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The major stories in the energy space in 2015 were plummeting oil prices and climate-related issues, which were reinforced by the 2015 Paris Agreement. The former has led to a slowdown of infrastructure work, with the Keystone XL Pipeline being vetoed by President Obama in February 2015, and several wells remaining uncompleted. Upstream and, to a lesser extent, midstream players have been hit hard by the oil price slump. Bank regulators have been scrutinising banks’ energy portfolios, and, for less established upstream and midstream players, conventional financing is much tougher to secure, which has led to a greater reliance on private equity and structured finance. Lawyers have seen an increase in credit-side work, with clients attempting to stimulate capital flow, and near the end of 2015 - when the realisation sank in that low prices would not be leaving quickly - there was an uptick in oil and gas transactions.

There has also been an increase in disputes between participants in joint ventures, who are now trying to get out of long-term supply contracts; several joint ventures have unwound and sold their mineral rights. Insolvency and bankruptcy cases have become increasingly prominent: over 30 oil and gas companies went bankrupt in 2015, largely in the second two quarters. M&A activity is increasingly driven by distress rather than a desire to expand, with an abundance of distressed assets continuing to enter the market. It is an uncertain market indeed; sellers are reluctant to sell too low, but when it comes to energy assets they are very much trapped in a buyer’s market. There has been a rise in asset-bundling to make assets more palatable to private equity firms, which have become instrumental in driving activity in the sector.

The renewables sector, on the other hand, is burgeoning, its development being pushed by many US states. The EPA released a Clean Power Plan together with the Obama Administration, setting targets to reduce carbon dioxide by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030, which will be a boost to the nuclear power sector. California passed a bill targeting 50% renewables by the same year; Hawaii enacted the nation’s first 100% renewable energy standard, to be met by 2045. Coal plants have been retired in force, rendered unviable by low gas prices. With Congress extending the renewable investment tax credit, firms are expecting an increasing number of projects particularly in solar and wind, including a further rise in foreign investment, with more and more hedge funds and private equity firms coming to the market. On the regulatory side, the trend of the FERC focusing on market manipulation matters, such as enforcement issues and investigations, is ongoing.

Environmental work continues to be a very busy area on all fronts. The litigation segment has not seen any major developments in the past year, but law firms did report an increase in CAA and climate change litigation. Firms continue to defend clients in environmental enforcement actions, as well as challenging regulatory pronouncements, with water, hazardous waste, endangered species and air regulations the key drivers of work.

On the environmental regulation side, law firms report an increase in work regarding climate change and CAA due to Obama’s Clean Power Plan, as well as other related regulations such as ozone standards and the recent international Paris Agreement on climate change. Clients are trying to determine the risks that their activities involve. There is also more work in relation to environmental compliance, water rights, waste management and the Superfund program.

Transactional work is handled primarily by the strong New York practices. Firms reported a very busy 2015, with numerous deals with significant environmental ramifications. The improvement of the capital markets has led to increased deal activity, despite the probable environmental challenges. Firms also report an increase in energy-related work.

Healthcare reform remains an important factor in the healthcare insurance industry, which has initiated unprecedented change within the sector. Consolidation continued through 2015, creating significant demand for transactional and regulatory advice. Health insurers have become increasingly active in the M&A space, which has even extended to insurers acquiring service providers. Blue Shield of California’s acquisition of Care1st Health Plan was one of the more notable deals of 2015. Giant of the California market Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP advised Blue Shield of California and Foley & Lardner LLP represented Care1st Health Plan. Centene’s $6.8bn acquisition of Health Net was another notable deal, with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advising Health Net and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP representing Centene.

Data privacy has also become a particularly challenging theme for health insurers and their legal advisers. The data breach at health insurer Anthem in early 2015 shook the industry and led to a more intense focus on data privacy and cybersecurity issues. Government investigations and enforcement actions continue to be a feature of the market.

The life sciences table features firms with strong FDA and related regulatory capabilities and supporting expertise in areas such as product liability and IP litigation. The life sciences sector continues to be subject to rigorous oversight and regulation at federal and state level, and as more regulatory structure is added, life sciences companies have the need not just for specialists with expertise in new legislative, regulatory and industry developments, but also for counselors who understand how the regulations and developments fit within the broader regulatory framework and how they can be practically adapted to common industry practices. M&A activity remains high, and is a key driver of work for most high-profile players, and among the top tier firms, most have been involved in blockbuster deals. Collaborations are also major sources of work, with a recent example being the collaboration between Merck and Pfizer to evaluate the combination of Avelumab and Entinostat in treating ovarian cancer.

Transactional activity in the healthcare sector ballooned in 2015, with an industry move towards consolidation and an increasing interest from private equity investors in this asset class. For top healthcare practices, such as those at McDermott Will & Emery LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP, private equity transactions have become a healthy driver of work and revenue. Hospital consolidation has been a notable theme in recent times, as has mergers between insurers and service providers. Regulatory issues continue to be an important part of the healthcare scene thanks to an increasing number of government investigations and voluntary self-disclosures under the federal anti-kickback and Stark laws. In addition, data privacy and cybersecurity has become a major focus within the healthcare industry, following the highly publicized data breach at health insurer Anthem in 2015.

Consolidation has been the buzzword in the insurance market during a raft of recent insurance company tie-ups, including XL Group’s merger with Catlin Group and Aetna’s merger with Humana. The consolidated market has increased competition for work between law firms providing advice to insurers. However, the opposite could be said for non-contentious insurance practices with M&A-focused practices, which have been busy handling the increased dealflow. Private equity and hedge fund interest in the sector continued to grow this year, notably with international firms (particularly from Asia) investing in the US market. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) continue to generate substantial work for practices with a regulatory focus. Cyber liability is another talking point among firms, given the uncertainties surrounding cyber policies being ironed out through new product development, litigation and new regulations. Asbestos-related litigation continues to be a major theme of work.

After a wave of player disciplinary issues in 2014, the NFL was rocked by the ‘Deflategate’ controversy in 2015, when the New England Patriots were alleged to have tampered with the footballs used in its NFL Playoff game versus the Indianapolis Colts. Quarterback Tom Brady was suspended by the league for four games, a verdict that was upheld by the NFL Commissioner before being overturned in federal court. The NFL concussion lawsuit continues to rumble on, despite a federal judge approving a settlement agreement, as a significant number of the plaintiffs have appealed the agreement. Broadcast agreements continue to be a highly sought area of work and firms have noted a growth in the attraction of US sports globally. The marquee transaction of 2015 was the $850m sale of the Atlanta Hawks to an ownership group led by billionaire Tony Ressler, who had previously fallen short in his bid to acquire the LA Clippers, which was purchased in 2014 by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. While $850m is some way below the $2.1bn Ballmer paid for the Clippers, it is considerably higher than the going-rate for European soccer clubs and may account for US investors’ increased interest in English and Italian sides. Soccer’s popularity on a domestic front also continues to grow and firms have been kept busy with work for new MLS expansion franchises, Atlanta United FC, which is owned by Arthur Blank, and Los Angeles FC, which is headed by Henry Nguyen and includes high-profile investors from the world of sport - notably Magic Johnson and Mia Hamm-Garciaparra - as well as actor Will Ferrell.

Energy: litigation

Index of tables

  1. Energy: litigation
  2. Leading lawyers

Handling litigation for oil and gas companies is the cornerstone of Baker Botts L.L.P.’s longstanding energy practice. The team handles a diverse range of cases for major oil and gas clients, including royalty claims, ‘flaring’ and environmental litigation, lease disputes, title lawsuits, and class actions. The Texas Oil & Gas Association retained co-head Bill Kroger and Jason Newman, both based in Houston, as well as Austin’s Thomas Phillips to challenge the first-ever hydraulic fracturing ban and the drilling moratorium passed by the city of Denton, which Denton subsequently repealed. On behalf of Gazprom and affiliated companies, Washington DC-based co-head Michael Calhoon, Dallas lawyer Van Beckwith and Houston’s Michael Goldberg defeated Texas-based Moncrief Oil International in its suit alleging tortious interference with a joint venture and theft of trade secrets. Amy Pharr Hefley was promoted to the partnership in January 2015.

Texas-based boutique Beck Redden has a ‘strong’ and ‘fabulous’ team of trial and appellate lawyers, which acts for many of the most prominent energy companies as well as individuals. Austin’s Eric Nichols successfully defended ExxonMobil, ExxonMobil Chemical and ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company at trial in a Clean Air Act suit brought by Environment Texas Citizens Lobby and the Sierra Club alleging unauthorized emissions and deviations of their federal operating permits. Houston-based appellate team head David Gunn and of counsel Erin Huber represented royalty owner Charles Hooks in its fraud suit against Samson Lone Star based on the alleged supply of false information about the location of a well. Other clients include Plains Exploration & Production and Cameron International. David Beck is an established name in the market. Patrice Childress was elevated to the partnership in January 2016 and Murray Fogler left the firm to found Fogler, Brar, Ford, O’Neil & Gray LLP.

Houston-based Gibbs & Bruns LLP has an impressive client base, including many key industry players, and provides deep expertise in representing plaintiffs and defendants in litigation and arbitration. A team including Barrett Reasoner defended various affiliates of Kinder Morgan in a contract suit filed by Alliance Energy Services alleging nine causes of action for declaratory judgment and damages; Kinder Morgan subsequently asserted counterclaims and in the end the dispute was settled amicably. Kathy Patrick and Scott Humphries represented WGI Emerging Markets Fund and several other institutional investors as plaintiffs in a securities fraud action against Petrobras and its auditor PwC arising out of the Lava Jato or ‘Car Wash’ operation. In arbitration, the team represented Colorado-based oil and gas company Venoco in a contract dispute with Denbury Onshore. Robin Gibbs is an ‘outstanding lawyer’.

King & Spalding LLP has oil and gas disputes at its core and ‘provides extremely high-quality’ representation. A team including co-head Charles Correll and Robert Meadows is representing longstanding client Chevron in a large oil and gas royalty class action suit filed in California in which the plaintiffs asserted a number of claims, including breach of contract, violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, fraud and fraudulent concealment, and sought compensatory damages for royalty underpayments, punitive damages and injunctive relief. The team also acted as Chevron’s national trial counsel in a number of MTBE cases involving municipalities, water purveyors, state attorneys general and individuals. In one case, plaintiff Orange County Water District sought remediation costs, declaratory and injunctive relief as well as punitive damages pertaining to alleged MTBE contamination. Co-heads Reginald Smith and Doak Bishop are noted for their arbitration expertise. Benjamin Pollock, Elizabeth Silbert and Elizabeth Taber were promoted to the partnership.

Bracewell LLP primarily appears on the defense side, acting as counsel to oil, gas and power industry clients, but it does also represents plaintiffs in litigation and arbitration. In a power-related matter, head of department Stephen Crain defended GDF SUEZ Energy North America against claims by derivatives traders Aspire Commodities and Raiden Commodities that the electricity provider used its bidding strategy to manipulate the market, causing the plaintiffs to lose tens of millions of dollars. In the oil arena, Cain, Sean Gorman, who joined the Houston office from Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., and Christopher Dodson represented private equity-backed Canadian oilfield services company FPUSA as defendant and later as plaintiff in patent litigation against M-I L.L.C., a division of Schlumberger.

Covington & Burling LLP frequently represents oil and gas businesses in national and international disputes, including high-stakes arbitration proceedings against commercial counterparties and foreign governments. TL Cubbage and Miguel López Forastier represented subsidiaries of ExxonMobil as plaintiffs in an ICSID investor-state arbitration against Venezuela arising out of the uncompensated expropriation of the plaintiffs’ entire investments in Venezuela, and other measures in violation of the Netherlands-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty. Elsewhere, a team including Allan Moore and Maureen Browne represented BP and a number of BP subsidiaries and affiliates in cases arising from Deepwater Horizon, including the trifurcated bench trial and related proceedings related to BP’s civil liability under admiralty law and the Clean Water Act. Cubbage heads the practice alongside Steven Rosenbaum. Washington DC-based Alexander Berengaut and New York-based Nicole Duclos were elevated to the partnership.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s strength is oil and gas litigation, as evidenced by the defense of BP in relation to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Chicago-based Richard Godfrey and Washington DC’s Mike Brock defended BP against allegations of gross negligence with regard to its efforts to respond to the breach. The team reduced the potential exposure faced by BP’s subsidiary by more than $4bn, proving that the oft-quoted ‘five million barrels’ overstated the size of the spill. Statoil Gulf of Mexico retained the team, including David Zott, as trial counsel in a breach of contract dispute relating to overriding royalties on a production lease in the Gulf of Mexico. Other clients include Chesapeake Appalachia and ExxonMobil.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is ‘well informed of current developments’ and handles litigation and arbitration work across the entire energy industry. Its clients include utility, nuclear power, and oil and gas companies, and it often works on cases with environmental aspects. The team was boosted at the end of 2014 by the arrival into its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices of William Kissinger, Camarin Madigan, Rick Rothman and James Dragna from the now defunct Bingham McCutchen. Recently, the team defended Cotter Corporation against claims brought under the Price-Anderson Act; the plaintiffs alleged personal injuries and emotional distress as a result of alleged exposure to hazardous, toxic and radioactive substances produced as by-products of the Manhattan project. Deanne Miller and David Schrader are representing Shell Oil in mass toxic tort litigation arising from alleged petroleum hydrocarbon contamination in a residential neighborhood in Carson, California. Kathryn Sutton heads the energy practice from Washington DC, while Ella Foley Gannon, also from Bingham McCutchen, leads the litigation team from San Francisco.

A ‘go-to firm for upstream litigation’, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has oil and gas disputes at its core, and also advises midstream, downstream and oilfield services clients, including Shell, Anadarko Petroleum, EOG Resources, Cabot Oil & Gas, and Chevron. A team including the ‘very smart’ and ‘thoroughDaniel McClure represented Chevron in a class action brought by Kansas and Oklahoma royalty owners for alleged underpayment of oil and gas royalties by the client. Los Angeles lawyer Joshua Lichtman represented Shell in putative class actions brought by industrial and commercial consumers of natural gas in the states of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin. Plaintiffs alleged that Shell conspired with ten other companies to manipulate natural gas index prices between 2000 and 2002 by reporting false trade data to the index publishers. ‘Great trial lawyerWilliam Wood heads the energy and infrastructure practice, which includes Bob Comer, who joined the Denver office from Jackson Kelly PLLC, and new partner Jeffrey Webb.

The energy disputes practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLPprovides a high service level’ and dedicates much of its time to oil and gas and power disputes, and to a lesser extent disputes involving nuclear power. The team defended AEP Generating Company and Indiana Power Company in a breach of contract and indemnification case alleging $1.4bn in damages related to the operation of a coal-fired power plant located in Indiana. Also on the defense side, ‘excellent analyzer’ Karl Stern - who joined the firm from Vinson & Elkins LLP and who leads the energy disputes practice with Sanford Weisburst - represented Phibro and Phibro Commodities in a putative class action brought by futures and derivatives traders and oil and gas property owners; the plaintiffs alleged that Phibro manipulated the Brent crude price by manipulating the Platts’ Market-on-Close price reporting process. Charles Eskridge joined the firm from Susman Godfrey LLP. Kathleen Sullivan heads the appellate practice from New York.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable’ team is ‘among the best’ and earns praise for its ‘good judgment’. With a focus on oil and gas, the practice represents upstream, midstream and downstream companies and also groups of individuals. A team including Los Angeles-based Michelle Goodman and appellate practice head Mark Haddad represented CMS Energy and CMS Energy Resources Management as one of many defendants in a multidistrict litigation involving alleged natural gas price manipulation. Robert Velevis and Dallas office managing partner Yvette Ostolaza defended EnLink subsidiaries in a lawsuit brought by Targa Midstream Services alleging breach of an agreement to operate a natural gas processing plant in Louisiana. Houston lawyer Tracy LeRoy represented an offshore drilling company in an internal investigation prompted by allegations by an oil producer of kickbacks pertaining to a series of drilling contracts in the Middle East. William Williams is a notable figure in the market.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s strengths lie in dealing with contentious regulatory matters and disputes arising from transactions. The team’s client roster includes a wide range of participants in the oil, gas and power industries, from financial institutions, upstream and midstream businesses to oilfield services and electricity providers. The firm represented XTO Energy in a series of derivative actions brought by trust beneficiaries alleging that the natural gas and oil producer improperly diverted trust assets to a subsidiary. And a team including John Estes and Patrick Fitzgerald represented Barclays in a FERC enforcement action regarding alleged violations arising from trading activity in Western US energy markets. Other clients include Dynegy, JPMorgan and NextEra. Since publication, Los Angeles-based Thomas Nolan has moved to Latham & Watkins LLP.

With a strong electric and oil pipeline practice, Steptoe & Johnson LLP is experienced in representing its clients in a wide range of contentious matters, including FERC investigations. Midstream companies such as Colonial Pipeline Company and BP Pipelines regularly retain the team to defend them in litigation. On the electric side, Washington DC’s Douglas Green defended Entergy against claims of breach of contract and violations of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) brought by Occidental Chemical Corporation. Energy department head David Raskin, Marc Spitzer and Gary Morgans, all based in Washington DC, defended PHI Companies in Federal Power Act proceedings before the FERC against four state commissions and state consumer advocates. Daniel Mullen joined the Washington DC office from the FERC.

The ‘extremely proactive’ and ‘responsive’ team at Susman Godfrey LLPdoes a fantastic job’ representing plaintiffs and defendants in mainly oil and gas-related disputes. Los Angeles-based Marc Seltzer obtained final approval for a $37.5m settlement in a class action brought on behalf of a class of more than 7,000 limited partners who invested in 12 oil and gas limited partnerships sponsored by Petroleum Development; the plaintiffs claimed that they were not paid fair value for their interests when they were cashed out of their investments as a result of a series of mergers. Geoffrey Harrison, who is ‘outstanding in all respects’, recovered more than $75m in cash and other considerations for LyondellBasell Industries and its subsidiary Houston Refining as a result of an internal investigation by the firm, which uncovered a $76m kickback scheme perpetrated by a former employee. Shawn Raymond and Alexander Kaplan are ‘forceful advocates’, Thomas Paterson is ‘highly recommended’. Charles Eskridge moved to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Oil and gas disputes form the bulk of Thompson & Knight LLP’s energy litigation practice. It receives a steady flow of cases concerning royalties, drilling leases, and damage and negligence claims arising from drilling activities, and also provides expertise in class actions and arbitration. The team, which is led by Houston-based Gregory Binns, represents major oil companies, small independent oil and gas producers and private equity-backed such as Boots & Coots, alongside longstanding clients such as Petrobras America and Three Rivers Operating, as is experienced acting for defendants and plaintiffs. The firm’s Texas offices received a considerable boost when counsel Robert Vartabedian joined from Winstead, and Rex VanMiddlesworth and Phillip Oldham made the move from Andrews Kurth LLP. Dallas-based Craig Haynes is another key name.

Vinson & Elkins LLP has considerable clout in the oil and gas arena, representing its clients in litigation and arbitration. Houston partner Guy Stanford Lipe defended Denbury Onshore in a carbon dioxide royalty class action brought by mineral owners in Mississippi alleging that Denbury underpaid its royalty obligations. Marie Yeates - who heads the appellate team with Thomas Leatherbury - represented Occidental Petroleum in an appeal regarding whether or not a class of 2,200 royalty owners under thousands of different oil and gas leases was properly certified. James Thompson and Dallas office managing partner John Wander head the firm’s commercial litigation group. Former managing partner of the firm’s Houston office and head of litigation Karl Stern joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Michael Heidler was promoted to the partnership.

Winston & Strawn LLP has deep courtroom experience across the entire energy sector, including oil, gas and electric power, and it is regularly involved in enforcement proceedings before federal and state energy regulatory agencies. Other areas of expertise include market manipulation, FERC licensing and environmental matters. The team also handles arbitration, such as in defense of Katch Kan and Quinn Holtby in an ICC breach of contract case pertaining to a distributor agreement in the oil drilling industry. Chicago lawyers Timothy Carey and Elizabeth Bradshaw defended BP California against a claim by former BP employee Christopher Schroen that BP allegedly overcharged California’s Department of General Services for natural gas contracts. Former special agent to the NRC Darrell White joined the practice as an adviser.

Andrews Kurth LLP represents its predominantly oil and gas industry clients in litigation and arbitration arising from energy industry operations such as exploration and production, including royalty and product and service contracts disputes. Timothy McConn and co-heads Stuart Hollimon and Craig Stahl represented Apache Corporation in a dispute relating to the alleged failure to properly conduct shallow water flood operations, resulting in damage to deeper formations and adjacent leases. In another case, McConn and Courtney Ervin defended Apache against allegations of breaches of a purchase and sale agreement and a joint operating agreement. Hollimon and Charles Hampton defended Encana against a claim for underpayment of an overriding royalty interest in the Deep Bossier play in Robertson County. Michelle Scheffler was elevated to the partnership, while Rex VanMiddlesworth and Phillip Oldham went to Thompson & Knight LLP.

Baker & Hostetler LLP has a long history in litigation and oil and gas is a core focus for the firm. Recent work involved defending Cameron in a faulty equipment claim against Stena DrillMAX; Houston-based Richard Stilwell led the representation of the oil well equipment company in a case involving product liability, insurance subrogation and indemnity issues. Denver-based Poe Leggette and Houston-based Ray Whitman- who head the team with Cleveland’s Martin Booher - assisted the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance with challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s imminent rules on hydraulic fracturing by obtaining a preliminary injunction against the final rule. Also on the defense side, Leggette represented oil and natural gas exploration and production company Bill Barrett Corporation in a breach of contract case brought by a royalty owner. Michael Joy joined the Denver office from Reed Smith LLP.

Dentons’ team combines litigation and regulatory expertise, giving it the scope to handle a wide range of energy disputes, including those involving interstate gas pipeline rates and cost allocation, electricity transmission and market power mitigation. Energy practice chairs Clinton Vince and Stuart Caplan represented Navopache Electric Cooperative in litigation before the FERC in response to the transmission formula and annual transmission losses rates proposed by the Public Service Company of New Mexico. Kansas City-based Karl Zobrist represented Kansas City Power and Light Company in the prosecution of a major rate case before the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC). Joshua Harden left MPSC to join the firm as counsel. And John Leslie joined as a result of the merger with Atlanta-based McKenna Long & Aldridge in July 2015.

Elise Zoli’s team at Goodwin Procter LLP acts almost exclusively on the defense side and represents clients across the energy sector, with a particular focus on the nuclear and electric power industries. The team frequently represents clients in transmission rate cases and environmental disputes. Washington DC’s Timothy Shuba represented NV Energy in transmission rate proceedings before the FERC. In environmental litigation, Michael Giannotto represented the National Mining Association in opposing a petition for mandamus brought by several environmental and citizens’ groups; the petitioners sought a court order requiring the EPA to promulgate financial assurance regulations for the mining industry. Co-chair of the firm’s appellate litigation practice William Jay defended the American Petroleum Institute in an Endangered Species Act case in which the plaintiffs sought to shut down leasing of federal lands for the exploration of oil shale and oil sands resources.

Many partners at McGuireWoods LLP have prior in-house experience at utilities, which translates into a steady flow of instructions from electric power providers. Utility practice co-head Noel Symons represented Kansas City Power and Light Company in challenging a rate increase proposed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) resulting from the integration of the Entergy transmission system into MISO. Managing partner of the Washington DC office and chair of the energy enforcement team Todd Mullins defended two Barclays energy traders in a FERC investigation involving accusations that they manipulated Western US energy markets by scheming to trade day-ahead fixed-price electricity to boost the bank’s financial swap positions. Other clients include Dominion Resources and Great Plains Energy. Brad Funari joined Reed Smith LLP.

Morrison & Foerster LLP represents a wide range of electricity and natural gas market participants and individuals in FERC and CFTC enforcement proceedings. Washington DC-based senior of counsel Robert Fleishman - who heads the team with Robert Loeffler - defended ETRACOM and its primary trader Michael Rosenberg in a FERC enforcement investigation arising from alleged manipulation of the California electricity market. The official unsecured creditors’ committee of Texas Competitive Electric (TCEH) retained the team to act as lead counsel in a bankruptcy case in which the debtors, the committee and numerous creditor groups entered into a new restructuring support agreement.

The ‘great team’ at Reed Smith LLP impresses its clients with ‘impeccable response times’ and ‘deep industry knowledge’. Pittsburgh partner Nicolle Snyder Bagnell and Houston-based Craig Enochs head the team, which represents energy producers and transporters in the key oil and gas producing states, often as defense counsel but also on behalf of plaintiffs. Stan Perry defended Shell Oil against Yolande Burst in a products liability case. On the plaintiff side, Philadelphia’s Robert Frank represented Tri-Realty in multi-phase litigation stemming from property damage and subsequent economic losses as a result of an oil spill from an underground storage tank at Ursinus College. Brad Funari joined the team from McGuireWoods LLP and senior counsel Clyde Lea joined from an in-house position at ConocoPhillips. Michael Joy moved to Baker & Hostetler LLP.

Houston-based boutique Reynolds Frizzell LLP has a ‘strong team’ and a long history of litigation in state and federal courts. It also has experience in domestic and international arbitration. With a focus on oil and gas, the team represents high-net-worth individuals, private equity firms and pipeline companies, increasingly on the defense side but also for plaintiffs. Jean Frizzell, Brandon Allen and new partner Solace Southwick defended Energy Transfer Partners in a breach of contract claim brought by Enterprise Texas Pipeline seeking $400m damages. Allen and Jeremy Doyle defended Wood Group Mustang in a suit seeking over $40m in damages arising from alleged failures to detect certain defects in ten pipelines in Port Arthur. Chris Reynolds is a key figure in the practice. Nathan Smith and Christopher Hogan were elevated to the partnership.

White & Case LLP’s litigation team works in close cooperation with the firm’s regulatory practice and has an impressive international reach. The Washington DC-based head of the energy markets and regulatory practice, Daniel Hagan, continues to represent Occidental Chemical Corporation (OCC) in a number of matters, including in challenging Entergy’s FERC application requesting that it be relieved of its mandatory purchase obligation under PURPA, which requires Entergy to purchase power from qualifying facilities such as Occidental’s Taft Cogeneration facility. In a different matter, Hagan led advice to OCC on filing a petition for FERC enforcement against the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC), and subsequently on filing a federal lawsuit against the LPSC for failing to implement federal law. Other clients include Dynegy and Hess Corporation.

Energy: regulatory

Index of tables

  1. Energy: regulatory
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • John Estes - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    • Mike Naeve - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    • David Raskin - Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is recognized for its ‘excellent’ contentious and non-contentious regulatory practice, which is particularly prominent in the reliability regulation and enforcement. In the oil and gas space, the team frequently advises clients on regulatory approvals for the development of midstream and downstream infrastructure. Assisting national and international buyers, sellers, investors and lenders in relation to M&A and joint venture transactions involving oil and gas assets is another key elements of the practice. William Conway represented Dynegy before the FERC regarding its acquisition of 6,614 MW of electric generation controlled by Energy Capital Partners. On the contentious side, a team including John Estes represented Barclays Bank in a FERC enforcement action pertaining to alleged market manipulation in Western US energy markets. Mike Naeve is a respected figure in the market.

Rated for its ‘practical and timely advice’, Steptoe & Johnson LLP has an impressive client portfolio in the oil pipeline and electric power industries, including names such as ExxonMobil, American Electric Power, ConocoPhillips and Duke Energy. Steven Ross and Gary Morgans represented Duke in FERC approval proceedings arising from the company’s $1.3bn purchase of North Carolina Electric Municipal Power Agency’s interest in various coal and nuclear stations. Steven Brose, Caroline Gaudet and the ‘knowledgeable’ Daniel Poynor assisted Sunoco Pipeline with the creation of priority service structures for ethane and propane pipelines in the Marcellus Shale region, and for crude oil, natural gas liquids and petroleum pipelines in Texas. David Raskin heads the energy team, which includes newly promoted partner Jennifer Key and Daniel Mullen, who joined from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

With a practice including former FERC general counsels, the team at Van Ness Feldman LLP provides ‘outstanding industry knowledge’, ‘good business acumen’ and ‘an unusually broad level of experience in handling uncommon issues’. It represents a wide range of investor-owned electric and gas utilities and has a particular niche in pipeline safety advisory work. Other areas of expertise include hydropower licenses and renewable energy projects work. Jessica Friedman and Margaret Moore acted as FERC counsel to Deepwater Wind in relation to the Block Island offshore wind pilot project. ‘Outstanding’ Robert Christin and ‘go-to lawyer’ Gregory Junge led advice to Columbia Gas Pipeline Group on its natural gas pipeline expansion project. Margaret Claybour and Justin Moeller were promoted to partner in January 2016, while Mona Tandon re-joined the firm after her time working in-house. Evan Reese went to Day Pitney LLP, and Andrew Art moved to Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer, Pembroke, P.C..

