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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

New York

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz - New York
  • 51 West 52nd Street
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10019
  • Co-Chairmen of the Executive Committee: Edward D Herlihy, Daniel A Neff
  • Number of partners worldwide: 81
  • Number of other lawyers worldwide: 167

Firm Overview:
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz enjoys a global reputation as one of the world’s leading business law firms. The firm’s vast experience means it regularly handles many of the largest, most complex and demanding transactions in the United States and around the world. Wachtell Lipton also focuses on sensitive investigation and litigation matters and corporate restructurings, and in counseling boards of directors and senior management in the most sensitive situations.
A Unique Approach: Wachtell Lipton approaches its clients’ legal issues always within the larger framework of the client’s strategic, business and financial goals. The firm focuses on matters that require the attention, extensive experience, expertise and reputation of its partners. In order to provide this partner-intensive service, the firm generally does not handle routine matters, it limits the number and type of matters it undertakes and it operates with a ratio of partners to associates far above that of major competitors. Matters undertaken by the firm are at all times afforded the direct personal attention of partners having expertise and sophistication with respect to the issues.
People: Wachtell Lipton is consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious and desirable law firms to work for in the United States, enabling the firm to attract the most outstanding and motivated attorneys and law school graduates in the United States and from around the world.
Achievements: Wachtell Lipton consistently ranks near the very top of legal advisors by transaction dollar volume, even though it is significantly smaller than all of its major competitors. Over the past ten years, the firm has been the legal advisor on four of the five largest transactions in the United States and five of the ten largest transactions globally, as well as numerous other acquisition and restructuring transactions across many industries and of every description.
Clients: Clients include enterprises of virtually every nature in the United States and around the world, including industrial firms, financial institutions, leveraged buyout houses, securities firms, healthcare and pharmaceutical providers, technology companies and media and information systems companies, many of which are Fortune 500 companies and other leading enterprises.
Advancing the Law: The firm has repeatedly contributed to major evolutions in corporate law in order to advance the interests of its clients. Among other things, Wachtell Lipton originated the shareholder rights plan or the ‘poison pill’, structured the first cross-border ‘Morris Trust’ transaction between SmithKline Beckman and Beecham and has been involved in the transactions giving rise to most of the landmark corporate governance decisions in Delaware, including Household, Revlon, Newmont Mining, Macmillan, Interco, Time Warner, QVC and, most recently, Airgas. The firm also represented the successful defendants in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, the landmark US Supreme Court case that sharply limited the extraterritorial reach of US securities laws.

Main Areas of Practice: 

