United States : Finance
Within Asset finance and leasing, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton’s ‘outstanding and knowledgeable’ team is particularly strong in the representation of US-based airlines, including American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Its transactional expertise spans a wide range of matters including operating, leveraged and cross-border leases, airline securities offerings such as EECTs, and fleet restructurings or refinancings. The ‘exceptional and intelligent’ department chair John Curry leads the practice from New York and is an active participant in the majority of the group’s transactions, with particular focus on complex matters such as EETCs and capital markets offerings of leveraged lease debt. Recent highlights for the group include representing American Airlines in the $13bn financing of 460 Boeing and Airbus aircraft, and representing the same carrier in its $1.38bn EECT offerings, which covered a total of 73 aircraft. Project and equipment finance expert Darius Tencza continues to advise JFK International Airport on the development and financing of Terminal 4.
Within Bank lending (including other sources of financing), tier 4
Debevoise & Plimpton’s eight-partner practice is based in New York. The firm ‘knows what it is doing’ in the bank lending sphere; areas of expertise include domestic and cross-border leveraged finance, syndicated bank loans, high-yield debt offerings, second lien financings and mezzanine capital investments. The firm is also well known for insurance-related transactions. It acted for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its acquisition, along with AXA Private Equity and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, of SPIE from PAI Partners for a total consideration of €2.1bn. The financing included a €1.3bn senior term and revolving credit facility as well as a €375m bridge loan. The firm also advised Providence Equity on the financing of its $1.9bn acquisition of technology provider SRA. Recommended partners include William Beekman, Paul Brusiloff, Jeffrey Ross and David Brittenham.
Within Capital markets: debt offerings , Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
The ‘tremendous’ securities group at Debevoise & Plimpton is ‘unfailingly responsive’ and provides a ‘first-rate service’. It is highly rated in the investment grade debt and high-yield debt areas. Alan Paley and Peter Loughran head up the ‘practical, knowledgeable and incisive’ team, which has ‘top-notch securities expertise’. Highly active in representing issuer clients, the firm is also increasing its capabilities in providing advice to underwriters. The group is noted for its sector-specific expertise, in areas including private equity, aviation and insurance. Paley and Paul Rodel recently represented Westpac Banking Corporation regarding the preparation and a Rule 144A/Reg. S $1bn initial offering under its $20bn global covered bond program. Known for his work in the private equity acquisition financing space, Matthew Kaplan is singled out ‘unequivocally’ for his ‘professional integrity and high standard of legal skills: he is a pleasure to work with’. Kaplan’s clients include Access Industries, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank Securities. Elsewhere, Loughran advised International Paper on a $900m offering of 4.75% notes due 2022 and a $600m offering of 6% notes due 2041, and Steven Slutzky advised The Rank Group and its subsidiary company Reynolds Group on several debt offerings in 2011. Also recommended are William Beekman, and Ethan James, who joined in 2011 from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.
Within Capital markets: equity offerings , Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Delivering ‘excellent quality’, Debevoise & Plimpton’s ‘extremely responsive’ team has experience across all types of equity offerings, and the firm’s high-level expertise in the private equity and insurance arenas gives the team a unique standing in the market. Aviation is another key area, and American Airlines remains a longstanding client. Providing ‘well-researched and considered advice’, the team is led by Peter Loughran and Alan Paley. The firm acted on several notable mandates as underwriter counsel during 2011. Loughran advised Goldman Sachs, Citi and Credit Suisse as bookrunning managers of the $9.7bn combined primary and secondary offerings of common stock and common equity units by MetLife and AIG. Loughran also represented the underwriters in two follow-on offerings of common stock by CVR Energy totaling $374.7m, and advised the underwriters, comprising Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and Goldman Sachs, on CVR Partners’ $353m IPO. Matthew Kaplan and Jeffrey Ross have ‘impressive industry knowledge’. Kaplan is also rated for his ‘timely and incisive responses on even the most complex issues’, and together with Paley, advised Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup as joint bookrunning managers on Cigna Corporation’s $650m offering of common stock. On the issuer side, Kaplan represented Booz Allen Hamilton in its $238m IPO. Steven Slutzky and Paul Rodel are recommended.