Andrews Kurth LLP’s long established energy practice is experienced in advising oil and gas producers, developers and pipeline companies as well as energy marketing companies on a wide range of regulatory matters. The team, which is headed by Washington DC-based Kenneth Wiseman, regularly represents transmission owners, generators and end-users in rate proceedings before the FERC and state regulatory agencies. Mark Sundback represents interstate natural gas storage provider ANR Storage in seeking market-based rates. Austin-based Meghan Griffiths assisted BlackRock Infrastructure Investment Group with Texas electric regulatory matters regarding its purchase of a 50% cash equity interest in the Longhorn North Wind Project from EDF Renewable Energy.

Top notch’ firm Bracewell LLP has impressive strength in the oil, gas and electric regulatory arena. On the oil and gas side, the ‘well-prepared’ and ‘thoughtful’ team, led by Mark Lewis, advises major pipeline companies, while electric transmission and electric power utilities frequently engage Catherine McCarthy’s team. ‘Fine lawyerKirk Morgan, Kevin Ewing and Lewis served as project counsel to a new joint venture formed by two existing natural gas pipeline companies; the venture is seeking to construct a $2bn natural gas pipeline system transporting Appalachian shale gas to the Midwestern US and Canada. McCarthy and Frederick Lark represented Brookfield Infrastructure Partners in the FERC approval process for the $281m sale of Cross-Sound Cable Company to AIA Energy North America, an affiliate of Argo Infrastructure Partners. Michael Brooks was elevated to the partnership.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP’s team had an eventful year, with natural gas lawyer Mark Haskell, special counsel Brett Snyder and counsel George Billinson joining the firm’s Washington DC office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Kenneth Irvin and Terence Healey departing for Sidley Austin LLP. Paul Pantano heads the team, which stands out in energy trading, regulatory compliance and enforcement defense. BP Energy Company engaged the team to act as lead counsel in the Houston Ship Channel natural gas market manipulation hearing before the FERC. The team also provides ongoing regulatory advice to Credit Suisse, Mercuria Energy and Deutsche Bank in relation to trading portfolio M&A transactions.

With clients across the entire energy sector, Hogan Lovells US LLP stands out in particular for its ‘excellent service’ and expertise in NRC licensing and regulatory work. LNG, natural gas pipeline and electric matters constitute other key elements of the ‘very prompt’ practice. Daniel Stenger led advice to Constellation Energy Nuclear Group on NRC regulatory matters, including licensing relating to its five nuclear power units, decommissioning funding issues, foreign ownership, and nuclear export and fuel. The team assisted Dominion Resources with the Dominion Cove Point LNG liquefaction project, handling all regulatory, contentious and customer contracting issues. On the electric side, Mary Anne Sullivan assisted Eversource Energy with obtaining a presidential permit for cross-border electric transmission facilities. Stefan Krantz heads the team, which includes new partner Amy Roma. Andrew Spielman went to WilmerHale. Since publication, Washington DC-based Patrick Nevins has moved to Latham & Watkins LLP.

K&L Gates has a ‘very good’ and broad electric and oil and gas practice, handling project permitting and siting, environmental issues, agency procedures and hearings, as well as state and federal utility regulation. Donald Kaplan assisted PPL Corporation with obtaining approval from the FERC and clearance from the Antitrust Division of the DOJ for its spin-off transaction with RJS Power Holdings, forming Talen Energy. Seattle-based Elizabeth Thomas - who heads the energy, infrastructure and resources team with Pittsburgh-based Michael Zanic - acted as litigation counsel to Alcoa Power Generating in a lawsuit regarding the ownership of the Yadkin River bed in North Carolina, where Alcoa has been generating renewable energy from a series of hydroelectric dams.

King & Spalding LLP excels in oil and gas and electric regulatory work and ‘provides spot-on advice’ and ‘in-depth knowledge of how the FERC thinks and works’. The team frequently assists its clients, among them a large number of independent power producers, with contentious and non-contentious LNG and other pipeline matters as well as transaction and construction approvals. The ‘excellentJames Bowe led regulatory advice to Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company in a proposed expansion project to serve gas-fired electric generating facilities, a petroleum refinery and growing natural gas distribution systems in Delaware and Maryland. David Tewksbury and ‘experienced’ co-chair of the firm’s global energy practice Neil Levy represented NRG Energy, Dynegy, LS Power and Calpine in FERC proceedings pertaining to PJM’s Capacity Performance proposal, which would increase the performance obligations of generators and other capacity suppliers and impose penalties for non-performance.

Latham & Watkins LLP covers a wide range of contentious and non-contentious energy regulatory work. Electricity and oil and gas work are core practices, and it frequently assists clients with M&A and finance issues as well as FERC approval applications. Natasha Gianvecchio led advice to EquiPower Resources and Brayton Point Energy on regulatory and market aspects regarding their $3.45bn sale to Dynegy. Gianvecchio and global chair of energy regulatory markets David Schwartz assisted GE Energy Financial Services subsidiary and merchant transmission facility, Linden VFT, with multiple FERC proceedings in relation to PJM’s allocation of over $100m in regional transmission upgrade costs to Linden VFT. Peter Malyshev went to Reed Smith LLP. Since publication, Patrick Nevins and Eugene Elrod have joined in Washington DC from Hogan Lovells US LLP.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has an impressive client base across all energy sectors. Kathryn Sutton leads the firm’s energy practice and is particularly well versed in nuclear regulatory matters. She, Paul Bessette and Stephen Burdick led advice to Tennessee Valley Authority on regulatory issues arising from the completion of the Watts Bar Unit 2 construction and the pursuit of the operating license. Stephen Spina assisted power and gas distributor UIL with seeking FERC approval for its $3bn sale to Spanish utility Iberdrola. The firm also represented Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage in a contested tariff proceeding before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. Mark Haskell, Brett Snyder and George Billinson moved to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Charles Moore sadly passed away in January 2016.

The ‘knowledgeable’, ‘responsive’ and ‘efficient’ team at Paul Hastings LLP often advises on purchase agreements, while showing particular strength at the intersection of regulatory, transactional and financing matters. Timothy Callahan and ‘quick thinker’ and regulatory practice chair William DeGrandis assisted Freeport-McMoRan with a long-term power purchase agreement and its $140m sale of 33.3% interest in a 570MW natural gas-fired power plant in Luna, New Mexico to Samchully Asset Management. Working closely with the firm’s leveraged finance team, DeGrandis and corporate partner John Cobb represented Morgan Stanley Senior Funding and Barclays Bank as lead arrangers in the financing and acquisition of undivided ownership interests in coal-fired generating facilities in Keystone and Conemaugh, including all regulatory approval, authorization and due diligence issues. Peter Weiner leads the California energy team.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘excellent’ energy practice received an additional boost with the arrival of five partners from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, including Terence Healey and Kenneth Irvin, who heads the firm’s global energy practice. The ‘very timely’ and ‘knowledgeable’ team includes former FERC members and excels in the oil and gas and electric power sectors, attracting clients such as pipeline companies and energy producers but also financial institutions. The ‘very responsiveLorrie Marcil represented the Magellan Pipeline Company in regulatory matters and successfully defended the company in a tariff changes protest filed at the FERC by Suncor Energy. Irvin led advice to Morgan Stanley Capital Group and Merrill Lynch Commodities on regulatory matters pertaining to electricity and natural gas marketing activities. Since publication, Washington DC-based Eugene Elrod has moved to Latham & Watkins LLP.

Vinson & Elkins LLP has ‘extensive industry knowledge’, particularly in regard to oil and gas but also in the electric power arena. John Decker, Anita Rutkowski Wilson and David Andril - who heads the team with Dallas-based Matthew Henry - assisted Emera with obtaining long-term authorization from the DOE to export compressed natural gas from a proposed project in Florida. As well as its national regulatory expertise, the team stands out state-level work and for being ‘very connected to the Texas energy markets’, and assists clients with Electric Reliability Council of Texas and Public Utility Commission of Texas regulations. Other clients include BG LNG Services, Cross Texas Transmission and Duke Energy. Barry Smitherman joined the Austin office after his time working in-house. Stephen Angle retired.

With more than three decades of experience in the energy sector, ‘very responsive’ firm Winston & Strawn LLP is well versed in representing its predominantly electric and nuclear sector clients in a broad array of FERC proceedings, as well as NRC regulatory compliance and licensing and NRC enforcements and investigations. Raymond Wuslich - who heads the federal energy regulatory practice from Washington DC - and Elias Farrah represented New York Transco in its FERC case, addressing rate and cost allocation issues for its proposed $1.7bn of new transmission projects. Jerry Bloom (‘senior statesman of good judgment’), Lisa Cottle and the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and ‘insightful’ energy, project development and project finance chair, Joseph Karp, frequently advise on California state energy regulatory matters. Former special agent at the NRC Darrell White joined the practice as an adviser.

Handling contentious regulatory work for energy industry clients is a key element of Baker Botts L.L.P.’s practice, as is licensing and approval work for federal projects. Kevin Jacobs and co-head James Barkley represented Brazos Electric Power Cooperative (BEPC) in litigation against South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC) and San Miguel Electric Cooperative over the interpretation of contracts under which San Miguel generates and sells power to STEC and BEPC from a power plant in South Texas. Jessica Fore and co-head Thomas Holmberg assisted Sempra Energy with authorization proceedings before the DOE regarding the export of LNG from Port Arthur in Texas.

Covington & Burling LLP is well equipped to guide clients through the regulatory framework, providing strong government and private sector expertise. The ‘competent’ and ‘experienced’ practice, led by senior counsel and former FERC commissioner William Massey, handles contentious and non-contentious oil and gas, electric power and renewable energy work. The firm is also handles nuclear matters, where senior of counsel and former NRC chairman Richard Meserve is a prominent figure. Massey and James Dean advised independent transmission company GridLiance on a wide range of FERC regulatory matters relating to the company’s acquisition and development of transmission infrastructure in the Southern US and Midwest. New of counsel Mark Perlis led advice to Calpine on state and federal electricity issues such as market design, resource adequacy contracts and interconnection matters.

DLA Piper LLP (US)provides a high level of service’ and frequently acts environmental and energy regulatory counsel, including on matters arising from M&A transactions. The ‘very knowledgeable’ energy practice vice-chair, Robert Alessi, who is based in New York, served as outside project development and environmental counsel to Crestwood Equity Partners and its subsidiary, Finger Lakes LPG Storage, in relation to the proposal to build and operate a two million-barrel underground liquefied petroleum gas storage facility in Reading, New York. Atlas Holdings retained the team as outside environmental, permitting and compliance counsel in relation to the private equity firm’s acquisition and operation of the Greenidge Generating Station in Torrey, New York.

Dentons continues to advise New Orleans City Council on electricity utility and FERC matters. Handling both contentious and non-contentious matters, the practice receives a steady flow of cases from a diverse range of clients, including municipalities, investor-owned utilities, public power entities, cooperatives and energy trading companies. As well as its electric power expertise, Clinton Vince’s team also advises players in the oil and gas sphere. Energy practice co-chair Stuart Caplan represented EnerNOC in several FERC rulemaking and complaint cases affecting the participation of demand response providers and aggregators. Resulting from the firm’s merger with Atlanta-based McKenna Long & Aldridge in July 2015, Gordon Giffin and John Leslie joined the team, as did counsel Joshua Harden, who previously worked in-house at the Missouri Public Service Commission.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is best known for contentious and non-contentious gas pipeline work. The team, including co-chairs of the firm’s national energy and natural resources practice Kenneth Minesinger and Douglas Atnipp, assisted the state of Alaska with regulatory, corporate and contentious matters pertaining to a proposed Alaska LNG project. The project would consist of an LNG export terminal, a natural gas treatment plant, and an 800-mile natural gas pipeline connecting the gas treatment plant on the Alaska North Slope to the LNG terminal in South Central Alaska. In litigation, Minesinger and Howard Nelson represented El Paso Natural Gas in a rate case before the FERC. Iskender Catto, now chair of power industry projects and restructuring, joined the firm from McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP advises clients across the energy industry, with a focus on power and oil and gas. The team shows particular expertise in emission allowances, FERC investigations, regulatory approvals, compliance issues and litigation. Team head Jeffrey Watkiss defended Shell Energy North America in multiple complaints and appeals before the FERC pertaining to power sales during the 2000-2001 California energy crisis. These cases involved administrative litigation of complaints alleging tariff and other violations, seeking disgorgement of profits. Robert Lamkin advised PPL EnergyPlus on emission allowance regulatory issues, including trading of emission allowances. Iskender Catto moved to Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s New York office, and the former global head of energy and infrastructure, Blake Winburne, moved to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

With a number of team members having prior in-house experience at utility companies, McGuireWoods LLP is well equipped to guide its clients through the electric regulatory space. Key elements of the practice include rate cases, disputes between regional transmission organizations, market tariffs, compliance matters and enforcement cases. As well as its electric power expertise, the firm advises on gas and nuclear matters. Todd Mullins, managing partner of the Washington DC office and chair of the energy enforcement team, represented two former Barclays energy traders in a FERC investigation; the defendants are accused of manipulating electricity prices in Western US markets between 2006 and 2008. Utility practice co-head Noel Symons represented Kansas City Power and Light in its challenge to a $4.5m per year cost shift, resulting from the inclusion of a new transmission owner. Joseph Reid chairs the regulatory and compliance department from Richmond, Virginia.

Morrison & Foerster LLP covers state and federal regulatory matters and represents its clients before the FERC, CFTC and the NERC. With deep expertise in the renewable energy industry, Miles Imwalle and Christopher Carr led advice to EDF Renewable Energy on all permitting aspects of a 115MW photovoltaic solar facility proposed in Kern County, including water quality, local zoning and planning compliance. The team, which is led by senior counsel Robert Loeffler and senior of counsel Robert Fleishman, is also experienced in representing electricity and natural gas participants in FERC and CFTC enforcement proceedings. For example, Fleishman represented Etracom in a FERC enforcement investigation into alleged manipulation in Californian electricity markets.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has a substantial roster of clients who call upon its broad expertise in regulatory LNG matters. This includes siting and construction permitting for LNG liquefaction facilities and approvals for natural gas and petroleum pipelines and export, as well as FERC enforcement proceedings. New York’s Lisa Tonery represented Corpus Christi Liquefaction in proceedings before the FERC to obtain authorization to site, construct and operate facilities in Texas. Washington DC-based Erik Swenson assisted Pieridae Energy with obtaining DOE authorization to export natural gas to Canada for conversion into LNG and its subsequent export to FTA countries. Other clients include Energy Transfer Partners, Rio Grande LNG and Freeport LNG Development.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP works in close cooperation with the firm’s transactional team and frequently assists renewable energy companies, developers and financers of renewables projects with approvals for M&A transactions and compliance with FERC and NERC regulations. Practice head Adam Wenner led advice to SunEdison and TerraForm on obtaining FERC approval for the purchase of First Wind Holdings and its portfolio of utility-scale wind projects, transmission assets and wholesale power marketing subsidiaries. He also assisted Eurus Energy America with the preparation of FERC filings and an internal corporate protocol to ensure compliance with FERC regulations relating to sellers of wholesale electricity with market-based rate authority. Blake Winburne joined the Houston office from McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is the new global co-head of the energy and infrastructure group.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is well versed in assisting participants in the renewables sector, electricity suppliers, and investors with power purchase agreements, obtaining permits for projects and transactional matters. San Francisco-based practice head Michael Hindus advised Clark Realty, owner of Monterey Bay Military Housing in California, on the power purchase agreement to install solar panels on rooftops. The team also acted as lead counsel to Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and advised the body on lease, power purchase and option agreements in relation to a solar power project for BART transit stations. Dynegy retained the team to secure preliminary permits from the FERC for two wave energy projects near Morro Bay, California.

Reed Smith LLP is known for its ‘deep expertise in CFTC and FERC subject matters’ among its clients, which include electric utilities, midstream companies and financial institutions. On the CFTC side, the team assists with regulatory requirement implementations, drafting risk and compliance programs, and represents clients in futures exchange investigation and enforcement proceedings. On the FERC side, the team advises on regulatory compliance pertaining to M&A transactions, market-based rate regulations and exemptions from the Federal Power Act and the Public Utility Holding Company Act. Client representations in FERC market oversight investigations and enforcement proceedings are other key element of the practice, which is led by Paul Turner and ‘go-to contact’ Michael Yuffee. Peter Malyshev joined the team from Latham & Watkins LLP, while Phillip Lookadoo moved to Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.. Amy Koch retired.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is noted for its ‘quick understanding of complex issues’ and ‘impressive response times’ by its clients, which include fossil fuel and electric power companies, financial institutions and energy commodity companies. Catherine Krupka’s team assists with the regulatory aspects of financial trading and M&A transactions as well as handling contentious and non-contentious tariff and transmission rate matters. Daniel Frank, who ‘works in the most ethical of manners’ and ‘sorts through the weeds on energy issues’, led advice to Iowa Consumers Coalition on transmission rates and related matters impacting the cost of electrical services. Other clients include Carib Energy and Wentworth Energy. Paul Forshay ‘has several decades of experience with FERC matters, which has elevated his knowledge to a high level of expertise’.

Thompson & Knight LLP stands out for its environmental regulatory expertise and its ‘understanding of business and legal concerns’. With a focus on state regulatory matters, the team advises oil and gas exploration and production companies, industrial consumers and trade associations on regulatory compliance and due diligence matters, as well as fair pricing and rate cases. Phillip Oldham and Rex VanMiddlesworth represented Texas Industrial Energy Consumers (TIEC) before the Public Utility Commission (PUC) in contested rate proceedings, including base-rate cases and merger and sale proceedings. The team, led by Austin-based James Morriss, also represented TIEC in administrative rulemakings before the PUC. Christopher Smith and counsel Ashley Phillips are recommended.

White & Case LLP frequently advises oil and gas upstream and midstream companies, electric utilities, lenders and sponsors. Practice head Daniel Hagan and counsel Jane Rueger provided regulatory advice to the lenders of Liquefied Natural Gas’ Magnolia LNG project regarding an eight-million tons per annum liquefaction and export terminal in Louisiana. Other areas of expertise include regulatory approvals for M&A transactions as well as power purchase and energy storage agreements. Hagan assisted Occidental Petroleum with obtaining state and federal regulatory approvals regarding the spin-off of its subsidiary, California Resources Corporation, as well as meeting notice requirements and post-closing obligations associated with the transaction. Pacific Gas and Electric and DTE Electric Company are also among the firm’s clients.

WilmerHale’s client base includes oil, gas and electricity companies as well as developers. The firm advises its clients on permitting and compliance matters and represents them in government investigations and federal and state enforcement proceedings. David Ogden and Jamie Gorelick represented BP in a number of government investigations into Deepwater Horizon, including an investigation by the US Chemical Safety Board. Boston’s Mark Kalpin led advice to Ozzy Properties in commercial, regulatory, financing, zoning and contracting issues relating to a solar photovoltaic project at an office and manufacturing complex. New practice head Andrew Spielman joined from Hogan Lovells US LLP and serves as co-partner-in-charge of the firm’s Denver office. Carol Clayton took an in-house role at the FERC.

Energy: renewable/alternative

Index of tables

  1. Energy: renewable/alternative
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

With substantial expertise in project finance and the tax equity market, Chadbourne & Parke LLP has worked on numerous large-scale wind and solar projects, including master financing facilities for solar rooftop companies such as SolarCity and SunPower. Experienced in acting for banks, Benjamin Koenigsberg advised the lenders, led by Société Générale, on the financing of Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore wind farm in the US. MetLife retained the team on the tax equity financing of the 110MW Keechi Creek wind farm in Jack County, Texas. Keith Martin and Rohit Chaudhry head the team from Washington DC, and New York-based Todd Alexander is another key name. Paul Kaufman joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and Donna Bobbish moved to Shearman & Sterling LLP. Evelyn Lim is now managing director at TerraForm.

Latham & Watkins LLP has a ‘deep bench of capable lawyers’, handling all aspects of the development and financing of renewable energy projects, advising developers, lenders and borrowers. On the borrower side, the team advised Deepwater Wind and Deepwater Block Island on the development and financing of Block Island Wind Farm. Another key element of the practice is energy M&A work, such as the assistance to D. E. Shaw Renewables Investments in its acquisition of Balko Wind, a 300MW wind energy project in Oklahoma. David Kurzweil and David Schwartz head the team from New York and Washington DC respectively. Kelley Michael Gale chairs the project development and finance practice from San Diego.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP excels in cross-border project finance and development work, advising debt and equity investors, private sponsors and government lenders. Allan Marks led advice to the sponsors GBM Infraestructura and Goldman Sachs-managed fund GS Infrastructure Partners in the $241m financing of the construction and operation of two wind projects in Tamaulipas, Mexico; this included dual-currency debt tranches from the North American Development Bank and OPIC. Daniel Bartfeld’s team includes Los Angeles-based Timothy Wendling, who was elevated to the partnership in 2015.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has one of the best renewables practice around, including one of the largest solar practices in the US, and handles all aspects of project development and finance as well as M&A transactions. Christopher Moore and San Francisco-based corporate partner John Cook led advice to SunEdison and its yieldco TerraForm Power in the $2.4bn acquisition of First Wind Holdings, which marked SunEdison’s entry into the US wind energy sector. In another highlight, Moore assisted Pattern Energy and Fowler Ridge IV wind farm with the construction financing and tax equity participation for the 150MW Fowler Ridge IV wind farm, and the sale of the cash equity interest to a yieldco. Mark Weitzel and Tara Higgins head the team. Blake Winburne joined the Houston office from McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is the new global co-head of the energy and infrastructure group.

Andrews Kurth LLP is well versed in the whole spectrum of project development, including financing, M&A and power purchase agreements, and advises developers, sponsors and buyers. Timothy Unger’s team assisted BlackRock Infrastructure Investment Group with the acquisition of 50% of the cash equity strips of the 200MW Hereford Wind Project and the 200MW Longhorn Wind Project from EDF Renewable Energy. Washington DC-based partners Vera Rechsteiner and Eric Markus led advice to the Inter-American Development Bank in a $300m secured loan to Klabin. Drew Baldinger joined DLA Piper LLP (US).

Hogan Lovells US LLP is strong in corporate and finance matters and receives a steady flow of mandates from major energy companies and financial institutions. Washington DC’s Mark Mazo and Virginia-based Carine Stoick led advice to Alstom on the disposal of its $13.2bn energy business to General Electric. Brian Chappell’s team includes global infrastructure industry co-head Jorge Diaz-Silveira, based in Miami, who assisted NextEra Energy Resources with the acquisition, development, construction and financing of a 250MW utility-scale photovoltaic solar facility in California.

Hunton & Williams LLP brings deep financing experience to the renewables market and demonstrates particular strength in advising tax equity investors. Other areas of expertise include M&A transactional work. Energy and infrastructure team head Jeffrey Schroeder led advice to JPMorgan in the acquisition of an interest in the Edison Mission Energy wind portfolio from NRG Energy, which consists of 12 projects across the US. David Lowman heads the renewables department from Washington DC.

The team at Morrison & Foerster LLP, which is headed by Susan Mac Cormac, handles M&A and financing advice across all energy sectors. On the M&A side, the team assisted Apex Clean Energy with the sale of 300MW Balko Wind to D.E. Shaw. On the financing side, Jeffrey Chester led advice to Apex Clean Energy regarding the construction of the Kay Wind 300MW wind farm in Oklahoma, which included a syndicated loan, and mezzanine debt financing from Ares Capital. Jeff Kayes was promoted to the partnership and Irv Hepner joined the team as of counsel.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has carved out a strong practice handling M&A transactions and financing matters in the renewables industry, the solar sector in particular. Paul Kraske led advice to SunEdison in its $146m non-recourse debt financing arrangement with the IFC, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the OPEC Fund for International Development. Timothy Reynolds assisted independent power company Pattern Energy Group with its $242m acquisition of the 201MW Post Rock wind facility in Kansas and the 150MW Lost Creek wind facility in Missouri from Wind Capital Group. Lance Brasher heads the firm’s global energy and infrastructure group from Washington DC.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is experienced in assisting lenders, particularly private equity firms, with project financing. Practice head David Lieberman led advice to the lenders, including KeyBank National Association as administrative agent, in a $81m senior secured term loan to Meadowlark Wind, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, to part finance the cost of the construction and development of a 300MW wind energy facility straddling Washington and Oregon and a 62MW wind energy facility in North Dakota. Other clients include WindMW and Talen Energy.

Taking business relationships and legal risks into account’, Winston & Strawn LLP is at the forefront of tax-advantaged renewable energy financings, and has been involved in a number of large-scale acquisitions and dispositions. Chicago-based Katherine McAvoy Gillespie advised Wind Capital on the sale of its Post Rock and Lost Creek wind farms to Pattern Energy. The ‘outstandingJonathan Birenbaum and ‘knowledgeable’ of counsel Tara Greenberg led advice to Capital Power in the acquisition of Element Power. The ‘strong’ team, led by the ‘excellentJoseph Karp, also has a strong profile in deals involving yieldcos, demonstrated by advising sponsors of renewable energy assets and their related yieldco on the sale of development assets to tax equity funds. Jerry Bloom is another key figure in the team. Jai Khanna moved to Baker McKenzie LLP. Since publication, Katherine McAvoy Gillespie moved to Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is well known for financing and transactional work, while also possessing solid expertise in regulatory matters. Practice co-head Edward Zaelke led advice to Northleaf Capital Partners in its joint venture with renewable energy technology provider Ormat Technologies. SunEdison and TerraForm engaged the team to act as special counsel for project finance matters pertaining to their acquisition of Vivint Solar. Former co-chair of the firm’s global project finance practice Adam Umanoff left to take the general counsel role at Edison International, and project and finance partner Elliot Hinds joined Crowell & Moring LLP.

Baker McKenzie LLP demonstrates particular strength in assisting developers with transactions, while also advising on project finance and power purchase agreements. Team head Clyde Rankin advised EDF Renewable Energy on the $47.5m sale of a 97MW generation facility in Minnesota to ALLETE Clean Energy. Banking and finance partners Jai Khanna, previously of Winston & Strawn LLP, and Mark Tibberts from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, joined the team, while Chicago-based Mona Dajani was promoted from partner to principal partner.

With a strong focus on solar energy projects, including community solar portfolios, Ballard Spahr LLP frequently acts as lead counsel to lenders on renewable energy transactions. It also advises a number of developers. Los Angeles-based Dirk Michels, a recent arrival from K&L Gates, led advice to a large financial institution on a debt facility used to finance an acquisition of distributed generation solar projects. Jerold Oldroyd and team head Thomas Hoffmann assisted Scatec Solar North America with the financing of a utility-scale solar power plant in Utah.

Dentons is noted for its project development and finance expertise, which spans solar, wind, biomass and geothermal generation to biofuel refineries. In the solar arena, Andrew Schifrin led advice to SkyPower Global in its joint venture with Grupo Uribe. In the wind space, he assisted Mesquite Creek Wind with its development and project financing of a 200MW wind farm in Texas. The team is also experienced in regulatory matters and assisted Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility with its environmental impact assessment and environmental permitting. Clinton Vince chairs the energy practice, which gained Steven Bender due to the firm’s merger with Atlanta-based McKenna Long & Aldridge in July 2015, and Carl Steen from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. Casey Ragan left for an in-house position.

