Tax: Corporate & Finance: Nationwide
- Band 1Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPCravath, Swaine & Moore LLPDavis Polk & Wardwell LLPKirkland & Ellis LLPSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & AffiliatesSullivan & Cromwell LLPWachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
- Band 2Debevoise & Plimpton LLPFried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLPGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLPLatham & Watkins LLPMcDermott Will & Emery LLPPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
- Band 3Baker & McKenzieBaker Botts LLPBingham McCutchen LLPCadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLPCovington & Burling LLPMayer Brown LLPRopes & Gray LLPShearman & Sterling LLPSidley Austin LLPSutherland Asbill & Brennan LLPVinson & Elkins LLP
- Band 4Alston & Bird LLPFenwick & West LLPFulbright & Jaworski LLPIvins, Phillips & BarkerSteptoe & Johnson LLP
- Band 5Dechert LLPDLA Piper LLP (US)King & Spalding LLP
Baker & McKenzieCleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLPMcDermott Will & Emery LLPRopes & Gray LLPSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & AffiliatesVinson & Elkins LLP
Ivins, Phillips & BarkerLatham & Watkins LLPMayer Brown LLPRopes & Gray LLPSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & AffiliatesSutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
Tax: Corporate & Finance: Nationwide
THE FIRM Top drawer work on M&A, financial products, cross-border taxation and capital markets ensures that this group maintains its leading position for corporate tax work nationally. Strong expertise on tax policy serves to further round out the practice. Clients are particularly quick to commend its deep bench and describe it as a strong, diversified and well rounded team. The group recently advised Google on its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, and also provided counsel to the underwriters in relation to Sanofi's first SEC-registered bond offering, valued at approximately $7 billion.
Client Service "They are very responsive, clearly understand the issues and have also been very proactive in trying to find resolutions to our case."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York is home to leading practitioners Erika Nijenhuis, James Peaslee and Leslie Samuels.
THE FIRM This premier tax group is lauded for its strong counsel in relation to sophisticated transactions, offering expertise on joint ventures, private equity acquisitions and financings, mergers, spin-offs and cross-border tax. The New York-based group represents clients from diverse industries, including healthcare, media, transportation and finance. It recently advised Nalco Holding on tax issues associated with its multibillion-dollar definitive merger agreement with Ecolab. Other impressive clients include Kraft, White Mountain Insurance Group and Johnson & Johnson.
Sources say: "They are world-class tax professionals."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Stephen Gordon heads the group and draws particularly strong praise, along with Andrew Needham and Michael Schler.
THE FIRM This stellar tax practice offers substantial strength when it comes to investment funds, M&A, financial products, restructurings and cross-border taxation. It is particularly adept at handling structured products transactions, having counseled some of the world's leading financial institutions on their structured note issues. Highlights include advising PepsiCo on its senior notes offerings, and representing Technip in connection with its $1 billion acquisition of Global Industries.
Sources say: "They are very strong and have great depth."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Avishai Shachar and Po Sit are two of the team's leading lights in New York.
THE FIRM Kirkland & Ellis fields an impressive tax team spread across its key strongholds of Chicago and New York. It moves into the top tier on the back of universal market praise and a strong track record in complex private equity matters. M&A, bankruptcy reorganizations and international restructuring are additional areas of strength. Major recent work includes advising Bain Capital on its going private LBO of China Fire & Security Group, and representing Teva Pharmaceuticals in its $6.8 billion acquisition of Cephalon.
Sources say: "Highly responsive and their expertise is hard to match."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Chicago is home to standout practitioner Jeffrey Sheffield, while Patrick Gallagher is a key contact in New York.
THE FIRM This excellent group has an established reputation as one of the prominent players in national and international tax arenas. Its broad-based offering covers bankruptcy restructuring and financings, M&A, joint ventures, state and local taxation and real estate. The group is spread across four offices on both coasts and draws particular praise from clients for its consistent quality and depth. In the past year it handled a significant spin-off transaction for Sara Lee, and represented HCP in the public offering of 30 million shares of its common stock, totaling approximately $1.1 billion.
