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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

New York

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP - New York
  • 425 Lexington Avenue
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10017-3954
  • Tel:+1 212 455 2000
  • Fax:+1 212 455 2502
  • Web:Visit website
  • Chairman, Executive Committee: William R Dougherty
  • Administrative Partners: Mary Beth Forshaw, Alan M Klein
  • Number of partners worldwide: 188
  • Number of other lawyers worldwide: Approx. 650
  • Website: www.simpsonthacher.com
  • INTERNATIONAL OFFICES The firm also has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, London, São Paulo, Seoul and Tokyo.

Firm Overview:
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is widely recognised as one of the pre-eminent law firms in the world. The firm devotes to its clients the legal talent and skill of over 850 lawyers with a commitment to hard work, excellence and integrity. The firm advises clients worldwide across a broad spectrum of corporate transactions and litigation matters by offering straightforward, pragmatic advice that recognises the business needs of clients in light of prevailing commercial and legal realities. The firm has played a substantial role in many of the most complex and noteworthy transactions and litigations of the last decade.

Main Areas of Practice:  

M&A & Private Equity: 
• Silver Lake Partners in its announced $24.4 billion acquisition of Dell
• Eaton Corporation in its $13 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries
• Office Depot in its announced merger with OfficeMax
• Spin-off transactions for ARAMARK, Ingersoll-Rand, ITT, L-3 Communications, Sears Holdings and Tyco
• KKR and Alliance Boots in the $6.7 billion acquisition of a 45% equity stake in Alliance Boots by Walgreens
• TD Bank in its $5.9 billion acquisition of Target’s US credit card portfolio
Contact: Lee A Meyerson
Tel: 212 455 3675
Email: lmeyerson@stblaw.com

Capital Markets:
• Issuer or underwriters on IPOs for Facebook ($16 billion), Japan Airlines ($8.5 billion), Realogy Holdings ($1.2 billion), Carlyle ($671 million), Dunkin’ Brands Group ($455 million) and Chinalco Mining Corp. (HK$3.1 billion)
• Issuer or initial purchasers in 2012 high yield debt offerings for HCA ($4.85 billion), Samson Investment Company ($2.25 billion), First Data ($2.15 billion), Virgin Media ($2 billion) and Air Lease Corporation ($1.45 billion)
• Issuer or underwriters in 2012 debt offerings by Kraft Foods ($6.8 billion), América Móvil (over $6 billion), Oracle ($5 billion), Microsoft ($2.25 billion) and Samsung Electronics ($1 billion)
Contact: Arthur D Robinson
Tel: 212 455 7086
Email: arobinson@stblaw.com

Banking & Credit:
• Silver Lake in the financing related to its announced $24.4 billion acquisition of Dell
• Eaton Corporation in the $6.75 billion in financing related to its acquisition of Cooper Industries
• Administrative agents in credit facilities for Comcast Corporation ($6.25 billion), eBay ($3 billion), Sprint Nextel ($2.8 billion) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts ($1.75 billion)
Contact: Patrick J Ryan
Tel: 212 455 3463
Email: pryan@stblaw.com

Private Funds:
Acted as sponsor counsel on a number of the largest global private equity fund raisings in 2011 and 2012, including:
• BC European Capital IX
• Blackstone Capital Partners VI
• EQTVI Fund
• Vista Equity Partners Fund IV
Contact: Thomas H Bell
Tel: 212 455 2533
Email: tbell@stblaw.com

Litigation & Arbitration:
• RBS, UBS, Deutsche Bank and other entities including Countrywide Financial in residential mortgage backed litigation and/or investigations
• JPMorgan in connection with LIBOR interest rate manipulation cases and a 2nd Circuit affirmance of dismissal in auction rate securities class actions
• AIG’s Board in review and refusal of shareholder demand for a lawsuit against the US Government and the NY Federal Reserve Bank relating to AIG’s bailout
• A rare non-enforcement of a $55 million Brazilian ICC international arbitration award against MatlinPatterson
• Favorable settlement during Markman for Human Genome Sciences/Glaxo Group in patent actions for Benlysta®
Contact: Paul C Curnin
Tel: 212 455 2519
Email: pcurnin@stblaw.com
Contact: Thomas C Rice
Tel: 212 455 3040
Email: trice@stblaw.com

Antitrust:
• 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th Circuit affirmance of antitrust class action dismissals against the Fidelity family of title insurance companies and denial of certiorari by the US Supreme Court
• US antitrust counsel to Virgin Atlantic in its joint venture with Delta Air Lines
• KKR and Blackstone in a purported class action alleging conspiracy among private firms to allocate LBOs among them
• US antitrust clearance for Silver Lake in its announced acquisition of Dell, Office Depot in its announced merger with Office Max, Eaton in its acquisition of Cooper Industries and Sealy in its acquisition by TempurPedic
• Priceline.comin class actions alleging a price-fixing conspiracy for hotel room rates and Viacom in a case brought by Cablevision alleging tying of programming services
Contact: Kevin J Arquit
Tel: 212 455 7680
Email: karquit@stblaw.com

