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United States > M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
  2. Leading lawyers

In addition to M&A, Chadbourne & Parke LLP’s corporate practice also covers joint ventures, private equity matters, fund formation, and corporate governance. The firm provides ‘an excellent price point with great market knowledge and experience combined with response times that are unprecedented’, and, on top of that, the ‘service orientation is remarkable - it is always attentive and gets to know clients’ businesses’. Energy deal highlights included assisting GE Energy Financial Services with the $440m acquisition of a 49% equity stake in a 762MW portfolio from Enel Green Power North America; and advising Enel Green Power and Geronimo Energy on the sale of interests in six wind farms and a portfolio of community solar projects. Other significant matters included advising Troy Corporation on its acquisition of Ashland’s industrial biocide business; assisting Meritor with its acquisition of the majority of the assets at a Sypris Solutions manufacturing facility; and advising Rockwell Collins on its acquisition of International Communications Group. Allen Miller, who has significant experience in the power and renewables sector and expertise in representing companies and financial institutions on cross-border transactions involving Latin America, and ‘the really phenomenalMarc Alpert, who has acted for World Fuel Services Corporation, GLG Partners and Riverstone Holdings, are team heads. Other key advisers include Charles Hord III, Kevin Smith and Sey-Hyo Lee, as well as Morton Grosz, Claude Serfilippi, William Greason, Talbert Navia and Kessar Nashat, whose ‘overall level of service is very high’. All named partners are New York based.

With ‘great knowledge of the market and commitment to client service’, DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘outstanding and professional practice is very service-oriented and good value for money’, particularly standing out for its global platform and sector expertise, especially in technology, life sciences and healthcare, but also in consumer products, real estate, insurance, manufacturing and financial services. While Kelly Tubman Hardy exited for Hogan Lovells US LLP’s Baltimore office, the practice grew again in 2015 through partner hires in Philadelphia, Houston, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and New York. High-profile matters included advising the owners of the Atlanta Hawks on the $850m sale of the NBA franchise to an investment group, which involved negotiating a plan of sale between disparate ownership groups, hiring investment bankers and effecting successful closing; and acting for a developer and provider of advertising software and computing services, Mediaocean, in its $720m sale to Vista Equity Partners. Key cross-border buy-side deals in the lower middle-market included advising Fosun Group on its $433m acquisition of Meadowbrook Insurance Group; and acting for Federal-Mogul Corporation in the acquisition of certain business assets of TRW’s engine components business for $313m. Large IT-related deals included advising IT management software provider SolarWinds on its $4.5bn sale to private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and Thoma Bravo. New York-based Jonathan Klein is US M&A practice chair; Charles Baker, who has a core focus on the sports, media and consumer goods sectors, is ‘a very good negotiator and deal guy, very technically competent, and as responsive as anyone can be’; and sports, media and entertainment transactions specialist Richard Rubano is ‘smart, technically competent, hard working and dedicated’; Baker and Rubano are based in New York. US corporate chair Robert Smith Jr in Baltimore has advised buyers and sellers in 100-plus transactions involving public and private companies. Also recommended are Chicago partners Neal Aizenstein, Andrew Weil and Robert Davis III, who is ‘a very strong M&A lawyer’. ‘Strong commercial lawyer’ Vinny Sanchez divides time between Chicago and Los Angeles and focuses on complex commercial transactions, with a particular emphasis on transactions involving IP assets and cutting-edge technologies. Elsewhere, Jeremiah Sullivan in Boston has ‘excellent judgment and the ability to get deals done’; Paul Chen, who splits his time between Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Hong Kong, leaves clients ‘feeling very satisfied as a result of his professional and cost-conscious manner during international M&A deals’; and North Virginia-based Eric Grossman’s ‘opinion is valued and he is an integral part of clients’ success’. Ed Batts joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s Silicon Valley office.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s ‘service is excellent - the deep team’s top-notch lawyers are responsive, knowledgeable and able to address and advise on issues out of the gate’. Much of the practice’s deal flow of late has been driven by a large number of cross-border transactions, special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deals and wealthy families making corporate investments. The healthcare sector remains a core focus for the firm, as do energy, manufacturing, and chemicals; it is also active in the rapidly consolidating alcoholic beverage industry. In 2015, the firm expanded in Dallas through the recruitment of ‘brilliant’ M&A partners Gregory Hidalgo (‘acute attention to details and legal nuances are invaluable’), Wilson Chu and Soren Lindstrom from K&L Gates - hires which boost the firm’s capacity to do cross-border M&A involving Asia and Europe. In a $500m deal, the ‘exceptional team’ was lead counsel to a SPAC, Levy Acquisition Corp., which bought and took public fast-food chain Del Taco. As an example of the practice’s expertise in spin-off transactions, it acted for the management team of Talen Energy on PPL’s spin-off to form an independent power producer. Large deals included acting for global agricultural products company Olam International in its $1.3bn acquisition of Archer Daniels Midland Company’s global cocoa business. Representative of the firm’s strength in the life sciences sector, its US attorneys teamed up with colleagues in Paris to advise Innate Pharma on a $1.28bn partnership agreement with AstraZeneca. Xerox and Nokia are also clients. New York-based firm-wide corporate chair David Goldman focuses on general corporate and business counseling, with a concentration on corporate finance, M&A and complex commercial transactions. Also based in New York, Timothy Alvino, who has represented clients in industry sectors such as avionics, energy, manufacturing, media and software, ‘is held in the highest of regard’. Thomas Conaghan’s experience includes cross-border business combinations, going-private transactions, stock sales and purchases, and asset transactions; and Samuel Wales has ‘great availability, knowledge and thoughtfulness’; both are based in Washington DC. Michael Sartor in Boston focuses on representing private equity sponsors, and public and private companies, in M&A deals; Byron Kalogerou, who chairs the firm’s life sciences industry group and heads the Boston corporate advisory practice, is ‘excellent, with a great business sense and an ability to prioritize demands and challenges’; and Silicon Valley-based California corporate practice head Mark Mihanovic, whose M&A practice has an emphasis on technology, life sciences and healthcare, is ‘very responsive and pays attention to details’.

