North Carolina

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard

Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard is a notable business law firm in North Carolina. Founded in 1897, the firm has expanded to three North Carolina offices: Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm is particularly active in M&A and real estate.

In M&A, the firm represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions and joint ventures. It also represents private equity firms in capital raises and fund formations.

The firm has a lot of experience in the real estate industry, where it represents developers, property owners and financial sponsors. Many of its real estate transactions are related to either acquisitions or project development. The firm also combines its real estate and private equity experience through its work with REITs.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Blue Ridge Bancshares, Quincy Media, Citadel Communications, Concord Hospitality Enterprises, Atlas Stark Holdings, Weaver Investment, Pharos Hospitality and Lockwood Broadcasting.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Over the most recent research period the M&A team represented a large amount of real estate owners in acquisition related matters. It represented clients engaging in both buying and selling commercial and residential properties across the United States. It did also represent some private equity groups in capital raises and fund formations. Telecommunications, especially broadcasting firms, also made up a fair share of clients for the firm.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Atlas Stark Holdings $80 open ended fund formation

Nasdaq $10 million acquisition of Center for Board Excellence

Quincy Media $70 million acquisition of KVOA


Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)


“Broad scope of expertise in all facets of business.”


Project development

“Extremely knowledgeable. Very direct and to the point. Provides new and powerful insights into deal structures.”


Real estate

“Highly responsive, knowledgeable and well-organized.”

“Quick responses for our questions. Value added commentary. Understanding of business, not just technical legal.”

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft

Founded in 1792, Cadwalader is one of the oldest law firms in America and the oldest continuing Wall Street practice in the nation. Following its first office in New York, the firm has expanded to two national offices in Washington DC and Charlotte and an international office in London.


Focusses / specialisms

Though the firm has experience in a wide variety of financial and corporate practice areas, it is nationally recognised for its outstanding work in structured finance and securitization, largely led by the New York team.

It also has standout teams in regulatory financial services and derivatives. In regulatory financial services, the team represents banks, financial institutions and regulatory bodies in regulatory matters ranging from securities and M&A regulatory advice to assisting with major legislative changes.

In banking work the firm represents both borrowers and lenders in credit facilities, subscription facilities, term loan agreements and acquisition financing.

In capital markets, the firm represents banking and financial institutions on derivatives, ABS, CLO, swaps, repo facilities, exchangeable extendible money market certificates and other types of structured financing products. Clients act as both issuers and underwriters.

The investment funds practice represents national and global financial institutions in fund formations and investments.

In M&A, the firm represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, mergers and financial investments across a multitude of industries.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advises creditors in Chapter 11 restructuring cases.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include the Federal Reserve’s Alternative Reference Rates Committee, the Security Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Coöperatieve Rabobank, BNP Paribas, HealthCare Royalty Partners, Assured Guaranty, MBIA, Nearwater Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mantle Ridge, Hudson Executive Capital, Argonaut Insurance, Morgan Stanley Capital Group, National Founders and Structured Finance Association.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Over the research period the regulatory financial services team represented private financial institutions with securities and M&A regulatory oversight. Significantly, the team also represented separate governmental regulatory institutions regarding two important monetary legislative changes. The team helped prepare for the LIBOR transition, specifically regarding fallback language for cash products and assisted with capital, liquidity, margin and segregation requirements for CFTC and SEC registered swap dealers as a result of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The banking team represented mostly lenders in a mix of credit facilities, term loan agreements and subscription facilities. Banking and financial services and the healthcare and life sciences industries were big industries for the team.

The capital markets team advised clients in the banking and financial services industry on a wide variety of structured financing and derivatives products. Many of the transactions involved a regulatory component.

The investment funds team represented international financial institutions with fund formations and subsequent investments.

The M&A team represented strategic and private equity clients in acquisitions, sales, mergers and investments. Many of the acquisitions were minority stake acquisitions of companies, especially in the banking and financial services, healthcare and industrials industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team advised creditors in Chapter 11 financial restructurings.

