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Dentons - New York
  • 233 South Wacker Drive
  • Suite 7800
  • Chicago
  • Illinois
  • USA
  • IL 60606-6404
  • Global Chief Executive: Elliott Portnoy
  • Global Chair: Joe Andrew
  • US Chief Executive: Peter Wolfson
  • US Managing Partner: Mike McNamara
  • Number of global partners: 944
  • Number of global lawyers/professionals: approximately 2,600
  • OFFICES US locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Short Hills, Silicon Valley, St. Louis and Washington, DC.
  • For information on Dentons’ more than 75 locations across Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East, the UK and the US, visit www.dentons.com.

Firm Overview:
Established in 2013 through the combination of international law firm Salans, Canadian law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC) and international law firm SNR Denton, Dentons is a new global firm driven to provide clients with a competitive edge in an increasingly complex, interconnected and global marketplace. Dentons connects clients to top-tier, innovative and integrated legal talent across Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East, the UK and the US. The firm’s approximately 2,600 lawyers and professionals in more than 75 locations across 50+ countries are dedicated to providing clients with consistent high-quality service wherever they do business. As diverse and multifaceted as its global client base, Dentons is truly polycentric, forgoing a headquarters and dominant culture in favor of being able to offer clients solutions that are tailored to their business regions and legal needs.

Main Areas of Practice:
Dentons delivers client service through lawyers and professionals grounded in the following practice disciplines:
■Banking and Finance
■Capital Markets
■Competition and Antitrust
■Corporate Governance
■Employment and Labor
■Environmental and Natural Resources
■Franchising and Distribution
■Intellectual Property and Technology
■Life Sciences
■Litigation and Dispute Resolution
■Mergers and Acquisitions
■Native American Law and Policy
■Pensions, Benefits and Executive Compensation
■Privacy and Security
■Private Equity
■Project Development
■Public International Law
■Public Law
■Public Policy and Regulation
■Real Estate
■Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy
■Securities and Corporate Finance
■Trade, WTO and Customs
■Trusts, Estates and Wealth Preservation
■Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies

The firm’s industry focus includes the following representative sectors:

Energy; Mining; Transportation; Infrastructure & PPP:
This global award-winning team has expertise in transactional, regulatory and litigation matters including electricity, oil and gas, environment and natural resources, project development and finance and energy trading. Attorneys handle a wide variety of power generation matters, including those related to renewables, nuclear, natural gas and coal.

Financial Institutions:
Several hundred lawyers and professionals worldwide offer expertise and depth to financial institutions and funds of every size, focus and geography, with capabilities in each of the firm’s global locations – including the world’s leading financial and commercial centers of London, New York, Paris, Toronto, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Moscow, Dubai, Chicago, Shanghai and Singapore.

For governmental bodies, regulatory agencies, public sector contractors, multilateral institutions and nonprofit institutions, Dentons offers counsel shaped by the experience of lawyers and professionals who have served in governments worldwide.

Dentons provides global services to this sector with an unmatched deep bench in insurance litigation, regulatory, complex coverage and bad faith claims, transactions, investigations, public policy, insolvencies and risk management.

Life Sciences & Healthcare:
Dentons helps clients meet the rigors of a competitive marketplace and find solutions amid dramatic scientific and medical advances, healthcare reform, regulatory uncertainty, limitations on intellectual property protection and unstable financial markets.

With a focus on understanding clients’ business models and industries, Dentons services numerous manufacturing clients.

Real Estate; Retail; Hotels & Leisure:
Whether it’s offering strategic counsel to a hotel investor on key business and legal issues for a complex long-term management agreement, advising an online retailer with regard to product liability issues, or representing a major commercial real estate developer on environmental land use issues. Dentons comprises core teams of lawyers who focus on each of these three key industries.

Technology; Communications; Media, Entertainment & Sports:
With a multidisciplinary team around the globe of several hundred lawyers and professionals operating at the convergence of innovation, strategy, finance and law, Dentons represents clients ranging from Fortune 500 and emerging growth companies to venture capital firms, private equity firms and investment banks. Additional sector expertise includes automotive; aviation and aerospace; construction; defense; forest products and agribusiness; gaming; luxury, fashion and beauty; and professional services.


  • 1221 Avenue of the Americas,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10020-1089
  • Tel +1 212 768 6700
  • Fax +1 212 768 6800
  • Website : www.dentons.com

Antitrust - Illinois

What the team is known for An experienced team that offers solid antitrust counsel as well as undertaking litigation for a variety of nationwide clients, with a particular niche in the foods industry.

