Delaware

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell

Morris Nichols is a top tier firm in Delaware, where it has been since 1930. Despite only having one location in Wilmington, the firm has a global presence due to its involvement in TerraLex.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a market leader in Delaware in restructuring and insolvency. Additionally, it has a standout M&A practice.

The M&A team advises target companies, sellers and acquirers in acquisitions. The firm also advises companies in other corporate matters such as financial investments and IPOs.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acts on behalf of debtors and creditors in Chapter 11 and 7 proceedings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Area Management, Bayer, Berkshire Hathaway, BlackRock, Salesforce, Vanguard, AT&T, Dixie Pulp and Paper, Nexus Capital Management, Papa Gino’s and the ad hoc first lien group of Claire’s. 

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Throughout the research period the corporate and M&A practice worked on all sides of acquisitions, as well as some financial investments from firms in the financial services industry. 

The restructuring and insolvency team advised more debtors than creditors in Chapter 11 restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings.

During this time, partner Frederick Alexander left the firm to found a non-profit group. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Berkshire Hathaway $10 billion investment in Occidental Petroleum

Claire’s Stores Chapter 11 restructuring

Fuse Chapter 11 proceedings

Invesco $5.71 billion acquisition of Oppenheimer Funds

Cole Schotz

Founded in 1928, Cole Schotz is a notable law firm in restructuring and insolvency. It has expanded to seven offices nationwide in: Hackensack, New York, Wilmington, Baltimore, Boca Raton, Fort Worth and Dallas.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Some of the firm’s strongest restructuring and insolvency teams are in the Hackensack, Baltimore and Wilmington offices. The restructuring and insolvency team firm wide represent sponsors, debtors and creditors in Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 insolvency cases. It also represents debtors in out of court financial restructurings. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Maremont, the official committee of unsecured creditors of The NORDAM Group, Westwind Manor Resort Association and Crown Bank.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Over the research period the restructuring and insolvency team across the firm represented mostly debtors and creditors in Chapter 11 cases. It also advised debtors in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 7 insolvency cases.

The Wilmington and Hackensack offices brought over restructuring and insolvency partner Seth Van Aalten from Cooley. Around the same time, partner David Hurst left to join McDermott Will & Emery. Partner Ilana Volkov left the Hackensack, NJ office to join McGrail & Bensinger.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Cinram Group Chapter 11 restructuring

David’s Bridal Chapter 11 restructuring 

Videology Chapter 11 restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Project development

“Gary Leibowitz is a top notch attorney. His attention to detail and sharp wisdom and knowledge was the reason we were successful in all of our cases.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“The firm’s attributes are: bankruptcy expertise, affordable expert rates and exceptional people. The firm provided skilled answers for all issues and was always responsive. Their people were clearly respected by the other law firms involved with this bankruptcy proceeding.”

“Very agile and creative solutions.”

“Very thorough and always available (24/7) – very responsive.”

“Judgement, knowledge of the law, practical and commercial, effective communicators.”

“The Cole Schotz team is proactive and provides effective strategies to navigate through complex legal and business issues.”

“Cole Schotz brings a wealth of experience and practical solutions to the table. They are affordable. They bring senior people to the conversation, not inexperienced junior attorneys. They have great ‘bedside manner.’ They keep their commitments.”

DLA Piper

Business firm DLA Piper was born in 2005 from the largest ever merger in the legal industry between Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, Piper Rudnick and DLA. The international law firm has offices in almost every region in the world. In the United States, the firm has 28 offices in every region of the country.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a plethora of teams spread out across the country. Its Baltimore, Maryland offices particularly have a top tier M&A practice.

Firm wide it has a notable projects practice. The projects team is especially focused on project financing, where it represents lenders in financing projects in the mining, power, energy and infrastructure industries. Most of its projects are cross border internatioanlly.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include CIT Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Coöperatieve Rabobank, ING Capital, Natixis, OPIC, IDB, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Central American Bank for Economic Integration, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Citibank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period the projects team represented multinational lenders in financing projects chiefly in the renewable energy and infrastructure industries. Solar and wind energy comprised most of the renewable energy projects. Most of the projects are based outside of the United States. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Amman East 400MW combined cycle power plant restructuring

Ruta del Cacao toll road

Zaporizhia 500MW wind farm

Duane Morris

Full-service firm Duane Morris got its start in Philadelphia but has since expanded to 29 offices over three continents. In the United States, the firm has 22 offices spread through the country. Though the firm is headquartered in Philadelphia, the New York offices are among the firm’s largest.

 

Focusses / specialisms

With 22 offices spread out across the country, it is safe to say that each of Duane Morris’ locations have different expertise. Throughout the firm, there are teams in the banking, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency practices. 

