New York

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Cravath Swaine & Moore

Full-service firm Cravath Swaine & Moore was founded in 1819. Since then, it has emerged as one of United States’ top firms for banking, M&A and debt and equity capital markets. The firm has one office in New York, as well as an international presence with an office in London. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is well known for its outstanding work in M&A, banking and capital markets, specifically debt, equity and high yield. However, it also has notable teams in structured finance and securitization, financial services regulatory and restructuring and insolvency.

The banking team advises borrowers and lenders in bridge, revolving, DIP, term loan and credit facilities, acquisition financing and ABLs.

In debt capital markets work the firm represents both issuers and underwriters in high value corporate and sovereign bond offerings. It also advises on a plethora of high yield bond offerings, representing largely underwriters and initial purchasers.

On the equity side the firm again represents both issuers and underwriters in public spin offs, investments, share offerings, secondary offerings and IPOs. 

In M&A the firm represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers across all industries in mergers, joint ventures and acquisition related matters.

The restructuring and insolvency team can represent all sides, but mostly advises debtors and lenders in billion-dollar Chapter 11 cases.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Disney, Occidental Petroleum, Barrick Gold, Viacom, IBM, Shell International Finance, Hasbro, Novartis, CyrusOne, Transdigm, PG&E, Citigroup Global Markets, and Bank of America.

 

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

Throughout the research period the banking team equally represented borrowers and lenders in many types of financing, but especially credit facilities.

The debt capital markets practice represented an even mix of issuers and underwriters in billion dollar corporate bond offerings. It also worked on a sovereign bond issuance.

In high yield transactions the team represented largely underwriters and initial purchasers in 144A/Reg S senior notes offerings.

In equity capital markets work the team advised on mostly primary and secondary share offerings. Many of these share offerings were through an at-the-market program.

The M&A team represented high profile clients in billion dollar acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. 

The restructuring and insolvency team continued to represent high profile debtors and lenders in some of the country’s largest Chapter 11 cases.

Though the team worked across all industries, some of the more popular ones were entertainment, oil and gas, technology, mining, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.

Partner William Whelan III retired during the research cycle. He practiced debt, equity and high yield capital markets.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Alcon eye care devices business spin-off

CBS / Viacom merger

Disney $85 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox

IBM $20 billion fixed and floating rate bond issue

Occidental Petroleum $57 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum

Reynolds Consumer Products Nasdaq IPO

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Transdigm $3.8 billion high yield bond issue

Xerox $24 billion financing 

Davis Polk & Wardwell

The history of Davis Polk & Wardwell dates back to 1849 with its founding in New York. Over 170 years later, the firm has grown to 10 total offices spanning four continents. In the United States, Davis Polk has offices in New York, Washington DC and the Silicon Valley.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has standout practices in banking, capital markets, regulatory financial services, M&A and restructuring and insolvency.

In addition to its standout work nationwide in banking, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency, the firm does notable work in project finance, hedge funds, registered funds and private equity.

Notably the New York office is one of the best in the region for financial and corporate practice areas.

In regulatory financial services the firm provides advice to banks, trade associations and financial institutions regarding M&A acquisitions, capital markets trading and US monetary legislation such as Dodd-Frank, the Volcker Rule and Basel III. It also advises clients on fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency matters.

The firm represents issuers and underwriters in all areas of capital markets.

On the debt capital markets side, the team advises clients in high value convertible, investment grade and high yield bond offerings.

On the equity capital markets side the firm advises on IPOs, private placements, follow on offerings, secondary offerings, direct listings and common share offerings.

In derivatives and structured products, the team represents clients in the banking and financial institution industry on structured products issuance programs, forwards, options, swaps and margin loan facilities.

The registered funds practice advises banks and financial institutions regarding compliance, structuring and implementation of ETFs, hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity funds and other types of funds.

The M&A team represents strategic acquirers and sellers in high value acquisitions, mergers, privatizations and joint ventures across a wide array of industries. The firm also has a separate private equity practice dedicated to advising private equity firms in acquisitions, sales, investments and portfolio restructurings.

In restructuring and insolvency, the team represents debtors, creditors and trustees in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include HSBC, BNP Paribas, BBVA, Comcast, Texas Instruments, Tyson Foods, Credit Suisse, Natixis, Goldman Sachs, PIMCO, General Electric, Heineken, Purdue Pharma and Citibank.

 

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

During the research period the regulatory financial team continued to advise clients in the banking and financial services industry on acquisitions, capital markets trading and monetary policy compliance. It increasingly advised clients in fintech, cryptocurrency and blockchain matters.

The debt capital markets team continued representing high profile clients in convertible, investment grade and high yield bond issuances. The equity markets team saw a lot of IPOs during the period.

The derivatives and structured products group worked on a lot of margin loan facilities, forward agreements and structured products programs, where it represented major banks and financial institutions.

The registered funds team represented banks and financial institutions regarding the compliance, implementation and structuring of funds, especially ETFs, hedge funds and mutual funds.

The M&A team continued to represent largely strategic acquirers in multimillion and billion dollar acquisitions and mergers. The private equity team saw mostly acquisitions and investments, advising private equity firms on both buy and sell side.

The restructuring and insolvency team advised mostly debtors and creditors in some of the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases in the nation. 

The M&A team saw partner John H. Butler leave for Sidley Austin in 2019. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Charles Schwab $26 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade

Energy Transfer $5.1 billion acquisition of SemGroup

IBM $20 billion 2.8%, 2.85%, 3%, 3.3%, 3.5%, 4.15%, 4.25% bond issue

Purdue Pharma Chapter 11 restructuring

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring 

Uber NYSE IPO

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

Bracewell

Bracewell got its start in Houston, Texas in 1945. Since then, it has become a market leader in Texas in financial and corporate law. The firm has also opened an additional nine offices in three countries.

In the United States, the firm has locations in Austin, Hartford, Dallas, Houston, New York, San Antonio, Seattle and Washington DC. Bracewell has expanded its reach internationally with offices in Dubai and London.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known in Texas, where it has the most offices and a reputation as a top tier financial and corporate practice. However, it also has a notable New York practice. Oil and gas is a big industry for the firm across all practice areas.

The banking practice firm wide represents borrowers and lenders in DIP loans, credit facility agreements, term loan agreements, rescue financing, refinancing, trade receivable securitization facilities and project finance.

The capital markets team represents issuers and underwriters in corporate bond issuances, mortgage bond issuances, green bond issuances private share placements and public share offerings.

In M&A, the firm advised strategic acquirers and sellers in joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. It also represents private equity firms in acquisition and investment matters.

The restructuring and insolvency team advises administrative agents and debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases. It also advises clients in out of court restructuring settlements.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Kinder Morgan, Wells Fargo, MUFG Union Bank, Apache, Altus Midstream, Evercore, Prosperity Bancshares, Western Gas Partners, Global Infrastructure Partners, Crédit Agricole, Energy & Exploration Partners and ENI Petroleum.

 

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

During the research period, the banking team represented a mix of borrowers and lenders in revolving credit facilities mainly.

The capital markets team represented mostly issuers in corporate bond issuances, but also dealt with other types of bond issuances. On the equity side, the team advised clients in public and private share offerings.

In M&A, the team represented a mix of strategic buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions. It also represented a fair amount of private equity firms in acquisitions and investments.

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases, although it did also advise in out of court restructurings. Most of the matters the firm worked on across all practice areas were in the in oil and gas industry.

In terms of lateral moves, the capital markets team brought on partners Catherine Hood, Todd Eckland and of counsel J Anthony Terrell from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. All three are based in the New York office. The restructuring and insolvency team lost partners Kurt Mayr, Jennifer Feldsher and of counsel David Lawton to Morgan Lewis. All three were based in the New York office. In Texas, the real estate team lost Alfred Kyle who left for Reed Smith. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Apache double tranche $1 billion 4.25% and 5.35% bond offering

Energy & Exploration Partners Chapter 11 restructuring

Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion revolving credit facility

McDermott International Chapter 11 restructuring 

Pembina Pipeline $1.546 billion acquisition of the US portion of the Cochin Pipeline

Prosperity Bank / LegacyTexas Financial Group merger

Brown Rudnick

Brown Rudnick is an international firm best known for its work in restructuring and insolvency. It is part of The Law Firm Network and has eight offices across three countries. In the United States, the firm has six offices, each in different states. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The Boston, Massachusetts office has one of the best restructuring and insolvency practices in the region. The firm also has a notable restructuring and insolvency team in New York. The restructuring and insolvency team represents creditors, debtors and trustees in Chapter 11 cases mostly. The team does also work on other insolvency cases and financial restructurings. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Legacy Reserves, Boston Herald, DW Partners and term loan lenders to Pier 1 Imports.

 

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

Over the most recent research period, the restructuring and insolvency team in Massachusetts represented mostly creditors and trustees in some of the largest Chapter 11 cases ongoing currently in the nation. It also represented debtors in financial restructurings. The New York team also represented largely creditors in Chapter 11 cases and financial restructurings.

In terms of lateral movements, the bankruptcy and corporate restructuring practice lost partner Howard Steel, who left to join Goodwin.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Boston Herald Chapter 11

EXCO Resources Chapter 11

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico municipal bankruptcy

Legacy Reserves $1.75 billion Chapter 11 restructuring

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft

Founded in 1792, Cadwalader is one of the oldest law firms in America and the oldest continuing Wall Street practice in the nation. Following its first office in New York, the firm has expanded to two national offices in Washington DC and Charlotte and an international office in London.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Though the firm has experience in a wide variety of financial and corporate practice areas, it is nationally recognised for its outstanding work in structured finance and securitization, largely led by the New York team.

It also has standout teams in regulatory financial services and derivatives. In regulatory financial services, the team represents banks, financial institutions and regulatory bodies in regulatory matters ranging from securities and M&A regulatory advice to assisting with major legislative changes.

In banking work the firm represents both borrowers and lenders in credit facilities, subscription facilities, term loan agreements and acquisition financing.

In capital markets, the firm represents banking and financial institutions on derivatives, ABS, CLO, swaps, repo facilities, exchangeable extendible money market certificates and other types of structured financing products. Clients act as both issuers and underwriters.

