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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

New York

  • 919 Third Avenue
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10022
  • Tel:+1 212 909 6000
  • Fax:+1 212 909 6836
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Presiding Partner: Michael W Blair
  • Number of partners worldwide: 137
  • Number of other lawyers worldwide: 450

Firm Overview: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP was founded in 1931 with the goal of offering sophisticated legal services. The firm maintains this tradition of seeking excellence in a comprehensive, modern practice spanning eight offices around the world. Lawyers are responsive, thoughtful, ethical and vigorous advocates with a substantive understanding of clients’ business needs and the many marketplaces in which they compete. Debevoise has leading practices which often have a cross-border focus, reflecting the firm’s international approach. The firm places the highest value on collaboration and interdisciplinary cooperation in order to provide clients with seamless representation across practice areas and continents. The firm represents multinational, industrial and commercial companies, private equity sponsors, major financial institutions, investment companies, banks and broker-dealers, as well as individuals in a comprehensive range of assignments.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Corporate: The corporate practice spans the full range of corporate, transactional and regulatory representations. The practice includes mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, leveraged finance, business restructuring and workouts, real estate, project finance, equipment finance, structured finance, asset management, intellectual property, and environmental law. The firm has an exceptionally strong track record advising private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, as well as clients in the media and telecommunications, banking, insurance and energy & natural resources industries.

Litigation: The litigation practice handles complex matters in courts around the world, as well as before arbitration tribunals, agencies and administrative bodies worldwide.
The practice is led by lawyers of prominence and skill, and includes Co-Chairs John S. Kiernan and Mary Beth Hogan; Michael B. Mukasey, former United States Attorney General and Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, PC, the European and Asian Chair of Litigation who served as the UK’s Attorney General; 8 former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including a former Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Enforcement and a former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; a former Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement; and a former New York State Superintendent of Insurance. Debevoise is the only law firm to include amongst its ranks former Attorneys General of both the U.S. and the UK, as well as a Queen’s Counsel.
Areas of concentration include commercial disputes, white-collar criminal defense, securities and derivative actions, securities regulation, products liability, international dispute resolution, intellectual property and media, antitrust, insurance regulation and coverage disputes, bankruptcy, environmental litigation, mergers and acquisitions, employment, tax disputes and professional liability cases.

Tax & Employee Benefits: With more than 40 tax lawyers located in key international centers, Debevoise provides cutting edge tax advice in domestic and cross-border transactions. The practice works closely with clients and investment banks to develop and implement solutions for complex mergers and acquisitions, international transactions, private equity and hedge fund formations, joint ventures, bankruptcies and restructurings, public and private financings (including equipment leasing and project finance) and real estate transactions. Debevoise has extensive experience in a variety of financial products, such as funding agreement-backed notes, Tiers 1 and 2 capital offerings and hybrid securities, and on insurance industry tax issues.

United States: New York is the largest of Debevoise’s eight offices, and is home to more than 450 lawyers concentrating in corporate, litigation and tax law – often teaming with colleagues from offices in Europe and Asia, and with local counsel in Latin America, India and the Middle East, on complex cross-border matters. The Washington, D.C. office has approximately 35 lawyers who concentrate on securities regulation and enforcement, white-collar crime and commercial litigation, regulatory and transactional work for industrial and financial institutions, and international telecommunications and intellectual property matters.

Europe: Debevoise’s London office has more than 90 lawyers, including 20 partners and 8 international counsel, with over half of the lawyers English-law qualified. It is home to a diversified corporate and financial practice, as well as an internationally focused tax practice and a prominent EU competition practice. The London dispute resolution team, led by Lord Goldsmith QC, also acts some of the world’s most prominent cases in the areas of international arbitration, white-collar crime and investigations, litigation, and public international law.
Debevoise’s Moscow office has more than 25 lawyers, working with domestic and international clients on market leading matters. The office has particular strength in mergers and acquisitions, securities, general corporate law, corporate and project finance, aircraft leasing, equipment leasing, natural resources, real estate, private equity fund formation, insurance, antitrust legislation, international arbitration and tax. Debevoise’s Paris office has approximately 25 lawyers, focussing on the firm’s core practice areas, representing French, US and other multinational companies and financial institutions. In particular, the office has a formidable reputation in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financings and private equity, general corporate and tax matters, international dispute resolution, and internal investigations and corporate crime.
Debevoise’s Frankfurt office focuses on mergers and acquisitions, financing, restructuring, investment management, tax, antitrust, and the investigation of improper business practices.