Client Service "They get us where we need to be as they really take the time to understand us and our goals."
Commercial Awareness "They understand the business we work in and what we need to achieve from a business perspective."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Key practitioners include Matthew Rosen in New York, Hal Hicks in Washington, DC, and John Rayis in Chicago.
THE FIRM Financial products and capital markets transactions are indisputably strong points of this solid group, which also offers counsel on international tax planning and sophisticated M&A transactions. Clients praise the largely New York-based group for its impressive intellect and professionalism manifested across the board. It recently advised AIG on its $2 billion SEC-registered notes offering, and also provided counsel to The Heyman Family on its $3.2 billion sale of International Specialty Products to Ashland.
Sources say: "Hugely impressive financial services experts."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Hariton and Ronald Creamer are leading practitioners in the firm's New York office.
THE FIRM Sources agree that this tremendous group is particularly strong in M&A transactions. The compact yet nimble New York-based team has been particularly active of late in spin-off transactions, but also offers expertise on joint ventures, financings and restructurings. In addition, it handles real estate transactions as well as the creation of new financial products.
Sources say: "A core group of some very good people."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jodi Schwartz and Deborah Paul are key contacts in New York.
THE FIRM This high-quality group counsels clients on the full range of corporate tax matters, including public and private financings, real estate transactions, international transactions, M&A and joint ventures. Market sources especially praise its forte in fund formation. It represents clients from a range of industries, including insurance, banking and finance, communications and media, energy and real estate. Highlights include advising Access Industries on its $3.3 billion acquisition of Warner Music Group. Other major clients include International Paper, American Airlines and Morgan Stanley.
Sources say: "They provide invaluable support to the group and work very closely with us to meet our objectives."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department chair Burt Rosen is based in New York.
THE FIRM Market sources are full of praise for this East Coast-based group's solid corporate tax offering, highlighting its partnership expertise in particular. It provides strong counsel on a range of sophisticated matters, including international tax planning, asset management, bankruptcy and restructuring, corporate transactions, and fund formation. The 32-strong New York and Washington, DC-based team recently represented Merck in its multibillion-dollar agreement with Johnson & Johnson regarding the distribution rights for anti-inflammatory drugs Remicade and Simponi. It also counseled Forest City Ratner on its $1 billion financing of the Barclay Center.
Sources say: "They're super smart and capable, and know how to get stuff done."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Cassanos heads the New York-based group, while Alan Kaden chairs the tax department in Washington, DC.
THE FIRM This firm has notable operations on both coasts, with skilled tax attorneys in Los Angeles, Orange County, Century City, New York, Dallas and Washington, DC. It undertakes a substantial amount of work on inbound transactions, regularly tapping into the expertise of tax colleagues around the globe, and also handles restructurings, funds, M&A and tax-free spin-offs. Recent highlights include representing Heineken in its $7.6 billion acquisition of Femsa Cerveza, and advising The Williams Companies on the separation of its $9 billion exploration and production business via an IPO and a related tax-free spin-off.
Client Service "Excellent client service and excellent understanding of tax rules."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Hatef Behnia in Los Angeles is an esteemed practitioner, as is his Dallas-based colleague David Sinak.
THE FIRM Latham & Watkins excels in capital markets, structured finance, bankruptcy, REITs and M&A, offering clients an integrated service across its offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Its compact team in Houston offers strong counsel to energy industry clients. Highlights from the past year include advising pharmaceutical company Pexxikon on its $935 million acquisition by Daiichi Sankyo, and handling securities offerings for clients including Hudson Pacific Properties and Host Hotels & Resorts.
Commercial Awareness "I really respect their opinion enormously – they are practical and commercial, and know the deal world."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Raab chairs the group out of the New York office.
THE FIRM This firm maintains a fantastic reputation for handling nationwide corporate tax work. In addition to advising on traditional corporate tax matters including M&A, cross-border taxation and restructuring, it also offers specialist expertise on state and local taxation, employee benefits and renewables and energy tax. Its main strength is its Chicago office, but it also has notable capacity in New York, Washington, DC, and California. Major work includes representing Tribune Company in its $5 billion joint venture with Scripps Networks Interactive.