The investment funds practice represents national and global financial institutions in fund formations and investments.

In M&A, the firm represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, mergers and financial investments across a multitude of industries.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advises creditors in Chapter 11 restructuring cases.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include the Federal Reserve’s Alternative Reference Rates Committee, the Security Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Coöperatieve Rabobank, BNP Paribas, HealthCare Royalty Partners, Assured Guaranty, MBIA, Nearwater Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mantle Ridge, Hudson Executive Capital, Argonaut Insurance, Morgan Stanley Capital Group, National Founders and Structured Finance Association.

 

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

Over the research period the regulatory financial services team represented private financial institutions with securities and M&A regulatory oversight. Significantly, the team also represented separate governmental regulatory institutions regarding two important monetary legislative changes. The team helped prepare for the LIBOR transition, specifically regarding fallback language for cash products and assisted with capital, liquidity, margin and segregation requirements for CFTC and SEC registered swap dealers as a result of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The banking team represented mostly lenders in a mix of credit facilities, term loan agreements and subscription facilities. Banking and financial services and the healthcare and life sciences industries were big industries for the team.

The capital markets team advised clients in the banking and financial services industry on a wide variety of structured financing and derivatives products. Many of the transactions involved a regulatory component.

The investment funds team represented international financial institutions with fund formations and subsequent investments.

The M&A team represented strategic and private equity clients in acquisitions, sales, mergers and investments. Many of the acquisitions were minority stake acquisitions of companies, especially in the banking and financial services, healthcare and industrials industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team advised creditors in Chapter 11 financial restructurings.

In terms of lateral moves, the regulatory financial services and investment funds teams brought over partner Mike Newell from Norton Rose. The M&A team brought over partner Vivian Maese from Latham & Watkins.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Castleton Commodities International $2.775 billion senior secured working capital facility

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bankruptcy

LendingClub’s $185 million acquisition of Radius Bancorp

Siemens Medical Solutions $1.1 billion acquisition of Corindus Vascular Robotics

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Broad range of expertise readily available and continuous efforts to anticipate our needs as new issues emerge in the financial services industry.  Also able to pair technical legal expertise together with practical knowledge of how financial service firms operate internally in order to provide advice and guidance that is immediately actionable by us.”

 

Capital markets: derivatives

“Cadwalader is very knowledgeable about derivatives regulation, very responsive and the attorneys are quite nice.”

“Runs the entire transactions with a very sure and safe pair of hands. Very commercial and always finds a solution to every problem.”

 

Financial services regulatory

“Cadwalader partners with whom I have worked are very responsive and knowledgeable in their respective practice areas. And they have a good business sense for what is reasonable and practicable.” 

“Scott Cammarn at Cadwalader has previously been an in-house GC.  As a result, his legal advice is practical and implementable, in addition to being technically accurate and sound.  This distinguishes Scott's legal advice from other law firms that provide more theoretical advice on legal interpretation as opposed to in addition providing practical advice and guidance on how to implement legal requirements consistent with industry peers.  In addition, Scott is incredibly accessible and responsive when compared to other similarly situated partners/law firms.  Finally, Cadwalader's rates are very competitive, resulting in an overall package of high-quality legal advice that is provided in a timely, efficient and effective manner.”

 

Investment funds

“Expert in the law, practical advice, responsive”

“Responsive, communicative, deep bench of industry knowledge, extensive industry network.”

Restructuring and insolvency

“Very knowledgeable about the law, Ch. 11, courts, etc.”

Cahill Gordon & Reindel

Since the firm’s founding in New York in 1919, Cahill Gordon & Reindel has added offices in Washington DC and London.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a market leader in high yield debt and banking. It In addition to Cahill’s top tier banking and high yield debt practices, it has outstanding investment grade debt and equity capital markets teams. The firm’s New York office has one of the best capital markets teams in the region.

In the banking practice the team represents lenders in various types of credit facility and loan agreements to support acquisition financing, refinancing and other general corporate financing.

In debt capital markets the team represents initial purchasers and underwriters in investment grade and high yield bond issuances.

The equity capital markets team represents administrative agents and underwriters in common, preferred and secondary share offerings.

The M&A team represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, joint ventures, spin offs and company formations.

The restructuring and insolvency team, led by partners Joel Levitin and Richard Stieglitz Jr, represent creditors, administrative agents and debtors in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring cases.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Citibank, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Securities, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Securities, Gaming & Leisure Properties, BMO Capital Markets, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Jefferies, Envigo International Holdings, ICON, S&P Global, Falcon Investment Advisors, 1-800-Flowers and Kawa Capital Management.

 

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

In the most recent research period the banking team represented lead arrangers in lending transactions. Most of the financing was related to general corporate financing, acquisition financing or refinancing of credit facilities and term loans.

The capital markets team on both the debt and equity sided advised largely underwriters in investment grade bond issuances, high yield bond issuances and common share offerings. The equity capital markets team also advised on a lot of at-the-market equity programs.

The M&A team acted mostly on the buy side of strategic acquisitions. It also assisted in joint ventures, spin offs and company formations.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly creditors and administrative and collateral agents in Chapter 11 and out of court financial restructurings.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

AMC Entertainment $2 billion term loan B credit facility and $225 million revolving credit facility

Equinix Nasdaq primary common stock offering

Fox $6.8 billion quintuple tranche 3.666%, 4.03%, 4.709%, 5.476% and 5.576% bond issuance

Frontier Communications $1.65 billion 8% first lien secured bond offering

iHeart Media Chapter 11 bankruptcy

S&P Global acquisition of 451 Research

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Financial services regulatory

“Honesty.”

 

M&A

“Managed internal and external stakeholders well including a very difficult counterparty.”

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton was formed in 1946 with offices in New York and Washington DC. Since then, it has expanded its global reach to include 13 international offices on three other continents. New York and DC remain the firm’s only American offices.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known for its work in debt and equity capital markets, derivatives and regulatory financial services. It is also highly praised for its commitment to pro-bono work and diversity and inclusion. It has an award winning pro-bono practice and mentoring program.

In addition to its standout practices, the firm does strong work in banking, M&A and private equity. Given its international presence, the firm is able to advise on Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the UK and France law.

The regulatory financial services practice advises banks, financial institutions, fintech companies, trade associations, broker dealers and swap dealers on legislative compliance and securities and M&A transaction compliance. Notably, it has increasingly advised fintech companies on blockchain and virtual currency regulations.

In debt capital markets, the team advises both issuers and underwriters in investment grade corporate bonds, sustainability bonds, green bonds, mortgage bonds, Eurobonds, sovereign bonds and high yield bond offerings.

On the equity capital markets side, the team represents issuers, selling shareholders and underwriters in IPOs, share buybacks, recapitalizations, follow on offerings, public share offerings, private stock placements and secondary offerings. In derivatives, the team advises issuers and underwriters in forwards, swaps and options.

The structured finance team represents issuers, initial purchasers and underwriters in ABL, securitizations, mortgaged backed securities and CLOs.

In investment funds, the team represents investment firms in fund formations and investments.

The M&A team represents strategic buyers and sellers in high value acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures across an array of industries. The firm also works on private equity M&A transactions through the private equity practice, which also represents firms in recapitalizations and investments.

The restructuring and insolvency team acts for creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, international bankruptcy cases, and Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings. The project finance team is active in the ports, power, infrastructure, oil and gas and telecommunication industries, where it represents lenders and borrowers.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Starbucks, Verizon, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Vista Oil & Gas, MercadoLibre, True Digital, Commerzbank, Owl Rock Capital, Goldman Sachs, TPG, KKR, International Flavors & Fragrances, Alphabet, ESL Investments, Warburg Pincus, Venezuela Creditors Committee, Geoffrey, the Puerto Rico P3A, BlackRock, 

 

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

During the research period the regulatory financial services advised a range of banking and non-banking institutions in transactional securities and M&A compliance, as well as compliance with regulations including the Volcker Rule, Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III and the Investment Advisers Act. 

The project finance team represented mostly lenders in transactions. Many of the transactions were connected to acquisition financing of a project and many of the projects were in the infrastructure and renewable energy industries.

The debt capital markets team advised a mix of issuers and underwriters in bond issuances of varying types, the most being investment grade corporate bonds and high yield corporate bonds. 

The equity capital markets practice saw a lot of IPOs, representing issuers, selling shareholders and underwriters.

The derivatives team also advised a mix of issuers and underwriters, but regarding mostly swap and forwards derivatives.

The structured finance team dealt largely with CLO’s, advising clients on all sides.

The investment funds team continued to represent investment firms in an equity mix of fund formations and investments.

The M&A team represented strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. The transactions were mostly in the billion-dollar range.

The private equity team also represented clients on the buy and sell side in billion dollar acquisitions and mergers. It also worked on investments and recapitalizations.

The restructuring and insolvency team advised mostly creditors in some of the largest ongoing bankruptcy cases in the world. It also worked on numerous out of court financial restructurings. 

Regarding lateral moves, capital markets partner Pamela Marcogliese left the firm for Freshfields. Structured finance partner Paul St. Lawrence joined Morgan Lewis. The M&A lost partners Ethan Klingsberg and Paul Tiger, the latter of whom also specializes in private equity, who left for Freshfields. In restructuring and insolvency, partner James Bromley moved to Sullivan & Cromwell and partner Lee Buchheit retired.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

CBS / Viacom merger

Citigroup €1 billion fixed rate green bond issuance

Owl Rock $595 million CLO I and $396.6 million CLO II

PG&E Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Pinterest NYSE IPO

TPG Partners VIII and TPG Healthcare Partners $14.2 billion fund formation

Clifford Chance

The most current iteration of Clifford Chance came about in 1987 after the merger of Coward Chance and Clifford Turner. Today, the full service firm has 32 offices spread throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. In the United States the firm has offices in New York and Washington DC.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a dedicated team to aviation financing and so is quite prevalent in the aviation industry. It is also prevalent in the real estate industry, especially in the New York office, given the firm’s dedicated real estate practice. The practice represents REITs, real estate developers and real estate investors in acquisition and financing related matters for commercial, industrial and residential properties.

