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In the energy sector, the huge expansion of the shale sector is being hailed as the beginning of a new era of energy self-sufficiency in the US, with inevitable knock-on effects globally. Royalty and other disputes are increasingly emerging from North America’s largest shale plays, including those across Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Dakota. On the transactional side, the development of unconventional shale plays continues to drive deals. The gas surplus has now driven prices low enough to create a burgeoning interest from foreign investors, particularly in China and South Korea. As a result, the political agenda has been dominated by debate over what effect the export of liquid natural gas could have on domestic price levels. To date, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana is the only US facility that the Department of Energy has cleared to export LNG to all countries, but 16 other applications are currently under review. Another feature of 2012 was the increase in midstream transactions as the need to meet the growing domestic demand for cheap oil and gas spurred on major pipeline projects. The power space has remained relatively stable, with one notable trend being a growing number of cooperative utilities. Coal, on the other hand, remains politically unpopular and is economically unattractive; insolvency proceedings and debt restructurings are becoming more commonplace. A combination of low gas prices and uncertainty surrounding the status of wind production tax credits meant 2012 was a slow year in the renewable energy sector. A steady rise in the number of domestic wind projects in 2013 is expected after federal Congress temporarily extended the tax credits as part of the ‘fiscal cliff’ bill. Importantly, the bill also includes a new provision that allows wind and other eligible renewable energy projects that begin construction in 2013 to qualify for the credit. Domestic solar projects have become an increasing source of activity in the renewable space, particularly in states with favorable legislation. Another positive trend is the rise of wind and solar projects in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Argentina, while there is also palpable optimism surrounding the emerging interest from foreign investors, especially from China and South Korea.

The energy sector’s regulatory framework is continually being tested, particularly in terms of the role of bodies such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the scope of their jurisdiction. Rate review cases are increasingly common, with matters such as the challenge to Trans Alaska Pipeline System’s rate increase looking set to codify future rules on the issue.

Litigation stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and California’s 2000-01 energy Crisis continues to progress. In the aftermath of Deepwater Horizon, environmental groups have sought - so far without success - to curtail further exploration in the region on constitutional grounds. Meanwhile, with actions for recovery and allegations of market manipulation continuing in the aftermath of the California energy crisis, FERC is seeing some of the biggest litigation in its history.

Currently these rankings cover the oil and gas and electricity sectors together, and the rankings are weighted to recognize firms with comprehensive strength across all areas but also recognize high-quality practices that focus on one field or another. The litigation section covers state and federal court litigation, whereas firms with eminent practices in administrative proceedings (including disputes before regulatory bodies) are ranked in the regulatory table; firms with strong practices in both spheres may be ranked in both tables. There is also a transactional ranking to cover deals across the breadth of the energy sector, and the renewable/alternative ranking focuses on practices in the non-traditional energy space.

For environmental lawyers, hydraulic fracturing remained the most important issue in US environmental law and continues to divide opinion on the way forward. Energy companies remain enthusiastic to invest in the process, despite a number of states and local authorities imposing a moratorium on horizontal drilling. However the technique, which uses highly pressurized fluids to access shale gas deposits contained in rock fractures below the ground, has attracted significant publicity regarding its environmental impact and health and safety concerns.

The re-election of the Democratic administration in November 2012 means that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s regulatory mandate will continue, and a greater push to combat climate change at the federal level is anticipated. California initiated its first auction of its cap-and-trade program in the state, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020. The auction was immediately met with a lawsuit challenging the political authority to sell the requisite permits.

The environment ranking includes coverage of Clean Air Act, cleantech, climate change, groundwater, Superfund, radioactivity, public nuisance and endangered species matters. Firms recommended for litigation have the capability to operate at a high level in courtroom litigation and arbitration across the sector, or are outstanding in one or several areas. Firms listed in the transactional and regulatory rankings are noted for their depth and experience in areas such as M&A, capital markets, licenses and royalties, compliance and depth in regulatory matters.

The introduction of Dodd-Frank regulations has heightened financial regulation in the sector, and with it, the importance of the CFTC. The changes have generated wide-scale legal instructions from major corporations, adapting to ensure compliance. At the same time, a strong lobbying movement continues to campaign for a more competitive market model in the utilities sector, which has included challenges to legislation in federal court.

The healthcare rankings cover service providers, insurers and life sciences. A firm’s inclusion in any one category means it is either well known for its representation of clients in the area, or has handled a substantial flow of work in the area in the past year. Service providers include hospitals, hospital systems, academic medical institutions and medical centers, while the insurers category includes firms which have a substantial client base on the major insurer/health plan side and the payor side of managed care. Of course, there has been a degree of convergence between service and coverage providers and such deals are addressed. The life sciences section covers work for medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and R&D companies. Law firms seeking detailed coverage of life sciences IP matters should refer to the Intellectual Property chapter.

The Supreme Court’s upholding of the constitutionality of the individual mandate provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in July 2012 made the need for consolidation, and clinical integration under still developing concepts such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a pressing reality for service providers. Vertical consolidation, which was such a feature of the market in 2010-11, is now being driven by specific legislative deadlines laid down by the PPACA as much as it is by attempts to drive down costs. Unsurprisingly, healthcare lawyers are not predicting an increased move towards managed care as a primary service provider model, and this appears to be borne out by increased merger activity from large managed care organizations (MCOs) and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The picture is much the same at the traditional hospital provider level. Smaller providers recognize the financial protection that being part of a larger health system will give, while the larger systems are seeking to expand the medical services they already provide, or create new markets.

Reform was also the main driver for large insurers anticipating the estimated 40 million more Americans who will require Medicare/Medicare Advantage and Medicaid coverage under the PPACA. The major deals on Wall Street were UnitedHealth’s acquisition of Medicare Advantage plan provider XLHealth, and Aetna’s $7bn purchase of managed care provider Coventry Health Care.

In life sciences, there was a rise in M&A activity aimed at purchasing both emerging and mature products, with a correlative decrease in R&D investment. Among many prominent examples, Valeant continued its aggressive program of acquisitions with the completion of its purchase of Medicis in December 2012; and GlaxoSmithKline acquired Human Genome Services for $3.6bn in August 2012. In a mirror image of the service providers market, the federal government continues its pushback against fraud and abuse, which has led to a steady glut of advisory and contentious work for firms with recognized FDA regulatory practices. The 2012 patent cliff affected several brand name drugs - a high-profile example being Pfizer’s international attempts to delay generics by adding an extra seven years’ exclusivity to its Viagra brand - with corresponding ANDA and Hatch-Waxman litigation for firms’ IP departments.

The entry of major Chinese players such as BGI-Shenzhen into the US market and the acquisition of Chinese life sciences companies by US pharmaceuticals companies has made the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act a developing part of many firms’ regulatory practices.

In the insurance sector, market volatility and catastrophes continue to drive the industry: for example, high-stakes litigation relating to the financial crisis persists, and many firms are already seeing an influx of coverage matters arising from Hurricane Sandy, particularly property loss and business interruption claims. A significant emerging area is also cyber risk insurance, as data breaches proliferate, while the changing regulatory environment is another significant source of work. Firms are providing advice not only on domestic legislative reforms under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, but also on the Solvency II Directive for companies working in a cross-border context. Another notable trend has been an increase in transactional activity resulting from the convergence between the insurance and the pension markets.

Within the legal market, the implosion of Dewey LeBoeuf LLP’s renowned insurance practice continues to make its mark with some of its most prominent partners settling at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Patton Boggs LLP, and others at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Mayer Brown, Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, and DLA Piper.

Energy: litigation

Index of tables

  1. Energy: litigation
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

Baker Botts L.L.P. is ‘one of the premier firms’ and has a large and experienced energy litigation team, split across Houston and Washington DC as well as Moscow. The group ‘gets the job done’ and is complemented by a strong regulatory practice. The firm is best known for its comprehensive oil and gas expertise at state and federal level, and is handling an increasing number of high-profile disputes in the shale sector. William Kroger, who was appointed department co-chair in 2012, is advising Murphy Oil Exploration & Production and Marathon Oil in two discrete, wide-reaching disputes concerning their investments in America’s largest crude oil shale play at Eagle Ford, Texas. Kroger and Travis Sales are representing Shell and BASF Corporation in disputes with PEMEX, Mexico’s national oil company, which alleges that these and other US companies purchased hydrocarbons stolen from Mexico and smuggled over the border. The firm’s presence is growing in the electricity market and Brooksany Barrowes is representing the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) transmission owners in opposing controversial utilities’ proposals pertaining to the issue of power portability. Fellow department co-chair Mark Robeck and Greg Copeland, who is ‘one of the best energy litigation lawyers’, continue to defend Reliant Energy against allegations of price manipulation during the 2000-01 California energy crisis. Macey Reasoner Stokes is leading a team representing CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric in its appeal regarding rate changes. The practice is also increasingly active in mining, technological and environmental disputes: it represented BP Alternative Energy in a nuisance claim relating to the construction and operation of a wind farm, and the possibility of a larger wind farm being built nearby in northern Texas. Other clients include Ameren Corporation, ExxonMobil, Enbridge, GenOnEnergy, Repsol Energy, Jones Energy, and Hydro-Québec. John Anaipakos and senior associate Jason Newman are recommended. Elaine Walsh joined the practice from Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Russell Lewis was promoted to the partnership.

Excellent law firmCovington & Burling LLP has a strong record in high-value oil and gas litigation, and particularly stands out for its work in international disputes. Robert Long and practice co-head Thomas Cubbage continue to represent ExxonMobil in its drawn-out, multibillion-dollar arbitration with the Venezuelan government, stemming from the country’s nationalisation of foreign oil assets in 2007. Following the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)’s initial ruling in 2012, which was viewed as sympathetic to Venezuela, another ruling is expected in 2013. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, practice co-head Steven Rosenbaum acted for trade association American Petroleum Institute and others in defeating multiple challenges by environmental groups to government approvals of offshore lease sales, exploration and development plans. David Goodwin and Allan Moore are representing BP in six multi-district litigations concerning insurance coverage for injury and property damage following the Deepwater Horizon accident, including thousands of claims against BP and others. The firm also has a footing in the utilities market, as demonstrated by the COMPLETE Coalition, founded by William Massey (a former commissioner of FERC) and of counsel Robert Fleishman several years ago. The coalition aims to promote a more competitive electricity market model and comprises 680 members, including major providers such as Exelon, PSEG, and BP, as well as major customers, technology companies and renewable energy providers, such as American Wind Energy Association companies. Massey and Fleishman represented the coalition in its successful intervention in high-profile regulatory litigation involving AEP Ohio and Duke Energy, securing greater customer choice in the jurisdiction. Other team members include Miguel López Forastier, former FERC commissioner Julian Hammar and former CFTC member Gerry Waldron. Other clients include Independent Petroleum Association of America, International Association of Drilling Contractors, US Oil and Gas Association, Noble Energy, KKR, and Sandridge Energy.

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP’s planned merger with Norton Rose, set to take effect in June 2013, is expected to expand significantly the global reach of the firm’s leading energy practice. The firm already achieves ‘excellent results’, and is praised for its ‘fast response times’ and capacity to ‘understand the needs and complexity of the case’. Practice group co-chairs William Wood and Daniel McClure are particularly recommended. Wood acted for Shell and Pecten Orient in a payment dispute with Syrian American Oil Corporation, relating to oil and gas exploration in the country. Wood and Lance Bremer also represented Mangesh Energy, HKN Energy and Hillwood International Energy affiliates in a multi-party arbitration concerning alleged payment entitlements in oil and gas production in Kurdistan, Iraq. He also defended Weatherford International in an action brought in Texas by Xtreme Coil Mexico, which alleged breaches of drilling contracts, and succeeded in having the case dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. McClure is acting alongside Otway Denny, Anne Rodgers and Poe Leggette to defend BP against a high profile $25bn false claims action affecting its largest platform in the Gulf of Mexico. McClure successfully defended Anadarko against a claim by SM Energy, concerning a joint exploration agreement for Eagle Ford shale oil and gas play, which reached arbitration. He also acted alongside Gerard Pecht in defending DCP Midstream in litigation over natural gas royalties, in which claimants with interests in 300,000 wells across 32 states, alleged systematic under-valuation of natural gas by pipelines and gathering companies since 1974. The firm successfully opposed granting of class status and the matter is proceeding to trial with named plaintiff only. Other clients include ConocoPhillips, EOG Resources, Rockies Express Pipeline, and Independent Petroleum Association of America.

A powerhouse boutique’ and ‘a fabulous law firm with tremendous energy experience’, Gibbs & Bruns LLP acts for plaintiffs and defendants, with an impressive client roster that includes ConocoPhillips, Kinder Morgan, Pioneer Natural Resources, ERG Resources, Matrix Petroleum, Anadarko, and SM Energy. With over 40 years’ trial experience and a track record in national cases, Robin Gibbs is ‘one of the best trial lawyers in the country’; ‘the name guy, if you have millions of dollars on the line’; and ‘incredibly smart, and gifted at coming up with solutions to complex problems’. Also highly respected in the market are Grant Harvey, who has an extensive arbitration practice, and Barratt Reasoner, who is particularly experienced in natural gas disputes. Gibbs and Reasoner pursued a $4.58m claim for SourceGas against Noble Energy, for the breach of a purchase contract. Reasoner’s other recent matters include: representing SM Energy and three other parties in a $110m action against Endeavour Operating Corporation for breached sale and purchase agreements, relating to Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvannia; and acting for Anadarko in its arbitration with Noble Energy over an oil and gas rights dispute. Harvey obtained judgement in favor of Matrix Petroleum, Talisman Energy USA and Statoil USA in a complex title dispute surrounding oil and gas ownership in the Eagle Ford shale formation; the matter is currently on appeal. Harvey is acting alongside Ayesha Najam in defending Big Star Gathering against PEMEX’s allegations of conspiracy to purchase natural gas stolen from Mexico. The firm is known for its work in high-value business and financial disputes, and is particularly experienced in matters involving securities issues and alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.

A ‘terrific law firm’, the ‘outstanding’ and ‘efficientKing & Spalding LLP is ‘top shelf in terms of acumen’, and ‘has some outstanding talent at partner level’. It is an established force in complex gas and oil litigation, including royalties and transactional disputes, and is supported by strong environmental expertise. The practice is particularly recognized for its international work, and global disputes head Reginald Smith is ‘a very distinguished litigator, who has handled high dollar, complex matters’; he recently represented Komet Group in a $100m oil and gas action in Iraq. Head of international arbitration Doak Bishop is ‘one of the best there is’, and is ‘sharp, deliberate, instinctive’, with ‘experience that is second to none’. Bishop recently acted for Chevron in a dispute with the Ecuadorian government, which is one of the largest cross-border arbitrations in history, and stemmed from a proposed $27bn judgement against the company in an Ecuadorian court. Atlanta-based Chilton Varner and Washington DC-based Tim Engel acted for Chevron and Shell in the first challenges to Gulf of Mexico oil exploration, after the lifting of the moratorium imposed following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The team also successfully defended Chevron and Anadarko in groundbreaking climate change litigation, respectively brought by the Alaskan village of Kivalina, which is being affected by the melting of Arctic sea ice; and victims of Hurricane Katrina. Both claims were made on the premise that the oil and gas industry’s conduct significantly contributed to global warming. By extension, it was argued major market players such as Chevron and Anadarko could be held liable for the losses suffered by victims of climate change phenomena. The recruitment of Ralph Johnson and Lynn McKay from Blank Rome LLP has bolstered the practice’s expertise in claims relating to naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) connected to oil and gas production. Newly promoted partner Jeremiah Anderson’s expertise includes environmental contamination and oil and gas construction disputes. Houston office head and ‘excellent’ trial lawyer Robert Meadows and San Francisco-based Charles Correll are both highly recommended.

Bracewell & Giuliani LLP’s 170-attorney litigation practice has strong energy expertise, spanning oil and gas, electricity utilities and alternative energy providers. Its varied client base includes major global companies, such as Apache Corporation and Conocophillips, and mid-market players including Tide Natural Gas Storage. Washington DC partners Jason Hutt and Marc Mukasey, who is head of white-collar defense and special investigations, are leading a six-lawyer team representing Halliburton in federal criminal and administrative investigations following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The firm also coordinated the company’s public and private civil litigation, insurance claims and SEC disclosures. Practice head Stephen Crain represented Direct Energy in a dispute with the owners of four Texas wind farms concerning power purchase agreements worth over $10m. Crain is also defending Marubeni, oil and gas development company, and Italian oil and gas exploration company ENI in a $25m federal court action in Houston regarding oil and gas production at the Devil’s Tower Spar platform in the Gulf of Mexico. John Barr, Glenn Ballard and Coy Connelly are acting for Baker Hughes in natural gas well fracturing litigation, involving multiple state and federal court cases across several US jurisdictions. The firm also has strong regulatory expertise and is representing Powerex Corporation in ongoing litigation before FERC relating to the 2000-01 California energy crisis. The firm is currently dealing with claims for potential refunds to be made by Powerex and other sellers, which could be worth upwards of $3bn. The decade-long litigation remains controversial, raises complex issues concerning the application of the Federal Power Act and other legislation, and is also set to test the limits of FERC’s jurisdiction and remedial powers. Cliff Gunter is also recommended.

Known for its role in top national litigation, Kirkland & Ellis LLPhas done some wonderful work’ in the energy sector. Public law expert Mark Filip and the ‘remarkableRick Godfrey are ‘among the cream of the crop’ and particularly recommended for their advocacy and investigative skills, with Godfrey also praised for his ability to explain and simplify complex issues. Both lawyers are leading the representation of major client BP in the final stages of litigation arising from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Godfrey is coordinating a team of lawyers from the firm and elsewhere in negotiating two separate class settlements on behalf of the company, while Filip is leading work connected to government investigations into the incident. The firm is highly experienced in handling high stakes health and safety and environmental disputes on behalf of major energy players. Godfrey, Andrew Bloomer and Catherine Fitzpatrick are acting for BP in a $423m class action brought by the City of Neodesha and other property owners for damage caused by contamination from a refinery accident 34 years ago. As the initial incident occurred outside the limitation period, the case’s merits center on whether damage was caused by BP’s later cleanup process. The matter is currently being reviewed on a point of law. Godfrey, Mark Lillie and Andrew Kassof are defending Spanish and Argentine oil and gas firms Repsol and YPF in litigation brought by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for alleged pollution of the Passaic River. The firm also defended ConocoPhillips against claims by more than 120 parties, claiming exposure to toxic substances while working for the company in Norway. David Zott, Andrew Bloomer, Matthew Regan, Andrew Langan and Andrew Kassof are recommended.

The ‘outstandingMorgan Lewis has ‘a deep following’, is ‘very strong in all areas of energy litigation’, and particularly active in business and regulatory disputes, including arbitration, administrative proceedings and investigations. Particularly known for its nuclear expertise, the practice is also strong in oil, gas, electricity and renewable matters, with an impressive client base ranging from Fortune 100 companies to emerging businesses within the sector. Deanne Miller, Brad Fagg, Alex Polonsky and Donald Silverman represented Exelon and ComEd in high-profile litigation brought by more than 30 individual plaintiffs concerning damage caused by alleged contamination from a Missouri uranium plant. The matter involved issues surrounding the Price-Anderson Act and the roles of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The firm is particularly known for its record of success in handling actions against the government for failure to accept nuclear fuel for disposal, and Fagg and Paul Bessett are currently acting for Portland General Electric in an ongoing claim of this nature worth over $100m. The firm also defended Los Alamos National Security, the Department of Energy’s main contractor, in two separate multi-party matters over the construction of a $126m radiological facility. Margot Bloom is ‘an outstanding associate’ and fellow associate Elisa McEnroe is ‘very competent in litigation matters’.

Sidley Austin LLP’s full service energy practice has seen explosive growth since its Houston office opened in February 2012, with over 30 new recruits (including 12 partners) joining from a range of other high-profile firms including the defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Former Baker Botts L.L.P. heavyweight Mark Glasser has extensive experience in federal and state prosecutions and is highly recommended. Tracy LeRoy, also formerly of Baker Botts L.L.P., was made partner in December 2012 after joining as counsel earlier in the year. LeRoy’s experience includes disputes relating to royalties, leaseholds, drilling, oil and gas exploration, and production. Glasser and LeRoy are representing a special committee formed by the board of directors of an international oil company to investigate allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. James Rice was appointed as the practice’s joint global coordinator in 2012, following David Hill’s move to NRG Energy. Rice’s broad oil and gas expertise includes exploration, production, midstream activities and petroleum refining. The firm is handling increasing numbers of shale disputes, and David Lewis and Eugene Elrod are part of a six-lawyer team defending ExxonMobil in FERC and the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in connection with its part ownership of TAPS. Issues at stake in the cases include the State of Alaska’s opposition to TAPS’ owners spending over $700m to reconfigure the pipeline. Elrod and others also successfully settled ExxonMobil Pipeline Company (EMPCo)’s dispute with the US Department of Interior over the transfer of crude oil inventory in its pipeline. The firm has been acting for PG&E before FERC since 2000 regarding issues concerning the California energy crisis. Marie Fiala defended the company against the State of California’s claim for the recovery of more than $400m in profit from the sales of Bonneville Power and Western Area Powers’ administrations, which was finally concluded in 2012. The firm has been active in groundbreaking climate change litigation, and successfully defeated a class action by Hurricane Katrina victims against Duke Energy. Other clients include American Electric Power, Clean Energy Trust, Commonwealth Edison, Exelon, Kinder Morgan, Explorer Pipeline, and National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.

Underpinned by its preeminent regulatory practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is particularly skilled in electricity litigation, securities issues and major shareholders’ disputes. Houston office head Charles Schwartz, Jay Kasner and Susan Satzstein successfully defended Anadarko in a $4bn shareholder derivative action alleging breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and corporate waste. Schwartz and Noelle Reed defended BHP Billiton against challenges to its $12.1bn acquisition of Petrohawk Energy Corporation, brought in Texas and Delaware. Petrohawk’s shareholders alleged that its directors breached fiduciary duty and were aided and abetted in this by BHP Billiton. The firm also defended Dynegy against numerous shareholder actions in Texas state and federal courts, challenging its proposed acquisition by Blackstone. It was claimed, amongst other things, that the intended purchase price of $4.7bn was unfairly low and fiduciary duty had been breached. The highly rated John Estes III and Paul Wight are acting for PJM Generator Coalition in an appeal concerning FERC’s controversial approval of the ‘Reliability Pricing Model’ capacity market in the PJM region. Estes, Wight, John Shepherd and Donna Byrne are representing FirstEnergy, one of the PJM Generator Coalition members, in a number of other ongoing matters. These include the company’s $260m challenge to FERC’s failure to prohibit MISO from charging costs of multi-value projects (MVPs). Estes is also defending Kansas Power & Light and Dynegy California in the third trial of the 12-year-old California Refund case, stemming from the 2000-01 energy crisis. Practice head Mike Naeve is highly respected. William Scherman joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in March 2013.

A leader in the utilities space, ‘premier electric practiceSteptoe & Johnson LLP also has a strong presence in the oil market and top-rated regulatory expertise. Head of the electric team Richard Roberts, who is highly recommended, is leading representation of Southern California Edison in ongoing litigation relating to the California energy crisis 2000-01, which includes over 100 FERC proceedings and more than 200 resultant appeals, in California and Washington DC. The team, which also includes Jane Ryan, is helping Southern California Edison to lead a coalition of Californian utility companies and agencies in pursuing losses worth up to $7bn from other power sellers, who overcharged during the crisis. The proceedings are collectively recognized as the largest regulatory litigation in the history of the US electricity market. Roberts is also representing Public Service Electric and Gas Company and PSEG Power in a Federal Court challenge to the constitutionality of New Jersey power generation law. The matter, pertaining to the recently enacted Long-Term Capacity Agreement Pilot Program (LCAPP), could potentially set a precedent with national implications, regarding FERC’s involvement with the development of new generation facilities. Steven Brose and Steven Reed are continuing to represent ConocoPhillips in matters relating to TAPS, before FERC and the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). The outcome of these proceedings is expected to lay the ground for new rules, confirming how TAPS rates will be set in the future. The firm’s other pipeline work has included defending Enbridge Energy against opposition to the proposed High Prairie pipeline; and representing Seaway Crude Pipeline Company in two rates-related matters before FERC. Douglas Green and Shannen Coffin are recommended.

Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. has strong US and global experience in shale-related litigation, and has been instructed in matters relating to most major shale sites in the US. It is also recognized for its strong track record in disputes arising from major corporate transactions. Recommended practice head Guy Lipe is leading a five-lawyer team in the ongoing defense of Anadarko against extensive litigation alleging statewide underpayment of royalties for oil and gas leases. Lipe and his team successfully prevented over 1,400 plaintiffs from obtaining class-status for their actions, in a decision that was among the first of its kind in an Oklahoma royalty case. Claims are currently proceeding on a non-class basis. Marie Yeates represented Shell in the Supreme Court of Texas in 2012, in a discretionary review of the ruling in a claim brought against the company by Ralph Ross ten years earlier, which introduced the concept of fraudulent concealment. This doctrine effectively weakened the restrictions of the limitation period previously in place for royalty underpayment claims, which placed the onus on royalty owners to take steps to discover the underpayment. On review, the court accepted Shell’s argument, reapplying the original precedent and thereby timing out a wide pool of potential claims in this field. Yeates is acting for Midstates Petroleum in an ongoing oil and gas dispute with Clovelly Oil, worth $70m, centering on Clovelly’s allegations that Midstates was party to a joint operating agreement. The matter is currently in the Louisiana Supreme Court, after an original judgement in favor of Midstates was overturned on appeal. Michael Holmes, Karl Stern and Jennifer Poppe recently defended Inergy LP, and its officers and directors, against a $400m-plus action challenging the fairness of a derivatives transaction. James Thompson is ‘top class’.

Founded in 1992, litigation boutique Beck Redden has an impressive reputation in the energy sector, not least through founding partners David Beck and Joe Redden. Beck, who is ‘a very seasoned energy lawyer’ and ‘maybe the top trial lawyer in Houston’, continues to feature in significant, national cases. He recently acted alongside Russell Post and associate Andrea Paterson in defending longstanding client ExxonMobil in an arbitration concerning an alleged breach of a drilling contract by its Libyan operations. Leading appellate specialist David Gunn and of counsel John Adcock won a Supreme Court case on behalf ExxonMobil concerning a dispute over oil and gas operations at a ranch in southern Texas, involving jurisdictional complexities. The firm continues to defend Cameron International in ongoing litigation following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The firm also represented the City of Houston in an action against CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric alleging the company had overcharged the city for street lighting over a 20-year period. Former Fulbright & Jaworski LLP attorney Todd Shields joined the practice as of counsel, bringing with him over 40 years’ trial experience, particularly in the oil and gas sphere.