Client Service "They have offered us monthly meetings, which is a very constructive and informative value-added service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS US and international tax head Lowell Yoder is based in Chicago.
THE FIRM This compact yet adroit New York-based group is renowned for its strength in transactional tax matters, handling joint ventures, spin-offs, international transactions, partnership taxation and investment funds. It has been involved in a number of multibillion-dollar transactions of late, including advising the Lightstone Group on the $2.3 billion acquisition of its shopping center business Prime Outlets Acquisition Company by Simon Property Group.
Sources say: "This tax department is really very good."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Samuels and Richard Bronstein cochair the department out of New York.
THE FIRM Financial instruments, investment fund formation, M&A and cross-border financing are the mainstays of this New York-based group. Clients are quick to highlight its forte in private equity work, and the team also has vast experience of advising wealthy individuals, hedge funds, commercial banks and multinational corporations. It recently advised Microsoft on its announced $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, and counseled TD Bank on its acquisition of Chrysler Financial, in a deal worth $6.3 billion.
Sources say: "The depth and breadth of their knowledge in the market place is extremely helpful – I would use them again in a heartbeat."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Steven Todrys has a fantastic reputation.
THE FIRM This team is a premier player when it comes to bankruptcy, and operates out of key offices in New York and Boston. The workload is rounded out by strength in capital markets and restructuring, sophisticated M&A, securitization, and private equity and fund formation. Recent highlights include advising NBC Universal and its parent GE on GE's joint venture with Comcast for ownership of NBC Universal and Comcast's cable channels and regional sports networks; this was one of the largest media deals in recent years, worth $37.25 billion.
Sources say: "They have expertise in areas that matter most to us, and provide an excellent service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Cochairs Kenneth Heitner and Martin Pollack are highly regarded New York practitioners.
THE FIRM This team is traditionally known for its strength in tax controversy and litigation, and also offers impressive depth and breadth when it comes to corporate tax matters, including joint ventures, tax planning, M&A and international taxation. The firm is lauded for its remarkable global network and for the team's experience and perspective on tax policy, with many of its attorneys having previously served in government. Work highlights from the past year include representing Ecolab in its $8.24 billion merger with Nalco Holding. Other clients include BP America, Boeing and Whirlpool.
Client Service "Bright, responsive and easy to work with – we couldn't be happier! They are also always able to refer me to people abroad if I need help there."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gregg Lemein is a strong choice in Chicago, while Len Terr in Washington, DC, and John Peterson in Palo Alto, are highly recommended.
THE FIRM Texas-headquartered Baker Botts is a national go-to firm for oil and gas matters, offering tax counsel on MLPs, international tax, M&A, state and local taxation and partnerships. The 12-partner group recently advised Marathon Oil on its definitive agreement to purchase Hilcorp Resources, a transaction worth $3.5 billion. Other major clients include Liberty Media, Noble Corporation and AT&T.
Sources say: "A really fantastic firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Highly respected tax chair Greg Nelson is based in the firm's Houston office.
THE FIRM Partnership and international taxation are two indisputably strong points for this team, which is further praised for its work on bankruptcy and restructuring, financial instruments, joint ventures and M&A. Its robust transfer pricing practice has been bolstered in recent months with the addition of a number of key partners on both coasts. Major recent work includes advising Energy Transfer Equity on its $4.2 billion acquisition of the Southern Union Company, in a deal that will create one of the largest natural gas pipeline companies in the USA.
Sources say: "We have been extremely pleased. They are creative thinkers with good judgment who do a fantastic job."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bill McKee and Will Nelson are two of the group's leading lights in Washington, DC.
THE FIRM This six-partner New York-based team is noted for its solid advice on bankruptcy and structured finance matters. It also stands out in capital markets, sophisticated M&A, fund formation and restructuring work. It has been involved in a number of significant high-value deals in the past year, including representing Dayton Power & Light in its $4.7 billion acquisition by AES. Other major clients include Black Gaming, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble and JPMorgan.
Sources say: "They save us time and cut through tough issues."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Linda Swartz and David Miller are key contacts in New York.
