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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

New York

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP - New York
  • 919 Third Avenue
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10022
  • Managing Partner: Michael W Blair
  • Number of partners (worldwide): 136
  • Number of other lawyers (worldwide): 515
  • Languages: Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Bulgarian, Chinese (Cantonese, Chiuchow, Mandarin and Shanghainese), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, Finnish, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese.
  • INTERNATIONAL OFFICES Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Paris, Shanghai

Firm Overview: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP was founded in 1931. The firm maintains a tradition of excellence in a comprehensive, modern practice that spans the Americas, Europe and Asia. The firm’s lawyers are responsive, thoughtful, ethical and vigorous advocates with a substantive understanding of their clients’ business needs and the many marketplaces in which they compete. Debevoise has leading practices that often have a cross-border focus due to the firm’s international approach to the practice of law. Debevoise places the highest value on collaboration and interdisciplinary cooperation in order to provide clients with seamless representation across practice areas and across continents. The firm represents multinational, US and non-US industrial and commercial companies, private equity sponsors, financial institutions including insurance companies, investment companies, banks and broker-dealers, and individuals in a comprehensive range of assignments.

Main Areas of Practice:

Debevoise’s Corporate Department’s work spans the full range of general corporate, transactional and regulatory representations. Areas of concentration include private equity, mergers and acquisitions, insurance, capital markets, investment funds, banking, leveraged finance, business restructuring and workouts, aviation, project finance, structured finance, asset management, intellectual property, real estate and environmental law. The Corporate Department has an exceptionally strong track record advising private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, as well as clients in the technology, media and telecommunications, banking, insurance, health care and life sciences and energy industries.

Debevoise’s Litigation Department handles complex matters in courts in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and elsewhere, as well as before arbitration tribunals, agencies and administrative bodies worldwide. The Department includes John S Kiernan and Mary Beth Hogan, Co-Chairs of the Department; Michael B Mukasey, former US Attorney General and Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York; Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, PC, Chair of European and Asian Litigation who formerly served as the UK’s Attorney General; eight former Assistant US Attorneys, including a former Under Secretary of the US Treasury for Enforcement and a former Chief Assistant US Attorney for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; and a former Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. Debevoise is the only law firm to include former Attorneys General of both the US and the UK, as well as a Queen’s Counsel. Areas of concentration include white-collar crime/ internal investigations, general commercial litigation, international dispute resolution, intellectual property and media, insurance industry disputes, antitrust, bankruptcy, securities litigation and products liability.

Tax & Employee Benefits:
Debevoise’s Tax Department works closely with corporate lawyers in structuring complex transactions. The department also focuses on tax planning and advice for business entities, high net worth individuals and exempt organizations and includes an active executive compensation and employee benefits practice.

International Work:
Asia: Debevoise’s Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, with 20 lawyers, are active throughout China and the Asia-Pacific region. The corporate team in Asia handles cross-border investments, formation and deployment of private equity funds, telecommunications and other joint ventures, US securities offerings and general corporate counseling. The firm’s litigation and arbitration team in Asia handles international dispute resolution, litigation, white-collar matters and internal investigations. Debevoise lawyers in Asia represent multinational companies, private equity sponsors and other investment funds in a broad range of strategic and financial investments throughout Asia.

Debevoise’s London office has more than 80 lawyers. It is home to a diversified corporate and financial practice, as well as an internationally focused tax practice. The London dispute resolution team also acts for some of the world’s most prominent cases in international arbitration, white-collar crime and investigations, litigation and public international law. The firm’s Moscow office has more than 25 lawyers who focus on capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, natural resource projects, financings as well as general corporate and tax matters. The firm’s Paris office has approximately 20 lawyers and 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.

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 and recent work in the Latin American private equity/fund formation, project finance, media and financial services sectors and in litigation and arbitration in the region, has further solidified its 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.

Areas of Practice

  • Business Restructuring & Workouts
  • Corporate
  • Executive Compensation
  • Finance
  • Financial Institutions
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Arbitration
  • Latin America
  • Litigation
  • Media & Technology
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Private Equity
  • Real Estate
  • Securities
  • Tax
  • White Collar Criminal Defense/Internal Investigations


  • 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

Advertising - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department Key office is New York.

What the team is known for New York-based group with strength in litigation. Adept in handling complex disputes before the NAD.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very much trial lawyers." 

Notable practitioners  

David Bernstein is "a very good advertising lawyer" who is "well respected at the NAD." He is also recognized for his trademark capabilities.

Banking & Finance - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Provides wide-ranging expertise that encompasses syndicated bank loans, mezzanine investments and second lien financings. Maintains a focus on borrower-side representations, and regularly advises on sophisticated transactions for major private equity houses. Highly experienced on cross-border deals and those that are national in scope. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The service is top notch, they do an excellent job. They're extremely knowledgeable, extremely responsive and they do a real good job for us."

"They're responsive, they're smart and they are definitely well versed in the legal technicalities of the various situations that they help us with."