Work highlights Advised Land O' Lakes on a number of distribution and pricing issues.

Represented EFCO Corporation in defense of a case brought following adjustments to its distribution arrangements.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Libowsky is a "very practical, diligent and intelligent" attorney who is able to "cut to the chase on issues." Sources also note his abilities and presence in courtroom settings.

Alan Silberman is an "excellent" and busy senior antitrust lawyer who has almost 50 years' experience in the field. He continues to advise McDonald's on a range of antitrust issues.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Illinois

What the team is known for Utilizes the firm's strong international network to provide a seamless service on multijurisdictional matters. Experienced in advising on distressed situations in a diverse range of sectors, including insurance, hotels, energy and automotives.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're very good, they're very responsive and the quality of the work is extremely good."  

Work highlights Represented Resolute in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings of Plant Insulation, defending it against the allegation that it bears the responsibility for an alleged $2 billion asbestos personal injury claim.

Acted for Travelers Insurance in a case centering around whether Mississippi Valley Silica's 1998 Chapter 11 plan involved language that allowed direct actions against Travelers for silica torts.

Notable practitioners  

Fruman Jacobson "offers tremendous insights and is very effective at knowing where a case is going," according to interviewees. He acts for trustees, debtors and creditors' committees, and is highly experienced in bankruptcy-related litigation. 

Interviewees highlight that Robert Millner is "very knowledgeable regarding the US Bankruptcy Code and all of the case law relating to it." He is also "a good strategist, and a good case overseer and manager."

Corporate/M&A & Private Equity - Illinois

What the team is known for Regularly acts for buyers and sellers in financings, takeovers and joint ventures. Highly capable in the private equity arena, focusing on corporate governance, venture capital and fund formation matters.

Work highlights Advised Molex in relation to its $7.2 billion acquisition by Koch Industries. 

Advised disposable gloves supplier High Five Products on the sale of its assets to BarrierSafe Solutions.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Froy heads the firm's global manufacturing team. He advises companies in the healthcare, energy and insurance sectors on domestic and international M&A.  

Linda Harris is "very knowledgeable," say commentators. She is experienced in representing investors, public and private companies in joint ventures, M&A and securities transactions.

Donald Lubin is praised by clients and peers alike, with one contemporary describing him as "a true gentleman." Lubin has an expansive practice which incorporates advising on takeover defense planning, restructurings and governance.  

Environment - Illinois

What the team is known for Experienced in regulatory compliance counsel. Specializes in litigation and enforcement proceedings at the local, state and federal levels.

Work highlights Advised the Lemont Refinery on several matters before the Illinois Pollution Control Board, including a Use Attainability Analysis matter with a proposition to revise water quality standards.

Notable practitioners  

Jeffrey Fort is a "top-notch lawyer" and "a good guy who handles himself well," say commentators. He handles internal investigations, implementing compliance strategies and litigation.

Healthcare - Illinois

What the team is known for A dependable option for hospital transactions and finance-related healthcare matters. Areas of expertise include integration and affiliation, certificate of need activities, tax-exempt financing and sophisticated M&A work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They thoroughly understand not only the transaction mechanics, but also the business strategy of our institution."

"Excellent performance - the team is reliable and responsive in a timely fashion. They understand and prioritize the client."

Work highlights Advised Walgreens on the design and execution of an ACO program. This matter involved due diligence and strategic advice.

Acted for the University of Arizona Health Network on governance issues relating to an integrated health system.

Notable practitioners  

Mary Wilson operates a well-respected healthcare finance practice, representing borrowers, issuers and underwriters. Sources say she has "the good ability to know what is a deal breaker and what is not," and that "her expertise is valued by all parties."

Significant clients KV Pharmaceutical, CVS Caremark, B.C. Ziegler and Company, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan.  

Insurance - Illinois

What the team is known for Handles large and complex insurance disputes with particular expertise in class actions on behalf of insurance companies. Also has a dedicated transactional and regulatory team noted for its expertise in M&A, market conduct investigations and regulatory enforcement.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have assembled consummate experts in the regulatory arena and are a significant value-add to difficult issues where outside counsel is needed."

"They constantly deliver high-quality products to us in a timely fashion."

Notable practitioners  

Corinne Carr heads the firm's insurance risk management team and also has additional focus on regulatory and transactional matters. As well as representing major insurers, reinsurers, agents and brokers, she also counsels Fortune 500 companies on strategic insurance matters.

