The Legal 500

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

919 THIRD AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10022, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 909 6000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 909 6836
Email:
Web:
www.debevoise.com

United States

Top-tier recommendations

Recommendations

  • United States: Intellectual property > Copyright
  • United States: Real estate and construction > Real estate

Latin America: International firms

Top-tier recommendations

Recommendations


United States: Antitrust

Within Merger control, tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘excellent’ antitrust practice is based in New York, the attorneys are valued for being ‘creative, practical and extremely responsive’. One of the most high-profile clients is Amazon, which the firm regularly advises on the antitrust aspects of proposed transactions; recently the team assisted with its $970m acquisition of website Twitch Interactive. Gary Kubek, a ‘strategic thinker’, is advising Kelso on various transactions, and the team continues to receive instructions from the Reynolds Group, most recently in its acquisition of the North American foil products business of Novelis. Daniel Abuhoff, co-chair of the department alongside Kubek, ‘does not mince words – you know exactly where you stand with him’.

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United States: Finance

Within Asset finance and leasing, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has an ‘outstanding’ reputation within the aviation industry. John Curry heads the ‘extremely intelligent and highly responsive’ New York-based team, which includes an extremely strong bench of partners and counsel, including Le Lam and Raymond Wells. The firm has few rivals when it comes to representing airlines and a notable highlight on this front was representing American Airlines and AAG as special aircraft financing counsel in their 2011-2013 Chapter 11 proceedings. American Airlines continues to be a major source of work, including the purchase from Embraer of 60 E175 regional jet aircraft and the purchase from Bombardier of CRJ900 regional jet aircraft. Another major mandate, which required significant financing expertise, was advising AIG on the $7.6bn sale of ILFC to Aercap Holdings, which also included advice on a $1bn revolving facility. Other key clients include Delta Air Lines, which it advised on the leases of ten Boeing aircraft and 14 Bombardier aircraft from CIT Group, and Clayton Dubilier & Rice, which it advised on a $600m investment in CHC Group.

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Within Bank lending (including other sources of financing) , Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provides an ‘extraordinary level of service’ that ‘frequently exceeds its peers’. The firm’s lawyers are ‘remarkably consistent in their strengths and qualities’, and have an ‘excellent ability to address complex issues, to articulate them in a concise and understandable manner and to formulate appropriate solutions’. David Brittenham heads the New York-based team, which includes William Beekman, Paul Brusiloff, and Jeffrey Ross. The firm acts almost exclusively on behalf of private equity and corporate borrowers, including Clayton Dubilier & Rice, which it advised on the financing of its $1.8bn acquisition of Solenis International. Other highlights include advising The Hertz Corporation on the $2.5bn financing required for its split into two publicly traded companies: the car rental business, Hertz, and the separate Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation. Other major clients include Warner Music Group, American Airlines, Tribune Company, and The Carlyle Group.

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Within Capital markets: debt offerings , Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s team of versatile capital markets lawyers regularly represents corporate issuers such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Verizon Communications, private equity firms and their portfolio companies, financial institutions such as AIG and MetLife, and underwriters such as Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. Following its advice to Verizon on its record-breaking $49bn bond offering in 2013, a team led by Steven Slutzky acted for the communications giant on a $500m notes offering. In another issuer-side highlight, Peter Loughran acted for International Paper Company in its $1.6bn notes offering. Matthew Kaplan is also recommended. All named lawyers are based in New York.

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Within Capital markets: equity offerings , Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a second tier firm,

Private equity is a particular strength of the capital markets practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Steven Slutzky advised HD Supply on two secondary offerings totaling $1.3bn, having represented the portfolio company of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and The Carlyle Group in its $1.1bn IPO in 2013. In another deal for a Carlyle Group portfolio company, the highly regarded Matthew Kaplan acted for management and technology consulting services provider Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation in several transactions through which close to $830m worth of common stock was publicly traded. Peter Loughran represented Envision Healthcare in three offerings of common stock with a combined value of close to $2.5bn, having also advised the outsourced medical services provider in its $1.1bn IPO which closed in 2013. Underwriter clients include Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Securities. All named attorneys are New York based.