In the banking practice, the firm represents borrowers and lenders in export trade facility, credit facility and term loan agreements. The financing was used for acquisition financing, real estate financing, refinancing, project financing and general corporate financing.

The debt capital markets team represents underwriters and issuers in sovereign bond, investment grade bond, hybrid bond, green bond and high yield bond offerings.

On the equity capital markets side, the team also represents underwriters and issuers in secondary issuances, share offerings, at-the-market programs and tender offers.

In the derivatives practice, the firm represents issuers in forwards, swaps and other derivatives. The structured finance and securitization team represents borrowers and lenders in CLOs, mortgage backed securitizations and receivables backed securitizations.

The M&A team represents strategic and private equity acquirers and sellers in acquisitions, joint ventures and mergers across many industries.

The project development practice advises developers and financial sponsors in the oil and gas, infrastructure, energy and port industries. Many of these projects are cross border and based in outside jurisdictions.

In restructuring and insolvency, the team represents administrative agents, trustees and debtors in international financial restructurings and US based Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Deutsche Bank, Global Jet Capital, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Scotia Capital, UBS, Caixa Econômica Federal, SIFMA, Nomura Global Financial Products, AIG Asset Management, Crédit Agricole, LATAM Airlines, HSBC, Symrise, Pfizer, Stockbridge Capital, Madison International Realty, IDB Invest, IFC, Mizuho Bank and Siemens.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team represented mostly borrowers in acquisition financing, project financing, real estate financing and general corporate financing. It was also very active in the aviation and real estate industries.

The debt capital markets team represented a mix of issuers and underwriters in a mix of investment grade bonds, high yield bonds and green bonds. It also advised mostly Latin American countries in sovereign bonds.

The equity capital markets team also represented a mix of underwriters and issuers mostly in common stock offerings and at-the-market equity programs.

The derivatives team represented banking and non-banking institutions in forwards, swaps and other derivative transactions. Many of the transactions were regulatory based.

The structured finance and securitizations team largely worked on mortgaged backed securities. 

The M&A team was active in representing clients in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures especially in the real estate, industrials, pharmaceuticals and aviation industries. It acted on all sides of acquisitions.

In project development, the team represented largely financial sponsors in toll road infrastructure, renewable energy and port projects. Many of the projects were based in Latin America.

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented clients in Latin America in financial restructuring cases.

In terms of lateral moves, the restructuring and insolvency team brought over partner Michelle McGreal from Davis Polk. She also is has a specialty in banking and finance. The M&A team brought over partner Michael Bonsignore from Akin Gump. In the structured finance practice, partners James Cotins and Matthew Lyons joined from Alston & Bird. The banking and finance team lost partner Jay Gavigan, who left for Morrison & Foerster. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Bayview Opportunity Master Fund Iva Trust 2019-SBR1 $135 million securitization

CPA 17 / WP Carey merger

Glencore $14.43 billion revolving credit facility refinancing

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital $350 million 5.25% green bond issue

Neoen / Altiplanto 208MWp solar power plant

Pfizer joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline

Republic of Seychelles $15 million 6.5% sovereign bond issue

Waypoint Leasing Chapter 11 restructuring

Debevoise & Plimpton

Headquartered in New York, Debevoise & Plimpton is a global firm with 10 offices spanning three continents. In the United States, the firm has offices in New York and Washington DC.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a leading firm in private equity, with outstanding M&A, regulatory financial services and banking practices. The firm also does great work in registered funds, restructuring and insolvency, M&A, regulatory financial services and capital markets. 

In regulatory financial services the firm advises trade associations, banks and financial institutions in compliance related to acquisitions, divestments and monetary regulations such as Basel IV and the Volcker Rule.

In banking the team represents borrowers and lenders in refinancing and acquisition finance transactions.

The capital markets team advises clients on both the issuer and underwriter side. In debt capital markets, the team represents clients in investment grade bonds, high yield bonds and recapitalizations.

The equity capital markets team sees tender offers, secondary offerings and common share offerings.

In the investment funds practice, the firm represents private equity firms in fund formations. In the private equity practice, the firm advises private equity firms in high value buy and sell side acquisition related matters.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Financial Services Forum, American Express, The Carlyle Group, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, Westpac Banking Corporation, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Gogo, Warner Music Group, AXA, Brighthouse Financial, KKR, Credit Suisse, Blackston and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

 

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

Over the most recent research period the regulatory financial services team advised clients in the banking and financial institutions industry largely regarding acquisition compliance and adherence to monetary policy such as Basel IV (which has yet to be implemented) and the Volcker Rule.

The banking team was largely on the borrower side in refinancing and acquisition financing transactions.

The capital markets team advised largely issuers in investment grade and high yield bond offerings on the debt side and tender offers and secondary offerings on the equity side. Many of these transactions were related to acquisitions.

The investment funds group continued to advise private equity firms in billion dollar fund formations.

The private equity team represents private equity firms on both the buy and sell side of acquisitions, largely in the infrastructure, technology, healthcare and construction industries. 

Regarding lateral moves, the regulatory financial services team lost partner Matthew Biben, who left for Gibson Dunn. Counsels Alison Hashmall and Will Giles joined from Davis Polk and the Federal Reserve Board, respectively. The banking team added partner Sunil Savkar, who joined from Ropes & Gray. In investment funds, the team added partner Marc Ponchoine from Allen & Overy and partners Lorna Bowen, Andrew Ford and Justin Storms from Linklaters. The restructuring practice saw Sidney Levinson join as the new co-chair of the practice. Levinson joins from Jones Day. Savkar, Bowen, Ford, Storms, Levinson and Ponchione all have an additional expertise in private equity.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

RSC Insurance Brokerage $1.6 billion unitranche loan financing

Westpac Banking double tranche $2.25 billion 4.11% and 4.421% subordinated bond offering

Gogo $905 million 9.875% senior secured bond offering and $20 million 9.875 tack on senior secured bond offering

AXA ad AXA Equitable Holdings bought deal secondary sale to Morgan Stanley and Barclays

EIG Global Energy Fund XVII $3.1 billion global hybrid debt and structured equity fund formation

American Tower $1.85 billion acquisition of Eaton Towers

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets: debt

“Very responsive (even given the US-UK time difference), solid partners with us and provides useful advice from their capital markets expertise.”

 

Private equity

“Massive brain power. Valuable experience and expertise. Timeliness/availability.”

Dechert

International firm Dechert got its start in Philadelphia but the New York office is its largest in the United States. The firm also has offices in Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Hartford, Los Angeles, Orange County, , Princeton, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. This growth stems from decades of expansion, with the most current version of the firm’s name dating back to 1962. Globally the firm has 26 offices over three continents. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

Though the firm is active across financial and corporate law, its funds work has generated the most recognition as a top tier practice.

In addition to its outstanding funds practice, Dechert also has notable restructuring and insolvency, private equity, hedge fund, M&A, capital markets, regulatory financial services and banking practices. Markedly, its M&A team in the Philadelphia office is a market leader in Pennsylvania.

The banking practice represents borrowers and lenders in credit facilities and term loans associate with project financing, acquisition financing and general corporate financing. The team is very prevalent in the real estate and banking and finance industries.

The capital markets team operates in the debt, equity and securitizations space, where the team represents issuers and underwriters. The debt capital markets team advises clients in convertible, investment grade and high yield bond issuances. The equity capital markets team advises on IPOs, at-the-market programs, public offerings and private share placements.In securitizations the firm advises on mortgage backed securitizations, CLOs and CMBS matters. 

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers in asset acquisitions, company acquisitions, privatizations and mergers.

In addition to acquisitions, the private equity team advises private equity clients in company investments. The restructuring and insolvency team advises creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, Chapter 11 and 15 cases.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Citigroup Global Markets Realty, Freddie Mac, Crown Holdings, B&G Foods, Amkor Technology, FS KKR Capital, Bain Capital Specialty Finance, Main Street Capital, Credit Suisse, Starwood Property Trust, GIC, Covis Pharma, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, Purdue Pharma and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team represented largely borrowers in acquisition financing. A large portion of the transactions were in the real estate and banking and finance industries.

The debt capital markets team represented a mix of issuers and underwriters in investment grade and high yield bond issuances.

The equity capital markets team advised largely issuers in common share offerings and at-the-market programs. It was also involved in a couple of IPOs.

In securitizations, the team worked mostly on CLOs and mortgage backed securitization. The M&A team represented mostly private equity acquirers and sellers in acquisitions. It also worked on several mergers. Life science and banking and financial services were big industries for the firm. The private equity team worked on the private equity M&A deals as well as multiple company investments. The restructuring and insolvency team largely participated in financial restructurings, both out of court and as part of Chapter 11 or 15 proceedings.

Regarding lateral moves, the banking team brought over partner Lindsay Flora from Kirkland & Ellis and partner Barbara Shachnow from Sullivan & Worcester. Flora has a specialty in leveraged financing and private equity. The firm also brought over partners Omoz Osayimwese from Schulte Roth & Zabel and Tricia Lee from K&L Gates, who both specialize in private funds and private equity. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

B&G Foods $550 million 5.25% bond issue

Crown Holdings $3.2 billion financing

Bain Capital Specialty Finance NYSE IPO

London Stock Exchange Group acquisition of Refinitiv

Kronos Incorporated / Ultimate Software merger

Irish Bank Resolution Chapter 15 restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets: debt

“Responsive, pragmatic, business-minded.”

 

Capital markets: structured finance and securitization

“Exceptionally knowledgeable. Fast. Responsive.”

“Creative, current, disciplined, dedicated.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Understands complex, multi-jurisdictional cases that are litigation intensive.”

“Dechert has a highly qualified team in many different countries, with an incredible ability to provide fast answers to clients’ needs.”

“Timely guidance, excellent insight, overall helpful on strategy.”

“Strong research and legal skills. Provides sound and practical strategic advice.”

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

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.”

