Private Equity: Buyouts: Nationwide
- Band 1Kirkland & Ellis LLPSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
- Band 2Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPDebevoise & Plimpton LLPLatham & Watkins LLPRopes & Gray LLPWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
- Band 3Davis Polk & Wardwell LLPFried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLPGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLPGoodwin Procter LLPProskauer Rose LLPSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & AffiliatesWhite & Case LLPWillkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
- Band 4Dechert LLPMorgan, Lewis & Bockius LLPPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPSullivan & Cromwell LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPDavis Polk & Wardwell LLPGoodwin Procter LLPSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPSullivan & Cromwell LLPWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Goodwin Procter LLPKirkland & Ellis LLPLatham & Watkins LLPRopes & Gray LLPSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Private Equity: Buyouts: Nationwide
- Senior StatesmenRichard I Beattie (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)Charles 'Casey' Cogut (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)John R Ettinger (Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP)R Bradford Malt (Ropes & Gray LLP)
- Band 1Franci J Blassberg (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP)David C Chapin (Ropes & Gray LLP)Margaret Andrews Davenport (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP)Gary I Horowitz (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)Wilson S Neely (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)Kirk A Radke (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)Michael L Ryan (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP)
- Band 2George R Bason Jr (Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP)Paul S Bird (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP)Steven J Gartner (Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP)Jeffrey C Hammes (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)Daniel Lennon (Latham & Watkins LLP)Eileen T Nugent (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates)Alfred O Rose (Ropes & Gray LLP)Robert C Schwenkel (Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP)Paul J Shim (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP)Brian M Stadler (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)Douglas Warner (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP)
- Band 3Joseph A Coco (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates)James Cross (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)David K Duffell (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP)Christopher Ewan (Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP)Douglas C Gessner (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)Othon A Prounis (Ropes & Gray LLP)John Reiss (White & Case LLP)R Newcomb Stillwell (Ropes & Gray LLP)Glenn D West (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP)Michael A Woronoff (Proskauer Rose LLP)
- Band 4Jennifer Bellah Maguire (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP)Mark Burnett (Goodwin Procter LLP)Richard Capelouto (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)R Ronald Hopkinson (Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP)Julie H Jones (Ropes & Gray LLP)Stewart Kagan (Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP)Robert Kennedy (Jones Day)Raymond Y Lin (Latham & Watkins LLP)G Daniel O'Donnell (Dechert LLP)Stephen W Rubin (Proskauer Rose LLP)Philip T Ruegger (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)Nancy L Sanborn (Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP)Kevin M Schmidt (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP)Allison R Schneirov (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates)Robert Schwed (WilmerHale)Ira White (Jones Day)
- Band 5Christopher E Austin (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP)David Blittner (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP)Oliver Brahmst (White & Case LLP)Gordon Caplan (Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP)R Alec Dawson (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)Paul Jacobs (Fulbright & Jaworski LLP)John R LeClaire (Goodwin Procter LLP)Brian Mangino (Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP)Richard A Pollack (Sullivan & Cromwell LLP)Carl L Reisner (Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP)Steven R Shoemate (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP)Andrew Varney (Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP)Richard J Welch (Bingham McCutchen LLP)
- Up and ComingCraig Marcus (Ropes & Gray LLP)Michael E Weisser (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP)
Private Equity: Buyouts: Nationwide
THE FIRM This national private equity heavyweight is primarily known for its representation of mezzanine lenders and midmarket funds. Kirkland's extensive resources and strength in more traditional areas, including tax, bankruptcy and corporate law, make it a first choice for many industry leaders. The team has continued to expand its international reach to reflect the increasingly global nature of the private equity market. Recently the firm represented 3G, a Brazilian equity fund, in its $4.4 billion acquisition of Burger King, and was retained by Bain Capital in its purchase of Dow Chemical's Styron Division for $1.6 billion.
Commercial Awareness "This team offers an incredible depth of experience and a vast international platform to a number of the country's most prestigious and active midmarket funds."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kirk Radke is based in New York and has more than 25 years of experience in complex corporate and private equity transactions. He handles high-stakes transactions, fund formations and spinouts of institutional private equity units for industry giants such as Apax Partners, Avista, Bain Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners and Warburg Pincus. As chairman of the firm, Jeffrey Hammes maintains a broad private equity and corporate practice, and divides his time between the firm's San Francisco and Chicago offices. He represents Bain and Golden Gate Capital on an international basis. Douglas Gessner operates out of the firm's Chicago office and has built an active practice in a range of private equity matters, including LBOs, recapitalizations, growth equity investments and fund formation. He regularly represents Sun Capital Partners.
