District of Columbia

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, or Akin Gump, was founded in 1945 in Dallas. Since then the firm has expanded to 20 locations across three continents. In the US, the firm has 11 offices across six states.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Firm wide, Akin Gump is best known for its work with hedge funds, private equity funds, power project development and restructuring and insolvency.

The firm’s DC and Texas branches are arguably its best known. Its strongest M&A and restructuring and insolvency teams are based in DC and Texas.

The banking practice represents borrowers and lenders in credit facility agreements, loan facility agreements, DIP financing and refinancing.

Its active in capital markets and represents issuers in debt and equity transactions including bond offerings, high yield bond offerings, IPOs, recapitalizations, private share placements, public share offerings and tender offers. 

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in public and private acquisition and merger transactions. It also advises clients in strategic investments.

The project development team represents developers and financial sponsors in project development, acquisition and financing transactions across the energy and oil and gas industries. 

Real estate is also a big industry for the firm, so much so that it has its own practice. The real estate team represents commercial and residential developers and private equity investors in matters relating to acquiring and selling land and properties and development.

While the firm is active in numerous industries, it is particularly so in the oil and gas and power sectors.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include FirstEnergy, Alliance Data Systems, Diamondbank Energy, East West Bank, Apollo Global Management, Shell Midstream Partners, BlackRock Realty Advisors, Pacific Investment Management Company, PNC Energy Capital and Royal Bank of Canada.

 

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

During the research period, teams across the board worked largely in the oil and gas and power industries.

The banking team advised largely borrowers in financing transactions such as credit facility agreement and loan facility agreements. Along with the restructuring and insolvency team, it also represented a fair amount of debtors and creditors in DIP loan financing, Chapter 11 cases and financial restructurings.

The capital markets team advised issuers on largely bond issuances, private share placements and public share offerings. Many of the transactions were a part of a larger public M&A deal.

The M&A team continued to represent a mix of private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition and merger transactions. 

The project development team represented a mix of developers and financial sponsors in project development, acquisition and financing transactions. Renewable energy was a big industry for the team, especially concerning solar plants.

The real estate team represented a large amount of developers and investors in real estate acquisitions and dispositions. Many of the transactions related to the hotel industry and disposition of data centers.

In lateral hires the banking team recruited partners Lucas Charleston and Rizwan Kanji from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and King & Spalding respectively. Lucas Charleston is also an addition to the M&A team which partner Elazar Guttman also joined from Kirkland & Ellis. Partner Michael Gustafson joined the firm from an in-house position at a private equity firm. The project development team hired Sam Kamyans and Matthew Kapinos from Baker McKenzie and McGuireWoods respectively.

Partners Phyllis Young, David Simonds and Charles Gibbs left the firm for McGuireWoods, Hogan Lovells and Katten Muchin Rosenman respectively. In M&A partners Patrick Rice and Edward Zaelke left for Greenberg Traurig and McDermott Will & Emery respectively. Edward Zaelke was also part of the project development team, which also lost partner Carl Fleming to McDermott Will & Emery. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Diamondbank Energy $9.2 billion acquisition of Energen

Lāwa’i 28MW solar photovoltaic power plant and 100MWh power storage facility

Majestic Resorts hotel development

Rattler Midstream Nasdaq IPO

RegionalCare Hospital Partners / LifePoint Health $1.425 billion 9.75% bond issue

Sears restructuring 

WildHorse Resource Development $2 billion RBL credit agreement

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer was formed in 2017 as a result of the merger between Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer. The former firm was established in Washington, DC in 1946 and had grown to seven offices in the US and two in Europe. The latter firm dates back to 1917 in New York and had a network of six offices in the United States, two offices in Europe and one in Asia.

The firm now boasts 14 offices in six countries. In the United States it has its largest offices in Washington DC and New York but is expanding in San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Newark, Houston, Palo Alto and Los Angeles.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm does good work across its offices in banking, capital markets, regulatory financial services, M&A, private equity, project finance and restructuring and insolvency.

Its M&A practice is largely based out of the New York, DC and San Francisco offices, in addition to its ever-growing Denver office. The team advised strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. The corporate practice includes a private equity team that advises sponsors on the buy or sell side of acquisitions and investments.

