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Covington & Burling LLP

THE NEW YORK TIMES BUILDING, 620 EIGHTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10018, USA
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Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings

Firm Rankings


United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP is ‘one of the best antitrust firms in the US’ and ‘a leader in cartel representation’. The practice includes 30 partners nationwide involved in cartel investigations and follow-on litigation, and currently has an emphasis on the automotive, manufacturing, hi-tech, telecoms and financial sectors. Fielding two former heads of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Deborah Garza and Thomas Barnett, the group ‘understands the DOJ’s enforcement approach, using that knowledge to formulate the strongest possible defense for clients’. The group recently successfully represented a manufacturer of submarine power cables. The practice also includes the former head of the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco office, Phillip Warren, who is ‘able to think both strategically and practically’. Eric Holder rejoined the firm after serving as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States for six years. Bruce Baird and Michael Fanelli are recommended. All attorneys work in Washington DC except Warren, who is based in San Francisco.

Leading lawyers

Phillip Warren - Covington & Burling LLP

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Civil litigation/class actions
Civil litigation/class actions - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP combines ‘strong industry knowledge’ with ‘fast response times’ to provide a ‘high level of service’. The team’s comprehensive antitrust capabilities extend to acting in high-profile trials, with Robert Wick successfully defending on appeal Samsung Electronics’ notable victory against Motorola in the latter’s cartel price-fixing allegations against a group of LCD display manufacturers. On the class action side, Derek Ludwin is representing the San Francisco 49ers in a suit brought against the NFL team by its ticketholders alleging anti-competitive ticket distribution arrangements, while a cross-office team, which includes Emily Johnson Henn in Silicon Valley, is acting for Walt Disney and others in defending a putative class action filed by animation studio employees alleging unlawful agreements not to cold-call each other’s employees. Key contact and practice co-chair Deborah Garza also featured in this matter. All individuals named are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Deborah Garza - Covington & Burling LLP

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Complex merger review makes up a significant part of Covington & Burling LLP’s antitrust practice. The firm handles work for a range of clients, but it has special expertise in relation to life sciences, technology, and privacy and data security. Recently, the group secured an important victory for Expedia in its $1.6bn acquisition of Orbitz, with Thomas Barnett and Anne Lee acting as lead partners. Highly regarded Deborah Garza represented Steel Partners Holdings in the sale of Arlon to Rogers Corporation, obtaining HSR clearance without a second request. Other key clients include Facebook and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Leading lawyers

Deborah Garza - Covington & Burling LLP

Thomas Barnett - Covington & Burling LLP

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state) - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s appellate practice was involved in some of the most notable cases of the year. Supreme Court highlights included filing amicus briefs for the HCA in King v Burwell, a key healthcare subsidiaries case; and in the landmark same-sex marriage case, Obergefell v Hodges, the group filed on behalf of Conflict of Law Scholars. In the Seventh Circuit, practice chair Robert Long successfully defended Samsung in an antitrust suit pertaining to the alleged cartel price fixing of LCD screens. John Hall and Mark Mosier successfully dismissed claims bought against Chiquita under the Alien Tort Statute in the Eleventh Circuit.

Leading lawyers

Robert Long - Covington & Burling LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s international arbitration group, which consists of 14 partners mainly based in the firm’s Washington DC and New York offices, is ‘highly competent’ at handling investor-state and commercial arbitrations. Co-chair Marney Cheek and five other partners represented pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly in an investment treaty arbitration against Canada under NAFTA alleging expropriation of its patent rights. Cheek is ‘very knowledgeable about investment arbitration’. Miguel López Forastier represented a Mexican food conglomerate against Venezuela in an ICSID arbitration arising out of alleged violations of the Spanish-Venezuelan investment treaty. In another highlight, Forastier represented Tidewater, a major provider of maritime services to the oil industry, against Venezuela in an ICSID arbitration arising out of the expropriation of the client’s investments. The firm prevailed in the matter and continues to represent the client. The other co-chair of the group, Allan Moore, is ‘very strong in international insurance matters’.

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Based out of the firm’s Washington DC headquarters, Covington & Burling LLP is ‘excellent across the board’ and advises major international corporates on ‘long-term strategic issues’ and important international trade matters. With a significant international footprint, which includes lawyers on the ground in China and Brussels, the team is often consulted by corporates looking to grow into Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. It combines a compelling mix of legal and policy strengths, and is able to assist with navigating potential risks and capitalize upon investment and trade opportunities in these locations. On the trade policy front, the firm provides ‘top-notch advice’ and has numerous practitioners who held previously high-ranking governmental positions including former US ambassador to the EU Stuart Eizenstat and John Veroneau, who was a former deputy United States trade representative. The team is praised for its ‘ability to spot government enforcement and compliance trends’ and is ‘very good at interacting with federal government agencies’. Mark Plotkin and David Fagan provide ‘critical insight and informed counsel on complicated deals’ and lead the firm’s efforts on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) front. Both recently assisted GlobalFoundries, which is indirectly wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, with achieving the national security-related approvals for its proposed acquisition of IBM’s semiconductor manufacturing business. Plotkin and Fagan also advised Publicis and Sapient on securing approval from CFIUS and the US Department of Defense for Publicis’ $3.7bn acquisition of Sapient. The team is also ‘superb at export controls and economic sanctions matters’ for clients in a range of potentially sensitive industries including finance, aerospace, and oil and gas. In this space, Peter Lichtenbaum and Peter Flanaganare at the very top of the Washington DC Bar hierarchy’ and are recognized for providing ‘innovative legal analysis with superb business judgment’. The practice is rounded out by Steve Fagell and Donald Ridings, who provide ‘superb advice’ on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) front; Kimberly Strosnider, who heads up the trade controls sub group; and the ‘superbCorinne Goldstein, who has ‘sheer subject matter mastery’ across export controls and economic sanctions.

