Private Equity: Buyouts - Nationwide
THE FIRM This market-leading private equity team continues to enjoy a fine reputation in the field, and represents a significant volume of high-end and midmarket funds. Notable recent highlights for the group include representing Bain Capital in its acquisition of Apex Tool Group, valued at $1.6 billion. The team also acted on behalf of Spectrum Equity Fund as part of a buyout group led by Permira in connection with the $1.6 billion acquisition of Ancestry.com.
Sources say: "Very responsive and commercial, and very thorough in their work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Hammes enjoys a strong reputation among peers, and concentrates his practice on complex business transactions, including leveraged buyouts and private equity compensation matters.
Douglas Gessner represents private equity and venture capital sponsors in a wide range of matters, including leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments and recapitalizations.
THE FIRM This preeminent firm has a global private equity practice, and is widely recognized as a leader in the field. Simpson Thacher has longstanding relationships with numerous top-tier private equity firms, and regularly handles complex and sophisticated deals on behalf of its clients. Illustrative of this is its recent representation of KKR and a consortium of others in the $7.2 billion acquisition of Samson Investment Company. Attorneys are particularly skilled at managing leveraged buyout transactions, and have significant experience handling energy-related investments for prestigious clients, including Blackstone and First Reserve Corporation.
Client Service "They know the business and offer very good client service. I hold them in the top handful of firms in the USA, as they're very good at being practical."
Commercial Awareness "They're very good at understanding what we do and what we are trying to do, and they are able to juxtapose that against the legal realities within the marketplace."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gary Horowitz recently represented KKR and Alliance Boots in connection to the $6.7 billion acquisition of a 45% equity stake in Alliance Boots by Walgreens. Sources say: "He's a star at the top of the industry."
Sources recognize that Wilson Neely "knows his way around the private equity marketplace" and has a "vibrant practice." Recent highlights include representing Centerbridge Partners in connection with the acquisition of a stake in Santander Consumer USA.
Richard Capelouto is highly regarded in the private equity arena, and is described by sources as a "phenomenal lawyer" with a well-respected practice. Notable transactions include the representation of Hellman and Friedman in relation to Blackstone's acquisition of a controlling interest in Emdeon.
Brian Stadler regularly advises large private equity firms on a wide range of matters, including acquisitions, dispositions and leveraged buyouts. Notable clients include Blackstone.
James Cross enjoys an excellent reputation for his debt work and financing transactions. He has represented large private equity firms, including KKR, General Atlantic and Silver Lake.
Esteemed practitioner Richard Beattie is described by interviewees as an "impressive lawyer" and a "legend in the field." He specializes in M&A and leveraged buyouts.
Casey Cogut is an experienced practitioner with a diverse and respected private equity practice. He has particular expertise in handling complex multijurisdictional matters.
THE FIRM This solid firm has a well-established international private equity practice with cross-border capabilities across Europe and Asia. The team has impressive expertise across the full gamut of matters, ranging from M&A and leveraged buyouts to portfolio company transactions and fund formation. Notable cases of late include handling multiple matters for long-standing client TPG. The team also managed numerous transactions for Warburg Pincus, including its acquisition of Endurance International from Accel-KKR.
Sources say: "A great firm that is well established in the area."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Terrific lawyer" Michael Ryan has broad experience across a range of corporate and financial matters, and serves as principal outside counsel to TPG.
Paul Shim recently provided counsel to TPG in a number of matters, including a $1.7 billion recapitalization of Savers together with Leonard Green & Partners.
The "very experienced, very responsive and very thoughtful" Christopher Austin receives extensive praise, with one client describing him as "very good in a contentious negotiation" and "the best I deal with in terms of his ability to get a deal done."
THE FIRM This prominent private equity practice is highly regarded in the marketplace, and has enjoyed a busy year handling a large volume of significant transactions for high-profile clients. With a deep bench of attorneys, the group is well equipped to tackle complex and sophisticated private equity matters. This is exemplified by its recent representation of Access Industries and a consortium of firms in its $7.15 billion acquisition of energy producer El Paso.
Client Service "The quality and consistency of their lawyers and their service is distinguished. They do a good job of integrating their practices and making themselves easy to work with. They present a very efficient legal solution for a PE firm."
Commercial Awareness "Debevoise has a broad and deep understanding of our business. They help us manage risk, and they help us capitalize on the opportunities we develop. We view our relationship with Debevoise as a true partnership between client and counsel."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Franci Blassberg is recognized as "one of the deans of the private equity legal community." She receives high praise from sources, with one client commenting: "Her good judgment and creativity have helped us navigate many novel and interesting transactions over the years." Blassberg recently counseled Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in its sale of Diversey Holdings to Sealed Air, valued at $4.3 billion.