The capital markets team represents issuers and underwriters in corporate bonds, sustainability bonds, share offerings, IPOs and bond refinancings. It also has a separate sovereign finance practice, which advises issuers on sovereign bond issuances.

The structured finance and securitisation practice is based in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and DC offices. It represents clients in the banking and financial services industry as both issuers and underwriters in structured notes, covered bonds, mortgage backed securitisations, receivables backed credit facilities, ABS issuances, CMBS and RMBS fund formations.

In addition to transactional financial and corporate transactions, the firm regularly advises clients in financial services regulatory matters. The team advises clients in the banking and financial services industry on regulatory matters related to financing, acquisitions, incorporations, fund formation and securities regulations.

The DC office contains the firm’s strongest restructuring and insolvency practice.

Sectors where the firm has expertise include technology, banking and financial services and life sciences.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Pfizer, Cognizant, Harbour Point Capital, DC Capital Partners, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Republic of Panama, Goldman Sachs, First Republic Bank and Piermont Bank

 

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

Over the research period the firm was active in financial services regulatory, capital markets and M&A.

The financial services regulatory team continued to represent clients in the banking and financial services industry on regulatory matters involving securities, financings and acquisitions. 

The capital markets practice advised largely issuers in numerous types of bond issuances, such as corporate, sustainability and sovereign bonds. A large majority of the sovereign bond transactions related to the Latin American region. The capital markets team also worked on the equity side of capital markets, representing issuers in possible IPOs.

The structured finance and securitization team had a diverse set of transactions it worked on. It advised both issuers and underwriters in notes and bond issuances, securitizations and CMBS fund formations.

the M&A team advised largely strategic buyers in acquisitions and mergers. The private equity practice worked largely on acquisitions, but also some fund investments. Technology, life sciences and healthcare, especially ophthalmology were big industries for the practices.

In lateral people movements the M&A and private equity practice hired partners Carol Anne Huff and Kyungseok Kim from Kirkland & Ellis and White & Case respectively, as well as counsel Jeffrey Yang from Reed Smith. Carol Anne Huff was an addition to the capital markets practice. The structured finance and securitization practice lost partners Howard Goldwasser and Skanthan Vivekananda to Orrick and partner Johnathan Arkins to King & Spalding. The regulatory financial services practice recruited partner Charles Yi, who was previously a general counsel of the FDIC.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

InSight Telepsychiatry merger with Regroup Therapy

National Bank of Canada €750 million 0.750% Series CBL7 covered bond issuance

Petrotrin double tranche $570.3 million 9.75% and 6% bond exchange

Pfizer $340 million acquisition of Therachon Holdings

Republic of Panama $2.5 billion 4.5% sovereign bond issue

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson

The most current version of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson stems from 1971, but has roots dating back to the 1890’s. The firm has four offices, two national and two global: New York, Washington DC, London and Frankfurt. New York serves as both the oldest and largest office.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has an outstanding hedge fund and private equity practice. Its DC office notably has a stellar M&A team. More broadly, the firm does also focus on banking, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency. 

In the banking practice the firm represents borrowers and lenders in asset-based lending, incremental facilities, term loans and credit facilities. These are used for refinancing, acquisition finance, inventory financing.

The capital markets team represents issuers and underwriters alike in debt, equity and derivatives. On the debt side, the team has experience in investment grade, high yield and convertible bond issuances. These bond issuances are often tied to acquisition financing.

In equity capital markets, the team directs clients on IPOs, follow on offerings and common stock offerings.

In derivatives, the firm has experience in accelerated stock repurchases, open market repurchases, swaps, options and futures. Often the firm will also advise on related regulatory issues.

In investment funds the firm advises financial institutions with closed and open ended fund formation. It also advises in the formation of alternative funds including real estate, high frequency trading, exchange and hedge funds as well as ETFs.

The M&A team represents strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures.

There is also a dedicated private equity team that advises private equity firms on acquisitions, both on the buy and sell side. It also advises private equity clients in investments.

The restructuring and insolvency team advises property landlords, creditors and debtors in financial restructuring, distressed sales and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Mayo Clinic, Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Sinclair Broadcast Corporation, Hitachi, Stella Point Capital, Onex, Citibank, Under Armour, Merck & Xo, Bank of America Securities, Clarivate Analytics, Deutsche Bank, Simply Good Foods Company, Wells Fargo, Grupo Televisa, Invesco, T-Mobile, Bain Capital, Brookfield Asset Management, Blackrock, Permira, Seritage Growth Properties, Solace Capital Partners and Lewis Frankfort. 

