United States

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
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

The firm 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.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team represented mostly borrowers in acquisition financing, project financing, real estate financing and general corporate financing. It was also very active in the aviation and real estate industries.

The debt capital markets team represented a mix of issuers and underwriters in a mix of investment grade bonds, high yield bonds and green bonds. It also advised mostly Latin American countries in sovereign bonds.

The equity capital markets team also represented a mix of underwriters and issuers mostly in common stock offerings and at-the-market equity programs.

The derivatives team represented banking and non-banking institutions in forwards, swaps and other derivative transactions. Many of the transactions were regulatory based.

The structured finance and securitizations team largely worked on mortgaged backed securities. 

The M&A team was active in representing clients in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures especially in the real estate, industrials, pharmaceuticals and aviation industries. It acted on all sides of acquisitions.

In project development, the team represented largely financial sponsors in toll road infrastructure, renewable energy and port projects. Many of the projects were based in Latin America.

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented clients in Latin America in financial restructuring cases.

In terms of lateral moves, the restructuring and insolvency team brought over partner Michelle McGreal from Davis Polk. She also is has a specialty in banking and finance. The M&A team brought over partner Michael Bonsignore from Akin Gump. In the structured finance practice, partners James Cotins and Matthew Lyons joined from Alston & Bird. The banking and finance team lost partner Jay Gavigan, who left for Morrison & Foerster. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Bayview Opportunity Master Fund Iva Trust 2019-SBR1 $135 million securitization

CPA 17 / WP Carey merger

Glencore $14.43 billion revolving credit facility refinancing

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital $350 million 5.25% green bond issue

Neoen / Altiplanto 208MWp solar power plant

Pfizer joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline

Republic of Seychelles $15 million 6.5% sovereign bond issue

Waypoint Leasing Chapter 11 restructuring 

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, Occidental Petroleum, Barrick Gold, Viacom, IBM, Shell International Finance, Hasbro, Novartis, CyrusOne, Transdigm, PG&E, Citigroup Global Markets, and Bank of America.

 

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

Throughout the research period the banking team equally represented borrowers and lenders in many types of financing, but especially credit facilities.

The debt capital markets practice represented an even mix of issuers and underwriters in billion dollar corporate bond offerings. It also worked on a sovereign bond issuance.

In high yield transactions the team represented largely underwriters and initial purchasers in 144A/Reg S senior notes offerings.

In equity capital markets work the team advised on mostly primary and secondary share offerings. Many of these share offerings were through an at-the-market program.

The M&A team represented high profile clients in billion dollar acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. 

The restructuring and insolvency team continued to represent high profile debtors and lenders in some of the country’s largest Chapter 11 cases.

Though the team worked across all industries, some of the more popular ones were entertainment, oil and gas, technology, mining, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.

Partner William Whelan III retired during the research cycle. He practiced debt, equity and high yield capital markets.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Alcon eye care devices business spin-off

CBS / Viacom merger

Disney $85 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox

IBM $20 billion fixed and floating rate bond issue

Occidental Petroleum $57 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum

Reynolds Consumer Products Nasdaq IPO

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Transdigm $3.8 billion high yield bond issue

Xerox $24 billion financing 

Davis Polk & Wardwell

The history of Davis Polk & Wardwell 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.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has standout practices in banking, capital markets, regulatory financial services, M&A and restructuring and insolvency.

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.

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.

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.

 

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

During the research period the regulatory financial team continued to advise clients in the banking and financial services industry on acquisitions, capital markets trading and monetary policy compliance. It increasingly advised clients in fintech, cryptocurrency and blockchain matters.

The debt capital markets team continued representing high profile clients in convertible, investment grade and high yield bond issuances. The equity markets team saw a lot of IPOs during the period.

The derivatives and structured products group worked on a lot of margin loan facilities, forward agreements and structured products programs, where it represented major banks and financial institutions.

The registered funds team represented banks and financial institutions regarding the compliance, implementation and structuring of funds, especially ETFs, hedge funds and mutual funds.

The M&A team continued to represent largely strategic acquirers in multimillion and billion dollar acquisitions and mergers. The private equity team saw mostly acquisitions and investments, advising private equity firms on both buy and sell side.

The restructuring and insolvency team advised mostly debtors and creditors in some of the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases in the nation. 

The M&A team saw partner John H. Butler leave for Sidley Austin in 2019. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Charles Schwab $26 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade

Energy Transfer $5.1 billion acquisition of SemGroup

IBM $20 billion 2.8%, 2.85%, 3%, 3.3%, 3.5%, 4.15%, 4.25% bond issue

Purdue Pharma Chapter 11 restructuring

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring 

Uber NYSE IPO

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 amount 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. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm are confidential, but include real estate sellers, acquirers, property developers and lenders. 

 

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

Over the research period, the firm represented clients in the real estate industry in property and land acquisitions, development and financing. All of its deals are confidential.

McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery is an international firm founded and headquartered in Chicago. It has offices in 13 locations 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, M&A, private equity, project finance 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 M&A team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition, mergers and corporate reorganization related matters.

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, Premier and Wells Fargo Capital Finance.

 

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

Over the research period the banking team worked on numerous loans and credit facilities.

In M&A, the team worked on mostly acquisition related matters, representing both buyers and sellers across a wide variety of industries. The team represented a large amount of private equity acquirers.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented largely indenture trustee and debtors in financial restructuring and Chapter 11 cases.

The New York real estate team hired partners Pejman Razavilar, Stacie Trott and Todd Eisner in 2019. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Boston Beer Company / Dogfish Head Brewery merger 

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico restructuring

Fireman Capital Partners initial investment in Garden Remedies Holdings

HIG Capital acquisition of Lipari Foods

Maefield Development $1.9 billion acquisition of 20 Times Square

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Premier $1.35 billion credit facility

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 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.

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 structured 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.

 

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

Over the research period the banking team acted primarily on the borrower side in acquisition and warehouse financings.

The debt capital markets acted on behalf of both issuers and underwriters in investment grade and high yield bond issuances.

The equity capital markets practice acted largely on the underwriters’ side in share offerings.

The structured finance and securitization team represented numerous clients in the banking and financial services industry in CLOs and ABS’. A large portion of ABS matters was in the aviation industry.

In M&A, the firm advised on both the buy and sell side in acquisitions and mergers. Many of its clients were private equity firms or related to project development matters. The restructuring and insolvency team advised largely unsecured creditors in some of the country’s largest ongoing and completed Chapter 11 bankruptcies. 

Regarding lateral moves, partner Patrick Campbell was brought over from Paul Weiss. He practices banking, specialized in the space and transportation industries. Structured finance and securitization partner Elizabeth Hardin retired during this time. Other partners who retired include restructuring practice head Paul Aronzon and corporate partner Alexander Kaye. The corporate and M&A practice saw the arrival of partner Lisa O’Neill, who came over from McDermott Will & Emery.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners equity offering

Eldorado Resorts / Caesars Entertainment merger

JP Lease and Stratos Aircraft Management $554 million JOL Air 2019-1 aircraft lease ABS

Madison Park Funding XXXV $801.25 million CLO

MGM China Holdings $1.5 billion dual tranche 5.375% and 5.875% bond issue

PG&E Chapter 11 proceedings

Verizon $1 billion green bond issue

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Excellent legal expertise.”

“Knowledgeable about the industry, responsive and commercial.”

 

Capital markets: debt

“Milbank does an excellent job of zealously representing the banks and using their expansive market knowledge to provide their clients with the information they need to be as commercial and forward leaning as possible. In turn, this puts Milbank's clients in the best position to execute well for us - essentially, Milbank is particularly adept at creating win-win scenarios for their clients and their clients' clients.”

 

Capital markets: equity

“Responsiveness, proactive engagement and decisive advice.”

 

Capital markets: high yield

“Milbank is very commercial. They are outstanding lawyers, but also understand out business extremely well, which gives them a vantage point to advise not just on legal aspects, but also commercial implications.”

 

Capital markets: structured finance and securitization

“Milbank is top of the market in client service and is my first call for any new market developments.”

“Extremely responsive/timely, ability to think/plan ahead, easy to work with, friendly, motivated, driven to succeed, reliable.”

“Exceptional service and responsiveness, commercial approach to difficult matters, supreme knowledge of latest market trends and precedents.”

“Anticipates issues (i.e. being proactive) and keeps in touch.”

 

Financial services regulatory

“Responsiveness, knowledge.”

 

M&A

“Attention to detail and quality of work product. Highly skilled negotiators. Specialized market knowledge. Responsiveness.”

“Very experienced, organized and thorough; partners are always available and involved in the transaction.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Practical, responsive, great teams.”

“Experienced, commercial, smart.”

