United States

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Allen & Overy

International firm Allen & Overy is headquartered in the UK as one of the Magic Circle firms, but has over 40 offices globally. In the United States, the firm has four offices in the Silicon Valley, New York, Washinton D.C. and Los Angeles.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm has a highly notable leveraged finance team. The banking and finance practice acts for mostly lenders in acquisition, sustainability and corporate financings, as well as refinancing matters. The practice does also represent borrowers in similar matters.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Apollo Global Management, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Jeffries and Goldman Sachs.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb started in 1946 with offices in New York and Washington DC. Since then, it has expanded its global reach to include 13 international offices on three other continents. New York and DC remain the firm’s only American offices. The firm is best known for its work in debt and equity capital markets, derivatives and regulatory financial services. It is also highly praised for its commitment to pro bono work and diversity and inclusion. It has an award winning pro bono practice and mentoring program. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

In addition to its standout practices, Cleary Gottlieb does strong work in banking, M&A and private equity. Given its international presence, the firm is able to conduct law in Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the UK and France.

 

The banking team works on transactional and regulatory matters. On the transactional side, the team acts for borrowers and lenders in acquisition, project and corporate financing. The project finance team is active in the ports, power, infrastructure, oil and gas and telecommunication industries. The regulatory financial services practice advises banks, financial institutions, fintech companies, trade associations, broker dealers and swap dealers on legislative compliance and securities and M&A transaction compliance. Notably, it has increasingly advised fintech companies on blockchain and virtual currency regulations.

 

In debt capital markets, the team advises both issuers and underwriters in investment grade corporate bonds, sustainability bonds, green bonds, mortgage bonds, Eurobonds, sovereign bonds and high yield bond offerings. On the equity capital markets side, the team represents issuers, selling shareholders and underwriters in IPOs, share buybacks, recapitalizations, follow on offerings, public share offerings, private stock placements and secondary offerings. In derivatives, the team advises issuers and underwriters in forwards, swaps and options. The structured finance team represents issuers, initial purchasers and underwriters in ABL, securitizations, mortgaged backed securities and CLOs. In investment funds, the team represents investment firms in fund formations and investments.

 

The M&A team represents strategic buyers and sellers in high value acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures across an array of industries. The firm also works on private equity M&A transactions through the private equity practice, which also represents firms in recapitalizations and investments.

 

The restructuring and insolvency team acts for creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, international bankruptcy cases, and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Starbucks, Verizon, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Vista Oil & Gas, MercadoLibre, True Digital, Commerzbank, Owl Rock Capital, Goldman Sachs, TPG, KKR, International Flavors & Fragrances, Alphabet, ESL Investments, Warburg Pincus, Venezuela Creditors Committee, Geoffrey, the Puerto Rico P3A and BlackRock. 

Clifford Chance

The most current iteration of Clifford Chance came about in 1987 after the merger of Coward Chance and Clifford Turner. Today, the full service firm has 32 offices spread throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. In the United States, the firm has offices in New York and Washington DC.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Clifford Chance has a dedicated team to aviation financing and so is quite prevalent in the aviation industry. It is also prevalent in the real estate industry, especially in the New York office, given the firm’s dedicated real estate practice. The practice represents REITs, real estate developers and real estate investors in acquisition and financing related matters for commercial, industrial and residential properties. 

 

In the banking practice, the firm represents borrowers and lenders in export trade facility, credit facility and term loan agreements. The financing was used for acquisition financing, real estate financing, refinancing, project financing and general corporate financing. 

 

The debt capital markets team represents underwriters and issuers in sovereign bond, investment grade bond, hybrid bond, green bond and high yield bond offerings. On the equity capital markets side, the team also represents underwriters and issuers in secondary issuances, share offerings, at-the-market programs and tender offers. In the derivatives practice, the firm represents issuers in forwards, swaps and other derivatives. The structured finance and securitization team represents borrowers and lenders in CLOs, mortgage backed securitizations and receivables backed securitizations.

 

The M&A team represents strategic and private equity acquirers and sellers in acquisitions, joint ventures and mergers across many industries. 

 

The project development practice advises developers and financial sponsors in the oil and gas, infrastructure, energy and port industries. Many of these projects are cross border and based in outside jurisdictions.

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team represents administrative agents, trustees and debtors in international financial restructurings and US based Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Deutsche Bank, Global Jet Capital, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Scotia Capital, UBS, Caixa Econômica Federal, SIFMA, Nomura Global Financial Products, AIG Asset Management, Crédit Agricole, LATAM Airlines, HSBC, Symrise, Pfizer, Stockbridge Capital, Madison International Realty, IDB Invest, IFC, Mizuho Bank and Siemens. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Capital markets: Structured finance and securitization

"Responsive, practical and technically excellent."

 

Project development

"Practical approach based on firm's deep experience in the field of US export control."

Cravath Swaine & Moore

Full-service firm Cravath Swaine & Moore was founded in 1819. Since then, it has emerged as one of United States’ top firms for banking, M&A and debt and equity capital markets. The firm has one office in New York, as well as an international presence with an office in London. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is well known for its outstanding work in M&A, banking and capital markets, specifically debt, equity and high yield. However, it also has notable teams in structured finance and securitization, financial services regulatory and restructuring and insolvency.

The banking team advises borrowers and lenders in bridge, revolving, DIP, term loan and credit facilities, acquisition financing and ABLs. 

In debt capital markets work the firm represents both issuers and underwriters in high value corporate and sovereign bond offerings. It also advises on a plethora of high yield bond offerings, representing largely underwriters and initial purchasers. 

On the equity side the firm again represents both issuers and underwriters in public spin offs, investments, share offerings, secondary offerings and IPOs.

In M&A the firm represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers across all industries in mergers, joint ventures and acquisition related matters.

The restructuring and insolvency team can represent all sides, but mostly advises debtors and lenders in billion-dollar Chapter 11 cases. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Disney, Mylan, Barrick Gold, Viacom, IBM, AerCap, Hasbro, Novartis, CyrusOne, Transdigm, PG&E, Citigroup Global Markets, and Bank of America. 

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020 / 2021) 

Over the research period, the banking team acted for both borrowers and lenders equally in corporate and acquisition financing matters. It also represented administrative and collateral agents in DIP financings and refinancings.

In capital markets, the firm was active on both the debt and equity side. Debt capital market transactions include green, investment grade, high yield and sovereign bond offerings, where the team represented a mix of underwriters, initial purchasers and issuers. Equity capital market transactions include direct listings, IPOs, common stock offerings, preferred stock offerings, secondary offerings, at the market offerings and PIPEs, acting slightly more on the underwriter side.

The M&A practice saw a lot of high value activity throughout numerous industries. The team acted mostly on the buyer side of these transactions, which were also mostly strategic acquisitions.

In restructuring and insolvency, the team represented mostly debtors in Chapter 11 filings. It also represented numerous buyers in insolvency related acquisitions.

In terms of lateral moves, banking and financial service regulatory partner David Portilla joined the firm from Debevoise & Plimpton. Capital markets partner Johnny Skumpija left the firm to join Sidley Austin.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020 / 2021) 

Centene $2.2 billion 2.5% high yield bond issue

JPMorgan Chase $1 billion green bond issue

Mylan/Upjohn $50 billion combination

Palantir NYSE direct listing

PG&E Chapter 11

TransDigm $7.5 billion loan

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020 / 2021)

Banking

“They were a part of a larger team of international law firms that assisted us and were very cooperative and pragmatic in their work.”

 

Capital markets: high yield

“Incredible attention to detail, proactiveness, knowledge of the legal and business component and creativity.”

 

Restructuring & insolvency

“Their work is always of the highest quality and they are timely.”

 

Craig Arcella

“He is proactive, understands how each transaction could work with other products and very flexible with his time.”

 

Paul Zumbro

“Paul provides superlative advice and commands the respect of our Board.”

 

Philip Boeckman

“Very senior, experienced, balanced and always with a good radar for what was expected and needed.”

Davis Polk & Wardwell

The history of Davis Polk dates back to 1849 with its founding in New York. Over 170 years later, the firm has grown to 10 total offices spanning four continents. In the United States, Davis Polk has offices in New York, Washington DC and the Silicon Valley. It has standout practices in banking, capital markets, regulatory financial services, M&A and restructuring and insolvency. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

In addition to its standout work nationwide in banking, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency, the firm does notable work in project finance, hedge funds, registered funds and private equity. Notably, the New York office is one of the best in the region for financial and corporate practice areas.

 

The banking team works on commercial and leveraged matters, representing borrowers and lenders in acquisition, DIP and corporate financings, in addition to refinancings. In regulatory financial services, the firm provides advice to banks, trade associations and financial institutions regarding M&A acquisitions, capital markets trading and US monetary legislation such as Dodd-Frank, the Volcker Rule and Basel III. It also advises clients on fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency matters. 

 

The firm represents issuers and underwriters in all areas of capital markets. On the debt capital markets side, the team advises clients in high value convertible, investment grade and high yield bond offerings. On the equity capital markets side, the firm advises on IPOs, private placements, follow on offerings, secondary offerings, direct listings and common share offerings. In derivatives and structured products, the team represents clients in the banking and financial institution industry on structured products issuance programs, forwards, options, swaps and margin loan facilities. The registered funds practice advises banks and financial institutions regarding compliance, structuring and implementation of ETFs, hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity funds and other types of funds.

 

The M&A team represents strategic acquirers and sellers in high value acquisitions, mergers, privatizations and joint ventures across a wide array of industries. The firm also has a separate private equity practice dedicated to advising private equity firms in acquisitions, sales, investments and portfolio restructurings. The private equity practice also works on funds matters, representing private equity funds in formations and fundraising.

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team represents debtors, creditors and trustees in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include HSBC, BNP Paribas, BBVA, Comcast, Texas Instruments, Tyson Foods, Credit Suisse, Natixis, Goldman Sachs, PIMCO, General Electric, Heineken, Purdue Pharma and Citibank. 

 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

The history of Freshfields dates back to the 1700’s in the UK. Since then, the firm’s reach has expanded to offices in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, North America and Africa. Its presence in the United States began in 1977 with its opening of its New York offices. In the 40 years since, the firm has expanded to offices in Washington D.C. and the Silicon Valley.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Freshfields’ US presence is growing in strength and is well known for its banking, capital markets, M&A and project finance practices. Given the international nature of the firm, many of its clients and matters are cross border in nature. 

In banking, the team represents borrowers in acquisition and corporate financing, in addition to project financing. Many of its clients are private equity firms participating in buyouts. In project financing, the team is experienced in the infrastructure and energy industries. 

The capital markets represents issuers and underwriters in debt and equity matters. Debt capital markets deals include investment grade and high yield bond offeringsEquity capital markets deals include IPOs, PIPEs and public acquisitions involving SPACs. 

In M&A, the team acts for buyers and sellers in public and private acquisitions. It also works on mergers, recapitalizations and divestitures. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Flutter, CVC, VertexBofA Securities, JP Morgan Securities, Credit Suisse, AstraZeneca, Google, Volkswagen, DFC and KfW IPEX-Bank. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking 

"Industry knowledgeable and reasonable flexibility in terms." 

"Dave Almroth and his colleagues are pragmatic, very knowledgeable and above all focused on closing the deal. They have been invaluable allies in achieving our goals." 

 

Capital markets: Equity 

"Strong team." 

"Strong team, international focus and perspective. " 

"Responsive. Knowledgeable. Client-friendly." 

 

M&A 

"Smart, practical, creative, clear." 

"They are to the point, business-driven. They don't engage in any philosophical legal discussions just for the sake of it. They are approachable and working with them is very pleasant. They help bring in additional perspectives. It is useful to draw on their experience in the market and they have a great international network." 

"Valerie Jacob's legal council is invaluable to our firm." 

"John combines encyclopedic knowledge of M&A with sound, practical business judgment and a relaxed, friendly and warm bedside manner." 

Greenspoon Marder

Full-service business law firm Greenspoon Marder was founded in 1981. It has since grown to 15 offices and 10 other locations. The firm is best known for its work in Florida, where it has the greatest number of offices.  

 

Focusses / specialisms

Greenspoon Marder is best known for its work in the real estate industry. It represents property developers, owners and financiers regarding commercial and residential real estate in any type of real estate work. This includes acquisitions, development and financing. 

Husch Blackwell

Husch Blackwell is a national law firm with over 800 lawyers and 25 offices across the United States including in Texas, California, Missouri, Colorado and Arizona.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm advises on a variety of corporate matters and has strong regional real estate practices.

 

Key clients

Key clients include Truist Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy and many other banks and corporate clients, both national and regional.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

 

Bank lending: Lender side

"Strong experience and expertise in LIHTC and other complex deals. Attention to detail. Always meets deadlines/closing targets."

"Take initiative and provide error-free work."

 

Banking and finance

"Fast, good feedback and always meets timelines - very important for our needs."

 

Financial restructuring

"Communication, responsiveness, flexibility, practical business-related legal advice."

 

Investment funds: Real estate funds

"Quick and thorough responses, deal-makers that ID business decisions and implications."

"They are extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of our needs. The multiple teams within Husch are extremely responsive to our needs and presented many solutions to make the acquisition a success."

 

M&A

"Prompt Attention to detail. Rational approach. No drama."

"HB's attorneys and support staff are very patient, persistent and thorough. As a family-owned 'S' corporation without active management in our corporation, HB understood our needs and acted accordingly."

"Responsiveness, experience in the healthcare field, technical expertise."

 

Project development

"Knowledgeable, flexible and responsive while offering excellent value-to-fee ratio."

 

Restructuring

"Patience, knowledge and experience in the area requiring legal assistance."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Attorney experience and knowledge are invaluable. Calm demeanour a great corollary attribute."

"Quality people that provide value to the company."

McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery is a notable global law firm. Though the firm is headquartered in Chicago, it is truly an international firm, with locations in 13 office in the United States and seven offices across five European countries.    

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm does notable work across many financial and corporate practice areas including banking, capital markets M&A, private equity, project finance, project development and restructuring and insolvency.

In banking work the firm represents borrowers and lenders in term loans, secured and unsecured credit facilities, subordinated debt facility and refinancings. The main offices for the team are based in Illinois and California.

