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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Los Angeles

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP - Los Angeles
  • 333 South Grand Avenue
  • Los Angeles
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90071-1512
  • Tel:+1 213 229 7000
  • Fax:+1 213 229 7520
  • Web:Visit website
  • INTERNATIONAL OFFICES The firm also has offices in Beijing, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Munich, Paris, Singapore and São Paulo. 

Firm Overview:
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is a leading international law firm. Consistently ranking among the world’s top law firms in industry surveys and major publications, Gibson Dunn is distinctively positioned in today’s global marketplace with more than 1,100 lawyers and 18 offices. For more information on Gibson Dunn’s other practices, visit the firm’s website.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Appellate:
Gibson Dunn has one of the nation’s leading appellate practices with broad experience in complex appellate litigation at all levels of the state and federal court systems. The firm has had more than 100 Supreme Court arguments among active lawyers.

Business Restructuring & Reorganization:
Gibson Dunn has extensive experience in both domestic and multinational insolvencies. The firm’s lawyers regularly represent and counsel official creditors’ committees, ad hoc creditor groups, secured lenders, investors and companies in out-of-court work-outs and Chapter 11 cases.

Commercial Litigation & Arbitration:
Gibson Dunn has represented many Fortune 500 companies in cases involving securities fraud, antitrust, administrative law, environmental, white-collar crime, business torts, among many others. Many of these cases have included class action claims and involved hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged damages. For an unprecedented second time in a row, Gibson Dunn was named in 2012 as Litigation Department of the Year by The American Lawyer, considered the top litigation honor in the United States.

Corporate & Securities:
Gibson Dunn has deep experience in M&A transactions, including:mergers of public and private companies, stock and asset purchases, tender and exchange offers, restructurings and acquisitions out of bankruptcy, divestitures and spinoffs, leveraged buyouts and private equity investments, strategic investments and joint ventures, special committee representations, and crossborder M&A transactions. The firm has broad experience in capital markets having advised on multiple transactions across a wide spectrum of deal structures.

Energy & Infrastructure:
Gibson Dunn has extensive and varied experience in the industrial, commercial, financial and political issues that are inherent in the development, financing, construction and operation of major energy and infrastructure facilities. The firm’s experience spans from traditional oil and gas production, refining transmission and financing to siting, permitting, construction, operation, divestiture and acquisition of renewable projects such as wind power, biomass and bio-diesel, hydro, geo-thermal and solar power generation installations, technologies and facilities.

Finance:
The firm focuses on the representation of lenders, borrowers,underwriters and issuers in a large variety of debt and structured finance transactions, including: leveraged loans, high-yield bond offerings, mezzanine and subordinated debt,project finance, equipment financings, restructurings and securitizations.

Intellectual Property:
GibsonDunn assists clients with a wide range of IP issues, including: litigating critical IP disputes, negotiating licenses and joint ventures,navigating regulations governing privacy, trade and the protection of IP, and advocating for change in IP law and policy.

Labor & Employment:
The firm’s recent representations include some of the most prominent labor relations matters in the country, high stakes wage and-hour class actions, high profile ERISA cases, nationally recognized Sarbanes-Oxley ‘whistleblower’ cases and aggressive advocacy on OSHA issues. The team also has particular depth in a full range of executive compensation and benefits matters. In 2012, The American Lawyer named Gibson Dunn the winner in the Labor and Employment category of its biennial ‘Litigation Department of the Year’ competition.

Media, Entertainment & Technology:
The firm represents both established and emerging media, entertainment and technology companies and handles clients’ most important and complex corporate transactions, litigation, internal investigations and other legal challenges. The group’s transactional lawyers are recognized for their expertise in M&A, complex film finance transactions, and joint ventures, while its litigators are well-known for their experience in handling the full array of media and entertainmentrelated matters, including accounting, contract and profit participation disputes and enforcing film and television distribution agreements.

Real Estate:
Gibson Dunn handles a variety of matters, including real estate finance, development, sales and acquisitions, land use and environmental, leasing and workout transactions.

Securities Litigation, Regulation & Corporate Governance:
The firm is a recognized leader in the defense of securities class actions, derivative litigation and SEC enforcement actions. The firm advises companies on disclosure, accounting and regulatory issues for domestic and foreign regulatory bodies. The partners include nationally recognized securities class action defense counsel, a number of former senior officials with the SEC, NASD and DOJ.

International Work:
Gibson Dunn’s international team consists of US, English,French and German qualified lawyers,many of whomare dual qualified. A long-term European presence and recent office openings in the financial centers of São Paulo, Hong Kong and Beijing give the firmconsiderable experience in representing clients with international business interests requiring a co-ordinated response within and across national borders. The firm’s international offices handle all types of corporate transactions, corporate financing, tax structuring, real estate, litigation, labor and employment and antitrust matters.

Branches

  • 333 South Grand Avenue,
  • Los Angeles,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90071-1512
  • Tel +1 213 229 7000
  • Fax +1 213 229 7520
  • Website : www.gibsondunn.com
  • 3161 Michelson Drive,
  • Irvine,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 92612-4412
  • Tel +1 949 451 3800
  • Fax +1 949 451 4220
  • 2029 Century Park East,
  • Los Angeles,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90067-3026
  • Tel +1 310 552 8500
  • Fax +1 310 551 8741
  • 1881 Page Mill Road,
  • Palo Alto,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94304-1211
  • Tel +1 650 849 5300
  • Fax +1 650 849 5333
  • 555 Mission Street,
  • Suite 3000,
  • San Francisco,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94105-0921
  • Tel +1 415 393 8200
  • Fax +1 415 393 8306
  • 1801 California Street,
  • Suite 4200,
  • Denver,
  • Colorado
  • USA
  • CO 80202-2642
  • Tel +1 303 298 5700
  • Fax +1 303 298 5907
  • 1050 Connecticut Avenue NW,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20036-5306
  • Tel +1 202 955 8500
  • Fax +1 202 467 0539
  • 200 Park Avenue,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10166-0193
  • Tel +1 212 351 4000
  • Fax +1 212 351 4035
  • 2100 McKinney Avenue,
  • Suite 1100,
  • Dallas,
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 75201-6912
  • Tel +1 214 698 3100
  • Fax +1 214 571 2900

Antitrust - California

THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is indisputably one of the leading antitrust firms for litigation in California. Peers and clients alike see it as a powerhouse in the area, with a seemingly endless list of high-quality lawyers at all levels. Although it has great expertise across the civil antitrust space, including in class action defense, the firm is best known for its cartel defense practice, led by Gary Spratling. Among its work highlights is achieving an extremely favorable settlement for Intel against the State of New York in an alleged monopolization case, as well as the ongoing defense of UBS in a class action case concerning alleged fixing of the LIBOR inter-bank rate.

Sources say: "Their intelligence and professionalism is at a different level."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "The master of the cartel leniency program in the US," Gary Spratling is world-renowned and has "instant credibility" in the criminal defense arena. He is able to "bring something unique to the process," no doubt in part due to his 28 years' experience as a DOJ prosecutor. He is co-lead counsel in the UBS LIBOR case. 

Joel Sanders is "one hell of a lawyer" according to sources, who praise him for his intelligence and "great interpersonal skills." He maintains a broad antitrust practice, which includes expertise in such diverse areas as shipping and technology. His notable work of late includes representing Micron in the defense and settlement of a price-fixing claim brought by Oracle.

One commentator described the "fabulous" Daniel Swanson as "head and shoulders above most other antitrust lawyers," pointing in particular to his PhD in economics, while another called him "the guy you'd want in a super-sensitive meeting with the government." A highly adept trial lawyer, he was lead counsel for Cox Communications in defeating a class action brought on behalf of cable and satellite TV subscribers, and won dismissal with prejudice for Dole Food in the fresh and process potatoes litigation.

Robert Cooper is, in the words of one commentator, "one of the best lawyers I've ever seen." He has almost 50 years' experience in the fields of antitrust and commercial litigation and was involved in the representation of Intel against the State of New York.

