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Lawyers handling commercial deals and contracts have reported a busy year, as the technology and life sciences sectors have continued to thrive. Data privacy is an increasingly major area of concern for attorneys in this area. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP entered this table for the first time in recognition of its high-profile IT work.

Corporate governance lawyers report that helping companies deal with shareholder activism continues to make up a large portion of their workload. In particular, attorneys have identified a recent trend for shareholders to demand proxy access. More broadly, there is an onus on lawyers to be proactive rather than reactive: as clients increasingly acknowledge the importance of good governance, lawyers find themselves drafting company bylaws to prevent problems in the future. Delaware firm Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., which receives considerable acclaim from lawyers in other states, was added to the ranking this year.

Despite an upward trend in technology M&A, for the first three quarters of 2016, the volume of transactions in the US, including both the upper and middle market, did not match that of the previous year. However, in response to the strategic needs of corporations and private equity investors, together with companies reporting increased liquidity levels, October 2016 was celebrated as domestic M&A’s busiest month ever.

Looking beyond the recent inauguration of President Donald Trump, many forecasters predict strong M&A activity in energy and technology, while healthcare is expected to struggle in 2017 because of the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

Notable growth among US law firms included Fenwick & West LLP launching a New York office in mid-2016 to service its growing East Coast client base.

Significant mergers between US law practices also occurred. Washington DC-founded firm Arnold & Porter LLP combined with the New York-founded Kaye Scholer LLP, creating Arnold & Porter; the new enterprise has approximately 1,000 lawyers working from nine domestic and four international offices.

Cross-border mergers have also taken place. Atlanta-headquartered Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, founded over 90 years ago, combined with British multinational law firm, Eversheds LLP; the new firm, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP, has 2,300 lawyers spread across 61 offices in 29 countries.

Private equity deals slowed across the board in 2016 and there was a relative absence of high-value transactions, leading many firms to heighten their focus on mid-cap funds and middle-market deals. Uncertainty over the political and economic landscape, created by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the US presidential election, damaged confidence during the year. Private equity sponsors faced more limited access to debt, with a declining high-yield market and banks lacking enthusiasm to finance leveraged buyouts. Certain sectors, such as technology remained buoyant, with deals such as Dell and Silver Lake’s $67bn acquisition of EMC and Madison Dearborn Partners’ $2.77bn sale of Sage Products to Stryker. Beyond technology, energy continues to be a sector of considerable interest to private equity sponsors and their advisers. For many years, private equity houses struggled to align themselves with the risk profile of the energy industry, but as a major contributor to US’ GDP and with the industry still comparatively fragmented, it has become especially attractive to sponsors. Many large diversified private equity houses have developed energy-focused funds and looked south to Texas. This partly explains why firms such as Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP have worked hard to build their presences in Houston, and why energy-focused firms such as Vinson & Elkins LLP have made considerable progress in the private equity sector.

The upper end of the venture capital space was relatively flat in 2016, with the quiet IPO market leading to a retrenchment of late-stage funding. However, expectations are that this trend will reverse under the new administration. The mid-market transaction level was consistent, with the digital health sector particularly buoyant - a continuation of the overall trend in recent years of life sciences companies becoming increasingly active. Cooley LLP, Fenwick & West LLP, Gunderson Dettmer LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati remain the major players in the market, although DLA Piper LLP (US), Goodwin and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP continue to make big strides.

Commercial deals and contracts

Who Represents Who

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The ‘excellent’ attorneys at Covington & Burling LLPdeliver candid and thoughtful advice and can draw on great strength in depth’. The firm advised AbbVie on its global collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim for the development of a monoclonal biologic antibody for the treatment of psoriasis, and acted for Allergan in a licensing and collaboration agreement with Heptares Therapeutics, whereby the client acquired a portfolio of novel subtype-selective muscarinic receptor agonists for the treatment of major neurological disorders. Other clients include Blueprint Medicines, for which it acted in the renegotiation of its collaboration with Ventana for the development of companion diagnostic arrays for the client’s therapeutic products. It also acted for Sanofi in connection with the launch of a joint venture with Verily Life Sciences to develop a diabetes management platform. John Hurvitz, senior counsel Richard Kingham, Emily Leonard, Scott Danzis and Matthew O’Connor chair the life sciences industry group, in which key figures also include Catherine Dargan, Michael Riella, of counsel Sarah Hoagland and Van Ellis, who joined from Morrison & Foerster LLP in June 2016. All those named are based in Washington DC, except for Leonard, who works in Silicon Valley. The firm also has a presence in San Francisco.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s strategic sourcing and commercial transactions group is chaired by Palo Alto-based Daniel Mummery, New York-based Stephen Nordahl, and Los Angeles-based William Peters. Shaalu Mehra, also in Palo Alto, handles technology transactions, especially where there is a strong IP component. The firm advised The Chemin Group on a partnership with private equity house KKR to create Emerald Media, a fund that invests in the media and entertainment industry across Asia. It also acted for Universal Pictures in the formation of its partnership with Blumhouse Pictures. Other clients include General Electric, which the firm advised on transition services arrangements connected with the sale of the majority of assets of GE Capital, and Merck, which it assisted with the unwinding of a vaccines joint venture with Sanofi. Marriott International and Johnson & Johnson are also clients.

The ‘excellent’ attorneys at Latham & Watkins LLPdeliver practical advice and take a great common-sense approach’. From Silicon Valley, Anthony Klein chairs the technology transactions practice and the IT systems group, while Judith Hasko chairs the life sciences licensing group. Together with Tad Freese, Klein acted for Bebe Stores in the formation of a joint venture with Bluestar Alliance. Hasko’s highlights included assisting Juno Therapeutics with its licensing agreement with Celgene Corporation for the development of immunotherapies for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Boston-based Sarah Gagan is ‘extremely responsive’. She acted for Boston Scientific in the creation of a licensing and development agreement with Visible Health Software for ureteral stent tracking software. Other clients include Copa América Centenario, Authentic Brands Group, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s technology, outsourcing and commercial transactions practice is headed by Barbara Melby, who divides her time between New York and Philadelphia, and Michael Pillion, who is based in the latter. Other key members of the team include Silicon Valley’s Rahul Kapoor and New York’s Vito Petretti. The firm acted for The Clearing House in connection with a number of major IT agreements. It also advised Colgate-Palmolive on matters that included the migration of numerous services to a Google Apps cloud environment and the negotiation of a global warehouse management transaction. Other highlights included assisting SanDisk with the negotiation of its SD flash memory card joint venture with Toshiba and Panasonic and advising Ambidio with the creation of a license and advisory services agreement concerning its proprietary coding technology.

Ropes & Gray LLPprovides excellent support, good communications, timely responses and sound legal advice’. Edward Black heads the practice from Boston, where his colleagues include David McIntosh and Mark Bellomy. Black worked alongside ‘thorough and unflappable’ Silicon Valley lawyer Megan Baca in advising marketing and communications agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners on matters that include advertising services agreements. McIntosh acted for Boehringer Ingelheim in the formation of a global agreement with AbbVie to develop a biologic antibody for the treatment of psoriasis. Bellomy assisted Pfizer with the formation of a global strategic alliance with Merck to develop and commercialize an antibody for the treatment of cancer.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

The ‘professional and ethical’ lawyers at WilmerHaleconsistently deliver excellent results’. Steven Barrett and Belinda Juran chair the practice from Boston, where their colleagues include Jeffrey Johnson and the ‘fantastic’ Michael Bevilacqua. Transactional department chair Steven Singer and Robert Finkel are based in New York. Barrett advised Agios Pharmaceuticals on the negotiation of a metabolic immuno-oncology collaboration with Celgene. Johnson acted for semiconductor manufacturer Analog Devices in a variety of matters, including a development and reseller agreement with Consumer Physics. Highlights for Juran included assisting Eleven Biotherapeutics regarding a license agreement with Roche. Bevilacqua’s clients include Intel and also Goldman Sachs, which he advised on a deal with Nasdaq to create an alternative trading system.

The ‘outstandingSullivan & Worcester LLPprovides sound legal advice and can always be counted on in a crisis’. Lewis Segall heads the corporate and M&A group and advised US Grid Company on funding and joint venture agreements. Fellow Boston lawyer Steven Eichel acted for George Carney, Jr and Sweeney Investments in the formation of a joint venture with Rush Street Gaming to create a casino resort in Brockton, MA. In Washington DC, Elias Hinckley’s clients include Vision Street Capital and Merrill Kramer assisted Saturn Power with various matters pertaining to the development of two 10MW solar power projects in Oregon.

Corporate governance

Index of tables

  1. Corporate governance
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate governance clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Arnold & Porter’s Washington DC office includes the founding partner of its corporate governance practice, Michael L Bernstein, the chair of its corporate and securities practice, Kevin Lavin, the chair of its securities enforcement and litigation group, Michael Trager, and securities lawyer Richard Baltz. Key figures in San Francisco include Teresa Johnson and Gilbert Serota. The firm advised the board of directors of Wells Fargo on shareholder derivative demands and on litigation naming members. It serves as outside counsel to the Charles Schwab board of directors in connection with shareholder derivative demands and in litigation, and advises the same client on securities and disclosure issues. Other clients include savings and loan holding company Astoria Financial Corporation and private equity firm American Capital, which the firm advises on securities law compliance.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s team is ‘client-focused, collaborative and technically very strong’. Nicolas Grabar advises Brazilian state oil and gas company Petrobras on issues such as SEC reporting, and acts for Embraer in matters relating to shareholder activism and corporate reorganizations. Ethan Klingsberg, Pamela Marcogliese and Glenn McGrory were among those that advised Google on corporate, IP, tax, employment and securities issues surrounding its corporate reorganization. Other clients include Verizon Communications, which the firm assisted with the preparation of its annual proxy statement, and Sabre Corporation, which Marcogliese advised on disclosure issues, the review of corporate charters and stock exchange requirements.

Latham & Watkins LLP acts for Actavis, Allergan, American Airlines, T-Mobile, Live Nation Entertainment and others in relation to securities law and other corporate governance matters. The firm recently assisted Advanced Micro Devices, Digital Realty Trust and Xenia Hotels & Resorts with CEO transitions. For clients such as Amphenol Group and Omnicom Group, it provided advice on shareholder engagement, obtaining SEC no-action relief to exclude activist shareholder proposals. Chicago-based Bradley Faris and Washington DC-based Rachel Sheridan successfully defended Allison Transmission Holdings against campaigns by shareholder activists seeking seats on the client’s board. Charles Ruck in Orange County and Washington DC-based Joel Trotter successfully acted for Checkpoint Systems when a shareholder sought board representation and to prevent the sale of the company. Trotter and the Los Angeles-based Steven Stokdyk chair the global public company representation practice and Faris chairs the global M&A practice together with fellow Chicago lawyer Mark Gerstein.

Linklaters LLP is a ‘very impressive firm that provides prompt responses and practical, strategic advice’. The international governance and development practice is led by the New York-based Lance Croffoot-Suede: ‘a true business partner who provides creative solutions to unique problems in high-stakes situations’. Croffoot-Suede works closely with colleagues in London and Dubai as well as senior associate Ulysses Smith in New York. The firm not only advises clients on the structure, rules and procedures of boards of directors, but also designs governance models and board structures to address issues such as fraud, corruption and sanctions compliance. Clients include private enterprises, NGOs and foundations in numerous countries. New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the World Humanitarian Summit, the United Nations Centre for Policy Research, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Maybank Islamic Berhad are all clients.

Highlights for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP included acting for Bayer in its bid to acquire Monsanto and advising Suncor Energy on proxy contests. The firm represented the special committee of Solera Holdings in connection with its merger agreement with Vista Equity Partners. It also advised Wells Fargo on issues connected with its sales practices and Volkswagen on matters arising from its emissions controversy. It served as counsel to UBS Securities, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse Securities and others acting as financial advisers to companies involved in M&A transactions. Marc Treviño and Glen Schleyer lead the practice, which is headquartered in New York. Other key figures include Rodgin Cohen and Stephen Kotran.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s ‘top-notch’ practice is headed by Ellen Odoner out of New York. Her colleagues in that city include Lyuba Goltser and the ‘exceptional’ Howard Dicker, who has ‘extraordinary depth of knowledge and the ability to get to the heart of an issue’. Key figures in the Washington DC office include PJ Himelfarb and Adé Heyliger. Among other recent mandates, Odoner advised General Electric on securities and governance aspects of its exit from GE Capital. Dicker assisted Dow Chemical with devising the governance structure of the new company formed through its merger with DuPont. Himelfarb acted for a Canadian mining company in its acquisition of another Canadian mining company through a scheme of arrangement intended to be exempt under the US securities laws. Other clients include MasterCard, Sanofi, Campbell Soup and the Estée Lauder Companies.

Baker & Hostetler LLPmakes every effort to engage with clients and understand their issues’. The firm serves as securities compliance and related governance counsel to Enbridge Energy Partners, which it advised on its $1.6bn public offering of senior unsecured notes. It successfully defended Guaranty Bancorp and its board of directors against an attempt to enjoin its shareholders from voting on a proposed acquisition and represented FirstMerit Bank in litigation concerning a proposed merger. Other clients include Ferro Corporation and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. Robert Weible heads the practice from Cleveland, where his colleagues include Suzanne Hanselman and Steven Dettelbach. Other key figures include Columbus-based Robert Rupp and Atlanta-based James Rawls. The firm is also well staffed in Denver, New York and Orlando.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s practice is led by Washington DC-based securities law expert Alan Dye, who is advising KaloBios Pharmaceuticals on various securities and corporate governance matters and advised McCormick & Co on disclosure requirements and tender offer rules concerning its offer to purchase Premier Foods. In the same city, Richard Parrino assisted Dell Technologies with its transition from private to public company following its merger with EMC Corporation, and Amy Bowerman Freed provided securities and disclosure advice to News Corp. John Beckman’s clients include beverage company Brown-Forman Corporation and aerospace and defense company Orbital ATK. Baltimore lawyer William Intner acted for Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings in a comprehensive review of governance matters following a major acquisition.

The ‘excellentKing & Spalding LLP has a ‘strong team of very responsive and professional attorneys’. The team, which is based in Atlanta, is led by Cal Smith and William Baxley. Together with Alan Prince, Baxley advised Carmike Cinemas on governance issues connected to communications with several shareholder activists. Jeffrey Stein acted for Under Armour in the creation of a new class of non-voting stock. Keith Townsend assisted Concurrent Computer Corporation with the adoption and implementation of a shareholder rights plan, and with handling shareholder activism. Other highlights included acting for the special committee of the board of directors of Books-A-Million in a going-private transaction. ‘Excellent’ New York-based attorney Robert Leclerc became a partner in January 2016.

The ‘incredibleRichards, Layton & Finger, P.A. is a Delaware firm that ‘provides exemplary service’ and is highly regarded by peers in other states. The firm advises corporations, officers, directors, board committees and stockholders on their fiduciary duties, M&A, board and stockholder meetings, and internal investigations. It often acts for special committees during going private and financing transactions. Mark Gentile and Donald Bussard advised Reynolds American on an investment by British American Tobacco; the ‘terrific’ Gregory Varallo has acted for News Corp; the ‘excellent’ Srinivas Raju assisted the special committee of the board of directors of Crown Media Holdings and the conflicts committee of Access Midstream Partners. Michael Allen is ‘exceptional in all respects’.

Sidley Austin LLP provides ‘practical, actionable advice and exceptional service’. The firm helps clients respond to shareholder activist approaches, address shareholder challenges to governance changes, respond to whistle-blower allegations and crises, handle CEO succession, determine director compensation, and conduct internal investigations. Key figures in the Chicago office include the ‘top-notchThomas Cole and the ‘responsive and very knowledgeable’ John Kelsh. New York is home to George Madison and Holly Gregory, while Thomas Kim and Kevin Lewis are based in Washington DC and Houston respectively.

The ‘excellentSullivan & Worcester LLP delivers ‘practical advice backed up by impressive legal and industry knowledge’. The practice group leader is Boston-based Howard Berkenblit and the practice group co-leaders, based in Washington DC, are David Leahy and David Mahaffey (who is ‘a business lawyer with outstanding skills who finds appropriate and practical solutions’). Berkenblit advises Select Income REIT on securities offerings, disclosure, listing standards and Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Act compliance, while he and William Curry do the same for Senior Housing Properties Trust, Iron Mountain, Government Properties Income Trust and others. Leahy serves as independent counsel to the independent trustees of Legg Mason’s fixed income funds and Mahaffey does the same for the independent trustees of the Virtus Funds.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s highlights included securing the dismissal in the New York Court of Appeal of a case against its client Kenneth Cole, which was brought by shareholders challenging its going-private transaction. The firm also advised the special committee of the board of directors of WuXi Pharma Tech on a leveraged buyout and acted for the special committee of the board of National Interstate in its proposed merger with Great American Insurance Company. It assists the boards of several funds with a broad range of routine and specialized matters. Key figures in the corporate governance area include corporate and financial services lawyer Steven Gartner and litigator Tariq Mundiya, who together head the practice, as well as Barry Barbash, Margery Neale and Michael Schwartz. All are based in New York.

WilmerHale’s public company counseling group is chaired by Knute Salhus in New York and the ‘very practical’ Jonathan Wolfman in Boston. Key figures in Washington DC include governance specialist Thomas White, securities law experts Lillian Brown, Jennifer Zepralka and the ‘outstanding’ Meredith Cross, and Erika Robinson, who focuses on capital markets transactions. Boston-based Hal Leibowitz is the M&A practice group chair. The firm serves as outside counsel to many public companies, advising them on SEC and stock exchange requirements, as well as Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Act compliance, and the handling of activist shareholder interventions. Clients include Activision Blizzard, Hasbro, PepsiCo and Staples.

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Index of tables

  1. M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which M&A: large deals ($1bn+) clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘excellentCravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a hugely impressive market share of headline and high-value M&A transactions, thanks partly to its illustrious client base that includes Time Warner, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Stanley Black & Decker, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and IBM. In addition, it is frequently selected by one-off or occasional clients to advise on key deals, such as representing Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in its $13.3bn sale to Marriott International. The firm has a prolific domestic M&A practice and despite its modest international presence (it has one overseas office in London) it has an outstanding record in cross-border deals. The broad-based offering crosses all key industries, including financial services, broadcasting, and media and entertainment, with healthcare and technology having been particularly active of late. The firm advised longstanding client Time Warner on its proposed $108.7bn acquisition by AT&T. In cross-border deals, the firm advised British American Tobacco on its proposed $93bn merger with Reynolds American. Showcasing the firm’s standing in the technology sector and reputation on the West Coast, it advised the strategic review committee of the board of directors of Yahoo! on the $4.83bn acquisition of Yahoo’s operating business by Verizon. It also represented Dreamworks Animation SKG in its $4.1bn sale to NBCUniversal. Despite the departure of former co-head of the corporate department Scott Barshay to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in 2016, the firm maintains a deep bench of leading senior practitioners and is also widely recognized for its ability to nurture young talent; it did however lose up-and-comer Jonathan Davis to Kirkland & Ellis LLP at the end of 2016. Ting Chen, Aaron Gruber and Keith Hallam are prominent names that have all achieved partner status in the last five years. At the senior end Faiza Saeed, Mark Greene and Richard Hall are outstanding names, along with Damien Zoubek and ‘awesome lawyer’ Robert Townsend, who was the lead partner on a series of major recent transactions. John White is ‘tremendously knowledgeable and responsive’.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s standing in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America helps it attract an impressive share of big-ticket domestic and cross-border M&A. Its Asia practice in particular has been key to a series of engagements in US-China deals. In addition, its expertise in antitrust and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) issues makes it adept in US inbound deals. Clients include Aetna, AstraZeneca, Baker Hughes, Citigroup, ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, MasterCard, Morgan Stanley, Shire and Tyson Foods. In 2016, the firm advised Syngenta on its $43bn acquisition by ChemChina, the Chinese state-owned chemical company; this was China’s largest-ever outbound transaction. Before the deal, the firm represented Syngenta in fending off a hostile offer by Monsanto. The firm also advised Baker Hughes on its headline $25bn combination with GE’s oil and gas business; the transaction was executed as a partnership structure with GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes contributing their operating assets to the newly formed partnership. In addition, the firm represented information services company Markit in its $13bn all-share merger of equals with IHS. In 2016, the firm recruited Ronald Cami to its Menlo Park office; Cami was previously the general counsel at private equity sponsor TPG Global and is a former Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP partner. Other key partners include head of the corporate department and global head of M&A John Bick, global co-chairman of the M&A group George Bason, financial services sector expert Louis Goldberg, Leonard Kreynin, Michael Davis and Oliver Smith. John Amorosi, who is responsible for the firm’s rise in the private equity sector, and William Aaronson are ‘commercial and business-focused’ and Washington DC-based John Reynolds is consistently noted for his expertise in CFIUS issues. Named attorneys are based in New York, except where otherwise noted.

Latham & Watkins LLP has an impressive national and international platform, exposing it to a range of clients and deals that many other firms cannot match. Domestically, this includes strength on the East Coast, the Midwest, Texas and the West Coast, and this is allied to numerous overseas offices; cross-border and multi-jurisdictional deals are of course a strength. In 2016, it advised US-based FMC Technologies on its $13bn cross-border merger of equals with France’s Technip, a deal that involved lead partners from its Chicago, New York, London and Paris offices. The firm impresses with its record in energy deals, thanks to its notable Houston office and a number of New York partners that have an exceptional record in master limited partnership (MLP) related work. Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and healthcare are strong segments for the firm, on both east and west coasts, and communications is another key industry, in part thanks to the firm’s excellent regulatory credentials. The Silicon Valley office led a multi-office team that advised Broadcom on its $5.9bn acquisition of Brocade Communications Systems. Chicago partners Michael Pucker and Scott Hairston led the team that advised Bass Bro Shops on its $5.5bn acquisition of Cabela’s. Chicago and New York based partners Mark Gerstein and Bradley Faris are ‘smart guys’, ‘top tier’ and ‘a class act’ and are global co-chairs of the M&A practice alongside David Allinson. Orange County’s Charles Ruck has advised on a string of big-ticket transactions, especially in life sciences and pharmaceuticals, and William Finnegan is a key name in Houston. Adel Aslani-Far and Ted Sonnenschein are noted for high-value deals and Paul Sheridan and Daniel Lennon are top practitioners in Washington DC. Named attorneys are based in New York, except where otherwise noted. Since publication, Peter Harwich has joined from Allen & Overy LLP.

Frequently cited for its market-leading private equity buyout practice, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP continued to showcase its credentials in strategic transactions in 2016. Even with a slowdown in private equity deals, the firm had a tremendous year, advising on many landmark North American and transcontinental transactions. Clients enjoy the ‘outstanding level of service’ and the ‘thoughtful and actionable legal advice’. The ‘terrific team’ has ‘great bench strength’ and provides a ‘360 degree perspective of the situation’, is ‘well versed in public M&A’ and invests time into ‘understanding clients’ business priorities’. Clients also highlight the ‘deep expertise across a variety of practice areas needed in M&A transactions’, including corporate and securities law, technology licensing and IP. The firm’s market leading credentials in banking, on both the lender and borrower side, is another key attribute that attracts clients. Strength in tax, antitrust and employee benefits is also key to the successful completion of many headline transactions. Clients include ADT, ChemChina, Lorillard, Microsoft, NXP Semiconductors, Sumitomo Life Insurance and Walgreens Boots Alliance. The firm advised ChemChina on its $43bn acquisition of Syngenta, the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company. It also acted for NXP Semiconductors in its $40bn merger with Freescale Semiconductor and advised regular client Microsoft on its $26bn acquisition of LinkedIn, further demonstrating the firm’s expertise and track record in the technology sector. Alan Klein and Mario Ponce now lead the team, with the ‘terrific’ Klein recognized for his ‘experience in both domestic and international M&A’. William Curbow is another pivotal member of the team and is praised for his diplomacy and ability to handle contentious situations. Former department head Lee Meyerson continues to lead the financial institutions practice and Brian Stadler is a standout name in real estate and REIT deals. Up-and-coming partner Anthony Vernace is ‘one of the most thoughtful and effective lawyers around’. Chairman of the firm’s executive committee William Dougherty is also recommended by clients and Palo Alto-based Richard Capelouto is a market-leading M&A and private equity specialist on the West Coast.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP remains a global M&A giant and is consistently engaged in big-ticket domestic and cross-border transactions. The firm is also recognized for its expertise in contested deals, shareholder activism and proxy contests. While the firm’s New York office houses a huge team of M&A specialists, clients also praise its national and international capabilities, which includes a ‘very strong’ Palo Alto office. In December 2015, it became the first firm to handle more than $1tn in global announced M&A deals in a single year. In 2016, the firm maintained its hugely impressive market share of big-ticket M&A, advising DuPont on its $130bn merger of equals with Dow Chemical. In another major engagement, the firm advised Norfolk Southern on its evaluation and rejection of a $28.4bn unsolicited acquisition bid by Canadian Pacific Railway. The firm has an excellent record in TMT deals and advised NXP Semiconductors on its $47bn sale to Qualcomm, the largest semiconductor deal and second-largest technology deal in history, and represented Rockwell Collins in its $8.3bn acquisition of B/E Aerospace. Stephen Arcano has ‘a very good M&A practice’ and is recognized for his expertise in contested deals such as the previously mentioned Norfolk Southern matter. Allison Schneirov is another pivotal team member, with an impressive record in strategic M&A and private equity buyouts. Paul Schnell has an excellent record in cross-border deals, especially those involving Latin America. Eileen Nugent, Howard Ellin, Peter Atkins, of counsel Lou Kling and Chicago-based Charles Mulaney are also recommended. Palo Alto-based Kenton King is ‘very strong in the Bay Area’, ‘near the top of the list’ of M&A advisers and is a contributor to the firm’s excellent record in TMT deals. All individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Consistently engaged in substantial M&A transactions, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is ‘appropriately commercial’, has ‘no comparison’ in the market, according to one client, and provides ‘best-in-class service and quality of legal advice’. The attorneys’ generalist training makes them ‘more rounded lawyers and individuals’ and enables them to ‘think on their feet and to look outside the box to come up with alternative solutions’. Clients also praise the ‘partner time and investment’ applied to transactions. The firm has built an enviable client base and is frequently selected by one-off or occasional clients for their most complex and challenging deals. Healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, energy and telecoms have been key sectors for the firm in recent years and it maintains an unrivaled reputation in financial institutions deals. Key clients include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bayer, Cablevision Systems, Columbia Pipeline and AT&T, the last of which it advised on the proposed $108.7bn acquisition of Time Warner. The firm also represented Bayer in its $66bn acquisition of Monsanto, the largest all-cash takeover in history and the largest-ever acquisition of an American company by a foreign entity, and it acted for Cablevision Systems during its $17.7bn acquisition by Altice. Managing partner of the M&A group Joseph Frumkin has an outstanding reputation and has ‘seen it all’; he ‘brings a unique perspective to things’ and has led on many of the firm’s headline deals of recent years. Francis Aquila is of similarly high repute, with Matthew Hurd and Keith Pagnani having made an impression in a range of deals, especially in the healthcare and life sciences sectors; Hurd was lead partner on the Bayer transaction. Seasoned figure Rodgin Cohen remains at the forefront of the financial institutions sector and Los Angeles partner and ‘great lawyerAlison Ressler is one of the leading M&A specialists on the West Coast, as is Eric Krautheimer, who was one of the lead partners advising AT&T in the Time Warner deal and Bayer on its acquisition of Monsanto. George Sampas is a ‘wise head’, ‘proactive’ and ‘goes the extra mile to understand the economics of the client’s business’. Melissa Sawyer is ‘intelligent’, ‘technically very bright’, ‘commercial and interested in getting the deal done’ and a ‘superb M&A lawyer’. All named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