Most of the work done in the capital markets practice is in relation to acquisitions and strategic investments. The team is active in debt and equity capital markets work, representing issuers in investment grade bond issuances on the debt side and public share offerings on the equity side.

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition, mergers and corporate reorganization related matters. Though it has experience across numerous industries, it is most prevalent in the manufacturing, food and beverage, financial services, technology and healthcare industries. Most of the group is based in their Atlanta, New York, Boston, California, Chicago, Washington D.C., Texas and Miami offices.

The firm’s private equity practice work includes both buyouts and investment funds, where the team acts for private equity firms in acquisitions and fund formations. The private equity funds group maintains strongholds in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington DC.

In project development, the firm acts for developers and financial sponsors in projects in the energy and power industries, especially renewable energy.

In real estate, the team represents lenders in mortgage loans, mezzanine loans, acquisition financing, joint ventures and acquisitions.

In restructuring and insolvency work the firm represents creditors, debtors and trustees in insolvency, financial restructuring, Chapter 11 and Chapter 9 bankruptcy cases. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Natixis Real Estate Capital, Apollo Global Management, Fireman Capital Partners, Rhône Group, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, US Bank, HIG Capital, Peak Rock Capital, Dogfish Head Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Scout Clean Energy, AES, CS Energy, Premier and Wells Fargo Capital Finance. 

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020 / 2021) 

Throughout the research period, the banking team represented borrowers in project, DIP, acquisition and corporate financing as well as refinancings. It also worked on numerous asset backed financings in the structured financing practice. Many of its acquisition financing matters were private equity acquisitions. In terms of industries, a lot of the deals were based in the healthcare and manufacturing industries.

In M&A, the team represented buyers and sellers in strategic investments and acquisitions, as well as joint ventures and private equity acquisitions. Many of the deals were in the middle market space and dealt with the healthcare, manufacturing and food and beverage industries.

On the private equity side, the team acted for private equity acquirers on buyouts. It also represented private equity firms in fund formations.

The project development team represented developers in renewable energy projects, especially regarding wind and solar projects. The team dealt with the financing aspects of many of these projects, as well as project acquisitions and sales related to restructuring and insolvencies.

In the restructuring and insolvency practice, the team worked with creditors, trustees and debtors in Chapter 11 filings. It also worked with debtors on acquisitions and sales related to these filings.

In terms of lateral moves, M&A and private equity partners Frank Layson, Sam Snider and Paul Puckett joined the firm from DLA Piper. M&A and private equity partner Sam Wales left for Sidley Austin, while M&A and private equity partner David Mathus retired. The project development practice added Christopher Gladbach from Orrick as well as Neil Levy, David Tewksbury, Bruce Richardson and Stephanie Lim, all from King & Spalding. The restructuring and insolvency team brought over partner Charles Gibbs from Katten Muchin Rosenman and partner David Hurst from Cole Schotz. Partner Craig Rasile, who practices M&A, private equity and restructuring and insolvency also joined the firm from DLA Piper.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020 / 2021) 

American Builers & Contractors Supply $1.5 billion refinancing

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bankruptcy

H.I.G. Middle Market LBO Fund III $3.1 billion fund formation

MarWin 1.3GW $265 million offshore wind farm project financing

Quorum Health Chapter 11

WellSky $1.35 billion acquisition of CarePort Health

Milbank

Founded in 1866, Milbank has grown to 12 offices worldwide. In the United States, the firm has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. It is a market leader in infrastructure project development, project finance and restructuring and insolvency. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

While the firm has an outstanding national restructuring and insolvency practice, it is a market leader in the restructuring practice in California.  

 

Milbank’s banking and capital markets practices includes asset financing, specializing in the aviation industry. The banking team advises borrowers and lenders in acquisition finance, aircraft leases and warehouse financing. Its aviation team is very prominent in the market and works on a lot of aircraft financing matters.

 

The debt capital markets team advises underwriters and issuers in investment grade, high yield, convertible, Eurobonds, global and green bond offerings. The equity capital markets practice also represents underwriters in follow on offerings, common share offerings, preferred share placements and IPOs. In structure finance and securitizations, the firm is proficient in CLOs and ABS’, representing firms in the banking and financial services industry. 

 

The M&A practice acts on the buy and sell side in private equity and strategic acquisitions. It also participates in other corporate transactions including mergers, private equity investments and joint ventures. 

 

The restructuring and insolvency practice represents creditors and debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcies and out of court financial restructurings. 

 

In addition to the aviation industry, the firm also has a specialty real estate practice. It represents REITs, investors and developers in real estate related transactions including development, financing and acquisitions.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include NCB Capital, Citibank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank Securities, Export Development Canada, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, Santander, RB Capital Markets, TD Securities, Park Square Capital, Marble Point Credit Management, KKR, BlackRock, QIC Global Infrastructure, Mitsui & Co, Apollo Global Management, PIMCO, HPS Investment Partners, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, official committee of unsecured creditors for PG&E, Ambac Assurance and the Raymond Sackler family.  

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Asset finance

"Senior partner is good and I've had a long relationship and history with him."

 

Banking

"The team knows both the company and the market extremely well. Very responsive, always commercial and willing to go the extra mile."

"Responsive. Thorough. Proactive. Strong knowledge of market terms. Well respected by counterparties."

 

Capital markets: Structured finance and securitization

"Talented attorneys, extensive market knowledge, strong support groups (eg, tax)."

"They see a large number of CLO transactions, so they are able to tell us market standard provisions."

"Milbank is very knowledgeable in CLOs (as well as other areas). They are both thorough and pragmatic."

 

Financial restructuring

"Very practical and commercial. Willing to litigate if necessary, but always looking to cut a good deal."

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell, founded in 1930, is considered one of the top firms for restructuring and insolvency work in the Delaware market. The firm is also a top firm for M&A in Delaware. Based in Wilmington, the firm is a member of TerraLex, a legal network which has over 600 offices in 100 countries. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a robust M&A practice, where often advises on alternative entities matters and serves as Delaware co-counsel on giant international deals. The firm works in a range of sectors and advises both acquirers and sellers.

The firm remains a go-to firm for clients partaking in or approaching Chapter 11 bankruptcies. The firm advises a range of parties including debtors, creditors, acquirers and committees.

 

Key clients

Notable clients for the firm include Celgene, The Charles Schwab Corporation, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Expedia, The Boston Herald, Crayola and KKR Credit Advisors.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough is a full-service national firm with offices 25 offices in 11 states and Washington, D.C. The firm was founded in South Carolina in 1897.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm advises on a wide range of matters across its offices. Corporate work includes securities, venture capital and commercial real estate.

 

Key clients

Key clients include Starwood Capital Group, Aventon Company and many other national and regional companies.

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling is a well known international firm with 25 offices worldwide. Within the United States, the firm has offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Menlo Park, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Though the firm is full service, it is best regarded for its work in derivatives, high yield debt and infrastructure project development.

 

In the banking practice, the team represents borrowers, arrangers and administrative agents in DIP, asset based, acquisition, exit and corporate financing matters. It also represents clients in refinancing and financial restructuring matters.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, MUFG Bank, HSBC, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Banco Santander and Barclays.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Full service firm Skadden is a top tier firm, especially in M&A, debt capital markets, structured finance and securitization, regulatory financial services, restructuring and insolvency and oil and gas projects. It was founded in New York in 1948 and the New York office remains the firm’s headquarters and largest office. It has since, however, expanded to 22 offices across three continents. In the United States, the firm has offices in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Washington D.C. and Wilmington. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm’s New York, Washington D.C., California, Illinois and Massachusetts offices are market leaders in their regions across financial and corporate practices. It also has standout offices in Texas and Delaware. Though the firm is active across all industries, it is particularly active in technology, real estate, banking and financial services and pharmaceuticals. 

 

In regulatory financial services, the team advises banking and financial institutions in compliance matters related to investments, derivatives and acquisitions. The banking team acts on the lender and borrower side in acquisition finance, multicurrency finance, DIP finance, project finance and refinancing. Project finance matters are largely done in the power and energy industry, but the team also has experience in the infrastructure industry.

 

The capital markets practice works on debt, equity, derivatives and securitization matters on both the issuer and underwriter side. In debt capital markets, the firm acts on investment grade and high yield bond offerings. The equity capital markets side works on IPOs, tender offers, common and preferred share offerings, follow on offerings and recapitalizations. Derivatives related matters include convertibles, options and swaps. In securitizations, the team works on commercial paper programs, receivables backed securitizations, ABS’, CLOs and mortgage backed securitizations. 

 

The investment funds practice works with asset management and private equity firms in fund formations, fund IPOs, and fund investments. The team works on private equity funds, REITs, registered closed end funds and hedge funds.

 

The M&A team acts on the buy and sell side in high value private equity and strategic acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. The firm also has a private equity practice that assists with private equity buyout related acquisitions. 

 

The project development team represents developers and financiers in projects in the oil and gas, infrastructure and energy industries. 

 

The restructuring and insolvency team acts on behalf of debtors and creditors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include First BanCorp, Crédit Agricole, Banco Azteca, Centene, Zillow, Bank of America, Scotia Capital, Citigroup, CEMEX, Pfizer, Morgan Stanley, PayPal, Barclays, Eaton Vance, Fair Oaks Capital, AES, BlackRock, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, NextEra Energy Partners, Exact Sciences, Array BioPharma, DowDuPont, The Blackstone Group, Aflac, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, UBS, Synergy Pharmaceuticals and Stearns Holdings. 

Whisenand & Turner

Whisenand & Turner is a boutique firm founded and based solely in Florida in Miami.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm focusses on work involving what it calls the ‘triangle area’ of United States, Latin America and Europe, with an emphasis on Spain.

The firm does notable work in the M&A. It represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, joint ventures, mergers and other general corporate matters. Many of the transactions the firm completes have a cross border element, especially in the Europe, United States and Latin America. The firm also has experience working on matters regarding Cuba.

Akerman

National firm Akerman was founded in Orlando in 1920. It has now has 25 offices across 15 states but Florida remains core to the firm and is the state where it has the largest number of offices.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm is best known for mid-market M&A and real estate work in Florida and is active in capital markets and restructuring.

The firm has a national capital markets practice of note that represents issuers in bond issuances, IPOs and share offerings.

Its M&A team, bolstered by the Florida offices, represents strategic and private equity buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters, including acquisition financing.

It also has a restructuring and insolvency practice in Texas.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include HIG Capital, AE Industrial Partners, AutoNation, Carrols Holdco, RumbleOn and Green Growth Brands.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

M&A

"Always available. 'Trusted adviser' approach where partners do not just hand you off to the subject-matter experts - they are involved in the entire instruction, adding value by bridging the gap between their client's expectations and the commercial problem they are trying to solve."

"Creative, responsive and very hard-working. "

"Commercial - extensive M&A experience - great advice and service - team consistency - pragmatic - thoughtful."

 

Private equity

"Strategically minded, problem-solving, creative with respect to solving off-market requests, well-organised and good- natured."

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, or Akin Gump, was founded in 1945 in Dallas. Since then the firm has expanded to 20 locations across three continents. In the US, the firm has 11 offices across six states. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Firm wide, Akin Gump is best known for its work with hedge funds, private equity funds, power project development and restructuring and insolvency. The firm’s DC and Texas branches are arguably its best known. Its strongest M&A and restructuring and insolvency teams are based in DC and Texas. 

The banking practice represents borrowers and lenders in credit facility agreements, loan facility agreements, DIP financing and refinancing. 

The team is very active in capital markets and represents issuers in debt and equity transactions including bond offerings, high yield bond offerings, IPOs, recapitalizations, private share placements, public share offerings and tender offers.  

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in public and private acquisition and merger transactions. It also advises clients in strategic investments. 

The project development team represents developers and financial sponsors in project development, acquisition and financing transactions across the energy and oil and gas industries.  

Real estate is also a big industry for the firm, so much so that it has its own practice. The real estate team represents commercial and residential developers and private equity investors in matters relating to acquiring and selling land and properties and development. 

While the firm is active in numerous industries, it is particularly so in the oil and gas and power sectors. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include FirstEnergy, Alliance Data Systems, Diamondbank Energy, East West Bank, Apollo Global Management, Shell Midstream Partners, BlackRock Realty Advisors, Pacific Investment Management Company, PNC Energy Capital and Royal Bank of Canada. 

Alston & Bird

The earliest iteration of Alston & Bird was formed in 1893 in Atlanta. Since then, it has expanded to 13 offices, 10 of which are in the United States, in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Raleigh, San Francisco, the Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. The firm has an international presence with offices in Beijing, Brussels and London.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm has a notable banking and finance practice, based in its Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York offices. The team represents borrowers and lenders in refinancings, acquisition, DIP and corporate financing matters.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include AB Private Credit Investors, Fortress Investment Group, Home Depot, Mohawk Industries, Platinum Equity, Qatar Airways, Wells Fargo and Truist Bank.

Arnall Golden Gregory

Arnall Golden Gregory was founded in 1949 and has since grown to two offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Washington DC.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The Georgia team is well known for their work in the M&A practice area.

The firm as a whole also does notable work in banking and finance and restructuring and insolvency.

The banking and finance team represents borrowers and lenders in loan facilities, working capital credit lines, bond financing, public financing, project financing, securitizations, refinancings and acquisition financings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Horizon Telecom, Imperial Capital, Development Authority of Fulton County, Ares Commercial Finance, American Express and Sysco.

Arnold & Porter

The most current iteration of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer was formed in 2017 as a result of the merger between Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer. The firm now boasts 14 offices in six countries. In the United States, the firm has its largest offices in Washington D.C. and New York, but also has growing offices in San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Newark, Houston, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. The firm is often praised for its diversity initiatives and pro bono work.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

While the firm does great work across its offices in banking, capital markets, regulatory financial services, M&A, private equity, project finance and restructuring and insolvency, it is its DC office that stands out for its restructuring and insolvency practice. The firm is particularly experienced in the technology, banking and financial services and life sciences industries.

 

The capital markets team represents issuers and underwriters in corporate bonds, sustainability bonds, share offerings, IPOs and bond refinancings. It also has a separate sovereign finance practice, which advises issuers on sovereign bond issuances.

 

In addition to transactional financial and corporate transactions, the firm regularly advises clients in regulatory financial services matters. The regulatory financial services team advises clients in the banking and financial services industry on regulatory matters related to financing, acquisitions, incorporations, fund formation and securities regulations. 

