- Band 1Davis Polk & Wardwell LLPKirkland & Ellis LLPMilbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLPSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & AffiliatesWachtell, Lipton, Rosen & KatzWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
- Band 2Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLPJones DayKramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLPLatham & Watkins LLPPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPSidley Austin LLPSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPWillkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
- Band 3Bingham McCutchen LLPCadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLPCleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPFried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLPQuinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
- Band 4Debevoise & Plimpton LLPFulbright & Jaworski LLPGreenberg Traurig, LLPHaynes and Boone, LLPKasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLPKlee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLPOrrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLPPachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLPVinson & Elkins LLPWhite & Case LLP
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLPCadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLPCleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPFulbright & Jaworski LLPJones DayMilbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLPWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPJones DayMilbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLPPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & AffiliatesWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
THE FIRM This New York-based group is a leading national entity for representing major lenders and financial institutions, such as Bank of America, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. The team's compact size belies its strength in this area, as it plays key roles in some of the market's largest bankruptcy cases. Recent highlights include advising the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the US Treasury on a range of financing and capital management transactions for AIG, and representing the joint administrators and liquidators of Lehman Brothers.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Donald Bernstein and Marshall Huebner head the insolvency and restructuring team.
THE FIRM This firm's preeminent Chicago and New York-based teams work seamlessly together to form one of the country's strongest practice groups for the representation of debtors. While expert in a variety of industries, including retail, media and telecom, the team has been especially prominent in real estate-related bankruptcies of late. These have included representing Innkeepers USA Trust, the owner of a sizeable portfolio of hotels, in one of the sector's largest filings. It has also been acting as co-counsel to 382 affiliates of General Growth Properties. Other highlights include its representation of specialty chemical company Chemtura Corporation and construction equipment rental company Neff Rental.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The New York-based Rick Cieri is one of the group's leading national players.
THE FIRM Milbank is increasingly recognized for the national strength and scope of its bankruptcy and restructuring group, with a leading practice spanning both the East and West Coasts. It maintains a premier group in the representation of bondholders, major financial institutions and large creditors' committees, as well as hedge and private equity funds. The group is involved in some of the sector's most significant bankruptcies, included in which is its continued representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. It also acted for Station Casinos as debtor-in-possession in its Chapter 11 restructuring, and the ad hoc committee of bondholders of $4 billion of bonds in connection with Nortel Networks.
Client Service "The group is extremely client-focused and works in an entirely seamless manner to ensure that the client's needs and concerns are always addressed in a timely manner and with the most efficient use of time."
Commercial Awareness "One of the group's greatest features is how commercial it can be. They are effective negotiators who do an exceptional job at understanding their clients' needs and goals."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The Los Angeles-based Paul Aronzon coheads the practice group alongside Dennis Dunne in New York.
THE FIRM Skadden excels in national and international corporate restructuring matters. With preeminent teams in New York, Chicago and Wilmington, and a notable group in Los Angeles, the firm has one of the largest and farthest-reaching practices in the USA. The team predominantly focuses on debtor representations, and is supported by the firm's leading corporate and M&A capabilities. As such, the group is highly respected for its expertise with out-of-court and prepackaged bankruptcies, distressed M&A transactions, corporate governance and early bankruptcy advice. The firm sees continued involvement in a major proportion of the sector's most high-profile bankruptcies, having represented MGM Studios and CIT in both companies' prepackaged Chapter 11 reorganizations.
Commercial Awareness "Not only do the lawyers know the law but they also do a fantastic job of reading the situation and providing more insight in terms of negotiating dynamics and understanding the business perspectives of all the parties involved."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Greg Milmoe and Jay Goffman lead the firm's global corporate restructuring group alongside the Chicago-based Jack Butler.