New York firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is a ‘superb firm’ that has an ‘enviable reputation amongst boards of directors’, making it a go-to firm for bulge-bracket deals, takeover defense and contested transactions, special committee engagements, shareholder activism and proxy contests. The firm advised Monsanto on its $66bn acquisition by Bayer to create the world’s largest agricultural supplier. It also represented Medivation in its $14.6bn acquisition by Pfizer, this after advising Pfizer on its proposed $160bn combination with Allergan, a deal which was eventually terminated. In addition, the firm advised CenturyLink on its $34bn acquisition of Level 3 Communications. The hugely experienced and seasoned Martin Lipton remains ‘the leading lawyer in the US’, according to one client, an assessment which attracts wider support. Adam Emmerich, David Katz and Steven Rosenblum are also outstanding practitioners and Edward Herlihy is ‘excellent by any measure’. Andrew Nussbaum, Daniel Neff, Andrew Brownstein and Igor Kirman are also highly regarded.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has ‘very smart people’, is an ‘outstanding firm’ and has its ‘fair share of big and high-profile deals’. Clients commend the ‘quality and professionalism’ of its lawyers and the ‘caliber of attorneys from associate to partner’, as well as its expertise in ‘important strategic projects’. The firm has a market-leading antitrust practice, which has proved pivotal to closing a series of headline transactions. It has a strong record in tech deals, including on behalf of longstanding client Google/Alphabet and other Silicon Valley players. Beyond technology, the firm covers a wide range of industries from industrials to consumer goods. Other clients include The Coca-Cola Company, Western Digital, Air Liquide, Westlake Chemical, Tech Data, Henkel, Temasek and Warburg Pincus. The firm’s New York, London and Brussels offices advised Coca-Cola on the $21bn combination of the bottling entities of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke into a new entity called Coca-Cola European Partners. The firm also continued to advise Western Digital on its $19bn acquisition of the outstanding shares in SanDisk and represented Air Liquide in its $13.4bn acquisition of Airgas. Ethan Klingsberg is a ‘real star’, ‘incredibly smart’, ‘knows how to get the deal done’ and ‘knows when the other side is overreaching or being unreasonable’. Neil Whoriskey and Matthew Salerno ‘strike the right balance between protecting the client and getting the deals done’ and ‘do not hesitate to speak up when they think the client is taking undue risk or hasn’t considered an issue’. Salerno, who has led several of the firm’s headline deals, is also ‘an excellent communicator’, ‘grasps concepts quickly’, and clients ‘always have the confidence that he is on top of the details’. Victor Lewkow, Christopher Austin and Paul Shim are also highly regarded, as are Benet O’Reilly and Glenn McGrory. All named partners are based in New York.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a ‘strong team of creative, motivated partners and associates’ and the level of service is always ‘top notch’. Clients view the team as a ‘top-tier practice with an expanding talent pool’, which is ‘poised to compete on all major deals for years’; it is ‘confidently recommended for any complex transaction’. The firm’s expansive strategy has seen a series of eye-catching lateral hires over the years, including the recruitment of Jonathan Davis from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP at the end of 2016. Building on its market-leading presence in the private equity sector, the firm is now a recognized leader in strategic M&A and has built up an impressive corporate client list. It is also notably strong in corporate governance and shareholder activism, advising a range of corporates and boards of directors on proxy contests. In 2016, the firm advised longstanding client Teva Pharmaceuticals on a series of transactions, including its $40.5bn acquisition of Allergan Generics; this included the largest-ever US antitrust drug divestiture order in a pharmaceutical merger, involving divestitures to 11 different buyers with an aggregate value of $1.7bn. The firm also represented Baxalta in a $32bn unsolicited takeover bid by Shire, including the initial rejection of the bid and subsequent agreed transaction, which closed in June 2016. In another multibillion-dollar deal, the firm advised Molson Coors Brewing on its $12bn purchase of the 58% stake in MillerCoors that it did not already own, from SABMiller; the carve-out of the MillerCoors business was pivotal to the completion of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $106bn acquisition of SABMiller. Illustrating its strength in technology deals, the firm advised Micro Focus International, the global software company, on its $8.8bn acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business through a Reverse Morris Trust structure. Key partners include David Fox, Daniel Wolf, Sarkis Jebejian, William Sorabella and Chicago-based Scott Falk. David Feirstein is also recommended by clients. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Since publication, George Stamas has moved to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is ‘outstanding’, ‘one of the elite’, ‘technically excellent’ and has ‘great breadth and reach’. The firm has ‘fantastic clients’ and rose to greater prominence with the ‘amazing hire’ of Scott Barshay from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in 2016; Barshay is hailed as being in ‘pole position at the M&A bar’ and brings an array of investment bank and corporate client relationships to a team that provides a ‘best-in-class service’, unrivaled ‘industry insight’, ‘commercial sensibilities’ and ‘deal creativity’. Barshay and the team advised Alere on its $5.8bn acquisition by Abbott Laboratories, a deal that Abbott subsequently sought to terminate through a lawsuit. In other headline deals, the firm continued to advise Time Warner Cable on its $78.7bn merger with Charter Communications and represented Qualcomm in its $47bn acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. In addition, it advised Agrium, a Canada-based producer and distributor of agricultural products, on its $36bn merger of equals with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. The team benefits from the firm’s leading litigation and regulatory expertise and is noted for its strength in shareholder activism work, where it handles both the defense and activist investor sides. Other senior figures include Robert Schumer, who is another elite practitioner and led on the Time Warner Cable and Agrium deals, as well as John Scott, Taurie Zeitzer and Brian Finnegan, who are pivotal to the firm’s connection to marquee private equity sponsor Apollo Global Management. Ariel Deckelbaum is another key member of the team and Justin Hamill is an emerging talent, known for his expertise in entertainment having advised WME IMG Holdings on its acquisition of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Jeffrey Marell, Steven Williams and David Klein are also commended by clients. Former partner Toby Myerson left to launch advisory boutique Longsight Strategic Advisors.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is consistently selected for bet-the-company deals and is frequently engaged in shareholder activist situations and contested transactions. The firm delivers ‘great expertise in a timely and efficient manner’, is ‘consistently client-oriented’ and has ‘out-of-the-box strategic thinkers’. It has a formidable presence in New York, where corporate department chair Michael Aiello continues to earn accolades, but in 2017 it lost a strong team in Silicon Valley to Hogan Lovells US LLP, including Kieth Flaum and Richard Climan. The practice has deep public company expertise and an especially strong record in merger of equals transactions, and it is frequently engaged in cross-border transactions involving Europe and Asia. In 2016, it continued to advise Dow Chemical on its $130m merger of equals with DuPont, a deal that involved significant shareholder activism. The firm also advised Sanofi on its $25bn exchange of Merial, its animal health business, for the consumer healthcare business of Boehringer Ingelheim. In technology deals, the firm advised Reid Hoffman, a co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, on the $26bn sale of LinkedIn to Microsoft. It also advised Oracle on its $9.3bn acquisition of NetSuite, its $663m acquisition of Textura and $532m purchase of Opower. Kyle Krpata is the remaining key name in Silicon Valley. In New York, Frederick Green is another senior name, along with Howard Chatzinoff, Michael Lubowitz, Jackie Cohen and Matthew Gilroy.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘fantastic private equity relationships’ and ‘long-term relationships with white shoe corporate clients’. The firm’s ‘fantastic white-collar crime litigation and SEC enforcement practice’ adds to the credibility of its corporate practice. It has an especially strong record in financial services, TMT and healthcare. Clients include, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Pernod Ricard and Tribune Media, as well as major private equity houses such as Apollo Global Management, Carlyle and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Healthcare continues to be a growth area for the department, which advised leading biopharmaceutical company Allergan on its $2.9bn acquisition of LifeCell from Acelity. It also advised relatively new client Envision Healthcare on its $15bn merger with AmSurg. In the TMT sector, the firm has longstanding relationships with Verizon as well as the Dolan family, the controlling shareholder of Cablevision Systems, which it continued to advise on Cablevision’s $17.7bn sale to Altice. The firm also advised Activision Blizzard on its $5.9bn acquisition of King Digital Entertainment. In addition, the firm represents a number of private equity sponsors in the TMT space, such as Carlyle’s TMT group and Providence Equity Partners. Jeffrey Rosen is chair of the corporate department and a big name in high-value M&A. Paul Bird is another senior practitioner with an impressive record in major transactions, including the Envision Healthcare deal. Andrew Bab and Kevin Rinker lead the firm’s focus on healthcare M&A. Michael Diz is another key team member and is especially active in the TMT sector. Co-heads of the M&A group William Regner and Gregory Gooding are also recommended. All named partners are based in New York.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has a ‘premier practice’ and has ‘some really strong players’. The firm has expanded its global footprint, notably with several key hires in London, and is seeing an increase in China outbound work. This added strength has helped the US team expand its share of bulge-bracket M&A transactions. It advised Marriott International on its acquisition of Starwood Hotels, creating the largest hotel chain in the world; the firm’s notable strength in contested deals, shareholder activism and corporate governance would have been a major asset in what was, reportedly, one of the most contentious M&A battles in history. The firm also advised St Jude Medical on its $30.7bn sale to Abbott, the global healthcare company, and it represented General Electric Capital in the $16bn sale of GE Capital Bank’s US online deposit platform to Goldman Sachs. Washington DC’s Stephen Glover is a ‘fantastic attorney’ and co-chairs the M&A practice with Dallas-based Jeffrey Chapman, who has earned national and international accolades for his advice to key client Lone Star, and New York’s Barbara Becker, a prominent figure in M&A and activist situations. Seasoned New York partner Dennis Friedman is also a big name in M&A, including contested deals and activist matters. Jonathan Layne is a key name in Los Angeles. Since publication, George Stamas has joined the Washington DC and New York offices from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Providing ‘extraordinary response times’ and an ‘overall service that is outstanding’, Jones Day is hailed as ‘exceptional in every way’. In particular, the firm is praised for its ‘focus on practical business issues, not the technical points which have no value’, its ‘understanding of a client’s business, industry and M&A goals’ and its ‘seamless’ and ‘collaborative’ approach across offices. The firm has extensive client relationships and is noted for its closeness to traditional corporate America. While impressing with its role in a variety of multibillion-dollar transactions, it also brings to bear its wider resources and expertise in everything from antitrust, to employee benefits and tax. The firm shows particular prominence in technology (including semiconductors), retail and consumer products, and energy. Highlights included advising Reynolds American on its $49.4bn sale to British American Tobacco; it had previously represented Reynolds in its $27.4bn acquisition of Lorillard in 2015. It also advised Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan on its $36bn merger of equals with Agrium and assisted Newell Rubbermaid with its $16bn acquisition of Jarden, bringing together two of the world’s premier designers and marketers of durable consumer goods. In addition, it continued to advise longstanding client Procter & Gamble on the $11.4bn merger of 43 of its beauty brands along with the hair styling brands of Coty through a Reverse Morris Trust transaction. Global chair of M&A Robert Profusek remains the firm’s most recognized M&A specialist, ‘brings decades of experience and practical thinking’ and was the lead partner on several of the firm’s most notable transactions in 2016. Cleveland-based Lyle Ganske is global practice leader for M&A and Randi Lesnick was the lead partner on the Reynolds American transaction. In Silicon Valley, Daniel Mitz is another key name, as is Andrew Levine, who is recommended for both strategic M&A and private equity buyouts. Chair of Americas M&A James Dougherty is also recommended by clients. All named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Shearman & Sterling LLP has ‘a very deep bench, capabilities and expertise’ and clients are consistently impressed with the firm’s ability to provide ‘high-quality and competent people’. The firm is especially ‘well positioned for big global and multi-jurisdictional M&A deals’, thanks to its ‘extensive network’. Among its impressive recent work, it advised GE on the combination of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes to create a market-leading oilfield technology provider; the transaction was structured as a partnership, with GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes contributing their operating assets. It also advised Altice on its $17.7bn acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corporation, creating the fourth-largest US cable company. In addition, it represented Liberty Global in its $8.2bn acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications; the transaction was implemented through a two-stage integration process involving a scheme of arrangement under the UK’s Companies Act and a subsequent merger with a Dutch subsidiary of Liberty Global by forming a new company under the UK’s cross border merger regulations and the Dutch Civil Code. Head of the global M&A group George Casey is ‘unflappable’, provides ‘calm amidst the storm’ and ‘carefully navigates the client through contentious issues’. Scott Petepiece, the head of the firm’s New York M&A group, has an impressive record in strategic M&A and private equity buyouts. The highly experienced Creighton Condon plays a pivotal role in significant transactions, such as advising B/E Aerospace on its $6.4bn sale to Rockwell Collins. Robert Katz is another important figure in New York. San Francisco-based Steve Camahort, Michael Kennedy and Dana Kromm joined Paul Hastings LLP in 2016 and former partner David Connolly joined client Altice as US general counsel.

White & Case LLP is an ‘exceptionally strong firm with very broad expertise in many different markets’, is ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’ and has ‘broad transactional experience’. It has made a concerted effort to build its M&A standing in the last few years, with particular growth in New York and London. Its investment appears to have paid off in the form of a series of key roles in major transactions across the US, Europe and Asia. In 2016, the practice continued to advise Anthem, the US health benefits company, on its $54.2bn acquisition of global health insurance company Cigna. In addition, it advised the special committee of the board of directors of CBS on the proposed $40bn merger between CBS and Viacom, and it represented Dr Dennis Gillings, the founder and significant shareholder of Quintiles, on the $23bn merger of Quintiles and IMS Health Holdings. The firm has an especially strong record in pharmaceuticals and energy deals, and regularly advises financial advisers. Its standing in bankruptcy and restructuring also makes it a key player in distressed deals. John Reiss is global head of M&A and was the lead partner on several of the firm’s highest-profile deals. Morton Pierce is a senior name with genuine board-level credibility and co-global head of the private equity practice Oliver Brahmst is also recognized for cross-border deals, including those involving Latin America. Head of the Americas corporate and M&A practice Gregory Pryor is another key name. Energy specialist Michael Shenberg has ‘very deep experience’, is ‘very hands on’, ‘practical’ and ‘extremely sensitive to the client’s needs’.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is ‘absolutely excellent’, ‘well attuned to clients’ challenges’ and has an ‘outstanding ability to execute quickly and focus on the important issues’. Partners are ‘extremely responsive’, ‘extremely knowledgeable in their specialty areas from a legal and business perspective’, and ‘take time to really understand a client’s business and develop relationships’. The high-quality team is frequently engaged in big-ticket public M&A and private equity transactions. The pharmaceutical, healthcare and media sectors are particularly active for the firm. Recent examples include advising Media General on its $4.6bn merger with Nexstar Broadcasting and its proposed $2.4bn merger with Meredith Corp; it also continued to advise Humana on its proposed $37bn sale to Aetna. In cross-border matters, the team represented Terex in connection with a $3.28bn unsolicited bid from Zoomlion, one of China’s leading crane manufacturers. Other clients include Aleris Corporation, Genesys and Goldman Sachs. Co-head of the department Philip Richter is an ‘excellent M&A and corporate governance lawyer with great business acumen’, and is at the forefront of many of the firm’s headline and big-ticket deals, as is global head of M&A and private equity Robert Schwenkel. Christopher Ewan, Steven Steinman and Washington DC’s Brian Mangino are also recommended. Global chair of the corporate department Steven Scheinfeld is an ‘expert corporate lawyer’, who delivers a ‘superior client service’. Steven Epstein and Matthew Soran are ‘top notch’. All named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has emerged as a major player in high-value and complex cross-border M&A, with clients including the likes of 3M Company, Dell, Lockheed Martin, Novartis, Honeywell, Allergan, Daimler and General Electric. The firm has ‘significant resources to support the transaction, significant sector experience and knowledge, deep resources to complete time-sensitive transactions in an expeditious manner and is good value for the services provided’. It also ‘anticipates issues’, ‘understands the art of the possible’, ‘tirelessly works to achieve the client’s goals’ and is ‘professional in the highest sense of the word’. Key sectors for the practice include real estate and highly regulated industries such as aerospace, defense, government contracts and healthcare. Recent works includes advising Dell on its $3.05bn sale of its global IT services division to Japan-based NTT Data and representing Lockheed Martin in its $5bn agreement to separate its Information Systems & Global Solutions business and combine it with Leidos Holdings through a Reverse Morris Trust structure. In addition, it advised a consortium of Daimler, Audi and BMW on their $3.1bn acquisition of HERE, the digital mapping business held by Finland’s Nokia. Washington DC-based Joseph Gilligan is an ‘excellent team leader’ and has ‘significant deal experience and leadership capabilities to coordinate a large work scope’. New York and Washington DC-based global head of the M&A practice William Curtin is praised for his ‘M&A experience, creativity, availability and business understanding’, making the ‘client look smarter’, and is ‘more prepared and more sophisticated than the client has any right to expect’. Glenn Campbell in Baltimore, Washington DC-based Elizabeth Donley and Paul Manca and New York-based Adam Golden are also highly regarded. In 2017, the firm hired a prominent team in Silicon Valley, including Richard Climan and Kieth Flaum, from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Flaum is described as ‘the Jedi Master of lawyering.

Mayer Brown is commended for its ‘deep bench’ and strong ‘capabilities and expertise’. Clients highlight its consistent ability to deliver ‘high-quality’ teams. The M&A practice covers a broad geography in the US and globally as well as a wide range of industries; these include life sciences, financial institutions, energy, technology, gaming and private equity. In 2016, the firm continued to advise Wells Fargo on its $32bn acquisition of the commercial distribution finance and vendor finance business of GE Capital; finance sector specialist Elizabeth Raymond was the lead partner. The firm also advised TransCanada Corporation on its $13bn acquisition of Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group, which operates a network of natural gas pipelines extending from New York to the Gulf of Mexico. Despite the recent collapse in oil prices, the energy sector is a key growth area for the firm. The firm’s illustrious client base also includes the likes of AT&T, Caesars Entertainment, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Macquarie and Yum! Brands. Seasoned partner Frederick Thomas has genuine boardroom credibility. Global head of corporate and securities Marc Sperber is the relationship partner for Dow Chemical and was also lead partner on the previously mentioned TransCanada deal; clients say he is ‘great at managing relationships and transactions’. William Kucera and Jodi Simala are co-chairs of the M&A practice in the Americas, while Andrew Noreuil has ‘a lot of expertise in the securities, corporate formation and dissolution space’. New York-based Philip Brandes is a key name in M&A and private equity. Up-and-coming Jason Wagenmaker is ‘incredibly pragmatic’, ‘very quick on his feet’ and ‘does a good job of managing the project’. All partners are Chicago based unless stated otherwise.

Morrison & Foerster LLP has made huge progress in M&A in recent years, building on its already impressive market share of major TMT deals. The firm is noted for deals involving a strong intellectual property component and is commended for its ‘responsive, timely and practical’ advice and ‘creative solutions’. Aside from TMT, the firm has an excellent record in life sciences and healthcare, as well as cross-border deals with Japan, and it has a burgeoning practice in energy thanks in part to the presence of Jonathan Melmed in New York, who is especially active in private equity-related deals. Other growth areas include board-level engagements and work with investment banks. San Francisco-based Robert Townsend has a strong reputation and led the team that advised Henry Nicholas, the co-founder and former CEO of Broadcom, on Broadcom’s $37bn acquisition of Avago Technologies. He also headed the group advising VMware on Dell’s $67bn acquisition of VMware’s parent company, EMC. In addition, the firm advised Japan’s SoftBank on the US aspects of its $31.4bn acquisition of UK-based ARM and represented Ducera Securities as financial adviser to Monsanto regarding Monsanto’s $66bn sale to Bayer. Furthermore, it advised the independent members of the board of directors of Polycom on the company’s $2bn merger with Siris Capital Group. Other key partners include the ‘very responsive and practical’ Eric McCrath in San Francisco; New York-based Spencer Klein, who is a leader in life sciences and healthcare; and TMT and government industry-related M&A specialist Lawrence Yanowitch in Northern Virginia. Washington DC-based David Slotkin is noted for real estate M&A.

Sidley Austin LLP has a ‘deep bench’, provides a ‘first-class service’ and is a ‘top-tier firm in energy’. It is capturing additional market share in the $1bn-plus category thanks to further investment in its teams in the US, notably the West Coast, and in Europe. Energy and financial institutions are key sectors for the practice and the firm’s strong regulatory capabilities brings it numerous deals in the telecoms, healthcare and life sciences industries. Telecoms and media deals have grown considerably since the firm launched a Century City office with the hire of Dan Clivner and a team from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in 2015. Clients include Aon, eBay, General Electric, KPMG, Starwood Property Trust, Walgreen Co, Wells Fargo and Western Union. The firm advised Yum China Holdings on its $10bn cross-border spin-off from Yum! Brands, which involved Yum! Brands selling a stake in its Chinese operations to Primavera Capital and Ant Financial Services, then listing the new independent company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It also advised Keurig Green Mountain on its $13.9bn going-private acquisition by JAB Holding. In addition, it represented Duke Energy in its $6.7bn acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas. Key members of the team include Paul Choi and Brian Fahrney, San Francisco’s Sharon Flanagan, Mark Metts in Houston, and Dan Clivner, who operates between the Century City and Downtown Los Angeles offices. New York’s Irving Rotter is ‘exceptionally brilliant’ and Houston-based David Denechaud is ‘thorough’, has ‘great attention to detail’, ‘understands complex concepts quickly’ and ‘cares about his clients and protects their interests’. Seasoned practitioner Thomas Cole retired from the partnership in January 2017 but remains a senior counsel in the firm. Individuals mentioned are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

Bracewell LLP combines an impressive record in M&A transactions with market-leading energy sector knowledge. The firm also has an impressive record in bank sector M&A and is frequent counsel to financial advisers such as Evercore Partners. In addition, it has a solid reputation for smaller-sized technology transactions. The Houston-based group has an enviable list of upstream and midstream oil and gas clients, including several MLPs, with notable names such as Kinder Morgan, Phillips 66 and Apache Corporation. Recent highlights include advising utility company Great Plains Energy on its $12.2bn acquisition of Westar Energy, the largest public utility in Kansas; the deal involved Great Plains securing an $8bn bridge loan from Goldman Sachs and a $750m preferred stock investment in Great Plains by Ontario Employees Retirement System. In another major engagement, the firm advised the conflicts committee of the board of directors of the general partner of Tallgrass Energy Partners in a series of transactions that led to the acquisition of Pony Express Pipeline for more than $2bn. Key names are managing partner Gregory Bopp, William Anderson, Cleland Dade, Jason Jean, Troy Harder, Gary Orloff, Alan Rafte and Charles Still. Dallas-based bank sector M&A specialist Sanford Brown joined Alston & Bird LLP.

Dechert LLP cemented its impressive standing in cross-border transactions with a series of impressive deals during 2016. The team’s ‘overall level of service is very high’ and individual lawyers are ‘very well informed’, ‘very responsive’, ‘take the initiative’ and ‘think like business people’. It is highly acclaimed for financial services, life sciences and healthcare transactions, as well as contested deals, and the firm’s notable experience in the hedge fund world makes it especially well positioned for activist situations. Private equity continues to be pivotal to the success of the wider corporate practice. Established clients include Amkor Technology, B&G Foods, Celgene, CIT Group, Johnson & Johnson and Select Medical. New clients include CIFC, Diffusion Pharmaceuticals, Doosan Infracore and Lisi Medical. It advised EGS, a One Equity Partners portfolio company, on its acquisition by Alorica, a global customer relationship management services company. The firm also advised the special committee of independent directors of Nasdaq-listed Steiner Leisure on the $925m sale of the company to private equity house Catterton Partners. Mark Thierfelder is chair of the firm’s corporate and securities group, chair of the global private equity practice and leads many of the firm’s most challenging transactions. Other key partners include Jonathan Kim, Derek Winokur, Christian Matarese and Markus Bolsinger, who is ‘a trusted adviser’ and ‘takes the time to understand a client’s business and motivations before undertaking any way’. Howard Kleinman is ‘extremely well informed and connected in Latin America’. In Philadelphia, Henry Nassau, William Lawlor, Carmen Romano and Geraldine Sinatra are key names. All named attorneys are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has a lean and impressive practice with a sizable market share of headline and big-ticket deals. Private equity continues to be a growing sector for the practice and it remains prominent in cross-border deals, especially those involving Latin America. It advised Zuffa and its controlling owners on the $4bn sale of the UFC to WME IMG and its private equity partners Silver Lake, KKR, MSD Capital and MSD Partners. It also advised Eldorado Resorts on its $1.7bn acquisition of Isle of Capri Casinos. Aside from these deals, the firm has an especially strong record in energy, power, natural resources and infrastructure transactions. New York partner John Franchini and Los Angeles-based Kenneth Baronsky lead the corporate practice, which also includes Los Angeles’ Deborah Conrad and New York’s Charles Conroy.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is ‘excellent’ and has an impressive practice in public and private sector M&A. Its international expansion over the last few years has enabled it to advise on a greater number of cross-border transactions. It is particularly noted for its strength in life sciences, energy, technology, retail, financial services, healthcare and media deals. In 2016, the firm advised Acerta Pharma, the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, on its $4bn sale of a majority stake in the company to AstraZeneca; this was one of the largest sales of a private biotechnology company. It also advised BASF on its coatings division’s $3.2bn acquisition of Chemetall, the global surface treatment business of Albermarle. On the technology side, it advised eBay on its $925m sale of eBay Enterprise, its e-commerce business, to Permira and Sterling Partners. Key partner on the deal, Philadelphia-based leader of the M&A practice Richard Aldridge, is a real ‘M&A expert’ and does a ‘fine job’. Fellow Philadelphia partner Justin Chairman provides ‘outstanding contributions’ to M&A transactions. In Boston, deputy leader of the M&A practice Laurie Cerveny is also highly recommended, as are Steven Browne and John Utzschneider. Steven Navarro and Floyd Wittlin in New York and James Loss in Orange County are other key names. Since publication, John Crespo has joined from King & Spalding LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP now consistently operates in the $1bn-plus bracket, although it maintains an impressive share of middle-market deals. Key industries for the practice are healthcare and life sciences, leisure and hospitality, real estate and sports. In 2016, the firm advised Accor on its $2.9bn acquisition of FRHI Hotels and Resorts. It also advised the senior management team of Multiplan on its acquisition by Hellman & Friedman from Starr Investment Holdings and represented Grifols in its $1.85bn acquisition of Hologic’s blood screening business. Its impressive client list also includes Ares Management, Celgene and Inspired Gaming Group. Los Angeles managing partner Michael Woronoff and Ron Papa co-head the M&A department. Jeffrey Horwitz is noted for real estate and leisure and hospitality deals and was the lead partner on the Accor transaction. Daniel Ganitsky is another key member of the team. All named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Ropes & Gray LLP has a ‘strong team with great skills and knowledge that is totally dedicated to the process and outcome’. The firm is praised for its life sciences expertise and for its consistent ability to assemble a ‘functioning team with different skills and areas of expertise’ that delivers ‘an aligned and seamless service’. Over the last few years, the firm has managed to develop a hugely impressive strategic M&A practice alongside its longstanding position as a private equity buyouts heavyweight. The life sciences, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors continue to be its forte. Recent work includes advising Shire Pharmaceuticals on its headline $32bn acquisition of Baxalta, a deal which involved significant tax complexities and regulatory issues connected to Shire being a Jersey incorporated company that has an Irish tax domicile and is listed in London and on Nasdaq. The firm also advised Shire on its $6.5bn acquisition of biotech company Dyax. Jane Goldstein is co-head of the M&A group and splits her time between New York and Boston. Christopher Comeau has an exceptional record in high-value life sciences transactions. Julie Jones has an impressive mix of private equity and corporate relationships and Paul Kinsella is noted for life sciences and medical technology transactions. John Sorkin provides additional senior level credibility in the New York office, where he is also noted for representing financial advisers. New York-based Othon Prounis and Carl Marcellino are also strong in M&A and private equity. In February 2017, Paul Scrivano joined the firm's San Francisco office from O’Melveny & Myers LLP as global head of M&A.All named partners are based in Boston unless stated otherwise.