 

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

During the research period the banking team represented an equal mix of both borrowers and lenders in loan and credit facility agreements used for mostly acquisition finance and refinancing. 

The debt capital markets team worked on an assortment of investment grade and high yield bond issuances while the equity capital markets team worked on share offerings.

The derivatives work was all confidential, but was rooted in swaps, options, accelerated stock repurchases and open market repurchases.

The investment funds group represents numerous financial institutions in the formation of open funds, closed funds and alternative funds, especially in real estate.

The M&A team, along with the private equity team, advised private equity and strategic firms in high value acquisitions on both the buy and sell side.

The restructuring and insolvency team worked largely on Chapter 11 restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings, representing creditors and property landlords. 

In terms of lateral moves, partner Stuart Barr joined the DC capital markets practice from Hogan Lovells. Matthew Roose left the restructuring practice at the firm to join the partnership at Ropes & Gray.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Blackstone acquisition of Great Wolf Resorts

Merck & Co $5 billion quadruple tranche 2.9%, 3.4%, 3.9% and 4% bond issue

Onex $2.69 billion acquisition financing for WestJet Airlines

Sears Chapter 11 proceedings

Sinclair Broadcast Group $10.6 billion acquisition of 21 regional sports networks and Fox College Sports

Tradeweb Markets Nasdaq IPO

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher was founded in Los Angeles in 1890. It has since grown to 20 offices throughout four continents. In the United States, the firm has 10 offices in California, Texas, Colorado, New York and Washington DC. Its greatest presence is in California, where it has five offices throughout the state. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm maintains a strong presence in California, where it is has top tier M&A practices in Southern California. Additionally, its Denver, DC, Dallas and Houston offices are standouts in their respective states in corporate practice areas.

The banking team acts on the borrower side of financing transactions such as multicurrency credit agreements, term credit facilities, ABLs and construction loan facilities. These transactions are part of larger acquisition finance, project finance, construction finance or refinancing matters. 

In financial services regulatory the team represents banks and financial institutions in regulatory advice regarding Federal Reserve policy compliance, derivatives and corporate governance matters. 

The firm also has a depth of experience in capital markets on all sides. In debt capital markets, the firm acts for issuers and underwriters in investment grade, high yield, convertible, fixed rate and floating rate bond issuances.

On the equity capital markets side the firm also represents issuers and underwriters in IPOs, common share offerings, convertible preferred stock offerings and at-the-market equity programs. The capital markets team also frequently advises clients in the banking and financial services industry about derivatives issuances, specifically swaps and futures. These transactions also usually have a regulatory component with which the regulatory financial services team will assist. 

The majority of the investment funds team is based in New York, where it assists private equity and asset management firms in fund formations. There is frequent crossover between the investment funds and private equity practices due to the clientele. The private equity practice is based in California, New York, Washington and Dallas. It advises private equity firms on both the buy and sell side in high value acquisitions and joint ventures, ranging from $100 million to $5 billion. The M&A practice deals with public and private strategic acquisitions and joint ventures on the buy and sell side. It has large pockets of partners in the practice in the New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Denver offices, who frequently involve each other in cross border matters.

The project development team is highly skilled in the infrastructure industry, where it represents sponsors and developers in project acquisitions, financing, bidding and construction. Additionally, the team has a lot of experience working on PPP projects. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advises creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Marriott International, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Fox, Wells Fargo Securities, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, US Chamber of Commerce, Capital One, Leonard Green & Partners, JP Morgan Asset Management, WndrCo, RedBird Capital Partners, The Williams Companies, PepsiCo, NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3, Denver Great Hall, AIG and Aetna.

 

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

Throughout the research period the banking team acted for borrowers in a credit facility and loan agreements. A large portion of the agreements went towards refinancing or acquisition financing.

In capital markets the team represented a combination of issuers and underwriters mostly on debt related transactions such as investment grade and high yield bond issuances. It did also work on a couple of IPOs as well as swap and futures regulatory matters.

The investment funds team represented private equity, banks and financial institutions in high value fund formations. Many of these funds were related to the real estate industry.