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell

Morris Nichols is a top tier firm in Delaware, where it has been since 1930. Despite only having one location in Wilmington, the firm has a global presence due to its involvement in TerraLex.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a market leader in Delaware in restructuring and insolvency. Additionally, it has a standout M&A practice.

The M&A team advises target companies, sellers and acquirers in acquisitions. The firm also advises companies in other corporate matters such as financial investments and IPOs.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acts on behalf of debtors and creditors in Chapter 11 and 7 proceedings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Area Management, Bayer, Berkshire Hathaway, BlackRock, Salesforce, Vanguard, AT&T, Dixie Pulp and Paper, Nexus Capital Management, Papa Gino’s and the ad hoc first lien group of Claire’s. 

 

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

Throughout the research period the corporate and M&A practice worked on all sides of acquisitions, as well as some financial investments from firms in the financial services industry. 

The restructuring and insolvency team advised more debtors than creditors in Chapter 11 restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings.

During this time, partner Frederick Alexander left the firm to found a non-profit group. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Berkshire Hathaway $10 billion investment in Occidental Petroleum

Claire’s Stores Chapter 11 restructuring

Fuse Chapter 11 proceedings

Invesco $5.71 billion acquisition of Oppenheimer Funds

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 DC. 

 

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 financial services regulatory the firm 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. 

The firm has taken great strides in diversity. In addition to being Mansfield Plus certified, it has won numerous awards for their diversity initiatives.

 

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.

 

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

Within the research period the financial services regulatory team advised clients on compliance issues stemming from acquisitions and financial investments. It was also very active in matters relating to payment agreements and fintech matters.

The derivatives practice advised clients in the banking and financial services industry on OTC products as well as cryptocurrency matters.

The investment funds group continued to act for private equity and investment management clients in fund formations, investing in different industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented groups of creditors across numerous ongoing Chapter 11 proceedings. Energy, especially oil, gas and coal, was a heavily hit industry. Additionally, the team did a lot of work across many of the separate and related proceedings associated with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy.

The corporate finance and capital markets brought over New York based partner Ann Becchina, who specializes in derivatives, from Davis Polk. The Boston office brought over private funds partner Todd Boudreau from Foley & Lardner. In the restructuring and insolvency department, partner Jonathan Levine left for Arnold & Porter.

The year 2019 marked the opening of Morrison & Foerster’s Boston office.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Title III restructuring

Windstream Holdings Chapter 11 restructuring

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough was founded in 1897 in Columbia, South Carolina. The Columbia location still stands as the firm’s headquarters but has since expanded to 25 total locations across 12 states, largely in the southeast. Though the firm has the most locations in Florida it is also highly regarded in South Carolina.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The full-service firm is especially active in the banking, M&A and restructuring and insolvency practice areas. 

In banking the team works on acquisition financing, construction financing, real estate financing, project financing, refinancing and general corporate financing. It acts for borrowers and lenders.

The firm’s M&A practice is concentrated in the Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Tennessee locations. It is focused on the mid-market, advising strategic clients on both the buy and sell side.

The restructuring and insolvency team acts for trustees, creditors, debtors and other related parties in Chapter 7 and 11 proceedings and reorganizations. Also of note is the Floridian real estate teams, which are market leaders in the state.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Avenger Flight Group, Amzak Capital Management, Chemical Finance Corporation, CenterState Financial Corporation, Cosmopolitan Travel Services, Sprinturf, PIETech, and Lime Energy.

 

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

Throughout the research period the banking and finance team assists both borrowers and lenders. The South Carolina partners focused more on acquisition financing, while the Floridian offices focused on project financing and real estate financing.

The M&A team worked on the buy and sell side in a large amount of deals in the banking and financial services and technology industries. The deals were both strategic acquisitions and private equity acquisitions.

The restructuring and insolvency team in mostly Chapter 7 proceedings, but also a significant number of Chapter 11 proceedings. 

Regarding lateral moves, the corporate and M&A practice brought over numerous partners. M&A focused partners Adele Hogan moved over from Hogan Law, Andrew Tucker from Womble Bond Dickinson and Michael Bryan from K&L Gates. Corporate partners James Bartling and Sabring Conyers moved from in-house positions. In the Florida real estate practice, partners JJ Johnson, Michelle Tanzer and William Liss. The partners came from Johnson Real Estate Law, GrayRobinson and Santen & Hughes, respectively. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Avenger Flight Group $120 million financing

Chemical Bank / TCF Financial merger

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Full-service international firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom was founded in New York in 1948 and this branch remains its headquarters and largest office. It has since expanded to 22 offices across three continents. In the United States, the firm has offices in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Washington DC and Wilmington.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm’s New York, Washington DC, 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.

The banking team acts on the lender and borrower side in acquisition finance, multicurrency finance, DIP finance, project finance and refinancing.

In financial services regulatory work the team advises banking and financial institutions in compliance matters related to investments and acquisitions.

The capital markets practice works on debt, equity and securitization matters on both the issuer and underwriter side. In debt capital markets work 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. 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 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.

Though the firm is active across all industries, it is particularly active in technology, real estate, banking and financial services and pharmaceuticals.

 

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.

 

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

Over the research period the financial services regulatory team advised banks and financial institutions in compliance matters stemming from high value acquisitions and investments. Much of the work that the banking team participated in was related to acquisition financing on the borrower side. It also did a significant amount of lender side work in DIP financing.

The investment funds team largely worked on fund formations, but also advised clients on fund maintenance matters including investments and regulatory compliance.

The M&A team acted on the buy and sell side in many of the country’s largest strategic acquisitions and mergers. It also worked on a significant number of important private equity acquisitions, with the assistance of the private equity practice.

The project development team was particularly active in the renewable energy and transportation infrastructure industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented debtors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings.

Firm wide, banking and financial services, pharmaceuticals, real estate and technology were big industries of deal acticity.

In 2019, New York based investment funds partner Lawrence Frishman retired. The Palo Alto office added M&A partner Michael Ringler, who came from Wilson Sonsini.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

BA Credit Card Trust $1.25 billion Class A 2019-1 ABS

Centene $7 billion triple tranche 4.750%, 4.250% and 4.625% bond issue

Fidelity National Information Services / WorldPay merger

Further Global Capital Management / Stone Point Capital $4.2 billion acquisition of Duff & Phelps

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Chapter 15 bankruptcy 

Newark Liberty International Airport ConRAC facility

Pinterest NYSE IPO

Zillow $1.5 billion financing

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.

 

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

The capital markets team represented issuers in mostly share offerings. Many of these offerings were tied to public M&A deals. It also worked on an IPO and bond offering.

Throughout the research period the M&A team represented a large amount of private equity clients on both the buyer and seller side in acquisitions across a wide variety of industries including automotive, consumer goods and services, cannabis and manufacturing.

In lateral movements, partners Otavio Carneiro joined the Florida corporate practice from Veirano Advogados; Amanda Leech and Roy Ide joined the Georgia corporate practice from Dentons; Paul Foley joined the North Carolina investment management practice from Kilpatrick Townsend; and, Ricardo Hollingsworth joined the New York investment management practice from Katten Muchin Rosenman. 

In 2019, Akerman opened two offices in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Ceres Acquisition NEO Exchange IPO

Ferguson Enterprises acquisition of James Martin Signature Vanities 

Pentair $120 million acquisition of Pelican Water Systems

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Private Equity

“Smart and responsive and modestly priced.”

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.

Its 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.

 

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

During the research period, teams across the board worked largely in the oil and gas and power industries.

The banking team advised largely borrowers in financing transactions such as credit facility agreement and loan facility agreements. Along with the restructuring and insolvency team, it also represented a fair amount of debtors and creditors in DIP loan financing, Chapter 11 cases and financial restructurings.

The capital markets team advised issuers on largely bond issuances, private share placements and public share offerings. Many of the transactions were a part of a larger public M&A deal.

The M&A team continued to represent a mix of private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition and merger transactions. 

The project development team represented a mix of developers and financial sponsors in project development, acquisition and financing transactions. Renewable energy was a big industry for the team, especially concerning solar plants.

The real estate team represented a large amount of developers and investors in real estate acquisitions and dispositions. Many of the transactions related to the hotel industry and disposition of data centers.

In lateral hires the banking team recruited partners Lucas Charleston and Rizwan Kanji from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and King & Spalding respectively. Lucas Charleston is also an addition to the M&A team which partner Elazar Guttman also joined from Kirkland & Ellis. Partner Michael Gustafson joined the firm from an in-house position at a private equity firm. The project development team hired Sam Kamyans and Matthew Kapinos from Baker McKenzie and McGuireWoods respectively.

