Corporate/M&A: The Elite: Nationwide Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded: Nationwide
- Band 1Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLPLatham & Watkins LLPSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & AffiliatesSullivan & Cromwell LLPWachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
- Band 2Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPDavis Polk & Wardwell LLPDebevoise & Plimpton LLPGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLPKirkland & Ellis LLPShearman & Sterling LLPWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
- Band 3Dewey & LeBoeuf LLPFried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLPJones DayPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPRopes & Gray LLPSidley Austin LLP
- Band 4Baker Botts LLPHogan Lovells US LLPVinson & Elkins LLPWillkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Corporate/M&A: The Elite: Nationwide
THE FIRM One of the country's preeminent M&A firms, this national practice resides in New York and attracts headline-grabbing multibillion-dollar deals. The firm recently acted for United Airlines in its $3.47 billion merger of equals with Continental Airlines, and for Millipore in its $7.2 billion acquisition by Merck. Other active clients include Johnson & Johnson, Unilever and Barnes & Noble.
Commercial Awareness "The practice is extremely strong technically, with a great sense of fairness and commercial reasonableness."
Client Service "Lawyers are not merely decisive, creative and extremely knowledgeable, but they are also very responsive and approachable. Cravath gets deals done, they always seem to find the time, and they are humble people."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Scott Barshay, Faiza Saeed and Richard Hall are some of the leading lights here, as is Robert Townsend, who took the lead on Millipore's acquisition by Merck.
THE FIRM The firm's influence extends far beyond its California origins, with corporate attorneys operating from ten offices throughout the USA, including a recently opened base in Houston. Recent work includes Schlumberger’s $11 billion acquisition of Smith Industries. Well known for its private equity fund representation, the team acted for long-term client The Carlyle Group in its acquisition of NBTY and the related $2.4 billion debt financing. The US practice harnesses the full capabilities of the firm’s worldwide network to handle complex, cross-border deals involving Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
Commercial Awareness "Absolutely top-notch in all regards - intellect, commerciality, savviness, work ethic and responsiveness."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The global practice group is cochaired by New York-based Adel Aslani-Far and Mark Gerstein, who works from the Chicago and New York offices.
THE FIRM Simpson Thacher has both the East and West Coasts covered, with corporate attorneys operating from offices in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and Palo Alto. The firm's impressive private equity tradition is complemented by its strength in corporate M&A. Recent multibillion-dollar matters have included representing AIG on the $15.5 billion sale of Alico to MetLife, and acting for PPL Corporation in its $7.625 billion acquisition of E.ON U.S. The firm's clients include UBS, Tyco and Microsoft, and on the private equity side, The Blackstone Group and Silver Lake.
Commercial Awareness "Amazing for strategic work - they won't leave a stone unturned."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York's Lee Meyerson heads the firm’s M&A group, and has represented banks, private investors and government agencies in many notable transactions during the financial crisis. Senior partner Casey Cogut is another highly respected senior partner based in the Big Apple.
THE FIRM This M&A mammoth has a compelling geographical reach and operates from ten offices throughout the States. Housing some of the nation's best-known deal-makers, the firm retains its tremendous reputation for the highest-value and most complex global transactions. Skadden's expertise spans all types of M&A transactions, and the group acts for the full range of clients: public and private companies, private equity firms and financial sponsors, investment banks and governmental entities. Notable recent transactions include representing XTO Energy in its $41 billion acquisition by ExxonMobil, and acting as US counsel to News Corporation in the media conglomerate's $17.8 billion proposed acquisition of that part of BSkyB it does not already own.
Commercial Awareness "Some of the smartest lawyers in the world. They have a very broad view of the corporate landscape and a deep understanding of issues - they are at the forefront of current thinking."
Client Service "Lawyers tend to be tough and really represent their client; they are proactive and timely in their service process."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Roger Aaron, Peter Atkins, and Lou Kling, three of the firm's biggest stars, are all based in New York.