Winston & Strawn LLP regularly works on significant M&A transactions for blue-chip clients, distinguishing itself through its expertise in highly regulated industries such as energy and financial services. Christopher Zochowski, who joined from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP and established the firm’s corporate presence in the Washington DC office, and Matthew Bergmann, who acted for TreeHouse Foods in its $2.7bn acquisition of ConAgra Foods’ private-label business, are M&A and securities practice co-chairs. Other large deal highlights for the team included advising Motorola Solutions on the $3.45bn sale of its Enterprise business unit to Zebra Technologies. Recent middle-market highlights include Oscar David (M&A and securities practice co-chair until 2015) leading the advice to Abbott Laboratories on a $300m joint venture with New Zealand-based Fonterra Co-operative Group to acquire five dairy farms in China; Steven Gavin acting for medical equipment and technology company Hill-Rom in its acquisition of Welch Allyn; and Brian Schafer assisting D+H with its acquisition of payment services provider Fundtech. Robert Wall, Gregory Bynan, Bruce Toth and Matthew Costigan are also highly rated. All attorneys mentioned above are based in Chicago. In Houston, Richard Wynne has handled hundreds of private company acquisitions and divestitures; with particular expertise in the energy sector, his experience includes advising Cameron International on the disposition in 2014 of its reciprocating compression business to General Electric for $550m, and advising Houston-based private equity firm Rock Hill Capital on multiple portfolio company acquisitions and dispositions. Robert Rawn in New York acts for clients in the manufacturing, life sciences, technology, telecoms and private investment sectors, and has advised Silgan Holdings on numerous deals. Chicago and New York based James Junewicz, who led advice to AAR CORP in the $725m sale of its air cargo division to Transdigm Group, is also recommended. The private equity buyout practice is led by New York-based Bradley Vaiana and Los Angeles-based Eva Davis. Eric Green joined the Washington DC office from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP.