Bankruptcy & Restructuring:
• Senior lenders or agents in the Chapter 11 proceedings or exit financings forChrysler, Idearc, General Motors, Lee Enterprise, MF Global, MGM Studios, Oriental Trading, Reader’s Digest and R.H. Donnelley
Contact: PeterVPantaleo
Tel: 212 455 2220
Email: ppantaleo@stblaw.com

Energy & Infrastructure:
• Petrohawk in its $15.1 billion sale to BHP Billiton
• KKR and investor group in the $7.2 billion acquisition of Samson Investment Company
• Lenders and initial purchasers in over $2.88 billion in financings for Terra-Gen Power wind power projects
• GeoSouthern Energy in its $1 billion credit facility
Contact: David Lieberman
Tel: 212 455 3545
Email: dlieberman@stblaw.com

Real Estate:
• Blackstone in its $9.4 billion acquisition of the US shopping mall business of Australia’s Centro Properties
• The Carlyle Group in connection with transactions for over $1 billion relating to the retail portion of 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City
• Blackstone in the restructuring of $2.9 billion of debt encumbering the La Quinta hotel chain
Contact: Gregory J Ressa
Tel: 212 455 7430
Email: gressa@stblaw.com

Branches

  • 425 Lexington Avenue,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10017-3954
  • Tel +1 212 455 2000
  • Fax +1 212 455 2502
  • Website : www.simpsonthacher.com
  • 1999 Avenue of the Stars,
  • 29th Floor,
  • Los Angeles,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90067
  • Tel +1 310 407 7500
  • Fax +1 310 407 7502
  • 2475 Hanover Street,
  • Palo Alto,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94304
  • Tel +1 650 251 5000
  • Fax +1 650 251 5002
  • 1155 F Street NW,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20004
  • Tel +1 202 636 5500
  • Fax +1 202 636 5502
  • 2 Houston Center,
  • 909 Fannin Street,
  • Houston,
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 77010
  • Tel +1 713 821 5650
  • Fax +1 713 821 5602

Capital Markets - California

THE FIRM This team maintains its excellent profile for advising top companies on IPOs, high-yield bonds, investment-grade bonds and convertible debt offerings, with a particular focus on the technology sector. Its client list includes names like Oaktree Capital Management, Hellman & Friedman and Goldman Sachs. Recent highlights include advising the underwriters on the high-profile Facebook IPO and advising KKR Financial Holdings on two senior notes offerings.

Sources say: "Their people are very good across the board."

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Hinman represented the underwriters in Avago's two recent secondary offerings. Commentators regard him as an "outstanding securities lawyer" who has a "fantastic mix of technical expertise and strategic thinking."

William Brentani is "highly technically knowledgeable," "great to work with" and "our needs are his needs," impressed clients say. He recently represented JPMorgan as initial purchaser in the $1 billion senior notes issuance by Air Lease.

Kevin Kennedy represented the underwriters led by Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital on the IPO of Ceres. Sources say he has "great depth of experience in all facets of capital markets."

Corporate/M&A - California

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher is rated among the very best for private equity transactions in California. Representative deals include representing Datatel and its equity holder, Hellman & Friedman, in their $1.775 billion acquisition of SunGuard Higher Education. The firm's corporate practice extends outside the scope of private equity M&A, and recent highlights saw it represent Universal Studios Japan in its acquisition of the rights to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. Other clients include Silver Lake, Elevation Partners and Blum Capital Partners.

Sources say: "They are knowledgeable, responsive and highly competent on complex transactions." "Undoubtedly a leader in this area."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients say Richard Capelouto is "highly effective on bigger, complex deals," and peers comment on his "tremendous market share." He is lauded for his experience in private equity, where recent highlights include advising Silver Lake on its acquisition of a minority interest in William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. One client enthused: "Richard is a great lawyer and a great businessman."

Antitrust - Nationwide

THE FIRM The center of gravity for this firm's antitrust practice is in New York, although it also operates out of other key locations in the country, including Washington, DC. It maintains a strong reputation across both litigation and transactional work, led by the exceptional Kevin Arquit, and works with clients from a wide range of industries. It continues to defend JPMorgan Chase in several civil actions related to the investigation into the alleged fixing of LIBOR rates. It also represented CoStar Group in its $860 million acquisition of LoopNet.

Sources say: "They gave wise and balanced advice and there is no way they could have been any more responsive."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Arquit remains the lead lawyer in the practice as well as one of the most well-regarded attorneys at the New York antitrust Bar.

Banking & Finance - Nationwide

THE FIRM This practice maintains its reputation as a preeminent force in the market, and is much in demand for its strengths in syndicated and leverage finance. It has a particularly strong reputation as borrowers' counsel and counts many of private equity's vanguard among its loyal client base. Highlights this year include the representation of Eaton Corporation in a $6.8 billion financing related to the acquisition of Cooper Industries, and the representation of KKR in financing for the $7.2 billion purchase of Samson Investment Company. The practice is also well-equipped in lender-side representation and recently advised a consortium of top-tier lenders, including JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and UBS, in connection with a $2.2 billion financing related to the acquisition of Pharmaceutical Product Development. 

Sources say: "Simpson Thacher are a leader for level of service, quality, depth and knowledge - they are absolutely exceptional."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The very well-regarded James Cross is experienced in working with financial institutions, as well as representing corporate borrowers in their finance activities. Recent work includes advising First Data Corporation on a refinancing of outstanding debt.  