THE FIRM This corporate powerhouse has offices in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and Palo Alto. Highly specialized in the field of financial transactions, Sullivan & Cromwell has featured in several high-profile matters arising out of the economic crisis. It represents key financial sector clients such as AIG, Barclays and Goldman Sachs. Outside the financial sector, recent noteworthy transactions have included representing the independent directors' committee of Alcon in Novartis's $12.9 billion acquisition of the 23% stake in Alcon that it did not already own.
Commercial Awareness "The firm knows our space and our business, and has provided practical advice regarding market terms for transactions, issue spotting and anticipating."
Client Service "The partners and associates are responsive to client guidance, and customer service runs right through them - it's just the way they do business."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Rodgin Cohen has unparalleled expertise in the financial sphere, and James Morphy and Frank Aquila are leaders in the corporate field.
THE FIRM Operating a one-office model from New York, this firm is a national leader in M&A, takeover defense and corporate restructuring. Acting for huge corporations and financial institutions based in the USA and internationally, this team has earned its laurels through regular triumphs in multibillion-dollar, bet-the-company transactions. Recently, the group has been advising Genzyme on its proposed $18.5 billion takeover by sanofi-aventis.
Commercial Awareness "The level of knowledge here is as high as you can get. The firm is deal-friendly and won't fight about things that don't matter."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Katz is a market leader on corporate matters, as is Andrew Brownstein, who led the team for Genzyme. For complex banking transactions, clients call upon Ed Herlihy.
THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb is a pillar of the international market, its New York and Washington, DC teams often advising foreign entities entering the American market. The group has particular clout in the technology sector, and has represented Google in a series of acquisitions. The financial arena is another strength for the practice, which has recently been advising new client JPMorgan Chase in its $1.7 billion acquisition of RBS Sempra Commodities’ global oil, metals, agricultural, plastics and European energy commodities operations. The team also worked on BHP Billiton's $40 billion takeover bid for Potash Corporation.
Sources say: "The difference with Cleary is that they have very specialized experts for different areas of law on hand and will make sure you are using them. Different offices work seamlessly together."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York's Victor Lewkow is a major figure in the M&A world.
THE FIRM Davis Polk & Wardwell is particularly well regarded for its work in the financial sector, where it acts for clients such as Citi and Morgan Stanley. New York, Washington, DC and Menlo Park are the key corporate centers for this firm. Recent work has included advising PepsiCo on its proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of a 66% stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, and Comcast on its $37 billion NBC Universal joint venture with GE.
Client Service "Efficient, experienced and really good at providing advice you can act on."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head George Bason is an "outstanding practitioner" who recently represented ExxonMobil in its $41 billion all-stock acquisition of XTO Energy.
THE FIRM This firm's New York and Washington, DC offices work on some of the country's most complex deals and excel in private equity and private company work. Debevoise has great experience in the insurance sector, where it has acted for client AIG in a string of divestitures, including the $35.5 billion sale of its Asian life insurance unit, American International Assurance. The team also recently acted for GE in the repurchase of Vivendi's stock of NBC Universal for $5.8 billion.
Sources say: "They get the project across the goal line, navigating the regulatory process with ease. They are very big picture-oriented without sacrificing attention to detail."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Bird and Jeffrey Rosen cochair the M&A group from New York.
THE FIRM This M&A stalwart has had an impressive year, with recent highlights including acting as counsel to minority shareholder AllianceBernstein and Lazard as financial adviser on the $50 billion acquisition of Alcon by Novartis, and the completion of Kraft's $19.6 billion acquisition of Cadbury. Other clients include UBS, Goldman Sachs, Apple and Hewlett-Packard. Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC are the main corporate offices here. The team also ranks highly in Colorado and is a growing presence in Texas.