Banking & Finance - California

THE FIRM With a well-deserved reputation as a leading borrowers' counsel, this practice continues to see substantial work from a wide variety of clients. It has recently been involved in a great number of credit facility deals including representing Del Monte Foods in a $3.45 billion term loan and asset-based revolving credit facility. The firm continues to develop its lender-side practice, building relationships with institutions such as Wells Fargo.

Sources say: "They are a valuable firm because of their knowledge, efficiency and thoroughness."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Linda Curtis wins the praise of interviewees who note her value, saying: "When a deal starts to unravel she can solve problems that look unsolvable. She is very smart and very practical and does an amazing job."

Jeff Hudson has done significant work in the acquisition finance space, alongside his traditional debt finance practice. This year he worked with private investment firm Aurora Capital on a revolving credit facility to finance the purchase of Industrial Container Service.

Cromwell Montgomery's reputation continues to advance. Sources say: "He is a terrific lead partner for us. He is pragmatic, efficient and has a great memory."

Associate Melissa Barshop attracts commendation from clients, one of whom states: "She does an outstanding job - she works so hard for us and is just absolutely stellar."

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - California

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn & Crutcher's versatile bankruptcy attorneys are admired both locally and nationally. The California team leverages a hefty national network of expertise to provide thorough solutions to both company and creditor-side clients. This is particularly so in relation to bankruptcy litigation, where the firm is singled out for praise by commentators. The team is also developing a commanding presence in cross-border bankruptcies, and has been acting for Bahrain-based investment bank Arcapita Bank BSC and five Cayman Island subsidiaries on Arcapita's New York-based Chapter 11 proceedings. 

Sources say: "The team can marshal resources in big cases. It is dedicated and hardworking. They are all good, up and down the line."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly experienced Oscar Garza is regularly singled out as a "brilliant restructuring attorney; very pragmatic and thorough." He is currently representing the Chandler Trusts and several former directors of Tribune in litigation arising out of Tribune's bankruptcy.

Orange County-based Craig Millet is cochair of Gibson's national business restructuring and reorganization practice. He is adept across the bankruptcy spectrum and harbors expertise in cross-border and international matters. "He is a down-to-earth guy; very practical," say sources.

Samuel Newman provides wide-ranging bankruptcy experience to clients. Of late, he has acted on a number of Section 363 asset acquisitions, including representing Contec in its acquisition of all the assets of PowerBalance.

Jeffrey Krause is praised for his intelligence and strong demeanor during negotiations. He joined Gibson Dunn from Stutman Treister in 2012. He is the lead lawyer acting as debtor's counsel for RE Loans during its prominent Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Capital Markets - California

THE FIRM Sources commend this team for its wide market knowledge and astute advice on a range of debt and equity transactions. Recent highlights include representing Intel in its $5 billion senior notes public offering. Other key clients include Bally Technologies, Eros International and Pixelworks.

Sources say: "They are incredibly hard-working, thoughtful and quick to provide us with whatever the situation demands."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly regarded Jonathan Layne advised Ameristar Casinos on a Rule 144A offering of 7.50% senior notes. He has a good reputation for his debt and equity work among peers in the field.

Douglas Smith is "thoughtful, totally engaged and really took the time to understand the issues and develop his own opinions about things," asserted one impressed client. His recent highlights include advising Wells Fargo on the establishment of a $100 billion global note program for Wells Fargo Bank.

The "thoughtful and knowledgeable" Stewart McDowell is a "creative lawyer who is good at solving problems," enthusiastic clients say. She recently represented Wells Fargo Securities on the public offering of floating-rate notes by Wells Fargo & Company.

Corporate/M&A - California

THE FIRM This fine practice group is noted for its diverse M&A activity across the state, particularly in Los Angeles where its business transactions group counts among the very best. In addition to a company transactional practice, its scope encompasses work in private equity and venture capital, with a strong investor-side practice. Recent highlights include representing Morgan Stanley as financial adviser to Ariba regarding its $4.3 billion sale to SAP.

Sources say: "Preeminent in Southern California." "You get top-quality talent and resources, and broad-based assets across the globe, which is important to us because we do business all over the world."

KEY INDIVIDUALS LA-based Jonathan Layne is "very impressive in terms of his experience, knowledge and demeanor. We rely heavily on his advice, which is very balanced and thoughtful," say clients. He recently advised Goldman Sachs on its role as financial adviser to Beckman Coulter in its $6.8 billion acquisition of Danaher.

Palo Alto partner-in-charge Russell Hansen advised Intel on the $1.25 billion sale of IM Flash Technologies and related assets to Micron Technology.

Private equity fund formation lawyer Jennifer Bellah Maguire is also widely recommended. She recently represented Leonard Green & Partners in the formation of Green Equity Investors VI, a $6.25 billion new LP private equity fund.

Bradford Weirick cochairs the firm's emerging technologies practice alongside Gregory Davidson. Weirick recently advised Idealab! on its $640 million sale of Internet Brands to a Hellman & Friedman affiliate. Davidson acted for Shazam Entertainment on a $35 million investment by Kleiner Perkins, DN Capital and Institutional Venture Partners.

Bruce Meyer has a long history of top-notch transactions to his name, several of which stem from his strong relationship with Aurora Capital and its portfolio companies.

The "smart, personable and highly responsive" Christopher Dillon was counsel to financial advisers Morgan Stanley in relation to Ariba's acquisition by SAP and RightNow's acquisition by Oracle.

Associate Shawn Domzalski is singled out by clients as being "incredibly smart, very thorough and detailed" in his approach. Others highlight his strong communication skills and "willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done."

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - California

THE FIRM This group acts for substantial public and private companies on an array of incentive, deferred compensation and executive compensation plans. It also often advises companies on compensation and benefits matters spinning out of IPOs and M&A. Clients include substantial corporates in the technology, retail and pharmaceutical sectors.

Sources say: "The lawyers are very good - I have a lot of time for them."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sean Feller deftly advises companies on incentive, particularly equity, benefits. He also handles executive compensation and termination matters.

Stephen Fackler brings nearly 30 years of experience to employee benefits and executive compensation matters. He recently advised on Transatlantic Holdings' incentives compensation program when the company was acquired by Alleghany Corporation.

Environment - California

THE FIRM This firm enjoys an excellent reputation for its work on high-profile environmental litigation. The team has a strong record for handling government enforcement actions, and is currently advising the Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company on an appeal against a groundbreaking OSHA citation, as well as defending it in a wrongful death action following an industrial accident. The firm acts for a number of major names on environmental questions, including Intel, Southern California Gas, Climate Action Reserve and MidAmerican Energy Holdings.

Sources say: "They did a great job. They're very detail-oriented, results-oriented and service-oriented, and very good at communicating their points to clients and government agencies."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Patrick Dennis is currently representing Intel in a series of cases arising from allegations of birth defects. Observers consider him "a prominent and thoughtful lawyer who is very focused and intellectual. First rate."

Clients value Jeffrey Dintzer for being "intelligent, thorough, persistent, aggressive when necessary and responsive." He has extensive expertise acting on high-stakes class actions and toxic tort litigation.

Thomas McHenry wins praise from sources for his negotiating skills and expertise in the hazardous waste and air quality arenas. "There's very little environmental law he doesn't know, but it's his business sense that stands out the most," commentators say.

Insurance - California

THE FIRM This well-established California practice handles a range of complex insurance disputes. The team divides its time between high-exposure actions on behalf of major carriers and sophisticated class actions in the context of environmental, healthcare and employment issues, including ERISA matters. Zurich, Aetna, CIGNA and Gemini feature among the firm's regular clients.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients are effusive in their praise of Richard Doren, who is "wonderfully creative and has a terrific courtroom presence." He has recently been involved in a series of insurance class actions on behalf of Aetna. 