Corporate/M&A:
Wachtell Lipton handles some of the largest and most complex US and international transactions. It advises on a range of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, public offerings, capital raising transactions and innovative financial products. In addition, Wachtell Lipton is recognised as a leading firm for takeover defence, shareholder activism and corporate governance. Recent major US representations have included:
■Texas Industries in its $8.5 billion combination with Martin Marietta Materials
■Sysco in its combination with privately-held US Foods at an $8.2 billion enterprize valuation from affiliates of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC and KKR
■Supervalu in its sale of its New Albertson’s business and concurrent tender offer of up to 30% of its shares to Cerberus in a transaction valued at $3.3 billion
■Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold in its $3.4 billion acquisition of McMoran Exploration and its $6.9 billion acquisition of Plains Exploration and Production
■Coventry Healthcare in its $7.3 billion sale to Aetna
■Sunoco in its $5.3 billion acquisition by Energy Transfer Partners
■AOL in its auction and subsequent $1.1 billion sale of most of its patent portfolio to Microsoft
■Alleghany Corporation in its $3.4 billion acquisition of Transatlantic Holdings
■El Paso Corporation in its $38 billion sale to Kinder Morgan
■United Technologies Corporation in its $18.4 billion acquisition of Goodrich Corporation
■Motorola Mobility Holdings in its $12.5 billion sale to Google
■Temple-Inland in its $3.7 billion sale to International Paper following a hostile tender offer by International Paper
■The PNC Financial Services Group in its $3.45 billion acquisition of RBC Bank (USA)
■Airgas in successfully defending against a $5.8 billion hostile bid and proxy contest by Air Products and Chemicals Recent major cross-border or non-US representations have included:
■Mallinckrodt plc in its $1.4 billion acquisition of Cadence Pharmaceuticals
■Itaú Unibanco in the $8 billion merger of its Chilean and Colombian operations with CorpBanca, resulting in Itaú acquiring a 34% stake in the combined company
■Corning in its $1.9 billion acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in Samsung Corning Precision Materials from Samsung Display and other minority shareholders and the structuring of Samsung Display’s $2.3 billion investment in and strategic collaboration with Corning
■Verizon Communications in its $130 billion acquisition of Vodafone Group Plc’s 45% interest in Verizon Wireless
■Publicis Groupe SA in its $35.1 billion merger with Omnicom Group
■The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Activision Blizzard in a $8.2 billion purchase of shares of Activision from Vivendi, S.A., its controlling stockholder, by Activision and ASAC II L.P., an investment vehicle formed by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly
■BMC Software in its $6.9 billion sale to a private investor group led by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital together with the Government of Singapore’s GIC Special Investment fund and Insight Venture Partners
■EADS NV in its proposed €35 billion dual-listedcompany combination with BAE Systems plc
■Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA in the agreed combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS Communications at a $30 billion enterprise valuation
■Alibaba Group in restructuring its relationship with Yahoo!, including repurchasing $7.8 billion of Yahoo!’s holdings in Alibaba
■Walgreen Co. in its acquisition of a 45% stake in Alliance Boots GmbH and option to acquire the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots, valued at $27 billion
■GlaxoSmithKline plc in its unsolicited offer for, and subsequent $3.6 billion acquisition of, Human Genome Sciences
■América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V. in its acquisition of 21% of Telekom Austria AG
■Cooper Industries plc in its $11.8 billion combination with Eaton Corporation
■Deutsche Telekom in its $39 billion agreed sale of T-Mobile to AT&T
■Genzyme in its response to an unsolicited takeover and in the subsequent $20 billion negotiated sale to Sanofi-Aventis
■NYSE Euronext in its $11 billion acquisition by IntercontinentalExchange, Inc., its $23.4 billion agreed merger with Deutsche Börse and the NYSE in its prior mergers with Euronext, the American Stock Exchange and Archipelago
■Chesapeake Energy in its $2.2 billion sale to CNOOC
Recent spin-off representations have included:
■Rayonier in its spinoff of its performance fibers business
■Simon Property Group in its spinoff of its strip center and smaller enclosed mall business
■Valero Energy Corp. in its $2.1 billion spinoff of CST Brands, its retail business
■Covidien plc in its spin-off of its pharmaceuticals business
■Abbott Labs in its separation into two publicly traded companies
■ConocoPhillips in the spin-off of its refining business
■Expedia in the spin-off of TripAdvisor
■Marathon Oil Corporation in the spin-off of its down-stream business, renamed Marathon Petroleum Corp.
■Ralcorp in the spin-off of Post Foods

Sponsors & Financial Entrepreneurs:
Wachtell Lipton works closely with leading private equity and hedge fund sponsors. The firm advises sponsors in forming and raising private funds that specialise in a variety of investments, including LBOs, venture capital, distressed debt, loan-to-own, structured financings, financial services platforms and real estate. The firm regularly handles complex M&A and other transactions for sponsors and financial entrepreneurs, such as portfolio investments, corporate acquisitions, PIPEs, sale and IPO exit transactions and financings. The firm advises on reorganisations of sponsors themselves, spinouts and sales of investment managers. In addition, the firm has counselled on significant compliance issues and government investigations involving asset managers.

Shareholder Activism:
Wachtell Lipton is a leading defender of companies that are under attack by shareholder activists. The firm has advised numerous public companies in responding to activist shareholders as well as other hedge fund and corporate governance activists.

Corporate Governance:
The firm is a thought leader in the area of corporate governance. It has represented the NYSE in connection with the Exchange’s listing standards and corporate governance initiatives for listed companies. It has represented a number of major corporations in connection with corporate governance and related matters; it has also advised special committees of boards of directors in connection with corporate governance investigations and related matters.

National & International Litigation Practice:
Wachtell Lipton’s litigation practice is consistently at the cutting edge of the leading commercial and corporate litigation battles dominating headlines. Clients are in diverse industries, including finance, insurance, media, high-tech, energy, industrial, consumer, retail and real estate.A tight-knit group of approximately 75 lawyers, they approach each matter with intensity, thoroughness and creativity and build teams appropriate to the circumstances. The firm makes appearances in state and federal courts throughout the US at both trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. It also has a leading practice representing companies and individuals in state and federal regulatory and criminal investigations. Many of the firm’s litigators served as law clerks in federal or state courts, and several distinguished themselves as assistant United States attorneys or as enforcement attorneys at the SEC.