A very good firm with terrific lawyers’, Morrison & Foerster LLP has acted as lead counsel for the State of Alaska in energy disputes for more than three decades. Office managing partner Bradley Lui in Washington DC, Stephen Colangelo and practice co-chair Robert Loeffler are currently handling the state’s challenge to the TAPS rate increase at a joint hearing before FERC and Alaska’s regulatory commission. The firm takes an integrated approach to the sector, and is supported by its cleantech group, which fields 150 lawyers across Europe, America and Asia, with expertise in corporate, finance, energy regulation, IP and environmental law. In addition to its prominent regulatory team, the firm has particular depth in project finance and renewable energy, both practices have been strengthened by the arrival of counsel Michael Ginsburg from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. David McDowell in Los Angeles is defending Costco Wholesale against a class action spanning over 30 states, alleging the company sold motor fuel without disclosing details of fuel temperature expansion. San Diego-based Mark Zebrowski is defending SDG&E and Sempra Energy in actions brought by individuals, businesses and government bodies, following the 2007 San Diego wildfires. The plaintiffs’ allegations include negligence and inverse condemnation. The firm is also acting for Verizon Wireless in a number of matters, including CPUC’s investigations into failures of utility poles in Malibu Canyon, California, during Santa Ana wind storms. There are additional claims that the poles’ malfunction caused a fire, which resulted in property damage. The investigation is focusing on whether maintenance regulations were violated, with further issues raised by the fact that they were jointly owned by several electricity and telecoms companies.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has substantial expertise in the energy sector through a 20-partner practice. The team represents clients across the oil and gas, electric and alternative power industries, ranging from global players to start-up businesses. It is particularly experienced in handling arbitrations with foreign governments, including matters relating to contracts, bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). Supported by a strong regulatory framework, the firm also has extensive trial and appellate experience. It assisted Entergy Corporation in successfully challenging (subject to a pending appeal) the validity of two Vermont statutes, which would have closed the company’s nuclear power station based in the jurisdiction, under the federal Atomic Energy Act. The team also acted for Shell Offshore and Shell Gulf of Mexico, successfully defending challenges to the Bureau of Ocean Management’s approval of the group’s planned exploration of Camden Bay and Chukchi Sea. The firm is also representing Entergy in administrative proceedings in its application for a new operating license. Los Angeles-based John Quinn is highly recommended, and has expertise including antitrust and trade regulation, domestic and international arbitration, and government contracts. Quinn’s record includes having won a nine-figure insurance coverage settlement for Occidental Petroleum, following terrorist bombings of a Colombian oil pipeline. In New York, appellate specialist William Adams is also well regarded in the market. Adams’ past work includes overturning a $158m contractual dispute award against client Allegheny Energy and, separately, obtaining a court decision for PG&E to uphold the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s assessment of its storage facility.

Founded in 2009, by six former Gibbs & Bruns LLP partners, niche practice Reynolds, Frizzell, Black, Doyle, Allen & Oldham LLP punches above its weight in the sector, bolstered in no small part by the pre-eminent standing of its litigators. Chris Reynolds has over 25 years’ experience and is highly regarded, particularly for his work in disputes relating to oil and gas exploration, as well as electricity and natural gas, including LNG. Co-founder Jean Frizzell is also prominent in the energy field, with a client base including Union Oil Company of California, Corenergy, Shor and Seashore Investments. Mike Oldham represented ExxonMobil in an action brought by Duke Energy alleging they had caused it to make a $4.4m overpayment in relation to Conroe Field Unit; and acted for Nevada Cogeneration Associates (co-owned by Chevron and Dynegy) in high-value arbitration.

Susman Godfrey LLP has strong oil and gas expertise, and acts for exploration and production companies, royalty owners, and mid-stream companies. The firm is currently representing the New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands in royalty litigation against ConocoPhillips and other natural gas producers operating under New Mexico statutory leases. The Commissioner alleges decades of systematic royalty underpayment taking improper deductions for ‘post-production costs’, and a failure to report and pay royalties on gas used as fuel for processing facilities. Dallas partners Barry Barnett and Daniel Charest successfully defended Louisiana-based Olympia Minerals (formerly owned by El Paso) against a $70m claim for breach of trade secrets by Aspect Resources and Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas. The practice is supported by the firm’s strong environmental expertise, and is increasingly prominent in climate change litigation. The firm represented the native Alaskan residents of Kivalina in an action against several oil companies - including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP - for damage caused by climate change, which concluded in 2012. Leading plaintiff specialist Stephen Susman, who divides his time between Houston and New York, is highly recommended.

Excellent oil and gas firmThompson & Knight LLP is ‘outstanding’, and its 13-partner energy litigation team in Texas is ‘top of the shelf in terms of acumen and efficiency’. Timothy McCormick, Michael Stockham and Debora Alsup are representing Boots & Coots in ongoing shareholder class actions relating to its merger with Halliburton, which was completed in 2010. The challenges allege, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair pricing and unfair process, and originally involved attempts to gain an injunction prohibiting the merger. Andrew Derman, William Katz and Andrew Melsheimer represented a subsidiary of Brazil’s national oil company Petrobras, in an arbitration with Astra Oil. The dispute concerned the companies’ joint ownership and operation of a refinery and oil-trading company near Houston, and involved allegations of contractual breaches by both parties. The team achieved an approximately $1bn reduction of the initial $1.4bn damages originally sought by Astra Oil, and the award is currently being confirmed in Houston state court. Other recent work includes defending PRSI in two actions in New York federal court and Texas state court, brought by Astra Oil for breach of contract, collectively worth over $180m. Practice head Craig Haynes and Rachelle Glazer are praised for their ‘attention to detail, preparation and ability to identify what is truly important in the particular dispute’.

White & Case LLP’s 17-partner practice focuses on high-profile oil and gas litigation and arbitration in electricity, oil and gas matters. The litigation practice is supported by strong regulatory and transactional expertise, and is experienced in matters involving national governments. Washington DC lawyer Andrea Menaker acted for TECO in a $285m dispute with the Guatemalan State under the Dominican Republic - Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). There have been few actions relating to DR-CAFTA and the matter affected how far public international law can restrict a state’s freedom to alter its regulatory framework. Jonathan Hamilton is leading a team representing the Republic of Peru in an arbitration brought by Spanish investors relating to concession contracts in the electricity market. The matter is one of the few International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) cases being conducted entirely in Spanish.

Winston & Strawn LLP focuses on the utilities market, with a growing presence in oil and gas. Los Angeles partner Jerry Bloom heads the national practice and represents numerous independent power producers focusing on both renewable and traditional fossil-fuel energy generation. Nash Long led a team which acted for Duke Energy Carolinas in obtaining a significant ruling against South Carolina Health and Environmental Control over the relicensing of its hydroelectric power plants on Catawba-Wateree, South Carolina. Ray Wuslich is representing Terra-Gen Power in FERC proceedings concerning open access transmission service on the Dixie Valley generation tie line, which connects the company’s Nevada geothermal generating facility to the Southern California transmission grid. Washington DC lawyer Gordon Coffee is recommended.

Energy: regulatory

Index of tables

  1. Energy: regulatory
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

    • John Estes III - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    • Margaret Moore - Van Ness Feldman
    • Mike Naeve - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s global practice is widely acclaimed for the high level regulatory expertise it brings to project finance and development transactions. It has a wealth of knowledge in energy sector markets, with particular depth in matters relating to electricity transmissions, reliability and enforcement, and a broad knowledge of natural gas and LNG issues. Practice leader and head of the Washington DC office Mike Naeve, a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioner, is the ‘number-one lawyer in the space’ and ‘a superb strategic adviser’. Naeve has advised Exelon on a number of matters, including its $7.9bn acquisition of Constellation Energy Group and its subsidiary Baltimore Gas and Electric Company. Naeve also acted for the client in negotiations with FERC regarding investigations into Constellation’s alleged market manipulation. The highly respected John Estes continues to defend the lion’s share of market manipulation enforcement cases before FERC, and is defending Kansas City Power & Light and Dynegy in the third trial in the Californian refund case, stemming from the start of the Californian energy crisis in summer 2000. Naeve, John Lyons and Steve Sunshine advised Duke Energy on the antitrust and other regulatory aspects of its $13.7bn merger with Progress Energy, which included obtaining approval for the joint dispatch operating agreement. John Moot is defending North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) against FERC in a contested enforcement of NERC’s management and financial practices. This is the very first audit of its kind, and Moot obtained a groundbreaking ruling, which prevented enforcement staff from advising FERC commissioners on the matter. Paul Wight is advising Ameren, Dynegy, Exelon, FirstEnergy, NextEra and the Electric Power Supply Association on reforms to Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO)’s market model. Estes, Moot and Wight are also representing several companies in ongoing, non-public FERC enforcement investigations into various markets and practices within those markets. Other clients include Hydro Quebec, National Grid USA, Northeast Utilities, GenOn Energy, Citizens Sunrise Transmission, and AES Corporation. William Scherman, a former FERC general counsel, joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in March 2013.

A terrific firm’, Van Ness Feldman LLP is a boutique where ‘advice, understanding and response times are excellent’. In 2012, the practice merged with Seattle firm GordonDerr LLP, strengthening its capabilities in land use, water law and litigation, providing an excellent support to the firm’s expertise in the hydroelectric market. An eight-lawyer team is advising Alaska Energy Authority on the energy and environmental regulatory issues at stake in its proposed Sustina Watana hydroelectric project, which would be the largest new dam project in America for over 40 years. As a part of its role, the team is liaising with FERC and the State’s Attorney’s Office. Of counsels Lawrence Acker and Brian O’Neill also joined the practice from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP in 2012, collectively bringing over 60 years’ experience in representing natural gas and electric power industry participants before FERC, the Department of Energy and federal courts. The ‘spectacular’ Margaret Moore is ‘a leading individual’ in her field, and ‘very good at what she does’. Curtis Moffatt, Vincenzo Franco and Paul Korman are also very highly regarded. Robert Nordhaus acted as outside counsel to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (BRC), which released its final report to the Secretary of State in 2012. The Commission praised the firm for its ‘outstanding work and immense support’. John Buchovecky is advising longstanding client FutureGen Industrial Alliance on its $553m cooperative agreement with the DOE to undertake the first large-scale electric project in the world using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The project is supported by a $1bn commitment of federal funding via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The firm advised FutureGen throughout the negotiation stages, and is currently assisting with all aspects of project development, regulation and financing. The 34-partner team has ‘a very significant oil and gas regulatory practice’ and is one of a very small pool of firms with leading expertise in natural gas and pipeline matters. Moffatt and Susan Olenchuk are currently advising Columbia Gas Transmission on regulatory issues pertaining to its infrastructure modernization program. Korman and John Burnes successfully represented Dominion Cove Point LNG before FERC in a Natural Gas Act section 4 rate case and related tariff modification proceedings. The firm is also known for its substantial lobbying experience and has been instructed by America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) in its sustained campaign to advocate a place for natural gas within national, environmental policy. As a part of this, the firm has been analyzing pending legislation, liaising with public officials and developing legislative proposals promoting ANGA’s goals.

Traditional utilities firmAndrews Kurth LLP is ‘outstanding’, and has ‘one of the best legal teams in the market’. The firm has broad experience across oil and gas and the electricity markets, as well as strong litigation expertise. Austin-based Philip Oldham is ‘one of the finest lobbyists’, and particularly recommended for his energy and manufacturing knowledge. Practice head Kenneth Wiseman and Federal Power Act expert Mark Sundback acted for TC Ravenswood in a series of appeals over FERC orders to reset the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO)’s capacity prices, a matter with an estimated market value of over $10bn. Wiseman and Sundback also acted for TransCanada Energy, successfully defeating multiple FERC proceedings, stemming from the Californian energy crisis 2000-01. Actions brought by the Californian Attorney General, Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, alleged market manipulation, tariff violations and unreasonable rates, and sought refunds worth up to $50m. Washington DC-based Rick Drom specializes in wholesale electricity matters, with a particular focus on promoting competition and innovative energy storage projects, and has over ten years’ experience in representing regional transmission organizations (RTOs). Drom acted for MISO in filing new resource adequacy capacity market enhancements with FERC, and in obtaining FERC’s approval for its proposals to require adequate generation resources to be available to serve 13 Midwestern states. Drom also represented leading demand response provider EnergyConnect in various FERC cases, achieving a precedent that stated demand response services were not in FERC’s jurisdiction and therefore did not require Market-Based Rate Authority. Managing partner of the Washington DC office, Shemin Proctor is experienced in a range of FERC-related issues, with a particular niche in acting on matters relating to natural gas storage construction and liquefied natural gas facilities. Proctor acted for the board of directors’ special committee for DCP Mainstream’s general partner in its agreement with DCP to construct a natural gas processing plant and acquire assets in the Eagle Ford shale play. Other clients include Chevron, Devon Energy, Hunt Oil and Infigin Energy US.

Bracewell & Giuliani LLP has ‘added some real talent’ in the form of ex-Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP lawyers Catherine McCarthy, who previously co-headed the defunct firm’s energy regulatory practice, and David Poe, who ‘has done tremendous work in hydro energy’. The firm represented Shell, Noble Energy, Apache Corporation, Kinder Morgan, ConocoPhillips, Exelon, NRG and others, before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and other regulators regarding implementation of Dodd-Frank Act reforms and the Consumer Protection Act. The team, led by David Perlman, also worked with individual energy companies to ensure they complied internally with the Dodd-Frank Act. The firm is experienced in providing regulatory advice on major transactions and Sandra Rizzo led a 25-partner, cross-departmental team that helped ConocoPhillips to establish spin-off entity Phillips 66, a downstream energy business. Phillips 66 subsequently become an independent, publicly traded company in a $22.8bn transaction, and the firm obtained federal and regulatory approvals, to ensure it obtained its power marketing licence. Rizzo is also part of the team handling Kinder Morgan’s $38bn acquisition of El Paso Corporation, which includes the outstanding debt of El Paso Pipeline Partners. The firm has obtained FERC approval for deal, which includes a power marketing license and wholesale electric sales contracts. When completed, it will form the largest natural gas pipeline network, the largest independent petroleum transporter and the largest CO2 transporter in the US. Rizzo also represented PPL Corporation in pursuing complaints before FERC to challenge New Jersey legislation on the basis it repressed competition in the state’s electricity market. Deanna King, Seattle office managing partner Paul Fox, Clifford Gunter, Jeffery Vaden and Shelby Kelley are representing Powerex in ongoing litigation stemming from the Californian energy crisis of 2000-01, and the team is currently defending Powerex in FERC proceedings involving $3bn-plus in refund demands from other power sellers. Fox, Charles Shoneman andClifford Gunter are all recommended.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is ‘impressive at bringing together FERC and CFTC expertise’, and has a strong track record in significant investigations before both bodies, particularly the CFTC. The firm has been actively involved in advising clients on compliance issues in the wake of the Dodd-Frank Act’s implementation. The practice is also known for handling the regulatory aspects of major domestic and global transactions, has ‘a strong reputation in acting for financial institutions’, and has a deep knowledge of the energy derivatives market. A multidisciplinary team represented DPL (operator of the Dayton Power & Light utility) in its successful $4.7bn merger with AES. Greg Lawrence handled the regulatory aspects of this transaction, including obtaining approval from FERC and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Lawrence also acted alongside Joseph Williams and Ken Irvin in a number of natural gas pipeline proceedings before FERC for clients including Morgan Stanley, South Carolina Electric & Gas, SCANA Energy Marketing, El Paso Exploration and Production, EDF Trading and BHP Billiton. Lawrence and Terence Healey is advising Third Planet Windpower on various generation projects, including a 40MW facility in Nebraska. Instruction has included negotiating the interconnection agreements and securing all FERC approvals. Paul Pantano is a leading name in the market.

The ‘exceptionalCovington & Burling LLP is praised for its CFTC and FERC expertise and is ‘among the best in this area’. Its broad practice covers oil and gas, nuclear, and electricity - an area in which it is particularly known - and the team acts for utilities, such as SDG&E/Sempra, and energy holding companies such as Energy Future Holdings. Formerly of Constellation Energy, of counsel Robert Fleishman is ‘very plugged into market manipulation and one of the most important people in that field’. Practice head and former FERC Commissioner William Masseystand outs’, has ‘deep understanding of the issues and relevant federal statutes’, and is ‘extremely adept at communicating the complexities of electricity policy to those less versed in the issue’. Massey and Fleishman previously founded and continue to act for the COMPLETE Coalition. The Coalition comprises 685 leading participants in America’s wholesale and retail electricity markets and works to promote a regulatory framework that facilitates competition. Key members of the coalition include Exelon (which is also a new client to the practice in its own right), Texas Utilities, First Energy Solutions, PPL Energy and BP Energy. Massey and Fleishman represent COMPLETE in a number of regulatory, legislative and policy matters before FERC. In 2012, they intervened on the Coalition’s behalf, in a high profile regulatory dispute involving filings by Duke Energy and AEP Ohio on energy security plans before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). The firm also acted for the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), a large New Jersey electric utility, in various transmission-related matters, and most recently advised on its $1bn investment in the Northeast Grid Reliability Project, including applicable rates’ incentives. The highly developed CFTC practice represents a selection of energy companies, financial investors, private equity firms and energy trade associations and recently recruited former CFTC lawyer Julian Hammar as special counsel in the firm’s Washington DC office. The practice has been active in work relating to the new Dodd-Frank regulations, and Fleishman is currently advising American Gas Association (AGA) with regards to the implications of Dodd-Frank Act compliance on local distribution gas companies. The nuclear energy team includes senior of counsel Robert Meserve, a former NRC chairman, and recognized expert in the field. With clients including Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems and Nuclear Energy Institute, Meserve was appointed chairman of Japan’s International Nuclear Safety Group by its government, and was a member of the BRC. The firm’s renewable clients include Brightsource, RES Americas and FirstWind.

The ‘excellentKing & Spalding LLP is ‘always focused on top-quality services at reasonable cost’, and has ‘demonstrable ability to facilitate complex filings and matters before FERC’. The firm has a broad base of expertise across oil, gas and electricity, and routinely dealing with FERC, CFTC, the federal departments of energy, state and interior, and NERC. The firm strengthened its regulatory offering by recruiting former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP attorneys James Bowe and William Rice. The pair brought with them a nationally renowned natural gas midstream development practice, and are particularly experienced in acting for independent storage developers, pipelines, and local distribution companies. Bowe and Rice represented Arlington Storage in its proposed acquisition of natural gas storage facilities, owned by its affiliate Steuben Gas Storage, to be achieved through a merger between the two. The team obtained FERC approvals for the transactions, including permission for the two companies to be subject to a single FERC gas tariff. On the electricity side, the firm is recognized as a leader in representing independent power producers (IPPs), and has taken prominent roles in FERC and related appellate proceedings concerning competitive market issues. The firm acted for EPSA, the national trade association for IPPs and power marketers, in a range of demand-response issues. These included opposing FERC’s rules requiring ISOs and RTOs to pay full price for electric energy obtained through supply and demand, without offsetting the avoided purchase costs. The matter is currently under review in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, on jurisdictional grounds. Tim Engel, who is highly regarded in oil and gas royalty, exploration and development matters, represented Chevron in the face of environmental groups’ attempts to halt exploration and rescind federal lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Other clients include BP, Exelon, Dynegy, GenOn Energy, NRG, LS Power Development, Electric Power Supply Association, Tenaska Energy, Destin Pipeline and Maxus Energy.

The ‘excellentMorgan Lewis’ lawyers ‘have a wealth of experience under their belts and are viewed as real pioneers and experts across the industry’. In particular, the firm is credited as having the ‘best nuclear practice in the United States’, boasting several years’ commercial and regulatory experience in the sector, a large nuclear utility clientele and several former regulators working within the practice. Additionally, the team is ‘second to none in the areas of federal audits and investigations, federal gas issues and federal reliability work’, particularly in relation to NERC and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC). It recently represented Southern Nuclear and SCANA in obtaining combined licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build new nuclear units at existing plants, in the first applications of their kinds in around 25 years, following the revised, one-stop licensing process. The practice is active in the electric market and ‘prominent’ in oil and natural gas, with solid experience in FERC and CFTC investigations. Steve Spina and Joe Lowell represented Xcel Energy in FERC proceedings concerning the entry of a non-jurisdictional transmission owner into SPS territory. The firm also advised various clients - including ColumbiaGrid, Entergy and Xcel Energy - in transmission planning and cost allocation in response to new regulations. The firm represents clients including Cameron LNG, BP, Anadarko and Source Gas in a variety of matters including rate and export cases. The ‘very efficientKathryn Sutton is particularly recommended for her work in administrative hearings and power reactor licenses. John McGrane, George Billinson and Daniel Skees have ‘depth of expertise, great oral and written advocacy skills and pleasant temperaments, making them powerful allies and desirable counsel’. Alex Polonsky has ‘a commanding knowledge of the field, particularly the area of exports control, and a robust network of contacts within the energy and state departments’. Margaret Gattiprovides clear and constructive guidance to clients in the thicket of energy-related regulations’. Former FERC general counsel Charles Moore has joined the practice.

Boasting a broad client base, and effective integration between its regulatory and transactional practices, Steptoe & Johnson LLP has ‘highly knowledgeable, bright lawyers, who are wise counselors and excellent advocates’. As well as offering a ‘premium electric practice’, it is ‘very prominent in oil’ and ‘one of the most visible pipeline firms with a reputation for the highest quality’. Department chair Steven Brose, Steven Reed, Daniel Poyner, Mark Horning and Dawn Gabel continue to act for ConocoPhillips on a number of issues relating to its joint ownership of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), including the ongoing FERC investigations into the 2009 and 2010 rates increases and hearings over FERC’s mandated cost-sharing arrangements between all TAPS owners. The firm is also representing ConocoPhillips at the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) in parallel rates proceedings. The final outcome of all proceedings will ultimately establish rules for how the pipeline’s rates will be set in the future. Reed also acted for Enbridge Energy in FERC proceedings relating to a dispute over the High Prairie pipeline. Chair of the electrics practice Richard Roberts is acting for Public Service Electric and Gas Company and PSEG Power in federal court litigation challenging the constitutionality of New Jersey’s recently enacted electric generation law. As similar legislation is under consideration in other states, the outcome of proceedings will set a precedent and have a potentially wide-reaching impact on the whole electric industry. The firm is acting for a number of organizations, including AEP, Northeast Utilities, Enbridge, Duke Energy, Westar Energy, Tres Amigas and Duke-American Transmission Company (DATC) in major energy transmission projects. The firm’s role largely entails the regulatory and transactional work involved at all stages of developing major regional and interregional extra-high voltage transmission facilities. In addition to aforementioned lawyers, Steven Ross is also recommended. Bizunesh Scott and Marc Spitzer recently joined the practice from The White House and FERC, respectively.

With a presence across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Latham & Watkins LLP’s 200-partner energy practice’s regulatory offering has ‘excellent capability in electric’ and is supported by strong transactional and environmental expertise. Washington DC-based global energy chair, David Schwartz is highly recommended in both electricity and renewable energy matters. He acted alongside Natasha Gianvecchio in filing and prosecuting FERC complaints on two issues relating to the PJM market, one of which was won and related to congestion rights in the region, and the other which is still pending. Schwartz and Gianvecchio also successfully implemented the first use of PJM’s alternative rate structure - the Deactivation Avoidable Cost Rate - on FirstEnergy’s behalf. The firm assisted Energy Capital Partners & Equipower with the regulatory and transactional aspects of numerous acquisitions including the Odessa plant in Texas and the Liberty and Red Oak plants in the PJM region. Ken Simon and Michael Gergen represented LS Power Equity Advisors on all regulatory and power contract issues relating to the $1.05bn acquisitions of electric power generating facilities in California, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia, including the use of a FERC qualifying asset management agreement. In the oil and gas sector, Ken Simon and Schwartz represented Blackstone on all FERC and DOE issues relating to its $2bn investment in Sabine Pass liquefaction facility, Sabine Pass regasification terminal and the Creole Trail pipelines. Simon also advised Energy Transfer Partners on the regulatory aspects of its $5.3bn acquisition of Sunoco, which was impacted by numerous pieces of legislation, including the Natural Gas and Federal Power Acts, as well as pipeline safety laws. The energy practice has seen significant expansion, with the recruitment of Robin Fredrickson, Mike King, Jeff Munoz and Catherine Ozdogan into its Houston office and Patrick Laporte and Pierre-Louis Clero into its Paris office.

A powerhouse for renewable energy matters, Paul Hastings LLP is experienced in electricity transmission and interconnection issues, and acts for generators in large transmission matters. In particular, the regulatory team has a strong footing in the solar industry, acting for clients such as Sunpower and First Solar. Peter Weiner represented the latter in obtaining regulatory approvals for several large-scale projects. The practice is praised for its ‘responsiveness’, ‘strength in depth’, ‘acumen’, ‘industry knowledge’ and ‘value for money’. Key partner William DeGrandis represented Idaho Wind Partners in securing FERC approval of its proposed sale and buy-back structure, which was a groundbreaking decision empowering renewable developers to monetize their renewable energy credits (RECs), without losing qualifying facilities (QF) benefits. DeGrandis is advising Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation in relation to the proposed Duke Energy and Progress Energy merger, which is currently before FERC. DeGrandis is taking steps on Blue Ridge’s behalf to protect all existing wholesale power contracts from related costs. Other clients include Korea East-West Power, Acciona Energy, Mxenergy, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Arclight Capital Partners, Georgia Transmission Corporation and Prairie Power. The energy practice’s Houston team has been reinforced by the arrivals of Greg Nelson from Baker Botts L.L.P., Paris Theofanidis from Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., and Steven Treddenick from Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

Since the opening of its Houston office, Sidley Austin LLP’s energy practice has seen significant growth, with the recruitment of over 30 attorneys from six major law firms as well as the defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. The firm continues to feature in major FERC and federal court disputes, particularly in pipeline-related matters. Practice co-chair Eugene Elrod and others are representing major client ExxonMobil Pipeline in ongoing FERC and the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) proceedings, relating to disputed rates increases for TAPS, in which it has an ownership stake. The practice has been acting for PG&E in FERC and court proceedings since the beginning of the California electric crisis in 2000. Most recently, Stan Berman, Marie Fiala and Amy Lally represented the client, alongside the state of California and other parties, in successfully pursuing the United States for over $500m in windfall profits from the sales of Bonneville Power Administration and Western Area Power Administration. William Williams, Lorrie Marcil and Chris Lyons represented Explorer Pipeline in a petition to FERC requesting approval of its priority access to capacity and committed rates, relating to a new pipeline extension project. Other clients include American Electric Power, Clean Energy Trust, Duke Energy, Kinder Morgan, Luminant, and National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.