Asia: Debevoise’s Hong Kong and Shanghai offices are active on some of the highest profile matters throughout China and the Asia-Pacific region. These include work on corporate and transactional matters, including capital markets, private equity, M&A and foreign direct investment.
The practice also includes top-tier international litigation and arbitration services, handling international dispute resolution, litigation, and white collar and internal investigations matters. The lawyers in Asia represent multinational companies, private equity sponsors and other investment funds in a broad range of strategic and financial investments throughout Asia.

Latin America: Debevoise has been active in Latin America for nearly 50 years and over the past decade has worked on hundreds of completed transactions in the region, including some of the largest and most challenging projects.
The firm is a recognized leader among international law firms active in Latin America. Recent work in the Latin American private equity/fund formation, project finance, media and financial service sectors, as well as the litigation and arbitration practice in the region, has further solidified the firm’s reputation. The firm’s client base includes many of the most prominent companies and families in Latin America as well as multinational corporations and private equity funds investing in the region.

Branches

  • 555 13th Street NW,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20004
  • Tel +1 202 383 8000
  • Fax +1 202 383 8118
  • Email : mailbox@debevoise.com
  • 22/F Jin Mao Tower,
  • 88 Century Boulevard,
  • Pudong New District,
  • Shanghai,
  • China
  • 200121
  • Tel +86 21 5047 1800
  • Fax +86 21 5047 1600
  • Email : mailbox@debevoise.com
  • 4 place de l'Opéra ,
  • Paris,
  • France
  • 75002
  • Tel +33 14 073 1212
  • Fax +33 14 720 5082
  • Taubenstrasse 7-9,
  • Frankfurt-am-Main,
  • Hessen
  • Germany
  • 60313
  • Tel +49 69 2097 5000
  • Fax +49 69 2097 5555
  • 21/F AIA Central,
  • 1 Connaught Road,
  • Central,
  • Hong Kong,
  • China
  • Tel +852 2160 9800
  • Fax +852 2810 9828
  • Business Center "Mokhovaya",
  • Ulitsa Vozdvizhenka,
  • 4/7 Stroyeniye 2,
  • Moscow,
  • Russia
  • 125009
  • Tel +7 495 956 3858
  • Fax +7 495 956 3868
  • Email : moscow@debevoise.com
  • 65 Gresham Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2V 7NQ
  • Tel (020) 7786 9000
  • Fax (020) 7588 4180
  • Email : infouk@debevoise.com

Investment Funds - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Maintains a global reputation for its private equity expertise, representing some of the biggest market players from its Hong Kong office. Well positioned to advise on the establishment of a range of pan-Asian funds and overseas-sponsored private equity funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have an excellent client roster."

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Ostrognai is the primary contact for the firm's funds practice in Asia.

Significant clients AIF Capital, The Carlyle Group, Navis Capital Partners, China Renaissance Capital Investment, Baring Private Equity Asia, Prudential.

Corporate/M&A (International Firms) - China

This firm leverages its impressive credentials in the US market to advise notable multinational corporations with operations in China. The team specialises in handling transactions for insurance companies and remains a trusted advisor to high-end financial institutions. Its China practice additionally acts in private equity and investment fund formation matters. 

Investment Funds - China

Andrew Ostrognai gains "serious respect" from peers thanks to his deep knowledge of private equity funds and downstream investment in the Asia-Pacific region. His broad expertise ranges from renminbi-denominated private equity to pan-Asian buy-out funds.  

International counsel Gavin Anderson represents private equity investors in setting up funds and subsequent management. One client notes: "We have been impressed with his technical and commercial balance." 

Arbitration (International) - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Strong London team with highly respected and experienced leading individuals, acting on high-value cases for clients across Europe and globally. Particularly active lately on multibillion-dollar disputes in the investment sphere, involving clients in sectors such as oil and gas, telecommunications and mining.

Work highlights Recently acted for Russian telecommunications operator Mobile TeleSystems on a substantial investment case against the Republic of Uzbekistan, under ICSID rules.

Notable practitioners  

An esteemed and high-profile advocate with vast international legal experience, London-based Peter Goldsmith QC is present in major arbitration cases across the globe, covering an extensive range of industrial sectors and jurisdictions. He receives extensive recommendations for his arbitration practice, including notable recognition of his advocacy abilities: "Very easy to deal with and seems really easy-going, but he is a terrier and will fight to the death. Incredibly quick."

