IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Ballard Spahr

Since its founding in 1919, Ballard Spahr has grown to 15 offices nationwide. The firm launched in in Philadelphia and this remains its largest office, closely followed in scale by Baltimore and Washington DC. 


Focusses / specialisms

The Phoenix, Arizona office is highly regarded for its top tier work in the state.

The firm is experienced in many practice area across its offices, including M&A, banking, capital markets, project development and real estate.

The Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Phoenix offices are well known for its work in M&A. The M&A, the firm represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters.

In capital markets, the firm represents issuers in bond offerings, share offerings and IPOs. The banking team represents borrowers in credit facilities, loan agreements, project financing and acquisition financing. 

The project development team represents developers in P3 and private projects in the transportation, infrastructure, energy and oil and gas industries.

Real estate is a large focus firm wide, where the team represents commercial, residential and industrial developers, investors and REITs in real estate matters such as acquisitions, financing and development.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Slang Worldwide, SVCP Management, Concrete Pumping Holdings, Healthpeak Properties, City Office REIT, Kilroy Realty, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, State Bankshares, Greystone & Co, 8minute Solar Energy, Pacific Southwest Development, VICI Properties, PNC Bank, Brixmor Propery Group, Citizens Bank Park, Cascata Packaging, SilencerCo and Kodiak Cakes.


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

The firm has a diverse research cycle, with each office seeing different trends.

The teams in the Colorado offices advised strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisition related matters. Real estate and cannabis were popular industries for the Colorado teams. In financial matters, the team advised borrowers in ABL and term loan agreements and issuers in public share offerings.

The Baltimore, Maryland office advised borrowers in refinancings, credit facilities and mortgage loan agreements. It also advised issuers in public share offerings, ATM offering programs, bond offerings, tender offers, shelf registrations and derivatives. Many of its clients were real estate developers, investors or REITs. The team also advised clients in the real estate industry on property development matters.

The Minneapolis office represented strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries.

The Las Vegas team represented real estate developers, financial sponsors and REITs in various real estate development projects and sales.

The Philadelphia team advised a private equity firm in an acquisition and a lender in several credit facility and ABL agreements. It also advised developers and public institutions in P3 and private projects in the social infrastructure, oil and gas and transportation infrastructure industries. A large part of its work was in advising real estate developers, investors and REITs in commercial and residential development projects and acquisitions.

The Salt Lake City off represented borrowers in a separate refinancing and term loan agreement. It also advised issuers in share offerings and strategic acquirers and sellers in merger and acquisition related matters. The team represented developers in residential and hotel real estate projects. 

In terms of lateral moves, the Salt Lake City office brought over M&A partner Travis Marc Wilson from Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough. The Baltimore office brought over public finance partner John Smolen from Nossaman. The Philadelphia office lost partners James MacDonald III, who left for Stevens & Lee, Craig Circosta, who left for Holland & Knight, Peter Hennessy, who moved in-house and David Pollack, who retired.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

C7 Data Centers merger with DB Data Center Holdings

City Office REIT 6.625% Series A preferred stock at-the-market share offering

IPS and Alleghany Capital acquisition of Cardinal Holdings

Slang Worldwide $67 million acquisition of Organa Brands’ National Concessions Group

Southern Bighorn 475MW solar and 540MWh storage project

WEX $425 million acquisition of Discovery Benefits

Dorsey & Whitney

Since its founding in Minneapolis in 1912, Dorsey & Whitney has expanded to 19 locations across the United States, Canada, the UK and China. In the United States the firm has 13 offices spread throughout the country, including in Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New York and Utah.


Focusses / specialisms

Though the firm is international, it has a stronghold on the Minnesota market with their top tier Minneapolis office. The office does market leading work in banking, capital markets and M&A.

The Minneapolis office’s M&A practice represents strategic acquirers and sellers in middle market transactions, where it maintains a stronghold.

The office also has a dedicated real estate practice, showing the firm’s expertise in the real estate industry. The team represents REITs, property owners, investors and developers in all aspects related to commercial, industrial and residential real estate. This includes acquisitions, development and financing. 

The New York M&A team is also known for its middle market transactions, as well as cross border transactions between the US and China. The office has a US-China practice group focusing on these transactions. The M&A team represents private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisition related matters. It also advises private equity firms on investments.

The Salt Lake City office is one of the largest corporate practices in Utah. The M&A team represents private equity and strategic clients on the buy and sell side in acquisitions and mergers. It also conducts banking and capital markets work, advising private equity firms on equity investments and issuers on public offerings.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include UnitedHealth Group, Medtronic, US Bancorp, Land O’Lakes, United Properties Development, US Bank National Association, Fairview Health Services, Virtus Real Estate Capital, Dope Media, High Street Capital Partners, Airspan Networks, Verano Holdings, Tower Arch Capital, NaviMed Capital, Nu Skin Enterprises and Zions Bank. 


