United States

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: State bar associations

Competition authority: Federal Trade Commission

Financial regulators: Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the CurrencySecurities Investor Protection Corporation

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction: 

Banking, Capital markets: Debt, Capital markets: Derivatives, Capital markets: Equity, Capital markets: High-yield, Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation, Financial services regulatory, Hedge Funds, Private equity funds, Registered funds, M&A, Private equity, Project developmentProject finance, Restructuring and insolvency

Jurisdiction overview

The United States has a corporate legal industry of incomparable vastness and complexity. It includes everything from single-lawyer boutiques to global firms with thousands of lawyers. Law firms that began operating in the 1790s compete with new entrants and with the local offices of 'magic circle' and European firms eager to expand their US beachhead. Large law firms in the US may include both transactional and dispute (including contentious regulatory and trial litigation) practices. There is wide variety among firms with respect to structure. Many firms have associates, counsel, and partners, but not all partnerships follow the equity (shareholder) model, nor do all firms agree on the desirability of an “up-or-out” policy for associates. 

With 203 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association, the US is blessed with an enormous pool of legal talent. It is common, to a greater extent than in countries like neighboring Canada, to meet lawyers devoted to a highly specialised sub-area within a field of corporate law, such as the high-yield debt capital markets, the real estate investment trust (or REIT) area of the funds and securities worlds, the shipping finance side of bank lending, or the renewable energy sector within project finance. There is corresponding variety in law firms. Some devote themselves entirely to hedge funds, some specialise in creditor-and/or debtor-side restructuring, some focus on financial services regulations, while still others are litigation shops protecting corporations from class actions.

Corporate law firms in the US have come in for criticism for their lawyers’ fees, which often exceed $1,000 an hour, and for tactics that some view as rapacious. Symbolic of the worst tendencies of US firms in some observers’ eyes was the law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf, which collapsed in May 2012 after years of aggressively hiring partners to the point where the firm’s revenues fell short of its myriad obligations. Dewey’s dissolution flooded the legal market with experienced legal professionals in need of new platforms. The rebukes directed at Dewey, and at some firms still in operation, are reminiscent of criticisms leveled at banks and financial services corporations whose reckless behavior contributed to the financial crisis of 2008-9. 

The meltdown of 2008-9 led to extensive consolidation within the banking industry, but had even greater ramifications at the regulatory level, as authorities grasped for ways to ensure economic and political stability and assuage a badly shaken public. Among the most significant developments were the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (commonly known as the Dodd-Frank Act), which President Barack Obama signed into law on July 21 2010, and one of its core provisions, the Volcker Rule. Today, banking regulations in the US are so extensive and complex that lawyers devote significant parts of their careers to keeping abreast of regulatory changes, representing banks before regulatory bodies, and educating clients through seminars, talks, articles, bulletins, and webcasts.

Symbolic of the Dodd-Frank Act’s general thrust is its requirement that banks prepare detailed reports enumerating all of their assets around the world and setting forth exactly what will happen in the event of a wind-down. These documents are known as “Living Wills” and typically run to thousands of pages. Assisting banks with the preparation and updating of their Living Wills, which must anticipate events unfolding under separate and often conflicting legal frameworks, has virtually given rise to a new field within bank regulatory work. But it is the Volcker Rule, named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, with its ban on somewhat vaguely defined “proprietary trading” by banks, that has proven the most contentious part of Dodd-Frank, and the hardest to enforce. 

Financial and corporate
Allen & Overy

The US arm of the global firm Allen & Overy is active in banking and finance, particularly leveraged loan financing.

During the research period most of the firm’s transactions were in acquisition financing advising lead arrangers. A firm highlight includes advising lead arrangers on a debt financing package for Brookfield Business Partners’ acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company, a company exiting bankruptcy proceedings. In another deal, it advised lead arrangers in financing in three parts for an acquisition; a term loan, ABL revolving facility, and a senior note offering, of which they are the initial purchasers.

Scott Zemser, a partner in banking and finance, left the firm to join Mayer Brown.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Brookfield Business Partners $4.6 billion acquisition of Westinghouse

•Fresenius Medical Care $2 billion acquisition of NxStage Medical

•GEO Group $900 million refinancing

•Greif $1.8 billion acquisition of Caraustar Industries

Arnall Golden Gregory

Arnall Golden Gregory, a firm with offices in Atlanta and Washington DC, is active in M&A, banking and finance, and restructuring and insolvency. 

During the research period in banking and finance the firm represented Thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas, a steel and industrial conglomerate branch, in bond financing. The firm also advised on the bond financing for a surgery centre and clinics building for outpatient care. 

In M&A the firm advised buyers and sellers in acquisition work. It also worked on the reorganisation of a client’s corporate structure and debt refinancing. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm represented creditors and debtors in bankruptcy cases.

Brian Teras, formerly from Nelson Mullins, and Adam Skorecki, formerly from Sysco Corporation, joined the firm as partners in corporate and securities. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•The Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority Center for Advanced Surgical Services $90 million bond issue

•Thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas $130 million bond issue

•Century Restaurants restructuring

•NIIT $8.1 million acquisition of Eagle Productivity Solutions

Arnold & Porter

Arnold Porter Kaye Scholer is particularly active in capital markets, investment funds and financing work.

In recent banking work the firm mainly advised borrowers in refinancing, debtor-in-possession term loan credit facilities, multi-currency unsecured revolving credit facilities and acquisition financing. 

In capital markets work the firm advised issuers in senior bond note issuances and preferred stock offerings. It also advised on CLO transactions and a trade receivables-backed credit facility security. Some notable clients include the Republic of Turkey, National Bank of Canada and the Republic of Panama. 

In financial services regulatory work the firm advised on new bank formation the Volcker rule, cyber security programme development and offered general compliance and regulatory advice.

In investment funds work the firm advised on the formation of multiple private equity investment funds, hedge funds, master feeder and distressed credit funds. 

In M&A and private equity the firm advised both sellers and buyers in acquisitions. It was involved in several mergers, advising the issuer and buyer Stifel Financial in its acquisition of Business Bancshares in a forward triangular merger, and advising First American International Corp in a merger with RBB Bancorp.

New hires in financial services include Christopher Dodd, formerly a US senator for Connecticut, and Erik Walsh, formerly from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who joined as senior counsel and counsel respectively. Kyungseok Kimjoined the firm as a corporate partner from White & Case, and Mehtap Cevher Conti joined as a structured finance partner from Vedder Price.

In departures, senior counsel Patrick Doyle and partner Michael Mierzewski retired. Diane Frankle, a senior counsel in M&A, also retired. Andrew Shipe, a financial services counsel, left to join K&L Gates while two corporate and finance partners Howard Goldwasser and Skanthan Vivekananda joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe firm. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

• Aegean Marine Petroleum Network $367 million acquisition of HEC Europe

• Banco Aliado $145 million loan facility

• Bayer $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto

• Pfizer $340 million acquisition of Therachon

• Republic of Panama $1.25 billion 3.16% and $750 million 3.87% sovereign bond issue

• SAIC $2.5 billion acquisition of Engility

• The Charles Schwab Corporation $1.95 billion 3.85%, 3.25%, floating rate notes issue

• Welltower $1.3 billion 3.95%, 4.95%, 4.24% notes issue

Client feedback

“Arnold & Porter is a top firm representing lenders in secured and unsecured credit facilities. The firm is responsive, highly knowledgeable, and solution-oriented.” – Capital markets: Debt

Brown Rudnick

Brown Rudnick is known for restructuring work. 