Sophie Lamb in London is a widely respected arbitration practitioner, who combines strong advocacy experience from the Bar with extensive knowledge of international commercial and investment arbitration cases. She has been especially active lately on investment arbitration cases, in which sources appreciate her "charming, eloquent and composed" manner. Recent highlights in this area include advising ExxonMobil and Murphy Oil on an ICSID case against the government of Canada.

Significant clients Suzuki, British Caribbean Bank, Perenco, ExxonMobil, Norilsk Nickel.

Capital Markets - France

Practice head Pierre Clermontel acts for clients on both the debt and equity side. He advised Alstom, a long-standing client of the firm, on the establishment of its EUR2 billion EMTN programme and subsequent CNY500 million dim sum issuance.

New York-based Pierre Maugüé is recognised for his expertise in the areas of derivatives and structured finance. He speaks fluent French. 

Tax - France

Department head Pierre-Pascal Bruneau advises on domestic and international corporate and financial transactions. Interviewees comment: "He's an excellent negotiator with long-standing experience not only in tax, but also in debt restructuring."

Arbitration (International) - Global-wide

What the team is known for Excellent track record in the international arbitration arena, handling some of the largest and most high-profile commercial and investment treaty disputes in the market. Steady stream of work from Latin America and frequently sought out for state-to-state arbitrations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "Debevoise is very strong in international arbitration - the team is very efficient and includes lawyers from London and New York which ensures 24-hour service."

Bench strength: "They have enormous strength and depth so you get the pick of the crop."

Work highlights Acted for Tethyan Copper on arbitration proceedings against the governments of Balochistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, related to its investments in mineral resources in Balochistan.

Represented General Electric's Power Conversion subsidiary in several disputes following its acquisition of Converteam and the termination of numerous agreements involving sanctioned countries.  

Notable practitioners  

Donald Francis Donovan "is one of the best in the world for arbitration," said one client, while another admires his "great depth of analysis." He has an outstanding arbitration practice that covers international commercial disputes as well as public international law (PIL) cases. He co-chairs the firm's international dispute resolution team.  

David Rivkin is a co-chair of the international dispute resolution practice and widely recognised as a "top name" in the arbitration arena. He has wide-ranging experience and "his advice and advocacy skills are superb," say market sources. He splits his time between the New York and London offices.

"Prolific arbitration lawyer" Peter Goldsmith QC earns widespread respect for his tremendous "experience and stature" globally. He leads some of the largest and most complex international disputes across the world and chairs the Asian and European disputes practices.

New York-based Catherine Amirfar "is very composed, intelligent and a master of investment arbitration," according to peers. She is also adept in commercial arbitration and is well recognised for her work in Latin America.

Sophie Lamb wins praises all round from peers and clients, who say:"She is absolutely excellent with clients and knows all the pros and cons of arbitration." She handles a host of commercial and investment treaty arbitrations out of the London office.

Significant clients ExxonMobil, GlaxoSmithKline, Occidental Petroleum, Grupo Diniz, Perenco.

Corporate Investigations - Global-wide

What the team is known for Excellent worldwide coverage from its teams in the USA, the UK, Europe, Hong Kong and Mainland China conducting internal investigations as well as defending corporate clients, boards of directors and board committees in connection with investigations by regulatory authorities and other agencies including the US Department of Justice (DOJ), SEC and SFO. The firm provides anti-bribery and anti-corruption due diligence on corporate transactions, with an extensive track record in advising on the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "It's a very professional firm - they select high-calibre and very seasoned lawyers."

Work highlights Represented 3M in SEC and DOJ-led civil and criminal investigations with regards to alleged FCPA violations in subsidiaries and acquired companies in Turkey and other countries.

Acted for a credit and debit card processing company, iPayment, on an internal investigation into alleged accounting improprieties by former company employees and outside vendors.

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Yannett is based in New York and head of the firm's white-collar group in the USA. Lord Goldsmith QC is head of the firm's UK corporate crime investigations team and is chair of the European and Asian litigation practice.

Dispute Resolution - Global-wide

What the team is known for Top-quality New York litigation practice and a significant footprint in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, with offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Handles international arbitration, litigation and white-collar crime cases on behalf of banking, mining and media clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "Debevoise has a stellar arbitration practice."

Bench strength: "They have good strength in depth, with people on the ground who are well versed in legal theory."

Work highlights Defended two subsidiaries of Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel against claims brought by RUSAL that they conspired to marginalise it as a shareholder.

Acted on behalf of Cayman Islands fund EM in a case against the government of Argentina pertaining to defaulted sovereign debt.