Takeover & Merger Litigation:
The firm is considered one of the leading transaction and takeover litigation firms in the country, having litigated many of the seminal cases establishing US takeover law, including: Moran v. Household Int’l Inc.; Revlon Inc. v. MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc.; Paramount Communications, Inc. v. Time, Inc.; Paramount Communications, Inc. v. QVC Network, Inc.; and IBP, Inc. v. Tyson Foods. Recent representations have included Airgas in its landmark takeover defence against Air Products,Vulcan Materials in its defence of a bid from Martin Marietta Materials and Lionsgate Entertainment in its closely watched takeover battle. The firm’s litigators also advise on a range of corporate governance matters and handle derivative demands and other litigation challenging the actions of boards of directors.

Complex Commercial & Securities Litigation:
The firm consistently handles some of the nation’s leading commercial disputes covering diverse industries and subject matters. Recent representations have included:
■National Australia Bank in the landmark Morrison case, in which the United States Supreme Court held that Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5 apply only to purchases and sales of securities in the United States. The decision overturned 40 years of lower-court precedent and eradicated a burgeoning species of securities litigation (so-called “foreign-cubed”and “foreign-squared”class actions) along with billions of dollars in potential liability for foreign securities issuers.
■JPMorgan Chase in the $19 billion litigation brought against it by the trustee for the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s failed firm, in which the firm was able successfully to remove the case from bankruptcy court to federal district court and have the majority of claims dismissed
■Bank of America in negotiating Bank of America’s $8.5 billion settlement of claims involving more than 500 trusts for mortgage-backed securities issued by Countrywide and in resolving multibillion-dollar claims arising from the foreclosure crisis with the federal government and 49 state attorneys general
■Philip Morris USA in the multibillion-dollar arbitration that has arisen under the landmark 1998 settlement between the major tobacco companies and 52 states and territories.Wachtell Lipton previously had the lead role structuring and negotiating this more than $200 billion settlement.

White-Collar & Regulatory Enforcement:
The firm has a leading white-collar and regulatory enforcement practice. It has represented major financial institutions and multinational corporations, as well as their boards of directors and senior executives, in a broad range of the most complex and typically high-profile white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters, both nationally and internationally. In the past few years alone, firm litigators have handled both US and foreign governmental investigations, focusing on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, criminal tax evasion, criminal transfer pricing, the False Claims Act, insider trading, securities fraud, accounting fraud, criminal antitrust and export control violations. In addition, the firm regularly represents boards, audit committees and special committees charged with conducting special investigations in response to whistleblowers or governmental inquiries.

Pro Bono:
The firm has an active pro bono litigation practice. Attorneys are encouraged to take on pro bono matters with the full support of the firm and many take advantage of this opportunity. A recent representation was on behalf of the Chief Judge of the State of New York in historic litigation over the state’s failure to increase the pay of its judges since 1999. The firm’s efforts helped achieve a decision by the state’s Court of Appeals holding that, as a matter of state constitutional law, judicial pay cannot be treated as a political matter by the executive and the legislature, but rather must be sufficient to attract well-qualified individuals to serve on the bench.

Restructuring & Finance:
Wachtell Lipton has one of the leading restructuring practices in the nation, principally representing banks, hedge funds, private equity funds and other creditors and acquirors in national and multinational bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings. Attorneys in the firm’s restructuring practice regularly handle complicated acquisitions or divestitures of businesses in financial distress or bankruptcy, highly-leveraged transactions and other major transactions involving significant debtor/ creditor issues. The group’s attorneys represented the United States Treasury in connection with the rescues of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including the Treasury’s multibillion-dollar investment in the Senior Preferred Stock of the GSEs following the commencement of their conservatorships. Recent restructuring engagements include the representation of major lenders, derivatives counterparties and equity holders in the following chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings: Lehman Brothers, MF Global, Graceway Pharmaceuticals, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, CEVA Logistics, IAP Worldwide, Knight Capital, Hawker Beechcraft, Energy Future Holdings, Excel Maritime, Rotech Healthcare, LightSquared, Mach Gen, LLC, Arcapita Bank, Lifecare Holdings, Washington Mutual, Lyondell Chemical, Aleris International, Fairpoint Communications, Hard Rock Hotel, Reddy Ice, Cinram International, Baha Mar, Kerzner, CNL Properties, Thornburg Mortgage, Dreier, Madoff and Terrestar Corporation. In addition, the firm has represented acquirors in the Innkeepers chapter 11 proceeding and potential acquirors in the Blockbuster and NorTel bankruptcy cases, as well as A123 Systems, Furniture Brands, Rogers Bancshares and several casino cases. Wachtell Lipton has a market-leading financing practice, with extensive experience in all types of financing transactions, including senior secured facilities, bridge facilities, Rule144A and registered high-yield and investment-grade bond offerings, tender offers, exchange offers and consent solicitations. Many of the firm’s financings extend across multiple national borders, and its lawyers are experienced in solving the complex issues that arise in multinational situations and in making sure that cross-border transactions benefit from the latest developments in the financing markets, which often originate in New York. Recent representations have included:
■Verizon Communications with obtaining a $61 billion bridge facility (the largest bridge financing ever), and $14 billion in permanent facilities, to support its $130 billion acquisition of the remaining interest in Verizon Wireless from Vodafone Group plc
■Abbott Laboratories with $14.5 billion of bank financing and a $14.7 billion senior note issuance in connection with its spin-off of Abbvie, its researchbased pharmaceuticals business
■United Technologies with obtaining a $15 billion bridge facility to support its acquisition of Goodrich, refinancing two revolving credit facilities, and issuing $10 billion of senior notes and $1 billion of equity units
■Deutsche Telecom/T-Mobile with $17.2 billion financing in connection with its combination with MetroPCS
■ThermoFisher Scientific in $17.5 billion bridge and term loan financing commitments in connection with its acquisition of Life Technologies
■PVH Corp. in its $3.8 billion of secured cross-border bank financing and $700 million of unsecured bond financing to fund the acquisition of The Warnaco Group, Inc.
■Chicago Bridge & Iron in connection with financing commitments of $3.3 billion for its acquisition of Shaw Group

