The Legal 500

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Work +1 212 277 4000
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Washington DC, Vienna, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Seef District and 22 more

United States: Antitrust

Cartel - ranked: tier 4

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

With most attorneys working from Washington DC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP was involved in some of the largest cross-border cartel investigations, most notably into the automotive parts and polyurethane foam industries, where Bruce McCulloch acted as lead attorney. The practice is also representing clients in the LIBOR and foreign-exchange market investigations. Tom Ensign appears regularly before the DOJ and the FTC, representing clients in civil and criminal antitrust investigations. The practice acts for an impressive client roster including Novartis, Continental and United Airlines. Its antitrust capabilities were boosted with the arrival of several associates, several senior associate promotions, and one counsel promotion. Paul Yde, a ‘star of the practice’, co-heads the team with Bob Schlossberg.

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 3

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has been investing in its US antitrust practice by adding several new associates. It focuses on representing parties before the DOJ, the FTC and the State Attorneys General on the antitrust aspects of M&A deals and joint ventures. The team received a steady flow of complex global M&A-related work - for example it was instructed by Continental in its acquisition of Ohio-based rubber and plastics company Veyance Technologies from The Carlyle Group, a matter that involved merger control analysis and a Hart-Scott-Rodino Act filing. Other highlights included assisting Novartis with the sale of its Animal Health business to Eli Lilly for $5.4bn. Counsel Mary Lehner, a former adviser at the FTC who joined the group in 2013, was involved in many of the current highlights. Paul Yde, a ‘star of the practice’, co-heads the team with Bob Schlossberg.

Leading lawyers

Paul Yde - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Leading lawyers

Valerie Ford Jacob - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 4

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘real global experience and presence and made-to-measure approach is what makes it so special’. It acts for both sponsor and lender clients, but is more heavily weighted toward the sponsor side. It recently advised the Desalination Company of Trinidad and Tobago, AKA Desalcott, on an amendment to financing obtained in 2013 by a company that went on to become sole shareholder of Desalcott; the matter, valued at $138m, involved negotiating complex intercreditor agreements. Other significant matters include acting as New York counsel to the borrowers and sponsors for the financing of two wind farms in Uruguay, and acting as lead counsel to a bidding team on two separately procured but related projects to build a new toll road between Indiana and Illinois, the latter states’ first new construction PPP. Other key clients include OPIC, Deutsche Bank Securities and Abertis Infraestructuras. The team is leaner than some competitors but has ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and provides ‘appropriate advice’. New York-based Melissa Raciti-Knapp, who co-heads the firm’s Latin America practice, has ‘broad US and non-US experience’ coupled with an ‘ability to bring parties to an agreement in complex situtations’. Counsel Adam Giuliano, also in New York, is a ‘rising star and very knowledgeable of the sector’.

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Structured finance
Structured finance - ranked: tier 3

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Headed by the ‘excellentBrian Rance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s New York-based team provides a ‘superb service to clients engaged in structured finance and derivatives transactions’, and is ‘able to balance complex legal issues with the desired business goals’. In addition to providing advice in a purely domestic setting, the team often works closely with colleagues in Europe and Asia on deals which require a significant cross-border component. Rance handles a wide variety of securitization and derivatives transactions, including work for Citigroup on its CLO mandates. ‘Excellent’ US and UK-qualified attorney Jerome Ranawake handles work for UBS on multiple structured financing and prime brokerage transactions, including advising it on a $400m structured financing transaction for Lone Star Fund VIII; associate Brett Borsare was also involved in this deal, and both he and Ranawake are praised for their ‘tremendous prime brokerage and ISDA knowledge’. Other clients include Deutsche Bank and Barclays.

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United States: Litigation

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is ‘a pre-eminent global firm with a joined up international practice that can try cases effectively’. In New York, Marshall Fishman defeated at trial a $100m contract construction and fraud claim against Citigroup and advised RBS in a dispute concerning the sale of Liverpool FC. Michael Lacovara advised a global investment bank in a consolidated MDL concerning price fixing. Tim Harkness and rising star David Onorato are recommended in a practice that ‘excels in foreign discovery issues’.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is undoubtedly ‘a force in international arbitration’ despite several high-profile departures from its global disputes practice in 2014, which were centered largely around its London and Paris offices. The US side of the practice remained relatively unscathed, and while Alexander Yanos did join Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, the promotion of the highly regarded Noiana Marigo ensured that depletion of partner ranks was minimal. As one observer put it: ‘there is an institutional knowledge of arbitration that never changes; even if certain partners and associates leave, that culture and experience always remains’. Marigo is dual qualified in Argentina and New York and is a key part of the firm’s market-leading Latin America disputes offering, an area in which Washington DC-based practice head Nigel Blackaby is considered virtually peerless. Other key partners include New York-based Elliot Friedman and the ‘always reliable and exceedingly talentedBrian King who is ‘the attorney that you want in your corner during an arbitration’. While she is no longer in the US, Lucy Reed, the firm’s Singapore-based co-head of global arbitration, ‘is very much involved in the US offices’ and is ‘highly esteemed in the field’. A highlight was advising BG Group on the first-ever investment treaty arbitration case to be addressed in the US Supreme Court, which reinstated a $185m award in favor of the company in its long-running dispute with Argentina. Other recent instructions came from ConocoPhillips, Repsol, Total, and Burlington Resources.