In terms of lateral moves, the regulatory financial services and investment funds teams brought over partner Mike Newell from Norton Rose. The M&A team brought over partner Vivian Maese from Latham & Watkins.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Castleton Commodities International $2.775 billion senior secured working capital facility

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bankruptcy

LendingClub’s $185 million acquisition of Radius Bancorp

Siemens Medical Solutions $1.1 billion acquisition of Corindus Vascular Robotics


Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)


“Broad range of expertise readily available and continuous efforts to anticipate our needs as new issues emerge in the financial services industry.  Also able to pair technical legal expertise together with practical knowledge of how financial service firms operate internally in order to provide advice and guidance that is immediately actionable by us.”


Capital markets: derivatives

“Cadwalader is very knowledgeable about derivatives regulation, very responsive and the attorneys are quite nice.”

“Runs the entire transactions with a very sure and safe pair of hands. Very commercial and always finds a solution to every problem.”


Financial services regulatory

“Cadwalader partners with whom I have worked are very responsive and knowledgeable in their respective practice areas. And they have a good business sense for what is reasonable and practicable.” 

“Scott Cammarn at Cadwalader has previously been an in-house GC.  As a result, his legal advice is practical and implementable, in addition to being technically accurate and sound.  This distinguishes Scott's legal advice from other law firms that provide more theoretical advice on legal interpretation as opposed to in addition providing practical advice and guidance on how to implement legal requirements consistent with industry peers.  In addition, Scott is incredibly accessible and responsive when compared to other similarly situated partners/law firms.  Finally, Cadwalader's rates are very competitive, resulting in an overall package of high-quality legal advice that is provided in a timely, efficient and effective manner.”


Investment funds

“Expert in the law, practical advice, responsive”

“Responsive, communicative, deep bench of industry knowledge, extensive industry network.”


Restructuring and insolvency

“Very knowledgeable about the law, Ch. 11, courts, etc.”

King & Spalding

Since its founding 135 years ago in 1885, King & Spalding has grown to 22 offices across three continents. In the United States, the firm has 11 offices, with its first office in Atlanta serving as the firm’s headquarters.


Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a market leader in corporate law in Georgia, but also has a strong presence in North Carolina. Firm wide, it has an especially strong oil and gas project development practice.

In banking work the firm represents borrowers and lenders in credit facilities and term loans for refinancing, acquisition financing and general corporate financing.

The capital markets team has experience on the debt side representing both issuers and underwriters in investment grade, convertible and high yield bond issuances.

The team also has experience in structured finance and securitizations, where it advises underwriters and lenders.

The investment funds team is concentrated globally but within the US, has offices in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington DC.

In M&A the firm advises clients in strategic acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. The team acts on both the buy and sell side. In conjunction with the M&A team, the private equity practice advises private equity firms in buy and sell side acquisitions.

The private equity team is highly regarded with their work in the energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, healthcare and life sciences industries, especially regarding acquisitions.

With the help of the private equity team, it advises REITs, private equity and financial services firms in fund formations.

The restructuring and insolvency practice maintains US teams in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Houston. It represents government entities, debtors and creditors in distressed M&A transactions and Chapter 11 proceedings. In the projects practice, members advise financial sponsors and developers in projects in the oil and gas, infrastructure and energy industries. This includes construction, financing and acquisition.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Crédit Agricole, Citizens Bank, GSO Capital Partners, SunTrust Banks, Total System Services, Carter’s, Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse Securities, RBC Capital Markets, TSYS, Americold Realty Trust, BlueMountain Capital Management, Greystar Real Estate Partners, Prologis, Asana Partners, Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico Debt Recovery Authority, Monitronics, Jack Cooper Investments, Anadarko Petroleum, Bayport Polymers and NextDecade.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Over the research period, the banking team represented mostly lenders in refinancing, acquisition financing and general corporate financing.

In debt capital markets, the team was mostly on the issuer side for a fairly equal mix of investment grade, convertible and high yield bond issuances.

The investment funds practice, with the assistance of the private equity practice, advised private equity firms, REITs and asset management firms in fund formations.