Client Service "They take the time to understand our strategic needs and goals, and educate us along the way so that we can make solid decisions. The way they understand and can adapt to our working style really sets them apart from other firms."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Dennis Friedman "is very well connected and plugged in with transactions happening right across the country." Barbara Becker won much acclaim for her representation of Kraft.
THE FIRM Known primarily as a distinguished private equity firm, Kirkland & Ellis has significantly boosted its corporate transactional offering in recent years and is competing with the biggest players in nationwide M&A. Of its six US offices, New York and Chicago are the chief centers for M&A. The deal-makers in DC are also praised for their commercial nous. Highlights of the team's recent work include 3G Capital Management's $4 billion acquisition of Burger King, advising on Avis Budget Group's unsolicited bid for Dollar Thrifty, and Teva's acquisition of ratiopharm for $5 billion.
Commercial Awareness "Kirkland & Ellis brings a unique ability to understand the broader business context - you get quick answers that tend to be very practical advice on the issues around deals. They are trusted business partners."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Fox and Daniel Wolf are a dream team for many clients, who praise their "even-keeled personalities and ability to remain unruffled in even the craziest negotiations."
THE FIRM Shearman & Sterling has a truly global approach. Its offices are part of an international network representing multinationals entering the US market, or American entities expanding into Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Recent work includes acting for Dow Chemical in the $1.63 billion sale of its Styron division to Bain Capital, a complex carve-out transaction with assets in over 30 countries. The group also represented Mubadala in its $8 billion global business partnership with GE. As well as an acclaimed group in New York, the firm has the backup of a team in DC and two Northern California offices that excel in the representation of technology companies and private equity firms, the San Francisco team recently representing Sybase in its $5.8 billion sale to SAP America.
Client Service "The partners in the group are very knowledgeable and the lawyers burn the midnight oil to get the job done. They are very responsive and gung-ho about getting the deal across the finish line."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York's George Casey is co-head of the global M&A group. John Madden and John Marzulli are prominent figures on the Big Apple scene.
THE FIRM Weil's M&A lawyers are based in New York, Silicon Valley, Dallas and Boston. The firm is traditionally strong on private equity deals, and bankruptcy-related matters continue to bolster the workload. The group is applauded for the breadth of transactions it handles, and it specializes in various booming industries. Among these is media and entertainment, where the team represented GE and NBC in their $37.3 billion joint venture with Comcast, and life sciences, where the team acted for sanofi-aventis on its $20.1 billion acquisition of Genzyme. Other high-profile clients include Eli Lilly, GM and AIG.
Sources say: "A premier practice where each individual attorney is very capable and accomplished."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Aiello and Howard Chatzinoff are two of the best-regarded team members here.
THE FIRM New York and Silicon Valley are the bases for this transactional team, which handles complex domestic and cross border transactions. It offers particular expertise in the technology, insurance and financial services sectors. The group recently represented Lazard and Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin as financial advisers to Kraft in the corporation's $19 billion acquisition of Cadbury. Other clients include Dell and MetLife, which the firm represented in its $16.2 billion acquisition of AIG's American Life Insurance.
Commercial Awareness "Their knowledge and experience with insurance companies is unparalleled, and a strong corporate practice complements that industry expertise. The firm has the correct formula in terms of team leadership and augmentation with specialists from other corporate areas as the need arises."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Morton Pierce leads the New York team, and Richard Climan heads the West Coast offering.
THE FIRM Fried Frank runs an integrated corporate group from offices in New York and Washington, DC. The firm is a powerhouse in pharmaceuticals deals, this year representing Abraxis Bioscience in its $2.8 billion acquisition by Celgene, and continuing to work on transactions with Merck after its merger with Schering-Plough. Private equity is another key strength for the team, which recently acted as counsel to Goldman Sachs and Greenhill in connection with Dynegy’s $4.7 billion acquisition by an affiliate of The Blackstone Group.
