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United States > Finance > Capital markets: global offerings > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: global offerings - advice to corporates
  2. Capital markets: global offerings - advice to financial institutions
  3. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • Manuel Garciadiaz - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
    • Jeffrey Karpf - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
    • Marcelo Mottesi - Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

With 16 offices worldwide, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is an undoubted global force in the capital markets arena and advises an extensive client roster both on the issuer and underwriter side. In the global high-yield sphere, the highly regarded team has a particular strong standing in Latin America; Francesca Odell recently assisted Brazilian energy corporation Petrobras with a $2.5bn SEC-registered offering of guaranteed senior notes. This deal represented the largest century bond offering to date, as well as the first by a Brazilian issuer. In other high-yield work, the group advised several international banks as initial purchasers on a $500m global bond offering by Mexican IT company KIO Networks. On the equity side, Jeffrey Karpf assisted Actavis with the largest acquisition financing securities offering to date, which consisted of $4.1bn worth of ordinary and $4.9bn worth of convertible preferred shares; the proceeds were used to finance parts of its acquisition of UK-based pharmaceutical company Allergan. Adam Brenneman, who is especially active in Latin America matters, made partner. Craig Brod is another name to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Although Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s capital market practice is concentrated solely in the firm’s New York and London offices, the team’s ‘expertise, work ethic and deep bench strength make the firm hard to compete with’. On the corporate side, Craig Arcella who ‘demonstrates a unique balance of sophistication and creativity’ and the ‘very thoughtful and responsive’ Andrew Pitts, acted for AerCap Holdings in three secondary offerings of ordinary shares totaling $4bn and assisted AerCap Ireland as well as AerCap Global Aviation Trust with three Rule 144A/Regulation S senior debt offerings totaling $2.8bn. In other work, William Fogg and Johnny Skumpija advised JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, UBS Investment Bank and other underwriters on the $1.1bn equity offering of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. William Whelan provides ‘excellent legal advice’ and William Rogers* is also recommended. *William Rogers retired from the firm's corporate department in December 2015.

A ‘premier firm for capital markets advice’, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has an impressive track record in assisting its diverse client base with high-profile offerings worldwide. While the practice pays particular attention to Latin America, it is also increasingly active in Canada, Europe, Asia and Israel. Recent highlights for the group include advising Switzerland-based travel retailer Dufry on a $700m Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield debt offering as well as a CHF2.2bn rights offering of approximately 23 million ordinary shares; handling Israel Chemicals’ $800m Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering; and assisting the joint book-running managers with a $165m SEC-registered IPO and NASDAQ listing of the common stock of Channel Islands-based NovoCure. In Latin America-based work, Maurice Blanco advised Telefônica Brasil (Vivo) on its SEC-registered offering of preferred shares worth $5.5bn, which represents the largest equity offering by a Latin American issuer in 2015, while the highly recommended Manuel Garciadiaz acted for Mexican manufacturer Elementia on a $425m Rule 144A/Regulation S notes offering as well as on its $3.9bn Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of ordinary shares. Both attorneys mentioned split their time between the New York and Sao Paulo offices.

World class in all aspects’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is considered by many as an ‘exceptional firm for capital markets advice’, where a ‘deep bench of excellent attorneys’ are ‘always available when you need them’. The US group has particular clout in Latin America; it recently assisted the Republic of Peru with the issuance and sale of €1.1bn of euro-denominated and $1.3bn of dollar denominated global bonds, and also handled Spanish corporation ACI Airport SudAmérica’s $200m Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of senior secured notes due 2032. In another highlight, a cross-border team including Todd Crider and Sao Paulo-based Grenfel Calheiros advised the underwriters in Telefônica Brasil’s $5.5bn equity offering. Backed by its equally strong practices in Hong Kong and Tokyo, the practice is also regularly engaged by the firm’s Asian client base. Richard Fenyes ‘thinks outside the box to solve issues’, Joseph Kaufman’s ‘industry knowledge and practical skills ensure a smooth path to completion’ and Palo Alto-based Kevin Kennedy is ‘always exceptionally well-prepared’. Mark Brod returned to New York from the firm’s London office; all attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s capital markets team assists issuers across a wide array of industries with global offerings related to acquisitions, business expansions and debt restructurings. Some of the many such mandates received in 2015 include Christopher Mann advising the Republic of Paraguay on its Luxembourg Stock Exchange-listed $280m bond offering, and Scott Miller assisting Ferrari, and its parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), with its $982m IPO, which represents the first step in the separation of Ferrari from FCA. On the financial institutions side, the group acted for a consortium of underwriters, including RBC Capital Markets and Scotia Capital among others, on a $1bn SEC-registered offering of global debentures series GM by the Province of Manitoba and also assisted El Salvadoran Banco Agrícola with its $300m Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering. The diverse client roster includes Concordia Healthcare, Ecopetrol, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank. Robert Buckholz and Robert Downes are other names to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York, although the US practice also has capital market experts located in Palo Alto and Los Angeles.