Peggy Davenport has "very good business sense," and recently led the team advising Kelso & Company on numerous investments. One client notes: "She knows what's important to us, and is an effective lawyer and negotiator for us."
Recent highlights for Paul Bird include handling the $3.3 billion acquisition of Getty Images for prestigious private equity firm The Carlyle Group. Interviewees praise his abilities, commenting: "He had great judgment as well as an even-handed approach and demeanor, which serve him – and his clients – very well."
The "smart, efficient and thoughtful" Kevin Schmidt recently led the team advising healthcare organization Oceana Therapeutics on its sale to Salix Pharmaceuticals. Clients appreciate that he "works hard and gets it all done, knows what's important to us, and has good business sense."
Jeffrey Rosen is hailed by one commentator as "one of the best lawyers I've ever known. He is phenomenally intelligent." He recently represented The TCW Group in connection with its sale to The Carlyle Group.
THE FIRM This globally renowned firm has a robust private equity practice with a deep bench of attorneys. The group has strong industry expertise across a range of sectors, including life sciences and technology. Latham also has particular strength in the energy space, as illustrated by its recent representation of Blackstone Energy Partners in connection with its $1.5 billion investment in Cheniere Energy. Other recent highlights include advising The Carlyle Group on its $4.9 billion acquisition of DuPont.
Sources say: "Really terrific - very, very strong across the board. We are very pleased with their work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel Lennon recently advised BC Partners and The Carlyle Group on the $3.5 billion acquisition of Hamilton Sundstrand Industrial from United Technologies. Sources note that he "knows what he's doing and things get done properly."
Raymond Lin is particularly adept at handling initial public offerings, as well as debt financing and restructurings. Recent transactions include the representation of BC Partners and other investors in its acquisition of Suddenlink Communications.
THE FIRM This firm has expanded its private equity practice with added international capabilities in London and Hong Kong. The group represents a large number of megafunds such as Silver Lake Partners, and also has a substantial midmarket presence. Recent highlights include advising Bain Capital on its $1 billion acquisition of Genpact, as well as numerous transactions for TPG.
Client Service "They are extremely responsive. They work tirelessly. They will do whatever it takes to get the job done. They have excellent business judgment."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alfred Rose is widely respected by peers and clients alike. He regularly represents major private equity sponsors, and recently handled a variety of matters for TPG, including a $200 million PIPE investment in REIT Parkway Properties.
Recognized for his strong and diverse private equity practice, David Chapin recently represented Skillsoft, a portfolio company of Berkshire Partners, in connection with its acquisition of Element K.
Recent highlights for Newcomb Stillwell include representing Blackstone in its high-profile $3 billion acquisition of Emdeon.
The "pragmatic, dynamic and focused" Julie Jones is well respected in the private equity space. She recently represented Bain Capital in relation to its $3.3 billion sale of Warner Music Group. One client notes: "She brings a unique perspective to transactions. Because she's so hands-on we feel like we get top-level advice."
Othon Prounis is favorably described as "smart, with a good demeanor." He represents Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in a wide range of matters, including a number of high-value acquisitions and dispositions.
Craig Marcus heads the firm's executive compensation practice, and has significant experience representing private equity sponsors and portfolio companies. He recently assisted Thomas H Lee Partners with the sale of its interest in a quick-service food chain.
Bradford Malt founded the firm's private equity practice group, and has a strong reputation in the marketplace. His broad experience ranges from financings and portfolio company matters to fundraising issues and strategic initiatives.
THE FIRM This leading firm has a diverse private equity practice representing a large number of clients in significant transactions, as illustrated by its recent representation of Advent International in multiple matters, including its acquisition of AOT Bedding Super Holdings. The team handles a large volume of multifaceted transactions, and is able to seamlessly integrate its knowledge and experience in other practice areas, ranging from M&A and tax to litigation and real estate, in order to provide well-coordinated and high-quality counsel.
Sources say: "All-around excellent - timely, efficient and good value."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Douglas Warner represents prestigious clients such as CVC and Oak Hill, and recently advised Centerbridge Partners on its acquisition of an international restaurant chain.
David Duffell has notably advised Providence Equity Partners on numerous matters, including its $1.1 billion acquisition of Q9 Networks. Sources say he has "everything you want in an attorney."
"Technically very strong" Glenn West recently acted on behalf of PL Logistics, a portfolio company of Lindsay Goldberg, on the sale of oil and gas supplier PL Midstream.
Michael Weisser's recent highlights include advising American Securities on its $750 million leveraged buyout of auto components supplier HHI Intermediate Group.
David Blittner has extensive experience handling leveraged buyouts and dispositions, and recently represented Avista in connection with the sale of portfolio company BioReliance.