High-Profile Bankruptcy Litigation:
The firm’s specialised litigators handle high-profile litigation matters involving bankruptcy, restructuring and finance issues. Current matters include representing JPMorgan Chase in multibillion-dollar litigations in the Lehman Brothers and Madoff bankruptcy cases, and representing Credit Suisse in multiple lawsuits arising in the Thornburg Mortgage bankruptcy case. Significant prior engagements include key litigation arising in the contexts of the Boston Generating, Innkeepers and National Century Financial Enterprises bankruptcy cases.

Executive Compensation & Benefits:
Attorneys in the Executive Compensation and Benefits Group work closely with the most senior executives of the firm’s clients to address some of the most sensitive issues facing public and private companies, both in deal and non-deal contexts. Executive compensation arrangements often are the foundation of people-based businesses, and management succession, board composition and similar issues are essential to the success of business combinations. The practice continues to evolve as corporate governance standards and executive compensation laws change and expand in response to shareholder activism, pressure from the media and recent unprecedented governmental participation in the management of business enterprises. In this regard, the group has extensive experience in advising institutions receiving assistance from the US government.

Antitrust:
Wachtell Lipton’s Antitrust Practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions and government investigations, including international antitrust and banking antitrust issues. The group analyses transactions to assess potential antitrust issues, develops strategies to address those concerns, and represents clients before the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, the FTC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, state attorneys general and foreign antitrust enforcement authorities and in litigation challenging transactions on antitrust grounds.

Tax:
Wachtell Lipton’s tax attorneys regularly advise clients on the tax aspects of corporate reorganisations, acquisitions, spin-offs and other dispositions, financings, restructurings and joint ventures. These transactions frequently involve large multinational businesses and raise complex domestic and multinational tax issues. Indeed, tax considerations often determine the form, and occasionally the viability, of contemplated transactions. The group, working together with the corporate and restructuring and finance departments, frequently is called on to participate in the restructuring of existing financial arrangements, including those arising out of private equity and other leveraged transactions. The group is also involved in creating new financial products and in innovative real estate transactions. Members of the group regularly publish and lecture on emerging tax issues and actively participate in the work of tax policy groups, such as the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association and the International Fiscal Association.

Real Estate M&A:
Wachtell Lipton’s Real Estate Department has a leading practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate governance, restructurings and joint ventures across the REIT, real estate, hospitality and gaming sectors. The firm consistently plays an active role in major transactions in these sectors, with particular emphasis on large-scale public company M&A and strategic transactions. It has played a leading role in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and in many of the significant REIT mergers, buyouts and takeovers over the last decade. Representations have included:
■Cole in its $11.2 billion merger with ARCP to create a $21.5 billion net lease REIT; and successful takeover defence of Cole Credit Property Trust III
■Sunrise Senior Living in its $1.9 billion sale to Health Care REIT
■Penn National Gaming in its $5.5 billion separation of its gaming properties into a publicly traded REIT
■Simon Property Group in its €1.5 billion acquisition of a stake in Klépierre from BNP Paribas, its $31 billion bid for GGP and its $2.3 billion acquisition of Prime
■The $14 billion merger of equals of ProLogis and AMB that created the largest global industrial REIT with combined assets of $46 billion
■Ventas in its $7.4 billion acquisition of Nationwide Health Properties, Inc., in its $3.1 billion acquisition of Atria’s senior housing portfolio and in its $2 billion acquisition of the Sunrise Senior Living REIT
■Chatham Lodging Trust in its bids, partly in a joint venture with Cerberus Capital Management, to acquire 69 hotels for $1.3 billion in Innkeepers USA Trust’s bankruptcy auctions
■Silverstein Properties in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center
■Tishman Speyer and Lehman in their $22 billion acquisition of the Archstone apartment REIT