Kasowitz Benson Torres

Founded in 1993, Kasowitz Benson Torres has since grown to 10 offices in eight states. The firm is headquartered in New York City, where it also has the largest office. Additionally, it has lawyers in Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, San Francisco, the Silicon Valley and Washington DC.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is known for its work in restructuring and insolvency and real estate. In real estate, the firm represents real estate developers, investors, lenders, REITs and property owners in matters including construction financing, joint ventures, acquisitions, mortgage loans, refinancing and development. Its clients work on residential, commercial and industrial developments, especially in New York.

In restructuring and insolvency, the team represents debtors, creditors and trustees in financial restructurings, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings among numerous industries.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include GFI Capital, Midtown Equities, Arbor Realty Trust, iStar, Fred’s, the Renco Group, Fairfax Financial Holdings and TPG Capital.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the real estate team represented a large amount of real estate developers and investors in commercial and high-end residential acquisitions. It also participated in some mortgage loan financing.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented a large amount of debtors and lenders in chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization cases. Most of the cases are based in New York. 

The firm also saw departures from restructuring partner Kyung Lee and real estate partners Manny Fernandez and Alberto Delgado, both of whom left for Alvarez & Dias-Silveira.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Essar Steel Chapter 11 bankruptcy

EXCO Resources Chapter 11 bankruptcy

GFI Capital $425 million joint acquisition with Elliot Management for the Parker New York Hotel

iStar $170 million acquisition of Newport Office Center

Toys R Us Chapter 11 bankruptcy

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Real estate

“Very responsive, knowledgeable, great value with high attentiveness. Owner’s mindset with pragmatic suggestions and solutions.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“They are a brilliant, aggressive counsel who understands the facts, situation, law and the levers to pull for their clients. Truly exceptional.”

King & Spalding

Since its founding 135 years ago in 1885, King & Spalding has grown to 22 offices across three continents. In the United States, the firm has 11 offices, with its first office in Atlanta serving as the firm’s headquarters.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a market leader in corporate law in Georgia, but also has a strong presence in North Carolina. Firm wide, it has an especially strong oil and gas project development practice.

In banking work the firm represents borrowers and lenders in credit facilities and term loans for refinancing, acquisition financing and general corporate financing.

The capital markets team has experience on the debt side representing both issuers and underwriters in investment grade, convertible and high yield bond issuances.

The team also has experience in structured finance and securitizations, where it advises underwriters and lenders.

The investment funds team is concentrated globally but within the US, has offices in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington DC.

In M&A the firm advises clients in strategic acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. The team acts on both the buy and sell side. In conjunction with the M&A team, the private equity practice advises private equity firms in buy and sell side acquisitions.

The private equity team is highly regarded with their work in the energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, healthcare and life sciences industries, especially regarding acquisitions.

With the help of the private equity team, it advises REITs, private equity and financial services firms in fund formations.

The restructuring and insolvency practice maintains US teams in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Houston. It represents government entities, debtors and creditors in distressed M&A transactions and Chapter 11 proceedings. In the projects practice, members advise financial sponsors and developers in projects in the oil and gas, infrastructure and energy industries. This includes construction, financing and acquisition.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Crédit Agricole, Citizens Bank, GSO Capital Partners, SunTrust Banks, Total System Services, Carter’s, Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse Securities, RBC Capital Markets, TSYS, Americold Realty Trust, BlueMountain Capital Management, Greystar Real Estate Partners, Prologis, Asana Partners, Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico Debt Recovery Authority, Monitronics, Jack Cooper Investments, Anadarko Petroleum, Bayport Polymers and NextDecade.

 

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

Over the research period, the banking team represented mostly lenders in refinancing, acquisition financing and general corporate financing.

In debt capital markets, the team was mostly on the issuer side for a fairly equal mix of investment grade, convertible and high yield bond issuances.

The investment funds practice, with the assistance of the private equity practice, advised private equity firms, REITs and asset management firms in fund formations.

The M&A and private equity teams worked together to advise private equity and strategic acquisitions and mergers. Energy, oil and gas, infrastructure were big industries for the practice. 

The restructuring and insolvency team worked largely on Chapter 11 proceedings, representing lenders. The project practice advised sponsors largely in oil and gas projects, specifically regarding LNGs. 

In terms of lateral moves, partners Justin Riess, Chris Molan and Jessica Standera left the banking practice. Partner Jonathan Arkins joined the structured finance and securitization team from Arnold & Porter. The investment funds practice recruited partner Conrad Axelrod from Schulte Roth & Zabel and private equity partners Christopher Chan and Christopher Gandia from Willkie Farr, Kate Luarasi from Proskauer Rose, Bryan McGee and Jeff Wolf Schatz from Simpson Thacher and Townshine Wu from Wachtell Lipton. The corporate and M&A practice brought over partners Erik Belenky from Jones Day and Larry Yanowitch, Tom Knox, Charles Katz and Jeremy Schropp from Morrison & Foerster. In projects, the firm brought over partners Ingrid Myers from Morgan Lewis, David Lang from Baker McKenzie, Alan Noskow from Manatt Phelps & Phillips and William Gordon who moved from an in-house position. The team also saw the retirement of partner Ken Culotta and departure of partners Vera de Gyarfas who moved to Mayer Brown and Dan Rogers who moved in-house. The restructuring and insolvency team recruited partners Matthew Warren and Roger Schwartz from Latham & Watkins, Andrew Brereton from Clifford Chance and Peter Montoni who came from in-house. Partners Jeffrey Pawlitz and Bradley Giordano left the firm. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Americold Realty Trust $1.24 billion acquisition of Cloverleaf Cold Storage

Atmos Energy $1.5 billion refinancing

BB&T / SunTrust Banks merger

Bayport Polymers $1.2 billion acquisition of Borstar polyethylene plant

Dine Brands Global $225 million and $1.3 billion bond issue

Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico Title VI restructuring

Greystar Real Estate Partners X

UPS $1.5 billion 2.2%, 2.5%, 3.4% triple tranche bond issue

Kirkland & Ellis

Founded in 1909 in Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis is a leading US and international firm with a network of 15 offices across spanning three continents.

The firm has its largest concentration of offices in its native jurisdiction with branches in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Washington DC. 

 

Focusses/specialisms

In transactional work the firm is renowned – both domestically and abroad – for its expertise in advising financial sponsors on leveraged finance borrowing, high yield debt issues and acquisitions and exits. Financial restructuring expertise in general is another specialism. The firm practices and client base in the US are, however, more diversified than this.

The banking team represents borrowers in acquisition financing, project financing, liability management, financial restructuring, DIP lending, working capital financing, revolver loan agreements and term loan agreements.

In project finance and project development, the team has expertise in the oil and gas and energy industries, where it often advises developers.

In capital markets work the firm advises both issuers and underwriters in corporate bond offerings, high yield bond offerings, IPOs, share offerings and follow on offerings.

The M&A team represents strategic and private equity buyers and sellers in billion dollar transactions across all industries. In fact, the firm has one of the largest private equity practice areas in the country, where the team represents private equity clients in acquisitions and investments.

The restructuring and insolvency group advises debtors in financial restructurings and Chpter 11 cases.

Private equity is a core sector of activity and expertise for the firm and it has notable clients in the oil and gas and banking industries.

Geographically, at a state level, the firm’s offices in California, Illinois, New York and Texas are comparably strong and each has teams at, or close to, the top of the markets in their areas. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include AbbVie, Bain Capital Private Equity, Indigo Natural Resources, Citigroup Global Markets, Boeing, Grubhub, Goldman Sachs, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, GlaxoSmithKline, KKR, Blackstone, Forever 21 and iHeartMedia.

 

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

Over the research period the firm was active across banking and finance, capital markets, M&A and private equity and restructuring. 

The banking team worked on a high amount of acquisition finance transactions across numerous industries including pharmaceuticals, banking and financial services and technology. It mostly represented borrowers in these matters.

The capital markets team represented mostly issuers in corporate bond offerings, high yield bond offerings, IPOs and share offerings across a diverse number of industries.

The M&A team represented strategic and private equity buyers and sellers in billion-dollar acquisition and merger related matters. It also continued to represent private equity clients in investments.

The project finance team concentrated on renewable energy projects, especially solar energy, and natural gas projects. Similarly the project development team was active in the oil and gas industry, advising clients primarily in midstream infrastructure and development on acquisitions.

The restructuring and insolvency team worked on some of the nation’s largest restructuring and Chapter 11 cases.

The firm made a number of new hires during the research period. The capital markets team added partners Pippa Bond and Monica Shilling from Proskauer Rose. Shilling is also experienced in private equity.

The project finance team brought in partners Ginger Collier from Norton Rose, Rustin Brown from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Nathan Santamaria from Linklaters, Brooksany Barrowes from Baker Botts and of counsel Nicholas Gladd from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

The project development team hired partner Debbie Yee from Latham & Watkins. Partners Michael Woronoff, Jonathan Benloulou and Chris Wu joined the firm from Proskauer Rose and partner David Klein joined from Paul Weiss. All four partners specialize in private equity and M&A. 

Another recent new joiner for the M&A team is partner Rajab Abbassi from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. M&A partner William Sorabella left the firm and joined Gibson Dunn.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

AbbVie $83 billion acquisition of Allergan

BC Partners C$5.2 billion acquisition of Rhône Group’s equity interest in Garda World Security

Bristol-Myers Squibb $74 billion acquisition of Celgene

Chewy NYSE IPO

DTE Midstream $2.65 billion acquisition of Indigo Natural Resource’s gathering system and gathering pipeline in the Haynesville shale formation

iHeartMedia Chapter 11 restructuring

Staples $3 billion double tranche 7.5% and 10.75% high yield bond offering

Toys R Us Chapter 11 bankruptcy

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

"Very responsive and practical, with good handle on commercial issues."

 

Private equity

"By far Kirkland's strongest qualities are its subject matter expertise and its willingness to work as hard as is required to get the job done as quickly as possible. They will work around the clock if necessary and generally will do it without being prodded to do so. They have a very strong pulse on the market and are able to provide very specific and accurate feedback when presented with questions."

 

Project finance

"K&E is best in class. Highly commercial and also detail-oriented. They are a tremendous asset."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"The firm is excellent at marketing and has some excellent attorneys."