Leading lawyers

Nigel Blackaby - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

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White-collar criminal defense
White-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 4

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP wins praise for its ‘in-depth knowledge and ability to tactically guide the client through many complex issues’. The team has recently seen growth in its work for financial institutions and is currently involved in a number of significant matters for clients such JPMorgan Chase and HSH Nordbank. New York-based Aaron Marcu co-leads the financial institutions litigation group and successfully co-defended the former global head of UBS wealth management in a major criminal tax case brought by the DOJ. Marcu was also appointed as corporate monitor for MoneyGram in relation to its deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ following the company’s wire fraud admission. Other key members of the team include Benito Romano who has moved from the firm’s New York office to Washington DC, and Tim Coleman who specializes in FCPA investigations and is also based in the capital. New York-based Adam Siegel is co-head of the firm’s global investigations practice.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: middle-market ($500m-$999m)
M&A: middle-market ($500m-$999m) - ranked: tier 2

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘responsive lawyers are very knowledgeable, hardworking and good at understanding clients’ requirements and concerns’. The team advised Bertelsmann on its acquisition of Relias Learning, which involved the implementation of a management incentive plan; and acted for UMS United Medical Systems International on its $76m sale of United Medical Systems (DE) to UMS Acquisitions Holdings. It also advised Invensys on the $245m sale of its appliance division to Sun European Partners; acted for Swiss Re on the $334m acquisition of a 14.9% stake in Brazilian independent insurance company SulAmérica; and assisted Honeywell International with the $155m divestiture of its Friction Materials business unit to Federal-Mogul Corporation. Larger mandates included advising Foster Wheeler on its $8.5bn cash and SEC-registered stock offer and business combination with AMECUS; and assisting Perella Weinberg, the financial adviser to Medtronic, with Medtronic’s $42.9bn acquisition of Covidien through a combination of cash and stock and which involved the relocation of the combined company’s headquarters to Ireland through a tax inversion structure. US corporate head Matthew Herman is recommended alongside Doug Bacon, who is ‘technically excellent; he goes out of his way to support clients and remains cool under pressure’. They were joined by Mitchell Presser, who brings his track record in private equity from his previous position as founding partner of private equity firm Paine & Partners LLC; and Peter Lyons, who joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Matthew Jacobson left for King & Spalding LLP.

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United States: Tax

Financial products
Financial products - ranked: tier 2

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s team is relatively small, but nonetheless renowned for its international reach and cross-border transaction skills. It is led by Robert Scarborough in New York, and Claude Stansbury in Washington DC. One of its core areas is advising on bespoke CLOs. A recent mandate was representing Perella Weinberg Partners, Medtronic’s financial adviser, in the latter’s $42.9bn cash and stock inversion acquisition of Covidien. Other clients include Foster Wheeler, Continental AG, Invensys, Credit Suisse, Citigroup and JP Morgan.

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International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 3

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP frequently advises international banks, private equity funds and multijurisdictional corporations on tax planning matters. New York-based Robert Scarborough and Washington DC-based Claude Stansbury jointly lead the practice. In a significant work highlight, the firm advised Novartis on an inter-conditional transaction involving the acquisition of oncology products from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the corresponding agreement to become GSK’s preferred commercialization partner, a joint venture with GSK for a consumer healthcare business, and the sale to GSK of the Novartis vaccine division, with an aggregate value of $21.4bn. Other names on its client roster are Perella Weinberg Partners, Continental and Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA.

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Latin America: International firms

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Under the leadership of the ‘first-rate’ Nigel Blackaby, (who also jointly heads the firm’s global arbitration practice from Washington DC), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s Latin America practice remains a major force in the region, particularly in terms of energy and construction disputes. Blackaby and Elliot Friedman represented UK-based oil-and-gas company BG Group in its dispute with the Republic of Argentina, alleging violation of the BIT between the UK and Argentina following the latter’s implementation of regulatory measures during its economic crisis which impacted upon the client’s investment in gas distribution company MetroGas; this long-running arbitration, valued at more than $250m, was the first investment treaty case heard by the US Supreme Court, which dismissed a ruling by the Washington DC Circuit Court overturning the arbitral award. In another Argentine matter, Blackaby acted alongside newly promoted partner Noiana Marigo (and senior associates Natalia Zibibbo and Jean-Paul Dechamps) on behalf of Repsol and Repsol Butano, preparing ICSID filings against Argentina due to the latter’s expropriation of the clients’ controlling stake in YPF (Argentina’s largest oil company) and YPF Gas; steps which ultimately brought a settlement of over $5bn. The practice is also active in the other Latin American jurisdictions with a history of ICSID investment cases, handling matters involving Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Other highlights included representing Pan American Energy in an ICSID arbitration concerning the Bolivian government’s expropriation of the client’s investments in Empresa Petrolera Chaco, which settled for $347m; assisting Burlington Resources in an expropriation claim against Ecuador arising from a 99% tax on windfall profits; and acting for ConocoPhillips in an ICSID claim against Venezuela concerning the alleged expropriation of three oil investments. Brian King, who acted for ConocoPhillips alongside Friedman, is also recommended, as is London-based Sylvia Noury, who is noted for her telecoms-sector expertise.

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 4

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has further developed its presence in transportation and infrastructure, building on its already impressive record in energy and natural resources in Latin America. In 2014, the firm represented Abertis Infraestructuras on its acquisition of a 6% interest in Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico (Metropistas), which made it the majority shareholder in the concessionaire for the PR-22 and PR-5 toll roads. The firm had previously advised the client on its acquisition of toll road concessions in Chile. On the renewable energy side, the firm advised Corporación América on the financing of the construction, design, development and operation of two wind farms in Uruguay. This was an illustration of the firm’s growing reputation among Latin American sponsors. New York-based Melissa Raciti-Knapp is the principal figure in the Latin America practice.

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