Areas of Practice

  • Corporate
  • Litigation
  • Restructuring & Finance
  • Executive Compensation & Benefits
  • Antitrust
  • Tax
  • Real Estate M&A

Branches

  • 51 West 52nd Street,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10019
  • Tel +1 212 403 1000
  • Fax +1 212 403 2000
  • Email : info@wlrk.com
  • Website : www.wlrk.com

Antitrust - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Nationally renowned for its abilities in merger and acquisition work. Possesses a fine team of experienced attorneys able to undertake the antitrust aspects of even the largest and most complex deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A premier merger firm – they are that good." 

Work highlights Acted for Michael Dell who, alongside Silver Lake Partners, purchased Dell for $24.4 billion.

Represented Copano Energy in its sale to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners for around $5 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Ilene Knable Gotts is a "terrific lawyer" and "star in the antitrust Bar," according to commentators. Her resume includes a plethora of huge deals, including Publicis Groupe's $35.1 billion combination with Omnicom Group.

The vastly experienced Michael Byowitz is highly rated by sources for his transactional-based antitrust practice, with one peer noting him as "one of the best antitrust lawyers I know."

Significant clients Iron Company, BGC Partners, McGraw-Hill, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Leading creditor-side practice working with a range of clients holding stakes in major bankruptcy cases. Experts in handling national and international acquisitions of distressed debt on behalf of hedge funds and private equity firms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are commercial, helpful and constructive and do lots of smart work."

"One of the firms I would go to in a major bankruptcy with a great deal of exposure for us."

Notable practitioners  

Harold Novikoff is chair of the restructuring and finance group at the firm and is described as "an outstanding creditors' lawyer with great knowledge of complex financial arrangements." His practice also includes work on debt restructurings for bankrupt companies and negotiating on behalf of bondholders, purchasers and lenders.

The "very, very bright" Scott Charles specializes in distressed M&A matters alongside representing various constituents, including lenders, creditors and creditors' committees, in various bankruptcy matters. He is considered to be a thought leader in the areas of pre-packaged Chapter 11 cases, DIP financing and creditors' rights matters.

Richard Mason is well regarded for work on the creditor-side of bankruptcy cases, with experience handling matters on behalf of ad hoc groups and committees of bondholders and creditors, as well as for purchasers of assets in distressed companies and borrowers seeking leveraged buyouts.

Philip Mindlin is commended by market commentators for his "great intellect." He handles a wide range of matters, including complex transactions on behalf of the buyers and sellers of distressed debt and other loan workouts, guiding clients through asset bids and debt-for-equity exchanges.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Premier reputation in the national market for high-profile and business-critical corporate transactions. Enviable client roster and strong bench of highly regarded attorneys.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are all fantastic, incredibly hard-working. There is no way we would have gotten the transaction done without them."

"When they say 'this is market', people tend to listen. They're all top-notch, and generally they've always been quite nice and quite reasonable." 

Work highlights Acted for Copano Energy on its acquisition by Kinder Morgan for approximately $5 billion.

Represented Publicis in connection with its $35.1 billion merger with Omnicom.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Brownstein is co-head of the corporate group and a key contact.

Significant clients Corning, CapitalSource, Apollo Global Management, Leap Wireless, Morgan Stanley.

Financial Services Regulation - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Continues to be recognized for its cutting-edge work relating to M&A in the financial services industry, with a long track record of advising on the most prominent and complex domestic and cross-border deals in the sector. Additionally respected for its banking compliance work for a range of financial institutions.

Notable practitioners 

Edward Herlihy is considered by many market observers to be an "absolute star" of the financial institutions M&A space. Areas of excellence include a full range of transactional matters, including recapitalizations and M&A.

Richard Kim is a respected figure in the regulatory sphere, advising banks in connection with M&A and ongoing operational issues. Sources describe him as "a very fine lawyer."

Patricia Robinson continues to impress commentators with her banking compliance practice. Sources applaud her "talented and thoughtful" counsel.