Leading lawyers

Peter Flanagan - Covington & Burling LLP

Peter Lichtenbaum - Covington & Burling LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

At Covington & Burling LLP, Paul Schmidt, Phyllis Jones and Michael Imbroscio won defense verdicts for Eli Lilly in three separate trials brought by plaintiffs alleging the company’s failure to warn of physical and psychiatric symptoms following the plaintiffs’ discontinuation of Cymbalta drug therapy. Schmidt and Imbroscio represented Hoffmann-La Roche in a number of cases relating to Accutane, including one where they successfully moved the New Jersey Superior Court to rule that Accutane’s warnings were adequate. Keith Teel, Raymond Biagini and Shankar Duraiswamy are also recommended. All partners are based in Washington DC. Brian Stekloff moved to Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz.

Leading lawyers

Mike Brock - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Securities litigation - defense
Securities litigation - defense - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s compact practice punches above its weight in complex securities litigation. William Phillips and Mark Gimbel co-chair the national securities and commercial litigation practice from New York. Together they defended the SandRidge Energy CEO and other officers in a class action alleging misrepresentation of the value of oil and gas assets. Gimbel and Robert Wick are advising JPMorgan Securities on an MDL concerning alleged manipulation of Treasury securities. David Kornblau, co-chair of securities enforcement, leads a team of renowned enforcement specialists, including Washington DC-based Bruce Baird and, in San Francisco, David Bayless and rising star Tammy Albarrán.

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White-collar criminal defense
White-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

The ‘exceptionally strongCovington & Burling LLPprovides useful, strategic advice from day one’. The practice is chaired by Nancy Kestenbaum, who is based in New York, and Ethan Posner, who is based in Washington DC. Kestenbaum worked with Washington DC’s ‘smart, savvy and organizedLanny Breuer in representing Hyperdynamics, an oil exploration company that received a grand jury subpoena focused on FCPA and money laundering issues; the pair convinced the DOJ to close its investigation without bringing charges. Posner’s highlights included securing the dismissal of a False Claims Act (FCA) case against client Gilead Sciences. Washington DC lawyers Mythili Raman and Steven Fagell are also recommended.

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP is well known for its strong relationships within the life sciences industry, particularly with Fortune 500 companies. The firm handles the full range of financing transactions for such clients, and in the debt capital markets space has recently advised on notes offerings for Eli Lilly (€2.1bn), Bristol-Myers Squibb (€1.15bn) and Johnson & Johnson ($2bn). Chaired by Donald Murray, the ‘excellent’ team also includes New York-based Eric Blanchard, who is described as a ‘go-to lawyer for debt offerings’. Outside of the life sciences space, Blanchard advised the underwriters on consumer products company Clorox’s $500m notes offering and Washington DC-based senior counsel David Martin assisted Avid Technology with a $125m Rule 144A/Regulation S placement of convertible notes.

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP has a strong track record in advising life sciences clients on their capital-raising activities, drawing on the experience of its securities, FDA regulatory, IP and tax attorneys. Practice chair Donald Murray acted for Jefferies, Credit Suisse and Cowen and Company on the $188m follow-on offering of common stock in Kite Pharma, while vice-chair Eric Blanchard advised Jefferies, Citigroup and Piper Jaffray on the $140m IPO by Bellicum Pharmaceuticals. Blanchard also assisted Jefferies, as well as Cowen and Company, with NeuroDerm’s IPO. The group is based in the firm’s New York office, which recently saw the arrival of counsel Christopher DeCresce from investment banking firm Sandler, O’Neill & Partners LP.

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Financial services: regulatory
Financial services: regulatory - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

The ‘accessible and client-friendly’ Washington DC-based team at Covington & Burling LLP is ‘well connected with the regulators’ and is therefore well positioned to provide ‘superior judgment in dealing with complex regulatory issues’. ‘Well-respected’ team head John Dugan has the ability to provide ‘a real insider’s view’ as a result of his former role as comptroller of the currency during the financial crisis and is ‘super smart on capital stuff’. He recently advised the Futures Industry Association on the Basel Committee treatment of segregated margin for client-cleared trades under the leverage ratio. The ‘smart and savvyKeith Noreikaknows the culture of the banking and business climates outside the US’ and is making a name for himself in the market as a result of his advice to domestic and international banks. Noreika is representing Tricadia Capital Partners before the federal bank regulatory agencies in establishing a fund of non-controlling investments in US banking organizations. He is also regularly involved in mandates alongside the ‘excellentStuart Stock, and both continue to represent General Electric Capital Corporation before the Federal Reserve Board in seeking deregistration as a savings and loan holding company in connection with the restructuring of its US financial services businesses. Other recommended partners include the ‘business savvyJean Veta, who excels at enforcement matters; the ‘smart and experiencedMark Plotkin, for matters sitting at the intersection of banking compliance and data security law; Bruce Bennett, who has ‘excellent insights into politics that might surround an issue’ particularly if it relates to derivatives and futures regulations; and Ed Yingling, as a lobbyist for financial services entities.