James Knight is described as "a great lawyer who really makes deals run smoothly." He continues to work with regular client JPMorgan, having this year advised it on a healthcare acquisition finance and a $6.25 billion revolving credit facility for Comcast.   

Banking and credit practice head Patrick Ryan is praised by clients, who emphasize that "in high-grade acquisition finance his knowledge of precedent in the legal market is unbelievable." He is particularly valued by financial institutions and acted for JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and UBS on the $2.2 billion financing mentioned above.

Marissa Wesely has a wealth of experience in leveraged finance and recapitalizations, and frequently represents private equity companies and corporate borrowers. A highlight this year was the representation of Peabody Energy in a financing related to the acquisition of Macarthur Coal.  

Alden Millard's reputation with his peers continues to grow: "He is outstanding - excellent for high-yield work," sources say. He is accomplished at handling a wide range of financings, with the ability to offer strong representation on either side of a deal.

Peers acknowledge Brian Steinhardt for his transactional skills. This year he has been particularly active with private equity and corporate clients, acting as the lead attorney in several noteworthy deals, including those for KKR and Eaton Corporation detailed above.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher's bankruptcy and restructuring practice is renowned as a formidable player in the industry, particularly in representing senior lender clients in complex bankruptcies. Leveraging upon the firm's prominent capital markets and M&A practices, the bankruptcy team advises a stable of institutional clients, such as JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Blackstone Group, Barclays Capital and Centerbridge Partners. Recent highlights include representing JPMorgan on the MF Global bankruptcy and also on the Chapter 9 bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Alabama.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Peter Pantaleo is a highly respected name in the bankruptcy industry. According to sources, he "does a fantastic job" in securing solutions for his senior lender clients. He recently advised JPMorgan on $1.4 billion of claims in the MF Global bankruptcy.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team attracts the respect of the business community for its balanced representation of issuers and underwriters on the full spectrum of debt, equity and equity-linked transactions. It has recently advised Oaktree Capital Group on its IPO and the initial purchasers led by Barclays and others on Kraft Foods' Rule 144A/Regulation S $6 billion offering of notes. Other key clients include L-3 Communications, Peabody Energy and Citigroup Global Markets.

Client Service "They give us top-notch advice." "They are creative, flexible, smart and goal oriented."

Commercial Awareness "They are very down-to-earth lawyers and give us good, practical advice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Arthur Robinson is "highly methodical," "commercial and collaborative" and he "understands our business well," impressed sources say. He is head of the firm's capital markets group.

Palo Alto-based William Hinman is "excellent" and "really well connected," clients report. He represented the underwriters in Facebook's $16 billion IPO.

Glenn Reiter has impressed interviewees with his practical know-how. His recent work includes representing BRF-Brasil Foods in a $250 million offering of additional 5.875% senior notes due 2022.

John Lobrano frequently advises clients on securities offerings including convertible notes and high-yield debt financings. He has advised a range of clients on international securities offerings.

Edward Tolley is "commercial, talented and effective in representing his clients," sources say. He has recently represented the underwriters notes Philip Morris International's offerings of $2.9 billion of notes.

Joshua Ford Bonnie is commended by clients for his "highly practical approach" and "analyzing the risks well." He recently represented The Carlyle Group in its $671 million IPO.

Kenneth Wallach is "highly commercial" and is "good at explaining pros and cons," clients say. His areas of expertise include representing issuers and underwriters on high-yield bond offerings, IPOs and investment-grade debt offerings.

Since publication, Glenn M Reiter has retired from this practice.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This compact team represents a growing roster of investment banks and corporations on an array of OTC derivatives matters, as well as on equity-linked transactions. Recent highlights include representing Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan on Micron Technology's $1 billion convertible senior notes issuance. Other key clients include KKR, Credit Suisse and Blackstone.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Joyce Xu is praised by market commentators for her strength in representing clients on all areas of derivatives matters, with notable strength in equity derivatives. She heads the firm's derivatives practice.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This compact but high quality team advises a range of clients on auto loans and leases, timeshare loans, and truck and equipment loan and lease securitizations.

Sources say: "They are doing difficult, interesting work."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Big player in auto finance space" Laura Palma is a "fierce client advocate" and "top-notch drafter," sources say. Her areas of expertise also include franchise royalty, cell tower and aircraft securitizations.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

THE FIRM Private equity titan Simpson Thacher retains its fantastic reputation for handling some of the most lucrative and complex deals in the market. The firm prides itself on its one-stop shop offering, incorporating leading finance and capital markets expertise into its M&A practice. Ingersoll Rand, Microsoft and Petrohawk Energy are all notable clients, serviced by a deep bench of lawyers spanning the firm's New York, Houston, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and Washington, DC offices. McKesson's $2.1 billion acquisition of PSS World Medical was one of a number of multibillion-dollar highlights for the team this past year.   

Commercial Awareness "They are excellent, probably some of the most knowledgeable people in the M&A world."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Respected practitioner Lee Meyerson heads the M&A group from New York, while Richard Capelouto and Dan Clivner lead in Palo Alto and Los Angeles.  