Nicholas Demmo handles M&A work in the financial services space, and is noted for his handling of some of the most complex deals in this space.

Significant clients Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Capital One, Santander.

REITs - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Acclaimed for its prowess in advising clients on sophisticated and high-profile M&A transactions in the REIT sector. A superb reputation for representing clients on strategic transactions.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the go-to law firms for M&A support - a real powerhouse reputation."

Work highlights Advised Cole Real Estate Investments on its $11.2 billion merger with American Realty Capital.

Represented Sunrise Senior Living on a number of matters including its sale to Health Care REIT.

Acted for Penn National Gaming on the separation of its gaming properties into a traded REIT worth $5.5 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Adam Emmerich is widely viewed as one of the foremost REIT M&A lawyers, with a long list of standout deals to his name. He also handles a variety of securities and corporate governance matters.

The "tremendously strong" Robin Panovka focuses on large-scale M&A and real estate transactions. He frequently advises clients on cross-border transactions.

Significant clients Simon Property Group, Ventas, AMB Property, Chatham Lodging Trust, Morgan Stanley.

Securities - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department 
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for An illustrious litigation practice with a sterling reputation for defense representation in the securities field, handling a full range of M&A litigation and other matters for corporate clients and financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Smart, thoughtful, gracious, These guys are brilliant lawyers. They're confident litigators and have a great team around them, and they consistently get good wins for their clients.

I have enormous respect for the Wachtell guys. They're very smart, very hard-working, practical, knowledgeable."

Work highlights Acted for a special committee of the board of Activision Blizzard, a video game software company, successfully appealing stockholder suits aiming to halt the repurchase of majority stock from Vivendi.

Acted for Bank of America in a variety of cases related to MBS, including the $8.5 billion mortgage repurchase settlement of Countrywide trusts.

Notable practitioners  

Theodore Mirvis is very well respected in the field of securities litigation and often leads the firm's most significant cases, notably with respect to much of the recent RMBS litigation. Sources attest that he is "very highly respected and an excellent lawyer."

Paul Vizcarrondo is experienced in an array of complex securities litigation matters. Sources describe him as "a brilliant lawyer and a confident litigator with a great team."

Up-and-comer William Savitt is cochair of the firm's litigation department. Savitt has an impressively extensive practice covering the full range of securities and M&A litigation, including defense from breach of fiduciary duty allegations and proxy contests. He elicits strong praise from clients, who report that he "picks things up so rapidly - he's just such a good overall lawyer."

Significant clients NYSE, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto, Avon Products, Hewlett-Packard, CVB Financial.

Tax - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Receives extensive praise for its M&A-related tax expertise. Also handles tax issues relating to restructurings, real estate transactions and joint ventures. Serves clients in a wide range of industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a complete understanding of their clients' cases: each and every risk is identified." 

"One of the preeminent tax groups in the area. They have very high-level practitioners."

Notable practitioners

Key partners Jodi Schwartz and Deborah Paul are based in New York.

Antitrust - New York

What the team is known for Provides antitrust representation in some of the biggest M&A, both in the USA and across the globe, regularly acting on eight-figure deals. Possesses one of the strongest stables of antitrust lawyers in the state and maintains a fine track record before the FTC and DOJ.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're some of the finest antitrust lawyers in the country on the antitrust side - absolutely first-class."

"Phenomenal workers there - it's a slick operation." 

Work highlights Acted for Publicis Groupe on its merger with Omnicom Group, a deal worth $35.1 billion.

Represented Cooper Industries in its merger with Eaton Corporation. The value of the deal was $11.8 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Ilene Knable Gotts is a "stratospheric superstar in New York," according to sources, and is known for her preeminent antitrust merger practice. She represented Publicis Groupe in its $35.1 billion deal with Omnicom Group.

The "terrific" Michael Byowitz is an experienced practitioner whom one peer describes as "one of the best antitrust lawyers I know." He regularly represents clients before the DOJ and FTC, as well as guiding them through a range of mergers. 

Highly rated partner Joseph Larson is developing a superb practice at the firm backed by his 20 years' experience in the area. He recently acted for Michael Dell on his repurchase of Dell along with Silver Lake Partners, worth $24.4 billion.

Sources describe Damian Didden as a "super-smart guy" who is up-and-coming in the antitrust world, with a particular focus on M&A work. He acted for Saks on its purchase by Hudson's Bay for $2.9 billion.

Nelson Fitts is a rising star whom one source calls "super-good" and a "very strong antitrust lawyer." He has acted on a range of transactions, including advising Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold on its purchase of Plains Exploration & Production for $6.9 billion.