The M&A and private equity teams worked together to advise private equity and strategic acquisitions and mergers. Energy, oil and gas, infrastructure were big industries for the practice. 

The restructuring and insolvency team worked largely on Chapter 11 proceedings, representing lenders. The project practice advised sponsors largely in oil and gas projects, specifically regarding LNGs. 

In terms of lateral moves, partners Justin Riess, Chris Molan and Jessica Standera left the banking practice. Partner Jonathan Arkins joined the structured finance and securitization team from Arnold & Porter. The investment funds practice recruited partner Conrad Axelrod from Schulte Roth & Zabel and private equity partners Christopher Chan and Christopher Gandia from Willkie Farr, Kate Luarasi from Proskauer Rose, Bryan McGee and Jeff Wolf Schatz from Simpson Thacher and Townshine Wu from Wachtell Lipton. The corporate and M&A practice brought over partners Erik Belenky from Jones Day and Larry Yanowitch, Tom Knox, Charles Katz and Jeremy Schropp from Morrison & Foerster. In projects, the firm brought over partners Ingrid Myers from Morgan Lewis, David Lang from Baker McKenzie, Alan Noskow from Manatt Phelps & Phillips and William Gordon who moved from an in-house position. The team also saw the retirement of partner Ken Culotta and departure of partners Vera de Gyarfas who moved to Mayer Brown and Dan Rogers who moved in-house. The restructuring and insolvency team recruited partners Matthew Warren and Roger Schwartz from Latham & Watkins, Andrew Brereton from Clifford Chance and Peter Montoni who came from in-house. Partners Jeffrey Pawlitz and Bradley Giordano left the firm. 


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Americold Realty Trust $1.24 billion acquisition of Cloverleaf Cold Storage

Atmos Energy $1.5 billion refinancing

BB&T / SunTrust Banks merger

Bayport Polymers $1.2 billion acquisition of Borstar polyethylene plant

Dine Brands Global $225 million and $1.3 billion bond issue

Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico Title VI restructuring

Greystar Real Estate Partners X

UPS $1.5 billion 2.2%, 2.5%, 3.4% triple tranche bond issue

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is a large international firm that entered into its current form through three cross-border mergers in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Firstly, in 2002, US firm Mayer Brown & Platt (established in Illinois in 1881) merged with UK firm Rowe & Maw (formed in 1895 in London), then the combined entity merged with Johnson Stokes & Master (opened in 1863 in Hong Kong) in 2007.

Today the firm’s network covers 27 offices spanning three continents. In the US, where the firm has several of its largest branches, it has a presence in six states and teams based in Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Washington DC.



Broadly for work across the US the firm is known for its outstanding work in structured financing and securitisation and in power sector project development but it is active and strong in other areas of financial and corporate transactional work.

In the capital markets area, in addition to the firm’s high quality work in structured finance and securitization and derivatives areas, it also has expertise in investment grade and high yield debt and equity issues. It represents both issuers and underwriters in corporate, green and high yield bonds, CFTC advice, structured bond issuances, index launches, follow on offerings, IPOs, share offerings and ATM offerings.

In M&A the team has experience with reverse mergers, joint ventures, asset sales, as well as public and private acquisitions. It advises private equity and strategic buyers and sellers.

In project the projects space the firm represents developers, project sponsors, borrowers and lenders in project financing and development, and does outstanding work in the energy industry.

The restructuring and insolvency team represents administrative agents, debtors, creditors and trustees in Chapter 11, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, financial restructurings and insolvencies. 


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia, International Swaps and Derivatives Association, CIBC, BMO Capital Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Nestlé, Prologis, John Hancock Life Insurance, Berkshire Hathaway, Barclays Bank and Deutsche Bank.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period was most active in the areas of capital markets, M&A, projects and restructuring and insolvency.

The debt capital markets team increased their representation in Canada. Many of their transactions had a Canadian aspect to them and because of this, worked on numerous bail-in note issuances. The team also dealt with a high amount of REIT related senior note offerings.