Robert Johnson is a highly respected litigator who focuses on complex insurance and reinsurance matters. Client say: "He has done a terrific job. He has a very deep knowledge of the law and is generally looked to by peers within other firms as being an authoritative voice of reason."

Donna Vobornik has deep experience of litigating complex insurance coverage cases. She has particular expertise in environmental, asbestos and Chinese drywall coverage cases, as well as claims relating to product liability, bad faith and insurer bankruptcies.

Labor & Employment - Illinois

What the team is known for Significant expertise in compensation and employee benefit work. Advises public and private clients on transactional, compliance and litigation matters.  

Notable practitioners  

Pamela Baker is a very well thought-of member of the Chicago benefit and compensation community, with one peer recognizing her as "an excellent attorney." Chair of the firm's national practice, Baker represents a range of clients on ESOPs, ERISA and 401(k) among others.  

Litigation - Illinois

What the team is known for Strong reputation for professional liability matters and securities litigation. Advises a diverse range of clients including corporations in the energy, sports and finance industries. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A formidable firm." 

Work highlights Defended Travelers in a case against the Illinois Tool Works in which the plaintiff sought coverage for claims relating to welding fumes, asbestos and silica.

Represented Belco Community Credit Union concerning multiplaintiff claims arising from the sale of nondeposit investment products.

Notable practitioners Robert Johnson is head of the litigation team at the firm.

Significant clients BP America, Allstate Insurance, Simon Property, St. Louis Rams, Tribune Company.

Media & Entertainment - Illinois

What the team is known for A strong team with a focus on class action work. Covers the full range of media cases including defamation, copyright and IP. Clients include publishing houses, well-known artists and authors.  

Work highlights Defended the Chicago Tribune in a consumer fraud class action case relating to allegations of insufficient notice of a price increase.

Represented Collective in a trademark and unfair competition case brought by Cross Commerce Media.  

Notable practitioners  

Samuel Fifer is described by peers as "a fine media lawyer." He advises clients on a broad range of IP and entertainment law matters.

James Klenk is highly thought of in the sector. He recently successfully defended ChicagoLand Television News in a defamation action.

Natalie Spears is "an outstanding First Amendment lawyer - every matter has been handled extremely well," one client said. She also frequently represents clients on advertising, IP and a range of consumer class action suits. 

Significant clients Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Yahoo!, St. Louis Rams, Backpage.com, NBC Universal.  

Real Estate - Illinois

What the team is known for A front runner in the Illinois market with significant experience in financing, development and regeneration matters. Marked out for its representation of developers, institutional investors and contractors, and with particular strength in the representation of financial institutions in sophisticated real estate financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The things that stand out are client service and responsiveness - which is better than anything - and their attention to detail."

"An excellent performance: solid business skills - with no over-lawyering - and responsiveness to deadlines." 

Work highlights Acted for JPMorgan Chase in relation to syndicated construction loans for the financing of two downtown Chicago apartment buildings.

Advised Metropolitan Life Insurance on its $162 million financing of a Chicago hotel.

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Moran is a highly regarded member of the Chicago real estate community, with one interviewee describing him as an "excellent lawyer." Moran has extensive experience in leasing, development and finance work.

Described as "very well qualified" by one market source, Mark Mehlman specializes in financing and transactional work. He is particularly noted for his knowledge of the hotel and hospitality industries.

The "fantastic" Eric Schiller is a highly experienced real estate attorney whose practice covers a wide range of financing and transactional matters. He recently represented RBC Capital in connection with a $200 million acquisition loan to Brookfield Properties.

Steven Davidson has "good legal knowledge" and is "good at convincing opposing counsel of the merits of our position," reports one impressed client. Davidson concentrates his practice on real estate financings.

Transactional matters, including acquisitions and dispositions are a particular focus for key partner Linda White. White is highlighted as "extraordinarily skilled" by one market commentator.

Jana Cohen Barbe is "adept at negotiating constructively but aggressively - she really knows how to advocate for the client," relates one observer. She specializes in tax credit-related real estate work.

Significant clients JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Metropolitan Life Insurance, KeyBank, Launchpad Development.

Technology - Illinois

What the team is known for Represents providers and customers in outsourcing deals on a national and international scope. Particular industry expertise includes the healthcare, manufacturing, energy and telecommunications sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The quality of the work is high. Their attorneys are thorough. We especially appreciate their attention to small details and ability to weave these into an important legal or contractual strategy."