THE FIRM This growing private equity practice has an international scope, and is routinely called upon to handle complex and sophisticated transactions, ranging from debt financing for portfolio companies to fund formation and recapitalization transactions. Recent highlights for the group include the representation of Getty Investments with regards to the acquisition of Getty Images by The Carlyle Group, a transaction valued at $3.3 billion. Other notable clients include General Atlantic and GS Capital Partners.
Commercial Awareness "They help to bring a commercial element to the deal."
KEY INDIVIDUALS George Bason is "very well regarded in the community." He recently played a key role in advising Japanese manufacturing company Daikin Industries on its acquisition of Texas-based Goodman Global.
THE FIRM This firm has a long-established presence in the private equity space, and continues to represent major names in the industry. Not only does the team represent megafunds such as Permira and Goldman Sachs, but it also acts for important clients in the midmarket, including New Mountain and Onex. The group handles all aspects of private equity matters, including fund formation and portfolio company transactions. Highlights of late include representing Permira in its $1.6 billion acquisition of Ancestry.com, as well as a number of other deals.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Schwenkel heads the firm's private equity team, and handles major deals including the recent $6.6 billion sale of Suddenlink.
Christopher Ewan is described as an "extremely good negotiator," and clients appreciate his responsiveness. He recently advised Onex on its agreement to acquire SGS International.
Notable transactions for Brian Mangino include the aforementioned acquisition of Ancestry.com by client Permira.
THE FIRM Attorneys at this private equity practice coordinate efforts with lawyers in other practice areas, including tax and M&A, in order to provide comprehensive advice and excellent service to clients. The group has an extensive list of major clients, and recently handled multiple transactions for Centerview Partners and Aurora Capital Group. The practice also benefits from the firm's international reach, enabling attorneys to effectively manage transactions involving cross-border elements.
Client Service "They dedicate their most sophisticated resources to us."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in Los Angeles, Jennifer Bellah Maguire concentrates her practice on private equity fund formation and M&A.
Sean Griffiths recently represented CVC Capital Partners in its acquisition of a majority interest in AlixPartners. One client notes: "He is a pragmatic and effective problem solver in complex and tense transaction negotiations."
Steven Shoemate has strong expertise in the private equity arena, and has recently handled numerous transactions for Catterton Partners, including multiple investments.
THE FIRM This well-regarded private equity practice continues to strengthen its team, and recently added a number of attorneys from Dewey & LeBoeuf. The team has deep industry expertise across a wide range of sectors, including financial services, life sciences, healthcare and technology. Attorneys handle a large volume of deals, ranging from leveraged buyouts to portfolio company transactions and recapitalizations, primarily on behalf of midmarket clients. Recent highlights include representing The Halifax Group in its leveraged buyout of XL Associates.
Sources say: "They seem to be able to get the transaction done efficiently, professionally and smoothly, with our interests in mind."
KEY INDIVIDUALS John LeClaire heads the firm's private equity group, and has an impressive client roster. He has handled numerous private equity transactions on behalf of Leeds Equity Partners of late, including the leveraged buyout of Evanta Ventures.
Mark Burnett is lead partner for JMI Equity on multiple transactions, including the $1 billion acquisition of Paradigm and a number of large buyouts.
THE FIRM This solid firm has a broad base of clients, including long-standing relationships with major firms such as Oak Hill Capital and General Atlantic. In addition to the representation of megafunds, the group also has a strong midmarket practice which regularly handles transactions for the likes of CI Capital, KPS and TowerBrook Capital Partners, among others. Recent highlights include one of the largest private equity transactions of the year, involving the representation of Apollo Global Management and other investors in a $7.15 billion acquisition of El Paso's energy and power business.
Commercial Awareness "Fantastic. Very creative and very commercial. Fair billing, good value for money, efficient and timely. They are very, very strong across major dimensions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Carl Reisner recently advised KPS Capital Partners in connection with the disposition of portfolio company HHI Group to American Securities.
THE FIRM This team regularly handles high-value sophisticated transactions for prestigious clients, as illustrated by its recent representation of Ares Management in a number of matters, including the $1.6 billion acquisition of 99 Cents Only Stores. Renowned for excellent client service, the firm represents an impressive roster of private equity firms and manages deals across a broad range of industries.
Commercial Awareness "They were across the board fantastic to work with. They did a great job of understanding the clients' needs and the ultimate business objectives. They put the clients' needs first."
Client Service "Their quality of advice, responsiveness and legal knowledge are all excellent. They are a really good partner to us. They have been really helpful and we've been really, really impressed."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Woronoff has extensive experience in the private equity field, and continues to provide counsel to Ares Management in a variety of transactions.
Stephen Rubin routinely handles all types of private equity deals, and has extensive experience in debt offerings and subordinated loan transactions.