Notable practitioners 

Donald Francis Donovan and David Rivkin are the international dispute resolution group practice co-heads. Kevin Lloyd is a key contact for the London office, while Antoine Kirry is the main contact for the Paris team. Philip Rohlik is the first port of call in Hong Kong.

Significant clients Rolls-Royce, Mobile TeleSystems, Tethyan Copper, Dart Management, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum.

Insurance - Global-wide

What the team is known for Twin strongholds in the US and UK markets power an impressive M&A practice across the globe. Expertise in reinsurance deals, bond issuances and regulatory assignments rounds off the firm's insurance offering.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "We hear insurers asking about them more and more - they're real competition for M&A in this sector."

Bench strength: "Definitely a top transactional practice - they are on a lot of deals, and are very good lawyers."

Work highlights Advised Global Atlantic subsidiary Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company on the purchase of Aviva's US life insurance business through a reinsurance agreement. 

Advised AIG on its joint venture with PICC Life Insurance to distribute life insurance and other insurance products in China.

Advised Berkshire Hathaway on the EUR600 million purchase by reinsurance of a block of life insurance business from CaixaBank, and on the USD285 million acquisition of Hartford life International.

Notable practitioners

In New York, Thomas Kelly is chair for the Americas of the firm's insurance industry group, and John Vasily is a co-chair of the firm's financial institutions group. Jeremy Hill is the firm's key contact in London, while Drew Dutton is a first port of call in Hong Kong.

Significant clients Resolution Life Holdings, New York Life Insurance, Goldman Sachs, AXA, Sun Life Financial. 

International Trade - Global-wide

What the team is known for Advises corporate clients and boards of directors in relation to government investigations, from its offices in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Hong Kong and the USA. Excellent reputation for handing anti-corruption and sanctions issues. Clients include investment firms, multinationals, financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "The group works to an extremely high level of expertise. We have used many members of the team in several countries and there isn't a weak link in the chain."

Bench strength: "They have the depth to handle large-scale investigations." 

Notable practitioners 

Peter Goldsmith QC divides his time between the Hong Kong and London offices, and chairs the European and Asian disputes practices. Thomas Schürrle is a key contact in Frankfurt and Bruce Yannett is an FCPA expert in the New York office.  

Investment Funds - Global-wide

What the team is known for Universally acknowledged as a major player in the formation of funds for investment across the globe. A popular choice with major private equity firms targeting emerging markets and the energy and infrastructure sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "One of the market leaders in what we do. There are three or four firms out there that are dominant players in the market - they are our preferred legal adviser."

Work highlights Assisted Global Infrastructure Partners with the formation of an USD8.25 billion infrastructure fund.

Acted for Capital International on the raising of a USD3 billion private equity fund focusing on emerging markets.

Assisted Providence Equity Partners with its formation of a USD5 billion global buyout fund.

Notable practitioners

Michael Harrell in New York is a main contact for global private equity funds and investment management work. London-based Marwan Al-Turki co-chairs the European practice, while Andrew Ostrognai is the key contact in Hong Kong.

Significant clients Oaktree Capital Management, Stone Point Capital, The Carlyle Group, Third Point, Baring Vostok Capital Partners.

Private Equity - Global-wide

What the team is known for A pre-eminent private equity practice in the USA, supported by experts in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Entrusted with some of the largest private equity transactions in the market by international investors, fund managers and multinational corporations.

Work highlights Acted for Warner Music Group on its USD765 million acquisition of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group.

Advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on the USD2.2 billion acquisition of AssuraMed by Cardinal Health.

Notable practitioners

Peggy Davenport is a leading private equity figure in New York, where of counsel Franci Blassberg is another well-known name. David Innes and Drew Dutton are key contacts in London and Hong Kong respectively.

Significant clients Harbinger Partners, HarbourVest Partners, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, Providence Equity Partners, Helios Investment Partners. 

Public International Law - Global-wide

What the team is known for First-class public international law (PIL) practice that offers a wealth of experience in representing clients before national and international courts, as well as investor state tribunals. Investment treaty arbitrations form a large bulk of its work and it is increasingly sought after for international human rights advice. Expanded its offering in London with the addition of five PIL experts.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They always produce impeccable work." 

Work highlights Represented Postova Banka in the first bilateral investment treaty (BIT) case against Greece in relation to the restructuring of its government bonds.

Acted on an ICSID case for Perenco Ecuador against the Republic of Ecuador arising from the amendment of the Hydrocarbons Law.