Notable practitioners  

Ross Docksey maintains a broad technology and outsourcing focus, but is particularly well renowned for his expertise in joint venture deals. Clients laud his "broad knowledge of contract strategy and exemplary, tough negotiating skills." They also say that he "strikes a perfect balance between protecting us - ensuring that we have fair and balanced agreements - and ensuring that our business is able to proceed."

Rosemary Gullikson Bittorf helps clients with a variety of complex business outsourcing transactions as well as the formation of strategic alliances. Sources remark that she is "very experienced in this area," and commend her dedication to the practice.

Significant clients Tribune, Kaplan Higher Education.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for A good reputation for advising clients on a wide range of MBS and CMBS transactions. Clients include issuers, underwriters, trustees and investors.

Work highlights Represented Federal Deposit Insurance on a RMBS transaction valued at $221 million under a pilot securitization program of residential mortgage loans guaranteed by the government which were formerly owned by failed bank institutions.

Represented Shellpoint Partners on a $250.8 million private label RMBS Rule 144A offering. 

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Kudenholdt is a highly respected industry leader. He is highly rated for mortgage-backed securities transactions and clients describe him as "a securitization guru. We rely heavily on him and his team for advice in that area. He's top of the pack."

Erik Klingenberg is "very knowledgeable," "super-versatile" and has a "highly sophisticated practice," market sources report. He advises clients on transactions involving a wide range of asset classes.

Scott Swerdloff receives plaudits for his expertise in representing issuers, underwriters and servicers on ABS offerings. He is particularly recommended for re-securitizations.

Significant clients Citigroup, Jeffries, Wells Fargo, Nomura Credit & Capital, Roosevelt Management Company.

Energy & Natural Resources - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and DC.

What the team is known for Well-respected electricity regulatory practice, acting for clients from across the power spectrum. Its attorneys represent clients in front of FERC, in civil litigation and in state regulatory matters. Expertise in areas such as market formation, ISO and RTO litigation, and energy trading.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They were definitely highlighting the commercial decisions, helping us think through how decisions would impact things. It was very complex and they helped us out by taking a difficult problem and breaking it down to its elemental points."

Work highlights Advised CPS Energy in relation to the development of a 400 MW solar facility in Texas.

Acted for Central Electric Power Cooperative in the negotiation of an agreement to supply South Carolina’s electric cooperatives through to 2058.

Notable practitioners  

Stuart Caplan is a regulatory lawyer who practices in the electricity and natural gas sectors. He is noted for his knowledge of market formation and advises a wide variety of clients including utilities, power markets and financial institutions. He acted as lead regulatory counsel in GE's acquisition of Homer City Generating Station. As one commentator notes: "He is someone with a keen understanding of all the rules relating to energy trading and market participation; he really digs deep and gets it at a fundamental level."

Clinton Vince is an experienced electricity lawyer who is recognized in the market for his skills as a litigator. He has long served as the lead regulatory counsel for the City Council for the City of New Orleans, representing it in defense of multiple class actions and in many proceedings at the FERC. Sources say: "A very knowledgeable energy regulatory attorney who does a good job representing his clients."

Significant clients GE Energy Financial Services, Public Service Enterprise Group, Ormet Primary Aluminum, Great Plains Energy, Kansas City Power & Light.

Insurance - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

What the team is known for Strong group with skill in all aspects of insurance dispute resolution throughout the country. Acts for the industry's major companies in matters relating to long-term care, asbestos, environmental, E&O and natural disaster coverage.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have outstanding coverage and bad-faith lawyers."  

"They really look outside the box at what the possible outcomes are that might be acceptable to the client."

Work highlights Represented plaintiff insurer Financial Structures in litigation against UBS surrounding the management of reference pools to avoid credit defaults.

Recently defended First American Title Insurance in a class action alleging wrongful charging of escrow fees.

Notable practitioners  

Reid Ashinoff is known for his representation of insurers and reinsurers in complex litigation matters. Sources describe him as "very skilled and sharp" and "an extremely effective examiner of witnesses."

Michael Barr is admired for his expertise in matters pertaining to insurance and financial products. A source describes him as a "great listener, clear communicator – driven and results oriented."

Los Angeles practice head Ronald Kent has wide-ranging insurance expertise which includes experience in class actions, toxic torts and bad faith. According to a client, "he's an excellent lawyer, an excellent advocate for the company and a seasoned trial lawyer."

Significant clients Cigna, MetLife, AEGON, Zurich, Genworth Financial. 

Insurance - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

What the team is known for Well-respected group with a genuinely national presence. Offers expertise in the full range of transactional and regulatory matters, with regulatory experience a feature among its attorneys.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have assembled consummate experts in the regulatory arena, and are a significant value-add to difficult issues where outside counsel is needed."