Vinson & Elkins LLP is praised for its ‘strong understanding of oil and gas’, enabling it to ‘understand how to be commercial and drive a process forward’. Clients are ‘extremely impressed with the team from partners to associates’, including its ‘good response times’ and ‘fully baked answers and advice’. In 2016, the firm saw an uptick in deals, in line with a recovering energy industry. Clients include Devon Energy, Rice Energy, Pioneer Natural Resources, Ridgewood Energy, Teva Pharmaceuticals, White Deer Energy and a long list of private equity houses such as Apollo Global Management, Ares Capital, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, Quantum Energy Partners, Riverstone and Warburg Pincus. The firm boosted its technology M&A and private equity credentials in 2016 with the hire of Paul Tobias from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and previous recruits have solidified the firm’s position in real estate and REIT deals. In a recent example, it advised NorthStar Realty Finance on its three-way all-stock merger of equals with NorthStar Asset Manegement and Colony Capital to create Colony NorthStar. In another highlight, the firm advised Memorial Resource Development on its $4.4bn acquisition by Range Resources. Illustrating its standing with major private equity houses, the firm advised TPG Capital portfolio company Nexeo Solutions on its $1.57bn merger with WL Ross Holdings. Head of department Keith Fullenweider remains the firm’s marquee name in M&A and has a number of key relationships, especially with private equity houses such as TPG. Fellow department head Matthew Strock is another prominent name, as are Stephen Gill and New York-based James Fox. All named partners are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Allen & Overy LLP has an impressive mix of domestic and cross-border M&A work in sectors such as software, life sciences, energy and utilities, financial institutions, telecoms and media. Clients include Total, SAP, GlaxoSmithKline, Associated British Foods and General Electric. In 2016, the firm advised Thomson Reuters on the $3.55bn sale of its Intellectual Property and Science Business to Onex and Baring. It also advised Deutsche Börse on the $1.1bn sale of International Securities Exchange Holdings to Nasdaq. In addition, it advised Computer Sciences on its $11bn Reverse Morris Trust merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s enterprise services business. Head of the US corporate practice Eric Shube has an impressive M&A record. Since publication, Peter Harwich has moved to Latham & Watkins LLP.

Baker Botts L.L.P. impresses with its connection to a range of large-cap public companies in Texas. The energy sector giant continued to work on a multitude of headline deals, despite the recent challenging environment for oil and gas clients. In the first ten months of 2016, the firm worked on well over 50 M&A transactions, with an aggregate value in excess of $60bn. This included advising Schlumberger on its $14.8bn acquisition of Cameron International, creating the world’s largest oilfield company. The firm also advised Westar Energy on its $12.2bn sale to Great Plains Energy and assisted Liberty Media with its $8bn acquisition of Delta Topco, the parent company of Formula One, from CVC Capital Partners. Co-chair of the firm-wide corporate department David Kirkland is a prominent figure in Houston and Renee Wilm is a notable name in the New York office. In February 2017, a nine-partner team including David Peterman, Efren Acosta and Edward Rhyne joined from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

Baker McKenzie LLP has a particularly impressive record in cross-border transactions, thanks to its immense global platform, though it has genuine domestic credibility especially in key sectors such as technology (including semiconductors and software), healthcare, aerospace and defense, pharmaceuticals, transportation and energy. Clients include Cardtronics, FedEx, Intel, Quest Diagnostics, Safran and Symantec. The firm recently advised Intel on a restructuring and integration process following its $16.7bn acquisition of Altera. It also continued to advise Symantec on the $7.4bn sale and separation of Veritas, its information management business, to Carlyle; the deal involved over 50 jurisdictions. In another key deal, it advised FedEx on its €4.8bn acquisition of TNT Express to expand its European operations; chair of the firm’s global M&A practice Michael DeFranco has worked on several deals for FedEx. Palo Alto partner Matthew Gemello is noted for technology transactions. Olivia Tyrrell, David Malliband, San Francisco’s Veronika Nemeth and New York partner Alan Zoccolillo are also recommended. Partners mentioned are Chicago based unless stated otherwise.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has a broad-based public and private M&A practice, with particular expertise in healthcare and financial services mandates. Corporate governance expertise and investment fund clients are very much at the heart of the firm, providing a basis for its flourishing shareholder activist work on behalf of activists as well as managers and directors. Clients include The Medicines Company, Willis Towers Watson, AngioDynamics and Access Industries. Fund clients include Pershing Square Capital Management and Elliott Capital Management. It advised The Medicines Company on the sale of three of its marketed cardiovascular products, and it assisted Bill Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square with its investment in Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Richard Brand is recognized for his public M&A and shareholder activism expertise and William Mills has an excellent record in healthcare deals. Christopher Cox has retired from the partnership and is now senior counsel at the firm in addition to holding a senior position at key client The Medicines Company.

Clifford Chance is recommended for ‘larger and international M&A deals’ and is praised for its ‘extraordinary level of service’. The team is ‘very loyal and engaged’ and demonstrates real familiarity with clients’ businesses, according to one client. It has an impressive record in cross-border transactions thanks to its broad international network and integrated teams. It is notably active in deals involving Latin America and advised Actis on its sale of a 92% stake in Energuate, Guatemala’s largest electricity distribution company, to IC Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of NYSE-listed Kenon Holdings. The firm’s New York office has attracted an impressive client portfolio, including The Coca-Cola Companies, Mondelēz International, Pfizer, McGraw-Hill and Informa. In 2016, it advised Mondelēz on the $13.9bn take-private acquisition of Keurig Green Mountain by JAB Holdings. Real estate and financial institutions are also key sectors; the firm is especially active in the insurance segment thanks in part to the presence of Gary Boss, who is recognized for his record in reinsurance, including advising several hedge fund-backed reinsurers. Former Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP counsel Kevin Lehpamer joined the firm as a partner at the end of 2016 to reinforce the senior ranks, which include David Brinton, a big name in energy and Latin America transactions, and Benjamin Sibbett, who is ‘smart, responsive and practical’, and has a strong record in healthcare, media and information services deals. Sarah Jones is another key team member and has close relationships with The Coca-Cola Companies, Mondelēz and AEI. Senior practitioner John Healy is praised for his understanding of ‘business and strategic objectives’ and is recommended for public M&A and corporate governance issues.

Covington & Burling LLP is widely recognized for its strength in regulated industries and has demonstrated an especially impressive record in sectors such as life sciences and healthcare, financial institutions, energy, aerospace and defense, hospitality and leisure, telecoms and technology. The firm’s M&A standing was enhanced by the arrival of David Schwartzbaum from Greenberg Traurig LLP, who is known for his advice to financial advisers and corporates in M&A transactions. In addition, Tom DeFilipps joined the Silicon Valley office from Sidley Austin LLP to lead the firm’s West Coast corporate practice. Clients include Allergan, AstraZeneca, MidFirst, Illumina, Johnson & Johnson and UCB. In 2016, the firm advised AbbVie on its $5.8bn acquisition of Stemcentrx, and assisted UCB with the $1.23bn sale of its Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals division to Lannett Company. New York’s Scott Smith and Washington DC partner Catherine Dargan head the M&A practice, which also includes JD Weinberg and Frank Conner in New York and Michael Reed in Washington DC.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has a tremendous record in cross-border M&A, especially US inbound transactions, and is ‘excellent value for money’ for larger transactions. Since 2010, it has advised on more US inbound M&A transactions than any other firm and now frequently advises on deals valued at over $1bn. In 2016, the firm advised Henderson Group on its $6bn all-stock merger of equals with Janus Capital to form Janus Henderson Global Investors. It also advised Formula One Group and CVC Capital on the $8bn sale of a 38.8% stake in F1 to Liberty Media. The team is known for its private equity connections and represented MSD Capital in its investment (alongside WME IMG, KKR and Silver Lake) in the $4bn buyout of UFC. Peter Lyons, the co-head of global M&A, is hugely experienced and has extensive experience in high-value transactions. Matthew Herman is an equally influential member of the team and Mitchell Presser is ‘smart’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘an excellent tactician and negotiator’ and ‘understands both legal and business issues’. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Greenberg Traurig LLP is praised for its ‘structuring advice and strategy suggestions’, leading to a ‘deep and extremely positive experience’. Clients describe team members as ‘business partners’ and an ‘extension of their own internal capabilities’. Clients also appreciate the team’s ‘negotiating skills and willingness to provide introductions and deal leads’. The firm benefits from its extensive network across the US and its solid international presence, which includes an especially strong record in cross-border deals involving Latin America; it has an office in Mexico City and a large Latin America focused team. Healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceuticals are key sectors for the M&A practice. Clients include Jarden, OPKO Health,, Platform Specialty Products, Amaya, Ryder Systems, Mednax and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Deal highlights included advising global consumer products company Jarden on its $15.4bn acquisition by Newell Rubbermaid, and assisting Vizient with a $2.7bn three-step transaction to acquire the Spend and Clinical Resource Management business of MedAssets from Pamplona Capital Management. Dennis Block is the senior chairman of the firm’s global M&A practice and Patricia Menéndez-Cambó chairs the global corporate and securities practice. David Schwartzbaum has joined Covington & Burling LLP.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP has an impressive record in technology deals, particularly West Coast-originated transactions, as well as cross-border deals involving Asia. Media, life sciences, industrials and energy are also key sectors. Deal highlights included advising Alaska Air Group on its $4bn acquisition of Virgin America, creating the fifth-largest airline in the US, and assisting Dealertrack Technologies with its $4bn sale to Cox Automotive; the firm advised Dealertrack on more than a dozen M&A deals over the preceding three years. In another major deal, it advised BB&T Corporation on its $1.8bn acquisition of National Penn Bancshares. Silicon Valley-based Warren Lazarow is chairman of the firm’s global transactions department and Paul Sieben is known for technology transactions. New York-based Tobias Knapp is also recommended. In February 2017, former global head of M&A Paul Scrivano moved to Ropes & Gray LLP.

Paul Hastings LLP impresses with its roles in US-Asia transactions, thanks partly to its ‘good outbound Chinese practice’ and ‘high-quality people in Beijing’. Illustrating its strength in US-Asia deals, it advised Samsung Electronics on its $8bn acquisition of Harman International Industries, in what was the largest-ever Korean outbound M&A transaction. The firm is also strong in cross-border deals outside of Asia and in addition has a sizable domestic M&A practice. As an example of the latter, the firm advised longstanding client and NYSE-listed ExamWorks on its $2.2bn sale to private equity house Leonard Green & Partners. In another key transaction, the firm advised Brocade Communications on its $1.5bn acquisition of Ruckus Wireless via a part cash and part stock exchange offer; this was a rare instance of an M&A transaction structured as an exchange offer. Key partners include Los Angeles-based David Hernand and Robert Miller, head of the New York M&A practice David Shine, New York partner Samuel Waxman and San Diego-based global chair of the M&A group Carl Sanchez.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLPprovides an excellent service’, is ‘very quick to respond’, ‘very knowledgeable about current events and market terms’, and has ‘great depth in its energy practice’. The firm has made considerable headway in the energy sector following the launch of a Houston office in 2014, having built on the already impressive standing of legacy New York partner Bruce Herzog, who now splits his time between the two offices. The firm is also active across multiple industry sectors and is frequently engaged in high-value deals. In 2016, it advised Level 3 Communications on its proposed $34bn sale to CenturyLink, and assisted Colony Capital with the three-way merger of equals between Colony Capital, NorthStar Asset Management Group and NorthStar Realty Finance, creating Colony NorthStar. Key partners include heads of department David Boston and Steven Seidman and chairman of the firm Thomas Cerabino. ‘Excellent’ Houston partner Michael De Voe Piazza is recommended by clients for energy deals. Named attorneys are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati remains the benchmark firm for technology M&A. Though known for its presence in Silicon Valley, it now has genuine national and international reach. In 2016, the firm advised NetSuite on its $9.3bn sale to Oracle; Linear Technology on its $14.8bn sale to Analog Devices; Yahoo! on its $4.83bn acquisition by Verizon; and LinkedIn during its $26.2bn acquisition by Microsoft. Michael Ringler and Martin Korman are two of the leading M&A practitioners on the West Coast, and Larry Sonsini has an unrivaled reputation within the technology and growth company sector.

M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)

Index of tables

  1. M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
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DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘level of service is exceptional; the lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and responsive and deliver a high-quality work product - and practical advice’. The firm recently welcomed Sherman Chu to the Silicon Valley office from Cisco, where he served as general counsel for the Greater China region, while Michael Stein, who divides time between Baltimore and Washington DC, was hired from Everi Holdings, where he served as senior vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate compliance officer. Other key hires included energy sector specialist Drew Baldinger in Houston from Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP. In the technology space, the firm acted for Qualcomm’s board in its acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, and advised SolarWinds in its sale to private equity technology investment firms, Silver Lake Partners and Thoma Bravo. Key energy transactions included acting for Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors on the sale of privately held entities, Silver Hill Energy Partners I & II (formerly co-owned with Ridgemont Equity Partners), to RSP Permian; while in real estate it acted for timeshare company Diamond Resorts International in its sale to Apollo Global Management. The practice is also recommended for deals involving the life sciences, healthcare and franchising and distribution, as well as insurance, manufacturing and financial services. New York-based US M&A chair Jonathan Klein is highly rated, and managing partner of the firm’s Texas offices John Gilluly III is US corporate co-chair. Frank Layson is ‘very talented at finding creative solutions to difficult issues and truly partners with clients during transactions’. Since publication, William Candelaria has joined from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP. Since publication, Gina Reif Ilardi has joined from Jenner & Block LLP.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

K&L Gates’ ‘overall level of service is outstanding, thanks to the quality of the team, the response times and the firm’s global platform’. The team regularly acts on bet-the-company deals for significant middle-market and emerging growth companies, as well mid-sized and large transactions for leading global corporations. The practice has particular strength in the technology, media, telecoms and energy sectors, as well as in infrastructure, transportation, financial services, healthcare and life sciences. Significant energy deals included acting for Boralex, which develops, builds and operates renewable energy facilities, on the acquisition of wind projects in France and Scotland; in the infrastructure sector, the practice advised investment manager Legg Mason on the acquisition of majority equity interests in Australia’s RARE Infrastructure; and large deal highlights in the healthcare sector included advising PharMEDium Services on its $2.6bn sale to AmerisourceBergen. Recommended corporate and transactional advisers include New York-based Robert Zinn and Sandy Feldman, who has ‘superior negotiation skills’. Zinn’s client relationships range from start-ups to some of the world’s largest corporations, with a focus on substantial middle-market businesses, while Feldman’s representative experience includes advising a North American publicly traded independent power producer on multiple acquisitions and sales of renewable energy facilities. He has also acted for a Europe-based publicly traded global construction and infrastructure company on acquisitions of other construction and infrastructure companies. Other highly rated advisers include Seattle-based Annette Becker, Rick Giovannelli in Charlotte, and Chicago-based Mark McMillan.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP is ‘very highly rated for its M&A capabilities’. The firm grew through the recruitment of New York-based private equity, LBO and M&A expert Robert Goldstein and private equity specialist Jeremy Dickens from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP and Shearman & Sterling LLP, respectively, while technology and life sciences expert David Lipkin joined in Silicon Valley from Morrison & Foerster LLP. The practice’s sector strengths include energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and food and beverages; in the energy sector, the team advised Irving Oil on its acquisition of the Whitegate refinery in Cork, Ireland and related assets. On the sell side, the team assisted Jimmy John’s with its sale of a majority interest in the company to Roark Capital Group, a private equity group. Recent large deal highlights include advising Evince, the German multinational chemical company, on its $3.8bn acquisition of a performance materials unit from Air Products & Chemicals. New York-based David Goldman and Thomas Sauermilch are recommended; and Timothy Alvino is ‘singled out for the level of service he gives. He is also able to work with the most difficult of clients in the most difficult of situations’. In Washington DC, Thomas Conaghan’s experience includes representing an entrepreneur on the acquisition of a US brewing company; and Samuel Wales has represented HIG Capital in the acquisition and sale of multiple portfolio companies. Silicon Valley-based Mark Mihanovic heads the firm’s California corporate group; and Michael Sartor and Byron Kalogerou are notable advisers in Boston. Kalogerou ‘provides quality counsel’. Miami-based firm-wide corporate chair Harris Siskind also co-heads the firm’s international private equity practice; and Dallas-based Wilson Chu, Soren Lindstrom and Gregory Hidalgo are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP is ‘terrific for its response times, appropriate advice, strength of team and value for money’. The firm hired Austin-based Justin Long from Bracewell LLP, where he was head of its financial institutions group; Long’s experience includes representing an investor group in its acquisition of a private bank holding company. The New York office also grew through the recruitment of David Barrett from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Barrett is experienced in transactions involving financial institutions, financial services firms and fintech businesses. Recent highlights for the group include advising G-III Apparel Group on the purchase from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton of Donna Karan International; and acting for laser manufacturer ROFIN-SINAR Technologies in its merger deal with Coherent. Other recommended lawyers include San Antonio-based US business group head Daryl Lansdale Jr, who was recently elected managing partner of the US offices, and Gene Lewis, who divides time between Denver and Houston. In February 2017, a nine-partner team including David Peterman, Efren Acosta and Edward Rhyne joined Baker Botts L.L.P.. In June 2017, the practice subsumed a New York-based team from Chadbourne & Parke LLP, following the combination of the two firms. The incoming group has particularly strong energy sector credentials. Examples included William Greason advising NextEra Energy on its agreement to acquire EFH and EFH’s 80% stake in Oncor Electric Delivery Company, a transmission and distribution utility company, and acting for Macquarie Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition of the Lordstown Energy Center, a 940MW combined-cycle power plant. In addition, recently promoted partner Kessar Nashat acted for Eagle Creek Renewable Energy in the acquisition of four hydroelectric facilities, and the team advised I Squared Capital on the purchase of Duke Energy’s Latin American businesses in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador and Argentina. Other key cross-border deals included advising Fuller Smith Capital Management, the manager of AirDye Holdings, on the acquisition of Japanese corporation Debs Textile Corporation. Charles Hord III has deal expertise in the manufacturing, retailing, energy, technology, publishing and telecoms sectors; and Marwan Azzi is also a notable name. Marc Alpert exited the practice to become senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Loews Corporation. Former Chadbourne & Parke LLP lawyers Kevin Smith, Allen Miller, Morton Grosz, Sey-Hyo Lee, Claude Serfilippi and Talbert Navia moved to Winston & Strawn LLP following the merger.

WilmerHale is well known for its representation of technology, life sciences, financial services and defense sector clients. Mid-market highlights included advising Micro Focus on its $540m-valued acquisition of Serena Software, and assisting MKS Instruments, a global technology provider, with its acquisition of Newport Corporation for approximately $980m. It also advised The Medicines Company on the sale to Mallinckrodt of its global portfolio of three hemostasis products. Among larger deals, the practice acted for Analog Devices in its approximately $14.8bn acquisition of fellow chipmaker Linear Technology, advised Skyworks Solutions, an innovator of high performance analog semiconductors, on its proposed merger agreement with PMC-Sierra, and acted for Cumberland Farms in the sale of a portion of its fuel station assets and its equity interests in Gulf Oil Limited Partnership. In Boston, Jay Bothwick and Hal Leibowitz are the recommended M&A co-chairs, Mick Bain co-chairs the corporate practice group, and Mark Borden is also highly rated. Palo Alto-based Joseph Wyatt represents investors and public and private company clients in the technology and biotech sectors, while Stephanie Evans is a key Washington DC contact. Eric Hwang, who represents technology and life sciences clients in complex cross-border M&A, and experienced transactions lawyer Christopher Rose joined from White & Case LLP in Palo Alto and Los Angeles, respectively.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s M&A team regularly draws upon the firm’s tax, antitrust, employment, IP, environmental and employee benefits practices as well as its corporate and finance expertise. In New York, the firm recently hired insurance specialist Keith Andruschak from Mayer Brown and Joel Rubinstein, Jonathan Rochwarger and Elliott Smith from McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Rubinstein has particular experience in transactions involving special purpose acquisition companies. The firm’s M&A practice is under new leadership in the form of Matthew Bergmann in Chicago and Washington DC-based Christopher Zochowski. Upper mid-market highlights included advising Global Eagle Entertainment on the $550m acquisition of Emerging Markets Communications; while in the lower mid-market space, the team acted for Continuum Energy in the $78m sale of its retail natural gas business, and advised General Cable Corporation on the $71m divestment of its automotive ignition wire business, located in the US and Mexico. Evidencing the team’s ability to act on large deals, it assisted TreeHouse Foods with its $2.7bn acquisition of ConAgra Foods’ private brands operations, and acted for Motorola Solutions in the $1.2bn acquisition of Airwave, a private operator of a public safety network. Key Chicago advisers include former corporate practice chair Steven Gavin, Oscar David, Brian Schafer and Robert Wall. Other notable names include Houston-based Richard Wynne, Robert Rawn in New York, James Junewicz, who divides time between Chicago and New York, and Eric Green in Washington DC. Following publication, a group comprising Kevin Smith, Allen Miller, Morton Grosz, Sey-Hyo Lee, Claude Serfilippi and Talbert Navia joined from the legacy Chadbourne & Parke LLP firm.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP grew its private equity transactional capabilities through the hire of New York-based Patrick Rice from Reed Smith LLP. The team regularly acts for high-profile investment funds and issuers in complex M&A transactions, including buyouts, distressed transactions, shareholder activist campaigns and company defenses. The firm also has a robust energy transactions practice, where examples of large deals included assisting Energy Transfer Partners with its agreement to sell a majority stake in motor fuel distributor Sunoco and all of its retail business, and acting for Natural Gas Partners, Memorial Resource Development (MRD)’s principal stockholder, on Range Resources Corporation and MRD’s merger agreement. New York-based Adam Weinstein led the advice to Apollo Global Management in its buyout of RegionalCare Hospital Partners, and Frank Reddick in Los Angeles represented VCA, an animal healthcare company, in its $344m acquisition of a majority ownership interest in Companion Animal Practices. Corporate practice head Kerry Berchem in New York stands out for advising on net operating loss-driven transactions that are structured to leverage deferred tax assets; Berchem recently acted for CIFG Holding in its $450m all-cash sale to Assured Guaranty Corporation. Washington DC and London based Rick Burdick is global energy and transactions head, while other key advisers include Daniel Fisher, who divides time between Washington DC and New York, John Goodgame in Houston, New York-based Ackneil Muldrow III and Jeffrey Kochian, and Thomas Yang in Dallas.

Dentons’ ‘overall level of service is exceptional and the team of lawyers is superb with clients’. Atlanta and New York-based Michael Cochran, Michael Froy in Chicago and New York-based Stephan Mallenbaum are the practice’s key contacts. Froy stands out for his advice to manufacturers and regulated businesses, such as energy, healthcare and insurance companies, while Mallenbaum is particularly noted for his advice to global financial services, private equity and technology-driven companies. The team represented Home Depot on the sale of its fuel store business to Tri Star Energy; advised Southwire Company, a wire and cable manufacturer, on its approximately $190m acquisition of United Copper Industries from KPS Capital Partners; and acted for Spire Capital, a private equity firm, in the sale of Rainbow Early Education Holdings. Other recent matters include acting for Ingredion, a global ingredients solutions company, on its acquisition of TIC Gums and certain affiliated entities; advising Crawford & Company, the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management solutions for insurance companies and self-insured entities, on its acquisition of a majority interest in WeGoLook; and representing private equity clients The Edgewater Funds and JZ Capital Partners, and their portfolio company Technical Solutions & Services, in the acquisition of assets of Midwest Gas Instrument Service.

Predominantly focused on technology and life sciences companies, Fenwick & West LLP opened an office in New York in 2016 in response to the firm’s growing East Coast client base; it also grew its presence in Mountain View through the hiring of private equity lawyer David Johanson from Kirkland & Ellis LLP and promoted Seattle-based Andrew Albertson to partner. The practice is primary outside corporate counsel to Facebook, which it advised on the acquisition of Nascent Objects, Two Big Ears and Masquerade Technologies. Other notable deals included advising Appirio on its $500m sale to Wipro, intended to create one of the world’s largest cloud transformation practices, and assisting Xamarin with its sale to Microsoft. On the buy side, it acted for regular client Cisco in its $293m acquisition of CloudLock, which specializes in cloud access security broker technology, and represented Etsy in its acquisition of Blackbird Technologies. The team was also active in the large deal space; in the gaming sector, it advised Supercell Oy on its $8.6bn sale to Tencent, and acted for King Digital Entertainment in its $5.9bn sale to Activision Blizzard. Douglas Cogen in San Francisco and David Healy in Mountain View are the M&A co-chairs. Cogen’s transactional experience includes over a $100bn of completed M&A deals, and Healy has represented numerous public tech companies, including HP, Cadence and Sun Microsystems. Other notable Mountain View advisers include Scott Joachim, Adam Halpern, Blake Martell, Ralph Pais, Kris Withrow and Gregory Roussel. San Francisco-based Stephen Gillespie and Lynda Twomey, and Stephen Graham and Alan Smith in Seattle are also key contacts.