Partners Phyllis Young, David Simonds and Charles Gibbs left the firm for McGuireWoods, Hogan Lovells and Katten Muchin Rosenman respectively. In M&A partners Patrick Rice and Edward Zaelke left for Greenberg Traurig and McDermott Will & Emery respectively. Edward Zaelke was also part of the project development team, which also lost partner Carl Fleming to McDermott Will & Emery. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Diamondbank Energy $9.2 billion acquisition of Energen

Lāwa’i 28MW solar photovoltaic power plant and 100MWh power storage facility

Majestic Resorts hotel development

Rattler Midstream Nasdaq IPO

RegionalCare Hospital Partners / LifePoint Health $1.425 billion 9.75% bond issue

Sears restructuring 

WildHorse Resource Development $2 billion RBL credit agreement

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 financing.

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

The restructuring and insolvency team represents creditors, debtors, receivers and trustees in financial restructurings and Chapter 11 cases.

 

Key clients

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

 

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

Throughout the research period the banking and finance team advised both borrowers and lenders in a large amount of working capital credit lines and term loan agreements.

The M&A team represented largely strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters across a wide variety of industries including telecommunications, financial services and real estate. 

The restructuring and insolvency team represented numerous receivers, trustees and debtors mostly in financial restructurings. The team did also work on some Chapter 11 bankruptcies.

Partner Lisa Payrow left the corporate practice and moved in-house in 2019. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority $120 million bond financing

LakePoint Land restructuring

Novacap $220 million acquisition of Horizon Telecom

Pioneer Health Services restructuring

Rollins $425 million financing

WEX Bank $153 million acquisition of FleetCor Technologies

Ballard Spahr

Since its founding in 1919, Ballard Spahr has grown to 15 offices nationwide. The firm launched in in Philadelphia and this remains its largest office, closely followed in scale by Baltimore and Washington DC. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The Phoenix, Arizona office is highly regarded for its top tier work in the state.

The firm is experienced in many practice area across its offices, including M&A, banking, capital markets, project development and real estate.

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

In capital markets, the firm represents issuers in bond offerings, share offerings and IPOs. The banking team represents borrowers in credit facilities, loan agreements, project financing and acquisition financing. 

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.

 

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

The firm has a diverse research cycle, with each office seeing different trends.

The teams in the Colorado offices advised strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisition related matters. Real estate and cannabis were popular industries for the Colorado teams. In financial matters, the team advised borrowers in ABL and term loan agreements and issuers in public share offerings.

The Baltimore, Maryland office advised borrowers in refinancings, credit facilities and mortgage loan agreements. It also advised issuers in public share offerings, ATM offering programs, bond offerings, tender offers, shelf registrations and derivatives. Many of its clients were real estate developers, investors or REITs. The team also advised clients in the real estate industry on property development matters.

The Minneapolis office represented strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries.

The Las Vegas team represented real estate developers, financial sponsors and REITs in various real estate development projects and sales.

The Philadelphia team advised a private equity firm in an acquisition and a lender in several credit facility and ABL agreements. It also advised developers and public institutions in P3 and private projects in the social infrastructure, oil and gas and transportation infrastructure industries. A large part of its work was in advising real estate developers, investors and REITs in commercial and residential development projects and acquisitions.

The Salt Lake City off represented borrowers in a separate refinancing and term loan agreement. It also advised issuers in share offerings and strategic acquirers and sellers in merger and acquisition related matters. The team represented developers in residential and hotel real estate projects. 

In terms of lateral moves, the Salt Lake City office brought over M&A partner Travis Marc Wilson from Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough. The Baltimore office brought over public finance partner John Smolen from Nossaman. The Philadelphia office lost partners James MacDonald III, who left for Stevens & Lee, Craig Circosta, who left for Holland & Knight, Peter Hennessy, who moved in-house and David Pollack, who retired.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

C7 Data Centers merger with DB Data Center Holdings

City Office REIT 6.625% Series A preferred stock at-the-market share offering

IPS and Alleghany Capital acquisition of Cardinal Holdings

Slang Worldwide $67 million acquisition of Organa Brands’ National Concessions Group

Southern Bighorn 475MW solar and 540MWh storage project

WEX $425 million acquisition of Discovery Benefits

Barnes & Thornburg

Barnes & Thornburg was born from the merger in 1982. It has 19 offices, plus a satellite branch, in 14 states. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

Barnes & Thornburg’s presence is felt most in Indiana and Michigan, where it does notable work in banking and finance.

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.

 

Key clients

The firm has a large amount of clients in the banking and financial services industry, but they are confidential. 

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking and finance team advised lenders in numerous term loan and credit facility transactions. It also worked on a couple of refinancing transactions. All of their transactions are confidential.

In terms of lateral moves, the firm brought over partners Jenni Tauzel and Jason Myers from Winstead and Hudson Advisors, respectively. Partner Michael Kaye retired and partner Patrick Sullivan left the firm as well.

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Mike Campbell and his Barnes team do an excellent job from the beginning of a new relationship through and beyond close.  Mike provides great ideas to fine tune structure and amend documentation language to satisfy all parties involved.  He is a trusted, valuable partner that I know will get the job done efficiently and accurately.  Additionally his paralegal, Melissa Porter, is awesome to work with as well.  When I engage Mike to work on a new opportunity I know exactly what to expect and without surprises.”

“Comprehensive service offering with experts in various fields. Timely and responsive. Appropriate cost/value proposition.”

“Always provides sound advice, creative, flexible, and timely.”

“Works with bank and borrower’s counsel to agreeable solutions.”

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. Key partners include chair of the firm, Carrie Leahy, chair of the banking practice, Robert Diehl, chair of the automotive and industrial practice, Laurence Deitch and co-chairs of the business practice group, Timothy Damschroder and Gene Bowen. 

 

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, is 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.

 

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

In the most recent research period, the M&A team continued to represent strategic buyers and sellers in the automotive, financial services, manufacturing and industrial industries in acquisitions. The banking and finance team advised lenders in term loans, revolving loans, credit facilities and acquisition financing agreements. 

The corporate practice brought over partners Joseph Nuyen and Jill Miller from Nuyen Tomtishen & Aoun, Varnum, respectively. Partner John “Jack” Carver joined the firm, previously serving as an in-house counsel. Of counsel Richard Hoeg moved to the firm from Honigman. Partner Mary Comazzi moved to become an of counsel at Barnes & Thornburg. In the banking and finance practice, partner Brian Kersey joined from McShane & Bowie. Partner Wendy Zabriskie left the firm shortly after.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Bank of Ann Arbor $102 million acquisition of First National Bank in Howell, MI

Lakeshore Recycling Systems $120 million revolving credit line and $80 million term loan

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

“Responsive, smart, creative, great communication, timely, cost reasonable.”

“Great subject matter expertise. Responsive and practical. Cost effective.”

 

Real Estate

“Strong attention to detail, very responsive, clear and concise communications.”

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 DC. 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. 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.

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 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.

 

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

During the research period, the banking team represented a mix of borrowers and lenders in revolving credit facilities mainly.

The capital markets team represented mostly issuers in corporate bond issuances, but also dealt with other types of bond issuances. On the equity side, the team advised clients in public and private share offerings.

In M&A, the team represented a mix of strategic buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions. It also represented a fair amount of private equity firms in acquisitions and investments.

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases, although it did also advise in out of court restructurings. Most of the matters the firm worked on across all practice areas were in the in oil and gas industry.

In terms of lateral moves, the capital markets team brought on partners Catherine Hood, Todd Eckland and of counsel J Anthony Terrell from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. All three are based in the New York office. The restructuring and insolvency team lost partners Kurt Mayr, Jennifer Feldsher and of counsel David Lawton to Morgan Lewis. All three were based in the New York office. In Texas, the real estate team lost Alfred Kyle who left for Reed Smith. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Apache double tranche $1 billion 4.25% and 5.35% bond offering

Energy & Exploration Partners Chapter 11 restructuring

Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion revolving credit facility

McDermott International Chapter 11 restructuring 

Pembina Pipeline $1.546 billion acquisition of the US portion of the Cochin Pipeline

Prosperity Bank / LegacyTexas Financial Group merger

Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard

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

 

Focusses / specialisms

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

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

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

 

Key clients

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

 

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

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

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Atlas Stark Holdings $80 open ended fund formation

Nasdaq $10 million acquisition of Center for Board Excellence

Quincy Media $70 million acquisition of KVOA

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

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

 

Project development

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

 

Real estate

“Highly responsive, knowledgeable and well-organized.”

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

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.

 

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

Over the most recent research period, the restructuring and insolvency team in Massachusetts represented mostly creditors and trustees in some of the largest Chapter 11 cases ongoing currently in the nation. It also represented debtors in financial restructurings. The New York team also represented largely creditors in Chapter 11 cases and financial restructurings.