Foley & Lardner LLP has a strong focus on solar energy and assists several top solar companies, such as Canadian Solar and GCL Solar Energy, mainly with financing and M&A. Jason Allen and Jeffery Atkin - who head the team with John Eliason - assisted Canadian Solar with a $250m loan agreement with China Minsheng Bank, and with the $265m acquisition of solar energy developer Recurrent Energy from Sharp Corporation. Special counsel Mary Ann Christopher and of counsel David Weisblat joined the team from Troutman Sanders. Bradley Jackson moved to Quarles & Brady LLP.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s broad practice handles development, financing, equipment supply and maintenance agreements as well as acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and tax equity investments across the energy industry. The firm advised Sempra U.S. Gas & Power on its acquisition of the Black Oak Getty wind project in Minnesota from Geronimo Energy. Matt Archer represented Apex Clean Energy in negotiations for turbine supply, warranty, and operation and maintenance agreements. The former global head of energy and infrastructure, Blake Winburne, moved to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s renewables team is noted for M&A transactions and financing. As an example, Wayne Song and James Tynion advised SunEdison on the tax equity financing of an 184MW wind project in Maine. This included assistance with the purchase and sale agreement to sell SunEdison’s interests in the project to its yieldco affiliate, TerraForm, and negotiating $360m of debt financing with a bank syndicate. David Asmus’ team includes Stephen Miklus, Nancy Persechino and Marc Reardon, who joined the Boston office from the now defunct Bingham McCutchen in November 2014.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP is recognized for its first-rate tax equity practice. Junaid Chida advised Citicorp North America and Berkshire Hathaway Energy on their commitment to acquire equity interests in the Shannon wind power project, developed by Alterra Power and Starwood Energy Group in Texas. Chida and Arthur Hazlitt assisted Goldman Sachs on its acquisition of 100% of the membership interest in the Anderson wind farm in Chaves County, New Mexico, from BayWa’s US affiliate, BayWa r.e. Wind. Gregory Thorpe heads the team from Los Angeles.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s broad client base engages the team on project finance, development and construction, regulatory and transactional matters. Tony Toranto led advice to Bridge Bank on the financing of multiple portfolios comprising over 30 distributed solar energy projects across the US. As well as financial institutions, the team acts for utilities, developers, contractors and equipment manufacturers, lenders and investors. Toranto and new partner Jeffrey Rector assisted ET Solar with the development and construction of the 30MW Halifax County old airport solar project. Paul Kaufman joined the team from Chadbourne & Parke LLP. Since publication, Katherine McAvoy Gillespie joined from Winston & Strawn LLP.

The ‘very results-oriented’ team at Sidley Austin LLP is noted for its solid transactional, project finance and development experience, as well as ‘its ability to find solutions on tough issues’. Irving Rotter assisted Bordas Wind Energy with the sale of development rights and royalty arrangements for a 600MW wind farm in Texas. Other clients include Citigroup Energy and AES Solar. Robert Stephens and global energy practice co-head Kenneth Irvin joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has ‘good bench strength’ and handles M&A, regulatory matters and project development, advising developers, commodity trading firms and large industrial corporate entities. Thomas Warren assisted Enbridge with the purchase of an 80% stake in two wind farms, Magic Valley 1 in Texas and Wildcat 1 in Indiana, from E.ON. Dorothy Black Franzoni is ‘very responsive’ and ‘a pleasure to deal with’. Her team includes new partner David McCullough and finance partner Madeleine Tan, who joined the firm from Kaye Scholer LLP.

Project finance is a key aspect of Vinson & Elkins LLP’s work in this space, along with M&A and project development work. The team advised investment bank Brock Capital Group on the recapitalization of Sunova Solar Energy, a residential solar company. In another highlight, the team advised the underwriters in the IPO of 8Point3 Energy Partners, a renewable energy partnership formed by First Solar and SunPower. Since publication, former co-head of the firm's global project finance practice Mark Spivak moved to Baker Botts L.L.P..

Covington & Burling LLP’s multidisciplinary team covers transactional matters, regulatory compliance and contentious work for participants in the solar, wind, biofuels and advanced technology industries. ‘Industry expertWilliam Collins and ‘knowledgeable renewables lawyerJack Bodner assisted Morgan Stanley in its role as financial adviser to Vivint Solar regarding its sale to SunEdison. Special counsel Scott Anthony advised gas fermentation technology provider LanzaTech on corporate, capital raising and commercial matters. Andrew Jack chairs the team from Washington DC. Of counsel Mark Perlis joined from the FERC, while Bruce Deming retired.

Paul Hastings LLP utilizes its strong renewables regulatory practice to assist its client base with FERC permits, particularly in the solar space, while also providing expertise in project finance and contentious matters. Peter Weiner led advice to First Solar, SunEdison and SunPower. For instance, for First Solar, he assisted with obtaining all permits for the operation of the California Flats 300MW solar plant, which has power purchase agreements with Pacific Gas and Electric, and Apple. Environment and energy practice head William DeGrandis defended Midland Power Cooperative in rate calculations proceedings before the FERC. Timothy Callahan chairs the global projects group from Chicago.

With solar energy as a core focus of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s practice, recent work has involved M&A transactions, regulatory matters, leasing, project development and financing. San Francisco partner Michael Hindus led advice to Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) in the installation of solar panels on carports across a number of BART transit stations. As well as solar energy, the practice is experienced in wind and wave energy as well as ethanol production. Margaret Rosegay assisted Dynegy with obtaining FERC permits for two wave energy projects near Morro Bay, California. Robert James heads the team with Nicolai Sarad, who joined from DLA Piper LLP (US) along with Fernando Rodriguez Marin. Julie Mayo moved to Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

Shearman & Sterling LLP provides transactional and project finance advice to financial institutions, including banks and investment funds, and is often involved in projects in Central America. Team head Robert Freedman assisted Citigroup Global Markets as placement agent and counsel to the note purchasers with its private placement to finance Broken Bow II, a 75MW wind power project in Nebraska. New York-based Alexandro Padrés was elevated to the partnership, while counsel Donna Bobbish joined the Washington DC office from Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

Energy transactions: conventional power

Index of tables

  1. Energy transactions: conventional power
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

David Kurzweil and David Schwartz lead Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘proactive’, ‘solution-minded’, ‘responsive’ practice, which consists of ‘true experts in their field’, including project finance specialist Jeffrey Greenberg. In a transactional highlight, the practice advised Energy Capital Partners on its $3.45bn sale of EquiPower and Brayton Point to Dynegy. Other clients include Deepwater Wind Holdings, JPMorgan, Moelis & Company and Terra-Gen Power. Since publication, Washington DC-based Eugene Elrod has joined from Sidley Austin LLP.

The ‘reliable’ Elaine Walsh heads the practice at Baker Botts L.L.P., which is praised for its ‘excellent service’ and for the depth of its understanding of energy markets, asset transactions and associated project finance issues. William Lamb advised Morgan Stanley as financial advisor to UIL Holdings on the latter’s acquisition by Iberdrola USA. Other clients include Barclays Capital, SunPower and Prudential Insurance Company of America.

Bracewell LLP’s transactional energy department has a dedicated conventional power team led by John Klauberg and Stuart Zisman, who are based in New York and Houston respectively. Klauberg assisted Duke Energy with its $2.8bn sale of Midwest Commercial Generation Business to Dynergy, and worked alongside Charles Vandenburgh to advise Optim Energy and its subsidiary debtors on Optim Energy’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which included the Section 363 sale of the Twin Oaks coal-fired power station. In another highlight, Ryan Holcomb acted for Entergy Corporation on its $948m acquisition of Arkansas’ 1,980MW Union power station.

Peter Hanlon and Nicholas Politan head the energy and infrastructure practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, which advised Energisa as investor on the Chapter 15-approved reorganisation of Rede Energia S.A.’s 11.75% perpetual notes, the subsequent assignment of beneficial interests in the notes from the existing noteholders to Energisa as sole beneficial holder, and the cancellation and reissuance of the notes into two payment-in-kind securities. Hanlon and Alan Bannister assisted MidAmerican Energy Company on its sale of mortgage bonds worth $850m in total. Hanlon also acted for BHE Transmission on its $3.1bn acquisition of AltaLink from SNC-Lavalin.

In an illustration of Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s presence on large-scale energy deals, the practice advised Exelon Corporation on its proposed acquisition of Pepco Holdings for $6.8bn; and Mark Director and Christopher Thomas acted for Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets as part of the consortium which acquired Cleco Corporation for $4.7bn. Other clients include Talen Energy Corporation, Energy Future Holdings and Blackstone Energy Partners. Hans Dyke joined Arnold & Porter LLP’s Washington DC office in 2015.

Irving Rotter, Kenneth Irwin, Cliff Vrielink and James Rice head Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘savvy’ team, which is praised for its business acumen and strong bench strength. The ‘responsive’, ‘knowledgeable’, ‘personableGlenn Pinkerton is also recommended. Clients include Duke Energy Corporation, Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Exelon Corporation and Competitive Power Venture Holdings. Since publication, Washington DC-based Eugene Elrod has moved to Latham & Watkins LLP.

David Lieberman leads the team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, with strong support from Robert Rabalais and Matthew Einbinder who was promoted to partner in January 2015. The team advised Entenergy Corporation on the $490m sale of the 583MW Rhode Island State Energy Center to Carlyle Power Partners, and acted for JPMorgan Securities as lead arranger on a bridge facility for Emera Incorporated to fund its $10.4bn purchase of TECO Energy.

Highlights for Lance Brasher’s team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP included advising Hawaiian Electric Industries on its $4.3bn acquisition by NextEra Energy; acting for Noble Energy on its $3.7bn purchase of Rosetta Resources; and assisting AES Corporation with its $244m sale of a 15% stake in AES US Investments to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. These deals were led by Michael Rogan, Frank Bayouth and Pankaj Sinha respectively.

The team at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP acted on several very large energy transactions throughout 2015, including Joseph Frumkin, Scott Crofton and special counsel Tia Barancik’s advice to UIL Holdings Corporation on its $3bn acquisition by Iberdrola USA. In other highlights, Frumkin, Barancik and Audra Cohen advised Pepco Holdings on its proposed $6.8bn acquisition by Exelon Corporation, and the team assisted Repsol with its $12.9bn purchase of Talisman Energy.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s energy transactions team is headed by Houston-based partners Trina Chandler, Keith Fullenweider and John Connally, and includes Bryan Loocke, who joined from Bracewell LLP. Chandler advised Riverstone Holdings on the formation of Talen Energy Corporation through a $9.5bn Reverse Morris Trust transaction; the corporation is now one of the US’ largest independent power producers. Other clients include Quantum Utility Generation and Duke Energy.

White & Case LLP’s ‘very capable’, ‘commercial’ practice is headed by Arthur Scavone, Christian Hansen, John Reiss, Gregory Pryor and the London-based Kirsti Massie. The team assisted Dynergy with its $2.8bn acquisition of 11 power plants with a total capacity of 6,089MW from Duke Energy Corporation. Other clients include Calpine Corporation, LS Power Development and Global Infrastructure Partners. Michael Shenberg in New York is another key figure. Jeannine Acevedo made partner in January 2016.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s practice is headed by Brian Chappell in Baltimore and includes Mark Mazo and Carine Stoick, who assisted Alstom on the sale of its $13.2bn energy business to General Electric. Chappell and Evan Koster acted for Exelon Corporation on its purchase from Barclays of an electricity and gas trading book. Contour Global, SunEdison and NRG Energy are also clients.

Jones Day’s practice is headed by Peter Clarke, Todd Johnson and Jeffrey Schlegel. Highlights included advising NRG Energy on the sale of five power plants to NRG Yield for $1.2bn. That deal was led by Gerald Farano, who also acted for DTE Electric Company on its $240m acquisition of the Renaissance power plant from LS Power Group. Other clients include Oklahoma Gas & Electric and Lakeside Energy.

McGuireWoods LLP’s practice is led by Joanne Katsantonis, who advised Dominion Resources on its $500m acquisition of Carolina Gas Transmission from SCANA Corporation. Katsantonis and Michael Woodard also advised Morgan Stanley on Exelon Corporation’s proposed acquisition of Pepco Holdings for $6.8bn, while Brian Kelly advised Direct Energy on its partnership with SmartThings to offer energy management technology to its customers in Texas.

The team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is led by Houston-based David Asmus, and was strengthened by the arrival of Marc Reardon, Stephen Miklus and Nancy Persechino to the Boston office in 2015. New York-based partner Jonathan Morris advised Highstar Capital IV on the acquisition and financing of the 700MW Salem Harbor power station project, while Philadelphia-based Barbara Shander assisted Exelon Corporation with the sale of its ownership interest in Pennsylvania’s Keystone and Conemaugh power plants to ArcLight Capital Partners.

Mark Weitzel in San Francisco and Tara Higgins in New York head Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s practice. Washington DC-based Kyle Drefke and New York-based Carl Lyon advised Big Rivers Electric Corporation and Kenergy Corporation - a generation/transmission co-operative and a distribution co-operative respectively - on the power supply arrangements concerning 865MW of power for two large industrial customers. Other clients include General Electric, BlackRock and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Blake Winburne joined the Houston office from McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Led by Herbert Short, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP’s practice recently added Energy Power Partners and Target to its client roster. Ram Sunkara advised the Carlyle Group on the purchase of 75% of the outstanding interests of a 2815MW portfolio of six Georgia-based power plants. Dorothy Franzoni acted for Northern Tier Energy Group on the joint ownership arrangements for a new 600MW power plant in Wisconsin.

Based in Chicago, James O’Brien heads Baker McKenzie LLP’s global energy, mining and infrastructure group, which welcomed Mark Tibberts to its New York office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in 2015. As well as advising several sponsors on the development of large power projects across the US, the team acted for a large wholesale power producer on its acquisition of an important energy project on the East Coast. Natalie Regoli is a name to note.

Headed in Washington DC by Keith Martin and Rohit Chaudhry, Chadbourne & Parke LLP’s department delivers ‘top-notch’ service. Todd Alexander advised a syndicate of lenders on the secured bank financing of an $899m 700MW gas-fired power generation project in north-eastern Ohio. Other clients include Santander Bank and the US Department of Energy. Paul Kaufman left to join Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s practice is led by New York-based partners Andrianne Payson and Joseph Tato, who is praised for his ‘acute legal analysis’ and ‘practical solutions’. The team is noted for its ability to handle Africa-based power matters as well as domestic electricity transactions. Highlights for the team included advising Exelon Corporation on its $530m sale of the Fore River generating plant to Calpine Corporation. Other clients include EDF Trading North America, Covanta Energy and General Electric.

Led by Clinton Vince, the practice at Dentons expanded significantly following its merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in July 2015, welcoming Steven Bender and Gordon Giffin to its Atlanta office. Carl Steen also joined the team from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. Rudolf Beese advised KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company on the transfer of its interests in the $400m Midwest Transmission Project to Transource Missouri.

Mayer Brown’s practice is headed by Thomas Moore in Houston and advised Starwood Energy Group Global on its purchase of Quail Run Energy Center, an electric power generation facility in Odessa, Texas. Jeff Dobbs and Robert Goldberg assisted the same client with its acquisition of several other power generation facilities. Andrew Young recently joined the team from K&L Gates.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s department advised ArcLight Capital Partners on the financing and purchase of a 625MW Arizona-based electric generation facility from Sempra Energy, and assisted the same client with the sale of the 125MW Michigan Power Generating Facility. It also acted for LS Power on the sale of two Illinois power plants, with a total capacity of 530MW, to Rockland Capital Partners.

Greg Nelson leads the ‘very strong’, ‘responsive’ practice at Paul Hastings LLP, which was joined by Robert Kartheiser and Cathleen McLaughlin from Allen & Overy LLP in March 2015. The team advised Vanguard Natural Resources on its $614m acquisition of Eagle Rock Energy Partners and its $539m purchase of LRR Energy. Key figures include the ‘knowledgeable and effectiveTimothy Callahan, and William DeGrandis, who has ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and is ‘a pleasure to work with’.

The team at Reed Smith LLP recently added California Clean Power to its client base, which includes NRG, Montauk Energy Capital, American Public Power Association and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Headed by Nicolle Bagnell in the Pittsburgh office and Craig Enochs in Houston, the department welcomed Peter Malyshev to its Washington DC office from Latham & Watkins LLP in 2015, while Phillip Lookadoo left to join Haynes and Boone, L.L.P..

Jeffrey Meyers heads the ‘very capable’ department at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, which recently welcomed Salka LLC as a new addition to its client roster, which includes PBF Energy, NRG Energy, BPZ Resources and GE Energy Financial Services. Richard Madris and special counsel Armando Ramirez are also recommended, as is special counsel Daniel Simon, who joined from Ballard Spahr LLP in May 2015.

Elias Hinckley leads Sullivan & Worcester LLP’s practice and acted alongside Lewis Segall and Benjamin Armour to advise Locus Energy on its acquisition by a multinational conglomerate. Hayden Baker, who joined the team from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in September 2015, advised I Squared Capital on its equity partnership with Energy Investors Funds to construct an 869MW power generation facility in Ohio. Other clients include Ogin Energy, Saturn Power and Commonwealth Bay.

Joseph Karp leads the ‘very knowledgeable’ department at Winston & Strawn LLP, which is praised for its ‘excellent service’ and ‘good business solutions’. Jerry Bloom (who is ‘well known in the energy sector’) assisted Graphic Packaging with negotiating a new power purchase agreement with Silicon Valley Power. The practice also counts NRG Energy, AIG and John Hancock Life Insurance Company among its clients. The ‘responsiveLisa Cottle is ‘a pleasure to work with’.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s team is notably strong on Latin America-based matters; Richard Cooper, Adam Brenneman and Sean O’Neal acted for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority on negotiating several potential independent power projects. In another highlight, the team recently advised BHP Billiton on the creation of South32, a new global metals and mining company with an initial market capitalization of $9.1bn.

Strong on project finance matters and praised for its ‘excellent service’, Clifford Chance’s team is led by Washington DC-based partners David Evans, Christopher McIsaac, Fabricio Longhin, Lori Bean and Catherine McCarthy, as well as Gianluca Bacchiocchi, who recently joined the New York office from DLA Piper LLP (US). The team recently assisted the Matelec Group with the financing of the €134m Tobene power project, a 96MW power plant in Senegal.

The ‘client-oriented’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is praised for its ‘responsive, pragmatic, in-depth’ advice. Practice head Sarah Fitts acted alongside counsel Armando Rivera Jacobo advising Footprint Power on the financing of the Salem Harbor Power Station development project. Other clients include Oaktree Capital Management and Syncora Holdings.

Douglas Atnipp and Kenneth Minesinger lead Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s practice, which was strengthened by the arrival of several partners including Gregory Lawrence, Iskender Catto and Allan Reiss, who joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Adams and Reese LLP and McDermott Will & Emery LLP respectively. Clients include Sunstreet Energy Group, Sempra Energy and Harper Energy.

Highly active in the conventional power sector, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s practice is led by Daniel Bartfeld and includes project finance experts Carlos Albarracín, Eric Silverman and William Bice. Albarracín advised Empresas Públicas de Medellín on a $1bn loan to finance Colombia’s largest hydropower plant. Timothy Wendling was promoted to partner in January 2015.

Highlights for Porter Hedges LLP’s department, which is split between the firm’s Houston and Oklahoma offices, included acting for American Energy - Utica on its $407m sale of leasehold interests and gathering assets to Gulfport Energy Corporation. Oklahoma-based Ray Lees led on that deal and assisted American Energy Partners with its acquisition of Double Eagle Energy Holdings for $251m. Other clients include Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Noble Energy. Other key figures include practice heads Robert Thomas and Randy King, and McCaleb Marshall, who was promoted to partner in 2015.

David Raskin leads Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s Washington DC-based team, which includes Caroline Gaudet and is strong on energy transmission matters. Highlights included advising a large energy client on a joint venture to construct a transmission line to deliver 600MW of energy into New England. Other clients include American Electric Power, Duke Energy, Southern California Edison, and Public Service Electric and Gas Company.

Energy transactions: oil and gas

Index of tables

  1. Energy transactions: oil and gas
  2. Leading lawyers

Headed by Hugh Tucker in Houston and Steven Miles in Washington DC, Baker Botts L.L.P.’s practice is ‘superb across the board’ and provides ‘excellent service’ to its client base, which includes Halliburton and Repsol. Joshua Davidson, Kevin Keenan, Carlos Solé and Consuella Simmons Taylor are also recommended.

At Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLPSteven Talley advised Williams Companies on its $13.8bn acquisition of Williams Partners’ outstanding public equity, and assisted it with Williams Partners’ $50bn merger with Access Midstream Partners. In another highlight Beau Stark acted for Dresser-Rand on its $7.6bn acquisition by Siemens. Other clients include Atmos Energy Corporation and Susser. In early 2017, the firm acquired leading lawyer Michael Darden from Latham & Watkins LLP to kickstart its new Houston office.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice is jointly led by Christopher Cross and Sean Wheeler, and is commended for its ‘exceptional expertise’. In an illustration of its presence in large-scale transactions, Wheeler advised Encana Corporation on its $7.1bn acquisition of Athlon Energy. Brett Braden, Jeffrey Muñoz, David Miller and Robin Fredrickson are also recommended. In early 2017, leading lawyer Michael Darden joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's new Houston office.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s practice is commended for its ‘excellent service’ with ‘quick, knowledgeable and organised’ team heads Keith Fullenweider and John Connally standing out for their combination of legal and commercial skills. James Cuclis and David Oelman are also recommended, as is Bryan Loocke, who joined the team from Bracewell LLP in July 2015.

Bracewell LLP’s practice is praised for its response times, business acumen, industry knowledge and bench strength. ‘Bright, creative and business-minded’ practice head Alan Rafte is considered ‘one of the most knowledgeable oil and gas transaction lawyers around’. In a highlight, Rafte acted for Apache Corporation on the $1.4bn sale of approximately 205,000 net acres of land to Tapstone Energy.

Philip Weems and Ken Culotta lead the ‘adaptable’ team at King & Spalding LLP, which is praised for its response times, industry knowledge and ‘very good levels of service’. Its heavyweight client list includes Petronas, ConocoPhillips Alaska and Andarko Petroleum Corporation. Vera de Gyarfas and recently promoted partner Denis Fallon are also recommended.

In August 2015 Kirkland & Ellis LLP welcomed energy transactions specialist Cody Carper to its Houston office from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Highlights for the practice included acting for Murray Energy Corporation on its $1.4bn acquisition of a controlling interest in Foresight Energy.

Headed by Robert Thomas and Randy King, the team at Porter Hedges LLP handled several high-profile matters, including advising American Energy - Utica on its $407m sale of leasehold interests, wells and gathering assets to Gulfport Energy Corporation. Other clients include Enbridge Energy Partners and Noble Energy. Ray Lees, who advised on the American Energy - Utica transaction, is also recommended, as is McCaleb Marshall, who was promoted to partner in January 2015.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s practice is headed by David Lieberman and includes Robert Rabalais and Matthew Einbinder. Highlights for the team included advising Crestwood Midstream Partners and Crestwood Equity Partners on their $7.5bn merger, and acting for Barclays Bank as lead arranger on the $2bn bridge financing of WPX Energy’s acquisition of RKI Exploration & Production.

At Sullivan & Cromwell LLPJoseph Frumkin, Scott Crofton and special counsel Tia Barancik advised UIL Holdings Corporation on its $3bn acquisition by Iberdrola USA. George Sampas acted for Remy International on its $1.2bn acquisition by BorgWarner. The team also assisted American Energy Permian Holdings with its $4.25bn purchase of oil and gas assets in West Texas and Ohio.

The ‘very timely’, ‘cost-effective’ and ‘commercial’ team at Thompson & Knight LLP is led by Andrew Derman, Lawrence Hall, Richard Hemingway, Jr. and Hunter White. Clients include EnerVest, Ajax Resources, RSP Permian and Reliance Holding USA. Luis Gomar joined the practice in January 2015 from Strasburger & Price, L.L.P., and Stacy Brown joined in June 2015 from a firm in New Orleans.

The department at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is led by Christine LaFollette, Douglas Glass, Edward Zaelke and Suedeen Kelly. LaFollette advised Laredo Petroleum on a $550m public offering of common stock. John Goodgame advised Ferrellgas Partners on its $838m acquisition of Bridge Logistics.

The Houton-based Michael O’Leary heads the department at Andrews Kurth LLP, which is praised for its ‘unquestionable integrity’ and its ‘high levels of service and expertise’. O’Leary and Mark Young acted for Crestwood Equity Partners on the $7.5bn merger of Crestwood Midstream Partners with a newly formed subsidiary. Other clients include Enterprise Products Partners and FourPoint Energy.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s department is led by the ‘responsive’ Louis Davis, who is praised for his ‘loyalty’, ‘expertise’ and ‘sound judgement’. The team’s clients include White Marlin Oil and Gas Company, Mexico Petroleum Company and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. Natalie Regoli is a name to note. Huhnsik Chung joined the New York office from Locke Lord LLP in April 2015.

The ‘terrificRobert Gruendel and ‘first-rateJack Langlois head DLA Piper LLP (US)’ ‘outstanding’ energy practice. Langlois and the ‘practical, personable, responsive and efficientSteven Torello assisted Adventure Exploration Partners with its $250m sale of assets to RSP Permian. Anthony Newton and Arthur Howard joined the team from K&L Gates and Drew Baldinger joined from Andrews Kurth LLP.

K&L Gates’ practice is headed by Michael Zanic in Pittsburgh and Houston-based Randel Young. David Wochner advised on the development of the proposed Magnolia LNG export terminal in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Steve Morton, counsel Janessa Glenn and of counsel William Moltz joined in May 2015 from their Austin-based practice, Moltz Morton & Glenn, LLP

At McGuireWoods LLP, practice head Joanne Katsantonis assisted Dominion Resources with its $4.4bn purchase of Questar Corporation, and on its $500m acquisition of Carolina Gas Transmission from SCANA Corporation. The team also advised Morgan Stanley on Exelon’s $6.8bn purchase of Pepco Holdings. Other clients include Direct Energy and Duke Energy.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s Brian Bradshaw is praised for his ‘outstanding commercial knowledge’, and acted for Duke Energy on its proposed $1.5bn acquisition of Source Gas. In another highlight, Jonathan Morris advised Highstar Capital IV on its acquisition of the 700MW Salem Harbor Power Station project. David Asmus is a key name in the practice. Peter Hays was promoted to partner in October 2015.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s practice is headed up by Michael Irvin and includes Daniel Mark, who acted for Delek US Holdings on its purchase of 48% of Alon USA Energy. Other clients include Anadarko Petroleum, BP America and ExxonMobil. Former Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP lawyers John Mauel, Julie Mayo and Jay Stiffler joined the Houston office in 2015, as did Stephanie Hildebrandt, former general counsel at Enterprise Products Partners.

Greg Nelson’s department at Paul Hastings LLP was strengthened by the arrival of Robert Kartheiser and Cathleen McLaughlin from Allen & Overy LLP in March 2015. Gislar Donnenberg advised Crestwood Midstream Partners on its $130m acquisition of a majority interest in Tres Palacios Holdings. Vanguard Natural Resources, Tall Oak Midstream and Atlas Resources Partners are also clients.

Sidley Austin LLP’s team of ‘responsive’ and ‘knowledgeable’ lawyers was strengthened by the arrival of several partners from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in 2015, including Kenneth Irvin, Daryl Rice, Terence Healey, Karen Dewis and Robert Stephens; and by the recruitment of Kevin Lewis from Vinson & Elkins LLP. Clients include Duke Energy Corporation and Anadarko Petroleum Company.

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Katherine Ashley and Pankaj Sinha assisted Helmerich & Payne with its $107m sale of a 6% stake in Atwood Oceanics, and Frank Bayouth advised Noble Energy on its $3.7bn acquisition of Rosetta Resources. The department’s other clients include AES Corporation and NextEra Energy Partners.

Key individuals at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP include Michael Aiello, who advised Kinder Morgan on its $76bn purchase of all the outstanding equity shares in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Kinder Morgan Management and El Paso Pipeline Partners; and Glenn West, who acted for WPX Energy on its $2.75bn purchase of RKI Exploration & Production. Practice head Rodney Moore is also recommended.

Houston-based partners Denmon Sigler and Craig Vogelsang lead the team at Winston & Strawn LLP. Vogelsang acted for Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation on its sale of working interests in oil and gas properties in North Dakota. Jonathan Judkowitz joined the department from Mayer Brown.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘pragmatic’, ‘highly professional’ practice is led by the ‘calm’, ‘savvySarah Fitts and includes Ezra Borut and Maurizio Levi-Minzi. Highlights included advising Kelso & Company on its $376m joint acquisition with Ajax Resources of W&T Offshore’s interest in West Texas’ Yellow Rose Field. Christopher Smeall is also recommended.