Fenwick & West LLP stands out for its highly respected technology M&A practice, regularly advising on serial acquisitions for established private companies, including Dropbox, and public companies such as Facebook and Cisco Systems. It also acts for emerging companies in sales to more established companies, with recent matters including advising Skybox Imaging, creators of the world’s smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, on its $500m sale to Google. Buy-side highlights included assisting music discovery platform Pandora with its approximately $450m agreement to acquire live events technology company Ticketfly; advising mobile games company King Digital Entertainment on its agreement to acquire Seattle-based game developer Z2Live; and acting for Tokyo-based Rakuten, one of the world’s largest internet services companies, on its acquisition of OverDrive for $410m. Other highlights included advising mobile fitness app MyFitnessPal on its $475m sale to Under Armour. M&A co-chairs are Douglas Cogen in San Francisco, whose technology transactions include over 100 deals for Cisco Systems, and David Healy in Mountain View, who has represented a wide range of public hi-tech companies, including HP, Cadence, Silver Spring Networks, McKesson, Dell and Sun Microsystems; other notable Mountain View advisers include Scott Joachim, Adam Halpern, Blake Martell, Ralph Pais, Kris Withrow and Gregory Roussel. San Francisco-based Stephen Gillespie and Lynda Twomey, and Stephen Graham and Alan Smith in Seattle are also highly rated. Recent growth for the firm saw Mountain View-based David Johanson join as a partner in the private equity practice from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Ken Myers - who recently relocated to New York from the firm's Mountain View office - promoted to the partnership. .

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘truly top-notch team of experienced deal makers is extremely commercial, technically excellent and has a good understanding of business drivers; it adds real value through its approach and marketplace knowledge’. Middle-market matters included assisting Japan Tobacco with its acquisition of US e-cigarette brand Logic Technology Development; and advising Mast-Jägermeister on its acquisition of alcohol brands distributor Sidney Frank Importing Company. Other highlights included acting for diversified seafood company Icicle Holdings during its announced agreement to sell Icicle. Large cross-border deals included advising Japan Tobacco - alongside the firm’s Düsseldorf office - on its $5bn acquisition of the non-US operations of Reynolds American’s Natural American Spirit business; and acting for London Stock Exchange Group, together with the London office, in its proposed $1.15bn sale of Frank Russell Company’s asset management business to private equity firm TA Associates, in partnership with Reverence Capital Partners. US M&A head Mitchell Presser distinguishes himself with expertise in private equity, especially food and agricultural investing, while co-head of global M&A Peter Lyons has a career spanning over 30 years and has acted on several dozen multibillion-dollar deals; the pair have been central to the firm’s expansion of its US transactional practice. Matthew Herman, who ‘provides great expertise and fantastic service levels’, is highly rated for his advice to corporations, financial sponsors and other financial intermediaries on their public and private M&A needs, whether the transaction entails assets in the US, US counterparties, or investments or acquisitions in high-growth markets; Doug Bacon is recommended for large, multinational carve-out sales, cross-border M&A transactions, joint ventures and private equity transactions; and Timothy Wilkins has an impressive track-record of representing Asian, European and US multinational corporations in cross-border M&A, private equity matters and joint ventures.

