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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United States, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for six consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

Chapters Name Firm Section Work Area Firm ID Lawyer ID Office URL Lawyer URL

United States > M&A/corporate and commercial > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Legal market overview
Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

Some $3.5tn of M&A deals were closed globally in 2018, the third largest on record since 2001. Notably, Chinese acquisitions of US businesses dropped by 94.6% to $3bn from a high of $55.3bn in 2016 with China turning its attentions to Europe instead where deal activity increased significantly. Trade tensions and political instability have clearly had an effect, though have not significantly dampened transaction activity.

Valuations were pushed up by rival bidding in a number of deals, including in Comcast’s takeover of Sky where it increased its offer in the face of competition from 21st Century Fox. Moreover, the availability of relatively cheap finance, thanks to low interest rates, has also given corporates access to capital to make attractive offers.

Large cap deals remain dominated by Wall Street’s traditional elite law firms, including Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Their ascendancy does not appear to be under threat, though firms such as Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are becoming increasingly viable competitors, especially as these firms have recruited wisely in recent years.

Other firms that made headway in 2018 include Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP bringing in a four-partner team, including George Stamas, from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Baker Botts L.L.P. hired a four-partner team from Vinson & Elkins LLP, including Mike Rosenwasser, Michael Swidler and Adorys Velazquez. Moreover, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP hired Matthew Rizzo and Jessica Sheridan from Sidley Austin LLP in New York, and Archie Fallon and Steven Torello joined from King & Spalding LLP and DLA Piper LLP (US) respectively. Elsewhere, Allen & Overy LLP recruited experienced partner Stephen Besen from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

The US middle market remained one of the most active areas for M&A deals in 2018; compared to 2017’s third quarter, domestic M&A activity increased by over 30% during the third quarter of 2018. This stream of activity has been largely driven by sector convergence and intense interest in the technology sector. Private equity-backed transactions were especially vibrant, while other sectors of particular note have been healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, consumer products and retail. Indeed, The ever-increasing number of private equity firms illustrates the health of the sector. Private equity fundraising continues at a faster rate that they are able to invest capital, with many funds sitting on significant reserves of dry powder.

That said, it is a competitive market for assets, as private equity firms diversify their investment strategies, and many large-cap focused funds move into the middle market or even into the growth investments and venture capital space. A growth in add-on acquisitions has also resulted from the high asset prices.

Buoyed by the US’ 2018 tax reform (the largest piece of tax reform legislation in over three decades) and corporate liquidity, companies are expected to grow again in 2019 through acquisitions, with a healthy M&A pipeline anticipated across all sectors; this is notwithstanding rising interest rates, increased global protectionism (including trade tensions with China), stormy markets and US companies’ regulatory concerns.

Headline mergers among prominent law firms include Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner LLP merging with Dallas-based Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in 2018; and St Louis-based Bryan Cave LLP and UK-headquartered Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP also joining up to form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in 2018.

Significant lateral moves included Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP hiring Jordan Hamburger, who has healthcare and financial services deal experience, and Eric Newsom for the Century City and San Francisco offices, respectively, from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, while John Booher was recruited in Silicon Valley from Hogan Lovells US LLP. Meanwhile, at Squire Patton Boggs' new Atlanta office, widely respected corporate and M&A lawyer Wayne Bradley and office managing partner Ann-Marie McGaughey were hired from Dentons; and recent growth for DLA Piper LLP (US)'s Austin corporate practice included the arrival of a team of six Jackson Walker, L.L.P. partners, Steven Bartz joining in Dallas from Thompson & Knight LLP, and Emilio Ragosa and Kevin Grant recruited in New Jersey from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, where Ragosa formerly headed the corporate group in Princeton.

Other notable moves include Fenwick & West LLP's veteran technology dealmaker Gregory Roussel leaving for Latham & Watkins LLP's Silicon Valley office and technology group partner Scott Joachim joining Goodwin in its Silicon Valley and New York offices; Jared Hershberg leaving Reed Smith LLP for Greenberg Traurig, LLP's New York office; and New York-based M&A technology and life sciences deal specialist David Schwartz leaving Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Finally, we have introduced a few new rankings this year. Now separated into it‚Äôs own category in our guide,¬†shareholder activism continues at a fast clip, with a key market trend being its internationalization ‚Äď American lawyers are being increasingly called upon to advise on cross-border matters, with activist hedge funds taking this strategy into parts of the world where such campaigns are culturally alien. Turning to more local work, trends have included more asset managers adding activism to their arsenal, as well as a growth in activism around M&A deals, typically concerning pricing.

In traditional governance issues, the #MeToo movement and broader equalities initiatives have been visible, with several high-profile exits on those themes. Thankfully, the conclusion of the government shutdown in late January 2019 gave rise to relief on the public company securities front; in addition to the more visible issue of the shutdown holding up IPOs, the slowdown at the SEC could have led to lengthier and more challenging annual general meetings, as SEC consent to winnow down shareholder proposals would not have been forthcoming.

The brand new section this year is the Delaware law section. Delaware also continues to be without serious competition as a favorable jurisdiction for incorporation in the United States, not just for tax reasons, but also due to the extremely strong reputation of the Delaware Court of Chancery. In the Delaware section, readers will find a cadre of independent firms that provide specialized advice on the company law of the First State.

Commercial deals and contracts
Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

DLA Piper LLP (US)¬†is instructed primarily by clients in the technology and software industries, which it advises on a range of commercial transactions including tech¬†licensing, trade mark agreements and outsourcing deals. Rated by clients for his¬†‚Äėclearly superior and absolutely outstanding work‚Äô,¬†Jeffrey Aronson¬†in Silicon Valley advised¬†Softbank Group Corporation on its investment in the on-demand dog walking service Wag and the messaging app Slack. In addition, the team acted for Nike in relation to its acquisition of artificial intelligence company Invertex. Other key figures include joint practice heads¬†Mark Lehberg¬†in Sand Diego and Richard Greenstein¬†in Atlanta.¬†The firm also saw a number of personnel changes in 2018: Washington DC-based¬†Margo Tank¬†and Chicago-based¬†David Whitaker joined the practice group from Buckley LLP,¬†and¬†Matthew Gruenberg joined the Los Angeles office from Barnes & Thornburg LLP;¬†Ryan T. Sulkin left the firm for¬†Michael, Best & Friedrich LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP has particular expertise in negotiating broadcasting and licensing arrangements, and also handles major joint venture and distribution agreements in the media and entertainment and mobile app industries. Highlights in the Los Angeles office included Adam J. Sullins advising Facebook on the acquisition of certain sports broadcasting rights, and recently promoted partner Ghaith Mahmoud acting for Mattel in relation to a joint venture agreement with the internet technology company NetEast to develop new gaming experiences. Additionally, Silicon Valley-based practice head Anthony R. Klein acted for Lyft in the $250m acquisition of urban bike-sharing company Motivate, which included the adoption of existing city contracts. The firm also assisted Nestlé with licensing agreements to display third-party brands on its food products, which included agreements with household names such as Warner Bros and Disney.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises its strong tech-sector client base on commercial transactions and ongoing outsourcing arrangements, and also assists banks and fintech companies with licensing and outsourcing agreements involving payments and processing technology. Rahul Kapoor in Silicon Valley acted for internet search provider Yandex in a $3.7bn ride-sharing business transaction with Uber, while Philadelphia-based joint practice heads Barbara Murphy Melby and Michael L. Pillion advised BOX Options Exchange on a blockchain and surveillance technology licence and services agreement for the establishment of StokynX, an exchange for the trading of security tokens. Tony Chan joined the Washington DC office from Dechert LLP in April 2018, and Sameer V. Mohan joined in Houston from Baker & Hostetler LLP in February 2018.

Ropes & Gray LLP¬†is ‚Äėwell equipped'¬†to handle standalone commercial contracts and M&A-related IP transactions for healthcare companies, IT-companies and private equity firms. Silicon Valley-based¬†Megan Baca¬†(‚Äėbusiness-oriented, resourceful, and reliable‚Äô) advised TPG Capital on its stock acquisition from Intel of Wind River Systems, a provider of internet operating systems. In addition,¬†Edward Black advised semiconductors manufacturer M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings on a licensing and joint venture arrangement with STMicroelectronics. Practice head David M. McIntosh assisted biotech company Homology Medicines with a research collaboration with Novartis for the use of the client‚Äôs gene editing technology in the development of blood disease treatments.¬†Regina Sam Penti was promoted to partner in November 2018;¬†Harry Rubin¬†in New York left the practice to join Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in October 2018. Named lawyers are based in Boston unless otherwise stated.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

In a cross-platform collaboration between GC magazine and leading IP law firm Finnegan, key partners and senior in-house clients explore the challenges for women in assuming leadership roles in the legal profession.

WilmerHale's Boston-based team is regularly instructed by pharmaceuticals companies, fintech companies and developers of artificial intelligence in relation to licensing agreements, joint ventures and technology development contracts. Jointly headed by Steven D. Barrett and Belinda M. Juran, the practice group acted for Agios Pharmaceuticals in a $424m collaboration and licence agreement with CStone Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of the leukemia medication Tibsovo in China. Other standout highlights included Michael J. Bevilacqua advising fusion energy company Commonwealth Fusion Systems on its establishment with MIT Energy Initiative of a university-industry partnership, Jeff P. Johnson advised the healthcare and security solutions provider Analogic Corporation on its $1.1bn acquisition by the investment company Altaris Capital Partners.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has experience of the full range of commercial agreements associated with complex technology development projects and service outsourcing matters. Recently the team advised Ford Motor Company on its $1bn collaboration with the self-driving technology provider Argo Al for the development of autonomous vehicle technology. The practice group is jointly headed by Stephen D. Nordahl in New York and William J. Peters in Los Angeles; Nordahl acted for Johnson & Johnson in its sale and outsourcing of 60% of its manufacturing capabilities for implantable medical devices to Jabil, while Peters assisted Marriott with an IT outsourcing agreement with Accenture. Carrie M. Leroy joined the Palo Alto office from White & Case LLP in February 2018.

With expertise in industry sectors ranging from life sciences to real estate, Goodwin handles a steady flow of commercial transactions including IP licensing, tech commercialization and technology transfers. Jointly headed in the Boston office by Lisa R. Haddad, John T. Haggerty and Deborah S. Birnbach, the team recently advised Bluebird Bio on its strategic collaboration with Gritstone Oncology to research, develop and commercialize cancer treatment products. Also of note, the team acted for Galapagos and MorphoSys in their global licensing agreement with Novartis Pharma to cover the commercialization and joint development of the monoclonal antibody MOR106. In 2018, Jon M. Novotny and Joshua Cook joined the San Francisco office from Gunderson Dettmer LLP, and the practice group also brought on several new lawyers from Dechert LLP and Fenwick & West LLP. New York-based Jane Greyf joined Latham & Watkins LLP, and Caitlin Murray also left the practice group.

Corporate governance

Index of tables

  1. Corporate governance
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has expertise in a range of work across the governance space, including complex transnational matters and management changes. Arthur Kohn, who has experience acting for partnership businesses in management elections, advised CLS Group on replacing its CEO. Further, Ethan Klingsberg and Pamela Marcogliese advised Dun & Bradstreet on a leadership transition. In other highlights, a large team advised National Amusements on a multi-faceted dispute regarding its ownership of CBS, with issues of a proposed stock dividend to dilute its holding; the team managed a total replacement of the board. Also recommended is Sandra Flow, who acts as governance counsel to Stanley Black & Decker, and also advises GrafTech on its securities law matters. Joon Kim returned to the firm from the position of acting US attorney for the southern district of New York.

Hogan Lovells US LLP 'takes the time to learn its clients' businesses and is able to provide practical advice based on the key considerations'. John Beckman and Joe Connolly advised Papa John's Pizza on corporate governance issues after relations broke down between the company and its 30% owner, founder and former CEO and chairman John Schnatter following several controversial racially-tinged comments made by the company founder. Beckman and Eve Howard also advised Equifax on securities disclosures surrounding a data breach. Contacts in Washington DC include Alan Dye and Alex Bahn, both of whom are 'very responsive and provide sound, practical advice' on executive exits. In Baltimore, Amy Bowerman Freed advised 21st Century Fox on the SEC disclosure issues surrounding its sale to The Walt Disney Company. Brown-Forman Corporation is another client.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is 'very current on key issues and highly sensitive and thoughtful on difficult cases'. Ellen Odoner has 'a wonderful way to keep clients at ease while sharing difficult and sensitive analyses'; she assisted a special committee of the board of Sears with numerous related party transactions. The firm also has a strong area of expertise in the governance of non-profits, where Odoner and associate Aabha Sharma act for clients such as the School of American Ballet; Lyuba Goltser also has expertise in the non-profit space. Also recommended are Howard Dicker and Washington DC-based Adé Heyliger, the latter of whom advised Sanofi on the SEC relations issues of its purchase of Ablynx.

Arnold & Porter's key area of strength in the governance space is its handling of securities law disclosures for public companies. Jonathan Green in New York handles work surrounding cross-border investigations, among other matters, and Ronald Levine in Denver is another key contact. Non-profit governance is another area of expertise for the firm. In this area, Washington DC-based James Joseph handles governance issues for clients including the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation.

At Jones Day, Lizanne Thomas in Atlanta and Kelly Turner in Houston handle a range of work, including advising on corporate leadership issues and public company securities matters. Thomas, Turner, James Dougherty in Cleveland and Detroit-based Timothy Melton also advised USG Corporation on the sale of the company to Knauf following an unsolicited bid, amid a campaign by USG's 31% owner, Berkshire Hathaway, to secure a higher deal price; partly as a result of the firm's work, Knauf paid an additional $4 per share. Other names to note include associate Joanna Sutton in Atlanta, and Amy Pandit in Pittsburgh, who joined the firm from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Recent highlights for Latham & Watkins LLP included Orange County-based William Cernius and Andrew Gray acting for Realty Income Corporation in relation to an alleged bear raid by Spruce Point Capital Management. In Houston, Ryan Maierson is instructed by TechnipFMC, a British company listed on both the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext, but not a foreign private issuer. William O'Neill retired.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP handles a mix of governance work, with many instructions evincing the firm's strong reputation in the energy industry. In Houston, Christine LaFollette advised Landmark Infrastructure Partners' conflicts committee on numerous transactions, while John Goodgame acted for the conflicts committee of Shell Midstream Partners in its purchase of a majority stake in the Amberjack pipeline. Dan Fisher has experience acting for special committees in the wake of corporate scandals. Additionally, Fisher advised the special committee of the board of Neff Corporation on canceling a proposed merger with H&E Equipment Services and merging with United Rentals instead. Jeff Kochian is another key contact.

The team at Baker & Hostetler LLP is regularly involved in related-party transactions, governance reviews and management changes. Contacts in the Cleveland office include practice head Janet A. Spreen and Suzanne K. Hanselman, while Jeffrey E. Decker is a name to note in Orlando.

The team at Goodwin has particular expertise in acting for special committees. Stuart Cable and Mark Opper advised the independent transaction committee of the board of Sprint on its merger with T-Mobile, and Cable and Lisa Haddad also advised a special committee of the board of Foundation Medicine on the company's merger with Roche. Joseph Johnson and Andrew Goodman and Gilbert Menna in New York acted for Lasalle Hotel Properties, which was sold to Pebblebrook Hotel Trust in a hostile deal following involvement from activist investors. Other key contacts include John Egan and Michael Minahan. Named lawyers are based in Boston unless otherwise noted.

King & Spalding LLP has experience of various leadership change mandates, executive compensation and other governance matters. The key figure in the team is Jim Woolery, 'a brilliant strategist with a deep understanding of the interests of all stakeholders'.

Delaware counsel

Index of tables

  1. Delaware counsel
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • Catherine Dearlove - Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.
    • Louis Hering - Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP
    • Srinivas Raju - Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Jason Russell - Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP
Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

All lawyers in this section are based in Wilmington, Delaware.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

In a cross-platform collaboration between GC magazine and leading IP law firm Finnegan, key partners and senior in-house clients explore the challenges for women in assuming leadership roles in the legal profession.

Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP has 'deep Delaware law expertise in all areas, such as especially complex corporate translations and private equity'. 'Commercially minded, but at the same time technically precise', the team is rated by clients as 'extremely knowledgeable and easy to work with'. Melissa DiVincenzo advised Broad Street on the Delaware law aspects of its financing of Avantor's acquisition of VWR Corporation, and also provided Delaware law advice on the merger of Celgene Corporation and Juno Therapeutics. Eric Klinger-Wilensky and DiVincenzo acted as Delaware counsel to Dr Pepper Snapple Group in relation to its sale to Keurig Green Mountain. In addition, Louis Hering ('an expert in alternative entities, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the relevant case law and issues') and James Honaker ('a great Delaware corporate lawyer, who knows his stuff and provides clients with creative solutions to sticky corporate problems') advised Archrock Partners' conflicts committee on the purchase of its remaining stock by Archrock Inc. In another energy-sector deal, Klinger-Wilensky, Tarik Haskins and Andrew Johnston advised the conflicts committee of Andeavor Logistics on its merger with Western Refining Logistics. Johnson also worked with Patricia Vella on Halyard Health's sale of some business units to Owen & Minor. Also recommended are Jeffrey Wolters, who is instructed by clients such as Boeing and VantagePoint Capital Partners, and newly promoted partner Jason Russell, who advised Expedia Group on refinancing a revolving credit facility. Further, David Harris acted as Delaware counsel in relation to Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto, and is also acting for Wilmington Trust in its role as trustee of a settlement by Takata following the highly publicized recall of defective airbags.

Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A. has 'expertise in all things Delaware law, and adds tremendous value, especially when compared to large New York firms'. Standout highlights included Srinivas Raju, Gregory Ladner and Kenneth Jackman, advising EQT Midstream Services, the general partner of EQT Midstream Partners, on a number of transactions including a merger with Rice Midstream Partners. Other names to note include Mark Gentile, corporate governance expert Catherine Dearlove, and John Mark Zeberkiewicz, who is 'a true Delaware law expert, whose love for his profession is evident in his work; he gives clients the short answer, but is always willing to explain and educate'.

At K&L Gates, Scott Waxman advised Azul Brazilian Airlines on forming a Delaware LLP for the $400m issuance of senior notes. Turning to funds work, Eric Feldman advised Lone Star Funds on various Delaware operations, including the creation of a new fund. Additionally, in the M&A space, Lisa Stark advised SPX Corporation on its purchase of ELXSI Corporation.

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

Index of tables

  1. M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has maintained a significant market share of big-ticket M&A transactions, despite the relatively small size of its M&A department and the firm's small global presence (with offices in New York and London) compared to other tier one competitors. Its much celebrated rotation system ensures that associates and partners are able to apply their big picture experience and expertise in complex transactions. The firm has a much greater emphasis on strategic corporate acquirers than financial sponsors and private equity houses, compared to many of its natural competitors. It continues to impress in cross-border transactions where it advises both US and foreign multinationals. Clients include AXA, British American Tobacco, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Royal Dutch Shell and The Walt Disney Company. In 2018, the firm advised Time Warner on the completion of its $108.7bn sale to AT&T and advised The Walt Disney Company on its pending $85bn acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox. Moreover, it advised The Linde Group on its immensely complex and pending $70bn merger of equals with Praxair and Barrick Gold on its pending $18.3bn merger with Randgold Resources. The firm has 'super lawyers' with the firm's presiding partner Faiza Saeed further cementing her leading position in the market with a string of headline deals, including the previously mentioned Time Warner and Walt Disney transactions. Richard Hall also continues to impress with his exemplary deal experience, as does Mark Greene and Robert Townsend. Damien Zoubek  is gaining further recognition in the market for advising the likes of Johnson & Johnson in headline transactions, while Keith Hallam, Ting Chen and Aaron Gruber are among those expected to achieve similar prominence in the future.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