Intellectual Property - California

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn's West Coast IP practice operates out of offices in Orange County, Palo Alto and Century City. The team has litigation, transactional, regulatory and trademark prosecution capabilities. Recent work includes representing Apple in an eight-patent infringement action brought against Samsung smartphone, tablet and media player products. Other notable clients include Novo Nordisk, Amazon and Allergan.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Wayne Barsky is a patent litigator and cochair of the firm's IP practice. His practice encompasses biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device matters as well as new media technology, including social networks. He recently represented Merck Serono, Pfizer and EMD Serono in a high-value patent infringement action brought by Biogen.

IT & Outsourcing - California

THE FIRM This formidable team retains its position as a market leading outsourcing practice. The strategic sourcing and technology transactions practice group draws on the firm's global reach to tackle the most complex ITO, BPO and transformational strategic alliances. Sources note the depth of knowledge and breadth of experience displayed by the group. The team's leading lawyers regularly act on behalf of global heavyweights such as Heineken and KPMG, guiding them through ITO and BPO agreements and the outsourcing of infrastructure services respectively.

Sources say: "The main reasons we work with Gibson Dunn are the quality of service and the fact that they are very cognizant of what current market positions are on the issues that are important to us."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "A recognized authority in the field," Daniel Mummery is "one of the very best outsourcing lawyers in the world" who "fiercely protects client interests and provides high-value, strategic business and legal advice." His premier clientele includes McGraw-Hill and Symantec, with the past year seeing him handle a range of outsourcing transactions.

Co-heading the practice alongside Mummery, William Peters is admired for the extensive expertise that he has accumulated over the years. Commentators note: "He brings deep subject matter and market knowledge, along with a collaborative working style, in order to achieve optimal results." He recently handled a series of transactions for Marsh & McLennan.

Shaalu Mehra recently moved from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and specializes in complex multinational outsourcing initiatives. Acting on behalf of leading vendors, he structures large-scale agreements that illustrate "deep technical knowledge due not only to his legal training and experience but to his earlier career as a technologist."  

Labor & Employment - California

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn enjoys a growing reputation thanks to recent key hires and an impressive caseload. The group is highly regarded for its work in substantial wage and hour, discrimination and misclassification claims. The group recently acted for the defendant in Wal-Mart v Dukes, in which the Supreme Court overturned a mammoth Title VII class certification.

Sources say: "Customer service is beyond any other firm I have experienced. The lawyers are quick to respond and are very aware of current trends."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Catherine Conway joined the team from Akin Gump this past year, and is making waves with her work in a number of wage and hour and discrimination class actions. "She is smart, confident and a role model," notes a peer. 

Los Angeles-based Julian Poon is praised for his ability to "handle unique and novel areas of the law." He recently represented the defendant in Tien v Tenet Healthcare, in which a wage and hour class action certification was dismissed.

Jesse Cripps is a litigator who often focuses on Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and wage and hour issues. He recently acted for Raytheon, and successfully dismissed claims that managers were misclassified as exempt under Californian wage and hour laws.

Litigation - California

THE FIRM This appellate behemoth continues to justify its position as a market leader in California. Its team members, many of whom sit on California Judicial Council committees, are frequently engaged upon the most complex and high-profile cases, offering a truly unparalleled level of service and expertise. Over the past year, the team remained heavily involved in the landmark Perry v Brown case. After having previously advised the plaintiffs throughout their successful challenge of Proposition 8, the firm continued their representation, subsequently ensuring that a motion for reconsideration was summarily dismissed by the United States Courts of Appeals.

Sources say: “They do terrific work; they're both very thoughtful and very timely in what they do. Outstanding client service.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS Theodore Boutrous is universally recognised as the most skilled and experienced appellate lawyer in the state. He is described as being “thoughtful, very good at looking at the big picture and a very effective strategist,” while “his appellate ability is undeniable.” Indeed, one particularly effusive source claimed that “when you compare somebody to him, everyone's going to come up short.” He was lead partner in the Perry v Brown case and also represented Chevron as it emerged victorious in the Lago Agrio litigation.

Former appellate judge Daniel Kolkey is, according to sources, an “outstandingly well-qualified” attorney who “deserves his reputation as one of the top appellate lawyers in the country.” He acted on behalf of Commonfund Realty and successfully argued that the $34 million in punitive damages previously levied against the company was excessive, obtaining a $17.6 million reduction in the amount owed.

Litigation - California

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn continues to be one of the most formidable and well-respected litigation groups on the West Coast. It has 65 partners practicing in this area across the full range of litigation matters, including antitrust and securities. On the securities front, it maintains a deep roster and a busy practice, including such recent representations as acting for UBS on a case brought by billionaire Igor Olenicoff alleging mismanagement. More generally, it successfully defeated a putative class action claim brought against PepsiCo and South Beach Beverage alleging false advertising.

Sources say: "They are exceptional professionals who really care. They developed an outstanding strategy which worked perfectly as they anticipated and which they executed beautifully. They were rainmakers – amazing."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Dean Kitchens is an experienced litigator who practices general commercial law with a distinct securities flavor. Sources praise him for his client focus and describe him as a "terrific and savvy traditional trial lawyer who gets good results." He led in the UBS matter.

Another strong securities litigator, Wayne Smith has "an enormous amount of trial experience" and is credited for his ability to "sort out and simplify the factual areas that can bedevil cases." He led the firm's successful representation of ITT Educational Services in defending claims of securities fraud in its recruiting practices.

Cochair of the securities practice group, Meryl Young is "incredibly well connected with the judicial system and has a lot of insight into the SEC." She is co-leading in a case for Citigroup Global Markets in defence of a suit brought by Tri-City Healthcare District relating to the issuing of bonds.

Litigation - California

THE FIRM This highly respected firm's California offices often liaise with others around the country, and the firm has a wealth of resources that extend to working in multiple international jurisdictions. Its renowned FCPA practice and deep bench of talented attorneys that have served within the SEC and DOJ secure its position as one of the top California white-collar crime practices. Recent highlights include handling an investigation relating to fraud allegations under Medicaid on behalf of a healthcare company and assisting a petroleum product marketer and refiner with a criminal industrial accident investigation brought by the US Chemical and Safety Hazard Investigation Board.

Sources say: "They were able to execute in a beautiful manner. They are a class above everyone else."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Debra Wong Yang receives tremendous praise from a client who praises her "understanding of the process from the prosecutorial and judicial side, which added to my comfort." She cochairs the firm's white-collar defense and investigations group and the crisis management group, and is particularly recommended for her expertise in China-related work. Work highlights include providing advice relating to compliance and FCPA corporate organization.  

Nicola Hanna served as the lead partner on an SEC enforcement action relating to Nigerian bribery charges. A client applauds him for his "profound insight into the inner workings of the US prosecution system and exceptional ability to interpret the law."

Media & Entertainment - California

THE FIRM This longstanding member of the California legal community is admired for its full-service litigation practice. The media team concentrates on the television industry, particularly profit participation, while also tackling copyright infringement claims and contract disputes. The firm can boast an enviable list of top clients, including NBC Universal, FOX Broadcasting and Hard Rock Café. The team recently represented CBS Studios and Warner Bros. in profit participation lawsuits.

Sources say: “Extremely successful, very responsive and proactive.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS Scott Edelman is well regarded by peers, with particular commendation for his impressive and highly successful courtroom abilities. He has been involved in a wide array of cases of late, with a particular focus on profit participation litigation. He is currently representing NBC Universal in such litigation brought by producer Glen Larson.

Theodore Boutrous is cochair of the firm's media and entertainment group and has experience in federal and state appellate courts nationwide. He advises a broad spectrum of clients, including authors and media organizations, on a wide range of matters, from First Amendment and defamation to copyright and news gathering.

Media & Entertainment - California

THE FIRM This firm continues to gain prominence for its high-profile corporate transaction work. Highlights includes joint ventures, M&A and multiyear slate financing deals. Recent work includes single and slate film financing transactions for Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox. 

Sources say: “A really wonderful firm. They understand the media and entertainment industry; they understand its nuances even within M&A.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS Ruth Fisher is a “very strong,” highly experienced corporate lawyer with a focus on media and entertainment. This year she advised top clients Technicolor and Universal Pictures on various acquisitions.