Practicing from Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Washington DC, King & Spalding LLP has 100-plus lawyers principally focused on M&A. The team recently advised EndoChoice Holdings on a definitive merger agreement under which EndoChoice will be acquired by Boston Scientific. Other key matters included acting for HD Supply in the sale of its Interior Solutions and Power Solutions units. Large deal highlights included advising Belk on its sale to affiliates of Sycamore Partners Management, with the deal valued at approximately $3bn. It also acted for Post Properties in its merger agreement with Mid-America Apartment Communities, and assisted TSYS with its $2.35bn acquisition of TransFirst Holdings. Atlanta-based Raymond Baltz is global corporate practice head and Jack Capers Jr and William Baxley are also recommended. Other highly rated advisers include Richard Bange III, who splits time between Charlotte and New York, and Matthew Jacobson, who works between New York and Silicon Valley. New York-based Robert Leclerc, whose clients include private and publicly traded companies and private equity firms, and Justin King in Atlanta, who has notable experience representing professional sports franchises, were promoted to partner. Since publication, John Crespo has joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Typically advising US and international companies on transactions in the $100m to $1bn range, Reed Smith LLP’s team is particularly expert in financial services, life sciences and energy M&A; it also has significant deal experience in the manufacturing, food and beverage, technology and media sectors. Examples of life sciences deals included advice to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on the sale of Padlock Therapeutics, in which GSK was a significant shareholder; it also acted for Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Japan’s Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, in its $624m acquisition of Canada-based Cynapsus Therapeutics. Other notable transactions included assisting Vista Outdoor with its agreement to purchase BRG Sports’ Action Sports and Power Sports divisions, including the Bell, Giro, C-Preme and Blackburn brands; and acting for ball-bearings manufacturer SKF Group (SKF) in its $339m agreement to sell its global velocity controls business to German public company Stabilus. This latter deal was the fourth sale that the firm handled for SKF during a 12-month period. M&A head Michael Lee’s deal expertise spans healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, food and beverages, telecoms and software; and Chicago-based Matthew Petersen heads the corporate and transactional advisory group. Petersen’s experience includes representing a US manufacturer of plastic thermoformed packaging in its sale to the US subsidiary of an international conglomerate, and assisting a private equity fund with the acquisition of a US operator of freestanding tire inflator and vacuum vending machines. Corporate transactional partners Jared Hershberg and Jennifer Cheng joined in New York from Winston & Strawn LLP and Paul Hastings LLP, respectively, while Brian Miner moved to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in Washington DC.

With offices in both New York and Washington DC, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is well known in the market for advising on private equity and investment manager M&A. The practice also regularly acts for the portfolio companies of its private equity fund clients on their investments and dispositions. It recently hired private equity expert Michael Gilligan in New York from Hogan Lovells US LLP. Recent sell-side deals included advising New York-based broker-dealer Albert Fried & Co on its sale to Canadian financial institution TD Securities US. Acquisition highlights included acting for Cerberus Capital Management in its purchase of auto component supplier ABC Group, and assisting global investment firm Marlin Equity Partners with its $90m acquisition of the Teradata Marketing Applications business. Richard Presutti and Stuart Freedman chair the M&A and securities group. Presutti practices primarily in private equity, M&A, LBOs and alternative asset management transactional matters; Freedman’s practice includes a wide range of global equity investments and cross-border transactions; and Marc Weingarten is also highly rated. Former co-chair of the M&A and securities group John Pollack joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Robert Goldstein exited for McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Since publication, Claudia Simon has left the firm.

Baker & Hostetler LLP is highly rated for its advice on deals involving the automotive, aerospace and chemical sectors, healthcare clients, including hospital groups and medical device manufacturers, media and technology companies, oil and gas and energy businesses, and private equity firms. Recent highlights include advising longstanding client The EW Scripps Company on its acquisition of Midroll Media, the largest podcast sponsorship network. It also acted for longstanding client TransDigm in the $1bn acquisition of ILC Holdings from Behrman Capital and in its approximately $325m cash acquisition of PneuDraulics. Other highlights included advising new client Barnes & Noble Education, which spun off from Barnes & Noble, on an asset acquisition of LoudCloud Systems (LCS), including a cross-border stock acquisition of an Indian subsidiary of LCS. Other notable clients include Blue Point Capital Partners, Cyprium Investment Partners and Dow Jones. In Cleveland, firm-wide business group chair John Gherlein is recommended, as are transactions team co-heads Ronald Stepanovic and New York-based Steven Goldberg.

Cooley LLP distinguishes itself in the national market through high-profile technology and life sciences deals. The team is also experienced in medical device and healthcare, consumer products, education, defense and media. Highlights included assisting Horizon Pharma with its cash acquisition of Crealta Holdings and, in a key large deal, advising biopharmaceutical company Medivation on its agreement to sell to Pfizer for approximately $14bn. It also acted for Jazz Pharmaceuticals in its agreed $1.5bn acquisition of Celator. The M&A co-chairs are San Diego-based Barbara Borden and San Francisco-based Jamie Leigh. Also in San Fransisco, Garth Osterman is particularly focused on cross-border transactions, including transactions in Eastern Europe, South America, Central America and Asia. Other notable names include Rama Padmanabhan in San Diego, Palo Alto-based Craig Menden and Steven Tonsfeldt, Alfred Browne in Boston, and Colorado-based Kevin Mills and Laura Medina.

Faegre Baker Daniels is recommended for its advice to public and private companies in domestic and cross-border deals, including public company mergers and takeovers, private company acquisitions and sales, LBOs and going-private transactions. The team represented General Mills, as lead outside counsel, in the approximately $765m cash sale of its Green Giant and Le Sueur vegetable businesses to B&G Foods, and acted for publicly held Hutchinson Technology on its sale to Tokyo-based TDK Corporation. It also advised Hormel Foods on two strategic transactions, namely the $286m acquisition of nut butter brand Justin’s and the $114m sale of its Diamond Crystal Brands business to Peak Rock Capital. In large deals, the team advised utility operator Black Hills Corporation on the acquisition of SourceGas Holdings, and, in the pharmaceutical sector, it assisted Target Corporation with its agreement to sell its pharmacy and clinic business for $1.9bn to CVS Health Corporation. Minneapolis-based M&A practice leader Bruce Engler and corporate group leader Chris Hofstad are highly rated advisers.

Goodwin is ‘outstanding in every respect’. The firm hired Los Angeles-based Stephen Lee from K&L Gates, who joins the private equity and technology and emerging companies groups. The practice is highly rated for its advice to clients in sectors such as technology and life sciences, real estate, financial services and healthcare, and it also has a robust private equity buyout practice. Mid-market highlights included advising Stone Canyon Industries on its sale of SCI Ingredients Holdings and wholly owned operating subsidiary, Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company. Illustrative of the team’s real estate sector credentials, it acted for LBA Realty in the $279m acquisition of Camelback Esplanade I, II, IV and V in Phoenix, Arizona through a joint venture with a Clarion Partners subsidiary; and, in the technology space, it acted for Opower, a provider of cloud services to utility companies, on its sale to Oracle for approximately $532m. In financial services, it advised Merchants Bancshares on its $304m sale to Community Bank System, and acted for Patricia Industries in its $640m acquisition of Laborie Medical Technologies, an Ontario-based provider of medical devices. The firm is also active in the large deal space; it represented TA Associates in its acquisition of Russell Investments, the asset management business of Frank Russell Company, from the London Stock Exchange Group. Key Boston-based advisers include Mark Bettencourt, Stuart Cable, Joseph Johnson III, John Egan III, John Haggerty and John LeClaire. Silicon Valley-based Lawrence Chu is also recommended along with private equity experts Joshua Klatzkin in Washington DC and Andrew Weidhaas, who divides time between Los Angeles and New York.

New York City-based firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP handles both hostile and friendly transactions and is experienced representing public and private companies, acquirers, targets, boards of directors, independent director committees, MBO groups, subordinated lenders and equity participants. It also has extensive experience in international transactions, including advising on the US law aspects of cross-border tender offers and managing international issues during M&A transactions. The team was legal counsel to Epic Pharma in its $550m sale to China’s Humanwell Healthcare Group and New Jersey’s PuraCap Pharmaceutical, and assisted Chiltern, a UK-headquartered contract research organization, with the acquisition of Pennsylvania-based Theorem Clinical Research. Other key deals included advising global engineering and industrials manufacturer ITT Corporation on its approximately $300m cash acquisition of automotive braking system developer Wolverine Automotive Holdings, and assisting India-based IT company Wipro with its $500m acquisition of US-based cloud services company Appirio. Kenneth Lefkowitz has advised on M&A deals for companies such as Viacom, CBS, Cablevision and The Madison Square Garden Company; and James Modlin’s experience includes acting on deals in the specialty chemicals, life sciences and media sectors. Charles Samuelson, Avner Ben-Gera and David Schwartz are also highly rated.

From offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, Jenner & Block LLPprovides an excellent service, particularly with regard to responsiveness, knowledge and experience’. The M&A practice is led by Thomas Monson and ‘outstanding attorney’ Kurt von Moltke in Chicago. Von Moltke has approximately 30 years’ experience in structuring, negotiating and executing complex M&A transactions; he joined in 2016 from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, as did private equity and M&A deal specialist Kyle Gann. Mid-market highlights included advising Mediabistro on the disposal of Adweek magazine and related brands. The team was also particularly active in Scandinavian deals; it assisted Denmark-headquartered Danfoss with the acquisition of US-based White Drive Products and advised Danish company Serendex on its sale to US-based specialty pharmaceutical company Savra. In other matters, the team advised Schneider Electric on a definitive agreement to sell its global transportation business to Kapsch TrafficCom. In Chicago, Joseph Gromacki chairs the firm-wide corporate practice and oversees the firm’s transactional practices and Mark Harris chairs the private equity practice. Jason Osborn has led transactions in sectors such as healthcare, financial services, retail services and manufacturing, while Jeffrey Shuman, Mercedes Hill and Peter Rosenbaum are also recommended. In New York, Martin Glass co-chairs the cross-border transactions practice and Uri Doron chairs the New York corporate practice. Other highly rated attorneys include Thomas Stromberg and Carissa Coze in Los Angeles. Joseph Kline exited for a client of the firm, Baxter International. Since publication, Gina Reif Ilardi has moved to DLA Piper LLP (US).

Linklaters LLP is particularly focused on complex cross-border M&A and has considerable experience in deals involving financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy, chemicals and automotives. The group also regularly works alongside the firm’s global capital markets, antitrust, tax and employee benefits groups. Key matters included advising Revlon on its $870m acquisition of Elizabeth Arden and acting for Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in its $350m acquisition of a portfolio of eight abbreviated new drug applications in the US from Teva Pharmaceuticals and an affiliate of Allergan. Large deal highlights included advising Visa Europe on the sale of its share capital to Visa, creating a single global company operating the Visa brand; acting for Petrochemical Industries Company, as a shareholder and joint venture partner with Dow Chemical, in the sale of their MEGlobal business in North America and Europe to Equate Petrochemical Company; and advising Bayer on the carve-out of its plastics division, Material Science. Peter Cohen-Millstein is a highly rated adviser; his experience includes advising Steinhoff on its acquisition of US mattress retailer Mattress Firm; assisting Novartis with the $200m acquisition of Spinifex Pharmaceuticals; and acting for AMEC in its $3.3bn acquisition of Foster Wheeler. Scott Sonnenblick is also recommended. Sonnenblick is particularly focused on cross-border transactions and complex joint ventures. Another notable name is Alberto Luzárraga, who co-heads the firm’s Latin America practice; his recent transactions included advising HSBC Latin America Holdings (UK) on the sale of its entire business in Brazil to Banco Bradesco and acting for AXA on the purchase of portfolio assets in Mexico from HSBC.

Locke Lord LLP frequently advises strategic and financial buyers and sellers on transactions involving energy and energy infrastructure, banking and financial services, as well as gaming, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, and technology, media and telecoms. In the energy sector, the team acted for Comstock Resources in the sale of conventional natural gas properties in South Texas. Media deals included representing The Switch, a North American video solutions service provider, in its acquisition of Pacific Television Center; and in financial services, the team acted as counsel to NewStar Financial in the sale of its equipment finance business and related assets to Radius Bank. Office managing partner of the Providence, Rhode Island office Christopher Graham is particularly focused on private equity matters; his representative experience includes advising the specialty pharmacy subsidiary of a large drug store chain on 25-plus acquisitions of retail and mail-order pharmacy operations.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP advises on deals across its nationwide network, with Silicon Valley standing out for its robust sell-side technology M&A practice. The group also has significant cross-border transactional experience; and in Houston, it recruited co-heads of its Latin America practice, Rodrigo Dominguez and Carlos Treistman, and energy and Latin America transactional expert William Parish from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, as well as private equity and Latin America specialist Gabriel Salinas from Mayer Brown. Recent notable transactions included assisting NetApp, a storage and data management company, with its $870m cash acquisition of SolidFire; and acting for longtime client IronPlanet, an online marketplace for used heavy equipment, in its $758m sale to Ritchie Bros Auctioneers. In the energy space, the team acted for Veolia North America in the $325m acquisition of assets related to The Chemours Company’s Sulfur Products business; while large deal highlights included advising Silicon Valley start-up Cruise Automation, focused on the development of driverless cars, on its $1bn-plus sale to General Motors. New York-based King Milling leads the firm’s global corporate business unit and Hiroshi Sarumida is US chair of its global Japan transactional practice. Peter Rooney and Tal Hacohen are highly rated New York-based attorneys; and Ed Batts and Mark Seneca are key Silicon Valley contacts. John Cook heads the corporate group in San Francisco, which is also where the recommended Richard Smith is based.

M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)

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Akerman LLP is ‘a great go-to firm in all respects and offers fantastic quality at excellent rates’. Miami-based Martin Burkett and Carl Roston co-chair the firm’s M&A and private equity practice, which is particularly active within healthcare, technology, retail and the restaurant business. Roston represented KLX, a global provider of aerospace and defense products, in its $210m cash acquisition of Herndon Aerospace & Defense. Chair of the national corporate practice Mary Carroll, who is ‘a great all-round lawyer’, acted for Canadian paper firm Resolute Forest Products in its $156m acquisition of Atlas Paper Holding. Other recommended attorneys include Jonathan Awner, who has ‘strong judgment’, and Teddy Klinghoffer and Stephen Roddenberry, who are hugely experienced deal lawyers. Awner regularly advises longstanding client Trivest Partners on its M&A activities; and Klinghoffer recently acted for information solutions provider IDI in its $225m acquisition of advertising technology company Fluent. Growth for the corporate practice included a number of hires: corporate law specialist Paul Quinn, who divides time between the Fort Lauderdale and Chicago offices, joined from Paul Hastings LLP, while Lorenzo Borgogni, who is focused on Italian buyers, was recruited in New York from Proskauer Rose LLP. Other notable corporate practice hires included Chicago and New York-based Mason Drake joining from Greenberg Traurig LLP, and Los Angeles-based Mark Liu arriving from Hong Kong-based Amicorp. All partners listed are based in Miami unless otherwise stated.

In 2017, Arnold & Porter LLP merged with the ‘outstanding’ Kaye Scholer LLP to become Arnold & Porter. The new entity has approximately 1,000 lawyers across nine domestic and four international offices and regularly advises on complex deals in sectors such as financial services, life sciences and federal government services. The practice is also experienced in healthcare, IT, energy, private equity and Latin America-related transactions. Washington DC-based chair of the corporate and securities practice Kevin Lavin led advice to DC Capital Partners in its acquisition of government contractor QRC Technologies; Andrew Varner, who divides his time between Washington DC and New York, was M&A counsel to Service Experts in its $340m merger with a subsidiary of Enercare; and Edward Deibert in San Francisco was US counsel to Singapore-based Zeavion Holding in its acquisition of Gymboree’s early childhood development business, Gymboree Play & Music. Other key Washington DC partners include Steven Kaplan, Susan Morita and energy sector specialist Hans Dyke; Kaplan advised Cain Brothers, as financial adviser to Avēsis, regarding Avēsis’ sale to The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. In New York, Joshua Berick and financial institutions M&A head Robert Azarow are highly rated. Also recommended are former Kaye Scholer LLP lawyers Emanuel Cherney and Stephen Koval; Koval is ‘one of the best lawyers in the business’.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP’s corporate partners regularly work alongside attorneys from the firm’s tax, antitrust, real estate, environmental, IP and executive compensation and employee benefits practices. Recent deals involved the insurance, pharmaceuticals and technology industries. For instance, the team advised insurance brokerage and risk management firm Integro USA on the acquisition of Florida-based Jerry Parks Equine Insurance and Parks Insurance Corporation; for pharma and biotech services company ICON, the firm advised on the acquisition of PMG Research; and for the founders of Bluewolf Group, it advised on the sale of cloud consulting firm Bluewolf. It also acted for Trans World Entertainment in its acquisition of digital marketplace Etailz. Large deal highlights included the group’s representation of Empire District Electric Company in its agreement to be sold to a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities; this all-cash transaction was valued at $2.4bn, including assumed debt. It also assisted Arch Capital Group with its acquisition of United Guaranty Corporation from American International Group. Helene Banks is recommended for her representation of sellers, acquirers, targets, financial institutions and shareholders during M&A transactions, and John Schuster, William Hartnett, Kimberly Petillo-Décossard, Michael Sherman and Susanna Suh are also highly regarded. All named advisers are based in New York.

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Boston-based law firm Choate, Hall & Stewart is highly rated for transactions involving the technology, healthcare and life sciences industries; it also has a robust private equity buyout practice. The group regularly acts for acquirers, targets, financing sources and investment bankers on domestic and international M&A deals, and it recently hired private equity attorneys Stephen Meredith, Sarah Camougis and Christopher Nelson from Locke Lord LLP, which enhanced the firm’s expertise in the media and telecoms space. Key deals included assisting Riverside Partners and Tegra-CTW Holdings (TCH), Tegra Medical’s parent company, with the approximately $215m sale of TCH and its subsidiaries to SFS Acquisition Holding; acting for Curaspan Health Group in its sale to NaviHealth; and advising the Tennis Channel on its sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group. On the buy side, the practice acted for BV Investment Partners in its acquisition of commercial textiles company CF Stinson; and assisted Great Hill Partners with the purchase of a majority stake in cloud-based services provider EvolveIP. The practice group leaders are Boston-based John Pitfield, Brian Goldstein, T J Murphy and Christian Atwood. William Asher Jr retired from the partnership but remains involved with the firm.

Foley & Lardner LLP acts for clients in several sectors, including real estate, healthcare, energy, telecoms, manufacturing, infrastructure and life sciences. The practice acted for vehicle equipment manufacturer Douglas Dynamics in the acquisition of eight affiliated companies, while inbound deal highlights included representing Boditech Med, a Korean in-vitro diagnostic company, in its stock acquisition of Immunostics. In other matters, the team advised Wynnchurch Capital on its sale of US Pipe to Forterra Building Products, and assisted MedHOK with its $335m sale to media and information company Hearst. Milwaukee-based Steven Barth and Washington DC-based David Sanders co-chair the transactional and securities group and are highly regarded advisers. Chris Laukenmann and Richard Ferris Jr, in Los Angeles and Washington DC respectively, are also recommended. Other notable contacts include Detroit-based Steven Hilfinger; Jay Rothman, Bryan Schultz and Kevin Schulz in Milwaukee; Gardner Davis in Jacksonville; and Tampa-based Curt Creely.

Loeb & Loeb LLP has particular deal expertise in the entertainment, media, technology, marketing and communications sectors. The practice recently represented longstanding client Clearview Capital in significant portfolio investments, add-on acquisitions and divestments, including the sale of its stake in The Results Companies to an investor group led by One Equity Partners. Other sell-side matters included advising a number of minority equity holders and employees of Pharmscript, and its affiliates, on the sale of a 45% equity stake to Summit Partners. The team also provided US counsel to UK-based animal health and biotech firm Benchmark Holdings in its $342m acquisition of INVE Aquaculture, and acted for TransUnion in the acquisition of Trustev, a global provider of digital verification technology. New York managing partner Mitchell Nussbaum, Lloyd Rothenberg and Los Angeles-based Paul Severin co-chair the capital markets and corporate practice. Nussbaum’s experience includes advising US-based companies in the technology, life sciences and energy sectors, and advising companies from Australia, Brazil, Canada, India and Europe on transactions within the US. Rothenberg acts for established and emerging businesses in industries such as technology, media and advertising. Deputy capital markets and corporate practice chair Arash Khalili handles a range of media, entertainment, music, sports and real estate-related matters.

Vedder Price’s M&A and private equity transactions practice is recommended for deals involving regulated industries, such as financial services, healthcare, construction, gaming, aerospace and investment services; and the client base includes private equity funds, hedge funds, privately held and public companies, family controlled businesses, and start-ups with access to over $1bn of capital. The team represented Longview Asset Management and its related entities in a co-investment with Sterling Partners to acquire a business unit of eBay, advised Glanbia on the $217m acquisition of all the outstanding equity of thinkThin (a portfolio company of TSG Consumer Partners), and acted for Vance Street Capital in its acquisition of Motion Dynamics (a manufacturer of precision metal components). In Chicago, finance and transactions group chair Michael Nemeroff, William Bettman, John Obiala, Guy Snyder, John McEnroe, Adam Lewis and Joseph Kye are recommended. Nemeroff is an M&A expert who is experienced in advising private equity firms and hedge funds on leveraged and management buyouts. Scott Adamson is a key contact in Los Angeles; his experience spans the construction, healthcare, manufacturing and technology industries.

Venable LLP recently grew its practice through the recruitment of Christopher O’Brien, a former in-house counsel at Mattel, as a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office; O’Brien represents clients in the entertainment, consumer products and media industries. Charles Morton Jr, who divides time between Washington DC and Baltimore, and Washington DC-based Robert Bolger Jr are department heads. Morton focuses on healthcare, technology and consumer products; Bolger - who also heads the firm’s hospitality initiative - acted for Guthy-Renker in the 2016 sale of a majority interest of its worldwide Proactiv business to Nestlé Skin Health. Other key deals for the firm included acting for PlanetRisk, known for data visualization and analysis, in its acquisition of Analytic Strategies, which provides enterprise analytics services to the federal government. Large deal highlights for the practice included advising longstanding client Merkle Group, a marketing agency, on its sale of a majority stake to London-based Dentsu Aegis Network; and acting for American bank holding company Huntington Bancshares in the acquisition of FirstMerit Corporation.

In April 2018, Hunton & Williams LLP merged with Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, forming Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. The legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP group had already grown through the recruitment of Houston-based oil and gas specialists Christopher Richardson and Charlie Ofner from Mubadala Petroleum and Oasis Petroleum respectively. The team excels in energy sector deals; it acted for LRR Energy in its acquisition of a subsidiary of Vanguard Natural Resources and advised Energy Transfer Partners on its acquisition of certain interests in PennTex Midstream Partners. It also advises in other sectors, such as assisting specialty pharmacy Avita Drugs with its sale to Tailwind Capital portfolio company Long’s Drugs and advising cloud-based software company Gravitant on its sale to IBM. Recent large deal highlights include advising Archer Well Company on its disposition of outstanding equity interests in certain North American subsidiaries; representing LDR Holding Corporation in its approximately $1.1bn sale to Zimmer Biomet Holdings; and advising Chelsea Petroleum Products Holdings, an affiliate of ArcLight Capital, on its purchase of Gulf Oil Limited Partnership and a related business. Houston-based David Buck and Michael O’Leary head the department. Buck has particular experience with energy, maritime transportation, restaurant, aviation and death care companies; and O’Leary’s representative experience includes acting as counsel to a publicly traded master limited partnership (MLP) in its acquisition of natural gas liquid pipelines and related assets. Other recommended Houston advisers are John Clutterbuck, Jon Daly, Melinda Brunger, Hal Haltom Jr, Henry Havre and firm managing partner Robert Jewell. In Washington DC, Bill Cooper is a key name, as are Dallas-based Mark Solomon, Peter Bogdanow, David Washburn and Victor Zanetti and Austin-based Alan Bickerstaff. Since publication, Mark Solomon, Peter Bogdanow, David Washburn and Victor Zanetti have joined Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP’s new Dallas office. The legacy Hunton & Williams group is well known for its deal experience involving the energy, financial services, private equity, healthcare and real estate sectors. It also has particular expertise in Latin American transactions; Fernando Alonso, who splits time between Miami and New York, advised Promerica Financial Corporation on its acquisition of Banco Citibank de Guatemala and affiliate Cititarjetas de Guatemala. In other matters, the team advised Altisource Residential on its $652m acquisition of approximately 4,250 single family rental homes from investment funds sponsored by Amherst Holdings; and assisted electric utility Cleco Corporation’s independent directors with its high-value sale to an investor group, led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation; and a cross-office multidisciplinary transaction team was legal counsel to Cash America International in its definitive merger agreement with First Cash Financial Services. Richmond-based corporate finance and M&A group co-head Gary Thompson and Steven Patterson in Washington DC are recommended; and corporate head Justin Moore III, who divides time between Richmond and New York, is also highly rated.

Ballard Spahr LLP grew its team in New York through the hire of M&A and securities partner David Landau from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Landau represents clients, both in the US and abroad, in sectors such as fashion and retail, financial services, technology, and media and entertainment. The firm also expanded its bench strength in Denver, adding name partners Damon Barry and Stephen Donelson from Donelson Barry, LLC. Barry has deal experience in the technology, telecoms, retail, gaming, e-payments and manufacturing sectors; while Donelson has a broad practice that includes M&A, corporate restructuring and private equity transactions. The M&A group regularly works alongside the firm’s tax, securities, executive compensation, employee benefits, IP and environmental law groups. Practice group leader Craig Circosta heads the Philadelphia team; he acted for Teleflex during its acquisition of medical device company Nostix. Other key deals for the practice included advising Spark Therapeutics on the acquisition of Ireland-based Genable Technologies, a private gene therapy innovator. M&A and private equity investment transactions expert Karen McConnell leads the Phoenix team and has closed over 400 transactions for buyers and sellers during her career. Michele Rowland is a recommended Denver contact.