The banking practice has teams of note in Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania. It represents borrowers and lenders in credit facilities and term loan agreements for general working capital financing, acquisition financing, construction financing and real estate financing. The Florida offices specializes in real estate financing.

The restructuring and insolvency practice has teams in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, Newark and Wilmington. The teams represent debtors, trustees, receivers and creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings. 

The firm’s capital markets teams represents issuers in share offerings, tender offers, SPAC formations and bond issuances. The teams also represent private equity firms and companies with debt and equity investment financing. Many of these capital markets transactions support larger M&A and/or financing transactions. 

In M&A, teams represent strategic and private equity clients in acquisitions on both the buy and sell side. It also advises clients in privatizations, joint ventures and mergers. Given its geographic reach, the firm has experience in all industries. Some of these acquisitions are public M&A transaction and have an associated capital markets transaction.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include CIBC, Wells Fargo, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Centennial Bank, Synovus Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Quality Carriers, Altman Specialty Plants, New England Compounding Pharmacy, the Government Employees’ Retirement System of the Virgin Islands, Pipeline Health, Nueva Generacion Manufacturas, Clock Spring Company, Pipeline Health, Camden Partners, iAnthus Capital Holdings, Intermarket Communications, JDP Therapeutics, Catalent, National Gas & Electric and AT&T. 

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Over the research period, the banking teams represented borrowers and lenders in credit facilities and term loan agreements. The Illinois office worked on more acquisition and construction financing transactions while the Pennsylvania offices worked on more general working capital financing.

The California offices largely represented receivers. The capital markets team conducted a variety of work on both the debt and equity side. Most of the capital markets work was done as part of a larger acquisition transaction. In M&A, the teams represented private equity and strategic firms across a wide assortment of industries.

The Florida offices represented financial sponsors and property owners in commercial real estate financing. The restructuring and insolvency teams worked on numerous Chapter 11 and 7 proceedings, representing mostly creditors and debtors.

The Maryland and Pennsylvania offices specifically worked with numerous private equity firms. The New York office worked with several firms in the cannabis industry. 

In February 2020, Duane Morris merged with Satterlee Stephens. This gave the firm three additional offices in New York and New Jersey. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Altman Specialty Plants Chapter 11 restructuring

Catalent $40 million acquisition of Juniper Pharmaceuticals

Clock Spring Company / Neptune Research merger

CSL Flagstaff $80 million acquisition and construction loan 

iAnthus Capital Holdings / MPX Bioceutial merger

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

“The firm has a deep bench of highly skilled counsel across a broad array of subjects. The firm also acts as a fierce advocate for the client and because of the expertise of its counsel the firm is able to foresee issues before they become problems.”

“Efficiently uses resources to get client objectives done. Does not waste client money with busywork.”

“Very reachable/available when needed. Easy to work with – and to translate M&A issues into simpler language and concepts for non-M&A attorneys.”

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Full-service international firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom was founded in New York in 1948 and this branch remains its headquarters and largest office. It has since expanded to 22 offices across three continents. In the United States, the firm has offices in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Washington DC and Wilmington.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm’s New York, Washington DC, California, Illinois and Massachusetts offices are market leaders in their regions across financial and corporate practices. It also has standout offices in Texas and Delaware.

The banking team acts on the lender and borrower side in acquisition finance, multicurrency finance, DIP finance, project finance and refinancing.

In financial services regulatory work the team advises banking and financial institutions in compliance matters related to investments and acquisitions.

The capital markets practice works on debt, equity and securitization matters on both the issuer and underwriter side. In debt capital markets work the firm acts on investment grade and high yield bond offerings. The equity capital markets side works on IPOs, tender offers, common and preferred share offerings, follow on offerings and recapitalizations. In securitizations the team works on commercial paper programs, receivables backed securitizations, ABS’, CLOs and mortgage backed securitizations.

The investment funds practice works with asset management and private equity firms in fund formations, fund IPOs, and fund investments.

The M&A team acts on the buy and sell side in high value private equity and strategic acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures.

The firm also has a private equity practice that assists with private equity buyout related acquisitions.

The project development team represents developers and financiers in projects in the oil and gas, infrastructure and energy industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team acts on behalf of debtors and creditors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.