Leading lawyers

John Dugan - Covington & Burling LLP

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Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations)
Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP has a long history of advising nonprofits in the US and internationally and earns praise from clients for ‘response times that are very good’. Clients include the National Geographic Society, which the team routinely advises on tax, nonprofit and corporate projects. Elsewhere, it acted as outside general counsel to Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, which was established by Congress to protect and restore the station’s historic architecture, preserve and develop its function as a transport hub, and enhance its retail and other amenities. It also advised the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation on more than $60m worth of design, project management and construction contracts. Washington DC-based Robert Gage and Jeremy Spector are recommended, together with of counsels Heather Haberl, Stuart Irvin and Susan Leahy. Former of counsel Kevin Shortill retired from the practice.

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP added 20 lawyers from McKenna Long & Aldridge (now Dentons), including Raymond Biagini, Jason Carey and Frederic Levy. The latter co-leads the expanded team along with Jennifer Plitsch and Alan Pemberton. The additions have strengthened the practice’s profile for bid protests and investigations as well as for in-demand cybersecurity work. Life sciences, healthcare and biodefense contracting remains a significant area of work, with recent work on behalf of Merck and Novartis. Biagini’s experience in tort liability came in handy when representing KBR in a lawsuit concerning the recovery of $30m of legal fees incurred in the defense of tort cases. On the M&A side, Robert Nichols and Scott Freling led government contracts-related advice to Pacific Architects and Engineers in several acquisitions, such as the takeover of security-based information and service solutions provider USIS and of A-T Solutions, which elevated the client to a top 30 contractor. Another name to note is Susan Cassidy. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

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Government relations
Government relations - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s Washington DC-based public policy and government affairs practice has global capabilities and excels in regulatory work. Both came in handy when advising Abbott Laboratories on Medicare/Medicaid coverage and reimbursement matters, FDA approval of drugs and devices, nutritional assistance and food labeling, and tax policy matters. The growing client roster also includes Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Merck and the American Automotive Policy Council. The group provides regular assistance to Microsoft in public policy and government affairs issues, including matters relating to privacy, national security, immigration, tax and telecoms, and to the Motion Picture Association of America in copyright, telecoms and trade issues. Holly Fechner is highly recommended. John Veroneau, formerly co-chair of the international trade group, has taken over as head of the practice from Dan Bryant, who departed for Walmart in November 2015. Of counsel Muftiah McCartin and senior of counsel Daniel Spiegel remain vice-chairs. Recent additions include special counsel Layth Elhassani, who was formerly special assistant to President Obama in the Office of Legislative Affairs; of counsel Gary Heimberg, formerly director of federal government relations at GlaxoSmithKline; and of counsel Margaret Richardson, formerly chief of staff and counselor to attorney general Eric Holder.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: litigation
Energy: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP frequently represents oil and gas businesses in national and international disputes, including high-stakes arbitration proceedings against commercial counterparties and foreign governments. TL Cubbage and Miguel López Forastier represented subsidiaries of ExxonMobil as plaintiffs in an ICSID investor-state arbitration against Venezuela arising out of the uncompensated expropriation of the plaintiffs’ entire investments in Venezuela, and other measures in violation of the Netherlands-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty. Elsewhere, a team including Allan Moore and Maureen Browne represented BP and a number of BP subsidiaries and affiliates in cases arising from Deepwater Horizon, including the trifurcated bench trial and related proceedings related to BP’s civil liability under admiralty law and the Clean Water Act. Cubbage heads the practice alongside Steven Rosenbaum. Washington DC-based Alexander Berengaut and New York-based Nicole Duclos were elevated to the partnership.

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Energy: regulatory
Energy: regulatory - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP is well equipped to guide clients through the regulatory framework, providing strong government and private sector expertise. The ‘competent’ and ‘experienced’ practice, led by senior counsel and former FERC commissioner William Massey, handles contentious and non-contentious oil and gas, electric power and renewable energy work. The firm is also handles nuclear matters, where senior of counsel and former NRC chairman Richard Meserve is a prominent figure. Massey and James Dean advised independent transmission company GridLiance on a wide range of FERC regulatory matters relating to the company’s acquisition and development of transmission infrastructure in the Southern US and Midwest. New of counsel Mark Perlis led advice to Calpine on state and federal electricity issues such as market design, resource adequacy contracts and interconnection matters.