 

Its M&A practice is largely based out of the New York, DC and San Francisco offices, in addition to its ever-growing Denver office. The team advised strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. The corporate practice also has a private equity practice that advises private equity firms on buy and sell side acquisitions and investments.

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team acts for creditors, debtors and public institutions in Chapter 11 and out of court restructuring matters.

 

The structured finance and securitization practice is based in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and DC offices. It represents clients in the banking and financial services industry as both issuers and underwriters in structured notes, covered bonds, mortgage backed securitizations, receivables backed credit facilities, ABS issuances, CMBS and RMBS fund formations.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Pfizer, Cognizant, Harbour Point Capital, DC Capital Partners, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Republic of Panama, Goldman Sachs, Borden Dairy Holdings, First Republic Bank and Piermont Bank.

Baker Botts

Baker Botts is an international firm with a stronghold in Texas, where its Texas offices are members of Lex Mundi. The firm has 13 offices across five regions. In the United States, there are seven offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm historically has done excellent work in the energy industry, although it has since expanded to cover numerous industries including technology, logistics and entertainment.

The team’s banking and finance practice acts for borrowers in refinancings, ABLs, warehouse financings, acquisition financings and corporate financings.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include NRG Energy, Delek US Holdings, Odfjell Holdings, Summit Midstream Partners, BWX Technologies, Sprague Resources, NASCAR, GCI Liberty, Sunnova Energy and Halliburton.

Ballard Spahr

Since its founding in 1919, Ballard Spahr has grown to 15 offices nationwide. Its largest office is in Philadelphia, which is also the firm’s founding city. In addition to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. have some of the firm’s largest offices. The Phoenix, Arizona office is highly regarded for its top tier work in the state. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Ballard Spahr is experienced in many practice area across its offices, including M&A, banking, capital markets, project development and real estate. The banking team represents borrowers in credit facilities, loan agreements, project financing and acquisition financing.

 

In capital markets, the firm represents issuers in bond offerings, share offerings and IPOs.

 

The Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Phoenix offices are well known for its work in M&A. In M&A, the firm represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters.

 

The project development team represents developers in P3 and private projects in the transportation, infrastructure, energy and oil and gas industries.

 

Real estate is a large focus firm wide, where the team represents commercial, residential and industrial developers, investors and REITs in real estate matters such as acquisitions, financing and development.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Slang Worldwide, SVCP Management, Concrete Pumping Holdings, Healthpeak Properties, City Office REIT, Kilroy Realty, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, State Bankshares, Greystone & Co, 8minute Solar Energy, Pacific Southwest Development, VICI Properties, PNC Bank, Brixmor Propery Group, Citizens Bank Park, Cascata Packaging, SilencerCo and Kodiak Cakes. 

Barnes & Thornburg

The most current iteration of full-service firm Barnes & Thornburg was born from a merger in 1982. Robert Grand serves as the managing partner of the firm, which has grown to 19 offices, plus a satellite office in 14 states. Barnes & Thornburg’s presence is felt most in Indiana and Michigan, where it does notable work in banking and finance. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm does good work in the banking and finance practice area. The team represents lenders in loan and credit facility agreements, as well as refinancing transactions. They represent many clients in the banking and financial services industry. 

Bodman

Founded in 1929, Bodman is one of the leading firms in Michigan for financial and corporate law. The firm has five offices throughout Michigan: Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Cheboygan, Troy and Detroit.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Bodman does outstanding work in M&A and banking and finance. In M&A, the firm advises strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters. It also advises clients in follow on investments.

Though the firm has experience in a plethora of industries, it has special expertise in the automotive, technology, manufacturing and industrial industries. The banking and finance team represents lenders in credit facility agreements, loan agreements, acquisition financing and mortgage loans.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Novares, PridesCrossing Capital, Olcott Plastics, Bank of Ann Arbor, Comerica Bank, CIBC Bank, the Huntington National Bank and LevelOne Bank.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Bank lending: Lender side

"Bodman is wonderful. They are very attentive, and timely when responding to our bank's needs."

"Bodman was wonderful. They were timely, when called. They listen well. They always tried their best to make sure that the bank's needs were met."

"They are efficient, cost-effective, responsive and provide excellent counsel."

 

M&A

"The depth of their expertise and the speed at which they work I have never seen before. Their bills are more than fair and I feel like I get so much more 'bang for my buck'!"

 

Financial restructuring

"Timely, thorough and insightful responses to complicated legal issues surrounding restructuring scenarios."

 

Restructuring

"The firm is extremely well organised, communicates well and always meets deadlines. In addition, they truly are a trusted adviser and provide sound advice throughout the workout process."

Bracewell

Bracewell got its start in Houston, Texas in 1945. Since then, it has become a market leader in Texas in financial and corporate law. The firm has also opened an additional nine offices in three countries. In the United States, the firm has locations in Austin, Hartford, Dallas, Houston, New York, San Antonio, Seattle and Washington D.C. Bracewell has expanded its reach internationally with offices in Dubai and London.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm is best known in Texas, where it has the most offices and a reputation as a top tier financial and corporate practice, in addition to a notable projects practice. However, it also has a notable New York practice. Oil and gas is a big industry for the firm across all practice areas.

 

The banking practice firm wide represents borrowers and lenders in DIP loans, credit facility agreements, term loan agreements, rescue financing, refinancing, trade receivable securitization facilities and project finance. In project finance, the team represents borrowers in financings within the renewable energy, infrastructure and oil and gas industries.

 

The capital markets team represents issuers and underwriters in corporate bond issuances, mortgage bond issuances, green bond issuances private share placements and public share offerings.

 

In M&A, the firm advised strategic acquirers and sellers in joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. It also represents private equity firms in acquisition and investment matters.

 

The project development team works on private, public procurement and P3 projects, representing developers and concessionaries. It is very active in the energy and infrastructure industries.

 

The restructuring and insolvency team advises administrative agents and debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases. It also advises clients in out of court restructuring settlements. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Kinder Morgan, Wells Fargo, MUFG Union Bank, Apache, Altus Midstream, Evercore, Prosperity Bancshares, Western Gas Partners, Global Infrastructure Partners, Crédit Agricole, Energy & Exploration Partners and ENI Petroleum. 

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.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

 

Investment funds: Real estate funds

"Works efficiently - works with clients to understand intended outcomes - thoroughly considers risks and seeks way to limit them - experienced over numerous transactions - professional in dealing with counterparty's counsel - force multiplier, understands how to support business team's efforts - able to provide coverage in several practice areas with good network with other attorneys outside of their area of expertise."

 

M&A

"The firm's partners and associates are extremely knowledgeable and professional. They are excellent negotiators and represent their clients well."

Brown Rudnick

Brown Rudnick is an international firm best known for its work in restructuring and insolvency. It is part of The Law Firm Network and has eight offices across three countries. In the United States, the firm has six offices, each in different states.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The Boston, Massachusetts office has one of the best restructuring and insolvency practices in the region. The firm also has a notable restructuring and insolvency team in New York. The restructuring and insolvency team represents creditors, debtors and trustees in Chapter 11 cases mostly. The team does also work on other insolvency cases and financial restructurings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Legacy Reserves, Boston Herald, DW Partners and term loan lenders to Pier 1 Imports.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Financial restructuring

"Commercial/great strategists/technical legal skills are excellent/great team players/tenacious/strength in depth."

"They advocate for creditors, especially in the committee context. Significantly, they litigate to a deal, and are cognisant of both aspects of that strategy."

"They are a full-service firm, but my interactions with them are primarily restructuring and related litigation."

 

Insolvency

"Responsive, capable and creative."

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck was founded in 1968. Since then, it has expanded to 13 offices in seven states. The firm is top tier in Nevada in M&A and also highly regarded in Colorado for its work in the financial and corporate practice areas.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Though the firm does outstanding work in Nevada and Colorado, it also maintains teams in Washington D.C., California, Wyoming, New Jersey and New Mexico. In Colorado, the firm does great work in banking and finance, real estate and M&A. The banking and finance team represents borrowers in project financing, capital markets investments and securitizations.

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition and joint venture related acquisitions. 

The real estate team represents property developers and investors in commercial and residential real estate development and acquisition transactions.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Blue & Silver, Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners, Brue Capital, the Colorado Rockies, Bow River Capital Partners, Nexus Technologies, Caesars Entertainment, AmTrans Expedite and Encore Consumer Capital.

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 it has experience in a wide variety of financial and corporate practice areas, Cadwalader is nationally recognized 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 banking, the firm represents both borrowers and lenders in credit facilities, subscription facilities, term loan agreements and acquisition financing. 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 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. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Banking and finance

"Extremely technical and practical advice - excellent client service and responsiveness."

"The firm spends a great deal of time understanding the businesses and the legal issues that need to be addressed. They provide thoughtful, well-regarded guidance that is easy to apply and they recalibrate that guidance as needed."

 

Capital markets: Equity

"Richard Brand - plain and simple - excellent lawyer with great skills, great command and creative ideas."

 

Financial services regulatory

"Very knowledgeable and competent, responsive and practical."

 

Investment funds

"CWT is incredibly responsive and adept at addressing all manner of issues (eg, tax, regulatory, pure private fund offerings). When called for, they bring an entire team of experts to bear on our matters with amazing speed and precision. They are also accommodating and can work on extreme timelines when needed. Importantly, as in-house counsel, I felt I could totally rely on them to lead when needed, to offer perspective on issues I may be leading on, and to communicate directly to our business team in a clear, consistent, thoughtful, solutions-oriented way (such that internal legal is not required to then translate the advice of outside counsel to internal business teams). To boot, the team that I regularly work with at CWT is incredibly nice, easy to talk to and comprised of people I genuinely enjoy working with even beyond their legal expertise."

"Excellent communication, responsiveness and partnership with business teams."

"Very responsive; advice reflects an understanding of our business. Very practical. "

 

M&A

"Cadwalader is particularly responsive in an area that by its nature is time-sensitive. They are practical and commercially focused with their advice. And they are fun to work with."

Cahill Gordon & Reindel

Since its founding in New York in 1919, corporate and litigation firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel has become a market leader in high yield debt and banking. It also added offices in Washington DC and London. The firm is consistently recognized for its pro bono and diversity and inclusion efforts, especially with women and people of color.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

In addition to Cahill’s top tier banking and high yield debt practice, it has outstanding debt and equity capital markets teams. The firm’s New York office has one of the best capital markets teams in the region.

 

In the banking practice, the team represents lenders in various types of credit facility and loan agreements to support acquisition financing, refinancing and other general corporate financing.

 

In debt capital markets, the team represents initial purchasers and underwriters in investment grade and high yield bond issuances. The equity capital markets team represents administrative agents and underwriters in common, preferred and secondary share offerings.

 

The M&A team represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, joint ventures, spin offs and company formations.

 

The restructuring and insolvency team represent creditors, administrative agents and debtors in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Citibank, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Securities, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Securities, Gaming & Leisure Properties, BMO Capital Markets, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Jefferies, Envigo International Holdings, ICON, S&P Global, Falcon Investment Advisors, 1-800-Flowers and Kawa Capital Management. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Capital markets: Debt

"Best law firm on Wall Street. Highest level of expertise, deepest bench of excellent lawyers, most efficient work streams, with business common sense on top of legal acumen."

 

Capital markets: High yield

"Extensive knowledge and expertise across leveraged finance markets."

Cole Schotz

Founded in 1928, Cole Schotz is a notable law firm in restructuring and insolvency. It has expanded to seven offices nationwide in: Hackensack, New York, Wilmington, Baltimore, Boca Raton, Fort Worth and Dallas.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Some of the firm’s strongest restructuring and insolvency teams are in the Hackensack, Baltimore and Wilmington offices. The restructuring and insolvency team firm wide represent sponsors, debtors and creditors in Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 insolvency cases. It also represents debtors in out of court financial restructurings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Maremont, the official committee of unsecured creditors of The NORDAM Group, Westwind Manor Resort Association and Crown Bank.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Bank lending: Borrower side

"Thorough understanding of complex issues and talented litigation partners."

 

Insolvency

"Gary's work was extraordinary. He adroitly managed a diverse and at times fractious creditor team. He was consistently proactive, avoiding and ameliorating problems throughout. Most importantly he was aggressive in pursuing creditor interest and in litigating claims against third parties that helped to greatly increase the funds recovered for consumer creditors."

"Irving Walker was lead counsel and show a ton of creativity in crafting a solution where the SBA was precluding us from using normal workout procedures to resolve my client's debt."

 

Restructuring

"Cole Schotz are experts in representing companies/debtors in restructurings and chapter 11 proceedings. They routinely find creative solutions to complex challenges arising in large cap restructurings and provide practical and pragmatic counsel."

"Very knowledgeable and smart but also being able to make legal conversation very practical so that it was very much aligned with the pace at which our business operates and decisions had to be made."

"Very pragmatic and level-headed. Well organised."

 

Restructuring: Corporate

"Cole Schotz has great ability from top to bottom within their bankruptcy and litigation groups. There isn't an issue they can't handle. They are staunch advocates for their clients and generally seem better prepared versus the competition."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Cole Schotz has worked tirelessly on this most recent tax appeal for many years. They continue to be professional and a pleasure to work with."

"David is ALWAYS available, at all times when we have reached out by email or phone to obtain his counsel. He is efficient and very experienced."

"Extraordinarily savvy in commercial and financial terms, expert in key legal areas."

"Subject-matter expertise, planning and organisation, great to work with, efficient provision of services, great collaborative partners."

"The attorneys at Cole Schotz handled all of the bankruptcy aspects of the case and worked well with the rest of the team to achieve a good result for the client."

"The firm is skilled in all aspects of litigation. This includes pleadings, pre-trial preparation and performance in the court room. The firm keeps me apprised of ongoing issues and provides insightful advice."

"The firm is well versed in all aspects of complex litigation including pleadings, pre-trial preparation, discovery and litigation itself."

"Their lawyers are smart and commercial with a keen understanding of the judges in Delaware."

"They held our hand during this very difficult process, were available 24/7 for any questions we had and really navigated incredibly well as the pandemic was just becoming a major issue."