In a cross-platform collaboration between GC magazine and leading IP law firm Finnegan, key partners and senior in-house clients explore the challenges for women in assuming leadership roles in the legal profession.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has maintained its upward trajectory in domestic and cross-border M&A. It continues to be ranked in the upper echelons of the M&A league tables by value. The firm's rounded M&A credentials are augmented by top-quality teams specializing in antitrust, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) matters, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), among others. Clients include Aetna, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Comcast, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Morgan Stanley, Roche and Shire.  It advised Aetna, the diversified health care benefits company, on the completion of its $77bn acquisition by CVS Health. It also advised Comcast on its $45.3bn recommended increased cash offer to acquire Sky and its $65bn proposal to acquire Twenty First Century Fox businesses that were eventually sold to The Walt Disney Company. Moreover, it advised Shire on its $62bon acquisition by Takeda, the Japan-headquartered global research and development-driven pharmaceutical company; the largest pharmaceutical industry deal since 2000. George Bason is global chairman of the firm's M&A practice and has a tremendous record in big-ticket M&A. William Aaronson is 'pragmatic and very good to work with', and is co-head of the global M&A group alongside Louis Goldberg. John Bick is 'a good deal lawyer', while Oliver Smith, Leonard Kreynin, William Chudd, Michael Davis and John Amorosi are also recommended.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP continues to be recognized for its leading position in bulge-bracket private equity buyouts and this is increasingly matched by its presence in strategic M&A. The firm's outstanding private equity knowledge and experience is frequently brought into play when representing sellers in contested auctions. Strategic M&A clients are also regularly spawned from private equity exits, where the firm maintains a relationship with the company's management. The firm is also noted for its standing in domestic and cross-border transactions, especially in the financial services, healthcare, technology and energy sectors; it has a well-established office in Houston that has augmented its reputation in the oil and gas industry. The team is 'extremely thorough, knowledgeable and very responsive'. Clients include American Electric Power, Gerdau, Hilton Worldwide, Marathon Oil, Microsoft and Walgreens Boots Alliance. It advised L3 Technologies on its announced $33.5bn combination with Harris Corporation through an all-stock merger of equals transaction. It also advised Blue Buffalo Pet Products on its $8bn sale to General Mills. Moreover, it advised regular client Microsoft on its $7.5bn acquisition of GitHub. Alan Klein, who is recommended for cross-border deals and high-value tech deals especially, and Mario Ponce head the M&A practice, which includes leading financial institutions M&A expert Lee Meyerson, rapidly emerging talent Eric Swedenburg, experienced big-ticket M&A specialist William Curbow and junior partner Anthony Vernace. Brian Stadler is recommended for real estate-related deals and Latin America transactions specialist Todd Crider is 'an outstanding individual'.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is a global titan in M&A. The firm's nationwide presence is especially hard to match with fine teams on the East and West coasts, as well as in Chicago and Houston. Along with its tremendous record in public and cross-border M&A, the firm is widely noted for its expertise in hostile takeovers and activist defense work. The firm advised Express Scripts on its $67bn acquisition by Cigna. Moreover, it advised NXP Semiconductors on its proposed $47bn acquisition by Qualcomm. The firm's Boston office is making an impression with a team led by Graham Robinson advising Juno Therapeutics on its $11bn acquisition by Celgene and Gilead Sciences on its $11.9bn acquisition of Kite Pharma. Howard Ellin had an outstanding 2018, advising Twenty-First Century Fox on its $71.3bn acquisition by the Walt Disney Company and Red Hat on its $34bn acquisition by IBM. Stephen Arcano and Peter Atkins are also market leaders, along with Palo Alto's Kenton King, who is 'a terrific lawyer' and continues to be a leader in big-ticket tech deals. Paul Schnell is 'easy to work with' and Thomas Kennedy is 'terrific', according to clients. Allison Schneirov is another big name and Richard Grossman is leader in activist defense and proxy contests. Washington DC's Jeremy London is also highly rated. Partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz 'still has the premier practice for public M&A deals', according to one competitor. Despite being a one office firm, based in New York, it has a substantial M&A team and maintains a high market share of big-ticket and transformational M&A transactions. Moreover, it continues to impress in hostile takeovers, activist defense work and proxy contests. Hugely respected by corporate America and its management boards, it is constantly in the frame for the biggest engagements in the market. It advised T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom in connection with the blockbuster proposed $146bn merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. In other headline deals, it advised United Technologies on the separation of the business into three independent public companies, Comcast on its $65bn bid for assets of Twenty-First Century Fox, and Broadcom on its $18.9bn all-cash acquisition of CA Technologies. The still active Martin Lipton is, for many, the premier name in the market. David Katz and Daniel Neff are 'super high quality' and 'incredibly good lawyers'; Katz is 'smart, thoughtful and he will work to get the deal done'. Adam Emmerich, once again made an impression on the market by leading the team that represented T-Mobile in its merger with Sprint. Edward Herlihy further cemented his standing by heading the team that advised Cigna on its $67bn acquisition of Express Scripts. Steven Rosenblum and Andrew Nussbaum are also outstanding M&A practitioners, as are Andrew Brownstein and Igor Kirman.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is consistently in the frame for bet-the-company M&A engagements. It is praised for its 'skill and sophistication', with one client highlighting its 'management of a very complex transaction with great expertise'. The firm has earned further recognition for its roles in global consolidation transactions and in representing corporate targets in high-value leveraged buyouts. It continues to set the benchmark in big-ticket tech transactions; the team advised Alphabet/Google on its internal spin-offs of Loon and Wing Aviation, on its $1.1bn business cooperation agreement with HTC and on its acquisition of Socratic, the e-learning company. In the global consolidation space, it advised GiVi Holding Donatella Versace, and Versace’s CEO Jonathan Akeroyd on the $2.13bn sale of Versace to Michael Kors Holdings and advised Flavors & Fragrances on its $7.1bn acquisition of Israel-based Frutarom Industries. Moreover, it advised Kindred Healthcare on its $4.1bn acquisition by a consortium of TPG Capital, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Humana; the deal then involved the home health, hospice and community care businesses being separated into a standalone company owned by Humana, TPG and Welsh Carson, while the LTAC hospitals, IRFs and contract rehabilitation services businesses were split into a specialty hospital company owned by TPG and Welsh Carson. The firm's leading antitrust expertise is a crucial factor in the standing of the M&A department. Key partners include Ethan Klingsberg, Christopher Austin, Glenn McGrory and Paul Shim. Benet O’Reilly is 'always available and gives solid, practical advice when novel issues present'. Though less involved in transactions these days, Victor Lewkow deserves credit for the firm's increased prominence in M&A over recent years and he remains a source of expertise and knowledge for colleagues to lean on. James Langston and Paul Tiger are emerging names in strategic M&A and private equity buyouts. Kimberly Spoerri is praised for her relatively recent successful transition from associate to partner.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has cemented its formidable standing in strategic M&A, alongside its market leading position in private equity buyouts. It has built an impressive depth of experience in public M&A, cross-border transactions, contested deals, activist defense work and take-private transactions. The firm has pursued a fervent campaign to hire lateral partners in recent years, with M&A and securities specialist Sean Wheeler joining its Houston office in 2018, while private equity and M&A expert Jennifer Perkins moved to New York; both were partners at Latham & Watkins LLP. In addition, Michael Woronoff, Monica Shilling, and Jonathan Benloulou joined the Los Angeles office from Proskauer Rose LLP in 2019, while insurance M&A specialist and 'impressive technical expert' Rajab Abbassi joined the team from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. The team is 'exceptionally dedicated', with 'a deep understanding of commercial issues' and filled with 'top-quality partners and associates' that combine to provide a 'one-stop-shop service'. It has 'broad transactional experience, with deep knowledge of market precedent' and can 'work seamlessly with numerous overseas counsel as well as the target's counsel'. The department advised Blackstone Group, as the controlling stockholder of Invitation Homes, on the company's $11bn combination with Starwood Waypoint Homes. It also advised Akzo Nobel on the $12.5bn sale of its Specialty Chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and GIC. Moreover, it represented The Scripps Family, the controlling shareholders of Scripps Networks Interactive, on the $14.6bn sale of Scripps to Discovery Communications. David Fox is a seasoned professional with enormous big-ticket M&A experience. Daniel Wolf is another big name to note, while Sarkis Jebejian and Peter Martelli are also highly respected in the market. Jonathan Davis is another increasingly prominent partner; he and Eric Schiele are praised for providing 'direct, pragmatic and useful advice'. Houston partner David Castro is 'extremely hardworking', 'very knowledgeable' and has 'deep experience in large transactions' in the oil and gas space. Houston's Chris Heasley is 'a rising star' along with Anthony Speier who has 'great M&A and energy expertise'. Partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Following publication of the 2019 guide, David Klein, who handles public and private M&A and private equity deals, joined the firm from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP has an outstanding national and international presence, enabling it to develop tight connections to corporates and be in the frame for one-off bet-the-company M&A engagements. Ranging from high-value to middle market deals, the firm has a substantial pipeline of deals, which feeds a sizeble team. Clients include T-Mobile USA, Dell Technologies, DXC Technology Company, Novelis and Phillips 66 Partners. In the large-cap space, the firm has impressed in a number of transactions, including advising the committee of independent directors of T-Mobile on the company's proposed $146bn combination with Sprint. In another headline deal, the firm advised the special committee formed by the board of directors of Tesla on evaluating its $71.6bn going-private transaction. Charles Ruck has built an enviable record in large-cap deals, especially in the life sciences and telecoms sectors, and now splits his time between Orange County and New York. Luke Bergstrom is a big name in Silicon Valley, particularly in technology and life sciences deals, while Mark Gerstein and Bradley Faris are the senior figures in Chicago. Having joined the firm in 2017 to bolster the New York office Peter Harwich has advised on a series of headline deals DXC Technology Group, including its $6.5bn reverse Morris trust transaction involving the tax-free spin-off of its US public sector business and three-way merger with Vencore and KeyPoint Government Solutions to form Perspecta.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has continued its inexorable rise since the arrival of M&A superstar Scott Barshay in 2016. In 2018, he and the team were engaged by International Business Machines (IBM) to advise on its $34bn acquisition of Red Hat, creating the world’s largest hybrid cloud provider. Barshay also led the team that represented Qualcomm in connection with the $130bn unsolicited offer for the company from global semiconductor leader Broadcom; this was the biggest successful hostile takeover defense in the history of M&A. The firm's leading litigation practice provides additional firepower to the M&A team's historically outstanding record in hostile takeovers, proxy fights and activist defense work. Clients praise the department's 'depth of experience on complex, large scale transactions',  'the judgments of the team which tend to be superior to other firms'  and 'the scale of the team means clients are well covered and never left to fend for themselves or left with junior associates who are not equal to the tasks at hand'. Clients also highlight the team's 'open communication, business acumen and pragmatism'. Of the key partners in the team, the previously mentioned Barshay is 'perhaps the best M&A lawyer on Wall Street', 'has decades of experience which gives him excellent insight and judgment', 'works collaboratively with clients to deliver seamless advice',  and is 'excellent at seeing around corners and anticipating the moves of the other side'. Chair of the corporate department Robert Schumer is another outstanding practitioner who is 'one of the most practical and business oriented thinkers', according to a leading partner at a rival firm. He led the team that advised the special committee of the board of directors of Invitation Homes in connection with its merger of equals with Starwood Waypoint Homes. Other key M&A partners include Jeffrey Marell and Steven Williams. Private equity stars Taurie Zeitzer and Matthew Abbott are also key contributors to the success of the M&A practice. David Klein joined Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2019.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP may not have the volume of high-value deals compared to tier one firms, but it has 'a huge ability to deploy many people at the same time at the very last minute, meeting a high-level expectation in terms of competences and experiences, responding to sensitive questions and providing touchy legal opinion to help'. It is praised for its 'knowledge and professionalism' which is 'far beyond any of its peers' according to one client. Another stresses its 'best in-the-boardroom work' and its 'plain English credibility and excellent communication skills'.  It routinely impresses in hostile takeovers, activist defense work and distressed M&A. Among a number of complex and challenging transactions, it advised Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Property Partners, on the latter's $14.4bn billion acquisition of 66% of the common stock that it did not already own in GGP, the REIT that owns, develops, and operates regional shopping malls across the US. It also represented Atos, the French IT services company, on its $3.57bn acquisition of Syntel. Showcasing its expertise in hostile transactions, it advised athenahealth, the health services company, on its evaluation of a $6.46bn unsolicited takeover bid by Elliott Management. Much credit should go to corporate group chairman Michael Aiello, who has played an integral role in building the team's prominence in the market; he is 'one of the best outside lawyers in a boardroom environment' and has 'extremely effective communication skills' according to one client. At the same time, while the team suffered from a perceived thin layer of senior gravitas in the past, there are several names that have achieved greater recognition in recent years, such as Michael Lubowitz, Frederick Green, Howard Chatzinoff and James Griffin, who has transferred to the Dallas office from Silicon Valley; Griffin is 'excellent in understanding the issues, helping to analyze them, and then working to find solutions', in one instance 'in a very unique way to solve a very complicated public company acquisition'. Jackie Cohen is 'the deal maker',  'calm and discreet but energetic', 'pragmatic, honest and able to contradict where she believes the client could be wrong or where it needs a second opinion'; 'it is difficult to imagine a deal without her,' says one client. Matthew Gilroy is an emerging name. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is commended for the 'sophistication and scope' of its practice. It continues to impress in a range of sectors, especially healthcare, TMT, insurance and financial institutions, and private equity. The firm has worked hard to develop its sector expertise over the last decade, streamlining efforts with certain M&A practitioners given the task of focusing on individual industries alongside colleagues from other departments. Few firms now have the same level of combined M&A and regulatory expertise in its chosen focus sectors. Clients include Discovery Communications, Johnson & Johnson, HCA, International Paper, Pitney Bowes, Tribune Media, Time and Verizon Communications. In a uniquely complex transaction, involving multiple moving parts, it advised long-term private equity client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its $2.4bn acquisition of New York-listed Ply Gem in a take private transaction alongside a parallel purchase of Atrium Windows & Doors and then merger of Atrium with Ply Gem. It followed this deal with a series of add-on transactions for Ply Gem culminating in its $5.5bn stock-for-stock combination with NCI Building Systems. In the mega-deal space, it advised Discovery Communications on its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive and further illustrated its expertise in the media sector with a number of deals for Tribune Media including its proposed $6.6bn sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group, which was eventually terminated. The senior team has expanded considerably in recent years with a series of partner promotions, including Sue Meng, who is 'a strong lawyer who gets amazing amounts of work done', Uri Herzberg, Alexander Cochran and Jennifer Chu. It now has 'a fantastic mix of senior lawyer oversight with outstanding transaction lawyers and associates', which are praised for their 'brilliance and interpersonal skills'. Clients also highlight 'the level of integration and coordination among the practice areas', which 'operate seamlessly with one another on the various aspects of a deal'. Jeffrey Rosen is 'a brilliant strategist and negotiator' and Paul Bird is another senior name with a wealth of big transaction experience. Practice co-head Michael Diz is 'a strong and capable young partner', 'demonstrates a long-term commitment to  learn and truly understanding clients' businesses and strategies' and 'develops positive working relationships with in-house counsel and business leaders'. Kevin Rinker, who also co-heads the M&A group, has an excellent record in healthcare deals. Also recommended are Gregory Gooding and William Regner, the latter of whom has been noted as 'another strong corporate finance and M&A professional'.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has tremendous national and international credentials. Notably building out its presence across the US in recent years, it now has strong M&A teams in New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco/Palo Alto, and Denver. The large team continues to impress in big-ticket M&A, hostile takeovers, activist defense work and proxy contests. Clients include General Electric, PepsiCo, Marriot, Hewlett Packard and Intel. It advised General Electric on its sale of its GE Healthcare business, as part of its corporate reorganization. It also advised PepsiCo on its $3.2bn acquisition of SodaStream, the Israeli sparkling water dispenser maker. This is one example of its increasing prominence in cross-border deals. It further enhanced its standing with the hire of a four partner team, including the eminent George Stamas from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, that cover both M&A and private equity. The new team links up with an established national group featuring the likes of esteemed New York partner Barbara Becker, Dallas's Jeffrey Chapman and Washington DC-based Stephen Glover. Los Angeles partner Jonathan Layne, Palo Alto's Joseph Barbeau and New York-based Dennis Friedman are also recommended, as is Tull Florey in Houston.

Jones Day's national and international coverage is virtually unrivalled and this continues to enable it to maintain and build an enviably broad and illustrious client base. The firm is often praised not only for its geographic coverage, but also its breadth of expertise with other strong departments including intellectual property, labor law and government regulatory teams having a key role on many big transactions. Clients include Marathon Petroleum, Procter & Gamble and Conagra Brands. While being a considerable force in global M&A by volume, it also ranks highly by value of deals with it now frequently earning roles on headline and high-value transactions. This is in part enabled by the presence of eminent practitioners in New York, such as global M&A practice chair Robert Profusek and global M&A leader Randi Lesnick. Cleveland's Lyle Ganske and James Dougherty are also key leaders of the M&A group. Ganske and Dougherty worked alongside fellow Cleveland partner Benjamin Stulberg to advise Marathon Petroleum on its $23.3bn acquisition of Andeavor to create a leading US refining, marketing, and midstream company. The firm also advised Conagra Brands on its $10.9bn acquisition of Pinnacle Foods. Palo Alto partner Daniel Mitz is recommended for technology deals and advised Oclaro on its $1.8bn acquisition by Lumentum Holdings.

Shearman & Sterling LLP continues to impress in big-ticket domestic and cross-border M&A. The firm has built further market share in recent years and in 2018 it made additional inroads by launching new offices in Houston and Austin. The new offices offer a growing number of M&A partners and associates that are well-plugged into the oil and gas, industrials and technology sectors. The firm's 'dedication to client service is second to none', according to one client who also singles out its 'judgment and business sense', 'negotiation skills' and 'genuine care for its clients'. From its New York headquarters, the firm is also making a greater impression for big-name clients including CVS Health, The Dow Chemical Company, Liberty Global, Novartis and General Electric. It continued to advise CVS Health on its $77bn acquisition of Aetna, the leading diversified healthcare benefits company. It also advised Liberty Global on its ‚ā¨19bn sale of its operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic to Vodafone. Moreover, it advised Novartis on its $3.9bn all-cash acquisition of Advanced Accelerator Applications, the French cancer specialist company.¬† Global managing partner George Casey remains actively engaged in many of the team's headline deals for clients such as Dow Chemical and Novartis; he is 'a brilliant senior dealmaker', 'highly respected', has 'excellent business judgment' and is 'very pleasant to deal with'. Scott Petepiece leads the Americas M&A group and has strong connections to the likes of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Fairfax Financial and American Axle; he is 'probably the best negotiator I have ever come across in my 15+ years of M&A experience,' says one client who also comments how Petepiece is 'superbly knowledgeable and always delivers beyond what would typically be expected from an external counsel'. Robert Katz has emerged as a key name in the team, having taken a pivotal role on CVS Health's acquisition of Aetna and Liberty Global's sale of its operations in¬†Germany, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic. Elected to the partnership in January 2018, Richard Fischetti is 'street smart and efficient', a 'young partner who has demonstrated an ability to get deals done in the most sensible manner for the client'.

White & Case LLP maintained a strong presence in large-cap M&A throughout 2018. The firm's global presence, which has been strengthened by a series of headline lateral hires in the M&A and private equity fields, has helped to considerably augment its standing in the market. Moreover, its recent launch of new offices in Chicago and Houston has specifically bolstered its US reputation. It continues to showcase its formidable presence in representing financial advisers in bulge-bracket M&A. The team advised Sempra Energy on the completion of its $9.45bn acquisition of Energy Future Holdings and its subsidiary Energy Future Intermediate Holding Company. It also advised Calpine on the completion of its $17bn acquisition by Energy Capital Partners and a consortium of other investors. In another headline cross-border transaction, the group advised SodaStream International, the Israeli manufacturer and distributor of sparkling water makers, on its $3.2bn sale to PepsiCo. John Reiss heads the global corporate practice and the immensely experienced Morton Pierce continues to advise on a range of large-cap deals, including the previously mentioned Calpine transaction. Oliver Brahmst co-heads the private equity team and has a fine record in corporate M&A and portfolio company deals. Daniel Dufner and Gregory Pryor are also highly rated. Denise Cerasani is recommended for M&A financial advisory roles and Gary Silverman is leading the firm's efforts in Chicago, especially in the private equity space.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is a New York powerhouse with an additional US presence in Washington DC. It has an established record in strategic M&A, hostile takeovers and defense matters and is recognized for its experience in real estate, media, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and financial institutions transactions. It has 'one of the top deal teams in the US', is 'business savvy, aware of all the latest trends and has experts in all of the areas of deal-making'. It has 'a market leading financial services M&A business, having led and set precedent for many deals in the space', according to one client. Clients include Aleris, Catalent, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Humana, Knight Transportation, Koch Industries and Leidos Holdings. It advised Aleris, the US-based aluminium producer, on its $2.6bn acquisition by Novelis. It advised Becton, Dickinson and Company, the global medical technology company on its acquisition of TVA Medical. Robert Schwenkel is global head of M&A and private equity and has an outstanding reputation in advising corporates and financial sponsors. Steve Epstein is an 'excellent counselor', 'the consummate deal lawyer who is very attuned to his clients, extremely responsive, thoughtful, with no wasted effort and knows the deal space intimately'; he and Philip Richter are co-heads of the practice, with the latter noted for his experience in representing financial advisers in M&A transactions. Washington DC’s Brian Mangino has an extensive record in private equity and M&A and Matthew Soran is 'a rising star with excellent skills and a total command of the documents and the issues'. Christopher Ewan 'has broad expertise and experience, is hugely commercial and fantastic in negotiations'. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Hogan Lovells US LLP's unique national, transatlantic and global platform enables it to offer an especially compelling offering to major corporates. The M&A practice's growing standing across the US has enabled it to advise on a series of headline cross-border transactions. Moreover, it continues to impress in regulated sector deals, most notably in the financial services, life sciences and healthcare, and defense industries. The team is 'very customer driven, practical in its approach, commercially aware and  able to understand the real world issues'. A team led by New York’s Adam Golden and Washington DC partner Joseph Gilligan advised Novartis on its $8.7bn acquisition of AveXis, the US clinical-stage gene therapy biotech company; this was Novartis’s largest US public company acquisition to date. Golden also led the team that advised Celgene on its $9bn acquisition of Juno Therapeutics, the cell-based cancer immunotherapy company. The deals further demonstrate the firm’s leadership in healthcare and life sciences.  It also advised Orbital ATK, the aerospace and defense company, on its $9.2bn sale to Northrop Grumman, the leading global security business. On the West coast, a team led by Silicon Valley partners Richard Climan and Jane Ross advised Walmart on its $16bn acquisition of a majority stake in India-based Flipkar; this was the largest ever completed deal by Walmart and established it as a leader in India's e-commerce market. The firm’s Silicon Valley team is considered to be one of the premier groups of advisers in tech deals with Keith Flaum, another eminent West coast figure, advising Oracle on its acquisition of Aconex in Australia. Baltimore partner Kelly Hardy is 'a standout partner who continues to excel year after year' thanks to her 'responsiveness', 'super high emotional intelligence', 'practical' approach, 'commercial awareness' and 'ability to relate to understand real world issues'. The firm is also a leader in real estate and REIT deals with David Bonser particularly to the fore; a team advised Prologis, on the $1.1bn sale of a high-quality portfolio of buildings and land in Europe and the US to Mapletree, the real estate investment arm of Singaporean sovereign investor Temasek.

Mayer Brown has tremendous national and international credibility. Its primary centre of expertise is in Chicago, although it also has strong teams in New York and Houston and further M&A expertise in Los Angeles, Palo Alto and Washington DC. Clients praise the team's 'responsiveness' with one saying it 'works well across disciplines and geographies and is able to handle extremely complicated transactions'. The firm has an especially impressive record in financial services, industrials, energy and tech deals. Clients include ACE, Caterpillar, Credit Suisse, The Dow Chemical Company, Ecopetrol, Exxon Mobil and Prologis. It advised SCANA Corporation, which owns South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, on its $14.6bn stock-for-stock merger agreement with $14.6 billion Dominion Energy. It also represented Prologis in its $8.4bn acquisition of DCT Industrial Trust, the industrial real estate company; it was the largest real estate deal in the first half of 2018. In addition, it advised Nestlé on its $7.15bn acquisition of Starbucks’s consumer products and food service business. William Kucera and Jodi Simala  co-chair the Americas M&A practice from Chicago, where Andrew Noreuil  and Frederick Thomas are prominent M&A names and Jason Wagenmaker continues to impress among the next generation of partners. David Carpenter heads the New York corporate and securities practice, where John Boelter  is another key name. Ameer Ahmad has joined the Chicago office from Greenberg Traurig LLP and Japanese client specialist Satoru Murase  joined the New York office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Morrison & Foerster LLP remains at the forefront of telecoms, media and technology (TMT) deals. In part, this is driven by its relationship with SoftBank Group, the acquisitive Japanese conglomerate. The firm advised Sprint and its controlling shareholder SoftBank on its landmark merger with T-Mobile US. The firm also advised SoftBank on its $7.7bn primary and secondary investment in Uber and advised the Japanese client on its $4.4bn series of investments in WeWork Companies. Former co-chair of the global M&A practice, Robert Townsend, joined SoftBank as chief legal officer in 2018, which should further cement the firm's relationship with its anchor client, although it will deprive it of one of its more respected and senior M&A practitioners. In another headline deal, the firm represented Renesas Electronics in its $6.7bn acquisition of Integrated Device Technology. The team 'is able to provide seamless and uninterrupted advice across many jurisdictions and time zones with a strong focus on client service'. Palo Alto partner Charles Comey is recommended for deals involving Chinese corporates and New York's Spencer Klein is noted for healthcare and life sciences transactions. Eric McCrath and Brandon Parris have fine records in technology sector deals; both 'are greatly skilled at advising on most complex and high-profile M&A transactions'. Washington DC partners David Slotkin and Lauren Bellerjeau are 'key members of the team' and recommended for real estate M&A. Global corporate group co-chair Jaclyn Liu is also highly reputed. Named partners are based in San Francisco unless stated otherwise.

Ropes & Gray LLP has a fine record in big-ticket M&A, most notably in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. The firm further expanded its senior ranks in San Francisco and Silicon Valley with the hire of Matthew Jacobson, a former King & Spalding LLP  partner who specializes in life sciences and technology. This follows the recruitment of Paul Scrivano in 2017, who subsequently became the firm's global head of M&A. Now with true credibility on both the East and West coasts, and a solid presence in Chicago, the firm has a substantial offering in the M&A and private equity spheres. The firm represented Heartland Dental, in connection with KKR's acquisition of a majority interest in the company from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and other existing shareholders. Co-head of M&A for North America, Jane Goldstein, splits her time between Boston and New York. Fellow co-head Carl Marcellino is a prominent name in New York, while Boston's Chris Comeau has an outstanding record in life sciences deals. New York's John Sorkin has notable big-ticket transactional experience, especially when representing financial advisers; he advised Perella Weinberg Partners as financial adviser to Becton, Dickinson and Company on its $24bn acquisition of CR Bard and represented Deutsche Bank as financial adviser to Broadcom in its $18.9bn acquisition of CA Technologies. Paul Kinsella continues to be recognized for pharmaceutical and life sciences transactions.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is further diversifying its M&A practice with further growth in TMT alongside its historical leadership of the power and energy sector. That said, the hire of a four partner team from Vinson & Elkins LLP, including Mike Rosenwasser, Michael Swidler and Adorys Velazquez have given the firm an even greater energy standing in New York. The expanded team is 'very commercial and business focused'. It remains a leader in upstream and midstream energy from its Houston base and power M&A continues to be a source of big engagements, thanks in part to the presence of Bill Lamb. New York partner Renee Wilm is making a considerable impression in the TMT space. She led the team that advised Liberty Interactive on its acquisition of GCI Liberty, and series of transactions that effected the split-off of GCI Liberty. She also headed the group that advised Liberty Latin America on its $9.3bn split-off from Liberty Global. Wilm is 'excellent and knows how to spot and solve the business issues for her clients'. On the energy side, the firm advised BHP Billiton on the $10.8bn sale of its entire interests in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Permian and Fayetteville Onshore US oil and gas assets to BP. Joshua Davidson is another leader in energy M&A and Geoffrey Newton is a key figure in Dallas. New York partner Mike Bengtson is chair of the firm-wide corporate department. Former partner David Kirkland sadly died in 2018. All partners are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Dechert LLP's increasing global prominence and dedication to the private equity segment has further bolstered its standing in strategic M&A. Moreover, its commitment to developing an international antitrust team, its strong CFIUS credentials and its experienced tax groups in key money centers, has further enabled it to gain traction in cross-border M&A. The 'world-class' team 'is always thinking several steps ahead', 'anticipates key deal structuring issues and presents innovative solutions'. It consistently outperforms many top Wall Street firms, according to one client. It is 'very thorough' and delivers 'a quick turn around, responsiveness, precision and good internal communications across disciplines'. It has an especially fine record in financial services, life sciences and healthcare transactions. Clients include B&G Foods, Crown Holdings, Differential Brands Group and H&E Equipment Services. It advised SK hynix as part of a Bain Capital-led consortium that acquired Toshiba’s NAND flash memory and solid-state drive business for $18bn. It also advised Crown Holdings on its $3.91bn acquisition of Signode Industrial Group Holdings, the global provider of transit packaging systems and solutions, from The Carlyle Group. Mark Thierfelder, chair of the global corporate and securities practice, has played an anchor role in increasing the team's status globally and in New York especially; he is 'a truly excellent deal lawyer' and 'his strategic guidance is invaluable'. Philadelphia's William Lawlor heads the global corporate governance practice and is an experienced domestic and cross-border M&A expert, as is Philadelphia partner Ian Hartman. Jonathan Kim, Christian Matarese, Markus Bolsinger and Naz Zilkha are also highly rated. Derek Winokur is 'super smart, super hardworking, and a genuinely really nice guy', he 'presents savvy negotiating tactics and superior M&A technical advice' and 'knows how to manage a relationship to ensure win-win outcomes'. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is making significant inroads into the US M&A segment. It has gained a series of headline M&A engagements and has built an in illustrious client base. The firm is particularly well-known for cross-border transactions involving both US and non-US corporates, thanks to its fine credentials in Europe and Asia. Clients include BASF, Deutsche Bank, Starbucks, Honeywell International, London Stock Exchange Group and Global Brands Group. A New York team led by Matthew Herman advised Starbucks on its $7.15bn global coffee alliance with Nestlé and a group headed by Peter Lyons advised BASF, the global chemical producer giant, on its $9bn acquisition of Bayer's seed and herbicide businesses. In another headline deal, Valerie Ford Jacob advised KLX on the sale of its Aerospace Solutions Group to The Boeing Company and the spin-off of its Energy Services Group business to KLX shareholders. Mitchell Presser, who impresses in strategic M&A and private equity, is another key figure in the team, as are Aly El Hamamsy and Omar Pringle. All named partners are based in New York.

Milbank has an extensive record in big-ticket M&A with strong teams on both the East and West coasts. The firm is also noted for its frequent engagements as counsel to financial advisors to M&A transactions. It is 'what a great law firm should aspire to' with 'partners that are loyal and dedicated to the firm, their clients, and fellow partners'. Team members 'hit it out of the park day-in and day-out' and the department 'proves its value on every deal it works on' and 'always thinks a few steps ahead, which avoids unnecessary surprises'. The team is increasingly active in private equity and advised Actis on its $1.25bn acquisition of the power generation assets of InterGen Servicios Mexico; the firm is a recognized leader in cross-border transactions involving Latin America. It also advised Advent International on its $3.25bn acquisition of General Electric’s distributed power unit; this is just one example of the firm's immense record in energy-sector deals. John Franchini leads the global corporate group and 'is highly available and engaged on all the transactions'. Scott Golenbock  and Dean Sattler are also key names in the team; the latter advised AirAsia, Asia’s largest low-cost airline, on its agreement to sell its aircraft leasing operations to BBAM, one of the world's biggest investors in commercial jet aircraft. M&A specialist and former managing partner of the Los Angeles office Kenneth Baronsky joined Sidley Austin LLP.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's extensive resources across the US and its increasingly expansive global presence, makes it a regular adviser on cross-border transactions. It has an especially strong record in US inbound deals. Moreover, its full-service approach¬†‚Äď with the firm fielding eminent teams in¬†intellectual property, employment, employee benefits and regulatory matters¬†‚Äď makes it an even more compelling proposition to parties in M&A transactions. Life sciences, energy, technology, retail, financial services, healthcare and media are key sectors for the M&A team. It advised¬†Dr Pepper Snapple Group on the completion of its merger with Keurig Green Mountain, the largest-ever deal in the global soft drink industry with the combined business being valued at some $40bn; the firm¬†successfully saw off litigation brought in Delaware challenging the absence of appraisal rights pursuant to the deal structure. The firm also advised¬†Aramark on its $1bn acquisition of AmeriPride Services, the uniform and linen rental and supply company. Philadelphia partner Richard Aldridge leads the team with Boston partner¬†Laurie Cerveny operating as deputy head. New York's Charles Engros and¬†Robert Dickey have extensive big-ticket M&A experience. New York partner¬†Steven Navarro and Orange County's James Loss¬† are also recommended.