During the research period the firm advised on a number of large bankruptcy cases, often working for the creditors committee. It advised such committees in the bankruptcy of Rex Energy, Real Industries, Aralez Pharmaceuticals and EXCO Resources.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•EXCO Resources bankruptcy 

•Hologic $1 billion 4.375% and 4.625% notes issues

•Rex Energy bankruptcy 

•Vanguard Natural Resources bankruptcy

Client feedback

“Good litigation sense. Better to be on same team with them than an adversary; they vigorously defend their client position.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft excels in the structured finance and derivatives spaces and the firm frequently represented issuers and underwriters on CLOs and other asset-backed securities offerings over the research period.  

The financial services regulatory team is also among the best practices in the US, one consistently sought by financial institutions for advice. 

The firm also has notable M&A and restructuring practices, as well as a private equity funds group that continues to draw consistent work.  

The financial services regulatory team added to its capabilities over the research period with the hire of partner Mark Chorazak from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Civic Mortgage $190 million ABS 

•Core Point Lodging $1.035 billion mortgage loan securitisation 

•Kalahari Resorts & Conventions $362.5 million CMBS 

•Marathon Asset Management $469 million CLO 

•Mill City $229 million solar loan-backed bond issues 

•PennyMac $450 million bond issue 

•Royal Bank of Canada $250 million loan securitisation 

•Shelter Growth Capital $420 million CRE CLO 

Client feedback 

“Consistent, high quality work product, with a strong attention to detail. CWT understands our needs as a lead arranger and collateral agent, which reflects well in front of both clients and peer lenders.” – Banking  

“Great client service and market knowledge. As their practice has grown substantially, they need to keep up with their bench strength.” – Banking  

“Excellent and comprehensive.” – Capital markets: Debt

“Responsive, very knowledgeable, and great to work with.” – Capital markets: Derivatives 

“Excellent - client focused, technically strong and commercially savvy.” – Capital markets: Derivatives 

“CWT has been an excellent partner and has helped us respond to clients promptly and in a commercial manner.” – Capital markets: Derivatives 

“CWT is well rounded, equipped to provide advice in insolvency, regulatory, to transactional areas.” – Capital markets: Derivatives 

“Experience has been excellent. The team is very responsive, always makes time available on short notice and works to meet our aggressive deadlines. The partner Ivan Loncar is brilliant. Ivan's knowledge of derivatives and ability to help us craft solutions is remarkable.” – Capital markets: Derivatives 

“Efficient, highly skilled work. Turned the deal in record time, covering a substantial amount of due diligence and an unmanageable amount of interlaced documentation on the tightest of time frames.” – Capital markets: Derivatives 

“They are very strong in this area.” – Capital markets: Equity 

“The firm has strength and depth in all fields relevant to hedge fund formation and management.  Their advice is informed and practical, and they are very responsive.” – Capital markets: Equity 

“There is no better firm than Cadwalader for these sorts of creative securitizations. In particular, they are a very commercial firm, always prioritizing the objectives of their client over their own egos. They are also outstanding at explaining complex legal issues in plain English to business people like myself who don't have a legal background.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“CWT is very knowledgeable in the space of 40 Act, with a very business focused team providing solid legal and regulatory guidance.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“We have been very happy with the work product of CWT and expect to continue to use them in the future.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Outstanding. Best in class.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“CWT provides sound and professional legal guidance on their comments, as well as opposing counsel's.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“CW&T was in tune with market practice and sensitive to regulatory hot buttons. CW&T delivered their experience in a proactive, solution-driven manner.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“CWT's work is first-rate and, in our experience, unrivaled. CWT's business sector nous and regulatory expertise combine to add unique value to our company's financial services.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Excellent.” – Financial services regulatory 

“Cadwalader's financial services regulatory work is excellent. Their experts' knowledge is deep and current, and the respect accorded to their advice is nearly unrivaled, insofar as my company is concerned.” – Financial services regulatory 

“With regard to the work performed by Cadwalader, it has been thoughtful, meticulous, and well-reasoned based upon our needs and taking into consideration the institutional knowledge held by Cadwalader about Morgan Stanley and its business.” – Investment funds   

“The work from start to finish was superb. Hands-on detailed involvement from the lead partner (Bill Mills) - led a team of attorneys around the world – had a calm, focused ability to deal with complexity and keep a difficult transaction on track to its conclusion.” – M&A 

Cahill Gordon & Reindel

Cahill Gordon & Reindel is one of the US’ leading firms for debt capital markets work, including high-yield debt issues. The firm also has a notable equity capital markets team.  

Outside of capital markets, the firm boasts a competitive banking practice that guides lenders on acquisition financings in a wide range of industries.   

The firm’s capital markets practice advised underwriters on some of the largest and most significant debt offerings – investment grade and high-yield - over the research period.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

Avolon Holdings $1 billion 5.125% bond issue 

Comstock Escrow $850 million 9.75% bond issue 

Constellation Brands $2.15 billion bond issue 

Express Oil & Change Tire Engineers $1.91 billion acquisition of Mavis Tire Express Services  

HCA $1.5 billion dual tranche (5.625% and 5.875%) bond issue 

Qorvo $500 million 5.5% bond issue 

Standard Industries 4.75% bond issue  

Tenet Healthcare $1.5 billion 6.25% bond issue 

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary is one of most well-rounded firms in the US, with strong debt capital markets, equity capital markets, derivatives, financial services regulatory, M&A, private equity and private equity funds practices.  

The debt and equity capital markets teams advised both issuers and underwriters on range of noteworthy deal types, including green bonds offerings, high-yield debt offerings and IPOs recently. 

The M&A and private equity groups handled some of the most significant transactions from over the research period, advising clients in industries such as technology, retail and food and beverage.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

Allied Universal $1 billion acquisition of US Security Associates 

Brookfield $11.4 billion acquisition of Forest City 

Citi €1 billion green bond issue 

Cushman & Wakefield NYSE IPO 

GrafTech NYSE IPO 

International Flavors & Fragrances $7.1 billion acquisition of Frutarom 

HCA $1.5 billion 5.875% bond issue 

Hillhouse Fund IV 

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is particularly active in acquisition and project finance, M&A and insolvency work. 

During the research period, in banking and finance the firm advised on advised on asset-backed financings, leveraged buy-outs, and acquisition financings. In project finance the firm advised lenders on the financing of power and transport projects. 

In capital markets the firm advised the servicer and issuer on the issuance of notes in asset-backed securitisations.  

In M&A and private equity the firm advised buyers and sellers in acquisition work, and represented investors in convertible preference share purchases. It also advised on both mergers and joint ventures. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm had restructuring roles in a matter for an investment fund and represented creditors and debtors in bankruptcy cases, including work surrounding asset and debt recovery. 

In recent hires the firm welcomed Carla Ruggero, Mark Schuber and Neil Barlow to the corporate and M&A team from Bruchou Fernandez Madero & Lombardi, Seward & Kissel and the London office of Clifford Chance respectively. Thais Garcia was promoted to partner in corporate and M&A during the research period, and Sarah Campbell was promoted to counsel.  

Recent deal data highlights  

•ABB $2.6 billion acquisition of GE industrial solutions business 

•Cerro Dominador 110MW solar thermal (CSP) and 100 W solar PV power plant 

•Discovery Communications $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive  

•Hearst $2.8 billion acquisition of 20% Fitch Group 

•Lennar Corporation $2.18 billion revolving credit facility 

•Mubadala / EIG $8 billion acquisition of Tranportadora Associada de Gás  

•Paragon Offshore bankruptcy 

Cravath Swaine & Moore

Cravath’s name is synonymous with M&A in the US. The firm boasts a team that led some of the largest and most significant M&A transactions from over the research period, advising acquirers and targets on deals spanning a wide range of industry types.  