Debevoise & Plimpton

Though its headquarters are in New York, Debevoise & Plimpton is a global firm with 10 offices spanning three continents. In the United States, the firm has offices in New York and Washington DC. It is a leading firm in private equity, with outstanding M&A, regulatory financial services and banking practices.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Aside from its top tier work in private equity, Debevoise & Plimpton does great work in registered funds, restructuring and insolvency, M&A, regulatory financial services and capital markets.  

 

In banking, the team represents borrowers and lenders in refinancing and acquisition finance transactions. In regulatory financial services, the firm advises trade associations, banks and financial institutions in compliance related to acquisitions, divestments and monetary regulations such as Basel IV and the Volcker Rule.

 

The capital markets team advises clients on both the issuer and underwriter side. In debt capital markets, the team represents clients in investment grade bonds, high yield bonds and recapitalizations. The equity capital markets team sees tender offers, secondary offerings and common share offerings. In the investment funds practice, the firm represents private equity firms in fund formations. 

 

In the private equity practice, the firm advises private equity firms in high value buy and sell side acquisition related matters.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Financial Services Forum, American Express, The Carlyle Group, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, Westpac Banking Corporation, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Gogo, Warner Music Group, AXA, Brighthouse Financial, KKR, Credit Suisse, Blackston and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.  

 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Bank lending: Borrower side

"They are the best.”

Dechert

Global firm Dechert has 26 offices spread out over three continent. In the United States, the firm has offices in Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Hartford, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Philadelphia, Princeton, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. This growth stems from decades of expansion, with the most current version of the firm’s name dating back to 1962. Dechert got its start in Philadelphia, but the New York office is their largest in the United States. Though the firm is active across financial and corporate law, its registered funds work has generated the most recognition as a top tier practice.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

In addition to its outstanding registered funds practice, Dechert also has notable restructuring and insolvency, private equity, hedge fund, M&A, capital markets, regulatory financial services and banking practices. Markedly, its M&A team in the Philadelphia office is a market leader in Pennsylvania. 

 

The banking practice represents borrowers and lenders in credit facilities and term loans associate with project financing, acquisition financing and general corporate financing. The team is very prevalent in the real estate and banking and finance industries.

 

The capital markets team operates in the debt, equity and securitizations space, where the team represents issuers and underwriters. The debt capital markets team advises clients in convertible, investment grade and high yield bond issuances. The equity capital markets team advises on IPOs, at-the-market programs, public offerings and private share placements. In securitizations, the firm advises on mortgage backed securitizations, CLOs and CMBS matters. 

 

In investment funds, the team acts for issuers in private equity, hedge, feeder, mutual and ETF funds. It works on fund formations and fund raises, as well as buyout and compliance related matters.

 

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers in asset acquisitions, company acquisitions, privatizations and mergers. In addition to acquisitions, the private equity team advises private equity clients in company investments.

 

The restructuring and insolvency team advises creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, Chapter 11 and 15 cases. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Citigroup Global Markets Realty, Freddie Mac, Crown Holdings, B&G Foods, Amkor Technology, FS KKR Capital, Bain Capital Specialty Finance, Main Street Capital, Credit Suisse, Starwood Property Trust, GIC, Covis Pharma, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, Antares Capital Advisers, Eagle Point Credit Management, Purdue Pharma and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance. 

Dentons

One of the world’s largest law firms, Dentons is truly a global law firm, with over 190 locations across over 75 countries. In the United States, the firm has offices and partnerships in 43 cities.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Though the firm is full service, in the United States it has a standout structured finance and securitization practice, as well as a notable restructuring and insolvency practice.

 

The structured finance and securitization practice has particular expertise in the real estate industry, where it excels at RMBS transactions, as well as other mortgage and real estate backed securities. It also works on securitizations in the banking and financial services industry. The team can represent issuers and lenders equally.

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team largely works in the healthcare, energy, mining, automotive, manufacturing, banking and financial services industries. Most of the team is based in its Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Evansville, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Louisville, New York, Orange County, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Washington D.C. offices. It acts for creditors and debtors in Chapter 11, 9 and 15 cases, as well as out of court restructurings and distressed acquisitions.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Cantor Fitzgerald, Fortress Investment Group, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Verity, Travelers, Astria Health, Ohana Real Estate Investors and Sturm Ruger & Company.

DLA Piper

Business firm DLA Piper was born in 2005 from the largest ever merger in the legal industry between Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, Piper Rudnick and DLA. The international law firm has offices in almost every region in the world. In the United States, the firm has 28 offices in every region of the country.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a plethora of teams spread out across the country. Its Baltimore, Maryland offices particularly have a top tier M&A practice.

Firm wide it has a notable projects practice. The projects team is especially focused on project financing, where it represents lenders in financing projects in the mining, power, energy and infrastructure industries. Most of its projects are cross border internatioanlly.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include CIT Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Coöperatieve Rabobank, ING Capital, Natixis, OPIC, IDB, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Central American Bank for Economic Integration, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Citibank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

 

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

During the research period the projects team represented multinational lenders in financing projects chiefly in the renewable energy and infrastructure industries. Solar and wind energy comprised most of the renewable energy projects. Most of the projects are based outside of the United States. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Amman East 400MW combined cycle power plant restructuring

Ruta del Cacao toll road

Zaporizhia 500MW wind farm

Dorsey & Whitney

Since its founding in Minneapolis in 1912, Dorsey & Whitney has expanded to 19 total locations across the United States, Canada, the UK and China. In the US, the firm has 13 offices spread throughout the country, including in Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New York and Utah. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Though Dorsey & Whitney is an international firm, it has a stronghold on the Minnesota market with their top tier Minneapolis office. The office does market leading work in banking, capital markets and M&A. 

 

In Alaska, the team is active representing buy and sell side clients in private acquisitions. It mostly works in the oil and gas, mining and real estate industries.

 

The Minneapolis office’s M&A practice represents strategic acquirers and sellers in middle market transactions, where it maintains a stronghold. The office also has a dedicated real estate practice, showing the firm’s expertise in the real estate industry. The team represents REITs, property owners, investors and developers in all aspects related to commercial, industrial and residential real estate. This includes acquisitions, development and financing.  

 

In Montana, the team acts for issuers in capital raises and bond issuances. It also represents lenders in acquisition financing matters and public institutions in P3 project financings in the infrastructure and energy industries.

 

The New York M&A team is also known for its middle market transactions, as well as cross border transactions between the US and China. The office has a US-China practice group focusing on these transactions. The M&A team represents private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisition related matters. It also advises private equity firms on investments. 

 

The Salt Lake City office is one of the largest corporate practices in Utah. The M&A team represents private equity and strategic clients on the buy and sell side in acquisitions and mergers. It also conducts banking and capital markets work, advising private equity firms on equity investments and issuers on public offerings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include UnitedHealth Group, Medtronic, US Bancorp, Land O’Lakes, United Properties Development, US Bank National Association, Fairview Health Services, Virtus Real Estate Capital, Dope Media, High Street Capital Partners, Airspan Networks, Verano Holdings, Tower Arch Capital, NaviMed Capital, Nu Skin Enterprises and Zions Bank.  

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Investment funds: Private equity funds

"Dorsey and the team we use is excellent at understanding the nuances of all elements of transaction documentation, the important terms we should expect, what's considered normative vs unusual, etc. We rely on their expertise."

 

M&A

"Deep subject -matter expertise; well organised and process-oriented; timely and professional work product; keen ability to get results."

"They have a very strong connection between the M&A team and the other parts of the firm, especially the health group, tax, employee benefits. It's a very integrated experience."

Duane Morris

Full service firm Duane Morris got its start in Philadelphia, but has since expanded to 29 offices over three continents. In the United States, the firm has 22 offices spread through the country. Though the firm is headquartered in Philadelphia, the New York offices are among the firm’s largest.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

With 22 offices spread out across the country, it is safe to say that each of Duane Morris’ locations have different expertise. Throughout the firm, there are teams in the banking, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency practices.  

The banking practice has teams of note in Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania. It represents borrowers and lenders in credit facilities and term loan agreements for general working capital financing, acquisition financing, construction financing and real estate financing. The Florida offices specializes in real estate financing. 

The firm’s capital markets teams represents issuers in share offerings, tender offers, SPAC formations and bond issuances. The teams also represent private equity firms and companies with debt and equity investment financing. Many of these capital markets transactions support larger M&A and/or financing transactions.  

In M&A, teams represent strategic and private equity clients in acquisitions on both the buy and sell side. It also advises clients in privatizations, joint ventures and mergers. Given its geographic reach, the firm has experience in all industries. Some of these acquisitions are public M&A transaction and have an associated capital markets transaction. 

The restructuring and insolvency practice has teams in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, Newark and Wilmington. The teams represent debtors, trustees, receivers and creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include CIBC, Wells Fargo, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Centennial Bank, Synovus Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Quality Carriers, Altman Specialty Plants, New England Compounding Pharmacy, the Government Employees’ Retirement System of the Virgin Islands, Pipeline Health, Nueva Generacion Manufacturas, Clock Spring Company, Pipeline Health, Camden Partners, iAnthus Capital Holdings, Intermarket Communications, JDP Therapeutics, Catalent, National Gas & Electric and AT&T.   

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Bank lending: Lender side 

"Charlie Ognibene and Will Dubon were there for us 24/7. In the middle of this Covid pandemic, they were very quick to respond, understood the issues and timing for closing. Provided the right perspective, worked very well with borrower's counsel and was very flexible when pricing the legal work. All very well received by us and our client." 

 

Financial restructuring 

"Excellent customer service, deep knowledge base, practical legal advice." 

 

M&A 

"Very professional, thorough, extremely reliable, and easy to work with." 

"Knowledge of the issues involved, the ability and willingness to provide exceptional advice and service to the client. Excellent interpersonal abilities." 

 

Private equity 

“Highly detailed, experienced.” 

 

Restructuring and insolvency 

“Responsive and skilled.” 

Dunn Carney

Full service firm Dunn Carney was founded in 1930. Since then, it has developed a market leading real estate practice in Oregon. The firm has two offices in Oregon, in Salem and Portland, but has a global presence through its membership in Meritas 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Dunn Carney is best known for its top tier work in the real estate practice. The team represents real estate developers and investors in matters involving acquisitions, construction financing, dispositions and project development. It has experience with commercial, industrial and residential real estate properties mainly in Oregon, but also in states on the west coast. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Sturgeon Development, Retail Opportunity Investments, UBCT Partnership, Gorge Co-Housing, KH Progress Ridge, Kirkwood Properties Two and Mosaic Real Estate Investors.  

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Investment funds 

"Solid communication and subject-matter knowledge. Deep bench." 

 

M&A 

"Jeff Perry is a very experienced M&A attorney with a strong tax background. Responsive and competent." 

"Prompt, responsive, accurate, caring." 

 

Project development 

"Reliability, honesty, keeping me up to date." 

"Dependable." 

Foley Hoag

Foley Hoag was founded in 1943 in Boston. That office remains the firm’s headquarters and largest office. However, since its founding, it has added offices in New York, Washington D.C. and Paris. In addition to its physical global presence, the firm is a part of LexMundi.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Foley Hoag’s Boston office is a market leader in M&A in the region, but also does great work in banking and debt capital markets. In banking, the team advises borrowers in term loans and credit facilities for general financing, project financing and acquisition financing.

 

The debt capital markets team represents issuers in investment grade bond issuances.

 

In M&A, the team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition, merger and joint venture related matters. Though the firm has experience in a variety of industries, it is particularly prevalent in healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceuticals and technology.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Biogen, Sensata Technologies, Indigo Ag, Thermo Fish Scientific, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Recorded Future, OnShape, New-Indy Containerboard, Entegris, JMC Capital Partners at ezCater. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Investment funds

"Solid communication and subject-matter knowledge. Deep bench."

Foster Garvey

Foster Garvey was born in 2019 from the merger of Washington firms Foster Pepper and Garvey Schubert Barer. The resulting firm has five national offices: Seattle, Portland, Washington DC, New York and Spokane. It also has an international presence through its Beijing office. The firm has its largest office in Seattle, followed by Portland. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is very active in the corporate and M&A practice area. It represents private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions. It is very active in the forestry, technology and manufacturing industries.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Westward Partners, Software Professionals, Eastside Dermatology, T-Star, Kingston Lumber and OMAX.

 

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

During the research period, the M&A team was largely on the seller’s side in acquisitions. Many of the acquisitions had a private equity aspect, whether it was the buyer or the seller.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

OSW Equipment acquisition of Northend Truck Equipment

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson

The most current version of Fried Frank stems from 1971, but has roots dating back to the 1890’s. The firm has four offices, two national and two global: New York, Washington DC, London and Frankfurt. New York serves as both the oldest and largest office.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm has an outstanding hedge fund and private equity practice. Its DC office notably has a stellar M&A team. More broadly, the firm does also focus on banking, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency.  

 

In the banking practice, the firm represents borrowers and lenders in asset based lending, incremental facilities, term loans and credit facilities. These are used for refinancing, acquisition finance, inventory financing. 

 

The capital markets team represents issuers and underwriters alike in debt, equity and derivatives. On the debt side, the team has experience in investment grade, high yield and convertible bond issuances. These bond issuances are often tied to acquisition financing. In equity capital markets, the team directs clients on IPOs, follow on offerings and common stock offerings. In derivatives, the firm has experience in accelerated stock repurchases, open market repurchases, swaps, options and futures. Often, the firm will also advise on related regulatory issues. 

 

In investment funds, the firm advises financial institutions with closed and open ended fund formation. It also advises in the formation of alternative funds including real estate, high frequency trading, exchange and hedge funds as well as ETFs. 

 

The M&A team represents strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. There is also a dedicated private equity team that advises private equity firms on acquisitions, both on the buy and sell side. It also advises private equity clients in investments. 

 

The restructuring and insolvency team advises property landlords, creditors and debtors in financial restructuring, distressed sales and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Mayo Clinic, Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Sinclair Broadcast Corporation, Hitachi, Stella Point Capital, Onex, Citibank, Under Armour, Merck & Xo, Bank of America Securities, Clarivate Analytics, Deutsche Bank, Simply Good Foods Company, Wells Fargo, Grupo Televisa, Invesco, T-Mobile, Bain Capital, Brookfield Asset Management, Blackrock, Permira, Seritage Growth Properties, Solace Capital Partners and Lewis Frankfort.  