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Within Capital markets: global offerings , Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP wins plaudits for its ‘highly responsive service as well as its exceptional technical knowledge and strategic perspective’, providing ‘cohesive and integrated advice across multiple products’. Banco Itaú is a key client for Latin American transactions, and the firm can also draw on its network of offices across Europe and Asia to act on deals in those regions. The US practice, based in New York, has a solid reputation in the private equity sphere and this ensures a steady flow of equity and high-yield offerings for Matthew Kaplan, Steven Slutzky and the rest of their team.

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Within Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings , tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s practice co-head Steven Slutzky represented Reynolds Group Holdings, a portfolio company of The Rank Group, in a $590m offering of 6% senior subordinated notes due 2015 and a $650m offering of 5.625% senior notes due 2016. The practice’s other co-head Matthew Kaplan also handled a deal for a private equity sponsor when he advised Altegrity, a Providence Equity Partners portfolio company, in a restructuring of its capital structure, which included a $825m offering of senior first lien secured notes and the issuance of $540m in second and third lien high-yield notes. Peter Loughran, who like the other named attorneys is based in New York, is also recommended.

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Within Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy), tier 4

A ‘top-notch firm with a top-notch restructuring team’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP finds favor for the ‘reasoned and clear advice’ it provides. In particular, New York-based co-chairs Richard Hahn and Natasha Labovitz are ‘excellent advocates and deal doers’, Jasmine Ball is ‘thoughtful and smart’ and My Chi To ‘thinks through all the permutations and is great at tackling complex situations’. The firm has a far-reaching practice that specializes in advising debtors and acquirers of distressed assets in Chapter 11 cases and cross-border restructurings but also acts for creditors, boards of directors and sponsors. Recent company-side cases included advising Altegrity in its $1.8bn restructuring, following an out-of-court refinancing. The firm is also advising OSX in the headline cross-border restructuring of OSX Brasil, which involves over $2bn in funded debt and trade obligations. In a significant transactional highlight, the firm is acting for Standard General in its acquisition, with other investors, of RadioShack’s senior secured asset-based credit facility, formerly led by GE Capital.

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Within Financial services: litigation, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is best known for its ‘excellent’ work for clients engaged in civil and criminal agency enforcements/investigations. In this regard, the team benefits from a number of former high-ranking agency officials, as well as a global platform, which is of particular use given the current trend of increased co-operation between international regulators. Bruce Yannett has a very strong reputation representing institutions and executives in high-profile regulatory enforcement actions, and alongside Jonathan Tuttle and Sean Hecker continues to act for JP Morgan in investigations handled by multiple federal and state regulators regarding its RMBS practices. Mary Beth Hogan is also representing JP Morgan in civil actions brought by the Massachusetts and New York Attorneys General in connection with mortgage foreclosure practices. Eric Dinallo is another core member of the team and is currently representing a major hedge fund in an inquiry related to high-speed trading and possible early access to market information. Other clients include American Express, Capital One and UBS.

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Within Financial services: regulatory, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a second tier firm,

In addition to its ‘responsive and knowledgeable work’ for insurers and asset managers as they seek to come to terms with the heightened regulatory strictures place on them by Dodd- Frank, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has successfully broadened the scope of its client base to include more banks and non-bank consumer services entities. Spearheaded on the bank regulatory side by the ‘very thoroughGregory Lyons and Satish Kini, the firm is gaining market recognition as a result of its Volcker rule work for domestic and foreign banks and insurers including Silicon Valley Bank, Mizuho Bank and American Express. The team is also gaining increased market visibility as a result of its advisory work on Dodd-Frank matters and international regulatory and capital initiatives for a number of major trade associations including the Private Equity Growth Capital Council and the Financial Services Roundtable. As well as advising large insurance and brokerage clients on the assessment and revision of their strategic goals and operational structure in light of Dodd-Frank, including by virtue of ownership of depository institutions, the firm has also handled work for major non-bank financial companies including AIG, MetLife and Prudential in seeking to evaluate the implications of potential designation as non-bank systematically important financial institutions (SIFI) and to respond to FSOC inquiries relating to such designation. Nicholas Potter and John Vasily are both recommended for insurance M&A work, while Paul Lee has significant expertise in Dodd-Frank-related matters for banks and insurers.