Real Estate - California

THE FIRM This very well-respected practice undertakes a wide range of real estate work, including leasing, sales and acquisitions, financings and workouts. Recent major highlights for the team include acting for Tishman Speyer on the sale of 555 Mission Street in San Francisco, and advising Normandy Realty Partners on the $355 million recapitalization of 10 University City Plaza in Los Angeles. The firm's zoning and land use group is also very strong, and acts on a number of high-profile matters in California. It currently advises the NBA team Golden State Warriors on the land use and entitlement issues of its move to a new stadium in San Francisco. 

Sources say: "Seasoned professionals with great bench strength and the ability to address a wide array of issues."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients consider Michael Sfregola to be "one of the most intelligent, flexible, understanding lawyers in the city. He's very practical and responsive, keenly aware of the ins and outs of the matter, not just the legal issues but the nature of the market as well." His particular expertise lies in the acquisition and financing of hotel, commercial, residential and industrial properties.

Dennis Arnold is recognized by clients and peers alike as an extremely knowledgeable attorney, and sources describe him as being "like an Encyclopedia Britannica of law." He has particular experience advising on mortgage remedies and foreclosures. 

Market-leading zoning and land use practitioner Amy Forbes has extensive experience across a range of project development and construction issues and the processing of entitlements. She wins high praise from clients and peers alike: "She is extremely intelligent, articulate and responsive. She is an excellent team player and problem solver, and her broad expertise is very valuable in negotiating effective solutions."

Impressive land use attorney Mary Murphy has worked on some of San Francisco's most significant public/private development deals. She is lead counsel on the high-profile Treasure Island Community Development, which proposes to build a sustainable San Francisco neighborhood on the island. "She's an absolute powerhouse and very, very prominent," sources say, describing her as "effective, knowledgeable and practical."

One of the leading figures of California real estate law, Jesse Sharf impresses clients as "a real businessman's lawyer and probably one of the most connected real estate partners that I've come across. He's also extraordinarily practical in terms of closing a deal."

Sources applaud financing expert Deborah Cussen for being "fantastic, incredibly energetic, positive and practical." "She's very good at making sure everything gets done, has a lot of experience in the lending phase and is very detail-oriented," say clients. 

Drew Flowers regularly handles high-value real estate matters, and recently advised Normandy Realty Partners on a joint venture with Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing on the recapitalization of an office tower in Los Angeles. Clients praise him as "spectacular, able to deal with situations thoughtfully and with very good business sense."

Tax - California

THE FIRM This team continues to impress sources with its international capabilities and tax skills, especially while handling complex M&A transactions. The 11-lawyer team is notably prominent in Northern California, and beyond transactional work is very active in tax litigation and controversy. Clients include the likes of Kraft, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Wells Fargo Securities.

Sources say: "Very responsive, technically strong and their fees are reasonable."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources readily praise Hatef Behnia, saying: "He is just brilliant," and describing him as "a terrific lawyer and an excellent guy." His practice focuses on taxable and tax-free M&A, spin-offs, restructurings, joint ventures, debt and equity financings, and other areas involving complex financial instruments and structures. 

Paul Issler's practice emphasizes domestic and international corporate, limited liability company and partnership tax matters. Market commentators describe him as a "responsive and strong" lawyer.

Dora Arash wins widespread recognition among peers and clients alike and is described as "an excellent practitioner, always available and entirely committed."

Corporate/M&A - Colorado

THE FIRM This small team is regularly engaged in transactions with values ranging from billions of dollars to smaller deals worth several million dollars. It maintains a regional and national practice with clients including Vail Resorts, The Williams Companies and Atmos Energy.

Sources say: "They produce an exceptionally high-quality work product with good customer service."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Talley concentrates his work on corporate finance transactions and M&A. He is praised for his "good practical counsel," which is "very solution-oriented."  

Beau Stark maintains a broad practice advising public and private enterprise clients on issues such as capital markets transactions, securities offerings and private fund formation. Sources attest that he has "very good financial acumen, which is critical for a deal attorney."

Litigation - Colorado

THE FIRM This national firm continues to earn the respect of the Colorado market. Recent highlights for the group include its work for Molycorp and its outside directors for whom the team was retained as lead defense counsel in connection with a shareholders' class action.

Sources say: "The firm is comprised of true legal experts in a wide variety of legal disciplines."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Blume uses his background as a former prosecutor to help clients deal with both internal investigations and complex civil litigation. A source observed that "he was creative in coming up with solutions to help us," and that "he was able to come in and articulate what the strategy was."

Gregory Kerwin handles antitrust, insurance, securities and civil litigation. He "approaches litigation with a winning attitude and manages the client's budget as if it were his own," say sources.

Antitrust - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This team builds on its sterling national reputation as one of the leading criminal cartel groups in the USA with a more rounded practice in Washington, DC, including transactional work and noncriminal investigations. Of late it has represented UBS in 17 class actions arising from the LIBOR investigation, and acted for Sony Music in class action cases relating to alleged price-fixing of digital music downloads.

Sources say: "For anything with complexity, I'd turn to them." "They gave advice that was not only good, but practical as well."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Joseph Kattan has a broad-based antitrust practice with a particular niche in IP-related antitrust matters. Peers are respectful of his experience and abilities in the area. He recently represented Intel in a case brought by the New York Attorney General concerning alleged monopolization.

Jarrett Arp is a versatile lawyer with a growing profile. He practices primarily in antitrust litigation and counseling. He is antitrust counsel to Microsoft and McDonald's, among others, and was also part of the team representing UBS.

Joshua Lipton is seen as a "very talented, very smart guy" who has quickly established himself as a solid litigator in this area. He is currently representing Aetna in a case brought against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan alleging that a number of contracts with hospitals breached antitrust laws.

Corporate/M&A - District of Columbia

THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is renowned for its high-end DC practice, which is praised for its deep bench of experienced practitioners. The team continues to represent major international companies such as Marriott International, Wolverine Worldwide and Credit Suisse in complex matters that run the gamut of IPOs, acquisitions, mergers and investment transactions. Recent work includes assisting Wolverine Worldwide with the financing of the acquisition of Collective Brands, a transaction that was worth over $1 billion.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Howard Adler is held in high regard by market commentators as a leading practitioner in this area. He has worked on numerous sophisticated corporate transactions of late, including TCF Financial's acquisition of more than $800 million in FDIC-insured deposits from Prudential Bank & Trust. He also advised ExactTarget on its $185 million IPO. 

The "tremendous" Stephen Glover has "built up a good practice" in this market, according to admiring sources. He represents public and private companies in the full spectrum of corporate requirements, and has been particularly occupied with strategic acquisitions of late. He led the team on the Wolverine Worldwide acquisition financing.  

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - District of Columbia

THE FIRM A team of 12 partners forms the DC arm of this respected national practice, with expertise in the drafting of employment agreements and plan compliance. The last year has seen this office assert itself as a significant force in the field of class actions, with a favorable outcome on behalf of client Boeing which resulted in the Seventh Circuit reversing the largest ERISA class action ever certified, in a matter worth $4 billion. The DC group continues to represent Boeing on other ongoing matters in the fields of pension plans and medical benefits. Other key clients include Credit Suisse, Wal-Mart and KV Pharmaceuticals.

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Kilberg is a former solicitor for the DOL and recently oversaw the successful conclusion of the firm's representation of Boeing in its ERISA class action dispute.

Michael Collins is cochair of the employee benefits and executive compensation group and has great experience across the benefits field.

Environment - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This firm has notable experience in the environmental sphere, and is rated for its strong focus on toxic tort defense work. It acts for a client base from a range of fields, including the aerospace, pulp and paper and semiconductor industries. Standout matters include representing Chevron in a $19 billion environmental damages action relating to oil production in Ecuador. Other major clients include Intel, Global Automakers, International Paper and Lockheed Martin.