The firm is also among the US’ leaders in equity capital markets and investment grade debt capital markets work. The debt and equity teams advised issuers and underwriters from industries such as aviation, financial services and technology recently.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

Alliance Laundry $1.15 billion financing 

Crown Castle $1 billion notes offering 

IFM Investors $6.5 billion acquisition of Buckeye Partners 

Mars $5 billion bond issue  

Occidental Petroleum $38 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum 

Union Pacific $3 billion notes offering 

Sinclair Broadcast Group $10.6 billion acquisition of Disney sports networks 

Viacom $2.5 billion financing 

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Davis Polk & Wardwell can plausibly make the case for being the most well-rounded and versatile firm in the US. The firm has exceptional banking, debt capital markets, equity capital markets, derivatives, M&A, financial services regulatory and restructuring and insolvency practices.  

The banking team was largely busy with acquisition financings recently. 

The debt capital markets team advised issuers and lenders on significant investment grade and high-yield offerings recently, while in the midst of a busy period for IPOs, the firm’s equity capital markets group led many of the headliners.  

The pharmaceutical, technology, telecommunications and oil and gas industries were big sources of work for the firm across all practice areas.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

CVS Health $77 billion acquisition of Aetna 

International Flavors & Fragrances $7.1 billion acquisition of Frutarom 

Salesforce $3 billion acquisition of MuleSoft 

Luckin Coffee NASDAQ IPO 

Roche $4.3 billion acquisition of Spark Therapeutics  

Takeda $62 billion acquisition of Shire  

Uber Technologies NYSE IPO 

Valero Energy $750 million 4.35% bond issue 

Debevoise & Plimpton

Debevoise & Plimpton has strengths in private equity funds, banking, M&A, private equity and financial services regulatory.  

The insurance and healthcare industries were two crucial sources of work for the firm’s M&A and private equity groups recently.  

Clayton Dubilier & Rice was a key client for the firm’s banking and private equity practices and The Carlyle Group was another key client for the firm’s private equity group.  

During the research period the funds team added partners Lorna Bowen, Andrew Ford and Justin Storms from Linklaters and the banking practice hired partner Sunil Savkar from Ropes & Gray.   

Recent Deal Data highlights 

Audax Direct Lending Solutions Fund 

Kelso Investment Associates X 

HIPEP VIII Investment Program 

P2 Capital Partners / Silver Lake $3.5 billion acquisition of Blackhawk 

Sequoia Capital Global Growth Fund III 

Syniverse $2 billion refinancing 

TPG Capital / WCAS $4.1 billion acquisition of Kindred Healthcare 

Willis Towers Watson $2 billion acquisition of Tranzact 

Dechert

Dechert has strengths in capital markets, M&A and restructuring.

During the research period, in banking and finance work, the firm advised borrowers and lenders on the financing of acquisitions and corporate activities and refinancing of multiple first lien senior secured unitranche facilities with revolving credit, including for clients Select Medical Corporation and Differential Brands Group. 

In capital markets work the firm represented corporate issuers and underwriters in secured note issuances, a mix of private offerings and IPOs. In derivatives work it has done structured derivatives financing and repurchase agreements transactions. Finally, in securitisation, the firm represented CLO managers in issuances.

In financial services regulatory, the firm advised on joint ventures, Dodd-Frank regulatory issues, investments, and bank regulations. In other work, the firm advised on fund regulatory matters, private equity funds and hedge funds. 

In M&A and private equity, the firm worked for buyers and sellers in acquisitions, many of which were large market-leading private equity deals including a client within the Bain Capital-let consortium acquisition of Toshiba Corp’s memory chip unit. It also advised on the formation of joint ventures. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm represented creditors in bankruptcy. Notable work includes working for creditors in the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy case and in the restructuring of a large telecommunications company in Brazil, converting debt to shares. The firm also represented the hedge-fund managed SPV Peaje Investments, the largest holder of unwrapped special revenue bonds issued by Puerto Rico Highways & Transportation Authority (PRHTA) in the debt restructuring of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Matthew Hays joined the firm as a partner in banking and finance from Kirkland & Ellis. Additional new hires in banking were Jim Curtis as counsel and Harry Pangas as partner. 

Timothy Clark joined from O’Melveny & Myers in Investment funds. Tony Chan left the Washington DC team to join Morgan Lewis. William Tuttle and Kristopher Brown left the firm’s capital markets practice to join Proskauer Rose and Goodwin Procter respectively.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Aquestive Therapeutics Nasdaq IPO

•Berry Global Group $475 million acquisition of Clopay Plastic Products Company

•Blackstone/CPPIB/GIC $20 billion acquisition of 55% stake in Thomson Reuters financial and risk unit

•DTE Midstream $2.25 billion acquisition of Lousiana gas gathering and pipeline project

•Global A&T restructuring

•Jones Lang LaSalle $2 billion acquisition of HFF

•PagSeguro Digital NYSE IPO

•Toys ‘R’ Us insolvency

Foley Hoag

Foley Hoag is active in finance and restructuring and insolvency. 

During the research period the firm advised borrowers and lenders on revolving credit and senior secured term loan facilities. The firm also worked with lenders in debt financing, fund finance and acquisition financing.  

Thomas Draper, a partner, and Meredith Parkinson, a senior associate, both joined the firm in finance from Ropes & Gray. Alison Bauer and William Gray both joined as partners in bankruptcy and restructuring from Torys.  

Recent deal data highlights 

•Entegris Inc $700 million refinancing 

•KVH Industries $42.5 million financing 

•Sensata Technologies group $1.4 billion refinancing 

•Organogenesis Inc $100 million financing 

Client feedback  

“The outstanding team, led by Mark Haddad, provided strategic legal services while supporting the company during its sale to Eli-Lilly.” – M&A 

“The team, led by Peter Rosenblum, is excellent, always delivering high quality services.” – Private equity 

“Strong team and responsiveness.” – Private equity 

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has strengths in project development, private equity, financing and capital markets. 

During the research period in banking and finance the firm predominantly represented borrowers in multiple acquisition financing transactions using senior unsecured revolving credit facilities, with notable deals in energy and oil, timberland, real estate and ski resorts. It advised arrangers and investors in refinancing and recapitalisation. 

In capital markets work the firm represented underwriters, initial purchasers and issuers in public offerings of mainly floating rate senior notes.  

In financial services regulatory work the firm advised on a variety of bank regulatory and corporate matters, including cases related to the Dodd-Frank Act, and anti-corruption regulations. 

In investment and private equity funds work the firm advised on fund formation and fundraising, particularly for real estate and infrastructure transactions. Some key clients in private equity include Leonard Green & Partners, Neuberger Berman, GoldPoint Partners and I Squared. 

In M&A and private equity the firm advised on the buy side and sell side of acquisitions. It was also involved in mergers. Notable clients include General Electric, Dell Technologies subsidiaries, Pepsi Co, Guggenheim Securities and CalAtlantic Group.  

In project work the firm represented a mix of equity sponsors and project companies in a range of PPP concession projects and bidding processes, particularly within energy and transport. Notable deals include the financing of Denver International Airport PPP, the modernisation of a Waste-to-energy PPP facility in Hartford, the financing, designing, construction and maintenance of Virginia’s I-66 road PPP project and tolling express lanes, the construction and financing of wind projects in Texas, and the construction, acquisition and operation of a Chile solar project. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm has worked for both creditors and debtors in bankruptcy cases within the research period. It also advised on acquisitions of distressed companies. 