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Energy: renewable/alternative
Energy: renewable/alternative - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s multidisciplinary team covers transactional matters, regulatory compliance and contentious work for participants in the solar, wind, biofuels and advanced technology industries. ‘Industry expertWilliam Collins and ‘knowledgeable renewables lawyerJack Bodner assisted Morgan Stanley in its role as financial adviser to Vivint Solar regarding its sale to SunEdison. Special counsel Scott Anthony advised gas fermentation technology provider LanzaTech on corporate, capital raising and commercial matters. Andrew Jack chairs the team from Washington DC. Of counsel Mark Perlis joined from the FERC, while Bruce Deming retired.

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

The practice at Covington & Burling LLP is spread across its Washington DC and California offices and draws upon the expertise of two former EPA general counsels, Donald Elliott and Gary Guzy, both of whom are based in Washington DC. The team is experienced in liability, contribution, remedy selection and NRD matters under the Superfund statute, among other environmental issues. Practice co-chair Lawrence Hobel, based in San Francisco, leads the representation of Aerojet Rocketdyne in cases related to the management of its Superfund site in Sacramento, California, including response to EPA Records of Decision for operable units, water purveyor claims for replacement water supplies, and property owner damage litigation. In other matters, Washington DC-based Steven Rosenbaum is handling the defense of the American Petroleum Institute in a suit filed by the Environmental Defense Center seeking to block the use of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in New Mexico. The Washington DC team was reinforced with the recent additions of former EPA attorney and senior of counsel Robert Matthews, and federal regulatory and litigation expert Mark Perlis, who joins in an of counsel capacity from the now defunct Dickstein Shapiro.

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Healthcare: life sciences
Healthcare: life sciences - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP is a clear leader in the life sciences space and excels in all areas. This includes expertise in every facet of food and drug related regulations in the US and Europe, and, according to one client, it is ‘the best firm for FDA issues’. It also has growing capabilities in China. Richard Kingham and Ellen Flannery are highly recommended in the field of regulatory matters; Kingham and Jennifer Zachary are assisting PhRMA in a number of matters, including potential reforms of drug approval laws in China and India, and pending US FDA regulatory initiatives. The transactional team regularly acts on big-ticket deals; in 2015, James Snipes and special counsel Sarah Hoagland acted for AstraZeneca in a collaboration agreement with Valeant which granted an exclusive license for Valeant to develop and commercialize brodalumab on a worldwide basis. Group co-head John Hurvitz advises established and emerging life sciences companies, and counts Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as his clients. George Pappas is a Hatch-Waxman specialist, and a recent IP highlight for him was winning a patent trail for Warner Chilcott preserving $4bn in sales. The group also has notable experience in mass tort and product liability defense. Peter Safir, Timothy Hester, Christopher Sipes, Matthew O’Connor are highly recommended by clients. All individuals mentioned above are based in Washington DC.

Leading lawyers

John Hurvitz - Covington & Burling LLP

Peter Safir - Covington & Burling LLP

Richard Kingham - Covington & Burling LLP

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Insurance: advice to policyholders
Insurance: advice to policyholders - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

The ‘excellent’ team at Covington & Burling LLP delivers ‘timely and constructive advice in a stunningly responsive way’ and continues to lead in the field of dedicated policyholder work, covering the insurance sphere comprehensively and representing clients in a vast range of claims including mass tort liabilities, D&O issues and fiduciary mandates. The 100-strong department grew in strength in 2015 following the launch of a Los Angeles office for the firm, which recently gained René Siemens from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. The Washington DC team also expanded following the recruitment of Matthew Schlesinger from Reed Smith LLP in 2016. Recent highlights for the practice include advising the Public Service Enterprise Group in a suit seeking recovery for property damage losses from Superstorm Sandy. The matter, led by William Skinner and Saul Goodman, settled in 2015 with a judgment in favor of the client. William Greaney is leading advice to KeySpan Gas East in an environmental coverage matter relating to polluted gas plant sites and ‘superstarBenedict Lenhart - along with Anna Engh and San Francisco-based Wendy Feng - represented World Fuel Services in two coverage cases arising from an oil train derailment. Lenhart, along with Benjamin Duke in New York and Donald Brown in San Francisco, is also representing ExxonMobil in an action seeking coverage of asbestos claims. Lenhart and Mitchell Dolin lead the practice; Dolin continues to act for the NFL in concussion-related tort lawsuits brought by former players. Michael Lechliter and Jeffrey Davidson made the partnership in Washington DC and San Francisco, respectively. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC unless noted otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Benedict Lenhart - Covington & Burling LLP

Donald Brown - Covington & Burling LLP

Mitchell Dolin - Covington & Burling LLP

Saul Goodman - Covington & Burling LLP

William Greaney - Covington & Burling LLP

William Skinner - Covington & Burling LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s ‘first-class’ team has a stellar reputation in the industry - as evidenced by the number of alumni to have served as Commissioner or General Counsel of the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) - and its experience cuts across all areas of sports law. ‘Class actPeter Zern and the ‘very impressiveDouglas Gibson are ‘among the best’ for sports media work: Zern assisted the NHL with negotiating the rights to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey for US and international markets, while Gibson assisted the NFL with renewing its contract with CBS for Thursday Night Football. The firm continues to serve as principal outside counsel to the NFL and Derek Ludwin is defending the client in antitrust litigation challenging the league’s television broadcast distribution agreements. Tax expert Jeremy Spector is leading advice to the same client on the challenge to its tax-exempt status. Bruce Wilson has a highly regarded international practice, while Benjamin Block, Gregg Levy and Paul Tagliabue are also key names in the Washington DC-based team.

