Banking & Finance: Georgia
Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.
THE FIRM This 12-member team is particularly well known for its representation of borrowers, although it also advises a number of lender clients. Recent work highlights include representing retail giant J.Crew on its negotiation of a loan facility worth $1.2 billion and a revolving credit facility worth $250 million. Also, the practice has advised Invesco, a leading global investment management company, in connection with its $1.25 billion syndicated revolving credit facility.
Sources say: "There are many in the firm who have served us well. They are bright, experienced, extremely responsive and committed to our organization."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources commend Mark Kanaly for his work on regulatory matters. Recent highlights include representing Synovus Financial in relation to multiple loan sales.
Rick Blumen is routinely hailed as a "terrific" advocate by his peers. He represents borrowers and lenders alike, most notably on leveraged financing and restructuring cases. He recently acted as lead counsel during the practice's negotiations on behalf of Invesco.
Peers similarly regard Paul Cushing as an "excellent practitioner," whose name they see frequently attached to transactions. He also served as one of the lead attorneys in the practice's representation of J.Crew.
Clients rely on Richard Grice's expertise, and he handles a steady flow of work for both borrowers and lenders.
THE FIRM This team has weathered the recent economic storm, and continues to set the standard for excellence in the Southeastern regulatory market. Sources praise the practice for its SEC-related work, while the group is also known for its work on IT contracts. This department has represented regional power-players, such as Synovus Bank, Midtown Bank & Trust and South Carolina-based First Reliance Bank.
Sources say: "I have been totally impressed with their depth of knowledge, breadth of experience and the efficiency with which they represent us." "They are my attorneys of choice. I have the utmost confidence that they can get things done."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Walter Moeling is considered to be one of the leading practitioners in the region. With over 40 years' experience in this field, he has developed a strong client following, and is well respected by peers. He has served as lead attorney in the practice's representation of Synovus Bank.
Kathryn Knudson is another standout member of the practice. She is particularly noted for her work on banking transactions and securities cases. Recent work highlights include acting for Midtown Bank & Trust.
Clients praise Jerry Blanchard's approach to cases: "He has a very reserved and thoughtful style. He listens very carefully, and then comes back with the best way to approach the issue." Of late, he has represented Ameris Bank.
THE FIRM This growing practice has recently acted on a number of transactions. The team takes on deals of varied sizes, averaging $10 million each, and increasingly represents clients in relation to corporate lending deals. Recent work highlights include acting for large lending institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, RBC Bank (USA) and Atlantic Capital Bank.
Sources say: "The firm is very knowledgeable and brings a wealth of experience across multiple disciplines. This provides a strong one-stop shopping experience when working with them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS One client praised Edgar Snow for being "calm, factual and extremely sharp. He doesn't miss a beat. On a very complex negotiation, we made a lot of headway due to him." Recently, he has advised several clients in the negotiation of loan facilities valued in the tens of millions of dollars.
THE FIRM This practice houses 18 full-time attorneys whose varied expertise allows them to advise on a whole host of different transactions. The team takes on cases that range from single-lender loans to billion-dollar corporate acquisitions. Recently, the group has represented Rabobank in relation to the provision of a $1 billion secured credit facility for major poultry processing company Perdue Farms.
Sources say: "They know without talking to us what we want. We get through to people when we need them. Their service is impeccable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients praise Cindy Davis's legal acumen: "She is incredibly well versed in what she does, and when she looks at a business decision she does so holistically and not parochially. She has the ability to get the job done well in a short period." She was involved in the firm's recent work for Rabobank.
Clients praise Stephen Palmer's demeanor and work ethic: "He speaks our language and has our backs," and is a "very good driver of deals." He has recently advised First Capital on the extension of $43.5 million of credit to a packaging company.
Michael Leveille focuses his practice largely on asset-based lending, and has built up a formidable reputation among peers. He is cited as being "critical" to the success of deals he was involved with over the past year.
THE FIRM This firm handles a broad range of banking and finance work including asset-based loans, project finance and real estate finance. The team handles a high volume of work for noninstitutional lenders such as hedge funds, and its workload is often cross-border in nature.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Leading practitioner John Schneider is well known in the region and has traditionally focused his practice on loan origination.
THE FIRM This ten-member team has a consistently strong presence on financial transactions in the Southeastern USA. The practice typically advises large lending institutions, such as Bank of America, Regions Bank and Royal Bank of Canada. Recent work highlights include representing Cumulus Media on its acquisition and related financing of Citadel Broadcasting. The deal was ultimately valued at $2.4 billion.
Sources say: "Their practice is very well respected."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ralph MacDonald is a seasoned attorney who is frequently praised by peers for his work on regulatory matters. Recently he has advised some of the practice's larger clients, such as Merrill Lynch.
Aldo LaFiandra is an attorney experienced in advising on both lending and borrowing transactions, although he also advises on workout negotiations and restructuring matters.