Commercial Awareness "We rely on them beyond their knowledge of the law, to their judgment on the whole transaction end to end."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Arthur Fleischer is an M&A veteran with over 50 years of experience in this field. Still sought out for some of the most complex matters in the States, he "continues to be a thought leader in takeover defense," say peers. Bob Schwenkel chairs the department, where David Shine and Philip Richter continue to impress on the largest deals.
THE FIRM Jones Day has one of the biggest transactional networks in the USA, demonstrating great strength from offices down the East Coast and across the Midwest. The firm focuses on the representation of corporate clients in strategic sales and acquisitions. A notable recent matter was the firm's representation of Continental Airlines in its $8.5 billion all-stock merger of equals with United Airlines. Jones Day also counts Chrysler, IBM and Abbott Laboratories among its list of esteemed clients.
Client Service "I believe what differentiates Jones Day is the consistent quality top to bottom. Part of that is a result of good management of talent. The way their network works is great - you get the best person for the job from across the entire firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Profusek heads the national M&A practice from New York. He has 30 years' experience and is "the big brand name at the firm," according to sources.
THE FIRM As well as its reputation as a heavyweight litigator, Paul Weiss is a driving force in nationwide M&A. New York is home to the principal transactional team, although the firm also has corporate lawyers in Washington, DC. Recent highlights have included the representation of General Atlantic in its acquisition of First Republic Bank for $1.86 billion. The team is highly regarded for work that has an Asia component, whether acting for Asian entities or US clients entering the Asian market. It recently represented Citi in its acquisition of Japanese brokerage firm Nikko Cordial.
Sources say: "It is a top-notch team that really knows how to run an M&A process in a large, complex transaction."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Robert Schumer heads the department. He has a strong practice in the media and entertainment space, and "provides consistently sage advice," say clients.
THE FIRM Ropes & Gray focuses on private equity transactions and strategic M&A for public companies. The firm has offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The team represented Millipore in its $7 billion acquisition by Merck, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in a string of strategic acquisitions. Other clients include Genzyme and NSTAR Electric. On the private equity side, the firm acts for funds such as TPG, Silver Lake, and Bain Capital.
Commercial Awareness "The M&A group is very commercial and practical, and committed to providing a very high level of service. They know there is a business to run and they factor that into their thinking."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Julie Jones and Paul Kinsella in Boston co-head the firm's securities and public companies practice.
THE FIRM This firm is headquartered in Chicago, and has corporate attorneys across seven offices, including New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Dallas. The West Coast practitioners have a strong technology and venture capital reputation, and the firm is well known on the East Coast for its capital markets and financial sector expertise, representing clients such as Morgan Stanley, AIG and Brookfield Asset Management. Recent headline work includes acting for Caterpillar in its $8.6 billion acquisition of Bucyrus International, and representing Aon in its acquisition of Hewitt Associates for $4.9 billion.
Client Service "They combine real-world, practical and thoughtful advice with a great bedside manner that helps us be successful. They add tremendous value."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Scott Freeman co-heads the M&A and private equity group with Frederick Lowinger in Chicago.
THE FIRM This Texas powerhouse is renowned for its energy expertise, and the team has seen an uptick in energy-related transactions in the past year, among them the representation of Dominion Resources in the sale of its Appalachian E&P business to a wholly owned subsidiary of CONSOL Energy for $3.475 billion. The firm also has a strong reputation in the media and telecommunications space, particularly in New York, where it acts for Liberty Media.
Sources say: "The Baker Botts lawyers are creative in their approaches to M&A transactions and helpful in pushing a transaction to an appropriate conclusion. They offer significant insights into the practical and business aspects of the transactions we consider."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Kirkland heads the national corporate department from Houston.
THE FIRM Boosted by last year's merger with Lovells, this firm now houses corporate experts in ten of its US offices, including New York, Florida, DC and Colorado. The firm has an especially strong reputation in highly regulated industries such as life sciences, telecommunications and energy. Hogan Lovells recently represented Ford in its $1.8 billion sale of Volvo and related assets to China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, and represented Martek Biosciences in its sale to Royal DSM for $1.09 billion. Other clients include Accenture, Fox Television and Smithfield Foods.