Proskauer Rose LLP has an impressive mix of public M&A and private equity driven transactions. Its centers of M&A expertise lie principally in Los Angeles and New York with several of its partners having spent a long portion of their careers at one of Wall Street's elite firms. Real estate, hospitality, sports and entertainment, life sciences and healthcare, technology and media, and financial services M&A are the team's fortes. Moreover, it has an established record in representing financial advisers to corporates involved in big-ticket M&A. It advised Moelis & Company as financial advisor to Federal Street Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by Thomas H Lee Partners, on its $1.74bn merger with Universal Hospital Services. It also advised Moelis & Company as financial adviser to Group Health Cooperative on its $1.8bn sale to Kaiser Permanente. Other clients include BTG Pactual, Carolina Panthers, Celgene, Church & Dwight and Grifols. In New York, Ronald Papa has extensive big transaction experience, Jeffrey Horwitz has an outstanding reputation in real estate and hospitality M&A, and Daniel Ganitsky is a prominent name in cross-border deals, including those involving Latin America. Carlos Martinez is also an experienced name in Latin America deals.

Vinson & Elkins LLP remains the market leader in energy sector M&A. It is 'very knowledgeable and responsive' and has 'great market experience'. In 2018, it advised RSP Permian on its sale to Concho Resources in an all-stock transaction valued at some $9.5bn; this was the the largest M&A deal in the oil and gas exploration and production sector since 2012, according to research outfit Wood Mackenzie. Beyond its Houston heartland, the firm has strong M&A teams in New York and Dallas. In a headline deal outside of the energy sector, the firm represented CYS Investments, an agency mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT), on its merger with Two Harbors Investment Corp, a leading hybrid mortgage REIT. The New York team was further enhanced by the arrival of John Kupiec from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, although the firm did lose a four partner team, including New York senior figure Mike Rosenwasser, to Baker Botts L.L.P..  Keith Fullenweider heads the corporate practice, which includes M&A group co-head Matthew Strock and New York managing partner James Fox. Emerging names include Stephen Gill, who 'has an extraordinary amount of experience in public company M&A matters that is very valuable', and Lande Spottswood who is 'a very knowledgeable M&A and corporate partner'. All partners are Houston-based unless stated otherwise.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a steady stream of big-ticket M&A engagements and continues to expand its senior team. In addition to several partner promotions, the firm hired Matthew Rizzo and Jessica Sheridan from Sidley Austin LLP. The Houston office was also reinforced with Archie Fallon and Steven Torello joining from King & Spalding LLP and DLA Piper LLP (US) respectively. This has further enhanced the firm's already strong energy credentials. It also has 'great depth and expertise in insurance M&A', 'a can do attitude' and 'is willing to work day and night to make a timeline'. The firm illustrated its financial services M&A expertise when it advised Assurant, the global risk management solutions provider, on its $2.5bn acquisition of The Warranty Group, the global provider of protection plans and related programs. It also advised Aetna on the $21.45bn sale of its US group life and disability business to The Hartford. Moreover, it advised AmTrust Financial Services’s special committee on a $2.95bn take private transaction involving the business's management group and private equity investors. Other key partners include co-chairs of the M&A group David Boston and Steven Seidman and financial services M&A expert Gregory Astrachan, who has 'excellent technical expertise, extensive market knowledge, a can do attitude and is a pleasure to work with'. Houston-based energy M&A specialists Michael De Voe Piazza and Cody Carper are also recommended. All partners are New York-based unless stated otherwise.

Allen & Overy LLP¬†reinforced its US M&A team with the hire of the vastly experienced¬†Stephen Besen¬†from¬†Shearman & Sterling LLP¬†and¬†Paul Burns, who returned to the firm after some years working as general counsel at Novartis Pharma, among other senior roles. Besen brings exceptional experience in financial institutions and asset management deals, along with industrials and infrastructure transactions. Burns adds further expertise in pharmaceuticals and energy especially; he headed the team that advised Grupo Villar Mir (GVM) as major shareholder of OHL, on the ‚ā¨2.7bn sale of OHL's infrastructure division OHL Concesiones to IFM Investors. The two partners link up with Eric Shube, an M&A veteran, who continued to advise SAP on the completion of its $2.4bn acquisition of NASDAQ-listed Callidus Software in 2018. In another headline deal, he led the team that advised Greif, the NYSE-listed, global industrial packaging company, on its $1.8bn agreement to acquire Caraustar Industries from HIG Capital.

Bracewell LLP remains a big name in energy sector transactions, particularly midstream and upstream oil and gas deals. It has extensive experience in transactions involving master limited partnerships (MLPs), a business venture structure often used in the oil and gas sector. Notable recent deals include advising Great Plains Energy on its amended merger agreement with Westar Energy for a $15bn stock-for-stock merger of equals. It also advised HPS Investment Partners and Kingfisher Midstream on a merger agreement between Kingfisher, Silver Run Acquisition Corporation II and Alta Mesa Holdings, with the combined company being renamed Alta Mesa Resources. In another headline oil and gas transaction, it represented Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline in the joint venture and transportation agreements with DCP Midstream for the $1.7bn Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project. Managing partner Gregory Bopp is a prominent practitioner, particularly in deals involving MLPs. Cleland Dade, Charles Still, William Anderson, Jason Jean, Troy Harder, Gary Orloff,  Alan Rafte and New York-based John Klauberg are also key members of the team. All named partners are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP remains noted for public M&A, shareholder activism, hostile transactions and proxy contests, and financial advisory engagements. Richard Brand has an outstanding record in representing activist investors including Elliott Management, Pershing Square Capital Management and Marcato Capital Management, and is a leader in hostile transactions. He advised BW LPG, the owner and operator of liquefied petroleum gas vessels, on its $1.1bn hostile bid for competitor Dorian LPG. He also represented Elliott Management in its successful initiative to pressure Qualcomm into raising its takeover bid for NXP Semiconductors from $39bn  to $44bn. Moreover, he advised Pershing Square on its $4bn investment in Automatic Data Processing and proxy contest to elect three directors to the board of the company. Other clients include The Medicines Company, where former partner Christopher Cox is executive vice president and chief corporate development officer, and Genpact, Inteva Products and AngioDynamics. William Mills is also rated for healthcare deals especially while Stephen Fraidin joined the team from Pershing Square, where he was a vice president, in June 2018 having previously been a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

Clifford Chance¬†continues to make progress in corporate M&A and private equity transactions. It provides 'a one-stop shop for all aspects of a transaction with global coverage', according to one client. It is 'truly at the table as a partner and takes the time to understand and explore the client's perspective and position on issues to help negotiate through those issues rather than merely present the pros and cons of what's on the table'.¬†It advised¬†Mondelńďz International in connection with the merger of Dr¬†Pepper Snapple Group and Keurig Green Mountain;¬†Mondelńďz ¬†held an approximately 24% stake¬†in Keurig and now holds a stake of some 14% in Keurig Dr Pepper. This is just one of a string of headline deals in the consumer goods and retail sector, where partner¬†Sarah Jones¬†has such a strong standing.¬†In another headline deal, the firm advised Evercore, as the financial adviser to the Scripps Family, in connection with the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive by Discovery Communications. Other clients include Pfizer, Hearst, S&P Global and Philip Morris International. Energy and infrastructure is another area of particular eminence, with leader of the Americas corporate practice¬†David Brinton¬†having an established record in this space. The Americas team is also leveraging the firm's global standing in private equity with¬†Kevin Lehpamer¬†leading the initiative in the US; he is 'overtly calm, well structured and covers all bases'. John Healy provides further public and cross-border M&A expertise, while Benjamin Sibbett¬† is an emerging talent and 'takes the time to listen to the issues of the transaction, helps explore the issues both legally and from the business perspective ‚Äď given his wealth of experience in transactions ‚Äď and has a special gift in explaining to the counterparty the complicated legal issues their own counsel often cannot articulate effectively'.¬†Thais Garcia is a fundamental team member for cross-border deals involving Latin America.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP's depth of skilled attorneys across 29 US offices, including New York, Washington DC, Miami and Atlanta, has enabled the firm to build an impressive client list and deal record. A team led by New York partner Alan Annex advised Platform Specialty Products on its $4.2bn sale of its agrochemicals unit, which consists of Arysta LifeScience and its subsidiaries to UPL. The firm also advised a consortium consisting of KCC, SJL Partners and Wonik QnC, on its $3.1bn acquisition of Momentive Performance Materials, the New York-based silicone maker. Dennis Block is senior chairman of the firm's global M&A practice and has an outstanding record in big-ticket M&A. Gary Epstein has retired.

Paul Hastings LLP has a notable national presence with highly reputable M&A specialists in California, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Washington DC and Houston especially. Media, entertainment, technology and life sciences are key sectors for broadly skilled team. Moreover, it is regularly engaged as counsel to financial advisers to parties involving in M&A transactions. Clients include Samsung, Goldman Sachs, Merck & Co, General Electric, Morgan Stanley, Electrolux and Nordstrom. David Hernand is a prominent name in Los Angeles, vice chair of the firm’s global corporate department, and advised Morgan Stanley, as financial adviser to Regal Entertainment Group, on its $3.6bn sale to Cineworld Group. San Francisco's Steve Camahort led the team that represented Qatalyst Partners, as financial adviser to Microsemi in its $8.35bn sale to Microchip Technology; Camahort is a regular counsel to financial advisers and has a tremendous record in technology and life sciences transactions. In another large-cap deal, Chicago partner Thad Malik headed the team that advised GE Healthcare on its $1.05bn carve-out disposition of its value-based digital care business to Veritas Capital. New York partner Robert Leung is noted for cross-border deals, especially those involving Latin America. San Diego's Carl Sanchez heads the global M&A practice, while Los Angeles' Robert Miller and New York-based David Shine and Samuel Waxman are also highly reputed.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's eminence in the technology sphere, especially in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, provides it with a steady pipeline of high-value tech deals. Its clients over the years have included Gartner, GoDaddy, Netsuite, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Electronic Arts. In 2018, it advised CA Technologies on its headline $18.9bn sale to Broadcom, the leading semiconductor device supplier; this was the largest sale of an enterprise software company ever. The firm also advised Microchip Technology on its $8.35bn acquisition of Microsemi, the semiconductor company. Moreover, it represented MuleSoft on its $6.5bn sale to Salesforce. Michael Ringler is an accomplished M&A lawyer with an excellent record in multi-billion dollar transactions. Martin Korman has also worked on a range of industry-defining deals Larry Sonsini provides further senior level gravitas.

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

Index of tables

  1. M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame

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Next Generation Partners

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Rising stars

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Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

DLA Piper LLP (US)'s 'responsive and communicative practice' fields lawyers with sector expertise in a range of industries, including technology, life sciences, healthcare and real estate; the practice is also experienced in deals involving franchising and distribution, insurance, manufacturing, and business and financial services. It acts in a variety of complex transactions, including stock-for-stock mergers, management buyouts, tender offers, proxy contests, cross-border acquisitions, and divisional purchases and sales; the team also advises special committees of boards on contests for control, including hostile bids and proxy contests, and assists with diligence and structuring issues, including tax, antitrust and IP. Active key clients include Sodexo, Grand Canyon Education, Rolls-Royce Power Systems and ASB Capital Management. New York-based US M&A chair Jonathan Klein assisted Sodexo, a Paris-based global food services and facilities management company, with its acquisition of Centerplate, a US-based sports and entertainment venue hospitality provider; Phoenix's US education sector chair David Lewis led advice to Grand Canyon Education on its sale of Grand Canyon University (GCU) to a nonprofit entity, which led to GCU becoming one of the largest nonprofit universities in the country; Chicago partner Andrew Weil acted for Rolls-Royce Power Systems in the sale of its Germany-based fuel injector business, L'Orange, to US-based Woodward; and co-global private equity chair and co-US corporate group chair Joseph Alexander Jr, who divides his time between Dallas, Atlanta, Miami and New York, advised ASB Capital Management, one of the largest institutional investment management firms in the Washington DC area, on the sale of Infomart Data Centers' Dallas operations to Equinix, which included the Infomart Dallas building. Other key advisers include US corporate co-chair John Gilluly, who divides his time between Houston, Austin and Dallas, San Diego office managing partner Jeff Baglio, and co-chair of the Northern California corporate and finance practice Eric Wang, who is based in both Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Recent growth for the Austin corporate practice saw the firm hire a team of six former Jackson Walker, L.L.P. partners, who advise institutional investors on investments and secondary transactions; Steven Bartz, who is experienced in fund formation, private equity, joint ventures and strategic alliances, joined the Dallas office from Thompson & Knight LLP; and Kevin Grant, who acts for strategic and financial buyers and sellers in both US domestic and cross-border M&A, and Emilio Ragosa were recruited in New Jersey from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, where Ragosa led the corporate group in the Princeton office. Also of note, Thomas Gaynor and Jinjian Huang joined the San Francisco office in 2019.

K&L Gates has 'a fully integrated team in terms of geographies for international deals as well as top-quality partners and associates that are involved at the right time to give spot-on analysis of issues'. The practice handles bet-the-company deals for significant middle-market and emerging growth companies and private equity firms, as well as mid-sized and large transactions for global corporations. It has particular deal strength in fintech and financial services, emerging companies, technology, healthcare and life sciences, along with advanced manufacturing, energy, infrastructure and natural resources, and transportation and logistics. High-profile clients include Microsoft, Halliburton and Patricia Industries. New York-based Robert Zinn, Chicago’s Mark McMillan, Rick Giovannelli in Charlotte and Seattle-based Annette Becker serve as firmwide leaders for the corporate and transactional practice, while James Lee (also in New York) leads the firm’s private equity practice. In a cash-and-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.2bn, McMillan advised II-VI Incorporated, which develops and manufactures engineered materials on its merger agreement to acquire optical communications developer Finisar; Lee assisted Patricia Industries with the acquisition of a majority stake in healthcare product specialty distributor Sarnova Holdings (Sarnova) from Water Street Healthcare Partners and Sarnova's founder; and Zinn acted for Honeybee Robotics in the sale of all of its outstanding stock to a subsidiary of Ensign-Bickford Industries. Additional highlights included acting as co-counsel with a New York-headquartered international law firm for The Weir Group, which provides engineering solutions for the minerals, oil and gas, power and industrial markets, in its acquisition of Portland-based ESCO, which manufactures engineered metal wear parts and components. Other notable advisers are New York's Calvina Bostick, who focuses on M&A, private equity investments and other business transactions, and Whitney Smith, whose particular focus is the pharmaceuticals industry; elsewhere, Stephan Coonrod in Seattle is highly rated for acquisitions, venture capital investments, cross-border transactions, trade issues and technology transfers. An associate to note is Leah Baucom in Charlotte, who focuses on M&A, private equity and general corporate matters.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a particularly strong reputation for transactions involving the energy, manufacturing, chemicals, healthcare, life sciences, and food and drink sectors, with the client list including Irving Oil, Oskar Blues Brewery Holding, Steward Health Care System, Amazon and Comvest Partners. The New York practice is noted for public company deals and major cross-border mandates; Todd Finger led advice to Oskar Blues Brewery Holding in its acquisition of Deep Ellum Brewing, a Dallas-based independent craft brewery, and Timothy Alvino (together with the firm's London office) acted as deal counsel to Irving Oil in its acquisition of the Tedcastle group of companies. David Goldman is another highly rated New York contact. Elsewhere, the Chicago corporate group is highly regarded for public and private equity deals and the office's John Tamisiea recently acted for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions in its agreement to acquire HealthGrid Holding Company, a mobile enterprise patient engagement platform business; and the Texas transactional team is well known for deals in the telecoms and technology sectors. In other offices, the Boston team has a strong reputation for its life sciences sector work, the Washington DC practice is led by highly-experienced partner Thomas Conaghan and handles deals in the alcoholic beverage and renewable energy industries, and the Miami corporate group, led by Harris Siskind, assists serial private equity acquirers. Together with the Chicago office, the Miami group advised longstanding client Comvest Partners, a middle-market private equity investment firm, on several transactions, including its acquisitions of Spinrite, the largest consumer craft yarn company in North America, and Dura Medic, which specializes in cost elimination programs for hospitals and healthcare providers. Other Miami contacts include Roy Larson and Frederic Levenson.

Norton Rose Fulbright was recently focused on growing its corporate and M&A capabilities in New York, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with the adding of lateral partners and non-partners.The team advises a vast range of buyers, sellers, financial investors, and investment banks on domestic and cross-border M&A in the public and private sphere, including disposals, transactions, regulatory matters, corporate governance, shareholder activism and general commercial and corporate advisory issues. Dallas' Glen Hettinger is corporate, M&A and securities head and his industry expertise crosses retail, energy, asset management, banking, hi-tech and gaming; Houston-based Gene Lewis is US business practice head; and Sheldon Nussbaum co-chairs the corporate, banking and business department in the New York office. New York co-partner-in-charge Steve Suzzan advised (alongside the firm's London office) a gold mining business on its merger with another gold mining company; also in New York, Charles Hord III assisted an infrastructure private equity firm with the acquisition of electric power generation and distribution businesses; Kessar Nashat acted for an electric power company in its acquisition of power generation assets; and David Barrett, who has extensive experience with transactions involving financial institutions, financial services firms and fintech businesses, advised a private equity firm on the sale of all its ownership interests in an insurance broker. The New York office also acted for an energy company, on the acquisition of an oil sands entity and Dallas' Bryn Sappington advised an oil and gas exploration and production company on its merger with another oil and gas company. Brian Fenske is a key Houston practitioner.

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WilmerHale is highly rated for its advice to technology, life sciences, financial services and defense clients in the US and Europe. The corporate lawyers are experienced in M&A, venture capital, public offerings, strategic alliances, private equity, corporate governance matters and assisting startup companies through all phases of their life cycles. Notable clients are Akamai Technologies, Analogic, PTC Therapeutics and Regal Entertainment Group. Jay Bothwick, who has over three decades of experience advising clients on complex transactions, and Hal Leibowitz , who is widely respected for his assistance to technology, life sciences and services companies, co-chair the M&A practice group; and Mick Bain co-chairs the corporate practice group. Andrew Bonnes and Leibowitz acted for Analogic, a provider of healthcare and security solutions, in its sale to Altaris Capital Partners, a private investment firm; Joseph Conahan advised Braintree Laboratories, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company, on its sale to Sebela Pharmaceuticals, which develops prescription pharmaceuticals; Washington DC-based Stephanie Evans, whose clients include private and public companies in a variety of industries, assisted Educational Testing Service, a nonprofit developer of assessment tests, with its sale of Prometric, a test development and delivery provider, to Baring Private Equity Asia; and Keith Trammell in Denver advised Vail Resorts on its purchase of Triple Peaks, which manages and operates ski and golf resorts. Other key advisers are Jason Kropp, who is focused on public offerings and public company representation, and advising venture-backed companies and venture capital investors, and Palo Alto's Joseph Wyatt, whose clients span the technology and biotech sectors. Chris Barnstable-Brown in New York and Palo Alto's Eric Hanson are key counsels. Named attorneys are based in Boston, unless otherwise stated.

Winston & Strawn LLP's M&A attorneys 'provide prompt attention and replies; they are very efficient and catch up quickly on topics'. The team is highly regarded for its advice to public and private companies, financial institutions, investors and emerging companies on high-profile cross-border deals, take-private transactions, carve-outs, distressed acquisitions and restructurings. Key clients include CORE Industrial Partners, Synaptics and DHI Group. Significant matters included Bruce Toth's advice to NGL Energy Partners on the sale of its remaining Retail Propane business to Superior Plus; Oscar David (a former chair of the firm’s M&A, securities and corporate governance practice) assisting Motorola Solutions with its acquisition of Plant Holdings, which holds the Airbus DS Communications business, from Airbus Defense and Space; and New York's Joel Rubinstein, who chairs the capital markets practice, advising Landcadia Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company, on entering into a definitive merger agreement for a $390m business combination with Waitr, a restaurant platform for online food ordering and delivery. Matthew Bergmann and Washington DC's Christopher Zochowski co-chair the M&A practice, New York-based Dominick DeChiara chairs the corporate department, and Eva Davis in Los Angeles and Bradley Vaiana co-chair the private equity practice. Other key names are New York-based Latin America practice co-chairs Allen Miller, who 'has great knowledge and experience', and Talbert Navia. Also highly rated are Morton Grosz and Kevin Smith (both also in New York), Gregory Bynan, Brian Schafer,  Matthew Costigan, Steven Gavin, James Junewicz (who divides his time between the Chicago and New York offices), Richard Wynne in Houston, and Dallas-based Thomas Hughes. Growth in the practice included the hiring in New York of Jared Manes and Uri Doron from Jenner & Block LLP and Thomas Trimble in Washington DC from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Doron led advice to US company Knoll on the $300m acquisition of Danish design company Muuto. Named attorneys are in Chicago unless otherwise stated; Robert Rawn  exited for Jenner & Block LLP.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's corporate team assists high-profile companies and investment funds with complex M&A transactions, including buyouts, distressed transactions, shareholder activist campaigns and company defenses. The client list includes Alliance Data Systems, AT&T, Diamondback Energy and 7-Eleven. Other clients include EagleClaw Midstream Ventures (a portfolio company of Blackstone Energy Partners), for whom the team advised on its agreement to acquire Caprock Midstream Holdings for $950m. It also acted for the conflicts committee of Valero Energy Partners, a master limited partnership, in its merger with Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune 50 refinery company; and large deal highlights included advising long-time client Kingston Technology, as a member of the consortium that acquired Toshiba Memory Corporation for approximately $18bn. In New York, Jeffrey Kochian leads the firm’s corporate practice and Kerry Berchem is highly rated for net-operating-loss-driven transactions designed to leverage deferred tax assets. Elsewhere, Rick Burdick, who splits his time between Washington DC and London, is the managing partner for the firm’s international offices and the co-head of the firm’s transactional practices; Houston's John Goodgame advises on high-profile energy M&A; Los Angeles-based Frank Reddick is experienced in M&A, corporate finance and public company representations; Daniel Fisher divides his time between Washington DC and New York and is focused on special situations; and Thomas Yang in Dallas is noted for M&A involving both strategic deals and private equity funds. Robert Shearer joined the energy practice in Houston from Baker & Hostetler LLP, while private equity specialists Adam Weinstein and Tony Feuerstein joined Sidley Austin LLP in New York.

Baker & Hostetler LLP is widely recognized for its strength in domestic and cross-border corporate and M&A middle-market matters, but the practice is also experienced in large transactions. It covers advice to industrial companies that support the automotive, aerospace and chemical sectors as well as healthcare-related clients, media and technology companies, oil and gas and energy businesses, and private equity firms. Active key clients include ECN Capital, Cardinal Health, The E W Scripps Company, Toyota Motor North America, and Barnes and Noble Education. The team recently advised ECN Capital, which specializes in equipment financing, on three major transactions, including its acquisition of a majority interest in Kessler Financial Services, doing business as The Kessler Group; and assisted longstanding client and American broadcasting entity EW Scripps Company, an American broadcasting company, in several transactions, including its acquisition of the Katz broadcast networks and its sale of five radio stations in Oklahoma. The practice also acted for Northfield Park Associates (NPA), which owns and operates a premier horse racetrack, in the sale of NPA's LLC interests to MGM Growth Properties, a REIT. The co-leaders of the M&A team are Ronald Stepanovic (who also heads the private equity practice) in Cleveland and Steven Goldberg (who also chairs the New York office's business group). John Gherlein is another key Cleveland contact and Ian Cohen in New York is an associate to note.

Cooley LLP handles repeat buy-side M&A work for high-growth public and mature private companies as well as sell-side work for private and public companies. The practice stands out for deals involving the technology, life sciences, medical device and healthcare, consumer, education, defense and media industries. Key active clients are Clearlake Capital, Jive Communications, SiteLink Software and RockRose Energy. Mehdi Khodadad in Palo Alto advised Clearlake Capital, an investment firm focused on private equity and special situation transactions, on its recent acquisition of software solutions company Perforce Software; also in Palo Alto, Steven Tonsfeldt led advice to FareHarbor, a reservation platform for tours, activities, rentals and attractions, on its sale to Booking Holdings, known globally for online travel and related services. Elsewhere, Meredith Beuchaw in New York acted for cloud-based HR company PeopleDoc on its sale to Ultimate Software, an American technology company that develops and sells UltiPro, a cloud-based human capital management solution for businesses. The M&A chairs are San Diego-based M&A Barbara Borden and Jamie Leigh in San Francisco; Borden advised Perella Weinberg Partners, as financial advisers to clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Cascadian Therapeutics (CT), on CT's sale to Seattle Genetics, and Leigh acted for Shipt, an online same-day delivery platform, in its $550m sale to Target. Other highly rated advisers are co-fintech chair Al Brown in Boston, Washington DC-based Kevin Mills, New York's Ron Hopkinson and San Francisco-based Eric Schwartzman and Ben Beerle.

Dentons' corporate and M&A practice advises multinational corporations, Fortune 100 companies, financial institutions, and privately-held companies, and it has particular strength in regulated industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, energy and financial services. Notable clients are BlueArc Capital Partners, E-Mart and Novus International. Alongside the firm's Paris and London offices, the New York team advised Lactalis Group on its acquisition of the global nutritional business of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings; and in a large outbound investment made by a Czech group in the US, it acted for PFNonwovens, a member of the Prague-based R2G Rohan nonwovens group, in its agreement to acquire First Quality Nonwovens and First Quality Nonwovens (Wuxi). Additional highlights included assisting Chippewa Capital Partners with a complex bankruptcy acquisition of the ERP Group of Companies, and advising Bolder Healthcare Solutions, which provides revenue cycle management solutions to healthcare organizations, on the sale of the company and its subsidiaries to Cognizant. Michael Cochran is the US corporate practice head and divides his time between Atlanta and New York, and Michael Froy in Chicago, who co-chairs the global corporate practice, is particularly noted for his advice to manufacturers and regulated businesses, such as those in the energy, healthcare and insurance fields. Also key are Kristen Beystehner, who divides her time between Atlanta and New York, and Douglas Eingurt in Atlanta; Kansas City's Joshua Fisher and Jeffrey Sivek in Washington DC are notable managing associates. Former US corporate practice leader Stephan Mallenbaum is now at Seeger Weiss LLP.