"My experience with the firm is in the regulatory field and the lawyers I have dealt with are exceptional."

Work highlights Represented SCOR Re in its acquisition of Generali Life Re USA, and its relocation from Missouri to Delaware.

Represented PacifiCare in a case surrounding alleged violations of California insurance law and regulations.

Notable practitioners  

Kara Baysinger is the key contact at the firm.

Leisure & Hospitality - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Phoenix and Atlanta.

What the team is known for Maintains its position as a leader in the leisure and hospitality industry, and is frequently active in some of the most innovative deals in the market. Recognized for its strength in depth and the broad geographical coverage that it offers to clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very responsive, and they have the best technical understanding of the industry - that's really where they're different; it's a comprehensive skill set. They'll give you a complete response – they understand every facet and that's what's really helpful."

"A really good team with bench strength. Always up to date - they're on the cutting-edge."

"They're sophisticated, smart and very diligent, and they have a great sense of business and strategy."  

Work highlights Advised KSL Capital on its $350 million purchase of an historic New York hotel and premises, in a joint venture with Strategic Hotels & Resorts.

Acted for Loews Hotels on its acquisition of the Boston Back Bay Hotel, valued at more than $90 million.

Notable practitioners  

David Klein is described as "a really out-of-the-box thinker" who "provides a helpful blend of top-notch legal prowess and common-sense business practicality." He has significant experience advising clients on workouts, solutions and strategies for the management of distressed mixed-use projects and hotels. 

Richard Ross is widely regarded as a "superlative lawyer" who "is truly an expert in the field of hospitality and leisure." Sources highlight his superb legal acumen and note that his "tremendous exposure to complex hospitality transactions across the US and more globally creates tremendous value" for clients.

The "extraordinarily skilled" Meghan Cocci is "very smart with good business sense," say interviewees. She recently acted for Brookfield Real Estate Financial Services in a transaction to exchange its $175 million controlling debt position for ownership of the Atlantis hotel in the Bahamas. 

Significant clients Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Dorchester Collection, Ohana Holdings, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Montage Hotels and Resorts.

Native American Law - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include DC, New York and San Francisco.

What the team is known for Wide-ranging tribal expertise and impressive experience and knowledge on gaming issues. Also noted for its influence with government agencies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It is a very strong practice group. Their people cover a lot of ground and they have people from the tribal world experienced across the full range of work." 

"They are exceptional at gaming issues and are also good at taking land into trust for tribes."

What's new? Former President of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Robert Odawi Porter, has joined the firm as senior counsel.

Work highlights Acted for the Fort Still Apache Tribe on its attempt to obtain approvals for gaming on the tribes land.

Assisting the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians with the negotiating of a Tribal-State Compact.

Notable practitioners  

The excellent Steven McSloy is renowned for the quality of his gaming finance advice for both Indian tribes and financial institutions.

Heather Sibbison "is extremely conscientious, detail-oriented and an expert holistic thinker who thinks through every eventuality." She recently assisted the Cowlitz Indian Tribe with fee-to-trust litigation.

Nicholas Yost has a fantastic reputation in this area and is commended for his "institutional knowledge, experience with national issues, and strategic approach to matters."

George Skibine is known for his "exceptional judgment," comprehensive knowledge of Indian gaming, and fine understanding of the Department of the Interior.

Significant clients The Tohono O'odham Nation, The Osage Nation, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Outsourcing - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Chicago and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Represents customers in negotiating high-value outsourcing agreements with service providers. Works seamlessly with the firm's widespread international offices on cross-border transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"What stands out is their flexibility and their ability to work to very challenging deadlines."

"I think very highly of them. This is a thoroughly excellent practice."

Work highlights Acted for the Tribune Company and its subsidiary, Blue Lynx Media, on negotiating finance and accounting outsourcing agreements with Outsource Partners International and ExlService Holdings.

Notable practitioners  

Ross Docksey continues to represent an impressive roster of clients in negotiating BPO and ITO agreements with leading service providers. Clients admire his strategic approach to contract dealings and assert that he stands out for his "exemplary, tough negotiating skills."

Rosemary Gullikson Bittorf earns the respect of peers for her significant experience across a broad range of outsourcing transactions. She has in-depth knowledge of strategic and enterprise technology contracting, as well as BPO and ITO.

Significant clients Kaplan Higher Education, Scripps Network Interactive, Rytec.