GableGotwals

GableGotwals is a leading full-service firm in Oklahoma. The firm has offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and is one of the largest firms in the state.  

 

Focusses / specialisms 

GableGotwals has an outstanding financial and corporate practice. Its partners represent clients in bond issuances, Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, acquisitions, divestments, loan agreements and joint ventures. It is particularly active in the oil and gas industry. 

The firm is also active in capital markets and M&A, representing buyers and sellers in transactions, and in capital markets typically the firm represents issuers.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include ONEOK, White Star Petroleum, Mid-Con Energy Partners, Commerce Bank and Hogan Taylor. 

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn was founded in Los Angeles in 1890. It has since grown to 20 offices throughout four continents. In the United States, the firm has 10 offices in California, Texas, Colorado, New York and Washington D.C. Its greatest presence is in California, where it has five offices throughout the state.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm maintains a strong presence in California, where it is has top tier M&A practices in Southern California. Additionally, its Denver, D.C., Dallas and Houston offices are standouts in their respective states in corporate practice areas. 

 

The banking team acts on the borrower side of financing transactions such as multicurrency credit agreements, term credit facilities, ABLs and construction loan facilities. These transactions are part of larger acquisition finance, project finance, construction finance or refinancing matters.  

In regulatory financial services, the team represents banks and financial institutions in regulatory advice regarding Federal Reserve policy compliance, derivatives and corporate governance matters.  

 

 

Gibson Dunn also has a depth of experience in capital markets on all sides. In debt capital markets, the firm acts for issuers and underwriters in investment grade, high yield, convertible, fixed rate and floating rate bond issuances. On the equity capital markets side, the firm also represents issuers and underwriters in IPOs, common share offerings, convertible preferred stock offerings and at-the-market equity programs. The capital markets team also frequently advises clients in the banking and financial services industry about derivatives issuances, specifically swaps and futures. These transactions also usually have a regulatory component with which the regulatory financial services team will assist.  

 

The majority of the standout investment funds team is based in New York, where it assists private equity and asset management firms in fund formations. There is frequent crossover between the investment funds and private equity practices due to the clientele.

 

The M&A practice deals with public and private strategic acquisitions and joint ventures on the buy and sell side. It has large pockets of partners in the practice in the New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Denver offices, who frequently involve each other in cross border matters. 

 

The private equity practice is based in California, New York, Washington and Dallas. It advises private equity firms on both the buy and sell side in high value acquisitions and joint ventures, ranging from $100 million to $5 billion.

 

The project development team is highly skilled in the infrastructure industry, where it represents sponsors and developers in project acquisitions, financing, bidding and construction. Additionally, the team has a lot of experience working on PPP projects.  

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advises creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Marriott International, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Fox, Wells Fargo Securities, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, US Chamber of Commerce, Capital One, Leonard Green & Partners, JP Morgan Asset Management, WndrCo, RedBird Capital Partners, The Williams Companies, PepsiCo, NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3, Denver Great Hall, AIG and Aetna. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Capital markets: Equity

"Very knowledgeable, prompt response."

 

Private equity

"Top-flight professionals who are smart, hard-working, high-character, results-oriented, trusted, client-focused, responsive, and responsible and who do a great job in delivering timely, efficient, ethical and typically cost-effective solutions for transactions and businesses."

Greenberg Traurig

Despite having been founded in Miami in 1967, Greenberg Traurig has quickly become a truly international firm. It currently has 40 offices spread over three continents. In the United States, the firm has 30 offices across 17 states. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

While the firm is well known globally for its work in business law, it is a standout particularly in Arizona, Nevada and Florida, where it has the most offices. 

 

In the banking practice, the firm acts on the lender and borrower side for credit facilities and secured term loans as part of large refinancing, acquisition financing and general working capital financing. 

 

The M&A team represents strategic sellers and acquirers in acquisitions, restructurings, mergers and joint ventures across a diverse set of industries. The corporate team also has a distinct private equity practice that works in conjunction with the M&A practice to represent private equity firms in acquisitions on the buy and sell side. Specifically, the Las Vegas office has a thriving real estate practice, where it represents developers and REITs in real estate development, financing and acquisition.

 

The firm also does wider project development work in the energy and oil and gas industries. It represents developers in project acquisition and development. There is a separate project finance team that advises developers in project financing transactions.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Coöperatieve Rabobank, SJL Partners, Schlumberger Holdings, International Finance Bank, City of Fort Lauderdale, City of Doral, Element Solutions, CNS Network, J2 Acquisition, Blue Wolf Capital Fund, Capital Contractors Holding Company, Arlington Capital Partners, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, BioTelemetry, Watsco, Mike Tyson, Hi-Rez Studios, Third Pole Therapeutics, Monarch Casino & Resort, Full House Resorts, Reading International, Blackstone REIT, Centre Partners Management, Resorts World Las Vegas, Alaska Gasline Development, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative Fund, Texas LNG, Apex Clean Energy, BayWa and ConEd.  

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Capital markets

"Every aspect of Greenberg's work has been thorough, effective and timely."

"For me, it is all about the partner I'm working with. Jeremy Zangara is a phenomenal lawyer - he provides incredible advice and service and is truly a trusted adviser."

 

M&A

"High quality of work product and advice - timeliness - detail-oriented - negotiations."

"Knowledgeable in all areas (tax, contract, regulatory, etc) involved in a transaction."

"They do an excellent job of adding value through the introduction of structuring ideas and tax solutions. "

Hall Estill

Founded in 1966, Hall Estill is a distinguished full-service firm with five offices across three states. The firm has more than 150 lawyers between offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Denver, Colorado; Fayetteville, Arkansas and Bentonville, Arkansas.  

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Banking is an active area for the firm, typically advising banks and financial institutions in loans and credit facilities.  

The firm has expertise in real estate and M&A. In M&A, Hall Estill represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters across numerous types of industries including industrial, manufacturing, oil and gas and financial services. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Mammoth Energy Services and ERP Industrials. 

Hogan Lovells

The most modern iteration of international firm Hogan Lovells was formed in 2010 through the merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells. The full service firm now has offices in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. In the United States, it has 15 offices throughout the country.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Within the United States, the firm is known for its work in capital markets and restructuring and insolvency. In capital markets, the team on debt, securitization and derivatives matters. In debt capital markets, the group represents issuers and underwriters in investment grade, project, high yield and sovereign bond issuances. Derivatives related transactions include options, commodities trading, forwards, accelerated share repurchases and swaps. Structured finance and securitization matters include ABS’ and DPR securitization programs.

 

The restructuring and insolvency practice acts for debtors, creditors and trustees in Chapter 9, 11 and 15 filings. The team also works on out of court restructurings and distressed acquisitions.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Adobe, Lockheed Martin, Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Republic of Ecuador, The Aldo Group, Deutsche Bank Trust and Ankura Trust.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Capital markets: Debt

"Hogan Lovells has many positive attributes in serving the legal needs of a indenture trustee, starting from the initial issuance of the financing through refinancing and a restructuring if required."

Holland & Hart

With 13 offices spread through Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, New Mexico and Washington D.C., Holland & Hart is a highly regarded business firm. The firm was founded in 1947 in Denver, which remains the firm’s largest office. It is the largest Colorado-based firm as well as the largest firm in Wyoming.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm does exceptional work in financial and corporate practice areas, as well as in project development. Of note is that within the corporate practice firm wide, 50% of the partners are women. 

 

The firm also has experience in capital markets, representing issuers in bond issuances, equity funding and recapitalizations.  

 

In the M&A practice, the firm represents strategic sellers and acquirers in company acquisitions, asset acquisitions and strategic partnerships. 

 

The firm’s project development and finance practice largely works on project financing. It represents developers in power purchase agreements, project acquisitions, acquisition financing and project funding. It is well known within the energy industry. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Roaring Fork Wind, Flying Cow Wind, MGM Resorts International, Duke Energy Renewables, Summit Turquoise, Webroot, DCP Midstream, Caliber Midstream Partners, Jalex Holdings and Bow River Capital.  

Kasowitz Benson Torres

Founded in 1993, Kasowitz Benson Torres has since grown to 10 offices in eight states. The firm is headquartered in New York City, where it also has the largest office. Additionally, it has lawyers in Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, San Francisco, the Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm is known for its work in restructuring and insolvency and real estate. In real estate, the firm represents real estate developers, investors, lenders, REITs and property owners in matters including construction financing, joint ventures, acquisitions, mortgage loans, refinancing and development. Its clients work on residential, commercial and industrial developments, especially in New York.

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team represents debtors, creditors and trustees in financial restructurings, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings among numerous industries. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include GFI Capital, Midtown Equities, Arbor Realty Trust, iStar, Fred’s, the Renco Group, Fairfax Financial Holdings and TPG Capital. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Bank lending: Borrower side

"Highly experienced in handling CMBS loans and assisted in ensuring loan modification was in best interest of client."

 

Investment funds: Real estate funds

"Realistic and commercial approach with practical considerations."

 

M&A

"Very knowledgeable about the law, very aggressive, very focused on facts. And they have lots of experience with the courts of venue and the defendant's counsel."

 

Private equity

"Excellent client responsiveness; measured, practical advice; thorough expertise."

 

Project development

"David Szeker is very focused, organised, prepared and offers good assistance in these matters. Level-headed and is often trying to provide solutions to get to the finish line on any matter."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Communication, creativity, patience in helping explain our options."

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 Atlanta serving as the firm’s headquarters.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

King & Spalding 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, 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 mostly in esoteric securitizations.

 

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.

 

The investment funds team is concentrated globally but within the US, has offices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington D.C. With the help of the private equity team, it advises REITs, private equity and financial services firms in fund formations.

 

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.  

 

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. 

 

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. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

M&A

"Extremely commercial and the best value for dollar I have seen in a US firm of their calibre. Timely, strategic advice and is user-friendly."

Kirkland & Ellis

Founded in 1909 in Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis is a leading US and international firm with an intentional presence spanning 15 offices across three continents. 

The firm has its largest concentration of offices in its native jurisdiction with branches in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Washington DC.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

In the areas of transactional work the firm is renowned – both domestically and abroad – for its expertise in advising financial sponsors on leveraged finance borrowing, high yield debt issues and acquisitions and exits. Financial restructuring expertise in general is another specialism. The firm practices and client base in the US are, however, more diversified than this. Geographically, at a state level, the firm’s offices in California, Illinois, New York and Texas are comparably strong and each has teams at, or close to, the top of the markets in their areas.  

 

The banking team represents borrowers in acquisition financing, project financing, liability management, financial restructuring, DIP lending, working capital financing, revolver loan agreements and term loan agreements. It also represents clients in the banking and financial services industry on regulatory matters related to compliance.

 

In capital markets work the firm advises both issuers and underwriters in corporate bond offerings, high yield bond offerings, IPOs, share offerings and follow on offerings. The team also has experience in structured finance and securitization, representing issuers in ABS’ including auto loan receivables and trade receivables.

 

The M&A team represents strategic and private equity buyers and sellers in billion dollar transactions across all industries. In fact, the firm has one of the largest private equity practice areas in the country, where the team represents private equity clients in acquisitions and investments. Private equity is a core sector of activity and expertise for the firm and it has notable clients in the oil and gas and banking industries. 

 

In project finance and project development, the team has expertise in the oil and gas and energy industries, where it often advises developers. 

 

The globally renowned restructuring and insolvency group advises debtors in financial restructurings and Chapter 11 cases. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include AbbVie, Bain Capital Private Equity, Indigo Natural Resources, Citigroup Global Markets, Boeing, Grubhub, Goldman Sachs, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, GlaxoSmithKline, KKR, Blackstone, Forever 21 and iHeartMedia. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Investment funds: Private equity funds

"Timely and pragmatic response; very experienced and knowledgeable."

"High level of expertise in the subject matter - many years of relevant experience - large teams in most relevant jurisdictions."

"Incredibly client-focused. Responsive. Entrepreneurial. They are the market-leading firm in this space by a country mile. "

"Incredibly responsive, well connected, know every detail, great/a pleasure to work with."

"The team we have is excellent, particularly Carrie Van Fleet. She always goes above and beyond for us. Also, Aaron Schlaphoff has been great."

"Very knowledgeable and are often quite creative in finding solutions to problems in negotiation. "

"They are commercial and market leaders - very experienced and knowledgeable. Responsive and available at all hours."

"They are responsive, commercial and are market leaders. They are a joy to work with and they are trusted advisers."

 

Private equity

"Intimate knowledge of DOJ process combined with consistent best-in-class legal due diligence and transaction documentation."

Kleinberg Kaplan Wolff & Cohen

Founded in 1971, Kleinberg Kaplan has 50 years of experience in financial and corporate law. Despite only having one office in New York, it has gained national recognition and frequently works on matters throughout the United States.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm is best known for its highly regarded hedge funds practice, but it also has a notable M&A practice. The investment funds practice acts for fund managers in fund formations for hedge funds, private equity funds, feeder funds and offshore funds. It also works with fund managers on acquisitions, investments, restructurings and other corporate matters.

 

The M&A team works on mergers, strategic investments, financing rounds and PIPEs, where it represents largely investors. Most of its clients are in the banking and financial services industry and many of its matters are private equity related.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Rockefeller & Co., Rosemawr Management, Paradigm Opportunities, Sandia Holdings, Cambiar Management and Mittleman Brothers.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Investment funds

"Expertise in fund formation and management company agreements, and related private investment work."

"Extremely knowledgeable and very responsive. Cost-efficient."

"They are very professional, willing to do any work necessary in order to fulfil client needs. They also often think ahead in suggesting future issues and services for the client."

 

Investment funds: Hedge funds

"Very hands-on, responsive, speedy and incredibly flexible to whatever your needs are."

"Responsiveness."

"Good industry experience. Practical. Pragmatic. Helpful."

"Knowledge & expertise."

"Subject-matter experts: at every level of the firm, we face very qualified, seasoned professionals. From tax planning to seed negotiation, we are provided with thoughtful, measured and straightforward solutions to complex legal and business issues. Partnership and teamwork: all members of KKWC work together, leveraging creativity, business acumen and legal expertise to deliver cost-effective solutions. The partnership extends beyond the walls of KKWC to our offices. As our business has grown from launch, KKWC has grown with us and continues to be a trusted partner (vs adviser). People: KKWC prides itself on sourcing and retaining talented, driven, personable attorneys and staff. Impressed by this culture, we have in the past asked for advice on building a similar culture."