In terms of lateral movements, the bankruptcy and corporate restructuring practice lost partner Howard Steel, who left to join Goodwin.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Boston Herald Chapter 11

EXCO Resources Chapter 11

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico municipal bankruptcy

Legacy Reserves $1.75 billion Chapter 11 restructuring

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck was founded in 1968. Since then, it has expanded to 13 offices in in seven states. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is top tier in Nevada in M&A and also highly regard in Colorado for its work in the financial and corporate practice areas. Key partners include Nicole Ament who is the chair of the real estate practice.

Though the firm does outstanding work in Nevada and Colorado, it also maintains teams in Washington DC, 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 real estate team represents property developers and investors in commercial and residential real estate development and acquisition transactions.

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

 

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. 

 

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

Over the research period the banking team advised borrowers, many of whom were private equity clients in confidential financing matters.

The M&A team continued to represent mostly strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters. It also worked with private equity firms on M&A agreements.

The real estate team continued to represent developers and investors regarding commercial and residential real estate development projects in Colorado, largely in Denver. 

In terms of lateral movements, real estate partner Ana Tenzer left for Hogan Lovells, real estate partner Noelle Riccardella left for Williams Weese Pepple & Ferguson and real estate of counsel left for Otten Johnson. In the corporate practice area, partner Darryl Landahl was brought over after serving in-house. Partner Christopher Reiss left for Polsinelli. In banking and finance, of counsel Jason Larkin was brought over from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and partner Mark Oveson left to become a software engineer.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Colorado Rockies $300 million mixed use entertainment district project

Nexus Technologies acquisition of Notonsite

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft

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

 

Focusses / specialisms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Key clients

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Castleton Commodities International $2.775 billion senior secured working capital facility

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bankruptcy

LendingClub’s $185 million acquisition of Radius Bancorp

Siemens Medical Solutions $1.1 billion acquisition of Corindus Vascular Robotics

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

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

 

Capital markets: derivatives

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

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

 

Financial services regulatory

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

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

 

Investment funds

“Expert in the law, practical advice, responsive”

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

 

Restructuring and insolvency

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

Cahill Gordon & Reindel

Since the firm’s founding in New York in 1919, Cahill Gordon & Reindel has added offices in Washington DC and London.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a market leader in high yield debt and banking. It In addition to Cahill’s top tier banking and high yield debt practices, it has outstanding investment grade 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, led by partners Joel Levitin and Richard Stieglitz Jr, 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.

 

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

In the most recent research period the banking team represented lead arrangers in lending transactions. Most of the financing was related to general corporate financing, acquisition financing or refinancing of credit facilities and term loans.

The capital markets team on both the debt and equity sided advised largely underwriters in investment grade bond issuances, high yield bond issuances and common share offerings. The equity capital markets team also advised on a lot of at-the-market equity programs.

The M&A team acted mostly on the buy side of strategic acquisitions. It also assisted in joint ventures, spin offs and company formations.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly creditors and administrative and collateral agents in Chapter 11 and out of court financial restructurings.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

AMC Entertainment $2 billion term loan B credit facility and $225 million revolving credit facility

Equinix Nasdaq primary common stock offering

Fox $6.8 billion quintuple tranche 3.666%, 4.03%, 4.709%, 5.476% and 5.576% bond issuance

Frontier Communications $1.65 billion 8% first lien secured bond offering

iHeart Media Chapter 11 bankruptcy

S&P Global acquisition of 451 Research

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Financial services regulatory

“Honesty.”

 

M&A

“Managed internal and external stakeholders well including a very difficult counterparty.”

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.

 

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

Over the research period the restructuring and insolvency team across the firm represented mostly debtors and creditors in Chapter 11 cases. It also advised debtors in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 7 insolvency cases.

The Wilmington and Hackensack offices brought over restructuring and insolvency partner Seth Van Aalten from Cooley. Around the same time, partner David Hurst left to join McDermott Will & Emery. Partner Ilana Volkov left the Hackensack, NJ office to join McGrail & Bensinger.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Cinram Group Chapter 11 restructuring

David’s Bridal Chapter 11 restructuring 

Videology Chapter 11 restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Project development

“Gary Leibowitz is a top notch attorney. His attention to detail and sharp wisdom and knowledge was the reason we were successful in all of our cases.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“The firm’s attributes are: bankruptcy expertise, affordable expert rates and exceptional people. The firm provided skilled answers for all issues and was always responsive. Their people were clearly respected by the other law firms involved with this bankruptcy proceeding.”

“Very agile and creative solutions.”

“Very thorough and always available (24/7) – very responsive.”

“Judgement, knowledge of the law, practical and commercial, effective communicators.”

“The Cole Schotz team is proactive and provides effective strategies to navigate through complex legal and business issues.”

“Cole Schotz brings a wealth of experience and practical solutions to the table. They are affordable. They bring senior people to the conversation, not inexperienced junior attorneys. They have great ‘bedside manner.’ They keep their commitments.”

Debevoise & Plimpton

Headquartered 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.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a leading firm in private equity, with outstanding M&A, regulatory financial services and banking practices. The firm also does great work in registered funds, restructuring and insolvency, M&A, regulatory financial services and capital markets. 

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.

In banking the team represents borrowers and lenders in refinancing and acquisition finance transactions.

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.

 

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

Over the most recent research period the regulatory financial services team advised clients in the banking and financial institutions industry largely regarding acquisition compliance and adherence to monetary policy such as Basel IV (which has yet to be implemented) and the Volcker Rule.

The banking team was largely on the borrower side in refinancing and acquisition financing transactions.

The capital markets team advised largely issuers in investment grade and high yield bond offerings on the debt side and tender offers and secondary offerings on the equity side. Many of these transactions were related to acquisitions.

The investment funds group continued to advise private equity firms in billion dollar fund formations.

The private equity team represents private equity firms on both the buy and sell side of acquisitions, largely in the infrastructure, technology, healthcare and construction industries. 

Regarding lateral moves, the regulatory financial services team lost partner Matthew Biben, who left for Gibson Dunn. Counsels Alison Hashmall and Will Giles joined from Davis Polk and the Federal Reserve Board, respectively. The banking team added partner Sunil Savkar, who joined from Ropes & Gray. In investment funds, the team added partner Marc Ponchoine from Allen & Overy and partners Lorna Bowen, Andrew Ford and Justin Storms from Linklaters. The restructuring practice saw Sidney Levinson join as the new co-chair of the practice. Levinson joins from Jones Day. Savkar, Bowen, Ford, Storms, Levinson and Ponchione all have an additional expertise in private equity.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

RSC Insurance Brokerage $1.6 billion unitranche loan financing

Westpac Banking double tranche $2.25 billion 4.11% and 4.421% subordinated bond offering

Gogo $905 million 9.875% senior secured bond offering and $20 million 9.875 tack on senior secured bond offering

AXA ad AXA Equitable Holdings bought deal secondary sale to Morgan Stanley and Barclays

EIG Global Energy Fund XVII $3.1 billion global hybrid debt and structured equity fund formation

American Tower $1.85 billion acquisition of Eaton Towers

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets: debt

“Very responsive (even given the US-UK time difference), solid partners with us and provides useful advice from their capital markets expertise.”

 

Private equity

“Massive brain power. Valuable experience and expertise. Timeliness/availability.”

Dechert

International firm Dechert got its start in Philadelphia but the New York office is its largest in the United States. The firm also has offices in Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Hartford, Los Angeles, Orange County, , 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. Globally the firm has 26 offices over three continents. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

Though the firm is active across financial and corporate law, its funds work has generated the most recognition as a top tier practice.

In addition to its outstanding 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. 

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, Purdue Pharma and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team represented largely borrowers in acquisition financing. A large portion of the transactions were in the real estate and banking and finance industries.

The debt capital markets team represented a mix of issuers and underwriters in investment grade and high yield bond issuances.

The equity capital markets team advised largely issuers in common share offerings and at-the-market programs. It was also involved in a couple of IPOs.

In securitizations, the team worked mostly on CLOs and mortgage backed securitization. The M&A team represented mostly private equity acquirers and sellers in acquisitions. It also worked on several mergers. Life science and banking and financial services were big industries for the firm. The private equity team worked on the private equity M&A deals as well as multiple company investments. The restructuring and insolvency team largely participated in financial restructurings, both out of court and as part of Chapter 11 or 15 proceedings.