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - Nationwide

THE FIRM The group is renowned for its transactions-based benefits and compensation work for private equity groups. The team advises on the issues arising from the public offerings of portfolio companies, as well as on the creation and implementation of equity compensation schemes for senior executives. Recent highlights include representing The Blackstone Group in a deal worth approximately $2 billion to acquire Vivint. The group also acts for public companies such as Sealy and Del Monte.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Brian Robbins heads the firm's employee benefits and executive compensation practice, and is considered an "excellent lawyer" by peers. He advises both public and private entities on benefits, compensation and ERISA matters and recently acted for the Eaton Corporation on its $11.8 billion cross-border acquisition of Cooper Industries.

Energy & Natural Resources - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm enjoys a sound reputation for its skilled handling of issues in the electricity financing, acquisitions and divestiture arenas. It acts for substantial, well-known clients such as Barclays Capital, RBS and First Reserve. Notably, the firm recently represented Eaton Corporation in its $11.8 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries. 

Commercial Awareness "The team is made up of very practical, business-minded lawyers who always try to find solutions to problems."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very talented" David Lieberman is applauded for the "knowledge that he brings to the table" and his ability to "get everybody focused on business." Recent examples of his work include acting on behalf of the lenders in a $460 million financing to Blythe Energy.

Financial Services Regulation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has an outstanding corporate and transactional practice which is reflected by its robust showing in the financial institutions M&A space. Recent work includes the representation of The Carlyle Group during its $671 million IPO. The team also provides clients with cutting-edge advice in relation to Dodd-Frank and Basel III and continues to guide the US Treasury in relation to its Troubled Asset Relief Program implementation.

Sources say: "They are sharp and professional, and have been very generous with their time."

KEY INDIVIDUALS According to sources Lee Meyerson has "terrific judgment about regulatory questions" and is a "very commercial thinker." He heads the firm's financial services and M&A groups and is highly regarded for his banking compliance acumen and transactional advice.

Stacie McGinn has provided bank regulatory advice on a number of the firm's key financial institution transactions including the aforementioned matter for The Carlyle Group. She is considered to be a "strong technical lawyer" with "broad expertise across banking and consumer regulation."

The well-regarded Maripat Alpuche advises clients on financial institution M&A transactions. Interviewees value her "detail-oriented and helpful" approach.

Elizabeth Cooper is described as "an absolute star" and is acknowledged by sources as a rising star of the financial services regulatory sphere.

Insurance - Nationwide

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher & Bartlett continues to be the star firm in the nationwide insurance market. Clients do not hesitate in referring big-ticket insurance and reinsurance matters to the capable hands of the firm's attorneys. The group has a reputation in the market for a track record of very good results. The team furnishes advice to some of the world's most significant insurance groups including The Travelers Companies, Berkshire Hathaway, Equitas and American Nuclear Insurers. Acting for Travelers affiliates USF&G, the team recently secured a high-profile summary judgment before the New York Appellate Division in a historic asbestos case.

Commercial Awareness "They understand our business very well and send updates on the law when it changes."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Excellent" Barry Ostrager is nationally recognized as "a big name" both in the insurance and the reinsurance fields. Clients recommend him for asbestos bankruptcy cases and praise him for his impressive leadership and willingness to be in the front line in facing difficult points.

"Sophisticated" attorney Mary Kay Vyskocil "stands out" in the nationwide insurance as well as the reinsurance rankings. The scope of her expertise encompasses securities, financial services industry and general coverage disputes. Commentators emphasized that she has "had another really great year, a spectacular year."

International Arbitration - Nationwide

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher has an impressive bench of distinguished litigators with extensive arbitration experience in both investor-state and commercial disputes. It also attracts clients through its strong insurance and reinsurance arbitration practice, and its notable presence in several key jurisdictions across the globe. Recent highlights include successfully opposing the enforcement of a $55 million ICC arbitration award levied against its client MatlinPatterson.

Sources say: "They have won every case that they have handled for us, even cases that others had deemed unwinnable."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Smit maintains his position as a key player in the arbitration world. He is recognized as a "master strategist" who regularly takes on disputes both as advocate and arbitrator. According to interviewees, "he is absolutely brilliant as an advocate as he understands his clients' needs and sensitivities." 

Investment Funds - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm has a deep reservoir of fund formation talent spanning its New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto offices. The firm continues to defy market conditions and grow its formidable private funds practice, and invites a remarkable volume of work from private equity giants such as Apax, Blackstone and The Carlyle Group. The team specializes in raising large buyout funds for such clients, but has also experienced an uptick in work flowing from other asset classes such as energy, infrastructure and emerging markets.   

Commercial Awareness "They are very current on market innovations, structures and what the latest thinking is. They are very commercial and focused on trying to get the deal done."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Bell is universally recognized as leader in the private funds field. He is credited with possessing an "outstanding command of the market" and "a super knowledge of the industry overall." His practice covers the full range of fund types, and his deep experience attracts some of the most sophisticated clients in the business.

Esteemed partner Michael Wolitzer consistently delivers high-quality work to his roster of clients, who commend his "incredibly patient" approach and his availability. He is "very good at synthesizing information," according to one impressed observer.  

Barrie Covit is highly respected in the market for his broad-ranging funds practice. He frequently acts on behalf of marquee clients such as KKR, The Carlyle Group and Lexington Partners. "He is an excellent fund lawyer, extremely responsive and very well versed in the agreements and practices in the marketplace," states one source.