Latham & Watkins LLP is particularly well regarded for its capital market advice to financial institutions, but is equally active on the corporate side for issuers. Leveraging its longstanding experience in equity offerings, the group recently assisted Leerink Partners as underwriters with Switzerland-based Auris Medical Holding’s $25m offering of common shares listed on NASDAQ, and an Asia-US cross-border team led by Shanghai-based Karen Yan advised Baozun on its IPO of 12.7 million American depositary shares, representing 33 million class A ordinary shares listed on NASDAQ. In a European matter, the group assisted Manchester United with its $46m NYSE block trade secondary offering of three million class A ordinary shares. New York-based Marc Jaffe and Washington DC-based Patrick Shannon the US team, which has seen 14 partner promotions since 2014.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s ‘very competent’ capital markets attorneys form ‘one of the strongest Latin America practices around’. Supported by a strong Sao Paulo-office, the team, whose ‘depth permits responsiveness and quality work’, acted for Brazil’s largest reinsurer IRB Brasil in its Sao Paulo Stock Exchange-based $1bn Rule 144A/Regulation S issuance, assisted the initial purchasers with a $150m equity follow-on offering of Brazilian technology company Valid, and advised Credit Suisse and HSBC as underwriters in the $1.5bn notes offering by Ecopetrol. ‘Excellent’ practice head Marcelo Mottesi also acted for Citigroup Global Markets as initial purchaser in the first aircraft-backed enhanced equipment trust certificate (EETC) issued in South America by LATAM Airlines, worth $1bn. Andrew Jánszky is recommended. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Morrison & Foerster LLP is ‘very much in tune with the tone of the markets’, providing ‘a world-class service level’. Headed by the New York-based James Tanenbaum, the capital markets group has strong expertise in advising on cross-border IPOs, private placements and global covered bonds, often acting for Canadian and European clients. Highlights in 2015 included advising Dutch company Mobileye on its $822m follow-on equity offering and assisting Icelandic bank Íslandsbanki with a $750m global medium-term note program update. In Canada-based mandates, the team acted for National Bank of Canada Financial, BNP Paribas Securities and Citigroup Global Markets as lead managers in National Bank of Canada’s $750m covered bond offering, and also advised WR Hambrecht + Co as sole underwriter on the $76m IPO of the British Columbia domiciled company XBiotech.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s ‘terrific’ team is especially lauded for its ‘significant high-yield expertise’ and is considered a ‘particularly strong player in the IPO market’. This was underlined by several major highlight matters in 2015, including advising the underwriters, led by Citigroup, on the $100m London IPO of Georgia Healthcare Group, and assiting Barclays and IKB Deutsche Industriebank as joint lead managers and book-runners with Techniplas’ €135m high-yield bond offering. Other notable matters included handling Celgene’s $8bn offering of five tranches of investment grade unsecured senior notes. Frank Lopez, who ‘has his finger on the pulse of the market’, jointly heads the practice with Julie Allen, who is ‘excellent in every aspect’. Carlos Martinez is particularly well-regarded for his Latin America expertise.