THE FIRM Wachtell possesses one of the best creditor-side bankruptcy groups in the country. Operating out of New York, the team is preeminent in restructurings on behalf of major financial institutions, investment funds, securities and derivatives dealers, and insurance companies. The group comes particularly recommended for its prominent distressed M&A expertise. Recent case highlights include representing JPMorgan against a multibillion-dollar avoidance and damage claim brought by Lehman Brothers and its creditors committee.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Harold Novikoff is chair of the firm's restructuring and finance department.
THE FIRM Weil Gotshal is without a doubt one of the strongest firms in the world for representing debtors, evidenced by its successful handling of some of the largest and most significant bankruptcy filings in recent history. These have included the group's integral roles on behalf of Blockbusters, Extended Stay, General Growth Properties, General Motors, Lehman Brothers, Pilgrim's Pride and Texas Rangers Baseball Partners. The firm has a preeminent group in New York, which houses industry icon Harvey Miller, and leading teams in Houston and Dallas. It also maintains a solid lender-side practice on behalf of major financial institutions, such as Citi and Credit Suisse. Sources also highlight the advantageous integration the group has with the firm's M&A, litigation and structured finance practices.
Client Service "Weil is extremely client-service oriented and I would allocate the highest rating possible to them in terms of their proactivity and responsiveness."
Commercial Awareness "The group provides superb guidance to their clients at the start and during procedures, and are the best at serving as business advisers as much as legal advisers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The New York-based Marcia Goldstein leads the business finance and restructuring group.
THE FIRM This is one of the leading groups in the USA for the representation of major bondholders and creditors' committees. Its teams in New York and Washington, DC work in close unison on large-scale, national bankruptcies, while additional support is provided by the group in Texas, which itself has a strong niche in real estate and midmarket oil and gas restructurings. Case highlights include representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of General Growth Properties, and acting for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Nortel. The group is also increasingly recommended for its debtor-side expertise, having recently represented American Media and Terrestar Networks in both companies' Chapter 11 proceedings.
Client Service "The group has an excellent reputation amongst its client-base. They're great team-members, always on point, always available, and always bringing the right resources to bear."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Fred Hodara, in New York, leads the firm's financial restructuring practice group.
THE FIRM Jones Day's business restructuring and reorganization practice has an unparalleled national presence, supported by leading specialists in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Cleveland and Columbus. The group is widely lauded for its debtor-side strength, having made recent headlines with its representation of Old Carco (formerly known as Chrysler) and Old Carco Liquidation Trust. The team also receives significant praise for its expertise with international-scale bankruptcies and distressed M&A, backing which are the firm's solid corporate capabilities.
Client Service "They have a can-do attitude and a style that is the epitome of client-focus."
Commercial Awareness "The group is not only knowledgeable and capable but is also very aware and articulate in explaining bankruptcy issues to clients that are unfamiliar with a specific area."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in New York, Paul Leake is the firm's practice leader.
THE FIRM Kramer Levin, based in New York, is renowned in the sector for its leading bankruptcy litigation and creditor-side expertise. It becomes involved in some of the sector's most significant bankruptcies, included in which is its representation of the official committees of unsecured creditors for both Capmark Financial Group and Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation. Other highlights include acting for the official committee of unsecured creditors of General Motors. The group has also succeeded in raising its profile representing debtors, having recently acted as debtors' counsel to the prominent healthcare system Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York and its affiliates.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kenneth Eckstein and Thomas Mayer cochair the practice.
THE FIRM This firm's bankruptcy presence has superb geographic coverage, with a preeminent group on the West Coast and leading teams in both Chicago and New York. The group is collectively famed for its strength and established reputation representing creditors and major financial institutions, such as Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and GE Capital, while recent years have seen the team increase its debtor-side expertise considerably. Recent highlights include acting for the agent bank for first lien lenders in the Chapter 11 proceedings of the Texas Rangers, and representing a mortgage lien holder and special servicer in the Extended Stay Hotels bankruptcy.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jan Baker and Mitch Seider in New York cochair the firm's global insolvency practice group alongside John Houghton in London. The Los Angeles-based Peter Gilhuly leads the firm's West Coast practice.