Fenwick & West LLP is 'incredibly responsive, with broad experience in tech sector M&A'. Others praise 'the team of highly expert lawyers, who are efficient and have an impact upon business strategy and execution'. It stands out for its advice to technology and life sciences companies; it regularly advises both large serial acquirers and highly innovative target companies that are bought as strategic acquisitions. High-profile clients are BitTorrent, Cisco Systems, Cloudera, Coinbase, Facebook, Github and Symantec. The team acted for GitHub, a web-based hosting service, in its sale to Microsoft, which was reportedly one of the largest US venture capital-backed acquisitions of the last 10 years; assisted Cloudera, a US-based software company, with its all-stock merger of equals with Hortonworks, which provides global data management platforms, services and solutions; and advised Corium International, a biopharmaceutical company focused on specialty transdermal products, on its agreement to be acquired by Gurnet Point Capital. Also of note, Mountain View-based David Healy and David Michaels acted for Silver Spring Networks, a provider of smart grid products, in its sale to Itron, a global technology and services company. The M&A co-chairs are San Francisco-based Douglas Cogen and Kris Withrow in Mountain View, and Ethan Skerry and Ken Myers are highly regarded New York advisers; Myers 'commands confidence in negotiations with a friendly demeanor but solid background and thorough understanding of the issues'. Cogen and Myers recently advised longstanding client Cisco on six acquisitions, including its acquisition of both Duo Security, an information security and software-as-a-service company, and global communication software and service provider, BroadSoft. In San Francisco, Scott Behar and Bomi Lee were promoted to the partnership, while Stephen Fisher in Mountain View is a highly regarded associate. Gregory Roussel left for Latham & Watkins LLP's Silicon Valley office and Scott Joachim joined Goodwin in Silicon Valley and New York.

Goodwin has extensive experience advising buyers and sellers on high-value and high-profile corporate and M&A transactions, and the practice has sector expertise in technology, life sciences, REITs and financial institutions, as well as private equity buyouts; it also handles hostile M&A deals. Significant clients are AMAG Pharmaceuticals, AppNexus, Fresenius Medical Care North America, Centerview Partners and Brookfield Properties. Stuart Cable, who currently serves as the chair of the M&A and corporate finance practices for the technology and life sciences business units, is 'a truly outstanding expert in navigating complex deals through the various gates and is able to balance sometimes quixotic legal requirements with practical solutions'; and John Egan III acted for AppNexus, a global internet technology company, in its definitive agreement to be acquired by American multinational conglomerate AT&T. Other significant highlights included the team advising the independent transaction committee of the board of directors of Sprint on its merger with wireless network operator T-Mobile US; and acting for sports uniform retailer Varsity Brands Holding on its sale to Bain Capital Private Equity. Lisa Haddad, who is particularly focused on public company M&A, corporate and securities expert John Haggerty and Deborah Birnbach, whose clients include healthcare, life sciences, technology and financial services companies, jointly chair the firm’s public M&A and corporate governance practice. Also highly rated are joint REITs and real estate M&A chair Gil Menna, David Cappillo, Michael Patrone and Jared Fine; Scott Joachim was hired for the Silicon Valley and New York offices from Fenwick & West LLP. Named advisers are in Boston unless otherwise stated.

King & Spalding LLP's experience includes acquisitions and divestitures of public and private companies, joint ventures and going-private transactions, and it advises investment bankers on facilitating deals. Other areas of strength are anti-takeover strategies, solicited and unsolicited acquisition offers, and tender offers and proxy contests. The firm also has a significant private equity practice as well as sector expertise in energy and infrastructure, real estate, healthcare and life sciences, business services, and technology and telecoms. Active key clients are Energizer, Transocean, Roper Technologies, Brookfield Infrastructure Group and The Coca-Cola Company. The team acted for Energizer in its proposed acquisition of the global battery and portable lighting business of Spectrum Brands; and advised Roper Technologies on the agreement to divest its transmission electron microscope business to multinational biotechnology product development company, Thermo Fisher Scientific. In other matters, the team assisted Brookfield Infrastructure Group with its acquisition from AT&T of 32 internet data centers in 12 countries. James Woolery in New York leads the firm’s M&A and corporate governance practices; key Atlanta names are global corporate practice leader Raymond Baltz Jr, William Calvin Smith III, Rahul Patel, Russell Richards and Keith Townsend. Judy O’Brien and Laura Bushnell are notable Silicon Valley contacts. Significant growth includes Jonathan Melmed joining the New York office as co-chair of the global private equity practice from Morrison & Foerster LLP, while Washington DC-based Alan Noskow and Brian Ashin, formerly of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, were hired in the corporate, finance and investments practice group.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP has a particularly strong showing in technology and life sciences deals, and recently advised semiconductor solutions provider Microsemi on its $8.4bn sale to Microchip Technology. It also advised Augury, an AI-based machine health solution provider with offices in Israel, and New York, on its acquisition of New York-based data startup Alluvium; Silicon Valley's Einat Meisel led on this matter. Silicon Valley-based corporate co-chair Warren Lazarow has a fine record in tech M&A, and New York’s Tobias Knapp heads the firm’s US M&A and private equity practice. Head of the Silicon Valley office Paul Sieben is active in the growth company segment, often advising tech companies on large M&A transactions.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has developed an active buy-side and sell-side technology M&A practice and is highly rated for deals involving the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors; the team also stands out for cross-border work. Significant clients are 8minutenergy Renewables, Michelin North America and Yelp. Highlights included advising 8minutenergy Renewables, the largest independent solar power developer in the US, on its approximately $655m sale of the Mount Signal 3 Solar Photovoltaic Project to Capital Dynamics; acting for Michelin North America in its acquisition of NexTraq, a US provider of commercial fleet telematics, from FLEETCOR Technologies; and assisting Superior Plus with the $900m acquisition of the outstanding equity interest in NGL Propane, NGL Energy’s retail propane distribution business. In other matters, the team advised American multinational corporation Splunk on its acquisition of SignalSense, which provides cloud-based data collection and breach detection solutions; and acted for Viavi Solutions in its acquisition of Trilithic, a provider of electronic test and measurement equipment. The principal advisers are Silicon Valley-based Ed Batts, who is global M&A and private equity head, Pete Lamb and Mark Seneca; New York-based global corporate business unit leader King Milling, US global Japan transactional chair Hiroshi Sarumida and Tal Hacohen; Chuck Walker in Houston; and San Francisco's John Cook. The practice hired New York-based David Schwartz, who is focused on complex M&A transactions for technology and life sciences companies, from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

Reed Smith LLP regularly acts for industry-leading companies, private equity funds, boards of directors, special committees and financial advisers in M&A deals and dispositions, including LBOs, acquisitions and sales of subsidiaries and carve-outs of divisions, tax structuring, and joint ventures and strategic alliances. Other key areas are restructuring and reorganizations, special committee and other independent director representations, takeover defense planning, and take-private deals. The team's experience includes advising a technology innovator on the sale of a satellite and terrestrial communications commercial business; acting for a pharmaceutical company on the sale of generic drug products and related assets; and assisting a publicly traded financial services company, and its subsidiary, on the acquisition of a bank holding company. Chicago-based Michael Lee's practice covers a wide range of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, consumer products, food and beverage, telecoms, and software, and Matthew Petersen is focused on M&A, corporate finance, complex commercial contracts, and strategic counseling; Jennifer Cheng in New York is well known for her advice to public and private companies in the healthcare and life sciences sectors as well as the financial industry. Jared Hershberg left for Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP's 'excellent, talented M&A lawyers can handle the most sophisticated and complicated transactions'. The practice fields cross-disciplinary teams that are widely respected for their assistance on private equity and investment manager M&A, as well as for transactions for the portfolio companies of private equity clients. The team advised Veritas Capital and its affiliates on their acquisition of the US public sector business of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which helps governments solve complex business problems, improve processes and manage risk; and acted for Pamplona Capital Management in its sale of BBB Industries, a supplier of re-manufactured automotive replacement parts, to Genstar Capital. Other highlights included the team's advice to Cerberus Capital Management, an American private equity firm that specializes in distressed investing, on its purchase of a significant minority stake in HSH Nordbank, a northern European commercial bank; and its assistance to Marlin Equity Partners with its sale of OnX Enterprise Solutions, a provider of technology services and solutions, to telecoms company Cincinnati Bell. Stuart Freedman and Richard Presutti co-chair the firm's M&A and securities group; Freedman advises well-known money managers on acquisitions and control and non-control investments, including in relation to companies engaged in financial restructurings. Presutti is also chair of the investment management M&A practice and is highly rated for private equity, M&A, LBOs and alternative asset management transactional matters. Other key practitioners are Michael Gilligan, Peter Jonathan Halasz and Robert Loper. All attorneys named above are in New York.

Faegre Baker Daniels' team has deal experience in a range of sectors, including financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, food and agriculture, construction, and healthcare. Its recent experience includes advising biopharmaceutical company Endocyte on its agreement to be sold to Switzerland-based global healthcare company Novartis through a merger. It also acted as lead counsel for Bemis, which produces plastic packaging for food, consumer products, medical and pharmaceutical companies, in its agreement to combine with Australian packaging company Amcor; and advised Flipgrid, an education video discussion platform, on its sale to American multinational technology company, Microsoft. Bruce Engler leads the firm's M&A practice; Engler advises buyers, sellers and institutional investors on a range of public and private M&A transactions, including assisting private equity investors with the purchase, sale, refinancing and restructuring of their portfolio companies. Chris Hofstad heads up the firm's worldwide corporate group; he has advised private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison on LBOs and other acquisitions and sales. Both partners are in Minneapolis.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP 'delivers fabulous client service and responsiveness and has a strong team for middle-market M&A'. It acts in the full range of M&A deals, including auction bids, going-private matters, hostile takeover bids,  joint ventures and LBOs; other areas of strength are minority investments, open-market purchase programs, defensive planning measures, proxy fights, restructurings, spin-offs and stock acquisitions. The firm's deputy chair Kenneth Lefkowitz, who is 'commercially minded and efficient', led advice to Singapore-based Grab, a technology company offering ride-hailing transport services, in its acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asia business. The co-M&A practice chairs are James Modlin, who has advised on transactions involving the specialty chemicals, life sciences and media sector and 'has great understanding of how to complete a transaction', and Avner Bengera, who focuses on public and private M&A, joint ventures and private equity deals involving US and non-US companies. Modlin acted for Chiltern International, a specialty global contract research organization, in its sale to global life sciences company LabCorp; and Bengera assisted the corporate governance and conflicts committee of TerraForm Power (TP)’s board of directors with the sale of a majority stake in renewable energy company TP to global alternative asset manager Brookfield Asset Management. Charles Samuelson and Michael Traube  are also highly rated; Lefkowitz, Samuelson and Traube 'will run through a wall for their clients'. David Schwartz left for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s New York office. All the above-listed partners are in New York.

Jenner & Block LLP's corporate practice is well known for its representation of Fortune 500 companies; it also regularly assists middle-market companies as well as private equity funds and their portfolio companies. It acted for Lonza Group, a Swiss multinational, chemicals and biotechnology company, in the $630m sale of its Water Care business and operations to American private equity investment firm Platinum Equity. Chicago-based Thomas Monson and Kurt von Moltke chair the M&A practice, Joseph Gromacki chairs the firmwide corporate and transactional practices, Michael Wolf co-chairs the Chicago corporate practice, Kevin Collins is co-New York corporate chair, and Carissa Coze is co-Los Angeles corporate chair. Other key advisers are Edward Prokop and Jason Casella in New York, where Robert Rawn  was hired from Winston & Strawn LLP, and Mercedes Hill left for premium spirits company Beam Suntory.

Linklaters LLP has particular experience advising clients across the financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy, chemicals and automotive sectors. Peter Cohen-Millstein advised Whirlpool on the pending sale of its Embraco compressor business to Nidec Corporation, a manufacturer of electric motors; and Alberto Luzárraga, who divides his time between New York and Sao Paulo and co-heads the Latin America practice, acted for Andean Tower Partners, an owner and operator of wireless communication infrastructure in the Andean region, in the acquisition of Torres Unidas, a tower development and acquisition vehicle, from Berkshire Partners. Scott Sonnenblick is also a highly regarded individual. The partners named are in New York except where otherwise stated.

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

Index of tables

  1. M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame

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Leading lawyers

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Next Generation Partners

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Rising stars

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Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

Akerman LLP acts on complex middle-market deals valued at between $50m and $500m; the practice’s experience includes buy-side and sell-side M&A, leveraged recapitalizations and buyouts, spin-offs and sales of divisions, control and minority investments, growth equity investments, distressed company transactions, cross-border transactions, and joint ventures. Active notable clients are Grossinger Auto Group, Ferguson Industries, H I G Capital and Warren Equity Partners. Jonathan Awner and Carl Roston are the co-corporate practice chairs. Awner is widely respected for purchases and sales of car dealerships across the US; recent examples include his advice to Grossinger Auto Group, the oldest family-operated dealership chain in Illinois, on the $86m sale of 15 dealerships to AutoCanada. Roston’s recent highlights include assisting Branford Castle Partners with its acquisition of Vitrek, a manufacturer of electrical safety test and measurement equipment; and acting for KLX, a global manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products, in multiple transactions, including the acquisition of AM Aircraft Supply from SPS Technologies. Also key to the practice are Teddy Klinghoffer, Stephen Roddenberry, Paul Quinn, who divides his time between the West Palm Beach and Chicago offices, and Kenneth Wiggins. Klinghoffer acted for Associated Grocers of Florida, a wholesale grocer that supplies South Florida, the Caribbean and other international markets, in its sale to publicly traded Supervalu, a supermarket chain; and Roddenberry, as co-counsel with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, advised the special committee of Perry Ellis International, a designer, distributor and licensor of apparel, accessories and fragrances, on a merger agreement under which a newly formed entity controlled by Perry Ellis' founder took Perry Ellis private. Notable growth in the practice included the hiring of Brazil experts Karyn Koiffman in Washington DC and New York-based Peter Eccles from Baker McKenzie LLP and Foley & Lardner LLP, respectively. Attorneys listed are based in Miami unless otherwise stated.

Arnold & Porter's M&A practice includes advising strategic and financial buyers and sellers on mergers, stock, asset and whole-business acquisitions, LBOs and tender offers; it is best known for large and complex domestic and cross-border transactions, including deals in the US for Canadian clients, while the firm's San Francisco office has a significant China inbound and outbound practice. Other areas of strength are acting for life sciences and pharmaceutical companies and assisting with technology transactions; advising private equity firms on middle-market M&A transactions; and the firm also fields lawyers with key experience in regulatory matters, IP, employment, tax, environmental law, real estate, antitrust and litigation. The client list includes American Securities, BlueMountain Capital Management, Novartis and Pfizer. It acted for Sandoz, the generics division of pharmaceutical company Novartis, on the divestment of selected portions of its US portfolio to Aurobindo Pharma USA; advised longstanding private equity client American Securities on the sale of ASP Unifrax Holdings, known for high-temperature thermal management applications, to an affiliate of Clearlake Capital Group; and assisted Koepon Holding, a private Netherlands-based company involved in cattle artificial insemination genetics and farm management information, with its combination with Wisconsin-based Cooperative Resources. It also advised Celestica, which is known for design, manufacturing and supply chain solutions for innovative companies, on its agreement to acquire Impakt Holdings for approximately $329m. The co-corporate and finance group chairs are Emanuel Cherney and Washington DC’s Kevin Lavin, while San Francisco-based Edward Deibert and Derek Stoldt co-head the M&A practice. Other highly rated individuals are Nick O’Keefe in Silicon Valley, Steven Kaplan and Matthew Owens in Washington DC, Robert Azarow, who heads the firm’s financial institutions M&A practice, co-private equity heads Stephen Koval and Andrew Varner in Washington DC, Lowell Dashefsky, Thomas Yadlon, Ronald Levine II in Denver, and Canada practice head and senior counsel Joel Greenberg. Attorneys listed are in New York unless otherwise stated.

Ballard Spahr LLP acts for both buyers and sellers, ranging from small, privately held companies to multinational public companies, in deals spanning the middle- and lower-middle markets; and the practice has deal experience in sectors such as life sciences, technology, aerospace, manufacturing and telecoms. Other industry areas of expertise include gaming, consumer products, retail, healthcare, financial services, waste management and energy. Active clients are Vynamic, Organa Brands and PVH. The firm's M&A attorneys also regularly work alongside its tax, securities, executive compensation, employee benefits, IP and environmental law colleagues. The M&A practice group has worked on a broad variety of M&A transactions, including public and private mergers, stock acquisitions and divestitures, and asset purchases and sales. Karen McConnell in Phoenix and Minneapolis' Robert Tunheim co-chair the private equity group. New York's retail and fashion group practice leader David Landau led advice to PVH on the acquisition of Geoffrey Beene, a men’s clothing brand; Michele Rowland in Denver acted for Organa Brands, which comprises cannabis industry brands, in the sale of its National Concessions Group operations to Slang Worldwide, a newly formed special purpose Canadian company; and co-practice leader of the emerging growth and venture capital group Gregory Seltzer assisted Dan Calista, the sole owner of the membership interest of Vynamic, a healthcare industry management consulting firm, with the sale of the membership interest to Riverwalk Healthcare, a newly formed subsidiary of UDG Healthcare US Holdings. Also highly regarded are co-practice life sciences and technology group leader Brian Doerner; David Rudd in Salt Lake City, whose clients include private equity fund buyers and sellers as well as strategic buyers and sellers; Damon Barry leads the firm’s sports practice in Denver. Amit Kakkar is a notable associate. Named individuals are in Philadelphia unless otherwise stated.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is widely respected for its advice to US and international buyers, sellers, financing sources and investors on middle-market M&A and other strategic transactions; the firm also assists with M&A-related financings, including leveraged loans and high-yield debt across a variety of industries, and regularly utilizes attorneys from its antitrust, environmental, executive compensation and employee benefits, IP, real estate and tax practices. High-profile clients include 1-800-Flowers, Arch Capital Group and Trans World Entertainment. Kimberly Petillo-Décossard led advice to publicly traded Canadian company Tembec, its board and its special committee in Tembec’s sale to Rayonier Advanced Materials, a publicly traded US company. Other representative work included advising 1-800-Flowers on the sale of Fannie May Confections Brands to Ferrero International; and assisting The Empire District Electric Company with its sale to a US subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities. The team has also acted for a high-profile, global asset manager in the acquisition of a majority stake in an asset management company in Brazil and it advises Ireland's ICON, a global provider of drug development solutions and services, as general outside counsel. Chair of the firm William Hartnett acts for public and private companies and commercial and investment banking firms in a broad range of domestic and cross-border M&A; and Helene Banks has extensive experience practicing in the food, beverage, entertainment, media, healthcare and insurance industries. Other highly rated partners include John Schuster, Susanna Suh, Michael Sherman and John Papachristos; Ross Sturman is a key senior associate. All named advisers are based in New York.

Choate, Hall & Stewart's corporate department regularly works alongside the firm's IP, litigation, real estate and labor and employment practice groups on M&A deals. Its experience includes advising acquirers, targets, financing sources and investment bankers on public and private M&A. The team also has significant experience acting for technology and life sciences companies, and is known for its cross-border capabilities, including serving as US counsel to companies in Canada, Israel and Europe (particularly those in the UK and Ireland), that are involved in acquisitions involving expansion into the US. SeaChange International, Teradyne, Candescent Partners and US Dermatology Partners (Oliver Street Dermatology) are clients. The practice group leaders are John Pitfield and Brian Goldstein. Goldstein led advice to Oliver Street Dermatology Management in a series of roll-up acquisitions of dermatology practices nationwide; and Robert Jahrling, who acts for companies in a wide range of industries, including software, telecoms, market research, medical devices and healthcare services, assisted public company Datawatch Corporation with its acquisition of Ontario-based Angoss Software Corporation, a privately held data science platform provider. Jahrling also acted for Forrester Research, a publicly traded research and advisory company, in its acquisition of FeedbackNow. Other highlights for the practice included its advice to Bradford Networks, an Internet-of-Things-focused network security and automation company, in its sale to strategic buyer Fortinet; its work for Logomix, an online platform that provides custom marketing products and services to small businesses, during its sale to Deluxe Small Business Sales; and its assistance to Claris Vision Holdings, a portfolio company of Candescent Partners, with the sale of Claris Vision (which provides vision care services) and its subsidiaries and affiliates to CV Investments, an Eli Global portfolio company. Daniel Riley is a highly regarded corporate and securities counsel. All listed advisers are in Boston.

Eversheds Sutherland's 'team is very responsive; it is also very practical and down-to-earth with its solutions, and has a real understanding of business aspects'. Typical work includes M&A and joint ventures, private equity investments, general corporate advice, corporate governance, reinsurance, asset transfers and corporate finance, and the team is increasingly active in major mid-market and high-end corporate and M&A transactions. The firm fields attorneys with industry expertise in insurance, financial services, energy and natural resources, life sciences, manufacturing and transportation, and active, key clients are First Data, Gypsum Management & Supply, MSouth Equity Partners, SunTrust Bank and Royal Dutch Shell. Practice head Wade Stribling's 'broad connections and real world business perspective that he brings to legal issues are appreciated'; and Edward Kallal is 'a great mentor and partner to clients who benefit from great service, advice and results'. Michael Gurion acted for Gypsum Management & Supply, the largest independent distributor of wallboard, acoustic and other specialty building products in the US, in its continued expansion program, including the acquisition of WSB Titan, the largest distributor of building products throughout Canada; Gurion also advised, together with Stribling, private equity firm MSouth Equity Partners, on the acquisition of TRP Construction Group. In other matters, Michael Voynich advised Shell Oil Company on the acquisition of an interest in Silicon Ranch Corporation, a Nashville-based solar power producer, from one of its existing shareholders, Partners Group; Thomas Herman assisted The Forestland Group, a privately owned timberland investment manager, and its affiliate Anderson-Tully Lumber Company (ATLC), with the sale by ATLC of substantially all the assets of a Mississippi sawmill complex to Vicksburg Forest Products; and in cross-border mandates, Robert Pile led advice to Perkins+Will, a global architecture and design firm, on its acquisition of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, a Danish architecture practice. Also highly regarded are Brian Murphy and Marc Rawls, while Bert Adams and Robert Copps are key New York contacts, and William Dudzinsky Jr, Douglas Leary and recently promoted Katie Blaszak are experienced Washington DC-based advisers. Notable associates are Hill Jeffries and the 'dedicated and talented' Rob Ellis. Attorneys are based in Atlanta except where otherwise stated; David Zimmerman left for Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP's 'M&A team provides excellent representation on transactions of varying sizes; it takes a practical and realistic approach and is always focused on delivering the right outcomes at the right cost for the client. The practice also has great depth, from senior partners to junior associates, and ensures that work is performed at the right level and with appropriate supervision at all times'. The firm was created in 2018 from the merger of Hunton & Williams LLP and Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP and advises clients on negotiated acquisitions, takeover defenses and contested situations, LBOs and spin-offs. Other areas of strength are holding company formations, corporate auctions, mergers-of-equals, go-private transactions and strategic acquisition and divestiture programs; and the practice has a particular focus on the consumer products, retail, defense, real estate, healthcare, energy, technology and financial services sectors. Regular clients include ExxonMobil, Smithfield Foods, Citibank International and Diageo; the practice also assisted the conflicts committee of diversified midstream company Andeavor Logistics (AL) with AL's acquisition of Western Refining Logistics; acted for Carlisle Companies in the sale of its Carlisle FoodService Products division to funds managed by middle-market private equity firm The Jordan Company; and advised longstanding client Xenith Bankshares on its sale to Union Bankshares. Other significant highlights included the team acting for Canadian energy infrastructure company AltaGas, as Virginia counsel, in its $9bn acquisition of WGL Holdings, as well as its advice to Pebblebrook Hotel Trust on its acquisition of LaSalle Hotel Properties. Steven Haas, who is based in both Richmond and Washington DC, and Steven Patterson in Washington DC, co-head the firm’s M&A team; Houston-based Robert Jewell has particular experience in the energy and forest products industries, master limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, and representing special committees of boards of directors; and Fernando Alonso, who divides his time between Miami and New York, heads the Latin America team. Other key advisers include Houston's co-corporate team head Michael O’Leary, Richmond-based Gary Thompson, who chairs the public company M&A practice, Michael McCann, Houston's energy law specialist Ashley Burns Muehlberger and special counsel  Allen Goolsby.

Loeb & Loeb LLP is experienced in the purchase and sale of closely held businesses, with special expertise in the entertainment, media, technology, marketing and communications sectors. The team advised notable client Oprah Winfrey and her company, Harpo, on recent critical investments and strategic partnerships, including the sale of a 24.5%  stake in The Oprah Winfrey Network joint venture to Discover Communications. It also assisted NeuLion, a technology product and service provider, with its agreement to be sold to entertainment leader Endeavor; acted for Clearview Capital Fund II in the sale of its majority interest in GCR, a provider of vertical specific software and services, to an affiliate of HKW Capital Partners; and advised Little Airplane Productions, an Emmy-winning animation studio, on its sale to Studio 100 Group, one of the largest animation and live-action studios in Europe. New York-based Mitchell Nussbaum and Los Angeles' Arash Khalili are co-chairs of the firm's capital markets and corporate practice. In addition to Nussbaum's work with US-based companies in technology, life sciences and energy, his international practice includes working with companies from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, India, Israel, Russia, South Africa and the UK; and Khalili is recommended for complex corporate and commercial transactions in the media, entertainment, technology, sports, health, wellness and fitness industries. Lloyd Rothenberg in New York, who works with both early-stage growth and more mature companies, and Los Angeles' Steve Hurdle, who has acted for numerous buyers and sellers of scripted and unscripted television production companies in cross-border transactions, are the deputy capital markets and corporate chairs. Other highly regarded attorneys are Chicago-based Ross Emmerman, Allan Duboff in Los Angeles and New York's Giovanni Caruso.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's M&A team advises high-profile public and private companies, private equity firms, and investment banks; it also has significant experience acting for boards of directors and independent board committees in changes of control and going-private transactions, shareholder disputes and internal corporate investigations. The team is particularly recognized for its strength in technology, energy, financial services, communications and healthcare transactions; active clients are AT&T, Holtec International, JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy and Synnex. Justin Hovey in San Francisco and New York's Jonathan Russo are the co-M&A leaders, and Chris Patay leads the corporate group in Los Angeles. Alongside the firm's Tokyo office, Russo advised Japanese med-tech company Hoya, as a consortium member, on Bain Capital’s acquisition of Toshiba’s flash memory chip business; Silicon Valley-based Allison Leopold Tilley and Christina Pearson acted for Synnex, an IT supply chain services company, in its cash-and-stock deal to acquire Convergys, which sells customer management and information management products; and James Masetti, who heads up the Northern California emerging growth and venture capital team, led advice to Sigma Designs, which builds system-on-a-chip semiconductor technologies, on the sale of its Z-Wave Business to Silicon Laboratories. Elsewhere, Washington DC-based global corporate practice section leader Robert Robbins and Northern Virginia's Steven Kaplan advised Grammer, a global supplier of auto parts, on its acquisition of Toledo Molding & Die, which produces innovative thermoplastic components. Also highly rated are Don Kilpatrick in New York, San Francisco's Nathaniel Cartmell, Jeffrey Grill in Washington DC, Silicon Valley’s Jorge del Calvo and San Diego North County-based Mike Hird. Growth in the New York office saw the recruitment of Stephen Amdur as private equity head and Michael Flynn, whose practice focuses on corporate law, venture capital, private equity and M&A, from Latham & Watkins LLP and Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, respectively.