Leading lawyers

Douglas Gibson - Covington & Burling LLP

Peter Zern - Covington & Burling LLP

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s extensive experience in online piracy and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) liability issues underpins its litigation practice and its advisory work on general anti-piracy programs and targeted copyright enforcement. The practice is co-chaired by Simon Frankel in San Francisco and of counsel Ronald Dove in Washington DC. Clara Shin, also in San Francisco, focuses on technology-related disputes. Recent work highlights include the successful defense of Samsung against copyright infringement claims by CCP Systems concerning printer software, assisting the NFL in combatting the unauthorized re-transmission of game telecasts over the internet, and acting for PBS and its member stations in matters before the CRB regarding the distribution of statutory copyright royalties.

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Patent litigation: International Trade Commission
Patent litigation: International Trade Commission - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s team is ‘extremely responsive, and is excellent at developing winning strategies for patent claims’. Sturgis Sobin and Brian Bieluchcan see around every corner’, and ‘are excellent at gauging the extent to which arguments will succeed’. Highlights included representing Samsung in a claim brought by Enterprise Systems Technologies concerning the infringement of patents related to mobile devices, and obtaining a favorable summary determination and a dismissal of the plaintiff’s key patent from the ITC case. The group also successfully represented plaintiff Knowles Electronics in a competitor case involving MEMS microphones, obtaining a favorable global settlement, and acted for Samsung in Black Hills Media v Samsung Electronics, successfully dismissing the majority of asserted claims as invalid. Other key figures include the well-regarded Maureen Browne, as well as Alexander Chinoy and Shara Aranoff, all of whom are based in Washington DC.

Leading lawyers

Sturgis Sobin - Covington & Burling LLP

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Patent litigation: full coverage
Patent litigation: full coverage - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s ‘well-respected’ team represented Walter Chilcott in a suit against generic manufacturers Lupin and Watson, securing a rejection of invalidity claims against the patents covering the Lo Loestrin birth control pill. In Washington DC, Andrea Reister, Enrique Longton and Paul Berman acted for UCB in an IPR brought by a group of generic companies seeking FDA approval to market generic versions of Vimpat, successfully securing a rejection of the unpatentability claims. Christopher Sipes focuses on pharmaceutical and life science matters; George Pappas has handled numerous bet-the-company cases; and Silicon Valley-based Robert Haslam is the key figure in the technology space.

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Patents: portfolio management and licensing
Patents: portfolio management and licensing - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP has extensive expertise in the life sciences sector, and regularly assists pharmaceutical, biotech and e-health clients with strategic patent licensing matters, including development, manufacturing and marketing rights agreements. It also assists clients with IP asset and licensing due diligence regarding M&A transactions in the IT and life sciences sectors. Recent highlights include acting for Microsoft in its acquisitions of Nokia and Skype, assisting AbbVie with its R&D collaboration with Calico, and handling various other transactions for the likes of Gilead Sciences, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson. Life sciences expert Sarah Hoagland assisted AstraZeneca with its collaborations with Celgene and Valeant, and in its agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin for an exclusive option to commercialize benralizumab in Japan. John Hurvitz leads the team, which also includes Silicon Valley-based Emily Leonard, of counsel Edward Dixon, San Francisco-based Ingrid Rechtin and James Snipes. All individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

John Hurvitz - Covington & Burling LLP

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Trade secrets
Trade secrets - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP has a strong track record in trade secret cases. The group has a broad offering and is well versed on the contentious side as well as in cybersecurity issues and economic espionage. Washington DC-based George Pappas has considerable experience in the field, Silicon Valley-based Kurt Calia serves as vice chair for the trade secrets committee of the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association, and Michael Plimack is a significant figure in the firm’s San Francisco office. Key clients include Monsanto and Manheim Auctions.

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Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP handles a range of trademark litigation before federal courts and the TTAB. San Francisco-based Simon Frankel has been representing Fitbug, a maker of exercise tracking equipment and software, in its trademark infringement suit against competitor Fitbit. Neil Roman and of counsel Ronald Dove in Washington DC have been defending A.T. Kearney in a dispute with Toffler Associates over the service trademark ‘future proof’ for strategic consulting. Roman also continues to act for the SPI Group in its dispute with the Russian agency Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport regarding the Stolichnaya vodka trademark.