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Within Project finance, tier 4

Focusing primarily on the Americas, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has extensive experience of PPPs and has had exposure to a wide range of industry sectors. It is strong on rail and airport work, demonstrable through its ongoing work for the project company behind the further expansion of the primary international terminal at JFK, and oil and gas – it is advising ExxonMobil as sponsor of the construction of a pipeline from Sakhalin Island to China. While it is lighter on the lender side, it has strong relations with a number of large institutions and is advising the lenders on substantially all of the air and surface transportation infrastructure concessions in Chile, while in the US, it is advising the lenders on a $1.5bn solar power plant that will use parabolic trough solar concentrators and molten salt heat storage to permit power generation to continue at night. Other industries in which it is active include metals and mining, power and toll roads. The New York-based group is led by Ivan Mattei, and counsel Douglas Buchanan heads up the project finance and infrastructure groups while Ezra Borut and Sarah Fitts oversee energy and natural resources, and Maurizio Levi-Minzi is the name to note for mining-related matters. Darius Tencza recently retired.

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United States: Industry focus

Within Energy: transactions, tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advises on a range of complex transactional projects in the energy and natural resources space, including oil and gas exploration and production ventures, off-take agreements and a variety of project financings. It recently advised the DOE on the $1.25bn senior secured financing of the $1.6bn Mojave Solar Power Project in California. The firm also advised Kelso & Company on its acquisition of PowerTeam Services, a provider of infrastructure services to the gas and electric utility industry from CIVC Partners and True North Equity. Ezra Borut and Sarah Fitts co-chair the energy and natural resources group from New York.

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Within Insurance: non-contentious, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

Among the ‘best firms in the sector’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice covers the industry comprehensively, incorporating every element of transactional and regulatory matters including M&A, capital markets, bankruptcy, restructuring and corporate governance on a national and global scale. The practice is co-led by Nicholas Potter, who recently advised Protective Life on its $5.7bn sale to Dai-ichi Life; and John Vasily who assisted AXA in acquiring 51% of Mercantil Colpatria’s Colombia operations for $348m. The firm also advised Prudential on pension buyouts in transactions with Motorola Solutions and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Further matters led by Vasily include advising Zurich in the disposition of its Russian retail insurance business and the restructuring of its remaining Russian businesses. Other clients include The Blackstone Group, Sun Life Financial and Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Thomas Kelly is recommended for regulatory matters. Alexander Cochran made the partnership in 2014. All attorneys are based in New York.

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Within Sport, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a second tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s sports offering is closely linked with its IP practice, with Bruce Keller as the practice group leader for both areas. The firm continues to receive headline instructions relating to IP disputes and handled rights of publicity, trademark, content protection and defamation matters. The firm’s recent success in high-stakes rights of publicity cases has ended a run of successive wins for the plaintiffs across a range of sports. It represented the NFL in an action brought by former players who had opted out of an earlier class action settlement; the court granted summary judgment in favor of the client and rejected the players’ argument that they should be compensated for the NFL’s use of historical game footage. It secured a motion to dismiss for the NFL in a separate IP dispute related to the online publication of the plaintiff’s photo and biographical information. Jeremy Feigelson, David Rivkin, a member of the arbitration panel for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and Michael Schaper, who are all based in New York, are other names to note.

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United States: Intellectual property

Within Copyright, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘excellent’ practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is underpinned by its wider commercial litigation capabilities. New York-based Bruce Keller has been handling a number of high-profile copyright cases; he and Washington DC-based Jeffrey Cunard successfully represented several broadcast television companies, including ABC, CBS and NBC, before the US Supreme Court against Aereo, putting an end to its business model of retransmitting over-the-air broadcast programs through the internet. Keller and Michael Schaper, who is also based in New York, continue to defended the NFL in long-running litigation against retired football players who want to be paid for its continued use of game action footage taken during their playing careers; the case began as a class action in 2009, but continued after a large number of players opted out of a settlement.