Squire Patton Boggs' corporate M&A practice regularly advises on domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions spanning a broad array of key industries, including automotive, aviation, diversified industrials and chemicals, as well as financial and business services, food and beverage, and consumer brands. Lincoln Electric, Lassonde Industries, Meritor and Valvoline are regular clients. In Cleveland, Daniel Berick, the Americas chair of the global corporate practice and co-head of the global family office team, acted for the Japan-based Asahi Glass Company in the acquisition of Park Electrochemical's electronics business; Cipriano Beredo advised Lassonde Industries, a Canadian agri-food company, on its $146m acquisition of Old Orchard Brands, a family-owned juice and beverage company; and Laura Nemeth assisted global IT company Enea on its acquisition of software developer Openwave Mobility. Elsewhere, Phoenix's Matthew Holman led advice to Engenavis, which designs and manufactures energy storage batteries, on a complex, cross-border M&A transaction whereby Engenavis amalgamated with a Swiss company and contemporaneously closed a new credit facility and acquired an Italian target company; Columbus-based Donald Hughes advised Core Molding Technologies, through two newly formed acquisition subsidiaries, on its acquisition of Horizon Plastics International and certain of its affiliates; and James Hsu, who divides his time between Los Angeles, Beijing and Shanghai, acted for Huabao International, as majority equity owner, in the merger of its portfolio company VMR Products with JUUL, a Delaware company that manufactures and promotes e-cigarettes. Also key to the practice are managing partner of the New York office Carolyn Buller, Cleveland office managing partner Michele Connell, Frank Placenti and Jaime Daddona in Phoenix, David Zagore in Cleveland, and Cincinnati-based Edward Steiner and Toby Merchant. Wayne Bradley and Ann-Marie McGaughey were hired in Atlanta from Dentons.

Vedder Price¬†acts for¬†public and private companies, family-held businesses, financial institutions, private equity firms and hedge funds in M&A, tender and exchange offers, going-private deals, spin-offs and divestitures, LBOs and asset-purchase transactions; and the firm fields attorneys in regulated industries such as financial institutions and banking, healthcare, construction, gaming, aerospace and investment services. Significant clients are¬†L Squared Capital Partners,¬†GrubHub and¬†Valor Equity Partners. Michael Nemeroff¬†chairs¬†the finance and transactions group and is noted for his advice to¬†private equity firms and hedge funds on leveraged and management buyouts; Nemeroff advised¬†Teaching Strategies and L Squared Capital Partners on the sale of an equity interest in UTJ Holdco (the parent company of Teaching Strategies) to Summit Partners.¬†Joseph Kye¬†and Venu Talanki¬†are the vice-finance and transactions group chairs; Kye acted for¬†Samuel, Son & Co, an integr‚Äčated network of metal manufacturing, processing and distribution divisions, in the acquisition of CAID Industries. The team also acted for¬†Vance Street Capital, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that invests in middle-market businesses in the aerospace, defense, industrial and medical sectors, in the acquisition of Jet Parts. In other matters, it advised¬†MB Financial Bank¬†on its large-deal merger with Fifth Third Bank; assisted¬†Advanced Analytical Technologies, which develops and manufactures nucleic acid and genetic analysis systems, with its merger with Agilent Technologies; and advised¬†Chamberlain Group, which¬†makes¬†garage and commercial door openers and entry systems,¬†on its acquisition of Systems, which¬†manufactures loading dock equipment.¬†Adam Lewis,¬†Guy Snyder, William Bettman, John Obiala,¬†John McEnroe¬†and recently promoted¬†Shelby Parnes¬†are also key advisers,¬†Scott Adamson¬†and Jason Reese¬†are notable Los Angeles contacts, and¬†Benjamin Williams¬†is an experienced associate. Attorneys listed above are based in Chicago, unless otherwise stated.

Venable LLP¬†is 'a¬†go-to firm for US M&A transactions that is always good value for money'. The practice's clients include Fortune 100 companies, international and regional entrepreneurs, family businesses, venture capitalists, underwriters, and a range of investors; it is widely praised for its advice on acquisitions, mergers, spin-off and carve-out deals, minority interest acquisitions and joint ventures. The practice also assists with¬†complex tax structuring, transaction financing, IP, employee benefit and executive compensation, corporate finance and securities, and regulatory issues. Recent work includes advising¬†Drummond Company, a privately owned company that mines and processes coal and coal products, on the $400m sale of its Shoal Creek mining business to Peabody Energy.¬†Charles Morton Jr¬†divides his time between Washington DC and Baltimore, and focuses on the technology, consumer products and healthcare industries; Washington DC-based Robert Bolger Jr¬†acts in¬†a range of business transactions, including M&A, private placements, joint ventures, liquidations and sales; and across traditional and emerging media, Los Angeles-based Christopher O‚ÄôBrien's¬†clients include content producers and distributors, talent agencies, investors, and financing sources. Other key advisers are the 'highly recommended' Baltimore-based¬†Anthony Rosso, whose clients include¬†a global data-driven, technology‚Äďenabled performance marketing agency, a Fortune 250 provider of IT, consulting and business process services, and one of the largest US-based family-owned, innovative food and agricultural products companies; and Bryan Rakes,¬†whose¬†representative experience includes acting for a private equity fund in its acquisition of two restaurant franchise groups as well as advising the US subsidiary of a Canadian company on its acquisition of a global business-to-business digital music services and rights platform.

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In a cross-platform collaboration between GC magazine and leading IP law firm Finnegan, key partners and senior in-house clients explore the challenges for women in assuming leadership roles in the legal profession.

Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner LLP merged with Dallas-based Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in 2018, adding further M&A and private equity expertise. The practice advises US and international public and private companies and investment banks, as well as private equity and venture capital funds, special board committees and lenders on a wide range of transactions; its experience includes public and private M&A, going-private deals, cross-border and international  transactions, divestitures, spin-offs, carve-outs, joint ventures, LBOs, and contested transactions and unsolicited offers. Its representative matters include acting for AgReserves, a for-profit affiliate of the Mormon Church, in a $565m acquisition from The St. Joe Company of approximately 384,000 acres of timber and rural lands; advising Lindblad Expeditions, which is known for expedition cruising, on its merger with Capitol Acquisition Corp II, a public investment vehicle formed to effect a business combination; and acting for the buyer of a radiology software medical imaging company. Milwaukee's Steven Barth co-chairs the firm’s national transactions practice and is a member of the food and beverage, manufacturing and healthcare industry teams; and Washington DC-based vice-chair of the business law department David Sanders frequently acts for medical devices, health services and biopharmaceutical companies on M&A, joint ventures and manufacturing, purchasing, distribution and supply agreements.

Foley Hoag LLP's 'team is highly skilled at a multitude of matters and it is always responsive'. The M&A work is national and international in scope, and the firm's transactions frequently reflect the firm’s focus on the life sciences, technology, energy, consulting and investment management industries; active clients include Mill Road Capital Management, Inovalon Holdings, Sensata Technologies and AurKa Pharma. In recent matters, the team was lead deal counsel for Inovalon Holdings, which provides cloud-based platforms, on the acquisition of ABILITY Network, a cloud-based provider of real-time healthcare analytics; it also assisted Alexion Pharmaceuticals with its acquisition of Syntimmune, a clinical-stage biotechnology company that develops antibody therapeutics. Other highlights included advising Organogenesis, a regenerative medicine company, on its definitive merger agreement with Avista Healthcare Public Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company; and assisting LevelUp, an American mobile ordering and mobile payments platform, with its $390m sale to online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace, Grubhub. The M&A practice group co-chairs are Alexander Aber, Joseph Basile and Peter Rosenblum; Rosenblum 'has no equal - he is always insightful and pleasant to work with and has a treasured skill of really understanding clients' needs'. Other key individuals are William Kolb, Mark Haddad, Meredith Haviland and Adrienne Ellman; Erica Rice was elected to the partnership and Corey Brown is a notable associate. All partners named are in Boston.

Katten's 'team is very hands-on; it takes the time to understand clients' business and works with them to find the right work product for their needs'. The practice has particular sector knowledge in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, sports, financial services, investment funds, education, manufacturing, parking and transportation, publishing and media, and technology. The team regularly advises on LBOs, management buyouts, going-private transactions, proxy contests, spin-offs, tender offers and restructurings; it fields attorneys with experience in all aspects of takeovers, both friendly and hostile, including designing and implementing defensive controls. Significant clients include Chicago-based private equity fund Ellipse Capital, septic services company Wind River Environmental, and Sterling Partners, a diversified investment management platform. Recent work saw the team advise Ellipse Capital on the sale of its portfolio company Monroe Engineering to ShoreView Capital, a Minneapolis-based private equity fund. It also acted for Wind River Environmental on several matters, including the acquisition of Certified Environmental Services, an environmental testing service; assisted Harmony Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company, with its acquisition of the exclusive right to develop, register and market the narcolepsy treatment drug pitolisant in the US; and advised Versatex Holdings (Versatex), a portfolio company of Highlander Partners and manufacturer of branded trip, sheet and mouldings, on the sale of Versatex to The AZEK Company. New York's Evan Borenstein is 'a terrific resource and a trusted partner, who consistently provides high-quality, practical advice and gets quickly to the heart of the matter'; and Mark Grossmann, who focuses on advising private equity funds, as well as institutional and entrepreneurial corporate clients, is global corporate practice head and divides his time between Chicago and New York. Other notable advisers are Chicago-based entrepreneurial ventures practice head Matthew Brown, Jeffrey Patt and Kimberly Smith; Charlotte's Russell Black; Washington DC-based Mara Glaser McCahan; and New York's Farzad Damania.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP's 'very high-quality practice is extremely knowledgeable about current deals and market solutions; it is also highly insightful and has excellent advisers'. The client list includes BlackRock, Gener8 Maritime, Atlantic Street Capital, Ten-X and Cineworld Group. Ernest Wechsler, who advises companies in a range of industries, including finance, technology and manufacturing, acted for American global investment management corporation BlackRock in its acquisition of Cachematrix, a provider of financial technology that simplifies the cash management process for banks and their corporate clients; and Thomas Molner assisted Gener8 Maritime, a US-based provider of international seaborne crude oil transportation services, with its stock-for-stock merger with independent tanker company Euronav. The practice heads are Scott Rosenblum and Howard Spilko, who 'has an exceptional middle-market M&A practice and whose problem solving, comprehension of complex issues and commercial sense rival any of his competitors'; Spilko, who is experienced in the strategic use of representations and warranties insurance in acquisitions and related claims, advised Stone Point Capital on a number of corporate transactions, including the acquisition of Sabal Capital Partners, a diversified financial services firm specializing in commercial real estate, lending and investing. James Moriarty, who has been active in education technology and financial services deals in recent years, co-heads the firm’s alternative assets transactions and private M&A practice groups; Moriarty is 'a top middle-market M&A lawyer, who is very insightful, highly responsive and extremely sharp, and protects his clients'. Moriarty led advice to Quad Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on investments in the education industry, on several corporate transactions, including its acquisition of Cayuse, which provides a research administration software platform for colleges and universities. Also highly rated are Todd Lenson, who co-chairs the firm’s capital markets and public company practice, Eitan Tabak and Jordan Rosenbaum. Scott Abramowitz was made partner. All listed advisers are in New York.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP's M&A attorneys regularly act in high-profile deals in the firm's core specialty areas: healthcare, financial services and technology. The team's expertise also includes international tax, antitrust and regulatory matters, as well as assisting with the sales of family businesses. Community Bank, Blue Shield of California and are active clients of the firm. In a landmark transaction that combined two of the oldest Southern California-headquartered banks, San Francisco-based Craig Miller advised Community Bank on its $903m sale to CVB Financial, a holding company for Citizens Business Bank; Miller also assisted El Dorado Savings Bank with its $467m sale to PacWest Bancorp. Elsewhere, Gordon Bava in Los Angeles assisted KCETLink, an independent broadcast and digital network, with its merger with the KOCE Foundation, the operator of public broadcasting service, SoCal; and Orange County's Thomas Poletti advised Monster Digital, which develops action sports cameras and premium memory storage products, on its merger with publicly traded Innovate Biopharmaceuticals. Also in Orange County, Matthew O’Loughlin is highly rated for corporate, strategic and transactional matters; he acted for Houlihan Lokey, a Los Angeles-based global investment bank, in its acquisition of UK- headquartered BearTooth Advisors, which provides advisory and placement agency services. Los Angeles-based Ben Orlanski is chair of the business, finance and tax division and Aydin Caginalp is a key New York contact. Jordan Hamburger joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and Alan Noskow and Brian Ashin left for King & Spalding LLP.

Nixon Peabody LLP's practice assists major strategic clients, particularly companies with sophisticated in-house legal departments, with M&A, LBOs, joint ventures, and other corporate transactions; it advises clients in the food and beverage, agribusiness, consumer products, life sciences, manufacturing, technology and energy sectors, among others. Corporate group leader David Martland acted for Refresco Group, the world’s largest independent bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices, in its acquisition of Cott Corporation’s (Cott) worldwide bottling business, including half of Cott’s US, UK, Canadian and Mexican operations; Brian Krob in Chicago led advice to ThoughtWorks, a global software development and digital transformation consulting company, on its sale to an affiliate of British private equity firm Apax Partners; Gregory O’Shaughnessy assisted Fusionstorm, a software and cloud-based IT-solution business, with its merger with Computacenter; and Washington DC-based John Partigan advised TEGNA, an American broadcast, digital media and marketing services company, on its acquisition of Midwest Television’s broadcasting television station and two radio stations in San Diego. Christopher Keefe - who recently advised longstanding client Sensata Technologies on the sale of its valves business to Pacific Industrial - and Lori Green in Rochester are the co-M&A and corporate transactions team leaders. Also recommended are Haydon Keitner and New York's Daniel McAvoy. Attorneys are in Boston unless otherwise stated. In San Francisco, Thomas Gaynor and Jinjian Huang joined DLA Piper LLP (US) in 2019.

Seward & Kissel LLP 'understands clients' business M&A strategy and understands the markets they operate in; the practice is a trusted partner that provides practical advice and solutions to complex M&A projects, where timing and execution are of the essence'. The firm is a widely respected legal adviser to investment management and shipping industry clients. Beyond these areas, it is also a go-to practice for middle-market M&A for businesses and frequently assists with international deals and transactions involving private equity firms; in addition, the team has handled deals in the media and technology industries. Notable clients are iM Global Partner, UBM, Borr Drilling, White Oak Equity Partners (WOEP) and Euronav. The team advised New York-based private equity firm WOEP on its acquisition of a minority interest in FCO Advisors, a private municipal investment fund. Other recent work includes assisting Hunter Maritime Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company, with its business combination with NCF Wealth Holdings, a Chinese fintech company; and acting for Ocean Rig, an international offshore drilling contractor, in its merger agreement with Transocean, the world's largest offshore drilling contractor. The team also advised alternative asset manager TIG Advisors on its acquisition of a minority interest in Romspen Investment Corporation, a real estate-focused alternative credit manager. The co-business transactions group heads are the 'particularly helpful' James Abbott and Craig Sklar, who is 'singularly good at identifying the common sense core of a question and teasing out the solution'. Abbott led advice to Belgium-based Euronav, the largest NYSE-listed independent crude oil tanker company in the world, on its merger with Gener8 Maritime; and Sklar acted for Harvest Volatility Management, known for derivative asset management, in the sale of its business to Victory Capital, a global investment management firm. Also highly rated is Nick Katsanos, who 'understands the nuances that differentiate one deal from the next and provides practical advice to overcome the inevitable hurdles that arise'. Gerhard Anderson and Meir Grossman are other key contacts, and Danielle Lemberg and Dora Pulido are notable senior associates. All advisers named are in New York.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP's 'M&A team is efficient, timely and provides excellent business advice'. It acts for private and public companies in all aspects of M&A transactions, including joint ventures, divestitures and investments, and frequently advises on cross-border work. The firm's highly rated labor and employment practice regularly supports the M&A team on deals and the practice stands out for healthcare and franchise M&A. Corporate office chair for the Washington DC team Andrew Sherman led advice to a construction and insurance technology solutions company on the sale of construction bidding software; Atlanta-based Andrew Hough acted for IG Design Group Americas, an international stationery business, in a purchase of all of Impact Innovations' shares; Houston's Paul Pryzant assisted Nasdaq-listed TapImmune, which develops immunotherapeutics, with its merger of equals with immunotherapy innovator Marker Therapeutics; and Theodore Cornell III in Chicago advised a private equity firm on the acquisition of a flooring company. Also in Chicago, M&A chair Suzanne Saxman is 'terrific; she delegates when appropriate but participates on every important call, and is a good source of market intelligence that is helpful for benchmarking anticipated negotiation points'. Saxman advised a human resources services and technology company on the acquisition of a corporation that provides employee engagement and wellbeing solutions, and its subsidiaries. Elsewhere, vice-national M&A chair Andrew Lucano 'may just be the best M&A attorney in New York City - his expertise and attentiveness to detail, along with his business savvy, are critical'; also in New York, Stanley Bloch is 'the most practical and learned M&A attorney' some clients have worked with and 'brings to the table a perspective that few else have'. Washington DC's Robert Bodansky and Douglas Mancino in Los Angeles are other notable advisers; counsel Leslie Kersey was hired in New York from Paul Hastings LLP and Chicago-based Whitney Schmidt is an experienced associate.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP' deal sector experience includes aerospace and defense, financial services, healthcare and technology, as well as entertainment, electronics, telecoms, food and beverage, retail and transportation. Active clients are adidas, LendingTree, Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS), Lions Gate Entertainment and Samsung Semiconductor. Highlights included acting for BICS, which provides wholesale connectivity and interoperability services, on its $230m acquisition of TeleSign Holdings, which provides a telephone and SMS verification system; and assisting AMN Healthcare, a provider of healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services, with its $195m acquisition of MedPartners. Other work included M&A team leader Will Chuchawat, who divides his time between Los Angeles and Shanghai, leading advice to Mercury Systems, a hi-tech company serving the aerospace and defense industries, on its agreement to acquire Themis Computer, which manufactures manufactures computing products; and Lucantonio Salvi in Washington DC acting, as US counsel, for Charme Partners, an Italian private equity fund, on its acquisition of ammunition maker Fiocchi Minuzioni. The co-corporate and securities practice group leaders are Century City's Jeryl Bowers and Linda Michaelson, and Ariel Yehezkel in New York, while Los Angeles' Lawrence Braun is also highly rated. Recent growth includes the arrivals of Jordan Hamburger in Centruy City, whose experience includes advising clients in the healthcare and financial services industries, and Eric Newsom in San Francisco, who is focused on the technology and healthcare sectors; both joined from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Also, John Booher, who works with life sciences, healthcare, aerospace, transportation and technology industry clients, was hired in Silicon Valley from Hogan Lovells US LLP.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP 'provides amazing quality of service and expertise that is always on-point and with a practical business grounding'. The team's clients include large public companies with aggressive acquisition programs, buyout firms, foreign enterprises expanding into the US, and technology companies and family-owned businesses seeking liquidity; it is also well known for advising some of the country’s largest public and private REITs in M&A and regularly works alongside the firm's tax planners on corporate transactions and M&A deals. In addition, the practice has carved out a niche representing Israeli companies in securities offerings on Nasdaq as well as other corporate work in the US. The team assisted Delaware corporation Newbury Taleo Group, which specializes in talent acquisition solutions, with its stock sale to Evolutionary Systems, a subsidiary of Evosys. Lewis Segall heads the corporate and M&A practice group; his clients include companies in the renewable energy, advertising, healthcare, communications, manufacturing and software industries. Other key attorneys are the 'standout attorney' William Curry; Carol Wolff, who is highly rated for advising privately held middle-market companies on domestic and cross-border M&A, joint ventures and investments; and Benjamin Armour, who advises clients through all stages of the corporate life cycle. The associates to note are Matthew Lane and Avinash Rao. Named attorneys are based in Boston.

Blank Rome LLP 'has depth at partner level and below to cover all specialty legal areas'. The firm's 70-lawyer national M&A team has its core groups in New York and Philadelphia, with additional centers of corporate activity in Pittsburgh, Washington DC and Los Angeles. The practice has particular strengths in the shipping, transportation, logistics and insurance sectors; it also has significant experience in the TMT industry, regularly advises fashion and brand management clients, and has a niche practice advising professional firms on their M&A work. Regular clients include AccuWeather, ExxonMobil, Paddy Power Betfair and Panasonic. Steven Dubow is 'a go-to deal attorney, who has broad experience and an ability to breakdown complex legal issues for non-attorney business people'; and Peter Schnur in New York advised Ryder System, which provides logistics, supply chain and transportation management solutions, on its $120m acquisition of MXD Group. Louis Rappaport chairs the firmwide corporate, M&A and securities team, while Linsey Bozzelli and Kathleen Cunningham in New York are its vice chairs, and Robert Mittman chairs the New York corporate practice. Rappaport has led on several deals for Togetherwork Holdings, which develops group management software and payments solutions, including its acquisition of Gingr, a provider of management software for dog daycare boarding and grooming businesses. Also key to the team are co-business department chair Gary Goldenberg, Alan Lieblich and New York-based Brad Shiffman and Michael Mullman. The names listed are based in  Philadelphia except where otherwise stated.

St Louis-based Bryan Cave LLP and UK-headquartered Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP merged to form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in 2018. The practice has significant client relationships in the consumer products and industrial manufacturing industries as well as the food and agribusiness, technology, medical and pharmaceuticals sectors. It acts in a range of strategic M&A, spin-offs, corporate restructurings, private equity transactions, and securities and corporate finance deals, including IPOs. Active clients include Belkin International, Energizer Holdings, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Bayer and DHX Media. Highlights included acting for Belkin International, which manufactures consumer electronics and accessories, in its merger with Taiwan-based Foxconn Interconnect Technology; the team also advised Missouri-based Peabody Energy on its acquisition of Drummond Company's Shoal Creek coal mine in Alabama. In other areas, the practice assisted Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, a producer of specialty pharmaceutical products, with the $185m sale of hemostasis products Recothroma and Preveleak to Baxter International; and it regularly assists Energizer Holdings with its strategic acquisitions and dispositions. St Louis-based John Welge is the M&A and corporate finance leader; also highly rated are Atlanta's Rick Miller and James Attonito in New York.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP fields attorneys with deal experience in the transportation, fisheries, agriculture, natural resources, and metals and mining industries. Other areas of strength are telecoms, consumer brands, IT, financial services, healthcare, real estate, logistics and energy. Regular clients are Cooke Aquaculture, Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) and Lifeway Foods. The team acted for New Brunswick company Cooke (Cooke Aquaculture's parent) in its acquisition of Omega Protein. It also served as co-counsel to LabCorp, a testing laboratories company, in the all-cash $670m sale of its Covance Food Solutions business to Eurofins Food Testing US Holdings, a US subsidiary of Luxembourg company Eurofins Scientific; and further assisted Covance Laboratories with the purchase of substantially all the operating assets of the analytical testing services business of ChromaDex Analytics and ChromaDex. Timothy Lavender is national practice chair; Andrew Pillsbury's practice includes M&A, joint ventures and technology matters; Jennifer Norkus, who advises on the sale and purchase of assets and stock of both US and international companies, is an experienced special counsel; and Courtney Kleshinski is a well-regarded associate. The advisers mentioned are based in Chicago.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has a notable track record in cross-border transactions, deals involving IP content, and the representation of serial buyers in acquisition programs; the practice also assists with the formation of domestic and international joint ventures and strategic alliances in industries such as telecoms, financial services, manufacturing, food and beverage, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. AT&T, Interface, CRH and Infinisource Holdings are clients. Atlanta-based M&A, securities and corporate leader Richard Cicchillo Jr advised international building materials group CRH on its acquisition of Ash Grove Cement Company; Benjamin Barkley led advice to Austrian plant engineering group Andritz in its acquisition of Xerium Technologies, which provides industrial consumable products and services; and Joel Cartee (who divides his time between Atlanta and Dallas) and Thomas Kesler acted for AT&T in its acquisition of AlienVault, which sells data privacy and security software. Other highly rated advisers are Washington DC's financial institutions practice team leader Aaron Kaslow and Gary Bronstein; Carole Bellis and David Eaton in Silicon Valley; John Smith, David Stockton, Louis Barbieri III; and Raleigh-based Thomas Steed III. Attorneys are based in Atlanta unless otherwise stated.

McGuireWoods LLP fields attorneys in the healthcare, solar energy, life sciences and technology sectors as well as in niche areas such as furniture, student housing, and food and beverage. Notable clients are SPX, a North Carolina-based supplier of highly engineered products and technologies, and Compass Group, a foodservice and support services company. Highlights included acting for Compass Group in several transactions, including the acquisitions of France-based Elior Group, a global contracted food and support services business; assisting Scotland-based Clyde Blowers Capital with its $245m sale of industrial gearing manufacturer Cone Drive to The Timken Company; advising SPX on the acquisition of Schonstedt Instrument Company, a manufacturer of magnetic locator products; and assisting private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners on several deals, including its investments in E-Technologies Group and Best Impressions Caterers. In large deals, the practice advised Dominion Energy, one of the US' largest energy producers, on its proposed stock-for-stock merger with SCANA Corporation. Michael Woodard in Richmond is the chair of the firm’s M&A department and Chicago-based Geoffrey Cockrell chairs the private equity group. Also highly regarded are Charlotte’s Chris Scheurer, Thomas Zahn in Pittsburgh and Richmond's Joanne Katsantonis.