 

Bill Benitez

"Very accommodating, practical and responsive."

 

Jordan Murray

"Very knowledgeable on subject matter."

 

Rohit Chaudhry

"Best in the business."

Luskin Stern & Eisler

New York based Luskin Stern & Eisler was founded in 1989. It is a boutique firm specialized in restructuring and insolvency and banking. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

Luskin Stern & Eisler is well recognized in banking and restructuring and insolvency, where it maintains its legal offerings. In the banking practice, the firm advises lenders in acquisition financing, refinancing and general corporate financing. The restructuring and insolvency practice acts for creditors in Chapter 11 and 7 proceedings. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include BNP Paribas, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Sony Music Entertainment, Santander, Coöperatieve Rabobank, Brown Brothers Harriman, Viacom, Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board and Société Générale.

 

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

Throughout the research period, the banking team was on the lender side for numerous acquisition financings. The restructuring and insolvency team represented creditors in mostly Chapter 11 proceedings. It did also work on a couple Chapter 7 proceedings, as well as some high profile international bankruptcy cases. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

National Fish and Seafood Chapter 7 restructuring

The Weinstein Companies Chapter 11 restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Tremendous subject matter expertise and highly responsive.”

“Very strong legal advice, excellent drafting of legal briefs and courtroom representation.”

“Practical advice, efficient service, excellent advocacy and great results.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Excellent client service and very deep knowledge and practical application of restructuring process.”

“Boutique firm that provides partnership attention with attendant expertise. Practical and results oriented with the client’s interest in mind.”

“Strategic, thoughtful and knowledgeable about restructuring and bankruptcy. High effective advice at an efficient price.”

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is a large international firm that entered into its current form through three cross-border mergers in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Firstly, in 2002, US firm Mayer Brown & Platt (established in Illinois in 1881) merged with UK firm Rowe & Maw (formed in 1895 in London), then the combined entity merged with Johnson Stokes & Master (opened in 1863 in Hong Kong) in 2007.

Today the firm’s network covers 27 offices spanning three continents. In the US, where the firm has several of its largest branches, it has a presence in six states and teams based in Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

 

Focusses/specialisms

Broadly for work across the US the firm is known for its outstanding work in structured financing and securitisation and in power sector project development but it is active and strong in other areas of financial and corporate transactional work.

In the capital markets area, in addition to the firm’s high quality work in structured finance and securitization and derivatives areas, it also has expertise in investment grade and high yield debt and equity issues. It represents both issuers and underwriters in corporate, green and high yield bonds, CFTC advice, structured bond issuances, index launches, follow on offerings, IPOs, share offerings and ATM offerings.

In M&A the team has experience with reverse mergers, joint ventures, asset sales, as well as public and private acquisitions. It advises private equity and strategic buyers and sellers.

In project the projects space the firm represents developers, project sponsors, borrowers and lenders in project financing and development, and does outstanding work in the energy industry.

The restructuring and insolvency team represents administrative agents, debtors, creditors and trustees in Chapter 11, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, financial restructurings and insolvencies. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia, International Swaps and Derivatives Association, CIBC, BMO Capital Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Nestlé, Prologis, John Hancock Life Insurance, Berkshire Hathaway, Barclays Bank and Deutsche Bank.

 

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

During the research period was most active in the areas of capital markets, M&A, projects and restructuring and insolvency.

The debt capital markets team increased their representation in Canada. Many of their transactions had a Canadian aspect to them and because of this, worked on numerous bail-in note issuances. The team also dealt with a high amount of REIT related senior note offerings.

In the derivatives market the team worked mostly on providing clients with regulatory advice. In equity capital markets the team advised largely underwriters in IPOs.

The structured products team worked mostly on structured notes issuances in the banking and financial services industry, as well as multi-asset index launches.

The M&A team worked on multimillion dollar and billion dollar asset and company acquisitions across a diverse array of industries.

The projects team worked mostly on renewable energy projects, especially wind and solar plants. It advised clients on project acquisition financing, loan and credit facility agreements and bond issuances.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented largely administrative agents and debtors in financial restructurings and Chapter 11 cases. 

The firm made a huge recruitment over the research period. Partner Marlon Paz joined from Seward & Kissel to head the firm’s broker-dealer regulatory and compliance practice area. In capital markets, partner Matthew Kluchenek, who specialises in derivatives, joined from Baker McKenzie. Around the same time, capital markets partner Kirk Tucker left to join Jackson Walker. In project finance, partners Frederick Lark and Elena Rubinov joined from Bracewell, Mark Williams joined from Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Vera de Brito de Gyarfas joined from King & Spalding. They are also partners in the firm’s corporate and M&A practice area, which also brought over partners Kara Baysinger, Stephanie Duchene and Matthew Gaul from Dentons, Paul Chen from DLA Piper, Marc Harrison from Greenberg Traurig, Philip Lau from Locke Lord, James Schell from Skadden and Dale Smith from Bracewell. The restructuring and insolvency practice area brought over partners Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks from DLA Piper, Louis Chiappette from Skadden and Adam Paul from Kirkland & Ellis

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Brookfield Asset Management $4.7 billion acquisition of Oaktree Capital Group

Celeo Redes $365 million private placement financing

GW Pharmaceuticals Nasdaq IPO

Northeastern University public parking facility concession

Starbucks double tranche $2 billion 3.55% and 4.45% bond issue

Weatherford International Chapter 11 bankruptcy

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets : Debt

"Easy to work with as underwriter counsel, responsive and thoughtful. Top lawyer on debt issuances with knowledge of market terms and conditions."

"Knowledge of the company and its business."

"They understand current trends and fully understand the applicable law."

"Very responsive to our requirements and unfailingly attentive to our interests."

"Deep bench of expertise on subject matter, the ability to execute transactions successfully on tight time frames and provide cost effective services."

"Our capital markets and USCP contacts are trusted advisors who are responsive, pragmatic and knowledgeable in the space."

"Very knowledgeable capital markets partners who are practical. They may also charge a little less than the leading NY capital markets law firms."

"They are extremely knowledgeable and have true expertise in debt capital market activities. They are very responsive and great to work with."

 

Capital markets : Derivatives

"Great subject matter expertise and very responsive."

"Subject matter expertise, responsiveness and professionalism."

"Experienced in all aspects of the business (tax, disclosure, regulatory, etc.), familiar with the market and competitors, appropriate pricing and good response time."

 

Capital markets : Equity

"Authoritative advice and willingness to take strong position vis-a-vis other law firms availability of US lawyers for client located in Israel."

"Does what it takes to get the job done. Strong knowledge of capital markets and transactions."

 

Capital markets : Structured finance and securitization

"Extremely knowledgeable about the legal and regulatory aspects of both private equity and 1940 Act Funds Reputation of both lawyer and law firm were valued by various partners to ALTI and led to stronger partnerships."

 

Investment funds

"Consistent high quality work for any topic in several jurisdictions."

 

Private equity

"Very thoughtful and responsive."

 

Anna Pinedo

"Anna is our key lawyer on our account. She is always available, especially in an emergencies. Her advice has been spot on and her team was especially helpful with a $100 million preferred stock capital raise that we did this year."

"Anna's market knowledge, responsiveness and practical advice are very important to my team, and make her one of our most trusted advisors."

"Diligent, highly intelligent, very knowledgeable and attentive."

"Excellent in all areas, always makes herself available."

"Extremely smart and intuitive."

"Has impressive subject matter expertise."

"One of the most innovative and expert thinkers on financial products and solutions that solve unique regulatory challenges. She explains very complex regulatory issues in understandable ways."

 

David Goett

"Great expertise with respect to the taxation of financial products. Ability to understand the complicated math related to derivatives."

 

David Malinger

"Knowledge of our company."

 

Eddie Best

"Very responsive and practical; manages costs well

 

Iliana Kirova

"Very responsive and extremely knowledgeable."

 

Jen Carlson

"Jen is extremely knowledgeable and has great debt capital markets expertise. She is an excellent attorney and great to work with."

 

Juan Pablo Moreno

"Ability to understand and address client concerns in an efficient manner. Strong knowledge of subject area."

 

Lori Pines

"Smart. Thoughtful. Strategic. Responsive. Friendly."

 

Marla Matusic

"Responsive, problem solver."

 

Phyllis Korff

"Phyllis is amazing. She has a depth of experience that is unparalleled. She is thoughtful and responsive and easy to work with."

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

Milbank

Founded in 1866, Milbank has grown to 12 offices worldwide. In the United States, the firm has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. It is a market leader in infrastructure project development, project finance and restructuring and insolvency.

 

Focusses / specialisms

While the firm has an outstanding restructuring and insolvency practice, it is a market leader in the restructuring practice in California. 

Milbank’s banking and capital markets practices includes asset financing, specializing in the aviation industry.

The banking team advises borrowers and lenders in acquisition finance, aircraft leases and warehouse financing.

The debt capital markets team advises underwriters and issuers in investment grade, high yield, convertible, Eurobonds, global and green bond offerings.

The equity capital markets practice also represents underwriters in follow on offerings, common share offerings, preferred share placements and IPOs.

In structured finance and securitizations, the firm is proficient in CLOs and ABS’, representing firms in the banking and financial services industry.

The M&A practice acts on the buy and sell side in private equity and strategic acquisitions. It also participates in other corporate transactions including mergers, private equity investments and joint ventures.

The restructuring and insolvency practice represents creditors and debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcies and out of court financial restructurings.

In addition to the aviation industry, the firm also has a specialty real estate practice. It represents REITs, investors and developers in real estate related transactions including development, financing and acquisitions. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include NCB Capital, Citibank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank Securities, Export Development Canada, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, Santander, RB Capital Markets, TD Securities, Park Square Capital, Marble Point Credit Management, KKR, BlackRock, QIC Global Infrastructure, Mitsui & Co, Apollo Global Management, PIMCO, HPS Investment Partners, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, official committee of unsecured creditors for PG&E, Ambac Assurance and the Raymond Sackler family.

 

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

Over the research period the banking team acted primarily on the borrower side in acquisition and warehouse financings.