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Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing)
Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing) - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s practice, led by San Francisco-based Simon Frankel and of counsel Ronald Dove in Washington DC, has particular expertise advising on the trademark aspects of corporate transactions, and handles trademark prosecution matters for a variety of clients. Of counsel Kathleen Gallagher-Duff manages the trademark portfolio of the National Geographic Society and assisted with the IP and licensing aspects in the negotiation of a joint venture agreement with 21st Century Fox. Of counsel Marie Lavalleye manages the trademark portfolios of Spirits International and the Business Software Alliance, and acted for Merck Sharp & Dohme in TTAB proceedings regarding the Deca Durabolin trademark.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 5

Covington & Burling LLP

Very well regarded in the private equity funds arena’, Covington & Burling LLP’s multifaceted practice attracts work from a wide range of sponsors, purchasers and sellers of fund interests in the secondaries market (such as funds-of-funds and managed accounts), and institutional investors. On the sponsor side, its capabilities span fund formation, operation and compliance issues, as well as capital raising and general partner formation and management mandates. The team is led by William Sturman and Loretta Shaw-Lorello (‘a good problem-solver’), who acted for PineBridge Investments on a number of matters in 2015, including the restructuring of PineBridge Global Emerging Markets Fund II LP. Other clients include The Hampshire Companies, MedImmune Ventures and Neuberger Berman.

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United States: Labor and employment

ERISA litigation
ERISA litigation - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP has a strong practice in appellate ERISA litigation at the apex of the federal court system. Head of the appellate and Supreme Court litigation team Robert Long represented Fifth Third Bancorp in the agenda-setting Fifth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Supreme Court case. Jeffrey Huvelle, the leader of the ERISA litigation practice, successfully represented Verizon in a suit brought by plan participants following an $8.5bn de-risking arrangement with Prudential Financial, and in another dispute regarding the spin-off of Verizon’s yellow pages operation into Supermedia, which went bankrupt.

Leading lawyers

Jeffrey Huvelle - Covington & Burling LLP

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Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s Washington DC-based ‘excellent, cost-conscious and pragmatic’ team ‘provides outstanding service’ on the full range of employee health and welfare benefit matters. In 2015, Robert Newman and senior counsel Amy Moore worked on spin-offs and terminations of pension plans with nine-figure liabilities. Recent highlights also saw several partners advise the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) on proposed regulations affecting large employers’ employee benefit plans. Richard Shea and the ‘knowledgeable and practical’ Seth Safra are other key names at the firm, which also counts Textron, Verizon, Xerox and NFL as clients; Newman advises the latter on executive compensation, retirement plans and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Leading lawyers

Amy Moore - Covington & Burling LLP

Richard Shea - Covington & Burling LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Commercial deals and contracts
Commercial deals and contracts - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Praised as ‘one of the go-to firms for overall support’, Covington & Burling LLP has a client base that includes numerous large multinational pharmaceutical companies. It advises these clients on collaboration and diagnostic agreements, licenses (including out-license agreements), and obtaining exclusive rights to certain drugs. For example, on behalf of AstraZeneca, the team handled a collaboration agreement with Valeant to grant an exclusive license to develop and commercialize a treatment for psoriasis to be used worldwide. The keys partners in the group are Emily Leonard, Scott Danzis, Matthew O’Connor, John Hurvitz and Richard Kingham. Catherine Dargan and Jack Bodner are ‘super responsive, have strong expertise and are results driven.’ All individuals mentioned are Washington DC based, except Redwood Shores-based Leonard and New York-based Bodner.

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M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 7

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP is ‘premier and outstanding in all areas of M&A, including transactional and financing’, and one client says that it ‘exceeds the performance of every other top-tier firm with whom I’ve dealt’. A sizeable proportion of the firm’s M&A work is on behalf its illustrious life sciences clients, with much of the remainder centered on financial services, sports and energy, and also technology, media and entertainment, which were growth areas for the firm in 2015. In life sciences, the firm assisted Allergan with several deals, including its $2.1bn acquisition of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals. It also advised Forest Laboratories on its $1.1bn acquisition of Furiex Pharmaceuticals. In technology and media, it advised Luxembourg-based Altice on its $9.1bn acquisition of a 70% stake in Suddenlink, the seventh-largest US cable operator. New York’s Scott Smith and Washington DC’s Catherine Dargan head the M&A practice, which includes New York-based JD Weinberg, a prominent financial services M&A specialist. Frank Conner and Michael Reed in Washington DC are also recognized for financial services M&A as well as other areas. Since publication, New York-based David Schwartzbaum has joined from Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

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Overview

The commercial deals and contracts section was introduced this year to highlight work on significant supply, distribution, franchising, licensing and joint venture contracts. Science and technology, retail and leisure, finance, and pharmaceuticals are among the most relevant industries for these types of contracts and partnerships, and key firms include Covington & Burling LLP, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP and WilmerHale.

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Venture capital and emerging companies
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP complements its traditional strength in life sciences with expertise in the financial, security and cleantech sectors. Ellen Corenswet in the New York office and Paul Rogers in the Washington DC office lead the practice; Corenswet focuses on emerging companies in the life sciences and technology and media industries, while Rogers is experienced in investments and public and private securities offerings. On the West Coast, Ingrid Rechtin and Scott Anthony operate from the San Francisco and Redwood Shores offices respectively. Corenswet advised AstraZeneca on its $40m Series C preferred financing of PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, and also acted for Pfizer in its $43m Class B preferred unit financing of Nimbus Therapeutics. Other highlights included Anthony assisting LanzaTech with its $60m Series D financing, and advising JD.com on its convertible note investment and joint venture with Zest Finance. Other clients include Prosper Marketplace, Kit Check and Forkcast.