The ‘excellentSullivan & Cromwell LLP is ‘top of the list’, ‘best in class’ and ‘very responsive’, with a strong track record in handling the regulatory aspects of major energy transactions. The firm, whose regulatory experts work closely with other departments as necessary, is particularly praised for its ability to cover off risks, while taking a commercial perspective. It is active in the oil and gas and mining sectors, is highly regarded for its work before the CFTC, and has been active in advising clients on Dodd-Frank Act compliance. The ‘knowledgeable and very practicalKenneth Raisler has been working closely with NEPOOL, a 450-strong association of utilities, energy producers and power marketers in relation to FERC, ISO/RTO and CFTC transactions. Raisler has advised a number of companies during FERC and CFTC investigations into trading activities. Tia Barancik is highly skilled all areas of US regulation and ‘turns over every stone’, with ‘an unparalleled level of attention to detail’. Barancik’s recent work includes advising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on US regulatory matters. Joseph Frumkin is also recommended.

Appearing regularly in matters before FERC and state regulatory bodies, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.’s 35-lawyer team has ‘a very significant oil and gas regulatory practice’, and its ‘advice, response times and understanding are excellent. Dallas-based Matthew Henry is leading a team representing Oncor Electric Delivery in its rate filing requesting a rate increase worth $353m - this involved 20 interveners and 93 separate requests for discovery, and is currently on appeal in state court in Austin. The firm is working on a number of pipeline projects, involving development of crude oil and natural gas from shale plays across America. Practice co-head Charles Caldwell and Michelle Boudreaux are acting in various matters before FERC pertaining to three of True Companies’ pipelines, including capacity allocation, rate-setting issues and greenfield projects to move oil out of Bakken Shale. Practice co-head David Andril, John Decker and Anita Wilson are representing BG Group in an application before the DOE to export LNG and also assisting it in relation to Trunkline LNG’s application before FERC to authorize the construction of export facilities. The practice is regulatory counsel to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners liquids pipelines and has advised it on a range of compliance and contentious issues. Austin-based Michael Tomsu and associate Becky Diffen are acting for Duke Energy to ensuring all of its Texas power generation facilities comply with PUCT and ERCOT protocols. They also represented the company in an appeal before PUCT over certain ERCOT protocol revisions to reactive power requirements that affected Duke’s existing wind farms.

Traditional utilities firmWinston & Strawn LLP has a strong profile on the West Coast, and is well known for its work in renewable and alternative energy, as well as broader ecological issues, such as greenhouse gas reduction. As well as regularly representing clients before FERC and the NRC, the practice has deep experience in acting for California’s local regulatory agencies, such as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC). The firm successfully defended Allegheny Energy before FERC against the California Attorney General’s claims that it was guilty of market manipulation and tariff violations during the Californian energy crisis 2000-01. The firm also convinced NERC to retract its initial findings and dismiss claims that its client Northern Indiana Public Service Commission had violated reliability standards. The firm has also represented California Cogeneration Council since its inception in 1985. In November 2011, a team including Los Angeles-based practice head Jerry Bloom, Joseph Carp and Lisa Kottle secured final agreement from the State of California for California Cogeneration Council to proceed with a new wave of combined heat and power projects. The strategy is set to promote the region’s move towards energy self-sufficiency and the reduction of greenhouse emissions. The team is continuing to work with the Council in implementing the scheme. The firm is also acting for Atlantic Wind Connection in relation to a proposed $5bn subsea, high-voltage transmission grid to run from northern New Jersey to southern Virginia, and assisting CleanPath Ventures in its development of renewable energy projects, including a solar development in California. David Repka and William Horin are recommended. Elias Farrah, Timothy Carey and Brien Wassner joined from Dewey & LeBeouf LLP; and Tyson Smith in San Francisco was promoted to the partnership.

Energy: renewable/alternative

Chadbourne & Parke LLP’s impressive reputation in project finance has helped to attract a long list of big-ticket clients in the renewable energy space. The 25-partner practice is best known for its sponsor-side advice, but also provides counsel to major financial institutions. Noam Ayali recently represented OrPower 4 in obtaining a $310m project financing from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for the Olkaria III geothermal power complex in Kenya. Eli Katz, who is ‘responsive and up to date on tax issues in the renewable industry’, and New York colleague Todd Alexander advised LS Power on a $550m financing of the Arlington Valley Solar Energy II project in Arizona. This was achieved through a $295m commercial bank loan and $171m fixed rate notes issuance. Katz also represented LS Power in a commercial bank loan and fixed rate notes issuance totalling $844m to finance the 170MW Centinela solar farm near El Centro, California. Another key figure in New York is Paul Weber, who advised GE Financial Services on its 51% construction equity investment in the 230MW Chisholm View wind project in Oklahoma; as well as its $305m acquisition of 51% of the 200MW Prairie Rose wind project from Enel Greenpower. Chaim Wachsberger assisted Duke Energy regarding the $353m financing of two wind farms in Kansas as part of a joint venture between Duke Energy Renewables and Sumitomo Corp of America. Department head Keith Martin is ‘a brilliant tax attorney’ and ‘an icon in renewables’.

Latham & Watkins LLP has over 20 years’ experience advising project sponsors, developers and financial institutions in the renewable energy space. The firm’s energy practice, which is spread over a number of its US offices, has been particularly busy working on various aspects of domestic solar projects. San Diego-based Kelley Gale and New York-based Jonathan Rod advised AES Solar Power on the $715m development and construction financing of a 200MW photovoltaic solar facility in Imperial County, California. The mandate involved negotiating power purchase and EPC agreements, as well as a project acquisition from the third-party developer. The financing structure included a private placement of notes, a credit facility and a separate subordinated cash grant loan. Gale and Rod also represented Barclays Capital, Citigroup and RBS Securities as lead arrangers in the $1.9bn financing of a 550MW solar facility under construction in San Luis Obispo Country, California. New York-based Matthew Henegar acted for a consortium of financial institutions in connection with the project financing of a 127MW solar facility in Maricopa County, Arizona. In wind-related projects, Los Angeles-based John Kenney advised a group of sponsors on obtaining a $384m financing of a 201MW wind farm in Kansas; and John Sachs is advising Norddesutshce Landesbank, Sunlife Insurance Company and John Hancock on the $200m refinancing of six wind farms in Idaho. In the same office, Jeffrey Greenberg advised Sempra Generation and Mountain Solar on the financing of a $117m project in Nevada.

With ‘one of the best’ project financing departments in the world, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has amassed a formidable list of lender-side clients in the renewable space. New York-based Bill Bice recently represented Morgan Stanley as lender in the construction financing of the 294MW Canadian Hills wind farm project in Oklahoma. Bice also advised JPM Ventures Energy Corporation as the secured hedge provider on a $1bn purchase of wind farms in Texas by Algonquin. Jonathan Green represented a consortium of banks in the $125m refinancing of Cockwell pumped storage generation station and Fife Brook hydroelectric development. Edward Kayukov in Los Angeles advised various financing parties - including Citibank, Morgan Stanley and Rabobank - on a $716m construction and term financing of the 200MW Mount Signal solar project in California. The firm’s US offices have also been heavily involved in the recent increase in projects in Latin America: Dan Bartfeld in New York represented a group of lenders in the $900m financing of the Cerro del Aguila hydroelectric plant in Peru. Additionally, Los Angeles-based Allan Marks assisted Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Crédit Agricole and other financial institutions with the $225m financing of Chile’s largest wind farm project, El Arrayan. Karen Wong is another key member of the practice.

Renowned for its expertise in representing project developers, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s broad energy practice also advises major industry players on big-ticket transactions and financings. In 2012, New York-based Christopher Moore represented Gamesa Energy in the simultaneous $238m sale of a 200MW project in Illinois and the 150MW Senate project in Texas to Algonquin Power & Utilities. The transactions included a separate tax equity investment by JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. San Francisco-based David Spielberg, who is praised for his industry knowledge and responsiveness, represented OCI Solar Power in negotiating a deal with CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal utility, to purchase the entire electricity output (amounting to 400MW) from solar energy projects in Texas for the next 25 years. Another key member of the firm’s energy and infrastructure group is Mark Weitzel, who represented GCL - Poly Energy Holdings and its US subsidiary in the $266m debt financing of two utility-scale solar energy generating facilities in California, and the subsequent sale of the projects to Consolidated Edison Development. Other clients include SunEdison, which the firm is advising on three separate project sales to a joint venture of Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy; and Nextera Energy Resources, which instructed the firm on a $225m tax equity financing for its Capricorn Ridge wind farm in Texas.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s core M&A expertise is complemented by the firm’s energy and infrastructure projects group, which concentrates on financing aspects of projects in the sector. Washington DC-based Martin Klepper advised First Solar on obtaining $1.9bn in loans for the 550MW Topaz solar farm, together with the subsequent sale of the project to MidAmerican Energy Holdings. He also represented BlackRock Financial Management in its acquisition of an indirect ownership interest in the 100MW Spearville 3 project in Kansas from an affiliate of EDF Renewable Energy. Washington DC-based Lance Brasher advised Cielo Wind Services on a long-term power purchase agreement with Southwestern Public Service Company for the sale of energy produced from a proposed 161MW project in Texas. On the lender side, he represented Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse Securities and Merrill Lynch as joint book-running managers in the $92m IPO of SolarCity Corporation. David Armstrong, Tatiana Monastyrskaya and Harold Moore represented the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Union Bank in a $477m debt financing of Tenaska’s solar power-generating plant in southern California. Moore and Klepper joint head the team.

The ‘first-class lawyers’ in Andrews Kurth LLP’s Houston-based practice are carving out a significant footprint for the firm in renewable energy. The group has a notable reputation in sponsor-side representation and a wealth of experience in wind-related projects. George Humphrey recently represented an international developer in the negotiation of a $34m credit facility related to the financing of five wind farms. He is also acting as lead counsel for Viento Blanco on the development and financing of a 21MW wind farm in Guatemala. Dahl Thompson and Mark Thurber are advising Ridgeline Energy on a 120MW wind farm in Idaho; and Duke Energy Renewables on the development and financing of the 400MW Los Vientos Windpower Project. Other highlights in 2012 included advising Infigen Energy on the acquisition of ten solar projects under development in California, Arizona and Texas. Practice head Tim Unger is advising Pattern Energy Group on a wind farm transmission project in Hawaii.

Foley & Lardner LLP does ‘outstanding work’ - its energy attorneys are ‘responsive, engaged, and consistently display superb business judgement and acumen.’ Although best known for providing lender-side counsel to financial institutions investing in the wind energy space, 2012 also saw the firm handle a series of transactions related to domestic solar projects. Chair of the solar energy team, Jeff Atkin is ‘a person of high integrity - he understands the industry and has seen just about any type of transaction’. He recently represented Canadian Solar in acquisitions or joint ventures pertaining to more than 25 solar projects with an estimated aggregate value of $500m, and assisted GCL Solar Energy with its acquisition of a 77MW multiphase project in Puerto Rico. Atkin is also continuing to advise GCL on the acquisition, financing and construction of four solar energy projects in California. New York-based Jim Tynion advised First Wind Holdings on the $76m financing of a 34MW wind farm being constructed in Maine. On the lender side, he provided counsel to Citicorp Capital Markets regarding its $275m tax equity investment in Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Solano 3 wind farm in California. Chicago-based Ralph Dudziak has ‘a first-rate legal mind and is extremely responsive’. He is recommended along with Bradley Jackson in Madison, Jason Allen in Milwaukee, and Jason Barglow in Los Angeles.

Mainly based in Baltimore and Miami, Hogan Lovells LLP’s ‘very capable’ energy practice shows ‘a strong work ethic, much collective expertise and a strong bench of associates’. The group has been busy advising on project developments and financings in the US and internationally. Major clients from the sector include SunEdison, which instructed the firm on the negotiation of pre-paid power purchase agreements with CPS Energy for 30MW of solar energy from facilities in San Antonio; and Exelon, which the firm advised on a 16MW solar facility in Maryland. New York-based Edith Webster and Baltimore-based Edward Sledge worked together representing Edison Mission Energy on obtaining a $235m financing for a portfolio of wind farms. They also acted for Redwood Trails Wind, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, in obtaining $250m in financing for 238MW of wind energy projects located in Oklahoma and California. Significant M&A transactions handled by the practice in 2012 included advising RPM Access on the sale of the 150MW Vienna wind farm to MidAmerican Energy Company; and assisting a European utility with the sale of three wind farms with a total capacity of over 700MW. Miami-based Luis Perez and Tom Woolsey are also recommended, along with the ‘excellentBrian Chappell in Baltimore, whose ‘engineering background in addition to legal expertise is a rare combination’.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s San Francisco-based cleantech practice has considerable experience in wind, solar and biofuel projects. Department head Susan Mac Cormac is advising private equity firm Brightpath Capital Partners on its investment in residential solar company Sungevity; and solar panel manufacturers OneSun, with various equity financings. Jonathan Melmed, a recent recruit from Chadbourne & Parke LLP, advised Barclays Natural Resource Investments on its buyout of K Road Power, the largest solar developer in the US. He also acted for CoaLogix during its $101m sale to funds managed by Energy Capital Partners and Acorn Energy. Steve Rowles in San Diego and Jeff Kayes in San Francisco are representing BioGold Fuels in its development of Mexico’s first waste-to-energy facility. In other matters, the firm continues to provide regulatory and project financing advice to the US Department of Energy following its $1.6bn loan guarantee for the $2.2bn Ivanpah solar energy complex, which closed in April 2011.

Based in Washington DC, Ballard Spahr LLP’s energy and project finance group provides a ‘terrific’ overall level of service: ‘response times are always within 24 hours and usually much faster; the lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of the industry and are always helpful in making introductions when asked.’ Practice head Thomas Hoffmann has built a solid client base across sponsors, developers and lenders in the renewable energy space. He recently advised NRG Energy as borrower regarding a number of developments, including a 66MW solar power project in Lancaster, California; and a US bank as takeout lender on a number of domestic wind power projects. The firm is also well known for representing public utilities and continues to advise the Denver Housing Authority on power purchase and site control agreements for a 2.5MW rooftop solar project. It is also representing the City of Philadelphia in developing a biogas combined heat and power generation system for its wastewater treatment facility. Baltimore-based Douglas Fox’s ‘advice is strong; he doesn’t waste time and his fees are reasonable’.

Cooley LLP’s clean energy and technology practice is ‘excellent across the board’, and has particular experience representing venture capitalists and start-up companies. Recommended for their ‘very good value, excellent response time and deep knowledge of the practice area’, attorneys in this Washington DC-based practice recently acted for New York City Corporation for Energy Efficiency on the structuring of an energy efficiency retrofit finance model for commercial buildings in New York. Renu Gupta and Laura Hegedus acted as lead counsel for Southeast Renewables on the sale of a series of biomass projects in South Carolina utilizing a cost pass-through structure. Interestingly, the firm advised Brightfarms on the development, financing and construction of a nationwide network of hydroponic greenhouses to be located on grocery retail rooftops; and is also working on utility-scale generation projects in Tanzania, Sri Lanka and India. Practice head Tom Amis is ‘able to think outside the box to bring together parties’, and ‘all around solid, especially when negotiating terms’.

Hunton & Williams LLP’s ‘knowledgeable, creative and responsive’ energy attorneys represent developers and investors on wind, hydroelectric, solar, geothermal and biomass projects. Praised for its ‘first-rate’ service, the Richmond-based practice has gained plaudits for its work on tax equity related financings. Highlights from 2012 included providing counsel to Seminole Financial Services on a $19m construction and term financing facility for seven solar energy projects in Arizona; and advising Mitsubishi Corporation on its acquisition of a 34% equity interest in Marena Renovables, a $1bn, 396MW wind farm project in Mexico. The firm also represented DTE Energy Services (DTEES) in acquiring the Mt Poso Cogeneration Company power plant in California. DTEES will operate the plant and co-lead its conversion into a 100% renewable power source, primarily running on urban wood waste, tree trimmings and agricultural residues. David Lowman and Laura Ellen Jones are highly recommended tax lawyers, who have advised various international financial institutions on tax equity investments in wind and solar projects throughout the US. Ken Alcott and Washington DC-based Jeff Schroeder, who is co-head of the project finance team, are also highly regarded by clients.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP continues to impress clients with its dedicated team of attorneys. The ‘experienced and unflappable’ Greg Thorpe heads the practice from the Los Angeles office, while two recent lateral partner hires from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, Junaid Chida and Mark Caterini, have added considerable depth to the firm’s expertise in tax equity financings. In 2012, a team advised various investor groups on wind power investments, including the $476m, 300MW Canadian Hills project in Oklahoma, and the $355m, 200MW Prairie Rose project in Minnesota. Thorpe represented Edison Mission Energy (EME) in the acquisition, financing, development and construction of over ten utility-scale wind facilities across the US. The practice is also advising EME on wind turbine procurement matters, and advising Solar Reserve on a utility-scale solar power project in New Mexico.

With the recent arrival of seven lateral partner hires to its new Houston office Sidley Austin LLP is developing a prominent position in the energy sector. Glenn Pinkerton and Sergio Pozzerle, who joined from Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. and McDermott Will & Emery LLP respectively, have brought particular expertise in renewable energy projects, adding to the practice’s strong resources in New York and Washington DC. Pozzerle is currently representing Genneia in the development of over 300MW of wind and solar energy projects in Argentina; and Sempra Energy in the wind turbine and energy storage system procurement and construction relating to a 24MW wind project in Hawaii. Head of the project finance and infrastructure practice Irving Rotter advised Exelon Generating on its acquisition of a 51% stake in several Californian solar energy farms aggregating 69MW. Anne Falvey in New York represented developer KDC Solar in a tax equity financing with a US bank for multiple solar projects. Michael Joyce, a recent arrival from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, represented Goldman Sachs in its financing of rooftop solar systems to be installed by SolarCity Corporation on residential, commercial and military housing units.

The ‘knowledgeable lawyers and strong mid level associates,’ in Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s energy and infrastructure department remain a popular choice for financial institutions looking to acquire experienced lender-side counsel in the renewable space. The ‘experienced, knowledgeable and creative’ Ken Wyman recently advised a group of investors on a $245m financing relating to the 150MW Mustang Hills wind farm in California. He also advised RBS on a $30m secured letter of credit facility for the same project. In other highlights, the firm represented Union Bank and RBS as lenders in connection with the $650m project financing of the Alta VII and IX wind projects. New York-based David Lieberman, who heads the department, recently advised a consortium of banks on a $234m loan to Redwood Trails Wind to partially finance the construction and development of a 37MW wind energy facility in Solano County, California. He also advised KKR on the acquisition of four solar photovoltaic facilities from Recurrent Energy. Other names on the firm’s strong client roster include Barclays, Blackstone, Credit Suisse Securities, First Reserve, JPMorgan and Kinder Morgan.

Centered on its Los Angeles office, Winston & Strawn LLP’s energy, project development and finance group has built a strong reputation, particularly with respect to tax-advantaged financings. In 2012 Amit Kalra advised Wells Fargo Bank on four tax equity investments in wind farms as part of a syndicate with JPMorgan and Metropolitan Life Insurance. On the borrower side, Jonathan Birenbaum in New York acted for K Road Power Holdings on financing the acquisition of McHenry solar farm in California; while Katherine McAvoy Gillespie is advising SunRun on a $150m financing relating to home solar photovoltaic systems. Elias Farrah, who joined from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, is representing Atlantic Wind Connection in a proposed $5bn subsea, high-voltage transmission grid that will run from northern to southern New Jersey about 50 miles offshore. Other key figures in the practice include Jerry Bloom, who is assisting French company Soitec Solar with the development of various solar facilities; and Joseph Karp, who represented Ormat Technologies in a 10MW solar photovoltaic power purchase agreement with Imperial Irrigation Districts.

Energy: transactions

Index of tables

  1. Energy: transactions
  2. Leading lawyers

Latham & Watkins LLP’s energy lawyers ‘know the industry, are excellent negotiators and they manage a project as well as any’. Although best known for its longstanding reputation on power-related transactions and financing, the firm’s rapidly expanding Houston office has made it a dominant force across the sector. Recent significant arrivals in Houston include Robin Fredrickson and Jeff Munoz from Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.; Mike King from Morgan Lewis; and Catherine Ozdogan from Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. Global chair of the oil and gas industry group Michael Darden recently advised Red Leaf Resources on a $450m joint venture with TOTAL to develop oil shale leases. Munoz represented Plains Exploration & Production Company in its $5.5bn acquisition of a portfolio of deepwater oil and gas assets from BP. Bill Finnegan and Sean Wheeler from the Houston office advised Energy Transfer Partners on the $5.3bn acquisition of petroleum refiner and chemicals manufacturer Sunoco. Wheeler was also the lead partner advising Suburban Propane Partners on its $1.8bn acquisition of the propane operations of Inergy Propane. The firm’s project finance attorneys are currently involved in a number of high-profile liquefied natural gas (LNG) transactions. David Allinsonand Charles Carpenter are advising Blackstone Energy Partners on a $1.5bn investment in Cheniere Partners to fund the equity portion of the Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction project. The firm was also instructed by a number of export credit agencies on the $8.5bn project financing of the Australia Pacific LNG project. The ‘knowledgeable, thoughtful and patientJonathan Rod is global chair of the firm’s power industry group, based in New York. Significant work highlights from 2012 included representing Barclays Capital as financial adviser to Progress Energy on its $25.9bn sale to Duke Energy; and JPMorgan as financial adviser to Exelon on its merger with Constellation Energy. The practice also assisted a consortium of financial institutions with the refinancing of a term loan and revolving credit facility for NRG Energy. David Schwartz, M Adel Aslani-Far and Mark Gerstein are also recommended.

Baker Botts L.L.P. provides ‘very good professional service, good responsiveness, good knowledge of the industry and the ability to deal with the most complex transactions’. The firm’s large oil and gas practice in Houston maintains a stellar reputation for its advice on upstream, midstream and downstream transactions as well as in the representation of sponsors and developers seeking project financing. Practice head Hugh Tucker is acting alongside Denmon Sigler as project development and finance counsel for Sasol North America on a greenfield petrochemicals plant and a gas-to-liquids facility with a combined value of $15bn. Ted Paris advised EP Energy Corporation on its $7.1bn acquisition by Apollo Global Management; and Gene Oshman advised Transocean on the sale of 38 shallow water drilling rigs to Shelf Drilling International. The firm has also been acting on a number of domestic and international LNG projects. Steven Miles represented Cheniere in its $1.5bn sale of stock to Blackstone for the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana; and is also assisting with project development activities for Cheniere’s second proposed LNG terminal in Corpus Christi. In the power sector, Stephen Massad represented Lazard Freres & Co as financial adviser to Progress Energy in its $25.9bn merger with Duke Energy; and former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP partner Bill Lamb was lead counsel to AGL on its $3.1bn acquisition of Nicor. George Goolsby retired at the end of 2012.

Largely based in New York, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is widely recognised as a market leader for high-profile energy M&A transactions, particularly in the electricity and power markets. Clifford Naeve recently acted alongside colleagues Sheldon Adler and Michael Rogan for Northeast Utilities in its merger with NSTAR to create one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. He also advised Exelon on its $7.9bn stock-for-stock merger with Constellation; and is representing GenOn Energy in its $6bn combination with NRG Energy. William Conway continues to assist Entergy Corporation with its $6bn divestiture via a tax-free spin-off and subsequent merger of its electric transmission business into ITC Holdings Corp. Other significant clients in the energy space include National Grid USA, which instructed the firm on the $285m sale of Granite Sale Electricity and EnergyNorth; and JPMorgan Chase, which the firm acted for as financial adviser to AmeriGas Partners on a $2.9bn acquisition of a propane distribution business. The practice’s oil and gas group advised Osaka Gas on its $250m acquisition of a 35% interest in Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation’s Pearsall Shale operation, including a related joint development agreement. Houston-based Frank Bayouth advised Greenhill & Co on its $2.7bn acquisition of oilfield services provider Complete Production Services; and is also assisting Forestar Group with its $146m acquisition of CREDO Petroleum Corporation.

The ‘very responsive’ energy attorneys at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. are ‘top shelf in terms of business acumen, industry knowledge and depth’. Based in Houston, the firm has an impressive array of clients in the oil and gas sector where it occupies a position as one of the standout transactional practices. Jeff Floyd recently advised Statoil on its $4.7bn all-cash merger with Brigham Exploration Company; and Christopher Collins represented BP in the $1.2bn sale of its Texas City refinery and related assets to Marathon Petroleum. Marcia Backus represented Sandridge Energy in a $1bn joint venture sale to a subsidiary of Repsol SA for the development of a Mississippian shale play; and David Andril assisted GasAtacama with charter and services contracts pertaining to a floating LNG storage and regasification unit in Chile. Other notable lawyers in Houston include John Connally, who is regarded as ‘an outstanding transactional lawyer’ and ‘one of the stars of the arena for years to come’. Trina Chandler represented Riverstone Holdings during its $400m acquisition of a 2,649MW portfolio of primarily coal fired power generation assets in Maryland from Exelon. The practice also advised American Electric Power Company on a joint venture with Great Plains Energy to develop $466m of transmission projects located in the Southwest Power Pool. Working out of the Washington DC office, Mark Spivak heads the power projects department and is representing Goldman Sachs’ GS Global Infrastructure Partners as project counsel in the development of a 1,500MW electric transmission line project in New Mexico.

Bracewell & Giuliani LLP’s Houston-based energy practice is particularly adept at handling high-value oil and gas M&A transactions. The highly regarded Alan Rafte heads the department, which is praised for its ‘excellent response time, top notch industry knowledge and valuable advice.’ He recently represented ConocoPhilips in the spin-off of Philips 66, which is now an independent downstream energy company in the refining and chemicals sector; and Apache Corp in its $2.8bn acquisition of Cordillera Energy Partners III. Gregory Bopp, another key figure in Houston, represented Kinder Morgan in its $38bn acquisition of El Paso Corporation including the assumption of outstanding debt at El Paso Corporation and El Paso Pipeline Partners. Additionally, the firm is advising Kinder Morgan on the sale of El Paso’s exploration and production business, EP Energy Corporation. The ‘very organised and knowledgeable’ James McAnelly advised Three Rivers Operating Company on the $1bn sale of its oil and natural gas assets to Concho resources; and is also representing SWEPI LP, a subsidiary of Shell, in its agreement to purchase 618,000 acres of oil assets in the Delaware Basin for $1.9bn. Another of the firm’s big-ticket clients, Chesapeake Energy, continues to instruct the firm on various acquisitions, including the sale of three separate midstream assets for a total of $4bn. In the power space, the ‘very responsive and ableRyan Holcomb is advising Entergy on its $409m acquisition of two gas-fired power plants from subsidiaries of Kgen Power Corporation. Jessica Adkins continues to assist NRG Energy with the expansion of its network of public charging stations for electric vehicles. The firm’s transactional capabilities were bolstered recently by the addition of a number of partners from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Former Dewey & LeBoeuf practice co-head John Klauberg joined the New York office along with Frederick Lark, while Charles Vandenburgh joined the Connecticut office.