Glenn Sarno covers the full spectrum of asset classes in his well-established practice. He has developed an excellent reputation for his work on behalf of sponsors of fund of funds products.  

Jason Herman enters the rankings backed by exceptional client feedback on his thriving practice. He works across a variety of asset categories, and is lauded as "an incredibly strong service provider." He is also noted for his ability to "approach issues with a great sense of practicality."

Investment Funds - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm's expertise in the registered funds area is held in high esteem by peers and clients alike. It offers comprehensive 40 Act guidance to clients such as Legg Mason Closed-End Funds, Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities. The firm's strong foundation in transactional work lends itself to the assistance of registered funds clients in a variety of capital markets transactions. Of late, the team has been working on numerous closed-end public fund offerings.

Sources say: "The team is extremely knowledgeable, pragmatic and technically sound. They hit the nail on the head."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the investment management practice Sarah Cogan is picked out by one commentator as being "among the best of the lawyers I work with." She has a broad practice representing investment companies, funds and independent directors.  

Private Equity - Nationwide

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.

Projects - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team's reputation is dominated by its project finance work in the power and renewable and alternative energy sectors, as evidenced by its recent representation of high-profile lenders responsible for financing such projects. For example, the team recently represented Union Bank and RBS in connection with their provision of $650 million for the development of two wind projects as part of the major Terra-Gen Alta Wind Energy Center. On the conventional power side, the firm has recently represented leading clients including Central Térmica Santa Rosa and Kinder Morgan. 

Sources say: "An extraordinarily good firm."

KEY INDIVIDUALS David Lieberman rises to the top of the rankings this year on the back of ringing endorsement from clients, who say: "He has an outstanding work ethic, strong familiarity with market terms, and provides solutions in difficult negotiating situations." He has a broad projects practice and recently led the team in a financing for Redwood Trails Wind on behalf of Lloyds TSB.

Kenneth Wyman is also applauded by clients for being "practical and solution oriented; he approaches transactions on a collaborative rather than confrontation basis." He has had an active year in the renewables space, and has been heavily involved in both wind and energy projects for the likes of KKR and the First Energy Reserve Infrastructure Fund.

Real Estate - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm's sophisticated real estate group regularly assists prominent funds and private equity houses with major transactions. The team recently acted for key client The Blackstone Group on its $2 billion acquisition of the CalWest Industrial Portfolio, located across six states. In other notable work, it advised the Carlyle Real Estate Fund on a $900 million recapitalization of debt and equity for Class A retail and office building 650 Madison Avenue in New York.

Sources say: "The best private equity real estate firm."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "terrific" Gregory Ressa heads the firm's real estate group. His practice encompasses all areas of real estate law, with a particular focus on representing opportunity funds, as well as real estate finance and M&A transactions. 

Securities - Nationwide

THE FIRM The litigation practice at Simpson Thacher remains one of the industry's go-to providers of complex securities class action and multi-lawsuit defense. It continues to occupy a prominent position in cases flowing from the aftermath of the financial crisis. In the RMBS arena, the team has amassed a raft of achievements, including successes for RBS. It has also been retained to defend JPMorgan Chase in all actions brought against the institution relating to the internationally significant LIBOR manipulation allegations. With heavyweight expertise on the East Coast in New York, and a West Coast presence in Palo Alto and Los Angeles, the team has both the depth and geographical scope to handle a broad range of matters.

Sources say: "I have found them to be uniformly talented lawyers who are especially experienced and well versed in securities litigation."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "impressive" Bruce Angiolillo is a "wonderfully gifted and talented litigator" who is "good on his feet, great with judges and skilled in legal argument." As head of department, he is engaged in many of the firm's most prominent cases in this area.

Paul Curnin practices at the intersection between white-collar criminal defense and complex securities litigation. Interviewees describe him as "outstanding" and "top-notch."   

Jonathan Youngwood is a rising star of the securities litigation Bar and a new entrant in the nationwide table. He is noted as a "strong and effective securities litigator" with a flair for written work and oral advocacy, according to sources. 

Tax - Nationwide

THE FIRM Simpson Thatcher is well regarded by clients for its innovative approach to solving complex transactional and financial tax problems. The group is particularly highlighted for its expertise in fund formation and the tax aspects relating to M&A transactions, as well as cross-border finance issues. Its work highlights include representing Microsoft in its $300 million investment in Barnes & Noble's NOOK business, as well as representing Blackstone Real Estate Partners in various issues, including in acquisition and restructuring deals. Other key clients include Accenture and JPMorgan.

Sources say: "They are excellent in every aspect of the service they provide. Brilliant, and very nice to work with."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Todrys heads the practice group from the firm's office in New York.

Antitrust - New York

THE FIRM Market observers heap praise on this firm's ability in antitrust litigation and merger clearance. Its transactional work is particularly highly regarded, having lately worked on various ten-figure deals such as Varian Semiconductor's $4.9 billion sale to Applied Materials. On the litigation side, it represented JPMorgan Chase in the LIBOR class action antitrust litigation.

Sources say: "They have a lot of first-rate academic lawyers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources name Kevin Arquit "one of the great antitrust lawyers in the country" and revere his "unmatched strategic ability." Recently he secured victory in the New York Court of Appeals on behalf of Equitas in a case concerning reinsurance.