In early 2017, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP merged with British multinational law firm Eversheds LLP, creating Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP. The new firm’s industry experience includes chemicals, healthcare, energy, financial services, manufacturing, technology and telecoms. Notable matters included acting as lead transaction counsel to MassMutual in its acquisition of MetLife’s US retail adviser force, the MetLife Premier Client Group. It also acted for infrastructure technologies company Underground Solutions in two simultaneous transactions: the sale of its Fusible PVC pipe business to Aegion and the separate split-off of its solutions business to stockholders. In addition, it acted for heavy building materials supplier Martin Marietta in its acquisition of Rocky Mountain Materials and Asphalt (and affiliated entities); and advised technological manufacturer Flextronics International USA on its agreed acquisition of Bose Corporation’s consumer electronics operations in San Luis, Mexico and Penang (Malaysia). In Atlanta, Wade Stribling advises on domestic and cross-border deals across a range of industries, including healthcare and financial services. Other notable Atlanta attorneys include Robert Pile, who advises payment and technology companies on their acquisition programs and joint venture and alliance arrangements; Thomas Herman, who is focused on the industrial, insurance services and natural resources sectors; water industry expert Marc Rawls; Michael Gurion, who has acted in significant deals for technology and new media clients, as well as for manufacturing, distribution, natural resources and financial services companies; and payments industry specialist David Zimmerman. Bert Adams in New York and Washington DC-based Cynthia Krus, William Dudzinsky Jr, Harry Pangas and Douglas Leary are also recommended.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP provides ‘world-class work, including rapid responses, outstanding negotiation techniques and instincts, and diverse knowledge of the varying requirements for M&A transactions’. The corporate practice is highly rated for its advice to middle-market private equity participants; it also has experience in particular industries, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, sports, financial services, education, manufacturing, transportation, media and technology. Recent highlights include advising Hartford Funds on the acquisition of Lattice Strategies; representing financial services provider INTL FCStone in its acquisition of certain businesses of Sterne Agee Group; and acting for ATI Physical Therapy in six deals during a 12-month period, including its acquisition of Ideal Physical Therapy. Other notable transactions included advising Centre Lane Partners on its purchase of Vitamin World, the third-largest vitamin retailer in the US, from NBTY; and assisting Sagent Pharmaceuticals with its $40m acquisition of a portfolio of five abbreviated new drug applications from Teva Pharmaceuticals and Actavis. Global corporate head Mark Grossmann divides time between the Chicago and New York offices; Stephen Antion heads the Los Angeles corporate group; and in Chicago, Jeffrey Patt, entrepreneurial ventures practice head Matthew Brown and Kimberly Smith, who co-heads the nationwide private equity practice, are highly rated. Mara Glaser McCahan is a key Washington DC contact and Russell Black is a notable name in Charlotte. Key hires included Daniel Peters joining the Century City office from Locke Lord LLP; New York-based M&A and securities expert Farzad Damania from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP; and Washington DC-based healthcare transactional specialist Christopher Locke from Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.. David Landau left for Ballard Spahr LLP’s New York office. Mark Solomon, Peter Bogdanow, David Washburn and Victor Zanetti joined the firm’s new Dallas office from Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP in March 2018, post publication.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP’s ‘attorneys are very knowledgeable and provide excellent advice and sophisticated legal representation; the partners are also very involved with their clients and handle a lot of the work’. The corporate, M&A and private equity group is complemented by the firm’s finance, tax and real estate practices, while industry specialisms include financial and investment services, aerospace, telecoms and consumer brands. The group also has sector experience in IT, real estate, healthcare, logistics and energy. New York-based Jane Jablons chairs the M&A group; she represented BioMedical Enterprises in its sale by merger to DePuy Orthopaedics. In Chicago, corporate practice chair Timothy Lavender represented lease and debt restructuring firm Huntley, Mullaney, Spargo & Sullivan in its sale to Jones Lang LaSalle Americas; Lavender is ‘very knowledgeable, takes a practical approach to representing clients and also assesses the business side of matters’. Also in Chicago, Andrew Pillsbury acted for FreightCar America in the sale of its railcar repair and maintenance services business to Appalachian Railcar Services. Other active clients of the practice include Lifeway Foods, Net Lease Capital Advisors, Broadsmart and Great Basin Scientific.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP’s department heads are Scott Rosenblum and Howard Spilko, who has particular experience in the strategic use of representations and warranties insurance during acquisitions. Recent highlights include advising BlackRock on its buyout of FutureAdvisor, known for digital wealth management. It also acted for Stone Point Capital in a number of corporate transactions, including the acquisition of NFP’s Advisor Services business, which provides broker-dealer and registered investment adviser support to independent financial advisors; and assisted Sentinel Capital Partners with its acquisition of Houston-based Revenew International from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Other key deals included acting for regular client Deloitte in the acquisition of advertising agency Heat; and advising Quad Partners on its acquisition of an equity stake in Endeavor Schools. Steven Goldman and Thomas Molner are highly rated; James Grayer’s deal experience covers sectors such as fashion, biotech, financial services and private equity; James Moriarty co-heads the firm’s alternative assets transactions and private M&A practice groups. Additionally, Ernest Wechsler has notable experience includes financial services, technology and manufacturing deals.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP’s ‘lawyers are very responsive and client-focused, the value for money is great, and clients receive senior-level attention on all matters’. The firm’s M&A professionals regularly advise on high-profile deals in the firm’s core specialty areas, namely healthcare, financial services and technology. Los Angeles-based practice head Ben Orlanski is ‘responsive and knowledgeable’, and Gordon Bava, Richard Maire Jr and Jordan Hamburger are also highly rated. Orlanski’s deal experience covers technology, REITs, media, financial services, investment banking, manufacturing and consumer products, and he acted for in its $55m acquisition of Texas-based ShippingEasy. Hamburger, who is ‘a standout star for M&A and corporate advisory work’, led advice to Valley Campus Pharmacy (doing business as TNH Advanced Specialty Pharmacy) on its sale to Diplomat Pharmacy; and Maire assisted Del Taco and its limited partnerships (LPs) with a sale of assets, which involved the deregistration and dissolution of the LPs. Other notable deals included the team advising Dura Coat Products on the sale of a majority stake to Axalta Coating Systems; assisting CVB Financial, the holding company for Citizens Business Bank, with its merger agreement with Valley Commerce Bancorp, the holding company for Valley Business Bank; and advising Houlihan Lokey on its acquisition of MESA Securities, a boutique investment bank that provides financial advisory services to the media and entertainment industries. Orange County-based Matthew O’Loughlin and Washington DC-based Douglas Boggs, Alan Noskow and Brian Ashin are also recommended.

Nixon Peabody LLP is ‘a pragmatic, business-minded, service-oriented firm, which truly excels during transactions’. It frequently advises clients in the healthcare, food and beverage, manufacturing, technology and energy sectors. In the food and beverage sector, the team assisted European soft drinks manufacturer Refresco Group with its purchase of Whitlock Holding Company’s stock and the practice often advises alcoholic beverages company Constellation Brands. In the technology space, it represented Magnecomp Precision Technology Public Company, a subsidiary of TDK, in its $300m public acquisition of Hutchinson Technology. The team also acts in media sector deals and advised TEGNA, a media and digital powerhouse, on the purchase of three Sander Media television stations. It also regularly advises Paychex, a provider of payroll and other services, on its corporate transactions, including its recent acquisition of Advance Partners. Group M&A and corporate transactions leader David Martland, Christopher Keefe, Gregory O’Shaughnessy and Haydon Keitner are key Boston contacts. John Partigan in Washington DC, New York-based Daniel McAvoy, and Thomas Gaynor, who divides time between San Francisco and Los Angeles, are also highly regarded practitioners. Cross-border corporate and real estate transactions expert Jinjian Huang joined the San Francisco office from Winston & Strawn LLP.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP is ‘a great law firm for international M&A; it provides almost instant response times, thorough answers, top-level advice and analysis of commercial concerns’. Others applaud its ‘end results and levels of efficiency that focus on the key legal issues’. Over half of the deals the M&A group recently handled were in the technology sector, including semiconductors, which is a hallmark of the practice. Other industries in which the team regularly operates include life sciences and healthcare, professional services, aerospace, government contracting, mining and energy. Silicon Valley’s Jorge del Calvo recently represented investment adviser Financial Engines in its acquisition of The Mutual Fund Store from Warburg Pincus for approximately $600m. Elsewhere, North Virginia-based Craig Chason led advice to Berkley/Greenwich AeroGroup in the sale of Aero Precision Industries and two other divisions to affiliates of Odyssey Investment Partner; Steven Kaplan advised Oceans Edge, a provider of specialized services to the US government and intelligence community, on the sale of its cyber business; and Matthew Swartz acted for Elderlife Financial Services in its sale to Patriot Capital. Steven Meltzer is another recommended North Virginia contact, and Washington DC-based Robert Robbins is also highly rated. The firm grew the group through the recruitment of Michael Torosian from DLA Piper LLP (US); Torosian divides his time between San Francisco and Silicon Valley and acts as general outside counsel to private and public companies, particularly in the technology, renewable energy and life sciences industries.

Seward & Kissel LLP has ‘a very talented, experienced group of individuals who have the ability to think as owners and find ways to resolve differences and close transactions; they are also very detail-oriented’. Other clients rate the practice as ‘outstanding in all respects; it is tremendously responsive, the service is excellent and the advice is tailored to clients’ specific needs and issues rather than being theoretical’. The firm promoted New York-based Gerhard Anderson to partner in the business transactions group; his representative transactions include M&A, private equity deals, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and he is praised as being ‘very efficient and prompt at turning around key documents in very short timeframes’. The practice distinguishes itself through shipping industry and investment management M&A, as well as private equity deals. It has expanded its coverage of the financial services sector, where it has acted on multiple deals involving broker-dealers, and also regularly handles media and technology transactions. Also of note, the firm has traditionally acted predominantly on sell-side M&A work, but it is increasingly assisting clients with buy-side deals. Recent highlights include advising longstanding client Emerging Sovereign Group, a New York-based registered investment adviser, on reacquiring a 55% stake held by Carlyle; and, in the shipping sector, the team acted for new client Sargeant Marine, a Florida-based asphalt business, in its sale of a 50% interest to The Vitol Group. Notable technology sector transactions included advising UBM on its acquisition of Content Marketing Institute. James Abbott and Craig Sklar co-head the business transactions group. Abbott is ‘a team player, who understands the primacy of business goals and solves problems rather than creating them; he is a good listener, wise counselor and contributes perspectives that defuse potentially confrontational issues’. Sklar also draws praise; he is ‘a remarkable lawyer, who is practical and fair-minded and has total command of relevant precedent, law and practice’. Other notable practitioners include Meir Grossman, who ‘facilitates smooth negotiations with sophisticated and demanding investors, is incredibly responsive, and highlights issues that clients need to think through’; and Nick Katsanos, who is ‘an incredible professional’.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP has ‘a very responsive, knowledgeable, lean practice, which has lawyers who are courteous and succinct’. The firm’s well-known labor and employment practice regularly supports the practice during M&A transactions; recent highlights include a cross-departmental team from the firm successfully advising Alleghany Capital Corporation on the purchase of 84% of Integrated Project Services. It also acted for Nanosphere, active in the molecular microbiology and molecular diagnostic market, in its sale to Luminex Corporation; the transaction was valued at approximately $115m. Other matters included advising Morrisey Holdings on the sale of one of its wholly owned subsidiaries to healthcare software company HealthStream, while large real estate sector deals included advising commercial real estate company Workspace Property Trust on the $1bn-plus acquisition of 108 office properties. Chicago-based Suzanne Saxman advises clients in industries such as manufacturing, gaming, alternative energy, professional services and construction; Steven Meier is ‘outstanding and provides thorough analysis, knowledge and responsiveness’; and Theodore Cornell III is also recommended. New York-based vice M&A chair Andrew Lucano, who has significant experience in representing cable operators and financial entities on the sale and purchase of cable systems, and communications industry expert Stanley Bloch are also highly rated. In Washington DC, Robert Bodansky is another recommended attorney and the ‘excellentAndrew Sherman chairs the Washington DC corporate department; Sherman is ‘extremely effective, competent, worth every cent, and leaves clients feeling very fortunate’. Michael Clark, Ofer Lion and Douglas Mancino are key Los Angeles contacts.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s transactional experience includes mergers, purchases and sales of stock and assets as well as MBOs. Recent deals for M&A practice leader Will Chuchawat, who divides time between Los Angeles and Shanghai, include representing United Therapies Holding in the sale of the membership interests of its wholly owned subsidiary, UTH Holdco, and advising CutisCare, a subsidiary of Bison Capital, on the purchase of assets of OxyHeal Health Group. Los Angeles-based Lawrence Braun also had a busy year; his recent work included representing American Fruits and Flavors, a privately held family company, in its $690m all-cash asset sale to Monster Beverage; advising RW Lyall & Company (known for oil and gas pipeline components manufacturing) and its shareholders on the sale of all the company’s equity securities to Burndy, a subsidiary of Hubbell; and acting for Ebuys in its sale to DSW. In Washington DC, Lucantonio Salvi advised Tullett Prebon on its proposed acquisition of Creditex’s US hybrid voice brokerage business from Intercontinental Exchange and acted for Arlington Capital Partners portfolio company United Flexible in the acquisition of Kreisler Manufacturing. Other highlights included David Sands acting for WestStar Mortgage in a sale of its equity interests to financial services business JG Wentworth Company, and assisting Karga Seven Pictures with its sale of a controlling interest to Red Arrow Entertainment Group. Century City-based Jeryl Bowers, Del Mar-based John Hentrich and Shon Glusky in New York are also recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs has significant deal experience in sectors such as chemicals, financial services, retail, technology, healthcare, life sciences, and food and drink, and has a prominent private equity deal practice. Recent technology highlights include advising Plat.One on its sale to SAP. Cleveland-based Americas chair of the global corporate practice Daniel Berick advises private equity and venture capital firms, as well as family offices, on portfolio company investments, acquisitions and dispositions. Nicholas Unkovic, who divides time between Palo Alto and San Francisco, acts for US and multinational life science and technology companies, professional service firms and financial institutions. His representative experience includes advising the seller on the sale of a substantial equipment leasing portfolio and acting for a multinational life sciences company on medical device company acquisitions.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP’s client list includes large public companies with robust acquisition programs, buyout firms, foreign enterprises expanding into the US, technology companies and family owned businesses. It also acts for large public and private REITs in M&A deals; and the attorneys draw on the expertise of their colleagues specializing in tax planning. Key matters included acting for the Ocean Harbor Insurance Group in its sale of the Zephyr Insurance group of companies to Heritage Insurance Holdings; assisting Associates for International Research and its major shareholders with the sale of an equity majority to Relo Group; and acting for Pavilion Advisory Group in its recent acquisition of Jeffrey Slocum & Associates. Other examples of cross-border work included advising Equinix on its $280m acquisition of Japan-based internet data center provider Bit-Isle and acting for Spanish investment bank N+1 Group in its merger with Boston-based CW Downer & Co. In Boston, corporate and M&A practice group head Lewis Segall and Carol Wolff are recommended advisors. Significant growth in the practice included the recruitment of New York-based Joel Telpner from Jones Day; Telpner’s representative experience includes advising a global bank on the sale of its asset management business.

Blank Rome LLP’s M&A capabilities include transaction and tax structuring, advising boards on fiduciary duties and preparing regulatory filings. Recent matters included advising Harbour Group portfolio company CPS Products on its acquisition of smoke technology company STAR EnviroTech, acting for PCB Group in its $580m sale to MTS Systems and representing David Michael & Co in its sale to International Flavors & Fragrances. Other matters included assisting JF Lehman & Company with its acquisition of API Technologies. Alan Lieblich chairs the corporate, M&A and securities practice group; corporate, M&A and securities vice chairs Linsey Bozzelli and Brad Shiffman in New York are also highly rated; and Louis Rappaport is particularly focused on emerging and middle-market businesses. All partners listed are in Philadelphia except where otherwise noted.

Bryan Cave LLP is well regarded for its M&A work involving US targets. The group regularly assists with mergers, acquisitions and dispositions; tender offers and proxy contests; and takeover and anti-takeover planning. St Louis-based John Welge leads the firm’s transactions group and has substantial cross-border expertise. His recent experience includes advising Emerson Electric on several domestic and cross-border acquisitions, sales and joint ventures; acting for a private family investment company in the acquisition of Illinois businesses; and advising privately held Watlow Electric Manufacturing on the potential acquisition of a company in Italy. Steven Baumer has acted for clients such as Bunge North America, Maschhoff Family Foods and Express Scripts; Atlanta-based Rick Miller is experienced in representing public and private corporations and REITs; and private equity co-leader Tara Newell in New York is also recommended.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP’s M&A group is noted for its advice to public and private companies, financial sponsors, private equity firms and investment banks; it acts on M&A deals, divestitures, strategic partnerships, cross-border transactions and takeover defenses. Minneapolis corporate partners Jonathan Van Horn and Timothy Hearn represented medical device company Vascular Solutions in its sale to Teleflex. Deals in the natural resources sector included the team acting as special US counsel to Chaparral Gold in its sale to a Toronto-based private equity firm that develops precious and base metals projects; and, in the healthcare industry, it acted for Concordia Healthcare in its acquisition of epilepsy treatment Zonegran for commercialization and sale in the US and Puerto Rico. New York-based private equity chair Eric Rytter and Kevin Maler in Minnesota are recommended; in Utah, Layne Smith is well known for advising operating companies and investors in the healthcare and technology industries; New York-based Scott Desmond and Minnesota-based Robert Rosenbaum and William Jonason are also key contacts. Samuel Gardiner exited for Stoel Rives LLP.

With offices in Boston, New York, Paris and Washington DC, Foley Hoag LLP is highly rated for acquisitions and sales of technology and life science companies and assets. The M&A practice includes corporate, tax and cross-border specialists, as well as IP, employment, environmental, immigration and litigation experts. The team acted for Automation Engineering, known for camera module solutions and lens alignment, in its sale to Swedish hi-tech company Mycronic, and assisted ShapeUp with its sale to Virgin Pulse. Other matters included advising a company focused on rapid diagnostics for infectious disease, cardiometabolic disease and toxicology on its acquisition of substantially all the assets of a provider of drug testing devices. Boston-based Alexander Aber and Joseph Basile are M&A practice group co-chairs. Aber is recommended for his representation of public and private company buyers and sellers in domestic and cross-border M&A and other strategic business transactions; and Basile’s practice includes hostile and negotiated public company, private company and distressed M&A transactions, and he has extensive experience in cross-border deals in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. He also stands out for transactions where the integration of corporate social responsibility principles are of significance to the parties. Peter Rosenblum is another key contact.

Holland & Knight LLP’s M&A team handles transactions involving small, middle-market and large businesses. It routinely advises on transaction structuring and negotiation, due diligence, securities filings and corporate governance issues, and its clients include businesses from the technology, telecoms, healthcare, energy, financial services and maritime sectors. The team is experienced in government contracts deals; examples include acting for Information Management Technology, a system integrator and software engineering firm, in its sale to Mission Essential, a provider of interpretation and translation services to the Defense Department. Other significant matters included advising Digitek Computer Products, a distributor of imaging services and products, with its sale to Carolina Wholesale Group, and assisting Ireland-based Fyffes with its $109m purchase of Canadian mushroom producer Highline Produce, a portfolio company of US private equity firm Peak Rock Capital. The primary contacts are Leighton Yates Jr in Orlando and Northern Virginia-based consulting counsel William Mutryn. Stamford’s Martin Clarke is also recommended.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s practice covers deals with IP aspects, cross-border transactions, leveraged deals and acquisition programs. The team acted for Oldcastle Architectural and its affiliates in the acquisition of the concrete block and paver businesses of Western Block, Red River Block, and Robbins Brick & Block; assisted Pharos Capital Group with its acquisition of Beacon Specialized Living Services, which involved the acquisition of 27 residential psychiatric facilities and legal advice concerning healthcare, employment, real estate, tax and environmental issues; and advised units of AT&T on several transactions involving the acquisition, exchange or sale of spectrum licenses and other telecoms assets. The practice also continued to represent United Capital Financial Partners in its acquisition program, including the purchase of five financial advisory firms. Other active clients include Equifax, Hanesbrands, Royal Ten Cate Corporation and Zodiac Aerospace. Atlanta-based practice leader Richard Cicchillo Jr is focused on domestic and international M&A deals and joint ventures, and has extensive experience in IP development and licensing transactions. Raleigh-based Thomas Steed III is also highly rated; Carole Bellis and David Eaton are notable Silicon Valley contacts. Elsewhere, San Diego’s Kandace Watson and Washington DC-based Gary Bronstein and Joel Rappoport are also highly regarded. The M&A and securities group was recently strengthened through the promotion of Atlanta-based Thomas Kesler to partner and San Diego-based Marty Lorenzo’s recruitment from Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C..

Highly focused on middle-market deals, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. has offices in Boston, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC, and is specialized in deals involving emerging and regulated industries, such as life sciences, healthcare, technology and energy technology. The client list includes buyers and sellers as well as private equity and venture capital firms, and the practice often assists closely held and family-owned businesses. In Boston, M&A chair Dean Zioze has advised Philips Healthcare and Philips Lighting on numerous middle-market M&A deals and other strategic transactions; he also recently acted for Altenex in its sale to Edison. Michael Fantozzi is division head for the firm’s corporate, tax, private client and immigration sections; he acted for Brooks Automation in its $127m acquisition of BioStorage Technologies, a global provider of management solutions for the bioscience industry. Matthew Gardella represented Synta Pharmaceuticals in its reverse merger transaction with private company Madrigal Pharmaceuticals; Marc Mantell’s experience includes acting on deals in the technology, medical device, manufacturing and retail sectors; and New York-based Charlotte Edelman is also recommended. Recent growth in the team included the recruitment of Edouard LeFevre to the Boston office from Foley & Lardner LLP; his practice focuses on middle-market M&A transactions, many of which have a private equity component.

At Chicago-based law firm Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, the ‘skilled lawyers provide extremely high availability, constructive advice and a commercial approach; they invest time in learning clients’ businesses, are great at following up on matters without over-selling their services, and keep clients in mind after deals have closed’. The group’s M&A transactional experience includes asset and stock transactions, mergers, LBOs, spin-offs, going-private deals and acquisitions of controlling, minority and strategic interests. It regularly advises Canadian clients on metals and mining deals; examples include acting as US legal counsel to Goldcorp in the acquisition of Kaminak for approximately C$520m. The team also represented Fonterra Co-operative Group in the approximately $128m sale of a 50% joint venture interest in DairiConcepts to its joint venture partner, Dairy Farmers of America, and assisted longstanding Swedish client NIBE Industrier with its $364m-plus purchase of The Climate Control Group. Chicago-based corporate and securities chair David Stone is experienced in advising domestic and international clients in the energy, mining, insurance, technology, manufacturing and service industries. John Koenigsknecht, who co-chairs the cross-border and international practice, is ‘a very good team leader and it is clear that his spirit and ambition to always deliver on time and be available around the clock have influenced his entire team of colleagues’. Michael Gray, Cristina DeMento and Joshua Klein are also recommended.

Perkins Coie LLP is frequently active in deals involving the life sciences, telecoms, hotels, REITs, energy and manufacturing sectors, and the M&A group routinely works alongside the firm’s securities, antitrust, employment, environmental regulation, IP and taxation lawyers. Recent experience includes acting for PitchBook Data in its sale to Morningstar; advising Thompson Creek Metals Company on its approximately $1.1bn sale to Canada-based Centerra Gold; and assisting TalentWise in its merger with SterlingBackcheck. It also acted for Nimes Capital in its acquisition of Togo’s Holdings, the franchiser of Togo’s West Coast Original sandwich shops. Denver-based Jeff Beuche is firm-wide chair of the M&A practice and is recommended for technology, software, agricultural products, telecoms and healthcare services transactions. Seattle-based Stewart Landefeld is former chair of the corporate practice; and Andrew Moore’s corporate clients include Alliant Energy,, Costco Wholesale and Microsoft. Chicago-based Randy Bridgeman co-chairs the firm-wide corporate governance and transactions team; his recent experience includes several brand acquisitions for multinational companies with complex IP assets, and a cross-border co-manufacturing joint venture for a global food manufacturer. Fiona Brophy splits her time between San Francisco and Palo Alto and is firm-wide co-chair of the emerging companies and venture capital practice.

Schiff Hardin LLP is recommended for its experience in public and private company mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures and strategic alliances, equity investments, and going-private transactions. It represented broadband provider Consolidated Communications Holdings, a longstanding client, in its agreed acquisition of FairPoint Communications; this all-stock deal was valued at $1.5bn. Other highlights included acting for Wintrust Financial in the successful completion of its $30m acquisition of First Community Financial, the parent company of First Community Bank. Stephen Dragich is corporate and transactional practice leader; his experience includes advising Laidlaw, an international transportation company, on its strategic acquisition programs. Steve Isaacs leads the M&A and private equity groups and has acted for clients such as Newell Brands, Kraft Foods and Altaris Capital Partners; and deputy M&A and private equity practice leader Alexander Young is also highly rated. All partners named are based in Chicago.

Thompson Hine LLP’s ‘response times, business acumen and value for money are great’. Others praise the practice for its ‘overall high levels of service, which exceed expectations’. The firm leads M&A transactions from its Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, New York and Washington DC offices. Cincinnati-based corporate transactions and securities practice group leader Frank Chaiken and New York-based Garrett Evers represented Sportfield Deutschland Holding, a portfolio company of German private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe, in its $92m purchase of the iconic AstroTurf brand and business. Evers ‘delivers solid counsel; he is measured, provides insights based on his broad experience and is someone clients can count on’. Other deals of note included Chaiken and Todd Schild (also in Cincinnati) co-leading transactions for Pro Mach, namely the separate acquisitions of EPI Labelers, Texwrap Packaging Systems, Zarpac Performance and Pacific Packaging Machinery; David Neuhardt in Dayton assisting AdvancePierre Foods with its $60m acquisition of Allied Specialty Foods; and Cleveland-based Tony Kuhel leading a multi-functional team, including, corporate, tax, benefits and environmental law experts, in advising Netherlands-based chemicals distributor IMCD on its acquisition of Mutchler. Another recommended Cincinnati adviser is John Cottingham, who ‘really understands deals from a business perspective, has a great grasp of numbers and immediately knows how a seemingly minor change in one area could adversely impact another’. Also highly rated are Thomas Aldrich in Cleveland and Columbus-based Jim Balthaser.