In staffing changes William Sorabella, George Stamas, Mark Director, Andrew Herman and Alexander Fine joined the firm from Kirkland & Ellis as partners in M&A. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•AECOM $3 billion refinancing  

•AtlaGas $9 billion acquisition of WGL Holdings 

•Concho Resources $9.5 billion acquisition of RSP Permian 

•Denver International Airport PPP  

•Evergreen Coast Capital $5.7 billion acquisition of athenahealth  

•I-66 Express PPP  

•Mondelēz International $2.5 billion bond issue 

Greenberg Traurig

Greenberg Traurig has been particularly active in banking and M&A work in the research period. 

In banking the firm represented lenders, arrangers and bookrunners in senior unsecured investment grade bridge credit facilities in acquisition financing, and acted for borrowers in revolving credit agreements and term loans. It was also involved in debt refinancing. The firm worked regularly with Coöperatieve Rabobank. 

In M&A the firm mainly represented sellers in acquisition work. It represented clients in mergers and in connection with joint ventures.  

The firm saw a number of recent staffing changes. Lou Anne Brunenn, Peter Humphreys, Michael Aluko, and Arleen Nand joined the firm as from Winstead PC, Hogan Lovells, Secor Asset Management and DLA Piper respectively. 

In M&A, Scott Ellis, formerly from Winstead PC, Kevin Friedmann from Richardson & Patel, Jason Zachary from Baker & Hostetler, Brian Singer from Paul Hastings, and both Lawson Parker and Jim Miles from Husch Blackwell, joined the firm. 

In banking and finance, Sunni Choi left to join Pathway Capital Management, James Dempsey joined Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, Suzanne L’Hernault joined Rimon PC, and James Sheehan retired.  

In M&A departures, Ameer Ahmad left the firm to join Mayer Brown, Raymond Bogenrief joined White & Case, Jose Mario Fontes Filho joined Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Douglas Atnipp joined Winston & Strawn, Gary Silverman joined White & Case, Vicky McPherson joined MedStar Health Margaret Butler joined Ice Miller, Robert Steinert joined Perkins Coie, and James Dempsey left to join Schenck Price Smith & King.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Coöperatieve Rabobank $900 million financing  

•Exactech / TPG Capital merger  

•SBA Communications Corporation refinancing  

•Schlumberger Holdings Corporation $1 billion revolving credit facility  

•UPL Corporation $4.2 billion acquisition of Agricultural Solutions Business 

Client feedback 

“Cindy's practice does not have any weaknesses. She is as good as it gets. Her team is great as well. Diligent, timely, and client first. I am only recommending the partner Cindy Davis. Have no opinion of the firm as a whole.” – Capital markets: Debt 

“My experience with GT was excellent. The attorneys I worked with were knowledgeable, thorough and responsive. The teamwork and communication with the client, within the firm and with opposing counsel was excellent. Law firms represent their clients in their advice and counsel to clients and in how their clients are seen by the counterparty to the transaction. GT's work created a positive impression on all fronts.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation  

“The expertise, depth of knowledge and efficient work product are excellent.” – M&A 

“The firm is very experienced and has depth in multiple areas that support our business and transactions.” – M&A 

“Full-service firm with high quality work across all practice areas ranging from M&A, corporate formation and documentation, debt financing and real estate. Did a particularly good job on the acquisition of the company Accu-Tube, with efficient execution and superb negotiating judgement.” – M&A 

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells has been particularly active in M&A, debt capital markets and financial services regulatory work within the research period, and is recognised for capital markets work. 

In regulatory roles, the firm advised clients on a range of issues and regulations, including equity warrants from early stage borrowers, corporate governance reviews, investment issues, trust preferred securities, the bank secrecy act (BSA), TCPA and telemarketing issues, data privacy, retail payment system scenarios and anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations in connection to loan portfolio acquisitions.

In M&A the firm represented buyers in acquisition work. 

Sara Lenet joined the firm as counsel from Allen and Overy, while Laura Biddle, a former counsel, left. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Adobe $4.75 billion acquisition of Marketo

•Marvell Technology $1 billion 4.2%, 4.875% notes issue

•Park Hotels & Resorts $2.7 billion acquisition of Chesapeake Lodging Trust

•Republic of Guatemala $500 million 4.9% and $700 million 6.125% notes issue

•Walt Disney Company $52 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox's television and international businesses

Client feedback

“Excellent - they were top notch in understanding the business objectives and our strategy, and provided phenomenal support in the entire M&A process, both out of their German offices and their US offices.” – M&A

Kasowitz Benson Torres

Kasowitz Benson Torres was active in restructuring and insolvency during the research period, mainly representing investors, bondholders and creditors.  

Some of the firm’s highlights were representing Cyrus Capital Partners, a bondholder and creditor of Toys ‘R’ Us in bankruptcy, and representing TPG Capital as indirect owner in the bankruptcy proceedings of an operating subsidiary in its portfolio company Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (CEOC). The firm also represented an Ad Hoc Group of creditors in the bankruptcy case of Energy Future Holdings and advised Harbinger Capital in the restructuring of its investment in LightSquared.  

In the research period, Kyung Lee was hired as a partner in restructuring from Diamond McCarthy, while the financial restructuring partner Daniel Fliman left the firm to join Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. 

Recent Deal Data Highlights

•Energy Future Holdings bankruptcy  

•Toys ‘R’ US insolvency 

•SunEdison bankruptcy 

Client feedback 

“Kyung Lee is clearly one of the best bankruptcy attorneys in the U.S. He is well organized, knows bankruptcy law and is pragmatic and fearless. He is a great attorney. Robert Shannon is a hard worker and does excellent work.” – Restructuring and insolvency

King & Spalding

King & Spalding has been particularly active in capital markets, banking and M&A work. 

During the research period in banking the firm represented initial purchasers and lead arrangers in merger and acquisition financing, and borrowers in unsecured term loans for general corporate purposes and revolving credit facilities for refinancing existing debt.  

In capital markets work the firm represented issuers and underwriters the public offering of senior notes, including fixed-to-floating and floating rate. In equity work, the firm worked for the issuer in IPOs, and in the sale of convertible preferred stock transactions. 

In structured finance and securitisation the firm advised initial purchasers, issuers and arrangers in securitisation of assets, franchise royalities and a portfolio of solar renewable energy credits and the issuance of notes backed by receivables. 

In M&A and private equity the firm worked on both the buy and sell side of acquisitions in the research period. The firm saw most of its transactions in food, healthcare and biotechnology, battery manufacturing, and energy and infrastructure sectors. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm represented a mix of creditors and debtors in bankruptcy cases. The firm was also involved in merger unitranche financing to aid a company’s emergence from bankruptcy and undertook debt restructuring.  

In recent hires the finance team grew with new partners. Susan Berry, Carol Burke and Kimberlee Cagle joined from Reed Smith, Amy Peters and Brad T. Giordano joined from Kirkland & Ellis, while Erik Andersen, Jared Zaben, and Elizabeth Gable joined from Riemer Braunstein. 

Carrie Ratliff, a partner in capital markets, left the firm to work in-house at Change Healthcare. In structured finance and securitisation, Ryan McNaughton joined as a partner and Kevin Manz joined as counsel, both were hired from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. 

In M&A Thomas Keim joined as a partner from Latham & Watkins; Timothy Fesenmyer joined from Skadden; and Jonathan Melmed, Enrico Granata, and Adam Hankiss joined from Morrison Foerster.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•ConocoPhillips Company $6.5 billion financing 

•SunTrust Banks $1.3 billion bond issue 

•Transocean $3.4 billion acquisition of Songa Offshore 

•Transocean / Ocean Rig merger 

•Americold Reality Trust NYSE IPO  

•Total System Services $1 billion two tranche bond issue 

•International Flavors & Fragrances $7.1 billion acquisition of Frutarom Industries 

•Energizer $2 billion acquisition of Spectrum Brands 

Kirkland & Ellis

Perhaps most widely known for its private equity expertise, Kirkland & Ellis is also a US leader in M&A, banking, restructuring & insolvency and private equity funds.  