Leading lawyers

Ellen Corenswet - Covington & Burling LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing
Advertising and marketing - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s team covers advertising and marketing law comprehensively, advising on data security issues, FTC investigations and consumer product class actions. It has a significant focus on the pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. John Graubert and Sarah Wilson co-chair the practice from Washington DC. Graubert continues his representation of POM Wonderful in litigation with the FTC over advertising claims, and recently filed a cert petition on behalf of the client. Wilson is assisting Microsoft with global product safety issues relating to electronic devices. Emily Johnson Henn and Andrew Schau, based in Redwood Shores and New York respectively, continued to represent Procter & Gamble in multiple class actions challenging the marketing of its Freshmates personal hygiene wipes as flushable, which plaintiffs claim is false and misleading. The practice has also seen an increase in TCPA-related matters, and the team recently advised AOL in a putative TCPA class action linked to AOL Instant Messenger, successfully dismissing the case for the client. Further clients include Doctor’s Best, ExxonMobil and Itochu International.

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Cyber law
Cyber law - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s team, led by David Fagan and James Garland, represents global retailers, national sports associations, payment card service providers, and global life science companies. Largely based in Washington DC, the team is experienced in incident preparedness, insurance coverage, intellectual property protection, class action defense, insider threats and cybersecurity policies. Eric Holder rejoined the firm in July 2015 after serving as US Attorney General, Aaron Lewis rejoined following a stint as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, Raymond Biagini joined, and Richard Rainey rejoined the firm from General Electric, where he served as global chief IP litigator and dealt with cybersecurity threats. Alex Berengaut is a litigator who advises on national security and law enforcement related compliance issues, including electronic surveillance and cybersecurity, and was promoted to the partnership in October 2015, as was San Francisco-based Lindsey Tonsager, who advises multinational companies on how to mitigate data privacy and security risks.

Leading lawyers

David Fagan - Covington & Burling LLP

James Garland - Covington & Burling LLP

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Technology: data protection and privacy
Technology: data protection and privacy - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Kurt Wimmer heads up Covington & Burling LLP’s practice and frequently represents high-profile clients such as the NFL on data security issues. Other notable work includes advising Facebook before the FTC and assisting with a wide range of privacy and security issues in the US. Partner promotions included litigator Alex Berengaut, who focuses on national security and law enforcement compliance issues, including electronic surveillance; Michael Nonaka, who deals with data privacy and security issues; and Lindsey Tonsager, who advises on mitigating data security risks.

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Technology: outsourcing
Technology: outsourcing - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s practice ‘has highly developed outsourcing expertise in the airline, tourism, and hospitality industries’, according to a source. Nigel Howard, who leads the team, and is well liked by clients, has longstanding expertise in the airline industry, in particular with complex passenger service systems. A core strength of the practice is advising healthcare industry clients, including pharmaceutical companies, with data analytics agreements involving patient outcome data, and using its knowledge of information and communications technology to improve medical devices and treatments. Drafting and negotiating RFPs and post-transaction implementation work are other strengths. Howard recently led a mandate for Copa Airlines in a technology services agreement with Sabre for its SabreSonic customer sales and service reservations system, and, for Caribbean Airlines, the team advised on a technology services agreement with Amadeus for its Altéa passenger services system.

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s clients benefit from its presence in Europe and Asia, as well as its five offices across the US, and can depend upon ‘top-notch lawyers in all categories’. The firm has expertise in life sciences, sports, and travel and tourism, among other areas, and New York co-chair Nigel Howard represented seven airlines in a global service agreement concerning the sale of Abacus International to Sabre. Howard also advised the NFL on its four-year data collaboration with Sportradar, with the NFL providing statistics to multiple digital outlets. Other co-chair John Hurvitz is based in Washington DC. New York-based Peter Laveran-Stiebar and Washington DC-based Mace Rosenstein advised Altice on its acquisition of 70% of Suddenlink for $9.1bn. Other key clients include AstraZeneca, American Airlines and Samsung Electronics.

Leading lawyers

John Hurvitz - Covington & Burling LLP

Nigel Howard - Covington & Burling LLP

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Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP is renowned for its regulatory capabilities in the telecoms and broadcast sectors, thanks in no small part to prominent figures Yaron Dori, Jennifer Johnson and Mace Rosenstein. Rosenstein - an expert in both traditional and new media, as well as telecommunications - recently represented a coalition of media companies including CBS Corporation, The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, and Time Warner, among others, in a Circuit case in which the court threw out the FCC’s order requiring media companies to disclose their programming contracts with pay-TV providers. In another highlight, Dori led for longstanding client CenturyLink on the company’s appeal of the FCC’s Inmate Calling Order. In addition to providing counsel to telecoms and broadband service providers on FCC rulemaking proceedings and enforcement investigations, the practice is also representing numerous clients, including the four largest incumbent holders of broadcast spectrum, before the Executive Branch, the US Congress and the FCC in connection with the US government’s plans to conduct its first-ever ‘incentive auction’, which involves a reverse auction to reclaim broadcast television spectrum, the forward auction of that spectrum for wireless use, and the repacking of the remaining broadcast spectrum among television stations across the country.