In M&A, the practice acted on both the buy and sell side for high value strategic acquisitions. It had a high number of transactions in the oil and gas and technology industries.

The private equity practice advised private equity firms in multimillion and billion-dollar acquisitions both on the buy and sell side.

The project development team continued to act for developers and sponsors in the infrastructure industry.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings. It did also represent a fair number of debtors and worked on out of court financial restructurings. 

Regarding lateral moves, the capital markets team in New York recruited partner Boris Dolgonos from Jones Day. In M&A, partner Charles “Chuck” Walker joined the Houston team from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. The Denver M&A team brought over partner Gerald Farano from Jones Day. Partner William Sorabella joined the New York M&A and private equity practices from Kirkland & Ellis. The California offices recruited M&A and private equity partners Chris Harding and Abtin Jalali from Kirkland & Ellis and partner David Lee from Latham & Watkins. Partner Ed Batts also joined Palo Alto’s M&A practice from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. Around the same time, partner Russell Hansen retired. Former co-lead of Debevoise & Plimpton’s banking industry practice Matthew Biben joined the New York office to serve as the co-chair of the financial institutions practice. His practice focuses on regulatory financial services. Partner Edward Nelson left the investment funds practice to join Latham & Watkins. In restructuring and insolvency, Los Angeles partner Samuel Newman left to join Sidley Austin. In the New York office, restructuring and insolvency partners Scott Greenberg, Steven Domanowski and Michael Cohen were brought over from Jones Day, with Greenberg serving as the co-chair of the restructuring practice.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Fox Corporation $6.8 billion 3.666%, 4.03%, 4.709%, 5.476% and 5.576% bond issue

Green Equity Investors VIII

Marriott International $4 billion revolving credit refinancing 

Newark Liberty International Airport consolidated rent-a-car center and public parking facility

Parsons Corporation NYSE IPO

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Platinum Equity $2.74 billion acquisition of Cision

VMWare $2.7 billion acquisition of PivotalSoftware

Targa Resources Partners dual tranche 6.5% and 6.875% high yield bond issue

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Investment funds

“Skilled in all areas of investment management.”

“They know the market and are very thoughtful and responsive.”

McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery is an international firm founded and headquartered in Chicago. It has offices in 13 locations in the United States, and seven offices across five European countries.   

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm does notable work across many financial and corporate practice areas including banking, M&A, private equity, project finance and restructuring and insolvency.

In banking work the firm represents borrowers and lenders in term loans, secured and unsecured credit facilities, subordinated debt facility and refinancings.

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition, mergers and corporate reorganization related matters.

In real estate, the team represents lenders in mortgage loans, mezzanine loans, acquisition financing, joint ventures and acquisitions. 

In restructuring and insolvency work the firm represents creditors, debtors and trustees in insolvency, financial restructuring, Chapter 11 and Chapter 9 bankruptcy cases.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Natixis Real Estate Capital, Apollo Global Management, Fireman Capital Partners, Rhône Group, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, US Bank, HIG Capital, Peak Rock Capital, Dogfish Head Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Premier and Wells Fargo Capital Finance.

 

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

Over the research period the banking team worked on numerous loans and credit facilities.

In M&A, the team worked on mostly acquisition related matters, representing both buyers and sellers across a wide variety of industries. The team represented a large amount of private equity acquirers.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented largely indenture trustee and debtors in financial restructuring and Chapter 11 cases.

The New York real estate team hired partners Pejman Razavilar, Stacie Trott and Todd Eisner in 2019. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Boston Beer Company / Dogfish Head Brewery merger 

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico restructuring

Fireman Capital Partners initial investment in Garden Remedies Holdings

HIG Capital acquisition of Lipari Foods

Maefield Development $1.9 billion acquisition of 20 Times Square

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Premier $1.35 billion credit facility

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Since its founding in 1873, Morgan Lewis & Bockius has massively expanded from one office in Philadelphia to 31 offices across three continents. In the United States, there are 17 offices across 11 states.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has market leading teams in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Firm wide, it is particularly well known for its work in the structured finance and securitization, hedge funds, oil and gas projects and power project practices. 

The banking team acts for lenders and borrowers in refinancing, acquisition financing, DIP financing and general working capital financing.