"They are very detail-oriented and they understand the transactions we're involved in very well. They're very efficient in using their time to focus on key issues and make sure all bases are covered."

Work highlights Advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in connection with the financing for its $2.5 billion acquisition of Harsco Infrastructure and Brand Energy & Infrastructure.

Represented Hertz Global Holdings with regard to the refinancing of its $1.4 billion term loan, as well as advising on the financing for its acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group for $2.3 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Sources describe David Brittenham as "an extremely knowledgeable lawyer" who is "very good at understanding the big picture." Recently he was involved in advising the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Dell in connection with the sale of Dell for $24.4 billion. Interviewees also commend him for being "detail-oriented and always prepared to do the best job for his client."

William Beekman is a "respected negotiator" who is "very experienced and really understands the documentation, and the ins and outs of secured debt." His broad expertise spans an array of transactions including leveraged lending and acquisition financing.

Paul Brusiloff specializes in financings, restructurings, recapitalizations and refinancings involving both equity and debt. Interviewees note that he is "very good at dealing with clients and knows how to manage the team to get a seamless transaction."  

Jeffrey Ross wins plaudits for being "responsive, smart and thoughtful," and "technically capable but also able to think through things commercially." Sources also appreciate his calm approach to negotiations.

Significant clients The Carlyle Group, Getty Images, Oaktree Capital Management, Tribune, Warner Music Group.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Noted for its representation of debtor companies in distressed asset transactions and corporate structure reorganizations. A strong presence on restructurings in the airline and insurance sectors. Also acts for a number of large investors, including private equity houses.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"There are always quality people on a case, you get the very best people throughout the firm and they have a real consistency of quality and intellectual depth."

"The group has long-term, in-depth knowledge of the industry and they know our goals and our interests as a client. They bring the right people, the right attention and the right balance of senior and junior partners on the team."

Work highlights Advised American Airlines on the restructuring of aircraft purchase agreements and related finance arrangements, in addition to acting in a dispute over $1.3 billion of bond payments.

Advised MBIA on the restructuring of $2 billion of liabilities and potential bankruptcy of its insurer subsidiary MBIA Corp. The subsidiary avoided bankruptcy after settlement of litigation.

Notable practitioners  

One of Richard Hahn's clients says: "He's matter-of-fact and direct - there's no drama, which makes things more efficient and brings things to a conclusion more quickly and with less cost and damage along the way." Peers admire this "even-keeled attorney" and note his "strong cross-over" between debtor and creditor work. 

Significant clients Culligan, Oaktree Capital Management, Ripplewood Holdings, HarbourVest Partners, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Maintains a strong profile for its representation of foreign and domestic issuers and underwriters in an array of debt and equity offerings. Clients include private equity firms and their portfolio companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are highly creative when there is an apparent impasse. They are effective at coming up with solutions."

"The service is just excellent overall." 

Work highlights Represented Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Securities and others as joint bookrunners on Liberty Mutual's $600 million senior notes offering.

Advised HD Supply on its IPO of common stock worth in excess of $1 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Loughran advised Principal Financial on the offering of a total of $1.5 billion of senior notes. He is a frequent choice to advise issuers and underwriters on international and US securities offerings.

David Brittenham chairs the firm's finance group. He represented The ServiceMaster Company on its offering of $750 million of senior notes.

Steven Slutzky is recommended for his expertise in a range of transactions. He recently advised Reynolds on its offering of $3.25 billion of senior secured notes.

Matthew Kaplan is "extremely responsive" and "has an encyclopedic knowledge of securities law," impressed clients say. He advised Westpac Banking in relation to $750 million and $650 million notes offerings.

Significant clients Access Industries, The Carlyle Group, Getty Images, Morgan Stanley, Providence Equity Partners.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Well-known name in the national corporate and M&A markets, acting on high-profile and sophisticated transactions. Represents private and public companies, private equity firms and financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are a group of experts that have your back, will go the extra mile and will do everything to make you succeed."

"Extraordinarily helpful, very knowledgeable and very creative." 

Work highlights Acted for Principal Financial Group on its $1.5 billion acquisition of Chilean pension manager AFP Cuprum.

Represented The Carlyle Group, in partnership with Getty Images' management, on the $3.3 billion acquisition of Getty Images from Hellman & Friedman.

Notable practitioners

Paul Bird is cochair of the corporate practice and a key contact.

Significant clients Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, International Paper, Pernod Ricard, Schneider Electric, Tribune Company.

FCPA - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Sought after to advise on government investigations and FCPA compliance. Draws on extensive global capabilities and is particularly well placed to handle transatlantic mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm employs high-caliber, seasoned attorneys, all of whom could be first chair leads. We always feel well represented by them. They do everything rapidly and to our satisfaction."

Work highlights Represented 3M in relation to SEC and DOJ investigations arising from allegations of corruption in overseas subsidiaries.

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Yannett has a strong reputation for handling anti-corruption issues. Clients value his white-collar litigation experience and the "fantastic service" he provides.