Sources say: "They have helped me tremendously in providing proactive and strategic legal advice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Raymond Ludwiszewski is described as "a quality lawyer who is very sharp, and who knows the industry and the players." He recently acted for a number of groups of automakers and dealers in complex and high-profile climate change litigation.

Peter Seley is applauded for his strategic approach. His broad experience covers mass and toxic tort defense, appellate litigation and challenges to agency action.

Labor & Employment - District of Columbia

THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is widely acknowledged as a preeminent firm for labor and employment law. The team was established as an extraordinary force in the class actions sphere with its precedent-setting victory in Spano v Boeing, which saw the Seventh Circuit reverse the largest ERISA class action ever certified, on grounds of typicality. Health law remains a cornerstone of the practice, which deploys OSHA expertise to good effect in defense of multiple prominent employers. The firm also advises on a wide range of employment matters, including discrimination, equal opportunities and trade secrets. The practice's elite clientele includes Wal-Mart, Boeing, Merrill Lynch and Ford.  

Sources say: "They have the ability to look at things with strategic vision and help us plan an end-game strategy that works with our business model."

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Kilberg is the practice group's senior partner and is a veteran of the DOL. He was lead partner on the much-publicized case brought against Boeing by the NLRB, and continues to be a leading light in the firm's class action practice.

Eugene Scalia has a wide practice in the employment sphere, with a focus on DOL statutes and matters pertaining to the NLRA. Peers praise his as being "very strategically focused – he can communicate with clients and is very business-minded."

"The dean of the OSHA Bar," Baruch Fellner is the acknowledged expert on occupational health law and has represented the US Chamber of Commerce. He is also a frequent industry spokesperson in the media.

Litigation - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This preeminent DC firm is fully integrated within a wide-reaching national network as impressively broad as its litigation practice. The large team handles a staggering number of cases, focusing on securities, white-collar and general commercial litigation. Its recent work includes representing Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in a highly publicized breach of contract action and a separate patent infringement case. Its client base also includes Janus Capital, the Investment Company Institute and the Business Roundtable.

Sources say: "They are extremely responsive, very knowledgeable, and very helpful to us."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Joseph Warin is singled out by sources as "a very practical person" who offers particular expertise in securities and white-collar litigation. Described as "a tireless worker who is effective in resolving massive, complicated cases," Warin also has a tremendous reputation for his expertise in government investigations and litigation related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).   

Antitrust - Nationwide

THE FIRM Few firms can claim to have such strength across such geographical breadth as Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Its influence extends well beyond its Californian roots, with high-quality practitioners in New York, Washington, DC and Texas. It is particularly lauded for its cartel-related work, led by legendary cartel figure Gary Spratling, although it offers impressive full-service capability. Its recent work includes acting as lead counsel for Apple on the high-profile eBooks antitrust litigation. It also represented Cox Communications in defense of a putative class action case concerning cable television bundling. The firm's impressive client base also includes Sony, Facebook and Microsoft.

Client Service "They do excellent work, and are responsive and thorough. They can handle any issue that comes up. They are people you can uniformly work with and who are on your side."

Commercial Awareness "They are very good at analyzing the situation and developing plans to address the issues."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The firm has four lawyers heading up their practice. They are Peter Sullivan in New York, Daniel Swanson in Los Angeles, Sean Royall in Dallas and Gary Spratling in San Francisco.

Appellate Law - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm is an obvious leader in the appellate space, featuring an endless supply of top-quality practitioners spread across multiple offices nationwide. The group offers extensive experience in handling complex appellate litigation for a range of clients including Comcast, The Travelers Companies and Walmart. Ongoing cases include the representation of John Wiley & Sons in a dispute concerning the specifics of copyright infringement. 

Sources say: "The firm has a variety of advocates who perform appellate work at the highest level."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Theodore Olson remains a preeminent choice of appellate lawyer, hailed as "one of the leading Supreme Court advocates in the country" and "a wise legal strategist." He continues to be involved in some of the country's leading cases in recent times, including acting as co-counsel for the American Foundation for Equal Rights in the historic Proposition 8 litigation. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently upheld the Perry v Brown district court ruling that confirmed the unconstitutionality of the proposition. The case will be heard by the Supreme Court.

The "tremendously effective advocate" Miguel Estrada cochairs the firm's appellate and constitutional law practice and has displayed superb courtroom abilities in numerous Supreme Court appearances. He is currently working on behalf of Comcast in a dispute regarding the role of district courts in the certification of class actions. He is "one smart son of a gun," according to sources. 

Fellow practice cochair Theodore Boutrous is held in high regard by market commentators for his work as a "great advocate." Following on from his success in the Wal-Mart v Dukes case, Theodore has played a key role in several other significant matters, including the Proposition 8 case referred to above. Other highlights include his representation of Standard Fire before the Supreme Court in what will be the first case at this level to interpret the 2005 Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

Thomas Hungar is an acclaimed appellate lawyer based in Washington, DC and has argued multiple cases at Supreme Court level, as well as numerous arguments before federal and state appellate courts. He recently achieved a substantial victory for Facebook in a patent infringement case brought by Leader Technologies.

Mark Perry is a seasoned litigator who specializes in complex commercial litigation. After years of extensive litigation on behalf of Janus Capital Management, he led the team that successfully defeated the final case in this matter. This was brought by First Derivative Traders, and was taken to the Supreme Court.

Daniel Kolkey is a distinguished member of the appellate team, and is based in San Francisco. He currently represents Apple in a California Supreme Court case regarding the recording of a customer's address in an online transaction.

Thomas Dupree is a new addition to the rankings, backed by a rapidly growing reputation for presenting excellent arguments at appellate level. Peers characterize him as "a very fine lawyer who is certainly well regarded."

Helgi Walker recently joined the firm from Wiley Rein. Walker is highly regarded as a "brilliant appellate advocate" who demonstrates admirable commercial awareness when handling complex matters.

Banking & Finance - Nationwide

THE FIRM Traditionally known for its strength on the borrower side, Gibson Dunn continues to attract work from private equity firms, financial sponsors and corporate borrowers. Of late the firm has been involved in a number of acquisition financings, on both sides of the transaction, including advising Del Monte Foods in its $3.45 billion acquisition by an investor group.

Sources say: "They are creative and thoughtful on approaching problems."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources are quick to praise Janet Vance, saying: "She has that rare component where she cares about our company and wants us to do well." Recently she has worked on a number of financial transactions including advising Williams Partners in a $2.8 billion revolving bank facility.

The "hard-working and very creative" Joerg Esdorn is focused on leveraged finance transactions where he represents both borrowers and lenders. Lately he has advised UBS Bank in several secured credit facility increase matters.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team continues to receive strong plaudits from interviewees for the impressive quality of its securities regulation practice and for its transactional work. It recently advised Kraft Foods on a notes offering. Other notable clients include Intel, Williams Partners and Wells Fargo.

Sources say: "They are all highly bright and knowledgeable and handle things with a great deal of confidence but are also very good to work with."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Andrew Fabens is a "strong and knowledgeable lawyer" who is highly regarded for his representation of companies on a range of debt and equity transactions. His clients include Heineken, Moody's and Ancestry.com.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

THE FIRM The influence of this firm extends far beyond its California origins, ensuring that it is frequently enlisted on some of the most significant transactions in the market. This year saw lawyers engaged by Lazard Freres as financial adviser to Walgreens in its $6.7 billion acquisition of a 45% equity stake in Boots. Williams Partners also gave the team an opportunity to demonstrate its prowess in the energy and natural resources sector in its mandate to act on the $2.5 billion acquisition of Caiman Eastern Midstream.

Client Service "They are first-rate, the advice is very sound, and customer service is unparalleled."

Commercial Awareness "Knowledgeable, commercially unbelievable – you don't generally find lawyers that can blend law and commerciality to give balanced advice. They are very knowledgeable on overall markets."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Washington, DC-based Stephen Glover, Jeffrey Chapman in Dallas and Barbara Becker in New York are the global cochairs of the corporate practice.