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP is regularly seen acting for developers, project sponsors, and on both sides of high-profile M&A transactions. In 2012, the firm’s energy attorneys, the majority of whom work out of its Houston office, were kept particularly busy by large international oil and gas projects. Department head Michael Irvin advised Anadarko Petroleum Corporation on the construction, leasing and purchase of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility in Ghana. He also advised EOG Resources on the acquisition of Galveston LNG; the development of a $4bn LNG liquefaction plant, export terminal and associated gas pipeline in British Columbia; and the sale of a partial interest in the project to Encana Corporation. Another major client, Noble Energy, is being advised by the practice on the development of gas fields and related energy investments in Israel; as well as a number of divestitures, including the $140m sale of oil and gas properties in Kansas to Citation Oil & Gas. In other highlights, the firm advised Sinopec on the $2.5bn sale of a 33.3% stake in its oil and gas properties in the Tuscaloosa Shale; and TOTAL on a joint venture relating to the development of 619,000 net mineral acres of oil and gas assets in the Utica Shale. On the power side, Gail Watkins was part of a team that advised CPS Energy on the acquisition of all partnership interests in the Rio Nogales power project. Deborah Gitomer and Craig Vogelsang are other key figures in the practice.

Based in New York, David Lieberman heads Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘knowledgeable, responsive and strong’ energy and infrastructure department. The firm has a formidable reputation in power-related financings and produces ‘top-notch work’ for underwriters, lenders and borrowers, as well as advising on M&A transactions. Casey Cogut, Mario Ponce and Marni Lerner are advising Eaton Corporation on its proposed $11.8bn cash-and-stock acquisition of Cooper Industries. Glenn Reiter and Kirsten Davis from the ‘very good’ capital markets group represented BBVA, BNP Paribas and Citigroup as initial purchasers in connection with a $750m debt security offering by Comision Federal de Electricidad - Mexico’s state-owned electricity company. Ed Tolley, who is also part of the capital markets team, represented Energy Future Intermediate Holding Company in its issuance and sale of $257m of senior secured notes. The firm advised another senior lender, JPMorgan Chase, on a $3.5bn revolving credit facility for Dominion Resources and Virginia Electric and Power Company; as well as in connection with a $730m financing for Westar Energy. The firm’s footprint in the oil and gas space focuses on the financing aspects and has been augmented by the opening of the Houston office. Robert Rabalais is advising Midstates Petroleum Company on its $650m acquisition of interests in oil and gas assets from Eagle Energy Production; and Credit Suisse Securities on the financing of Energy Transfer Equity and Energy Transfer Partners’ $9.4bn acquisition of Southern Union Company. Bill Curbow is assisting First Reserve Corporation with its sale of a majority stake in Acteon Group Limited to KKR.

Andrews Kurth LLP’s Houston-based transactional practice is focused on the oil and gas space, where clients include financial institutions, private investors, developers and project sponsors. The firm is particularly strong in midstream transactions and has ‘unparalleled experience’ advising master limited partnerships. In 2012, co-chair of the corporate and securities team Michael O’Leary represented Cordillera Energy Partners III in its $3.1bn sale to Apache Corporation; First Reserve Corporation, in a midstream joint venture with Triangle Petroleum Corporation; and GSO Capital Partners in its $750m equity financing of Chesapeake Energy’s Utica Shale assets. David Buck is also recognised for his corporate and securities law expertise. He advised Enterprise Products Operating on a $750m investment grade debt offering; and Cheniere Energy Partners in connection with its $1.5bn financing from Blackstone. Tim Unger has more than 30 years’ experience advising on project development and financing. He assisted Sabine Gas Liquefaction with a $3.6bn loan for its LNG export project; and is also representing Sinopec in the initial phase of an offshore and onshore pipeline and gas processing plant. Washington DC-based Bill Cooper has represented some of the world’s biggest investment banks as underwriters and initial purchasers. He advised JPMorgan, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities as initial purchasers of a Rule 144A senior notes offering by Gulf South Pipeline Company; and Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Barclays Capital as underwriters in the pending IPO of Susser Petroleum Partners. Martha Smith DeBusk has ‘a calm demeanour and warm bedside manner she keeps negotiations amicable and does not cause friction through undue aggressiveness’.

Chadbourne & Parke LLP is known for its ‘very strong’ project finance capabilities across the energy sector. Noam Ayali in Washington DC recently represented a syndicate of financial institutions including Credit Suisse, HSBC and Morgan Stanley acting as joint lead arrangers on the $3.6bn debt financing for the high-profile Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction project. He and New York-based Ben Koenigsberg also acted for various commercial banks in the $1.1bn financing of a greenfield pipeline construction project and the extension of two credit facilities for Ruby Pipeline. In the power space, Peter Fitzgerald was lead counsel to the US Department of Energy on its $8.3bn loan guarantee for the Vogtle nuclear power project in Georgia, US; and on a potential loan to Unistar regarding the $8.3bn Calvert Cliffs III nuclear project in Maryland. Other highlights included representing GeoPark Holdings during its $75m purchase of Hupecol Cuerva, a privately held oil and gas company with two exploration and production blocks in Colombia. New York-based attorneys Paul Weber, Allen Miller and Chaim Wachsberger are also highly recommended.

King & Spalding LLP is an international firm with specialist expertise in the expanding LNG space. Houston-based Philip Weems and Scott Greer are representing Anadarko in its $10bn LNG export project in Mozambique, which includes upstream agreements and related joint ventures. Head of the global transactions practice Ken Culotta is advising Administracion Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Electricas on the development of an LNG import terminal facility in Uruguay. The project includes the right to build an offshore receiving terminal together with one or more long-term sales agreements with an international supplier. Other LNG transactions being handled by the group include the development and construction of an export terminal for Freeport LNG; and the development, financing and construction of a storage facility for Floridian Gas Storage. Outside the LNG sector, the firm represented Haddington Energy Partners in the structuring of a $350m private equity fund to invest in midstream and energy infrastructure; Pacific Infrastructure on the development of a crude oil storage and export facility in Colombia; and Power Infrastructure on its acquisition of an oil and gas services company providing drilling services in Argentina. Attorneys from the firm’s finance department advised Bank of America on the amendment and restatement of Constellation Energy’s principal $1.5bn credit facility relating to its acquisition by Exelon; and Citigroup as joint lead arranger of five credit facilities totalling $4.2bn for Entergy.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s attorneys are ‘extremely responsive, consistently meeting or exceeding deadlines’ and ‘especially useful for massive multimillion-dollar, multi-source financings’. The New York-based practice has as an excellent reputation in project financing, and represents the full spectrum of participants including lenders, underwriters, sponsors and contractors. In 2012, the firm was kept particularly busy with a number of debt restructurings. New York-based attorneys Bill Bice and Dan Michalchuk represented Mach Gen, as borrower and sponsor, in the restructuring of a $160m bilateral loan; and Mizuho Corporate Bank and Sumitoria Mitsui Trust Bank in the $189m refinancing of the Hardee Power project in Florida. ‘Extremely quick and excellent problem-solverJonathan Green represented the arrangers in a $975m refinancing of numerous electricity generating facilities for EquiPower Resources Corporation. Other key figures in the practice include Allan Marks, who assisted the Bank of Nova Scotia and Royal Bank of Canada with a $105m debt refinancing for the Portsmouth coal-fired plant in Virginia; and Daniel Bartfeld, who represented a group of lenders in a $378m loan for a gas transmission pipeline in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. On the M&A front, John Franchini represented Bosque Power Company in the $432m sale of its 800MW Texas power plant to Calpine Corporation, the largest US independent power generator.

Morgan Lewis has ‘a deep bench of high-quality attorneys covering multiple specialities with excellent response times and work rate’. In 2012, the Houston-based practice provided legal counsel to a number of important players in the energy and oil and gas space. William Parish represented ConocoPhillips in real estate, corporate and contract matters relating to the spin-off of its refining, marketing, chemicals and transportation business into a new company. The spun-off company, Phillips 66, is the second-largest refiner in North America. Los Angeles-based Richard Shortz has ‘a unique combination of razor sharp intelligence, superb, gentlemanly demeanor, excellent negotiation skills and broad experience’. He recently acted as counsel to Edison Mission Energy in the financing of the 484MW Walnut gas-fired power project in California. Boston-based Richard Filosa is another key member of the power team. He recently served as lead counsel to Moxie Energy in connection with the development and financing of two 800MW gas-fired power plants in Pennsylvania. Energy transactions practice head David Asmus is widely recognised as one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in the sector: he has the ‘ability to see the wider picture’, and gives ‘result-oriented advice - not just for the purpose of scoring points.’ Asmus recently represented Sempra Energy in the development and construction of liquefaction facilities at LNG terminals in Louisiana and Port Arthur, Texas. He also advised Mitsui & Co on the $680m acquisition of a 12.5% working interest in SM Energy Company’s Eagle Ford Shale properties.

Providing ‘outstanding advice at reasonable cost’, Thompson & Knight LLP has a longstanding presence in the oil and gas space. Its Dallas-based practice is ‘among the very best’ and has an ‘impressive knowledge and understanding of energy matters’. Practice head Joe Dannenmaier recently represented Brigham Exploration Company during its $4.4bn sale to Statoil ASA. He also advised the majority holder of Frach Tech Services on its $3.7bn sale of equity to a consortium led by Temasek Capital Limited. The firm had previously closed an offering of Rule 144A notes by Frach Tech, and progressed through two amendments of a SEC registration statement for a planned $700m IPO. Andrew Derman has ‘a broad knowledge of the energy industry, both from inside the industry and from the perspective of a legal firm.’ He assisted Kosmos Energy with various oil and gas investments in Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco and Suriname; as well as advising Samsung C&T Corporation on its $800m joint purchase of Parallel Petroleum from Apollo Global Management. Another key client, Halcon Resources Corporation, instructed the firm on an acquisition of undeveloped oil and gas assets in the Williston Basin for $1.4bn; and on a $750m offering of senior unsecured notes due 2020. In other work highlights, Arthur Wright represented Chief Gathering in its $1bn sale to Penn Virginia Resource Partners; and Saddle Butte Pipeline in the $950m sale of its crude oil pipeline and terminal system in the Bakken Shale to Targa Resources Partners.

White & Case LLP’s chief energy expertise lies in project finance. In 2012, Lawrence Gannon represented Morgan Stanley as structuring agent and underwriter regarding a $1bn financing for the 880MW John Sevier combined-cycle plant in Rogersville, Tennessee. He also advised Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Global Markets on a $204m loan pertaining to a natural gas-fired combined-cycle electric generation facility in Mississippi. Michael Shenberg advised Dogwood Power Management and Dogwood Energy on the restructuring of energy management agreements and a credit support agreement to reflect multiparty ownership and control of a 650MW power plant. This particular transaction arose from Dogwood Energy’s sale of ownership interests in the facility to several public power agencies. Head of the financial restructuring and insolvency group Thomas Lauria is advising Dynergy on the creation of separate coal-fired and gas-fired power generation units, together with $1.7bn of new credit facilities for its CoalCo and GasCo subsidiaries. The firm is also advising Fortis, Canada’s largest publicly owned distribution utility, on the $1.5bn acquisition of CH Energy Group. Head of infrastructure and project finance Arthur Scavone also heads the energy team.

Environment: litigation

Index of tables

  1. Environment: litigation
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s environmental litigation department demonstrates ‘significant experience and understanding’, and its ‘EPA practice is unparalleled’. The firm is often used by clients for ‘the most challenging and highest value work’, as evidenced by its continued representation of BP in the multitude of litigation cases arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. In 2012, the firm helped to settle the federal government’s criminal investigation against BP, and continues to assist in other matters, including defending the company against a lawsuit alleging water contamination by the gasoline additive MTBE. It also acted for the Chamber of Commerce in three related challenges to the EPA’s new greenhouse gas (GHG) rulemakings. These were the Endangerment Rule, which found that GHGs were endangering public health, and so trigger a mandatory duty to issue regulations; the Triggering Rule, which specified that the EPA’s regulation emissions from new vehicles also requires regulating from stationary sources; and the Tailoring Rule, which attempts to limit stationary source regulation with appeal to the Clean Air Act (CAA). The practice attracted Kolmar Americas and Sunoco as new clients in 2012, and continues to act for companies such as ConocoPhilips, Dow Chemical Company, and ExxonMobil. The firm-wide litigation practice includes no fewer than 490 commercial litigators, of which 24 have experience in environmental litigation matters. In particular, Granta Nakayama is ‘easy to work with, smart and practical’.

Preeminent firmLatham & Watkins LLP is ‘a very strong and visible presence’ in the market. Its recent work includes nationwide cases representing major companies, such as: Georgia-Pacific in a Wisconsin trial over a $1.5bn CERCLA allocation case and Masco Corporation in a class action which claims the client’s spray-on insulation used in millions of homes is hazardous. This latter matter is both a litigation and chemical regulatory case in which plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. The firm also achieved success for established client Fluor Corporation in a Californian insurance trial, which involved precedent-setting issues for policyholders seeking coverage for asbestos and related toxic tort liabilities. The firm won an assurance of $50m in coverage for the corporation’s liabilities and possibly much greater amounts for insureds if approved by the appellate courts. It also has a strong climate change practice, and represented a business coalition in California in the first lawsuit to challenge the state’s AB32 cap-and-trade program. The litigation practice is co-led by the experienced Mary Rose Alexander, who is based in Chicago, and Robert Wyman in Los Angeles.

At Sidley Austin LLP, ‘the breadth and depth of the expertise is truly impressive’. The environmental practice fields ‘excellent litigation attorneys’, including counsel Peter Steenland, who is noted for ‘30 years of hands-on NEPA experience’. The wider practice has four global co-heads, including Judith Praitis and Robert Olian. It continues to advise TransCanada on environmental issues pertaining to the highly publicized Keystone XL oil pipeline covering 2,000 miles to link Canada and the US. The firm has good CAA expertise, and continues to defend members of the oil industry against ambitious climate change nuisance claims, brought by private individuals alleging that GHG emissions intensified Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The case, Comer v Murphy Oil Co, was brought before several courts and the firm won dismissals at first instance in the District Court, on appeal before the Fifth Circuit and in petition to the US Supreme Court. The firm also won a favorable decision for Luminant Generation Company against an EPA ruling that required electricity utilities to substantially reduce certain emissions in a wider attempt to curb air pollution across states. The DC Circuit dismissed the rule on the basis that it exceeded the EPA’s authority. The firm opened a new office in Houston in 2012 to serve the firm’s energy clients in Texas.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s ‘very fine environmental practice’ has a large, experienced team of 24 lawyers nationwide covering every element of environmental law, such as climate change, enforcement litigation, toxic tort, contaminated property cleanup and California’s Green Chemistry initiative. Aside from the firm’s continued environmental counsel to BP over the Deepwater Horizon spill, it represented the same client in a major case regarding groundwater contamination from the gasoline additive MTBE. The firm is co-leading this national litigation (which covers issues of public nuisance and product liability) with Kirkland & Ellis LLP. The firm also has a strong relationship with Honeywell International, for which it acts as overall environmental counsel on a variety of matters, including a CERCLA action brought by the Roosevelt Irrigation District (RID) in Phoenix, Arizona, alleging that its operations contaminated wells. The practice is also representing six restaurant companies, including McDonald’s and TGI Friday’s, regarding an alleged failure to provide Proposition 65 warnings that its chicken products produce a carcinogen when grilled. A related case is being brought in Connecticut against two of the firm’s clients in an attempt to widen California’s rulemaking to other states. Lester Sotsky heads the department from Washington DC.

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is a ‘tremendous’ and ‘very fine’ law firm, which is held in ‘high regard’. The practice is known for its in-depth knowledge and experience working in technical aspects of environmental law. Many of its lawyers are former members of the EPA or DOJ and its client base includes municipal authorities and large companies. It is currently serving as national counsel to Sunoco in all litigation relating to the leakage of the gasoline additive MTBE. This litigation is ongoing at the state and federal level, and addresses claims for property damage, personal injury and natural resources damage. In a separate matter, the practice favorably settled a case for Norwegian state-owned company Statoil in litigation with the US Department of the Interior. This related to an agency decision that could have terminated the company’s significant investment project in the Gulf of Mexico. The firm has also been busy assisting Waste Connections in constitutional litigation over the validity of a law seeking to impose tight restrictions on solid waste disposal. Washington DC-based Harold Segall is the current head of litigation, leading a team including 24 dedicated attorneys.

In 2012, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s ‘solid practice’ acted in high-stakes litigation for Lockheed Martin in a variety of matters including: a Superfund site in Oregon (with potential remediation costs totaling $1.8bn); a cost recovery action against the state of Pennsylvania; and a mass toxic tort litigation in California involving perchlorate groundwater contamination. It also defended the client against allegations that it improperly handled hazardous waste while managing a nuclear facility for the Department of Energy. The latter enforcement action is running alongside an action alleging fraud relating to non-compliance. The firm is defending Chevron against the enforcement of a $19bn ruling for damages to the environment in Ecuador; enforcement actions have been filed in Canada and Brazil. In another case, the firm is defending MeadWestvaco against an EPA enforcement effort regarding an alleged violation of the Clean Air Act. This case was initially filed in 2000, and the firm won a dismissal on five counts, with the remaining aspects of the case to be decided. The practice has four co-chairs, covering both coasts: Alan Bick, Jeffrey Dintzer, Patrick Dennis and Peter Seley.

Hogan Lovells LLP continues to represent the state of Florida in water-related litigation involving the federal government, Alabama and Georgia. The case covers issues of ecology, the fishing industry and the water demands of the respective states. The firm also won a case at verdict for natural gas development company Antero Resources in a toxic tort lawsuit brought by a family in Colorado, which was notable as being one of the first lawsuits involving hydraulic fracturing. Elsewhere, the firm represented Daimler Trucks North America and Detroit Diesel in a successful case contesting EPA’s decision to allow a competitor to pay penalties in order to sell engines that do not conform to emission standards. The practice is co-led by James Banks and Scott Reisch, with the team being based in offices in Washington DC and Denver. Former EPA lawyer Adam Kushner joined the firm in 2012.

Hunton & Williams LLP’s ‘very well regarded’ environmental practice is ‘unparalleled in the utility sector’. Its ‘deep bench’ of experienced lawyers provides comprehensive coverage of environmental law matters, but especially Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species issues. Bill Brownell in Washington DC heads the practice. The firm expanded its West Coast resources by recruiting Los Angeles-based Colleen Doyle from Bingham McCutchen LLP.

Texas-based Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. handles a broad spectrum of environmental litigation, such as civil and criminal enforcement, private-party lawsuits, contested permitting processes, and crisis management. It also has experience in natural resource damage, Superfund, air and water matters. The firm prides itself on being able to cover both small and large cases, from alternative energy permitting to multi-state, EPA enforcement matters. Its core client base is energy companies, such as BP Products North America, Constellation Energy Group, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, New York State Electric & Gas, and Sunflower Electric Power Corporation. Houston-based Carol Dinkins and Robert Schick co-head the team. George Hopkins is experienced in dealing with the EPA’s New Source Review procedure.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s ‘great team’ has ‘many facets of expertise’, and was active in a variety of CAA matters during the past year. These included representing a number of companies facing EPA enforcement under the New Source Review program, and acting for the BCCA Appeal Group (a coalition of clients including ExxonMobil and Valero) in litigation against the EPA regarding CAA implementation in Texas. The firm also completed its work for BP against the state of Texas relating to violations of the Texas Clean Air Act. The case, which was active from 2009-12, involved a potential multimillion-dollar civil penalty. In another matter, the firm is defending a petroleum company in Baltimore against allegations that it caused damage through the release of gasoline. The practice recently recruited water rights expert Molly Cagle from Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.. Practice head Steven Leifer is based in Washington DC.

Bingham McCutchen LLP is ‘an outstanding firm’, which provides ‘prompt advice’, ‘amazing value’ and has ‘a thorough understanding of the oil and gas industry’. In 2012, it advised Anadarko and Kerr-McGee Corporation in two proceedings, filed by the US government and Tronox, relating to the separation of Tronox from Kerr-McGee. It is alleged that the latter left Tronox to avoid legacy liabilities in chemicals, nuclear mineral mining and petroleum refinement. This has resulted in litigation from parties now seeking redress from Anadarko and Kerr-McGee instead of Tronox. The firm was also busy defending the air regulations in Imperial County, California, against the EPA (and separate challenges from citizen groups). The team is co-chaired by Mike Wigmore, Rick Rothman and Ella Foley Gannon.

Bracewell & Giuliani LLP continues to defend Halliburton in its federal criminal proceedings relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. It also assists clients in public and private civil litigation, administrative proceedings, insurance claims, and SEC disclosures. The firm was also active representing natural gas clients in a variety of environmental matters, defending Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation against water contamination claims, and acting for Chesapeake Energy in CAA and CWA enforcement actions. Austin-based Tim Wilkins is ‘an expert in environmental law’ and provides ‘immediately useful advice’. Jason Hutt in Washington DC has ‘outstanding knowledge of the relevant law’. Other clients include The Mosaic Company, Apache Corporation and Bank of America.

Mayer Brown’s ‘fast response times’ and ‘deep resources’ are coupled with ‘outstanding knowledge of environmental law’. The practice’s expertise spans litigation, enforcement, compliance, permitting, and counseling, and it is comfortable operating at US Supreme Court and federal appellate level. The firm is representing Tarrant Regional Water District in a US Supreme Court case regarding a water dispute between Texas and Oklahoma concerning the quantity of water each state can justifiably allocate its residents under an existing agreement. The decision of the court will affect the water supply of two million residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The firm also represented Dow Agrosciences in a class action in Illinois, in which plaintiffs allege that the company’s use of a common herbicide has contaminated the local water supply. Chicago-based Rich Bulger co-heads the practice group with Mark Ter Molen, who is ‘able to provide very good advice that is tailored to business needs’.

Morrison & Foerster LLPknows the law in this area extremely well’ and ‘always responds in a timely manner’. The practice is noted for its in-depth understanding of environmental issues and its strategic capabilities in litigation. In recent work, it defended Sierra Pacific Industries against challenges to its plans for timber harvesting and its impact on GHGs in California. This was a case of first impression based on the state’s introduction of the AB32 bill in 2006 aimed at reducing GHGs by 25% before 2020. The practice also handles the bulk of Proposition 65 cases in California both in the Court of Appeals and at state Supreme Court level, with cases often led by expert Michèle Corash. In one such case, the firm is representing 21 food and beverage companies (including Del Monte and Welch’s) in a case alleging lead and arsenic contamination in fruit juices. Its sizeable team includes 12 partners based in San Francisco. Michael Steel is the ‘go-to attorney on California environmental issues’, and Robert Falk provides ‘unique and innovative’ solutions.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is used for its capabilities in ‘large scale, complex environmental litigation’. It continues to represent Teck Metals in a cross-border contamination case arising from its activities at a smelting plant in Canada; contaminated material flowed downstream into the US along the Columbia River. The practice successfully negotiated a settlement agreement on the matter with the US Department of Justice and EPA, which included remediation costs. The firm also reached a 2012 settlement on one aspect of litigation for MOEX Offshore relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. The company was a joint operator and 10% leaseholder in the affected area, and was sued for liability by government and private plaintiffs. A team of 12 full-time partners nationwide provides ‘thorough and appropriate’ advice. Christopher McNevin is ‘an outstanding litigator’ and ‘has the organizational skills necessary to manage large cases’. Thomas Campbell’s strengths include ‘the ability to take a global view on all aspects of potentially significant claims’.

Baker & McKenzie continues to focus its environmental practice on climate change work for both domestic and international clients. It recently advised on all aspects of emissions trading for a business with projects covering China, Mexico and the US. It also advised a global company during its investigation and compliance checks into a possible violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act throughout its supply chain. The practice’s domestic caseload included assisting the National Resource Defense Council in its CWA citizen’s action against the Chicago area Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; the case related to millions of gallons of untreated water dumped into the Chicago River. Chicago-based John Watson heads the four-partner team.

In 2012, Covington & Burling LLP submitted an amicus brief for the Competitive Enterprise Institute in a US Supreme Court case - Sackett v EPA - in support of two landowners in Idaho against an EPA compliance order. The EPA initially charged the Sacketts with a violation and penalty under the Clean Water Act for building their home on wetlands. The couple was permitted to bring a civil action against the order. The practice also has an active presence in the oil industry and represented the American Petroleum Institute in two cases relating to oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, defending against challenges made by environmental groups to exploration plans in the Gulf; these cases were the first since tighter procedures were introduced following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Environmental department chair Lawrence Hobel is based in San Francisco, and the team also has attorneys in New York and Washington DC.

Jones Day’s ‘very good’ practice is capable of handling a wide variety of environmental work including toxic tort, climate change, vapor intrusion, rare earth mining, and hydraulic fracturing cases. In 2012, the firm obtained a dismissal of nine out of ten claims brought against Midwest Generation for CAA violations brought by the state of Illinois and the US Department of Justice. The firm is also representing Xcel Energy in global warming litigation relating to greenhouse gas emissions. This includes continued representation, on appeal, against the native village of Kivalina, and in a separate class action over liability due to the damage brought by Hurricane Katrina. Kevin Holewinski heads the practice, which recently recruited Thomas Skinner from Mayer Brown. Thomas Donnelly is ‘extremely knowledgeable and experienced in this area’.

The ‘great’, ‘fantastic’ and ‘exemplaryGreenberg Traurig LLPgoes above and beyond’ in its environmental work for clients. The firm is known for its experience in toxic tort cases, and is also competent in regulatory disputes, citizen suits, criminal enforcement and personal injury cases. It is also acting for paper manufacturer P H Glatfelter Co against the United States in a Superfund dispute arising from the presence of PCBs in the Lower Fox River in Wisconsin. The case went to trial in 2012 over the government’s continued responsibilities and costs to complete the estimated $1.5bn cleanup. In a separate Superfund matter, the team is acting for United Alloys & Metals and Cronimet Corporation against the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is seeking to recover remediation costs (estimated to be up to $30m) as a result of solvent contamination from its metal recycling operations. The firm’s work for Coronet Industries in Franco, et al v Coronet Industries, Inc, et al, in which 1,100 plaintiffs allege personal injury and property damage as a result of contaminated groundwater and air in a large area surrounding a former Coronet factory. The case is seven years old and the firm has achieved a rare ‘Lone Pine’ order requiring plaintiffs to substantiate allegations through expert reports before the prosecution can proceed. Tampa-based David Weinstein chairs the department, which includes over 20 partners.