K&L Gates has particular strength in the technology, media, telecoms and energy sectors, as well as in infrastructure, transportation, financial services, healthcare and life sciences. Cross-border highlights included advising Quebec-based Boralex on its €280m acquisition of French wind farm owner and operator, Enel Green Power France. It also acted for Microsoft Deutschland in its acquisition of 6Wunderkinder, creator of the to-do application Wunderlist, and advised Recall on its acquisition of Business Records Management. Demonstrating the team’s financial services deal experience, it advised bank holding company WesBanco on its agreement and plan of merger with ESB Financial Corporation. Other matters included acting for silver producer Hecla Mining on its merger agreement with Revett Mining; and advising LKQ Corporation, the largest provider of replacement car and truck parts in the US, on the acquisition of Stag Parkway Holding Company. Large deals included assisting PharMEDium Healthcare Holdings with its $2.6bn sale to pharmaceutical sourcing and distribution company AmerisourceBergen. Group head Robert Zinn, who devotes much of his time to serving family owned and other private enterprises on transformative events - often in their sale to private equity firms or large corporations - divides time between New York and Pittsburgh. Other recommended advisers include Sandy Feldman and Henry Shin in New York; Merrick Hatcher, Craig Walker and Mark McMillan in Chicago; Pittsburgh-based Kristen Stewart; Randolph Goodman, Michelle Wakino and Barclay Collins in Washington DC; and Annette Becker in Seattle.

King & Spalding LLP stands out for both the strength of its national practice and its high- profile M&A experience in the California, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas markets. On the large deal side, the team advised family-owned department store company Belk on its $3bn sale to private equity firm Sycamore Partners, and Atlanta partners William Baxley and Spencer Johnson III led advice to payment services provider TSYS in its $2.35bn all-cash acquisition of Vista Equity Partners’ portfolio company TransFirst. Other matters included acting for American Capital Equity in the sale of denture services provider Affordable Care to Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners. Atlanta-based global corporate practice head Raymond Baltz and Jack Capers Jr are recommended. John Crespo in Houston, Richard Bange III, who splits time between Charlotte and New York, and Matthew Jacobson, who splits his time between New York and Silicon Valley, are also highly rated. As is Silicon Valley-based Judith O’Brien, who heads the emerging company practice. Recent arrivals included public company specialist Alana Griffin, who joined in Atlanta from Synovus Financial Corporation; Geoffrey Leonard, who focuses on representing technology and life sciences companies, from Ropes & Gray LLP in San Francisco; and Ye Cecilia Hong from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP grew its practice further through the hires of Houston-based Stephanie Hildebrandt, who focuses on MLPs, from Enterprise Product Partners, and, from Kaye Scholer LLP, New York-based Andres Liivak, who focuses on health technology transactions. Highlights included advising Tesoro Logistics on its merger with QEP Midstream Partners, and, in the energy space, assisting downstream energy company Delek US Holdings on its agreement to acquire 48% of Alon USA Energy’s outstanding shares for approximately $572m. Other matters included acting for the largest specialty bedding retailer in the US, Mattress Firm Holding Corp, in its $425m purchase of The Sleep Train. Large deals included advising Bayer on the $1bn divestiture of its diabetes care business to Panasonic Healthcare. Houston-based US corporate, M&A and securities department head David Peterman acts for clients from the energy, private equity, manufacturing and retail sectors; Efren Acosta focuses on M&A for private and public companies, with a concentration on the manufacturing and oilfield services industries; and private equity chair Edward Rhyne has represented private equity-sponsored clients on various domestic and international acquisitions, including the acquisition of a major league baseball team. Other recommended lawyers include Glen Hettinger in Dallas, San Antonio-based US business law head Daryl Lansdale Jr, Marilyn Mooney in Washington DC and Gene Lewis in Denver.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has offices in New York and Washington DC and distinguishes itself through its focus on private equity M&A, investment manager M&A and distressed investing transactions. The team advised Cerberus Capital Management on its affiliate’s acquisition of Visteon Corporation’s global automotive interiors business, which involved a complex international asset carve-out. Buy-side private equity-related highlights included acting for New York-based Veritas Capital, which invests primarily in government contractors, in its acquisition of Alion Science and Technology Corporation. It also advised Marlin Equity Partners on its acquisition of Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions from defense industry contractor General Dynamics. Sale-side matters included assisting Orchard Brands with its $410m sale to Capmark Financial Group (now known as Bluestem Group). The chairs of the M&A and securities practice are John Pollack, whose clients include private investment funds, and publicly traded and privately held companies; Richard Presutti, who regularly represents private equity clients such as Levine Leichtman Capital Partners and Black Diamond Capital Management; and Stuart Freedman, who advises various well-known money managers on acquisitions and control and non-control investments (including of companies engaged in financial restructurings). Marc Weingarten and Robert Goldstein are also recommended. All partners named are in New York. David Rosewater exited for Morgan Stanley, while special counsel Frank Kwok joined the firm in New York from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