 

M&A

"The firm is very hands-on, with the senior partners deeply engaged in all projects."

Luskin Stern & Eisler

New York based Luskin Stern & Eisler was founded in 1989. It is a boutique firm specialized in restructuring and insolvency and banking.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Luskin Stern & Eisler is well recognized in banking and restructuring and insolvency, where it maintains its legal offerings. In the banking practice, the firm advises lenders in acquisition financing, refinancing and general corporate financing.

 

The restructuring and insolvency practice acts for creditors in Chapter 11 and 7 proceedings.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include BNP Paribas, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Sony Music Entertainment, Santander, Coöperatieve Rabobank, Brown Brothers Harriman, Viacom, Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board and Société Générale. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Restructuring and insolvency

"Think outside box, problem-solvers. Immediacy. User-friendly, efficient - not expensive and they do things right."

"Knowledgeable, experienced, savvy and ethical."

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 braches, 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.

 

Focusses/specialisms

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

 

The banking team acts for borrowers and lenders in project, sustainability, acquisition and corporate financing, in addition to refinancing matters. In project financing, the team works on projects in the infrastructure and renewable energy industry, mostly related to transportation infrastructure, solar and wind energy projects.

 

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.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Banking and finance

"Excellent substantive knowledge. Practical business-oriented advice. Efficient. Professional. Responsive. Good value. Knows our business due to length of relationship."

 

Capital markets: Structured finance and securitization

"Mayer Brown has an incredibly deep and broad bench of talented securitisation lawyers. The firm is able to provide the full suite of capital markets, bankruptcy, regulatory and tax advice for virtually all major asset classes and can cover multiple complex deals concurrently, even on short notice and with short deadlines. The firm's lawyers are consistently proactive, pushing deals forward rather than waiting for direction."

 

Investment funds: Hedge funds

"Depth of knowledge; pragmatic; flexibility; timeliness; communication."

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Since its founding in 1873, Morgan Lewis has massively expanded from one office in Philadelphia to 31 offices across three continents. In the United States, there are 17 offices across 11 states.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm has market leading teams in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Firm wide, it is particularly well known for its work in the structured finance and securitization, hedge funds, oil and gas projects and power project practices.  

 

The banking team acts for lenders and borrowers in refinancing, acquisition financing, DIP financing and general working capital financing. 

 

In capital markets, the firm works on the debt, equity and derivatives sides, representing issuers. In debt capital markets, the firm advises clients on investment grade, convertible and high yield bond issuances. On the equity side, Morgan Lewis acts on common share offerings, at-the-market offerings, private placements, IPOs and secondary offerings. Forward transactions are regularly seen in the derivatives market. In structured finance and securitization, the team works on RMBS, ABS and ABL matters.

 

In investment funds, the firm advises investment firms, pension groups, governments and private equity firms in the formation of real estate funds, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, ETFs, mutual funds and other types of closed and open-ended funds. 

 

The M&A practice acts on the buy and sell side for strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The firm also has a private equity practice that handles acquisitions and sale related to private equity clients. 

 

In the projects finance and infrastructure practice, the firm advises project developers and financial sponsors in projects in the energy, power and oil and gas industries. Many of these projects have associated acquisition components. 

 

The restructuring and insolvency practice advises creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, Descartes Systems Group, Frontage Laboratories, American Water Works, Pioneer Investment Management, California Public Employees’ Retirement Systems, Nuveen, Park Lawn Corp, Broadway Technology, Sabre, National Grid, Prudential Capital Group, Korea Electric Power, QTCB Noteholder Group, Argentine sovereign bondholders and BNY Mellon. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Bank lending: Lender side

"Morgan Lewis is large enough to fill essentially any need we might have, but is attuned to our needs, flexible and easy to work with. It's a great balance of client service and legal skill."

"Exceptional market knowledge, including structuring and coming to common grounds re negotiations with borrower's counsel."

"Market knowledge, responsiveness, attention to detail, fast turnaround time."

"Morgan Lewis & Bockius provides a best-in-class customer-centric approach on all of their engagements."

"Very knowledgeable, proactive, timely, flag issues, etc."

"Excellent visibility on market terms, very responsive, high-quality work at attractive rates."

 

Capital markets: Debt

"Their advice was timely and efficient and their work was good. They were responsive and truly experts in their field. Our in-house legal department did not have legal expertise in the area of bond issuances and we felt well cared for by the advice we received."

 

Capital markets: Equity

"Well organised - provide timely and relevant information and feedback. High level of expertise and knowledge of the legal subject matter and industry."

 

Capital markets: Structured finance and securitization

"Morgan Lewis has a comprehensive knowledge of the RMBS market, from legal structuring to the related regulatory, tax, securities and consumer law issues, the firm has a wealth of knowledge and seasoned experts able to find solutions to issues that arise in the course of a transaction."

 

Financial services regulatory

"Extremely knowledgeable in the ETF and mutual fund arena and expert in problem-solving and creating opportunity to engage with SEC staff to achieve positive outcomes. They have a deep team of experts in the relevant fields of tax, corporate and broker dealer issues to bring comprehensive solutions to pertinent questions."

 

Investment funds

"Their knowledge and understanding of the law is thorough and deep. They truly are experts. They are also prompt, thoughtful, and creative in their responses."

"MLB has great institutional knowledge of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the other federal securities laws, provides exceptional written and oral counsel, and has a very successful programme for developing younger associates."

"Provides very detailed analysis of issues. Takes time to answer questions. Timely completes work, often in the face of tight deadlines."

"The attorneys at Morgan Lewis are among the most knowledgeable and practical in the industry (and we work with just about every major firm in the industry). Their awareness of statutory law, regulatory guidance and industry precedent gives them tremendous insight into issues that affect their clients."

"Large and thorough team; very responsive - when we have super-tight deadlines we know MLB will come through."

 

Leveraged finance

"The lawyers at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and specifically Anne Bandes who I work with frequently, have a deep knowledge of the credit space and are able to provide very helpful insight during the legal negotiation process. They're also great to work with from the perspective that they're friendly, knowledgeable, approachable and thoughtful, which is very valuable when juggling the various aspects of an underwriting and investment process."

 

M&A

"Extremely knowledgeable in practice area; understanding of our business and key issues; responsive with timely communications."

"Attention to detail, access to resources, and understanding of our context has always helped us be successful."

"Extremely valuable advice and counsel on all M&A transactions and high priority in protecting the interests of our company. They are also priced very competitively."

"Strong M&A counsel with a lot of experience across the general healthcare landscape. The firm is also able to support all our needs with specialists working well together across matters such as employment law, real estate, IP, healthcare, tax, among others."

"Thorough understanding of terms of the deal and contents of data room."

 

Private equity

"They know our business well and how we do deals. That means our interactions are seamless."

Morrison & Foerster

International firm Morrison & Foerster was founded in San Francisco in 1883. Over 135 years later, the firm has expanded to 17 offices across the US, Europe and Asia. In the United States, the firm has offices in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Northern Virginia, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington D.C. The firm has shown great strides in diversity. In addition to being Mansfield Plus certified, Morrison & Foerster has won numerous awards for their diversity initiatives. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm is active across all financial and corporate practice areas as well as project development, but is best known for its outstanding work in restructuring and insolvency.  

 

In regulatory financial services, the firms acts for companies on compliance matters related to investments and acquisitions. It also is active in fintech and payment related matters.

 

In derivatives, the team advises banks and other companies in financial services on margin loans, options, swaps, futures, forwards and cryptocurrency related transactions. Many of these transactions had a related regulatory component. 

 

The investment funds team represents investment and private equity firms in fund formations. 

 

The restructuring and insolvency practice advises creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include the Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority Funds, official committee of unsecure creditors of The NORDAM Group, ad hoc group of holders of debt issued or guaranteed by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Visa, Walmart, Cathay Bank, Oxygen, Adara, GoldPoint Partners, GSSG Solar Partners and CGI Merchant Group. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Project development

“Creative and responsive.”

Murphy & King

Murphy & King is a regional market-leading firm in restructuring and insolvency in Massachusetts. It was founded in 1980 and has since added an office in New York.

 

Focusses/specialisms

The firm has a top tier restructuring and insolvency team. It represents debtors, trustees, creditors and property owners in Chapter 11 and 7 proceedings, distressed M&A and out of court restructurings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Cashman Equipment, KCST USA, IDL Development and Bright Star Ventures.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Full-service firm Norton Rose Fulbright is one of the largest firms in the world, spanning every continent in the world minus Antarctica. Globally the firm has 50 offices. In the United States it has 11 offices spanning seven states, with the largest concentrations in Texas and New York. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

Nationwide Norton Rose has a top project development practice and an exceptional project finance practice. Also of note is the restructuring and insolvency practice in Texas, which is a regional leader in the state. 

In projects, the firm advises developers and financial sponsors in construction and development projects in the energy, infrastructure and oil and gas industries. The projects team also handles project financing, where it represents lenders and borrowers in debt financing and acquisition financing related to projects in the same industries as project development.

The restructuring and insolvency practice is concentrated in New York, Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Washington DC. and Los Angeles. The team advises trustees, creditors, monitors and debtors in Chapter 11 and 15 cases as well as foreign jurisdiction restructurings and insolvencies.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Clearway Energy Group, Energy Transfer Partners, Starwood Energy Group, Crédit Agricole, Bank of America, IFC, Nomura Securities, Investec, FTI Consulting Canada, Delaware Trust Company, JP Morgan Chase Bank, BNY Mellon and NextEra Energy. 

 

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

During the research period the project development team was highly active advising developers in renewable energy projects, especially wind and solar farms. Transactions that took place on the project finance side were in the same industries, with the team being largely on the lender side.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly creditors and trustees in some of the largest bankruptcy proceedings both in the United States and globally. Many of these cases are ongoing.

In terms of lateral moves, in the project development and finance practice, partners Becky Diffen and David Burton joined the firm from McGuire Woods and Mayer Brown, respectively. Partner Michael Marsi left the firm for Orrick. In restructuring and insolvency partner Lawrence Larose left to join Winston & Strawn. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

iHeart Media restructuring 

Odebrecht restructuring

Sabine Pass LNG export terminal

Sears Holdings restructuring

Vineyard Wind 800MW offshore wind farm

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe was founded in 1863 in San Francisco. Since then it has expanded to 26 offices across three continents. In the United States the firm has 14 offices. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known for its work in structured finance and securitization. Its industry specialities include technology, energy, infrastructure and financial services.

The banking practice advises borrowers, lenders, arrangers and investors in complex financing transactions related to acquisitions, refinancing, project financing and general working capital financing. It also works on the capital markets side with sovereign and corporate debt offerings and hybrid securitizations. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Applied Materials, Kingdom of Morocco, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Equinix, Wells Fargo, RREEF America REIT II, Juniper Networks, Convoy, Cap Vert Energy and Greenlight Planet. 

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team was mostly on the borrower side in complex and novel financing transactions. Most of them were related to general working capital financings, but there were several related to acquisition and project financings. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Kingdom of Morocco €1 billion sovereign bond issue

Poarch Band of Creek Indians acquisition of Sands Casino Resort

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones

Founded in 1983, Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones is a boutique restructuring and insolvency firm with a large presence throughout the United States. It has five offices across the country, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Wilmington and Houston. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Being a firm completely dedicated to restructuring and insolvency, the firm represents clients on matters related to that practice area. The team represents clients on all sides including creditors and debtors in out of court restructurings as well as Chapter 9, 11 and 15 proceedings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Neiman Marcus Group Creditors’ Committee, J. Crew Creditors’ Committee, Dine Brands Global and Fuse Media.  

Reed Smith

Since its founding in 1877 in Pittsburgh, Reed Smith has grown a market leading firm in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It has also expanded to 30 offices across three continents. In the United States, the firm has 18 offices in 10 states. Pittsburgh remains the firm’s headquarters and is one of its largest offices.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Reed Smith is best known in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for its powerhouse financial and corporate teams. The firm excels in the mid-market area.

 

In banking the team advises borrowers and lenders in acquisition financing, refinancing and general working capital financing.

 

In capital markets, the team has experience in equity matters, representing issuers in common stock offerings and PIPEs. The firm also has a structured financing practice, where the team has expertise in CLOs, RMBS’, commercial mortgage loans, ABS’ and securitizations. 

 

The M&A practice is mainly based in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Princeton, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices. It acts on the buy and sell side in strategic acquisitions. 

 

The restructuring and insolvency team represents trustees, creditors and debtors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Santander, Hutchinson, Wind Point Partners, Acrotech Biopharma, Vista Outdoor, Avis Budget Group, Carmeuse Lime, BNY Mellon, LDR Industries, Oakfabco, Shore Suven Pharma, Robindale Energy Services, KeyBank and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.  

Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson

Robinson Bradshaw is a full-service firm with four offices across the Carolinas. In North Carolina, it has offices in Charlotte, Raleigh and Chapel Hill. The firm also has an office in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It was founded in 1960.

 

Focusses / specialisms

In addition to having a strong M&A practice, the firm is also known for its banking work.

In banking, the firm represents lenders in refinancing, term loans and credit facility agreements. It is active in multiple industries including healthcare, telecommunications, industrials, manufacturing, consumer goods & services, insurance, banking and financial services and technology.

The M&A team represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition and merger related transactions.

 

Key clients

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

Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray was founded in 1865 in Boston. It has since expanded globally to 11 offices in three continents. In the United States, the firm has offices in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. It is best known for its work in the United States in regulatory financial services, private equity and registered funds. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm’s Boston office is market leader in the region in banking, capital markets and M&A. However, the entire firm is active in financial and corporate practices. 

 

In banking, the firm represents borrowers and lenders in acquisition financing, refinancing and general corporate financing. 

 

The capital markets practice has experience on both the issuer and underwriter side in debt, equity, derivatives and structured finance and securitizations matters. In the debt capital markets, the firm works on investment grade and high yield bond offerings. On the equity capital markets side, the team has experience in IPOs, share offerings, share buybacks and follow on offerings. In derivatives, the team works on hedges and regulatory CFTC compliance. Structured finance and securitizations work includes ABS’, CLOs and whole business securitizations.