THE FIRM This highly regarded firm has a robust private equity practice representing a broad client base, including high-profile megafunds as well as midmarket funds. The team has strong industry knowledge across a range of sectors, particularly within healthcare and technology. Recent highlights include representing interactive software developer NDS Group and its owners in its sale to Cisco Systems, valued at approximately $5 billion.
Sources say: "They provide sophisticated advice for complex transactions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eileen Nugent continues to represent Medtronic, and recently acted on behalf of Norwest Equity in connection with its investment in firearms manufacturer Savage Sports.
Joseph Coco recently represented RailAmerica in its acquisition by Genesee & Wyoming. Clients say: "He's got deep industry knowledge and awareness. He's a sophisticated adviser, he's practical, he's solution-oriented, and he's very timely with his response."
Allison Schneirov is the relationship partner for significant private equity firms, including Permira Funds and Blackstone. Recent work highlights include representing Dell in its $2.4 billion acquisition of Quest Software.
THE FIRM With a deep bench of skilled attorneys, this firm is adept at representing both national and international private equity firms and portfolio companies. The group has an impressive client roster, and handles a large number of high-profile private equity deals across a range of industries. Recent transactions include the representation of Riverstone Holdings in relation to its acquisition of El Paso's oil and gas business.
Sources say: "They are very strong, good, smart lawyers, and very responsive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Gartner recently acted on behalf of Warburg Pincus in connection with the sale of MLM Information Services Holdings. Sources say: "He's a businessman as well as a lawyer," and praise his negotiation skills and ability "to get to a good outcome and result, and push negotiations forward."
Chair of the firm's private equity group, Gordon Caplan recently advised Insight Venture Management on its $2 billion acquisition of Quest Software.
The "excellent" Kirk Radke recently joined the team from Kirkland & Ellis. Radke has a wealth of experience handling all aspects of private equity transactions, representing sponsors and public entities across a broad range of industries. Sources say: "He's a smart and capable lawyer."
THE FIRM Attorneys at this national powerhouse are able to draw on their expertise in other practice areas such as tax, M&A and corporate finance to provide clients with comprehensive interdisciplinary advice in a range of private equity deals. The team regularly handles all aspects of private equity, including fund formation and investments and portfolio company transactions. Recent representations include providing counsel to One Equity Partners in relation to its high-value acquisition of MModal.
Commercial Awareness "The worldwide resources of Dechert support our transactions wherever we might go, and their deep bench covers every aspect of our legal work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel O'Donnell is praised for his responsiveness and availability. One source notes: "He is immensely talented because he is able to simplify issues and get to the crux of the matter. His work ethic is unbelievable." Notable transactions include handling an acquisition for Court Square Capital Partners.
Described by clients as "very strategic and very helpful," Henry Nassau recently represented Graham Partners in its acquisition of Henry Company.
THE FIRM This full-service firm has a respected private equity group with an international reach. The team assists clients across a wide range of industries, including healthcare, technology, and oil and gas. Recent highlights include representing private equity fund manager Pegasus Capital Advisors in connection with its acquisition of Six Senses Resorts & Spas, as well as the sale of one of its portfolio companies. The deal involved numerous cross-border elements.
Sources say: "They are very reliable. A good set of people and a strong bench."
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Reiss is lauded by one source as "the best lawyer I've ever worked with. He's commercial, aggressive and smart." Recent transactions include an acquisition and a number of dispositions for Quad-C Management.
Oliver Brahmst receives high praise from clients as "someone who is capable of not only being immersed in the detail, but who can also take a step back and view the bigger picture. He's creative in coming to a resolution that works for everyone, and has a commercial view on things."
Recent highlights for Richard Welch of Bingham McCutchen LLP include advising Levine Leichtman Capital Partners in connection with its acquisition of McKenzie Sports Products.
Ronald Hopkinson, also of Cadwalader, heads the firm's private equity group, and handles high-profile leveraged buyouts and private equity transactions for major entities.
Stewart Kagan of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has extensive experience in dealing with financial restructurings and leveraged buyouts. He represents a broad range of clients on debt financings.
Robert Kennedy of Jones Day regularly advises an array of clients, including private equity funds and strategic buyers and sellers, in a wide range of investments and transactions.
Alec Dawson of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is well respected in the private equity field, and recently represented Ares Capital in relation to the sale of its controlling interest in Penn Power Group.
Richard Pollack co-heads Sullivan & Cromwell LLP's private equity group, and has significant experience across a wide range of industries. He has recently assisted Rhône Capital with numerous investments.
Robert Schwed of WilmerHale recently represented Cerca Group in connection with the acquisition of Samba Holdings. Sources say: "He's exceptionally intelligent, innovative and entrepreneurial."