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Within Trademarks: litigation, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘among the very best for the most complex trademark disputes’ and the team is ‘very responsive, business-oriented, and dedicated to the interests of the clients’. David Bernstein, who has ‘excellent litigation skills and superb knowledge of trademark law’, and Michael Schaper successfully acted for Pernod Ricard and its subsidiary Allied Domecq in a dispute with Russian agency Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport about the Stolichnaya vodka trademark. Bernstein and Jyotin Hamid successfully represented food company KIND in a dispute with Garden of Life regarding the latter’s launch of vitamin supplement products under the name ‘Kind Organics’. Bruce Keller successfully defended Apple against trademark infringement claims by Naeem Ahmed regarding the distribution of applications that access material from Pakistani news sources Jang and Geo. Other clients include Prada, Kate Spade, and Moroccanoil. All mentioned attorneys are based in New York.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Within Alternative/hedge funds, tier 5

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advises on, among other matters, the structuring of a variety of vehicles, including hybrid funds, fund of hedge funds and master-feeder funds, as well as the execution of investment strategies such as distressed debt, equity long-short and multi-strategy for US and non-US-based investment advisers. From an operational standpoint, the team is experienced in the registration of investment advisers, as well as assisting clients with SEC inspections and enforcement actions, among other matters. The group’s expertise in negotiating and structuring trading agreements for funds of funds and financial institutions is another strong suit. Erica Berthou, Byungkwon Lim and Jordan Murray are key individuals in the group, which acts for clients such as The DE Shaw Group, Oaktree Capital Management and Angelo Gordon & Co.

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Within Private equity funds, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

With a footprint spanning the US, Europe and Asia, and a 30-year track record in the industry, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a leading light in the private equity funds space. Its group, which showcases its full-service capabilities for clients such as open-end and closed end-funds, start-up firms, independent boutiques and global alternative asset managers, includes Erica Berthou, who recently led advice to The Carlyle Group on raising $698m in commitments (almost $200m above its initial target) for the Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund. On the investor side, David Schwartz led advice to a consortium of investors, which included HarbourVest Partners and Origami Capital Partners, in the indirect acquisition of a $650m portfolio of private equity and hedge fund interests. Michael Harrell and Kenneth Berman advise the Private Equity Growth Capital Council on regulatory initiatives affecting the industry, including changes within the Dodd-Frank Act. Also highly recommended are Jordan Murray, who represented Clayton Dubilier & Rice in the formation of $6bn buyout fund Clayton Dubilier & Rice Fund IX, and Rebecca Silberstein, whose wide-ranging expertise includes carry plans and management team spin-outs, as well as acquisitions and dispositions of interests in private equity firms. In 2014, Jonathan Adler and Andrew Ahern were made partners.

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United States: Labor and employment

Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a second tier firm,

The three-partner EBEC team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is well-known for its involvement in transactions and often operates at the cross-section of corporate governance, securities, tax, ERISA issues and employment law. Other areas of expertise include executive compensation and fiduciary matters. Practice head Lawrence Cagney, (gives ‘sound, practical advice’), and Elizabeth Pagel Serebransky frequently advise corporations such as Walt Disney, Prudential and JAB SARL, as well as high-level executives, on employment arrangements or the development of executive compensation plans. Cagney also represented Amazon in its $970m acquisition of Twitch Interactive. For Fidelity & Guaranty Life’s IPO, Serebransky and Jonathan Lewis advised on drafting the compensation-related disclosure provisions of the prospectus and prepared new public company equity, bonus and other plans. Other clients include Actavis, Protective Life Corporation, AIG and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. All named attorneys are based in New York.

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Within Labor and employment litigation, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘exceptionally responsive and business friendly’. The firm’s experience includes defending whistleblower, discrimination and retaliation claims, corporate raiding on both the plaintiff and defense sides, contractual disputes involving highly paid executives or sophisticated compensation arrangements, and alleged sexual harassment and employee fraud. Co-chairs Jyotin Hamid and Mary Beth Hogan are ‘particularly good’. Hamid is currently representing Learning Care Group in a cluster of federal lawsuits arising from the termination of its former chief marketing officer Carlene Armetta; in 2014 the Connecticut district courts dismissed all defamation, commercial disparagement, and breach of contract claims. Meanwhile Hogan was retained by The Potomac School to conduct an independent investigation following the criminal prosecution and sentencing by the State of Virginia of a former long-time teacher at the School for the sexual abuse of several former students. One client enthuses: ‘this is the best I have worked with’.