Joseph Tringali is a litigator with a very good reputation among his peers for his antitrust work. Of late he represented Viacom in the successful affirmation of an earlier dismissal in a suit concerning the packaging of cable and satellite television channels.

Aimee Goldstein is an "excellent" and "very well thought-of" attorney who is recognized by peers for her antitrust work in relation to M&A.

Since publication, Aimee H Goldstein has left this practice.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher's five-partner New York bankruptcy team is a mainstay of the industry, regularly representing senior lenders in major bankruptcies. This is partly due to an enviable platform provided by the firm's capital markets and M&A practices. The team counts JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Blackstone Group, Barclays Capital and Centerbridge Partners as prominent clients. Recent highlights include advising JPMorgan as agent for two syndicates claiming a total of $1.4 billion in the MF Global bankruptcy. It is also representing JPMorgan in relation to the Chapter 9 bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Alabama.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Pantaleo is the head of Simpson Thacher's bankruptcy group, and sources say that he "does a fantastic job" in representing his lender clients. He recently advised JPMorgan in relation to the aforementioned MF Global bankruptcy.

Steven Fuhrman maintains an active practice acting on behalf of lenders and financial institutions. He has been engaged in a number of out-of-court restructurings of late, as well as fostering an increasing workload involving Chapter 9 bankruptcies.

Corporate/M&A - New York

THE FIRM This pre-eminent New York corporate group includes 36 partners committed to M&A. The firm's transactional dominance is further complemented by strengths in capital markets, banking and funds work. Its list of clients features many household names as well as some of the domestic and international markets' largest strategic acquirers and private entity sponsors, including Microsoft, L-3 Communications, AIG, The Blackstone Group and TPG. The team recently acted for Cogeco Cable on its proposed $1.36 billion acquisition of Atlantic Broadband. 

Sources say: "We chose Simpson Thacher because we have full confidence in them to work on a high-profile deal." "Almost every time at the plate they hit the ball out of the park."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Firm chairman Richard Beattie is a senior figure in the New York Bar, and over a distinguished career has handled some of the largest M&A deals in the city. He is routinely called upon for his advice on governance issues, corporate offers and crisis situations.

Clients enjoy working with Casey Cogut because he "brings a lifetime of experience" and "he's good at relationships with both sides of the transaction; he understands how to reach out and find alternative ways of communicating."  

Commentators say Gary Horowitz is an "indefatigable" deal lawyer with a "commercially reasonable" outlook. Horowitz has been representing Cogeco Cable in its $1.36 billion acquisition of Atlantic Broadband.

Mario Ponce is praised for his client-friendly approach. He and Cogut advised Eaton on its $11.8 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries.

Robert Spatt recently advised Weight Watchers International on a modified Dutch auction tender offer and a $780 million acquisition of common stock from Artal Holdings.

Department head Lee Meyerson recently advised TD Bank Group on the potential acquisition of Target's US credit card portfolio, valued at $5.9 billion.

William Curbow has been identified by sources as "an extremely practical and bright attorney" whose calm demeanor is "very helpful in group dynamics and with all parties concerned."

Philip Ruegger chairs the firm's executive committee, and advises on a diverse array of corporate transactional matters.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - New York

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher is a dominant firm in this area, and its highly regarded team stands out for its focus on private equity transactions. It has substantial experience in public financing transactions and regularly advises on the implementation of pension plan investments in private equity funds. The firm also has a thriving transactional practice, advising public companies on the full spectrum of benefits and compensation matters. Recent work highlights include representing Blackstone in its $2 billion acquisition of Vivint. 

Sources say: "I rate them very highly - they are outstanding advocates for their clients."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Brian Robbins is acclaimed for his knowledge and experience in dealing with Title I and Title IV of ERISA, particularly in relation to M&A. He also advises on ERISA fiduciary matters and prohibited transactions. Recent work highlights include representing private equity group Apax Partners in its $1.1 billion acquisition of Garda World Security.

Gregory Grogan represents private equity groups in the full range of employee benefits and executive compensation matters. He also has an active practice advising on CEO succession planning, and recently acted as counsel to Gannett as it sought to appoint a new CEO.

Andrea Wahlquist focuses on LBOs and M&A, and recently advised Sealy on its acquisition by Tempur-Pedic. Her transactional expertise includes offering advice on executive compensation relating to IPOs and bankruptcy.

Environment - New York

THE FIRM This sophisticated practice regularly advises the firm's private equity clients on the environmental aspects of transactions, and has extensive experience in the areas of electrical power generation, oil and gas pipelines, refining, and alternative energy sources. The group recently acted for Eaton on its $11.8 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries. Other key clients include Blackstone, JPMorgan Chase and Centerbridge Partners.

Sources say: "They do excellent work."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources praise the "super-effective" Adeeb Fadil as being "good at thinking on the fly and constructing concise, clear language." He represented the underwriters in relation to a $1 billion debt offering by Halliburton.

Interviewees agree that Michael Isby has "enormous experience" in the area. He recently acted for First Reserve on its acquisition of a 1 GW generation portfolio.