THE FIRM Simpson Thacher maintains its reputation as a preeminent firm in this space. Top-tier megafunds, including KKR, The Blackstone Group, Silver Lake and Hellman & Friedman, consistently retain the firm for its deep bench of private equity attorneys and unmatched tax and capital markets teams. Recently, the firm has diversified its practice in response to the financial crisis and is increasingly active in the midmarket. Work highlights include representing Apax Partners and Tommy Hilfiger Group in the $3 billion sale of Tommy Hilfiger to PVH.
Client Service "It has built lasting relationships with the world's leading funds. The quality of its work is consistently astounding."
Commercial Awareness "These attorneys are unquestionably some of the best and the brightest when it comes to private equity. In terms of technical knowledge and business acumen, this team is one of the best."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gary Horowitz is widely renowned as a leading corporate and M&A attorney who remains very active in the private equity space. He takes the lead on most of the team's work for KKR, and recently advised The Carlyle Group on its purchase of a majority interest in Claren Road Asset Management. Peers say that Wilson Neely is "certainly deserving of national recognition." He regularly represents Blackstone and took the lead on Centerbridge Partners' acquisition of American Renal Holdings. Clients provide rave reviews for Richard Capelouto, who is managing partner of the firm's Palo Alto office. "He is accessible, gives sage advice, and is always thinking about how to serve his clients in the best way," says one interviewee. Capelouto focuses on LBOs and is consistently enlisted by Hellman & Friedman and Silver Lake to manage complex transactions. Brian Stadler concentrates on leveraged finance and recently completed significant work on the debt restructuring of Hilton Worldwide on behalf of affiliates of The Blackstone Group. James Cross is an excellent debt lawyer, who is widely recognized for his work on Pfizer's highly publicized acquisition of Wyeth in 2009. Philip Ruegger acts as "a trusted adviser" to long-term clients and is widely respected among peers. He currently chairs the firm's executive committee. Richard Beattie is praised for his depth of experience in the sector: "He has been there since the beginning." Similarly, Casey Cogut has a wealth of experience in complex, cross-border transactions, both domestically and internationally.
THE FIRM Cleary continues to build upon the breadth and depth of its private equity practice. The team is also expanding its international presence, to provide a comprehensive service for clients who are increasingly active around the globe. It recently counseled TPG in its equity investment in China International Capital, the first foreign private equity investment in a Chinese firm. Notably, the team is also representing J Crew in its high-profile acquisition by TPG and Leonard Green.
Client Service "The lawyers are incredibly responsive, particularly given the firm's growing number of deals and client relationships. We always come first with them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Ryan is "the dean of Cleary's private equity practice" and clients describe him as "thoughtful, commercial and responsive." He coordinates various subspecialty teams within the firm's private equity practice. Paul Shim maintains a broad M&A practice, but is most well known for his work in private equity transactions. TPG Capital is a major client, which he recently advising on its $1.4 billion acquisition of Vertafore from Hellman & Friedman. Christopher Austin is widely praised by clients for his technical skill. He represented ING in the sale of three of its broker-dealer affiliates to Lightyear Capital.
THE FIRM Debevoise is well known for its strength in fund formation, but maintains a leading buyouts practice. Sources applaud the team's experience, technical skill and growing presence in Europe and Asia. It recently represented Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in its acquisition of a 42.5% stake in Univar in a sponsored recapitalized transaction.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Franci Blassberg is widely considered to be "a dean of the practice area." She has over 25 years of experience in complex private equity transactions and remains extremely active in this space. This year, she represented Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in its acquisition of a majority stake in Tyco International's electrical and metal products business. Her cochair, Margaret Andrews Davenport, receives strong recommendation from clients, who appreciate her "great demeanor and extensive legal knowledge." She has led teams in a number of deals of late, primarily on behalf of Kelso & Company and Teachers' Private Capital. Paul Bird is described as "a dedicated private equity lawyer" and excels in complex, cross-border transactions for prominent funds in the midmarket. Clients say that Kevin Schmidt"does a superb job" across his broad corporate practice. He recently represented Reynolds Group Holdings in its $6 billion acquisition of Pactiv.
THE FIRM This global firm has established a stellar reputation for handling private equity transactional work. The team has had an extremely active year, having closed almost 100 private equity transactions, a number of which were valued at over $1 billion. Leonard Green and The Carlyle Group are prominent long-term names on the firm's clientele, which is made up of large, powerful funds as well as the smaller, midmarket participants. Recently, the firm represented Leonard Green in its $5.2 billion joint acquisition of IMS Health.