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United States: Litigation

Within Commercial litigation, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

New York’s Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is praised for ‘excellent service, judgment, expertise and an incredibly productive approach’. Clients remark that ‘in terms of product and the manner in which they deal with myriad personalities the team stands out for excellence’. Mark Goodman and Mary Beth Hogan co-chair a practice in which ‘partners roll up their sleeves and actively participate’. Goodman and Shannon Selden obtained a motion to dismiss for a private equity firm in a suit seeking $600m in damages. Hogan secured dismissal of a $100m suit brought by Las Vegas retail development investors against client Sidley Austin LLP. John Kiernan advises the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a dispute seeking $25bn in damages for its bailout of AIG, and is also defending a $3bn claim against Westfield American Trust. Maura Monaghan obtained a landmark ruling for American Airlines affirming the decision that the 9/11 attacks were acts of war and foreclosing liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The firm also handled high-value matters for Hospital Corporation of America, GlaxoSmithKline and MetLife.

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Within International arbitration, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

Working primarily out of New York, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s US-based lawyers have a first-rate reputation for international disputes, be they commercial or investment treaty-related arbitrations, or public international law. The firm’s highly rated London team provides extra gravitas, and it is currently undergoing further growth in key Asian and Latin American markets. The practice also grew at home, following the promotion of Natalie Reid to partner. The team is ‘always looking for innovative ways to deal with issues and to cut time and costs’; indeed ‘its lean manning of cases means it provides excellent value for money’ as well as ‘excellent’ service levels overall. ‘There is huge strength in depth’ in this group, which is co-chaired by the ‘commercial, innovative and hugely persuasiveDavid Rivkin and ‘brilliant and result-drivenDonald Francis Donovan. Other key individuals include Mark Friedman, who is ‘extremely bright and quick on the uptake’, the ‘very responsive, focused and objectiveDietmar Prager, and the ‘extremely creative and business-oriented’ Christopher Tahbaz, who divides his time between Hong Kong and New York. A notable highlight in 2014 was representing Tethyan Copper Company in parallel ICC and ICSID arbitral proceedings respectively brought against the Governments of Balochistan and Pakistan. Other major clients include Occidental Petroleum, Perenco, and GlaxoSmithKline.

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Within Securities: shareholder litigation, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLPeffectively marries regulatory enforcement work with litigation’ and has ‘a market-leading 10b-5 practice’. For Dell, the firm shut down 26 shareholder class action lawsuits opposing its $25bn sale. John Kiernan, co-chair of the firm’s litigation practice, leads ‘a disciplined securities litigation team that can hit the ground running in shareholder derivative cases’. Kiernan, Maeve O’Connor and Gary Kubek successfully defended the Federal Reserve Bank of New York against direct and derivative claims of breach of fiduciary duty brought by Starr International Co. O’Connor, who won a landmark summary judgment from the Supreme Court for Providence Equity Partners, and Edwin Schallert, won significant defense victories in class actions for a long-standing client in cases such as McKittrick v The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America. Colby Smith in Washington DC and Bruce Yannett in New York represented former Hewlett-Packard CEO Léo Apotheker in a federal class action, derivative lawsuits and regulatory investigations arising from the company’s acquisition of Autonomy. Shannon Selden in New York and Jonathan Tuttle in Washington DC are also recommended, for regulatory matters and litigation respectively.

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Within White-collar criminal defense , Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

The practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has seen a number of new hires: former federal prosecutor David O’Neil in Washington DC, and in New York, former general counsel of JPMorgan Chase’s consumer and community banking arm Matthew Biben, and Jim Pastore from the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. As well as enjoying an upsurge in cybersecurity matters, the team has also been active in consumer regulated cases evolving into prosecutions such as advising Toyota on its settlement with the Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York following various investigations relating to vehicle acceleration issues. Bruce Yannett heads the substantial New York practice and together with Sean Hecker and Jonathan Tuttle in Washington DC, is representing JPMorgan Chase in investigations by multiple enforcement agencies arising from RMBS. Yannett and Hecker are also representing four Swiss banks in connection with the DOJ and Swiss Government’s co-operation program. Former attorney-general Michael Mukasey adds additional weight to the team in New York.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Within M&A: large deals ($1bn+), Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has continued to focus on its historical areas of strength, notably private equity buyouts, asset management, insurance and healthcare. Its expertise in private equity buyouts stems in part from the firm’s leading private equity fund formation practice. TMT is another prominent sector for the practice. Amazon, Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless, American International Group (AIG), Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Johnson & Johnson are examples of clients that span these traditional sectors of eminence. Clients see the team as ‘outstanding’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘creative’ and ‘timely’. Recent deals that illustrate its sector strengths include representing Protective Life on its $5.7bn merger with a subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life, advising TIAA-CREF on its $6.25bn acquisition of Nuveen Investments, representing Northwestern Mutual on its $2.7bn sale of Russel Investments to the London Stock Exchange Group; and advising Clayton Dubilier & Rice on the $8.2bn merger of US Foods with Sysco Corporation. In the technology sphere, it advised Amazon on its $970m acquisition of Twitch Interactive. Deal values for the practice are typically in the $1bn to $10bn range. The firm has esteemed insurance regulatory expertise, while asset management has been a key part of the firm’s business for decades. Jeffrey Rosen is praised for his ‘M&A strategy and execution’ and ‘board interface’, while Paul Bird is ‘candid’ and ‘completely trustworthy’ in both strategic M&A and private equity buyouts. William Regner is known for asset management and TMT sector deals and Gregory Gooding is recommended for financial services transactions. Andrew Bab is a leader in healthcare transactions and also represented AIG on its $7.6bn sale of its interest in International Lease Finance Corporation to AerCap Holdings in 2014. Michael Diz is an up-and-coming name.