King & Spalding LLP handles ‘cutting edge’ and ‘highly complex matters’, and produces the ‘highest level of results’ in litigation. Its capabilities include EPA enforcement matters, permit challenges, cost recovery claims, and damages claims related to alleged environmental damage; it is particularly active in groundwater contamination cases. The firm is acting in a number of long-running cases, including the tri-state ‘Water Wars’ litigation involving Alabama, Florida and Georgia. In addition, the firm was instructed by Chevron as defense counsel in several personal injury and property damage cases related to naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in Louisiana. These cases, brought by individual workers, are pending in state and federal courts. The firm’s client base is primarily focused on the energy industry with the firm counting Chevron, Shell and Dow Chemical among its active clients. Its experienced team is ‘very proactive in anticipating developments, forming and implementing litigation strategies, and providing an expert work product’. Patricia Barmeyer heads the practice, in which Doak Bishop is ‘outstanding’ and ‘top notch’.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s ‘client-oriented’, ‘practical’ team has strong ‘analytical ability’, and often defends clients in large, complex product liability, toxic tort or class action cases. The practice is rated for its ‘appreciation for the business side of litigation’ and ‘gets to the root of a problem to find the solution’. Its ‘strong knowledge of industry’ was put to use as national coordinating counsel in asbestos litigation for Honeywell in which workers alleged injuries due to exposure during the manufacturing of car brake linings. It is acting for ExxonMobil in a 600-plaintiff toxic tort case in New York regarding a large petroleum spill in Brooklyn. Plaintiffs are seeking restitution for property damage and personal injury, with claims totaling $1bn. The firm is also one of many acting in the litigation over the contamination of the Passaic River in New Jersey, where it is representing National Standard (one of nearly 100 companies implicated) and assisted in the formation of a restoration partnership to aid in the cleanup. The team’s ‘very knowledgeable lawyers’ include Chicago-based Todd Wiener, who is active in enforcement proceedings and regarded as ‘an excellent litigator; smart, dogged and advocates well’. James Pardo in New York is also recommended.

Morgan Lewis’ environmental team works on a variety of Superfund cost-recovery matters, mass toxic torts, defenses against citizen suits, government enforcement actions, and insurance recovery disputes. Its large team operates from offices in Washington DC and Philadelphia, and is co-led by John McAleese and Ron Tenpas. The practice’s recent workload includes having defended E. I. du Pont de Nemours in a post-acquisition indemnification lawsuit asserted by a subsidiary of Koch Industries in New York. The lawsuit sought $800m of damages relating to more than 60 environmental, health and safety, and commercial indemnity claims at facilities worldwide. The lengthy litigation resulted in a short trial and confidential settlement. The practice is also defending Exelon Generation and ComEd in two lawsuits brought by individual plaintiffs in Missouri relating to environmental damage and personal injury arising from the alleged release of toxic materials from uranium processing facilities.

Thompson & Knight LLP is busy acting for Dow Chemical in a federal Superfund action involving a former waste oil recovery facility in Pasadena, Texas. The EPA has targeted Dow, which is one of the site’s former customers, to remove materials from the now-abandoned site. In another case, the firm was hired by BNSF, Union Pacific and HBT to challenge a fee on all property owners in Houston; the clients contest that the fee violates state law. The firm sued the City of Houston to declare the fee ordinance invalid and that city officials acted outside of their jurisdiction. In air quality work, James Morriss acted for Pasadena Refining System in negotiating a reduced penalty leveled against the company for its violation of state and federal regulations pertaining to the emission of volatile organic compounds. Austin-based James Morriss heads the environmental group.

White & Case LLP’s environment team, which provides ‘an extremely high level of service’, is led by Miami-based Douglas Halsey. Richard Horsch in New York is recommended as being ‘very professional and technically strong’. The firm continues to act in large-scale and lengthy litigation cases on the East Coast. It is representing Pfizer with regard to claims arising from the Lower Passaic River Superfund Site in New Jersey. Pfizer is one of more than 300 companies named as responsible parties in this landmark Superfund case, which is one of the largest of its kind. It also continues to represent the City of Dania Beach, Florida, in a case dating back to the early 1990s relating to the expansion of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The $800m airport expansion plan is being challenged by the city, as the noise levels will adversely affect 1,000 local residents.

Environment: transactional and regulatory

Index of tables

  1. Environment: transactional and regulatory
  2. Leading lawyers

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has ‘good knowledge of environmental laws and regulations’. The practice, while stronger on the transactional side, is valued by clients as being ‘very efficient’, providing ‘excellent judgement’ and ‘aligned with practical business interests’. Its capabilities lie primarily in advising clients on the environmental aspects of large corporate and real estate transactions, representing buyers, sellers and financial institutions. Its 280 private equity clients continued to provide a strong source of work during the course of the year. It advised Bain Capital on the environmental due diligence aspects of two acquisitions with a combined value of over $1bn, and acted for Carlyle in its acquisition of WorldStrides from Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC. Corporate transactions included assisting Bristol-Myers Squibb with its $7bn acquisition of Amylin Pharmaceuticals. In regulatory work, the firm is lead environmental counsel for Berry Plastics (a major packaging company), handling compliance, site remediation and enforcement-related matters. The experienced and knowledgeable Walter Lohmann heads the transactional practice. Brian Land in Washington DC is ‘very easy to work with’ and ‘very practical’.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s large environmental practice is ‘very visible’, ‘strong’ and ‘very good on the transactional side’. It has an extensive domestic presence with lawyers operating on both coasts as well as in Chicago. Its work often covers major environmental cases and projects, ranging from insurance coverage, due diligence and climate change enforcement, and it has experience with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) matters. The firm was recently instructed by Carlyle to conduct regulatory due diligence on its $4.9bn acquisition of DuPont Performance Coatings, which manufactures paints for refinishing vehicles. In other transactional work, lawyers from four countries advised commercial banks and other lenders on the financing for a liquefied natural gas project in Australia. This major project was led from the firm’s Washington DC office and involved issues of international compliance and due diligence. In regulatory cases, the firm is assisting ExxonMobil with the development of its strategy and addressing the various issues arising from the EPA’s Chemical Action Plan concerning the assessment of phthalates, and the safety of the chemical in children’s products. Global practice head Robert Wyman is based in Los Angeles and Mary Rose Alexander in Chicago is also recommended.

Sidley Austin LLP has ‘one of the top three environmental practice groups’ in the US, and is ‘at the top of those firms in the national environmental market’. Clients also state that ‘the breadth and depth of the firm's expertise is truly impressive’, and ‘invariably responds within the time required’. Its competence in regulatory matters leads to significant representations in major state cases, which often have precedent-setting results. This included advising on California’s efforts to links its groundbreaking cap-and-trade program with other international climate change programs, and on California and Oregon’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards. New clients in this area over the area include Western States Petroleum Association and La Paloma generating power plant. The firm was also retained by three multinationals - Pratt & Whitney, Airbus and PPG - to advise on climate change regulatory and legislative matters in the US and abroad. On the transactional side of the practice, Laura Leonard often leads on representing matters involving SEC disclosures, due diligence and compliance. In recent cases, Leonard assisted a private equity firm on two transactions in the healthcare industry, which closed in 2012. Other clients include GlaxoSmithKline, AES Solar and Morgan Stanley. The environmental team contains four global coordinators, including Judith Praitis and Roger Martella. Its committed attorneys are ‘experts in their fields’, ‘have substantial practical experience’, ‘good relationships with agency staff’ and ‘meet their commitments’. Senior counsel Angus Macbeth is ‘exceptionally perceptive’.

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is ‘a very fine’, ‘tremendous’ and ‘very good regulatory firm’. Arguably its most significant instruction over the past year was working for the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) in negotiations under the Basel Convention on requirements relating to environmental management, collection, and the international movement of used and end-of-life electronic equipment. This case is typical of the firm’s increasing product liability caseload. This boutique has a strong reputation among peers on the regulatory side, and its team contains specialists committed to its key areas, such as air, water, climate change, waste management, CERCLA, due diligence and chemicals. The firm is also sought by clients requiring permitting advice, and represented Bayonne Energy Center in obtaining all state permits for the New York portion of a 6.6-mile transmission system linking a natural gas facility in New Jersey to Brooklyn. This included negotiations with the US Army Corps of Engineers, New York State and federal agencies. Karl Bourdeau chairs the group from Washington DC, and Paul Hagen is also recommended.

Outstanding firmBingham McCutchen LLP has a broad-based environmental practice that ‘should be recognized’, according to clients. Alternative energy work in the US continues to provide the firm with a healthy flow of instructions, and 2012 was no exception. It acted for First Solar in a land swap agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric to enable the development of a 550MW solar project in California, which will provide enough power for 160,000 homes. It was also hired by the Calico Solar Project to defend and assist in the re-permitting associated with technology changes for the project. The practice successfully defended the permits against two CEQA challenges in the California Supreme Court. It also defended the company against a claim of false statements brought by the BNSF Railway Commission at the California Energy Commission (CEC). On the transactional side, the team is lead environmental counsel to GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) on the financing of wind energy projects in Texas and Michigan. Washington DC-based Mike Wigmore shows exemplary responsiveness and depth of understanding. He co-chairs the environmental and natural resources practice group.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s strong transactional practice is led by the ‘extremely responsive’, ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ and ‘business-focused’ Loyti Cheng and Betty Moy Huber. The firm recently promoted Hayden Baker to counsel, who advised China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) on its $15.1bn acquisition of Canadian company Nexen. The transaction necessitated advice on regulatory risks across a number of jurisdictions. It also assisted Morgan Stanley and Citigroup with credit facilities made available to Eaton Corporation for a proposed $11.8bn acquisition. Another standout deal from 2012 was advising key client Murphy Oil on an SEC-registered $500m notes offering. While the practice’s strengths chiefly lie in large, multi-jurisdictional transactions, it is well versed in all significant regulatory matters in the US, including CERCLA, CWA, CAA and hazardous waste. The firm has also expanded its alternative energy practice in recent years, and has experience in the financing of new wind, solar, hydroelectric and biofuel projects.

Hunton & Williams LLP is a well-respected and ‘broad-based’ environmental practice, which has particular competencies in regulatory and compliance work. It has expertise in the utility sector and advising on air-related matters, as well as experience in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), hazardous waste management, endangered species legislation, and wetland work. On the transactional side, it advises investors and underwriters on all sides of environmental deals. Bill Brownell in Washington DC and Kevin Finto in Richmond are recommended.

A transactional powerhouse’, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s practice is geared towards providing full support on all environmental matters relating to business transactions, and is ‘at the very top’ of firms in this area. Its broad-ranging experience includes advising on deals in petroleum and petrochemicals refining, manufacturing, energy, forestry, mining, alternative energy, shipping, real estate, and telecoms. The practice acted for new client Cameron International Corporation regarding its joint venture with Schlumberger in the oil and gas market. The team’s other notable deals during 2012 included: representing Starbucks Coffee Company in connection with its pending $620m acquisition of Teavana Holdings; assisting Olin Corporation with its $328m acquisition of privately owned K.A. Steel Chemicals; and acting for the underwriters (led by Barclays, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley) on the $600m debt offering by Union Pacific. Department head Matthew Morreale is well regarded, and Annmarie Terraciano is also recommended.

Paul Hastings LLPexecutes a well-tailored diligence plan efficiently’, and is often used for ‘negotiating complex contracts’ in environmental matters. The firm is noted for its continued work in solar energy, particularly permitting and regulation. On the transactional side, its strengths lie in advising on the financial disclosure of environmental liabilities, and related bankruptcy issues. In recent work, it represented SunPower regarding the permitting of several Californian solar projects totaling over 1,000 MW, which required negotiations with local government over CEQA, NEPA and endangered species issues. It also continued to build its relationship with Facebook on its CEQA strategy and cleanup requirements for a new 80-acre headquarters to house 9,000 employees. The firm is also representing Calpine Corporation in the development of a cap-and-trade regulatory program in accordance with California’s landmark AB32 bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. This includes negotiating on rule development and compliance costs. Its environmental team, which is based in San Francisco, ‘has the best talent’: it fields ‘sophisticated business practitioners’ and ‘excellent communicators’. Kevin Poloncarz is ‘an exceptional environmental attorney’ and ‘the pre-eminent expert in air law issues’. New partner Robert Hoffman is ‘fantastic’.

Van Ness Feldman LLP provides a ‘very responsive’ and ‘excellent service’, which is ‘very good value for the money’. The boutique practice is accomplished at advising on a variety of regulatory matters related to air pollution control, climate change, energy project permitting, land use, water resources, and hazardous waste. It also counsels clients on due diligence and compliance matters relating to construction, natural gas pipelines, LNG facilities and hydroelectric projects. The firm’s 2012 merger with Pacific Northwest firm GordonDerr LLP increased its expertise in natural resources and the Endangered Species Act, as well as its West Coast presence. The practice won a significant instruction to act for Cascade Water Alliance to provide the water supply to eight municipal agencies in Washington state. This complex case required expertise in real estate, land use permitting, public procurement, risk management and governance. It also worked with Clean Line Energy on the permitting and environmental impact aspects of a proposal to construct an 800-mile transmission line to carry wind resources from Oklahoma to Tennessee. In separate regulatory matters, it acted for the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers regarding an EPA petition to reconsider the new source emissions standards for mercury, and other hazardous air pollutants, used in power plants. The standards will have an impact on whether coal is used as a viable fuel. Stephen Fotis runs a ‘very experienced team’, which includes Curtis Moffatt, who is recommended for regulatory policy advice, and Joesph Nelson, who handles NEPA issues.

Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. is recommended for its substantive responses on environmental law issues, and its deep experience in state and federal rulemakings across regimes such as NEPA, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act. Its Houston-based practice has a strong presence acting on Texas cases, such as permitting questions for a coal-fired power plant and environmental impact issues arising from a proposed petrochemical pipeline in Corpus Christi. Other clients include New York State Electric & Gas, Luminant Generation Company LLC and Sunflower Electric Power Corporation. Larry Nettles, who is noted for representing energy clients, has a comprehensive practice including due diligence on all financial matters. Carol Dinkins has hands-on experience in federal environmental cases, and is also active in business transactions.

In 2012, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s New York practice acted in a variety of transactional and restructuring matters for private equity, energy and real estate clients. The firm is able to handle all environmental aspects of corporate matters, including M&A, securities issuances and financings. Among its extensive caseload, the firm worked with Leucadia National Corporation during its acquisition of approximately 79% of the remaining ownership of National Beef, during which it advised on the transaction’s environmental risks (including contamination and future regulatory requirements) and compliance concerns (including air emissions, wastewater discharge and storm water matters). The firm also acted for General Motors on all aspects of environmental law relating to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. This highly publicized matter included working on environmental claims from hundreds of separate parties at 90 sites owned by GM. The firm also acted for AES Eastern Energy during its Chapter 11 reorganization, in this case with respect to the sale and closure requirements of six coal-fired power plants in New York. Other clients include American Securities Capital Partners, General Electric and Macquarie. The team’s leading figures are Annemargaret Connolly, who wins plaudits for her corporate work, and David Berz, who heads the environmental practice.

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘highly recommended’, ‘outstanding’ and ‘always timely’ environmental practice ‘takes great care to understand a client’s business’, and its ‘work product is always of high quality’. The practice’s ‘very broad coverage’ extends beyond the US and the firm is working hard to grow its client base across Europe and Asia especially. General Electric is a longstanding client and instructs the firm on the bulk of its global transactional work. This involves supervising environmental due diligence, environmental risk review, negotiating contractual language, and deal implementation as well as financial aspects. In other deal work, the team represented SAP in its $3.4bn acquisition of cloud computing company SuccessFactors. In an example of the firm’s growing Latin America presence, it advised Chilean construction and mining company Sigdo Koppers on its $790m acquisition of Belgian company Magotteaux. This large deal involved environmental issues spanning 14 jurisdictions. Other active clients include AllianceBernstein, Adisseo France SAS and Jabil Circuit Inc. The New York-based environmental practice is led by Kenneth Rivlin, who is one of ‘the best environmental deal lawyers’ and has ‘very comprehensive’ knowledge of environmental issues, covering ‘directives, exemptions, and jurisdictions’. Senior counsel Felise Cooper has strong business acumen and ‘tremendous interpersonal skills’.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s environmental work is covered as a component of its corporate department. Its expertise lies in representing private equity firms and industrial companies (especially in the paper and packaging sectors) on a wide range of deals, which in recent years have become increasingly global in scope. This cross-border work requires the team to act on large cases assessing the environmental risks, regulations, liabilities and effective due diligence before any deal is finalized. Its recent work includes acting for Footprint Power in acquiring the Salem Harbor power station, one of the few deals to purchase a coal and oil-fired power station. It also advised Kelso & Company on its acquisition of Nivel Holdings, a distributor of golf car accessories; and International Paper on its $4.3bn purchase of Temple-Inland.

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP’s ‘exceptional’ environmental practice is ‘definitely recommended’, and its ‘knowledgeable, responsive’ and ‘excellent’ lawyers cover the breadth of environmental law. The firm’s merger with Norton Rose LLP in 2013 will significantly enhance its international resources. It counseled a unit of Sinopec, a major Chinese petrochemical company, on its $2bn purchase of a 33.3% stake in 1.2m acres of oil and gas properties located in several states. This transaction was the company’s first investment foray in the US, and the firm provided advice on shale development and hydraulic fracturing issues, which are significant growth areas for the practice. In addition, the team provides ongoing counsel to Monroe Energy (a subsidiary of Delta Airlines) in negotiations for the $180m purchase of a crude oil refinery in Pennsylvania. The acquisition necessitated agreements with BP and Phillips 66 on the sourcing and purchase of crude oil. Houston-based Eva Fromm O’Brien heads the practice group. Edward Lewis has ‘extensive experience’ and ‘produces great results’.

Tremendous depth of knowledge’ and ‘great response time’ is what Morrison & Foerster LLP is known for, and its overall ‘fantastic service’. The firm is also ‘expensive, but worth every penny’. Clients also value its abilities to construct unique arguments and predict opposition strategies. Its list of recent cases shows good strength in alternative energy and air quality matters, including the growth area of climate change in California as well as other states. The firm advised First Solar on environmental, land use, and real estate aspects of solar generation facility development, which involved NEPA and CEQA compliance issues, as well as questions arising from the California Endangered Species Acts and local zoning law. The project is the first of its kind in Santa Barbara County. The firm is also being kept busy advising Union Pacific on compliance with land use and environmental permits for the company’s modernization of a rail yard near the Port of Los Angeles. The company’s proposal will reduce carbon emissions, but has been opposed by local community groups. The firm also advised Sierra Pacific Industries on the construction of a new biomass power plant, and analyzing its greenhouse gas emissions to gain approval during the environmental review process. San Francisco-based Michael Steel and Robert Falk are recommended.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has a ‘tremendous practice’ led by the well-respected Adeeb Fadil from New York, and supported by senior counsel Michael Isby. The firm is known for its adept handling of transactions in the traditional energy sector (coal, oil and gas, and electrical power generation), but expanded its industry base in recent years to include wind, solar and other alternative energy projects. The team was instructed to advise KKR and affiliates on the $7.2bn acquisition of Samson Investment Company, which owns 10,000 wells across the US. The practice also increased its Latin American work, acting for Chilean corporation Celulosa Arauco y Constitución in its $435m purchase of Flakeboard Company, an operator of seven wood production facilities in North America; and Colombian company Termotasajero regarding the $315m financing of a coal-fired power plant.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s environmental practice predominately acts on transactional matters as a part of the firm’s wider corporate activities, advising on the environmental risks, opportunities and liability aspects of mergers, asset sales, joint ventures, financings and offerings across the globe. The regulatory aspect of the practice focuses on developing compliance strategies and programs. In 2012, the team worked with Osaka Gas Ltd on its $250m acquisition of a 35% stake in Pearsall Shale’s operations from Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. The firm was instructed to complete an environmental health and safety compliance review of US Airways’ operations, and also advised on its air permit compliance issues at two facilities; and assisted with the ongoing negotiations for airport leases. The practice also attracted a significant instruction to advise First Solar on the environmental permitting and relevant project documentation regarding four solar sites in California and Arizona. This included some of the largest solar photovoltaic (550MW) and solar power financings in the world. Other clients include Kansas City Power & Light and AES Corporation. Washington DC-based Don Frost heads the practice, and is ably supported by counsel Elizabeth Malone.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLPreally knows this area of the law’ and ‘always comes up with excellent solutions to issues’. The environmental group’s focus is on major commercial transactions, primarily for clients in the telecoms and biotechnology industries. During 2012, it acted for Amgen Inc in the due diligence and contractual negotiations for its acquisition of KAI Pharmaceuticals. The firm also advised the Chinese state-owned China Three Gorges Corporation on a joint venture with Duke Energy pertaining to a 69MW wind farm project in Pennsylvania. Tasks included analysis of environmental issues affecting the project, as well as handling permitting and overall terms of agreement for the project. The firm also acted on deals for EverBank, Milacron LLC and United Rentals. Mark Rosenberg is ‘very strategic’ and ‘thinks outside the box to find creative and helpful solutions’. Matthew Brennan is also widely recommended.

Healthcare: health insurers

Index of tables

  1. Healthcare: health insurers
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

    • Michael Barnes - Dentons
    • Robert Belfort - Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
    • Steven Epstein - Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
    • Joel Michaels - McDermott Will & Emery LLP
    • Linda Tiano - Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.

Dentons advises insurers, MCOs and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) on the full range of issues including state licensure compliance, M&A and novation of Medicare prescription drugs contracts with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The firm has been assisting insurer clients in settling FCA cases brought by the Department of Justice against Medicare Part D plan sponsors, including that taken against client RxAmerica and its insurer, Accendo - the first such action taken by the government. Thomas Hutchinson and Bruce Fried are part of a team that is advising two leading health insurance trade associations on critical risk adjustment issues central to the financial performance of Medicare Advantage health plans. The group’s lawyers that have previous experience at the CMS (including Hutchinson and Fried) leave it well placed to handle Medicare issues.

Reflecting its reputation for handling work under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. is advising several insurer clients on Accountable Care Organization (ACO) strategy, including Universal American which was awarded nine of the first 27 Medicare shared savings plan ACOs. Co-founding partner Steven Epstein, who remains a respected figure in the evolution of managed care, is, along with Katherine Lofft, advising Capital BlueCross on multiple transactions aimed at creating new business lines. Linda Tiano, a former general counsel for Health Net and WellChoice/Empire Blue Cross-Blue Shield, joined the Washington DC office in January 2013.

Hogan Lovells LLP’s noted regulatory practice advises major insurer clients on a variety of issues, in particular Medicare/Medicaid matters. In litigation, a team from Washington DC is acting for a ‘Big Five’ insurer in a series of Sherman Act class actions; and for a managed care organization (MCO) in commercial arbitration related to its acquisition of a Medicaid managed care business. Among several mandates for UnitedHealth Group, the Denver office is currently advising the insurer on a qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit alleging violation of Medicare Advantage Plan marketing regulations; and on various international joint ventures in the healthcare IT and electronic health records (EHR) space. Miami-based Craig Smith, Denver-based Michael Theis, and Washington DC-based Melissa Bianchi are the key contacts.

Wendy Krasner, Robert Belfort and healthcare group head William Bernstein of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP are part of a large, cross-office team that is advising Aetna on its $7.3b acquisition of Coventry Healthcare. Krasner is also part of a team providing ongoing compliance advice to Humana, including on its organizational structure and staffing levels. Belfort is advising the not-for-profit Freelancers Union on its submission of applications for funding of a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) - which is a key insurance reform under the PPACA. Other insurer/managed care clients include Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina, Blue Shield of California, Health Net, and Health Plus.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s highlights in 2012 included advising Tenet Healthcare on its acquisition of Golden State Medicare in Orange County, California; Florida Blue Cross and Blue Shield on its acquisition of Diagnostic Clinical Medical Group; and Munich Re on its stock purchase acquisition of Windsor Health Group. In Washington DC, Joel Michaels is highly respected for his knowledge of provider/payor relationships; and, on the payor/managed care side, Los Angeles-based J Peter Rich is ‘very knowledgeable, innovative in thought and specific in delivery’.

Focused on high-stakes litigation for ‘Big Five’ clients, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s recent work includes successfully affirming dismissal of a declaratory judgement against key client Aetna at the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Derrick Antell et al v Aetna Inc et al. Richard Doren, who has handled all recent major work for Aetna, is leading a team representing the insurer in its antitrust suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, as well as defending it against two putative class actions. Doren also recently settled a lawsuit brought by a plan member against client Cigna regarding appropriate reimbursement levels and the medical necessity of cosmetic procedures.

Greenberg Traurig LLP provides an impressively wide range of expertise for insurer clients. A team from the firm’s Albany office advised Amerigroup on the regulatory aspects of its $85m purchase of Health Plus; and Francis Serbaroli is leading lawyers from Albany and New York in advising a major health insurer on the consolidation of its associated physician groups. In contentious work, a team from the Washington DC office, led by healthcare co-head Nancy Taylor, successfully reversed a CMS denial of client Senior Whole Health’s application for a service area expansion in New York state.

Morgan Lewis’ litigation group has been representing numerous health insurers, mainly in class actions. Among several recent mandates for client Health Net, the practice defended the insurer in several multimillion-dollar class actions brought by service providers in relation to claims-processing and recoupment issues; and in a lawsuit brought the City Attorney of San Francisco alleging underpayment for emergency services provided by the city’s hospitals. Other class action clients include Coventry Health Care, Blue Cross and Capital Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Reed Smith’s litigation team acts for insurer clients in consumer class actions, ERISA matters and government investigations. The firm has represented longstanding client Blue Cross of California in a wide variety of matters, and Los Angeles-based Kurt Peterson and Kenneth Smersfelt recently acted for licensee Anthem Blue Cross in an unfair competition class action regarding the closure of a healthcare plan. The team also represented WellPoint in its filing of an insurance coverage action in Indiana state court seeking a recovery for its $198m settlement of a major doctor-led nationwide class action from several professional liability insurers.

Covington & Burling LLP’s leading insurance policyholders group is acting for UnitedHealth in a series of substantial insurance coverage actions against managed care professional liability insurance policies in district courts in Minnesota and Massachusetts. David Goodwin and Anna Engh, based in San Francisco and Washington DC, respectively, are leading advice on these matters.

Washington DC-based Groom Law Group utilizes its noted labor law expertise to advise its health insurer clients. The firm advised one major insurer on the development of wellness programs - including compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The group has notable experience in niche health insurance fields such as captive insurance; and the use of debit cards for health expense reimbursement under the Dodd-Frank Act. Jon Breyfogle is ‘outstanding - always extremely responsive, and creative with work of the highest quality’.

Focusing on M&A rather than litigation, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s recent work includes advising a ‘Big Five’ insurer on the development of its physician network contracting agreements; and advising a major HMO on its national program of acquisitions. The team also represented Arcadian Management Services during its sale to Humana. Healthcare practice head Eric Klein has strong corporate experience on the insurer side.