Insurance - New York

THE FIRM Clients are effusive in their praise for this New York stalwart, thanks to its deep expertise in the insurance and reinsurance sphere. The firm has a stellar reputation for contentious work, and regularly acts for major players including Travelers, Swiss Re and Berkshire Hathaway. The team's success in the past year is exemplified by a summary judgment victory for Travelers in an asbestos case with an award of more than $420 million. The transactional and regulatory group is dedicated to M&A transactions, regularly representing issuers and their underwriters.

Sources say: "Their willingness to actually litigate as opposed to just file papers makes them stand above the others."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Household name" Barry Ostrager continues to be known as one of the strongest practitioners in the sector. He recently acted for the Fidelity title insurance companies in a series of antitrust class actions.

"Outstanding lawyer" Mary Kay Vyskocil earns widespread praise from market commentators. She is active in reinsurance litigation and arbitrations, both in the USA and abroad.

Client favorite Andrew Amer is praised for being "hands-on, accessible and experienced; he is a talented trial and arbitration attorney, with excellent writing skills." He handles insurance disputes as part of a broad commercial litigation practice.

Transactional partner Gary Horowitz recently led the firm's representation of CNO Financial Group in its $1 billion recapitalization. He also regularly acts for major financial institutions such as Barclays Capital, Wells Fargo Securities and Goldman Sachs.

Latin American Investment - New York

THE FIRM This highly experienced team is singled out for its excellent relationships with Latin American corporates and locally based counsel. The group has had notable success in finance, capital markets and M&A matters of late, with New York-based practitioners regularly working alongside the firm's team in São Paulo. On the M&A side, it is currently acting for Mercantil Colpatria and two minority stakeholders of Colombian pension fund Colfondos on the sale of a controlling interest in Colfondos to Scotiabank. The team's capital markets highlights include counseling Citi, HSBC and JPMorgan as the initial purchasers in Banco de Bogotá's debut debt offering.  

Sources say: "Very reliable and always available when you need them." "One of the main strengths is the quality of the associates - all of them do remarkably well for their seniority, which makes the firm itself very efficient."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Fluent Spanish speaker David Williams heads the Latin American practice. He is revered for his many years' experience in finance, securities and M&A transactions throughout the region, and is regarded as "an excellent lawyer" by clients and fellow practitioners alike.

Glenn Reiter became of counsel in January 2013, having previously been a partner for close to 30 years. One client observes: "When it comes to an area with no clear answers, we often turn to Glenn, due to his long tenure and experience."

Since publication, Glenn M Reiter has retired from this practice.

Litigation - New York

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher fields a highly regarded litigation group, which maintains its leading position in the market through its extensive trial expertise and depth of experience. Its commercial and securities litigation capabilities see it retained by high-profile clients such as JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and The Blackstone Group. The team is also increasingly recognized for its ability to handle a range of white-collar criminal defense and regulatory investigations, with a particular focus on antitrust, FCPA and insider trading-related matters. Its impressive track record is illustrated by a recent recovery of $146 million for Merrill Lynch Capital Services.

Sources say: "Their ability to get up to speed very quickly impresses me, as do their creative ideas on complex issues."  

KEY INDIVIDUALS Barry Ostrager is considered "a spectacular lawyer" with significant experience across a range of commercial, insurance and antitrust disputes. He is additionally praised as a leading trial lawyer, and his recent work includes representing The Travelers Companies in numerous complex cases.

Market commentators confirm Bruce Angiolillo's leading position in the rankings, and characterize him as a "very dedicated litigator with great judgment." He centers his practice on securities litigation, and also offers expertise in commercial disputes. He recently defended Blackstone in two class actions regarding the purchase of shares in Kosmos Energy. 

David Ichel is highly regarded by sources for his tenacious and dedicated approach to litigation. His extensive experience has seen him act in a wide range of commercial cases for clients, and he also offers additional expertise in product liability-related matters.

Jonathan Youngwood upholds his impressive strength in securities litigation, and is described by one source as "very hard-working, client-driven, not afraid to take on any challenges and able to think outside the box." He represents private equity firms and financial institutions in a range of matters, and has particular expertise in disputes involving auction rate securities. 

Peter Kazanoff is an "outstanding young litigator" who focuses on securities-related matters. His expertise in disputes involving M&A is particularly highlighted, as is his "good business sense."

Mark Stein is praised as a "very experienced, good and practical" white-collar criminal attorney. He is highly regarded for his expertise in representing individuals and institutions in a range of investigations and trials. His recent work includes representing a healthcare entity in a criminal investigation conducted by the DOJ into antitrust concerns.

Paul Curnin is esteemed by sources for his ability to handle a wide range of civil and criminal matters, and has extensive expertise in securities and white-collar criminal defense matters. He cochairs the firm's litigation department and is praised for his "excellent, knowledgeable and very sensible" approach to work. 

Josh Levine is praised for his "incredibly calm and very thoughtful" approach to white-collar criminal litigation, and is rapidly gaining prominence in the market. He is highly experienced in the regulatory investigation and enforcement space. He recently represented a Europe-based hedge fund in an investigation conducted by the CFTC.

Mark Cunha is recognized as a "very talented" litigator, and is highly experienced as a trial lawyer. He offers particular expertise in a wide range of commercial litigation, and has recently represented individuals connected with Fairfield Greenwich Group in matters stemming from the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Thomas Rice cochairs the firm's litigation group, and is highly regarded for his expertise in securities and commercial litigation. Sources comment that he "is extremely knowledgeable about the law, has vast experience and is extremely responsive." 