The firm’s banking team was kept busy advising acquirers on acquisition financings. Meanwhile, the capital markets represented issuers on numerous multi-billion dollar offerings.  

The firm’s private equity practice advised some of the biggest names in private equity over the research period, including Blackstone, Bain Capital, Apax Partners and KKR.  

The banking team added attorneys over the research period, hiring partners Rohit Chaudry and Brian Greene from Norton Rose Fulbright and Ranesh Ramanathan from Bain Capital.  

The private equity practice grew considerably. The firm added partners Michael Woronoff, Jonathan Benloulou, Monica Schilling and Christopher Wu from Proskauer Rose; partners Kristin Mendoza and Jennifer Perkins from Latham & Watkins; partners Steven Napolitano and Brendan Head from DLA Piper; and partners Kevin Crews, Michael Considine, Thomas Laughlin and Christian Atwood from Weil Gotshal & Manges, Jones Day, Vinson & Elkins and Choate Hall & Stewart, respectively.  

The project finance practice was also aggressive in its recruitment, adding partners Brooksany Barrowes from Baker Botts, Kelann Stirling from Latham & Watkins and Robert Fleischman from Morrison & Foerster.  

Finally, the capital markets team added partner Sophia Hudson from Davis Polk & Wardwell.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Adobe $4.75 billion acquisition of Marketo 

•Centene $15.27 billion acquisition of WellCare Health Plans 

•Charter Communications $2.5 billion 5.75% and 5.375% bond issue 

•Ingersoll Rand $1.45 billion acquisition of Precision Flow Systems 

•Kellogg Company $1 billion 3.25% and 4.3% bond issue 

•Rowan $12 billion acquisition of Ensco 

•Thoma Bravo $3.7 billion acquisition of Ellie Mae 

•TPG Capital $930 million acquisition of Goodnight Midstream 

Client feedback

“Thoughtful approach on a case-by-case basis.” – Investment funds 

“We work with the team headed by Andrew Wright. Andrew and his team are extremely impressive: they are knowledgeable, reactive, and proactive and they work very fast, always meeting deadlines. They are also always very available and reliable. It is always a great experience to work with them. We feel that we are in safe hands.” – Investment funds 

“Excellent industry and market knowledge. Up-to-date documentation. Provides you with guidance based on massive experience across the industry.” – Private equity 

“Excellent attentiveness and problem solving.” – Project finance 

Kleinberg Kaplan Wolff & Cohen

Kleinberg Kaplan Wolff & Cohen is a boutique active in investment and hedge fund work, M&A and derivatives.  

During the research period in derivatives work the firm advised on structuring new derivative contracts and worked in virtual currency.  

In investment funds the firm advised seeders and flagship funds on hedge fund investments and advised on feeder and master fund structures.  

In M&A the firm represented buyers, investors and sellers in acquisitions of controlling interests, royalties and revenue streams. The firm also advised on multiple proxy fights in activist hedge fund board representation.  

In staffing changes Christian Gloger joined the firm as a partner in investment funds hired from Schulte Roth & Zabel. Derek Stueben joined the firm as a senior associate in corporate from Hand Baldachin & Associates. 

Client feedback 

“Excellent work all around. Highly attentive, supportive, and creative.” – Capital markets: Debt 

“Pretty good.” – Investment funds 

“Rock stars! This is my second launch with KKWC in three years. I've had two different partners and a positive experience with both. What sets KKWC apart are the people. From the partner down to the paralegal, everyone is exceptionally bright, accessible, and diligent in their work product. I feel with KKWC it’s a partnership in the truest of senses. Compliments to the partners who have built an amazing culture.” – Investment funds 

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins stands out in the US legal market for its banking, M&A, private equity, debt capital markets, high-yield capital markets, equity capital markets, project finance and project development practices, making it another contender for the title of most versatile corporate firm in the US.  

The firm’s capital markets group advised issuers on a number of significant debt offerings, IPOs and direct listings over the research period. The team saw significant work from the pharmaceutical, technology and oil and gas sectors.   

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Eldorado Restaurants $8.5 billion acquisition of Caesars Entertainment 

•Ingersoll Rand $1.45 billion acquisition of Precision Flow Systems 

•Nvidia $6.9 billion acquisition of Mellanox 

•Renesas $6.7 billion acquisition of IDT 

•Slack NYSE direct listing 

•Spotify direct listing 

•Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners $3.6 billion acquisition of Oryx Midstream 

•SurveyMonkey NASDAQ IPO 

Client feedback

“Strong market knowledge and technical expertise.” – Banking

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown has leading structured finance, project development and project finance practices, as well as additional strengths in debt and equity capital markets.  

The firm’s structured finance team handled a bevy of significant ABS and CLO offerings for a range of clients recently. The practice has also continued to maintain a large roster of Canadian clients.  

Meanwhile, the project finance team was kept busy with the renewable energy sector, guiding transactions involving wind and solar energy projects.  

The firm’s banking team hired partners Jim Antonopoulos from Kirkland & Ellis and Ryan Suda from Freshfields. 

In addition, the M&A group added partners Satoru Murase from Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Aubry Smith from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Elena Rubinov from Bracewell. 

Like last year, the structured finance expanded, this time with the addition of partner Mike McElroy from First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Comerica $850 million 3.7% bond issue 

•Northern Trust $500 million 3.65% bond issue 

•Prologis $4 billion acquisition of Industrial Property Trust 

•Prologis $8.4 billion acquisition of DCT Industrial Trust 

•The Hartford Financial Services $2.1 billion acquisition of Navigators 

•Volkswagen $1.3 billion auto loan ABS offering 

•Western & Southern Financial Group $1.55 billion acquisition of Nestlé’s Gerber Life Insurance  

•Yum! Brands $1.97 billion refinancing 

Client feedback

“They know our business and they provide us with prompt and high-quality work” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“High-level quality and very professional.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Led by Stuart Litwin, the team has advised on everything needed to do to get a deal done the right way. Timely, professional and friendly. Consummate experts.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“High-level quality and very professional.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Led by Stuart Litwin, the team has advised on everything needed to do to get a deal done the right way. Timely, professional and friendly. Consummate experts.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Well-versed in PPP procurement and contract standards.” – Project development  

“They have with Nadav Klugman one of the better transactional lawyers in the US. They also have a deep bench of due diligence lawyers, and strong tax lawyer in Jeff Davis.” – Project finance 

“Completely satisfied with firm.” – Real estate 

Milbank

Milbank is a top US firm in project development and finance, and also boasts strong banking, restructuring and insolvency and high-yield debt capital markets practices.  

The banking group advised borrowers and lenders on financings connected to a range of industries, including manufacturing, technology and energy, recently.  