WilmerHale has a strong reputation for advising technology, life sciences, financial services, defense and other regulated industry clients in the US and Europe. Middle-market buy-side mandates included advising Akamai Technologies on its acquisition of Octoshape, a supplier of video streaming optimization technology for over-the-top content; assisting Progress Software with its $262m acquisition of Bulgarian app development tools provider Telerik; and assisting Staples with its definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Office Depot. On the sell side, the team acted for mobile supply-side platform Nexage in its $107m sale to Millennial Media. In large deals, it acted for Analog Devices in its $2.5bn acquisition of Hittite Microwave, and, in the retail energy sector, it assisted Cumberland Farms with the sale of a portion of its fuel station assets and equity interests in Gulf Oil for $1.1bn. Jay Bothwick and Hal Leibowitz, who focuses on corporate law matters for companies in the technology and life sciences industries, are Boston-based M&A co-chairs; co-chair of corporate and energy and chair of cleantech Mick Bain represents companies from startup to high-growth stage, with an emphasis on the software, mobile and telecoms sectors. Steven Singer chairs the firm’s transactional department from the New York and Boston offices and advises public and private companies in the life sciences industry. Other key practitioners are Mark Borden in Boston, Palo Alto-based Joseph Wyatt and Stephanie Evans in Washington DC.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s practice grew through the arrivals of Washington DC-based corporate transactions specialist Andrew Brady from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and real estate transactions expert David Phelps in Los Angeles from Paul Hastings LLP. Middle-market energy matters included advising propane gas provider Ferrellgas Partners on the $837m agreement to acquire midstream services company Bridger Logistics; and acting for Gulfport Energy Corporation in the acquisition of oil and gas assets in Utica Shale from American Energy-Utica. Other key transactions included assisting Bluestem Group (formerly Capmark Financial Group) with its $410m acquisition of national multi-channel direct marketer Orchard Brands. Mega-deal highlights included advising Baker Hughes as securities counsel on its sale to Halliburton, and assisting Alliance Data with its $2.3bn purchase of digital marketing company Conversant (formerly ValueClick). Corporate practice head Kerry Berchem in New York and Washington DC and London-based global energy and transactions head Rick Burdick are recommended. Other key advisers include Daniel Fisher, who divides time between Washington DC and New York, John Goodgame in Houston, New York-based Jeffrey Kochian, and Frank Reddick in Los Angeles.

Standing out for significant technology and life sciences expertise, Cooley LLP recently added former Reed Smith LLP partners Garth Osterman and Yvan-Claude Pierre in San Francisco and New York respectively. It also added depth in the communications, media and higher education sectors through its 2014 combination with Dow Lohnes’ Washington DC office. Highlights included advising online real estate business Move on its $950m sale to News Corp, and acting for multinational technology company Cisco Systems in its $635m acquisition of OpenDNS. Other key deals included advising Rally Software on its $480m sale to CA Technologies; assisting biopharmaceutical company Auspex Pharmaceuticals with its $3.5bn sale to Teva Pharmaceuticals; serving as M&A and regulatory counsel to Meredith Corporation in its merger with Media General; and assisting NetScout Systems with its definitive agreement to acquire Danaher’s communications business for $2.6bn. Rama Padmanabhan and Barbara Borden in San Diego, Jamie Leigh in San Francisco and Palo Alto-based Craig Menden are recommended. Other noteworthy practitioners include Alfred Browne in Boston, Kevin Mills and Edward O’Connell in Washington DC, and Laura Medina in Broomfield, Colorado.