Clients report that Paul Berger is "superb at conducting investigations, processing information, reaching a judgment and preparing a compelling presentation to the government." He represents corporations in DOJ and SEC proceedings.

Financial Services Regulation - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Handles a wide range of financial services issues, with expertise in banking compliance and regulatory enforcement and related M&A transactions involving significant financial institutions. Able to offer advice to financial industry clients both at home and abroad thanks to the firm's international presence across Europe and Asia. Clients include banks, trusts and insurance companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a very practical, business-oriented approach with a deep knowledge of US and foreign regulations. I see them as trusted advisers for me and my company."

"They have very knowledgeable and intuitive lawyers. Their advice is always infused with the realities of our business, which we appreciate very much."

Work highlights Advised a series of prominent insurance industry clients, including Prudential Financial and Northwestern, on a series of matters relating to the implementation of Dodd-Frank.

Acted on behalf of Markel on its acquisition of Bermuda reinsurance provider Alterra Capital Holdings, a transaction worth in excess of $3 billion.

Represented AIA Group in the acquisition of ING's Malaysian insurance business for $1.7 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Lee is particularly involved in legislative issues relating to banks and the implications of Dodd-Frank. He earns particular praise from clients for the depth of his intellect and is described as "a brilliant man and a very good practitioner."

"Very thorough and professional lawyer" Gregory Lyons is highly rated by clients for his business-oriented approach and strong communication skills. He serves as cochair of the firm's financial institutions group and focuses on transactional and regulatory issues.

Practice cochair Satish Kini represents financial institutions both in the USA and abroad in regulatory compliance and enforcement as well as banking transactions. According to clients, "he is an analytic person but on top of that he is thoughtful in a way that brings his analytic nature to a successful conclusion."

Nicholas Potter focuses his practice on corporate transactions involving the insurance industry, including M&A, capital markets and financing deals. He also acts for significant private equity firms and investment banks.

The "absolutely outstanding" John Vasily earns respect from clients as a strong corporate practitioner. He handles M&A involving the financial services industry both domestically and abroad, with expertise in the Asia and Latin America markets.

Significant clients American Express, Fifth Third Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, RBS Citizens.

Insurance - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York.

What the team is known for Leading transactional and regulatory insurance practice offering exceptional expertise in M&A, corporate finance and insurance capital. Involved in regulatory matters regarding the New York authorities and in relation to high-value transactions. Represents the world's biggest insurers, reinsurers, private equity firms and hedge funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Outstanding grasp of regulatory and governance issues. Their greatest strength is their ability to quickly grasp the business issues and to deliver the results. They're also consistently accessible and responsive."

"We think very highly of the whole gang at Debevoise. They're fair and reasonable and know what they're doing."

Work highlights Acted for Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Columbia Insurance on its $285 million purchase of Hartford Life International. 

Advised Resolution Life Holdings on its $600 million acquisition from Allstate Life Insurance of Lincoln Benefit Life.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Potter enjoys a reputation among peers and clients as one of the country's foremost transactional and regulatory insurance attorneys. A client remarks: "He understands the cutting-edge issues. He gives excellent advice but with a very low-key, professional perspective."

Thomas Kelly is skilled in matters involving life reinsurance, M&A and capital markets. He recently advised Global Atlantic on its acquisition via a reinsurance arrangement of Aviva’s US life insurance business.

The esteemed Wolcott Dunham remains a key figure in the group's practice. According to commentators, "he understands the regulatory structure better than most of the regulators do."

Significant clients Markel, AXA, Swiss Re, Goldman Sachs, New York Life.

Intellectual Property - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Leading copyright, trademark and anticounterfeiting practice. Handles a range of sophisticated cases on behalf of a series of clients from industrial sectors including fashion, entertainment, luxury goods, technology, sports and digital media.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent trademark and anticounterfeiting work." 

"They have a top-notch practice handling top cases." 

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Keller and David Bernstein lead the IP litigation team.

International Arbitration - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for High-profile team with an extremely deep bench, showcasing expertise in investor treaty disputes and international commercial arbitrations, as well as a renowned resource for arbitrator appointments. Much admired for its leading arbitration experience and impressive global capabilities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Debevoise is very strong in international arbitration. The team is efficient and includes people from the London and New York offices, ensuring 24-hour work. I value their hard work, strategic advice and preparation."

"Very high quality across the board. They have a very balanced practice and are strong in epicenters of arbitration work."

Work highlights Represented Tethyan Copper Company in a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) ICSID arbitration against The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and an ICC arbitration against the government of Balochistan alleging breaches of a joint venture agreement.

Continued to act on the annulment phase of the ongoing BIT arbitration between Occidental and the Republic of Ecuador, in which the team had previously achieved a groundbreaking award of $2.3 billion for Occidental.

Notable practitioners  

Donald Francis Donovan is singled out by interviewees as "someone to take a knotty problem to." He is a renowned arbitrator and advocate, and recently acted for Tethyan Copper in disputes relating to alleged breaches of a joint venture agreement with the government of Balochistan. One source enthusiastically affirmed that "he is a fantastic lawyer - well prepared and open-minded."