Notable practitioners  

New York-based Donald Francis Donovan is described by sources as "one of the world's leading PIL practitioners." He co-chairs the firm's international disputes practice and represented Tethyan in parallel arbitral proceedings against the government of Balochistan and the government of Pakistan, related to the exploration of gold and copper in the Reko Diq region of Balochistan.

"Exceptionally accomplished" Peter Goldsmith QC leads the Asian and European litigation practices. He frequently appears before courts in a number of jurisdictions, including before the Caribbean Court of Justice where he overturned an injunction obtained in breach of his client's right to arbitration under a BIT.

David Rivkin handles both commercial and PIL disputes. He led the team on the Postova Banka arbitration, representing it in the first BIT case against Greece in relation to the restructuring of its government bonds.

Significant clients Occidental Petroleum, Tethyan Copper, ExxonMobil, GE, GlaxoSmithKline.

Tax - Global-wide

What the team is known for Highly skilled US practice that also has valuable tax expertise throughout Europe, with footholds in Germany, France and the UK. Represents corporate clients and investment banks in some wide-ranging matters, and is particularly active on funds-related work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
International capability: "It was a large multinational operation and all the lawyers I dealt with were extremely responsive and smart."

Work highlights Advised Mitsui on its joint venture with Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile to acquire 29.5% of Anglo American Sur for approximately EUR2.8 billion.

Represented Warner Music Group, an Access Industries company, in its USD765 million acquisition of the Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group.

Notable practitioners  

Burt Rosen heads the New York tax department, while Richard Ward is the key contact in London. Pierre-Pascal Bruneau and Friedrich Hey head the Paris and Frankfurt teams respectively.

Significant clients Warner Music Group, International Paper, American Airlines, Kelso & Company, Providence Equity Partners.

Corporate/M&A - India

Geoffrey Burgess leads the firm's India group, which is focused on outbound acquisitions, as well as advising international companies on their investments into India. He is also recognised for his work on M&A and private equity transactions relating to Russia. He is based in London.

Thomas Britt is based in Hong Kong and is a key member of the India group and concentrates primarily on private equity and M&A deals.  

This team is well versed in advising on public M&A work, as well as handling private equity buyouts and corporate disputes. In the Indian corporate group there are 12 partners and 29 other qualified lawyers. It is headed by Geoffrey Burgess, who is also the principal contact.

Dispute Resolution - India

Peter Goldsmith QC is an international arbitration expert with a strong reputation throughout Europe and Asia. Dividing his time between London and Hong Kong, he chairs the firm's European and Asian litigation practice and is regularly sought out for India-related arbitrations. Sources consider him "user-friendly and practical," and clients appreciate his considerable experience and depth of knowledge.

The firm's London office is home to lawyers experienced in a broad range of Indian matters, including those arising from commercial issues or investment treaties, with a strong focus on the mining and telecoms sectors. Enquiries should be directed to Peter Goldsmith QC. 

Investment Funds - India

This firm's expertise on India-related investment fund matters is concentrated principally in the London office. Key clients include Asia Mezzanine Capital and Providence Equity Partners. Geoffrey Burgess is the key contact for enquiries.

Arbitration (International) - Latin America-wide

Practice co-head Donald Donovan is based in New York. He is held in high esteem by peers, one of whom comments: "I think the world of him." Sources add: "He is well-spoken, sensitive to his audience and very, very smart." Donovan led on some of the firm's most notable work in this area and also has a strong global reputation as an arbitrator.

Fellow co-head and New York-based David W Rivkin. He was the lead partner representing Occidental Petroleum, for which the firm recently secured what is thought to be one of the largest ICSID awards - some USD2.3 billion including interest - as a result of a long-running case against the Republic of Ecuador. Sources describe him as a "great practitioner whose advocacy skills are without parallel." Rivkin is regularly appointed as an arbitrator.

Austrian-born Dietmar Prager is based in New York. He receives particularly warm praise from Brazilian sources and often works closely with Donovan on the firm's commercial arbitration matters. He recently acted for a well-known hedge fund in an ICC arbitration seated in São Paulo.

According to sources, New York-based Catherine Amirfar is another "terrific lawyer" on the team. Along with Donovan and Prager, she is representing Brazilian retail chain Grupo Diniz in two major ICC arbitrations against its European joint venture partner.

Capital Markets - Latin America-wide

This team has particular experience advising on high-value matters on behalf of Brazilian issuers and is a regular counsel to Brazil's Itaú Unibanco. Paul Rodel is the key client contact.