 

In the investment funds practice, the firm primarily works with private equity funds, hedge funds and registered funds in fund formation, investments and fund raising.

 

The private equity and M&A practices advise clients on the buy and sell side in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. 

 

The restructuring and insolvency team represents creditors, debtors and trustees in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Bain Capital, Golden Gate Capital, Genstar Capital, IQVIA, Surgery Partners, Michaels Stores, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Beam Therapeutics, Wright Medical Group, Domino’s Pizza, Planet Fitness, Dunkin’ Brands Group, BlackRock, Paine Schwartz & Partners, CCMP Capital, Ashmore Investment Advisors, Athyrium Capital Management, PIMCO, Baring Private Equity Asia, TPG Capital, Audax Group, Deutsche Bank Securities, PJT Partners, Veeam Software, the Baupost Group, Elliott Management and Marathon Asset Management.  

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Investment funds: Private equity funds

"Knowledge and expertise of market precedent, able to drive document drafting & negotiation, clearing smaller issues without input from sponsor. Highly proactive, attentive and overall an excellent partner to financial sponsors."

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

Founded in 1927, Sheppard Mullin began with one office in Los Angeles. Since then, it has expanded to 15 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia. In the United States, the firm has offices in Century City, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm’s stronghold remains California, but is well known throughout the country in the banking, M&A and restructuring and insolvency practices.

 

In banking, the team acts for borrowers and lenders in refinancings and asset backed financings, warehouse financing and corporate financing matters.

 

The M&A practice represents both buyers and sellers in private and public acquisitions, as well as mergers and joint ventures. Though it has experience across numerous industries, it is very active in the entertainment, renewable energy and healthcare industries. Many of the matters the team works on are based in private equity, and so also works on strategic investments.

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team works with debtors and creditors in Chapter 11 and out of court restructurings. It also represents buyers in distressed acquisitions.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Wells Fargo, Comerica, US Bank, MUFG, Bank of America, Redgate Partners, Lakeshore Entertainment, Varsity Healthcare Partners, Allied Universal, Sony, Greenbacker Renewable Energy, Silicon Valley Bank, Marriot International and Union Bank.

Sills Cummis & Gross

Full service corporate firm Sills Cummis & Gross is a market leader in New Jersey in M&A and restructuring and insolvency. The firm has offices in Newark and New York.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm’s Newark, New Jersey office is strong in M&A and restructuring and insolvency.

In M&A, the firm works on the buy and sell side in strategic acquisitions.

It also has experience in financing matters such as bond issuances and loan agreements and in the real estate industry.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm represents creditors, debtors and trustees in Chapter 11 proceedings and out of court restructurings.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

 

Investment funds: Private equity funds

"Evaluated and negotiated key employee contracts, SPA and capital agreements."

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Simpson Thacher was founded in 1884 in New York, where it still maintains headquarters. The New York office is also the firm’s largest, but it has since expanded to 10 offices across three continents. In the United States, it has offices in New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and Washington D.C. It is best known for its top tier work in banking, debt and equity capital markets, M&A and private equity. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm’s New York office is a market leader in financial and corporate practices and the California offices are market leaders in capital markets.  

 

In regulatory financial services, the team advises banks and financial institutions in compliance related to acquisitions and equity investments. The banking practice represents borrowers and lenders in acquisition financing, refinancing, project financing and general corporate financing. The project financing practice is very active in the oil and gas, infrastructure and energy industries. 

 

The capital markets team advises both issuer and underwriters on matters in the debt, equity, derivatives and securitizations practices. In debt capital markets, the team has expertise in investment grade and high yield bond offerings, as well as green bonds, Eurobonds and convertible bonds. The equity capital markets side often works on IPOs, follow on offerings, share offerings, at-the-market programs, secondary offerings, share buybacks and convertible preferred stock offerings. In derivatives, the team is experienced in margin loans, forwards, options, swaps and concurrent bond hedge and warrants. The structured finance and securitization team works on ABS’ and CLOs. 

 

The firm also has a robust investment funds practice that advises clients in fund acquisitions, fund formations, fund financing and investments. The team has experience with private equity funds, hedge funds and REITs.

 

The firm’s M&A practice contains a private equity practice that represents private equity firms in buy and sell side acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures in addition to equity investments. The M&A practice also advises non private equity firms in high value buy and sell side acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Twenty-First Century Fox, Mars, Credit Suisse, FedEx, HSBC, RBS, Citigroup, BMO Capital Markets, KKR, Alibaba, Barclays, Softbank, Ares Management, Blackstone, Toronto Dominion Bank, Platinum Equity Capital Partners, CVC Capital Partners, First Reserve, PG&E, Microsoft, Dell, AIG Global Investments, MUFG and Energy Capital Partners. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Capital markets

"STB is very knowledgeable and responsive."

"Super-responsive and always thoughtful advice."

 

Capital markets: Debt

"Strategic thinking and counsel to the company. Providing honest feedback and advice rather than just implementing what client suggests."

 

Capital markets: Equity

"They are very knowledgeable about not only the law but about current market practices and they are very practical. They also are very responsive and timely."

 

Capital markets: High yield

"Subject-matter expertise. Accessibility and responsiveness. Client management and communication. Business-minded approach to problem-solving."

 

Investment funds: Registered funds

"Very responsive, thoughtful and commercial."

Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan

Smith Anderson is a business and litigation firm founded in 1912 with one office in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is active in M&A and banking.

In banking, the firm represents borrowers in financing matters such as non-dilutive financing.

The financial and corporate team is also experienced in equity capital markets related transactions.

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

Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane is a national firm with 383 attorneys across 23 offices. The firm was founded in 1879 and has 21 practice areas.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a strong banking practice with particular experience in agriculture and agrifinance.

Squire Patton Boggs

Full-service firm Squire Patton Boggs was founded in the UK in 1886. Over 135 years later, the firm has expanded to 44 offices in four continents. In the United States, the firm has 17 offices across the country. The firm has been lauded for its commitment to a healthy work-life balance.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm’s Ohio offices are a market leader in the region across financial and corporate practices. It also has highly regarded teams in Georgia, Florida and Arizona.

In financing, it acts on the borrower and lender side in loan agreements and credit facilities for general working capital financing and acquisition financing.

The corporate practice largely works on financing and acquisitions. In acquisitions, teams are on the buy and sell side in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Walton International, Abercrombie & Fitch, Amtech Systems, Western Alliance Bancorp, Balbec Capital, East West Manufacturing, Delta, Tsuneishi Holdings and NSI-MI Technologies.

 

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

Throughout the research period the Atlanta team worked mainly on M&A transactions, while the Phoenix office worked on a mix of acquisitions and general corporate financing. In financing matters, it represented mainly borrowers.

The Atlanta office brought over corporate partner Scott Rafshoon from Hunton Andrews Kurth in 2019.

In 2020 the firm expanded its global reach with the opening of its Milan, Italy office. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Nuverra $41.9 million acquisition of Clearwater Solutions 

Wheels Up acquisition of Delta Private Jets

Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Aldadeff & Sitterson

Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson is a full-service law firm with over 100 lawyers across Florida. It has offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Tallahassee and Coral Gables. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is best known for its work in banking and M&A, but also has a notable restructuring and insolvency practice.   

In M&A, the practice acts on the buy and sell side in strategic and private equity acquisitions, joint ventures and mergers. The team is particularly active in the technology and real estate industries, though it has experience with a multitude of industries. It also works with private equity firms in fund formations and investments.  

The restructuring and insolvency practice advises debtors, trustees and receivers in out of court restructurings and Chapter 7 and 11 proceedings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include MPD Holdings, 3Cinteractive, FirstService, The Parker Company, Scout Capital Partners, BGGMC, QFK Capital, Alfred Angelo, DJ Roofing and Telepak Networks. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Bank lending: Borrower side 

"Issues were complex and the entire negotiation was done during the pandemic lockdown, plus I myself was stranded 8,000 miles away in another country. SWM worked through all the challenges as if they were not there. It is always a pleasure working with them." 

 

Insolvency 

"Business-oriented decision-making is prioritised over outright litigation-strategy decision-making where applicable. Extraordinary attention to detail, without extraordinary billing practices. Full service." 

 

M&A 

"Great responsiveness, slightly below market rates." 

"Responsiveness, transactional acumen and collaboration." 

 "Proactive and very timely turnaround." 

Stites & Harbison

Stites & Harbison is a full-service firm with 11 offices across the Southeast United States. It has offices in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. The firm is a member of the Lex Mundi international legal network, as well as Business Counsel and The Harmonie Group.  

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has experience in commercial lending, representing regional and major commercial banks. In addition, it advises borrowers and developers. The team is able to structure complex transactions, syndicated credit facilities and project financing. 

The firm has a creditors rights & bankruptcy service group that advises its clients in chapter 7, 9, and 11 cases. The team also advises lenders and trade creditors in claim recovery.  

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Stroock was founded in 1876 and has since grown to a full service firm operating in four cities in the United States. The firm’s headquarters and largest office is in New York, but it also maintains offices in Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C. Nationwide, the firm is best known for its work with registered funds.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

In addition to Stroock’s strong nationwide registered funds practice, the New York office also maintains a notable real estate and restructuring and insolvency practice. 

 

The firm’s banking practice is closely linked to the restructuring and insolvency practice. Many of its financing transactions involve acting on the borrower and lender side for DIP and exit financings. It does also represent lenders and borrowers in acquisition financing and refinancing matters.

 

Stroock’s capital markets team is highly active in the debt and derivatives practice areas, representing issuers and bondholders. Debt capital markets matters are closely linked to restructurings, where the team works on recapitalizations related to bond issuances. It also works on convertibles bond issuances. Derivatives matters include forwards.

 

In investment funds, the team acts for financial institutions in private equity fund formations. 

 

The M&A practice acts on the buy and sell side in public and private acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. Though it mostly works on strategic acquisitions, it does also participate in private equity acquisitions. 

 

The restructuring and insolvency practice advises creditors and debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings and out of court financial restructuring. The derivatives practice advises banking and financial institutions in the commodities industry on financing, especially related to restructuring and insolvency. 

 

The New York office in particular has a notable real estate practice, where it represents property developers, financiers and REITs in property development, acquisitions, financing and REIT formations.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Innovairre Holding, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Payless, Axar Capital Management, Metropolitan Partners, the official committee of unsecured creditors of EP Energy, Merrill Lynch Commodities, Freepoint Commodities, Mirae Asset Securities, Ultimate Sotware, Castleton Commodities, Highlands REIT, Capitol Yards REIT, Samsung SRA Asset Management and Wicker Park Capital Management. 

Taft Stettinius & Hollister

Taft Stettinius & Hollister has over 100 years of experience, dating all the way back to 1885. The firm is headquartered in Cincinnati, but has 10 other offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Delaware (Ohio), Denver, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Northern Kentucky and Phoenix.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm’s Indianapolis office is a market leader in Indiana for the financial and corporate practice.

In banking the team advises lenders and borrowers in real estate financing, acquisition financing, refinancing and general working capital financing.

In the corporate and M&A practice the firm acts on the buy and sell side in strategic and private equity acquisitions, joint ventures and mergers. Many of the acquisitions are related to wider real estate transactions.

The firm also occasionally advises issuers in bond offerings as part of corporate financing as well as private equity funds in portfolio investments.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, American Municipal Power, Chiquita, Steel Warehouse Company, ForeverCar Holdings, CENX, Cummins, Hopebridge, Zotec, AMG Holdings, Edgewater Capital Partners, Jumpstart, Minnesota Vikings, Stemonix and Northmarq Capital.

The Delaware Counsel Group

The Delaware Counsel Group, founded in 2004, is located in Wilmington but has an international presence through its participation in the International Network of Boutique Law Firms. It also has the distinction of being a part of The National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms and is the only certified woman-owned business law firm in Delaware. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm represents clients in general transactional and regulatory corporate matters including debt capital markets, investment funds, banking and finance and M&A. It is often on the issuer side of transactions for capital markets and financing transactions.  

In M&A it often represents strategic acquirers. The firm also has a lot of cross border experience – many of its transactions involve other jurisdictions including Europe, Africa, Australia and South America. 

 

Key clients 

The firm exclusively advises Delaware based clients including Aegon, HSBC securities, Pricoa, Gap, AFP Capital, Plaintree Systems, ECP Investments and Morgan Stanley. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance 

"Very responsive and user-friendly." 

 

Investment funds: Private equity funds 

"The explanations are very clear, they perform a deep analysis and they take the time to let you understand what their findings are and how they could potentially impact." 

Thompson Hine

Full-service business firm Thompson Hine was founded in 1911 in Cleveland. It has since opened offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, New York and Washington DC.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Looking at the firm’s strengths geographically within the states, it maintains its strongest presence in Ohio, where it is a top tier firm in banking, M&A and restructuring and insolvency. It operates largely in the middle-market, representing public small to mid-size companies, as well as larger private companies.

The banking and finance group represents both lenders and borrowers in term loans, credit facilities and construction financing matters.

The firm’s M&A group represents private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions and mergers in a large variety of industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team represents creditors, trustees and debtors in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 11 and 7 restructuring and insolvency cases.

In terms of sector focusses, the firm has a well-known dedicated real estate practice. The team represents property developers, managers and investors in all aspects of real estate including development, acquisition, financing and disposition.

The firm has been recognised for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, especially regarding equality for LGBTQ and women employees.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Home Depot, KeyCorp, Buckeye Power, KeyBank, CIBC, Bank of America, Singleton, NRG Energy, Bay Point Advisors, Pratt & Whitney, Bank of China and Brookfield Asset Management.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Bank lending: Borrower side

"Responsive and knowledgeable."

 

M&A

"Very responsive. Excellent advice on issues. Collaborative."

Tucker Ellis

Founded in 2003, Tucker Ellis is a growing full-service firm based in the Midwest. Cleveland, Ohio serves as the firm’s largest office and headquarters, but it also maintains offices in Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles, San Francisco and St. Louis.  

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is best known for its work in the corporate and M&A practice, but also does notable work in banking, capital markets and real estate.  

In banking the firm acts for lenders and borrowers in real estate financing and mortgage financing. The M&A practice represents clients in strategic acquisitions and sales. 