Clinton Vince leads the practice at Dentons, which welcomed Gordon Giffin and Steven Bender following the firm’s merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. Carl Steen and counsel Neil Bowman also joined, from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP and Anadarko Petroleum Company respectively. Clients include Hawkins Avary Hillmer and Kuwait Oil Company.

Highlights for Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s practice included advising Harper Energy on its $30m acquisition of offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico from Deep Gulf Energy. Douglas Atnipp, who led on that deal, heads the practice with Kenneth Minesinger. Gregory Lawrence, Derek Anchondo and Iskender Catto joined the team in 2015 from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Adams and Reese LLP and McDermott Will & Emery LLP respectively.

Jeffrey Schlegel leads Jones Day’s practice, which is praised for its ‘spot-on’ advice and ability to ‘maximise value and minimize risk’. Schlegel, who is commended for his ‘near-perfect knowledge’, advised MPLX LP and Marathon Petroleum on the former’s merger with MarkWest Energy Partners. The ‘extremely prompt’, ‘trustworthy’ Stephen Olson joined the team from Baker & Hostetler LLP in August 2015.

Led primarily from the Houston office, the team at McDermott Will & Emery LLP advised Energy Investors Funds on the acquisition of a gathering system in North Dakota, and assisted it with the formation of a joint venture to develop the 177-mile Central Penn Line with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company. ArcLight Capital Partners is another example of the firm’s high-profile client base.

Reed Smith LLP’s practice is led by Nicolle Bagnell in Pittsburgh and Craig Enochs in Houston, and has a highly active presence in the oil and gas sector for clients including Wheatland Oil, Stonegate Production Company and Castleton Commodities Upstream. Michael Joy left to join Baker & Hostetler LLP.

Elias Hinckley’s team at Sullivan & Worcester LLP advised several institutional equity investors on Fortistar’s purchase of Primary Energy Corporation, and assisted Locus Energy with its acquisition by a multinational conglomerate. Hayden Baker, who joined in September 2015 from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, advised Morgan Stanley on the sale of its physical oil merchant business to Castleton Commodities International.

Headed by Arthur Scavone, John Reiss and Gregory Pryor in New York, Christian Hansen in Miami and Kirsti Massie in London, White & Case LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ practice advised Turkish energy, media and commerce conglomerate Ciner Group on the execution of a share and asset purchase agreement to acquire OCI Chemical Corporation. Other clients include Calpine Corporation, Global Infrastructure Partners and Freeport LNG Development.

Chadbourne & Parke LLP’s ‘fantastic’ practice is led by Rohit Chaudhry, Noam Ayali and Benjamin Koenigsberg, and has been particularly active in project financings. Ayali and Koenigsberg advised the lenders on the $4.6bn financing of Louisiana’s Sabine Pass LNG export project. Other clients include Société Générale, Macquarie, Credit Suisse and HSBC.

Key oil and gas figures at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP include Jeffrey Lewis, Richard Cooper, Chantal Kordula and Richard Lincer. In an illustration of its strength in energy transactions, the practice advised Petróleos Mexicanos on the establishment of a $1.5bn export financing program with the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Clifford Chance’s practice is headed by David Evans, Christopher McIsaac, Fabricio Longhin, Lori Bean and Catherine McCarthy in Washington DC, as well as the New York based Gianluca Bacchiocchi (who joined from DLA Piper LLP (US) in January 2015). Longhin advised OPIC, Standard Bank and Nedbank on the financing of Ghana’s 192MW Amandi power plant.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s oil and gas practice is particularly noted for its project counsel advice to developers; highlights included advising Delfin LNG on the first deepwater port LNG and the first floating liquefaction project in the US. Other clients include Dominion Resources, Petróleos de Venezuela and Noble Energy. Scot Anderson heads the practice from the firm’s Denver office.

Thomas Moore leads the practice at Mayer Brown, which is commended for its responsiveness, knowledge, experience and value for money. Clients include Noble Energy, Emerald Oil, Excelerate Energy and Crestwood Midstream Partners. Francisco Mendez and Andrew Young joined the Washington DC office in 2015; Mendez had been in-house counsel at ExxonMobil Corporation, and Young joined from K&L Gates. Pablo Ferrante is also recommended.

Highlights for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP included acting for Atlantic Finance as borrower on the senior secured financing of the acquisition of a semi-submersible oilfield vessel based in the Gulf of Mexico. Other clients include Trafigura Beheer, Portigon AG and SBM Offshore. Daniel Bartfeld heads the practice, which includes Roland Estevez and Daniel Michalchuk.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP acted for Enbridge on an agreement with United Refining regarding the maintenance and upgrading of a 37km section of one of Enbridge’s pipelines. Kinder Morgan and Wolverine Pipe Line Company are also clients. David Raskin heads the practice in Washington DC and is supported by key partner Caroline Gaudet.

Jeffrey Meyers heads Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s practice, which includes Richard Madris and special counsel Armando Ramirez. Meyers advised the Carlyle Group on its purchase of outstanding interests in Southeast PowerGen Holdings, which owns a 2,815MW portfolio of gas-fired power plants in Georgia. GE Energy Financial Services is another client.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP’s practice is commended for its ‘great response times’ and ‘depth of knowledge’. Herbert Short leads the team, which includes Ram Sunkara, who is praised for his ‘great-value work’, and counsel Benjamin Rajabi, who is ‘a workhorse’. Sunkara assisted the Carlyle Group with its acquisition of the outstanding interests in Southeast PowerGen Holdings.

Bruce Herzog and the ‘exceptionalMichael De Voe Piazza leads Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice, which is praised for its ‘great response times, knowledge and commerciality’. De Voe Piazza, who is singled out for his ‘energy levels, experience and intelligence’, advised Millennial Energy Partners on various acquisitions and joint ventures. Other clients include Riverstone Holdings and Springbok Energy Partners.

Environment: litigation

Index of tables

  1. Environment: litigation
  2. Leading lawyers

The ‘extraordinary team of environmental litigators’ at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is acclaimed for its ‘exceptional work’ across the full extent of environmental matters, including federal and state enforcement actions, toxic torts, class actions and mass torts, as well as air, water, wetlands and permitting litigation. The firm continued its work for BP and, in 2015, a team led by Washington DC-based Thomas Milch assisted the supermajor negotiate a global settlement with the DOJ, the five Gulf states and approximately 300 local government entities to resolve civil CWA claims, NRD claims, and all economic damage claims from the Deepwater Horizon incident. Other matters saw Lester Sotsky successfully defended The Mosaic Company against the EPA’s national enforcement initiative against the US phosphate industry. Other notable clients include Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Monsanto and Reckitt Benckiser. The New York office was boosted by the arrival of Edward McTiernan, former deputy commissioner and general counsel of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Brian Israel in Washington DC is the new chair of practice.

Kirkland & Ellis LLPranks head and shoulders above any other firm in capability, bench strength and efficiency’, according to sources. Praised as being ‘extremely responsive, professional and courteous’, the firm is best known for its litigation expertise, and regularly represents clients in an array of civil, criminal and administrative environmental proceedings. A recent highlight was representing the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute in a settlement with the DOE, accepted by the Fifth Circuit, regarding a challenge to a rule passed by the DOE setting stringent new energy efficiency standards for walk-in coolers and freezers. In another standout matter, the team defended Boeing in a groundwater contamination case brought by nearly 200 property owners in Washington State. The firm was also called upon by ExxonMobil to defend cases relating to the rupture of a crude oil pipeline near Billings, Montana in 2011 that led to an escape of oil into the Yellowstone River; and it continued its work for BP in several cases relating to the Deepwater Horizon case. Other notable mandates included handling a toxic tort case for Axiall Corporation and its subsidiary, Eagle US, before the Fifth Circuit. Chicago-based Catherine Fitzpatrick and Richard Godfrey are recommended.

Sources say of Latham & Watkins LLP that ‘there is no better firm for getting high-quality bang for your buck’ and that it ‘never fails to live up to its reputation as one of the best firms in the world’. The environment, land and resources practice, which comprises more than 160 lawyers across the US, is chaired by Los Angeles-based James Arnone and vice chaired by Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander. The firm is recognized for handling all types of environmental dispute, including toxic torts, product defense and climate change-related litigation. The team is representing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection before the US Supreme Court in a case against the state of Georgia related to water rights in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin. The team was also busy in the insurance coverage area, where it successfully represented Fluor in a coverage action against Hartford Accident & Indemnity before the California Superior Court, the California Court of Appeal and finally the California Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found in Fluor’s favor and overruled a longstanding interpretation of the Insurance Code that restricted the assignment of insurance rights. Another name to note is former practice chair Robert Wyman, who is based in Los Angeles. Marc Campopiano in Orange County and Andrea Hogan in San Francisco were both promoted to partner.

Sidley Austin LLP can count on the experience of prominent figures in environment litigation, including Samuel Gutter and Roger Martella in Washington DC and Robert Olian in Chicago. The experienced team represents a broad array of clients in environmental disputes, including National Alliance of Forest Owners, Bayer Healthcare and TransCanada, and excels in complex air, water, waste and climate change-related litigation. Recently, the team successfully defended NV Energy against a challenge before the Ninth Circuit by an environmental group seeking to vacate an EPA decision over air emission limits for the company’s Reid Gardner power plant. A team including Martella was retained by a coalition of 20 trade associations to draft comments and prepare for litigation regarding the EPA’s proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. Washington DC-based David Buente is highly recommended and considered ‘one of the most brilliant guys in the environmental field’.

Boutique firm Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. provides comprehensive environmental law services to domestic and international clients from its seven US offices. In 2015, the team was active in settling citizen suits for clients including Valero, E.L. Harvey and Sons, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Washington DC-based Benjamin Wilson was recently appointed by North Carolina Eastern District Court to monitor Duke Energy’s implementation of and compliance with a criminal plea agreement related to a major coal ash spill. The firm is defending Siemens against Thomas & Betts before federal court in Boston regarding alleged liability for PCB contamination in Mother Brook. Nancy Kaplan recently took an in-house role at Eversource Energy, while in Washington DC, the firm saw the retirement of Steve Herman and the departure of Scott Fulton to the post of president of the Environmental Law Institute.

The environmental litigation and mass tort practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has a strong presence on both coasts, and is co-led by Patrick Dennis in Los Angeles and Peter Seley and Daniel Nelson in Washington DC. It is best known for its experience in complex and multi-plaintiff toxic tort matters, civil and criminal environmental enforcement actions, and climate change and clean air litigation. The team continues to act as lead counsel to International Paper in two mass actions filed by private plaintiffs arising from the Harris County lawsuit over alleged toxic waste disposal in the San Jacinto River, which was resolved by jury verdict in favor of the client in 2014. In other matters, Seley continues to represent Chevron in the RICO suit against attorney Steven Donziger and his co-conspirators for obtaining a $19bn environmental remediation judgment against the client in Ecuador through allegedly corrupt means; the firm is currently handling the appeal, which is pending in Second Circuit. Dennis successfully defended Intel against claims regarding birth defects in the offspring of workers in semiconductor manufacturing, obtaining the dismissal of claims in Arizona and Delaware. WestRock, Dole Food and Freeport McMoRan Oil and Gas are other notable clients.

The ‘excellent’ team at Hogan Lovells US LLPis above average’. It is frequently involved in high-profile civil judicial enforcement actions, natural resource damage claims, challenges to regulations, permit litigation, administrative proceedings, internal investigations, and citizen suits in the environmental arena. In 2015, the team defended Frontier Airline against an attempt by a citizens group to shut down its service at an East Coast airport for alleged environmental violations; and filed a crude-by-rail lawsuit on behalf of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers against BNSF Railway in the Southern District of Texas; both matters were led from Washington DC by Justin Savage. Washington DC-based James Banks is considered a ‘true expert in environmental litigation’, and Denver-based Daniel Dunn is also noted. Counsel Christie Iannetta joined the Washington DC office and Andrew Spielman is now at WilmerHale.

Hunton & Williams LLP is a go-to firm for ‘critical environment litigation matters’. The ‘top-notch’ team is led from Washington DC by William Wehrum, who is described as ‘hands down one of the finest Clean Air Act attorneys in the country’. Wehrum acted for the American Forest & Paper Association, a coalition of other major trade associations and the Utility Air Regulatory Group in three sets of cases challenging three related EPA rules that regulate air emissions from industrial boilers and process heaters as well as industrial solid waste incinerators. The team is also well regarded in CWA litigation, were it represents clients such as the Utility Water Act Group, the American Petroleum Institute and the American Gas Association. Environmental law and litigation expert Tom Boer joined the San Francisco team from Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, and Washington DC-based Aaron Flynn was promoted to the partnership. Former Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP attorneys Charles Knauss and Shannon Broome recently joined in Washington DC and San Francisco respectively. Washington DC-based William Brownell is also noted.

The service level at King & Spalding LLP is ‘second to none’, according to clients, and this service has been further enhanced by the hires to its Washington DC office of former Kirkland & Ellis LLP lawyers Granta Nakayama, Ilana Saltzbart and Joseph Eisert. One of the firm’s main clients is Chevron, and a team lead by Houston-based Robert Meadows has recently acted as trial counsel in more than 100 environmental lawsuits pending in Louisiana concerning damage to groundwater, soil and sediments. Patricia Barmeyer of the Atlanta office is considered a ‘top environmental lawyer in the state of Georgia’ and is praised for being ‘of great integrity; professional and a true expert’. She successfully defended Rayonier Advanced Materials in a CWA claim brought by an environmental group regarding alleged contaminated discharges into the Altamaha River. Lewis Jones in Atlanta and Matthew Blaschke in San Francisco are newly made partners, while C. Brannon Robertson left the firm and is now at Fernelius Alvarez Simon PLLC.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is very well known for energy litigation and is one of the key names in related environmental and toxic tort disputes. The Texas-headquartered firm has offices in New York and Washington DC and is opening a new office in San Francisco. Top mandates included serving as lead environmental counsel to Marathon Oil and securing a summary judgment in a private nuisance and personal injury claim regarding exposure to regulated air emissions from a production operation in Karnes County, Texas. In other matters, it successfully defended Waste Control Specialists in three separate attempts by the Sierra Club to have Texas state courts reverse decisions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality authorizing the construction and operation of radioactive waste disposal facilities. Washington DC-based Steven Leifer and Austin-based Aileen Hooks are the main contacts. Megan Berge from the Washington DC office was promoted to the partnership.

Bracewell LLP’s environment practice is anchored in Austin, Houston and Washington DC, and was recently enhanced by the addition of a team from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP to the Austin office, including Sara Burgin, Kevin Collins, Matt Paulson and Whit Swift. The ‘excellent’ team, made up of ‘outstanding problem solvers’, recently defended two waste management entities against civil penalty claims brought by Harris County and the state of Texas for alleged pollution of the San Jacinto River; after five weeks of trial, the team successfully settled with the government for less than 1% of the penalty sought. It is also representing one of North America’s largest independent manufacturers of bleach and consumer products in an indemnification dispute over numerous Superfund sites. Other notable clients include Apache, Baker Hughes, ConocoPhillips and Pilot Chemical Company. Jason Hutt and Jeffrey Holmstead in Washington DC and Austin-based Timothy Wilkins are the key names.

The practice at Covington & Burling LLP is spread across its Washington DC and California offices and draws upon the expertise of two former EPA general counsels, Donald Elliott and Gary Guzy, both of whom are based in Washington DC. The team is experienced in liability, contribution, remedy selection and NRD matters under the Superfund statute, among other environmental issues. Practice co-chair Lawrence Hobel, based in San Francisco, leads the representation of Aerojet Rocketdyne in cases related to the management of its Superfund site in Sacramento, California, including response to EPA Records of Decision for operable units, water purveyor claims for replacement water supplies, and property owner damage litigation. In other matters, Washington DC-based Steven Rosenbaum is handling the defense of the American Petroleum Institute in a suit filed by the Environmental Defense Center seeking to block the use of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in New Mexico. The Washington DC team was reinforced with the recent additions of former EPA attorney and senior of counsel Robert Matthews, and federal regulatory and litigation expert Mark Perlis, who joins in an of counsel capacity from the now defunct Dickstein Shapiro.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP handles all stages of environmental disputes, including taking complex civil and criminal cases to trial and to appeal. A team led by Philadelphia-based David Mandelbaum is defending P H Glatfelter in several cases relating to the Lower Fox River and Green Bay Superfund site in northeastern Wisconsin. In other matters, Tampa-based David Weinstein is representing Mosaic Fertilizer in federal litigation involving multiple parcels of real property located in Hillsborough and Polk counties in Florida. Other clients include Coronet Industries, FMC Corporation and Tetra Tech. Miami-based Kerri Barsh is the other key name.

The environmental team at Mayer Brown is well regarded mainly for its expertise in CWA and CAA litigation. In a recent matter, a team led from Chicago by Timothy Bishop is representing a dozen major industry groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Petroleum Institute, in a complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas challenging the legality of the EPA’s new regulation redefining ‘the waters of the US’ under the CWA. In a CAA-related matter, the team is representing longstanding client US Sugar Corporation in challenging EPA regulations on emissions limits for hazardous air pollutants from industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters, and is defending the client in a multi-front challenge by the Sierra Club to the Florida sugar industry’s practice of burning cane fields prior to harvest. Other clients include Alexander & Baldwin, American Farm Bureau, CSX Transportation and Foster Poultry Farms. Led by Richard Bulger and Mark Ter Molen from the Chicago office, the team also has boots on the ground in New York and Washington DC.

The environmental practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has ‘gained more strength and recognition’, following the arrival of a group of lawyers from the defunct Bingham McCutchen in 2014. The team is led by ‘first-class lawyer’ James Dragna in Los Angeles and John McGahren in New Jersey. In a recent CWA highlight, the team acted as national counsel to Anadarko Petroleum in a multibillion-dollar claim by the US government regarding the release of hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon incident, achieving a very favorable result for the client. Regarding the same incident, the group also achieved a recent victory for M-I L.L.C., a subsidiary of Schlumberger. In a TSCA-related matter, Washington DC-based Ronald Tenpas led the reversal of a $2.5m penalty imposed on Elementis Chromium by the EPA after an agency trial for allegedly withholding toxic risk information. The team was bolstered with the promotions to partner of Yardena Zwang-Weissman in the Los Angeles office, and Brad Nes and Randall Mark Levine in the Washington DC office.

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, the environment and energy practice is led by the San Francisco-based Christopher Carr and benefits also from the experience of Michèle Corash. The team is best known for its expertise in chemical exposure litigation, air quality and greenhouse gas litigation, and water controversies, especially in the state of California. In a recent highlight, the team successfully represented 16 food manufacturers, including Gerber, J.M. Smucker and Dole Foods, in a Proposition 65 trial initiated by the Environmental Law Foundation claiming failure to disclose the presence of traces of lead in baby foods, 100% fruit juices, and packaged fruit and vegetable products; the decision was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court denied a review. In other matters, it is defending Sierra Pacific Industries before the Ninth Circuit against the Center for Biological Diversity and others in a challenge to the approval of a CAA permit for a biomass facility emitting greenhouse gas. The team also acts on behalf of 15 Bay Area municipalities in several administrative and judicial proceedings regarding water pollution control requirements. Washington DC-based Joseph Palmore is the main contact.

The environmental practice at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is acclaimed for its ‘extreme responsiveness and great bench depth’. The team is led from Los Angeles by Christopher McNevin and includes figures such as the ‘outstanding’ Margaret Rosegay in San Francisco, who ‘knows the hazardous waste law and regulations in California better than anyone’; Washington DC-based Matthew Morrison, who is a ‘joy to work with, extremely knowledgeable and reliable’; and Sheila McCafferty Harvey, who is a ‘smart, strategic, determined and pragmatic lawyer’. Notably, the team acts as general counsel to Western States Petroleum Association and is involved in a full array of environmental matters on behalf of the client, including representing it in litigation and counseling it on the implementation of Assembly Bill 32 on greenhouse gas emissions, California’s cap-and-trade system, and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program. It also represents the Association of American Railroads on all air quality, climate change and related matters affecting the industry in California, Oregon and Washington state. Also recommended are John Hansen in San Francisco and Michael McDonough in Los Angeles. Andrew Strong rejoined the Houston office.

At Vinson & Elkins LLP, the ‘excellent’ environmental and natural resources practice represents a notable list of clients in the energy sector, including Anadarko Petroleum, Freeport-McMoRan, Maxus Energy Corporation, Tierra Solutions and White Stallion Energy Center. It advises on the full breadth of environmental administrative proceedings and litigation, and has been involved in numerous notable contamination cases as well as challenges to EPA regulations. Recent mandates include representing a client in the mining industry in a federal class action regarding alleged environmental contamination and property damage. Austin-based Susan Snyder is endorsed for her ‘deep industry expertise’ and for being a ‘fast worker and an innovative and practical lawyer’, and ‘great litigatorKevin Gaynor in Washington DC is recommended as ‘one of the finest environmental lawyers in the US’. Following the retirement of Carol Dinkins, Houston-based Larry Nettles now heads the practice.

At Goodwin Procter LLP, the environmental team ‘consistently exceeds expectations’. It is led from Washington DC by Laurence Kirsch and, in 2015, it was particularly active in the mining sector, as well as in matters regarding contaminated sites. ‘Environmental mining superstarMichael Giannotto in Washington DC is national counsel to the National Mining Association in several environmental matters, including representing it in opposing a petition for mandamus brought in the DC Circuit by several environmental and citizens groups seeking a court order requiring the EPA to promulgate financial assurance regulations for the mining industry. In another highlight, Kirsch leads the representation of Rohm and Haas (a subsidiary of Dow) and Morton International (Rohm and Haas’ wholly owned subsidiary) in matters related to the investigation and clean-up of Berry’s Creek Study Area, one of the country’s most significant waterbody Superfund matters, as well as in relation to claims for natural resource damages.

At Jones Day, the environmental, health and safety practice group is led from Washington DC by Kevin Holewinski, who is experienced in environmental, climate change and toxic tort litigation. Representative matters included representing PCS Nitrogen in a Superfund matter, Chevron in environmental lawsuits filed in Ecuador and Brazil, Axiall in environmental matters related to inquiries and requests for information by the EPA, and Fluor Corporation in a federal RCRA and CWA citizen suit filed in the Northern District of California. Other clients include the City of Detroit, Procter & Gamble and NRG Yield. San Francisco-based Thomas Donnelly is also noted.

New to the ranking, the environmental litigation practice at K&L Gates represents clients in the full spectrum of environmental matters, including private party and citizen suit litigation, challenges to regulatory authority rules, and first-party and third-party administrative appeals before regulatory authority tribunals. Highlights included acting as lead trial counsel to Hess Oil and Hovensa, as defendants, in a CERCLA NRD and common law jury trial regarding alleged ground water contamination and damages to near-shore marine ecosystems from hazardous substances and petroleum released from oil refining operations. Other clients include Shell, Astra Oil and Titan America. Charlotte-based David Franchina and Craig Wilson in Harrisburg co-head the team. Newark-based William Hyatt is described as an ‘extremely talented environmental lawyer’. The practice added three more partners in the Austin office, including Steve Morton, William Moltz and Janessa Glenn.

The environmental team at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP remains strong despite losing a group of partners from the Austin office to Bracewell LLP, including Matt Paulson, Whit Swift, Kevin Collins and Sara Burgin. The practice has particular expertise in climate change law, environmental crimes, workplace safety, and major accident response. In a highlight matter, Greg Dillard, who recently joined the Houston office from Vinson & Elkins LLP, is defending BP Amoco Chemical from citations issued by OSHA and the subsequent trial that resulted from a complaint about the use of relief valves and the potential release of highly hazardous chemicals. The Texas Oil & Gas Association recently retained the firm to assist in challenging CAA regulations regarding emissions from fracking that affect oil and gas exploration and production. The matter is being handled by ‘air quality stars’ Shannon Broome in San Francisco and Charles Knauss in Washington DC. Daniella Landers joined the Houston office from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

Led by New York-based Peter John Sacripanti, McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s practice has a strong track record in representing clients in contentious and non-contentious environmental matters. A team led from New York by James Pardo has represented ExxonMobil in more than 120 mass tort product liability, natural resource damages, and environmental contamination matters cases, and recently won a case brought by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for alleged groundwater contamination. Other matters included representing Irving Oil in lawsuits and environmental investigations arising from the derailment of a train that was carrying allegedly misclassified crude oil from the US to Canada in violation of Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. Chicago-based Craig Zimmerman and Todd Wiener are also noted.

Perkins Coie LLP’s environmental practice is spread across the country, with representatives in the firm’s Chicago, Oregon, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Alaska offices. The team represents clients in a wide range of environmental issues, including Superfund matters, major projects and in relation to high-stakes permit challenges in trial courts, appellate courts, administrative tribunals and ADR forums. Among its notable engagements, the team is representing Boeing at more than 25 contaminated sites throughout the country, including the Lower Duwamish Waterway site in Washington state. It also assisted the Tennessee Valley Authority in a London arbitration related to environmental clean-up costs associated with a coal ash spill. Other clients include Usibelli Coal Mine, NRG Energy and Chevron Products. Portland-based Tom Lindley is the key name.

White & Case LLP’s environmental team represents corporations and governments in the full spectrum of environmental matters, including litigation relating to the clean-up of contaminated sites, toxic tort claims, land-use disputes and litigation concerning wetlands, endangered species and hazardous waste. It also handles climate change litigation and the defense of environmental crimes. Recent highlights include reaching a public settlement on behalf of the city of Dania Beach, Florida, after years of litigation arising from the expansion of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The team also acts as outside legal counsel to the Conservation Law Foundation’s environmental enforcement program in litigation against multiple violators of the CWA in New England. Miami-based Douglas Halsey and Neal McAliley are the key names.

Environment: regulatory

Index of tables

  1. Environment: regulatory
  2. Leading lawyers

The ‘extremely capable’ environmental boutique Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is at the forefront of the market, representing major corporations and industry groups in the full breadth of environmental regulatory matters. Headline work included acting as lead counsel to Union Station Redevelopment Corporation regarding the planning, design and construction of Union Station’s 2nd Century project, a mixed-use development in the heart of Washington DC. The advice includes compliance matters, preparation of environmental documents, and review of possible litigation risks involving NEPA and NHPA. The team is also serving as environmental counsel to Inland American Real Estate Trust, the owner of the Sacramento Railyards, in the negotiations with Union Pacific Railroad, the former owner, and a myriad of regulatory agencies and other stakeholders regarding getting the property cleaned up and sold. The team includes ‘very talented lawyers’, such as Austin-based Karen Hansen. The Wellesley office saw the departure of Nancy Kaplan, who took an in-house role at Eversource Energy, and the appointment of Jeanine Grachuk as a principal of the firm. Since publication, San Francisco-based Nicholas van Aelstyn has joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.

The ‘top-drawer’ environmental team at Latham & Watkins LLP has an exceptional regulatory practice, including permitting, compliance, agency rulemaking and legislation, enforcement actions and litigation. Los Angeles-based James Arnone chairs the group and Mary Rose Alexander in Chicago is vice chair. Former practice chair Robert Wyman splits his time between Los Angeles and Washington DC. A team led by Wyman is assisting Arizona Public Service Company in the environmental aspects of the renewal of the site lease for the Four Corners Power Plant on the Navajo Nation and across the Hopi Reservation; the advice included the environmental review process under NEPA as well as coordinating with federal agencies on compliance with the ESA and NHPA. The team is acting for Monsanto in regulatory matters related to the development of new genetically engineered crops. New York-based Gary Gengel is recommended. Marc Campopiano in Orange County and Andrea Hogan in San Francisco were recently promoted to the partnership.

The team at Sidley Austin LLP is praised for its ‘exceptional knowledge of the industry and regulatory implications’, as well as for its ‘great response times and excellent service’. The recommended Roger Martella, in Washington DC, has been very active in representing a large industry coalition on issues related to the Council on Environmental Quality’s draft guidance on incorporating greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change in NEPA reviews. Regarding the Clean Air Act, the team assists a high-profile roster of clients, including Ford, John Deere and Cummins, in different matters related to the regulation of vehicle emissions. The team, which is led from Los Angeles by Judith Praitis, is also well regarded for advising clients on compliance with a wide range of California laws regulating air emissions, water discharges, solid and hazardous waste management and medical waste management. Robert Olian and Byron Taylor in the Chicago office and Washington DC-based David Buente are highly recommended.