Corporate/M&A - Latin America-wide

Michael Gillespie is especially well regarded for transactions in the media sector and has expertise across several Latin American jurisdictions, including Brazil. He is a frequent outside counsel to Globo Comunicação e Participações (Globopar), recently advising on its USD600 million divestment of a stake in SKY Brasil to DIRECTV.

Gregory Gooding was co-lead partner acting for The Capital Group, PineBridge and IFC regarding the sale to UBS of a 39% share in Jumbo Retail Argentina - a transaction valued at USD442 million.

Banking & Finance - Russia

Alan Kartashkin, who has a wide practice spanning M&A, securities and corporate finance, is the main contact for domestic matters.

Peter Hockless heads the finance group in London. He has worked together with the Moscow office in advising clients such as Norilsk Nickel and Uralkali.

Capital Markets - Russia

Sources report that Alan Kartashkin has a strong reputation for his practice in securities, M&A and corporate finance. Clients say that he is "very client-oriented and provides thorough, business-focused advice." His relationship management skills come highly recommended.

James Scoville is the managing partner of the London office, and is well known for his work on capital market transactions with Russian clients. He advises on listings on US exchanges and the LSE.

Corporate/M&A - Russia

Dmitri Nikiforov heads the department and also chairs the Moscow office. He is a prominent name in the market, recognised for his business development skills. He recently led a deal for Karo Film Group involving the sale of a stake to private equity investors.

Renowned aviation specialist Alan Kartashkin has a wide-ranging practice covering M&A, corporate finance and securities. His presentation skills come highly recommended, with sources noting his "very good logical argumentation." He was one of the lead lawyers advising the Special Committee of the MTS Board on its acquisition of a stake in MTS Bank.

Commentators recommend the "sharp and smart" Alyona Kucher as a very good negotiator. In addition to her growing reputation for corporate/M&A, she also advises on matters in sectors such as oil and gas, construction and real estate.

London-based Geoffrey Burgess has good experience in working on Russian deals, and can advise on private equity and financial transactions, as well as M&A.

Energy & Natural Resources - Russia

Chair of the Moscow office Dmitri Nikiforov is widely regarded as a talented practitioner, who maintains excellent relationships with a number of key clients.

Dispute Resolution - UK

Peter Goldsmith QC is "a real superstar," according to market sources, and is renowned for being an "excellent advocate and extremely busy." His background in government and at the Bar enables him to draw on a great deal of expertise in his work. He regularly acts on significant and complex cases, representing states and multinational companies.

Litigator Kevin Lloyd joins from Herbert Smith Freehills, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge of large-scale commercial disputes. His impressive client base includes many well-known financial institutions and global corporations.

Sophie Lamb is highly regarded amongst peers for her dedication, with many commenting that she is "making her mark" in international arbitration. She regularly acts on complex cases, and has recently sat as an arbitrator in a high-profile shareholder dispute between Russian gas extractors OAO Gazprom and the energy ministry of Lithuania.

Foreign Desks Debevoise attracts major Indian and international corporate clients to its popular arbitration practice for a broad range of matters, including commercial and investment treaty disputes, and in relation to mining and telecoms.

Banking & Finance - USA

David Brittenham garners significant praise from interviewees: "He is extremely knowledgeable and brings practical experience - it's very valuable to have such a strong advocate." He recently represented The Carlyle Group in the financings aspects of the USD3.3 billion acquisition of Getty Images.

Seasoned practitioner William Beekman is noted for being "detail-oriented, creative and well versed in market transactions."

Paul Brusiloff "has excellent client focus and is great at bringing a process together," report impressed interviewees. He focuses on complex debt and equity financings, as well as refinancings, recapitalisations and restructurings.

"I appreciate that Paul Lee is intelligent and very detailed, really understands the issues and has historical perspective. He also has credibility with the regulators, Capitol Hill and other people in the industry," explains one source. Lee has been involved in advising a number of leading international financial institutions including American Express, Credit Suisse and Prudential Financial on compliance issues and the impact of ongoing regulatory reforms.

Gregory Lyons has a broad financial services practice and "deep regulatory and transactional knowledge," according to sources. He recently represented Admirals Bank in a joint venture agreement regarding the USD1 billion purchase of distressed loans.

Satish Kini is "a trusted adviser who is thoughtful, strategic, responsive and extremely knowledgeable," and whose expertise is relied upon for "many sensitive and significant matters." He advises a wide range of financial institutions on strategic regulatory matters including guidance on the ongoing Dodd-Frank reforms.