Regarding lateral moves, the banking team brought over partner Lindsay Flora from Kirkland & Ellis and partner Barbara Shachnow from Sullivan & Worcester. Flora has a specialty in leveraged financing and private equity. The firm also brought over partners Omoz Osayimwese from Schulte Roth & Zabel and Tricia Lee from K&L Gates, who both specialize in private funds and private equity. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

B&G Foods $550 million 5.25% bond issue

Crown Holdings $3.2 billion financing

Bain Capital Specialty Finance NYSE IPO

London Stock Exchange Group acquisition of Refinitiv

Kronos Incorporated / Ultimate Software merger

Irish Bank Resolution Chapter 15 restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets: debt

“Responsive, pragmatic, business-minded.”

 

Capital markets: structured finance and securitization

“Exceptionally knowledgeable. Fast. Responsive.”

“Creative, current, disciplined, dedicated.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Understands complex, multi-jurisdictional cases that are litigation intensive.”

“Dechert has a highly qualified team in many different countries, with an incredible ability to provide fast answers to clients’ needs.”

“Timely guidance, excellent insight, overall helpful on strategy.”

“Strong research and legal skills. Provides sound and practical strategic advice.”

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 locations across the United States, Canada, the UK and China. In the United States the firm has 13 offices spread throughout the country, including in Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New York and Utah.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Though the firm is international, 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.

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. 

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. 

 

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

Within the research period, the Minneapolis M&A practice represented both strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions. Most of its acquisitions were in the healthcare, agribusiness and consumer goods and services industry. The real estate practice represented REITs, property developers, owners and investors in mostly real estate development and financing projects. The New York M&A team represented a mix of strategic and private equity clients on both the buy and sell side of acquisitions. It worked on numerous deals in the cannabis, healthcare and technology industries. The Salt Lake City office represented companies in strategic acquisitions and sales, with many of the deals occurring in the healthcare industry. It also advised numerous private equity firms in acquisitions and equity investments. 

In terms of lateral movements, the real estate practice in Minneapolis added partners Michele Thurnblom, who moved from an in-house position at Honeywell International and Bradley Williams, who joined from Best & Flanagan. The New York corporate and M&A practice brought over partner Edward Davis from Brown Rudnick. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Best Buy $125 million acquisition of Critical Signal Technologies

EDP $375 million acquisition of Eli Lilly and Company rights

Pentagan South mixed-use urban redevelopment

New Age Beverages $85 million acquisition of Morinda Holdings

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

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

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team worked as borrowers’ counsel for mostly general financing and acquisition financing. It also worked on a couple of project financing transactions.

The M&A team represented largely strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions. It did also represent a couple of private equity firms. Across all practice areas, the firm maintained strongholds in biotech, healthcare and life sciences.

The firm brought over partners Alison Bauer and William Gray from Torys in 2019. Both partners specialize in distressed M&A and bankruptcy. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Alexion $1.2 billion acquisition of Achillion 

Biogen $1 billion revolving credit facility

Thermo Fisher Scientific $1.7 billion acquisition of BrammerBio

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets: debt

“The partner and associate we worked with were extremely knowledgeable, insightful and supportive throughout the process. They did the work efficiently and promptly which enabled us to meet an important deadline.”

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 Harris Shriver & Jacobson 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. 

 

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

During the research period the banking team represented an equal mix of both borrowers and lenders in loan and credit facility agreements used for mostly acquisition finance and refinancing. 

The debt capital markets team worked on an assortment of investment grade and high yield bond issuances while the equity capital markets team worked on share offerings.

The derivatives work was all confidential, but was rooted in swaps, options, accelerated stock repurchases and open market repurchases.

The investment funds group represents numerous financial institutions in the formation of open funds, closed funds and alternative funds, especially in real estate.

The M&A team, along with the private equity team, advised private equity and strategic firms in high value acquisitions on both the buy and sell side.

The restructuring and insolvency team worked largely on Chapter 11 restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings, representing creditors and property landlords. 

In terms of lateral moves, partner Stuart Barr joined the DC capital markets practice from Hogan Lovells. Matthew Roose left the restructuring practice at the firm to join the partnership at Ropes & Gray.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Blackstone acquisition of Great Wolf Resorts

Merck & Co $5 billion quadruple tranche 2.9%, 3.4%, 3.9% and 4% bond issue

Onex $2.69 billion acquisition financing for WestJet Airlines

Sears Chapter 11 proceedings

Sinclair Broadcast Group $10.6 billion acquisition of 21 regional sports networks and Fox College Sports

Tradeweb Markets Nasdaq IPO

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher 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 DC. 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, DC, 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 financial services regulatory the team represents banks and financial institutions in regulatory advice regarding Federal Reserve policy compliance, derivatives and corporate governance matters. 

The firm 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 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 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 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 DC, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Denver offices, who frequently involve each other in cross border matters.

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.

 

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

Throughout the research period the banking team acted for borrowers in a credit facility and loan agreements. A large portion of the agreements went towards refinancing or acquisition financing.

In capital markets the team represented a combination of issuers and underwriters mostly on debt related transactions such as investment grade and high yield bond issuances. It did also work on a couple of IPOs as well as swap and futures regulatory matters.

The investment funds team represented private equity, banks and financial institutions in high value fund formations. Many of these funds were related to the real estate industry.

In M&A, the practice acted on both the buy and sell side for high value strategic acquisitions. It had a high number of transactions in the oil and gas and technology industries.

The private equity practice advised private equity firms in multimillion and billion-dollar acquisitions both on the buy and sell side.

The project development team continued to act for developers and sponsors in the infrastructure industry.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings. It did also represent a fair number of debtors and worked on out of court financial restructurings. 

Regarding lateral moves, the capital markets team in New York recruited partner Boris Dolgonos from Jones Day. In M&A, partner Charles “Chuck” Walker joined the Houston team from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. The Denver M&A team brought over partner Gerald Farano from Jones Day. Partner William Sorabella joined the New York M&A and private equity practices from Kirkland & Ellis. The California offices recruited M&A and private equity partners Chris Harding and Abtin Jalali from Kirkland & Ellis and partner David Lee from Latham & Watkins. Partner Ed Batts also joined Palo Alto’s M&A practice from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. Around the same time, partner Russell Hansen retired. Former co-lead of Debevoise & Plimpton’s banking industry practice Matthew Biben joined the New York office to serve as the co-chair of the financial institutions practice. His practice focuses on regulatory financial services. Partner Edward Nelson left the investment funds practice to join Latham & Watkins. In restructuring and insolvency, Los Angeles partner Samuel Newman left to join Sidley Austin. In the New York office, restructuring and insolvency partners Scott Greenberg, Steven Domanowski and Michael Cohen were brought over from Jones Day, with Greenberg serving as the co-chair of the restructuring practice.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Fox Corporation $6.8 billion 3.666%, 4.03%, 4.709%, 5.476% and 5.576% bond issue

Green Equity Investors VIII

Marriott International $4 billion revolving credit refinancing 

Newark Liberty International Airport consolidated rent-a-car center and public parking facility

Parsons Corporation NYSE IPO

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Platinum Equity $2.74 billion acquisition of Cision

VMWare $2.7 billion acquisition of PivotalSoftware

Targa Resources Partners dual tranche 6.5% and 6.875% high yield bond issue

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Investment funds

“Skilled in all areas of investment management.”

“They know the market and are very thoughtful and responsive.”

Holland & Hart

With 13 offices spread through Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, New Mexico and Washington DC, 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. 

The firm 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 work 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. 

within the corporate practice firm-wide, 50% of partners are women.

 

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.

 

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

During the research period the Colorado offices engaged in a couple of capital markets transactions, specifically bond issuances, Series D funding and recapitalizations.

The M&A team acted mostly on the sell side in acquisitions.

The projects teams represented developers mostly in power purchase agreements and project sales. Renewable energy was a big industry for the team, especially wind and solar energy.

In the M&A practice the Colorado office hired partners Chuck Cotter and Finity Jernigan from Polsinelli. The Utah office saw partner Kristy Kimball join from Kimball Law. The Idaho office saw the departure of partner Tom Chandler.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Carbonite $619 million acquisition of Webroot

DCP Midstream $600 million 5.125% bond issue 

Duke Energy Renewables acquisition of 60MW Palmer solar project

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 DC.

 

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.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the real estate team represented a large amount of real estate developers and investors in commercial and high-end residential acquisitions. It also participated in some mortgage loan financing.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented a large amount of debtors and lenders in chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization cases. Most of the cases are based in New York. 

The firm also saw departures from restructuring partner Kyung Lee and real estate partners Manny Fernandez and Alberto Delgado, both of whom left for Alvarez & Dias-Silveira.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Essar Steel Chapter 11 bankruptcy

EXCO Resources Chapter 11 bankruptcy

GFI Capital $425 million joint acquisition with Elliot Management for the Parker New York Hotel

iStar $170 million acquisition of Newport Office Center

Toys R Us Chapter 11 bankruptcy

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Real estate

“Very responsive, knowledgeable, great value with high attentiveness. Owner’s mindset with pragmatic suggestions and solutions.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“They are a brilliant, aggressive counsel who understands the facts, situation, law and the levers to pull for their clients. Truly exceptional.”