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP's regularly handles complex M&A and stands out for its assistance to issuers in the metals and mining space. Other areas of strength include manufacturing, insurance, energy, healthcare, real estate, technology, hospitality and leisure, and venture capital and private equity. The team also regularly works alongside the firm's antitrust, employment, finance, IP, litigation, real estate, regulatory, restructuring and tax specialists. Goldcorp, Glencoe Capital Holdings and First Analysis are regular clients; recent work for other clients includes John Koenigsknecht  leading advice, as US M&A counsel, to Sweden-headquartered global engineering group Trelleborg, and its subsidiary Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, on its agreement to acquire Minnesota-based Sil-Pro. The team also acted for Fonterra (USA), which produces dairy products and ingredients, in its acquisition of a one-third equity interest in joint venture Columbia River Technologies, which manufactures whey protein concentrate and lactose products. Corporate and securities chair David Stone, whose deal experience includes the energy, mining, insurance and technology industries, is also co-chair of the firm's cross-border and international practice group, and Michael Gray leads the private equity, venture capital and growth companies practice. Other notable advisers are Cristina DeMento, Joshua Klein and Philippe Blanchard. All attorneys named are based in Chicago.

Schiff Hardin LLP's 'team provides a wide range of expertise while remaining focused deeply on the issue at hand; there is never any doubt that the client is in good hands'. It acts in acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, going-private transactions and minority investments. The practice's sector experience includes technology, consumer products, industrial products and logistics; it has also acted in deals involving the manufacturing, telecoms, energy, infrastructure, chemicals, healthcare and real estate industries. The client list includes Roper Technologies, Newell Brands, Consolidated Communications Holdings, and Chicago-based private family holding company The Randolph Group (TRG). The team assisted TRG with the sale of its Vandor business, a design and distribution company, to Bioworld Merchandising. Other highlights includes advising H D Smith, the largest independent wholesale drug distributor in the US, on its sale to AmerisourceBergen; acting for Wintrust Financial on its acquisition of Chicago Shore Corporation (Delaware Place Bank's parent company); and advising Dealer Marketing Services, which conducts business as ProMax (a SaaS provider of marketing services and credit card data to automotive retail dealers), on its sale to SNH Capital Partners. Deputy head of the corporate and transactional team David McHugh 'brings insights from his experience on past issues and he cares deeply about clients', Steve Isaacs leads both the M&A and private equity groups, and Alexander Young is the deputy leader of M&A and private equity. Other highly regarded attorneys are Stephen Dragich and Henry Lee Mann; New York-based Sara Rosenberg was promoted to partner. Partners listed above are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Thompson & Knight LLP's 'lawyers do a very good job at working together as well as working with management and in-house counsel; what is particularly valuable is the team's ability to distill a myriad of facts and options down to actionable points'. The corporate and securities attorneys are experienced in domestic and cross-border M&A, private equity investment transactions, private and public offerings of securities, corporate governance, and board and special committee representation; and the practice is particularly noted for its advice to clients in the oil and gas industry, especially those with a focus on upstream and midstream activities. American Midstream Partners, Chaparral Energy and US Bank National Association are active clients. Recent matters include advising oil and natural gas producer Chaparral Energy on the $170m sale of its North Burbank and Texas Panhandle enhanced oil recovery assets to Perdure Petroleum; acting for Tailwater Capital-backed Pivotal Petroleum Partners in its sale of producing wells in North Dakota to publicly traded Northern Oil and Gas; and assisting Murchison Oil and Gas with its acquisition of assets from a subsidiary of ROXO Energy. Corporate and securities practice leader Wesley Williams divides his time between the Dallas and Fort Worth offices. Also highly rated are Ann Marie Cowdrey, Holt Foster III and Houston's Timothy Samson. All advisers named are in Dallas unless otherwise mentioned. Michael Pierce and Steven Bartz left for Vinson & Elkins LLP and DLA Piper LLP (US), respectively.

Thompson Hine LLP 'has no weak link; from the partners to the junior associates, the individuals are of the highest quality. It is not just that they know their subject incredibly well, it is their ability to communicate and deploy this knowledge in a professional, yet accessible way'. The corporate practice comprises approximately 100 attorneys, more than half of whom regularly work on M&A transactions, including domestic and cross-border transactions; significant clients include ProMach, The Home Depot, Honeywell International and Keycorp. The team assisted Pro Mach with its high-value sale to American private equity investment firm Leonard Green and Partners; and advised Tropicana Entertainment on both completing the sale of its real estate assets to a subsidiary of Gaming and Leisure Properties and the sale of its gaming and hotel operations to Eldorado Resorts. The team also advised Meritor Specialty Products, a global supplier for commercial vehicle manufacturers, on the acquisition of AA Gear; and acted for Starfire Holding Corporation in its take-private of Cadus Corporation. In Cincinnati, corporate transactions and securities practice group leader Frank Chaiken's 'ability to manage his team as well as understand and communicate risks are top-notch, he has knowledge in multiple subject areas, and is able to apply that information to help close deals'; and Todd Schild 'has gained impressive industry knowledge and helps tailor the M&A process to be as efficient as possible'. Elsewhere, Cleveland’s Tony Kuhel has been key to the strategic development of the firm’s M&A practice. Other key team members are David Willbrand, who leads the early stage and emerging company practice and divides his time between Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, Cleveland-based William Henry, and New York-based Corby Baumann and counsel Branwen Buckley.

Arent Fox LLP's Washington DC practice is praised for its 'reliability and for never having capacity constraints that inhibit clients' ability to move a deal towards closing'. It advises on M&A, joint ventures, corporate governance, and securities. The firm has a go-to group for transactions in the hospitality industry and has extensive experience advising clients in the real estate, consumer products, restaurants and retail sectors. The team assists Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, with numerous hospitality transactions; and  Jay Halpern recently led advice to HMSHost (part of Autogrill, the world’s largest provider of food and beverage services for travelers) in several significant transactions, including its acquisition of specialty airport retailer Avila Retail Development & Management. Halpern also advised, together with associate Amal Dave, SunBridge Capital Management, a multi-strategy investment management firm, on its equity investments in both California-based Silvergate Capital Corporation and Florida-chartered Beach Community Bank. Steven Cohen  is corporate and securities practice leader.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is particularly active on behalf of clients operating in the energy, commodities, telecoms, manufacturing, transportation and technology industries, and the group has extensive experience in complex cross-border transactions and foreign investments in the US, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. Lawrence Goodman is the M&A group chair and Andrew Seiden's recent experience includes representing high-net-worth clients in venture capital, private equity and private equity fund investments, as well as advising a pharmaceutical developer on the sale of a majority interest in its product development pipeline. Other notable advisers are chair of the firm’s securities practice group and opinions committee Jeffrey Ostrager, Raymond Hum, who divides his time between Washington DC and New York, former chair of the international corporate department Matias Vega, and Valarie Hing. The attorneys named are in New York, except where otherwise stated. Evan Borenstein left for Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP advises on LBOs, spin-offs, cross-border transactions, and deals involving troubled businesses. In Seattle, M&A practice chair Matthew LeMaster's experience includes the creation of hi-tech joint ventures and the sale of timberlands, while Sean McCann and Sarah Tune, who splits her time between Seattle and New York, chair the corporate and business transactions practice. McCann is particularly focused on complex acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, joint ventures and restructurings; his experience includes advising Sumitomo Forestry America on the acquisition of Edge Homes Group, a premier home builder in Utah. Tune recently advised Field Roast Grain Meat, which produces and markets vegan meat products, on its sale to Maple Leaf Foods.

Dickinson Wright PLLC's 'very knowledgeable team provides timely responses'. It advises clients in a range of industry sectors, including financial services, media, sports, real estate, automotive manufacturers and suppliers, and consumer product manufacturers, and the practice has a growing specialism in deals involving Japan and China. The practice assisted Crestmark Bancorp (Crestmark), and its Michigan state-chartered bank subsidiary, with Crestmark’s public merger with Meta Financial Group and MetaBank, a federally chartered stock savings bank. In large deals, the team acted for Ladbrokes Coral Group, a British-based betting and gambling company, in its sale to GVC Holdings, one of the world's largest sports betting and gaming groups. Columbus-based Scot Crow and Richard Bolton, Andrew MacLeod and Mark High in Detroit, and Grand Rapids' John Schuring and Jeffrey York, are the key names.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP advises on M&A, divestitures, corporate restructurings, recapitalizations, strategic partnerships, cross-border transactions, auctions, and takeover defense. Minneapolis-based Timothy Hearn recently led advice to global medical device company Cogentix Medical on its $239m cash sale to Laborie Medical Technologies; and New York-based private equity group chair Eric Rytter acted for the management of global technology services firm Orion Systems Integrators (Orion) on Orion's sale by Potomac Equity Partners to One Equity Partners. Minneapolis' Jonathan Van Horn acts for both purchasers and sellers in M&A transactions, including negotiated business combinations and contested acquisition deals; and Salt Lake City's co-M&A practice chair Layne Smith's experience includes advising operating companies and investors in the healthcare and technology industries.

Duane Morris LLP's 'M&A team brings a depth and range of knowledge and practical experience; the support it provides in due diligence is invaluable and the practice is also efficient and cost-effective'. It is experienced in advising acquirers, targets and financial advisers in both negotiated and hostile transactions, and its multidisciplinary teams regularly comprise specialist lawyers in tax, bankruptcy, IP, real estate, labor, environmental law and litigation. The team acted for US-based Boyd Gaming in its approximately $280m acquisition of Valley Forge Casino Resort; and advised Donegal Mutual Insurance and Donegal Group on the sale of Donegal Financial Services and its wholly owned subsidiary, Union Community Bank, to Northwest Bancshares. In other matters, the team assisted Catalent, a drug delivery technology company, with its $140m acquisition of Juniper Pharmaceuticals, including its UK-based Juniper Pharma Services division. Chicago-based Brian Kerwin is corporate practice chair; other highly regarded advisers are Richard Silfen, Richard Cohen and Michael Gallagher in Philadelphia.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.'s practice covers LBOs, private equity M&A, corporate strategic acquisitions and divestitures, asset transactions, stock purchase agreements, and consolidations. Other areas of strength are distressed deals, strategic alliances, tender offers, cross-border transactions, going-private deals, hostile takeovers, and joint ventures. The practice acted for the equity owners of Corporacion POK, a Mexican industrial and oilfield services precision casting foundry, in the sale of stock to steel manufacturer Nucor Corporation; and advised Arcosa, a manufacturer of infrastructure-related products and services, on its acquisition of Harrison Gypsum Holdings. Tom Harris and Janice Sharry are the key Dallas contacts; also highly rated are Ricardo Garcia-Moreno and George Y. Gonzalez, who divide their time between Houston and Mexico City.

Holland & Knight LLP 'has a unique ability to draw together practitioners from around the country to provide tailored, efficient client service'. The practice is particularly focused on Latin America and Canada deals; the firm's M&A lawyers also have extensive experience in private equity transactions, securities regulation and corporate governance matters. The team advised private equity funds Brynwood Partners VII and Brynwood Partners VIII (and their wholly owned portfolio company Cold Spring Brewing) on the acquisition of Carolina Beverage Group from SunTx Capital Partners and other selling equity holders. Tampa-based Robert Grammig leads the corporate, M&A and securities practice, and, in Tysons, Adam August is the corporate, M&A and securities leader for the Mid-Atlantic region and Eric Wechselblatt serves as the deputy section leader of the business section. Other names to note are Miami-based David Barkus and Martin Clarke in Stamford.

Irell & Manella LLP fields lawyers experienced in advising companies from the TMT, healthcare, biosciences, retail, manufacturing and energy sectors, as well as gaming, real estate development and finance clients. The team acted for Accruent, which provides physical resource management software, in its sale to diversified industrial products maker, Fortive Corporation; advised private equity firm Angeles Equity Partners on the acquisition of Meek’s Lumber Company, one of the largest independent building products distributors in the US; and assisted private equity firm Genstar Capital with its acquisition of Drillinginfo, an oil and gas sector data and analytics company. Gregory Klein and Ashok Mukhey co-chair the transactions practice; other notable advisers are Michael Kaplan, Mitchell Cohen and recently promoted Paul Swanson. All partners named are in Los Angeles.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP 'delivers a timely and expeditious service and the assignment of practice specialists is fast and smooth'. The national corporate and M&A team has over 80 lawyers across the US; it stands out for banking and technology sector M&A and has significant private equity and venture capital expertise. It acted for Novolex, a plastics and packaging manufacturer, in its acquisition of the Waddington Group, a global consumer and commercial package manufacturing business; and in a $220m financial services M&A deal, the practice assisted Florida-based Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust on its sale to IberiaBank. In other matters, it advised pharmaceutical company Huvepharma on its acquisition of AgriLabs, the largest marketing and sales distribution company in the US for food animal products. Atlanta-based Rhys Wilson and 'his team always provide expertise, speedy delivery and creative solutions to solve problems'. Michael Hollingsworth II and Gus Dixon in Columbia are other key M&A contacts.

Perkins Coie LLP's practice comprises over 100 M&A attorneys, who advise on domestic and cross-border M&A, joint ventures, carve-outs, spin-offs, recapitalizations, growth equity investments and other transactions. Recent work includes acting for food and beverage client Sethness Products Company in its sale to France-based Roquette Frères; and advising Oberto, which produces meat snacks, on its sale to Premium Brands Holdings Corporation. Denver-based Jeffrey Beuche is firmwide chair of the M&A practice; also key to the group are vice chairs of the M&A practice, Gina Eiben in Portland and Seattle's Nicholas Ferrer.

Pryor Cashman LLP advises domestic and international companies in a wide variety of industries, such as energy, software, technology, advertising, apparel, medical supplies and life sciences. In a transaction valued at $319m, the team acted for SBE Entertainment Group, the owner of major hospitality brands, in the strategic sale of a 50% interest in the company to Paris-based AccorHotels; the team also advised Greenlane on its acquisition of VaporNation. Other highlights included assisting private equity platform TriSpan Rising Stars with the acquisition of restaurant chain Rosa Mexicano from Goode Partners. John Crowe is corporate group and M&A practice co-chair and Eric Hellige co-chairs the corporate group; Ali Panjwani is also a key contact. The named partners are in New York.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP has 'one of the best under-the-radar middle-market M&A teams on Wall Street; it never disappoints'. The practice handles M&A, dispositions, joint ventures, distressed situations, friendly and contested tender offers, and going-private and going-public transactions; other areas of expertise are special committee representations and corporate governance, proxy contests, and cross-border transactions. The team advised Ultimate Software, a provider of cloud-based human capital management solutions, on its acquisition of PeopleDoc. The 'tenacious, tireless and very effective' Matthew Schwartz is 'hands-on and deep in the weeds on every deal, and he crosses over from traditional M&A to distressed M&A as well as anyone in the business'; Christopher Doyle and Jeffrey Lowenthal in New York co-chair the corporate group.

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC advises buyers and sellers in public and private strategic transactions, as well as financial sponsor deals. The team acted for Wholesale (one of the largest independent distributors of pre-owned vehicles in the US) in its sale (and that of related logistics company Wholesale Express) to RumbleOn. The key advisers are Washington DC-based Todd Overman and Nashville's Riney Green.

Brown Rudnick LLP's M&A group provides complementary practices in IP, tax, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, finance, and government relations, and stands out for its work with emerging growth companies. Highlights included advising private equity real estate fund manager Queensgate Investments on its acquisition of Generator Hostels, Patron Capital’s premium hostels business. Boston-based Samuel Williams is managing partner and James Bedar is practice group leader.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP is experienced in representing both private and public companies in transactional and business combinations, including LBOs, asset and equity acquisitions and dispositions, and corporate reorganizations. The team advised The Bay Club Company, a premier active lifestyle and hospitality company, on its sale to global investment firm, KKR. Denver-based Elizabeth Paulsen and Gino Maurelli are the names to note.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. 'has deep knowledge and expertise in healthcare as well as all employment and workplace-related issues'. The practice works on dozens of healthcare M&A deals each year and has significant capability on both the provider and insurer sides. Washington DC-based Mark Lutes specializes in advising private equity firms on their investments in healthcare companies and New York's Jeffrey Becker advises healthcare organizations on transactions; Becker is 'extraordinarily talented, experienced and a terrific business partner'. Also highly regarded are John Gleason and David Weiss in New York, Chicago-based Amy Dow, Washington DC's Douglas Hastings, Gary Herschman in Newark, and Anjana Patel in the Newark and New York offices.

Holland & Hart LLP's team advises companies in industries such as banking, energy, technology, retail, telecoms and natural resources. It acted for Quiznos, a franchised fast-food restaurant brand that specializes in toasted sandwiches, in its sale to High Bluff Capital Partners, a private investment firm; and assisted Fortifiber, a manufacturer of weather-resistive moisture management systems, with its sale to Henry Company. Denver-based Chris Groll heads up the M&A practice.

Husch Blackwell LLP is a Midwest firm with significant inbound and outbound M&A experience on major transactions. The team acted for AMC Entertainment Holdings in its sale of a controlling interest in on-screen advertising company Screenvision Media to private equity firm Abry Partners. St Louis-based Matthew Schneider leads the corporate, M&A and securities practice.

Lowenstein Sandler LLP's attorneys in New York advise corporations and private equity sponsors on strategic acquisitions and dispositions. The practice advised Foley, the Caterpillar franchisee for northern New Jersey, Staten Island and Bermuda, on its acquisition of Giles & Ransome. M&A chair Marita Makinen acts for public and growth-stage technology and consumer products clients in M&A and minority and control investments; Peter Ehrenberg is corporate department chair; Steven Siesser is private equity chair; and Michael Brosse assists buyout funds and private companies with private equity and venture capital transactions.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. is experienced in deals involving sectors such as communications, healthcare, life sciences and technology, along with digital media, energy and cleantech. The team acted for Brooks Automation, a provider of automation and cryogenic solutions, in its approximately $450m purchase of genomics service provider Genewiz Group; and advised Myriad Genetics, a molecular diagnostic company, in multiple acquisitions, including its $375m acquisition of health technology company Counsyl. Dean Zioze in Boston chairs the M&A practice.

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP is 'highly strategic, understands clients' businesses at a high levels of depth and works very hard to find workable solutions that maximize flexibility and minimize risk'. The practice stands out for technology sector work in the sub-$500m market, while advising private equity funds and their portfolio companies is the fastest-growing part of the practice. The team advised K1 Investment Management on its investment of $200m-plus in SecureAuth, which develops identity enforcement solutions. Ward Bondurant is corporate practice chair; David Calhoun is private equity and M&A practice chair; and Chris Maxwell leads the start-up and emerging companies practice. The partners mentioned are in Atlanta.

Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP is a Wilmington-based firm that is highly rated for its Delaware law advice on complex corporate transactions and corporate governance issues; and the practice frequently advises clients in the oil and gas and master limited partnership space. It acted for biotechnology company Celgene, as Delaware law counsel, in the acquisition of immunotherapy cancer treatment firm, Juno Therapeutics. James Honaker, Andrew Johnston, David Harris and Louis Hering are highly rated attorneys.

Polsinelli PC's attorneys complete transactions for both private and public companies. The team advises on acquisitions and divestitures of stock and assets, cross-border transactions, distressed M&A, going-private deals and LBOs. Kansas City-based Frank Ross Jr is business department chair and William Mahood III leads the mergers, acquisitions and divestitures practice; Dallas-based Jonathan Henderson is corporate and transactional group chair.

Wilmington law firm Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A. serves as Delaware counsel to major corporations on their most significant transactions. Mark Gentile and Stephen Bigler acted as Delaware counsel to the T-Mobile US special committee of independent directors on the high-value acquisition of American telecoms company Sprint from SoftBank Group. William Haubert and John Mark Zeberkiewicz are also highly regarded advisers.

Robinson & Cole LLP is experienced assisting companies from industries such as manufacturing, construction, technology and software. Eric Kogan, who divides his time between Stamford and New York, is the business transactions chair; Kogan acted for The Nielsen Company (US), a global information and measurement company, in its acquisition of Visual IQ.

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP's practice includes LBOs, negotiated transactions, joint ventures, cross-border deals, and employee stock ownership plan sales. The team acted for Valley Pool Sales in its sale to Leslie’s Poolmart, the US's largest retailer of swimming pool and spa supplies, services and repairs. The practice co-chairs are Megan Harmon in Pittsburgh and Sarah Hewitt, who divides her time between New York and Philadelphia.

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth regularly advises companies who work in the life sciences and medical device sector, is well known for its assistance to technology companies, and has developed a significant private equity practice. The team acted for Clearlake Capital in its $180m acquisition of ProVation Medical, a software provider of procedure documentation and clinical decision support solutions. The Newport Beach-based co-chairs of the corporate and securities practice group are Christopher Ivey and Mark Skaist.

Troutman Sanders fields attorneys with deal experience in consumer products, energy and natural resources, financial services and life sciences, along with manufacturing, healthcare, retail, technology and transportation. In Atlanta, Andrea Farley's experience includes advising a publicly held distributor of auto replacement parts, office products and electrical materials on the acquisition of a manufacturer of personal protection products. Richmond-based Mason Bayler Jr and John Bradley in Orange County are also experienced advisers.

Wiggin and Dana LLP's 'team is highly competent in M&A matters and strong in communication with clients and counterparties as well as in their interactions with non-lawyers'. The firm has a significant cross-border M&A practice, with many clients in Europe and Asia; and it has particular experience in sectors such as medical devices, chemicals, software, construction, franchising and financial services, as well as healthcare, manufacturing and TMT. The team advised HTA, an electronic toll collection and traffic violation management provider, on its sale to Platinum Equity Partners portfolio company, ATS. Stamford-based Mark Kaduboski is M&A chair.

Private equity buyouts

Index of tables

  1. Private equity buyouts
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1
Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is widely praised for its ability to build strong teams across the US and, despite its willingness to bring in lateral hires, it 'has done a phenomenal job of moving people through the ranks and institutionalizing its client base'. It advises more than 450 private equity firms worldwide and a high proportion of the world’s largest private equity houses, with clients include Bain Capital, Blackstone, The Carlyle Group, KKR, Madison Dearborn, Thoma Bravo, TPG and Warburg Pincus. It consistently ranks at the top of the various buyout league tables by value and by volume. The team delivers 'excellent commercial and business judgment', 'a depth and breadth of team', 'strength across disciplines' and 'loyalty and accessibility'. 'Knowledge of market terms provides a significant competitive advantage', the team is 'very strong in structuring creative solutions to complex transactions', is able to 'synthesize complex issues into quick efficient conversations' and has 'an ability to focus efforts on issues that drive monetary value'. It advised Bain Capital on the $1.2bn sale of BMC Software to KKR and represented Apax Partners on the $2bn sale of its ownership stake in GlobalLogic to Partners Group. Jon Ballis is chairman-elect of the firm, in private equity he 'understands all the issues, but also has a bed-side manner': 'he can read the situation very well and is willing to push back on his clients and focus them on what they should focus on'. New York's Eunu Chun  'is always a pleasure to work with' and fellow New York partner Peter Martelli is another impressive figure who advises the likes of Blackstone, Pamplona Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners. Stephen Ritchie is 'a really good lawyer' and Los Angeles partner Rick Madden is 'incredibly competent', 'very efficient with his time' and clients 'trust his judgement implicitly'. Matthew Steinmetz, Walter Holzer, Sanford Perl, Richard Campbell and New York's Sean Rodgers, Michael Weisser and Leo Greenberg are also highly rated. It has also brought in further lateral hires, including New York's Jennifer Perkins from Latham & Watkins LLP and Steven Napolitano and Brendan Head from DLA Piper LLP (US). Further, Los Angeles-based Michael Woronoff, Monica Shilling, and Jonathan Benloulou joined from Proskauer Rose LLP in 2019. Named partners are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has an illustrious reputation in the private equity industry, thanks in part to its long-standing relationships with the likes of Blackstone, KKR and Silver Lake Partners, as well as other managers such as EQT Partners, Centerbridge Partners, KSL Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital. It has worked on many of the biggest, most complex and headline-grabbing deals of the last decade and maintained this record in 2018 when it advised a Blackstone-led consortium on completing a partnership agreement with Thomson Reuters for Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk Business (F&R); the consortium now owns 55% of new company created to hold the F&R business. Marni Lerner heads the private equity group and remains a frequent adviser to KKR, including on its $9.9bn acquisition of Envision Healthcare. Gary Horowitz, another key relationship partner for KKR, is 'very practical' and 'gets to the finish line really quick without any unnecessary noise'.  Wilson Neely 'deserves the accolades' and remains close to Blackstone, while Palo Alto partner and 'really senior practitioner' Richard Capelouto is a regular counsel to Silver Lake and Hellman & Friedman. Anthony Vernace  is 'a really talented lawyer'. All partners are based in New York, unless stated otherwise.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has 'a very high quality practice', most notably in the healthcare, financial services, insurance, technology, media and telecoms sectors. The team is 'responsive and commercially adept', 'balances the business objectives of clients while being realistic about likely exposures, threats and issues, and has a proven track record of creatively designing structures and solutions'. The firm is consistently recognized for its private equity funds formation department, which has proved fundamental to the build-out of its client portfolio and the success of the buyouts practice. Additional strength in leveraged finance, employee benefits, executive compensation, tax, litigation and deep regulatory knowledge is key to the team's performance. Clients include Blackstone, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, The Carlyle Group, Cerberus Capital Management, Kelso & Co, Providence Equity Partners, Temasek and long-term anchor client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). Paul Bird is a senior figure within the sector, known for advising the likes of CD&R and Carlyle; he led the team that advised CD&R on its purchase of New York-listed Ply Gem Holdings through a $2.4bn take-private transaction. Kevin Schmidt is 'outstanding', 'a thoughtful business adviser', 'technically sharp', 'has a no-nonsense approach', 'is someone who looks to get the deal done by protecting the client's interests but focusing on what matters' and is 'thoughtful, energetic and responsive': he led the team that advised CF Corporation and Blackstone on the $1.83bn all-cash acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Kevin Rinker has a notably strong record in healthcare deals and 'doesn't need to win every point just for the sake of it, but rather focus on what is most important'. Andrew Bab is a leader in healthcare deals and led the team that advised a consortium featuring TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) on its $4.1bn acquisition of Kindred Healthcare, resulting in Kindred to operate as a standalone company with Humana owning 40% and TPG and WCAS taking a 60% share; Kindred’s LTAC hospitals, IRFs and contract rehabilitation services businesses became a separate specialty hospital company owned by TPG and WCAS. Gregory Gooding is 'very smart and pragmatic' and recommended for financial services deals. Jennifer Chu and Uri Herzberg are emerging names, as is Christopher Anthony, who was promoted to partner in 2018.