The environmental practice at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP has strong litigation expertise and is also well regarded for its prowess in regulatory, compliance and enforcement advice under the full range of environmental laws, including the CAA, CWA, and CERCLA. Newly appointed chair of practice Brian Israel and Thomas Milch, both of whom are based in Washington DC, are assisting BP in all regulatory matters related to the settlement of the Deep Horizon case with the DOJ, the five Gulf states and around 300 local government entities. The Mosaic Company called upon the firm to serve as national counsel on a wide array of environmental regulatory, permitting and litigation matters. Former deputy commissioner and general counsel of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Edward McTiernan joined the New York office.

Best known for its energy-related expertise, the environmental practice at Hunton & Williams LLP is well regarded for its regulatory know-how and provides ‘outstanding’ service. Among its recommended lawyers in Washington DC are air expert William Wehrum, Lucinda Langworthy, Kristy Bulleit and Virginia Albrecht. The team handles federal and state regulatory proceedings and provides compliance advice on air, water, waste, climate change, mining, chemicals, petroleum and multinational environmental policy. New clients include Duke Energy and Hershey, and more established clients include Utility Water Act Group, Utility Air Regulatory Group and the American Petroleum Institute.

Considered ‘one of the best law firms out there’, Vinson & Elkins LLP is well respected for its environmental regulatory work. Houston-based Larry Nettles chairs the team following the retirement of Carol Dinkins. The team has been working with clients in presenting strategies to address climate-enhanced risks in flood hazard zones. Recent additions to the Washington DC office include the former acting director of the EPA’s special litigation and projects division within the Office of Civil Enforcement, Andrew Stewart. Other notable clients include Anadarko Petroleum, Freeport-McMoRan and White Stallion Energy Center.

At Baker Botts L.L.P., the environmental practice is led by from Washington DC by Steven Leifer. It advises clients in every aspect of federal and state air regulation and international air emissions programs and strategies, and has been deeply involved in challenging various water regulations across several jurisdictions and river basins. As part of its work on behalf of Class of ‘85 Regulatory Response Group - formed by the firm in the 90s and composed of approximately 30 US investor-owned, municipal and cooperative electric generating companies - the team has prepared comments for the group on several EPA rulemakings. Other clients include BP Products North America, Entergy, ExxonMobil and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. Megan Berge was promoted to partner in the Washington DC office.

Bracewell LLP’s environmental practice is led from Washington DC by Jason Hutt and provides strategic advice and advocacy on air quality, climate change, water quality, wetlands and waste. The team enhanced its capabilities to supports clients in contested case proceedings, project development, investigations, and enforcement with the addition of four new partners to its Austin office, Sara Burgin, Kevin Collins, Matt Paulson and Whit Swift, previously of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. Recent matters include assisting Southern Company, the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association on greenhouse gas, climate change and energy environmental policy matters.

The environmental team at Dentons excels in its regulatory and legislative know-how, and advises a stellar list of clients on internal environmental audits, design and implementation of environmental compliance programs and systems, as well as compliance strategies. Representative matters include providing advice to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association on air matters, OSHA rules and greenhouse gas federal regulations. The team also assisted Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility - a 265MW project in western Imperial County, California - on the environmental impact assessment process under NEPA, as well as on environmental permitting matters. San Francisco-based Nicholas Yost is the key contact.

King & Spalding LLP boosted its regulatory capabilities through the hire of the experienced Granta Nakayama from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Nakayama represented Kia Motors in relation to claims by the US Government regarding the fuel economy of its vehicles; this included negotiating a settlement and assistance with post-settlement implementation and compliance issues. A team led by Ilana Saltzbart is working for Statoil in a series of related state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions arising from a well pad fire and explosion in Ohio that released chemical substances into the environment. Atlanta-based Patricia Barmeyer is the other key partner.

At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, the environmental practice covers the full spectrum of regulatory matters, including procurement of permits, enforcement of actions and challenging rules and policies. Eco Services Operations retained the firm to handle its compliance with the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure plan and Facility Response Plan requirements under the CWA before three EPA regional offices, the Department of Transportation, and the US Coast Guard. The team is also assisting AstraZeneca in the clean-up of the Delaware Sand & Gravel Superfund site. Newly promoted partners include Yardena Zwang-Weissman in Los Angeles, and Brad Nes and Randall Mark Levine in Washington DC. James Dragna in Los Angeles is the team leader. Senior counsel Edward Strohbehn is another name to note.

Spread across offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Washington DC, the environmental practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP is well regarded for its climate change, natural resources, chemicals in consumer products, green chemistry, and Proposition 65 expertise. The team is providing strategic advice to a coalition of owners and investors regarding sea level rise legislation proposed by the state of California. It is also advising some of the largest retailers, including Costco, Sears and Kmart, regarding ambiguities and contradictions in the state of California’s hazardous waste regulations. San Francisco-based Chris Carr heads the team.

Washington DC-based boutique Van Ness Feldman LLP is admired for its ‘superb services and its unquestionably excellent knowledge of the industry’. The firm handles every aspect of regulatory environmental law, including air pollution, climate change and energy project permitting. In 2015, the firm was busy assisting its diverse roster of clients on understanding the complexities of the EPA’s Clean Air Act 111(d) regulations, as well as the changes to the definition of ‘waters of the US’ under the Clean Water Act. In a notable mandate, it is providing counsel to the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation on a variety of federal policy issues and regulations, including those that affect offshore and onshore oil and gas development in the Arctic. Former senator Mary Landrieu recently joined as a non-attorney senior policy adviser. Jonathan Simon is regarded as ‘very amiable, intelligent and efficient lawyer’.

The Chicago-based team at Baker McKenzie LLP is especially strong in the Midwest and is recognized for assisting a notable list of clients from a range of industries on regulatory, enforcement defense and litigation matters. The regulatory experience includes assisting on development of global environmental compliance programs, strategic global environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives, as well as the formulation of global climate change policies. Team leader John Watson and Richard Saines are the key contacts.

Adam Kushner in Washington DC and Scott Reisch in Denver are the two main contacts for environmental matters at Hogan Lovells US LLP. The team is noted for its work related to the CAA, the CWA, land use, NEPA, solid and hazardous waste, and ESA. Recent mandates include assisting Delfin LNG with its efforts to obtain all necessary federal and state approvals for the first floating liquefied natural gas deepwater port. In other matters, Kushner and Kenneth Kastner, also in the Washington DC office, are advising 3M on issues regarding hazardous waste, hazardous materials transportation, and CAA regulations.

The ‘strategic and tacticalteam at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is led by Houston-based Mark Farley and Washington DC-based Steve Solow. It has recognized expertise in air and climate change matters, and acts as counsel to the Air Permitting Forum, a group of Fortune 100 companies that develops practical and effective advice for all aspects of the permit process under the CAA. After losing a team of four partners to Bracewell LLP, the Houston office was boosted by the arrival of Greg Dillard and Daniella Landers from Vinson & Elkins LLP and Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP respectively. Charles Knauss and Shannon Broome joined Hunton & Williams LLP.

At Paul Hastings LLP, the environmental and energy practice, which is led by Peter Weiner, is split between the San Francisco and Washington DC offices. It has built a name in the regulatory arena representing clients in relation to the siting and permitting of solar energy plants, brownfield redevelopment and clean-up sites, defense against governmental regulations, and climate change matters. Highlights included the ongoing representation of Boeing in negotiations with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Regional Water Quality Control Board and other agencies in various regulatory matters related to the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Ventura County. Deborah Schmall and Robert Hoffman in San Francisco are also noted.

At Perkins Coie LLP, the environmental team scores ‘very high’ thanks to a team of ‘very responsive staff’ who are ‘well informed and always providing appropriate advice without unnecessary use of resources’. Highlights of the last year included advising Donlin Gold, a company owned by NovaGold Resources and Barrick Gold, on the regulatory aspects of its plan for a gold mining project in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region of western Alaska. The Bellevue, Washington DC and Seattle offices were boosted by the respective promotions to partner of Donna Barnett, Alexandra Bromer and Meredith Weinberg. Eric Fjelstad, Robert Maynard and Cameron Leonard in Anchorage and Jeff Hunter in Portland are recommended.

Environment: transactional

Index of tables

  1. Environment: transactional
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

The New York-based practice at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP stands out for its ‘exceptional’ environmental advice to a stellar group of clients on strategic business transactions, including equity and debt offerings, bank lending, acquisition financings, and acquisitions and divestitures. Recent mandates include advising Anheuser-Busch InBev on its acquisition of SABMiller, and on the sale of SABMiller’s US and global Miller-branded businesses to Molson Coors. It also represented Heinz and 3G Capital in relation to Heinz’s merger with Kraft Foods, and Olin in connection with its Reverse Morris Trust merger with the chlorine business of Dow. Head of practice Matthew Morreale is highly recommended. Other clients include IBM, Weyerhaeuser and AngloGold Ashanti.

Clients say that the team at Latham & Watkins LLPis just so very good at what it does and how it does it’, on account of its ‘super-talented, extremely hard-working and knowledgeable lawyers that are available literally 24/7’. The environmental support practice works in tandem with the firm’s transactional lawyers, regularly providing due diligence and advice on large industrial M&A and other transactions involving the firm’s private equity and strategic company clients, which include the likes of The Carlyle Group, Platinum Equity and Onex. Highlights included representing Allergan in relation to the hostile takeover bid by Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals; it also advised the client on its eventual sale to ‘white knight’ buyer Actavis and on the sale of its global generics business to Teva Pharmaceuticals. The team also advised Sasol Chemical on obtaining financing for the construction of a new ethane cracker in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The ‘very pragmatic’, Houston-based Joel Mack ‘grasps the transactional big picture very quickly and delves into its minutiae’. Chicago-based counsel Sara Orr is described as an ‘extremely hard-working and knowledgeable environmental lawyer who does not miss a beat’. James Barrett is the other key name.

The transactional experts in Sidley Austin LLP’s environmental team are spread across the country, with Laura Leonard in Chicago, Judith Praitis in Los Angeles and Roger Martella in Washington DC. A team led by Leonard has advised on numerous transactions involving the acquisition and the subsequent sale and leaseback of hundreds of gasoline stations, largely in California, including advice on risk management and insurance and corrective action plans. She is also advising Duke Energy on its acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas. New York-based counsel Maureen Crough is advising Delta Air Lines on the implementation of environmental provisions in numerous agreements related to the redevelopment of passenger terminals at JFK Airport. She also advised Exelon Generation Company, as sponsor, regarding its $613m Rule 144A offering for Continental Wind.

Team heads Betty Moy Huber and Loyti Cheng at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP lead an ‘exceptionally talented team’. The practice constantly provides environmental support on M&A, capital markets and project finance deals, as well as insolvency and restructuring matters. It has experience in alternative energy, and recently Cheng advised First Wind on its $2.4bn acquisition by SunEdison and TerraForm Power. Huber is assisting Emera in connection with its $10.4bn acquisition of TECO Energy, which includes analysis of environmental and reclamation liabilities of its coal mining subsidiaries; and is advising Solvay SA on its $6.4bn acquisition of Cytec Industries. Other clients include Electrolux, Emerson Electric and Murphy Oil.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has an outstanding reputation for private equity, M&A and restructuring work, and its environmental practice excels in providing comprehensive support to buyers, sellers, lenders and investors involved in such transactions. Recently, the team conducted the environmental due diligence for the investor group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets in relation to the acquisition of Cleco. It also assisted Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan with its acquisition of Infiltrator Water Technologies from Graham Partners, including the coordination of the environmental due diligence, negotiation of the environmental terms of purchase and finance agreements, and environmental insurance proposals. Walter Lohmann and Brian Land in Washington DC and Paul Tanaka in San Francisco are noted.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPis one of the best law firms in the world’ and its environmental team ‘compares quite favorably to others in the market. The practice has broad experience advising clients on identification, allocation, management and disclosure of environmental risks derived from business transactions. The New York-based team, co-led by the recommended senior counsels Michael Isby and Adeeb Fadil, assisted Dell and Silver Lake Partners with the acquisition of Massachusetts-based data storage company EMC. In a separate matter, Fadil led the representation of Walgreens Boots Alliance regarding its acquisition of Rite Aid; and he assisted Blackstone with its acquisition of BioMed Realty Trust. Other clients include Centerbridge Partners, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Tesoro.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP works for clients in a wide variety of industry sectors in the evaluation of environmental liabilities and compliance issues relating to mergers, asset sales, joint ventures, financings and securities offerings. Department head Don Frost and counsel Elizabeth Malone, both based in Washington DC, are representing Wisconsin Energy in its $9.1bn acquisition of Integrys Energy Group; and they are representing DuPont in several environmental claims and other environmental issues related to its sale of DuPont Performance Coatings to The Carlyle Group in 2013. Palo Alto-based counsel Jane Kroesche advising Danaher Corporation on its acquisition of Pall, a manufacturer of filtration, separation, and purification products.

Led from New York by Matthew Brennan and Mark Rosenberg, the environmental practice at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP advises on commercial transactions for a wide variety of companies, including those in the environmentally sensitive areas of manufacturing, chemical production, petroleum and mining. The advice includes assessing environmental liabilities, preparing environmental policy statements and compliance programs, and obtaining reimbursement for losses under applicable indemnities and insurance policies. In a recent matter, a team led by Brennan were involved in reviewing the environmental aspects of the high-profile merger of between its client Kraft Foods and Heinz. The team also advised Bayer in its acquisition of the consumer care business of Merck. The advice included the assessment and analysis of the environmental liabilities and risks associated with past operations and current compliance at numerous facilities around the world. Other clients include Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, BP and newly retained Canadian Pacific Railway.

The Washington DC-based team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP supports the firm’s busy transactional practice from an environmental standpoint, advising clients such as American Securities Capital Partners, Berkshire Partners, General Electric and CCMP Capital Advisors. In a recent highlight, the team - which is headed by Annemargaret Connolly - advised CCMP Capital on the acquisition of Solvay’s Eco Services business, including its seven large-scale sulphuric acid manufacturing and recycling plants; the team was responsible for environmental regulatory consents and permitting transfers related to the acquisition. It also handled environmental regulatory consents and permitting transfers on behalf of Intel regarding its acquisition of Altera. In another matter, it advised Verizon on its acquisition of AOL, including the evaluation of the risks associated with the legacy groundwater contamination at one of AOL’s California facilities. Counsels Thomas Goslin and Matthew Morton are noted.

The capabilities of Allen & Overy LLP’s New York-based transactional environmental team are highly praised. In particular, the ‘stupendous’ Kenneth Rivlin is noted for his handling of deal-related indemnity disputes, chemicals matters (including REACH), climate change and emissions trading issues, and energy-related transactions. Calling on ‘the exceptional international network of the firm’, the team advised Vale on the due diligence and contract negotiations regarding the $1bn investment by Mitsui in its coal projects in Mozambique and Malawi, and it continues to assist with integration and risk mitigation of the project. Elsewhere, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on hazardous chemicals recently retained Rivlin and his team to prepare a special report on the ways in which international treaties and international law addresses the potential human rights impacts of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Transactional lawyer and expert in EU regulations under REACH, WEEE and RoHS Felise Cooper recently re-joined the New York office.

The team at Bracewell LLP is headed by Jason Hutt in Washington DC and Timothy Wilkins in Texas. It has a wealth of experience assisting clients with the environmental aspects of transactions and, in recent highlights, Wilkins led a team acting as project counsel and chief outside environmental counsel to a new joint venture formed by two large natural gas pipeline companies seeking to construct a cross-border pipeline for transporting Appalachian shale gas to the US Midwest and Canada. In another matter, a team led by Houston-based Heather Palmer and Washington-based Richard Alonso is representing Ecolab in seeking indemnification for environmental claims arising out of the company’s acquisition of an oil field chemicals business in 2013, involving facilities throughout the US, Canada, South America, Europe and the Middle East. Other clients include Chevron, Cabot Oil & Gas, and Pilot Chemical.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team has significant experience assisting clients with environmental due diligence and risk allocation relating to mergers and acquisitions, asset sales and real estate transactions, and is especially strong in the energy sector. The team has been involved in the financing aspects of a public-private partnership to supply water for hydraulic fracturing. It has also been assisting a company in the oil industry in negotiations for the purchase of a crude oil pipeline and its operating agreement. Clients include Anadarko Petroleum, Freeport-McMoRan and Maxus Energy. Houston-based Larry Nettles now leads the practice, following the retirement of former department head Carol Dinkins.

Dentons’ experience in transactional work, due diligence and risk assessment and management was illustrated in its advice to Capital Power Corporation on all aspects of its sale to Emera of its 1050MW portfolio of three New England gas-fired merchant generation facilities. In the climate change arena, the team advised Wabashco on the creation of carbon offset credits for use as a compliance measure under the California climate change program. Other clients include Citgo Petroleum and THF Maplewood. Nicholas Yost in San Francisco is chair of the US environmental practice.

King & Spalding LLP’s team assist clients on corporate transactions, including conducting environmental due diligence, drafting and negotiating contracts, and advising on environmental liability and risk allocation matters. In recent matters, it advised EDF Renewable Energy on closing the funding for its Spinning Spur 3 wind energy project, located 50 miles west of Amarillo in Oldham County, and for its Longhorn wind energy project in Floyd and Briscoe counties. Other clients include HD Supply, Barclays Capital and Annaly Commercial Real Estate Group. Cynthia Stroman, who divides her time between Houston and Washington DC, is noted.

White & Case LLP’s team is led from Miami by Douglas Halsey and covers the full spectrum of environmental matters stemming from domestic and cross-border business transactions. Recently, Halsey acted as environmental counsel to Regal Beloit in connection with its acquisition of the Power Transmissions Solutions business of Emerson Electric, including 12 manufacturing facilities in Kentucky, Indiana, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Slovakia and China. He also handled the environmental aspects of Ciner Group’s acquisition of OCI Chemical, a company that operates a soda ash mining and processing facility in the Green River Basin in Wyoming. Other clients include Hess, Pfizer, GDF Suez and Hikma Pharmaceuticals.

Healthcare: health insurers

Index of tables

  1. Healthcare: health insurers
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Dentons combines a well-established insurance practice with excellent knowledge of the healthcare industry. It is active in the health insurer consolidation space, in healthcare providers moving into the insurance environment and in distressed situations and workouts, including health insurers exiting lines of business. It is exceptional in health insurance regulatory an enforcement matters, and recently represented Genworth Life and RiverSource in connection with an enforcement action brought by the California Department of Insurance against RiverSource. Kansas City-based Bruce Baty and San Francisco’s Kara Baysinger head the team, which includes high-profile San Francisco partner Michael Barnes and Washington DC-based Janice Ziegler. San Francisco’s Ken Schnoll is a big name in California and a go-to lawyer for California Department of Managed Health Care issues and consolidation in the industry. New York’s Matthew Gaul is recommended for distressed situations, workouts, government investigations and regulatory issues.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. has an illustrious history in the managed care and health insurer environment. With an office right next to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) headquarters in Baltimore, the firm is well plugged into the industry. It also frequently works alongside its affiliated EBG Advisors, a healthcare and life sciences consultancy. The firm works with a range of clients, from health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and traditional health insurers to healthcare providers that are creating their own health plans. Founding partner Steven Epstein remains an active member of the firm and has an extensive health plan client base. Clifford Barnes is another key member of the team, as is Jackie Selby in New York. Carrie Valiant is noted for regulatory and fraud issues, while Lynn Shapiro Snyder is also highly respected. Senior figure Linda Tiano joined Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP in 2015.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has a tremendous standing in California, one of the key healthcare markets in the US, and it is this solid base that underpins a genuinely national practice. Clients view the firm’s expertise as ‘unmatched’ and ‘extraordinarily high’, with ‘team members that never disappoint’ and that are ‘critical to our success’. The lawyers are ‘extremely knowledgeable’, ‘responsive and capable’, and ‘experts at reading the room and calibrating their responses to the audience’. The firm has further expanded its expertise and resources with a series of senior lateral hires. Cindy Mann joined the Washington DC office from CMS, where she was deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. In a major coup for the firm, former Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. attorney Linda Tiano also the Washington DC. It is well positioned in relation to Medicare and Medicaid and is noted for its expertise in the cross-over between insurance and technology. In this regard, the hire of Jill DeGraff Thorpe from the consultancy Golden Stone further cements its standing. The firm recently advised Blue Shield of California on the $1.2bn acquisition of Care1st Health Plan. New York’s Robert Belfort has an outstanding reputation. Bruce Wolff in Washington DC ‘understands the business’.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP is an ‘excellent firm’ that is widely known for its transactional and regulatory expertise. The firm has a ‘solid provider client base and is active in the insurance space as well’, and is noted as a ‘very big name in insurance M&A’; it has been especially active in consolidation at a regional and local level. The firm represents numerous health insurers, HMOs and government healthcare program contractors, and advises some of the largest health plans in the US. It also advises a range of healthcare providers that are developing their own insurance plans. Clients include Florida Blue, Health First Health Plan, Humana and Permanente Federation. It has a big presence in Washington DC, but has health insurance specialists spread across the US. The firm continues to represent the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and several state subsidiaries in connection with the implementation of healthcare reform and the creation of health information exchanges. Joel Michaels heads the department, which includes experienced transactional specialist Gary Scott Davis in Miami, Washington DC-based fraud and abuse expert Ankur Goel, transactions and contracts specialist Peter Rich in Los Angeles, and Susan Nash and Joan Polacheck in Chicago.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has a nationwide practice with notable expertise and experience in healthcare reform, reimbursement and regulatory issues. The firm advised MVP Health Care on the transfer of assets from Hudson Health Plan to MVP Health Plan. It also represented Universal American on the purchase of assets from Total Care, a Medicaid managed care plan. Albany-based Harold Iselin and Washington DC’s Nancy Taylor are highly regarded.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has a leading reputation for litigation and is noted for its strength in antitrust and cyber security cases, positioning it well regarding continued industry consolidation and growing concerns over recent cyber breaches in the sector. It has a deep bench of healthcare regulatory lawyers and a corporate practice that is frequently engaged in major transactions within this space. Over the years, the firm has represented some of the biggest health plans, and the recent hire of Ken Choe, the former deputy general counsel to the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, should help build upon this record still further. The firm was appointed to defend a multitude of Blue Cross Blue Shield companies in headline multi-district antitrust litigation involving 40 class actions. Craig Hoover is the lead partner and considered a ‘real player’ in this space. Desmond Hogan heads the health benefits litigation practice and is highly reputed.

Jones Day has a notable record in the healthcare sector and represents a variety of insurance companies, HMOs, self-insured employer health plans and third-party administrators. It is noted for its managed care contracting expertise and its experience in antitrust matters within the healthcare sector. In 2015, the firm advised a national health insurer on antitrust matters connected to its $40bn acquisition by another national health insurer. James Dutro has exceptional M&A experience in this sector, and Stephen Sozio is a leader in government investigations and compliance. David Grauer, David Morris and Lisa Han are also highly regarded.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a broad practice that is principally known for its expertise in complex litigation and class actions as well as government investigations. Its big-name clients also rely on the firm for help with transactions, and, in 2015, it advised regular client Health Net on its $6.8bn acquisition by Centene. Other clients include Anthem, Cigna and LA Care Health Plan. Molly Lane is a key name in litigation, including class actions.

Reed Smith LLP has a fine record in litigation and investigations and has established relationships with various Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, including Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which has been a client for over 30 years. The firm’s Los Angeles and Chicago offices are central to the practice, along with Washington DC and Pittsburgh. The arrival of Martin Bishop and a team of litigators from Foley & Lardner LLP adds to the firm’s credentials, especially in the Midwest and Southern US. Bishop has cemented the firm’s relationship with Health Care Service Corporation, and he recently represented the client in a major case in the Northern District of Texas. Anthem is another key client of the firm. Kenneth Smersfelt and Kurt Peterson in Los Angeles are also highly regarded.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s preeminence in contentious matters is well established, and in the healthcare insurance sphere it has been defending clients against a series of class actions, typically involving reimbursements and mental health parity claims. Historically, much of the practice has centered on the key market of California, but the firm has expanded its footprint into other areas, including Washington DC and Texas. Aetna and Cigna are notable clients. Richard Doren in Los Angeles and Geoffrey Sigler in Washington DC are the standout partners. The firm successfully defended Aetna against a series of cases valued at approximately $2bn.

Groom Law Group is noted in particular for its expertise in employee benefits and ERISA matters. The team is ‘very accessible’, ‘very conscientious about possible conflicts of interest’ and ‘well connected within the industry’, according to clients. The firm has advised a number of large health insurers and third-party health plan administrators in connection with healthcare reform in the US. Seth Perretta is ‘very responsive and helpful’ and ‘provides keen insight’; Allison Ullman is ‘a great attorney’, who is ‘well rounded in both the health and retirement fields’. Clients include Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group and American Benefits Council.

Clients recognize O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s expertise in healthcare law, the regulatory requirements applicable to government contracts, health care litigation, and the interpretation of federal fraud, waste and abuse laws. The service is ‘consistently provided at a high level’ and is ‘thorough’, ‘timely’, ‘responsive’ and ‘solution-oriented’. The firm also delivers ‘effective liaisons with government regulators’ and is ‘well informed of legal precedents’. The firm has a particularly strong record in False Claims Act cases for big clients such as Humana, and is also known for its regulatory knowledge of Medicare Advantage and market investigations. The firm defended Humana in a False Claims Act case and a related investigation by the DOJ and HHS-OIG. David Leviss and Lee Blalack in Washington DC and David Deaton and Stephen Sullivan in Los Angeles are praised by clients.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has a long and close association with the healthcare industry. Its roots are in California, but this has grown into a truly national practice, and it has extensive experience in Medicare Advantage and Medicaid, as well as commercial, dental and vision health plans. It is also noted for risk-based arrangements and value-based reimbursement systems. In 2015, it advised Molina Healthcare on its acquisition of Providence Human Services and Providence Community Services. Century City’s Eric Klein and Aytan Dahukey are key members of the practice.

Healthcare: life sciences

Index of tables

  1. Healthcare: life sciences
  2. Leading lawyers

Covington & Burling LLP is a clear leader in the life sciences space and excels in all areas. This includes expertise in every facet of food and drug related regulations in the US and Europe, and, according to one client, it is ‘the best firm for FDA issues’. It also has growing capabilities in China. Richard Kingham and Ellen Flannery are highly recommended in the field of regulatory matters; Kingham and Jennifer Zachary are assisting PhRMA in a number of matters, including potential reforms of drug approval laws in China and India, and pending US FDA regulatory initiatives. The transactional team regularly acts on big-ticket deals; in 2015, James Snipes and special counsel Sarah Hoagland acted for AstraZeneca in a collaboration agreement with Valeant which granted an exclusive license for Valeant to develop and commercialize brodalumab on a worldwide basis. Group co-head John Hurvitz advises established and emerging life sciences companies, and counts Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as his clients. George Pappas is a Hatch-Waxman specialist, and a recent IP highlight for him was winning a patent trail for Warner Chilcott preserving $4bn in sales. The group also has notable experience in mass tort and product liability defense. Peter Safir, Timothy Hester, Christopher Sipes, Matthew O’Connor are highly recommended by clients. All individuals mentioned above are based in Washington DC.