Commercial Awareness "This firm makes a concerted effort to stay on top of the latest developments in the private equity market. It ensures each office is up to date through regular firmwide session groups."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel Lennon leads a large team of lawyers, primarily on behalf of Carlyle, and is described by sources as "one of the most active private equity attorneys around." He recently represented MultiPlan and The Carlyle Group, one of the company's principal stockholders, in its sale to Silver Lake and BC Partners. Raymond Lin represents Apollo and BC Partners, and is praised for his skill when it comes to cross-border transactions. "He does more midmarket work than anyone," say sources.
THE FIRM Ropes & Gray has a strong base of high-profile clients, including TPG, Bain Capital, Silver Lake and Hellman & Friedman. In response to the recent economic downturn, the firm has also diversified its profile, steadily increasing its market share among new clients in the midmarket, including Berkshire Partners and Algax. The group recently represented a consortium comprised of Advent International, Berkshire Partners and Bain Capital in its $1.1 billion acquisition of SkillSoft.
Commercial Awareness "The leading attorneys at this firm offer top-shelf industry knowledge. Other firms measure their relevance against the standard set by Ropes & Gray."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Chapin "is a star," according to sources, and makes an excellent impression on clients, who benefit from his "intelligence, experience and business acumen." Recent work includes Berkshire Partners' sale of one of its portfolio companies, United BioSource. The "highly notable" Newcomb Stillwell has led the firm's private equity practice for a number of years. Recently, he counseled TPG in its investment with Goldman Sachs into a secondary buyout of Ontex, valued at EUR1.2 billion. Clients think very highly of Alfred Rose, who is renowned for his "business-savvy approach" and "considerable natural intelligence." Recent highlights include his work for TPG Capital and the CPP Investment Board on their $5.2 billion acquisition of IMS Health. Othon Prounis concentrates his practice on healthcare and technology, and recently represented Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in its acquisition of Spectrum Laboratory Network. Peers are impressed with Julie Jones and consider her to be one of the up-and-coming leaders at the firm. She heads the federal securities and public companies practice and recently worked on Thomas H Lee Partners' $1.1 billion acquisition of inVentiv. Firm chairman Bradford Malt is a founder of the practice group and is praised for his depth of experience. Craig Marcus leads the executive compensation team and has a broad corporate practice, which includes representation of several leading private equity funds.
THE FIRM This firm has an established private equity practice, with a strong focus on buyouts. Clients praise the team's wide-ranging industry expertise, and value the support provided by the firm's financing and bankruptcy teams. Recent highlights include Oak Hill Capital Partners' acquisition of Dave & Busters and the sale of Michael Foods to GS Capital Partners. The excellent James Westra recently left the firm to move in-house at Advent International Corporation.
Client Service "A deep bench of attentive, detail-oriented attorneys who always get the job done."
Commercial Awareness "There is a lot of choice out there but we continue to use Weil Gotshal because the advice remains relevant. The lawyers are constantly investing in their industry knowledge."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "incredibly skilled" Douglas Warner is sought after by clients for his "tremendous knowledge of the marketplace and straightforward approach." He does work for Centerbridge Partners, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and Lee Equity Partners. David Duffell divides his time between the firm's Boston and Providence offices and is said to be "extremely good at what he does." Providence Equity Partners is a major client. Glenn West works out of the Houston office and cochairs the private equity practice. His clients include Hicks Holdings, HM Capital Partners and Lindsay Goldberg. Michael Weisser is making a name for himself in the private equity space and takes an active role in some of the group's largest transactions. Recently, he counseled Providence Equity on its sale of Bresnan Communications, and acted for American Securities on its acquisition of Arizona Chemical. David Blittner concentrates his practice on LBOs, minority investments and restructurings. He regularly represents Avista Capital Partners and CCMP Capital Partners.
THE FIRM This team is increasingly visible in the private equity market and receives praise from sources for its dedication and client-focused approach. It is enlisted by a range of private equity funds for its expertise in the infrastructure and energy industries, and maintains long-term relationships with leading financial institutions, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Recently, the team advised DLJ Merchant Banking Partners on the sale of its shares in FDR Holdings.