Senior counsel Douglas Buchanan QC recently joined the firm from Davis LLP in Vancouver, Canada, and now co-heads the firm's infrastructure and project finance group. As such, he is highlighted in particular for his experience with M&A, banking and project finance work involving Canada. Sources praise him as "a top negotiator with a view to getting the deal done with the right solution for both sides."

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - USA

Richard Hahn is co-chair of Debevoise's business restructuring and workouts practice. He recently led as special aircraft financing counsel to American Airlines in the bankruptcy of parent company AMR. "He is a very measured and objective lawyer," report sources.

Capital Markets - USA

Peter Loughran is "smart and knowledgeable" and a "hard worker" with "good judgement," sources say. He is held in high esteem by both issuers and underwriters. Recent highlights include representing The ServiceMaster Company in its USD600 million offering of 8% senior notes due 2020.

David Brittenham is a "proactive thinker who is able to offer solutions" and is "helpful in bringing practical knowledge" to transactions. He represented HD Supply in its notes offerings totalling USD2.382 billion.

Interviewees state that Paul Rodel "stands out for his technical knowledge and availability." Rodel is noted for his representation of Latin American clients in capital markets transactions.

Steven Slutzky recently advised Reynolds Group on its USD1.25 billion offering of 9.875% senior notes due 2019. He frequently represents issuers and underwriters in transactions such as IPOs, secondary offerings, private placements and debt offerings.

Foreign Desks This firm's New York team is highlighted for its representation of Latin American clients with respect to the US aspects of debt and equity transactions. Recent matters include the representation of Itaú Unibanco in connection with a USD500 million offering of 6.20% subordinated notes due 2021. Peter Loughran is a key contact.

Corporate/M&A - USA

Jeffrey Rosen chairs the firm's corporate department and is "very knowledgeable, insightful and experienced with public company transactions," according to interviewees. Recent transactions include representing LA asset manager the TCW Group in its sale to The Carlyle Group.

Paul Bird co-chairs the firm's corporate and M&A departments. His recent transactions include handling The Carlyle Group's USD3.3 billion acquisition of Getty Images.

Michael Gillespie is especially well regarded for transactions in the media sector and has expertise across several Latin American jurisdictions, including Brazil. He is a frequent outside counsel to Globo Comunicação e Participações (Globopar), recently advising on its USD600 million divestment of a stake in SKY Brasil to DIRECTV.

Recommended for his expertise in Latin America, Gregory Gooding was co-lead partner acting for The Capital Group, PineBridge and IFC regarding the sale to UBS of a 39% share in Jumbo Retail Argentina - a transaction valued at USD442 million.

Peter Wand is a member of the Bar in New York as well as Frankfurt. He recently headed the team that advised American International Group on the public tender offer for all outstanding shares of AIRE GmbH. One source praised him for his “creative solutions,” while another said that he “was always available and always delivered the right answer.”

Foreign Desks Michael Gillespie is a key contact for the Latin America practice, which assists clients with general corporate law, M&A and private equity transactions.

Energy & Natural Resources - USA

Peers "think very highly" of Sarah Fitts, who has a sterling reputation for her extensive experience in M&A transactional, restructuring and projects work. She was part of the team representing Mitsui in the granting of a USD5.8 billion short-term loan to leading copper manufacturer CODELCO.

Intellectual Property - USA

David Bernstein commands "tremendous respect" as a litigator among clients and across his profession. He has experience in cases involving anti-counterfeiting, copyright, contested domain names, false advertising, and trade mark, trade secret and trade dress infringement. 

Bruce Keller is a "terrific trial lawyer and knows his area very well," according to one market-leading client. Head of the IP litigation practice at the firm, his work straddles IP and entertainment law, and typically consists of matters regarding copyrights, false advertising, rights of publicity and trade marks. 

International Arbitration - USA

Donald Francis Donovan maintains a pre-eminent reputation as an arbitrator and advocate, and is described by market sources as "extremely knowledgeable" and "hands-on, accessible, client-friendly and extremely hard-working."

David Rivkin has extensive experience serving as counsel and arbitrator, and demonstrates a particular aptitude for complex, high-stakes disputes. Sources report: "He has a huge presence in the courtroom and his advocacy skills are without parallel."