Sources are quick to praise David Rivkin's "superb advice and advocacy skills." He is described as a "go-to person" for international arbitration matters, with an impressed observer noting that "he is very well positioned to assist clients in complex arbitration cases, whatever the specific elements of the case are." He has a long-established reputation as a trusted arbitrator and has also recently secured notable victories in arbitrations as counsel on behalf of clients such as Occidental.

The "excellent" Dietmar Prager is admired by sources for his ability to "combine substantive knowledge with academic understanding," and highlighted by clients for his "great depth of analysis." He has been involved in advising Tethyan Copper in various arbitrations.

Mark Friedman is commended as an individual who "certainly knows the business and can handle anything." He is one of the team advising Tethyan Copper, and has significant experience representing clients in investment treaty and commercial arbitrations.

Significant clients Perenco, GE, Pueblo Viejo Dominicana, Interros International Investments, GlaxoSmithKline.

Since publication, Catherine Amirfar has moved in-house.

Investment Funds - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Premier fund formation practice representing some of the largest and most prolific private equity firms. Particularly adept at handling matters with an international element.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are one of the most thoughtful firms in asset management in terms of coming up with new ideas and executing complex structures."

"They are successful because of their ability to evolve with the times and to be extraordinarily responsive, business savvy, knowledgeable and agile."

Work highlights Aided Providence Equity Partners on the $5 billion formation of its media and education-focused fund Providence Equity Partners VII.

Represented Third Point in the formation of its $750 million Hellenic Recovery Fund.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Harrell is recommended by clients as someone who "has great judgment and really knows what's going on in the industry." Similarly, clients are impressed by his ability to "provide tremendous strategic guidance."

Erica Berthou is praised for being "relentless and tireless in negotiating and preparing documents and side letters." A "dedicated and responsive lawyer," peers note that she is "talented, smart and very highly regarded."

Jennifer Burleigh is recognized by peers and clients, with one in particular noting that she is "very impressive on fund formation." Recent highlights include advising on the formation of EIG Energy Fund XVI.

David Schwartz is known for being one of the most experienced practitioners in the industry. He recently counseled HarbourVest Partners on the formation of its $3.6 billion global secondary fund Dover Street VIII.

The "fantastic" Rebecca Silberstein "provides excellent client service and puts together excellent teams." Recent work includes advising on the formation of KKR - SPC Merchant Advisors.

Sources attest that Jordan Murray is a "prominent player and adviser" who "brings the right level of expertise and experience."

Significant clients The Carlyle Group, Oaktree Capital Management, Morgan Stanley.

Private Equity - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Global private equity group with a wide-ranging practice. The team has noted expertise in advising on investments in insurance companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They coordinate resources well to deliver a great service and have the team to throw at big projects." 

"They consistently provide good representation and really understand the complexities of the business."

Work highlights Represented Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in relation to its $2.5 billion combined purchase of Brand Energy and Harsco. 

Advised the special committee of the board of directors of Dell on the acquisition of Dell by Silver Lake.

Notable practitioners  

Margaret Andrews Davenport is described as a "smart lawyer who provides a consistently strong level of service." She is noted for her creative approach to negotiations and for her experience in selling businesses.

The "outstanding" Paul Bird is praised by clients as a "gentleman and a scholar" and someone "you really want on your team."

Kevin Schmidt "thinks like a business person and manages risk with sound commercial judgment." He is singled out as "an incredible negotiator who, more often than not, wins the argument."

Jeffrey Rosen is a major force in the market. Known for his strength on public M&A, his wider expertise reinforces his strength in the private equity space.

The "remarkable" Franci Blassberg has a well-earned reputation as one of the leading figures in the private equity space.

Significant clients The Carlyle Group, Diamond Castle, HarbourVest Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Stone Point Capital.

Projects - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Acts for sponsors, bidders and lenders on PPP infrastructure projects. Areas of focus include airports, toll roads and sports stadiums.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Great firm, great people. They are very smart and they get things get done right, no cutting corners or hiding the ball." 

What's new? Doug Buchanan QC, a highly regarded Canadian PPP lawyer, has joined the firm's New York office.   

Work highlights Advised the project company on the lease and financing structure of the development of JFK Airport Terminal 4.  

Notable practitioners  

Ivan Mattei is a PPP lawyer with a great deal of experience acting for bidders and lenders. Sources note his technical mastery and describe him as a "very talented lawyer."

Significant clients Mitsui, Sithe Global.

Real Estate - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Strong reputation for advising private equity funds, corporations and hedge funds on disposals, joint ventures, acquisitions and financing transactions. Active in representing lenders and borrowers on workout and restructuring transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The service is just stellar, it is so responsive." 

"They give me good advice and follow my directions very precisely."

Work highlights Represented Westfield Group in its divestiture of seven shopping centers to Starwood for $1.64 billion.

Advised Oaktree Capital Management on its joint venture with Kushner Companies for the acquisition and financing of the Northern Liberties mixed-use development in Philadelphia.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Irwin chairs the firm’s real estate group.