Client Service "The corporate/M&A team is very innovative and creative – combining legal skill with business acumen that provides high-quality legal solutions to fairly vexing business challenges."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in the firm's DC headquarters, Warren Gorrell is the head of the corporate department firmwide. DC-based Joseph Gilligan cochairs the M&A steering committee with Richard Horan, who is based in Northern Virginia.
THE FIRM This energy titan is headquartered in Houston, with a further two Texas offices in Dallas and Austin. It also has corporate lawyers practicing from New York, Palo Alto and Washington, DC. The group recently represented Energy Transfer Equity in its acquisition of the general partner of Regency Energy Partners, and has worked on IPOs for Oasis Petroleum and Chesapeake Midstream. The firm's reach extends far beyond the energy sphere into regulatory, finance and technology. Recent work has included representing Houston-based Continental Airlines in its merger with United Airlines, and acting for Dell in its $3.9 billion acquisition of Perot Systems.
Commercial Awareness "One of the best law firms in the USA, both from a deal experience standpoint and for technical expertise in subject matter law, deal structure and deal point negotiations."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Houston partner Keith Fullenweider heads the firm's M&A and private equity practice, and Alan Baden is a key contact in New York.
THE FIRM New York and Washington, DC are Willkie Farr's corporate strongholds. The group divides its time between corporate and private equity work, representing clients including Brookfield Asset Management, Ramius and Weiser. The firm represented Bloomberg in its acquisition of BusinessWeek from McGraw-Hill, and represented Warburg Pincus in its $3.4 billion buyout (with Silver Lake) of Interactive Data.
Sources say: "A wonderfully practical firm culture, and terrific people. They have exhibited a good deal of creativity to accomplish our objectives."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Seidman and David Boston of the New York office cochair the firm’s M&A group. Thomas Cerabino is another highly respected partner in the Big Apple.
Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded: Nationwide
THE FIRM Focused in New York and Washington, DC, this corporate team has great experience in M&A, corporate finance and securities. Cadwalader also has an office in Beijing, which attracts cross-border work. The firm has a long-standing relationship with Pfizer, recently representing the corporation in its $3.6 billion acquisition of King Pharmaceuticals. Restructurings are another active area for the group, which represented the US Treasury Auto Task Force in the restructuring of GM and Chrysler.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Experienced M&A partner Dennis Block is a forceful driver of the firm's profile.
THE FIRM Dechert has 11 US offices, with the majority of its corporate work being handled from New York and Pennsylvania. The team advises on the full range of M&A, private equity and capital markets transactions. The clientele here spans domestic and international companies, private equity fund sponsors and financial institutions, and includes Versa Capital Management, Lazard and Monster Worldwide. The group's most notable recent work has included acting as co-counsel to the Haas Trusts in connection with the $15.7 billion sale of Rohm and Haas to Dow Chemical.
Commercial Awareness "Dechert takes a practical, businessperson's approach to getting things done."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Philadelphia-based Henry Nassau is head of the firm's corporate and securities group. Mark Thierfelder is a prominent figure in New York.
THE FIRM This firm has impressive national coverage. DLA's Northern and Southern California offices have great strength in financing and technology sector M&A. Venture capital is well handled in Texas, and the North Carolina and Chicago offices win acclaim for their work on REITs. The DC office is a solid player in private equity and regulated industries, while New York is central to the firm's highest-value deals, such as the recent representation of Duff & Phelps, as financial adviser, in the $4.4 billion spin-off by Verizon of its landline businesses to Frontier Communications. The firm's extensive international network ensures a stream of cross-border work, such as acting for Pfizer in divestitures of its animal health portfolio.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Roger Meltzer is head of the firm's global corporate and finance practice.