Dentons has a strong focus on cross-border transactions, especially in the financial, manufacturing, energy, healthcare and technology markets. It has grown its practice significantly through the hires of Atlanta-based Steven Berson from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Jeffrey Dunetz in New York from Mayer Brown, and Dallas-based Lane Folsom, Donald Hammett Jr and Toni Weinstein from Locke Lord LLP. In addition to the above laterals, the firm’s combination witlh McKenna Long & Aldridge resulted in 24 partners joining the corporate practice. Significant deals included advising Carpathia Hosting and its controlling shareholder Spire Capital Partners on the $326m sale of Carpathia to QTS Realty Trust. Cross-border matters included assisting Thailand-based petrochemical producer Indorama Ventures Public Company with its $225m acquisition of Chinese company Performance Fibers. Michael Cochran in Atlanta, Chicago-based Michael Froy and Stephan Mallenbaum in New York are key contacts.

New York-based international law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s middle-market deals included advising AMC Networks on its $200m acquisition of a 49% stake in BBC America, with the agreement structured as an equity joint venture. It also acted for animal health company Zoetis in its $255m acquisition of certain assets of Abbott Laboratories’ veterinary division, and advised industrial manufacturer ITT Corporation on its acquisition of California-based parts designer and manufacturer Hartzell Aerospace. Large deal activity included serving as lead counsel to Merck in its $9.5bn acquisition of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and assisting Kenner & Co with its $1.1bn acquisition, alongside Swiss investment management firm Partners Group, of a controlling stake in Dynacast International. Kenneth Lefkowitz and James Modlin are recommended. Candace Beinecke, Charles Samuelson, Avner Ben-Gera and David Schwartz are also highly rated.

Distinguishing itself with expertise in regulated sectors such as energy, life sciences and financial services, Reed Smith LLP regularly handles deals for Fortune 500 and public companies as well as strategic investors and private equity funds, with deals usually occupying the $100m-$1bn range. It also has lawyers who specialize in media, manufacturing, financial services, food and beverage, and technology. Highlights included advising BBC Worldwide on the sale of a 49% interest in BBC Americas to AMC Networks. Other matters included assisting the developers of e-discovery software Relativity-kCura with a $125m investment into its business by San Francisco-based Iconiq Capital, and a cross-office team advising gas and fluid control solution provider Sherwood Valve on the closing of its sale to an affiliate of publicly traded Mueller Industries. John Martini is corporate and transactional advisory head and Brian Miner is M&A head; both are based in Philadelphia. Hires into the practice included Sahra Dalfen, George Pavlenishvili and Niket Rele in New York from Crowell & Moring LLP, Stoel Rives LLP and Wiggin and Dana LLP respectively. Outgoings included Garth Osterman and former global head of corporate and securities Yvan-Claude Pierre joining Cooley LLP’s San Francisco and New York offices respectively.

Faegre Baker Daniels has been especially active in food and beverage-related deals of late, as well as healthcare transactions, and is increasingly involved in deals over the billion-dollar mark. Notable mandates included advising General Mills on the $765m sale of its Green Giant and Le Sueur vegetable businesses to B&G Foods, and acting for Hormel Foods in the $775m acquisition of Applegate Farms. Large deal highlights saw the team act for Black Hills Corporation in its $1.89bn acquisition of SourceGas and related financing, and assist Cargill with the $1.45bn agreement to sell its US-based pork business to JBS USA Pork. Minneapolis-based M&A head Bruce Engler advises buyers, sellers and institutional investors on public and private M&A transactions; corporate group leader Chris Hofstad stands out for his experience working with closely held businesses, including those that are family owned, and also regularly advises professional and amateur sports organizations. Roger Rhoten in Chicago recently advised on several complex international transactions, including multibillion-dollar acquisitions involving European private equity sponsors.