Significant clients AXA Real Estate, Carmel Partners, Mitsui, Tishman Speyer Properties, Rockefeller Group International.

Securities - Nationwide

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

What the team is known for Noted expertise in both litigation and regulatory matters within the securities space. Demonstrates strength in defending major public companies and individuals in connection with investigations and enforcement actions by regulatory bodies such as the SEC and FINRA, as well as in matters pertaining to FCPA violation. Respected handling of the full range of securities litigation, with particular expertise in the representation of US-traded foreign companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
They're creative, flexible, and have great credibility when dealing with the regulators.

“They are incredibly efficient. They've got a team and infrastructure that allow them to work with skill and efficiency in record time."

Work highlights Represented MetLife and Prudential Financial in several securities class actions and derivatives lawsuits concerning their policies toward unclaimed life insurance benefits.

Defended 3M in a series of investigations by the SEC and DOJ regarding potential FCPA violations. All investigations were closed without action taking place, in a complete victory for the client. 

Notable practitioners  

Paul Berger is highlighted for his strength in defending large public companies from alleged compliance violations and government enforcement actions as well as FCPA infringement. He recently co-led the team in successfully representing 3M in connection with FCPA investigations by the SEC and DOJ.

Jonathan Tuttle is recognized for his strength in the securities litigation sphere. Sources call him a "brilliant lawyer who is wise beyond his years."

Significant clients MetLife, Prudential Financial, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, JPMorgan Chase, Westfield Group.

Sports Law - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York.

What the team is known for Well-respected sports litigation practice that acts for some of the leading sports names around. Focuses primarily on issues relating to intellectual property and licensing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're very strong lawyers." 

"It's a great group at Debevoise." 

Work highlights Represented the Brooklyn Nets in issues concerning its new mascot and an associated advertising campaign.

Acted for the NFL in copyright litigation relating to the design of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Notable practitioners  

Sources say Bruce Keller is "just terrific" and an "excellent lawyer." He has an IP-based sports practice and recently represented the NFL in a suit concerning the use of retired players' likenesses in productions by NFL Film.

Significant clients NBA, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Washington Capitals, University of Florida.

Tax - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Quality private equity and capital markets-related tax work. Also active in relation to large, cross-border M&A. Key clients include big names in the insurance, communications and banking industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are always up-to-speed technically and make good judgments on behalf of their clients."

"They have extremely smart and experienced lawyers. The service is excellent and very proactive."

Work highlights Assisted Verizon with its offering of $49 billion in bonds.

Advised Tribune Co on the tax aspects of its purchase of Local TV Holdings for $2.7 billion.

Notable practitioners

New York-based Burt Rosen is head of the firm's tax department.

Significant clients American Airlines, Providence Equity Partners, AIG, Warner Music Group, CD&R. 

Transportation - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Recognized strength in a broad range of aviation finance matters, including aircraft and engine financings, airline securities offerings and fleet restructurings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very good; they're creative, extremely hard-working and very diligent on our behalf."

"They are worth every penny." 

Work highlights Acted as special aircraft financing counsel for American Airlines and AMR during Chapter 11 proceedings related to the complex financial restructuring arrangements of over 1,000 aircraft.

Represented Sukhoi Civil Aircraft in the sale and lease transaction of 3 Sukhoi Superjet 100s with Lao Central Airlines.

Notable practitioners  

John Curry has an impressive portfolio of work in aircraft finance transactions, with a focus on capital markets offerings and EETCs. His success in both domestic and cross-border matters leads one impressed client to claim: "I don't think anyone knows more about the legal aspects of financing than John does, on both debt and leasing."

Significant clients Aeroflot, Air France-KLM, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Rossiya Airlines.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

What the team is known for Has worked on numerous out-of-court reorganizations and specific transactions related to distressed companies and Chapter 11 filings. Handles cases for individual creditors, distressed companies and their investors, and purchasers of assets out of bankruptcy.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"There are always quality people on a case. You get the very best people throughout the firm and they have a real consistency of quality and intellectual depth."

"They know our goals and our interests as a client. They bring the right people whose expertise is among the best." 

Work highlights Restructured complicated financing and purchase agreements for over 1,000 aircraft in the Chapter 11 proceedings of American Airlines. The group litigated on related issues and was successful in a dispute on make-whole payments that involved $1.3 billion in bonds.

Advised the parent company of distressed insurer MBIA on its obligations to the latter. The group worked to reduce the risks associated with distressed subsidiaries and then proceeded to agree a litigation settlement with the troubled insurer. 

Notable practitioners  

Richard Hahn has "a very good rapport with clients" and is "very sharp, skilled and gets the right balance between the legal arguments and the practical reality." He has advised large lenders and shareholders in out-of-court restructurings.

Natasha Labovitz is praised as "experienced, technically proficient, highly effective and an excellent negotiator." She has represented high-profile clients in out-of-court restructurings and achieved substantial debt restructurings. 