Client Service "The lawyers really think ahead and anticipate issues so their clients are never caught off guard. The team is more loyal to its clients than any other leading firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS George Bason is the global head of the firm's M&A practice and is described as "technically excellent, with a personable approach." Nancy Sanborn is an expert in bankruptcy law, who recently took the lead on the DLJ Merchant Banking deal. John Ettinger heads the private equity team and is praised for his "thoughtful and consistent client service." Another client adds: "He sets a positive tone from the top that filters down to the rest of the group."
THE FIRM Fried Frank receives wide acclamation for its representation of financial institutions, and particularly for its long-standing relationship with Goldman Sachs. Sources also highlight its expertise in club deals, and its innovative approach in transactions. Recent highlights include advising on GS Capital Partners' agreement to purchase HGI Holdings, and New Mountain Capital's $280 million acquisition of Covidien's Mallinckrodt Baker.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Schwenkel leads the M&A and private equity groups, and is well known for his broad transactional experience. He is recognized for his representation of the private equity sections of financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citadel. Christopher Ewan has a successful practice representing a range of public and private companies in private equity transactions. Brian Mangino is a "rising star," who is based in the firm's Washington, DC office. He is building a name for himself as an "astute and capable" private equity lawyer. Andrew Varney also works out of the Washington, DC office and has a broad corporate practice. His clients include Goldman Sachs, Boeing and SAIC.
THE FIRM Gibson Dunn focuses its practice on the upper midmarket and has continued to expand its client base and profile. The firm has a strong finance practice, which provides an impressive support structure to the private equity group. Recently, the team counseled Catterton Partners in its acquisition of Noodles & Company, and acted for Del Monte Foods on its sale to an investor group comprised of KKR, Vestar Capital and Centerview Partners.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jennifer Bellah Maguire is based in Los Angeles, and has built a diverse practice involving both fund formation and transactional work. Steven Shoemate receives plaudits for his "rare ability to present a balanced perspective and find a way to negotiate a fair outcome." His "practical, thoughtful and creative" approach attracts clients such as Trilantic, Investcorp and Oak Hill Capital Partners.
THE FIRM Goodwin Procter has developed a diverse private equity practice with a deep commitment to timely, thorough client service. It primarily focuses on midmarket transactions, but receives high praise for its venture capital and growth company practice. The group is known for its experience in the technology sector, attracting high-profile clients such as Digital Sky, Facebook and Groupon. Work highlights include AIG's recent spinout transaction with Pacific Century Group to form PineBridge Investments, and Silver Lake's investment in Zynga Game Network.
Client Service "Literally, in an hour's time they do things that would take another firm an entire day. The team's level of efficiency is unmatched."
Commercial Awareness "The lawyers understand the challenges of business and keep the momentum going all the time."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Burnett is based in Boston and is described as "an outstanding lawyer with a tremendous grasp of the market." John LeClaire has more than 30 years of experience in LBOs, growth equity and minority transactions. He also has significant expertise when it comes to the technology, financial services and healthcare industries. Sources say: "He is a phenomenal negotiator and a pragmatic legal technician."
THE FIRM Proskauer Rose has a fast-growing reputation in this field, due to its depth and breadth of experience. The team regularly represents prominent funds such as Charterhouse, Great Hill Partners and Goldman Sachs. It excels in transactions that involve complex capital structures and sophisticated cross-border issues, primarily in the midmarket space. Recently, the team represented Ares Capital in its acquisition of Allied Capital for $907 million.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Woronoff leads the West Coast arm of the team, and maintains a broad corporate and securities practice. Sources notes that "his practice has exploded, and he is quickly becoming one of the best on the West Coast." His clients include Ares, Apollo and the Gores Group. Stephen Rubin focuses on advising sponsors of private equity funds. He also regularly represents Charterhouse, which he has counseled regarding a number of sales and acquisitions in the past year.
THE FIRM This private equity group is deeply integrated with the firm's preeminent corporate and M&A practice. It is particularly noted for its work in tax, debt and structured finance, and is consequently retained by a number of global private equity funds in complex cross-border transactions. It regularly counsels Apex, TPG and the Permira Funds on significant international investments, and recently advised Permira on its acquisition of Asia Broadcast Satellite from Citi.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eileen Nugent is co-head of the private equity group and does significant work for Veritas Capital. She has a diverse range of experience and recently represented Burger King in its $4 billion acquisition by 3G Capital. Joseph Coco has a thriving private equity practice and acts as the relationship partner for Fortress Investment Group. He is skilled in complex financing work, and recently counseled HCP in the financing and acquisition of the real estate assets of HCR ManorCare Services, valued at $6.1 billion. Allison Schneirov specializes in strategic M&A work and recently acted for Permira Funds on its acquisition of Asia Broadcast Satellite from Citigroup Venture Capital International.