THE FIRM Headquartered in Boston, Goodwin Procter also has offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and San Diego. Technology, life sciences and REIT-related work dominate here. The firm specializes in midmarket transactions, often acting in the private equity sector, whether for funds or venture capital startups. Recent highlights include representing Great Hill Partners in the cross-border sale of Custom House to Western Union for $370 million, and representing Quattro Wireless in its $275 million acquisition by Apple.
Sources say: "A fantastic team, they are responsive, smart and hard-working, and really take ownership of their deals."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Boston-based Joseph Johnson chairs the firm's M&A and corporate governance practice.
THE FIRM This firm is headquartered in Miami, with offices throughout the nation. The team capably handles international and cross-border matters, acting for companies and entrepreneurs throughout the Americas, in Europe and in Asia. Although traditionally a midmarket firm, Greenberg has expanded to a position where it frequently represents clients in billion dollar-plus deals. Recent highlights include acting for Liberty Acquisition Holdings, a special-purpose acquisition company, in its business combination with Spanish media conglomerate Grupo Prisa, now valued at $2.1 billion. The firm is also a leader in representing investment banks and financial institutions, recently advising Jeffries & Company as financial advisers to XTO Energy in its $35 billion acquisition by ExxonMobil.
Sources say: "Their knowledge, experience and sound understanding of the law has permitted us to navigate a complex environment with ease."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York's David Schwartzbaum cochairs the firm’s global M&A steering committee.
THE FIRM With highly regarded offices in Southern California, Chicago, New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia, this firm has great national coverage in M&A matters. The team works across a wide variety of industries on the full range of M&A on behalf of buyers, sellers, investors, lenders and private equity and venture capital funds. Recent work includes the representation of Apollo Global Management in its successful topping bid over THL Partners to acquire CKE Restaurants, and acting for Interactive Data in its $3.4 billion sale to private equity firms Silver Lake and Warburg Pincus. The team is adept at global transactions, recently advising BP in the $1.9 billion cash sale of its oil and gas exploration, production and transportation business in Colombia to a consortium of Ecopetrol and Canada's Talisman.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The team is cochaired by Richard Aldridge in Philadelphia and Steven Navarro in New York.
THE FIRM San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Diego and Northern Virginia are the key bases for this firm, which has a well-earned reputation for its prowess in the technology sector. The group is also able to call upon the resources of offices in New York, Denver and DC. Representing both public and private companies, this firm is best known for its strategic work for technological and life sciences industry clients. Recent work has included Intel's acquisition of Virtutech. There is also a strong Asian component to this firm's work: it often receives mandates from Japanese and Chinese companies, and recently acted for Astellas Pharma in its $4 billion acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Townsend chairs the global corporate group, and the cochairs of the M&A group are Michael O'Bryan, Lawrence Yanowitch and Gavin Grover.
THE FIRM This firm was founded on the West Coast and is headquarted in Los Angeles. It boasts plenty of capability on the East Coast, thanks to offices in New York and Washington, DC. The team excels in private equity and hedge fund transactions spanning a broad range of sectors, and the firm's presence in Asia makes it a good choice for cross-border deals with a Pacific element. Clients include CCMP Capital Advisors, Yahoo! and JP Morgan Securities.
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Ilan Nissan heads the M&A practice; Newport Beach-based Gary Singer chairs the transactions department.
THE FIRM White & Case's six US offices are often seen representing multinational companies on cross-border deals. In the past year, the group has been particularly active representing large energy and oil and gas companies, for example advising Acergy on its merger with Subsea 7. Another buoyant area has been acting for private equity firms on buy and sell-side M&A transactions, such as representing affiliates of Harvest Partners in the sale of Associated Materials to Hellman & Friedman for an enterprise value of $1.3 billion. The firm is particularly strong in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) transactions, thanks to its extensive international network, and handles Latin American matters from Miami.