Healthcare: life sciences

Index of tables

  1. Healthcare: life sciences
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

Covington & Burling LLP is ‘perhaps the best in the industry. Its lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the biopharmaceuticals industry, real technical expertise in the US and EU regulatory framework, and extensive involvement in legislative and regulatory developments’. In Washington DC, the firm’s ‘premier’ regulatory practice includes Richard Kingham, John Hurvitz, Peter Safir - ‘one of the best FDA regulatory lawyers’ - and Gerald Masoudi, the latter being an ex-FDA chief counsel. Recent work includes advising GlaxoSmithKline during a federal investigation into the sale and marketing of several blockbuster drugs, including asthma treatment Advair. The practice covers the full spectrum of issues - from product liability, pharmaceuticals-related insurance claims to patent litigation - and has a ‘solid’ transactional practice. Hurvitz, Edward Dixon and Catherine Dargan advised AstraZeneca on its $7bn strategic diabetes treatment alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb following the latter’s acquisition of Amylin. Group vice-chair Emily Leonard, who is based in Redwood Shores, is ‘an excellent deal lawyer’; John Hall is ‘an exceptional litigator’; and Matthew O’Connor and Geoffrey Hobart are ‘an exceptional government investigation team’. Ellen Flannery also attracts praise for her knowledge of FDA-related issues. All attorneys are based in Washington DC, unless noted otherwise. The firm is heavily involved in the burgeoning Chinese market, and opened a new office in Shanghai in January 2013. Currently advising the Chinese government on the drafting of its life sciences regulatory framework, it also advises companies on FCPA issues.

Hogan Lovells LLP’s deep regulatory bench has been active in both non-contentious advice and defense of government investigations. A team from the firm’s New York and Tokyo offices is representing Takeda in two pending Hatch-Waxman cases against generic companies Zydus Pharmaceuticals and Mylan Pharmaceuticals. In a strong year on the capital markets front, Baltimore-based team head Asher Rubin - ‘a fantastic lawyer’ - was part of a team which acted for Tesaro on its $81m initial public IPO and $58.5m follow-on issuance of series B preferred stock. Key lawyers in the firm’s substantial Washington DC regulatory team include Philip Katz; David Fox, a former FDA assistant chief counsel for enforcement; and former AstraZeneca senior director Christine Bloomquist, who joined in June 2012. The firm has life sciences capacity across the US with other teams concentrated in California, New York, Philadelphia and Colorado.

Ropes & Gray LLP has strong FDA, corporate, IP and international capabilities, and clients range from small, innovative start-ups to large-cap pharmaceuticals companies such as Genzyme and Pfizer. Among several big-ticket M&A highlights, group co-head Marc Rubenstein led a team which advised Biogen Idec on its $3.25bn acquisition of Elan’s interest in Tysabri, a multiple sclerosis treatment. A Boston-based team, including healthcare co-head Anne Ogilby and licensing specialist Susan Galli, acted as general counsel for genome sequencing body The Broad Institute - an affiliate of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - in its first public debt offering, an instruction reflecting the practice’s reputation for cutting-edge work in academic research. Recent mandates for Pfizer, which the firm advises as part of the Pfizer Legal Alliance, include regulatory advice on the development of a new electronic drug application with potential for allowing remote participation of patients in clinical trials using mobile and web-based technology. Rubinstein, who is also well known for his work in securities, and regulatory expert Gregory Levine co-chair from the firm’s Boston and Washington DC offices, respectively. Barbara Ruskin left the firm in May 2012 to set up in sole practice.

Sidley Austin LLP is, according to one client, ‘simply the best’ and, in FDA-related matters, ‘has few serious competitors’. Washington DC-based group co-head Paul Kalb is ‘an excellent FDA defense litigator’; Chicago-based fellow co-head Richard Raskin is ‘very good on antitrust’ issues; and Coleen Klasmeier, also based in the capital, is ‘a walking dictionary of FDA case law’. On the transactional side, David Zampa advised Medtronic on its strategic alliance with Chinese medical device company LifeTech Scientific Corporation; and San Francisco-based Sharon Flanagan and Chicago-based Jeffrey Rothstein advised Roche on its joint venture with Versant Ventures and Inception Sciences to create a hearing loss drug. Among several litigation matters, Klasmeier won a high-profile pro bono case - Beaty v FDA - against the FDA on behalf of ‘Death Row’ prisoners in Arizona, California and Tennessee regarding the importation and use of an unapproved lethal injection drug. Other lawyers include group co-heads Scott Bass and James Stansel; pricing and fraud and abuse specialist Meenakshi Datta; antitrust and patent expert John Treece; and New York-based regulatory partner Diane McEnroe. The group is also well known for its IP and product liability litigation practices.

Cooley LLP’s group, headed by highly regarded transactional lawyer Barbara Kosacz in Palo Alto, is ‘excellent in all categories’ and is particularly well known for its corporate and capital markets work. Licensing and partnership highlights included advising Regulus Therapeutic on its $512m deal with AstraZeneca; and FORMA Therapeutics on a $815m agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim for various oncology-related treatments. M&A deals included acting for NextWave during its high-profile $700m acquisition by Pfizer; and BASF on its $1bn acquisition of Becker Underwood. Boston-based Marc Recht is ‘very technically skilled in corporate matters and plays a strong quarterback role’. Capital markets mandates included advising Regulus, Rigel and Sequenom on their respective public offerings.

King & Spalding LLP is ‘among the top firms in its field’; and ‘has the depth and breadth of expertise to assist with issues ranging from medical device regulation, drug regulation, import, customs and other US government topics. Its service is above excellent’. Among regulatory highlights, group head Mark Brown and Edward Basile negotiated a favorable consent decree of permanent injunction with the FDA and DOJ on behalf of client Terumo Cardiovascular Systems. Basile and Gina Cavalier are ‘responsive, knowledgeable and practical’. Other recommended lawyers include Laurie Clarke; Pamela Forrest; and associate Elizabeth Crockett. Michael Petty was recruited from Amgen, where he was vice president of development and regulatory law, in July 2012. All lawyers mentioned above are based in Washington DC. Judy Mohr and her patent team joined McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s Silicon Valley office in August 2012.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘response times are immediate; it has deep life sciences industry knowledge and a very strong bench’. Recent M&A highlights included advising Medicis on its $2.6bn agreement with Valeant for the latter to acquire all of Medicis’ remaining stock. Group co-chairs Peter Handrinos - ‘one of the best life sciences lawyers in Boston’ - and Mark Roeder, based in Menlo Park, have both been very active on venture capital financings for clients such as Pearl Therapeutics and Nurix. The group’s impressive capital markets practice acted for Amgen on its $12bn multi-tranche notes offering; and advised Kythera on its high-profile IPO. The firm has substantial IP and regulatory practices, the latter headed by Washington DC-based John Manthei, who is ‘a class act and extremely capable of leading through tough situations and issues’. Highly respected group co-chair and emerging biotech specialist Alan Mendelson, also based in Silicon Valley, is ‘at the top of his profession’.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has an impressively broad-ranging practice which in 2012 bolstered its corporate offering by recruiting Chicago-based medical devices expert Kristian Werling, formerly chair of life sciences at McGuireWoods LLP; and licensing and collaboration specialist Richard Smith, who joined from Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. The group has strong capability in China, where practice chair Byron Kalogerou is advising a major pharmaceuticals company on its first significant acquisition in the country. The practice is very active in both IP and Hatch-Waxman litigations, and recent highlights include a victory for clients Seikagaku and Zimmer at federal court in a high-profile patent infringement suit brought by Genzyme. The firm also added Judy Mohr and her patent team from King & Spalding LLP to its Silicon Valley office in August 2012; and former Greenberg Traurig LLP securities and transactional lawyer Robert Cohen to its New York office in January 2013. Washington DC-based Glenn Engelmann, a former general counsel at AstraZeneca, is also recommended.

Morgan Lewis significantly strengthened its regulatory practice in Washington DC with the hire of five partners from K&L Gates’ FDA team in September 2012, including Gary Yingling, a former director of the Food and Drug Institute. The group’s wide-ranging capabilities include patent litigation, government enforcement defense and product liability cases. In an impressive year on the transactional side, highlights included advising H Lundbeck A/S on its commercialization agreement with Otsuka to develop five psychiatric drugs, worth a potential $2.1bn in milestone payments. Princeton-based Randall Sunberg and associate Benjamin Pensak, based in San Francisco, ‘work day and night to turn drafts and participate in negotiations’. Sunberg is ‘a licensing guru - the only one to use’. Jeffry Mann, based in San Francisco, is ‘an excellent IP lawyer - in particular dealing with transactional issues’; and Yingling and Ann Begley are ‘very well connected and have excellent knowledge of the pharmaceuticals market’’. Washington DC-based regulatory and antitrust expert Stephen Mahinka heads the group.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s big-ticket mandates included advising Pfizer on the $11.9bn divestiture of Pfizer Nutrition to Nestlé; and Valeant on its recent program of acquisitions, including the $345m purchase of Dermik. The firm has a deep regulatory bench complementing the firm’s strong corporate and litigation practices. Reflecting its full-service offering, the team recently represented Medtronic during a government investigation into alleged off-label promotion; a patent infringement defense; and the $487m sale of subsidiary Physio-Control sale to Bain Capital - advice on the transaction being led by John Bentivoglio and Jennifer Bragg. The group is key outside counsel for Pfizer, and represents the company in litigation matters - for example, Mark Cheffo recently led a team in successfully dismissing a qui tam action under the False Claims Act.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s respected group was bolstered by the merger with San Francisco firm Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin in January 2012. The firm also added Diane Bieri, a former general counsel at industry group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, to its regulatory team in Washington DC in October 2012. Among transactional matters, a team including the highly regarded Steve Parker acted for Asahei Kasei on its acquisition of Artisan Pharma. Parker and colleagues in McLean, Virginia, also acted in several licensing transactions, including a restructuring of the worldwide partnership for a bladder cancer diagnostic with Photocure ASA for client GE Healthcare. Matthew Wolf is a leading figure on the litigation side and the practice is notable for its patent prosecution and patent litigation capabilities, recently winning significant victories for Hologic and Boston Scientific. Daniel Kracov heads the regulatory team and David Marsh leads on the IP side.

Dechert LLP’s ‘response time is fast and industry knowledge very high - especially in relation to the negotiation of pharma licensing deals’. The team acted for Inhibitex during its £2.5bn sale to Bristol-Myers Squibb. In contentious work, Thomas Lee II defended GlaxoSmithKline in a high-profile government investigation into off-label promotion, which led to a $3bn settlement. In New York, corporate lawyers Jonathan Schur and Kristopher Brown are ‘highly skilled and committed’. The firm’s other capabilities include patent counseling and litigation, product liability and mass torts. George Gordon and David Schulman co-chair the practice from Philadelphia and Washington DC, respectively.

Dentons serves as lead regulatory counsel for Abbott Laboratories and K-V Pharmaceutical Company, assisting the latter with CMS-related matters and product liability litigation. Other clients on the contentious side include Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb, for the latter of which highly regarded trial lawyer Mike Moore obtained a complete defense jury verdict in an average wholesale price case against the state of Pennsylvania. Washington DC-based Gadi Weinreich and Dallas-based Peg Donohue Hall head the regulatory and litigation teams, respectively. Dallas-based Robert Hanson leads a significant contentious and strategic counseling IP practice. Growth stage venture and capital markets specialist Jeffrey Baumel co-heads the team and is based in Short Hills, New Jersey.

Goodwin Procter LLP’s ‘excellent’ team has developed a reputation for acting on innovative partnerships to develop new products - for example, its advice to Warp Drive Bio on its strategic partnership with Sanofi to develop drugs from microbial genomes. In M&A, group co-head Kingsley Taft advised Avila Therapeutics on its £350m acquisition by Celgene. Taft is ‘outstanding - highly knowledgeable and an excellent advisor’. With significant IP and regulatory capabilities, the firm also attracts praise for its labor practice where Jennifer Fay has ‘an excellent command of employment-related matters’ for life sciences clients. Capital markets and transactions lawyer Arthur McGivern is recommended, as is group co-chair Mitchell Bloom, who is known for his representation of emerging and public growth companies. All recommended attorneys are based in Boston.

Kaye Scholer LLP has longstanding client relationships with both Pfizer and Novartis and continues to act for both companies in areas including patent litigation, product liability and government investigations. In two major highlights, life sciences transactions group head Adam Golden acted for Sandoz during its £1bn acquisition of Fougera; and Daniel DiNapoli led a team that acted for Pfizer in successfully preserving market exclusivity for Viagra at District Court level after a challenge from Teva. Other clients include GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and several biotech companies, including Affymetrix and Sequenom, the latter of which the firm has represented in a series of patent disputes involving DNA research technology. Washington DC-based William Hoffman and New York-based Andres Liivak co-chair the group.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. has a long history in the life sciences market with a strong focus on emerging Massachusetts and California-based biotech companies. In a major recent highlight, group co-chair William Whelan, Scott Samuels and IP practice co-chair Ivor Elrifi advised Boston Biomedical on its $2.63bn agreement to be acquired by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma. As well as IP, corporate and regulatory capabilities, the firm is also known for its capital markets work, where clients have included GI Dynamics, ImmunoGen and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals.

Reed Smith LLP complements its sizeable regulatory bench with significant transactional, IP and international capabilities. Los Angeles-based emerging biotech specialist Michael Sanders is part of a team advising Domain Associates on its partnership with Rusnano intended to spur modernization of the Russian health care market. Princeton-based Diane Frenier is advising Dr Reddy’s Labs on its partnership with Merck Serono to co-develop a portfolio of biosimilar compounds for oncology applications. On the regulatory side, the team convinced the FDA to rescind a seven-year orphan drug exclusivity award for client CSL-Behring. Highly respected group head Carol Loepere is based in Washington DC.

Boston mainstay WilmerHale’s life sciences group ‘brings a great deal of experience to any situation and has ready access to additional expertise/resources to help solve any problem’. Representative highlights included advising Thermo Fisher Scientific on its $1.3bn offering of senior notes; and Constellation Pharmaceuticals on its option and collaboration agreement with development of compounds directed at cancer targets. Steven Singer, who co-chairs with the highly regarded David Redlick, is ‘absolutely outstanding - on general corporate matters, strategy and all other areas’; Jeffrey Hermanson is ‘excellent in his area of expertise (M&A)’; and Belinda Juran is ‘outstanding in licensing and a fantastic collaborator.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is best known for its life sciences work on the West Coast, particularly from its Palo Alto headquarters. The firm represents clients at all stages of development, from entrepreneurial start-ups to established pharmaceuticals companies, as well as venture capital and private equity clients. Key partners include highly regarded emerging technology expert Casey McGlynn; James Heslin, who is known for his IP strategy advice to medical device companies; and, in Washington DC, antitrust lawyer Seth Silber, formerly of the Federal Trade Commission.

Alston & Bird LLP’s life sciences group is highly regarded by peers and advises clients in the corporate and IP spheres, as well as having a significant Washington DC-based FDA capability. Experience on the regulatory side includes representing a start-up orthopedic devices manufacturer in obtaining pre-market clearance for a fixation device; and a drug company in its petition to the FDA to expand the scope of an over-the-counter monograph. In patent litigation representative experience includes acting for the patentee in a patent infringement case involving a vaccine to prevent the most significant disease affecting the US swine industry. W Murray Spruill and Michelle Williams head the group from the Raleigh and Atlanta offices, respectively.

One-office, Boston-based Choate, Hall & Stewart represents clients from across the US with a strong emphasis on start-ups. Specializing in smaller scale M&A and investments, recent corporate highlights include advising IZI Medical on its $93m sale to Landauer. IP litigator and portfolio strategist Brenda Jarrell, licensing specialist William Asher and Gerald Quirk, ex-general counsel at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, co-chair the practice. The group’s life sciences-focused government enforcement division represents several large-cap pharmaceuticals companies, including Merck, which it defended in a seven-year investigation relating to the sale of the drug Vioxx. Patent litigator Eric Marandett is highly regarded by peers. The firm is currently advising Momenta Pharmaceuticals on its patent infringement actions against Amphastar and Teva in cases with potential implications for the biosimilars market.

Foley & Lardner LLP’s ‘excellent’ group has attorneys ‘with a broad range of expertise’ with healthcare capacity in Boston, Washington DC, Florida and California. Group co-chairs Gabor Garai and David Rosen led advice to EKR Therapeutics on its $125m acquisition by Cornerstone Therapeutics with additional milestone payments dependent on regulatory approval of a new drug and sales targets. In IP, highlights included successfully representing Keygene as plaintiff in its patent infringement suit against Floragenex related to sequence-based genotyping technology. In August 2012, the firm hired former Deloitte & Touche life sciences valuation manager Anjan Chatterji to advise clients on monetization opportunities in the sector. Co-chair and private equity/venture capital specialist Richard Kaufman has ‘huge experience and knowledge’. Antoinette Konski heads the IP team.

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP has life sciences expertise in Washington DC, Houston and New York, and focuses on litigation, transactional and strategic IP work. With international capacity, Houston-based IP lawyer Thomas Paul is assisting a client with a complex licensing transaction in China, in conjunction with the firm’s Munich office. Frederick Robinson, who co-heads the group with Mara Rogers, is acting for Boston Scientific in a qui tam action in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas under the FCA, alleging off-label promotion of medical devices. Robinson and Rogers are based in Washington DC and New York, respectively.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s life sciences practice is mainly based in California with growing capability in its New York and Washington DC offices. Corporate work and IP remain the cornerstones of the practice along with a respected product liability team. A team advised DaVita on its £4.4bn acquisition of HealthCare Partners, and Palo Alto-based venture financing specialist Stephen Thau continues to represent Astellas Venture Management in its biotech investments. Rachel Krevans, chair of the IP litigation practice, led the successful defense of Bayer Healthcare against claims by Abbott Laboratories in a long-running patent infringement case. The team also provides strategic patent counseling and prosecution advice to Genentech and Novartis. San Francisco-based Michael Jacobs heads the group, which recruited licensing and collaboration expert Van Ellis from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to join its Washington DC office in February 2012.

Nixon Peabody LLP has resources on both coasts and an impressively deep regulatory bench in its New York, Boston and Washington DC offices. The group has been representing high-profile clients in various regulatory and litigious matters, including the defense of government investigations and putative class actions. Los Angeles-based Seth Levy, who was a lateral hire from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in May 2012, is advising Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on the prosecution of a complex patent portfolio relating to therapeutics and diagnostics for various gastrointestinal disorders. Washington DC-based Areta Kupchyk is a key contact on the regulatory side, as are Boston-based Brian French and Mark Seltzer on the government investigation side. Susan Robfogel chairs the practice.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s practice is based in Silicon Valley and has a reputation for handling groundbreaking, industry-changing matters. It is prominent in the Chinese market, and M&A group head Paul Scrivano led the firm in acting for China Kanghui Holdings during its $816m sale to Medtronic; and BGI-Shenzhen on its entry into the US genome sequencing market via a $117m merger with Complete Genomics. Prevalent in capital markets, highlights included advising Nektar Therapeutics on its $125m senior secured notes offering, advice being led by highly respected group co-head Sam Zucker. Recent matters in litigation included achieving victory for Allergan in the high-profile Botox-related case Allergan, Inc v Merz Pharmaceuticals, LLC. Stanton Lovenworth, former chair of life sciences and head of IP transactions at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, joined the New York office as counsel in April 2012.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s group draws on its IP, transactional, financing and litigation teams to assist clients such as Celgene and NCM, and is rated as ‘10 out of 10’. Department head Daryn Grossman and Robert Cantone have been advising Celgene on a variety of matters including a worldwide collaboration with VentiRx Pharmaceuticals to develop VTX-2337, a cancer treatment; and a series B-2 preferred stock purchase agreement with Acetylon Pharmaceuticals. The firm’s antitrust practice is ‘knowledgeable, sensitive to the business issues, highly responsive and eminently practical’. It includes Helene Jaffe, who was recruited from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where she co-headed the antitrust practice.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLPsupports all pharma legal needs and has a very high level of expertise’. In recent work, the firm advised Tracon Pharmaceuticals on its milestone-based series A preferred stock financing. Group co-chair and regulatory head Peter Reichertz was part of a large team which advised One Lambda on its $925m sale to Thermo Fisher Scientific; and Paul Garrity defended Perrigo Company in its ANDA litigation against Alcon in relation to the PATANASE nasal spray. Reichertz ‘understands the pharmaceuticals industry - especially on regulatory, contractual and trade mark issues’. Garritty is ‘an outstanding attorney’; and Washington DC-based co-chair Don Pelto is ‘an expert in IP - very smart and just excellent’. Transactional IP specialist Blaine Templeman and corporate lawyer Kirt Shuldberg co-chair the practice from New York and San Diego, respectively.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s recent highlights include representing Eli Lilly during its acquisition of ChemGen; and Medicis in its $2.6bn sale to Valeant. The firm successfully represented Sanofi-Aventis against Warner Chilcott after the latter’s attempt to end a collaboration agreement in arbitral proceedings. The group added former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP transactional lawyers Richard Climan, Jane Ross and Keith Flaum to its Silicon Valley office. Ross is ‘completely excellent with complete mastery of her subject matter - her diligence and self-discipline are astounding’. Climan is also recommended, as are M&A lawyers Michael Aiello and Jaclyn Cohen; litigator Richard Rothman; and Washington DC-based regulatory fraud expert Steven Tyrrell. Elizabeth Weiswasser, who advises clients on IP strategy as well as contentious matters, and corporate lawyer Matthew Gilroy are also key contacts in New York.

White & Case LLP focuses on corporate, contentious IP and antitrust matters for clients such as Pfizer and Novartis. Among recent highlights, Robert Milne was part of a team which successfully defended a major pharmaceuticals company in high-profile litigation relating to its release of a generic enoxaparin product, which is the most widely sold drug in US hospitals. The firm’s patent litigation practice - about which one client comments ‘the overall level of service could not be higher, it is the best’ - is well known for Hatch-Waxman-related work, where Jeffrey Oelke and head of IP Dimitrios Drivas are key figures.

Healthcare: service providers

Index of tables

  1. Healthcare: service providers
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s lawyers ‘demonstrate excellent expertise in all areas, depth of knowledge, and an ability to apply that knowledge effectively’. The firm’s ‘flagship’ healthcare practice is heavily involved in reform under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) with both Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and health exchanges. Chicago-based Bernadette Broccolo continues to be well known for her advice to provider networks on responding to reform, and health information network development, and is currently advising Allina Health System on its ACO strategy. The firm’s deep regulatory bench complements its corporate healthcare expertise. Recent work includes assisting Steward Health System on its acquisition of New England Sinai hospital; and Vanguard Health Systems on two affiliation projects in Arizona and Massachusetts, respectively. Miami-based Stark Law and compliance expert Gary Davis is ‘an exemplary lawyer with great understanding of the healthcare business - able to help structure the most complicated deals’. Daniel Gottlieb, who specializes in Medicare fraud and abuse, ‘has a good personal touch, is very thoughtful and provides good, practical, usable advice’. According to one client, Michael Peregrine’s ‘unique strengths include attention to the numerous priorities of his general counsel clients, and his capabilities as an advisor to general counsel and governing boards on governance’. Private equity lawyers Ryan Harris and Andrew McCune also attract praise for healthcare-related work. Gottlieb, Peregrine, Harris and McCune are all based in Chicago, as is highly regarded transactional and regulatory lawyer Kerrin Slattery. The practice is also notable for having an international healthcare presence in Germany and Turkey, the latter through an association with Istanbul-based Fora & Sanli begun in 2012. Boston-based Stephen Bernstein heads the group.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. is ‘uniquely expert in the field’ and its ‘overall level of service unmatched in the healthcare sector’. With a deep bench of around 135 healthcare lawyers, the group is renowned for regulatory work, and its historic role in the development of US healthcare legislation. It represents the full spectrum of service provider clients from hospital systems to long-term care providers, as well as assisting venture capital firms on their investments into the healthcare sector. Douglas Hastings, who led advice to The George Washington University Medical Faculty on its strategic affiliation with Adventist HealthCare, is ‘truly in a class of his own on corporate structure, demonstration projects and payment reforms’. David Matyas - ‘terrific in regulatory matters’ - is defending two provider clients against government investigations, one of which concerns billing under the False Claims Act. Founding partner Jeffrey Becker - ‘an established leader in the field of New York health care law’ - assists Mount Sinai Medical Center as part of an overall client relationship including joint ventures, affiliation issues and ACO development - an area in which the firm is well placed to advise provider clients. Katherine Lofft is ‘terrific at overall corporate governance and strategic initiatives’; and New York-based Jay Gerzog is ‘top of his field in not-for-profit governance’. Apart from Gerzog all the lawyers named above are based in Washington DC, but the firm also has healthcare teams in its ten other offices, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.

Hogan Lovells LLP’s full-service practice provides national coverage and includes a renowned regulatory team. The firm serves as outside counsel to the American Hospital Association with recent work including filing Amicus briefs regarding the PPACA on its behalf in the Supreme Court; and analyzing the prospects for a potential challenge to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy requiring direct physician supervision of hospital outpatient therapeutic services. Clifford Stromberg and Torrey McClary were part of a team that represented the University of Colorado Hospital Authority in its merger with Poudre Valley Health Care to create the $2.5bn University of Colorado Health system. The group is involved in significant transactional and regulatory work for Texas and Florida-based clients and includes a practice group dedicated to long-term care providers - particularly those based in New York state. Isabel Dunst head the group which includes regulatory lawyers Sheree Kanner and Stuart Langbein; highly regarded Stark Law and anti-kickback expert Thomas Bulleit; and antitrust specialist Robert Liebenluft.

King & Spalding LLP’s national practice serves the full spectrum of providers including practitioners and investors. The group is divided into separate units including those for government investigation defense; services and payments; healthcare technology; and transactions. Highly respected Washington DC healthcare head Dennis Barry led the team which won a $1.4bn Medicare reimbursement settlement for 700 hospital clients in Cape Cod Hospital v Sebelius at the US Court of Appeals. Barry also led a team that represented the American Hospital Association in its successful application to the CMS to reverse a denial of incentive payments to more than 1,300 critical access hospitals which had acquired Electronic Health Records (EHR) hardware and software through capital leases. In transactional work, Atlanta-based Paul Quiros and John Harris were part of a team which advised St Joseph’s Health System on its $250m joint venture with Emory Healthcare to operate two hospitals in metropolitan Atlanta. Other key figures include Richard Shackleford and group chair Glenn Reed, both based in Atlanta, as well as Gary Eiland, who is head of the Texas healthcare group.

Ropes & Gray LLP advises on the full range of issues and is known for its representation of academic medical centers, large health systems and community hospitals. The practice has handled high volumes of recent work for client North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System in regulatory and transactional matters, including the successful denial of a petition by a whistleblower in a qui tam action previously settled by the firm. The firm is primary outside counsel to Partners Healthcare System, which it has recently been advising on an ongoing review by the Department of Health and Human Services in relation to a previous security audit under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). San Francisco-based John Chesley has been advising Californian client Daughters of Charity Health System on its implementation of an EHR system, including licensing and technology service agreements. Other major clients include Young Adult Institute and Stanford University School of Medicine - recent work for the latter has included advising on collaborations with medical devices companies. The practice is co-headed by New York-based Stephen Warnke and Boston-based Anne Ogilby, who are highly regarded for their regulatory and corporate expertise, respectively. Boston-based Nancy Forbes, a former director of both the American Academy of Healthcare Attorneys and the American Health Lawyers Association, is highly respected.