In capital markets, the firm works on the debt, equity and derivatives sides, representing issuers. In debt capital markets, the firm advises clients on investment grade, convertible and high yield bond issuances.

On the equity side, Morgan Lewis acts on common share offerings, at-the-market offerings, private placements, IPOs and secondary offerings. Forward transactions are regularly seen in the derivatives market.

In investment funds, the firm advises investment firms, pension groups, governments and private equity firms in the formation of real estate funds, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, ETFs, mutual funds and other types of closed and open-ended funds.

The M&A practice acts on the buy and sell side for strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The firm also has a private equity practice that handles acquisitions and sale related to private equity clients.

In the projects finance and infrastructure practice, the firm advises project developers and financial sponsors in projects in the energy, power and oil and gas industries. Many of these projects have associated acquisition components.

The restructuring and insolvency practice advises creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, Descartes Systems Group, Frontage Laboratories, American Water Works, Pioneer Investment Management, California Public Employees’ Retirement Systems, Nuveen, Park Lawn Corp, Broadway Technology, Sabre, National Grid, Prudential Capital Group, Korea Electric Power, QTCB Noteholder Group, Argentine sovereign bondholders and BNY Mellon.

 

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

During the research period, the banking practice acted mostly on the lender side in refinancing and general financing. It represents several borrowers in acquisition finance matters.

While the debt capital markets worked mostly on investment grade corporate bond issuances, the equity capital markets primarily guided issuers on public offerings. The team also worked on a forward transaction in the derivatives practice.

The investment fund practice advised a significant amount of pension groups in fund formations. 

The M&A team acted on the buy and sell side in majority strategic acquisitions. Many of these transactions were related to transactions in project development.

The private equity team handled acquisitions related to private equity firms on both the buy and sell side.

The projects team saw a lot of projects in the renewable energy and power industries, especially regarding natural gas, solar and wind infrastructure projects.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm dealt with largely creditors in out of court financial restructurings. It did also assist in several Chapter 11 proceedings. 

In terms of lateral moves, banking and restructuring partner Kristen Campana joined the New York office from Proskauer Rose. Pennsylvania based capital markets partner David Schwartz joined the firm from DLA Piper.

The investment management and private equity funds team had a large amount of hires in 2019. Partners Gregg Buksbaum, William Nash III, Courtney Nowell and Alishia Sullivan joined from Squire Patton Boggs while Joel Seow, who further specialized in hedge funds, joined from Sidley Austin. In the same practice, partners Josh Sterling, Paul McCoy and Georgette Schaefer left, with Sterling joining the CFTC and McCoy and Schaefer retiring.

In the corporate practice, partners Mark Gilligan and Jay Gladis joined also from Squire Patton Boggs. The New York office brought over M&A, project finance and infrastructure partners John Klauberg, Michael Espinoza and Charles Vandenburgh from Bracewell. M&A partner Russell Franklin also joined the New York office from Paul Hastings. Also in the M&A practice, Pennsylvania based partner Aaron Suh joined from Dechert. Texas based M&A partner Janice Davis joined the firm from Bracewell.

The project finance and infrastructure practice saw the addition of three partners in 2019: Ayesha Waheed from Latham & Watkins, Chadi Salloum from Akin Gump and Jennifer Josefson from King & Spalding. Project finance and infrastructure partner Marc Reardon retired during this time as well. 

Finally, in restructuring and insolvency, partners Kurt Mayr and Jennifer Feldsher moved to Morgan Lewis from Bracewell.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

American Water Works $1.1 billion dual tranche 3.45% and 4.15% bond issue

CalPERES / Global Infrastructure Partners CalPERS GIP SMA infrastructure fund

ENMAX $959 million acquisition of Emera Maine

Frontage Laboratories Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO

ION Investment Group $560 million acquisition of Broadway Technology

Insight Enterprises $1.22 billion financing

Walter Energy Chapter 11 proceedings

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“They are subject matter experts in ABL financing, UCC matters, as well as restructuring, workouts, bankruptcy, etc.  In addition to their expertise, they are able to bridge between business, credit, and legal considerations in supporting us to serve our customers’ needs.  They are integral to the new loan/customer as well as existing customer management process.”

“Easily accessible, practical solutions based on current market conditions as well as workarounds for unique challenges.”

“Attention to detail, amazing customer service and constantly providing added value.”