King & Spalding

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

 

Focusses / specialisms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Key clients

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Americold Realty Trust $1.24 billion acquisition of Cloverleaf Cold Storage

Atmos Energy $1.5 billion refinancing

BB&T / SunTrust Banks merger

Bayport Polymers $1.2 billion acquisition of Borstar polyethylene plant

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

Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico Title VI restructuring

Greystar Real Estate Partners X

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

Kirkland & Ellis

Founded in 1909 in Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis is a leading US and international firm with a network of 15 offices spanning 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 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.

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.

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

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 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.

The restructuring and insolvency group advises debtors in financial restructurings and Chpter 11 cases.

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.

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. 

 

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.

 

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

Over the research period the firm was active across banking and finance, capital markets, M&A and private equity and restructuring. 

The banking team worked on a high amount of acquisition finance transactions across numerous industries including pharmaceuticals, banking and financial services and technology. It mostly represented borrowers in these matters.

The capital markets team represented mostly issuers in corporate bond offerings, high yield bond offerings, IPOs and share offerings across a diverse number of industries.

The M&A team represented strategic and private equity buyers and sellers in billion-dollar acquisition and merger related matters. It also continued to represent private equity clients in investments.

The project finance team concentrated on renewable energy projects, especially solar energy, and natural gas projects. Similarly the project development team was active in the oil and gas industry, advising clients primarily in midstream infrastructure and development on acquisitions.

The restructuring and insolvency team worked on some of the nation’s largest restructuring and Chapter 11 cases.

The firm made a number of new hires during the research period. The capital markets team added partners Pippa Bond and Monica Shilling from Proskauer Rose. Shilling is also experienced in private equity.

The project finance team brought in partners Ginger Collier from Norton Rose, Rustin Brown from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Nathan Santamaria from Linklaters, Brooksany Barrowes from Baker Botts and of counsel Nicholas Gladd from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

The project development team hired partner Debbie Yee from Latham & Watkins. Partners Michael Woronoff, Jonathan Benloulou and Chris Wu joined the firm from Proskauer Rose and partner David Klein joined from Paul Weiss. All four partners specialize in private equity and M&A. 

Another recent new joiner for the M&A team is partner Rajab Abbassi from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. M&A partner William Sorabella left the firm and joined Gibson Dunn.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

AbbVie $83 billion acquisition of Allergan

BC Partners C$5.2 billion acquisition of Rhône Group’s equity interest in Garda World Security

Bristol-Myers Squibb $74 billion acquisition of Celgene

Chewy NYSE IPO

DTE Midstream $2.65 billion acquisition of Indigo Natural Resource’s gathering system and gathering pipeline in the Haynesville shale formation

iHeartMedia Chapter 11 restructuring

Staples $3 billion double tranche 7.5% and 10.75% high yield bond offering

Toys R Us Chapter 11 bankruptcy

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

"Very responsive and practical, with good handle on commercial issues."

 

Private equity

"By far Kirkland's strongest qualities are its subject matter expertise and its willingness to work as hard as is required to get the job done as quickly as possible. They will work around the clock if necessary and generally will do it without being prodded to do so. They have a very strong pulse on the market and are able to provide very specific and accurate feedback when presented with questions."

 

Project finance

"K&E is best in class. Highly commercial and also detail-oriented. They are a tremendous asset."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"The firm is excellent at marketing and has some excellent attorneys."

 

Bill Benitez

"Very accommodating, practical and responsive."

 

Jordan Murray

"Very knowledgeable on subject matter."

 

Rohit Chaudhry

"Best in the business."

 

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.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team was on the lender side for numerous acquisition financings. The restructuring and insolvency team represented creditors in mostly Chapter 11 proceedings. It did also work on a couple Chapter 7 proceedings, as well as some high profile international bankruptcy cases. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

National Fish and Seafood Chapter 7 restructuring

The Weinstein Companies Chapter 11 restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Tremendous subject matter expertise and highly responsive.”

“Very strong legal advice, excellent drafting of legal briefs and courtroom representation.”

“Practical advice, efficient service, excellent advocacy and great results.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Excellent client service and very deep knowledge and practical application of restructuring process.”

“Boutique firm that provides partnership attention with attendant expertise. Practical and results oriented with the client’s interest in mind.”

“Strategic, thoughtful and knowledgeable about restructuring and bankruptcy. High effective advice at an efficient price.”

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 a several of its largest branches, it has a presence in six states and teams based in Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

 

Focusses / specialisms

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

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

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

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

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

 

Key clients

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Brookfield Asset Management $4.7 billion acquisition of Oaktree Capital Group

Celeo Redes $365 million private placement financing

GW Pharmaceuticals Nasdaq IPO

Northeastern University public parking facility concession

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

Weatherford International Chapter 11 bankruptcy

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets : Debt

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

"Knowledge of the company and its business."

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Capital markets : Derivatives

"Great subject matter expertise and very responsive."

"Subject matter expertise, responsiveness and professionalism."

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

 

Capital markets : Equity

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

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

 

Capital markets : Structured finance and securitization

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

 

Investment funds

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

 

Private equity

"Very thoughtful and responsive."

 

Anna Pinedo

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

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

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

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

"Extremely smart and intuitive."

"Has impressive subject matter expertise."

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

 

David Goett

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

 

David Malinger

"Knowledge of our company."

 

Eddie Best

"Very responsive and practical; manages costs well

 

Iliana Kirova

"Very responsive and extremely knowledgeable."

 

Jen Carlson

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

 

Juan Pablo Moreno

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

 

Lori Pines

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

 

Marla Matusic

"Responsive, problem solver."

 

Phyllis Korff

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

 

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Since its founding in 1873, Morgan Lewis & Bockius 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 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.

 

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

During the research period, the banking practice acted mostly on the lender side in refinancing and general financing. It represents several borrowers in acquisition finance matters.

While the debt capital markets worked mostly on investment grade corporate bond issuances, the equity capital markets primarily guided issuers on public offerings. The team also worked on a forward transaction in the derivatives practice.

The investment fund practice advised a significant amount of pension groups in fund formations. 

The M&A team acted on the buy and sell side in majority strategic acquisitions. Many of these transactions were related to transactions in project development.

The private equity team handled acquisitions related to private equity firms on both the buy and sell side.

The projects team saw a lot of projects in the renewable energy and power industries, especially regarding natural gas, solar and wind infrastructure projects.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm dealt with largely creditors in out of court financial restructurings. It did also assist in several Chapter 11 proceedings. 

In terms of lateral moves, banking and restructuring partner Kristen Campana joined the New York office from Proskauer Rose. Pennsylvania based capital markets partner David Schwartz joined the firm from DLA Piper.

The investment management and private equity funds team had a large amount of hires in 2019. Partners Gregg Buksbaum, William Nash III, Courtney Nowell and Alishia Sullivan joined from Squire Patton Boggs while Joel Seow, who further specialized in hedge funds, joined from Sidley Austin. In the same practice, partners Josh Sterling, Paul McCoy and Georgette Schaefer left, with Sterling joining the CFTC and McCoy and Schaefer retiring.

In the corporate practice, partners Mark Gilligan and Jay Gladis joined also from Squire Patton Boggs. The New York office brought over M&A, project finance and infrastructure partners John Klauberg, Michael Espinoza and Charles Vandenburgh from Bracewell. M&A partner Russell Franklin also joined the New York office from Paul Hastings. Also in the M&A practice, Pennsylvania based partner Aaron Suh joined from Dechert. Texas based M&A partner Janice Davis joined the firm from Bracewell.

The project finance and infrastructure practice saw the addition of three partners in 2019: Ayesha Waheed from Latham & Watkins, Chadi Salloum from Akin Gump and Jennifer Josefson from King & Spalding. Project finance and infrastructure partner Marc Reardon retired during this time as well. 

Finally, in restructuring and insolvency, partners Kurt Mayr and Jennifer Feldsher moved to Morgan Lewis from Bracewell.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

American Water Works $1.1 billion dual tranche 3.45% and 4.15% bond issue

CalPERES / Global Infrastructure Partners CalPERS GIP SMA infrastructure fund

ENMAX $959 million acquisition of Emera Maine

Frontage Laboratories Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO

ION Investment Group $560 million acquisition of Broadway Technology

Insight Enterprises $1.22 billion financing

Walter Energy Chapter 11 proceedings

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“They are subject matter experts in ABL financing, UCC matters, as well as restructuring, workouts, bankruptcy, etc.  In addition to their expertise, they are able to bridge between business, credit, and legal considerations in supporting us to serve our customers’ needs.  They are integral to the new loan/customer as well as existing customer management process.”