Interviewees affirm that My Chi To is "incredibly thoughtful, thorough and dedicated." She is admired for her application of the law and deal-making ability in bankruptcy matters. Her client base includes numerous debtors, creditors and investors.

Significant clients Oaktree Capital Management, Ripplewood Holdings, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, Berkshire Hathaway, Providence Equity Partners.

Corporate/M&A - New York

What the team is known for Highly regarded practice with a good reputation in the market, particularly in private equity. Handles complex and high-value M&A transactions for public and private companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"You feel like they've really got your back, whether it's going the extra mile to send you news articles that might be helpful, or whether it's being on calls or helping to prepare for calls. If you need them, they will undo their tie and help."

"I felt they had a solid understanding of everything and were able to execute efficiently and with quality."

Work highlights Acted for the special committee of the board of directors of Dell on the $24.4 billion buyout of Dell by Michael Dell and Silver Lake.

Represented Tribune Company in its $2.7 billion acquisition of Local TV Holdings.

Notable practitioners 

Corporate practice chair Jeffrey Rosen is very highly regarded, with peers naming him "one of the finest lawyers in town" and clients identifying him as being "extraordinarily experienced, intelligent and creative." He recently acted on the Dell go-private transaction for the special committee of the board of directors.

Cochair of the corporate practice Paul Bird advises public companies, private equity firms, boards of directors and special committees. One source praises "his ability to be not just a good lawyer, but to appreciate all the nuances associated with getting a deal done in a competitive context," adding that "he was very holistic, not just contracts-focused."

William Regner is co-head of the firm's M&A group, acting for public companies, investors and financial advisers. Clients say he is "super-knowledgeable, realistic and very pragmatic, and gets things done." 

Kevin Rinker's practice focuses on M&A, private equity and the life sciences sector. He recently acted on AssuraMed's approximately $2 billion sale to Cardinal Health.

Significant clients Access Industries/Warner Music Group, Pernod Ricard, Amazon.com, The Carlyle Group, Schneider Electric.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - New York

What the team is known for Collaborates cohesively with M&A, private equity and investment management teams to assist public and private sector businesses with employee benefits and executive compensation matters. Advises on corporate governance, ERISA, the hiring and discharging of senior executives, and corporate pension arrangements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're very responsive and helpful, and always willing to lend a hand."

Work highlights Assisted Prudential Financial in the cutting-edge sale of two group annuities to a GM retirement plan and the Verizon Management Pension Plan.

Provided transactional and post-transactional benefits support to New Young Broadcasting Holding in its all-stock merger with Media General.

Notable practitioners  

Lawrence Cagney holds extensive experience in plan design, SEC reporting and tax compliance assistance for public and private companies. One observer affirms: "I'm always impressed by Larry. He's a very intelligent, intellectual lawyer who produces some very fine documents and concepts."

Jon Lewis covers a broad range of benefits and executive compensation, with emphasis on management equity arrangements. He has also had significant involvement in advising private equity funds on ERISA issues. One source professed: "I'm a big fan of his." 

Elizabeth Pagel Serebransky has been extremely active in employment agreement negotiations, M&A and IPO-based matters lately, gaining particular commendation for being "very knowledgeable about public company compensation and benefits, and ensuring good plan structures."

Significant clients Dell, Domtar, Sears Holdings, Tribune, UBS.

Environment - New York

What the team is known for Held in high esteem for its representation of clients in environmental financings, M&A and securities offerings. Areas of expertise include the energy, paper and mining industries.

Work highlights Represented Footprint Power in its acquisition of the Salem Harbor Power Station from Dominion Energy.

Advised Kelso & Co on its all-cash offer for EACOM Timber.

Notable practitioners  

Stuart Hammer is praised by sources for his efficient approach to advising clients. His highlights include representing Kelso & Co in its acquisition of infrastructure services provider PowerTeam Services.

Significant clients AIG, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, International Paper, Mitsui, Reynolds Group.

Insurance - New York

What the team is known for Market-leading insurance transactional and regulatory practice with a large team of skilled attorneys. Knowledgeable in capital markets, M&A, corporate governance and government investigations. Also boasts a wide-ranging litigation practice offering the full range of services to its insurer clients, including expertise in property and casualty, class actions, coverage disputes and regulatory defense.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are extraordinarily courteous, not just with their own clients, but with colleagues and adversaries."

"I think Debevoise can produce the definitive treatise on whatever subject you want them to, if that's what you want. But they can also work in a more pragmatic way if you want."

Work highlights Recently represented The Travelers Companies in coverage litigation arising from the asbestos-related bankruptcy of Pittsburgh Corning.

Recently advised Resolution Life Holdings on its acquisition of Lincoln Benefit Life from Allstate for $600 million. 

Represented Bermudian property and casualty reinsurer Third Point Re its $317 million IPO of common shares.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Potter, one of the state's most respected transactional insurance attorneys, advises insurers, reinsurers and investment banks on high-level corporate matters. According to clients, "he's astute, experienced and well versed, and an extremely effective communicator."