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

Within the research period, the Minneapolis M&A practice represented both strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions. Most of its acquisitions were in the healthcare, agribusiness and consumer goods and services industry. The real estate practice represented REITs, property developers, owners and investors in mostly real estate development and financing projects. The New York M&A team represented a mix of strategic and private equity clients on both the buy and sell side of acquisitions. It worked on numerous deals in the cannabis, healthcare and technology industries. The Salt Lake City office represented companies in strategic acquisitions and sales, with many of the deals occurring in the healthcare industry. It also advised numerous private equity firms in acquisitions and equity investments. 

In terms of lateral movements, the real estate practice in Minneapolis added partners Michele Thurnblom, who moved from an in-house position at Honeywell International and Bradley Williams, who joined from Best & Flanagan. The New York corporate and M&A practice brought over partner Edward Davis from Brown Rudnick. 


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Best Buy $125 million acquisition of Critical Signal Technologies

EDP $375 million acquisition of Eli Lilly and Company rights

Pentagan South mixed-use urban redevelopment

New Age Beverages $85 million acquisition of Morinda Holdings

Taft Stettinius & Hollister

Taft Stettinius & Hollister has over 100 years of experience, dating all the way back to 1885. The firm is headquartered in Cincinnati, but has 10 other offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Delaware (Ohio), Denver, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Northern Kentucky and Phoenix. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm’s Indianapolis office is a market leader in Indiana for the financial and corporate practice.

In banking the team advises lenders and borrowers in real estate financing, acquisition financing, refinancing and general working capital financing.

In the corporate and M&A practice the firm acts on the buy and sell side in strategic and private equity acquisitions, joint ventures and mergers. Many of the acquisitions are related to wider real estate transactions. 

The firm also occasionally advises issuers in bond offerings as part of corporate financing as well as private equity funds in portfolio investments. 


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, American Municipal Power, Chiquita, Steel Warehouse Company, ForeverCar Holdings, CENX, Cummins, Hopebridge, Zotec, AMG Holdings, Edgewater Capital Partners, Jumpstart, Minnesota Vikings, Stemonix and Northmarq Capital. 


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

Throughout the research period the banking team, mostly located in Ohio, acted on the lender side in acquisition financing, real estate financing and general corporate financing. It did also represent issuers in corporate bond offerings.

In M&A, all of the offices worked mostly on strategic acquisitions, representing both the buy and sell side. Many of the transactions were related to other real estate transactions.

In lateral moves, the Illinois office brought banking and finance partner Jeffrey Friedman from Ginsburg & Jacobs. The Indianapolis office brought over corporate partner David Umpleby from Krieg DeVault.

In January 2020, Minnesota firm Briggs & Morgan merged with Taft, expanding the latter’s nationwide footprint. 


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

CHS Therapy $60 million recapitalization

Aalberts $60 million acquisition of Precision Plating Company

Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Company acquisition of Fresh Direct Produce

Quotient Technology $20 million acquisition of Ahalogy

Castlelake acquisition of Pontotoc Sands

Winthrop & Weinstine

Winthrop & Weinstine is a Minneapolis based firm founded in 1979.  It does highly regarded work in financial and corporate practices.


Focusses / specialisms

The firm has an outstanding banking, M&A and restructuring and insolvency practice.

In the banking practice, the team advises commercial lenders in project financing, construction financing and acquisition financing. 

In M&A the firm acts on the buy and sell side in strategic mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. The restructuring and insolvency team represents financial lenders acting as receivers and creditors in bankruptcy matters.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include US Bank, Fallbrook Loan Fund, Sunrise Banks, Enhanced Capital, TCF Bank, Wells Fargo, Schmuckal Oil Company, Hartley Company, Kirkwood Bancorporation, BlackRidge Financial, McLeod Bancshares, Associated Bank and Fifth Third Bank. 


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

Throughout the research period the banking practice represented commercial lenders in a large amount of real estate development financings. Many of the developments were either industrial or commercial properties in the Midwest.

In M&A, the team worked on the sell side in strategic acquisitions. It also worked on a couple of mergers. Oil and gas and banking and financial services were important industries for the team. The restructuring and insolvency practice acted on behalf of receivers and creditors in bankruptcy matters.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Gateway Tower construction financing

Westbrand acquisition of BlackRidge Financial