“Fully understands ABL issues and downside risks in a bankruptcy. Very thorough, knowledgeable and non-confrontational in overall approach.”

 

Investment funds

“Very experienced group. If the person we are dealing with does not know the answer to a question, they immediately find the right person. Very professional.”

“Very responsive and reasonable on budgets. ETF team understands all aspects of business and regulatory matters pertaining to ETFs – from all sides of the ecosystem – regulators, exchanges, intermediaries, indexes, and business issues.”

“MLB is extremely commercial and responsive. They understand the client and that allows them to address issues impacting the entire firm.”

“They are comprehensive in approach.”

“Business-minded legal advice.”

 

M&A

“The attorneys at Morgan Lewis were always available, responded very quickly, very attentive to our issues, worked very well with all team members, and very skilled in their respective practices. We felt very confident in their work.   In particular, their Partner, Jeff Dinerstein went above and beyond to ensure we resolved all issues and met all intended timelines. He is an invaluable member of our M&A team.”

 

Private equity

“Lawyers are very knowledgeable, prompt and personable.” 

 

Project finance

“The project finance group is excellent with prompt service and strong legal advice in a commercial manner focused on getting things completed and resolved in an efficient manner.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Global footprint and experienced restructuring professionals. Very good value for money, compared to other large international US law firms. Partner led.”

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough was founded in 1897 in Columbia, South Carolina. The Columbia location still stands as the firm’s headquarters but has since expanded to 25 total locations across 12 states, largely in the southeast. Though the firm has the most locations in Florida it is also highly regarded in South Carolina.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The full-service firm is especially active in the banking, M&A and restructuring and insolvency practice areas. 

In banking the team works on acquisition financing, construction financing, real estate financing, project financing, refinancing and general corporate financing. It acts for borrowers and lenders.

The firm’s M&A practice is concentrated in the Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Tennessee locations. It is focused on the mid-market, advising strategic clients on both the buy and sell side.

The restructuring and insolvency team acts for trustees, creditors, debtors and other related parties in Chapter 7 and 11 proceedings and reorganizations. Also of note is the Floridian real estate teams, which are market leaders in the state.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Avenger Flight Group, Amzak Capital Management, Chemical Finance Corporation, CenterState Financial Corporation, Cosmopolitan Travel Services, Sprinturf, PIETech, and Lime Energy.

 

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

Throughout the research period the banking and finance team assists both borrowers and lenders. The South Carolina partners focused more on acquisition financing, while the Floridian offices focused on project financing and real estate financing.

The M&A team worked on the buy and sell side in a large amount of deals in the banking and financial services and technology industries. The deals were both strategic acquisitions and private equity acquisitions.

The restructuring and insolvency team in mostly Chapter 7 proceedings, but also a significant number of Chapter 11 proceedings. 

Regarding lateral moves, the corporate and M&A practice brought over numerous partners. M&A focused partners Adele Hogan moved over from Hogan Law, Andrew Tucker from Womble Bond Dickinson and Michael Bryan from K&L Gates. Corporate partners James Bartling and Sabring Conyers moved from in-house positions. In the Florida real estate practice, partners JJ Johnson, Michelle Tanzer and William Liss. The partners came from Johnson Real Estate Law, GrayRobinson and Santen & Hughes, respectively. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Avenger Flight Group $120 million financing

Chemical Bank / TCF Financial merger

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe was founded in 1863 in San Francisco. Since then it has expanded to 26 offices across three continents. In the United States the firm has 14 offices. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known for its work in structured finance and securitization. Its industry specialities include technology, energy, infrastructure and financial services.

The banking practice advises borrowers, lenders, arrangers and investors in complex financing transactions related to acquisitions, refinancing, project financing and general working capital financing. It also works on the capital markets side with sovereign and corporate debt offerings and hybrid securitizations. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Applied Materials, Kingdom of Morocco, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Equinix, Wells Fargo, RREEF America REIT II, Juniper Networks, Convoy, Cap Vert Energy and Greenlight Planet. 

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team was mostly on the borrower side in complex and novel financing transactions. Most of them were related to general working capital financings, but there were several related to acquisition and project financings. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Kingdom of Morocco €1 billion sovereign bond issue

Poarch Band of Creek Indians acquisition of Sands Casino Resort

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