The firm’s projects teams led on a number of significant projects over the course of the research period, many of them in Latin America.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Advent International $3.25 billion acquisition of GE’s power unit 

•Cencosud Shopping SSE IPO 

•Covanta Energy $1.3 billion financing 

•Eldorado Resorts $8.5 billion acquisition of Caesars Entertainment 

•MGM Resorts International $1 billion 5.75% bond issue 

•Rumichaca-Pasto highway PPP 

•Quebrada Blanca Mine 

•The Carlyle Group / GIC €10.1B acquisition of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals 

Client feedback

“The Milbank team we liaise with most often (Marcus Dougherty and Ben Sayagh) does an excellent job of understanding the pulse of the market and, as a result, deftly advising their clients on both legal and commercial terms. They are responsive, thoughtful and highly skilled at executing complicated transactions.” – Capital markets: Debt 

“Outstanding client service. Understands our firm and particular hot button issues. Very commercial, going beyond legal advice. Well-plugged into legal and compliance so that issues are raised on a timely basis.” – Capital markets: High yield 

“They are the most knowledgeable firm in the industry, having the expertise unmatched by any in the industry. I have worked in the industry for 25 years with the biggest and best firms and they are the most professional with countless resources.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Excellent service, great responsiveness and absolutely top-quality legal product.” – Financial services regulatory  

“Milbank's team did an excellent job of managing a group of lenders with very different views on assets valuation, restructuring strategy and transactional execution risk to get to a transaction that all parties could support, despite their deeply entrenched differing views on the aforementioned.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

“Excellent work and I would hire Mark Shinderman and the Milbank team again in a minute. I've been on the same side and opposite, and found they were superb in ease case.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

“High quality and thoughtful work as always.” – Restructuring and insolvency  

“Paul Aronson is outstanding and one of our most trusted advisors. He also has a good team to support him in the LA office.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Morgan Lewis & Bockius excels in project development, structured finance and the hedge funds spaces, a competitive registered funds, private equity funds, M&A and private equity practices. 

The structured finance team focused on representing issuers in connection with securitisations over the research period. 

The firm’s investment funds team made a number of additions over the research period. The practice hired partners Courtney Nowell, Gregg Buksbaum and Alishia Sullivan from Squire Patton Boggs and partner Brendan Kalb from AQR.  

The structured finance team also made multiple additions, hiring partners Jeffrey Weinstein and Jeffrey Lampe from Sidley Austin and partner Paul St Lawrence from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Atlantic Broadband $1.4 billion acquisition of MetroCast 

•Cambrex $425 million acquisition of Halo Pharma 

•Entergy $1.14 billion block trade 

•Florida Power & Light $500 million 4.125% bond issue 

•MGM $2.1 billion financing 

•NextEra Energy $700 million 3.342% bond issue 

•Textainer $1.5 billion financing 

•Transcontinental $1.32 billion acquisition of Coveris Americas

Client feedback

“Morgan Lewis helps us in all facets of a transaction, from structuring to closing. We have used multiple attorneys at the firm and have received nothing but excellent legal advice. I would highly recommend the firm.” – Asset finance 

“Great expertise in the field and resources - there is always a specialist who is able to give deep knowledge where needed. Good to work with on fixed fee engagements. Competitive fees.” – Banking  

“Morgan Lewis is one of our "go-to" law firms and we rely on MLB for our most difficult transactions.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Excellent. Deep subject matter expertise in all areas relating to ETFs, mutual funds and commodity pools; well-connected with regulators and up to speed on current regulatory developments and trends.” – Investment funds 

“The strengths of the team we work with are their responsiveness, subject matter expertise and ability to provide guidance that is concise and practical.” – Investment funds  

“Morgan Lewis’ work is excellent - they are intelligent and thoughtful and actively seek solutions to problems.” – Investment funds 

“Top notch, with best in class staff that understand our needs in depth and put together PPMs and fund documents very efficiently” – Investment funds 

“Excellent. One of our top firms. Highly responsive and knowledgeable.” – Investment funds 

“Strong client skills, strong investment fund sector expertise and strong understanding of institutional investment needs.” – Investment funds 

“The firm has done a fantastic job and has always approached things in a balanced and practical manner. Very happy with the expertise and client service.” – M&A 

“The firm is outstanding at M&A, general corporate and securities work, licensing and strategic transactions, trademark litigation and securities litigation. It is a full service and well-integrated firm which can deploy a team at all levels to meet our business needs.” – M&A 

“The firm is outstanding at M&A, general corporate and securities work, licensing and strategic transactions, trademark litigation and securities litigation. It is a full service and well-integrated firm which can deploy a team at all levels to meet our business needs.” – M&A 

“Great professional team with tremendous capabilities and skills. A pleasure working with them.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster is active across the financial and corporate space, and strong in capital markets, M&A and restructuring.

During the research period the firm was active in the derivatives area. It represented banks in swap and forward over-the-counter contracts and transactions. It also advised on financial regulatory reforms – including the Dodd-Frank Act – impact on derivatives trading.

In the financial services regulatory area, the firm worked for a multinational bank in a Fintech partnership for a consumer financing programme and multiple long-term credit card programme agreements with banks, including between Walmart and Capital One. It also advised on anti-money laundering and OFAC enforcement issues.

In investment fund work the firm advised on the formation of funds focused on sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy and new technology start-up investments. It also advised on the closing of a debut venture fund.

In M&A the firm is experienced and often instructed on in technology sector deals, which has can be seen through its recent work.

In project finance and project development, the firm was particularly active in the renewable energy sector, advising lenders, developers, project companies, and sponsors. It represented clients involved in wind farms and solar power generation projects.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm represented both creditors and debtors in bankruptcy cases, including the unsecured creditors of Westmoreland Coal Company Inc, The Nordam Group Inc, Avaya Inc, Pacific Gas & Electric and Tops Holding II Corporation, and the debtors Real Industry and Real Alloy.

Additionally, in structured finance and securitisation, the firm advised on note and CD offerings and the issuance of structured warrants.

In recent partner hires, Susan Gault-Brown joined in from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, John Smith joined in from the US Department of Justice, and John Owen joined in from Jones Day.

Of counsel hires included Kathleen Ryan from Akerman, Yulia Makarova from Linklaters, and Luke Mines and Oliver S’Jacob from Reed Smith.

In departures, the restructuring partner Jonathan Levine left for Arnold & Porter. Finance partners Jerry Marlatt and Anna Pinedo left to join Mayer Brown. Bradley Berman joined Mayer Brown as of counsel in finance. Private funds counsel Ashley Arons and partner Ken Muller have left the firm to join King & Spalding and Kirkland & Ellis respectively.

Recent Deal Data highlights

·         Diamond Spring 300MW wind power plant

·         Fujifilm Holdings $6.1 billion acquisition of Xerox

·         Renesas $6.7 billion acquisition of IDT

·         Roaming Bison 300MW wind power plant

·         SAIC $2.5 billion acquisition of Engility

·         Silicor Grundartangi Solar Silicon Plant

·         SoftBank/Dragoneer/Sequoia $9.3 billion investment in Uber Technologies

·         White Mesa 500MW wind power plant

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has strengths in project development and project financing, particularly within energy and oil and gas sectors.  

In project development the firm assisted investors, sponsors and lenders in power project development and financing work. It also advised buyers in renewable energy project acquisitions and represented oil and gas clients in transactions. 

In project finance, the firm represented on the lender side of oil and gas and power project financing. It represented a syndicate of lenders in the debt financing of an LNG terminal expansion, on a gas-fired power plant construction financing, it also worked on asset-backed securitisation. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised debtors, indenture trustees, creditor committees, and buyers of distressed companies in bankruptcy proceedings and restructuring, particularly within the energy and shipping sectors.  

Recent staffing changes saw David Burton from Mayer Brown join as partner. Project finance partners Michael Pikiel, Patrick Groomes, David Gillespie, Rohit Chaudhry and Brian Greene left the firm in the research period. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•AL Midcoast Holdings $1.12 billion acquisition of Midcoast Operating 

•Corpus Christi LNG export terminal  

•iHeartMedia bankruptcy 

•Ørsted North America $510 million acquisition of Deepwater Wind Holdings 

•Ørsted North America $580 million acquisition of Lincoln Clean Energy  

•South Field Energy 1.182MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant 

O'Melveny & Myers

O’Melveny & Myers is active in project work, particularly within energy, real estate, aviation, and transport and infrastructure sectors. 