THE FIRM This New York-based bankruptcy and corporate reorganization practice group is renowned as one of the strongest in the country for representing bondholders and creditors' committees. Its highlights include representing CIT Group bondholders in structuring and documenting emergency financing and negotiating a prepackaged plan of reorganization. The group also maintains a sterling company-side practice, evidenced by its representation of AbitibiBowater, a world-leading forest products company and newsprint producer, and its affiliates in their bankruptcy filings.
Commercial Awareness "Demonstrating a tremendous level of service and depth in their expertise, the group wins over with its desire to get to know its clients' companies."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alan Kornberg is chair of the firm's bankruptcy and corporate reorganization department.
THE FIRM The national scope of Sidley's impressive bankruptcy and restructuring practice is comprised of leading teams in Los Angeles and Chicago, with additional presence in New York and Washington, DC. The group largely focuses on the representation of debtors in some of the sector's largest bankruptcies, having recently represented media and entertainment company Tribune in its Chapter 11 proceedings. Other highlights include advising telephone directories publisher RH Donnelley on its Chapter 11 case.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The Chicago-based Larry Nyhan and James Conlan lead the firm's corporate reorganization and bankruptcy group.
THE FIRM The New York-based bankruptcy practice at Simpson Thacher is renowned as a leading team for creditors' rights issues and for the representation of major financial institutions, such as Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan. The firm's preeminent capital markets, private equity and finance capabilities are seen as a particular boon to its bankruptcy practice. The team's recent highlights include acting for JPMorgan as agent for MGM Studios's $4 billion senior secured credit facility.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Pantaleo is head of the bankruptcy practice group.
THE FIRM Willkie Farr's New York-based business reorganization and restructuring practice has traditionally been famed for its leading expertise representing debtors. However, recent years have seen the group dramatically increase its strength in acting for major creditors and lenders following an impressive spate of strategic acquisitions and additions. The result of which is an increasingly well-rounded and sizeable bankruptcy practice capable of undertaking roles on all sides of filings and restructurings. Case highlights include its representation of Brookfield Asset Management, a major real estate investor and asset manager, in the Chapter 11 cases of General Growth Properties. On the debtor-side, the group has been acting for Journal Register and LandAmerica Financial Group in each of the companies' respective bankruptcy filings.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marc Abrams and Matthew Feldman cochair the business reorganization and restructuring practice.
KEY INDIVIDUALS This firm's financial restructuring teams in New York and Boston form a solid practice for bankruptcy assignments on behalf of bondholder and creditor committees, particularly in international-scale cases or those with cross-border elements. These have recently included representing the first official committee of secured creditors in the Japanese corporate reorganization of Spansion Japan, and in Spansion's proceedings in Delaware. Other highlights include representing a steering committee of lenders in MGM's restructuring, and advising Controladora Comercial Mexicana, Mexico's third largest retail group, in restructuring discussions.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The New York-based Michael Reilly and Jeffrey Sabin lead the firm's global financial restructuring group.
THE FIRM Cadwalader's national financial restructuring group is a major player on the East Coast, appearing in a variety of the sector's most significant bankruptcies, both on the creditor and debtor sides. The team receives a considerable amount of praise for its continued role on behalf of the US Treasury in a range of bankruptcies, such as the restructurings of Chrysler, GM and CIT. The group also took the spotlight with its representation of LyondellBasell and Millenium Custodial Trust, an entity created from Lyondell's reorganization.
Client Service "A group with the depth and willingness to provide its clients with first-rate attention and immensely collegial counsel."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Deryck Palmer and John Rapisardi cochair the financial restructuring group from the firm's New York office.
THE FIRM This New York-based group is one of the strongest practices in the USA for international and cross-border restructuring matters. It also receives high marks for bankruptcy matters requiring distressed M&A and securities expertise, with the team recently representing Barclays Capital in its $1.75 billion acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ North American investment banking and capital markets businesses. The group won particular acclaim this year for its role as lead counsel to Nortel Networks, and also for its representation of directories company Truvo.