“Easily accessible, practical solutions based on current market conditions as well as workarounds for unique challenges.”

“Attention to detail, amazing customer service and constantly providing added value.”

“Fully understands ABL issues and downside risks in a bankruptcy. Very thorough, knowledgeable and non-confrontational in overall approach.”

 

Investment funds

“Very experienced group. If the person we are dealing with does not know the answer to a question, they immediately find the right person. Very professional.”

“Very responsive and reasonable on budgets. ETF team understands all aspects of business and regulatory matters pertaining to ETFs – from all sides of the ecosystem – regulators, exchanges, intermediaries, indexes, and business issues.”

“MLB is extremely commercial and responsive. They understand the client and that allows them to address issues impacting the entire firm.”

“They are comprehensive in approach.”

“Business-minded legal advice.”

 

M&A

“The attorneys at Morgan Lewis were always available, responded very quickly, very attentive to our issues, worked very well with all team members, and very skilled in their respective practices. We felt very confident in their work.   In particular, their Partner, Jeff Dinerstein went above and beyond to ensure we resolved all issues and met all intended timelines. He is an invaluable member of our M&A team.”

 

Private equity

“Lawyers are very knowledgeable, prompt and personable.” 

 

Project finance

“The project finance group is excellent with prompt service and strong legal advice in a commercial manner focused on getting things completed and resolved in an efficient manner.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Global footprint and experienced restructuring professionals. Very good value for money, compared to other large international US law firms. Partner led.”

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 and Bright Star Ventures.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the restructuring and insolvency team advised mostly trustees in associated Chapter 7 and 11 proceedings as well as out of court financial insolvencies. It also advised clients in associated distressed asset and company sales.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Cashman Equipment Chapter 11 restructuring

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

Reed Smith

Since its founding in 1877 in Pittsburgh, Reed Smith has grown into 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

The firm is best known in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for its powerhouse financial and corporate teams.

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

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. 

 

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

During the research period the banking team acts for borrowers and lenders mostly in general working capital financing.

The structured finance team advised clients in commercial mortgage loans and CLOs. In M&A, the team advised strategic clients in acquisitions on both the buy and sell side.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented a large amount of trustees in Chapter 11 proceedings. It did also work on some out of court restructurings and distressed M&A proceedings. 

Regarding lateral movements, the banking team brought over partner Elizabeth Tabas Carson from Dechert. The M&A practice saw the arrival of partner of Andrew Douglass, who came from Polsinelli. In restructuring and insolvency, the firm brought over partners Keith Aurzada and Michael Cooley from Bryan Cave as well as partner Mandip Englund from Linklaters. Partner Andrea Pincus left the practice to move in-house. 

In 2019, the firm added an office in Dallas. It also continued its European expansion the following year by opening an office in Brussels. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico restructuring

First Commonwealth Bank acquisition of 14 Santander Bank branches

Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson

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

 

Focusses / specialisms

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

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

 

Key clients

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

 

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

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

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

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Sharyland Utilities $165 million financing

Fresenius Medical Care / NxStage Medical merger

Gray Televisiion $3.65 billion acquisition of Raycom Media

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 DC. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known for its work in the United States for financial services regulatory, private equity and registered funds’ work.

The firm’s Boston office is market leader in the region in banking, capital markets and M&A. 

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. 

 

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

In the most recent research period, the banking team largely represented private equity firms on the borrower side in acquisition finance matters.

The debt capital markets team worked on a mix of investment grade and high yield bond offerings, many of which were connected to acquisition financing.

The equity capital markets team worked on a lot of IPOs and follow on offerings, especially in the life sciences industry.

Most of the derivatives work was related to regulatory CFTC compliance.

In structured finance and securitizations, most of the work was related to ABS’ and whole business securitizations.

In investment funds the firm continued assisting with fund formations and investments for leading private equity, hedge and registered funds. 

In M&A and private equity, the teams acted on both the buy and sell side in high value acquisitions. 

The restructuring and insolvency team acted for many creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings and out of court restructurings. Firm wide, technology, healthcare and life sciences were big industries.

Regarding lateral moves the banking team brought over partners Andrea Hwang and Leonard Klingbaum from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Partner Sunil Savkar left to join Debevoise & Plimpton. In private equity, the firm brought over partners Martin Ruhaak, Scott Abramowitz and Carolyn Vardi from Katten Muchin, Kramer Levin and White & Case, respectively. New York partner Cristine Pirro Schwarzman moved to Ropes & Gray from Kirkland & Ellis.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

ArcLight Capital Partners Fund VII

Avantor NYSE IPO

Bain Capital financing for acquisition of US Renal Care

Clarivate Analytics $4.2 billion acquisition of Churchill Capital

Dunkin’ $1.7 billion ABS

IQVIA €720 million 4.875% bond issueLine Corp / Yahoo Japan merger

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

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. However, it also has a global presence thanks to its membership in ALFA International. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm’s Newark, New Jersey office is top tier in M&A and restructuring and insolvency. It has expertise in the real estate industry.

The firm has experience in financing matters such as bond issuances and loan agreements. 

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

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

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include creditors in restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings, buyers and sellers in acquisition matters and issuers and borrowers in financing matters. All clients are confidential. 

 

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

During the research period the firm represented borrowers and issuers in financing matters such as bond issuances and loan agreements.

The M&A team acted equally on the buy and sell side in acquisitions.

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings and out of court restructurings. All of its matters are confidential.

In 2019, New Jersey based restructuring and insolvency partner S Jason Teele joined the firm from Cullen & Dykman. 

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett was founded in 1884 in New York, where it still maintains its 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 also has offices in Houston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and Washington DC. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known for its top tier work in banking, debt and equity capital markets, M&A and private equity.

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 financial services regulatory work 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 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.

 

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

Within the research period the financial services regulatory group acts for banks and financial institutions in acquisition and investment regulatory compliance. 

The banking practice represented slightly more borrowers than lenders. Most of the matters were related to acquisition financing.

In project finance specifically, there was a lot of work in the oil and gas industry.

The debt capital markets practice worked on both high yield and investment grade bond issuances. It notably dealt with several green bonds and Eurobonds.

The equity capital markets saw a lot of IPOs, convertible preferred stock offerings and common stock offerings. The derivatives practice saw a large amount of concurrent bond hedge and warrant transactions and margin loans. Many of these transactions were related to larger acquisitions. The structured and finance and securitization team represented mostly initial purchasers in ABS matters.

The investment funds practice worked on a lot of fund financing and acquisitions.

The M&A practice worked on many multibillion dollar strategic and private equity acquisitions, acting on the buy and sell side.

New York capital markets partner Maripat Alpuche retired during the research period. In the M&A practice, Los Angeles based partners Gregory Klein and Michael Kaplan joined from Irell & Manella. M&A partners William Curbow, Rich Capelouto and Wilson Neely retired. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

10X Genomics Nasdaq IPO

Alibaba SEHK IPO

Apple €2 billion dual tranche 0% and 0.5% green bond issue

Blackstone $18.7 billion acquisition of US logistics assets

Charles Schwab $26 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade 

London Stock Exchange Group $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv

Refinitiv $6.5 billion term loan B facility

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Extraordinary expertise and work ethic.”

 

Capital markets: debt

“Depth and breadth of knowledge in high stakes areas. Client service.”

“Substantial experience ensures up-to-date on current market practices and concessions.”

 

Capital markets: derivatives

“Able to explain difficult concepts in a manageable way.”

 

Capital markets: equity

“Unmatched subject matter/challenge knowledge and expertise, combined with practical business acumen – all delivered in a professional and supportive manner.”

Capital markets: structured finance and securitization

“Very responsive and thorough in understanding out issuance, the securitization market and investor needs/wants.”

 

Investment funds

“Creative, innovative and experts in the 1940 Act.”

“STB has one of the best private fund practice groups. They have great insight into the broader market.”

 

M&A

“Premier work product. Responsive and sophisticated representation.”

 

Private equity

“The firm dependably provides intelligent, efficient and practical legal counsel on extremely complex issues. Their private funds practice particularly has an outstanding sense of how best to incorporate business considerations when providing legal guidance.”

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 is a full-service firm located across Florida. It has offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Tallahassee and Coral Gables. Despite only having offices in Florida, the firm has an international presence due its membership in Meritas. 

 

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.

 

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

Over the research period, the corporate practice acted on the buy and sell side in strategic and private equity acquisitions, mostly in the technology and real estate industries. It also further advised private equity firms in fund formations and capital raises. The restructuring and insolvency team represented a large amount of trustees in Chapter 11 proceedings. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Alfred Angelo Chapter 7 proceedings

Entegris $165 million acquisition of MPD Chemicals

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

“Responsiveness and value.”