During the research period the firm advised on multiple aviation transport projects in the development or redevelopment, financing and operation of new terminals at New York’s JFK airport, New York LaGuardia Airport, Paine Field Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.  

In other transport work, the firm advised the state agency overseeing the development of a high speed passenger rail system in California and the redevelopment of waterfront at the port of San Diego.  

In other work the firm was PPP counsel in the construction of a new ballpark for Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, and represented developers and financiers of various wind power and energy projects 

Richard Shutran, a partner in project development and finance, left the firm to join Winston & Strawn.  

Recent deal data highlights 

•California high-speed passenger railway 

•JFK International Airport redevelopment  

•LaGuardia Airport PPP 

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is recognised for its work across the corporate space, and is particularly active in banking and finance transactions. 

During the research period the firm advised borrowers and lenders in term loan, revolving and senior secured credit and unitranche facilities for financing and acquisition financing in cryptocurrency and data centres, gaming, gambling, healthcare and life science and broadcasting industry sectors.  

In bond work the firm was counsel to the issuer in an inaugural securitisation, advising in the private offering of collateral-backed bonds. 

In recent hires two new banking and finance partners Vincenzo Paparo and Marina Balzano joined the firm from Proskauer Rose and Pavia e Ansaldo respectively. Counsel Thomas Laryea from Cooke Robotham, and of counsels Joseph Choi from Proskauer Rose and Anna Maria Perillo from Bonelli Erede also joined the banking and finance practice. Christine Kaniak joined as a partner in M&A from Kirkland & Ellis. 

In departures, of counsels Simone Lucatello and Yun Ma both left the firm to join Simmons & Simmons and Dentons respectively. 

Recent deal data highlights  

•Harley Marine Services $455 million bond issue 

•Poarch Band of Creek Indians $1.3 billion financing 

•Williams-Sonoma $800 million financing  

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison

Paul Weiss has market leading private equity and private equity funds practices, as well as strengths in restructuring and insolvency, M&A, and debt and equity capital markets.  

The firm’s banking team was kept busy advising lenders on acquisition financing transactions involving a range of industries, including healthcare, oil and gas and pharmaceuticals this research period. 

The firm’s impressive private equity practice counted Apollo Global Management, Oak Hill Partners and KKR among its key clients over this research period.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

Apollo Global Management $1 billion acquisition of GE Capital’s Energy Financial Services unit 

Danaher $21.4 billion acquisition of General Electric’s biopharma business 

IBM $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat 

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group $3.5 billion 3.455%, 3.777% and 3.961% bond issue 

RCN Telecom Services $2.365 billion acquisition of Wave Broadband 

Science Applications International $2.5 billion acquisition of Engility 

St Barbara $536 million acquisition of Atlantic Gold 

The Stars Group $1 billion 7% bond issue 

Reed Smith

Reed Smith is active particularly in banking, M&A, bankruptcy and structured finance.

During the research period in banking work the firm represented arrangers, administrative agents, lenders and bookrunners in syndicated senior secured credit facilities within various industry sectors. It also engaged in refinancing work.  

In structured finance work the firm represented financial institutions, investment firms and corporates in structured finance products, asset-backed notes and securitisation. 

In M&A the firm represented buyers and sellers in acquisitions. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm represented various clients in bankruptcy, including outside general counsel, counsel to indenture trustees, debtors, lenders, fiscal agents, administrative agents and defendants. The firm worked closely with The Bank of New York. 

In staffing changes Gerard Martin joined the firm as banking counsel from Skadden Alps, and David Surbeck a partner in banking has left to join Holland & Knight. Also in departures, M&A partners Jared Hershberg and Paul Jaskot left the firm to join Greenburg Traurig and Holland & Knight respectively. Aaron Javian was hired as a partner in bankruptcy and restructuring from Linklaters, while Jennifer Knox, an attorney, left the firm’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice area to join Wells Fargo. 

Recent Deal Data highlights  

•Cobalt International Energy bankruptcy  

•Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bond restructuring 

•iHeart Communications bankruptcy 

•Oakfabco bankruptcy  

•South Carolina Electric & Gas bankruptcy  

•Taylor-Wharton bankruptcy 

•The Fairbanks Company bankruptcy 

Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray stands out for its M&A, private equity, hedge funds, private equity funds, registered funds and financial services regulatory practices. The firm also has strengths in banking, debt capital markets, equity capital markets and restructuring and insolvency.  

The capital markets group advised issuers and underwriters on a range of IPOs and secondary offerings over the research period. Many of these equity capital markets deals involved the pharmaceutical sector.  

The M&A practice led significant deals in the pharmaceutical, retail and food and beverage industries over the research period.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Avrobio NASADQ IPO 

•Biogen $877 million acquisition of Nightstar Therapeutics  

•Cambrex $425 million acquisition of Halo Pharma  

•CCMP Capital Advisors $1 billion acquisition of BGIS 

•Elanco Animal Health NYSE IPO 

•Genstar Capital/Bracket Capital $1 billion acquisition of CRH Health 

•Greif $1.8 billion acquisition of Caraustar Industries 

•Hillenbrand $2 billion acquisition of Milacron

 

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett boasts excellent banking, debt capital markets, equity capital markets, high-yield, M&A, private equity, private equity funds, hedge funds and financial services regulatory practices.  

The banking team primarily worked on acquisition financings in industries such as financial services, media and energy recently.  

Meanwhile, the M&A group advised clients in the technology, healthcare and manufacturing sectors, as well as financial services, media and energy.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Apache $1 billion 4.375% bond issue 

•Boston Scientific $4.3 billion bond issue 

•Broadcom $11 billion bond issue 

•Brookfield Infrastructure/GIC $8.4 billion acquisition of Genesee & Wyoming  

•Carlyle $6.7 billion acquisition of majority stake in Sedgwick 

•Hellman & Friedman $11 billion acquisition of Ultimate Software Group 

•Stryker $1.4 billion acquisition of K2M Group  

•Walt Disney Company $52 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s television and international businesses 

Client feedback

“The firm has extremely strong capital markets expertise. The partners are intimately involved in transactions and provide top tier advice. We typically look to these partners in situations that are not ‘cookie cutter’ for this reason. The firm should continue to build out its loan product expertise.” – Capital markets: Debt 

“Outstanding firm.” – Capital markets: Equity 

“Extremely high-quality work - great counsel on issues, fast and efficient turnaround and careful attention to detail.” – Capital markets: High yield 

“STB is a leader in their field. Their advice is thorough, business-oriented and timely.” – Investment funds 

“Overall, the level of work we receive from Simpson Thacher is very strong. We often times have very few issues with the drafting of our documents and find their advice on matters to be not only very accurate but responsive as well.” – Investment funds 

“Without STB’s expertise and creativity, we could not have navigated the regulatory and governance issues presented by being the first to market with a novel fund construct.” – Investment funds 

“Credible and balanced counselling, excellent negotiation skills, firm grasp of market and relatively reasonable cost.” – M&A 

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Skadden is a leading firm in the US for debt capital markets, M&A, structured finance, restructuring and insolvency, financial services regulatory, and also maintains excellent banking, equity capital markets, project finance, project development, hedge funds and private equity practices.  

True to form, the firm’s M&A team worked on some of the most significant transactions over the course of the research period. Highlight deals came from industries such as technology, food and beverages and media.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

IBM $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat 

Infrastructure Investment Funds $2.78 billion acquisition of El Paso Pacific 

Pinterest NYSE IPO 

Centene $15.27 billion acquisition of WellCare Health Plans 

E & J Gallo Winery $1.7 billion acquisition of Constellation Brands assets 

FIS $35 billion acquisition of Worldpay  

Walt Disney Company $52 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s television and international businesses 

ZF Friedrichshafen $7 billion acquisition of WABCO

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan is has been particularly active in banking and finance during the research period, particularly in finance related to bankrupt or distressed companies. It was also active in restructuring and M&A.  