Client Service "Its client-service is exceptionally high; they are responsive, proactive and available twenty-four-seven."
Commercial Awareness "They have been extremely proactive to ensure our management understands how to minimize the legal and business risks in all facets of the bankruptcy and related areas."
KEY INDIVIDUALS James Bromley leads the global bankruptcy and restructuring practice.
THE FIRM Centered in New York, this bankruptcy group has a broad and varied practice supported by the firm's prominent expertise in banking, capital markets, financial regulation, distressed M&A, real estate and securities. Its docket of high-profile bankruptcy assignments continues unabated. On the debtor-side, the firm represented automotive parts supplier Cooper-Standard and its US subsidiaries in connection with their Chapter 11 cases filed in Delaware. Meanwhile, on the creditor-side, the group acted for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Station Casinos. It also demonstrated its strength representing equity committees with its role on behalf of a private equity investor consortium in its bid for Extended Stay Hotels.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Brad Scheler is chairman of the firm's bankruptcy and restructuring department.
THE FIRM Quinn Emmanuel has quickly established itself as one of the best groups in the country for bankruptcy-related litigation, particularly in creditors' rights disputes, and as a first choice amongst peers for conflicts counsel. Based in New York, the team benefits from the firm's leading commercial litigation capabilities, and sees involvement in some of the most significant bankruptcy disputes occurring in the market. These have included representing Washington Mutual in asserting more than $10 billion in avoidance actions against JPMorgan, and also acting for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Lehman Brothers.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Susheel Kirpalani is a leading practitioner at the firm.
THE FIRM This New York-based group handles a broad range of creditor and debtor matters. The team is historically famed for its expertise in airline and insurance restructurings, while recent years have seen the group become increasingly prominent in work on behalf of private equity funds and investment firms. Sources are particularly impressed by the seamless international integration of the firm's disciplines in key areas, such as banking, finance, tax, insurance, litigation and M&A. The group's highlights include representing Sea Island Acquisition, an investment fund consortium, in connection with its purchase of a large majority of Sea Island Company's assets through a Chapter 11 plan.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Gross and Richard Hahn cochair the practice group.
THE FIRM Fulbright's bankruptcy and insolvency practice manages an excellent reputation for a whole host of bankruptcy and restructuring issues from its base of operations in Texas. Its core teams in Dallas and Houston are particularly recognized for their transactional strength, especially on behalf of creditors, creditor committees and major lenders and hedge funds. Case highlights include representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of ASARCO. The group has also made waves in the debtor world, having recently advised Idearc on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
Client Service "The group has a tremendously high understanding of its clients' businesses and of how to support management; they really make an effort to understand their client's needs and manage expectations accordingly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lou Strubeck leads the bankruptcy and insolvency practice from the firm's office in Dallas.
THE FIRM Greenberg Traurig is a new entry to the tables this year. The firm is renowned for its leading national bankruptcy practice, with key teams in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Wilmington, New York, and a preeminent group in Miami. The firm's impressively broad geographic spread and wide-ranging, full-service capabilities mean that its business reorganization and bankruptcy practice is well-placed to handle the gamut of creditor, lender, investor and debtor representations.
KEY INDIVIDUALS In Miami, Mark Bloom cochairs the practice group alongside Keith Shapiro in Chicago and Bruce Zirinsky in New York.
THE FIRM This firm becomes involved in national-scale bankruptcies and restructurings from its offices in Dallas, Forth Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The group undertakes a broad range of creditor and debtor cases, and wins particular acclaim for its work representing acquirers, including equity funds, in distressed M&A transactions. The firm took the spotlight with its representation of Americas Mining Corp, the corporate parent of ASARCO. It also made headlines acting for Midland Loan Services, one of the largest creditors in the Innkeepers bankruptcy cases.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stephen Pezanosky, who is based in Fort Worth, leads the firm's bankruptcy and business restructuring group.