Thompson & Knight LLP is ‘always excellent, the value for money is high and the team responds quickly and with great ideas’. Others applaud the practice’s ‘longstanding knowledge of its clients’ business activities, while the lean deployment of excellent partners and associates makes the service extremely valuable’. The firm is well known for its expertise in the oil and gas industry, particularly upstream and midstream matters. Highlights included acting for EnerVest in the $876m acquisition of Range Resources’ Nora natural gas assets in Virginia, assisting EnCap with the $301m sale of equity in Paloma Partners III to Gulfport Energy, and representing the conflicts committee of American Midstream Partners in its review and evaluation of the acquisition of approximately $220m of Gulf of Mexico midstream infrastructure assets and incremental ownership in the Delta House Floating Production Facility. The team advised Silver Hill Energy Partners on its $2.4bn sale to RSP Permian. Other notable clients include 7-Eleven, Natural Gas Partners, RSP Permian, The Michaels Companies and Warren Resources. Corporate and securities practice leader Wesley Williams has ‘strong business sense’ and divides his time between Dallas and Fort Worth. Joe Dannenmaier in Dallas and Houston-based Michael Pierce also draw high praise. Also in Dallas, Steven Bartz was promoted to partner; he represents clients in middle-market mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of securities and assets.

Excellent law firmArent Fox LLP has over 25 dedicated corporate lawyers in Washington DC, including corporate and securities group head Steven Cohen, Richard Gale and Jay Halpern. Cohen counsels clients in diverse industries, such as technology, media, sports, real estate, hospitality and healthcare. The bulk of the group’s transactional and advisory work centers on middle-market deals in the $25m-500m range; and the sectors in which the ‘trusted team’ is especially strong include hospitality, consumer products, restaurants, retail and real estate. It regularly advises Choice Hotels International, one of the largest hospitality companies in the world, on its acquisitions and joint ventures, including a recent joint venture for the acquisition and development of a hotel in San Francisco. The practice is also the primary outside counsel to Think Food Group, an international food and beverage company that is led by celebrity chef José Andrés, and the firm has had a close relationship with global hotel company Marriott for more than 30 years. Other highlights included acting for Congressional Bancshares in its approximately $50m agreement to acquire American Bank Holdings and assisting digital media company Bisnow with its $50m sale to Wicks Group.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP’s ‘top-drawer’ corporate M&A practice group is highly focused on middle-market deals. It has extensive expertise in complex cross-border transactions and foreign investments, and its sector experience includes the energy, commodities, manufacturing, transportation, pharmaceuticals and technology industries. In New York, team head Lawrence Goodman advised Chop’t Creative Salad Company (CCSC) on a significant investment made into CCSC by Catterton, a consumer-focused private equity firm, and The Hain Celestial Group, an organic and natural products company; Goodman is ‘an incredibly astute, business-sensitive attorney who epitomizes the word “counsel”; he devotes time, energy and intellect to every matter and client’. A multinational commodity trading and mining company is also a client of the firm. Evan Borenstein, Andrew Seiden and Joshua Geller are other notable attorneys; and Raymond Hum divides time between Washington DC and New York. Since publication William Candelaria has moved to DLA Piper LLP (US).

As part of its M&A practice, Ohio-headquartered Dinsmore & Shohl LLP routinely advises on corporate governance, capital formation, securities, real estate, restructuring and tax matters. In Cincinnati, Susan Zaunbrecher chairs the corporate department and the business, acquisitions and securities practice; she acts primarily for financial institutions but also represents public and private manufacturing companies. Her clients include LCNB Corporation, Peoples Bancorp (for which she has acted on multiple bank and insurance agency acquisitions), Lexmark International and Vitas. M&A practice head John Barnes advises manufacturing businesses, banks and bank holding companies; his experience also includes acting for publisher Kith Media and he has developed a robust healthcare transactions practice.

Philadelphia-founded Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP regularly represents corporate acquirers and sellers as well as private equity firms and other financial sponsors. Typical experience includes assisting with stock and asset acquisitions, tender offers, mergers, joint ventures, LBOs and spin-offs. Recent highlights include advising Thomas Jefferson University on its merger with Aria Health, acting for an education technology company in its sale to a discovery service provider for libraries, advising a global specialty pharmaceutical company on the sale of its branded drug discovery platform to a chemical and biological research development company, and assisting a global provider of supply chain management and logistics services with its acquisition of a provider of third-party logistics and supply chain solutions. Princeton-based John Stoddard III’s clients include private equity firms and middle-market companies; he has acted for Graham Partners and its portfolio companies on multiple M&A transactions; and Chicago-based David Rubenstein advises private and public companies on mergers, asset and stock acquisitions and joint ventures; his deals frequently involve investigatory, tax, accounting and corporate issues. Growth in the team included the recruitment of Bonnie Barsamian in New York from Baker Botts L.L.P., who advises public and private companies and financial advisers on M&A deals and change-of-control transactions.

Duane Morris LLP’s M&A team is ‘fast and smart and never overworks a deal; it is also good value for money’. The firm’s experience includes representing acquirers, targets and financial advisers on both negotiated and hostile transactions. Recent highlights include advising ESM Productions on the sale of assets to ESM Productions, acting for Inovio Pharmaceuticals in its acquisition of all of Bioject Medical Technologies’ assets, and advising the special committee of the board of directors of Javelin Mortgage Investment Corporation on its sale to Armour Residential REIT. Other notable matters included advising private equity portfolio company YDesign Group on its acquisition of lighting company Lumens, acting for product testing company Trialon Corporation in its sale to Resilience Capital Partners, and representing The O’Gara Group in the sale of a manufacturer of night vision technology products to a global security and weapons manufacturer. Other active clients for the firm include A Team Leasing, Aljomaih Auto Rentals, Constructive Media and Alpine Investors. Chicago-based Brian Kerwin is corporate chair and Kirk Domescik is managing partner of the Atlanta office. Domescik is ‘extremely responsive, dedicated to obtaining outstanding results, and highly pragmatic in his advice and management of a transaction’.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.’s deal experience includes private equity transactions, corporate strategic acquisitions and divestitures, LBOs and hostile takeovers. Other areas of activity include proxy contests, activist investor defense, tender offers, spin-offs and going-private transactions. The team advised building insulation technology company Rmax Operating on its agreement to be sold to Sika Corporation and represented Forest Park Medical Center at Southlake in its bankruptcy sale to the Methodist Health System, creating a multi-specialty hospital. Dallas-based Tom Harris and Janice Sharry are recommended; Harris has over 25 years’ experience in acquisitions, divestitures and other corporate matters; and Sharry’s experience includes acting on large transactions for companies such as American Airlines Group, WhiteWave Foods and Rise Energy. Ricardo Garcia-Moreno, who is a cross-border energy M&A specialist and has a broad sports law practice, and George Gonzalez, who acts on energy, food and beverage, construction, healthcare and technology transactions, divide their time between Houston and Mexico City.

Irell & Manella LLP’s client list includes acquirers, sellers, targets and financial institutions. Recent highlights include assisting ConstructConnect, a provider of cloud-based services to the construction industry, with its sale to public company Roper Technologies; acting for Physiotherapy Associates Holdings in its sale to Select Medical Corporation; and advising Pinnacle Entertainment, an owner and operator of gaming entertainment properties, on a $138m deal to acquire the operations of the Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Cross-border highlights included acting for Dalian Wanda Group, China’s largest commercial property company and the world’s largest cinema chain operator, in its $3.5bn acquisition of Legendary Entertainment. Gregory Klein and Joshua Grode are the recommended Los Angeles-based practice co-heads.

Lowenstein Sandler LLP experienced growth in its New York office through the recruitment of Benjamin Burkhart from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; Burkhart is recommended for his advice on strategic M&A and investment transactions, particularly for technology companies and investment funds. The practice frequently advises on technology and biotech M&A deals, and has strong experience in IP issues; it also has significant life sciences expertise, acts on bankruptcy related deals and regularly works with the firm’s securities, tax, environmental and employee benefits practices on acquisitions and dispositions. The team acted for Diligent Corporation, a provider of online document sharing, on its sale to venture capital and private equity firm Insight Venture Partners. New York-based M&A chair Marita Makinen recently advised The Estée Lauder Companies on several global acquisitions, including the $1.45bn acquisition of Too Faced, a makeup brand.

McGuireWoods LLP’s ‘overall value of service is very high’. The team is especially visible in deals in the energy, healthcare, real estate and technology sectors, and also frequently assists financial advisers in transactions. It acted for Tesoro Logistics, a provider of midstream services, on its $444m acquisition of petroleum storage and terminal assets from Tesoro Corporation; and assisted the special committee of the board of directors of Penske Automotive Group with its $499m acquisition from GE Capital Global Holdings’ subsidiaries of a 14.4% ownership interest in Penske Truck Leasing. Work on large deals included advising Dominion Resources, one of the US’ largest producers and transporters of energy, on its $4.4bn acquisition of Questar Corporation; acting for Apple REIT Ten and the special committee of its board of directors on its planned sale to Apple Hospitality REIT; and advising Houlihan Lokey, as financial adviser to Freeport-McMoRan, on its sale of a 13% interest in the Morenci mine to Sumitomo Metal Mining. Chicago-based private equity chair Geoffrey Cockrell is ‘very good; his strengths include creativity, drafting ability and client service’. Pittsburgh-based Scott Westwood chairs the firm’s M&A, corporate transactions and technology department; Richmond-based Joanne Katsantonis chairs the energy industry practice; and James Anderson III is also a key adviser. Notable advisors in Charlotte advisers include Harrison Marshall Jr and Chris Scheurer.

With offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC, Munger, Tolles & Olson is recommended for buy-side deals for private equity firms, financial sponsors and strategic investors, while in sell-side transactions, the firm routinely assists companies, boards, special committees and shareholders with their exit strategies. Recent highlights include representing Jamie Kern Lima and Paulo Lima, the founders of IT Cosmetics, on the company’s $1.2bn sale to L’Oréal; and acting for the independent directors of DreamWorks Animation in the company’s sale to NBCUniversal. Los Angeles-based Mary Ann Todd represents publicly traded and privately held companies and private equity funds on M&A deals. Robert Denham and Justin Hellman are also key names to note.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP is focused on domestic and international middle-market transactions, and its clients include public and privately held companies, private equity groups, management groups and investment banks. It also regularly advises start-ups and is experienced in deals involving the technology, healthcare, business services, and manufacturing and distribution sectors. Highlights included advising Novolex Holdings on the acquisition of Heritage Bag Company, acting for WellCentive in its $165m merger sale to strategic buyer Philips Holding USA, and representing staffing company Impellam Group in its acquisition of Bartech Holding Corporation and its subsidiaries from private equity firm Sverica Capital Management. Atlanta-based Rhys Wilson, Phillip Cooper and Michael Hollingsworth II, together with Gus Dixon in Columbia, are the M&A group leaders. Former assistant general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Branden Baltich made partner.

Based in New York, with an additional office in Los Angeles, Pryor Cashman LLP is particularly focused on middle-market companies and their investors. The firm’s deal experience covers the energy, software, technology, advertising, apparel, medical supplies and life sciences sectors, and its transactional support also includes IP, tax, labor law, real estate and banking and finance advice. Recent highlights include acting for drug development company Marina Biotech in its wholly owned subsidiary’s merger with IthenaPharma; advising pet product company Worldwise on its acquisition of pet accessories brand SHERPA; and assisting Consumer Testing Laboratories, a multinational retail testing company, with its sale to global independent safety science company, UL. New York-based John Crowe leads the firm’s M&A and private equity practice, and Richard Frazer and Stephen Goodman are also recommended.

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has over 70 M&A attorneys and the firm’s clients include public and private companies, boards of directors and special committees, and private equity firms and their portfolio companies. The team frequently negotiates mergers, tender offers and stock and asset purchases and sales; structures spin-offs, MBOs and other going-private transactions; assists directors with hostile transactions; and executes cross-border M&A transactions in conjunction with its global international referral network, Lex Mundi. The practice has strong healthcare expertise and acted for Community Health Systems in the spin-off of Quorum Health Corporation and the sale of 38 hospitals. Todd Overman in Washington DC chairs the firm’s government contracts practice and has particular experience in structuring transactions and corporate reorganizations to ensure compliance with the Anti-Assignment Act; and Nashville-based Riney Green’s experience includes advising a US private equity sponsor on high-profile portfolio company acquisition and sale transactions, and providing M&A and corporate governance counsel to a publicly traded long-term care company.

Brown Rudnick LLP is highly rated for its emerging technology company expertise; the team’s experience includes advising on the sale of software, life sciences, medical devices, semiconductors and digital media companies to industry giants such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. The practice also has robust healthcare, energy and finance deal experience. Recent highlights include advising Edwards Lifesciences on its structured investment in Harpoon Medical, a privately held medical technology company. Boston-based corporate and capital markets managing director Samuel Williams acts for clients in the IT, semiconductor and communications sectors.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP has extensive experience representing private and public companies in LBOs and asset and equity acquisitions and sales; its support services also cover corporate reorganizations, taxation and employee benefits and compensation, in addition to which it has extensive experience in transactions involving troubled companies. The group has specialist expertise in the banking, consumer products, energy and mining, gaming and entertainment, healthcare and hospitality industries. Denver-based online gaming industry specialist Elizabeth Paulsen and Gino Maurelli co-chair the firm’s corporate and business department. Paulsen advises high-profile clients such as Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and Vail Resorts, and has represented foreign operators of online gaming platforms and operators of US-based casinos on significant joint venture agreements. Maurelli is recommended for both buy-side and sell-side deals.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP acts for domestic and foreign clients in LBOs, spin-offs, cross-border transactions and deals involving troubled businesses. The team’s industry knowledge includes media, technology, community banking, hospitality, energy and healthcare. Seattle-based Matthew LeMaster chairs the firm’s M&A practice and has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, handling the acquisition and disposition of numerous hotel properties. Examples include acting for Coast Hotels in the acquisition of hotel facilities and assisting The Peninsula Group with the sale of multiple hotel facilities and follow-on acquisitions of replacement commercial properties. Other recommended advisers include Sean McCann, who has extensive experience advising clients in the manufacturing, food and beverage, real estate and professional services sectors; and Sarah Tune, who divides her time between Seattle and New York. Tune specializes in the food and beverage and restaurant industries. In 2016, she advised Victory Brewing Company and its majority shareholders on its sale to Artisanal Brewing Ventures.

Predominantly working on middle-market deals, Dickinson Wright PLLC has ‘an extremely deep team with exceptional competence’. A major part of the M&A practice involves assisting private equity clients with their sales and acquisitions, and it frequently advises on cross-border transactions. Sectors in which the practice is particularly active include financial services, media, sports, real estate, automotive and consumer products. Recent matters include advising the Doncasters Group, an international manufacturer of precision metal components, on the stock purchase of a holding company and operating company; and assisting Eucetrix with its acquisition of assets of Molycorp Metals & Alloys, pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code. Other notable clients include Irvin Acquisition, Peninsula Capital Partners and Shalewater Solutions. Michigan-based Richard Bolton ‘gets deals done, providing the same or better level of service as other firms but at less cost’; and Mark High and Andrew MacLeod are also recommended. In Columbus, Scot Crow was recently promoted to practice manager.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.’s ‘overall level of service and knowledge base are excellent, while its healthcare team is probably one of the best in the market’. Others praise the group for ‘always being on top of matters, its complete dedication and legal intelligence, and for keeping clients’ businesses moving’. The team of 50-plus healthcare M&A and private equity lawyers regularly structure and negotiate complex business transactions for healthcare companies. Notable work included acting as transaction counsel to Barnabas Health System in its merger with Robert Wood Johnson, and assisting All Metro Health Care Services, a portfolio company of the firm’s client Nautic Partners, with the $300m sale of All Metro and its subsidiary Caregivers America to One Equity Partners. It also acted for Envision Healthcare in its merger with AmSurg. Practice head Mark Lutes, Steven Epstein, Douglas Hastings, Katherine Lofft and Joseph Lynch are the recommended advisers in Washington DC. In New York, Jeffrey Becker and John Gleason are highly rated, as are Chicago-based Amy Dow and Kevin Ryan, and Los Angeles’ Paul Gomez. Gary Herschman in Newark is ‘extremely helpful during multiple transactions, highly responsive and committed to his clients’.

Gardere Wynne Sewell has significant experience representing family-owned and other closely held companies; the practice is particularly focused on pre-transaction planning, including estate and other tax planning issues. In a deal valued at approximately $600m, the team advised Lime Rock Resources on its acquisition of Occidental Petroleum’s oil operations in North Dakota; it also advised National Express Transportation Services, the second largest private provider of school bus transportation services in North America, on several strategic acquisitions of businesses located in New Hampshire, Maryland, Illinois, New York and Washington DC. Other key deals included assisting Ricoh Innovations Corporation with its acquisition of photo-hosting product Eyefi’s Cloud Service, and acting for Oerlikon Metco (US) in its acquisition of Laser Cladding Services. Corporate co-chairs Daniel Cohen in Houston and Michael Newman in Dallas are recommended. For over 15 years, Cohen has represented the US subsidiary of a public UK company on various matters, including complex cross-border acquisitions in Canada; he has also represented a private equity portfolio company on the acquisition of numerous water and wastewater utilities from private and governmental owners. Newman regularly represents private equity firms and their portfolio companies in transactions.

Holland & Hart LLP handles public and private deals on behalf of both US and non-US acquirers, including private equity funds, strategic buyers and target companies. The team represented Colorado-based client Stillwater Mining Company in its $2.2bn sale to South African gold mining company Sibanye Gold, and acted for longstanding client Air Methods Corporation, an American publicly owned helicopter operator, in successfully negotiating a definitive agreement to acquire Tri-State Care Flight for $222m. Denver-based Chris Groll has acted in deals involving the food and beverage, software and telecoms, consumer products, professional services and manufacturing sectors.

A top-notch firm with great depth of expertise’, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP’s ‘very responsive and user-friendly practice’ is recommended for its Delaware law advice in M&A deals and corporate governance issues, including directors’ and officers’ fiduciary duties and defending against litigation challenging deals. The practice also assists boards’ conflict committees in the oil and gas MLP space. In recent matters acting as Delaware counsel, it advised power and renewable energy investor Fortistar on the acquisition of two Green Gas Americas landfill gas-to-energy projects, acted for Intercontinental Exchange in its acquisition of mortgage registry owner Merscorp Holdings, and assisted Ontex with its acquisition of Grupo PI Mabe, a Mexican maker of disposable hygiene products. It also provided transactional advice to Land O’ Lakes in its acquisition of California-based biotech company Ceres. In large deals as Delaware counsel, it advised Apollo Global Management on its agreement to acquire specialty grocery operator Fresh Market, acted for long-time client Bayer in its attempt to acquire Monsanto, and advised BlackRock on its purchase of Bank of America’s money-market fund business. David Harris and Louis Hering are the recommended commercial law experts.

Providing Delaware counsel during M&A transactions, Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A. acts on a large number of high-value public deals. The practice ‘leaves clients feeling extremely pleased with its work; the team is highly professional and very knowledgeable about Delaware case law’. Others praise ‘response times that are extremely prompt, including several long sessions over holiday weekends’. Highlights, as Delaware counsel, included advising Charter Communications on its acquisition of Time Warner Cable, acting for computer maker Dell in its acquisition of data storage company EMC Corporation, and assisting Axiall Corporation during its sale to Westlake Chemical. John Mark Zeberkiewicz is ‘extremely diligent in every matter put before him, consistently gives excellent advice and protects clients’ best interests’; and Michael Allen is ‘exceptional in all respects and he anticipates issues that might arise’. Donald Bussard, William Haubert, Stephen Bigler and Mark Gentile are also key advisors.

Growth in Robinson & Cole LLP’s corporate team included the hiring of Miami-based counsel Suzanne Ferguson from Assurant, where she advised on major business transactions and regulatory compliance. The practice regularly assists with acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, LBOs and going-private deals, and specific sector experience includes professional services, arts and entertainment, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and waste management services. Business transactions chair Eric Kogan divides time between Stamford and New York, and is recommended for his advice to emerging, middle-market and multinational clients from the digital media, consumer products, food and beverage, and technology sectors.

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP is highly focused on deals in the insurance brokerage and environmental services industries, and has also been growing its healthcare sector experience. In addition, it frequently advises on cross-border transactions, particularly in relation to Europe, and clients include insurance brokers as well as energy, technology, retail and consumer goods companies. The team advised Archer A Associates, an insurance specialist company, on its sale to Assured Partners and its subsidiary Assured SKCG. The team also recently acted for statement services and customer communication company Output Services Group in several acquisitions, including the acquisition of The Garfield Group, an advertising agency. Megan Harmon in Pittsburgh and Sarah Hewitt, who splits her time between the New York and Philadelphia offices, are the M&A group chairs; and Christian Moretti in New York stands out for transactions involving Italy.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP has robust deal experience in the energy, insurance, real estate, financial services, commodities and derivatives, and defense sectors; and a number of the firm’s transactions also have cross-border components. The M&A lawyers work closely with their colleagues from the financial restructuring, tax, employee benefits, environmental, IP, antitrust and takeover litigation groups. The team advised British defense technology company QinetiQ Group on the sale of its indirect US subsidiary Cyveillance to LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, and acted for GE Energy Financial Services in its sale of 50% of its membership interest in the New Jersey Linden Cogeneration project to funds managed by the Ares-EIF Group. New York-based department head Todd Lenson’s clients include an independent oil refiner, public and private REITs, and media, sports and entertainment companies. Christopher Doyle, Jordan Rosenbaum, Bradley Kulman, Marissa Holob and Matthew Schwartz are also recommended.

Troutman Sanders is well known for its expertise in the energy, finance, technology and biotech sectors. The team advised PNM Resources, a publicly traded energy holding company, on the sale of San Juan Coal Company; acted for Cynapsus Therapeutics in its sale to Sunovion; and was Virginia counsel to Media General in its merger agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting Group. Department heads David Meyers in Richmond and Atlanta-based Andrea Farley are highly rated. Meyers’ experience includes serving as general outside counsel to a large publicly traded coal company, including in its sale to a competitor. Farley focuses on the representation of public and private companies during corporate reorganization transactions, including M&A, divestitures and joint ventures, and has particular experience advising specialty finance companies on their M&A deals.

Private equity buyouts

Index of tables

  1. Private equity buyouts
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Next generation lawyers

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Kirkland & Ellis LLPdoes not rest on its laurels’ and continued to build out its leading private equity practice with the acquisition of Peter Martelli from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Since arriving, Martelli advised Blackstone on its $6.1bn acquisition of physician services business TeamHealth, one of the largest buyouts of 2016. In addition, the firm brought in Michael Weisser and Sarah Stasny from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. These followed a string of headline lateral hires over the last few years. While it is increasing its exposure to the highest-value deals, with one client hailing it as ‘top of the list’ for the ‘largest and most complicated buyouts’, the firm still has ‘legions of partners to service the middle market’. It is particularly strong in certain market segments, such as real estate and energy. The firm’s Houston office, led by Andrew Calder, has become a major force in energy buyouts for clients such as Blackstone and KKR. In 2016, Calder and the team advised Blackstone on its $2.17bn acquisition, along with ArcLight, of four Midwest power plants from subsidiaries of American Electric Power. The firm reinforced its Houston office in 2016 with the hire of Adam Larson from Vinson & Elkins LLP and Doug Bacon from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Other highlights included advising long-time client Bain Capital on its $1.28bn sale of portfolio company Physio-Control International to Stryker and assisting KKR with its strategic investment in professional mixed martial arts organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Other clients include Madison Dearborn Partners, Apax Partners, Carlyle, Centerbridge Partners, Golden Gate Capital, GTCR, Oaktree Capital Management, Silver Lake, TPG and Warburg Pincus. Notable partners include Jon Ballis, Stephen Ritchie, Sanford Perl, Matthew Steinmetz, Richard Campbell and New York’s Eunu Chun. Jeffrey Seifmanworks hand in hand’ with clients and Los Angeles-based Tana Ryan is ‘great’, ‘finds the right solution to get the deal done’, and ‘thinks very well on her feet’. New York partner Leo Greenberg is a ‘real star and a great guy’. All named partners are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is ‘a classy institution that continues to develop private equity relationships’, including, famously, with bulge-bracket clients such as KKR, Blackstone, Silver Lake and Hellman & Friedman. The firm’s efforts to build its position in the middle market has also brought rewards; other clients include Apax Partners, Centerbridge Partners, CVC Capital Partners, EQT Partners, Platinum Equity Partners, Sterling Partners, Vista Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus. The firm has an impressive bench of senior specialists, as well as strength in the junior ranks. The firm’s strength in buyouts is complemented by its leading position in leveraged finance, fund formation, employee benefits and executive compensation, and tax structuring. In 2016, it advised Dell and Silver Lake on their $67bn acquisition of data storage company EMC, creating the largest privately controlled integrated technology company in the world; the deal was also described as the largest-ever in the technology industry. In other headline deals, the firm advised Apax Partners, as a major shareholder in King Digital Entertainment, on the $5.9bn sale of King Digital to Activision Blizzard, and assisted Vista Equity Partners with its $6.5bn acquisition of Solera. Marni Lerner became head of the private equity buyouts team in 2016 and leads a hugely impressive department that also features Gary Horowitz, Wilson Neely, William Curbow, Ryerson Symons and Palo Alto partner Richard Capelouto, who is ‘the best there is’, according to a peer. Brian Stadler is recommended for real estate-related deals. All named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a ‘go-to’ firm at the ‘top of the legal community’, providing ‘the highest level of service’ thanks to ‘the commercial acumen of the professionals’. The firm is praised for bringing the ‘most critical commercial and risk points to the forefront’ and for its ‘consistent quality of work and strong cultural fit’ with clients. The firm extended its client relationships in 2016, advising 21 private equity sponsors on deals, up from 15 in 2015. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Kelso & Company are long-term clients, but it is also receiving regular engagements from key names such as Providence Equity Partners, and is making solid progress with diversified sponsors such as Carlyle, including its technology and media, healthcare, and consumer and retail divisions. The firm also impressed with its work for alternative capital providers such as Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Healthcare, insurance, technology, media and telecoms are key sectors for the practice, which benefits from the support of the firm’s market-leading fund formation practice, its esteemed borrower-oriented leveraged finance practice, an established tax practice and a solid employee benefits and executive compensation team. In 2016, it advised CPPIB on its $1.1bn acquisition of specialty insurer Ascot from AIG. Key partners include senior name and ‘experienced M&A attorneyPaul Bird, who is pivotal to the firm’s work for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Kevin Schmidt leads the firm’s connection to Kelso and CPPIB and Kevin Rinker has an impressive record with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and Providence Equity; Rinker has the ‘experience base, familiarity with market precedents and ability to help create unique structures to position clients to make the best deals they can’. Uri Herzberg, who was promoted to partner in July 2016, also receives praise from clients. Peggy Andrews Davenport has retired from the partnership, but remains of counsel.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s breadth across key industries and financial centers in the US and around the world, as well as an enviable client base of large and mid-market private equity houses, makes it a tremendous force in this sector. Clients range from the biggest funds such as Carlyle, BC Partners, KKR and GTCR to middle-market players such as One Equity Partners, Leonard Green & Partners, Genstar Capital, Odyssey Partners and Platinum Equity. The firm’s standing is supported by a leading private equity finance practice and a global presence in the high-yield debt market. Its strengths in antitrust, energy, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and employee benefits are also important to its private equity standing. The firm advised Carlyle on its $400m minority investment in Ion Investment Group, a rare instance of a bulge-bracket private equity house taking a minority stake in a privately owned business. In another headline deal for a long-term client, it advised Onex on its $3.55bn acquisition, alongside Baring Private Equity Asia, of the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters. Showcasing its energy expertise, it advised Energy Capital Partners on the $3.3bn acquisition by Atlas Power - the joint venture between Energy Capital and Dynergy - of the US fossil generation portfolio of Engie. Key partners in the team include department heads David Brown (in Washington DC) and Jennifer Perkins, key Carlyle relationship partner Daniel Lennon (also in Washington DC) and senior name Howard Sobel. Other prominent names include Raymond Lin, Ted Sonnenschein and Washington DC’s Paul Sheridan, who is close to Onex and Carlyle. All named partners are New York based unless stated otherwise.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP had a banner year in 2016, thanks partly to cornerstone big-ticket client Apollo being especially active in the buyout segment. Taurie Zeitzer has helped solidify the firm’s relationship with Apollo since joining from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2015. The firm, which ‘goes above and beyond for clients’, advised Apollo and portfolio company Protection 1 on their $15bn acquisition of ADT Corporation, which was one of the largest leveraged buyouts of recent years. The firm is also close to big-ticket funds General Atlantic and Oaktree Capital Management and a range of middle-market sponsors, such as CI Capital Partners, Kohlberg & Co, KPS Capital Partners, Oak Hill Capital Partners and TowerBrook; it also has a growing connection to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Roark Capital. In addition, the arrival of new global head of M&A Scott Barshay from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in 2016 provides a connection to 3G Capital. General Atlantic engaged the firm on a series of deals in 2016, including the $725m sale of portfolio company Aperture New Holdings to E*TRADE. It also advised KPS on a number of transactions, including its acquisition of Anchor Glass Container Corporation. Co-head of the M&A group Angelo Bonvino leads the firm’s relationship with Kohlberg & Co, KPS and Oak Hill along with fellow co-head Matthew Abbott, who leads the General Atlantic relationship and is central to the firm’s connection to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Carl Reisner is the senior name in the team, John Scott is another key figure for Apollo, and Neil Goldman is also close to General Atlantic. All named partners are based in New York.