In finance work the firm acted for the lenders and lead arrangers of senior secured debtor-in-possession (DIP) credit facilities and capital investments in connection to bankruptcy cases. It also advised borrowers and lenders in the financing and refinancing of senior unsecured revolving and term loan facilities, particularly in healthcare and retail, and for acquisition financing.  

In M&A the firm acted on the buy and sell side of acquisitions. Notable deals include working with Ultimate Software in its acquisition by an investor group of Hellman & Friedman, and on the same client’s acquisition of PeopleDoc. The firm also advised on mergers.  

In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised on both the creditor and debtor sides in bankruptcy procedures. A firm highlight was representing first lien noteholders in connection to the bankruptcy of Toys R Us, and representing Wilmington Trust as indenture trustee in the bankruptcy of iHeartMedia.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Cenveo Corporation bankruptcy  

•Freepoint Commodities $2.1 billion refinancing  

•Hellman & Friedman $11 billion acquisition of Ultimate Software 

•PG&E Corporation $5 billion financing 

•Sears bankruptcy  

•Ultimate Software $300 million acquisition of PeopleDoc 

•Toys R Us insolvency  

Client feedback  

“Best in class. No other firm on the street could do what they do. They make it look easy.” – Capital markets: Derivatives 

“Always very high quality and extremely responsive.” – Investment funds 

“Excellent.” – M&A 

“Stroock was excellent in an inordinately complex transaction. They brought to bear deep expertise across M&A, insurance, reinsurance, funds management, and broker-dealer domains.” – M&A 

“Extremely capable and diligent team of lawyers. Executed under a tight deadline and came up with creative solutions for all issues encountered.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

Sullivan & Cromwell

Sullivan & Cromwell is active across the corporate space, and recognised for its high capabilities in M&A.  

During the research period, in capital markets, the firm represented underwriters in IPO work, including for the IPOs of Levi Strauss, Anaplan and Amalgamated Bank. In debt work, the firm worked for the issuers and underwriters for debt offerings, including for United Technologies.  

In financial services regulatory work the firm advised on M&A, the Dodd-Frank Act, anti-trust and anti-money laundering, corporate matters and executive compensation issues. It advised on multiple conversions, including American Express on the reorganisation and conversion from a state to national bank, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in US regulatory aspects of the conversion of seven state-licensed branches and agencies to Federal branches and agencies.  

In investment funds work the firm worked in fund formation and investments in private equity funds. It also worked on fund raising, and in hedge fund work, the firm advised fund managers on regulatory issues under CFTC and SEC rules. 

In M&A the firm advised a good mix of buyers and sellers in acquisitions, including public takeovers. It also worked on mergers, including the large merger of Praxair and Linde AG, and the SunTrust Banks merger with BB&T Corporation. 

In project finance the firm advised mainly on LNG and copper projects. It also acted for partners in the consortium developing the Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised on corporate and debt restructuring. It represented creditors in connection to chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, and debtors in reorganisation and insolvency proceedings. 

Jim Bromley joined the firm as a partner and co-head of restructuring globally. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Amalgamated Bank Nasdaq IPO 

•AXA Equitable Holdings NYSE IPO  

•Bayer $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto  

•Goldman Sachs $8 billion bond issue 

•Levi Strauss & Co NYSE IPO 

•Praxair / Linde merger 

•SunTrust Banks / BB&T Corporation merger  

•United Technologies $11 billion bond issue 

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Weil is another versatile US firm, with leading practices in M&A, private equity and restructuring and insolvency, and strength in private equity funds, structured finance, banking, debt capital markets, equity capital markets, hedge funds and financial services regulatory.  

Over the course of the research period the banking team saw much of its work come from advising both borrowers and lenders in connection with acquisition financing deals.  

In capital markets, the team guided issuers and underwriters in a range of industries over the research period. 

The firm’s M&A practice worked with acquirers and targets on significant deals in the media, oil and gas and food and beverage industries.   

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Conagra $10.9 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Foods 

•Elanco Animal Health NYSE IPO 

•Government of Canada C$4.5 billion acquisition of TMEP 

•IHS Markit $1.855 billion acquisition of Ipreo 

•Occidental Petroleum $38 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum  

•SAIC $2.5 billion acquisition of Engility 

•Walt Disney Company $52 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s television and international businesses 

•Willis Towers Watson $1.4 billion acquisition of Tranzact 

Client feedback

“Rob Chiperfield is one of the leading attorneys in the world for structured finance and asset-based lending. Strengths include expertise, style and work ethic. Weaknesses are none.” – Asset finance 

“Weil actually exceeded expectations by anticipating many of the requests from the banks in the other side and proactively addressing them.” – Capital markets: Debt 

“My experience with Weil (and specifically the partner, Morgan Bale and his team) was stellar as always. We worked on a very compressed timeline and the Weil team was extremely thoughtful, diligent and creative in helping us structure the transaction to meet the client's objectives on financing. No complaints whatsoever!” – Capital markets: Debt 

“The Weil team was great. They provided good feedback and advice on a refinancing.” – Capital markets: Debt 

“The practice is very strong in structuring ABS. The partners and associates became experts in the jurisdictions in which we operate, which are difficult and outside of the US norm.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

“Weil provided tremendous support helping us get through a significant transaction in a short amount of time. The project involved multi-disciplinary specialties, was on a tight deadline and included a number of thorny issues.” – M&A 

“Weil did an excellent job. Top-notch work from the senior partner level down to the associates leading the detailed work.” – M&A 

“My experience with the firm has been first class on all fronts. A relentless focus on the client, actionable advice that is timely, good time management and an eye for what drives value in the services they deliver.” – M&A 

“Weil is strong and has significant bench strength in the M&A area. They are efficient and ‘no drama’. They do tend to get busy with many deals at a time, which can lead to some internal deadlines or requests not being met, but overall they performed exceptionally well and always rose to the occasion.” – M&A 

“Creative ideas, easy people to work with and the fees were very fair relative to complexity of work.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

“Excellent client service; exceptional lawyers in the areas of restructuring and restructuring-related litigation.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

“Excellent. Good coordination across jurisdictions (UK, Ireland, NY) including with other law firms, good technical advice as well as creative thinking and sound commercial judgement.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

“Weil did a great job. Very service oriented. Very professional. Very interested in achieving a workable, lasting result. Quality from top to bottom. Team-oriented.” – Restructuring and insolvency 

White & Case

White & Case law firm has recently been active in project development and financing work, particularly in the power, oil and gas, and renewable energy sectors. 

The firm has advised on public-private partnerships (PPPs) and project financing in transport, including on the construction of a new six-lane bridge across the Mobile River and replacing existing I-10 Bayway bridges across Mobile Bay, and the airport terminal redevelopment at JFK International Airport. It also advised on the financing and developing of a LNG-to-power facility, the financing of Pomona 26 wind turbines project, and the financing of solar and thermonuclear plants and gas-fired combined cycle electric power plants. 

The firm hired new project finance and development partners Byron Romain, formerly from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; David Strickland, formerly from King & Spalding; Steven Otillar, formerly from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; James Cuclis, formerly from Vinson & Elkins; and Christopher Richardson and Charlie Ofner, both formerly from Andrews Kurth Kenyon.  

The firm opened an office in Houston in the research period. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•JFK International Airport redevelopment 

•Salt Creek processing plant  

•Sergipe 1.516MW thermoelectric power plant