Thomas Kelly is an expert in transactional insurance matters involving M&A and capital markets. He recently advised New York Life in the sale of its Taiwanese life insurance subsidiary. 

The distinguished Wolcott Dunham remains a leading authority in transactional and regulatory insurance law. He advises on matters involving M&A, Dodd-Frank, and insurance restructuring and insolvency.

Edwin Schallert represents insurance companies in litigation and in regulatory matters, and his impressive client list includes Manulife and Prudential Financial. Clients compliment him for being "super-thoughtful" and "very responsive, helpful and smart."

Robert Goodman is an insurance coverage litigation attorney who concentrates his practice on claims involving mass torts, environmental and product liability. He recently represented Travelers in coverage litigation following Pittsburgh Corning's asbestos-related bankruptcy.

Significant clients ACE, MetLife, Berkshire Hathaway, AXA, Swiss Re, Markel.

Intellectual Property - New York

What the team is known for Market-leading expertise in trademarks, copyright and anticounterfeiting, particularly in litigation situations. They are noted for being very strong with regard to domain names and IP relating to broadcasting. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a top-notch practice handling top-notch cases." 

Notable practitioners  

David Bernstein enjoys a fine reputation as an IP litigator, especially for cases concerning trademarks, copyright, domain names and anticounterfeiting. One client said he is "responsive and thoughtful, and detail-oriented where necessary."

The "excellent" Bruce Keller chairs the firm's IP litigation practice. He handles cases involving trademarks and copyright, and is lauded for his expertise in false advertising.

Latin American Investment - New York

What the team is known for Strong offering for M&A work in the region including complex cross-border transactions. Acts for sophisticated companies and private equity investors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are excellent; they bring a certain balance of legal expertise and a sound, common-sense approach to resolving matters."

"They can put a team together that is completely global."

"They are quick and have deep knowledge of Latin America as well as of our company, which saves a lot of time."

Work highlights Acted for satellite operator Eutelsat Communications in its $1.142 billion acquisition of Satélites Mexicanos.

Advised the lender on the financing of additional works for refurbishment and upgrading of toll road facilities in relation to Ruta del Bosque.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Gillespie maintains a strong profile for his M&A work in Brazil. He has particular expertise advising clients in the media and communications sector.

Gregory Gooding is praised by sources as "pragmatic" and "has his eye on the ball in terms of getting the deal done." He represented Principal Financial in its $1.5 billion acquisition of AFP Cuprum.

Ivan Mattei is cochair of the firm’s project finance and infrastructure group. Clients say he "brings to bear enormous expertise and brainpower" and "can take complex matters and distill them down into simple themes."

Significant clients Mitsui, Ambev, New York Life, The Carlyle Group, CBMM, G5 Holdings.

Litigation - New York

What the team is known for A litigation powerhouse with a deep bench of experienced trial lawyers and regulatory experts. Comes highly recommended for its leading strength in white-collar criminal defense and investigations. Ability to handle high-stakes complex commercial and securities litigation across a broad array of industry sectors. Trial expertise complemented by notable experience in the arbitration arena.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Terrific - very, very smart, clearly cover a range of expertise which they bring to bear in a very logical, rational, creative way. Very responsive."

"Extraordinarily helpful, very knowledgeable, very creative litigation group. They did a great job in support and continue to do so. Very thoughtful, very easy to work with and get great results."

"They have the expertise and underlying ability to deliver in a consistent, well thought-out way. Equally as important as the substance - which is there - is just a fantastic written product, a fantastic ability to anticipate issues and a fantastic ability to work with in-house counsel in an extremely collaborative way." 

Work highlights Represented Bristol-Myers Squibb in a high-value case brought against it by drug manufacturer Apotex. Achieved a successful verdict for the client in a jury trial.

Acted for MetLife and Prudential Financial in multiple securities class action and derivative lawsuits relating to unclaimed life insurance benefits.

Acted on behalf of 3M in SEC and DOJ investigations relating to potential FCPA violations in subsidiary companies.

Notable practitioners  

Matthew Fishbein has a wealth of experience in handling sensitive white-collar and criminal defense work for key clients. Sources say he is "very effective in being able to negotiate resolutions on behalf of his clients. He provides a valuable service and is the right person to have on your side."

"Terrific adviser" John Kiernan is highly regarded in the commercial litigation space. He successfully defended the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a well-publicized action brought by Starr International. 

Bruce Yannett heads the firm's distinguished white-collar group. His recent work includes representing Deloitte in anti-money laundering investigations. Sources praise his experience and comment: "He is well versed in the law, very seasoned in approach and has good judgment."

Sean Hecker has a strong reputation for his white-collar crime and investigations work. He is an experienced FCPA practitioner and is commended as being "terrific - he has a lot of good, new ideas."

Maura Monaghan receives praise for the excellent quality of her written work. She is an experienced commercial litigator and recently represented American Airlines in high-profile litigation arising out of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"Very confident advocate" Helen Cantwell focuses on white-collar litigation and investigations work. She is commended for her "standout judgment and attention to detail." Her recent matters include advising on an internal investigation for iPayment.