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Within Private equity buyouts, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a second tier firm,

Building on its already eminent reputation in private equity buyouts, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s recent focus on industry specialization has served it well. Insurance and healthcare, two areas of particular expertise within the firm, have been part of a key initiative to further develop the firm’s private equity business. In insurance, the firm represented Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities Group in its $165m acquisition of Philadelphia Financial Group. It also advised Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) on its $1.8bn acquisition of Wilton Re, the US life insurance and reinsurance provider. In healthcare, the firm represented marquee client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) in its acquisition of PharMEDium and its $910m purchase of Healogics, the US wound care services provider. In 2014, the firm worked with a broad range of private equity sponsors including CD&R, Diamond Castle, Carlyle, Kelso & Company, HarbourVest Partners, Blackstone and CPPIB. The firm also represented One Equity Partners on the sale of 50% of the portfolio companies that constituted the One Equity Partners private equity platform of JP Morgan to Lexington Partners and AlpInvest Partners. The ‘consistently high-quality’ service impresses clients, and the department takes a genuinely broad view on what private equity actually means, taking in the alternative capital area such as hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds. Its solid client relationships stem in part from its unrivalled standing in fund formation with Michael Harrell coming to the fore. It has also made considerable headway in sponsor-side leveraged finance. Margaret Andrews Davenport is co-chair of the corporate department but remains an integral member of the private equity team and is pivotal to many of the firm’s key relationships in the space. Paul Bird is ‘very experienced and commercial’, with a longstanding connection to CD&R and he has worked on several recent transactions for Carlyle. Kevin Schmidt has taken up the mantle of co-head of the private equity group and is close to clients such as Kelso, Carlyle, One Equity and CPPIB; he is a ‘practical and intelligent guy who clients look to for leadership’. Of the up-and-coming partners, Kevin Rinker is also key to the CD&R and Carlyle relationships and has ‘great insight into healthcare’, is a ‘strong negotiator’, and ‘very accessible and commercial’. Jeffrey Ross is an ‘excellent leveraged finance lawyer’. The firm is ‘pound for pound consistently high quality’ and the team is ‘deep and knowledgeable’. The group ‘tends to be closer to the details and their client’s objectives than the other side’.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s practice, led by Jeremy Feigelson assists clients with a broad range of data security and protection matters such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, FCRA, The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, HIPAA and the FTC Act, as well as engaging in cross-border work across Europe. Although Jeffrey Jacobson departed for a position at the Attorney General’s office in New Jersey, the firm hired new counsel Jim Pastore from the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office in New York (southern district) who brings experience prosecuting with the Complex Frauds Unit and Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section. David Sarratt, also counsel, was another new addition from the US Attorney’s office in New York (eastern district); as a federal prosecutor he was involved in numerous investigations and prosecutions from international terrorism, computer intrusion and export violations to fraud and racketeering. Recent mandates include representing JSTOR in a criminal case involving unauthorized downloading of its database.