Sidley Austin LLP is ‘ahead of most other firms in work related to life sciences’ and is relied upon by clients for its ‘high-quality, commercial advice’ and its ‘deep bench of knowledge and experience in healthcare regulatory issues’. The firm houses an excellent FDA practice that includes Washington DC-based Coleen Klasmeier and James Stansel and Chicago-based Meenakshi Datta, and it also provides deep expertise in cross-border regulatory matters. Diane McEnroe is assisting a global consumer products company in its interface with the FDA regarding a post approval safety concern, including reviewing the FDA’s authority to mandate a clinical trial post approval for an over-the-counter (OTC) product. A recent representative case for its litigation team was acting for Gilead Sciences, Hoffmann-La Roche and Genentech in Hatch-Waxman case against Natco Pharma concerning Tamiflu. The corporate group also had a fruitful year, advising the likes of Baxter International, Health Care REIT (now Welltower) and GlaxoSmithKline on joint ventures, sales and acquisitions. In another highlight, it acted as insurance, state pharmacy and healthcare regulatory counsel to Cigna in its pending $54.2bn sale to Anthem, which will create a company that is expected to cover 53 million medical members. The team is also highly active in capital markets transactions for life sciences issuers as well as product liability and patent litigation. Pran Jha is an ‘excellent deal lawyer’ who ‘understands the needs of clients’; David Pritikin, Raymond Bonner, William Sarraille, Patricia Thayer, Jeffrey Rothstein, Sharon Flanagan are also recommended. IP transactional practitioner Wenseng Wendy Pan and corporate partner Jennifer Fitchen joined the team in 2015 from O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Cooley LLP respectively.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s life sciences team is a national powerhouse. It has dedicated life sciences capability in all of its US offices, and particular centers of excellence in New York for IP and corporate, Baltimore for corporate and litigation, Washington DC for regulatory, and California for cutting-edge developments in the sector. The highly recognized FDA regulatory practice fields a number of experienced partners, including David Fox, who, in addition to his Hatch-Waxman and biosimilar work, has particular expertise in the regulation of drug-device-biologic combination products. Leveraging its impressive global footprint, corporate partner Adam Golden led a multi-jurisdictional team in assisting Allergan with its agreement with Ironwood to co-promote the product eluxadoline in the US, and, in a separate matter, the team acted for Allergan in acquiring the rights to Ironwood’s linaclotide product in more than 40 countries outside the US. Golden and Adam Bellack led a cross-office team advising Novartis on the $29bn purchase of the remaining rights to an experimental autoimmune drug, ofatumumab, from GlaxoSmithKline. Silicon Valley-based corporate partner Laura Berezin is ‘a cut above the rest’, and is praised for the ‘depth and breadth of her legal knowledge and experience, combined with a thorough understanding of the life sciences industry’. Baltimore-based Asher Rubin, who co-heads the global life sciences practice, is also recommended.

Latham & Watkins LLP is the ‘gold standard’, according to one client, and is singled out for its market-leading work advising on the regulatory aspects of high-value capital markets and M&A transactions in the life sciences space. The strong FDA regulatory group also handles investigations and FDA approvals on a standalone basis. John Manthei has ‘an encyclopedic knowledge of the FDA regulations’ and ‘takes the time to become an expert on the product’; Stuart Kurlander, Benneville Haas and Alice Fisher (‘one of the best for white-collar defense in the healthcare sector’) are also names to note. The corporate team had a prolific year and further cemented its position in the market when it defended Allergan against an unsolicited takeover bid and then later assisted the company in its sale to ‘white knight’ buyer Actavis. It also acted for Receptos in its $7bn sale to Celgene. New York-based Daniel Brown is a prominent name to note in the IP field, and obtained a victory for Par Pharmaceuticals in an ANDA bench trial against Novartis in district court. Peter Handrinos and Cheston Larson, based in Boston and San Diego respectively, have notable experience in early-stage finance. Other key attorneys include Silicon Valley partners Alan Mendelson, Mark Roeder and licensing specialist Judith Hasko.

Ropes & Gray LLP has a high standing in the market, attracting praise for its ‘profound understanding of not just the substantive areas of law but also the industry and enforcement trends’. It also stands out for its ‘responsiveness and general client service’, which is ‘second to none’. The practice has a strong presence in the M&A space, acting for household pharmaceutical companies such as Shire, Cubist Pharmaceuticals and Allergan in complex cross-border deals; it also has capability in FDA enforcement matters. The Boston-based Marko Zatylny and Paul Kinsella advised Pfizer on its $17bn acquisition of Hospira, the leading provider of injectable drugs and infusion technologies and a worldwide leader in biosimilars. Mark Bellomy advised Pfizer on a collaborative agreement with Merck to develop and market an anti-PD-L1 antibody designed to treat various types of tumor. Steven Wilcox assisted Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, with its definitive agreement to divest its US license rights to the Nucynta franchise of products (and certain related assets) to Depomed. Marc Rubenstein and FDA regulatory specialist Gregory Levine head the practice from the firm’s Boston and Washington DC offices respectively. Within the team, Paul Kinsella and Joy Liu are also highly recommended.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s new merged life sciences group handles the full spectrum of transactional, litigation and regulatory matters from coast to coast, and has a deep bench of lawyers handling product liability and patent disputes on behalf of major pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Daniel Kracov and Allison Shuren are key figures, as is Jeffrey Handwerker, who has notable experience in pharmaceutical pricing and investigations, government contracts and commercial litigation; Handwerker’s recent highlights include leading a team in the successful representation of PhRMA in an amicus brief filed in support of Amarin Pharma’s free speech challenge to the FDA’s limits on off-label promotion. On the IP front, Ginger Dreger in San Francisco, and litigator Matthew Wolf and David Marsh (who is recommended for handling inter partes reviews) are key names to note. The above named lawyers are all from the legacy Arnold & Porter firm, and are based in Washington DC except where otherwise stated. Washington DC-based William Hoffman leads the 30-partner group from the legacy Kaye Scholer firm; there is also notable strength in New York, Silicon Valley, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Cooley LLP’s excellent reputation is founded on strong emerging company and venture capital capabilities, which sees it handling financing and licensing matters for clients in the biotechnology, therapeutics and medical device arenas. Palo Alto-based Barbara Kosacz heads the firm’s life sciences practice, and has particular expertise in complex partnering transactions and M&A. Boston-based Marc Recht acts for life sciences companies and investors in public and private transactions, including securities offering and M&A matters; representative clients include Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Regado Biosciences and FORMA Therapeutics. Regulatory and e-health specialist Andrew Gantt in Washington DC, Robert Jones in Palo Alto and Ivor Elrifi in New York are further names to note. Other active clients include Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical. The team also has notable personnel in San Diego and San Francisco.

Prominent player King & Spalding LLP draws praise for its ‘excellent’ regulatory and government enforcement practice. Within its highly recognized FDA and life sciences practice, Mark Brown, Seth Lundy and Christina Markus in Washington DC are the key names to note. Markus advised a pharmaceutical giant in responding to FDA’s proposed standards to govern the approval of generic competitors to a branded product. It also regularly acts for life sciences companies in securities offerings, and recently handled the IPOs of EndoChoice, Nivalis Therapeutics and Fremont. Litigation partners Andrew Bayman and Chilton Varner in Atlanta are recommended for their track records in product liability and mass tort defense. Geoffrey Leonard joined the San Francisco team from Ropes & Gray LLP in October 2015; Hatch-Waxman-focused patent litigator Michael Dougherty joined Hogan Lovells US LLP in January 2016.

The ‘absolutely outstanding’ team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is ‘very responsive to any questions raised’ and provides a ‘good assessment of the risks of possible outcomes’. Illustrating its strength in cutting-edge M&A deals, the team, led by the Princeton-based group co-head Randall Sunberg, assisted Merck with its global agreement with Pfizer to co-develop and co-commercialize an anti-PD-L1 antibody currently in development by Merck. In another matter, it advised Eli Lilly on its negotiation of a license agreement with, and related equity investment in, Ignyta. Recent highlights for its IP team include representing Pfizer in a patent infringement suit brought by AntiCancer, and acting for Allergan in two high-stakes Hatch-Waxman suits against leading generics manufacturers Mylan and Sandoz. Washington DC-based Howard Young is ‘exceptional’ and ‘always prompt to reply with an informed response’. Philadelphia-based fraud and abuse litigator John Dodds, Gerald Konkel and of counsel Tisha Schestopol in Washington DC, and IP specialists Richard de Bodo, Louis Beardell and Jason White in Washington DC, Philadelphia and Chicago respectively are also recommended.

DLA Piper LLP (US) has a high standing in the market and can leverage its impressive global footprint to advise major pharmaceutical companies on complex cross-border matters, with notable strength in patent and product liability litigation. In 2015, the team represented Pfizer in a number of product liability suits, and defended Olympus America, as well as associated companies and individual employees, in litigation arising from injuries and damages allegedly caused by the use of duodenoscopes manufactured by the client. In another highlight, San Diego-based global life sciences practice co-chair Lisa Haile and colleagues from the firm’s London office successfully represented International Stem Cell Corporation in its pursuit of European patent protection. The team has real strength in New York, as well as Washington DC, Boston and Baltimore, where litigator and practice co-chair John Dougherty is a name to note.

Singled out for its cross-border capabilities, Dechert LLP’s life sciences team, which is led by Washington DC-based corporate specialist David Schulman and Philadelphia-based George Gordon, handles corporate and IP counseling and transactions, and product liability litigation on behalf of a broad range of life sciences clients. Gordon focuses on antitrust litigation, counseling and government investigations, and regularly represents life science companies in disputes arising from licensing, collaboration, asset purchases and other agreements. Recent work for the team included advising AM-Pharma on the sale of a minority interest in the company to Pfizer and the grant of an exclusive option to Pfizer to acquire the remaining equity. It also advised Celgene International Sàrl, a subsidiary of Celgene Corporation, in its $450m strategic alliance with MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, to develop and commercialize an anti-PD-L1 inhibitor, MEDI4736, for hematologic malignancies. In another highlight, IP litigator Martin Black won a Hatch-Waxman judgment for Endo Pharmaceuticals against seven generics, protecting an estimated $2bn in sales.

A strong performer in product liability litigation, Dentons’ team is representing GlaxoSmithKline in a high-profile negligence case over warning labels on the generic version of its antidepressant Paxil, which allegedly failed to highlight increased suicide risks in adults. The IP team was boosted by the arrivals of San Diego-based Stephanie Seidman and Renzo Rocchegiani and Atlanta-based William Long as a result of the firm’s merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge in July 2015. Seidman and Robert Hanson are assisting pharmaceutical companies, and research universities and institutions on patent application drafting, worldwide portfolio management and inter partes re-examinations. Further illustrating its diverse life sciences practice, New Jersey-based venture technology specialist Jeffrey Baumel assisted Innocoll with its IPO of American depository shares on the NASDAQ. Litigator Peg Hall and Gadi Weinreich, in Dallas and Washington DC respectively, are also recommended.

Foley & Lardner LLP attracts praise for its experience in the field of IP, including patent prosecution, counseling and patent protection, and also regulatory issues. Within the sizeable team, Gabor Garai in Boston, regulatory specialist David Rosen in Washington DC, Antoinette Konski in Palo Alto and Richard Kaufman in San Diego are the main contacts. Washington DC-based Hatch-Waxman litigator Stephen Maebius acted as lead counsel in the successful defense of three inter partes reviews filed against a family of Orange Book-listed pharmaceutical patents. The group’s litigation capability was further strengthened by the August 2015 arrivals of litigators James Matthews and Katy Koski in Boston from K&L Gates.

Goodwin Procter LLP’s transactions-focused practice is supported by substantial IP capability, including strength in patent litigation and Hatch-Waxman cases. In a recent highlight, Emily Rapalino represented Cephalon in a number of Hatch-Waxman infringement cases and an inter partes review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Demonstrating its transactional capabilities, Stuart Cable advised Centerview Partners in connection with AbbVie’s $21bn acquisition of Pharmacyclics and its flagship product Imbruvica, and he acted for Teva Pharmaceuticals in the $3.2bn acquisition of Auspex Pharmaceuticals. Mitchell Bloom and Kingsley Taft lead a mainly Boston-based group, although FDA practice chair Marc Heller and early-stage and IPO specialist Maggie Wong are based in Washington DC and San Francisco respectively.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP is praised for its ‘encyclopedic knowledge of the rules and regulations’ and its ‘practical understanding of the environment, broader political drivers and real business needs’, which allows it to ‘consistently deliver optimal and practical legal guidance’. The group is known for its expertise in reimbursement and compliance issues, as well as for IP litigation. It is also active in handling corporate transactions, and, in a recent example, a multi-jurisdictional team advised Innate Pharma on a $1.27bn partnership agreement with AstraZeneca. Byron Kalogerou chairs the practice from Boston. Elsewhere, Silicon Valley-based IP litigator William Gaede is recommended, and secured a significant success on behalf of Depomed in a Hatch-Waxman patent suit involving its flagship neuropathic pain product, Gralise. Paul Radensky is, according to one client, ‘the best access and reimbursement lawyer on the planet’, and Eric Gordon is ‘an incredibly strong fraud and abuse lawyer’.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.’s life sciences team was bolstered by the arrival of 18 IP attorneys, including Peter Corless and IP litigators Kathleen Carr and David Conlin from Edwards Wildman Palmer in January 2015. It has a well-deserved reputation as a go-to firm for licensing and transactional matters, as well as an impressive track record in IPOs. Recent highlights included acting for Naurex in its acquisition by Allergan and in the ongoing clinical and research collaboration, and acting for BeiGene in the restructuring of its two collaborations with Merck. Jeffrey Weisen, William Whelan and Jonathan Kravetz head the practice from its Boston office, but it also has boots on the ground in New York, Washington DC, San Diego and San Francisco.

Reed Smith LLP combines a strong transactional practice with notable product liability defense and regulatory capabilities. The product liability team acted as trial counsel to GlaxoSmithKline in litigation involving Avandia, a prescription type 2 diabetes treatment; it also continues to serve as national counsel to GlaxoSmithKline in multi-plaintiff litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania involving birth defects allegedly caused by thalidomide. Diane Frenier in Washington DC and Carol Loepere in Princeton head the practice. Also in Washington DC, Elizabeth Carder-Thompson is assisting clients with a range of regulatory matters, and, in California, Michael Sanders specializes in advising start-ups and emerging growth companies in the life sciences industry. Medtronic, Morphotek and Glaukos Corporation are also notable clients.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s life sciences corporate team had a robust year, advising on a number of high-profile M&A transactions. Highlights include acting for Hospira in its $17bn acquisition by Pfizer, advising Endo International on its $8.1bn acquisition of Par Pharmaceutical, and assisting Mexican drug company Rimsa with its $2.3bn acquisition by Teva Pharmaceuticals. The group also handles product liability defense and regulatory matters, and fields a number of regulatory attorneys in its Washington DC office, including Jennifer Bragg, John Bentovoglio and Jennifer Spaziano. New York-based competition specialist Clifford Aronson and IP lawyer Matthew Zisk are also names to note.

WilmerHale has a notable practice handling complex cross-border transactions and capital markets matters. Among its impressive deal flow in 2015, it advised Nabriva on its $106m IPO, assisted Epizyme with its extended collaboration with Celgene, advised Intercept Pharmaceuticals on its public offering of common stock, and represented Vedanta in a license agreement with Janssen Biotech. On the patent litigation front, Washington DC-based David Cavanaugh and Amy Wigmore successfully represented Permobil in two inter partes review proceedings before the PTAB; and Boston-based Michael Summersgill defended Hamilton Medical in a patent infringement case brought by Ventronics. Stuart Falber, senior counsel David Redlick, New York-based Steven Singer and Lia Der Marderosian are recommended, as is James Hill who joined its Los Angeles office from McDermott Will & Emery LLP in July 2015. All individuals named are based in Boston except where otherwise stated.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP distinguishes itself through its handling of big-ticket transactions and complex, bet-the-company IP litigation, but it also fields a robust regulatory team that includes Stephen Payne in Washington DC and Kevin Rosen in Los Angeles. San Francisco-based Ryan Murr’s recent works includes defending Depomed against $2bn hostile takeover attempt by Horizon Pharma, and advising Avanir on its $3.5bn sale to Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Also in Los Angeles, IP partner Wayne Barsky successfully represented Medtronic in a long-running patent infringement case against Medgraph, and is defending Blue Belt Technologies in patent infringement and business tort litigation which includes asserting infringement counterclaims. The practice is also active in product liability defense and is advising Pfizer in a high-value case.

The life sciences team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has notable strengths in patent prosecution, licensing and other transactional matters, and litigation, including product liability defense. Its client list features a number of industry leaders, including Gilead Sciences, Sanofi and Celgene. The group also assists Genentech on a wide range of patent matters and, in 2015, San Francisco-based practice head Michael Jacobs and Matthew Kreeger successfully represented the client in inter partes reviews targeting patents that protect Genentech’s blockbuster cancer therapeutic, Kadcyla. Showcasing its capability in the transactional space, it advised Catalyst BioSciences on its reverse merger with Targacept, and assisted Auris Surgical Robotics with its $150m series C financing. Catherine Polizzi in Palo Alto, David Doyle in San Diego and Van Ellis in Washington DC are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s team advises a range of pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology companies, as well as investors in the life sciences sector. The practice has a solid IP litigation practice and a strong government investigations group. In a recent highlight, Michael Koon and Carol Poindexter acted on a putative nationwide class action on behalf of third-party payors alleging RICO and common law violations from the operation of GlaxoSmithKline co-pay assistance programs. Washington DC-based Frederick Robinson co-heads the global life sciences and healthcare practice, which enhanced its transactional capabilities with the arrival of Andres Liivak from Kaye Scholer LLP in May 2015 and, in July 2015, the arrival of former Sandoz general counsel Robin Adelstein. Liivak advised Novartis on a license, development and commercialization deal with XOMA in which Novartis acquired the global rights to XOMA’s anti-transforming growth factor-beta antibody program. Yvonne Puigcommunicates with clients effectively’ and is able to ‘effectively manage large, complex litigation’. All individuals are based in Austin unless otherwise stated.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s excellent reputation is built on its capabilities in big-ticket litigation and in handling cutting-edge deals and licensing partnerships. The firm advised WuXi PharmaTech on its acquisition of XenoBiotic Laboratories, and represented Novartis’ subsidiary, Alcon Laboratories, together with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Senju Pharmaceutical, in ANDA litigation relating to difluprednate ophthalmic emulsion 0.05%, sold under the trademark DUREZOL. On the IP litigation side, Lisa Pensabene represented AstraZeneca in four Hatch-Waxman patent infringement suits against generic pharmaceutical companies, including Sandoz, Mylan, Sagent and Glenmark; and Filko Prugo acted for Genzyme in an inter partes review involving marketed biologic medicines. Transactional partner Scott Elliott joined from Ropes & Gray LLP in September 2015 to co-head the firm’s life sciences practice.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s reputation in the life sciences sector stems from its status as a go-to firm for patent litigation and product liability defense. The team has been active in a variety of cases for major pharmaceutical companies and research institutes, and, in 2015, patent dispute specialist Edward Reines represented RainDance Technologies and the University of Chicago in a patent case against 10X Genomics filed in Delaware. On the transactional front, Richard Climan is acting for Raptor Pharmaceuticals in its acquisition of the exclusive global rights and assets to develop, manufacture and commercialize Quinsair from Tripex Pharmaceuticals. It also counts Eli Lily and AbbVie among its clients, and is assisting with a number of high-value acquisitions. The above named attorneys are all based in Silicon Valley, but the team also has strength in New York, where patent litigator Elizabeth Weiswasser, corporate partner Keith Flaum and licensing specialist Jeffrey Osterman are the key names.

The West Coast-based practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is particularly strong in advising on collaborations and in handling IP litigation. Douglas Carsten has obtained a number of victories in Hatch-Waxman patent litigation; Casey McGlynn is recommended for his expertise in relation to early-stage companies; and Kenneth Clark focuses on partnering and strategic transactions in the biotech field.

Healthcare: service providers

Index of tables

  1. Healthcare: service providers
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a huge team and a long history in this sector, providing ‘deep knowledge regarding healthcare’ and an ‘excellent and responsive service’. It is widely recognized for its unrivalled record in healthcare service provider transactions and investments by private equity sponsors, and its extensive regulatory expertise. One client says it is ‘by far the best firm I’ve ever worked with in healthcare’. Transactions and government investigations are key drivers of the practice. Clients include Ascension Health, Baptist Health, Fresenius Medical Care, Tenet Healthcare and Universal Health Services. New York-based David Ivill is ‘both knowledgeable and resourceful’ and a ‘true professional’. Charles Buck and Christopher Jedrey in Boston are also singled out by clients. Also in Boston is Stephen Bernstein, who heads the health industry advisory practice; he is noted for his expertise in health IT and data privacy. Chicago-based Bernadette Broccolo is a leader in regulation and high-end tax issues, while John Callahan is recommended for healthcare transactions, including private equity investments, as is Ira Coleman in Miami. In 2015, Callahan advised Equity Group Investments (EGI) on its acquisition, along with Ventas, of the healthcare operations of Ardent Health Services. The $475m investment is the first by EGI in the health services sector. In addition, the firm advised Universal Health Services on its acquisition of UK-based Cygnet Health Care. Kerrin Slattery, Gary Davis and Eric Gordon are other key names in the team.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. is closely associated with the healthcare sector and ‘is one of the top, if not the top firm in healthcare law’, according to one client. Clients can ‘rely on the firm’s opinions and analysis of legal issues in the ever-changing field of healthcare law’. Washington DC lawyers Carrie Valiant, Jason Christ and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) specialist Patricia Wagner are singled out for ‘their knowledge, creativity and thorough analysis of complex legal issues’. Douglas Hastings is a standout figure and is noted for his antitrust expertise. Pharmacy law and privacy are also areas of strength, according to clients. David Matyas is another key name.

Foley & Lardner LLP is routinely engaged in top-level transactional and investigation work in the healthcare industry. The response times, ‘knowledge of the medical field’ and overall service are ‘excellent’, according to clients, and it is ‘preeminent’ in ‘sophisticated issues involving Medicare payment, fraud and abuse, other federal compliance issues, and interstate activity involving licensing and certification’. The firm operates across the healthcare space, with notable strength in personalized medicine and health information technology. Its main client base is hospitals and health systems, with a greater weighting towards the for-profit segment. Louisiana Children’s Medical Center, Care 1st Health Plan, Partners HealthCare System and Mayo Clinic are among its impressive list of clients. The firm advised Louisiana Children’s Medical Center on its assumption of the business and operations of the West Jefferson Medical Center. Lawrence Vernaglia is highly acclaimed by clients for responding swiftly and managing teams effectively. Gary Koch ‘understands the medical field’ and Donald Romano is noted for fraud and abuse matters. Michael Blau is also recommended.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has an outstanding record in regulatory work, backed by a sizeable presence in Washington DC. It has an elevated status in the industry and is the ‘long-term healthcare firm for many of the Fortune 100 companies’. The firm is also noted for its close ties to the American Hospital Association. Clients highlight its standing in regulatory issues and litigation, hospital reimbursement and fraud and abuse. The team is ‘very responsive’, ‘knows the field and the agencies’, ‘is strong and deep’, and ‘worth the money’, according to clients. Washington DC’s Cliff Stromberg and Jeffrey Schneider are noted for transactions, Jonathan Diesenhaus is recommended for fraud and abuse cases, and Robert Leibenluft is outstanding for antitrust. Sheree Kanner is also recommended.

King & Spalding LLP has a truly national practice, with strong teams stationed in Georgia, Texas, Washington DC and California. The firm is widely acclaimed for government reimbursement, Medicare and Medicaid matters. It is also frequently engaged in major litigation and government investigations. Hospitals are a notable source of work for the practice, as are other healthcare providers such as hospices and home health services. The firm recently represented Community Health Systems in a Medicare reimbursement case. A team including Stephen Goff and Marcia Augsburger joined the firm from DLA Piper LLP (US) to launch a new Sacramento office. Jon Harris and James Boswell head the practice from Atlanta. Houston’s Gary Eiland is recommended for reimbursement issues.

Ropes & Gray LLP is immersed in the healthcare sector and provides ‘absolutely outstanding legal services’. It is frequently highlighted for its representation of private equity houses in their investments and interests in the healthcare space. It recently expanded its team with the hires of San Francisco counsel Ira Parghi from Northwell Health, and data privacy and security expert Heather Sussman from McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Boston. Transactional and regulatory expert Michael Lampert is ‘highly intelligent’, has ‘superb interpersonal skills’, ‘tremendous attention to detail’, and is an ‘incredibly effective negotiator’. New York fraud and abuse specialist Stephen Warnke is frequently identified as a leading practitioner, as are Deborah Gersh, who advised Madison Dearborn Partners on its $1.4bn acquisition of a majority interest in Walgreens Infusion Services; Thomas Bulleit, John Chesley, Timothy McCrystal, Nancy Forbes and Deborah Gardner.

DLA Piper LLP (US) has a diverse healthcare practice that delivers a ‘high level of service’ and is ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’. The firm handles a high volume of healthcare transactions, driven by both strategic players and private equity houses. In addition, the firm has a well-developed healthcare regulatory and compliance practice. Clients include West Penn Allegheny Health System, MEDNAX and Adeptus Health. Led by New York’s Tom Califano, the team also advised Sears Methodist Retirement System on its Chapter 11 filing in bankruptcy court. Miami’s Joshua Kaye and Adam Rogers have outstanding reputations, as does Frank Sheeder in Dallas and Austin-based Karen Nelson. Stephen Goff and Marcia Augsburger recently joined King & Spalding LLP’s new Sacramento office.

Dentons expanded its practice further in 2015 with the hire of a team in San Francisco that includes Daniel Higgins, giving the firm greater resources, contacts and traction on the West Coast. Higgins is known for healthcare transactions, including private equity investments. In another significant move in 2015, healthcare bankruptcy and restructuring specialist Sam Maizel joined the Los Angeles office. The firm has a client base that includes hospitals, hospital companies, major health systems, and lenders to healthcare providers and health plans. HCA Holdings is a key client, as are Community Health Systems and Universal Health Systems. The firm serves as outside transactional, fraud and abuse, Medicare/Medicaid regulatory and compliance counsel for all University of California campuses, hospitals and faculty practice plans. Chicago’s Kathryn Ashton and New York-based Charles Luband head the practice.

Jones Day’s geographic coverage, immersion in the healthcare industry and outstanding record in transactions makes it a true leader in this sector. The firm advised Cleveland Clinic Foundation on a deal that led to it taking full ownership of Akron General Health System. In addition, it represented Dignity Health in the formation of a partnership with Tenet Healthcare to acquire and operate Carondelet Health Network. It also advised ProMedica on its agreement with the University of Toledo and its College of Medicine and Life Sciences to develop a premier academic medical center. Other clients include Cardinal Health, Inova Health System, Centura Health, Adventist Health and Indiana University Health. The firm is also noted for its record in fraud and abuse matters and False Claims Act (FCA) cases. James Dutro and Stephen Sozio head the practice.

Latham & Watkins LLP is best known for transactions, although it also has deep regulatory and litigation expertise and has broad capabilities in reimbursement, fraud and abuse, and government investigations. It has a prestigious reputation among hospitals and hospital systems, including both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. HCA and Tenet Healthcare are key clients. In 2015, the firm represented Tenet in several litigation matters, including an FCA case and a class action. The firm has particular strength in California, but this is complemented by genuine strength in other key centers, such as Washington DC, Boston and Houston. San Diego’s Katherine Lauer is noted for California matters, and Los Angeles lawyer Daniel Settelmayer and Washington DC-based Daniel Meron have excellent reputations.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has shown genuine commitment to the healthcare industry over many years, expertly representing healthcare providers and health insurers in this space. Through its headquarters in Los Angeles and its offices in Orange County, Palo Alto, Sacramento and San Francisco, it is widely acknowledged as one of the main players in the pivotal Californian healthcare market. It is also active outside California and bolsters its national practice and reputation through its offices in Albany, New York and Washington DC. As evidence of this reputation, the firm frequently advises the American Hospital Association and state hospital associations across the country. It also advises blue-chip healthcare corporates such as Aetna and Cigna, and it recently advised faith-based nonprofit Ascension Health in developing a new model for managing advocacy across multiple states. William Bernstein heads the practice, while Daniel Higgins moved to Dentons.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.’s well-established practice is principally located in Boston and Washington DC. The firm is best known for transactions, and regulatory and enforcement matters, including fraud and abuse and FCA cases. It represents some of the biggest names in the industry, such as CVS Health, which it provided healthcare regulatory advice to on its $12.7bn acquisition of Omnicare. It also advised Circle Health on its affiliation with Tufts Medical Centre system. Steve Weiner is ‘highly expert’ and ‘a pleasure to work with’. Karen Lovitch heads the team.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP handles big-ticket transactions and notable regulatory and litigation mandates. It has a huge presence in Texas, but represents healthcare providers nationwide, and recently advised the University of Arizona Health Network on its $1bn merger with Banner Health. Austin-based senior litigator Yvonne Puig is ‘excellent’, delivers ‘practical advice’ and has ‘poise under pressure’. Austin-based Jerry Bell, Dallas’ Lisa Genecov, and James Wiehl in St Louis are recommended for transactions. Washington DC’s Rick Robinson is noted for government investigations and white-collar criminal cases. The New York presence has grown through a sequence of lateral hires, including Robin Adelstein, former North American general counsel of Sandoz.