Noted for advising Fortune 500 and middle-market companies, as well as private equity funds and their portfolio companies, Jenner & Block LLP’s ‘overall level of service is both excellent and industry leading, with a top-level range of expertise that also retains a personal relationship with its clients’. In the middle market, the team advised Papillon Resources on its $570m merger with B2Gold Corporation. It also acted as M&A counsel to Archer Daniels Midland during the $440m sale of its global chocolate business to Cargill, assisted Honeywell with its $185m acquisition of printer manufacturer Datamax-O’Neil, advised American Natural Gas on its acquisition of Northville NG Fuels, and assisted a Tokyo-based conglomerate with the $400m acquisition of the linkage and suspension business of TRW Automotive Holdings. In large deals, the team acted for Danfoss in the acquisition of Finland-based public company Vacon. Chicago-based corporate chair Joseph Gromacki is ‘an extremely talented lawyer and strong problem solver, who is attuned to clients’ business needs and the operational practicalities of business organizations’. M&A chair Thomas Monson has represented public and private companies in mergers, stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures, venture capital transactions, restructurings and joint ventures, and Jason Osborn has managed transactions in industries such as healthcare, financial services, retail services and manufacturing. Jeffrey Shuman, Mercedes Hill, Mark Harris and Peter Rosenbaum are also recommended. All the above named lawyers are in Chicago. Also highly rated are Thomas Stromberg and Carissa Coze in Los Angeles and, in New York, Martin Glass and Uri Doron, who is ‘a highly competent lawyer, with a clear ability to give both helpful legal advice and opinion, whilst also adapting and working within a client’s culture in terms of corporate and geographic considerations’. Expansion within the team saw Los Angeles-based Neil Cummings join from Proskauer Rose LLP, and in Chicago, private equity lawyers Alan Roth and Christopher Douglass joined from Locke Lord LLP and Matthew Pacella joined as special counsel from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Pacella advises private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies and public companies on domestic and cross-border business transactions.

Although smaller in size than some of its competitors, Linklaters LLP’s New York-based team has the ability to cover similar-sized transactions, working on high-profile matters for both foreign and domestic corporates. The ‘M&A practice gives very responsive and relevant advice and shows good market know-how’. Following on from the firm’s ongoing assistance to Novartis in a number of transactions globally, the team acted for the client in the $275m sale of its influenza vaccines business to CSL. Other key transactions included assisting Assa Abloy with its acquisition of two Brazilian companies, Indústria Metalúrgica Silvana and Metalika Indústria e Comércio de Artefatos Metálicos, and acting for Queijo Holding Corp. in the $148m proposed acquisition of Brazil Fast Food Corporation. Large deals included advising Alent on the cash offer by Platform Specialty Products Corporation to acquire the client; acting for Bayer on the US-side of the carve-out of its plastics division; advising Visa Europe on the sale of its share capital to Visa; and assisting Petrochemicals Industries Company, as a shareholder and joint venture partner with Dow, with the $3.2bn sale of their MEGlobal business in North America and Europe, marking a key step in Dow’s previously announced divestment strategy. Notable names are Scott Sonnenblick, whose practice spans a variety of industries, with a particular emphasis on cross-border transactions and complex joint ventures, and who has ‘great experience in M&A transactions, is always responsive and gets right to the point’, and Peter Cohen-Millstein, who is highly rated for public and private M&A and is ‘a great lawyer with excellent interpersonal skills’. Casper Lawson retired from the firm.

Locke Lord LLP’s deal experience includes advising on stock and asset acquisitions, joint ventures, going-private transactions, LBOs, spin-offs, and tender and exchange offers. In the energy space, the team advised PCORE Exploration & Production, a portfolio company of Natural Gas Partners, on the $149m sale of underdeveloped acreage and oil and gas producing properties to Parsley Energy. On the large deal side, it acted for NextEra Energy Partners in its $2.1bn acquisition of NET Midstream, a private company that owns long-term contracted gas pipelines in Texas. Other highlights included advising One Source Networks on its sale to GTT Communications. Christopher Graham in Providence, Rhode Island serves as co-chair of the firm’s corporate and transactional department; his clients include private equity funds, Fortune 500 companies, and technology and life sciences start-ups.

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