Dentons serves as outside counsel to HCA Healthcare and routinely assists MedStar Health with issues such as FCA claims, Stark Law and internal investigations. The practice is well known for its representation of academic medical centers, and group head Gadi Weinreich leads a team, which also includes Holley Lutz and Charles Luband, which advises all of the State University of New York’s teaching hospitals on regulatory matters. The group includes several lawyers with government experience including Bruce Fried and Thomas Hutchinson, both based in Washington DC, who both previously held senior positions at the CMS. The group assists clients on ACO and health exchange reform and has a substantial practice advising hospitals and systems on privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP’s Texas-focused practice also has healthcare capability in St Louis, Los Angeles and Minneapolis as well as a strong regulatory team in Washington DC. Austin-based practice co-head Jerry Bell represented Baptist St Anthony’s Health System during its sale to Ardent Health Services. A team from Dallas is advising Seton Healthcare on the formation of its ACO with Austin Regional Clinic, one of the first ACO projects in Texas, and the St Louis office is also acting on several ACO developments. The practice is highly active on the litigation and government investigations front, and recent work includes acting for plaintiff Tenet in its multi-party false claim suit against Humana, as part of which it successfully defeated a $78m counterclaim. Houston-based Robert Swift co-heads the practice with Bell.

One of the few firms focused on the representation of service provider clients, Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC expanded its traditional California coverage with the opening of a Washington DC office in 2010. The firm’s 60-plus lawyers are divided into separate units for areas including compliance, transactions, litigation, and healthcare reform. The firm has been active in Medicaid rate cases being argued at the Supreme Court, and successfully enjoined the state of California from implementing a 10% rate cut to adult day health centers at the Ninth Circuit. Transactional work has included advising a provider client on its acquisition of a multi-facility imaging center business located in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Key contacts include founding partners Patric Hooper and Lloyd Bookman; and managing partner Robert Lundy, all of whom are based in Los Angeles.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘excellent’ healthcare group represents providers across the full spectrum of issues nationwide. Particularly well known for its transactional work, representative highlights included advising Univita Health on its acquisition of home-based care provider All-Med Services; and DaVita on regulatory and structuring aspects of its $4.4bn acquisition of HealthCare Partners. A team comprising Katherine Lauer, Roger Goldman, Daniel Meron and Alice Fisher is representing multiple hospital defendants in an investigation by the Department of Justice regarding reimbursement for defibrillator devices. Lauer, who is based in San Diego and is recommended for her DoJ work, is also acting for TridentUSA Health in an unsealed FCA qui tam matter alleging kickbacks through pricing discounts in California. Washington DC-based Fisher and Los Angeles-based Daniel Settelmayer are also recommended for SEC investigations. Washington DC-based Stuart Kurlander attracts praise for his regulatory expertise. Paul DeMuro joined Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt as special counsel in October 2012.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP’s ‘excellent’ group has a reputation for acting on innovative, complex provider partnerships and for cutting edge work under the PPACA. The firm continues to advise nine states on implementation of reform, particularly with regard to health benefit exchanges and Medicaid requirements. A team from three of the firm’s Californian offices advised Dignity Health on its organizational restructuring to a mixed Catholic/secular system, having previously been known as Catholic Healthcare West. Group head William Bernstein, Deborah Bachrach, Patricia Boozang and Joel Ario, all based in New York, attract praise from one client as ‘extraordinarily well informed, providing counsel that is clear and actionable’. Ario and Boozang are managing directors of Manatt Health Solutions, a cross-practice unit intended to advise clients on issues such as reform implementation, healthcare IT and government relations.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.’s experience includes advising Amicas on its $215m sale to Merge Healthcare and acting on several transactions with a high-tech IT element, such as advising an online care provider on issues including consumer health portals and e-prescribing vendors. The group also defends clients against FCA and Stark Law enforcement as well as advising on Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement.

Ober Kaler attracts significant praise from peers for its regulatory expertise with its healthcare experts based in Baltimore and Washington DC. The group contains significant antitrust capability, with William Berlin being part of a team which defended Renown Health in an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and the Nevada Attorney General into its acquisition of two cardiology groups in Reno. The firm has two separate practice groups dedicated to ACO reform and the Electronic Health Records Incentive Program, respectively, as well as its own Healthcare General Counsel Institute to advise in-house legal departments. Sanford Teplitzky is a national authority on regulatory issues, especially whistleblower actions and Stark Law.

Polsinelli Shughart continued its program of expansion with the recruitment of a seven-lawyer team from Bryan Cave LLP in May 2012, including regulatory specialists Jane Arnold and Donna Ruzicka. The firm’s sizeable national practice has especially strong healthcare coverage in the Midwest and covers the full gamut of service provider issues. Matthew Murer chairs the group from the firm’s Chicago office.

According to one client, Proskauer Rose LLP is ‘an extraordinary firm that prides itself on good customer service’. The firm handles transactional, litigation and private equity matters, and also has a respected regulatory practice. A team including group head Richard Zall recently advised Ascension Health Care Network on its proposed acquisition of several New Jersey hospitals. Washington DC-based Malcolm Harkins III and James Segrovesgo above and beyond the call, are extremely knowledgeable and very customer focused’. New York-based Zall ‘has a great deal of integrity, knows healthcare law extremely well and is very easy to work with’. The group also includes Monte Dube and Edward Kornreich, who are highly respected transactional and regulatory experts, respectively.

Reed Smith LLP’s sizeable regulatory team has been heavily involved in FCA litigation, and recently settled a long-running qui tam action against client Voyager HospiceCare. A team led by vice-chair Scot Hasselman acts as national counsel for Life Care Centers of America on FCA litigation concerning therapy practices at more than 200 skilled nursing facilities. Transactional highlights included representing MedCath during the $200m sale of its MedCath Partners’ subsidiary and eight hospitals, all of which are physician joint ventures. Carol Loepere chairs the group. Both Loepere and Hasselman are based in Washington DC.

Arent Fox LLPdemonstrates clear, thorough knowledge of the law related to Medicare rules, procedures and guidelines’, representing healthcare clients from its three offices in Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles. Clients include Community Memorial Health System and The Family Care Group - and the New York office enjoys a strong reputation in the long-term care and home care space. The team is acting for Fresenius Medical Care in several regulatory matters including FCA litigation and a major government investigation. Practice head Lowell Brown and associate Brian Schneider, who are both based in Washington DC, attract praise for ‘taking the time (without wasting it) to educate the client’.

DLA Piper has a notably large regulatory bench and assists a wide range of service providers on transactional and contentious matters. Miami-based group co-chair Joshua Kaye led a mixed US and UK team that advised Synergy Health on its tender offer and merger of SRI/Surgical Express. Kaye is also defending State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and Florida Department of Health in a pending class action lawsuit and in a DOJ investigation involving Medicare claims. Kaye is ‘not a good lawyer, he is a great lawyer - with a superb team’. Of counsel Adam Rogers, also based in Miami, is recommended ‘for regulatory, compliance and some transactional work’; as is Dallas-based Frank Sheeder for ‘compliance program design and implementation’.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP has a strong presence in the Pacific North West and notable expertise in niche areas such as ‘walk-in’ retail health clinics and mobile healthcare payment applications. The group has been heavily involved in reform under the PPACA with recent examples including: acting for Tri-County Medicaid Collaborative in its coordinated care model; and advising Hawaii Pacific Health on the development of its ACO model - the first in the state. Richard Ellingsen chairs the team from Los Angeles.

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s respected practice advises a range of service providers on issues such as antitrust, strategic transactions and health information technology. Representative experience includes advising a community-based hospital on its merger with a Chicago health system; and acting as long-term outside general counsel for a pediatric medical center. The group includes a separate unit, Innovative Health Solutions, to advise on outsourcing and procurement strategies. Chicago-based Douglas Swill chairs the healthcare group. Jennifer Breuer, also based in Chicago, is a regulatory expert.

Foley & Lardner LLP’s practice, chaired by Boston-based Lawrence Vernaglia, has a strong focus advising service providers in major transactions. The team represented Trinity Health on its acquisition of academic medical center Loyola University Health System; and highly regarded Michael Blau, known for his work in health-related venture capital and healthcare IT, is advising on the formation of Lifespan Physician Group, a hospital and physician enterprise to employ both academic and community-based physicians. The group also has a strong practice advising clients on CMS overpayment matters.

Nixon Peabody LLP’s mainly New York practice advises providers such as Providence Health System on regulatory and transactional matters. The firm has an impressive track record in healthcare reform having advised three of the first systems to have been granted ACO status by the CMS, and continues to advise one New Jersey client on physician integration and alignment initiatives under the PPACA. Michele Masucci heads the group and James Fabian is a key contact on the regulatory side.

Focusing on large-scale M&A, Paul Hastings LLP has benefited from the recent surge in consolidation in the service provider space. Los Angeles-based practice chair James Owens has recently handled deals for Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Cedars-Sinai Medical Care Foundation and MemorialCare Medical Foundation, including advising MemorialCare on its $1.1bn affiliation with Greater Newport Physicians Medical Group. The firm added Phillip Street and of counsel Craig Smith to its Atlanta office in April 2012, both joining from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, where Street had chaired the healthcare department. The group also has regulatory and litigation capabilities.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP is known for its employment and labor law work for service provider clients and has impressive experience on corporate and transactional matters, Chicago-based Neal Goldstein is ‘phenomenal and all members of his team excellent’ according to one M&A client. Chicago-based co-chair Joan Casciari is ‘viewed by peers as a subject expert on the Family and Medical Leave Act’. Fellow co-chair Deborah Gordon, also based in Chicago, is also recommended along with Jeffrey Berman in Los Angeles, and of counsel Sheri Dacso in Houston.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s group head Eric Klein - who is ‘extremely well versed in healthcare law, and an excellent strategist’ - was part of the team that was lead counsel to DaVita on its $4.2bn acquisition of HealthCare Partners; and advised Facey Medical Foundation on its affiliation with Providence Health & Services. This California-based practice also has a robust regulatory practice, with Ken Yood being a key contact in Los Angeles and the firm’s Washington DC office having expertise in compliance. The group has a substantial niche on the healthcare IT and healthcare exchange side, and Klein recently represented Motion Picture & Television Fund, an integrated healthcare delivery system for the entertainment industry, on its EHR contracting project.

Insurance: advice to insurers

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: advice to insurers
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP shows ‘strong business acumen’ as well as ‘unmatched capabilities and speed’, and the practice handles high-exposure insurance and reinsurance disputes. Clients such as AIG/Chartis, CNA and AXA retain the group, and use it particularly ‘for consumer-oriented matters’. The team, led by the renowned Mary Kay Vyskocil and Barry Ostrager, is strong across the board and shows ‘strategic mindset, advocacy skills and industry knowledge’. Ostrager and Andrew Frankel recently acted in a case to release Travelers from $500m in asbestos-related settlements in the historic bankruptcy of Johns Manville. The group also successfully represented Washington International Insurance Company, a Swiss Re affiliate, and won the dismissal of a $732m class action brought by domestic food producers over allegedly negligent anti-dumping duty surety bonds. With their ‘unique pragmatic, commercial approach’ Mary Beth Forshaw and Bryce Friedman are currently defending various Berkshire affiliates against multiple actions demanding asbestos-related insurance coverage. Michael Garvey and Andrew Amer are also highly recommended. Deborah Stein was promoted to the partnership.

Dentons is ‘a full-service firm that provides an extraordinary range of services at a fair price and always in a high-quality fashion’. Its global insurance sector consists of ‘extremely responsive’ and ‘very engaged’ lawyers who perform as ‘seamless extensions of clients’ teams’. The firm is first point of contact for insurers such as Allstate, United Healthcare, Arrowpoint and Genworth, and Travelers is an increasingly important client, for which the group is handling numerous asbestos, toxic tort, and environmental coverage cases. One ongoing matter is an appeal related to environmental coverage claims arising from Homestake’s New Mexico lead mine, while another involved a class action over medical reimbursements. Practice co-head and ‘go-to attorney’ Michael Barr in New York maintains ‘high energy levels’ and provides ‘exemplary strategic and tactical leadership’. Reid Ashinoff and Alan Gilbert are excellent litigators. Additionally, Donna Vobornik, Keith Moskowitz and Robert Johnson are recommended in Chicago, as is Ronald Kent in Los Angeles.

Consistently excellent’, Duane Morris LLP provides business support and litigation services and handles professional and general liability claims. The practice is particularly strong in California, where it fields the highly respected Philip Matthews, Andrew Gordon and Richard Seabolt, as well as ‘exceptional advocate’ Max Stern, who ‘demonstrates intuitive business acumen that consistently yields positive results’. In New York, senior counsel Thomas Newman is notable for his extensive experience in reinsurance arbitration and appellate work. The firm recruited several partners from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP to add regulatory and corporate components to the existing practice - these arrivals included Alice Kane, who held general counsel positions at two Fortune 100 insurers, and transactional and life insurance expert Hugh McCormick. The team represented Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, in a $1bn liability insurance dispute over a policy buyback agreement with BP. It is handling a bad faith claim in connection with a workers compensation case for Republic Indemnity and a breach of contract and insurance contribution suit for Greenwich Insurance. It is also counsel to American Centennial in its settlement with the Thorpe Insulation bankruptcy involving $2bn asbestos liability coverage claims.

O'Melveny & Myers LLPplays at the top of the insurance legal game’ and its insurance and reinsurance team is ‘results-oriented, expense conscious; comprehensive and thorough’. It can handle any complex litigation matter, and asbestos and environmental claims. Bankruptcy cases remain areas of strength. Practice chair Richard Goetz is ‘very pragmatic’ and ‘takes a realistic approach to litigating and settling cases’. Tancred Schiavoni is ‘an accomplished litigator and well versed in insurance knowledge, which makes for a powerful combination’. He has significant experience in bankruptcy courts. Together with ‘good tactician, litigator and strategistGary Svirsky, Schiavoni won a victory for Resolute Management in a hotly litigated bankruptcy mass tort after a landmark decision on the doctrine of equitable mootness and insurer standing. The group also won summary judgement for Century Indemnity in an asbestos-related case and is representing the company in ongoing coverage disputes with Montrose Chemical. Work continues for longstanding client ACE, one of its largest clients worldwide, and new client Cigna.

Clients consult Sidley Austin LLP because it has ‘the smarts and the resources to do it right, whether the goal is settlement or trial, no matter the jurisdiction’. Its historic strength in reinsurance matters, class action claims and white-collar criminal defense is broadening with increasing work in high-value direct coverage, P&C and bankruptcy. The group consists of ‘critical and creative thinkers’, who provide ‘fantastic spot-on advice’ and are true ‘trial lawyers rather than “paper litigators"’. The practice is particularly strong in Chicago. Daniel Neppl is ‘finely tuned to detail’, ‘technically adept’ and has ‘invaluable organizational skills’. The highly regarded Thomas Cunninghamconsistently brings the desired result’, and William Sneed is also recommended. ‘Exceptionally capable’ co-chair Susan Stonecuts through issues very quickly’ and is ‘great on her feet in court’. She recently represented Chartis/AIG in a case involving workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Another highlight was the successful defense of an ERISA class action against American United. Work continues for key clients Hartford and Liberty Mutual, longstanding clients Aon and CNA, and also Trustmark. Ronie Schmelz left the firm to join Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s ‘top-notch’ insurance and reinsurance practice handles significant-exposure cases and complex litigation in a ‘cost-efficient’ manner. Its core expertise lies in coverage disputes relating to hazardous products and environmental disasters, but it is increasingly acting in matters arising from the financial crisis. Partners are ‘highly sophisticated yet always perform in a practical and personable way’ and there is ‘excellent synergy among the team’. Matthew Gaul in New York is recommended, and, in Washington DC, Roger Warin is highly regarded and Frank Winston is ‘an iron fist in a velvet glove’. Practice head Harry Lee has ‘unmatched knowledge of insurance coverage in multiple jurisdictions’ and ‘no detail escapes his notice’. He continues to represent The United States Fidelity & Guaranty (now Travelers) in a $80m-plus fraud action against insurers on behalf of over 10,000 asbestos claimants, a case with a ten-year history. James Rocap is also handling a matter with potentially great ramifications - namely, the defense of The Hartford and New England Reinsurance Corporation in concussion-related mass tort suits filed against insurers by former NFL players.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP’s stable, homegrown practice has ‘very good strength in depth’, ‘excellent response times’ and ‘gives reasonable value for money, given the quality of the work produced’. It covers ‘the business of insurers and insurance’, from regulatory and advisory work to litigation and arbitration. Clients engage the firm for high-end matters, in particular for their expertise in the Bermuda form. Thorn Rosenthal is a recognized Bermuda expert with ‘excellent instincts and experience’. Edward Krugman represented AIG and Chartis in two actions against the former managing general agent (MGA) of their assigned risk automobile insurance business as well as in the bankruptcy proceedings of the former MGA. He also acted as special appellate counsel for GLOBAL Re in a facultative reinsurance case and handles ongoing matters for various Chartis companies involving claims under high-limit pollution legal liability and similar policies. Other clients include XL Capital, ACE and OCIL.

Chaffetz Lindsey LLP is an ‘excellent value’ and ‘very high quality’ New York boutique with ‘good depth for a small firm’. Its intimate team is ‘very responsive and thoughtful’, has ‘good industry knowledge’ and ‘excellent litigation judgement’. The practice largely focuses on reinsurance disputes, but is also involved in occasional high-profile direct coverage matters. Cecilia Moss is currently representing Aioi in litigation concerning reinsurance contracts covering losses related to the 9/11 attacks. ‘Hands-on, smart and creative’ practice head Peter Chaffetz and Moss also successfully represented Lexington Insurance Company, an AIG subsidiary, in a dispute with its reinsurer Clearwater. The ‘very analytical’ Charles Scibetta handled a matter for ICSOP, also an AIG company, in which two of its reinsurers refused to pay their share of coverage for a large asbestos settlement. Other active clients include Zurich, CNA and Travelers.

Boston-based Choate, Hall & Stewart’s insurance and reinsurance group gives ‘sound legal advice’, is ‘very capable of trying cases’ and ‘works collaboratively’. It ‘understands clients’ goals and objectives’, is ‘time and cost sensitive’, and handles matters across the country. Clients think highly of Mark Cahill, Peter Moores and ‘terrific trial lawyer’ Hugh Scott. Additionally, co-managing partner John Nadas and practice co-chair David Attisani, who is well regarded in the field of reinsurance, are ‘both very bright and capable’. The latter is representing Travelers, as Modern Continental’s surety, in high-profile litigation regarding the fatal ceiling collapse of the ‘Big Dig’ tunnel in Boston. Robert Kole successfully settled one of the first significant disputes in the US concerning the application of a catastrophe bond on behalf of American Family. Other active matters include the representation of Liberty Mutual in Chinese drywall litigation; and Progressive in a class action alleging unfair sales practices of automobile insurance policies. Swiss Re, TransRe and Armour Re are also key clients.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s insurance and reinsurance litigation practice focuses on the healthcare sector, with particular expertise in class actions, multi-jurisdictional matters and bad faith claims. While the group is spread across the country, including Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles, the practice is strongest in California. Los Angeles-based Kirk Patrick is currently representing Aetna Health of California in two reimbursement disputes with medical providers. Richard Doren is counsel for Aetna in various matters, including a mass action brought by the California Medical Association, in which more than 50 physicians and one patient are making claims against doctors who refer patients for out-of-network care. He is also representing AIG in connection with former defense contractor employees who are suing insurance companies and their former employers for $2bn in damages for improperly delayed or denied workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatments. Other clients include CIGNA, Zurich and Gemini Insurance.

Cozen O'Connor has grown from its origin as an arson and fraud trial firm into a full service international law firm. Its ‘excellent value for money’ global insurance group shows good geographical depth with offices across the country, the largest situated in Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago and Texas. While it saw bad faith claims as an area of re-emphasis in 2012, professional liability and cyber-related disputes emerged as new practice areas. Its growing reinsurance practice, which is led by Christopher Kende, was bolstered by the recruitment of Mary Lopatto from Chadbourne & Parke LLP. The group prides itself on the large number of senior partners with ‘top notch industry knowledge’, including firm founder Stephen Cozen. Co-chair William Shelley is ‘skilled, knowledgeable and ethical’. In Chicago, the ‘very intelligent, hardworking, thorough’ Mark Rabinowitz and John LaBarbera are also recommended. ACE and Chubb are longstanding clients, and the firm is increasingly acting for Allied World, Starr, Catlin, and Ironshore.

Crowell & Moring LLP’s insurance and reinsurance practice provides ‘top notch legal representation’ and is particularly strong in Washington DC. Despite noting its high rates, clients agree that ‘you get what you pay for’. The practice is co-led by Paul Kalish, whose ‘strategies and recommendations are effective and efficient’, and ‘exceptional ADR lawyer’ Clifford Hendler, who was lead counsel for United Educators in the Duke lacrosse case. In another matter covered by national press, Deidre Johnson is defending AmEx Assurance in a lawsuit filed by Gary Giordano seeking $1.5m accidental death and disability benefits under a travel insurance policy. The practice is acting for the Fireman’s Fund in three concussion-related coverage actions filed by former NFL players and a similar coverage action filed by former student-athletes against the NCAA. Other clients include ACE, Swiss Re and Tokio Millennium Re. Reinsurance specialist William O’Neill and the ‘responsive and innovative’ Mark Plevin are also recommended. The group made two lateral hires, including senior counsel Brian O’Sullivan, who joined from Mayer Brown. Jonathan Pittman left the firm for a position at the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General.

Foley & Lardner LLPprovides value as well as excellent legal advice’ in the insurance and reinsurance space. Its lawyers are ‘responsive and extremely knowledgeable in their areas of expertise’. The practice has a particular focus on property and casualty insurance and works across the life, accident and healthcare sectors. Gordon Davenport chairs the insurance and reinsurance litigation team, a group within the firm’s larger insurance and reinsurance industry practice, which is led by Gail Goering. The ‘clear and articulateNeal Moglin is an experienced reinsurance attorney, whose ‘legal acumen is exceptional’. Eric Haab also has ‘excellent skills’. Both are based in the firm’s Chicago office, which has a strong reinsurance practice. The offices in Washington DC, Boston and Florida concentrate on direct coverage with emphases on professional liability, construction, and life and health insurance matters. The group recently obtained summary judgement for Liberty Mutual in litigation filed by a major consumer products company seeking to rescind an earlier settlement agreement. AIG and Resolute Management are also significant clients.

Hogan Lovells LLP’s global insurance litigation practice provides a ‘very good service’ with ‘fast response times’ that is ‘in tune with the needs of its clients’. The group, co-headed by David Hensler in Washington DC, has expertise in representing health insurers and in cross-border coverage and insolvency matters. Miami-based Laura Besvinick is ‘highly knowledgeable on the law’ and ‘consistently provides outstanding legal service’. David Newmann in Philadelphia is ‘proactive and pleasant to work with’. The ‘highly professionalPieter Van Tol and ‘very skilled litigatorSean Keely are recommended in New York. The practice secured a victory for Executive Risk Indemnity before the New York Appellate Division, First Department, in a dispute with Starwood, which sought coverage under an E&O policy. Another significant win was for Federal Insurance Company in a class action alleging fraud in a large-scale public auction of convenience stores. Ongoing matters include multi-district litigation for longstanding client Chubb and the representation of Travelers in the liquidation proceedings of ELNY.

Mayer Brown is credited for its ‘tremendous insurance industry knowledge and resources’, ‘great depth’ and for being ‘cost conscious’. Its formerly ad hoc dispute resolution practice is now grouped together under insurance litigation practice head Fred Reinke in Washington DC and operates alongside its more renowned transactional and regulatory team. The firm’s renowned appellate practice has handled various insurance and reinsurance cases. Another area of expertise is counseling and defending corporate clients in government investigations into alleged business misconduct. It also has an international footprint in London and Hong Kong. New York-based Joseph De Simone recently won a victory for LFR Collections, a PartnerRe affiliate, which sought recovery for the failure of a borrower and its guarantor to repay monies owed under a revolving credit line and unconditional guaranty. Richard Dodge is ‘knowledgeable and incredibly responsive’. Brian O’Sullivan joined Crowell & Moring LLP.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP may not have an omnipresent insurance practice, but clients and peers agree that when this group gets involved, it is ‘superb’ and does so ‘with sophistication’. Clients are ‘extremely satisfied’ with its ‘exceptional’ level of service. They include AIG, CNA, The Hartford and Swiss Re. As well as insurance and reinsurance disputes, the practice is handling actions against financial institutions in connection with RMBS and CDO insurance. In the firm’s recognized appellate practice, go-to appellate advocate Kathleen Sullivan has expertise in seminal reinsurance issues. Practice co-chair Jane Byrne is ‘an excellent, pragmatic attorney with a very good understanding of the industry’. Litigator Michael Carlinsky is notable for his international practice. All three attorneys are based in New York. Together they are handling eight class actions alleging that United Guaranty’s captive reinsurance agreements violate RESPA; and were recently retained by National Union for a coverage and bad faith case arising from the ‘Big Dig’ tunnel ceiling collapse. The group also handles complex and potentially costly worldwide litigation strategy for Chartis in dealing with Chinese drywall claims.

Troutman Sanders is ‘a solid firm with some very good lawyers’ that is ‘sensitive to corporate needs and practicalities of cases’. The ‘experienced, tough and well-respected’ Rebecca Ross heads the insurance practice group, which covers three main sectors: D&O insurance; general liability, property and bad faith matters; and professional liability coverage and defense. While the practice saw a steady influx of mass tort actions and environmental coverage cases, it expanded its D&O practice under group co-head Terrence McInnis and widely recognized D&O expert Gary Dixon. The latter represents US Specialty, Houston Casualty and XL Specialty in connection with their D&O, professional liability, fiduciary liability, and fidelity bond policies issued to MF Global, and is currently handling the insurance claims that have been submitted since MF Global’s bankruptcy in 2011. The group also represented Federal Insurance Company in a widely published D&O policy dispute with Ryerson. Resolute Management, Chubb, XL and CAN are longstanding clients.

No time or work is wasted’ at Wiley Rein LLP, which is noted for its customer service and ‘readily accessible attorneys’ with a ‘high level of industry knowledge’. The Washington DC-based insurance group continues its professional and general liability work, and has particular expertise in D&O matters. Kimberly Melvin and practice chair Daniel Standish are commended for their ‘amazing knowledge, business acumen and strategizing’. Appellate specialist Gary Seligman and the ‘brilliant and highly respected’ Laura Foggan are also recommended. The latter filed numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of CICLA and other insurance associations in state and federal appellate courts across the country. The practice is representing XL Professional and CNA in coverage litigation in which the claimants are attempting to trigger a second $80m tower of coverage. Other active clients include Federal Insurance Company and General Star Indemnity Company.