Real Estate - New York

THE FIRM This leading real estate practice is widely recognized for its skills in handling sophisticated matters for leading private equity houses and funds, and has advised The Blackstone Group on a range of transactions. The team also represented affiliates of The Blackstone Group in their acquisition of an 82-office property portfolio from Duke Realty for more than $1 billion. In other highlights, the firm acted for Barclays on the $2.9 billion sale to Lehman Brothers of Barclays' and Bank of America's interest in Archstone.

Sources say: "A premier real estate equity firm." "It's a great real estate group."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice leader Gregory Ressa leads the firm's work for The Blackstone Group, and is lauded by sources as "one of the best private equity guys" in the market. He advised Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII on the proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of Accor's US economy hotels division.

Scott Kobak is recognized by interviewees as "a very practical lawyer," who is "very good on all aspects of real estate." He leads the firm's relationship with major private equity player The Carlyle Group.

The "superb" Sasan Mehrara concentrates his practice on handling joint ventures, financings and real estate acquisitions and dispositions on behalf of private equity firms. In particular, he has handled a lot of work for The Blackstone Group.

Tax - New York

THE FIRM This accomplished tax group comes highly recommended for its representations of leading private equity and hedge funds, multinational corporations, tax-exempt entities, and investment and commercial banks. It offers particular strength in the structuring of real estate investments, financial instrument development, cross-border financings, investment fund formation and M&A matters. Its clients include Hellman & Friedman, The Carlyle Group and Accenture.

Sources say: "I can think of no way in which the firm might improve its service. It is strong in every area, under every circumstance." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Todrys heads the firm's tax department. He has an outstanding practice in area of federal income tax, including in restructurings, joint ventures, real estate and M&A. "He is just amazing," states one interviewee; "he is very practical, extremely well rounded, and he knows everything about everything."

The "very experienced" John Hart's diverse practice incorporates investment fund formation, publicly traded partnerships, REITs, M&A, and workouts and restructurings. He recently handled a matter relating to the formation of a private equity real estate fund for AllianceBernstein. 

Gary Mandel is an expert in federal income tax, and advises financial institutions and private equity fund clients across all manner of corporate M&A, spin-off, restructuring and joint venture issues. His clients include Microsoft and Vestar Capital Partners. Peers describe him as an individual "who knows how to get a deal closed" in the face of "seemingly intractable tax issues." 

Marcy Geller also handles a range of work in the field of federal income tax. Within this area, she undertakes matters relating to international joint ventures, real estate funds, financial instruments and M&A. She recently represented JLL Partners in connection with its acquisition of American Dental Partners. 

John Creed is experienced in advising on financing transactions, securitizations, hedge funds, private equity funds, partnerships, joint ventures, M&A and tax-free spin-offs. His clients include The Carlyle Group and Evercore Partners, and he is particularly well regarded for his ability to "make tax understandable to the layperson."

Robert Holo brings further strength to his firm's federal income tax capacity. Capital markets, financing transactions, corporate M&A and joint ventures all feature heavily in his practice. His clients include TSG Consumer Partners, First Reserve and Nielsen.  

Nancy Mehlman is "a fine lawyer who is very personable, and very good at representing her clients," say sources. She is commended in particular for her expertise with real estate transactions, joint ventures, partnerships and M&A. Her recent highlights include representing a consortium led by KKR in the multibillion-dollar acquisition of Samson Investment.  

Technology - New York

THE FIRM Simpson Thacher's IP transactions group is recognized for its strength in handling the IP issues that stem from deals originating in the capital markets, bankruptcy and M&A sectors. Its broad expertise includes technology, patents and data privacy. Lawyers regularly represent a wide cross section of clients, such as leading private equity firms and entertainment companies. Key clients include Blackstone and Microsoft.

Sources say: "I thought everybody there was really intelligent and proactive in their thinking - a step ahead."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Those who work with Lori Lesser are effusive in their praise, with one interviewee noting that "she is so knowledgeable about technology law and technology itself - she understands the development that makes good business possible." Lesser has significant experience in M&A, restructuring, outsourcing and litigation. She recently acted for Lightyear Capital on a $335 million acquisition.

Banking & Finance - Texas

THE FIRM The Houston office of this New York powerhouse continues to make inroads into the Texas market. With a focus on energy finance, it dedicates substantial attention to representing lenders active in the oil and gas markets, as well as some large privately owned energy companies. The practice's location and the addition of one of the state's finest oil and gas lawyers has ensured the team attracts energy-based finance work from regular Simpson Thacher client JPMorgan Securities. It has recently represented the institution in a variety of financings, including a $1.7 billion bank and bond acquisition finance.

Sources say: "A very capable group. They know the business and know how to get things done."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources describe Robert Rabalais as "one of the best in the business." Clients say his "key strengths are his ability to focus on the primary issues and his acumen in breaking these issues down to negotiate both the legal and business points." His highlights include working with Credit Suisse on the $9.4 billion acquisition of Southern Union Company by Energy Transfer Equity, and representing BNP Paribas as administrative agent in a $750 million financing.