Reed Smith LLP is recommended for healthcare matters across the board, from ‘healthcare regulatory issues and HIPAA compliance to significant healthcare and governmental litigation’. It provides an ‘excellent service, including deep knowledge and expertise regarding the healthcare industry’ and also ‘practical advice, valued counsel and timely and proactive assistance’. The team continues to represent clients in range of FCA cases as well as sizeable transactions, and advised Abington Health on its merger with Thomas Jefferson University, and Kindred Healthcare on its $1.8bn merger with Gentiva Healthcare. The firm is especially well known for work relating to post-acute care and long-term care. Washington DC’s Carol Loepere and Scot Hasselman, and Philadelphia-based Karl Thallner are highly regarded.

Arent Fox LLP is noted for its experience in relation to senior living and long-term care, and also dialysis. The firm’s Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York and San Francisco offices are all active in the healthcare space. Clients include Citrus Valley Health Partners, Eisenhower Medical Center, Fresenius Medical Care North America and Sunrise Senior Living. A new client in 2014 was MedEquities, which the firm recently advised on its $145m acquisition of ten healthcare facilities in Texas. Adventist Health is another new client. Los Angeles partner Lowell Brown heads the department, which includes Michael Blass and Connie Raffa in New York, and a further 11 partners.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has breadth across the country, with notable strength in healthcare M&A and regulatory issues. The ‘seasoned attorneys’ ensure that the ‘level of service is excellent’ and that the ‘advice is very good and always on target’. Much of the headline work is led from Dallas, Austin, Albany and Washington DC, but the teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Tallahassee and Miami are also integral. The firm represented Gentiva Health Services in its $1.8bn merger with Kindred Healthcare. Michael Malone is ‘responsive, thorough and accurate’. Joseph Coniglio, Francis Serbaroli, Nancy Taylor and Michael Cherniga are also recommended.

Healthcare boutique Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PCowns the California regulatory scene’ thanks in part to the presence of eminent partners Patric Hooper and Robert Lundy. While the firm is principally recognized for its in status California, it is now establishing itself in Washington DC too, with federal prosecutor Precious Gittens joining the firm’s office there in 2015. The firm has ‘breadth and depth’ in managed care, transactions and insurance, and ‘does a very good job’. In 2015, the firm represented out-of-network California Ambulatory Surgery Centers in settling a class action against UnitedHealthcare Services and OptumInsight.

McGuireWoods LLP has deep experience in regulatory issues and transactions, with significant revenue derived from private equity investments in the healthcare sector. Investigations and litigation, including antitrust and whistleblower cases, are also growing parts of the practice. The firm represents a variety of hospitals and health systems, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis and nephrology chains, and private equity and other healthcare investors. It recently advised Lenoir Memorial Hospital, one of the few remaining independent hospitals in North Carolina, on its potential sale. Much of the healthcare workload is handled out of Chicago, with Charlotte, Richmond, Washington DC and Dallas also playing a key role. Scott Becker is a big name, particularly in relation to ambulatory surgery and private equity. Jim Riley is recognized for dialysis-related work, and Amber Walsh is an expert in healthcare private equity, ambulatory surgery and dialysis matters.

Nixon Peabody LLP’s healthcare practice is closely aligned with its well-known life sciences group, and is ‘exceptional’, ‘very well rounded’, ‘timely’ and ‘responsive’. It is commended for transactional, regulatory and litigation services and has a notable presence in Chicago, Boston, Albany and on the West Coast. It is widely acclaimed for its work relating to the for-profit sector, private equity and medical centers. Clients highlight its expertise in tax exemption reinstatement, CMS, HIPAA and privacy issues and commend its ‘tremendous strength in depth’ and ‘good value for money’. Alexian Brothers Health System, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, Exeter Hospital, Harbor Medical Associates and Heywood Hospital are among its clients. Michele Masucci ‘has a wealth of experience’, a ‘broad range of knowledge’ and is recommended for private equity transactions. Lynn Gordon is ‘well-grounded in the industry’ and demonstrates ‘remarkable expertise both in structuring deals and in working through difficult regulatory matters’. Valerie Montague delivers ‘high-quality legal guidance on a range of healthcare regulatory issues’ and ‘provides practical advice concerning HIPAA and related health information privacy questions’. Thomas Fahey, Jill Gordon and Peter Millock are also highly regarded.

Ober Kaler is best known for fraud and abuse defense and regulatory work. It is ‘outstanding’, provides ‘great knowledge and value’, and has a ‘reputation for being the go-to firm on federal regulatory issues’. Among its top lawyers is Sanford Teplitzky, who is ‘the best in the country’, ‘impeccable’, the ‘father of fraud and abuse’, and a ‘real lawyer’s lawyer’. The firm represents many of the largest for-profit and not-for-profit hospital systems in the US, and also represents a number of nursing home chains and other ancillary service providers. It serves as the independent monitor, appointed by the Office of Inspector General, to ensure DaVita’s compliance with its corporate integrity agreement. Other key partners include Julie Kass, Catherine Martin, Craig Holden and Howard Sollins.

Proskauer Rose LLP represents a variety of healthcare operators, hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory providers, digital health companies and investors. Its expertise ranges from regulatory, litigation and fraud and abuse matters to M&A. Data privacy is another notable strength. The team is largely located in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC and Los Angeles. Clients include Ascension Health, Celgene, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Healthcare Services Group, and Rockford Health System. It represented Rockford Health System in its $1bn merger with Mercy Health System and advised Celgene on its $7.2bn acquisition of Receptos. Richard Zall and Monte Dube are recommended. Since publication, David Manko has joined from Rivkin Radler.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has a nationally renowned practice and an impressive record in healthcare reform initiatives, working with a range of major hospital systems. It is an ‘industry leader’ in healthcare transactions and demonstrates ‘expertise in creating, crafting and completing deals with well thought out structures that are designed to last’. On top of that, it is ‘very responsive, timely and knowledgeable’. The firm recently advised Heritage Development Organization in forming a multibillion-dollar joint venture with Trinity Health. It also represented Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center in a joint venture with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and ProHealth/Optum to construct and operate a $240m proton beam therapy center in New York. Eric Klein leads the team; he ‘has the skills necessary to get the deal done’ and ‘is one of the best M&A lawyers in industry’.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is very well known for its healthcare and life sciences regulatory expertise, which plays into a strong service provider practice that is particularly noted for FDA and FCA matters. Allison Shuren and Kirk Ogrosky are recommended for government investigations and litigation, with Alan Reider noted for compliance and fraud and abuse defense, and Paul Rudolf for Medicare reimbursement cases.

Duane Morris LLP is ‘outstanding’, its ‘alacrity is refreshing’ and the ‘client services are impeccable’, according to sources. The Chicago office has a particularly solid reputation. The firm recently advised the Chicago Bears in connection with its HIPAA privacy and security compliance program. The ‘tremendous advocates’ include Kirk Domescik in Atlanta, who is ‘practical and smart’, and Nicholas Lynn, who is ‘extremely intelligent, yet down to earth and personable’ and has ‘a vast range of knowledge with regulatory agencies’. Another name to note is Neville Bilimoria, as he is ‘very knowledgeable about HIPAA and privacy’ and his ‘customer service is outstanding’. Lynn and Bilimoria are based in Chicago.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has a tremendous white-collar criminal practice, which is well positioned for fraud and abuse cases in the healthcare sector. The team is ‘responsive, nice to work with and knowledgeable’. The firm advised Adventist Health System (AHS) on gaining FTC approval for a joint operating company transaction involving the Chicago assets of AHS and Ascension Health. New York’s Joseph Willey is ‘extremely responsive’ and his knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid law is ‘unsurpassed’. Chicago’s Louis Glaser is ‘creative’, ‘an able advocate’ and ‘does not often get bogged down in minutia’.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s practice revolves mainly around hospitals, hospices and nursing homes, and it has a solid record in fraud and abuse and government investigations. Private equity investment in the sector is also a growth area. The firm represented IPC Healthcare in a major federal and multi-state investigation. Howard Young (‘proactive’, ‘resourceful’ and ‘informed’), Scott Memmott and Kathleen McDermott are highly regarded. Andrew Ruskin is a ‘spectacular’ and ‘tremendously knowledgeable’ Medicare regulatory lawyer.

Rivkin Radler is ‘particularly effective in the New York metropolitan area’. It is focused on physicians and physician groups, with a practice centered around transactions, fraud and abuse, and criminal defense. The firm advised Allied Physicians Group in connection with the acquisition of 11 medical practices over a 12-month period. Since publication, David Manko has moved to Proskauer Rose LLP.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP has a sizeable practice operating largely out of its Houston, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC offices. The ‘service is fantastic’ thanks to ‘strong industry knowledge’ and a ‘great team of lawyers’. Clients recognize the firm’s ‘concerted effort to grow and diversify its healthcare practice’ with ‘very reputable attorneys that have a variety of expertise in various aspects of healthcare law’. The firm represented a nursing home portfolio in connection with the refinance of a $62m mortgage term loan. Chicago’s Joan Casciari is an ‘excellent healthcare employment attorney’ and Houston’s Jesse Coleman is a ‘rising star in healthcare litigation’. Clients include Brookdale Senior Living, Houston Metro Urology, Kindred Healthcare and NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Insurance: advice to insurers

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: advice to insurers
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Atlanta and Washington DC-based Shari Klevens and Chicago-based Keith Moskowitz are co-chairs of Dentons’ global insurance group, which covers a range of direct coverage and reinsurance work, including property and casualty, life insurance and professional liability issues; the team recently assisted Zurich in professional liability litigation. Other significant clients of the practice include MetLife, which Sandra Hauser and Patrick Gennardo defended in five class actions relating to shadow insurance practices, and Genworth, which Reid Ashinoff is representing in several Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) class actions relating to captive reinsurance arrangements. Ashinoff and Hauser also continued their work for Genworth in a federal securities fraud action, settling the case in early 2015. Chicago-based Robert Johnson continued to act for an AIG subsidiary in a matter pertaining to a professional liability policy. The department was strengthened in 2015 by the addition of five partners following the firm’s absorption of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. All named lawyer are based in New York, except where noted otherwise.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘routinely excellent and top-shelf’ team ‘provides highly strategic knowledge with a devoted client service’, placing it ‘in the upper echelon of all reinsurance-oriented practices’. Despite the departure of former practice co-chair Barry Ostrager, who is now a judge at the New York State Court of Claims, the firm is a ‘go-to firm’ for complex coverage and reinsurance matters, providing advice on a wide range of issues including excess insurance, bad faith and data breach litigation. Mary Beth Forshaw and reinsurance expert Mary Kay Vyskocil are the department co-heads; Vyskocil recently acted for longstanding client Travelers in a reinsurance dispute with Western MacArthur relating to coverage for thousands of asbestos injury claims, while Forshaw continues to represent Travelers in pollution-related litigation against Northrop Grumman. Bryce Friedman has substantial experience in advising on fraud-related cases and also assists the Beazley Group and its affiliates with a range of issues. Other clients of the practice include Berkshire Hathaway, AIG and the Fireman’s Fund. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is recognised for its reinsurance expertise with substantial strength in political risk and bad faith issues. Edward Krugman recently successfully represented Chartis Speciality Insurance Company before the New York Supreme Court in a coverage suit relating to a political risk insurance policy and - alongside Penny Windle - has been representing National Union Fire Insurance in a reinsurance matter regarding an environmental clean-up, which is currently on appeal. Thorn Rosenthal continues to represent XL Catlin in a matter relating to coverage of Amtrak’s long-tail liabilities, and is also defending XL Capital against several antitrust class actions arising from price fixing and bid rigging allegations. The team is also advising AIG as lead defendants in a bad faith action alleging refusal to pay professional liability losses. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

Duane Morris LLP has a strong national footprint with offices across the US, and a noticeable presence on the West Coast through offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The team covers the insurance arena comprehensively, focusing on commercial liability work with additional expertise in property and casualty, professional liability and life insurance matters. Practice chair Max Stern recently acted for Greenwich in a case against American Home dealing with the failure of the coatings on natural gas production structures, and also continued to represent Indian Harbor against the City of San Diego, affirming a summary judgment in the insurer’s favor regarding the ‘no-prejudice’ rule. Philip Matthews and practice vice-chair Brian Kelly are recommended and recently acted in a plant insulation coverage case. All attorneys mentioned are based in San Francisco.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s strength lies in insurance disputes, with a ‘premier appellate practice’ supporting the team’s direct coverage work. Areas of expertise include property and casualty work, environmental claims and bankruptcy matters. New York-based Tancred Schiavoni leads the practice and acted for Century in bankruptcy and coverage litigation pertaining to asbestos-related injury claims against Corning. Other clients include Starr Indemnity & Liability Company, which Michael Yoder in Los Angeles is representing in a coverage dispute arising from several molestation claims against Los Angeles Unified School District; and ACE, which the firm assisted in the defense of the client’s insured - the Massachusetts Port Authority - in litigation arising from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a case led by New York-based Allen Burton. Clients also recommend appellate specialist Jonathan Hacker, who is based in Washington DC, and Los Angeles-based Richard Goetz.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘very efficient and well-rounded team’ provides ‘objective and sound counsel’ to clients, and has ‘a strong understanding of the reinsurance business’ as well as experience in property, casualty and life insurance matters. The ‘excellent team’ is led by Joel Feldman, the ‘extremely knowledgeableWilliam Sneed and reinsurance specialist Susan Stone, who splits her time between New York and Chicago. Stone, along with the ‘hardworking’ Daniel Neppl, recently represented Amerisure in a reinsurance dispute in which the client collected reinsurance billings totaling over $14m. Feldman has also had an active year, successfully dismissing a class action against client Principal Life Insurance Co., which related to whether the client is a fiduciary under ERISA. The department was strengthened in 2015 by the arrival of Ellen Dunn to the New York office from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. All lawyers mentioned are based in Chicago, except where stated otherwise.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s ‘dedicated, knowledgeable and highly capable’ team ‘delivers positive results in a professional manner’, and advises clients on a range of direct coverage and reinsurance mandates. Particular areas of expertise include pharmaceutical disputes, personal injury, environmental claims and asbestos issues; one recent example was advising the USF&G on over 10,000 asbestos claims filed in a fraud action. The firm is also highly active in the high-profile NFL concussion litigation, advising Hartford affiliates in several tort suits filed against the NFL by former players; the matter is being led by James Rocap. Practice head Harry Lee recently advised Hudson Specialty Insurance Company in coverage litigation relating to a fire in lower Manhattan, and is also acting for the same client in a dispute regarding losses caused by Superstorm Sandy. Other clients of the team include AIG, Travelers and Zurich. Recommended department members include Roger Warin and ‘excellent strategist’, John Jacobus. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC, but the practice notably also has a significant presence in Phoenix.

Chaffetz Lindsey LLP’s ‘very good practice provides top-level advice’. Peter Chaffetz, Charlie Scibetta and Steven Schwartz are co-heads of the department, which was strengthened in 2015 by the arrival of commercial litigator Scott Reynolds from Hogan Lovells US LLP. The New York-based firm advises clients on insurance and reinsurance litigation, with a growing emphasis on direct coverage work. Areas of expertise include environmental claims, asbestos issues, late notice cases and insurance insolvency mandates. Recent reinsurance highlights include Schwartz leading representation of the Fireman’s Fund in separate disputes with Everest Re and OneBeacon in which the client is seeking reinsurance coverage of asbestos claims. Other clients include AIG, Travelers and CNA.

Choate, Hall & Stewart’s ‘outstanding’ Boston-based practice advises a range of insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries including Swiss Re, Hartford and Liberty Mutual; Hugh Scott recently defended Liberty Mutual in a case relating to the clean-up of an EPA Superfund site. Scott also defended Travelers in asbestos-related litigation. Practice co-chairs David Attisani and Robert Kole are recommended; Kole recently represented Travelers in a dispute relating to the ‘pill mill’ suits in West Virginia. The team successfully obtained a summary judgment for the client and is handling the appeal. Kole also continued to act for American Family Insurance in catastrophe bond reinsurance litigation, winning before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘extremely strong and diligent team’ provides clients with ‘an excellent and detailed level of service with exceptional knowledge and industry awareness’. The practice represents insurers and reinsurers at a domestic and international level across a wide variety of mandates including cyber security, reinsurance issues and D&O matters. New York-based Mike Knoerzer recently acted for National Indemnity in an international reinsurance arbitration against IRB Brasil Re, successfully obtaining three arbitral awards for the client. Daren McNally in the Florham Park, New Jersey office is representing ACE in the NFL concussion litigation, and is also acting for Aetna in similar proceedings against the NCAA. Clients recommend San Francisco-based Bill Casey, Atlanta-based Robert Fisher and New York attorney Owen Carragher, who is ‘the first port of call for fine art and specie losses’.

Crowell & Moring LLP covers a wide range of direct coverage and reinsurance mandates including Asbestos, Pollution and Health Hazard (APH) claims, life, property and casualty, professional liability issues and bankruptcy matters. Paul Kalish and William O’Neill are the practice co-heads; Kalish is representing Allianz in the NFL and NCAA concussion-related tort cases. Cliff Hendler is also representing Allianz and the Fireman’s Fund in asbestos coverage litigation against Mueller. Deirdre Johnson and New York-based Stuart Levene continue to act for Transatlantic Re in a reinsurance dispute with Chartis affiliates and are also representing the client in an arbitration with AIG. San Francisco-based bankruptcy specialist Mark Plevin and New York-based reinsurance expert Harry Cohen are recommended. Other clients include ACE, Allstate and Beazley. Robert Cusumano joined the firm’s New York office from an in-house position at ACE. Unless otherwise specified, all lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s practice centers on a particular strength in the healthcare sector, where it advises health insurers such as Aetna, America’s Health Insurance Plans and CIGNA on matters such as asbestos, environmental issues and medical devices. Richard Doren in Los Angeles recently represented Aetna in an antitrust suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and is also acting for Aetna in litigation relating to failure to pay for emergency services. Washington DC-based Geoffrey Sigler and New York-based practice head Adam Offenhartz are also recommended; Sigler recently assisted Aetna in dismissing two putative class actions relating to its coverage for residential treatment centers. Los Angeles-based Matthew Hoffman is recommended for his expertise in civil trials.

The insurance practice at Hogan Lovells US LLP is noted for its expertise in assisting property and casualty insurers, in addition to which it has substantial experience in the healthcare sector. Other areas of focus include cyber liability, bad faith litigation and crime policy work. Practice co-head David Newmann has been representing Federal Insurance Company in D&O litigation arising from the failure of Alliance Bank. Fellow co-head David Hensler and Ellen Kennedy are also representing the client in litigation dealing with crime policies issued to Banyon linked to the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme. In health insurance, the team continues to act for WellPoint in multi-district litigation involving antitrust and RICO claims, and also successfully settled on behalf of United Health Group, ending a class action that alleged discrimination against HIV and AIDS patients. Los Angeles-based Michael Maddigan, Douglas Crosno and commercial litigator Peter Bisio are also recommended. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC, unless stated otherwise.

Wiley Rein LLP’s ‘extremely responsive, highly knowledgeable and focused team’ is ‘hands down the best for professional liability issues, leading the field in this arena’. The firm also has substantial experience in general liability, healthcare matters and appellate issues. The practice is led by Daniel Standish, ‘one of the top professional liability insurance attorneys in the industry’, who is representing Greenwich Insurance in a case relating to medical malpractice. Other highlights included acting for Houston Casualty Company in professional liability litigation against SunTrust Bank arising from the financial crisis, and also advising Indian Harbor in a matter relating to E&O policies. Clients recommend Laura Foggan, the ‘fantastic’ Richard Simpson and ‘top attorney’ Kimberly Melvin. All lawyers mentioned are based in Washington DC.

DLA Piper LLP (US) is ‘one of the firms to consider for complex direct coverage disputes’; its ‘highly experienced team’ is ‘very responsive and has an excellent business philosophy’. Clients of the New York-based practice include Swiss Re, AIG and Houston Casualty Company, which the firm is representing in an appeal relating to the rules of construction applicable to a professional liability insurance contract. The chair of the firm’s New York Insurance practice Aidan McCormack is leading the matter, and is also acting for Chubb in the New York appellate court in a matter linked to excess insurance contracts for underlying toxic tort claims. The department has a significant international element, with recent examples including representing Beazley in litigation filed in Australia, which involves Joseph Finnerty, as well as experience in international reinsurance arbitrations. Michael Murphy is global head of the practice, which works closely with the firm’s transactional and regulatory insurance team. Other names to note include Richard Hans, who has substantial experience in the financial services sector, and recently promoted partner Mark Deckman.

Reinsurance is an area of strength for Foley & Lardner LLP’s ‘highly knowledgeable, meticulous and solid’ team, while the direct coverage side of the practice focuses significantly on life insurance, property and casualty matters. Madison-based Gordon Davenport heads the department, with practice vice-chair Neal Moglin being based in Chicago. Clients also recommend Chicago-based reinsurance expert Eric Haab and Boston-based Ana Francisco, the latter of whom recently represented General Insurance in winning summary judgment in a case curtailing WECCO’s claims for coverage of asbestos-related bodily injury exposure. The firm also regularly advises on health insurance matters, such as the ‘solid and pragmatic’ Eileen Ridley, who is based in San Francisco, assisting the Health Care Service Corporation in several disputes relating to ERISA issues. Other clients of the practice include AIG, Liberty Mutual and John Hancock Life Insurance.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP acts for insurers and reinsurers including AIG, Prudential and Allstate, the latter of which Daniel Brockett is representing in lawsuits connected to the client’s losses on residential mortgage-backed securities. The team is co-chaired by the ‘terrific’ Jane Byrne and Michael Carlinsky, who continued his representation of HDI-Gerling in an arbitration against Ford with respect to coverage of Ford’s product liability losses, and recently confirmed the arbitration award for the client. Byrne acted for Infrassure as the insurer of Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company in a case relating to claims for business interruption losses following a fire and explosion at an oil refinery. Kathleen Sullivan is recommended for her appellate work and substantial US Supreme Court experience. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘excellent’ team advises insurance and reinsurance clients on a range of mandates, including life insurance, environmental issues and E&O matters. The practice includes John Nonna, a ‘highly experienced attorney with a great depth of understanding’, who recently represented National Indemnity and Resolute Management in a reinsurance case relating to RICO, tortious interference and bad faith claims linked to environmental and asbestos risks. Clients also recommend the ‘insightful and decisive’ Suman Chakraborty, who is noted for his reinsurance experience, and Larry Schiffer, who is acting for Alterra America Insurance Company in coverage litigation against the NFL, which is seeking coverage of personal injury claims brought by former players who suffered concussions. Newark-based Mark Sheridan is representing AIG in coverage litigation and bad faith claims brought by the Los Angeles Unified School District in connection with the alleged molestation of students. All attorneys mentioned, unless otherwise specified, are based in New York.

At Troutman Sanders, professional and general liability continue to be key areas of strength for the team, which has particular expertise in D&O matters; the firm is assisting a range of clients including XL Catlin, AXIS Insurance and CNA in D&O lawsuits and regulatory investigations, led by Leslie Ahari in Tysons Corner and Gary Dixon in Washington DC. Other recent highlights include Washington DC-based John Gerstein representing Capitol Indemnity in a pollution case linked to radiation contamination of a water supply, and Chicago-based Rebecca Ross advising Colombia Casualty Company and Continental Casualty Company in a bad faith action, which arose out of fund embezzlement by an agent at Minnesota Life. Washington DC-based Charles Jones is head of the firm’s litigation department, and David Cutter in Chicago is leader of the insurance section. Other clients of the team include the Beazley Group, Markel Corporation and Resolute Management.

Insurance: advice to policyholders

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: advice to policyholders
  2. Leading lawyers

The ‘excellent’ team at Covington & Burling LLP delivers ‘timely and constructive advice in a stunningly responsive way’ and continues to lead in the field of dedicated policyholder work, covering the insurance sphere comprehensively and representing clients in a vast range of claims including mass tort liabilities, D&O issues and fiduciary mandates. The 100-strong department grew in strength in 2015 following the launch of a Los Angeles office for the firm, which recently gained René Siemens from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. The Washington DC team also expanded following the recruitment of Matthew Schlesinger from Reed Smith LLP in 2016. Recent highlights for the practice include advising the Public Service Enterprise Group in a suit seeking recovery for property damage losses from Superstorm Sandy. The matter, led by William Skinner and Saul Goodman, settled in 2015 with a judgment in favor of the client. William Greaney is leading advice to KeySpan Gas East in an environmental coverage matter relating to polluted gas plant sites and ‘superstarBenedict Lenhart - along with Anna Engh and San Francisco-based Wendy Feng - represented World Fuel Services in two coverage cases arising from an oil train derailment. Lenhart, along with Benjamin Duke in New York and Donald Brown in San Francisco, is also representing ExxonMobil in an action seeking coverage of asbestos claims. Lenhart and Mitchell Dolin lead the practice; Dolin continues to act for the NFL in concussion-related tort lawsuits brought by former players. Michael Lechliter and Jeffrey Davidson made the partnership in Washington DC and San Francisco, respectively. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC unless noted otherwise.

Anderson Kill’s dedicated policyholder practice represents clients in claims for environmental liability, D&O liability and data breach litigation as well as professional liability, commercial crime and property losses, among many others. Practice co-chair Robert Horkovich continues to represent the State of California in a coverage suit for the clean-up of the Stringfellow Acid Pits, and also continues his work as lead trial counsel for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in litigation linked to asbestos claims arising from the construction of the original World Trade Center. Clients also recommend co-chair William Passannante, Joshua Gold and Finley Harckham, who is representing O&G Industries in multiple property coverage suits arising from an explosion at a power plant construction site. Newark-based Robert Chesler acted for Gregory Packaging in a coverage dispute relating to property and personal injury issues following an ammonia spill at the client’s packaging facility. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless noted otherwise.

Jenner & Block LLP advises policyholders from a wide range of industries on matters such as financial disputes, asbestos coverage and environmental issues. Chicago-based John Mathias, who chairs the insurance recovery and counseling practice, recently represented Vail Resorts in a coverage action in connection with construction-related damage at a hotel complex. Matthew Jacobs in Washington DC is defending Danfoss in an action filed by Liberty Mutual relating to two workers’ compensation policies. The firm also has substantial expertise advising transport clients; Jacobs is representing Amtrak with Paul Smith and Jessie Amunson (both of whom are based in Washington DC) in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court regarding coverage of losses resulting from Superstorm Sandy. Other key clients include Southern California Edison, CSX Transportation and HSBC North America.

Jones Day’s ‘excellent’ practice covers a wide scope of matters for policyholder clients including catastrophic loss and property and casualty issues, as well as cybercrime coverage. Los Angeles-based practice head Tyrone Childress has been representing World Trade Center Properties in the allocation of subrogation proceeds following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as advising Union Pacific Railroad Company on coverage disputes relating to damage caused by severe weather events and railroad accidents. The team was strengthened in 2015 by the recruitment of the ‘responsive and direct’ Richard DeNatale to the firm’s San Francisco office from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. DeNatale has brought in a significant cyber element to the practice and current matters include assisting Sony with insurance issues following cyberattacks, including the 2011 attacks on the Sony online gaming networks and the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment following the release of the parody movie, The Interview. Clients recommend New York-based Edward Joyce and John Iole in Pittsburgh, who is representing Transocean in the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster litigation. Richard Milone joined the Washington DC office from Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s ‘extremely professional and knowledgeable team works closely with clients, communicating constantly with an almost courageous level of honesty’. The practice assists domestic and foreign clients comprehensively in insurance matters, with many clients from the pharmaceuticals, media and manufacturing sectors, as well as financial institutions. Chicago-based practice co-chair Steven Gilford has ‘incredible expertise in coverage litigation’ and continues to work with Chicago-based Marc Rosenthal, advising longstanding client Union Carbide on thousands of asbestos-related bodily injury claims made against it. The firm’s Los Angeles office focuses heavily on the sport and entertainment sectors, and co-chair Nancy Sher Cohen is representing the Creative Artists Agency in claims against United Talent Agency and a group of defecting agents relating to liability over employment practices. Clients recommend the ‘thoughtful, tactical and simply brilliantSeth Schafler in New York, who is advising JPMorgan Chase in a case relating to SEC disgorgement remedies. The ‘commercialJohn Failla in New York is another name to note.