 

Real estate

“Client centric, quality service and availability.”

Restructuring and insolvency

“Strategic expeditious resolution.”

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan 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 DC.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Nationwide, the firm is best known for its work with registered funds. 

The New York office 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.

The derivatives practice advises banking and financial institutions in the commodities industry on financing, especially related to restructuring and insolvency. In investment funds, the team acts for financial institutions in 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 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.

 

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

During the research period the banking team mostly represented lenders in DIP financing matters connected with out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings, with the help of the restructuring and insolvency practice.

Much of the work done within the derivatives practice also related to restructuring and insolvency matters.

The investment funds team advised clients in fund formations of many different types, but saw a lot related to real estate. In M&A, the practice largely worked on strategic acquisitions.

The real estate practice saw a lot of REIT related matters as well as property financing and acquisitions.

Regarding lateral moves the restructuring and insolvency team brought over partners John Storz and Allison Miller from Brown Rudnick and Akin Gump, respectively. Banking and restructuring partner Lucas Charleston left for Akin Gump. Partner David Olstein, who specializes in ERISA investment fund formation joined the firm from Groom Law Group.

The real estate practice in New York brought over three partners: Michael McCarthy, Elsa Ben Shimon and Jennifer Recine. The partners came from Dorsey & Whitney, Duval & Stachenfeld and Kasowitz Benson Torres, respectively. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Freeport Commodities $2 billion refinancing

Hellman & Friedman $11 billion acquisition of Ultimate Software

Innovairre $250 million refinancing

JP Morgan Asset Management $1.25 billion financing

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Private equity

“Practical, commercial minded.”

Restructuring and insolvency

“Very commercial. Extremely responsive. Tremendous attention to detail. Good people.”

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. 

 

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

Throughout the research period the banking team, mostly located in Ohio, acted on the lender side in acquisition financing, real estate financing and general corporate financing. It did also represent issuers in corporate bond offerings.

In M&A, all of the offices worked mostly on strategic acquisitions, representing both the buy and sell side. Many of the transactions were related to other real estate transactions.

In lateral moves, the Illinois office brought banking and finance partner Jeffrey Friedman from Ginsburg & Jacobs. The Indianapolis office brought over corporate partner David Umpleby from Krieg DeVault.

In January 2020, Minnesota firm Briggs & Morgan merged with Taft, expanding the latter’s nationwide footprint. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

CHS Therapy $60 million recapitalization

Aalberts $60 million acquisition of Precision Plating Company

Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Company acquisition of Fresh Direct Produce

Quotient Technology $20 million acquisition of Ahalogy

Castlelake acquisition of Pontotoc Sands

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’s 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.

 

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

In the research period the firm was active in banking and finance, M&A, real estate and restructuring and insolvency.

The banking and finance team represented both borrowers and lenders in term loans and credit facilities. Some of these transactions related to larger construction financing matters.

The M&A team represented a mix of private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers largely in the life sciences, industrial, automotive, manufacturing and technology industries. It was mostly on the buy side of acquisitions.

The real estate team represents a large amount of developers regarding commercial, residential and industrial property development. Many of these transactions had a relevant M&A portion as well. 

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented creditors and lenders in out of court financial restructurings. It also worked on a couple of DIP acquisitions.

Recent lateral moves saw the M&A team hire DC partner Owen Pinkerton from Morris Manning & Martin and the restructuring and insolvency team hire partners John Bae and Sean Gordon from Baker Botts and Greenberg Traurig, respectively. Bae is based in New York and Gordon is based in Georgia. The banking and finance practice, meanwhile, recruited New York based senior counsel Tarnetta Jones from Otterbourg. This research period also saw the departure of Georgia based partner John Isbell.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Cintas Corporation No. 2 $1 billion revolving credit facility / $200 million term loan with a $250 million

Centre Lane Partners $104.5 million acquisition of assets of Hollander Sleep Products

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company TireHub / Bridgestone Americas joint venture

NewPark Mall redevelopment

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 DC. 

 

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 and is a top tier firm nationwide in oil and gas project development..

In banking work the team acts on the borrower and lender side in acquisition financing, refinancing, project financing and general working capital financing. 

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.

 

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

Within the research period the firm continued its outstanding work in the oil and gas industries. 

The banking team acted mostly on the borrower side in acquisition financing, refinancing and project financing transactions.

In debt capital markets, the firm worked on more high yield bond offerings than investment grade offerings. The equity capital markets saw several IPOs, in addition to a significant amount of ATM programs and share offerings. In addition to its work in the energy industry, the capital markets team was also particularly active with REITs. 

The M&A team continued its top tier representation of strategic and private equity firms in acquisitions and sales. 

The project development team primarily advised developers in projects in the oil and gas and energy industries, especially concerning LNG infrastructure.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly debtors in the oil and gas industry on out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings. It also worked on some distressed M&A matters. 

In 2019 the banking team saw partner Trevor Wommack leave for Latham & Watkins. Project finance partner Eamon Nolan joined the firm from Linklaters.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Alpine Income Property Trust NYSE IPO

Anadarko Petroleum $3 billion loan

Chesapeake Energy $3.977 billion acquisition of WildHorse Resource Development 

Harvey Gulf International Marine Chapter 11 restructuring

Targa Resource Partners $1 billion high yield bond issue

Tellurian Driftwood LNG Terminal 

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

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton was formed 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.

 

Focusses / specialisms

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.

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

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. The project finance team is active in the ports, power, infrastructure, oil and gas and telecommunication industries, where it represents lenders and borrowers.

 

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, BlackRock, 

 

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

During the research period the regulatory financial services advised a range of banking and non-banking institutions in transactional securities and M&A compliance, as well as compliance with regulations including the Volcker Rule, Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III and the Investment Advisers Act. 

The project finance team represented mostly lenders in transactions. Many of the transactions were connected to acquisition financing of a project and many of the projects were in the infrastructure and renewable energy industries.

The debt capital markets team advised a mix of issuers and underwriters in bond issuances of varying types, the most being investment grade corporate bonds and high yield corporate bonds. 

The equity capital markets practice saw a lot of IPOs, representing issuers, selling shareholders and underwriters.

The derivatives team also advised a mix of issuers and underwriters, but regarding mostly swap and forwards derivatives.

The structured finance team dealt largely with CLO’s, advising clients on all sides.

The investment funds team continued to represent investment firms in an equity mix of fund formations and investments.

The M&A team represented strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. The transactions were mostly in the billion-dollar range.

The private equity team also represented clients on the buy and sell side in billion dollar acquisitions and mergers. It also worked on investments and recapitalizations.

The restructuring and insolvency team advised mostly creditors in some of the largest ongoing bankruptcy cases in the world. It also worked on numerous out of court financial restructurings. 

Regarding lateral moves, capital markets partner Pamela Marcogliese left the firm for Freshfields. Structured finance partner Paul St. Lawrence joined Morgan Lewis. The M&A lost partners Ethan Klingsberg and Paul Tiger, the latter of whom also specializes in private equity, who left for Freshfields. In restructuring and insolvency, partner James Bromley moved to Sullivan & Cromwell and partner Lee Buchheit retired.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

CBS / Viacom merger

Citigroup €1 billion fixed rate green bond issuance

Owl Rock $595 million CLO I and $396.6 million CLO II

PG&E Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Pinterest NYSE IPO

TPG Partners VIII and TPG Healthcare Partners $14.2 billion fund formation

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 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. 

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. 

 

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

Over the research period, the banking practice acted largely on the borrower side in acquisition finance related transactions. In M&A, the team worked on numerous high value acquisitions on the buy and sell side. 

In both banking and M&A, many of the clients the firm represented were private equity firms. The private equity team assisted the M&A on matters regarding private equity acquisitions. It also worked on some financial transactions including privatizations and recapitalizations. 

The restructuring and insolvency team advised a mix of creditors and debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings and out of court restructurings. 

Regarding lateral hires and departures, banking partners Leonardo Klingbaum and Andrea Hwang left for Ropes & Gray. Additionally, partner Michael Zinder retired. In the M&A practice, partner Claire James was recruited from Kirkland & Ellis. Partner Craig Menden, who specializes in private equity, joined the firm from Cooley. The restructuring and insolvency practice brought over partner Jeffrey Pawlitz from King & Spalding. 

The year 2019 also saw the opening of the firm’s San Francisco office. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

FIS / Worldpay merger

Hudson’s Bay Company $1.4 billion privatization

Mylan $12 billion merger with Upjohn

PG&E Chapter 11 proceedings