ERISA Litigation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn continues to represent an array of high-profile clients, including Boeing and Textron. The experienced ERISA team's recent work has included a number of stock drop cases and pension plan matters, and it is adept at handling matters on a nationwide scale. This is exemplified by its representation of Aetna in multidistrict litigation concerning a number of claims linked to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and reimbursement policies. An additional strength of the practice is the notable government experience of several of its attorneys.

Sources say: "Their reputation is strong and their practice is well balanced." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Kilberg is highly regarded for his longstanding expertise in ERISA law. He continues to work with Boeing on a number of matters in this space, and is described by sources as a "wonderful guy with a great reputation."

Paul Blankenstein specializes in complex commercial litigation, and has a notable focus on ERISA-related cases. He has recently been active on a number of stock drop cases, representing clients such as Textron, KV Pharmaceutical and Eastman Kodak, among others.

Financial Services Regulation - Nationwide

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Government - Nationwide

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn has a particular focus on representing aerospace and defense contractors in high-value government contract litigation. This global firm is revered by sources for its extensive resources and ability to marshal assistance from other practice groups as needed. Notable clients include Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, on whose behalf the group won a significant $59.2 million judgment in a case which arose pursuant to the sale of four Raytheon businesses with underfunded post-retirement benefit plans. The team also defeated government counterclaims totaling over $18 million in the process.

Sources say: "The team at Gibson Dunn is highly aware of our commercial operations and need for pragmatic solutions." "They have an expert-level knowledge of suspensions and debarment and government administrative actions."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Karen Manos is once again highlighted for her impressive skill in handling cost disputes and cost accounting issues. The aforementioned Raytheon matter is one in which she excelled, and sources report that Manos is "extremely confident and capable. She is very good at making rational arguments and explaining them so that non-accountants can understand." 

Joseph West has great experience in handling suspension and debarment matters. Observers are impressed, attesting that "he is a fierce advocate for the client. He's willing to take a tough position with government representatives." West's recent work includes providing ongoing counseling to a diverse group of clients, including the Bank of New York Mellon and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

International Arbitration - Nationwide

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International Trade - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm receives excellent feedback for all aspects of its international trade work. Recent highlights include representing the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance issues, while other sanctions clients include household names such as Facebook and McDonald's. The firm's white-collar defense and investigations group has a well-respected FCPA practice that handles major internal investigations and routinely advises on compliance programs. Customs and trade remedies mandates further round out the firm's workload.

Sources say: "We are very impressed with the firm and very happy with its work."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Joseph Warin enjoys a top-tier reputation for his "real breadth of experience" in FCPA enforcement and compliance. He serves as compliance monitor to several industry-leading companies.

Customs expert Donald Harrison advises on valuation, classification and country of origin issues, among other specialized areas. His clients include Honda and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

Judith Lee is a popular choice for export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS advice: "She's very sure-footed on the law, and has an excellent manner."

Investment Funds - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm houses a skilled team that is capable of handling work across the full spectrum of private investment funds matters. Of late, lawyers have been involved in significant fundraising for buyout, distressed real estate, secondary and environmental infrastructure funds. Leonard Green & Partners, Investcorp and JPMorgan are all distinguished clients of the team, and lawyers are frequently enlisted by such names to assist on the full scope of regulatory, transactional and investment activity. 

Sources say: "Their main strengths are their market knowledge and experience."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Cochair of the group Edward Sopher is a go-to attorney for "judgments on tricky questions," providing "pragmatism as well as protection, and business savvy responses." He works skillfully across a wide range of asset classes, and has a wealth of experience representing fund managers, sponsors and institutional investors.

Edward Nelson receives enthusiastic recommendations from sources, one of whom comments: "I would recommend him to absolutely any firm, large or small." His "fair-minded approach" draws particular praise.

Investment Funds - Nationwide

THE FIRM Housing considerable expertise in the mid and late stages of emerging growth companies as well as a wealth of experience with corporate investors, Gibson Dunn has proved an attractive prospect to clients such as Intel Capital, Shazam Entertainment and Adknowledge. Attorneys are identified as being adept in complex transactional activity, including cross-border and offshore work.

Sources say: "I believe that money spent on attorneys can deliver incredibly good value when you get the right team - with Gibson, we got the right team."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Experienced practitioner Gregory Davidson was recently engaged by Accuray to act on a $15.35 million investment in Compact Particle Acceleration and to coordinate relevant licensing arrangements.  

Labor & Employment - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm is noted for its high-end labor and employment practice, and regularly advises on big-ticket cases for corporate giants such as Walmart and Starbucks. It is hugely experienced in representing clients in class and collective actions, and recently advised Northrop Grumman in a wage and hour class action. The team succeeded in having the class action dismissed in favor of individual non-class arbitration proceedings. It is also skilled at handling single plaintiff defense and recently advised the Ports America Management Corporation in a complex wrongful termination case.

Sources say: "Customer service is beyond any other firm I have experienced. The lawyers are quick to respond and are very aware of current trends." "They are exceptional lawyers; they have the ability to gain insight into our business to allow them to attain exceptional results."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The firm's labor and employment department is headed by DC-based Eugene Scalia and Los Angeles-based Catherine Conway.

Outsourcing - Nationwide

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn's strategic sourcing and technology transactions practice continues to go from strength to strength. The team regularly advises market leaders on the most complex and high-value domestic and international outsourcing transactions. Leading lawyers on both the East and West Coasts offer a wide range of experience that includes structuring and negotiating agreements such as shared services, restructuring and offshore arrangements. The team advises Symantec on its outsourcing matters, and recently acted on the renegotiation of a business process outsourcing (BPO) transaction with Infosys.

Commercial Awareness "Gibson Dunn knows my business, fiercely protects my interests and provides high-value, strategic business and legal advice."

Client Service "They have provided superior client service. They take the time to understand our business."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly regarded Daniel Mummery has a sterling reputation in the outsourcing community. His practice is focused on onshore and offshore BPO and information technology outsourcing (ITO) transactions. He recently represented Con-way on a range of outsourcing agreements. Sources say he is "a leading authority in his field."

William Peters wins plaudits for his "deep understanding of the business landscape in the outsourcing arena." Recent work highlights include advising Battelle Memorial Institute on the migration of its enterprise resource planning system to AT&T's platform.

Interviewees commend Stephen Nordahl as an excellent lawyer, noting the "active leadership" he demonstrates when handling business critical matters. As leader of the New York practice he guides clients through the structuring and negotiation of ITO and BPO transactions and strategic alliances.

Privacy & Data Security - Nationwide

THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher enjoys a solid reputation in the privacy space. The IT and data privacy practice handles a variety of complex class action litigation, and advises on compliance programs and investigations. Key work highlights include representing Facebook in a significant FTC investigation.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sean Royall is a key contact.

Private Equity - Nationwide

THE FIRM Attorneys at this private equity practice coordinate efforts with lawyers in other practice areas, including tax and M&A, in order to provide comprehensive advice and excellent service to clients. The group has an extensive list of major clients, and recently handled multiple transactions for Centerview Partners and Aurora Capital Group. The practice also benefits from the firm's international reach, enabling attorneys to effectively manage transactions involving cross-border elements.

Client Service "They dedicate their most sophisticated resources to us."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in Los Angeles, Jennifer Bellah Maguire concentrates her practice on private equity fund formation and M&A.

Sean Griffiths recently represented CVC Capital Partners in its acquisition of a majority interest in AlixPartners. One client notes: "He is a pragmatic and effective problem solver in complex and tense transaction negotiations."

Steven Shoemate has strong expertise in the private equity arena, and has recently handled numerous transactions for Catterton Partners, including multiple investments.

Products Liability - Nationwide

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Real Estate - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm's real estate group has extensive expertise across a broad range of matters, including leasing, development, acquisitions and dispositions. It provides clients with a well-rounded service by drawing on the firm's bankruptcy, litigation and corporate capabilities. The team recently acted for Wells Fargo on the $3.3 billion acquisition of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation's portfolio of 61 US-based commercial real estate loans. Other key clients include Woodridge Capital, Fortress and Deutsche Bank.