THE FIRM This leading global law firm has earned a strong reputation in the private equity market, largely due to the strength of its lending, finance and bankruptcy practice groups. Its international reach is also an asset, as leading private equity funds increase their investments overseas. Recently, the team represented Univar in its highly complex acquisition of Basic Chemical Solutions.
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Reiss is the global head of the practice, and is described by sources as "a formidable lawyer." He regularly advises Harvest Partners and CVC Capital. Oliver Brahmst acts as the key contact for CVC Capital and took the lead on the aforementioned Univar deal.
THE FIRM Willkie Farr & Gallagher has a strong presence in this sector, with deep experience in midmarket transactions. The group is supported by an excellent restructuring practice, attracting large private equity funds for counsel regarding distressed assets or complex financing. The team recently represented Brookfield Asset Management in its joint investment of $6.6 billion in General Growth Properties.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Gartner chairs the firm's corporate and financial services department and is described by peers as "a highly accomplished lawyer." He regularly represents Warburg Pincus and DE Shaw. His cochair, Gordon Caplan, has a strong reputation in the technology space.
THE FIRM Dechert has a strong midmarket practice and is particularly active in the IP, healthcare and technology sectors. The group has access to extensive global resources, with a firmwide team of more than 200 lawyers. Recent highlights include representing Connors Bros. Holdings in its sale of several operating subsidiaries for $980 million.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel O'Donnell is the vice chairman of the firm and represents a range of private equity clients in M&A, corporate restructurings and governance issues.
THE FIRM Morgan Lewis has a comprehensive private equity practice, with a strong national footprint. The group primarily represents distressed portfolio companies and takes a multidisciplinary approach, with the firm's renowned corporate, tax and financial services teams.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alec Dawson is based in New York and divides his time between general corporate counsel and private equity work. He is regularly retained by Apollo, which he recently represented in its $1 billion acquisition of CKE Restaurants.
THE FIRM This New York-based group is renowned as a strong player in the sector, particularly with regards to representing midmarket private equity funds. It continues to be involved in high-profile work, having recently represented KKR and General Atlantic in their $1.65 billion acquisition of engineering and technical assistance business TASC. It also acted for Centerview Capital Partners on a potential $5.3 billion acquisition of Del Monte Foods.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Carl Reisner is co-head of the firm's M&A practice. He acts for private equity firms as well as their portfolio companies, and recently represented KPS Capital Partners in a $465 million dividend recapitalization of Global Brass & Copper.
THE FIRM Sullivan & Cromwell has succeeded in developing a prominent private equity practice spanning both the East and West Coasts. The group is praised for its industry knowledge, and is increasingly called upon by both foreign and domestic clients to handle buyouts with novel or innovative aspects. It recently represented AOT Bedding Super Holdings in its $760 million acquisition of Simmons Bedding.
Client Service "The lawyers are strong advisers and have their clients' best interests at heart. You can call on them anytime whatsoever."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Pollack is based in New York and co-head of the firm's private equity practice. He has extensive cross-border M&A experience and is recommended by sources as "a trusted and thorough issue spotter who is excellent at identifying where potential landmines are."
of Jones Day counsels a range of private equity interests in M&A, LBOs, investments and general corporate governance. Recent highlights include his work on The Riverside Company's acquisition of D.F. King. Ronald Hopkinson
of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has developed a broad practice with a focus on bankruptcy and restructuring. He recently advised the US Treasury on the GM and Chrysler restructurings, and clients note that he is "very good at knitting together different constituencies and consortium deals."
His colleague Stewart Kagan
focuses on complex debt financing. He recently represented LyondellBasell in its $20 billion global reorganization, sponsored by Apollo, Access and Ares. Peers say he is "absolutely excellent." Robert Schwed
of WilmerHale has a wealth of experience in the sector, and recently represented Cerca Group in its private tender offer for Samba Holdings' private stock. Paul Jacobs
cochairs the corporate department at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. His clients include United States Shipping Partners, Zygo and Radius Venture Partners. Richard Welch
is the managing partner of Bingham McCutchen LLP's Los Angeles office. He represents several midmarket private equity funds in M&A and recapitalizations. Ira White
recently left Dewey & LeBoeuf to join the team at Jones Day. He counsels a range of midmarket private equity funds in M&A.
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