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP significantly expanded its private equity practice with the hire of four partners from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, including the eminent George Stamas and Mark Director, who divide their time between the firm's Washington DC and New York offices. The strengthened department boasts an impressive client base, which includes GE Capital, Littlejohn & Co, Aurora Capital Partners, L Catterton, Platinum Equity and Investcorp. The team advised GE Capital on the sale of a $1bn portfolio of equity investments to Apollo Global Management. It also advised Aurora Capital on its acquisition of Inhance Products, a provider of fluorine-based material technologies, from Arsenal Capital Partners. Sean Griffiths, Steven Shoemate and Los Angeles partner Ari Lanin head the team. Also in Los Angeles, Jennifer Bellah Maguire straddles both private equity fund formation and transactions, advising the likes of Leonard Green. Dallas partner and co-chair of the M&A practice Jeffrey Chapman is another key member of the team and is especially noted for distressed investments.

Latham & Watkins LLP¬†has an extensive private equity team, backed by a range of complementary skills from around the firm, such as leading acquisition and leveraged finance, regulatory and antitrust expertise. The firm has a close association with The Carlyle Group and a range of other private equity houses including BC Partners, KKR, GTCR, Hellman & Friedman, Leonard Green & Partners and Odyssey Investment Partners. The team provides 'extremely commercial counsel', 'endless energy', 'strong customer service' and 'identifies the right commercial outcome'. It has 'broad expertise and deep domain experience' and 'is comprised almost entirely of good, committed, moral and rational people who ably and zealously advocate for their clients'.¬†The New York and Washington DC offices dominate the practice in the US; the firm has an unrivalled standing in Washington DC where it manages relationships with the likes of Carlyle, Onex Partners and Platinum Equity. The sizeable team in New York is a match for most competitors in the city and has developed an especially strong reputation in the energy sector, often working with colleagues in Houston, on deals for the likes of ArcLight Capital and Energy Capital Partners. The Chicago and Boston offices are building their presence in the market, while the firm has successfully targeted West Coast-based clients such as Leonard Green & Partners and Platinum Equity. The firm's outstanding international presence was in evidence when Washington DC partner David Dantzic led a multi-office team that advised Carlyle Group and GIC on the ‚ā¨10.1bn acquisition of the specialty chemicals business of AkzoNobel. In another cross-border deal, the firm advised Leonard Green & Partners on its acquisition of CPA Global, the leading intellectual property management firm, from Cinven; after a hotly-contested auction, this was Leonard Green's first leveraged buyout in the UK.¬†Howard Sobel and Washington DC's¬†Daniel Lennon are the firm's most senior private equity names in the US, with Lennon noted for his longstanding connection to Carlyle. David Allinson is 'smart, extremely knowledgeable and incredibly experienced' and 'always provides thoughtful, cogent advice and a phenomenal service'.¬†Thomas Malone¬†is 'an extraordinary attorney who is best characterized by his dogged work ethic and fierce client advocacy'.¬†Paul Kukish,¬†Washington DC's¬†Paul Sheridan¬†and Chicago partner¬†Shaun Hartley¬†co-chair the global private equity practice; the latter two are 'very strong commercial thought partners, strong negotiators, and truly understand clients' businesses'. Alexander Johnson¬†has joined from Hogan Lovells US LLP.¬†The named partners are New York-based unless stated otherwise.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP impresses in on both large-cap and mid-market deals. It continues to be strongly associated with Apollo Global Management, along with a number of other prominent private equity houses such as General Atlantic, Kohlberg & Co, KPS Capital Partners and Oak Hill Capital Partners. 'Client service is second-to-none' thanks to 'first-rate lawyers' and 'excellent associates that are engaged on repeat matters' to ensure strong knowledge of the client. 'There are no weak players on the bench' in a team of 'unbelievably smart and engaged lawyers who fundamentally care about making sure clients are well looked-after'. The firm advised Apollo on a series of notable deals in 2018, including its $1bn acquisition of a number of energy sector investments from GE Capital; it also advised portfolio company MPM Holdings on its $3.1bn sale to SJL Partners, KCC Corporation and Wonik QnC. General Atlantic also provides the firm with a regular flow of instructions, including the recent $3.6bn sale of eviCore healthcare to Express Scripts. Taurie Zeitzer is at the forefront of the firm's relationship with Apollo and has exceptional heavyweight deal experience. Matthew Abbott, the lead relationship partner for General Atlantic, is 'one of the best M&A lawyers of his generation' and 'a firm but likeable negotiator who instills confidence at the highest levels of clients' organizations'. Neil Goldman is 'an extremely talented and thorough lawyer who will catch every issue, provide commercial advice, and always get the job done'. Angelo Bonvino is another key partner, advising the likes of Kohlberg & Co, KPS Capital and Oak Hill. Carl Reisner is hugely experienced private equity specialist and John Scott is another regular adviser to Apollo. Ellen Ching is also recommended by clients. The team is based in New York.

Ropes & Gray LLP's longstanding commitment to the private equity sector continues to bear fruit, with the firm now regularly representing over a third of the world's hundred largest private equity houses.  It remains closely associated with Bain Capital and TPG, and in 2018 continued to advise Bain Capital on its $18bn consortium buyout of the Toshiba's semiconductor business, the largest private equity and leveraged finance deal ever seen in Asia, which involved teams from its US, Tokyo, London, and Hong Kong offices. In healthcare technology deals, the firm also advised Summit Partners on its $1.2bn sale of ABILITY Networks to Inovalon Holdings. New York's David Blittner is co-chair of the private equity group alongside Will Shields in Boston; the latter is relationship partner for Bain Capital and is 'practical, commercial and down to earth'. Neill Jakobe 'has cultivated and grown the practice in Chicago' and 'has established himself as a top practitioner'. Jason Freedman is a key name in San Francisco, while Boston senior figure Alfred Rose is 'fantastic', along with fellow Boston colleagues David Chapin and Newcomb Stillwell who still provide tremendous gravitas.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is a global titan in the private equity arena and in the US boasts strong teams in New York, Boston, Dallas and Silicon Valley. It has more than seventy repeat financial sponsor clients in the US alone, and has looked to diversify the practice, building its standing in growth equity, middle market deals, special situations and SPAC transactions. It has also focused on alternative asset managers such as sovereign wealth funds and has a significant market share of Canadian pension fund clients. Key clients include Advent International, Blackstone, CPPIB, CVC Capital Partners, Centerbridge Partners, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, Providence Equity Partners and TPG. It advised CPPIB in a consortium that also includes Blackstone and GIC, on the consortium's $20bn acquisition of a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk business. Doug Warner co-heads the department alongside Boston's Kevin Sullivan, with the former leading the firm's relationships with TPG, Centerbridge, CPPIB and CVC, while the latter heading the firm's connection to Providence Equity Partners, Francisco Partners and TA Associates. Kyle Krpata is a key figure in Silicon Valley, where he led a team that advised SoftBank Vision Fund on its $2.25bn minority investment in GM Cruise Holdings, a developer of self-driving vehicles, alongside a $1.1bn investment in Cruise by General Motors. Peter Feist is another experienced name and recently advised OMERS Private Equity and Berkshire Partners on their $3.85bn sale of Husky IMS International (Canada) to Platinum Equity. Glenn West is another prominent figure in Dallas and Boston's Marilyn French Shaw remains pivotal to the firm's relationship with Advent International.  Christopher Machera is an emerging talent and has a strong connection to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has a less strictly-defined private equity practice compared to its natural competitors, with its key partners operating across the corporate transactional spectrum. This approach has not diminished its capability of attracting big-name private clients, which include the likes of TPG, Warburg Pincus, Carlyle and The Raine Group. Moreover, it has succeeded in winning work from non-traditional sponsors such as sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and family offices; these include Temasek and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The team advised Kindred Healthcare on its $4.1bn acquisition by a consortium of TPG Capital, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Humana; the company was then divided in two, with TPG and Welsh Carson taking exclusive ownership of some specialist assets including long-term acute care hospitals. In another headline deal, it advised Warburg Pincus and Allied Universal (a portfolio company of Wendel) on its $1bn acquisition of US Security Associates from Goldman Sachs. Paul Shim and David Leinwand are the senior figures in the team with both having a long track record of advising TPG and Warburg Pincus respectively. James Langston and Paul Tiger are increasingly prominent members of the private equity community.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has continued to develop its standing in the private equity segment, covering a range of middle market and high-value buyouts. Key clients include Bridgepoint Capital, Corsair Capital, Crestview Partners, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking, Metalmark Capital and Tailwind Capital. It impressed in a series of transactions in 2018, including when it advised Brookfield Business Partners on its $13.2bn acquisition, alongside Caisse de d√©p√īt et placement du Qu√©bec, of Johnson Controls‚Äô power solutions business.¬†It also advised Lightyear Capital on a series of deals, including its $140m acquisition of a controlling stake in Augeo FI from its parent company Augeo Affinity Marketing.¬†John Amorosi is the firm's most recognised private equity specialist in New York, where¬†Leonard Kreynin,¬†John Bick,¬†Michael Davis are all experienced in private equity deals.¬†Former partner Ronald Cami has become general counsel at Waypoint Capital.

Dechert LLP has further elevated itself in the private equity arena thanks to a series of headline and high-value transactions. Clients highlight the 'best-in-class' team's abilities in 'important and complex deals', where it provides 'valuable and insightful advice',  'a balanced commercial point of view' and a 'seamlessly integrated deal team'. It delivers a 'quick turn-around, responsiveness, precision and good internal communications across disciplines', and is praised for its 'understanding of investment parameters and risk tolerance combined with knowledge of the marketplace'. Building on its middle to upper-middle market credentials, it advised GIC on a strategic partnership between a Blackstone-led consortium (including GIC) and Thomson Reuters for the consortium to acquire a 55% stake in Refinitiv, the newly created entity to hold Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk (F&R) business. It also advised SK hynix, a Korean chipmaker, as part of a Bain Capital-led consortium which acquired Toshiba’s memory chip business for $18bn. It remains active in its classic middle to upper-middle market space and advised long-term client Court Square Capital Partners on the $2.02bn sale of Rocket Software to Bain Capital. Other clients include Bregal Partners, Centre Partners, Certares, MSD Partners and One Equity Partners. Chair of the global private equity practice Mark Thierfelder is 'very quick at understanding the issue', has 'enormous expertise', 'provides great insights and advice, is a shrewd and effective negotiator, is able to quickly staff appropriate resources, and is always responsive and available'. Philadelphia's Geraldine Sinatra is another senior member of the practice, as are Naz Zilkha, Markus Bolsinger, who is 'a good overall adviser', and Philadelphia partner Ken Young. Christian Matarese is 'a great young partner' and Gareth Clark is 'very knowledgeable, responsive, hard working and dedicated'. Jonathan Kim, 'an exceptional attorney' and Washington DC partner Bernado Piereck are 'terrific to work with'. Sarah Kupferman is 'a fantastic senior associate who runs transactions with confidence and will be a phenomenal M&A partner'. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP continues to advise some of the most notable clients in the market, including Goldman Sachs, AEA Investors and Permira. In 2018, it advised Permira on a series of transactions, including its $715m sale of BakerCorp to United Rentals and its $1.68bn sale of Magento to Adobe Systems. Robert Schwenkel is global head of M&A and private equity and has built connections to a range of prominent financial sponsors, including Permira and Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division. Christopher Ewan and Steven Steinman are co-heads of the private equity group, with both noted for their connection to AEA Investors and other key clients. Washington DC's Brian Mangino is another key figure within the practice who has also frequently advised Permira and Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division. Andrea Gede-Lange and Randi Lally are emerging talents. The named are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Proskauer Rose LLP has outstanding private equity credentials, not least because it is the primary counsel to Ares Management. Other clients include Alleghany Capital, Grey Mountain Partners and Mesa West Capital. The firm advised Grey Mountain on a series of deals including its sale of a majority stake Sunbelt Transformer, a power solutions company, to Trilantic North America. The firm's centre of private equity expertise lies in New York where Jeffrey Horwitz, who specializes in real estate and hospitality transactions, led a team that advised Alleghany Capital on its acquisition of a majority interest in Concord Hospitality Enterprises, a hotel management and development company.

In 2018, White & Case LLP added a Chicago office, bringing in experienced M&A and private equity experts Gary Silverman and Raymond Bogenrief from Greenberg Traurig LLP and Thomas Horenkamp from DLA Piper LLP (US); the new Chicago office also hired a number of real estate private equity specialists. The firm has 'an incredibly deep bench in all specializations', 'global reach and consistent high quality across offices', 'tremendously hard working lawyers' including 'high quality partners, very strong depth across both junior and senior levels'. The team continues to impress in middle market transactions and on occasion in the high-value leveraged buyout space. Key clients include CVC Capital, Brookfield Asset Management, Roark Capital, Harvest Partners, Global Infrastructure Partners and Investcorp. It advised Roark Capital and its portfolio company Arby’s Restaurant Group on the company's $2.9bn acquisition of fellow restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings. It also advised CVC Capital on its all-cash $1.8bn acquisition of ConvergeOne Holdings, an IT and managed services provider, from Clearlake Capital Group. Global head of M&A John Reiss and global co-head of private equity Oliver Brahmst lead the practice in the US. Energy and infrastructure specialist Jason Webber is 'highly commercial, has a unique ability to process, understand and solve complex legal issues quickly', and is 'one of the best negotiators'.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP continued to expand its team with the hires of Matthew Rizzo and Jessica Sheridan from Sidley Austin LLP, where Rizzo was a practice area team leader; the two have an especially strong record in healthcare and healthcare services deals. In addition, energy sector specialists Steven Torello and Archie Fallon have joined the Houston office from DLA Piper LLP (US) and King & Spalding LLP. The reinforced team has an especially fine record in the middle to upper-middle market. Department members are 'client-oriented', 'extremely talented, hard working, creative and commercial'.  Clients include Warburg Pincus, Insight Venture Partners, Court Square, Centerbridge Partners and Genstar Capital. The firm has advised Genstar Capital and its portfolio company Apex Fund Services on a series of deals, including Apex's multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Deutsche Bank Alternative Fund Services, among other financial services deals. It also advised Insight Venture Partners on a number of transactions, including its $1.16bn acquisition in Episerver. Other key partners include chairman Steven Gartner, and co-chairs of the private equity practice Jeffrey Poss and Neil Townsend; Poss is 'a fantastic partner', 'extremely commercial, very practical, very closely engaged on projects and able to efficiently leverage his team'. Co-head of the energy practice and Houston managing partner Bruce Herzog is another key contact. The named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

DLA Piper LLP (US)'s geographic coverage and commitment to the middle market has ensured a growing pipeline of deals, most notably in the Southeast of the country, where Joseph Silver and new global private equity co-chair Joe Alexander are located in Atlanta and Miami respectively. Key clients include ABRY Partners, ICV Partners, RLJ Equity Partners and Baird Capital Partners. It advised ABRY Partner on the sale of Datapipe to Rackspace Hosting and its controlling shareholder Apollo Global Management. Chicago's Robert Davis and Atlanta partner Gerry Williams are also highly rated. Former co-chair of the private equity department Steven Napolitano and the former co-managing partner of the Chicago office Brendan Head departed for Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2018;  Daniel Eisner, a former co-chair of the private equity department has also left the firm to launch OilCoin, a cryptocurrency based on oil reserves.

Goodwin's impressive national practice has strong teams in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It covers a range of transactions from growth equity to large leveraged buyouts and high-value exits. The team 'does a terrific job on technology sector transactions', 'brings a winning combination' through 'deep dives into all relevant aspects of a target's business', 'attentiveness to the complexities of the deal itself and super-responsiveness under often difficult circumstances'. In 2018, it enhanced its standing in Silicon Valley through the hire of Scott Joachim and David Johanson from Fenwick & West LLP; the two add particular expertise in fintech. Real estate and healthcare are also strong sectors for the national team. Clients include TA Associates, Pamplona Capital Management, Bain Capital Ventures and JMI Equity. Boston's John LeClaire and Michael Kendall head the practice alongside Andrew Weidhaas in Los Angeles, who is 'deeply knowledgeable and skilled, but also exceptionally user friendly'. New York partner Stuart Rosenthal led the team that advised Primus Capital on its $400m sale of portfolio company Hyperwallet to PayPal. Boston partner Jon Herzog is regularly advises TA Associates, which he assisted with its acquisition of software company Flexera. New York's Chris Nugent has 'an incredible sense of urgency and desire to achieve the best outcome'. San Francisco partner Brian McPeake is also recommended.

Jones Day has a tremendous record in the middle market, applying its deep resources and multiple US offices to great effect. The firm is also building its profile amongst the big-ticket buyout houses such as Blackstone, Carlyle and CVC Capital Partners. Other clients include Cortec Group, EagleTree Capital, One Equity Partners and The Riverside Company. New York partner Andrew Levine is global co-leader of the private equity group and advised EagleTree Capital on the sale of Paris Presents to Yellow Wood Partners. In Washington DC, Daniel Michaels led the team which advised Carlyle on the $4bn sale of Signode Industrial Group to Crown Holdings, and also assisted CVC Capital Partners with its $703m acquisition of Teva Pharmaceuticals' women’s health business outside of the US. Cleveland's James Dougherty, Charles Hardin and Denise Carkhuff are also recommended, as is Ira White in New York and Lisa Lathrop in Chicago.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a fine record in the mid-market, thanks to prominent teams in Philadelphia, New York and Orange County. It has notable strength in specific areas such as energy, technology, life sciences, healthcare, retail, financial services and distressed investing. Team members 'act like true partners', 'are very hands on, accessible and commercial in their approach', are 'smart, efficient, good value for money, focus on the things that matter and explain them in clear English'. Clients include Apollo Global Management, Ares Management, Arsenal Capital Partners, Platinum Equity, Freeman Spogli & Co and Sun Capital Partners. The team is led by two experienced partners in Philadelphia's Barbara Shander, who is 'an  A+ lead partner', 'always available and thoughtful', 'manages the transaction process very well and is effective at winning the points that matter the most', along with Orange County-based James Loss, who is 'arguably one of the best M&A lawyers in the world', 'extremely knowledgeable from a legal point of view but also very commercial and practical'. Shander headed the group that advised Sun Capital Partners portfolio company Aclara Technologies, on its $1.1bn sale to Hubbell Power System while Loss led the team that advised Platinum Equity on its $2.1bn acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s LifeScan business. In Boston, Mark Stein 'balances technical expertise with seasoned business judgment' and is recommended for healthcare and life sciences deals. New York's Alec Dawson is another key member of the team and Orange County partner Randall Wood is also praised by clients.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's deep transactional pedigree and extensive dealmaking team makes it a popular choice for private equity houses such as Permira, Veritas Capital, TPG Capital, Apax Partners and Kelso & Company. It has worked on a series of headline deals for Permira, including its acquisition of Evonik Jayhawk Fine Chemicals from Evonik Industries. It also advised Veritas Capital and its portfolio company Verscend Technologies, on Verscend's $4.9bn take-private acquisition of Cotiviti Holdings. Kenneth Wolff is co-head of the global private equity practice, which includes Joseph Coco, Sven Mickisch and Todd Freed. All named partners are based in New York.

Vinson & Elkins LLP continues to lead the way in energy industry private equity, and notably advises number of big-name buyout funds, as well as a growing number of financial sponsors. Major clients include Apollo Global Management, Blackstone Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs, KKR, Riverstone and TPG Capital. The team advised TPG Growth on its $1.2bn sale of Discovery Midstream to a newly-formed joint venture between KKR and Williams. It also advised Global Atlantic Financial Group on its $1.17bn acquisition of a 33% minority interest in Southern Power's solar portfolio. Key names include corporate practice head Keith Fullenweider, who has advised the likes of TPG Capital, Blackstone and Crestview Partners. Co-head of the M&A group Matthew Strock and co-managing partner of the New York office James Fox are also prominent practitioners.

Arnold & Porter operates primarily in the mid-market, though acts in larger-cap deals too for marquee clients such as American Securities and Onex. Castle Harlan has joined a client portfolio that includes DC Capital Partners, Endeavor Capital, EQT Partners, JW Childs Equity Partners and Halifax Capital Partners. In addition, the firm also advises independent sponsors, family offices, sovereign wealth funds and hedge funds on private equity-style investments. The team advised American Securities on the sale of Unifrax to Clearlake Capital Group. Emanuel Cherney is close to American Securities and Joel Greenberg has a strong connection to Onex. Stephen Koval and is also recommended, as are Kevin Lavin and Andrew Varner - unlike the rest of the team, who are based in New York, Lavin and Varner are based in Washington DC.

Choate, Hall & Stewart has an established mid-market practice. Though based in Boston, it has private equity clients that hail from across the US. Clients include Century Equity Partners, Columbia Capital, Great Hill Partners, Mainsail Partners, Riverside Partners, Spectrum Equity and Summit Partners. It advised Mainsail Partners on its acquisition of, and growth investment into, PestRoutes, a technology provider to pest control companies. It also advised BV Investment Partners on its purchase of a majority stake in of Consero Global Solutions. TJ Murphy and Lee Feldman head the practice, which includes Brian Lenihan, the co-chair of the corporate department.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has a broad private equity practice, with core centres of expertise in Northern Virginia, Denver, Houston and California. Despite the departure of Alexander Johnson in New York to Latham & Watkins LLP in early 2019, the firm has built on its fine record in certain sectors such as life sciences, healthcare and financial services. Having expanded its team in northern California in recent years, it has seen further growth in technology deals; notably it advised Silver Lake Partners on the sale of Quorum Business Solutions to Thoma Bravo in 2018. Key clients include Acon Investments, Excellere Capital Management and The Anschutz Corporation. Northern Virginia partner Robert Welp and Denver's George Hagerty are the most senior members of the private equity team, while Denver partner Mark Kurtenbach and Houston's Gregory Hill are also key figures.

Katten's buyouts practice is largely centred in Chicago, but also features expertise located in New York and Los Angeles, and in 2018 it established a Dallas office, adding several new partners and clients. Key clients include Frontenac Company, Victory Park Capital, Pfingsten Partners and Prairie Capital, with HIG Capital and Equity Group Investments new names. While the firm itself has outstanding healthcare credentials, the private equity practice crosses additional industries such as manufacturing and distribution, food and beverages, consumer goods, logistics and financial services. It advised Pfingsten Partners on its acquisition of drone maker Lumenier. 'Smart lawyer' Kenneth Miller and Kimberly Smith head the team, with Martin Ruhaak and Christopher Atkinson also highly rated. All named partners are based in Chicago.

King & Spalding LLP has increased its emphasis on private equity in recent years, with considerable success in energy, infrastructure, healthcare and life sciences deals. Bringing a team with him, Jonathan Melmed joined the New York office in 2018 from Morrison & Foerster LLP, becoming co-chair of the private equity practice alongside Rahul Patel in Atlanta. The expanded group now advises clients including Arcapita Group, Brookfield Infrastructure Group, DE Shaw, HIG Capital, OMERS Private Equity and Starwood Energy Group. It is 'extremely practical and provides solution-oriented legal advice from partners to associates', is 'extremely well-coordinated', has a 'very broad skill set with all required specializations' and is 'user-friendly'. Melmed led a team that advised Starwood Energy on its $1.2bn agreement to acquire two combined-cycle gas turbine plants with a combined output of 1.7GW from Dominion Energy. In another headline deal, the firm advised Brookfield Infrastructure Group on its $1.1bn acquisition of 32 internet data centers in twelve countries across five continents from AT&T.  Atlanta partner Raymond Baltz 'appreciates the environment that clients operate in', is 'adept at providing technical legal analysis to in-house lawyers as he is giving business-oriented legal advice to non-lawyers' and 'appreciates the business relationship between client and counterparty'.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP has strong mid-market credentials, advising the likes of Perella Weinberg Partners, BlackRock and Shamrock Capital. It advised Stone Point on its $340m acquisition of the Rialto Investment and Asset Management from Lennar Corporation. It also advised Stone Point on its acquisition of a majority interest in Genex Services from Apax Partners. Howard Spilko is especially close to Stone Point, while James Moriarty has a range of private equity house relationships, including with Quad Partners, which he advised on its sale of Rubicon, the provider of Atlas curriculum management, to Faria Education Group. Ernest Wechsler is another key partner.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP is deeply embedded in the middle market, with dedicated private equity buyout teams in Chicago, Miami, New York and Washington DC. The firm is especially noted for its record in the healthcare sector. The team is 'great across the board', 'consistently smart, responsive and commercial' and is 'a go-to firm'. Key clients include HIG Capital, Quad-C Management, Peak Rock Partners and Great Point Partners. A team led by Miami partner Roy Larson advised MEDNAX on its acquisition of Synergy Radiology Associates, a Houston-based radiology provider. Brooks Gruemmer is noted for his impressive client relationships, including HIG Capital, a client that is also supported by the Miami office, notably key Miami partner Harris Siskind, who heads the private equity team alongside Andrew McCune in Chicago. The Miami team advised HIG on a series of deals, including its purchase of IT company Iron Bow Holdings. Miami's Frederic Levenson and Eric Gilbert 'are both extremely strong' and are 'trusted to deliver a high level of legal advice'. Laurence Bronska  is another prominent name. All partners are based in Chicago, unless stated otherwise.

McGuireWoods LLP operates in the middle market, most notably in the healthcare, food and beverage, and energy sectors. While having a rich portfolio of classic private equity firm clients, it has a fast-growing practice driven by independent sponsors. It 'has the breadth of resources to serve all needs of a private equity firm'. Chicago, Charlotte and Dallas house the core of the US private equity practice, along with Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles. Anchor clients include Sheridan Capital Partners, Revelstoke Capital Partners and Source Capital. It also advised Charlotte-based Falfurrias Capital Partners on a series of recent transactions, including investments in Best Impressions Caterers, E-Technologies Group, Tax Guard, Plasma Solutions, SixAxis and its divestment from Advanced Control Solutions. Chicago-based Geoffrey Cockrell heads the private equity team alongside David McLean in Dallas. Charlotte partner Christopher Nesbit and Pittsburgh's Thomas Zahn are also key partners. Dallas-based Jon Finger 'is not only a great lawyer, but a superb business person'.