In the derivatives market the team worked mostly on providing clients with regulatory advice. In equity capital markets the team advised largely underwriters in IPOs.

The structured products team worked mostly on structured notes issuances in the banking and financial services industry, as well as multi-asset index launches.

The M&A team worked on multimillion dollar and billion dollar asset and company acquisitions across a diverse array of industries.

The projects team worked mostly on renewable energy projects, especially wind and solar plants. It advised clients on project acquisition financing, loan and credit facility agreements and bond issuances.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented largely administrative agents and debtors in financial restructurings and Chapter 11 cases. 

The firm made a huge recruitment over the research period. Partner Marlon Paz joined from Seward & Kissel to head the firm’s broker-dealer regulatory and compliance practice area. In capital markets, partner Matthew Kluchenek, who specialises in derivatives, joined from Baker McKenzie. Around the same time, capital markets partner Kirk Tucker left to join Jackson Walker. In project finance, partners Frederick Lark and Elena Rubinov joined from Bracewell, Mark Williams joined from Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Vera de Brito de Gyarfas joined from King & Spalding. They are also partners in the firm’s corporate and M&A practice area, which also brought over partners Kara Baysinger, Stephanie Duchene and Matthew Gaul from Dentons, Paul Chen from DLA Piper, Marc Harrison from Greenberg Traurig, Philip Lau from Locke Lord, James Schell from Skadden and Dale Smith from Bracewell. The restructuring and insolvency practice area brought over partners Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks from DLA Piper, Louis Chiappette from Skadden and Adam Paul from Kirkland & Ellis


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Brookfield Asset Management $4.7 billion acquisition of Oaktree Capital Group

Celeo Redes $365 million private placement financing

GW Pharmaceuticals Nasdaq IPO

Northeastern University public parking facility concession

Starbucks double tranche $2 billion 3.55% and 4.45% bond issue

Weatherford International Chapter 11 bankruptcy


Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets : Debt

"Easy to work with as underwriter counsel, responsive and thoughtful. Top lawyer on debt issuances with knowledge of market terms and conditions."

"Knowledge of the company and its business."

"They understand current trends and fully understand the applicable law."

"Very responsive to our requirements and unfailingly attentive to our interests."

"Deep bench of expertise on subject matter, the ability to execute transactions successfully on tight time frames and provide cost effective services."

"Our capital markets and USCP contacts are trusted advisors who are responsive, pragmatic and knowledgeable in the space."

"Very knowledgeable capital markets partners who are practical. They may also charge a little less than the leading NY capital markets law firms."

"They are extremely knowledgeable and have true expertise in debt capital market activities. They are very responsive and great to work with."


Capital markets : Derivatives

"Great subject matter expertise and very responsive."

"Subject matter expertise, responsiveness and professionalism."

"Experienced in all aspects of the business (tax, disclosure, regulatory, etc.), familiar with the market and competitors, appropriate pricing and good response time."


Capital markets : Equity

"Authoritative advice and willingness to take strong position vis-a-vis other law firms availability of US lawyers for client located in Israel."

"Does what it takes to get the job done. Strong knowledge of capital markets and transactions."


Capital markets : Structured finance and securitization

"Extremely knowledgeable about the legal and regulatory aspects of both private equity and 1940 Act Funds Reputation of both lawyer and law firm were valued by various partners to ALTI and led to stronger partnerships."


Investment funds

"Consistent high quality work for any topic in several jurisdictions."


Private equity

"Very thoughtful and responsive."


Anna Pinedo

"Anna is our key lawyer on our account. She is always available, especially in an emergencies. Her advice has been spot on and her team was especially helpful with a $100 million preferred stock capital raise that we did this year."

"Anna's market knowledge, responsiveness and practical advice are very important to my team, and make her one of our most trusted advisors."

"Diligent, highly intelligent, very knowledgeable and attentive."

"Excellent in all areas, always makes herself available."

"Extremely smart and intuitive."

"Has impressive subject matter expertise."