Though the firm is active across all industries, it is particularly active in technology, real estate, banking and financial services and pharmaceuticals.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include First BanCorp, Crédit Agricole, Banco Azteca, Centene, Zillow, Bank of America, Scotia Capital, Citigroup, CEMEX, Pfizer, Morgan Stanley, PayPal, Barclays, Eaton Vance, Fair Oaks Capital, AES, BlackRock, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, NextEra Energy Partners, Exact Sciences, Array BioPharma, DowDuPont, The Blackstone Group, Aflac, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, UBS, Synergy Pharmaceuticals and Stearns Holdings.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Over the research period the financial services regulatory team advised banks and financial institutions in compliance matters stemming from high value acquisitions and investments. Much of the work that the banking team participated in was related to acquisition financing on the borrower side. It also did a significant amount of lender side work in DIP financing.

The investment funds team largely worked on fund formations, but also advised clients on fund maintenance matters including investments and regulatory compliance.

The M&A team acted on the buy and sell side in many of the country’s largest strategic acquisitions and mergers. It also worked on a significant number of important private equity acquisitions, with the assistance of the private equity practice.

The project development team was particularly active in the renewable energy and transportation infrastructure industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented debtors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings.

Firm wide, banking and financial services, pharmaceuticals, real estate and technology were big industries of deal acticity.

In 2019, New York based investment funds partner Lawrence Frishman retired. The Palo Alto office added M&A partner Michael Ringler, who came from Wilson Sonsini.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

BA Credit Card Trust $1.25 billion Class A 2019-1 ABS

Centene $7 billion triple tranche 4.750%, 4.250% and 4.625% bond issue

Fidelity National Information Services / WorldPay merger

Further Global Capital Management / Stone Point Capital $4.2 billion acquisition of Duff & Phelps

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Chapter 15 bankruptcy 

Newark Liberty International Airport ConRAC facility

Pinterest NYSE IPO

Zillow $1.5 billion financing

Whiteford Taylor Preston

Founded in 1933, Whiteford Taylor & Preston is a highly recognized firm in the mid-Atlantic. Despite being most recognized in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, the firm also has offices in Michigan Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. In total it has 16 offices east of the Mississippi River. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known in the mid-Atlantic, especially in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. It is highly regarded for its work in restructuring and insolvency and M&A. The Maryland restructuring teams are market leaders in the region.

In M&A the firm acts largely in the mid-market space, representing firms on the buy and sell side in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The acquisitions are largely private, but the firm does handle public acquisitions as well.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acts for debtors, trustees and creditors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings. Also of note is the Maryland team’s real estate practice. 

The Maryland corporate team acts for a plethora of firms in the real estate industry, necessitating its own practice. It advises real estate developers and owners regarding real estate acquisitions, financing, leases and development matters.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include CloudControlMedia, City of Baltimore Water and Wastewater Systems, Accumark, Meridian Waste Services, Ethos Veterinary Services, NXL Construction Services, J.M. Smucker, Curtiss-Wright, Mar-Bow Value Partners, Cambrian Holding Company, CITGO Petroleum, New England Motor Freight, Far Hydrant, Credit Suisse, VFP Investments, Essex Construction, Fujifilm and MCSG Wind Down. 

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Throughout the research period the M&A team advised firms in strategic acquisitions. The firm acted on both the buy and sell side for the transactions. 

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly debtors and creditors in out of court restructurings. It was also a part of some Chapter 11 proceedings, especially in the retail industry. 

Regarding lateral moves, the Virginia corporate team added partners Katja Hill, John Selbach and David Shane Smith. All three joined from LeClairRyan and specialize in real estate. In Maryland, real estate partner Deborah Diehl and restructuring and insolvency partner John Carlton retired. The restructuring and insolvency team in Pennsylvania brought partner Scott Hare and of counsel Kenneth Lund from private practices. In Delaware, restructuring and insolvency partner Abrams joined from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Meanwhile, partners Chris Samis and Katie Good left for Potter Anderson & Corroon. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Claire’s Stores Chapter 11 restructuring

HSW Pro-Pipe $55 million acquisition of Accumark

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

“Attentive, attention to detail.”

“Experience, highly skilled.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“The firm has one of the finest bankruptcy practices in the US. Mr. Kevin Hroblak was the principle attorney on the case. His advice was always spot on. I initially thought his insistence that we be uber responsive to an overly expansive document request by the claimants was excessive. Hroblak was correct on this and all other issues. All four courts concluded that these claims were frivolous.”

“The firm is replete with consummate professionals who are not only tacticians but strategists, taking a long view and planning for any contingency. They are strong advocates and excel at implementation.”

“Responsiveness, value, outstanding advice.”

“The firm (Stephen Gerald and David Gaffey) are amazing to work with.  Not only are the professional, but they are also responsive.  They address issues fully without providing a treatise.  They provide advice that is practical for a business.  They are also always willing to provide training to our employees on important customer finance issues as well as speak to our employees in a way that they can understand; in other words, without the legalese.”