Timothy Bratcher represents both lenders and borrowers in domestic and cross-border transactions. Clients praise his work ethic: "He routinely puts in an extraordinary effort to meet challenging goals and deadlines."
Cindy Brazell has over 20 years' experience advising on commercial real estate finance matters, and representing various institutions in other types of lending transactions.
THE FIRM The practice continues to be regarded as one of the premier banking and finance teams in the American Southeast. The team is particularly noted for its work representing lenders. The group attracts clients performing transactions on national and international scales, with key clients including SunTrust Bank, Regions Bank and Goldman Sachs. Recently, the team has expanded its practice areas to include healthcare finance, acquisition finance and M&A. Work highlights include representing GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services, in a $225 million loan transaction.
Sources say: "They were tough in negotiations, and made sure we were protected." "Our go-to firm. Their accessibility is what makes them stand out from the crowd."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Carolyn Alford has handled many of the practice's major cases over the past year, including serving as the lead attorney in the firm's work for RBS. Clients praise her negotiation skills, and her "experience, which enables her to provide good guidance."
Chip Conrad is a seasoned attorney and another heavy hitter in the practice. He recently represented Rock-Tenn in the negotiation of $3.7 billion senior secured revolving credit and term loan facilities for its acquisition of Smurfit-Stone Container.
Hector Llorens is well respected by peers and has built up a robust practice, with a particular emphasis on mezzanine lending. Recent work highlights include negotiating a $300 million secured credit facility for Butterball, a poultry products manufacturer.
THE FIRM This team brings considerable experience and a user-friendly attitude to many types of financial transactions, ranging in size from $10 million to $1 billion. Although the practice is well known for its work on senior syndicated and cross-border deals, it has also developed more niche areas of expertise, such as cargo finance. Recent work highlights include acting for Bank of America in the negotiation of a $600 million senior syndicated, asset-based facility for an aluminum products manufacturer, and representing UPS Capital on a variety of matters, ranging from international trade finance to cargo finance.
Sources say: "They're happy to call me any time, and are very user-friendly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bobbi Noland is an accomplished attorney who is particularly noted for her work on lending transactions. Clients praise her distinctive style: "She has a persistent, great demeanor, and doesn't lose her cool or give in. She gets her way by being nice and explaining her point, with great results."
Clients regard Ed Dobbs as "a warm, friendly guy, who mixes that attitude with professionalism. He brings a great level of expertise to the table, which is a real added value." He is particularly noted for his work on asset-based lending.
Harrison Roberts is an emerging figure who has handled a range of acquisition finance and syndicated lending transactions.
THE FIRM The 15 lawyers in this practice handle a wide range of complex financial transactions, including matters which are national and international in scope. The team's key areas of expertise include financings, workouts and restructurings. In the past year, the practice has represented UBS on a debtor-in-possession transaction, and acted for GE Capital on its provision of a secured credit facility for Gentiva Health Services.
Sources say: "A very sharp team. They are shrewd but polite negotiators with a wealth of experience." "An excellent, concentrated practice - a fine shop."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Chris Molen is considered to be at the fore of both the practice and the region. Clients describe him as experienced, responsive and doing "an outstanding job of keeping the customer happy while ensuring that we receive full protection."
Chris Daniel focuses his practice on regulatory matters, particularly those involving payment systems. He also advises a number of the firm's larger corporate clients on a range of banking matters.
THE FIRM This practice has a strong presence in Atlanta, and is widely respected for its work in financing and transactions. The firm is noted for its representation of borrowers, while the group also includes expert attorneys who are well versed in regulatory matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Hazen Dempster is a "very good borrower lawyer," but also has experience on the lender side. He is cited as being a leading force within the practice.
Thomas Powell takes on a wide range of cases, but focuses his practice on regulatory matters. He is particularly praised for his work representing banks.
Since publication, Richard Cheatham has joined the team from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. He has been practicing law for over 40 years, and he is particularly noted for his regulatory expertise. Sources praise him as "one of the leaders in the field."
THE FIRM This team is widely regarded as a go-to practice on major financial transactions. Recently, the group has advised on a variety of deals, including stock sales, capital injections and acquisitions. Notable work highlights include representing The Stephens Group, an Arkansas-based investment firm, on a deal negotiating a $200 million capital injection into bank holding company Brand Group Holdings.
Sources say: "They are very competent, and have a lot of expertise in a variety of financial services areas. I have enjoyed working with them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Dunlevie has represented financial institutions, primarily banks, for over 30 years. Clients praise the manner in which he handles cases: "He is thorough, professional and competent. He did a great job for us, and has a tremendous amount of banking expertise."
of McGuireWoods LLP is known in the field as an "excellent practitioner,"
who has built up a solid reputation as an expert on leveraged finance transactions.
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