THE FIRM Operating from Washington, DC, this talented group earns client praise for its strong technical expertise and analytical depth. It is a force when it comes to international tax matters such as transfer pricing and foreign tax credits, and also offers expertise on M&A, financial products, joint ventures, capital markets and real estate transactions. Major work includes counseling SandRidge Energy on the public offerings of oil and gas trusts SandRidge Mississippi Trust I and SandRidge Periman Trust.
Sources say: "An excellent team that is strong and knowledgeable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS William Paul in Washington, DC is highly recommended for his expertise on financial products.
THE FIRM This firm has impressive national tax coverage, with talented attorneys in its California, New York and Chicago offices. It focuses on tax planning, restructuring, M&A, government relations and partnerships, and also earns accolades for its solid advice on international taxation. It regularly represents high-profile clients in the technology and pharmaceutical industries. Tessera Solar, MetLife Capital, Nestlé and Macquarie Group also feature on its strong list of clients.
Commercial Awareness "They know the situation on the ground very well and have a better understanding of these aspects than any other firm in the US."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Chicago-based James Barry is a key contact.
THE FIRM Ropes & Gray's 29-partner group operates on a national level out of key offices in Boston and New York. It handles a range of fund-related tax matters, joint ventures, M&A and reorganizations, and is also able to advise on matters facing tax-exempt organizations. Highlights from the past year include advising TPG Capital on its $3 billion acquisition of J.Crew, one of the largest LBOs of 2011, and counseling Thomas H. Lee Partners on its $1.1 billion acquisition of pharmaceutical service provider inVentiv Health. The group also represents Genzyme, Zynga Game Network and Goldman Sachs.
Client Service "Their deal management skills help keep our bills reasonable, as does their general philosophy that they are there to serve their client."
Commercial Awareness "Ropes's tax service is exceptional, with a very in-depth understanding of our business. They do a great job of sharing relevant industry developments without inundating us with too much information."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Chris Leich is highly recommended in Boston.
THE FIRM International and cross-border taxation is at the heart of this respected practice, which offers expertise on restructuring, M&A, spin-offs, equity offerings, partnerships and structured finance. Its key strength is in New York, but the group also provides a significant nationwide offering out of its Washington, DC office. Investment banks and financial institutions feature heavily on its client list. The team also recently advised hotel operator Marriott International on tax matters associated with the dividing of its businesses into two separate, publicly traded companies, in a deal worth approximately $1 billion. Other major clients include SunGuard, Dow Chemical, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.
Sources say: "Shearman & Sterling has provided excellent support and superior results."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Blessing stands out in New York, while Robert Rudnick earns praise in Washington, DC.
THE FIRM This sizeable team excels in securitization, insurance, bankruptcy and corporate transactions, offering a nationwide service out of its Chicago and New York offices. Clients are particularly quick to commend its impressive state and local tax expertise. The group recently advised long-standing client Athene Holding on its acquisitions of Liberty Life Insurance from Royal Bank of Canada and Investors Insurance from SCOR, worth $628 million and $55 million respectively. The team also advises Nomura, Fortress Investment Group and Deutsche Bank.
Sources say: "They are honest, straightforward and fair."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Kreitman is an esteemed practitioner in New York.
THE FIRM Clients are enthusiastic in praising this team's impressive and broad-based state and local tax offering. The group is also particularly strong when it comes to international taxation and sophisticated M&A transactions. Operating out of Washington, DC, Atlanta and New York, it counsels clients from virtually every industry sector, including Time Warner Cable, Coca-Cola, Amazon and the University of Georgia.
Commercial Awareness "Sutherland has invested a lot of time to understand our business and transactions. I feel this allows them to better provide guidance that is timely and useful."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Washington, DC-based Jerome Libin heads the group.
THE FIRM This group has a stellar reputation for oil and gas taxation, including advising on shale gas and non-US based exploration. The 59-strong team handles sophisticated work on private equity funds, master limited partnerships, M&A and state and local taxation, counseling a range of clients on a national and international level. Recent highlights include advising Holly Corp on its $3.25 billion merger of equals with Frontier Oil to create HollyFrontier, and counseling TPG Capital on its $979 million acquisition of Ashland Distribution.
