The firm is a member firm of Meritas, an alliance of more than 70 full-service law firms over 70 countries. The firm is recognized by IFLR1000 for its M&A work.
Key transactions for the firm include its advice on Caroline Trust BancShares’ acquisition of Clover Community Bank, Parata’s acquisition by TCGRx | Pharmacy Workflow Solutions and Waste Energies’ $2.825 billion merger with GFL Environmental.
The firm has also advised clients on capital markets deals such as Cerecor’s common stock offer and Benefit Focus’s $240 million 1.25% convertible notes offer due 2023.