Sources say: "The team has an excellent business sense and is both innovative and reliable. They are people you can build a very strong working relationship with."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York is home to John Reiss, the global head of the M&A practice, and head of the Americas practice Oliver Brahmst.
THE FIRM Bingham has corporate lawyers operating from each of its ten US offices, and is particularly strong in California, Washington, DC and Boston. M&A clients come to the firm from a range of industries including biopharmaceuticals, defense and manufacturing, as well as financial institutions and professional sports teams. This group is also strong in the private equity space, generally representing midmarket funds. Clients include Global Equity Capital, Oracle and Citrix Systems.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Boston-based John Utzschneider and Steven Browne cochair the practice.
THE FIRM This firm's roots are deep in Atlanta, but it operates from 12 offices nationwide and has established an excellent reputation in California, and growing recognition in Texas. The team acts on all types of M&A and corporate finance, advising purchasers, target companies and financial advisers, as well as investment funds and private equity groups. Energy, life sciences and healthcare are particularly strong sectors here. Recent work has included representing Eclipsys in its $1.35 billion all-stock merger with Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions, and acting for the tools business of Cooper Industries in its joint venture with Danaher.
Sources say: "King & Spalding has been a pragmatic and exceptional adviser to us. They clearly outline the risks and prioritize negotiating points."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the corporate practice is Atlanta-based Raymond Baltz. The M&A practice is co-headed by Bill Bates in New York and Michael Egan in Atlanta.
THE FIRM MWE has 120 US corporate/M&A team members spread across its offices in Boston, Northern and Southern California, Chicago, DC, Houston, Miami and New York. The firm focuses on middle and upper-middle market M&A, though it occasionally handles transactions that are above the billion-dollar mark. Energy, healthcare and life sciences are key areas of work. Recent highlights include acting for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in structured PPP transactions involving assets acquired through receivership, and representing affiliates of the Tribune Company in transferring 95% ownership of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and an interest in Comcast Sportsnet to the Ricketts family.
Client Service "They’re good at making us happy – if we need something from them, they drop everything to ensure we get the right people. And once we do, the relationship managers do a great job of ensuring the work runs smoothly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The head of the corporate department, David Goldman, is based in New York.
THE FIRM This firm concentrates on complex midmarket M&A, acting for strategic companies and financial sponsors. The most prominent corporate offices are in Los Angeles, DC and New York. Recent highlights include advising a committee of independent directors on the board of the Student Loan Corporation in connection with three related transactions totaling $40.7 billion. In other news, the firm represented Darwin Deason, the founder, chairman and largest stockholder of Affiliated Computer Systems, in Xerox's $6.4 billion acquisition of the company, and acted for Grifols in its $4 billion agreement to acquire Talecris Biotherapeutics.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeff Horwitz and Peter Samuels lead the M&A group from New York.
THE FIRM A Silicon Valley native, this firm concentrates on advising startups, venture capitalists and private equity funds, most often representing clients in the technology sector. The firm is strongest on the West Coast, but also has offices in Austin, New York and DC. Recent highlights include acting for 3Com in its $2.7 billion sale to Hewlett-Packard.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Larry Sonsini chairs the firm from Palo Alto.
THE FIRM Bracewell & Giuliani is highly regarded in both New York and its native Houston. The firm's strengths lie in capital markets and M&A deals that involve the energy industry, and the team offers particular expertise in MLP transactions. Distressed work has been a big focus for the firm recently. Recent highlights have included representing Apache in its $7 billion acquisition of BP's oil and gas operations, acreage and infrastructure in west Texas, New Mexico, Egypt and Canada. Other clients include Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Chesapeake Energy.
Sources say: "Bracewell lawyers are very thoughtful and prepared in anything they do. They all think five steps ahead, so they rarely if ever get caught off guard."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alan Rafte and Gregory Bopp, both based in Houston, are the key contacts.