Client Service "They have great business acumen, attention to detail and overall client service."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jesse Sharf is "a relationship source and a deal maker" who "drills down to what's meaningful" in a transaction, according to sources. He specializes in real estate-related high-end equity and debt finance.

Retail - Nationwide

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn's acclaimed strength across the board, and its dedication to the industry, ensure its position as a prominent player in retail issues. With offices in strategic locations across the world, it is well positioned to advise all manner of clients, ranging from startups to international corporations. As counterfeiting continues to be of growing concern in the industry, the team is frequently sought after by major clients such as Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Chloé, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci in trademark infringement actions against website operators selling counterfeit products. It also offers strong litigation capabilities, representing Apple in numerous cases, including its much-publicized dispute with SAMSUNG.

Sources say: "Excellent and they were very easy to work with."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The New York-based Lois Herzeca and David Wilf cochair the fashion, retail and consumer products practice.

Securities - Nationwide

THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher houses a spectacular securities regulatory group and expanding litigation team. On the advisory side, the team counsels clients on the impact of regulatory change in the wake of the Dodd-Frank Act and is considered an industry thought leader on the impact of the JOBS Act. With an impressive stable of former officers from FINRA, the SEC, CFTC and the DOJ, the team is well equipped to handle complex regulatory enforcement proceedings. It represents a number of industry associations including the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in CFTC rulemaking and rule amendments. Its litigation team continues to play a lead role in complex litigation linked to the fallout from the RMBS crisis, advising the independent board members of JPMorgan Chase on ongoing lawsuits relating to the rogue activities of the so-called 'London Whale' trader. 

Commercial Awareness "They are incredibly knowledgeable about securities rules and laws and very able to translate the knowledge into productive action. They provide great counsel on complex and challenging subjects and represent clients very effectively before regulatory agencies."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The venerable Joseph Warin is a "first-rate" attorney with a broad practice which includes securities litigation, government investigations and white-collar crime. One source notes that he is "perceived as one of the leading lawyers in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act space internationally and I think his reputation in the Bar is incredibly high."

Experienced trial attorney and cochair of the firm's litigation practice Mark Kirsch is praised by sources for his "technical knowledge – he knows what to do and how to do it – and his tactical ability to accomplish things within that realm." He recently acted for UBS on a class action sparked by losses incurred by rogue London-based trader Kweku Adoboli.

Los Angeles-based Dean Kitchens has a nationally recognized securities litigation practice. One interviewee names him a "terrific and savvy" lawyer who "gets good results."

Barry Goldsmith is "terrific for regulatory matters,” with sources reporting that “he is knowledgeable, approachable, smart, liked by the regulators, thoughtful and has excellent technical knowledge." He has a leading practice advising clients engaged in regulatory enforcement and investigations before agencies such as the SEC and FINRA. 

Brian Lane advises clients on federal securities law compliance. He impresses sources and according to one respondent is considered to be "one of the most knowledgeable securities attorneys that I have worked with. He gives practical advice and has superb judgment."

John Olson is a "wonderful adviser; he has that balance and sense that I think is almost unique," explains one client. As founding partner of the firm's securities practice and Washington, DC office, Olson is a seasoned and widely respected regulatory practitioner.

Securities regulatory adviser Amy Goodman cochairs the firm's practice group in this area. She has served at the SEC and has particular expertise on the Dodd-Frank Act provisions relating to securities and governance. Her clients include Hewlett-Packard and Johnson & Johnson. 

Lawrence Zweifach is involved in advising clients on significant multiagency investigative actions. He is praised for his ability to strategize and steer clients in the right direction. 

Tax - Nationwide

THE FIRM Gibson Dunn's exceptional depth of expertise sees it undertaking tax counsel for a broad range of clients, ranging from startup entrepreneurs to established multinationals. Its national practice spans both East and West Coasts, and is complemented by regionally renowned offices in Los Angeles, New York, DC and Dallas, overall contributing to a well-deserved national reputation. Its work highlights include acting for Amazon in its $775 million acquisition of Kiva Systems, as well as Hewlett Packard in its $10.3 billion acquisition of Autonomy. The group also represented Kraft Foods in a $6 billion bond offering and spin-off debt exchange.

Sources say: "Very responsive, technically strong, and their fees are reasonable."

KEY INDIVIDUALS On the West Coast, Hatef Behnia, Paul Issler and Scott Knutson remain key contacts, as does David Sinak in Dallas.

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm is highly rated for its work in the road transportation arena. The group is routinely relied upon by automotive manufacturers and major commercial carriers for a broad range of litigation and appellate work. It advised the Association of Global Automakers before the United States Court of Appeals in connection with EPA greenhouse gas emissions regulations. The team also acts for Toyota and Nissan.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Marjorie Lewis is an accomplished litigator in the transportation space, with sources naming her "a terrific advocate." Clients also note that "her level of energy and availability has been really high." She recently advised Nissan on a $240 million damages claim by a former franchise dealer.

Antitrust - New York

THE FIRM This firm's New York practice supplements its nationally renowned cartel expertise with an active litigation and M&A presence. Among its major recent matters are representing Schlumberger in two major transactions and acting for UBS in the LIBOR class action cases.

Sources say: "They are very thorough and very smart, while being good at analyzing the situation and developing plans to address the issues."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Sullivan does a "fabulous job" according to sources. He has a varied antitrust practice, covering criminal and civil antitrust litigation as well as transactional work. In addition to representing UBS, he has also acted for MonoSol in its sale to Kuraray.

Antitrust and complex commercial litigator John Herfort is described by commentators as a "tremendous lawyer" who takes a "very smart and common-sense" approach to antitrust work. He recently defended CareCore in an antitrust suit brought by Eastside Medical Radiology.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

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Corporate/M&A - New York

THE FIRM The 19 partners in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's New York M&A team act on a broad spectrum of transactions for public and private companies and their financial advisers, on some of the biggest transactions in the state. The team recently acted for Tenet Healthcare on defending a $7.95 billion unsolicited acquisition bid from Community Health Systems.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources say Dennis Friedman has "good judgment" and "serves his clients well." He recently acted for Hewlett-Packard on its $11.3 billion acquisition of Autonomy Corporation.

Barbara Becker is "delightful to work with" and "keeps the trains moving," according to clients. She was instrumental in a $16 billion project for Kraft to create a tax-free spin-off of its North American grocery business.

Steven Shoemate is lauded as "a very savvy lawyer and highly commercial - having him on your side is incredibly productive." He recently advised GE's wholly-owned bank affiliate, GE Capital Financial, on acquiring MetLife's retail deposit business for $7.5 billion.

Intellectual Property - New York

THE FIRM In terms of caseload and the value of these actions, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is one of the largest IP practices in the city, and its rapid and sustained growth is a testament to the dynamism and quality of its attorneys. Companies engaged in business-critical litigations, including a number of players in the 'smartphone wars', look to the team to initiate sometimes dramatic reversals of fortune in the courtroom. 

Sources say: "They know the field very well. Excellent trial lawyers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Josh Krevitt manages the IP group nationally, and he wins special acclaim for his ability to organize and manage cases, as well as for his superb lead in trial situations. Clients describe him as "extremely smart" and "an excellent trial lawyer."

Daniel Thomasch cochairs the firm's life sciences group. He is an accomplished patent litigator who is highlighted for his capabilities in handling interrelated cases involving multiple patents and jurisdictions.

Benjamin Hershkowitz's primary focus is patent litigation, with a strong emphasis on cases involving computer electronics and telecoms technology. Sources remark on his intellect and diligence.

Latin American Investment - New York

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Litigation - New York

THE FIRM This impressive team continues to draw acclaim for its extensive litigation expertise. It has an excellent command of commercial and securities litigation, and houses an impressive white-collar criminal defense and investigations practice. Sources underline the benefits of the firm's impressive international network, noting that the team is able to comfortably handle complex, multijurisdictional disputes. Its bench of experienced trial lawyers also attracts particular praise. It recently represented a significant group of clients in a class action relating to liability for underwriting more than $600 million securities for MF Global. Key clients include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Global Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank Securities.