Morrison & Foerster LLP has impressive mid-market and large-cap credentials, particularly in its San Francisco office. Its large-cap work is primarily associated with anchor client SoftBank, which it advised on its $7.7bn primary and secondary investment in Uber, as part of the company's $9.3bn sale of stock. In the middle market space, it advised Windjammer Capital portfolio company Flinn Scientific on its acquisition of WhiteBox Learning. Other key clients include Alpine Investors, Francisco Partners, Main Post Partners and Vision Ridge Partners. Key partners in the team are Dario Avram, Patrick Huard and Eric McCrath in San Francisco, Alex Kaufman in Palo Alto, and Denver-based Erik Knudsen. Former in the New York office, Jonathan Melmed has joined King & Spalding LLP.

Paul Hastings LLP has developed a strong presence in California and Chicago, with the latter office's practice in large part driven by private equity-related business. The firm has yet to build a prominent private equity team in New York, but has a number of New York-based clients such as Cortec Group. The firm typically operates in the middle to upper-middle market and has an especially strong record in healthcare and life sciences. The buyouts team is supported by the firm's broad expertise and resources, including tax and borrower-oriented debt finance expertise. Other key clients include GI Partners, Francisco Partners, HIG Capital and Vector Capital.  The team advised GI Partners on the acquisitions of Consilio from Shamrock Capital Advisors and Advanced Discovery from Trivest. Chicago-based Brian Richards leads the department, which includes Mike Kennedy, Steve Camahort and Dana Kromm in San Francisco, and Brandon Howald and William Simpson in Orange County.

Winston & Strawn LLP has a sizeable mid-market practice with strong teams in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston. The mature and well-established practice is increasingly involved in non-traditional transactions, such as specialty lending and secondary buyouts. It operates across industries including healthcare, digital media, consumer products, logistics, and food and beverage. It is 'a very unified firm with partners that like each other, and quality is consistent through the practice areas and offices',  'a global firm that provides exceptional client service' and 'competitors respect and fear the firm when on the other side of the table'. The firm advised Upstream Rehabilitation, a portfolio company of regular client Revelstoke Capital Partners, on its add-on acquisition of Drayer Physical Therapy Institute. It also advised Brightstar Capital Partners on its acquisition of QualTek USA, in partnership with QualTek senior management. Bradley Vaiana has an extensive client portfolio and is a prolific deal maker in the middle market, as is fellow New York partner Dominick DeChiara, while Los Angeles partner Eva Davis and Chicago's Matthew Bergmann are also key figures. Justin Levy is an up-and-coming name in New York.

Shareholder activism

Index of tables

  1. Shareholder activism
  2. Shareholder activism: advice to shareholders
  3. Next Generation Partners: Shareholder activism: advice to shareholders
  4. Leading individuals: Shareholder activism: advice to boards
  5. Leading individuals: Shareholder activism: advice to shareholders
  6. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners: Shareholder activism: advice to shareholders

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Leading individuals: Shareholder activism: advice to boards

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Leading individuals: Shareholder activism: advice to shareholders

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Next Generation Partners

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Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

All lawyers in this section are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's Jeffrey Kochian and litigator Doug Rappaport are instructed by a number of activist parties, including hedge funds and other minority shareholders.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP's Richard Brand advised DE Shaw on its successful campaign to add four directors to the board of Bunge, and separately advised the same client on its investment in Lowe's. Brand also assisted Hudson Executive Capital with its campaign to get its managing partner on the board of Cardtronics. In addition to work for activist funds, Brand also advised the 9% owners of Destination Maternity on the replacement of four board members with their own majority-female slate. Elliott Management is another client, as is Pershing Square Capital Management.

Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP's practice co-chairs Steve Wolosky and Andrew Freedman advised Starboard Value on an activism campaign at, and also advised the client on a campaign at Newell Brands, gaining the replacement of three quarters of the board in the wake of a previous settlement with Carl Icahn. Another key client is Elliott Management, which the team assisted with its campaign at QEP Resources, ejecting all of the members of the board aside from one. Other key highlights include advising Hill Path Capital on an activist campaign regarding SeaWorld Entertainment (the client's first activism campaign), and also advising three activist funds on a campaign to elect a new director at Avon Products. The team also handles M&A related activism, which recently included assisting Marathon Partners with its campaign to prevent J. Alexander from purchasing 99 Restaurants; the deal was subsequently terminated. In addition to activist funds work, Wolosky and Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman also advised the former executive chairman of Perry Ellis, who after a threatened proxy campaign purchased the company. Meagan Reda and Ryan Nebel were promoted to partner in 2019.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is 'truly one of the top firms for shareholder activism; the best in the breed if litigation support is required'. Marc Weingarten ('the dean of the activism practice - smart, seasoned and has been through all aspects of activist investing') and the 'hardworking and creative' Aneliya Crawford advised Trian Fund Management on its successful campaign to appoint the manager's co-founder Ed Garden to the board of General Electric. Weingarten and Eleazer Klein ('whip-smart with quite a sense of humor; he helps his clients make thoughtful strategic decisions') advised JANA Partners on a successful campaign for board seats at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Klein also advised Cevian Capital on several campaigns in the manager's native Sweden, including initiatives at Ericsson and ABB. Further international contests include acting for Burford Capital Investment Management regarding its stake in Chinese car rental company eHi Car Services, and advising TCI Fund Management on a campaign to liquidate Altbaba, an investment company based on former internet giant Yahoo!'s stake in Alibaba. Other clients include Fir Tree Partners and SailingStone Capital Partners, which the team worked with on numerous campaigns in the energy space, and Canyon Capital Advisors, which Klein advised on a proxy contest at Navient Corporation. In addition to work for activist funds, Weingarten and Crawford advised Sports Direct on its campaign at Iconix Brand Group, securing two board seats in a cooperation agreement. The team also advised UBS, as financial advisor to Elliott Management, in relation to its campaign at NXP Semiconductors.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's Russell Leaf represented Carl Icahn in a successful proxy contest to halt a proposed merger of SandRidge Energy and Bonanza Creek, followed by a contest to take control of SandRidge. In addition, Tariq Mundiya acted for Third Point LLC in a proposed proxy contest for control of Nestlé, and also assisted the client with an engagement at Campbell Soup Company. Another key activist client is Elliot Management, which Maurice Lefkort recently advised on a proxy contest at Arconic; the settlement secured three seats for the manager and the removal of one existing board member as well as the company's re-domiciliation to Delaware.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton handles a range of work for well-known corporates against leading activist managers. Ethan Klingsberg and Pamela Marcogliese advised Lowe's on its defense of an activism campaign by DE Shaw and Pershing Square Capital Management; counsel Elizabeth Bieber was also involved in this mandate. Klingsberg, Marcogliese and Paul Tiger also advised Tiffany & Co on a settlement with JANA Partners. Additionally, Klingsberg and James Langston advised Akamai technologies on negotiations with Elliott Management. Joon Kim (who rejoined the firm from a position as US attorney for the southern district of New York) worked with Klingsberg and Langston for Hyundai Motor Corporation in its defense of an activist campaign brought by Elliott Management. Turning to work for candidates, Klingsberg, Tiger and Giovanni Prezioso acted for Broadcom's nominees in its proxy contest as part of its $123.1bn hostile offer for Qualcomm.

Latham & Watkins LLP regularly acts for company boards in the defense of activist campaigns. Mark Gerstein and Christopher Drewry in Chicago, and Scott Herlihy in Washington DC, advised Owens-Illinois on an activist campaign brought by Atlantic Investment Management. Gerstein and Michael Dillard in Houston advised QEP Resources on an investment in the company by Elliott Management. In Silicon Valley, Tad Freese and Josh Dubofsky acted for e.l.f. Beauty in its relations with Marathon Partners, while Dubofsky, Ruck, Mark Roerder and Alan Mendelson advised Mellanox Technologies on its relationship with Starboard Value. Other clients include Aratana Theraputics and, the latter of which the team advised on an investment in Starboard Value by Drewery, Aslani Far and Gerstein. Other key figures include Dennis Craythorn and Adel Aslani-Far in New York, Peter Handrinos in Boston, and Patrick Pohlen in Silicon Valley, the last of whom advised Calix on a campaign brought by Voce Capital Management.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP's Scott Barshay and Steven Williams advised ADP on its victory over Pershing Square Capital Management, and also advised Barnes and Noble on a campaign brought by Sandell Asset Management. Further, Barshay and Williams advised Honeywell on a campaign brought by Third Point, and acted for Qualcomm in a campaign by Elliott Management to increase the company's sale price in its proposed sale to NXP Semiconductors. Also recommended are Adam Givertz and Ross Fieldston, who advised AmTrust Financial Services on a settlement with Carl Icahn.

At Goodwin, Joseph Johnson and Andrew Goodman in Boston acted for Monotype Imaging Holdings in its successful defense of a threat of a proxy campaign brought by Starboard Value, which resulted in the activist fund withdrawing its board nominees without a settlement agreement. The pair also advised Cedar Realty Trust on defending a campaign brought by Snow Park Capital Partners. Also recommended is Joseph Theis, who, acting alongside Goodman and Johnson, successfully defended Brightcove, in a proposed proxy contest brought by Tenzing Global.

At Hogan Lovells US LLP, Matt Thomson, David Bonser and John Beckman successfully defended QTS Realty Trust in a campaign launched by Land & Buildings to vote against its management and say-on-pay proposal. Paul Hilton, who divides his time between Denver and New York, is also recommended for shareholder activism matters.

Jones Day has a track record of success against leading activist investors. In the Atlanta office, Lizanne Thomas and Joel May advised Newell Brands on settling a proxy contest with Starboard Value, which aimed to replace Newell's entire board, just weeks after another campaign launched by Carl Icahn. James Dougherty in Cleveland also acts for well-known businesses in this space.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP's David Fox, Daniel Wolf and Shaun Mathew (the last of whom joined from Vinson & Elkins LLP) recently advised Avis Budget Group on a co-operation agreement with SRS Investment Management, terminating a two-month proxy contest. Mathew and Eric Schiele, who joined from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, acted for Wynn Resorts in connection with a contest initiated by company founder Steve Wynn's ex-wife, who launched a withhold campaign against one director.  Other clients include The Vitamin Shoppe, which the team advised on agreements with Shah Capital Management and Vintage Capital Management.

At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, practice head Keith Gottfried and Sean Donahue advised Alaska Communications on its defense of an activism campaign initiated by TAR Holdings, whose notice of director nominations was publicly rejected for its failure to comply with the company's by-laws. Gottfried also advised the special committee of the board of Perry Ellis on a threatened proxy contest brought by the company's founder; the situation resolved when the company approved a sale to founder at a 21.6% premium.

At Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Washington DC-based Adé Heyliger advises well-known businesses on proxy fights with leading activist investors; his track record includes acting for Procter & Gamble in a contest with Trian Partners; following its success in that matter, Proctor & Gamble added Trian Partners' founder Nelson Peltz to the board.

Key names at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP include Robert Townsend and Keith Hallam, who advised Cincinnati Bell on its successful defense of a proxy campaign brought by GAMCO over three board seats. Also recommended are George Schoen and Ting Chen, who advised Avon Products on a nomination agreement with Barington Capital.

At Ropes & Gray LLP, Jane Goldstein and Jeffrey Katz in Boston advised the special committee of the board of DavidsTea on a proxy contest, in which the company's 46% owner aimed to replace the board. Turning to work for activists, Katz advised HG Vora on its investment in LaSalle Properties, gaining an increase from $30 to $37.8 a share on a bid for the company by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust.

At Vinson & Elkins LLP, Lawrence Elbaum advised Nutrisystem on the defense of a campaign brought by Legion Partners, which was subsequently withdrawn. Elbaum and Paul Tobias in Austin also advised Comscore on a campaign brought by Starboard Value. Understandably, the firm handles a number of energy-sector mandates, with Elbaum and Stephen Gill in Houston having represented Sandridge Energy in defense of a proxy fight brought by Carl Icahn. Other clients include Ultra Petroleum and Papa Murphy's, the latter of which the team advised on defense against a short attack by one fund and activist campaigns brought by two others. Kai Liekefett is now at Sidley Austin LLP.

Venture capital and emerging companies

Index of tables

  1. Venture capital and emerging companies
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

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Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

Cooley LLP has a pre-eminent reputation in the venture capital and emerging company sphere for its broad industry expertise, its dominant presence in Silicon Valley, and its coast-to-coast geographic coverage. Start-up companies are cornerstone clients for the firm, especially from within the tech, life sciences, and cybersecurity sectors. The team represented Uber in a multibillion-dollar investment from a consortium of lenders led by SoftBank, and in another matter, the firm advised Rappi, an on-demand delivery company based in Latin America, on a $200m financing round. The group also advised online real estate marketplace Opendoor on the closing of its $325m Series E financing. Reston partner Mike Lincoln leads the business department, while Pat Mitchell in Boston and Matt Bartus in Palo Alto co-lead the emerging companies practice. Fred Muto in San Diego has established expertise in the life sciences sector. Jim Fulton in New York specializes in healthcare, biotechnology and tech matters. Palo Alto’s Mark Tanoury, who advised Snowflake Computing on its $263m Series E financing, is a prominent name in Silicon Valley. Eric Jensen, who has expertise in corporate securities, is also a key name in the Palo Alto office. In 2018 David Bartholomew left the firm to join cyber exposure company Tenable.

Fenwick & West LLP is widely recognised for its expertise in early-stage financings and growth company work. The team, which is predominantly based in Silicon Valley, is 'in a league of its own', according to a client. San Francisco and New York are other core hubs for the group. Technology and life sciences matters dominate the firm's workload, and it is also well known for handling cryptocurrency, digital health, and gaming mandates. Highlights included San Francisco-based partner Samuel Angus acting for software development company GitHub in its $7.5bn acquisition by Microsoft, while renowned practitioner Cynthia Hess advised technology fitness company Peloton on its $550m Series F financing, which was led by growth equity firm TCV. In another matter, Michael Esquivel advised mobile marketing platform AppLovin on its $400m investment from KKR. Gordon Davidson is another formidable practitioner, and other key partners include Mark Leahy, who shares leadership of the practice with Hess; Mark Stevens, who has established expertise in gaming sector mandates; and New York-based Kristine Di Bacco. Unless stated otherwise, named lawyers are based in Silicon Valley. Ted Wang has left the firm.

DLA Piper LLP (US)'s bicoastal practice has established a reputation in the venture capital space. Corporate venture matters forms the backbone of the team's workload, however the group also has an excellent reputation for advising on life sciences and tech matters. Highlights included advising SoftBank Vision Fund on its $300m Series D financing of Wag!, a Los Angeles-based startup providing mobile dog care services. Jeffrey Lehrer, based in Northern Virginia, and Silicon Valley’s Louis Lehot ('a master networker') share leadership of the practice group, which also includes Curtis Mo and Mark Radcliffe, both in Silicon Valley; Andrew Gilbert and Emilio Ragosa, who are based in New Jersey; and San Diego partner Randy Socol. Also recommended in San Diego is Richard Bull, who is instructed by emerging companies, venture capital firms and other strategic investors.

With offices in Boston, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area, Goodwin has a wide-ranging, bicoastal practice, which has an excellent reputation for its strength in the life sciences sector; tech is a supplementary area of expertise. The team represented online pharmacy PillPack in its high-profile acquisition by Amazon, and assisted Kensho Technologies with its $550m sale to S&P Global. It also advised Slack Technologies on its $427m Series H financing. Mitchell Bloom and Kingsley Taft, both based in Boston, share leadership of the life sciences team, while John Egan, Anthony McCusker in Silicon Valley, and Kenneth Gordon lead the technology practice. Boston-based Bill Schnoor, who advises robotics company Superpedestrian, is another key contact. Jonathan Axelrad has retired.

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Gunderson Dettmer LLP has vast experience representing start-ups and early-stage companies, and the sizable team, especially well regarded in Silicon Valley and New York, is also well known in Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego. In a major highlight, the team acted as international and M&A counsel to Flipkart in the acquisition of a 77% stake in the company (with an aggregate value of $16bn) by Walmart. The firm also advised Zymergen on its $400m Series C financing, which was led by SoftBank. Boston-based Richard Hesp, Greg Volkmar in New York, and Silicon Valley's Dan O’Connor share leadership of the practice. Firm founders Robert Gunderson and Scott Dettmer have excellent reputations in Silicon Valley, with other prominent names including Steven Franklin, Ward Breeze and Kenneth McVay in New York, and Jay Hachigian in Boston. In January 2019 David Gammell joined the Boston office from WilmerHale.

International law firm Latham & Watkins LLP's 'practical and responsive' team has a strong focus on the start-up, emerging company and venture capital sectors, and is well known for advising clients on the whole life-cycle of an emerging company. Recent work for the group includes advising Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, a rare-disease therapeutics company, on its $63.5m Series B financing. The client roster includes Ginkgo BioWorks, ArcherDX, 4D Molecular Therapeutics and Impossible Foods. Key partners include Alan Mendelson, who is global chair of the life sciences industry group, and John Chory and Benjamin Potter, who share leadership of the emerging companies practice. Patrick Pohlen is also recommended.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has an excellent reputation for its prominence in biotech, medical devices and digital health, acting for a client base drawn from across Northern California, Boston and the Mid-Atlantic. Recent work highlights include acting for LiquidHub in its $500m acquisition by Capgemini, and advising Welltok on its $75m Series E-2 preferred stock financing. Michael Conza in Boston and Princeton-based Steven Cohen co-lead the practice, which includes Boston-based Julio Vega, who 'can anticipate issues before they arise and is outstanding at problem solving', and Joanne Soslow in Philadelphia. Senior counsel Tom Kellerman in Silicon Valley is noted for handling cross-border transactions for technology companies. In February 2018 William Perkins moved to Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.'s Boston office.

Morrison & Foerster LLP garners praise for its 'incredible knowledge of the law', and has been particularly active in handling mandates from the healthcare and life sciences sectors, an example of which included Palo Alto's Timothy Harris advising RefleXion Medical on its $100m Series C preferred stock financing. The team also acted for Menlo Therapeutics in its $50.5m Series C financing led by venBio, a life sciences investment firm, and assisted the same client with its subsequent $137m IPO. San Francisco partner Murray Indick shares leadership of the practice with San Diego's Steve Rowles and Thomas Knox in Northern Virginia. Susan Mac Cormac is another key contact in San Francisco.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's 'super-responsive' team is very well known for advising a client base predominantly made up of US-based unicorn entities, and has core strength in handling tech, cybersecurity, fintech, and privacy mandates. Silicon Valley partners John Bautista and Harold Yu, alongside newly promoted partner Josh Pollick in Santa Monica, advised Stripe, a San Francisco fintech unicorn, and Goodwater Capital, a California venture capital firm, on investments into a $93m Series D financing round in Monzo, a digital and mobile-only English bank. Other clients include Pinterest, Getaround, ThoughtSpot and Twist Bioscience Corporation. In Silicon Valley, chairman of the global firm Mitchell Zuklie is a notable name, with other key contacts including Stephen Venuto and Don Keller. Peter Fusco is a key name in New York.

WilmerHale's practice is perhaps best known for its strength in life sciences, however the firm continues to build on its developing expertise in cryptocurrency, AI, fintech, and cybersecurity matters. The team acted for Adswizz, a digital audio advertising platform, in its high-profile acquisition by music discovery platform Pandora via a reverse triangular merger. Other clients include BioCatch, Flywire, Casa Systems and Immuta. Mick Bain, Lia Der Marderosian and Peter Buckland in Palo Alto co-chair the emerging company practice. Other key partners include Daniel Zimmermann in Palo Alto and Jason Kropp, who has expertise in public offering matters. Named lawyers are based in Boston unless stated otherwise. In January 2019 David Gammell moved to Gunderson Dettmer LLP's Boston office.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati enjoys a well-established reputation in the venture capital and emerging company sector, with an excellent track record for handling multibillion-dollar deals for later-stage emerging companies. Clients have included Tesla, Improbable and Gigamon. Firm chairman Larry Sonsini is renowned in the venture capital space; Steven Bochner is also very highly regarded. Jeffrey Saper and Michael Danaher are also key contacts.

Dentons' venture capital and emerging companies practice predominantly acts out of the New York, Bay Area, San Diego and Los Angeles offices, and is well known for being the only international law firm to have a dedicated office in New York’s Meatpacking District. Headed by New York-based Victor Boyajian the team has particular expertise in life sciences, AI, digital health, fintech, and cryptocurrency matters. The client base includes Zype, Saphyre, and Blumberg Capital. In New Jersey, John Cleary is well known for his expertise in medical device work, and Jeffrey Baumel is instructed by clients from the life sciences sector.

The 'very strong' team at Hogan Lovells US LLP has an established reputation for its expertise in healthcare and life sciences, and is adept at handling mandates from a wide range of sectors within the emerging growth company area. Work highlights include advising New Enterprise Associates as the lead investor in the $67m Series D financing of Centrexion Therapeutics; assisting Gilead Sciences with its investment in the Series A financing of Glympse Bio, which raised $22m; and representing Founders Fund in its Series A investment in Artificial Intelligence Foundation. Jon Layman, based in San Francisco, and Silicon Valley's Nathaniel Gallon, who has 'great business acumen', are the names to note. 

From its offices in Chicago, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Irvine (California), among other locations, Jones Day's team maintains a solid presence in the venture capital and emerging company sector. Key areas of strength for the firm include medical technology, healthcare, AI, life sciences, and cybersecurity. The group advised Cibus Global, a biotechnology company developing plant traits for the global seed industry, on its $70m Series C preferred stock financing, and in another matter, it acted for a health care investor regarding the $100m Series C preferred stock financing of RefleXion Medical, a medical technology company developing a biology-guided radiotherapy system for targeted cancer treatment. Michael Earley in Chicago and New York-based Andrew Levine share leadership of the practice. Other notable names include John Saada, Jr in Cleveland; Timothy Curry in the Bay Area; and Kenneth Polin and Taylor Stevens, both based in San Diego.

Choate, Hall & Stewart's Boston-based team is known for its solid expertise in tech and life sciences deals. Brian Goldstein advised Leerink Transformation Partners, a lead investor, on a $21m Series C financing of Aktana, and also assisted Cyteir Therapeutics with the closing of its $35m Series B preferred stock financing. Other clients include Cogito Corporation, Locus Robotics, and Lantos Technologies. Goldstein shares leadership of the practice with John Pitfield, and Brian Lenihan and Laurence Naughton are also names to note.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is well established across California, with lawyers operating from the Palo Alto, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County offices. Key areas of instruction for the team include life sciences, semiconductors, social and mobile gaming, and ad tech matters. Recent highlights included acting for TPG Capital as the lead investor in a $300m Series A financing of Allogene Therapeutics. Los Angeles partner Bradford Weirick leads the team, in which San Francisco-based Ryan Murr is another key contact. Gregory Davidson left the firm in June 2018.

With offices in Boston, California, Chicago, Miami, New York and Washington DC, McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a wide-ranging growth companies practice, which is noted for its strength in life sciences, tech, alternative energy, and healthcare matters. The firm is also well known for advising a number of Israeli start-ups. The team's client base includes Cellect Biotechnology, Lumiata, Virttu Biologics and Neurovance. Key figures in the group include Silicon Valley and Los Angeles based Mark Mihanovic and Samuel Wales, who is based in Washington DC. Albert Sokol is the name to note in Boston.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP's practice has particular strength on the West Coast, with offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego, and  maintains a presence on the East Coast via its teams in New York and Northern Virginia. The group is very well known for assisting clients from the semiconductors sector, along with fintech, security, Internet of things, big data and e-commerce industries. Clients include Barefoot Networks, Shield AI, MycoTechnology and ACCO Semiconductor. Silicon Valley partner Jorge del Calvo and Christian Salaman in San Diego (noted for his 'exceptional level of confidence and sophistication') are key contacts.

King & Spalding LLP's practice operates from the firm’s offices in California, Atlanta, New York and Houston, and is very well known for its expertise in the life sciences and technology arenas. The 'very responsive' team, led by Laura Bushnell, recently advised HeartFlow on its Series E financing round, valued at $240m. The client roster also includes Microvi Biosciences, Apama Medical, YesVideo and Strobe. Judy O’Brien and Geoff Leonard, who is based in San Francisco, share leadership of the practice. Counsel Nathan Mihalik, based in Atlanta, is also a key contact. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in Silicon Valley.

From its solid base in California, O'Melveny & Myers LLP is very experienced in assisting tech sector clients with early- to later-stage financings. In 2019, Warren Lazarow, who is based in Silicon Valley, advised Gladly, a customer service technology platform, on its $50m Series D funding, bringing the company's total funding to $118m. The firm also assisted Augury, an AI-based machine health solution provider, with its acquisition of Alluvium, a start-up industrial analytics company. Other key names in the team include Silicon Valley-based Paul Sieben and life sciences expert Scott Elliott in San Francisco.

Reed Smith LLP is notably strong in advising life sciences, healthcare and software sector clients on early- to later-stage financing mandates. Pittsburgh partner Matthew Mohn leads the team. In Silicon Valley, Donald Reinke has established strength in the technology sector; associate LiLing Poh is known for representing early-stage companies and investors. Other key figures include Deborah Gunny and Michael Sanders, both of whom are based in Century City.

Acting from a solid base on the West Coast, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth's 'business-oriented' team is 'direct, efficient and commercially minded'. Highlights included Mark Skaist advising Acacia Research Corporation on a $10m investment in Miso Robotics’ Series B financing, and San Diego's Amit Singh acting for Ansun Biopharma in its $85 million Series A financing round led by Sinopharm Healthcare Fund and Lilly Asia Ventures. Singh also advised, a decentralized data exchange protocol, on its token sale, which raised $20m. Ryan Azlein is another name to note. Apart from Singh, the named lawyers are based in Newport Beach.

Primarily based in Austin, Vinson & Elkins LLP's practice has been kept busy handling investor-side mandates. Paul Tobias advised CognitiveScale on its $26m Series B-1 financing, and acted for Elsewhere Partners, as lead investor, in the $12m Series A financing of Statflo. Other clients include Teva Pharmaceuticals, SailPoint Technologies Holdings and Pensa Systems. Wes Jones and Milam Newby are other key contacts. William Volk has retired.

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