Civil litigation cochair Mark Goodman is a true client favorite, hailed as "very articulate and very intelligent. He has the ability to perceive what the long term issues are and to steer the dealings in those directions. Those abilities are worth their weight in gold." He has achieved recent successes on behalf of clients such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and Syncora Holdings.

Significant clients Rolls-Royce, JPMorgan, Westfield Group, Syncora, Syracuse University.

Media & Entertainment - New York

What the team is known for Nationally renowned corporate practice which spans the full variety of broadcasting and telecommunications industries. Acts for a mix of technology and media companies and financial institutions in major corporate transactions both at home and abroad.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Their knowledge about our businesses and their negotiation skills are incomparable assets."

Work highlights Represented Tribune Company in its acquisition of Local TV Holdings worth $2.7 billion.

Handled the $1.14 billion acquisition of Satélites Mexicanos on behalf of Eutelsat Communications.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Gillespie is recognized for his international capabilities in complex corporate matters relating to the media and entertainment industries. Commentators regard him as "a good guy and a great lawyer."

Peers describe Richard Bohm as a "M&A power player," particularly within the media industry. He recently led the firm's representation of Ronald Lauder in $300 million worth of agreements between Central European Media Enterprises and its shareholders.

Significant clients Amazon.com, The Carlyle Group, Globo Organization, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, NBCUniversal. 

Media & Entertainment - New York

What the team is known for Leading copyright litigation practice with a broad range of experience and expertise across the media and entertainment industries. Represents radio and television broadcasters, record companies, motion picture studios and performers.

Notable practitioners  

"First-rate litigator" Bruce Keller is lauded as a "very knowledgeable" and "excellent lawyer." He is recognized for his ability to handle complex cases and is particularly noted for his copyright and trademark expertise, which encompasses the media, entertainment and sports areas.

Real Estate - New York

What the team is known for Respected option for joint venture investments, workouts and restructurings, and real estate financings. Clients include hedge funds, corporations and private equity funds all over the country.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Debevoise provides excellent legal service. Their documentation is of the highest quality and they bring a strong business judgment to bear on the issues."

"A very good law firm and the quality of work is high." 

Work highlights Represented J.P. Morgan Investment Management on its high-value acquisition of 425 Lexington Avenue.

Advised Oaktree Capital Management on a joint venture with Kushner for the acquisition and financing of the Northern Liberties mixed-use development in Philadelphia.

 Notable practitioners  

Peter Irwin is "very practical, very commercial and technically excellent," say sources. He recently advised J.P. Morgan Investment Management on an office building purchase at 125 West 55th Street.

"Fine lawyer" Nicole Levin Mesard recently represented Westfield Group in the sale of seven of its shopping centers to a Starwood-led consortium for over $1 billion.

Significant clients AXA Real Estate, Beacon Capital, Mitsui, Rockefeller Group International, Talcott Realty.

Tax - New York

What the team is known for Notable experience in the tax issues relating to a variety of areas including insurance, M&A and bankruptcy. Renowned for its expertise in the field of fund formation and the subsequent taxation aspects that arise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are always up-to-speed technically and make good judgments on behalf of their clients."

"They have extremely smart and experienced lawyers. The service is excellent and very proactive." 

Work highlights Advised Tribune Company in connection with its acquisition of Local TV Holdings for $2.7 billion.

Advised Warner Music Group in connection with its acquisition of the Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group, worth $765 million.  

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Gary Friedman is an authority on the tax issues relating to domestic and international financings and M&A. Sources say: "He keeps his eye on the ball commercially, doesn't waste time, makes good judgments and is very thoughtful technically." 

Peter Furci handles a broad range of domestic and international tax matters including M&A, fund formation and financings. "He is a delightful man and has great insight into the funds area," states a market source.

David Schnabel is an expert in the field of fund formation, M&A and financings. According to market commentators, "he is a very plain speaker and very thoughtful."

Adele Karig is regarded as "an excellent private funds lawyer who has a great deal of experience." She demonstrates particular expertise in the fields of private equity, buyouts, mezzanine arrangements and growth capital.  

Andrew Berg specializes in tax matters relating to a variety of areas including real estate and private equity. "He is very intelligent, has a lot of experience and is easy to deal with," say interviewees.

Seth Rosen is renowned for his expertise in the tax issues relating to insurance. He is particularly adept at handling financings, M&A and restructurings, and he is regarded as "a very good lawyer" who "focuses on getting the deal done."

Peter Schuur handles a variety of transactions, including financings, restructurings and spin-offs. He is regarded as an "analytically excellent" attorney who "pays attention to what is important to his clients."

Robert Staffaroni is experienced in the handling of securities offerings, financings and financial products. He is proficient at handling both domestic and international matters, and is valued by clients for his personable conduct.

Burt Rosen is an expert in tax matters relating to insurance. He is particularly adept at handling M&A and financings.

Significant clients American Airlines, The Carlyle Group, AIG, Kelso & Company, Providence Equity Partners.