David Neill is a merger specialist noted particularly for his work in financial services. His 30 years' experience makes him "one of the best in that area," according to sources.

Significant clients Michael Dell, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Chicago Bridge & Iron, BGC Partners, McGraw-Hill.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

What the team is known for Renowned creditor-side practice involved in major restructuring and bankruptcy cases as well as in large leveraged transactions with complex creditor issues. Acts for principal lenders, banks, hedge funds and private equity funds, with particular expertise in representing purchasers of distressed companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are commercial, helpful and constructive and do lots of smart work."

"One of the firms I would go to in a major bankruptcy with risk of a great deal of exposure." 

Notable practitioners  

Harold Novikoff is considered by one source to be "an outstanding creditor lawyer with great knowledge of complex financial arrangements." He is the chair of the restructuring practice and has a wealth of experience working with clients in financial markets and lenders, bondholders, purchasers of distressed assets and investors in distressed companies.

Scott Charles is described by an observer as "very, very bright" and is well regarded for his work with hedge funds and major financial institutions. He also handles distressed M&A matters and advises creditors' committees and investors.

Richard Mason acts for bank lenders, bondholders, official creditors' committees and acquirers of distressed assets in bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court restructurings. Interviewees highlight his substantial experience, noting that he is "very smart."

Of counsel Philip Mindlin is praised widely for his intellect and for being "good at getting a deal done." He handles cases that involve the buying and selling of assets in distressed companies as well as cross-border acquisitions.

Corporate/M&A - New York

What the team is known for Maintains a stellar reputation in the M&A market for sophisticated, high-profile and business-critical transactions. Strong bench of talented individual lawyers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They really are tremendous. Everyone I've ever worked with there has been first rate."

"An excellent firm, especially around large public-to-private transactions." 

Work highlights Acted for Verizon Communications on the $130 billion acquisition from Vodafone of a 45% interest in Verizon Wireless.

Advised Thermo Fisher Scientific on its $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Technologies.

Notable practitioners 

Adam Emmerich advises clients on M&A and corporate governance matters, with additional expertise in takeover defense work. He is well regarded in the market, with peers praising him as being "smart and easy to work with."

Edward Herlihy is a well-known name in the banking sector, with peers identifying him as "an absolute star in financial institutions M&A." He is also experienced in advising on proxy contests and takeovers.

Peers hold David Katz in high regard, highlighting the strength of his practice and saying he is "wonderful to work with." As well as M&A and buyouts, he advises on corporate governance, proxy contests and takeover defense.

The "superb" Andrew Nussbaum handles a wide range of corporate and M&A work, including takeovers, private equity matters and spin-outs. He has a particular focus on media and entertainment, as well as cross-border transactions. 

Andrew Brownstein cochairs the corporate group and advises on M&A, LBOs, proxy contests and takeovers. He recently acted for Corning on its $1.9 billion acquisition of the 50% interest in Samsung Corning Precision Materials it did not already own. Peers say he is "a great lawyer: very practical and good to work with."

Clients praise Daniel Neff, alongside partner Steven Rosenblum, for their "virtuoso performance" in M&A transactions, adding that "watching them negotiate was like watching Stradivarius make a violin." Neff's practice covers corporate counseling, M&A, hostile takeovers and proxy contests.

Corporate cochair Steven Rosenblum handles a broad spectrum of M&A and corporate issues, including shareholder and hedge fund activism. Recent highlights include representing Michael Dell in the $24.4 billion buyout of Dell with Silver Lake.

David Shapiro handles a wide range of corporate and M&A matters for clients in the financial services, media and entertainment, and real estate sectors.

Trevor Norwitz's practice encompasses M&A, corporate counseling and strategic alliances. Clients identify him as "a great corporate lawyer."

A founding partner of the firm, Martin Lipton continues to be regarded by peers as "a superstar" in the New York market. 

Significant clients Publicis Groupe, Leap Wireless, Chesapeake Energy, TowerBrook Capital Partners, Lions Gate Entertainment.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - New York

What the team is known for Specializes in senior management representation for public and private companies in both transactional and everyday contexts. Assists with corporate governance, tax and securities issues, and has a progressive and business-minded approach to its work in the executive compensation and benefits fields. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"That whole group's just been really good. They are, needless to say, experts in their field. I don't know when they sleep! You send an e-mail at two in the morning and you get a response at 2:05!" 

"Great at getting deals done." 

Work highlights Assisted Abbott Laboratories in the separation of pharmaceuticals company AbbVie and its associated $7.7 billion tender offer of outstanding notes.