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Within Telecoms and broadcast: transactional, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a second tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based technology, media and telecoms group is led by Richard Bohm and Michael Gillespie. The team typically acts for major companies in the space, as well as financial institutions and private equity investors. One key client for the team is Amazon, which William Regner recently assisted with its $970m acquisition of Twitch Interactive. Another highlight saw Jeffrey Rosen and Michael Diz advise Verizon on the financial and M&A-related aspects of its $130bn acquisition of Vodafone’s 45% interest in Verizon Wireless. Longstanding client Tribune Media instructed the firm in its agreement with Sony to purchase Gracenote; the lead lawyer in this matter was Jonathan Levitsky. Other notable clients are the Associated Press, The Carlyle Group, Globo Organization, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and News Corporation.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Within Real estate, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based team has ‘a strong record for complex real estate transactional matters’. ‘Formidable’ department head Peter Irwin advised JP Morgan Asset Management on a $1.5bn equity transaction with national retail real estate investment company Edens Investment Trust, and also advised on the acquisition by Edens of AmREIT for $763m. Nicole Levin Mesard, who has ‘an excellent reputation’, advised Westfield Corporation on the $1.4bn acquisition of a leasehold interest in the retail portions of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Fulton Center transit hub and advised the same client on the $1.4bn acquisition of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 50% interest in the World Trade Center retail facilities. Other work included acting for The Rockefeller Group regarding the leasing of 1221 Avenue of the Americas in New York to MUFG Union Bank and two law firms. Edward Rishty was promoted to partner in July 2014.

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United States: Tax

Within Domestic tax, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a third tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘really terrific’ tax practice is home to ‘smart, capable, innovative’ lawyers who act for clients in a broad range of sectors in major domestic and cross-border M&A deals. One such lawyer is department chair Burt Rosen, who, together with Peter Furci, represented AIG in the sale of its 100% interest in The International Lease Finance Corporation to AerCap Holdings for $7.6bn. The ‘fantasticDavid Schnabel acted for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in the $8.2bn merger of US Foods with Sysco Corporation, and Gary Friedman represented the same client in the acquisition of up to a 49% stake in CHC Group. Additional clients of the New York-based group include American Airlines, Verizon Communications and Warner Music.

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Within International tax, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

The ‘excellent’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is praised for its ‘top-value work’ and ‘excellent technical input – it has the ability to have a high-level view on key aspects and to get out from details’. The sizeable team is based in New York and works closely with the London and Paris offices, dealing with matters in the US, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Its clients come from a broad range of industries such as banking, communications and media, software, energy, insurance, and international trade. Gary Friedman led the tax advice to Nestlé on its acquisition of Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $1.4bn. Under the leadership of Peter Schuur, the firm acted for TIAA-CREF in its purchase of Nuveen Investments for an enterprise value of $6.25bn, inclusive of Nuveen’s outstanding debt. Practice head Burt Rosen and Peter Furci represented AIG in the sale of its 100% interest in The International Lease Finance Corporation to AerCap Holdings in a $7.6bn transaction. David Schnabel is also recommended. Other clients include American Airlines and The Carlyle Group. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

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Latin America: International firms

Within Capital markets, tier 6

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s small Latin America team has a capital markets practice largely centred on two significant Brazilian issuers, the media giant Globo Comunicação e Participações (Globopar) and the banking titan Itaú Unibanco. The firm’s relationship with the latter in particular has grown significantly in recent years, giving rise to a steady flow of capital markets issuance instructions, particularly on the debt side. Over 2012 and 2013, the firm advised the bank on a series of offerings under its global MTN programme, including a $1.87bn issuance in November 2012; the programme was expanded in February 2013 from $10bn to unlimited funding. The firm also provides regular advice on SEC reporting issues to the client. New York partner and Spanish speaker Paul Rodel is the key partner for these matters, with co-chair of the global capital markets group Peter Loughran adding further credibility to the practice.