Shearman & Sterling LLP has longstanding experience in acting for underwriters and issuers, and its broad client base in Latin America in particular stands out. Stuart Fleischmann advised Deutsche Bank Securities and JPMorgan as underwriters on a century bond by Petrobras, the first issued to date by a Brazilian entity. Antonia Stolper acted for Citigroup and JPMorgan as lead underwriters in a $1.25bn senior global bond offering by the Republic of Peru, and also advised different lead underwriters on a $1.2bn registered shelf takedown offering of investment grade senior bonds by the Republic of Uruguay. Additionally, Jason Lehner, who splits his time between Toronto and New York, handled the province of Ontario’s $2bn registered shelf takedown of fixed-rate investment grade bonds. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

A ‘trusted adviser’ in capital market matters, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s New York-based practice receives a high volume of diverse work stemming from European, Canadian, Asian and Latin American clients. Dwight Yoo assisted the Coca-Cola Company with the issue of €8.5bn multi-tranche notes, which represented the largest issuance of euro-denominated bonds by a US company to date. In a major high-yield deal, practice co-head Stacy Kanter acted for Ireland-based pharmaceutical company Endo International in a $1.2bn Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering, issued by Endo Limited, Endo Finance and Endo Finco, as well as on another $1.64bn Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering. In a Latin America highlight, Gregory Fernicola assisted CEMEX with a high-yield offering of senior secured notes in two tranches, respectively worth €550m and $750m. The group is also active in the IPO field.

Clifford Chance was particularly active in Latin America-based high-yield matters in 2015. Alex Camacho led advice to the Mexican offshore service provider Offshore Drilling Holding as issuer in a $950m senior notes offering due 2020 placed by Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Santander, and, on the underwriter side, he advised Morgan Stanley in a $300m offering of notes by Grupo IDESA. BNP Paribas, LATAM Airlines, Goldman Sachs and Santander Investment Securities are among the many other recent clients of the team, which is headed by Kathleen Werner and Jon Zonis. Gary Brooks is another key contact.

Dechert LLP’s ‘excellent in-depth knowledge of the global capital markets’ is illustrated by its diverse client base which includes Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and Zealand Pharma. While the ‘well-known and respected attorneyHoward Kleinman, who ‘stands out from the crowd for his capital market expertise’, concentrates on Latin America-based matters, the rest of the team regularly acts for issuers and underwriters in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, with a particular focus on matters related to life sciences. In New York, David Rosenthal, who jointly heads the practice with Boston-based Thomas Friedmann, was recently retained by an underwriting syndicate, led by JMP Securities as sole book-running manager, in a $50m cross-border IPO of ordinary shares listed on NASDAQ by Israel-based Mapi Pharma. In Philadelphia, William Lawlor and Ian Hartman assisted Crown Holdings with a €600m offering of senior unsecured notes due 2025.

Linklaters LLP’s ‘excellent’, ‘knowledgeable and professional’ team fields ‘high-quality attorneys’, including the highly recommended Conrado Tenaglia and Jeffrey Cohen. The group has a significant IPO practice and in one recent such highlight it advised Argentine company Bioceres on its proposed $75m NYSE IPO. In another Latin America-based matter, on the underwriter side this time, Tenaglia led advice to HSBC Securities, JPMorgan Securities, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Pierce, Fenner & Smith as joint book-runners in a $500m offering of notes due 2021. Cohen also led a cross-border team from the firm’s European, Asian and US offices to assist Rabobank Nederland with its issuance of $2.75bn worth of tier 2 subordinated notes, including notes due 2045. Other key clients include BNP Paribas, Abengoa and National Grid.

Paul Hastings LLP significantly bolstered its capital markets team with the arrival of Cathleen McLaughlin, Allen & Overy LLP’s former Latin America practice head. Since joining in March, she has advised on several multimillion-dollar capital markets transactions, most prominently the $2bn SEC-registered dual-tranche bond offering for the Government of Jamaica. Michael Fitzgerald and Arturo Carrillo acted for Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank as underwriters in a $175m follow-on secondary offering of Mexican low-cost airline Volaris and, in an equity matter, San Francisco-based Thomas Pollock assisted BioMarin Pharmaceutical with its underwritten public offering of 9.8 million of common shares, raising $912m. William Schwitter heads the leveraged finance practice from New York, where all attorneys mentioned are based unless otherwise stated.