The real estate practice advises property financiers, lessees and developers in restructurings, acquisitions, zoning, financing and development related real estate matters.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include KeyBank, Fifth Third Bank,  Flagstar Bank, Tristate Capital Bank, LKD Aerospace and Boenning & Scattergood. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Bank lending: Lender side 

"They communicate very well with my team members. They don't overcomplicate the process. I feel they have the expertise to represent the bank in all aspects." 

 

Banking and finance 

"The people we work with at Tucker Ellis are genuinely very nice people. They work very hard and communicate effectively to make sure that all deals are done smoothly and they can provide the service that their clients expect. They also treat the other parties with respect and as partners rather than vendors. This makes us and others want to provide a high level of service as well. They have the ability to be the group on a transaction that leads and makes all of the other groups work as a team and stay on schedule." 

 

Investment funds: Real estate funds 

"Timely delivery and professional work product." 

"Tucker Ellis is professional, competent and courteous." 

"Tucker Ellis lawyers not only have a comprehensive knowledge of the applicable law but also an understanding of the business issues presented by our investments. Especially in light of the breadth and depth of the advice given, the firm's bills are remarkably reasonable." 

"Very experienced, responsive and efficient." 

 

M&A 

"Peter Rome was an invaluable resource and asset to helping us navigate and to structure the fund." 

 

Project development 

"Expert knowledge. Great service. Reasonable fees." 

"Extremely responsive. Reasonable rates. Knowledgeable; will bring in other attorneys to enhance knowledge base of team." 

"My relationship with Tucker Ellis is personal. Each attorney attends to my needs as if I were their only client. They are the most competent real estate law firm that I know of. They are also a one-stop shop with expertise in all areas when I need them (tax and estate planning, for example)." 

 

Restructuring: Corporate 

"Very good customer service. Responsive to our issues and worked with our timeline." 

Vinson & Elkins

Vinson & Elkins was founded in Houston in 1917. Over 100 years later, the firm has expanded to 11 offices in three continents. In the United States, the firm has offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, Richmond, San Francisco and Washington D.C. It is a top tier firm nationwide in oil and gas project development.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Vinson & Elkins is a market leader in Texas across all practice areas. Though the firm works across a wide plethora of practice areas, it is particularly skilled in the energy and oil and gas industries. 

 

In banking, the team acts on the borrower and lender side in acquisition financing, refinancing, project financing and general working capital financing. Project financing matters are largely done in the oil and gas, energy and infrastructure industries.

 

The capital markets practice advises issuers and underwriters in debt and equity matters. In debt capital markets, the firm is experienced in investment grade and high yield bond issuances. The equity capital markets practice sees work with IPOs, private placements, at-the-market programs, preferred and common share offerings and convertible equity offerings. 

 

The M&A practice acts on both the buy and sell side in strategic and private equity acquisitions, joint ventures and mergers. The private equity practice assists with private equity acquisitions, but also advises private equity firms in firm investments.

 

The project development team represents developers in projects in the oil and gas, energy and infrastructure industries.

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team acts on behalf of debtors and creditors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Anadarko Petroleum, Vantage Energy, Earthstone Energy, Tyr Energy, Babson Capital, Gulf Coast Ammonia, Targa Resource Partners, Goldman Sachs, BBVA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Reata Pharmaceuticals, Alpine Income Property Trust, WildHorse Resource Development, TPG Capital Management, Oryx Midstream Services II, Blackstone Infrastructure Fund, Apollo Global Management, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, Tellurian, New Fortress Energy, Noble Energy, PennEnergy Resources, Harvey Gulf International Marine and Cloud Peak Energy.  

Watson Farley & Williams

Founded in London in 1982, Watson Farley & Williams has maintained its focus on the energy, transport and real estate industries. In 1990, the firm opened its only office in the United States, in New York. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm’s New York office has a focus on the transport industry, especially in aviation and shipping. Their work largely involves M&A, banking and capital markets. 

The firm represents borrowers and lenders regarding project financing and acquisition financing. It also acts on the issuer side for bond and share offerings.

In acquisition and joint venture related transactions, it acts on the buy side, largely for acquisitions related to project development.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Banco Santander, Teekay Corporation, Offshore Merchant Partners Asset Yield Fund, Seadrill Partners, Cartesian Capital Group and Copenhagen Infrastructure. 

 

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

Throughout the research period the firm worked on a lot of transactions in the banking and capital markets practices. It represented a mix of borrowers and lenders in credit facilities and issuers in mostly bond offerings, but also a couple of share offerings.

The team also represented buyers in acquisitions and joint ventures related to the transport and energy industries. 

In 2019, the firm brought over capital markets partner Will Vogel from Seward & Kissel. It also opened an office in Hanoi, Vietnam within the same year.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Sistema Integrade de Provgision de Flota SI2018 Norte COP $246 billion financing

Teekay $250 million 9.25% bond issue

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Since its founding in 1931, Weil has grown to become one of the country’s leading firms in M&A, private equity and restructuring and insolvency. It has also physically grown to 15 offices across three continents. There are eight offices in the United States: Boston, Dallas, Houston, Miami, New York, Princeton, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. The New York office serves as the firm’s headquarters and is also its largest. Weil prides itself on its commitment to gender diversity, talent management and innovation. Most notably, it has an incredibly strong work-life balance as recognized through numerous accolades.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Weil is a market leader in M&A, private equity and restructuring and insolvency, but it is also well known for its work in the banking, structured finance and securitization and private equity funds practices. Overall, it is a strong firm across all financial and corporate practices.  

 

In regulatory financial services, the firm advises banking and financial institutions in matters related to acquisition and corporate compliance and governance. It also advises clients in monetary policies such the Volcker Rule, Dodd-Frank Act, National Bank Act and International Banking Act. In banking, Weil acts on both the borrower and lender side in bridge loans, term loans, working capital facilities and credit facilities regarding acquisition financing, refinancing and DIP financing. 

 

In capital markets, the firm advises issuers and underwriters alike in debt, equity and securitization related matters. In debt capital markets, the capital markets tea advises clients in investment grade and high yield bond offerings. On the equity side, the firm works on transactions related to tender offers, share offerings, secondary offerings and IPOs. In structured finance and securitizations, the team advises clients in ABS offerings and CLOs. Many of these transactions on all sides of capital markets were used as a form of acquisition financing. 

 

The firm has a strong private equity practice that advises private equity firms in fund formations and acquisitions. The M&A practice acts on the buy and sell side in high value strategic and private equity acquisitions. 

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the practice represents creditors and debtors in many of the most high profile Chapter 11 and out of court restructuring cases in the country.

 

Additionally, the New York office has so much experience in the real estate industry that it has its own practice dedicated to advising clients related to development, financing and REITs in any matter regarding real estate. This includes acquisitions, management agreements, financing, development and related aspects of Chapter 11 proceedings.  

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Citi, JP Morgan, Johnson & Johnson, Campbell Soup, Morgan Stanley, Brookfield Property REIT, Eli Lilly, Advent International, Ceridian HCM Holding, Guggenheim Securities, Atalaya Capital Management, Hertz, Genstar Capital, Brookfield Asset Management, Atlas Partners, Softbank, Willis Towers Watson and Total. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Bank lending: Borrower side

"Weil has a high level of expertise and knowledge of the market for these types of credit agreements and debt financings. They work hard and turn around revised agreements in a short amount of time."

 

Bank lending: Lender side

"Outstanding client service."

"Familiarity with the IG acquisition financing market, thought leadership, thorough handling of all issues + diligence and easy to work with."

 

Bank lending: Sponsor side

"Deep bench of talented financing professionals who give practical advice and know the various different markets well."

 

Capital markets

"Knowledge of securities law. Ability to bring multiple groups together to provide clear advice and recommendations. Deal with complex issues."

"Very thorough and methodical. Know the lawyer and know the experts on the subject who can help shed light on resolving issues. Well prepared when discussing with the board and CEO. Reliable and answer questions quickly. Willing to share knowledge with GC."

 

Capital markets: Equity

"Extremely knowledgeable in the capital markets space; great client service skills. "

"Deep subject-matter expertise and knowledge."

 

Financial restructuring

"WGM is one of the 2-3 firms in the world that is able to effectively advise a debtor on a global restructuring in all aspects and essentially in all jurisdictions."

 

Investment funds: Real estate funds

"Weil provides a comprehensive view of complex issues, offering depth of experience in not only the 'fund' type work, but in structuring, tax and real estate. Their real estate practitioners are longstanding partners with our firm and have traditionally handled our most complex real estate joint venture work."

 

M&A

"Their attorneys are some of the brightest lawyers in the world. They are quick, responsive, insightful, strong advocates and counsellors. For a large firm they also are judicious about their billable time."

"Top-quality advice; responsive; client-focused."

"Weil was a powerhouse - had the expertise; teams to staff appropriately, were responsive and flexible (even when we flipped the deal structure two days before closing, requiring an entirely new set of docs). An extremely valued partner."

 

Private equity

"Dedicated, uber-responsive, knowledgeable."

"Very commercial and efficient. Really shines in judgment around negotiating key issues."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Creative advice. Cost-efficient. Great attention to detail and strategy. Great experience."

"Outstanding communications, responsiveness, customer-service mentality, work product, and quality of advice."

"Weil Gotshal has an extremely deep bench and is masterful at handling large projects."

Whiteford Taylor & Preston

Founded in 1933, Whiteford Taylor & Preston is a highly recognized firm in the mid-Atlantic. Despite being most recognized in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, the firm also has offices in Michigan Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. In total, it has 16 offices east of the Mississippi River.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm is best known in the mid-Atlantic, especially in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. It is highly regarded for its work in restructuring and insolvency and M&A. The Maryland restructuring teams are market leaders in the region. 

 

In M&A, the firm acts largely in the mid-market space, representing firms on the buy and sell side in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The acquisitions are largely private, but the firm does handle public acquisitions as well. 

 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acts for debtors, trustees and creditors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings. 

 

Also of note is the Maryland team’s real estate practice. The Maryland corporate team acts for a plethora of firms in the real estate industry, necessitating its own practice. It advises real estate developers and owners regarding real estate acquisitions, financing, leases and development matters. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include CloudControlMedia, City of Baltimore Water and Wastewater Systems, Accumark, Meridian Waste Services, Ethos Veterinary Services, NXL Construction Services, J.M. Smucker, Curtiss-Wright, Mar-Bow Value Partners, Cambrian Holding Company, CITGO Petroleum, New England Motor Freight, Far Hydrant, Credit Suisse, VFP Investments, Essex Construction, Fujifilm and MCSG Wind Down.  

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Restructuring and insolvency

"Very familiar with the judge and ED VA practice."

"Vision, 100% availability, helped think through options and provided terrific counsel to some dicey scenarios, delivered 100% satisfaction."

"Depth of knowledge, creative problem-solving and tenacious advocacy."

"Closely monitored and responded to long drawn-out motions, proactive in reaching out to trustee."

"The firm was excellent in providing counsel to our firm, and acted as much more than just local counsel."

"The firm was critical in helping management decide upon the appropriate structure and identifying the needed changes. Then they played a vital role in sharing the changes and the necessity of such to the current organisation and future subsidiaries."

Wiggin & Dana

Full-service firm Wiggin & Dana is best known in Connecticut, where it has six offices throughout the state. It also has offices outside of Connecticut in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Palm Beach and New York. Though it does not have any international offices, it has a global presence thanks to its involvement in the TerraLex network. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is a market leader in Connecticut for M&A, but also has a standout real estate practice. In M&A, the firm acts on the buy and sell side for strategic and private equity acquisitions. It also advises companies in equity fundraising. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include The Marlin Company, Anticimex International, Southfield Capital Partners, PetVets Care Centers, RallyBioOlink Proteomics Holdings, Bernoulli Enterprise, Genpact International, CAS Medical System, Device42, AmastanDexKo Global and US Retirement Partners. 

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

M&A 

"1. Excellent knowledge of corporate laws. 2. Responsive. 3. Cost effective. 4. Works well with in-house counsel." 

"Terrific customer focus. Responsive." 

Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Founded in 1888 in New York, Willkie Farr & Gallagher is best known for its work in private equity and investment funds, especially regarding M&A. The firm has also since expanded to 12 offices across the United States and Europe, with six of those offices being in the United States. The New York office remains the hub for the firm’s operations and is its largest office.  

 

Focusses/specialisms 

In addition to its strengths in private equity, registered funds and hedge funds, the firm also does notable work in banking, project development and restructuring and insolvency. 

 

The banking practice acts for borrowers and lenders in acquisition financing, refinancing, project financing and general working capital financing. 

 

In M&A, the practice acts on both the buy and sell side in private equity and strategic acquisitions, mergers, privatizations and joint ventures. The team most often acts for private equity firms in acquisition matters. The firm also has a private equity team that works on acquisitions, privatizations, recapitalizations and financial investments. 

 

The project development team represents sponsors and developers in projects in the oil and gas, renewable energy and transportation infrastructure industries. It also represents buyers and sellers in project related acquisitions.

 

In the restructuring and insolvency practice, the firm represents creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, Chapter 11 proceedings and distressed M&A matters. 

 

Key clients 

Many, but not all, of Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s clients are private equity firms. Key clients for the firm include FIS, Insight Partners, CenturyLink, Genstar Capital, HealthEquity, Centerview Partners, Colony Capital, AIG, Aquiline Capital Partners, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Aralez Pharmaceuticals, Glansaol Holdings and Brookfield Business Partners.  

Winston & Strawn

Winston & Strawn has over 160 years of experience in the market. It has 15 offices across North America, Europe and Asia. In the United States, the firm has 9 offices in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C.

 

Focusses/specialisms 

Though the firm is best known for its work in project development within the energy industry, it is also active in banking, capital markets and M&A, where it has a strong Latin America practice.

 

In banking, the team represents borrowers and lenders in project, warehouse and corporate financing matters, as well as refinancings. Its matters fall within the firm’s Latin American practice.

 

Similar to the banking practice, the capital markets practice is focused on the Latin American region. The team represents issuers in securitization and investment grade bonds.

 

The M&A team that focuses on the Latin American region represents buyers and sellers in private equity and strategic acquisitions. It also represents companies in joint ventures, mergers, private equity fund formations, restructurings and corporate expansions.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Enel Américas, Grupo Elektra, Total Play Telecomunicaciones, Fazenda Futuro, Pura Fibra, Barrick Gold and Grupo Wiese.