Mark Friedman has an impressive track record of success as an advocate, with his representation of Perenco Ecuador in a USD3.5 billion ICSID arbitration against Ecuador being among his recent highlights. He elicits praise for his "in-depth knowledge of disputes and corporate and commercial issues," and is also commended for "implementing strategies in the most efficient, top-quality way."

Catherine Amirfar particularly impresses clients with her cross-examination skills. She recently began representing Grupo Diniz in an ICC arbitration. She is praised for her "very proactive and experienced" approach to matters.

Dietmar Prager enters the rankings backed by significant praise for his expertise in Latin America-based work, with sources claiming: "In the near future he will be one of the best lawyers working with matters involving Brazil." Clients speak highly of his qualities, saying: "He's dynamic, intelligent, accessible and knowledgeable."

Investment Funds - USA

Distinguished partner Michael Harrell continues to work closely with key client Oaktree Capital Management and is described by market sources as one of the "deans of the industry." He has recently been occupied with the impact of regulatory changes wrought by the Dodd-Frank reforms on the private equity industry.

Jennifer Burleigh is lauded for her "outstanding technical knowledge of market and legal private equity fundraising issues." She spearheaded the team representing Tenex Capital on its USD450 million fund focusing on investments in distressed companies.

Co-chair of the private equity funds group David Schwartz has lately been active on a significant emerging markets fund formed by Capital International which, at USD3 billion, is one of the largest of its kind in recent years.

Rebecca Silberstein attracts glowing endorsements for her "incredibly thoughtful and business-minded approach," with one source adding: "She is very, very meticulous in the work that she does." She continues to work with clients such as Stone Point Capital in significant matters.

"Fantastic lawyer" Erica Berthou is highly appreciated by her clients, who describe her as "very hard-working and dynamic." She has overseen some of the team's largest mandates of late, including an USD8.25 billion fund for Global Infrastructure Partners, the largest fund of its kind ever to be raised. Berthou is also noted for her expertise with respect to the Latin America market.

Jordan Murray is increasingly gaining recognition through his involvement with major clients such as Providence Equity Partners, for whom he recently closed a media-focused fund. One enthusiastic source comments: "I think the world of his work."

Private Equity - USA

Franci Blassberg is recognised as "one of the deans of the private equity legal community." She receives high praise from sources, with one client commenting: "Her good judgement and creativity have helped us navigate many novel and interesting transactions over the years." Blassberg recently counselled Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in its sale of Diversey Holdings to Sealed Air, valued at USD4.3 billion.

Margaret Andrews Davenport has "very good business sense," and recently led the team advising Kelso & Company on numerous investments. One client notes: "She knows what's important to us, and is an effective lawyer and negotiator for us."

Recent highlights for Paul Bird include handling the USD3.3 billion acquisition of Getty Images for prestigious private equity firm The Carlyle Group. Interviewees praise his abilities, commenting: "He had great judgement as well as an even-handed approach and demeanour, which serve him – and his clients – very well."

The "smart, efficient and thoughtful" Kevin Schmidt recently led the team advising healthcare organisation Oceana Therapeutics on its sale to Salix Pharmaceuticals. Clients appreciate that he "works hard and gets it all done, knows what's important to us, and has good business sense."

Jeffrey Rosen is hailed by one commentator as "one of the best lawyers I've ever known. He is phenomenally intelligent." He recently represented The TCW Group in connection with its sale to The Carlyle Group.

Projects - USA

Clients continue to heap praise on the "very smart" Ivan Mattei. A recognised expert within the PPP community across the Americas, he is applauded for being "very strong technically, with a good analytical and commercial understanding." 

New York-based Douglas Buchanan QC is an expert in project finance and has deep experience in the Canadian market handling major PPP transactions on behalf of significant clients.

Tax - USA

Gary Friedman is a highly respected expert in multi-jurisdictional M&A, and the domestic and international tax issues arising therein. "He has a very good mind, and he thinks problems through very well, and quickly," states one impressed peer. "If I were hiring a tax lawyer, he would be near the top of my list."

Peter Schuur's practice includes undertaking the structuring of international transactions. He handles partnership transactions, dispositions, acquisitions, and financings and restructurings. He is admired for his command of US and international tax law, and is regarded as "a fabulous tax lawyer who is very proactive and has terrific insight." He maintains a particular focus on the UK tax market.

Interviewees recognise Frankfurt-based Friedrich Hey as a stand-out tax adviser for transatlantic questions. "He's one of the guys who have the best overview of US-German tax matters. A lot of clients appreciate his ability to explain German tax rules to the US side," say sources.

Since publication, Friedrich Hey has retired from this practice.