"One of the most innovative and expert thinkers on financial products and solutions that solve unique regulatory challenges. She explains very complex regulatory issues in understandable ways."


David Goett

"Great expertise with respect to the taxation of financial products. Ability to understand the complicated math related to derivatives."


David Malinger

"Knowledge of our company."


Eddie Best

"Very responsive and practical; manages costs well


Iliana Kirova

"Very responsive and extremely knowledgeable."


Jen Carlson

"Jen is extremely knowledgeable and has great debt capital markets expertise. She is an excellent attorney and great to work with."


Juan Pablo Moreno

"Ability to understand and address client concerns in an efficient manner. Strong knowledge of subject area."


Lori Pines

"Smart. Thoughtful. Strategic. Responsive. Friendly."


Marla Matusic

"Responsive, problem solver."


Phyllis Korff

"Phyllis is amazing. She has a depth of experience that is unparalleled. She is thoughtful and responsive and easy to work with."

Moore & Van Allen

With a history dating back to 1949, Moore & Van Allen begun with one office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since then, the firm has expanded to a second office in Charleston, South Carolina.  


Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is known for its work in the financing practice areas, namely banking and capital markets done within its financial services team. In banking, the team acts for lenders in acquisition and corporate financingsThe team also works on capital markets transactions, acting for issuers in bond issuances on the debt side. The team specializes in representing banks and other companies in the financial services industry. 


Key clients 

Key clients include Bank of America, Mizuho Bank, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and American AgCredit. 


Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Throughout the research period, the financial services team continued to represent clients in the financial services industry on financings. This includes acquisition, general corporate financing and refinancings in the banking practice area, as well as bond issuances in the debt capital markets practice area.  

In terms of lateral moves, the banking team brought over partner Sandra Lazorcheck from King & Spalding. 


Deal highlights: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Flex $2 billion financing 

Sonoco Products $750 million financing 

Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson

Founded in 1960, Robinson Bradshaw is a full-service firm with four offices across the Carolinas. There is an additional office in Rock Hill, South Carolina.


Focusses / specialisms

In North Carolina, where the firm has a market leading M&A practice, there are offices in Charlotte, Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

In addition to having an outstanding M&A practice, the firm also does great work in banking. The M&A team represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition and merger related transactions. In banking, the firm represents lenders in refinancing, term loans and credit facility agreements. It is active in multiple industries including, but not limited to, healthcare, telecommunications, industrials, manufacturing, consumer goods & services, insurance, banking and financial services and technology.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Raycom Media, Comfort Systems, Springs Global, American Stainless Tubing and Wells Fargo.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Within the research period in banking the team represented lenders in credit facilities, unitranche facilities, incremental loan, term loan agreements and refinancings. 

The M&A team represented largely strategic buyers in acquisition related matters across several industries including healthcare, manufacturing and telecommunications. 


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Sharyland Utilities $165 million financing

Fresenius Medical Care / NxStage Medical merger

Gray Televisiion $3.65 billion acquisition of Raycom Media

Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan

Founded in 1912, Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan is one of the largest business and litigation firms in North Carolina. Located in Raleigh, it has a global presence through its membership in Ally Law. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a market leader in M&A locally and is active in banking. 

The financial and corporate team is also experienced in equity capital markets related transactions. In banking, the firm represents borrowers in financing matters such as non-dilutive financing.

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in divestitures, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

The firm has particular expertise in the healthcare, gaming, technology, life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Precision BioSciences, Cree, First Citizens Bank & Trust, Novan, Epic Games, Quotient Sciences and Descours & Cabaud.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Over the research period the firm advised clients largely in the healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceutical industries. Most of the transactions were buy side acquisitions, but the financial team did also work on an IPO and a non-dilutive financing transaction in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.

The corporate team lost partners Margaret Rosenfield and Mikal Shaikh, who both left for K&L Gates.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Epic Games acquisition of Life On Air

First Citizens Bank / Entegra Financial merger

IDEAL Industries $225 million acquisition of Cree lighting products business unit 

Precision BioSciences Nasdaq IPO