Ropes & Gray LLP is recommended for ‘complicated and sophisticated M&A work’, providing ‘a fantastic M&A service’, ‘a very deep bench of talented partners and associates’ that are ‘deeply entrenched in the private equity M&A market’. The firm represents six of the ten largest US private equity funds, 32 of the 100 largest global funds and more than 35 mid-market funds engaged in transactions ranging from $100m to $1bn. Its two cornerstone bulge-bracket clients remain Bain Capital and TPG Capital. Highlight deals included advising Bain Capital on the proposed dual-track sale or IPO of Blue Coat, which resulted in its $4.65bn sale to Symantec. It also advised Bain and its portfolio business The Weather Company on the sale of its product and technology unit to IBM. In addition, it advised Silver Lake on its $4.5bn take-private acquisition of SolarWinds alongside Thomas Bravo. The team has an especially strong reputation for life sciences, healthcare and technology deals. Experienced figure Alfred Rose and frequent Bain adviser Will Shields head the department, which also includes the seasoned David Chapin, Newcomb Stillwell and New York partners Daniel Evans, Othon Prounis and David Blittner, who joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in 2016. Kendrick Chow is a ‘go-to buyout lawyer’ and ‘trusted adviser’ with ‘many years of experience in the buyout space’. The firm also has a strong team of partners in Chicago and San Francisco. All named lawyers are based in Boston unless stated otherwise.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is a ‘great firm that certainly has had some talented people’. Despite some partner departures, including Michael Weisser to Kirkland & Ellis LLP and David Blittner to Ropes & Gray LLP, it has continued to cement relationships with major private equity houses such as TPG. The team advised TPG Growth and TPG Special Situations on the acquisition of a minority stake in Spotify Technology. It also advised JAB Holding Company, as the leader of an investment group, on the $13.9bn take-private acquisition of Keurig Green Mountain, and represented Omers Private Equity in its $1bn take-private acquisition (alongside Harvest Partners) of Epiq Systems. Advent International, Providence Equity, Berkshire Partners, Centerbridge Partners and CVC Partners are among its core client base. New York partner and department head Douglas Warner is ‘easy to work with’, ‘constructive’ and ‘smart’. Also in New York, Christopher Machera is an up-and-coming partner with good relationships with TPG and Centerbridge, and Peter Feist has added further senior-level credibility after transferring from the Hong Kong office in 2015. In the private equity-focused Boston office, Kevin Sullivan is pivotal to the Providence relationship and Marilyn French remains close to Advent. Silicon Valley partner Kyle Krpata is also key to the TPG relationship, and the ‘fantasticGlenn West has ‘a great legal mind but also provides very practical advice’ and is ‘by far the best corporate lawyer in Dallas’, according to one client.

Building on its longstanding connection with TPG Capital, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has bolstered its position in the private equity world with a mounting number of deals for Warburg Pincus. Other clients include Temasek, Silver Point Capital and The Raine Group. Paul Shim and David Leinwand lead the TPG and Warburg Pincus relationships respectively, though there is an increasing number of partners that contribute to the success of the firm in the private equity sector, including Robert Davis, Michael Ryan and younger partners Paul Tiger and James Langston. The firm’s wider resources are key to its strengthening client relationships, particularly its strong teams in antitrust, tax and employee benefits and the expertise of leveraged finance expert Margaret Peponis. The firm recently advised Warburg Pincus on its acquisition of equipment and technology finance provider Ascentium Capital. It also represented TPG in its $2.25bn acquisition of RCN and Grande Communications, the providers of cable television, internet and telephone services.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has ‘put more weight into private equity’ in recent years and has built up an impressive portfolio of sponsor clients. New York is its strongest office but it has a genuinely ‘national practice with a lot of great clients in California’. Ronald Cami, previously general counsel at TPG Global and a former Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP partner, joined the firm’s Menlo Park office in September 2016. TPG Capital is a key client of the firm, along with Corsair Capital, Crestview Partners, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Lightyear Capital, Metalmark Capital, Morgan Stanley Capital, Tailwind Capital and Warburg Pincus. Highlights included advising Lightyear Capital on the $500m sale of Swett & Crawford to BB&T and the $600m divestment of Clarion Partners to Legg Mason. John Amorosi is credited with much of the firm’s progress in private equity and is supported by key partners Leonard Kreynin, John Bick, Michael Davis and William Chudd. David Caplan left in 2016 to become general counsel at Atairos Management, which is now a client of the firm.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has an impressive history in the private equity sector and is noted for its ties to Goldman Sachs and Permira. Beyond these two marquee clients, the firm has advised a wide variety of private equity sponsors, including AEA Investors, American Securities, CVC Capital Partners, KKR, New Mountain, Onex Partners, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and Wendel. Healthcare, technology and real estate are key industry sectors for the practice. Deal highlights included advising AEA and Ontario Teachers’ on the $3.25bn sale of Dematic to Germany’s KION Group. It also advised Permira on the $2.6bn sale of the majority of its equity stake in to Silver Lake and GIC. Robert Schwenkel remains a giant of the private equity sector and Christopher Ewangets things done in a business-like and efficient manner’, doing ‘a good job of representing his client without injecting unnecessary atmospherics’ into the deal. Steven Steinman is a ‘great M&A lawyer’, ‘extremely reasonable’ and ‘plays his hand very well’. Aviva Diamant, Andrew Colosimo and Washington DC-based Brian Mangino are also recommended. Named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP saw increased activity in the middle market and benefited from multiple engagements from marquee client Lone Star. CVC Capital Partners is another big-ticket client that is engaging the firm on an increasingly frequent basis. The team was enhanced by the arrival of New York partner John Pollack from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP in 2016, providing another source of middle-market sponsor connections. In 2016, the firm represented CVC Capital Partners and CPPIB in their $4.6bn joint acquisition of Petco Animal Supplies from a group of investors led by TPG and Leonard Green & Partners. The firm also advised CPPIB on its joint venture with The Broe Group and on their $900m acquisition of the Denver-Julesburg Basin oil and gas assets in Colorado from Encana Oil & Gas. In addition, it advised CVC on the sale of its interest in AlixPartners to a consortium of investors. The private equity group benefits from the firm’s leading regulatory expertise, including extensive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) experience, and an impressive borrower-side finance practice. Key partners include New York-based Sean Griffiths and Steven Shoemate, Lone Star relationship partner Jeffrey Chapman in Dallas and Los Angeles-based Ari Lanin.

Proskauer Rose LLP has achieved prominence through its impressive sponsor relationships, most famously with Ares Management, but increasingly with big-ticket funds such as KKR and Carlyle. Thanks in part to the firm’s standing in sports, media and entertainment, it was engaged by KKR (alongside Kirkland & Ellis LLP) to advise on the $4bn acquisition, alongside IMG Worldwide and Silver Lake, of a majority stake in UFC. The firm also represented Carlyle in its investment in London-based PA Consulting Group, and advised marquee client Ares Management in connection with Ares Capital Corporation’s $4bn acquisition of American Capital. The private equity buyouts group is supported by one of the leading private equity fund management teams in the market. Los Angeles-based Michael Woronoff and Monica Shilling co-head the private equity group, with the former regarded as a ‘very fine lawyer’ and noted for his connection to Ares. Boston partner Steven Peck is another pivotal member of the team and New York’s Jeffrey Horwitz spearheads the private equity real estate side of the practice.

White & Case LLP has emerged as a global leader in private equity thanks to recent team expansions in Europe and Asia. The US team continues to grow its client base and increase its exposure to higher-value deals. The firm’s extensive national and global resources, including its highly reputed finance platform, gives it great appeal to private equity sponsors. Clients include CVC Capital Partners, Carlyle, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Global Infrastructure Partners, Quad-C Management, Partners Group and Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. The firm advised CVC, as part of a consortium including Temasek and Vatera Healthcare Partners, on the multibillion-dollar acquisition of a controlling stake in US generics company Alvogen from Pamplona Capital Management. It also advised FRHI Holdings, QIA and the Kingdom Holding Company of Saudi Arabia on the $2.9bn sale of FRHI to AccorHotels. Oliver Brahmst is global co-head of private equity and John Reiss is global head of M&A and a regular adviser on private equity deals. Carolyn Vardi and Matthew Kautz are also key team members and principally focused on private equity deals.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is ‘always solid’, ‘best in class’ and has ‘extremely good lawyers’ that provide ‘fast responses’. Clients also highlight the firm’s expertise in fund formation and it has impressive credentials in asset management regulation as well as solid leveraged finance capabilities. The firm has an extensive list of private equity clients, which includes Insight Venture Partners, Warburg Pincus, Riverstone Holdings, Aquiline Capital Partners, Genstar Capital and Friedman Fleischer & Lowe. The Houston office, which launched in 2014, has had tremendous success in energy sector transactions for private equity houses, in part thanks to the presence of Bruce Herzog; he has a close connection with Riverstone Holdings and recently advised the client on the $2.7bn sale of its stake in Vantage Energy to Rice Energy. Scott Miller joined the Houston team from Bracewell LLP in 2016, and another key name in that office is Michael De Voe Piazza, who has an ‘outstanding ability to see transactions through his client’s eyes and do everything possible to secure a maximum beneficial outcome’ and uses ‘cool-headed rationale and logic to prevail over the counterparty’. Firm chairman Steven Gartner and co-chairman Gordon Caplan are key members of the private equity team, along with co-chairs of the private equity practice group Neil Townsend and Jeffrey Poss, and seasoned figure Kirk Radke.

DLA Piper LLP (US) has consolidated its position in the middle market and is now often engaged in high-value deals too; it is noted for its record in healthcare, life sciences, media and energy. It advised Arsenal Capital Partners on a series of transactions in 2016, including its acquisition of Peterson Chemical Technology and BW Peterson Holdings, and its sale of Chromaflo Technologies to American Securities. ABRY Partners is a growing client for Atlanta-based Joe Alexander and the team advised the private equity house on its $550m sale of Emerging Markets Communications and its $126m leveraged buyout of AddSecure. Chicago’s Steven Napolitano and New York-based Daniel Eisner are co-chairs of the department. Other notable clients are Wind Point Partners, Arbor Investments, Baird Capital, Centerbridge Partners, Sterling Partners and Stonebridge Partners.

Dechert LLP provides ‘excellent insight and analysis with great response times’, ‘a high-quality service’ and has ‘very good business acumen at a reasonable price’. The firm has continued to expand its private equity team globally, most notably in London and Hong Kong. This has helped the firm to consolidate its position in the US, where is has assembled an enviable client list of names such as Bregal Partners, Centre Partners Management, Cerberus Capital Management, Court Square Capital Partners, GIC, Graham Partners, Quilvest Private Equity and Versa Capital Management. It advised GIC on its acquisition of a substantial equity stake, along with Silver Lake, in It also advised Cerberus on the $1.25bn sale of real estate interests in nine acute care hospitals operated by Steward Health Care System to Medical Properties Trust. Mark Thierfelder is chair of the global private equity practice and classed by clients as a ‘world-class M&A lawyer’ and ‘exceptional strategist’. Markus Bolsinger, a recruit from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2015, ‘thinks really well on his feet’, ‘negotiates hard for his client but picks the right points that are the most important’ and ‘identifies the most creative solution to get the deal done’. Christian Matarese is a ‘great all-round young M&A partner’. Derek Winokur is also recommended by clients and in Philadelphia Geraldine Sinatra and CEO Henry Nassau are key members of the private equity team. All named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Goodwin primarily inhabits the middle market, with a rare scope of practice covering the full spectrum of private equity transactions, from growth equity to high-value transactions. Recent lateral hires in Europe have added to the firm’s standing in the US and helped it to represent existing clients on a more global basis; these include Partners Group and TA Associates. Other clients include Charlesbank Capital Partners, JMI Equity, Carlyle, Great Hill and Goldman Sachs. Highlights included advising TA Associates on its $1.15bn acquisition of Russell Investments from the London Stock Exchange Group. It also advised Great Hill Partners portfolio company on its sale to The private equity team has an especially strong record in life sciences, tech, healthcare and financial services. Key partners include Boston-based John LeClaire and Michael Kendall, Los Angeles’ Andrew Weidhaas, Brian McPeake in San Francisco and James Hutchinson in Washington DC.

Jones Day has a substantial share of the middle-market private equity space and is expanding its institutional relationships with larger funds. It frequently advises The Riverside Company, along with other key clients such as One Equity Partners, Baird Capital, Blue Point Capital, Cortec Group and Wasserstein & Co. The firm advised Wasserstein & Co on the $1.56bn sale, alongside MidOcean Partners, of professional information services company Penton to Informa. It also advised Riverside on the acquisition of n2y, the developer of education plans and tools for children with special needs. New York’s Andrew Levine now heads the private equity team, which includes senior Cleveland figure Chuck Hardin, who leads the Riverside relationship, and impressive Cleveland partner Denise Carkhuff. New York-based Ira White is close to One Equity and Chicago-based Lisa Lathrop is also a pivotal member of the team. Dan Michaels joined the Washington DC office from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2016.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is praised for its ‘excellent service, responsiveness and deep team’. According to clients, it is ‘excellent value for money’ and ‘top amongst its peers’. The private equity team is strong on both east and west coasts and is best known for its strength in Philadelphia, New York and Orange County. The department’s impressive client list includes Apollo, Ares Capital, Arsenal Capital Partners, LLR Partners and Sun Capital Partners. The firm’s strong regulatory credentials affords the private equity practice particular credibility in sectors such as healthcare, energy, financial services and media and technology. Deal highlights included advising Platinum Equity on its $4bn acquisition of the Network Power business of Emerson Electric. The team is led by Philadelphia’s Barbara Shander and James Loss in Orange County. Philadelphia-based David Gerson and Alec Dawson in New York are also highly regarded. Los Angeles-based John Filippone is ‘extremely knowledgeable, very smart and extremely technically proficient’.

Sidley Austin LLP has significantly expanded its national and global private equity offering in the last three years. The firm typically operates in the upper middle-market space, although it does advise several bulge-bracket private equity funds such as Apollo - initially for its insurance platform but now for a wider array of transactions. Fortress Investment Group, Harvest Partners, HIG and Siris Capital are also key clients. Its strengthening focus on the private equity industry is supported by its market-leading regulatory acumen, and the team has an especially strong record in life sciences, telecoms and media and entertainment. Los Angeles’ Dan Clivner, who joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in 2015, led the team that advised Siris Capital on its $2bn acquisition of Polycom and its $1.1bn acquisition of Premiere Global Services. Other key team members include Chicago-based Chris Abbinante, Scott Parel in Dallas, and Scott Freeman and ‘good lawyerMatthew Rizzo in New York. Dallas partner Angela Fontana is a major player in sponsor-side acquisition and leveraged finance.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s market-leading M&A credentials are frequently sought out by private equity sponsors. Its impressive cross-border expertise and notable experience in financial services and energy are also major attractions, and its strength in restructuring and bankruptcy makes it well equipped to handle distressed M&A and investments. A regular client is Permira, which it advised on the $1.5bn sale of portfolio company Intelligrated to Honeywell International. It also advised Freescale Semiconductor and a private equity consortium including Blackstone, Carlyle, Permira and TPG on Freescale’s $11.8bn acquisition by NXP Semiconductors. New York partner Allison Schneirov heads the private equity group.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s market-leading M&A practice may overshadow its activities in the private equity sector, but it has quietly assembled an impressive client list that includes names such as Apollo, Ares, Carlyle, CPPIB, Energy and Minerals Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Lion Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Qatar Investment Authority and Versa Capital. The firm’s wider expertise and resources, including strong corporate governance and distressed investment expertise, are routinely deployed in complex and esoteric deals. In 2016, the firm advised the ad hoc committee of Key Energy’s senior notes, led by Platinum Equity, on Key Energy’s $750m deleveraging and recapitalization pre-packaged Chapter 11. In another major deal, the firm advised Ares, as the largest shareholder in Nortek, on Nortek’s $2.8bn acquisition by Melrose Industries. Los Angeles-based Alison Ressler has a stellar record in private equity deals for funds such as Ontario Teachers’ and Ares. In New York, George Sampas has worked on a series of deals for Energy and Minerals Group, Rhône Capital and CPPIB. New York’s Richard Pollack is another key team member.

Vinson & Elkins LLP has committed a great deal of effort, resources and expertise to the private equity sector and has made impressive progress, especially in its core industry sector of energy. The team is ‘among the best’, providing an ‘outstanding service’ and clients are ‘impressed with its level of industry and market knowledge’. Highlights included advising TPG portfolio company Nexeo Solutions on its $1.57bn merger with WL Ross Holdings and representing long-term client Riverstone in its partnership with Kinder Morgan in the $500m Utopia Pipeline Project. Other clients include Apollo, Blackstone, Crestview Partners, KKR, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, Oaktree Capital Management, Quantum Energy Partners and Warburg Pincus. Keith Fullenweider is a pivotal member of the team and leads the firm’s relationship with a series of bulge-bracket private equity sponsors, including TPG. Matthew Strock, Stephen Gill and New York managing partner James Fox, who is close to Apollo and Riverstone, are also recommended. All named partners are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Arnold & Porter’s practice has an impressive mix of big-ticket and middle-market private equity sponsor clients. American Securities and Onex are two of the firm’s more substantial clients, and it recently advised the former on its acquisition of Milk Specialties Global from Kainos Capital. Other clients include Centerbridge Partners, Halifax Capital Partners, JW Childs and NexPhase Capital. The firm has an excellent record in life sciences and healthcare, where it has leading Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expertise. Its standing in the security industry and in CFIUS and antitrust issues is also pivotal to the success of the practice. New York-based Emanuel Cherney, Stephen Koval and Lowell Dashefsky are key partners.

Boston’s Choate, Hall & Stewart added Stephen Meredith, Sarah Camougis and Christopher Nelson to its private equity practice in 2016 from Locke Lord LLP. It also brought in private equity funds formation partner Kimberley Kaplan-Gross from Cooley LLP. The new team has cemented existing client relationships, brought in new sponsor clients such as Great Hill Partners and reinforced its capabilities in the technology sector. The firm’s lower middle-market practice accounts for a high proportion of its overall revenues. Clients are typically based in Boston, though some, such as Mainsail Partners, hail from California. Other key clients include Summit Partners, Windjammer Capital, Riverside Partners, Spectrum Equity and Century Capital. The firm advised Windjammer on its $259m acquisition of Heritage Food Service Group from The Jordan Company. Brian Lenihan and TJ Murphy lead the team.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has broad national and international coverage and represents a multitude of clients across key offices in the US, most notably New York, Denver and Northern Virginia. Its strength in regulated industries makes it especially well known for deals in the life sciences, healthcare, technology and financial services sectors. Clients include KRG Capital Partners, Actis, Advent International, ACON Investments, Columbia Capital, One Rock Capital and Warburg Pincus. Deal highlights included advising KRG Capital on its $1bn sale of ATI Physical Therapy to Advent International. Key partners include New York-based Alex Johnson, New York and Denver partner George Hagerty, and Robert Welp in Northern Virginia.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has made considerable progress in the independent sponsor market, building on its already strong profile in the lower to middle-market segments. The team benefits from solid finance and tax credentials, and Saul Rudo, national head of the tax planning practice, is the relationship partner for many of the firm’s key private equity clients. The firm is especially strong in healthcare, business services, industrials, and consumer and retail. Highlights included advising Frontenac Company on its sale of AirTech and Ohio Transmission Corporation to Irving Place Capital. Other notable clients are Sterling Partners, Victory Park Capital, Prairie Capital and Centre Lane Partners. Chicago’s Kenneth Miller and Kimberly Smith head the practice, which also includes partners in Los Angeles and New York.

King & Spalding LLP is ‘incredibly responsive’, ‘detail oriented’ and ‘lawyers are knowledgeable, commercial, and great value for the cost of the service’. According to a client, responsiveness is ‘superior to any other firm’ and the firm is equally adept at aligning itself with a client’s interests and approach, ensuring a ‘remarkably positive experience’. The firm has an exceptional record in energy, healthcare, life sciences and real estate deals. Deal highlights included advising HIG Capital on its acquisition of Dominion Colour and assisting American Capital Equity with the sale of WRH to Charles River Laboratories. Arcapita and Roark Capital are major client. Atlanta-based Raymond Baltz is a key name.

New York’s Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP remains a strong player in the middle market for clients such as Stone Point Capital, Quad Partners and Shamrock Capital. It is particularly well known for financial services sector deals. It advised BlackRock on its acquisition of FutureAdvisor, a leader in digital wealth management, and assisted Stone Point with its acquisition of NFP’s Advisor Services business, which became branded Kestra Financial. Howard Spilko, James Moriarty, Ernest Wechsler and Thomas Molner are key partners.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP provides ‘very high-quality people at a reasonable price’. Wedded to the middle market, its core centers of US private equity expertise are Chicago and Miami. Chicago-based Andrew McCune and Miami’s Frederic Levenson, who is ‘very smart and commercial’, now lead the practice after the elevation of the ‘fantastic’ Harris Siskind to head of the global transactions group. HIG Capital is the firm’s marquee client in the space, although it also does work for Baird Capital, Blue Sea Capital, CenterGate Capital, Comvest Partners, JW Childs, Peak Rock Capital and New Harbor Capital Management. In 2016, it advised HIG Capital on its acquisition of Symplicity Corporation, and assisted new client Centergate Capital, a nascent fund created by former HIG Capital directors, on its investment into Vision Media Management. Healthcare, transportation, energy, life sciences, IT and technology are amongst its key sectors. Chicago’s Brooks Gruemmer is also recommended, along with New York-based Timothy Alvino, who has ‘great patience, tenacity and technical legal skills’ and ‘pays complete attention to the tiniest of details’.

Morrison & Foerster LLP has made significant progress in private equity through its New York office and expanding teams in San Francisco and Palo Alto. The national private equity team has an especially strong record in energy and technology deals through clients such as Blackstone Energy Partners, Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, First Reserve, OMERS Private Equity and Starwood Energy. In 2016, it advised Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners on its $860m acquisition of Holtwood from Talen Energy. New York’s Jonathan Melmed is recommended for energy deals.

Paul Hastings LLP reinforced its department by hiring San Francisco-based Steve Camahort, Michael Kennedy and Dana Kromm from Shearman & Sterling LLP in 2016; the new group’s clients include Francisco Partners, Symphony Technology Group and Vector Capital. The overall team is hailed as ‘outstanding’, ’accessible and very knowledgeable’, ‘skillful’ and ‘a pleasure to work with’; it is recommended for its ‘full complement of specialties’, which include bankruptcy and restructuring, M&A, antitrust and litigation. The private equity team is principally spread across the firm’s offices in California and Chicago, and key clients include Pfingsten Partners, GI Partners and HIG Capital. Highlight deals included advising GI Partners, in partnership with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, on the $950m acquisition of Netsmart Technologies. Orange County’s William Simpson and Brandon Howald and Los Angeles-based Robert Miller are highly recommended.

Shearman & Sterling LLP lost San Francisco partners Steve Camahort, Michael Kennedy and Dana Kromm to Paul Hastings LLP in 2016. Michael Dorf is the key remaining partner in San Francisco and advises big name clients such as technology-focused Francisco Partners, which he assisted with the purchase of Dell Software alongside Elliott Management. In the New York office, Scott Petepiece, head of Americas M&A, advises a number of buyout funds, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds such as Temasek and CPPIB. He advised Temasek on its acquisition of a minority interest in NYSE-listed Antero Resources. New York partner Robert Masella is also active in private equity buyouts.

Praised by clients for its strength in middle-market transactions, Winston & Strawn LLP provides a ‘full suite of services’ and the ‘requisite depth to run multiple deals simultaneously’. The firm ‘puts top partners on deals and can manage middle-market deals more economically’ than some competitors. It ‘invests’ in client relationships, supporting projects in the early stages without ramping up costs. The firm continued to build out the core private equity team and key support practices, with hires such as securities specialist Joel Rubinstein from McDermott Will & Emery LLP and sponsor-side finance expert Lynn Tanner from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. Key clients include The Jordan Company, Baird Capital Partners, GenNx360 Capital Partners, Water Street Healthcare Partners, Norwest Equity Partners and Arbor Investments. The core buyout team is spread across New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, with New York-based Bradley Vaiana and Dominick DeChiara and Los Angeles’ Eva Davis as the joint practice heads.