Sources say: "They are not only sensational lawyers but are also very responsive. When you deal with them, you really feel like they jump in and try to understand the commercial context of matters." "They brought to the table a very clear strategy and a plan to execute it - their work product was incredibly well put together."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Randy Mastro is held in high regard for his extensive commercial litigation practice. He is particularly praised for his dedicated approach to matters, with one client stating that he is "a superb litigator who really has a gift for seeing the deep structure of a problem and cutting away all the complications."

Orin Snyder is recommended for his excellent command of complex litigation. His expertise covers an impressive range of disputes, and he is especially recommended for his work in media and entertainment litigation. His recent work includes successfully representing VOOM HD Holdings in a major case against EchoStar. Sources are also quick to praise his "exemplary trial skills." 

Mark Kirsch is an experienced litigator with expertise in a range of securities, financial and commercial disputes. He is praised as being "very good at strategy and very responsive to client needs." His recent highlights include representing UBS in a class action filed after the arrest of London-based rogue trader Kweku Adoboli.

The "extremely experienced" Lawrence Zweifach earns praise for his "very smart and creative" securities litigation practice. He offers expertise in both civil and criminal disputes, to a wide range of clients.

Media & Entertainment - New York

THE FIRM This firm has gone from strength to strength in media and entertainment litigation. With a bicoastal reach, the team deals with IP, class action, regulatory and commercial disputes. The firm represents a medley of big media clients, including NBCUniversal and Cablevision.

Sources say: “Absolutely top-notch. The Gibson Dunn team has a unique ability to function effectively in any forum. The team is creative in identifying ways to put forward the client's affirmative case.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS Orin Snyder is an esteemed copyright and contract litigator who represents heavyweight media organizations in large commercial contract disputes. One source noted: “He is one of the brightest attorneys I have ever worked with. He has the ability to understand a complex business situation in a short amount of time, and has a great understanding of the industry.”

Real Estate - New York

THE FIRM This team is recognized for its strength in representing REITs, private equity funds and developers across a broad range of real estate matters, and is commended for its high-quality client service. Of particular note, the team recently advised Tishman Speyer on the $1.5 billion acquisition of an Australian REIT. The firm also acts for Rockpoint Group, German American Capital and Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Sources say: "They're very knowledgeable, smart and incredibly hard-working people. They know the area very well, and are good at introducing you to new business possibilities."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources are full of praise for the "extremely knowledgeable" Andrew Lance, stating that "he just knows everything and everyone in the industry, and has a very calming demeanor about him that people on both sides like to work with." He handles a lot of work for German American Capital, and his expertise includes complex debt restructuring and equity interests in developed ventures.

Eric Feuerstein is described by interviewees as "a very hard and diligent worker, who brings a lot of accuracy and attention to the work." He represented RXR Realty in its $920 million acquisition of New York's Starrett-Lehigh building.

Steven Klein has recently joined the firm from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. His experience covers the gamut of transactions, with sources asserting that he is "very thorough, very experienced and has very good judgment."

Technology - New York

THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's strategic sourcing and technology transactions group continues to win plaudits for its excellent client service. Lawyers are experienced in a broad range of transactions, including strategic alliances, shared services structuring and renegotiations. The practice attracts global clients from a multitude of industries, and is regularly called upon to guide companies such as Shazam and Grundfos through complex business-critical matters.

Sources say: "I would not hesitate to recommend them or work with them again; strength, capability, client service and commercial awareness are all great strengths of this practice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees remark that Stephen Nordahl is "extremely well versed in his subject matter, but understands the needs of clients to reach closure in a timely manner without undue risk, and that all client situations are different." He focuses on global transactions, either structuring complex agreements or helping to resolve related disputes. Recent highlights include representing Credit Suisse Asset Management in a series of outsourcing transactions.

Interviewees "really can't say enough positive things" about senior associate Daniel Angel, who is building a strong reputation for his skill in handling both outsourcing and technology transactions. His recent clients include GE Capital Financial and Johnson & Johnson, the latter of which he advised on the $450 million outsourcing of its international desktop support and service desk.

Antitrust - Texas

THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher offers impressive bench strength and is highly rated by its peers for the quality of its antitrust practice. The nationwide firm is recognized for the investment it has made in its team in Texas, and for its strength in IP-related work, litigation and government investigations. It acts for a plethora of big-name clients, and recently represented Estée Lauder in an antitrust suit brought by Duty Free Americas. The firm also acted for 3M on a case brought by Avery Dennison involving claims of false advertising and unfair competition concerning reflective materials on road signs.

Sources say: "One of the best antitrust litigation practices in the country."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sean Royall is an "exceptionally good lawyer" who is "very savvy and experienced," according to sources. An extremely skilled attorney with vast experience across the antitrust spectrum, he is praised for his "ability to distil complex information into easily digestible pieces." He recently represented Sanofi in two cases concerning the drug Lovenox, and advised The Williams Companies on its unsolicited – eventually unsuccessful – ttempt to acquire Southern Union.

Brian Robison has been involved in a number of high-profile government investigations and class action cases, and recently obtained a dismissal with prejudice in a price-fixing class action on behalf of the United Potato Growers of Canada. Sources praise his "very strong intellect and organizational skills." 

The "excellent" Robert Walters is seen by peers as one of the leading commercial litigators in the state, with experience in antitrust, securities and tort cases. He was lead counsel for the firm in the Estée Lauder suit.

Veronica Lewis has a broad commercial practice encompassing IP and securities in addition to antitrust law. She represented Aetna in a complaint brought against Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan concerning its use of most-favored-nation contracts at hospitals.

Corporate/M&A - Texas

THE FIRM This firm has made great strides in the Texas market over the past year, combining a strong energy sector focus with broad capabilities in all aspects of corporate and M&A work. In a highly publicized transaction, lawyers acted for American Airlines on the multibillion-dollar purchase of 260 aircraft from Airbus in 2011. Other clients include Energy Future Holdings, Lone Star US Acquisitions and EXCO Resources.

Sources say: "They have vast experience with a diverse client base and in so many different arenas. They have creativity and sophistication."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "responsive and creative" Jeffrey Chapman is elevated in the rankings this year, having received extensive positive feedback from peers and clients alike. "He makes certain that the team takes care of the client. As a counselor he is unmatched in both business and legal terms, at all levels," enthuses one impressed source. 

Robert Little has also attracted a raft of glowing comments, with one interviewee noting: "He is very personable and one of the best lawyers I've seen in negotiations at keeping the relationship with the other side good. He is a fantastic lawyer with great commercial and interpersonal skills."

Jay Tabor recently joined the firm from Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Tabor is very well reputed for his work in the corporate M&A space in Texas.While at his previous firm, he served as lead partner on Kinder Morgan's highly publicized acquisition of El Paso.

Litigation - Texas

THE FIRM This significant litigation practice handles appellate, general commercial and securities litigation matters for an impressive client roster. This includes the likes of Luminant Energy, Viacom, MTV and Country Music Television. The team's strength in appellate matters was highlighted recently with its successful representation of Oncor Electric Delivery in one of the most prominent appeals affecting the energy industry in recent years. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Dawson recently defended Dallas County judge Clay Jenkins in a suit brought by a number of Dallas County constables and deputy constables. He regularly handles IP and technology licensing claims in addition to professional liability and malpractice matters.

A former Texas solicitor general, James Ho manages appeal work and has constitutional litigation expertise. Recent highlights include representing a number of media companies, led by Belo, as amicus curiae before the Fifth Circuit. Sources laud him as a "good strategic thinker, and a very good appellate advocate."

Robert Walters focuses on general commercial litigation, although he has impressive skills in the areas of antitrust litigation and trade regulation. Notably, he recently successfully defended Tenet Healthcare against an unsolicited takeover offer by Community Health Systems. Clients are especially enamored of his holistic and intuitive knowledge of their goals.