The debt capital markets acted on behalf of both issuers and underwriters in investment grade and high yield bond issuances.

The equity capital markets practice acted largely on the underwriters’ side in share offerings.

The structured finance and securitization team represented numerous clients in the banking and financial services industry in CLOs and ABS’. A large portion of ABS matters was in the aviation industry.

In M&A, the firm advised on both the buy and sell side in acquisitions and mergers. Many of its clients were private equity firms or related to project development matters. The restructuring and insolvency team advised largely unsecured creditors in some of the country’s largest ongoing and completed Chapter 11 bankruptcies. 

Regarding lateral moves, partner Patrick Campbell was brought over from Paul Weiss. He practices banking, specialized in the space and transportation industries. Structured finance and securitization partner Elizabeth Hardin retired during this time. Other partners who retired include restructuring practice head Paul Aronzon and corporate partner Alexander Kaye. The corporate and M&A practice saw the arrival of partner Lisa O’Neill, who came over from McDermott Will & Emery.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners equity offering

Eldorado Resorts / Caesars Entertainment merger

JP Lease and Stratos Aircraft Management $554 million JOL Air 2019-1 aircraft lease ABS

Madison Park Funding XXXV $801.25 million CLO

MGM China Holdings $1.5 billion dual tranche 5.375% and 5.875% bond issue

PG&E Chapter 11 proceedings

Verizon $1 billion green bond issue

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Excellent legal expertise.”

“Knowledgeable about the industry, responsive and commercial.”

 

Capital markets: debt

“Milbank does an excellent job of zealously representing the banks and using their expansive market knowledge to provide their clients with the information they need to be as commercial and forward leaning as possible. In turn, this puts Milbank's clients in the best position to execute well for us - essentially, Milbank is particularly adept at creating win-win scenarios for their clients and their clients' clients.”

 

Capital markets: equity

“Responsiveness, proactive engagement and decisive advice.”

 

Capital markets: high yield

“Milbank is very commercial. They are outstanding lawyers, but also understand out business extremely well, which gives them a vantage point to advise not just on legal aspects, but also commercial implications.”

 

Capital markets: structured finance and securitization

“Milbank is top of the market in client service and is my first call for any new market developments.”

“Extremely responsive/timely, ability to think/plan ahead, easy to work with, friendly, motivated, driven to succeed, reliable.”

“Exceptional service and responsiveness, commercial approach to difficult matters, supreme knowledge of latest market trends and precedents.”

“Anticipates issues (i.e. being proactive) and keeps in touch.”

 

Financial services regulatory

“Responsiveness, knowledge.”

 

M&A

“Attention to detail and quality of work product. Highly skilled negotiators. Specialized market knowledge. Responsiveness.”

“Very experienced, organized and thorough; partners are always available and involved in the transaction.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Practical, responsive, great teams.”

“Experienced, commercial, smart.”

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.”

Morrison & Foerster

International firm Morrison & Foerster was founded in San Francisco in 1883. Over 135 years later, the firm has expanded to 17 offices across the US, Europe and Asia. In the United States, the firm has offices in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Northern Virginia, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is active across all financial and corporate practice areas as well as project development, but is best known for its outstanding work in restructuring and insolvency. 

In financial services regulatory the firm acts for companies on compliance matters related to investments and acquisitions. It also is active in fintech and payment related matters.

In derivatives the team advises banks and other companies in financial services on margin loans, options, swaps, futures, forwards and cryptocurrency related transactions. Many of these transactions had a related regulatory component.

The investment funds team represents investment and private equity firms in fund formations. The restructuring and insolvency practice advises creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings. 

The firm has taken great strides in diversity. In addition to being Mansfield Plus certified, it has won numerous awards for their diversity initiatives.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include the Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority Funds, official committee of unsecure creditors of The NORDAM Group, ad hoc group of holders of debt issued or guaranteed by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Visa, Walmart, Cathay Bank, Oxygen, Adara, GoldPoint Partners, GSSG Solar Partners and CGI Merchant Group.

 

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

Within the research period the financial services regulatory team advised clients on compliance issues stemming from acquisitions and financial investments. It was also very active in matters relating to payment agreements and fintech matters.

The derivatives practice advised clients in the banking and financial services industry on OTC products as well as cryptocurrency matters.

The investment funds group continued to act for private equity and investment management clients in fund formations, investing in different industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented groups of creditors across numerous ongoing Chapter 11 proceedings. Energy, especially oil, gas and coal, was a heavily hit industry. Additionally, the team did a lot of work across many of the separate and related proceedings associated with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy.

The corporate finance and capital markets brought over New York based partner Ann Becchina, who specializes in derivatives, from Davis Polk. The Boston office brought over private funds partner Todd Boudreau from Foley & Lardner. In the restructuring and insolvency department, partner Jonathan Levine left for Arnold & Porter.

The year 2019 marked the opening of Morrison & Foerster’s Boston office.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Title III restructuring

Windstream Holdings Chapter 11 restructuring

Nishimura & Asahi

Japanese firm Nishimura & Asahiwas originally founded in 1966 as Nishimura & Partners before adopting its current name following the acquisition in 2007 of the Kokusai Bumon (International Division) of Asahi Law Offices. The firm is among the four largest in the Japanese market with 530 attorneys, Japanese offices in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, and overseas offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, New York, Singapore, Taipei and Yangon. The firm is also present in Jakarta and Hong Kong and is a member of international law firm network, Lex Mundi. Its office in New York opened in 2018. 

 

Focusses/specialisms 

The firm is active in M&A matters representing acquirers and sellers in private and public acquisitions. Several of the deals are private equity related. Additionally, the team works on other corporate matters including strategic investments, mergers and joint ventures. 

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Seven & i Holdings, T&D Holdings, Honda, Koito Manufacturing, Toyota Tsusho, KKR and Japan Post Holdings.  

Norton Rose Fulbright

Full-service firm Norton Rose Fulbright is one of the largest firms in the world, spanning every continent in the world minus Antarctica. Globally the firm has 50 offices. In the United States it has 11 offices spanning seven states, with the largest concentrations in Texas and New York. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

Nationwide Norton Rose has a top project development practice and an exceptional project finance practice. Also of note is the restructuring and insolvency practice in Texas, which is a regional leader in the state. 

In projects, the firm advises developers and financial sponsors in construction and development projects in the energy, infrastructure and oil and gas industries. The projects team also handles project financing, where it represents lenders and borrowers in debt financing and acquisition financing related to projects in the same industries as project development.

The restructuring and insolvency practice is concentrated in New York, Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Washington DC. and Los Angeles. The team advises trustees, creditors, monitors and debtors in Chapter 11 and 15 cases as well as foreign jurisdiction restructurings and insolvencies.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Clearway Energy Group, Energy Transfer Partners, Starwood Energy Group, Crédit Agricole, Bank of America, IFC, Nomura Securities, Investec, FTI Consulting Canada, Delaware Trust Company, JP Morgan Chase Bank, BNY Mellon and NextEra Energy. 

 

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

During the research period the project development team was highly active advising developers in renewable energy projects, especially wind and solar farms. Transactions that took place on the project finance side were in the same industries, with the team being largely on the lender side.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly creditors and trustees in some of the largest bankruptcy proceedings both in the United States and globally. Many of these cases are ongoing.

In terms of lateral moves, in the project development and finance practice, partners Becky Diffen and David Burton joined the firm from McGuire Woods and Mayer Brown, respectively. Partner Michael Marsi left the firm for Orrick. In restructuring and insolvency partner Lawrence Larose left to join Winston & Strawn. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

iHeart Media restructuring 

Odebrecht restructuring

Sabine Pass LNG export terminal

Sears Holdings restructuring

Vineyard Wind 800MW offshore wind farm

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

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

Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray was founded in 1865 in Boston. It has since expanded globally to 11 offices in three continents. In the United States the firm has offices in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington DC. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known for its work in the United States for financial services regulatory, private equity and registered funds’ work.

The firm’s Boston office is market leader in the region in banking, capital markets and M&A. 

In banking the firm represents borrowers and lenders in acquisition financing, refinancing and general corporate financing.

The capital markets practice has experience on both the issuer and underwriter side in debt, equity, derivatives and structured finance and securitizations matters. In the debt capital markets, the firm works on investment grade and high yield bond offerings. On the equity capital markets side, the team has experience in IPOs, share offerings, share buybacks and follow on offerings. In derivatives, the team works on hedges and regulatory CFTC compliance. Structured finance and securitizations work includes ABS’, CLOs and whole business securitizations.

In the investment funds practice the firm primarily works with private equity funds, hedge funds and registered funds in fund formation, investments and fund raising.

The private equity and M&A practices advise clients on the buy and sell side in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures.

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

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Bain Capital, Golden Gate Capital, Genstar Capital, IQVIA, Surgery Partners, Michaels Stores, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Beam Therapeutics, Wright Medical Group, Domino’s Pizza, Planet Fitness, Dunkin’ Brands Group, BlackRock, Paine Schwartz & Partners, CCMP Capital, Ashmore Investment Advisors, Athyrium Capital Management, PIMCO, Baring Private Equity Asia, TPG Capital, Audax Group, Deutsche Bank Securities, PJT Partners, Veeam Software, the Baupost Group, Elliott Management and Marathon Asset Management. 

 

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

In the most recent research period, the banking team largely represented private equity firms on the borrower side in acquisition finance matters.

The debt capital markets team worked on a mix of investment grade and high yield bond offerings, many of which were connected to acquisition financing.

The equity capital markets team worked on a lot of IPOs and follow on offerings, especially in the life sciences industry.

Most of the derivatives work was related to regulatory CFTC compliance.

In structured finance and securitizations, most of the work was related to ABS’ and whole business securitizations.

In investment funds the firm continued assisting with fund formations and investments for leading private equity, hedge and registered funds. 

In M&A and private equity, the teams acted on both the buy and sell side in high value acquisitions. 

The restructuring and insolvency team acted for many creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings and out of court restructurings. Firm wide, technology, healthcare and life sciences were big industries.