THE FIRM The New York-based Kasowitz is widely known as one of the country's preeminent litigation firms, so it comes as no surprise that its practice stands as one of the most successful in terms of representing creditors in major bankruptcy litigation cases. These have recently included acting for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Adelphia, and also representing the indenture trustee for the pre-LBO notes in the Tribune bankruptcy case. Other highlights include representing Five Mile Capital Partners and its affiliates in the Chapter 11 cases of Innkeepers USA Trust.
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Friedman heads the firm's bankruptcy group.
THE FIRM Klee Tuchin is a preeminent Los Angeles-based bankruptcy boutique undertaking integral roles in some of the country's most significant bankruptcies. These have recently included acting on behalf of MGM in its Chapter 11 proceedings, and serving as special counsel to the official unsecured creditors' committee in Adelphia's bankruptcy filing. The group is particularly renowned for its bankruptcy litigation expertise, and for its recent prominence in bankruptcies occurring in the entertainment, gaming and healthcare sectors.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lee Bogdanoff and Michael Tuchin are the firm's co-managers.
THE FIRM Orrick has a widely-respected practice spanning both the East and West Coasts. The group has a broad-ranging workload on behalf of major lenders, purchasers, creditors' committees and future claims representatives. In California, the team's expertise with municipal bankruptcies is particularly admired, the group having recently represented the City of Vallejo in its Chapter 9 case, one of the country's largest ever municipal filings. The firm also represented the Unofficial Committee of General Motors dealers in connection with the General Motors Chapter 11 case.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in both Washington, DC and New York, Roger Frankel chairs the firm's restructuring group
THE FIRM Emanating from the West Coast, Pachulski Stang is one of the country's leading bankruptcy boutiques, with teams in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Wilmington and New York. The group is largely renowned for its representation of debtors, but is also well-versed in undertaking major roles on behalf of creditors. The team made recent headlines advising Mesa Air Group on its plan of reorganization.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The Los Angeles-based Richard Pachulski leads the group.
THE FIRM This firm's restructuring and reorganization practice has an excellent national reputation originating from its base in Texas. Its presence in New York also continues to gain momentum in the sector. The group handles a broad mix of both creditor and debtor representations. The firm is particularly renowned as a leading player in filings occurring in the energy and natural resources sector, with clients such as Clearwater Natural Resources, Crusader Energy and Energy Partners. Its case highlights include representing BI-LO and affiliates in their Chapter 11 filings, and counseling the ad hoc group of first lien lenders in the Texas Rangers Baseball Partners bankruptcy.
KEY INDIVIDUALS In New York, Denis Cronin is cochair of the restructuring group alongside practice group founder Daniel Stewart, who operates out of the firm's offices in both Dallas and New York.
THE FIRM White & Case's increasingly recognized global capabilities and reach see the firm enter the rankings this year. With nodes of strength in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, the group is particularly admired for its prominence in insolvencies and reorganizations with cross-border and international elements. Its highlights include representing an ad hoc group of lenders in relation to the Chapter 11 plan of Six Flags, and acting for a consortium of bondholders in connection with Visteon's restructuring.
KEY INDIVIDUALS With presence in both Miami and New York, Thomas Lauria is global head of the firm's financial restructuring and insolvency practice group.
16th May 2013: GC Seminar, London Sponsor-backed IPOs: IPO Exits of Portfolio Companies
21st May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Hackers Are After Your Data!: Practical Ways To Reduce Data Security Breach Exposure
23 May 2013: Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2013, New York
24 May 2013: Launch of Chambers USA 2013, New York and online
29th May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Going Mobile: IP and Privacy Considerations
4th June 2013: GC Seminar, Houston Challenges in Creating An Effective and Coordinated Global Compliance Program
9 September 2013: Chambers Latin America Awards 2013, Miami
10 September 2013: Launch of Chambers Latin America 2014, online
3rd October 2013: Chambers Bar Awards 2013, London
10 May 2012: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, Amsterdam