New Jersey

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

Reed Smith

Since its founding in 1877 in Pittsburgh, Reed Smith has grown into a market leading firm in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It has also expanded to 30 offices across three continents. In the United States, the firm has 18 offices in 10 states. Pittsburgh remains the firm’s headquarters and is one of its largest offices. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for its powerhouse financial and corporate teams.

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

The firm also has a structured financing practice, where the team has expertise in CLOs, RMBS’, commercial mortgage loans, ABS’ and securitizations.

The M&A practice is mainly based in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Princeton, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices. It acts on the buy and sell side in strategic acquisitions.

The restructuring and insolvency team represents trustees, creditors and debtors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Santander, Hutchinson, Wind Point Partners, Acrotech Biopharma, Vista Outdoor, Avis Budget Group, Carmeuse Lime, BNY Mellon, LDR Industries, Oakfabco, Shore Suven Pharma, Robindale Energy Services, KeyBank and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company. 

 

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

During the research period the banking team acts for borrowers and lenders mostly in general working capital financing.

The structured finance team advised clients in commercial mortgage loans and CLOs. In M&A, the team advised strategic clients in acquisitions on both the buy and sell side.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented a large amount of trustees in Chapter 11 proceedings. It did also work on some out of court restructurings and distressed M&A proceedings. 

Regarding lateral movements, the banking team brought over partner Elizabeth Tabas Carson from Dechert. The M&A practice saw the arrival of partner of Andrew Douglass, who came from Polsinelli. In restructuring and insolvency, the firm brought over partners Keith Aurzada and Michael Cooley from Bryan Cave as well as partner Mandip Englund from Linklaters. Partner Andrea Pincus left the practice to move in-house. 

In 2019, the firm added an office in Dallas. It also continued its European expansion the following year by opening an office in Brussels. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico restructuring

First Commonwealth Bank acquisition of 14 Santander Bank branches

Sills Cummis & Gross

Full service corporate firm Sills Cummis & Gross is a market leader in New Jersey in M&A and restructuring and insolvency. The firm has offices in Newark and New York. 

  

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s Newark, New Jersey office is strong in M&A and restructuring and insolvency. 

In M&A, the firm works on the buy and sell side in strategic acquisitions. 

It also has experience in financing matters such as bond issuances and loan agreements and in the real estate industry. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm represents creditors, debtors and trustees in Chapter 11 proceedings and out of court restructurings. 

  

Key clients 

All key clients for the firm are confidential. 

 

Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Throughout the research period, the M&A team acted for buyers and sellers in acquisitions. The corporate team at large also represented issuers and borrowers in bond issuances and corporate financings, respectively. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team represented creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings as well as out of court restructurings. 

In terms of lateral moves, the M&A team brought over partner Frederic Tudor from Brown Moskowitz & Kallen.