Venture capital and emerging companies

Index of tables

  1. Venture capital and emerging companies
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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San Francisco-based Matt Bartus and Boston-based Pat Mitchell lead Cooley LLP’s acclaimed practice, which is well known for advising high-growth technology companies and investors. New hires include Eric Schwartzman in Palo Alto, who joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in May 2016, and Ron Hopkinson, who joined the New York office from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Recent work highlights include advising Cardlytics, an advertising and technology company that connects buyers and sellers, on its $21m bridge financing. Mike Lincoln of the Reston office led advice to Hyperloop One (formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies) on its $80m Series B preferred stock financing, involving investors such as Khosla Ventures, France’s national rail company SNCF, and GE Ventures. In Santa Monica, Dave Young led Dollar Shave Club’s $75m Series D funding round, which included existing investors Technology Crossover Ventures and Forerunner Ventures and new investor Dragoneer Investment Group. In May 2016, Tom Hopkins led advice to The Honest Company on its $100m Series D financing round. Jim Fulton in New York, Fred Muto in San Diego and Mark Tanoury in Palo Alto are also key contacts, and Boston-based David Bartholomew is an associate to watch.

Fenwick & West LLP is ‘a real pleasure to work with’, says one client, and ‘offers more for your dollar and more partner attention than similar firms’. The technology and life sciences focused firm opened an office in New York in June 2016, in order to service its growing East Coast client base. As an example, it advised New York-based provider of shared office space WeWork on its $400m Series E mega round, placing its valuation at approximately $10bn. Group co-chair Cynthia Hess led the matter and is renowned for handling multimillion-dollar financings. Other co-chair Mark Leahy’s clients include high-growth venture capital-backed companies Ripple Foods and Branch Metrics. Based in San Francisco, Gordon Davidson is a prominent team member whose clients include Facebook, Shutterfly and Workday. Also in San Francisco, Ted Wang advised shopping start-up on its $500m mega round; the lead investor was mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments. New York-based Kristine di Bacco is recommended.

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has a particular focus on the life sciences sector and is widely known as a giant in the venture capital and emerging company space, with offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Boston, New York and elsewhere in the US and international platforms in China and Belgium. Steven Bochner is a pre-eminent figure in the start-up space, having handled numerous billion-dollar transactions in the past year; Seattle-based Craig Sherman acts for venture capital clients such as Accel, Amadeus Capital Partners, Bessemer, Frazier Healthcare Ventures and Sequoia; Palo Alto-based Yoichiro Taku advises technology and growth companies throughout their development, including private financings, strategic transactions, public offerings and M&A, and also represents investors in venture capital financings; and chairman Larry Sonsini is a renowned figure in the field.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s practice is led by Jeffrey Lehrer in Virginia and Randy Socol in San Diego, with the rest of the team spread nationwide. Lehrer focuses on corporate and securities transactions, domestic and international M&A, venture capital, joint ventures, and corporate finance, while Socol acts for clients from the biotech, healthcare, media and medical device sectors as well as, on the funding side, venture capital firms and strategic investors. Recent highlights include Richard Ginsberg in Chicago leading advice to social media management tool Sprout Social on its Series C financing, led by Goldman Sachs and New Enterprise Associates; Socol advising Llamasoft on its $50m Series B preferred stock financing by Goldman Sachs; Megan Muir in Seattle assisting SEOmoz, a software as a service (SaaS) company, with its $10m Series C preferred stock financing, led by venture capital fund Foundry Group; and Trenton Dykes in Seattle handling a $36m Series A preferred stock financing by venture capital investors ARCH Venture Partners, Polaris Partners and Maveron LLC. Atlanta-based associate Forrest Neal is another key contact. Since publication, Emilio Ragosa has joined the Short Hills, New Jersey office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Goodwin has a team of over 180 lawyers dedicated to venture capital work, advising clients from the life science and technology industries on financing, investing and M&A matters and assisting start-ups originating from Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC. Boston-based John Egan, Bill Schnoor and Mitchell Bloom jointly head the technology and life sciences practice and Menlo Park-based Anthony McCusker leads the technology companies practice. Work highlights included advising cloud communications platform Twilio on its $150m IPO; advising fintech company Affirm on its $100m Series D financing, which was led by Founders Fed and included existing investors, such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Spark Capital, as well as new investors; and handling Slack Technologies’ $200m Series F funding round, bringing its valuation to $3.8bn. New hires included William Growney and Michael Russell in Menlo Park - from an in-house position at Rich Relevance and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati respectively - and Richard Hoffman in Boston from WilmerHale.

The team at Gunderson Dettmer LLP is spread across San Francisco, Silicon Valley, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York and Boston, and has an international platform in Beijing that gives it a strong position in China-related transactions. Brian Patterson in San Francisco represents emerging growth companies throughout their lifecycles and has assisted clients from a wide range of industries, including software, consumer web, mobile, gaming, entertainment technology, semiconductors, life sciences, and clean and green technology. Richard Blake is another key figure, with expertise in preparing companies for IPOs. In New York, Ward Breeze advises private and public emerging growth companies and leading venture and hedge funds; Jay Hachigian is head of the firm’s Boston practice and specializes in advising life sciences clients; and in Redwood City, Robert Gunderson is a longstanding authority in the field and Scott Dettmer focuses on fast-growing private and public companies in the technology and life science industries.

The ‘best-in-class’ practice at Latham & Watkins LLP is praised for being ‘very responsive, highly knowledgeable, having broad experience and a very strong team’. Co-chairs John Chory, Susan Mazur and Sarah Gagan in Boston are applauded for being ‘incredibly responsive and for giving detailed, practical, common-sense advice’. Patrick Pohlen is also a practice co-chair and is based in Silicon Valley; he represented Andreessen Horowitz in numerous investments, including Nootrobox’s $2m seed funding, TwoXAR’s $3.4m seed funding and Accolade’s $70m Series E financing. New York-based David Concannon advised DemystData on its $7m Series B financing, led by Notion Capital, SingTel Innov8 and MissionOG. Concannon, who joined in April 2016 from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, also handled a number of investments on behalf of Bessemer Venture Partners, including in PhishMe’s $42.5m Series C financing, CS Disco’s $18.5m Series C financing, Rocketrip’s $9m Series B financing, and Social Tables’ $13m Series B financing. Alan Mendelson is co-chair of the life sciences industry group and is a key figure.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s practice focuses on early-stage growth companies and their investors, acting for clients involved in, among other things, technology, life sciences, clean energy and financial services. Boston-based Michael Conza and Princeton-based Steven Cohen are the practice co-chairs; both have strengths in financing and exits through M&A and IPO. Recent highlights include assisting PayPal with leading a $30m funding round for investing mobile app Acorns Grow; this was led by William Perkins in Boston, who is a regular adviser to the client. For Acerta Pharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, New York-based Steven Navarro handled the $4bn sale of a majority stake to AstraZeneca. Joanne Soslow in Philadelphia handled the $35m preferred stock financing for Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, which included investments from Deerfield Management and JW Asset Management. Other clients include Oculus, Infosys, HealthLine Networks and Geekatoo. Since publication, Emilio Ragosa has joined DLA Piper LLP (US).

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s practice provides ‘outstanding depth of expertise, appropriateness of advice and solid value for money’. The team is co-led by San Diego-based Steve Rowles, San Francisco-based Murray Indick and McLean-based Greg Giammittorio. Thomas Knox and Daniel Kahan in McLean ‘are exceptional; they understand clients’ businesses well and provide practical, timely advice’. John Harper is ‘very strong on transactional structures that optimize tax positions’. Palo Alto-based Timothy Harris assisted Zoox, a robotic vehicle developer, with its $200m Series A preferred stock financing, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Lux Ventures and several other domestic and international venture capital firms. The team recently advised Virtru, a leading provider of email and file encryption services, on its $29m Series A financing, led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation by New Enterprise Associates, Soros Fund Management, Quadrant Capital Advisors, and Blue Delta Capital. It also assisted dermatology-focused biopharmaceutical company Menlo Therapeutics (formerly Tigercat Pharma) with its $45m Series B financing.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a focus on representing on technology companies and has experience in AI, fintech, cleantech, social networking and cloud computing. Harold Yu and Stephen Venuto lead the group, which is also supported by New York-based head of the corporate business unit R King Milling. Yu’s clients include Palo Alto-based analytics company Thoughtspot. Christopher Austin and John Bautista in San Francisco handled global investment manager Coatue Management’s $500m investment in Liberty Broadband; this is related to Coatue’s $4.3bn investment in Charter Communications, alongside Jana Partners and Soroban Partners, in order to finance the acquisition by Charter of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Other highlights included assisting online investment platform Betterment Holdings with its $100m Series E financing, with participation from Kinnevik, Bessemer Venture Partners, Anthemis Group, Menlo Ventures and Francisco Partners. Senior associate Josh Pollick is a notable team member. Augie Rakow was promoted to the partnership, while David Concannon joined Latham & Watkins LLP. Silicon Valley-based Don Keller is another key contact.

In 2016, WilmerHale welcomed two new hires from White & Case LLP; Eric Hwang in Palo Alto and Christopher Rose in Los Angeles. Boston-based Mick Bain is co-chair of the corporate group and is known for advising high-profile investors and venture capital firms and, in Palo Alto, emerging companies practice co-chair Peter Buckland advises clients across the spectrum, from start-up to established corporation, and has an emphasis on software, digital media, energy and clean technologies. Bain led advice to 1366 Technologies, a solar company spin-out from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology regarding its $35m Series C financing, and also handled a $68m Series C preferred stock financing on behalf of Kala Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company. Other co-chair of the emerging companies practice David Gammell advised Andela, a New York-based start-up that pairs African developers with technology companies, on a $24m Series B funding round led by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Samuel Coates departed for an in-house position at Cloudflare.

Covington & Burling LLP’s practice is led by Ellen Corenswet in New York and Paul Rogers in Washington DC. Corenswet focuses on life sciences, technology and media companies, while Rogers focuses on investments and public and private securities transactions. Tom DeFilipps joined the Silicon Valley office in September 2016 as chair of the firm’s West Coast corporate practice and its venture capital and emerging company practice. Scott Anthony and Ingrid Rechtin are prominent in the technology space, advising on cleantech, e-commerce, predictive analytics and fintech transactions. Recent highlights include advising as lead investor on Guideline Technologies’ $4.6m Series A round and handling numerous investments for Salesforce Ventures, including the Series B financing of BugCrowd, the Series A financing of Amplero, the Series E financing of Quid, the Series A financing of Simplus and the Series D financing of SessionM. IFM Therapeutics, Kit Check, Athyrium Capital Management and Tencent Holdings are all clients.

Victor Boyajian leads Dentons’ practice and is a prominent adviser of emerging growth technology companies and major investors. The team advised a real estate portal for the purchase and sale of residential properties on its combination with a provider of solar panels and related technologies, and its subsequent $60m Series A financing; this was led by John Cleary. New York-based Jeffrey Baumel handled a $20m public offering of common stock and warrants for Asterias Biotherapeutics, and, in a cross-border matter, led advice to Innocoll Germany, a global specialty pharmaceutical company, regarding its merger with Innocoll Ireland, which was preceded by a $40m underwritten public offering of ordinary shares on the Nasdaq. James Jasaitis assisted Sungevity with its $50m Series D preferred stock offering to Apollo, IKEA and others. The team also handled a $4m Series A financing round for protein company Exo, led by AccelFoods’ new fund and Collaborative Fund, a syndicate headed by angel investor Tim Ferriss. Chip Korn is also recommended.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has an ‘excellent practice; the lawyers show extreme care and repeatedly excel in providing timely and expert advice’. Practice chair Jeffrey Hurlburt has extensive experience advising clients from the cleantech, foodtech, energy and life sciences sectors. Jon Layman, who splits his time between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, is a key partner in the team and handles start-up financings and IPOs as well as corporate finance and other capital-raising transactions. He recently advised Founders Fund on numerous investments, including, as lead investor, a $30m investment in Flexport’s Series B financing, a $5m investment in the series seed preferred stock financing of Homee Interiors, a $2m investment in the series seed preferred stock financing of Ayar Labs, and a $30m investment in the $52.3m Series C preferred stock financing of Nu Pagamentos. Babak Nikravesh joined from Jones Day in June 2016 and Laura Berezin departed for a position at Cooley LLP.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s Northern California emerging technology practice is led by Warren Lazarow and Paul Sieben. The pair focus on early-stage growth companies and their investors and have handled over 75 successful exits in the past three years. Mobile telecoms and cleantech are areas of particular focus, and clients include high-profile start-ups such as Coursera,, Houzz, Kabam, Lookout Mobile Security and Palantir. Silicon Valley-based Portia Ku has expertise in advising public and private companies from the technology, life sciences, healthcare and financial services sectors. Eric Zabinski, who splits his time between Beijing and Century City, is another key contact and focuses on China-related transactions.

The practice at Choate, Hall & Stewart focuses on life sciences and primarily advises investors with their interests in start-ups, including on financing, capital markets transactions and M&A. The key contacts are co-chairs of the private equity practice, Brian Lenihan and TJ Murphy, who both have extensive experience advising investors and start-ups. Prominent member of the team Laurence Naughton advised Capstone Ventures and Petrillo Capital in connection with a seed round investment in Cybric, a Boston-based software security firm focused on developing a SaaS platform. The firm has a notable cross-border practice with Canada; examples include Murphy assisting Summit with a growth equity investment in Mi9 Retail, a US and Canadian retail software company, and with its preferred stock investment in Vestmark, Kevin Tormey advising Canadian investment firm XPV Water Partners on its second investment in an environmental solutions company, and Christian Atwood handling a growth equity financing of a Canadian target on behalf of a US-based private equity fund.

Los Angeles-based Bradford Weirick and Palo Alto-based Gregory Davidson co-lead Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s practice, with Weirick focusing on M&A, private equity investment as well as public and private securities offerings, and Davidson advising on equity and debt private placements as well as assisting venture capitalists and corporate strategic investors. Weirick recently handled two investments for Eminence Capital: a $40m Series C financing in Whipclip, a mobile platform for sharing video clips of television shows and music videos, and a $17m Series B financing in Quartzy, a lab supplies marketplace. San Francisco-based Ryan Murr is another core team member and advises pharmaceutical, technology and biotech companies on strategic transactions, including tender offers, public and private mergers, stock and asset purchases, and licensing transactions. He recently advised bioTheranostics, a cancer treatment developer, on a Series A preferred stock investment into the company led by MVM Life Science Partners, as well as handled numerous matters for healthcare investor Kearny Venture Partners, including an $8m Series C investment in AliveCor, a $73m recapitalization of Wellpartner, and a $15m Series D investment in Newbridge. Lisa Fontenot in Palo Alto is another key contact.

Locke Lord LLP’s key contacts include Andrew Capalbo, Douglas Gray and Michael Newquist in Providence, Tamer Tullgren in Chicago, and Walker Clarke in Houston. The team recently advised Biohaven Pharmaceutical on its oversubscribed $80m private financing, which was led by Venrock along with other leading biotech investors. Newquist advised HealthCor Partners Fund on its Series E investment in ApaTech Limited, a UK-based company focused on the development of new bone growth technologies. Other highlights included advising Coral Reef Capital, a New York-based private investment firm, on its investment in Krewe Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production company based in Los Angeles. David Lange moved to Winston & Strawn LLP.

Lowenstein Sandler LLP’s key partners include New York-based Anthony Pergola, who is an expert in advising clients from the IT, software, communications, financial services, and life sciences and biotech industries; New York-based Raymond Thek, who handles financings and exits primarily on behalf of IT companies; and Kathi Rawnsley in Palo Alto, who leverages her background as general counsel of Intel Capital to advise emerging companies on financings and contracts. Recent work for Rawnsley includes assisting Continuuity with its seed and Series A preferred stock financing, advising VigLink on its Series A and Series B preferred stock financings, and advising Andreessen Horowitz in connection with its investment in Zulily. Other clients include BirchBox, Advance Publications, Google Ventures and First Round Capital.

Healthcare and life sciences are key industry sectors for the team at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, whose West Coast attorneys handle venture capital work and advise a number of Asia-related emerging companies. Chicago-based Bernard Kramer is ‘a highly capable attorney who understand how to move a process forward, organize his team and be a highly effective advocate for his clients’. Led by Silicon Valley-based corporate partner and practice head Mark Mihanovic, the team advised Lumiata, a Silicon Valley-based health technology business, on its $10m Series B preferred round. Miami-based Fred Levenson advised Capricorn Healthcare & Special Opportunities in connection with the acquisition and financing of Altruista Health. Based in Dallas, Wilson Chu led a corporate team on multiple acquisitions and transactions, including a series of cross-border equity investments on behalf of NYSE-listed Chinese social media company Renren regarding its entry into the fintech market. Samuel Wales in Washington DC and Harris Siskind in Miami are also key contacts.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.’s team is headed by New York-based Daniel DeWolf, Boston-based Lewis Geffen, and Jeremy Glaser, who splits his time between San Diego and San Francisco. The team regularly advises venture-backed companies in middle-market M&A transactions across a broad range of industries, including technology and software, medical devices and life sciences, industrial and manufacturing, and retail and consumer products. Recent work for Geffen includes advising numerous investors on the $21m Series B financing of Aura Biosciences, assisting Opsonix with its $8m Series A financing, advising Macrolide Pharmaceuticals on its $22m Series A financing to develop novel antibiotics, and handling various financings for Tarsa Therapeutics to develop treatments for osteoporosis.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s practice is spread across New York, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where practice head Jorge del Calvo is based. The team recently advised Lanza TechVentures on its investments in start-up companies, including a Series E investment in Jasper Design Automation and an $8m financing of Numerate. San Francisco-based Patrick Devine assisted Industry Ventures with its purchase of membership interests in Nueronotics, TearScience, NuPathe and Arista Networks, and also advised the client on the purchase and sale of its interests in Costanova Venture Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures. Other clients include NexGen Angels, Capital Integral SA de CV and Co=Creation=Capital.

The ‘exceptional’ team at Sidley Austin LLP is led jointly by Hank Barry, who is ‘always available; his key strengths are business acumen and balanced counsel’, and Deborah Marshall, who is known for her strength acting for biotech clients. The team assisted Nektar Therapeutics, a Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company, with its $200m public offering. Barry advised The RealReal, a luxury consignment marketplace, on its $40m Series E financing, which brought in new investors Greenspring Associates, Broadway Angels, Next Equity and Springboard Fund. Other highlights included handling cybersecurity product developer Shape Security’s $40m Series D financing, and handling the $80m financing of privately held Biohaven Pharmaceutical on behalf of Venrock and other investors. Joshua Hofheimer and Sam Zucker are other key team members, and Wendy Lazerson is ‘a great employment counsel’.

Gabor Garai heads Foley & Lardner LLP’s practice and is known for advising emerging life science companies, including biotech, medical device, pharmaceutical and medical service businesses. The team is primarily located in Boston and regularly advises incubators, accelerators and angel groups, in addition to assisting strategic investors with structuring their individual or joint investment funds. Paul Wrycha in the Madison office is vice chair of the private equity and venture capital practice, and has expertise in the organization, development and financing of start-up, emerging-growth and development-stage companies. Susan Pravda, who is head of the firm’s venture fund practice, represents high-growth and emerging businesses involved in telecoms, software, wireless and services, as well as healthcare IT, life sciences and biotechnology. Clients include Carbonite, Stage 1 Ventures, SavingStar, BlackDuck Software, Sky Analytics and RainKing Software. Todd Boudreau and Thomas Hickey are other key members of the team and have strengths in fund formation and investment management.

Jones Day’s practice has strengths in representing emerging-growth and public technology companies in public offerings particularly from the software, e-commerce and life sciences industries. Timothy Curry, who splits his time between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, represents a broad range of clients including BioQuiddity, a developer of specialty pharmaceuticals, three Nasdaq-listed companies including Five9, a cloud-based call center software company, Intersil, a power management and analog solutions provider, and flash storage solutions provider SanDisk. Venture capital funds, strategic investors, and investment banks are also a feature of the client roster including Adams Street Partners, Artiman Ventures, Endeavour Vision, Nokia Growth Partners, and SoftBank. Stephen Gillette recently handled several strategic investments by Verizon, Total, AbbVie, Gfk, and Citi Ventures and Cleveland-based John Saada advises private and emerging-growth companies in the healthcare, technology, information services, and consumer products sectors. San Diego-based Kenneth Polin is another key contact.

Silicon Valley-based Judith O’Brien is head of King & Spalding LLP’s team, which has a depth of expertise in company-side venture financing, including bridge loans and preferred stock financing. Recent work includes advising a cloud-based point-of-sale software solutions provider on the initial closing of its Series B preferred stock financing, advising a Nashville-based palliative care company on its Series A preferred stock financing, and advising a healthcare company on completing its Series D preferred stock financing. San Francisco-based Tom Duley led advice to Jounce Therapeutics on a strategic collaboration with Celgene for the development and commercialization of immuno-oncology treatments for cancer patients, under the terms of which Celgene will make an upfront payment to Jounce of $225m. GE Ventures, Montage Ventures, Lightstone Ventures, Nurix, Mission Bio and Omni Projects are all clients.

Response times are ‘excellent’ at Reed Smith LLP and, according to one client, ‘it always feels like the best interests of the client are kept in mind’. Silicon Valley-based Donald Reinke ‘is one of the best venture capital lawyers in the group’, which is co-led by Matthew Mohn in Pittsburgh and Matthew Peterson in Chicago. The team works with companies from inception through to incorporation and financing, and also handles exits via acquisition or IPO. Paul Jaskot in Philadelphia recently led advice to Essex Woodlands Health Ventures as an investor on the $5m Series B preferred stock financing of Encore Dermatology. Los Angeles-based Michael Sanders, who ‘has terrific industry knowledge and is very trustworthy’, handled Sonendo’s $45m Series D preferred stock financing, and Catharina Min advised Ascent Services as an investor on the $16.2m Series F preferred stock financing of WiTricity Corporation. Co-founder of King & Wood Mallesons’ New York office Parik Dasgupta recently joined and is known for his venture capital fund formation work.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s San Diego-based practice head Michael Umansky recently advised Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) on the spin-out of Blue Cedar Networks from Mocana and assisted BGV, as lead investor, with its investment in Blue Cedar Network’s Series A preferred stock financing. Other highlights included advising Accelerate-IT Ventures as lead investor on Fanbread’s series seed preferred stock financing, assisting WiserCare with its $1.7m preferred equity financing led by Okapi Ventures, and advising Project Cloudkey on its $6m Series A-1 preferred stock financing. Stephen Cohen recently joined the New York office and Jeralin Cardoso in San Diego was promoted to the partnership in February 2016. Stephanie Zeppa and Tobin Dommer are other key contacts.

Vinson & Elkins LLP had a number of hires throughout 2016; Eric Klein, Todd Landis, Michael Simons and Fred Williams joined from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Craig Tyler and Paul Tobias joined from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. William Volk heads the practice from the Austin office and other key contacts include Keith Fullenweider and David Palmer Oelman. Recent highlights include advising Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures on its $10m lead investment in NanoMech’s Series C financing, and for the same client it handled its $12m lead investment in Maana’s $26m Series B preferred financing. Tobias advised Cognitive Scale on raising $3.3m through the sale of its Series B preferred stock, while Austin-based Wes Jones advised Spredfast on its $50m Series F financing led by Riverwood Capital.

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  • Bär & Karrer Advises CEVA Logistics on its IPO, the anchor investment by CMA CGM and its migration

    CEVA Logistics, one of the world's leading third-party logistics companies, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange, where trading commenced on 4 May 2018. With a market capitalization of CHF 1.6 billion and generating gross proceeds of CHF 821 million, this is so far considered as the largest IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange for 2018. In addition, CMA CGM, the third largest container shipping group in the world, has committed to make a strategic cornerstone investment in CEVA Logistics by purchasing CHF 379 million of mandatory convertible securities which will convert into shares of CEVA Logistics once certain regulatory approvals have been obtained. Simultaneously with the IPO, CEVA Holdings, the former holding company of the CEVA group, migrated from the Marshall Islands to Switzerland by way of a cross-border merger with CEVA Logistic as the surviving company.
  • BAG: Employer not liable for harm caused by vaccine

    Employers who have flu vaccines administered within their company are not liable for any harm that might occur as a result of the vaccine. That was the verdict of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court, in a recent ruling.
  • Tax Update

    Cyprus Tax Department has announced that, as of June 1 st 2018 , the following taxes, not bearing interest and charges, can ONLY be paid via JCCsmart (website ) . JCCsmart is a Cyprus portal used to contact payments to various organizations including the Government. This measure follows the successful implementation of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax withheld from employees through JCCsmart.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on the Financing of the Largest Thermoelectric Plant in Latin America

    Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe S.A. (CELSE) has successfully issued bonds for approx. USD 1 billion equivalent in local currency at a fixed, long-term rate in international capital markets. The innovative bond issue is guaranteed by the Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), the export credit agency of Switzerland. The bonds are part of a financial package to finance the development, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a thermoelectric power plant by CELSE in the state of Sergipe in the northeast region of Brazil. Besides the bond issue for approx. USD 1 billion, the transaction includes a USD 200 million loan from the International Finance Corporation and a financial package of the Inter-American Development Bank in the amount of approx. USD 300 million. Once operational expected for in 2020, CELSE will sell electricity to 26 distribution companies in Brazil, becoming the largest and most efficient thermoelectric plant in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • BAG: Threats made by employee can justify dismissal with immediate effect

    Employers do not have to accept threats made by employees. These can constitute good cause justifying extraordinary notice of dismissal with immediate effect, as demonstrated by a ruling of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court.
  • SyCipLaw is Tier 1 Firm in IP STARS 2018 Rankings

    SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) was once again ranked by Managing IP’s IP STARS 2018 as a Tier 1 firm in Patent and Trademarks/Copyright in the Philippines. In addition, SyCipLaw partners Enrique T. Manuel and Vida M. Panganiban-Alindogan are ranked as Trade mark star – Philippines . Mr. Manuel is also ranked as Patent star – Philippines .
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on Partial Self-Tender Offer

    On 21 September 2017, an extraordinary shareholders' meeting of the SIX Swiss Exchange listed N.V. authorized the board of directors to repurchase up to 33 1/3% of the company's share capital by means of a partial self-tender offer. The resolution adopted under Dutch law contained detailed information, among others regarding the period for which the authorization is granted, the manner in which the shares are repurchased and the price range within which the offer price must be set.
  • New Serbian Law on Foreigners Adopted

    In March 2018, the new Serbian Law on Foreigners was adopted, replacing the 2008 version of this law- in force until recently without any amendments. The new law will enter into force on 3 October 2018.
  • The Serbian Law on Foreign Exchange Amended

    On 20 April 2018, the amendments to the Law on Foreign Exchange (the “Law ”) were adopted and will enter into force on 28 April 2018 . Exceptionally, the application of certain provisions related to the assuming of competencies over foreign exchange control by the National Bank of Serbia is delayed until 1 January 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Vyaire Medical on its Acquisition of Acutronic Medical Systems

    Vyaire Medical, Inc., a global leader in respiratory care, acquired all shares in the Acutronic Medical Systems group, a Switzerland and Germany-based leader in the design and manufacture of neonatal ventilation equipment.