Insurance: advice to policyholders

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: advice to policyholders
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

It was a ‘banner year’ for Covington & Burling LLP, the undisputed top tier firm with a long history in exclusive policyholder representation. Clients and peers agree that ‘there is no comparison’ and its practice is ‘truly best in class’. With a large team of top lawyers who have ‘deep substantive knowledge of the law around policy coverage and policy interpretation’, it is able to address the most diverse, complex and high-stakes policy claims. Significant ongoing matters include: the representation of BP in six coverage actions related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; Chiquita in coverage claims for underlying tort lawsuits brought under the Alien Tort Statute; and LyondellBasell in a London arbitration against Oil Insurance Limited. Newly filed cases include: an action against over 300 insurers seeking coverage for ExxonMobil’s asbestos claims; three NFL lawsuits; and environmental coverage litigation for Northrop Grumman. Other clients include National Grid, UnitedHealth and Vulcan. In Washington DC, group chair Mitchell Dolin has ‘unparalleled knowledge’ due to his ‘depth of experience in handling major matters’, and clients appreciate both ‘his manner and his results’. Benedict Lenhart is vice-chair of the practice. The ‘highly intelligent, creative, practicalWilliam Skinner has ‘strong business acumen’, and is ‘on top of his game’. In San Francisco, the ‘phenomenalDonald Brown is ‘the complete package’ and combines ‘law school professor knowledge with the street savvy skill of a trial attorney’. David Goodwin, John Buchanan, the up-and-coming Anna Engh and ‘strategic thinkerRalph Muoio are also recommended.

Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C.’s historic policyholder practice is ‘outstanding in all respects’. William Passannante chairs the practice together with Robert Horkovich, who is considered to be ‘the nonpareil policyholder attorney in this country’, as he is equally strong ‘in preparation, negotiation and trial’. He led the state of California to victory in a 14-year dispute with its insurance companies over coverage for the cleanup of the Stringfellow Acid Pits. In the first appellate case addressing insurance coverage for a computer hacking loss, Joshua Gold won a $7m recovery for Retail Ventures. Finley Harckham is currently representing DynCorp in a coverage action by the government of Ecuador and numerous Ecuadorian citizens which seeks billions of dollars in damages for alleged losses of legitimate crops during aerial spraying as part of efforts to eradicate illegal drug crops in nearby Columbia. Other recent matters included assisting Queenstake in dealing with complex legal and political issues surrounding the domestic mining industry and the continuing representation of Alfa Laval in 1,300 asbestos-related lawsuits, some of which stretch back decades. The practice also acts for the United Nations as insurance counsel and another large client is Colgate-Palmolive. The firm recruited Robert Chesler from Lowenstein Sandler PC as shareholder in New Jersey and Scott Turner, who previously operated his solo insurance recovery practice, as counsel in Washington DC.

Dickstein Shapiro’s ‘extraordinary’ insurance practice attorneys are ‘experts in the commercial insurance field’ and ‘provide top-notch advice and counsel’. Part of their ‘ability to relate to the needs of the client’ is their ‘understanding of the value of money’, with ‘a billing practice that is more than fair’; the firm is also involved extensively in pro bono work. The long-established practice, which operates in the US and internationally, recently expanded its work in the entertainment sector, through the representation of clients such as Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and their companies in a lawsuit against their former business manager and former insurance broker. The practice also recently advised SDG&E on coverage matters arising from the 2007 San Diego wildfire litigation. In another high-profile matter, James Murray was retained by Beebe Medical Center to handle the insurance side of the widely publicized sexual abuse suit against Dr Earl Bradley. In Los Angeles, ‘proactive’ practice head Kirk Pasich is ‘among the best and most knowledgeable attorneys’. Cassandra Franklin and ‘up-and-comer in the field’ Sandra Thayer, who leads the firm’s political risk insurance coverage initiative, are also recommended. In New York, Jeff Schulman is ‘humane and brilliant’. The ‘outstanding’ John Heintz is based in Washington DC.

A real litigation powerhouse’, Jenner & Block LLP is headquartered in Chicago, but also has offices in Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles, where its ‘first rate’ insurance litigation and counseling practice continues to grow. The firm’s selective hiring attitude has resulted in attorneys who are ‘business savvy, efficient and effective’ across the board, and clients remark on the ‘consistent level of intellect and client service from every lawyer’. Legal issues ‘are considered with a high degree of intellectual rigor, tempered by a practical attitude, informed by years of significant legal experience’. Lorelie Masters, Mary Craig Calkins and Linda Kornfeld are among the top coverage litigators in the country. Matthew Jacobs has ‘great experience and wisdom’ and ‘responds promptly to all concerns’. Highly recommended practice chair John Mathias currently handles the large rehabilitation proceedings of Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company. The firm continued to act for longstanding clients such as HSBC and Fiserv, and also attracted high-profile mandates from new clients: for example, it represented AEP in property damage and business interruption claims arising from the 2008 turbine failure accident at DC Cook nuclear plant; News of the World regarding coverage issues arising from the English telephone hacking and bribery scandals; and Penn State University concerning coverage issues arising from the Gerald Sandusky sexual misconduct scandal. (Since publication, Linda Kornfeld has left the firm.)

Proskauer Rose LLP is respected for its ‘expert and efficient’ representation of policyholders. The insurance recovery and counseling group provides ‘excellent’ service in contentious and non-contentious matters. It saw a renewed influx of construction defect claims, much work in the property loss area as well as in reinsurance and life insurance. John Failla has developed expertise in secondary life insurance transactions. In cooperation with the firm’s leading practice in privacy and data security, a different growing area of expertise is coverage for cyber risks, which is an area of activity for practice co-head and ‘very creative attorneySteven Gilford. He is ‘extremely responsive and provides practical advice from both legal and commercial standpoints’. Marc Rosenthal shows ‘particular strength on technical policy matters’. Gilford and Rosenthal are representing United Therapeutics Corporation in efforts to secure coverage for a warehouse accident. Other major clients include Yum! and Alpha Therapeutic Corporation. The practice’s ‘talented lawyers’ also include co-head Nancy Sher Cohen, the ‘exceedingly capableJohn Gross, Seth Schafler and senior counsel Francis Landrey, all of whom have ‘superb technical ability and a wealth of knowledge about the industry’.

Reed Smith LLP is equipped with a large and ‘good team’ of policyholder-focused insurance recovery lawyers that spans across a broad geographical platform and handles a wide spectrum of insurance matters. With extensive experience in general liability, first-party property and D&O liability insurance, the practice is now increasingly involved in cyber and data breach coverage, and shipping and cargo matters. Partners are ‘responsive’, ‘know the industry well’ and are integrated with other practice groups. Pittsburgh-based Douglas Cameron heads the practice. In Chicago, D&O expert Carolyn Rosenberg and Mark Hersh are ‘easy to work with’, ‘pleasant’ and ‘helpful’. John Shugrue represented Anadarko in connection with coverage issues arising from of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Other highlights included: a multibillion-dollar mortgage insurance coverage for Bank of America; fidelity and bond matters for Fannie Mae; D&O work related to the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy; data privacy insurance matters for West Publishing; and class action and mass tort coverage for Navistar and US Steel. Other notable partners are John Ellison, David Halbreich and James Restivo.

Jones Day’s global insurance recovery practice ‘exceeds expectations’ and continues to aggressively recruit. It is co-led by Steven Sigalow in Cleveland and ‘extremely good negotiator’ Martin Myers in San Francisco, who is ‘patient and warm in his style’ and ‘very responsive’. The broad practice offers ‘incredible client service’ that is ‘efficient and effective’. It handles a variety of insurance recovery matters domestically and globally, and clients ‘use the firm anywhere in the world’. Active clients include Adobe, Chevron, Dell and Levi Strauss. The practice operates on a ‘right lawyer for the right need’ basis, regardless of office location. Jack Montgomery in Pittsburgh, for instance, represented Federal-Mogul in a $88m claim for property damage and business interruption loss due to the 2011 flooding in Thailand. The ‘tenacious’, ‘creative’ and ‘highly dedicated’ Tyrone Childress in Los Angeles worked with Union Pacific Railroad Company on various matters, including prosecuting insurance coverage claims relating to hurricanes and floods, derailments, and major accidents. Ed Joyce and Dave Steuber are also recommended.

K&L Gates has ‘incredible on-point abilities to solve clients’ problems’. Key insurance coverage partners are concentrated in Pittsburgh, including founding member and litigation practice co-head Thomas Birsic, but the practice has resources across the country as well as Europe and Asia. Clients value the ‘teamwork and respect among partners’ and the trustworthiness of the practice to handle matters of an ‘expensive and sensitive nature’. While it today handles a wide array of matters from business interruption losses to construction defects, government investigations and professional liabilities, the historic focus has been on asbestos and environmental insurance coverage lawsuits. John Sylvester serves as lead counsel to NW Natural seeking coverage for various environmental sites, including three former manufactured gas plant sites. Group coordinator David McGonigle is representing PPG in connection with its proposed asbestos bankruptcy settlement. ‘Versatile, flexible and passionate’ D&O expert Peter Flocos is a ‘trusted and valued counsel’ who is ‘available night and day’. David Schack shows particular ‘ability to understand the dynamics of clients’ businesses’.

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP’s insurance recovery practice is strongly concentrated in New York, where all recommended lawyers are based unless noted otherwise. The team handles sophisticated coverage disputes and has a ‘tremendous’ strength in litigation. Clients appreciate the ‘efficient and straightforward’ service, as well as the partners’ ‘incredible industry knowledge and contacts’ and ‘great business acumen’. However, the practice lost two key figures: top lawyer Robert Shulman joined Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and, sadly, Randy Paar passed away in 2012. Nonetheless, the remaining team of ‘top-notch attorneys’ is ‘highly experienced and qualified’ and includes Adam Ziffer and Kenneth Frenchman, as well as Charles Freiberg in San Francisco. ‘Bright, prepared and dedicated’ practice head Robin Cohen represented Visa in connection with professional liability coverage for losses arising from an indemnification demand by a Visa client and a putative class action lawsuit. Cohen and Keith McKenna recently secured a verdict in favor of Warren Pumps, which sought insurance coverage for asbestos-related liabilities. The litigation involved dozens of insurance policies sold by more than 20 different insurance carriers. Other clients include Philips, Union Bank and Franciscan friars of California.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s insurance team is ‘excellent across the board’ and has ‘good business sense’. The firm’s coverage lawyers ‘give nuanced advice without being equivocal’ and have diverse expertise across disciplines. While the group is heavily concentrated in California, the practice extends throughout the US and also the EU. It witnessed an expansion in D&O and E&O work and coverage issues arising from bank failures. A particularly busy area of involvement is property insurance. The team handles property damages and business interruption losses for Western Digital, Corning and the state of Hawaii relating to the 2011 floods in Thailand, the 2009 Japanese earthquake and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, respectively. Practice co-chair Brook Roberts and John Wilson won a trial victory for longstanding client Fluor in its asbestos coverage battle, which led to an ongoing review of Henkel v Hartford that could revoke barriers to transferring insurance rights during corporate restructurings. In other notable work, fellow co-chair Andrew Lundberg is currently representing Rockwell Automation in an asbestos coverage matter and David Barrett developed the first union-side lockout policy on behalf of the NFLPA.

Morgan Lewis’ insurance recovery group is a ‘true business partner’ with ‘great ability to assemble a cost-effective yet richly experienced team’. With its broad geographical platform, the firm handles insurance and reinsurance disputes domestically and globally and has particular strength in international litigation. While the group continues to show expertise in the formation and use of captive insurers, it also expanded its work in connection with bankruptcy and restructurings. ‘All-around industry leaderDaniel Chefitz is notably active in both fields. The practice co-chairs are Paul Zevnik in Washington DC, who ‘thinks outside the box to reach resolutions’, and Michel Horton in Los Angeles, who is ‘one of the most down-to-earth yet influential litigators’. As part of a large team of multidisciplinary lawyers, these three partners were involved in an environmental captive insurance project associated with Sunoco. They are also currently handling insurance issues arising from Thorpe Insulation’s bankruptcy, and are representing ITT’s former subsidiary Grinnell, and its current subsidiary Goulds Pumps, in various ongoing insurance disputes, which so far have led to a recovery of over $600m for the latter company. The group continues to handle matters for longstanding client PepsiCo and as well as new client Mars.

Insurance: non-contentious

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: non-contentious
  2. Leading lawyers

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘world-class’ insurance industry practice has not only strong national but also increasingly global capabilities. It continues to cover great volumes of transactional and regulatory work, and handles some of the most complex insurance matters. Insurance and reinsurance companies, brokers and investment banks use the firm for their ‘most significant matters’ and benefit from a strong integration across disciplines, including M&A, capital markets, corporate governance, executive compensation, investments, bankruptcy, restructuring and tax. Besides continuing to work for longstanding clients such as Goldman Sachs, AIG and Cigna, the firm was also particularly active for Prudential in 2012. Co-chair of the financial institutions group Nicholas Potter led his team, including Ethan James, in one of the largest pension-risk transfers made in the US: namely, advising Prudential in a pension plan termination funding transaction with General Motors. Another team from the New York office represented the client in a resecuritization of real estate mortgage investment conduits and related $1bn offering of class A notes. John Vasily is currently advising on Prudential’s acquisition of The Hartford’s individual life insurance business. Partners ‘respond promptly, have strong knowledge of the issues, and provide good analysis to assist in making decisions and choosing strategy’. The Washington DC team expanded with new counsel Amanda Greenwold Wise, who is a former US Department of Treasury official and ‘brings years of experience working with regulations affecting the insurance industry’.

Peers and clients alike recognize Sidley Austin LLP as one of the ‘best firms in this practice area’. It provides ‘a high level of service with good response time and knowledge of the insurance industry’. The ‘practical and flexible’ insurance team has ‘excellent depth of talent’. Eighteen partners work exclusively on insurance matters and clients struggle to ‘single out anybody’ as ‘all perform well’ and form ‘true partnerships with clients’. Chicago-based Michael Goldman, co-chair of the global insurance and financial services group, demonstrates ‘tireless work ethic’. He represented TransRe in connection with a series of merger matters, an example of the firm’s capacity to handle complex multijurisdictional transactions. Fellow co-chair Perry Shwachman is handling both the sale of Hartford’s retirement plans business and the new business arm of its individual annuity operations. Jeff Liebmann represented the New York Superintendent of Financial Services in a heavily contested 11-day trial about his petition for an order of liquidation of ELNY. While Bobbi Anderson went in-house to work as general counsel for one of the firm’s clients, the practice recruited two new partners in New York from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP: Andrew Holland brings insurance regulatory and corporate expertise, and Kirk Lipsey specializes in M&A and joint venture transactions.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s global insurance practice has a strong corporate orientation with particular expertise in M&A and capital markets. More recently, it expanded its distress practice, including the representation of insurers in rehabilitation. Andrew Rowen coordinates the group, while Robert DeLaMater specializes in Asian deals and Stephen Kotran focuses on acquisitions. The group can leverage the resources in the firm’s broad and distinguished financial institutions practice. In an example of this interdisciplinary cohesion, Andrew Gerlach and special counsel Cheryl Bunevich are currently representing Ally Financial in the pending $865m sale of its Mexican insurance business to ACE. Elsewhere, key partner Marion Leydier represented AIG in various senior notes offerings and Prudential Financial in its offering of $1bn subordinated notes. ING is one of the firm’s longstanding clients, and Unum is another major client. The group’s Asian client base includes Tokio Marine, which it represented in the $2.7bn acquisition of Delphi Financial. The team also represented new client Swiss Re during its sale of REALIC and related entities to Jackson. Robert Fettman was promoted to counsel in New York.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s New York centered practice provides a broad scope of regulatory advice and represents insurance and reinsurance companies, investment banks, private equity firms, and underwriters in a wide variety of corporate transactions. The practice demonstrates good breadth as it covers matters including M&A, recapitalizations, debt and equity offerings as well as reinsurance matters, restructurings and regulatory compliance advice. At the center of the practice is the highly recommended Robert Sullivan, who is a ‘good, broad insurance lawyer’ with more than three decades’ experience. Other key partners are Susan Sutherland, who has also worked on domestic and international insurance-related corporate transactional matters for 30 years, and M&A expert Todd Freed. In two major M&A transactions relating to healthcare reform, Freed represented HealthSpring during its $3.8bn acquisition by Cigna and is currently advising Amerigroup on its $4.9bn acquisition by WellPoint, another managed healthcare organization.

Dentons gives comprehensive advice across the insurance and reinsurance industry and has ‘a very good understanding of issues affecting insurance carriers’. Kara Baysinger heads the global insurance team and chairs the insurance regulatory and transactional practice together with the ‘exceptionally well-rounded’ Bruce Baty, who has ‘extraordinary client skills’ and ‘great relationships with regulators and industry experts’. He recently led a team of reinsurance practitioners in designing and implementing the incoming and outgoing alternative risk programs for The Medical Protective Company, which is the principal medical liability insurer subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Longstanding clients include ACE, AIG, Prudential, Transamerica and Swiss Re, while work for the Fireman’s Fund grew significantly and AXA is a new client. The practice is spread across the US, but clients also appreciate its ‘very helpful presence globally when international issues arise’. Dan Brown is an expert in multi-jurisdictional work, and specializes in advising participants in the London market on compliance with US insurance laws; he is part of the practice’s business-focused insurance risk management team.

Mayer Brown has a ‘groundbreaking’ insurance practice of ‘great depth’ that is also ‘cost conscious’. The group is led by James Woods in California and Kenneth Pierce in New York, who has the ‘most amazing mind’ and ‘extraordinary focus and capacity for detailed work’. The practice has ‘tremendous insurance industry knowledge and resources’, ‘works effectively as a team’, and is ‘extremely creative, yet sound, in its advice’. It continued to expand with four partners who joined at the end of 2011 from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, including the ‘knowledgeable and incredibly responsiveRichard Dodge as well as Stephen Rooney and Richard Spitzer. The insurance M&A team led by Edward Best is highly recommended and ‘never fails to get the desired results’. Russell Nance and David Alberts in New York, and Lawrence Hamilton and George Craven in Chicago, are also singled out as top lawyers. Highlights in 2012 included an Everglades Re transaction, which was the largest Rule 144A offering of catastrophe bonds in the history of the ILS market, and the continued representation of Embarcadero Re in two follow-on offerings of principal-at-risk notes. The firm was involved in the merger of two of the largest Japanese insurers, Nipponkoa and Sompo.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s insurance practice provides a ‘very good level of service’ and has ‘excellent insurance regulatory and legal expertise’. The transactional and the regulatory sides of the practice are well integrated, and there is a strong collaboration with the firm’s structured finance and corporate groups. William Latza heads the team, which is largely based in New York. The ‘very hardworking’ Bernhardt Nadell has particular expertise in M&A and ILS transactions, is ‘well connected with insurance regulators’ and always ‘adamant in defending his clients’ interests’. With the assistance of special counsel Naji Massouh, he represented Crédit Agricole CIB in a transaction providing a ten year, $315m letter of credit facility to HLR America. The practice was also instrumental in securing regulatory approval from the New York Department of Financial Services for the formation of Build America Mutual, the first mutual financial guaranty insurance company. The firm also recently advised Liberty Mutual on its new indemnity catastrophe bond reinsurance program; and Nomura Reinsurance in a $2.9bn reinsurance deal. Matthew Feig joined the practice as special counsel from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP makes its mark as a ‘top’ insurance-focused practice that ‘will continue to grow in the US’. The highly recommended insurance and reinsurance practice in New York built up its talent and elevated its national presence by recruiting leading partners from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, including Alexander Dye, John Schwolsky, Donald Henderson Jr and former co-chair of that firm’s insurance group Michael Groll. The practice has a strong transactional focus with particular expertise in high-profile M&A and capital markets deals. Henderson and Groll recently advised Ariel Re on the sale of its insurance and reinsurance operations to Arrow Corporate Member Holdings, a Goldman Sachs subsidiary. Department chair Mitchell Auslander is also recommended.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s ‘superb’ and ‘efficient’ insurance practice is integrated within other practice areas and mainly focuses on M&A and capital markets. The team’s ‘intellectually creative’ partners, who advise on major strategic transactions in the US and internationally, show ‘great judgement and experience in these matters’ and ‘help to reach answers to sophisticated and complex questions’. Work highlights included representing the US Treasury in connection with the largest common stock offering in US history, and acting for New China Life Insurance in one of the largest IPOs by a Chinese company. The group also advised ING on its debut public debt offering. Other clients include Aetna, Aegon and Cigna. Besides providing a ‘spectacular service’ in transactional matters, the firm also has a Dodd-Frank Resource Center providing advice to insurance and reinsurance companies on the implications of the Dodd-Frank Act. Key partners in New York are Phillip Mills and Richard Sandler, who shows ‘great judgment and expertise’, and is ‘thoughtful, flexible and business-friendly’.

Clients consult Clifford Chance’s insurance transactional and regulatory group because of its ‘knowledge and reputation’. The ‘overall level of service is high’ with a team that is ‘reliable’, has ‘depth’, and gives advice that is ‘astute, prompt and comprehensive’. The ‘exceptional’ Paul Meyer is well ‘respected in the industry’, has a ‘strong grasp of the issues across the sector’, and is ‘a great strategic adviser’. Nicholas Williams dedicates all his time to insurance industry matters and he and his team are ‘talented, highly approachable and commercial in their client dealings’. Four new partners joined from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, including Gary Boss, who also works exclusively in this practice area and has already increased the group’s M&A activity. Other areas of expertise include insolvency work, transactions concerning life insurers and longevity risks. The group represented General Motors Asset Management in the restructuring of the group annuity contracts of the General Motors pension plans. TIAA-CREF is a longstanding client, and more recent client wins are Citigroup and Fidelity National Financial.

Foley & Lardner LLP’s insurance and reinsurance industry team is based in Wisconsin and Florida and is chaired by ‘capable and skilled transactional attorney’ Thomas Hrdlick. He is advising American Family Mutual Insurance Company on several matters, including the acquisition of PGC and the client’s assumed reinsurance book. Kevin Fitzgerald continues to lead representation of the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance as domestic regulator of Ambac Assurance Corporation (AAC) in a matter stemming from the Chapter 11 reorganization of AAC’s parent company, Ambac Financial Group. Brian Kaas left the practice to work in-house. The remaining partners are ‘very responsive’, ‘extremely knowledgeable in their areas of expertise’, and give ‘excellent legal advice’. While the practice is best known for its life and health insurance experience, such as its representation of Blue Cross, it also acted for Lloyd’s America in property and casualty matters; Kemper Corporation in sales and acquisitions; and Hannover Re in reinsurance matters.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s insurance dispute practice shows unrivalled excellence, but clients are also highly confident in the firm’s ability to handle high-profile non-contentious matters, despite smaller resources. Partners are ‘trusted advisers’, since they ‘know the sector and its nuances in great detail’, and are ‘highly attentive’. Five partners work on M&A, three on capital markets and one on regulatory matters. Clients are mainly insurance companies and private equity firms. Together with senior counsel Steven DeLott and others, Peter Gordon represented New Mountain Capital during its $1.3bn acquisition of majority control of AmWINS. Other highlights included advising Blackstone on its sale of Alliant Insurance to KKR; and CNO on a $1bn recapitalization. M&A expert Gary Horowitz is ‘easy to work with’ and his ‘balanced style serves well in negotiations’. He is always ‘willing to voice his well-considered point of view’ while ‘rolling up his sleeves to commit his personal attention to clients’ projects’. Lee Meyerson and Andrew Keller focus on capital markets and act for key clients Travelers and Swiss Re, respectively.

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  • Austria/Malta: Schoenherr advises Oesterreichische Volksbanken on sale of Volksbank Malta

    Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Österreichische Volksbanken-AG (OeVAG) on the sale of its fully-owned subsidiary Volksbank Malta Limited to Malta-based Mediterranean Bank plc. On 11 April 2014, OeVAG and Mediterranean Bank signed a Share Purchase Agreement for 100% of the shares in Volksbank Malta. Closing shall take place after the required approvals of the relevant regulatory bodies are received. read more...
  • Austria: Stefan Kuehteubl new head of Employment practice at Schoenherr

    Stefan Kuehteubl will join Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), as a partner and the head of the firm's Employment practice as of July 2014. A highly-regarded employment law practitioner, Kuehteubl will be returning to Schoenherr, where he previously worked as a member of its employment team between 1999 and 2004. During the past ten years, he worked in a well-known Vienna-based employment law boutique, in which he was a partner since 2008. read more...
  • Proud to continue charitable donations in 2014

  • New Swiss Law on Product Safety

    The Swiss law on product safety ( Produktesicherheitsgesetz, PrSG) is currently scheduled to enter into force on July 1, 2010. This new law aligns Swiss product safety requirements with EU law. It applies not only to manufacturers, but to anyone who commercially or professionally markets products in Switzerland, and it introduces substantial new obligations before and after the sale of a product.
  • Chambers Global has once again recognised Pepeliaev Group's tax practice as the best in Russia

    The Chambers Global 2014 international ratings have hailed Pepeliaev Group's tax practice and the firm's managing partner Sergey Pepeliaev as Russia's best in the area of taxation (band 1 and Star Individuals). Commentators describe Mr Pepeliaev as "the father of Russian taxation." He has an outstanding reputation in tax litigation, for which he is said to be "absolutely brilliant." In addition, Chambers Global  lavishes praise on Rustem Ahmetshin (band 2), one of the firm's senior partners, who has considerable expertise in areas such as VAT and audit advice. Chambers Global sources commend Pepeliaev Group partner Valentina Akimova (band 3) as a "smart tax specialist." She has significant experience in a wide range of tax matters such as VAT, income tax and excise duties. Sources recommend Andrey Nikonov (band 3), another senior partner in the firm, as an authority on VAT, mineral extraction tax and unified social tax.  Chambers Global also rates Mr Nikonov highly for his experience in resolving tax disputes advising on the tax aspects of M&A transactions.

    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the Tranche- II of public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 1,000 Crore.

    In a recent landmark judgment of the Hon'ble Andhra Pradesh High Court in the matter of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. (DCHL) & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors ., the Hon'ble Court has laid down an important principal of law to the effect that SARFAESI Action can be taken by an assignee/ successor in interest only if the original lender had SARFAESI power.

    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 2,100 Crore.
  • Angel Buzalov from “Popov & Partners” has participated in “Legal Day 2014”of GBICC

    On 20.03.2014 was carried the first part of the annually organized forum "Legal Day" of German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber. Representatives of the leading legal companies in Bulgaria and industry representatives also took part in the event.
  • “Popov & Partners” took part in the consultations organized by the German-Bulgarian Industrial C

    On 24.03.2014 a meeting of the Advisory Board "Law" of the German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber (GBICC) was held. The event was attended by representatives of the business as well as lawyers from major law firms in Bulgaria, including the law firm "Popov & Partners."