The ‘very good’ policyholder practice at Reed Smith LLP is ‘one of the top-flight teams for financial services-related work’ and is also strong in the energy sector; the client roster includes Morgan Stanley, Phillips 66 Company and PNC Bank. Chicago-based John Shugrue continues to represent Anadarko Petroleum in claims and lawsuits following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, recently winning two summary judgments for the client, which are now on appeal. Pittsburgh-based department head Douglas Cameron is also recommended along with David Halbreich in Los Angeles, who represented the California Department of Transportation in a coverage dispute following an injury to a contractor’s employee. Chicago-based John Vishneski and John Ellison in Philadelphia are also recommended. Steven Moll and James Cooper joined the Houston office from Gardere Wynne Sewell.

David McGonigle leads the practice at K&L Gates, and recently acted for PPG Industries in bankruptcy proceedings and a related asbestos liability issue. The firm has particular strength in manufacturing and heavy industry - John Sylvester continues to represent Ashland and Hercules in two arbitration proceedings relating to asbestos liabilities, and Thomas Birsic is acting for Air & Liquid Systems Corporation regarding asbestos-related bodily injury claims. Birsic is also representing Halliburton in two London-based arbitrations connected with coverage issues arising from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Cyber liability is a growing area of practice, wherein Roberta Anderson recently advised Verizon and PepsiCo in negotiating cyber security and data privacy policies. All attorneys mentioned are based in Pittsburgh.

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP is now primarily based in Los Angeles. Notable partners include Jerold Oshinsky, who has ‘a tremendous depth of knowledge’, and the ‘highly focusedLinda Kornfeld. The pair recently led advice to Pennsylvania State University in its attempt to recover costs linked to its response to the Sandusky sexual misconduct scandal. The team has a significant client base in the education sector and Duke University is another example; clients from other sectors include the International Union of Operating Engineers and Ringler Associates Incorporated. The firm also recently successfully represented Cottage Heatlh System in dismissing a coverage dispute arising from a data breach, wherein the insurer sought redress for the cost of settlement on the basis that the insured’s data breach policy was voided by alleged failings in its data breach procedures and risk controls. The team also includes commercial litigator Charles Freiberg, who is based in San Francisco, and Los Angeles-based David Thomas. Robin Cohen and her team moved to McKool Smith.

Latham & Watkins LLP utilizes its global footprint to assist clients in cross-border matters, and the insurance practice works closely with colleagues in the corporate and finance departments; the team is particularly experienced in negotiating representations and warranties coverage pertaining to corporate transactions. The firm is also strong in environmental coverage and is representing Montrose Chemical Corporation of California in an environmental contamination lawsuit following DDT pollution from the client’s operations in Torrance. Brook Roberts in San Diego is leading that matter and is also acting alongside John Wilson in the same office to represent Fluor Corporation in a case against Hartford relating to a policyholder’s right to assign interests under a policy. Los Angeles-based Andrew Lundberg continues to represent Meritor in asbestos coverage litigation following the client’s acquisition of Rockwell International’s automotive business. The team is also representing the NCAA in the high-profile concussion-related class action lawsuits arising from injuries suffered by student athletes. Other clients include Canadian Solar, Los Angeles Dodgers and Wynn Resorts. Peter Rosen leads the practice from Los Angeles, and has substantial experience in property, casualty and D&O matters.

The ‘extremely well-versed’ Robin Cohen leads McKool Smith’s insurance recovery practice, having recently joined the firm from Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP. Cohen also brought several team members with her, including Kenneth Frenchman, who ‘does a fantastic job’, Adam Ziffer and commercial litigator Natasha Romagnoli, who has ‘probing attention to detail and advocacy’. The team has experience across a wide range of insurance issues, including asbestos-related matters, as well as other product liability, environmental, toxic tort cases and D&O matters. The team also has significant regulatory expertise.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has notable strength in restructuring and bankruptcy matters, as well as litigation experience relating to asbestos coverage, environmental claims, medical devices and financial services; it has a captive insurance team, led by Daniel Chefitz in Washington DC. Recommended trial lawyer David Luttinger recently represented Bank of America in litigation against the client’s mortgage insurer and continues to act for Goulds Pumps in a dispute with Travelers; Washington DC-based practice co-head Paul Zevnik also worked both matters. Other highlights for the department include acting for the Plant Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust in coverage litigation focusing on bankruptcy and restructuring issues. Practice co-heads Brady Edwards in Houston and Michel Horton in Los Angeles are also recommended.

Perkins Coie LLP’s ‘excellent and diverse’ practice advises on a wide range of issues, with substantial experience in the energy sector, where clients include Alpha Natural Resources, Weatherford International and NorthWestern Energy. The ‘hardworking and extremely thorough’ team is also highly experienced in Bermuda Form matters, and recently advised Tennessee Valley Authority in a Bermuda Form issue relating to a fly ash spill, recovering over $330m for the client. Other recent highlights include Selena Linde and Michael Sharkey representing Motors Liquidation Company DIP Lenders Trust in asbestos and environmental liability coverage litigation. The firm is also active in bankruptcy issues, toxic torts and mutual fund-related matters, and is increasing its focus on cyber and data breach mandates. Donald Friedman chairs the insurance recovery practice, in which clients recommend Lorelie Masters, who is ‘an excellent coverage litigator’, and Madison-based Timothy Burns. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC, except where noted otherwise.

The policyholder practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is noted for its expertise in representing insurance intermediaries and insurance brokers in coverage litigation. Clients include Marsh & McLennan Companies, Willis North America and Lockton. Christopher St. Jeanos and practice head Mitchell Auslander advised Marsh USA on an issue of first impression in a trial relating to insurance broker liability and Auslander is also representing First American Financial Corporation in multiple proceedings under E&O and property insurance policies. Outside of the firm’s work for insurance brokers, recent highlights include acting for Cameron International in coverage disputes relating to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, successfully obtaining a summary judgment for the client, and representing several New York-based insureds in Superstorm Sandy flood insurance claims, which are currently on appeal. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

Insurance: non-contentious

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: non-contentious
  2. Leading lawyers

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘one of the go-to firms for non-contentious work’, having as it does ‘a premier insurance department’ that is ‘excellent in all elements of the practice area’. The team advises a broad spectrum of clients including insurers, reinsurers, private equity funds and asset managers on matters including M&A, capital markets deals and regulatory issues. Practice co-chair Nicholas Potter recently advised insurers on several cross-border deals, including acting for Exor during its $6.9bn acquisition of Bermuda-based reinsurer, PartnerRe. He also assisted StanCorp Financial Group in its sale to Meiji Yasuda Life for $5bn. Fellow co-chair John Vasily and David Grosgold advised AXA on an agreement with SulAmérica to acquire its Brazilian large industrial and commercial risks insurance business for R$135m. Clients recommend ‘excellent negotiator and trusted adviserMarilyn Lion, regulatory expert Thomas Kelly and Alexander Cochran, who is experienced in pension risk transfers and recently assisted Prudential with several pension risk transactions. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘extremely strong practice’ is ‘at the top of the list’ and ‘one of the market leaders in representing clients in the insurance and financial services industries’. The practice leads in property and casualty issues, especially in the catastrophe bond space - New York-based Michael Madigan and Chicago-based Michael Pinsel lead the firm’s property and casualty alternative risk transfer practice, which recently represented Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool in its $100m Bosphorus Ltd catastrophe bond. Michael Goldman and the ‘practical, energetic and dynamicPerry Shwachman, both based in Chicago, lead the global insurance and financial services group; Goldman recently assisted Kemper Corporation in a multistate unclaimed property audit, and Shwachman is representing Genworth Financial in the sale of its lifestyle protection insurance business. New York-based Jeff Liebmann recently advised MassMutual on a $1.25bn pension risk transfer from Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Other clients on the firm’s roster include ACE, Deutsche Bank and AIG. Jeremy Watson in Chicago made the partnership.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s transactional expertise covers M&A, financings, restructurings, regulatory advice and reinsurance deals on a national and international scale, where it advises insurers, agents, brokers and reinsurance intermediaries. William Torchiana is global coordinator of the firm’s non-contentious insurance practice, and recently led advice to Allianz in its agreement to sell the Fireman’s Fund US personal lines insurance business to ACE for $365m. Marion Leydier is deputy coordinator, and worked with Robert Reeder on AIG’s $7.6bn senior note offering. Leydier, Rodgin Cohen and Andrew Gerlach also advised ACE on a $28.3bn agreement to acquire Chubb. Stephen Kotran, who leads the insurance M&A team, advised Western World Insurance Group on its $690m sale to a subsidiary of Validus Holdings. Other clients include AXA, MetLife and Prudential. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York, and the firm also has regulatory experts based in Washington DC.

The ‘outstanding team’ at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has ‘an exceptional command of the M&A space’ with ‘knowledge that is deep, comprehensive, current and invariably reliable’, positioning it as ‘one of the premier firms in the area’. The practice covers transactional matters, capital markets deals, insurance-linked securities and regulatory issues for insurers, reinsurers, private equity investors, funds and banks. The practice co-heads are Alexander Dye, who ‘has the ability to calmly and insightfully provide counsel on a variety of issues’, and the ‘sophisticated, thoughtful and smartJohn Schwolsky. Dye led advice to New York Life Investment Management on the sale of its Retirement Plan Services business to a Manulife Financial subsidiary, and Schwolsky represented Assurant in the sale of its employee benefits business to Sun Life for $975m. Michael Groll recently led advice to HCC Insurance Holdings on its $7.5bn acquisition of Tokio Marine Holdings. Other clients include Allstate, MetLife and Aegon. Rajab Abbassi and Leah Campbell are also recommended. Benjamin Nixon and Matthew Stern made the partnership in 2015, and specialize in capital markets matters and insurance-linked securities, respectively. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP excels in transactions at a domestic and international level, advising insurers and reinsurers on M&A, financings, company formations, restructurings and reinsurance issues. Todd Freed, who leads the firm’s insurance M&A practice, is recommended along with Robert Sullivan, who advised Humana on its $37bn merger with Aetna. Other recent examples include representing XL Group in its $4.2bn acquisition of Catlin Group and the related acquisition financing; advising Credit Suisse as financial adviser to Tokio Marine Holdings on its $7.5bn acquisition of HCC Insurance Holdings; and assisting Centene Corporation with its $6.8bn acquisition of Health Net. The team also provides regulatory advice. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

The ‘superb’ practice at Mayer Brownhas both excellent industry and regulatory knowledge and skills’, combined with being ‘responsive and sensitive to client needs’. The department advises insurers, reinsurers, banks and brokers across transactional, capital markets, regulatory and alternative risk transfer issues. ‘Wonderful partnerJames Woods and Stephen Rooney co-chair the practice from New York; Rooney recently advised Bristol-Myers Squibb in a pension de-risking transaction, transferring $1.4bn in liabilities to Prudential. Woods has been active on the regulatory side and recently advised the Worldwide Broker Network on FATCA rules and its implications on brokers, and also advised several clients including Blue Shield of California on cybersecurity issues and cyber risk insurance. Chicago-based Edward Best recently assisted ACE with a senior note issuance totaling $800m. The ‘high-performingDavid Alberts in New York is recommended for his transactional expertise, and Chicago-based Larry Hamilton is ‘knowledgeable on the regulatory side’.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s ‘excellent and nimble’ team is ‘focused on insurance issues and has substantial legal expertise in the field’. The New York-based practice advises domestic and international clients on a range of transactional and regulatory mandates including M&A, capital markets issues and pension risk transfers. Top clients include Arch Insurance Company, Deutsche Bank and Reservoir Capital, which the firm recently advised on the merger of a Prosperity subsidiary (an affiliate of Reservoir) with a holding company formed by SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company. ‘Responsive and proactive’ practice head Bernhardt Nadell has notable experience in life insurance work and recently advised ORIX and its subsidiary ORIX Life on the $963m acquisition of all of the shares in Hartford Life Insurance K.K. from The Hartford Financial Service Group. Of counsel William Latza is recommended for property, casualty and regulatory matters. Special counsel Matthew Feig joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP’s team advises clients including Blackstone, Munich Re and The Hartford on the full spectrum of transactional and regulatory mandates including reinsurance issues, product development, private equity matters and insurance-linked securities, and has substantial experience in M&A. New York-based Cynthia Shoss and Washington DC-based Stephen Roth jointly lead the practice. Shoss recently represented Pan-American Life as regulatory counsel in a merger agreement with Mutual Trust Financial Group; he and James Dwyer advised Exor on an agreement with PartnerRe to acquire all of its outstanding common shares for $6.9bn. Roth is recognized for his product and regulatory work, and recently advised a coalition of 29 US life insurance companies on regulatory proposals relating to variable annuity policies. Washington DC-based David Massey is recommended for transactional work, and Dodie Kent joined the firm in New York from an in-house role at AXA to strengthen Roth’s products team.

Clifford Chance’s team represents insurers, reinsurers, private equity firms and hedge funds, and has notable experience in start-ups and alternative capital reinsurance ventures, with expertise in M&A, risk retention issues, restructurings and regulatory matters. Practice co-head Gary Boss recently advised on the formation of Fidelis Insurance Holdings, assisting the client in raising $1.5bn in capital. Watford Re continues to be a client - the department helped with the formation and establishment of the Bermuda-based reinsurer in 2014. The team is also recommended for its cross-border strength; clients include the Bank of Luxembourg, Swiss Re and CM International Holding PTE, which practice co-head Nicholas Williams advised on its acquisition of Sirius International from White Mountains for $2.2bn. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York. Joe Cosentino joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s strength lies in M&A and capital markets work, advising insurers and reinsurers on transactions, issuances and underwritings. The team also works closely with the firm’s tax lawyers, and has a strong regulatory element to the practice, which provides Dodd-Frank assistance. Recent highlights include assisting PartnerRe during its $6.9bn acquisition by Exor and advising Aetna on its $37bn acquisition of Humana, as well as assisting Aetna with a senior note offering totaling $750m. Key figures in the department include Richard Sandler, who is leader of the firm’s global capital markets and corporate governance practices, and capital markets expert Joseph Hall, who recently advised Voya as underwriter in connection with block trades totaling $2.6bn. M&A specialist Phillip Mills and Jason Kyrwood, who specializes in corporate finance transactions, are also recommended. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Dentons has an ‘incredibly strong team, with an excellent level of service, high responsiveness and exceptional industry knowledge’. The department is particularly strong on the West coast and is ‘among the best in the practice area in California’. The practice has substantial regulatory experience and recent highlights include representing Dhando Holdings as regulatory counsel on issues arising from the acquisition of Stonetrust Commercial Insurance Company. Kara Baysinger and Bruce Baty co-head the practice from San Francisco and Kansas City, respectively. Baysinger recently represented Genworth Life and RiverSource in an administrative hearing relating to market conduct; Baty was appointed special deputy receiver of Lumbermen’s Underwriting Alliance once the client was placed into rehabilitation. Clients also recommend Matthew Gaul in New York, the ‘outstanding’ Dan Brown and the ‘strong’ Kenneth Schnoll (both based in San Francisco), and Chicago-based Michael Kasdin; Kasdin is recommended for regulatory mandates. Los Angeles-based Stephanie Duchene made the partnership in 2015.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘excellence is self-evident’, providing clients with ‘effective responsiveness and industry knowledge’ across a variety of transactional and regulatory issues including M&A, capital markets mandates and international regulatory advice. Michael Murphy leads the firm’s insurance and reinsurance practice, while William Marcoux heads up the insurance transactions and regulation team. Recent highlights for Marcoux include advising Best Doctors on the sale of an international health insurer and assisting clients with reinsurer formations and capital raising. Clients also recommend the ‘professional, distinct and supportivePaul Chen, who splits his time between New York and Silicon Valley. Chen led advice to Fosun International in its $464m investment into Ironshore, and the subsequent $1.8bn acquisition of the Bermuda-based reinsurer. Other clients include AIG, Zurich and Swiss Re. Mark Deckman made partner in 2015. All attorneys are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

Foley & Lardner LLP’s ‘commercial and strong advice leads to an excellent level of service, which is responsive, attentive and knowledgeable’. The practice is particularly experienced in assisting clients in the life and property and casualty space, and also has substantial expertise advising health insurers on regulatory issues, international clients and monoline insurers. Milwaukee-based practice head Thomas Hrdlick recently advised Kemper Corporation on its acquisition of Alliance United Group and the related regulatory issues. Other highlights for the department include assisting TPG Capital in its acquisition of The Warranty Group for $1.5bn, and advising the National Council on Compensation Insurance on a rate filing issue. Clients also recommend ‘pragmatic, responsive and robust negotiator’ Kevin Fitzgerald in Milwaukee, who ‘always does an excellent job’, and Tallahassee-based Austin Neal, who ‘is brilliant with regulatory matters, and is able to easily anticipate issues’.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP focuses on transactional mandates, advising national and international insurance companies in the property, casualty, life and health sectors on M&A and capital market transactions. Recent work includes assisting Anbang Insurance Group with its $1.6bn purchase of Fidelity & Guaranty Life, and advising The Phoenix Companies on its proposed sale to Nassau Reinsurance Group Holdings for $217m. On the capital markets side, the firm recently represented Travelers in a senior note offering totaling $400m, and advised Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo Securities as underwriters of Humana’s $1.75bn debt offering. Key names in the practice include Gary Horowitz and Lee Meyerson. Special counsel Steven DeLott and Andrew Keller are recommended for regulatory matters and capital market issues, respectively. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.


Index of tables

  1. Sport
  2. Leading lawyers

Covington & Burling LLP’s ‘first-class’ team has a stellar reputation in the industry - as evidenced by the number of alumni to have served as Commissioner or General Counsel of the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) - and its experience cuts across all areas of sports law. ‘Class actPeter Zern and the ‘very impressiveDouglas Gibson are ‘among the best’ for sports media work: Zern assisted the NHL with negotiating the rights to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey for US and international markets, while Gibson assisted the NFL with renewing its contract with CBS for Thursday Night Football. The firm continues to serve as principal outside counsel to the NFL and Derek Ludwin is defending the client in antitrust litigation challenging the league’s television broadcast distribution agreements. Tax expert Jeremy Spector is leading advice to the same client on the challenge to its tax-exempt status. Bruce Wilson has a highly regarded international practice, while Benjamin Block, Gregg Levy and Paul Tagliabue are also key names in the Washington DC-based team.

Proskauer Rose LLP was at the forefront of establishing a dedicated sports law practice and its involvement in the area dates back over fifty years. Its status as a market leader was again emphasized in 2015 through prominent instructions from marquee client the NBA, which included the firm’s advice to the NBA on the $850m sale of the Atlanta Hawks to an ownership group led by Antony Ressler. The group’s exceptional transactional practice also has been called on by the NHL to assist with the league’s potential expansion to Las Vegas and Quebec City. The team’s full-service capability is highlighted through its exceptional litigation practice and it continues to defend Major League Baseball (MLB) in a long-running case challenging baseball’s antitrust exemption. While its excellence in professional sport is widely documented, the firm has also made a concerted effort in recent years to expand its collegiate offering; testament to the strength of its college sport practice is the firm’s advice to the University of Michigan on retaining Jim Harbaugh, previously the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, as head football coach. Further first-rate examples of the firm’s work include its advice to the Los Angeles 2024 Exploratory Committee on the host bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. Firm chairman and M&A expert Joseph Leccese, who is the ‘dean of sports law’, jointly heads the practice with labor expert Howard Ganz and litigator Bradley Ruskin, which also includes Wayne Katz and Jon H Oram. All lawyers mentioned are based in the firm’s New York office.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s highly regarded team is kept busy with instructions to handle big-ticket litigation. Jeffrey Mishkin, Anthony Dreyer and Karen Hoffman Lent are representing the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver in ongoing state and federal litigation commenced by Donald Sterling, the former owner of the LA Clippers NBA franchise. The group has a notable practice defending personal injury claims and Shepard Goldfein, who maintains strong links to the NHL, and James Keyte are part of a team defending the league in litigation initiated by former NHL players, which claims that the NHL did not inform players of the alleged long-term consequences of head trauma. Another flagship client is the PGA Tour, which the firm recently represented in litigation brought by professional golfer Vijay Singh pertaining to the administration and implementation of the Tour’s anti-doping policy. Named attorneys are based in the firm’s New York office. Thomas Gowan retired.

Arent Fox LLP impresses with the breadth of its sports coverage, which spans athletics, basketball, cycling, motorsport, ice hockey and soccer, as well as others. It has a particularly fine reputation for rights agreements and has handled some of the seminal deals in the space over the years, including recently advising Mercedes-Benz on a 27-year naming rights transaction for a new stadium in Atlanta that will be home to both the Atlanta Falcons NFL franchise and the MLS expansion franchise Atlanta United FC; the deal closely followed the announcement that Mercedes-Benz will relocate its headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta. Other standout work included the firm’s advice to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee, which included assistance with corporate governance matters, sponsorship agreements, venue agreements and telecast-rights agreements with ESPN. San Francisco-based Richard Brand leads the practice, which also includes Matthew Pace in the firm’s New York office and Los Angeles-based Maidie Oliveau.

DLA Piper LLP (US) is unsurpassed in stadium financing and has an increasing number of international clients due, in part, to its global presence. In conjunction with colleagues in Milan, the US team is advising Serie A soccer club AS Roma and the Raptor Group on an €175m team refinancing and the financing of the construction of a new stadium. The group has received a string of instructions to assist with stadium financing in the US and advised the Atlanta Braves MLB franchise on several closings, which variously included: an amendment to a revolver loan to provide additional bridge financing to a new stadium development; Cobb County’s bond transaction and subsequent $370m contribution to stadium funding; and the $345m private financing by the team’s affiliate stadium company. The financing team is supported by a strong M&A practice and, in 2015, the team handled the sale of the Atlanta Hawks. Peter White and Frank Ryan jointly head the department, which also includes Reston-based Mark Whitaker. All attorneys are based in New York, except where stated otherwise. Since publication, Charles Baker has moved to O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

Foley & Lardner LLP has invested heavily in its practice and has worked hard to diversify its client base, while retaining strong ties to baseball, a traditionally strong area for the firm. On the M&A side, New York-based Irwin Raij and Milwaukee-based Kevin Schulz led advice to SWB Investors on the acquisition of interests in Minor League Baseball franchises, including one team which intends to relocate to Cuba. The group has impressive credentials in the area of college sport and is handling Syracuse University’s renovation of its multi-use football and basketball stadium, as well as assisting with an ancillary development; it is also advising the University of Miami on the potential development of a new sports stadium. The team has experienced an uptick in work for media clients and has targeted greater involvement in cross-border acquisitions to further develop its practice. It handled several matters for a sports production company, including assisting with attempts to purchase a European basketball team and advising the same client on a potential joint venture with a broadcasting company for the production of significant college sporting events. Litigator Mary Braza, who is based in Milwaukee, is highly regarded and serves on several boards in the sports industry.

The ‘superb’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘among the top firms in the sports and media business and has a real edge on international matters’. The US practice worked with attorneys in the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore offices to advise Tencent, a Chinese internet and social media company, on a broadcast license for the exclusive distribution rights to NBA games. Lawyers from the Century City and Los Angeles offices are assisting MLS expansion franchise, the Los Angeles Football Club, with the site selection and planning of a new stadium in southern California. Joseph Calabrese - who is the global chair of the firm’s entertainment, sports and media practice - and Christopher Brearton are leading a team advising the International Olympic Committee on the creation of an over-the-top digital global Olympic sports channel. Litigator Russell F Sauer Jr is also recommended.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is unrivalled for its work defending sports leagues in player safety litigation. The practice successfully represented the NFL in multi-district litigation (MDL) initiated by over 5,000 former players pertaining to alleged long-term cognitive impairments sustained during the course of their playing careers. The firm is also defending the Arizona Cardinals in the only concussion litigation proceeding outside of the MDL. The group has since been entrusted to handle further mandates for the NFL, including Brad Karp and Theodore Wells Jr being part of a team handling an internal investigation for the client into the alleged use of deflated footballs by the New England Patriots. On the transactional side, Justin G Hamill handled several matters for WME IMG, including advising on a joint venture with tennis player Li Na. Bruce Birenboim and Ariel Deckelbaum are also key names in the New York-based team.

Clients note that Winston & Strawn LLP’s reputation, particularly that of the ‘tenaciousJeffrey Kessler, ‘goes a long way in sending a message that you are serious and willing to fight’. The New York based team has a pre-eminent practice acting for players’ associations and was well positioned to advise on some of the headline matters of 2015, such as its involvement in ‘Deflategate’. Kessler, David Greenspan and Steffen Johnson represented the NFL Players Association in litigation against the NFL overturning the four-game ban imposed upon quarterback Tom Brady pertaining to tampered footballs in a game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts; the firm is now handling the appeal. Player disciplinary cases have become something of a niche for the firm in recent years and, prior to the Brady case, the firm acted for the Dallas Cowboys’ Greg Hardy in arbitration proceedings appealing a ten-game suspension for an alleged violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy; the ban was reduced to four games. In another high-profile matter, the firm is handling antitrust proceedings for a group of college athletes in a case filed against the National Collegiate Athletic Authority (NCAA) and five top collegiate sports conferences, alleging that the defendants restrained competition for players’ services; the matter is being led by Kessler, Greenspan and David Feher, who is ‘good on the details’.

Copyright royalty work is a staple part of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s sports practice, which is led by Washington DC-based copyright and telecoms specialist Robert Garrett. Garrett recently led a team that successfully obtained a preliminary injunction for the MLB and NFL in a case concerning the leagues’ exclusive rights to televise and retransmit games; the firm went on to secure a permanent injunction and consent judgment. The firm is currently appealing the decision to cancel the Washington Redskins’ trademarks. San Francisco-based head of the firm’s labor and employment practice David Reis served as lead trial counsel to the Oakland Raiders in an age discrimination case initiated by two former scouts, securing a unanimous jury verdict. Litigator M Sean Laane, who is based in the firm’s Washington DC office, is increasingly involved in sports disputes. C Scott Lent in the New York office is another name to note.

Herrick, Feinstein LLP has a well-established sports practice dating back over 20 years. The practice has strong credentials in boxing, in part due to the presence of Michael Heitner in the team, who has long served as an advisor to promoter Top Rank, but also has a diverse workload acting for clients from major and fringe sports. The firm is outside counsel to the New York Yankees, a position that is led by Irwin A Kishner, and is also assisting the World Surf League with its proposal to include surfing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The group is increasingly involved with soccer at domestic and international level and John R Goldman represented high-profile lawyer and sports investor Joe Tacopina in an ownership dispute over Bologna FC and subsequently handled Tacopina’s purchase of another Italian soccer club, Venezia FC; New York City FC is another client. Testament to the firm’s commitment to grow the practice is the recent arrival of counsel Jared F Bartie from Arent Fox LLP; Bartie’s recent highlights include advising on a commercial agreement for a basketball game between the University of Washington and the University of Texas to be played in Shanghai. Daniel A Etna is also recommended.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP’s ‘very smart’, ‘talented’ group has an ‘analytical and detail-oriented’ approach. Chicago-based Adam Klein, who is ‘creative’ and ‘knows how to get to the finish line’, heads the practice. The firm, which primarily represents sports franchises and potential buyers, has an impressive client roster that includes the Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings and the Chicago White Sox. The team is advising the Golden State Warriors on its new arena and mixed-use development, which includes handling the debt financing of a land acquisition intended for the arena’s site. It is advising Miami Heat on a broadcasting rights agreement with Fox Sports and also handles sponsorship agreements for the same client.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s team has maintained its association with the Atlanta Hawks throughout the various ownership lifecycles and has occupied unique positions on the buy- and sell-side of various transactions. Following the firm’s advice in 2014 on the purchase of a minority interest in the franchise, it was instructed in 2015 to assist with the sale and partial rollover of the same interest, while simultaneously handling ATL Investco’s acquisition of the Atlanta Hawks. Ivan D Deutsch and firm chairman Joseph C Shenker, both of whom are based in New York, are part of a team that is advising the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball on corporate restructuring and governance matters.

Much of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s sports work is focused on labor and employment matters, frequently for player associations and individuals, while it also receives a stream of instructions to handle litigation on behalf of broadcasters. Jeffrey Klein, who is chair of the firm’s labor and employment practice, advised top football coach Jim Harbaugh on his appointment as head coach at the University of Michigan on a seven-year contract worth at least $40m. James Quinn was part of a team defending CBS in several matters involving college sports, for example successfully representing CBS Interactive in a right of publicity case. The NHLPA is another key client and Bruce Meyer is currently handling several disputes with the NHL pertaining to the proper calculation of ‘hockey-related revenues’ and the impact on the league’s salary cap. Named attorneys are based in the firm’s New York office.

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