Client Service "Excellent responsiveness, understanding of the business, and broad counsel on many issues."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head George Gerachis is a key contact in Houston.
THE FIRM Alston & Bird earns accolades for its broad national tax offering, which covers a range of federal income tax matters, state and local taxation, cross-border transactions, transfer pricing and issues facing tax-exempt organizations. Its main strength is in its Atlanta office, but it also has notable capacity in New York and Washington, DC. In the past year it advised leading international laboratory and process technology provider Sartorius on an internal group restructuring. Other clients include Delta Air Lines, Nokia and Johnson & Johnson.
Sources say: "Alston & Bird's service has been outstanding, competent, very responsive, on point and thorough."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sam Kaywood in Georgia is a strong choice for international tax matters.
THE FIRM This team is particularly strong in international tax planning and M&A, regularly advising major Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. The California-based team is also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to transfer pricing and joint ventures. Notable M&A work from the past year includes advising Facebook on its acquisition of Dutch software design firm Sofa, and advising Diamond Foods on its $2.35 billion tax-free acquisition of the Pringles business from Procter & Gamble.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jim Fuller is a leading practitioner in California.
THE FIRM This sizeable group has its strongest base across four offices in Texas and provides counsel on a range of corporate tax matters, including state and local, partnerships, restructurings, international taxation, transfer pricing and M&A. Recent work includes advising Magnum Hunter Resources on a couple of cross-border acquisitions, and counseling Baylor Health Care System on the issue of $360 million of tax-exempt bonds.
Sources say: "I give them a five-star rating without reservation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Houston-based Jack Allender heads the group.
THE FIRM This tax boutique has a strong track record in advising clients on federal tax matters, international transactions, tax accounting, employee benefits and trusts and estates. Clients are particularly quick to commend the strong technical expertise throughout the Washington, DC-based team. The client list features a number of major Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, including Northrop Grumman and HJ Heinz.
Commercial Awareness "The firm is well connected and has contacts with government officials, which is also important to us."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bob Wellen in Washington, DC receives accolades for his broad corporate tax expertise.
THE FIRM This Washington, DC-based group is commended for its strong international tax counsel, and for its advice on legislative matters. Other areas of particular strength include bankruptcy, spin-offs, acquisitions, state and local taxation and tax-exempt matters. Recent highlights include advising Emblem Health on tax matters associated with its planned conversion into a for-profit company. The team also acts for Georgia-Pacific, Raytheon, Cargill and Thermo Fisher Scientific, among other clients.
Sources say: "A top-notch firm in that they are very responsive to us. They answer me straight away – within an hour! They are very good at communicating and are very client-oriented."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Washington, DC-based Phil West heads the department.
THE FIRM This group operates out of offices in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, and provides counsel on a range of corporate tax matters, including financial products, investment funds, cross-border transactions, M&A and bankruptcy. It continues to advise Elliott Associates, Versa Capital Management and Arclin on sophisticated multijurisdictional tax matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The team is led by Daniel Dunn in New York.
THE FIRM Strong market feedback and an impressive workload ensure DLA Piper's entry into the rankings this year. With particular strength in California, Florida and Washington, DC, the team offers nationwide tax counsel on private equity deals, transfer pricing, cross-border taxation and M&A, among other matters. It has recently advised Acronis on a range of domestic and international structuring matters, and also represents Timberland, InterAmerican Hotels and Sapient.
Sources say: "The group within DLA that I have worked with has definitely made the right moves in transitioning the traditional law firm towards a full business-advisory partnership."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Palo Alto-based David Colker chairs the firm's global and US tax practice.
THE FIRM The tax team at King & Spalding offers expertise in partnerships, joint ventures, international tax, investment fund formation and corporate transactions. It is particularly strong in Atlanta, and recently bolstered its Washington, DC presence with key lateral hires.
Sources say: "True tax lawyers with strong technical skills."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Hap Shashy recently rejoined the group from Dewey & LeBoeuf and now heads the department from Washington, DC.
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