THE FIRM This energy player is a big name in Texas, and has a presence in the key corporate centers of New York, Washington, DC and Silicon Valley, as well as an office in Mexico City. The group consists of 85 lawyers who advise public and private companies, financial institutions and private equity firms on strategic, financial and defensive transactions. Recent highlights include representing Exco Resources as its CEO launched a $4.36 billion takeover bid for the company, and acting for Rise Energy Partners in its $270 million acquisition of a 51.75% interest in certain oil and gas properties of Pacific Energy Resources and the stock of San Pedro Bay Pipeline.
Sources say: "The firm was very creative and extremely helpful for us; the lawyers couldn't have done anything better."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Key contacts are Tom Harris and Jan Sharry in Dallas, and Bryce Linsenmayer in Houston.
THE FIRM Jenner & Block's Chicago and New York offices lead the way on corporate representations, and the firm also has offices in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. Traditionally associated with litigation, the firm has made an effort to expand into the corporate sphere and is reaping the rewards. Major client GM has dominated the deal list this year, with the firm advising the manufacturing giant on its IPO, which involved the sale of $18.1 billion of common stock by the US Treasury. The team also serves a large number of private equity and venture capital firms, among them Guggenheim Partners and Performance Equity Management.
Sources say: "In the last five years, the firm has really tried to build up its corporate practice and it's become a very well-respected hire."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Chicago-based Joseph Gromacki is chair of the corporate department.
THE FIRM This firm continues to grow its corporate practice, adding more than 20 lateral partners in 2010 alone. New York is the hub of the team's financial and securities work, and Los Angeles remains a gateway for inbound Chinese work. Recent work includes representing Hexagon in its $2.1 billion acquisition by Intergraph, and advising Odyssey Healthcare in its $1 billion all-stock acquisition by Gentiva Health Services.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Zinn heads the corporate and transactional practice from New York.
THE FIRM Paul Hastings joins the national rankings after a year of exceptional growth and involvement on high-value transactions. Of its nine US offices, Atlanta and Chicago have perhaps the strongest corporate reputations, the latter having been significantly boosted this year with the arrival of lateral hires. New York remains the focus for financial industry clients such as Citi and CRT Greenwich, while energy and entertainment clients are well served by the firm's five California offices. The team recently represented Marvel Entertainment in its $4 billion acquisition by Disney, and advised Dubai World on its agreement to invest $5 billion in MGM Mirage and the CityCenter development on the Las Vegas Strip.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Carl Sanchez is the global practice head and is based in San Diego.
THE FIRM Pillsbury is active in the midmarket M&A space, specializing in the energy, financial services, real estate and technology sectors. The New York and Los Angeles teams are key to the firm's representation of foreign companies entering the US market, often from Asia, and the Silicon Valley and Northern Virginia offices have a healthy diet of technology matters and emerging growth. Prominent sell-side representations have included advising Axiom Microdevices in its strategic acquisition by Skyworks Solutions, and representing INR Energy in its acquisition by Cliffs Natural Resources.
Sources say: "Peerless legal advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The corporate group is co-headed by Nathaniel Cartmell in San Francisco and Donald Kilpatrick in New York.
16th May 2013: GC Seminar, London Sponsor-backed IPOs: IPO Exits of Portfolio Companies
21st May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Hackers Are After Your Data!: Practical Ways To Reduce Data Security Breach Exposure
23 May 2013: Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2013, New York
24 May 2013: Launch of Chambers USA 2013, New York and online
29th May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Going Mobile: IP and Privacy Considerations
4th June 2013: GC Seminar, Houston Challenges in Creating An Effective and Coordinated Global Compliance Program
9 September 2013: Chambers Latin America Awards 2013, Miami
10 September 2013: Launch of Chambers Latin America 2014, online
3rd October 2013: Chambers Bar Awards 2013, London
10 May 2012: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, Amsterdam