Regarding lateral moves the banking team brought over partners Andrea Hwang and Leonard Klingbaum from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Partner Sunil Savkar left to join Debevoise & Plimpton. In private equity, the firm brought over partners Martin Ruhaak, Scott Abramowitz and Carolyn Vardi from Katten Muchin, Kramer Levin and White & Case, respectively. New York partner Cristine Pirro Schwarzman moved to Ropes & Gray from Kirkland & Ellis.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

ArcLight Capital Partners Fund VII

Avantor NYSE IPO

Bain Capital financing for acquisition of US Renal Care

Clarivate Analytics $4.2 billion acquisition of Churchill Capital

Dunkin’ $1.7 billion ABS

IQVIA €720 million 4.875% bond issueLine Corp / Yahoo Japan merger

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett was founded in 1884 in New York, where it still maintains its headquarters. The New York office is also the firm’s largest, but it has since expanded to 10 offices across three continents. In the United States, it also has offices in Houston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and Washington DC. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is best known for its top tier work in banking, debt and equity capital markets, M&A and private equity.

The firm’s New York office is a market leader in financial and corporate practices and the California offices are market leaders in capital markets. 

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

The banking practice represents borrowers and lenders in acquisition financing, refinancing, project financing and general corporate financing. The project financing practice is very active in the oil and gas, infrastructure and energy industries.

The capital markets team advises both issuer and underwriters on matters in the debt, equity, derivatives and securitizations practices. In debt capital markets, the team has expertise in investment grade and high yield bond offerings, as well as green bonds, Eurobonds and convertible bonds. The equity capital markets side often works on IPOs, follow on offerings, share offerings, at-the-market programs, secondary offerings, share buybacks and convertible preferred stock offerings. In derivatives, the team is experienced in margin loans, forwards, options, swaps and concurrent bond hedge and warrants. The structured finance and securitization team works on ABS’ and CLOs.

The firm also has a robust investment funds practice that advises clients in fund acquisitions, fund formations, fund financing and investments.

The firm’s M&A practice contains a private equity practice that represents private equity firms in buy and sell side acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures in addition to equity investments. The M&A practice also advises non private equity firms in high value buy and sell side acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Twenty-First Century Fox, Mars, Credit Suisse, FedEx, HSBC, RBS, Citigroup, BMO Capital Markets, KKR, Alibaba, Barclays, Softbank, Ares Management, Blackstone, Toronto Dominion Bank, Platinum Equity Capital Partners, CVC Capital Partners, First Reserve, PG&E, Microsoft, Dell, AIG Global Investments, MUFG and Energy Capital Partners.

 

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

Within the research period the financial services regulatory group acts for banks and financial institutions in acquisition and investment regulatory compliance. 

The banking practice represented slightly more borrowers than lenders. Most of the matters were related to acquisition financing.

In project finance specifically, there was a lot of work in the oil and gas industry.

The debt capital markets practice worked on both high yield and investment grade bond issuances. It notably dealt with several green bonds and Eurobonds.

The equity capital markets saw a lot of IPOs, convertible preferred stock offerings and common stock offerings. The derivatives practice saw a large amount of concurrent bond hedge and warrant transactions and margin loans. Many of these transactions were related to larger acquisitions. The structured and finance and securitization team represented mostly initial purchasers in ABS matters.

The investment funds practice worked on a lot of fund financing and acquisitions.

The M&A practice worked on many multibillion dollar strategic and private equity acquisitions, acting on the buy and sell side.

New York capital markets partner Maripat Alpuche retired during the research period. In the M&A practice, Los Angeles based partners Gregory Klein and Michael Kaplan joined from Irell & Manella. M&A partners William Curbow, Rich Capelouto and Wilson Neely retired. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

10X Genomics Nasdaq IPO

Alibaba SEHK IPO

Apple €2 billion dual tranche 0% and 0.5% green bond issue

Blackstone $18.7 billion acquisition of US logistics assets

Charles Schwab $26 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade 

London Stock Exchange Group $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv

Refinitiv $6.5 billion term loan B facility

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Banking

“Extraordinary expertise and work ethic.”

 

Capital markets: debt

“Depth and breadth of knowledge in high stakes areas. Client service.”

“Substantial experience ensures up-to-date on current market practices and concessions.”

 

Capital markets: derivatives

“Able to explain difficult concepts in a manageable way.”

 

Capital markets: equity

“Unmatched subject matter/challenge knowledge and expertise, combined with practical business acumen – all delivered in a professional and supportive manner.”

Capital markets: structured finance and securitization

“Very responsive and thorough in understanding out issuance, the securitization market and investor needs/wants.”

 

Investment funds

“Creative, innovative and experts in the 1940 Act.”

“STB has one of the best private fund practice groups. They have great insight into the broader market.”

 

M&A

“Premier work product. Responsive and sophisticated representation.”

 

Private equity

“The firm dependably provides intelligent, efficient and practical legal counsel on extremely complex issues. Their private funds practice particularly has an outstanding sense of how best to incorporate business considerations when providing legal guidance.”

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

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan was founded in 1876 and has since grown to a full service firm operating in four cities in the United States. The firm’s headquarters and largest office is in New York, but it also maintains offices in Los Angeles, Miami and Washington DC.

 

Focusses / specialisms

Nationwide, the firm is best known for its work with registered funds. 

The New York office maintains a notable real estate and restructuring and insolvency practice.

The firm’s banking practice is closely linked to the restructuring and insolvency practice. Many of its financing transactions involve acting on the borrower and lender side for DIP and exit financings. It does also represent lenders and borrowers in acquisition financing and refinancing matters.

The derivatives practice advises banking and financial institutions in the commodities industry on financing, especially related to restructuring and insolvency. In investment funds, the team acts for financial institutions in fund formations.

The M&A practice acts on the buy and sell side in public and private acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. Though it mostly works on strategic acquisitions, it does also participate in private equity acquisitions. 

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

The New York office in particular has a notable real estate practice, where it represents property developers, financiers and REITs in property development, acquisitions, financing and REIT formations. 

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Innovairre Holding, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Payless, Axar Capital Management, Metropolitan Partners, the official committee of unsecured creditors of EP Energy, Merrill Lynch Commodities, Freepoint Commodities, Mirae Asset Securities, Ultimate Sotware, Castleton Commodities, Highlands REIT, Capitol Yards REIT, Samsung SRA Asset Management and Wicker Park Capital Management. 

 

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

During the research period the banking team mostly represented lenders in DIP financing matters connected with out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings, with the help of the restructuring and insolvency practice.

Much of the work done within the derivatives practice also related to restructuring and insolvency matters.

The investment funds team advised clients in fund formations of many different types, but saw a lot related to real estate. In M&A, the practice largely worked on strategic acquisitions.

The real estate practice saw a lot of REIT related matters as well as property financing and acquisitions.

Regarding lateral moves the restructuring and insolvency team brought over partners John Storz and Allison Miller from Brown Rudnick and Akin Gump, respectively. Banking and restructuring partner Lucas Charleston left for Akin Gump. Partner David Olstein, who specializes in ERISA investment fund formation joined the firm from Groom Law Group.

The real estate practice in New York brought over three partners: Michael McCarthy, Elsa Ben Shimon and Jennifer Recine. The partners came from Dorsey & Whitney, Duval & Stachenfeld and Kasowitz Benson Torres, respectively. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Freeport Commodities $2 billion refinancing

Hellman & Friedman $11 billion acquisition of Ultimate Software

Innovairre $250 million refinancing

JP Morgan Asset Management $1.25 billion financing

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Private equity

“Practical, commercial minded.”

Restructuring and insolvency

“Very commercial. Extremely responsive. Tremendous attention to detail. Good people.”

Thompson Hine

Full service business firm Thompson Hine was founded in 1911 in Cleveland. It has since opened offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, New York and Washington DC. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

Looking at the firm’s strengths geographically within the states, it maintains its strongest presence in Ohio, where it is a top tier firm in banking, M&A and restructuring and insolvency. It operates largely in the middle-market, representing public small to mid-size companies, as well as larger private companies.

The banking and finance group represents both lenders and borrowers in term loans, credit facilities and construction financing matters.

The firm’s M&A group represents private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions and mergers in a large variety of industries.

The restructuring and insolvency team represents creditors, trustees and debtors in out of court financial restructurings and Chapter 11 and 7 restructuring and insolvency cases.

In terms of sector focusses, the firm has a well-known dedicated real estate practice. The team represents property developers, managers and investors in all aspects of real estate including development, acquisition, financing and disposition.

The firm’s has been recognised for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, especially regarding equality for LGBTQ and women employees.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Home Depot, KeyCorp, Buckeye Power, Keybank, CIBC, Bank of America, Singleton, NRG Energy, Bay Point Advisors, Pratt & Whitney, Bank of China and Brookfield Asset Management.

 

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

In the research period the firm was active in banking and finance, M&A, real estate and restructuring and insolvency.

The banking and finance team represented both borrowers and lenders in term loans and credit facilities. Some of these transactions related to larger construction financing matters.

The M&A team represented a mix of private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers largely in the life sciences, industrial, automotive, manufacturing and technology industries. It was mostly on the buy side of acquisitions.

The real estate team represents a large amount of developers regarding commercial, residential and industrial property development. Many of these transactions had a relevant M&A portion as well. 

The restructuring and insolvency team largely represented creditors and lenders in out of court financial restructurings. It also worked on a couple of DIP acquisitions.

Recent lateral moves saw the M&A team hire DC partner Owen Pinkerton from Morris Manning & Martin and the restructuring and insolvency team hire partners John Bae and Sean Gordon from Baker Botts and Greenberg Traurig, respectively. Bae is based in New York and Gordon is based in Georgia. The banking and finance practice, meanwhile, recruited New York based senior counsel Tarnetta Jones from Otterbourg. This research period also saw the departure of Georgia based partner John Isbell.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Cintas Corporation No. 2 $1 billion revolving credit facility / $200 million term loan with a $250 million

Centre Lane Partners $104.5 million acquisition of assets of Hollander Sleep Products

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company TireHub / Bridgestone Americas joint venture

NewPark Mall redevelopment

Vinson & Elkins

Vinson & Elkins was founded in Houston in 1917. Over 100 years later, the firm has expanded to 11 offices in three continents. In the United States, the firm has offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, Richmond, San Francisco and Washington DC. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

Vinson & Elkins is a market leader in Texas across all practice areas. Though the firm works across a wide plethora of practice areas, it is particularly skilled in the energy and oil and gas industries and is a top tier firm nationwide in oil and gas project development..