Notable practitioners  

Jeannemarie O'Brien continues to develop her transactional-based compensation and benefits practice, which accentuates her work in the financial sector. She gains commendation from numerous sources, who describe her as "a thorough lawyer." One individual affirms that she is "a pleasure to work with. I'm always willing to give her time. She's a team player." 

Senior compensation and benefits partner Michael Segal has impressive experience in handling benefits and compensation matters arising in connection with M&A and joint ventures. His impressive client list includes major names in the transportation and pharmaceutical spaces, among others. He is hailed as a "dynamic presence" by interviewees, and one bowled-over source declared that he is "utterly spectacular!"

Andrea Wahlquist garners praise for her "exceptional knowledge base," particularly in M&A-based executive compensation and private equity work. Observers attest to her "wealth of knowledge in terms of precedent transactions" and "very constructive approach."

Significant clients Verizon, Publicis Groupe, Deutsche Telekom, TowerBrook Capital Partners, McGraw-Hill.

Litigation - New York

What the team is known for Highly acclaimed for its distinguished litigation practice and widely acknowledged as the go-to firm for transactional litigation arising from M&A. Deep bench of attorneys with strength across commercial, securities and white-collar criminal litigation and the ability to take cases to trial. Particular experience in representing clients from the financial services industry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A Rolls-Royce service. They have done very good work for us; they've been very creative and come up with very persuasive arguments in a difficult environment." 

Work highlights Successfully represented Goldman Sachs in a high-profile federal jury trial brought by the founders of software business Dragon Systems. The plaintiffs sought to recover a substantial sum lost as a result of accounting fraud.

Played a role in several mortgage-related matters for Bank of America including its settlement with MBIA and resolution of numerous claims involving Countrywide trusts.

Represented Monsanto in connection with an SEC investigation relating to payment of customer incentives.

Notable practitioners  

Lawrence Pedowitz is regarded as one of the leading figures in the New York white-collar Bar. His practice spans civil and corporate litigation as well as regulatory and criminal matters. His recent highlights include representation of Ernst & Young in an investigation relating to tax shelter strategies. He is heralded as being "a giant intellect - really one of the great lawyers of our generation."

Theodore Mirvis is highly regarded for his securities litigation practice. His recent highlights include handling a variety of mortgage-related claims for Bank of America. "He's a very highly respected and excellent lawyer," according to sources. 

Eric Roth is praised for his experience across diverse matters such as corporate, insurance, securities and creditors' rights disputes. He has an excellent reputation for his ability to handle complex commercial litigation and has significant experience handling disputes arising out of M&A.

"Outstanding lawyer" John Savarese is characterized as "extraordinarily smart, careful and very effective." Recent highlights include leading matters for JPMorgan in connection with various investigations and litigations arising out of the MF Global bankruptcy.

Experienced trial lawyer and former prosecutor David Anders concentrates on white-collar criminal defense work. His recent representations include matters for Monsanto and Ernst & Young.

The "extremely persuasive" Paul Vizcarrondo is described as being "impressively knowledgeable about the law." He has a broad practice including corporate disputes, securities litigation and white-collar criminal defense matters.

Marc Wolinsky regularly handles high-profile disputes including securities litigation, insurance-related matters, antitrust and corporate governance. He draws on notable trial experience.

"Revered and highly regarded" Bernard Nussbaum concentrates on corporate and securities litigation. He maintains an excellent reputation among peers in the New York market.

Founding partner Herbert Wachtell is recognized by peers as a "legendary figure in the Bar." He is noted for his extensive trial experience.

Tax - New York

What the team is known for Renowned expertise in the tax issues relating to spin-offs and public M&A. Demonstrates additional expertise in domestic and international restructurings, joint ventures and financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the preeminent tax groups in the area. They have very high-level practitioners."

"They are as good as it gets at what they do." 

Notable practitioners  

Joshua Holmes handles matters concerning spin-offs, M&A, financial instruments and joint ventures. He is regarded as an "incredibly capable tax attorney" who is "super-intelligent and very poised."

Deborah Paul is an expert in tax matters arising from joint ventures, M&A and spin-offs. She is regarded as "a terrific lawyer" and "a real fighter for her client." 

Jodi Schwartz is renowned for her expertise in the field of spin-offs, and offers additional strength in matters concerning financial instruments, M&A and joint ventures. "She knows every solution to every problem," states a market source.  

Eiko Stange is regarded as "a very well-trusted and reliable attorney." His areas of expertise include dispositions, financings, M&A, LBOs and joint ventures.