Leading lawyers

Mace Rosenstein - Covington & Burling LLP

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Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
Telecoms and broadcast: transactional - ranked: tier 1

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP further strengthened its telecoms and broadcast practice with the arrival in 2014 of Robyn Polashuk, who joined the Los Angeles office from Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Polashuk brings her expertise in all issues concerning the licensing and distribution of television networks and programming content, to a practice that is noted for its expertise in media transactions. In an illustration of her work in this area, Polashuk advised The Walt Disney Company on a comprehensive renewal agreement between the client and DirecTV, and acted for the NFL Network on the negotiation of carriage agreements with various distributors. In other highlights, a team including Mace Rosenstein, co-chair of the media, internet and technology industry group, and Yaron Dori, who has over 20 years of experience acting for telecoms, technology and media corporations, are advising Altice on its acquisition of US cable operator Suddenlink; and communications and media specialist Jennifer Johnson assisted broadcasting giant CBS with the distribution of all CBS-affiliated television stations on its newly developed digital platform. Other key clients include Hulu, Univision Communications, and Berkshire Partners.

Leading lawyers

Mace Rosenstein - Covington & Burling LLP

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United States: Tax

Financial products
Financial products - ranked: tier 2

Covington & Burling LLP

The ‘excellent team’ of tax lawyers at Covington & Burling LLP is based in Washington DC and serves an array of clients ranging from US and foreign hedge funds, CDO sponsors, mutual funds, banks, pension trusts, corporations, industry groups and high-net-worth individuals. Its practice covers domestic and international transactions, exchange-traded and OTC products and tax-efficient hedging structures, and it is especially adept at developing innovative products such as credit derivatives and other esoteric debt securities. It is also active on the regulatory side, advising on the implications of new legislation. William Paul led advice to the Investment Company Institute regarding the taxation of its member funds and their shareholders, and represented the association before Congress, the Treasury and the IRS. Kurt Baca, Robert Culbertson and Emin Toro acted as counsel to a well-known financial corporation in connection with the structuring and execution of a complex bond exchange linked to the wind-down of a business to optimize tier one capital. Clients include BNP Paribas, ING, Options Clearing Corporation and US Securities Markets Coalition.

Leading lawyers

William Paul - Covington & Burling LLP

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International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 3

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ team is recognized for its ‘sheer depth of expertise’ and advises on international tax planning of inbound and outbound investments, compliance and controversy matters, and transfer pricing. Key highlights included advising Accenture on the merger of Accenture SCA into Accenture Holdings. The largely Washington DC-based team includes department chair Daniel Luchsinger, Samuel Maruca (who recently returned to the firm after a period of time at the IRS), Dirk Suringa, Michael Caballero and Robert Culbertson.

Leading lawyers

Robert Culbertson - Covington & Burling LLP

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US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP regularly handles tax controversies involving transfer pricing, financial products, foreign tax credit and Subpart F income. Daniel Luchsinger leads the Washington-based practice, which recently saw the returns of Sam Maruca, following a stint as head of transfer pricing at the IRS, and Lee Kelley, former deputy tax legislative counsel at the Department of the Treasury. Jeremy Spector is advising the National Football League regarding the controversy surrounding its tax-exempt status, which has come under attack from Congress, the press and academics.

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 6

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP’s practice advises on transactional tax planning and structuring for multinational businesses. Chair of the tax group is Washington DC-based Daniel Luchsinger. The team advised GE Capital Aviation Service (GECAS) on the $1.7bn acquisition of Milestone Aviation Group, and also acted for Steve Ballmer in his $2bn purchase of the LA Clippers basketball franchise. Rob Heller was co-lead lawyer in both transactions, with Emin Toro and Jeremy Spector co-leads in the GECAS and Clippers deals respectively.

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Latin America: International firms

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 4

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP promoted Colombian-born Gabriel Mesa to the partnership in 2015, giving the firm a more powerful Latin America M&A senior echelon. Mesa links up with the immensely experienced Mexican-native Rubén Kraiem, in the firm’s top ranks. The firm has a strong record in the financial services sector and recently represented Citigroup on the sale of the merchant acquiring business of its Mexican affiliate Banco National de México (Banamex) to EVO Payments International. The deal constituted the central plank of a plan to streamline Banamex’s operations. The firm also advised Citigroup on the sale of its controlling interest in Confía AFP, one of the two leading pension management firms in El Salvador, to Inversiones Atlántida. In another sizeable Latin America transaction, the firm represented leading Mexican hygienic-products manufacturer, Grupo Mabe, in its $425m sale to Belgian publicly-listed company Ontex Group. Life sciences is another key industry sector for a practice that clearly benefits from the firm’s expertise in compliance, regulatory, and trade and sanctions matters.

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Latin America: International firms

India

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