In banking work the team acts on the borrower and lender side in acquisition financing, refinancing, project financing and general working capital financing. 

The capital markets practice advises issuers and underwriters in debt and equity matters. In debt capital markets, the firm is experienced in investment grade and high yield bond issuances. The equity capital markets practice sees work with IPOs, private placements, at-the-market programs, preferred and common share offerings and convertible equity offerings. 

The M&A practice acts on both the buy and sell side in strategic and private equity acquisitions, joint ventures and mergers. The private equity practice assists with private equity acquisitions, but also advises private equity firms in firm investments. 

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

In restructuring and insolvency, the team acts on behalf of debtors and creditors in out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Anadarko Petroleum, Vantage Energy, Earthstone Energy, Tyr Energy, Babson Capital, Gulf Coast Ammonia, Targa Resource Partners, Goldman Sachs, BBVA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Reata Pharmaceuticals, Alpine Income Property Trust, WildHorse Resource Development, TPG Capital Management, Oryx Midstream Services II, Blackstone Infrastructure Fund, Apollo Global Management, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, Tellurian, New Fortress Energy, Noble Energy, PennEnergy Resources, Harvey Gulf International Marine and Cloud Peak Energy.

 

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

Within the research period the firm continued its outstanding work in the oil and gas industries. 

The banking team acted mostly on the borrower side in acquisition financing, refinancing and project financing transactions.

In debt capital markets, the firm worked on more high yield bond offerings than investment grade offerings. The equity capital markets saw several IPOs, in addition to a significant amount of ATM programs and share offerings. In addition to its work in the energy industry, the capital markets team was also particularly active with REITs. 

The M&A team continued its top tier representation of strategic and private equity firms in acquisitions and sales. 

The project development team primarily advised developers in projects in the oil and gas and energy industries, especially concerning LNG infrastructure.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly debtors in the oil and gas industry on out of court restructurings and Chapter 11 proceedings. It also worked on some distressed M&A matters. 

In 2019 the banking team saw partner Trevor Wommack leave for Latham & Watkins. Project finance partner Eamon Nolan joined the firm from Linklaters.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Alpine Income Property Trust NYSE IPO

Anadarko Petroleum $3 billion loan

Chesapeake Energy $3.977 billion acquisition of WildHorse Resource Development 

Harvey Gulf International Marine Chapter 11 restructuring

Targa Resource Partners $1 billion high yield bond issue

Tellurian Driftwood LNG Terminal 

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Since its founding in 1931, Weil Gotshal & Manges has grown to become one of the country’s leading firms in M&A, private equity and restructuring and insolvency. It has also physically grown to 15 offices across three continents. There are eight offices in the United States: Boston, Dallas, Houston, Miami, New York, Princeton, Silicon Valley and Washington DC. The New York office serves as the firm’s headquarters and is also its largest. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a market leader in M&A, private equity and restructuring and insolvency, but it is also well known for its work in the banking, structured finance and securitization and private equity funds practices. Overall it is a strong firm across all financial and corporate practices. 

In regulatory financial services, the firm advises banking and financial institutions in matters related to acquisition and corporate compliance and governance. It also advises clients in monetary policies such the Volcker Rule, Dodd-Frank Act, National Bank Act and International Banking Act. 

In banking, the firm acts on both the borrower and lender side in bridge loans, term loans, working capital facilities and credit facilities regarding acquisition financing, refinancing and DIP financing. 

In capital markets, the firm advises issuers and underwriters alike in debt, equity and securitization related matters. In debt capital markets, the capital markets tea advises clients in investment grade and high yield bond offerings. On the equity side, the firm works on transactions related to tender offers, share offerings, secondary offerings and IPOs.

In structured finance and securitizations, the team advises clients in ABS offerings and CLOs. Many of these transactions on all sides of capital markets were used as a form of acquisition financing. 

The M&A practice acts on the buy and sell side in high value strategic and private equity acquisitions.

The firm has a strong private equity practice that advises private equity firms in fund formations and acquisitions. 

Additionally, the New York office has so much experience in the real estate industry that it has its own practice dedicated to advising clients related to development, financing and REITs in any matter regarding real estate. This includes acquisitions, management agreements, financing, development and related aspects of Chapter 11 proceedings. 

Weil prides itself on its commitment to gender diversity, talent management and innovation. Most notably, it has an incredibly strong work-life balance as recognized through numerous accolades.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Citi, JP Morgan, Johnson & Johnson, Campbell Soup, Morgan Stanley, Brookfield Property REIT, Eli Lilly, Advent International, Ceridian HCM Holding, Guggenheim Securities, Atalaya Capital Management, Hertz, Genstar Capital, Brookfield Asset Management, Atlas Partners, Softbank, Willis Towers Watson and Total.

 

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

Over the research period, the banking team advised a mix of borrowers and lenders in high value acquisition financing and refinancing matters. It also worked on a couple of DIP financing matters related to larger Chapter 11 proceedings. 

The debt capital markets saw a lot of investment grade bond issuances used for acquisition financing. 

In equity capital markets, the team worked on mostly IPOs and secondary offerings.

The structured finance and securitization practice saw more ABS’, but also dealt with CLOs.

In M&A, the team continued to represent clients in high value acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. 

The private equity practice advised private equity firms in billion dollar fund formations as well as buy and sell side acquisitions.

In terms of lateral moves, the Houston office brought over private equity partner Jeff Malonson from King & Spalding. The New York office brought over real estate partner Evan Levy from Skadden.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Brookfield $13.2 billion acquisition of Johnson Controls’ Power Solutions

Brookfield Infrastructure Fund IV $20 billion fund formation

Capital One $9 billion acquisition of Walmart’s credit card portfolio

Ford Motor Company $16 billion financing

Hasbro $1 billion common share offering

Jack in the Box $1.3 billion ABS

Occidental Petroleum $13 billion fixed and floating rate bond offering

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets: structured finance and securitization

“High partner involvement. Well integrated across global offices. Strong associates.”

 

Investment funds

“Weil consistently demonstrates a deep and sincere commitment to client service. They treat our problems as their problems and work together with us as a team to solve them.”

 

M&A

“Excellent work ethic, efficient, great advice and execution.”

“I appreciate the small, consistent, dedicated core team. Very responsive and engaged.”

“The firm is collaborative, accessible and best in class. Single points of contact provide comprehensive advice in connection with issues that are practical and business efficient and thoughtful – facilitation is the focus.”

“Highly qualified legal professions who bring deep relevant experience in practice areas. Teams assigned are strong and appropriate for projects.”

“Very prompt turnaround, strong commercial acumen.”

“The Team at Weil are coordinated, available, practical and focused on delivering an end to end solution when issues arrive.  We primarily deal with one key advisor in connection with an issue who coordinates with the Weil Team to provide coordinated and complete advice in connection with issues.  They are best in class attorneys that make it a priority to learn and understand the business and its priorities to work effectively to help us achieve our goals.”

“Weil (particularly Craig Adas) makes a huge effort to know us well, to know what issues are most important to us when we acquire a company or engage in JV discussions, etc. Craig does an excellent job helping us focus on the issues that really matter and not wasting time on things that don't (he is not into winning deal points just to win). Weil's position in the market and deal volume also help us ensure we don't poison a deal by taking off market positions--they know the tech M&A market very well.”

 

Private equity

“Market leaders. Industry knowledge. Efficient team and service structure. Good at planning and strategy and making process efficient including working on tight deadlines.”

“Subject matter expertise, responsiveness, practical advice.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Completeness of advice, legal actions, setting up negotiations and new financing.”

Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Founded in 1888 in New York, Willkie Farr & Gallagher is best known for its work in private equity and investment funds, especially regarding M&A. The firm has also since expanded to 12 offices across the United States and Europe, with six of those offices being in the United States. The New York office remains the hub for the firm’s operations and is its largest office. 

 

Focusses / specialisms

In addition to its strengths in private equity, registered funds and hedge funds, the firm also does notable work in banking and restructuring and insolvency. 

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

In M&A, the practice acts on both the buy and sell side in private equity and strategic acquisitions, mergers, privatizations and joint ventures. The team most often acts for private equity firms in acquisition matters. The firm also has a private equity team that works on acquisitions, privatizations, recapitalizations and financial investments. 

In the restructuring and insolvency practice, the firm represents creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, Chapter 11 proceedings and distressed M&A matters.

 

Key clients

Many, but not all, of Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s clients are private equity firms. Key clients for the firm include FIS, Insight Partners, CenturyLink, Genstar Capital, HealthEquity, Centerview Partners, Colony Capital, AIG, Aquiline Capital Partners, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Aralez Pharmaceuticals, Glansaol Holdings and Brookfield Business Partners. 

 

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

Over the research period, the banking practice acted largely on the borrower side in acquisition finance related transactions. In M&A, the team worked on numerous high value acquisitions on the buy and sell side. 

In both banking and M&A, many of the clients the firm represented were private equity firms. The private equity team assisted the M&A on matters regarding private equity acquisitions. It also worked on some financial transactions including privatizations and recapitalizations. 

The restructuring and insolvency team advised a mix of creditors and debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings and out of court restructurings. 

Regarding lateral hires and departures, banking partners Leonardo Klingbaum and Andrea Hwang left for Ropes & Gray. Additionally, partner Michael Zinder retired. In the M&A practice, partner Claire James was recruited from Kirkland & Ellis. Partner Craig Menden, who specializes in private equity, joined the firm from Cooley. The restructuring and insolvency practice brought over partner Jeffrey Pawlitz from King & Spalding. 

The year 2019 also saw the opening of the firm’s San Francisco office. 

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

FIS / Worldpay merger

Hudson’s Bay Company $1.4 billion privatization

Mylan $12 billion merger with Upjohn

PG&E Chapter 11 proceedings