White & Case LLP’s 2015 workload in the global offerings sphere was dominated by a high number of Israel-related mandates. On the issuer side, New York’s Colin Diamond assisted digital printing company Kornit with its NASDAQ-listed IPO, which raised $73m in net proceeds, and, on the underwriter side, he acted for Barclays Capital, Cowen and Company, Guggenheim Securities and Oppenheimer & Co. in Foamix Pharmaceuticals’ $69m equity offering. In an Australia-based highlight, Diamond advised Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Securities as joint lead book-runners on the public offering and $500m sale of pass-through certificates by Delta Air Lines.

Advice on sovereign bonds is the backbone of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s capital markets practice. New York’s Steven Tepper kept busy in 2015 and assisted the Republic of Turkey with three global debt offerings totaling $4bn, and also acted for Citigroup Global Markets and JPMorgan Securities as underwriters in a $1bn offering of guaranteed notes due 2022 by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The group also continues to be very active in the Latin American market; Neil Goodman led advice to the Republic of Colombia in three SEC-registered global bond issuances worth $4bn, while Whitney Debevoise assisted the Federative Republic of Brazil with the early redemption of its 11.5% global bonds due 2040, worth $1bn. Counsel Arturo Caraballo returned to the firm in August 2015. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s capital markets practice spans the entire spectrum of debt and equity offerings advice, and has a particularly good reputation in the high-yield debt space. In a notable highlight, Matthew Kaplan assisted Westpac Banking as issuer with several transactions, including a $1bn offering of notes due 2018, a $1bn offering of notes due 2020, and a $600m offering of floating-rate notes due 2018; all offerings totaled approximately $7.1bn. Steven Slutzky is another name to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s Daniel Bursky and Stuart Gelfond head the firm’s capital market practice, which is particularly active in cross-border deals on both the issuer and underwriter side. Major highlights of 2015 included handling Irish company Perrigo’s $1.6bn offering of outstanding investment-grade senior notes, and advising Norbord on its $315m offering of high-yield senior secured notes. On the underwriter side, the group acted as counsel to the initial purchasers, led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Goldman Sachs, in SIG Combibloc Holding’s €675m high-yield senior secured notes offering. On the IPO front, Gelfond and Joshua Coleman, who returned to the New York-based team from the firm’s London office, assisted Acasta Enterprises and the underwriters in its Toronto Stock Exchange-listed $403m IPO of class A restricted voting units. Mark Hayek made partner in March 2015.

In 2015, Mayer Brown continued to handle a steady stream of capital market work from Canadian, European and Asian clients. Notable work for underwriters included advising JPMorgan Securities on the issuance of €500m worth of floating-rate notes due 2019 and €600m worth of notes due 2023 by Archer-Daniels-Midland. On the issuer side, Chicago-based practice head Edward Best assisted ACE Limited with its $5.3bn issuance of four tranches of senior notes, respectively due in 2020, 2022, 2026 and 2045, as well as on the issuance of $800m worth of 3.15% senior notes due 2025. Key clients also include TransCanada PipeLines, La Caisse centrale Desjardins du Québec, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has ‘deep knowledge of the mechanics of Canada-US capital markets transactions’ and fields a ‘deep bench of highly effective and specialized partners’, who predominantly focus on high-end issuer work. Andrew Foley, who splits his time between Toronto and New York, recently assisted Canadian Natural Resources on debt offerings totaling $1.2bn, while in a Europe-based deal, global practice head Mark Bergman, who is currently residing in the London office, and Raphael Russo advised Shawbrook on its London IPO, which raised £90m and valued the company at £725m. On the underwriter side, Christopher Cummings acted for Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and RBC in the $151m IPO of common shares by Canadian commerce platform Shopify. Edwin Maynard demonstrates ‘particular strength in acting on the issuer side’. Catherine Goodall and Brian Janson were both promoted to the partnership. All mentioned attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

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