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Within Corporate and M&A, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a second tier firm,

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a well-established Latin America practice with a particularly impressive record in infrastructure, mining and financial sector transactions, and is known for its work representing major family-owned corporate groups in the region. It has also worked on a series of major restructurings, particularly in Brazil. Its practice is primarily located in New York, with senior figures and partners travelling regularly and extensively within the region, and its connections to Latin America and its expertise in dealing with linguistic and cultural aspects of transactions are increasingly recognised. In 2013 it acted for Pueblo Viejo Dominicana, a subsidiary of Barrick Gold and Goldcorp, in renegotiating the terms of the Pueblo Viejo Special Lease Agreement, with an estimated value of $1.5bn, a deal negotiated and documented in Spanish and subject to Dominican Republic law; New York partner and head of the Latin America practice group Maurizio Levi-Minzi led the advice, working alongside tax partner Peter Furci, a Portuguese and Spanish speaker who is regularly involved in Latin American transactions. Elsewhere, the firm acted for regular client Mitsui & Co on its $675m acquisition of a 20% interest in VLI, a Brazilian integrated general cargo logistics company wholly owned by Vale. The firm is also active in Chile, and in the financial sector in Colombia. Levi-Minzi is a prominent player in the infrastructure and mining sectors, particularly in Brazil, Chile and Colombia and increasingly in Peru, and has also acted for Ambev in a number of major transactions; he is ‘creative in finding solutions’ and ‘very good at reading people’, and his ‘international background makes him an asset for the firm’. Michael Gillespie is also a senior figure in the practice, and is heavily involved in Brazil, particularly for several family-owned groups and strategic acquirers; he is a renowned TMT expert and has acted for Brazil media giant Globo in several deals. David Grosgold is well known in the financial institutions space, as is Gregory Gooding, who is also recognised for private equity transactions and is ‘extremely responsive’, ‘diligent’, ‘business savvy’ and ‘well supported by the firm’. The team is ‘easy to work with’ and ‘creative’; it ‘thinks outside the box’, ‘goes the extra mile’ and ‘quickly adapts to the needs and characteristics of the client’.

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Within International arbitration, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a first tier firm,

An international arbitration stalwart in the US, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a superb track record in both investment treaty and commercial arbitration throughout the Latin American region. Co-chaired by Donald Francis Donovan and David Rivkin, the team fields 12 other partners with capabilities in the area including the New-York-based Catherine Amirfar, Dietmar Prager and Mark Friedman. The team is able to draw on the firm’s renowned mining expertise and its client roster includes a number of the largest mining companies worldwide. In an illustration of its strength in this area, the team is representing project company Tethyan Copper, jointly owned by Antofagasta Minerals of Chile and Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada, in two arbitral proceedings against the Government of Balochistan, a province of Pakistan, following the denial of a mining licence: one in the ICC for contractual breaches, and the other in the ICSID for breaches of the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between Pakistan and Australia. The group is active in some of the largest investment cases in the region; Friedman is currently handling an ICSID claim valued at over $3.5bn on behalf of Perenco Ecuador against the Republic of Ecuador in relation to the country’s amendment of its Hydrocarbons Law in 2006, and Rivkin secured a $2.3bn award for Occidental Petroleum Company and Occidental Exploration and Production Company in a BIT arbitration case against Ecuador. The firm has an established reputation in the commercial arbitration field and has recently handled ten ICC arbitrations on behalf of Brazilian parties alone. Donovan, Amirfar and Prager led on a high-profile dispute that spawned three ICC arbitrations seated in São Paulo, where the team represented Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz, founder and shareholder of Grupo Diniz, against his European joint venture partner Casino Guichard-Perrachon; the case settled for over €400m. Other clients include ExxonMobil Corporation, General Electric and Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation. Also recommended is Christopher K Tahbaz, who splits his time between New York and Hong Kong, where the firm launched an international dispute practice in 2011.

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Within Projects and energy, tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a long history with Latin America and is consistently engaged in a range of landmark projects in the region, ranging from mining matters to toll road projects. Project finance is a core sector for the firm and it represents a variety of parties in this area including a number of MLAs and development banks such as IFC, IDB and CAF. The firm is also recognised for its expertise in the public-private partnership (PPP) segment, which it has been at the forefront of in the US. In addition, energy and natural resources is a key segment for the firm and in Latin America it is engaged in a number of mining projects most notably in Chile. Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co is a regular client in this space and the firm recently advised it in connection with its joint venture with Codelco to acquire a 29.5% stake in Anglo American Sur. The firm is also engaged in a series of infrastructure projects in Chile, including representing the lender in connection with the financing of additional works for refurbishment and upgrading of the Ruta del Bosque toll road project. Key partners include head of the Latin America practice group Maurizio Levi-Minzi and chair of the firm’s project finance and infrastructure group Ivan Mattei.

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Latin America: International firms

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