Within Capital markets: global offerings , Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton’s ‘excellent’ securities team has strong global capabilities, and acts for major financial institutions in addition to a host of issuer clients across several industry sectors. ‘Able to handle large and complex transactions’, the ‘very responsive’ group is active in both debt and equity offerings work. On the equity side, the team advised Société Générale as the global coordinator of the €300m IPO of Axway. Debt highlights included Alan Paley and Paul Rodel advising Westpac Banking Corporation on the preparation and initial offering of its $20bn global covered bond programme pursuant to Rule 144A/Reg. S, the first Australian covered bond offering into the US. Rodel and Peter Loughran also count Itaú Unibanco as a client, and in 2011, the team assisted the bank in a $500m offering of 6.20% notes due 2021 and a $250m offering of 5.75% notes due 2021, under its $10bn MTN program.
Within Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings , Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Drawing on its private equity expertise, the ‘highly skilled and adaptable’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton has high-yield debt experience in assisting issuer clients in complex offerings. Providing an ‘exceptional level of service’, the team provides a ‘depth of talent’ and ‘very good insight’. Matthew Kaplan and Paul Rodel are recommended for their experience in private equity acquisition financing deals through high-yield debt offerings. In 2011, Kaplan represented Access Industries in connection with several senior notes offerings by WMG Acquisition and WMG Holdings regarding the Access Industries’ acquisition of Warner Music Group’s recorded music and music publishing business. Rodel also advised SRA International and Providence Equity Partners in a $400m offering of 11% senior unsecured notes due 2019. The ‘adaptable, flexible and committed’ Steven Slutzky is an ‘astute professional’ with a ‘wealth of knowledge’. Slutzky represents The Rank Group and its portfolio companies in securities work, including high-yield debt and debt offerings. Practice chairs Peter Loughran and Alan Paley are noted for their broad expertise, and the team is noted for its strength at associate level, with Stratis Philippis singled out for his negotiation skills.
Within Corporate restructuring, tier 4
The ‘world-class’ bankruptcy group at Debevoise & Plimpton is ‘thoughtful, creative and business-minded’, provides ‘deep, insightful analysis’ and is ‘always available to its clients’. Led from New York by co-chairs Richard Hahn and the ‘technically outstanding’ Steven Gross, the team now numbers eight partners following the arrival of Natasha Labovitz in September 2011 from leading restructuring player Kirkland & Ellis LLP – she attracts praise for her ‘commanding presence in court’ and for her ‘ability to understand client needs and provide practical, creative advice that is tailored accordingly’. Among the firm’s recent cases, My Chi To (considered to be ‘among the brightest young bankruptcy lawyers in the country’ due to her ‘unparalleled understanding of deal structure and inter-creditor dynamics’) worked alongside the firm’s corporate team to advise Galderma on its $275m acquisition of the intellectual property, and other assets, of Graceway Pharmaceuticals. Other highlights for this ‘top-notch team’ included representing Najafi Companies on its proposed acquisition of the assets of Borders Group, involving the purchase of assets worth $215m and the assumption of liabilities worth $220m. On the debtor side, the firm advised party supply company Oriental Trading Company, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, in its successful emergence from Chapter 11 proceedings.
Within Financial services: litigation, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton’s financial institutions group is highly reliable in ‘complicated, “bet the ranch” type matters’, and derives some of its strengths from its ‘preeminent white-collar defense’ team led by Mary Jo White, as well as its regulatory practice in Washington DC. The group advises international financial firms that find themselves under the microscope of industry regulators and brings ‘the best partners from all practice areas to the table’. Andrew Ceresney recently defended a global bank in connection with an investigation by the SEC and DoJ. In the securities realm, Kenneth Berman acted for Safra on compliance issues pertaining to SEC rules and Federal Reserve regulations; the ‘particularly responsive and thoughtful’ Maeve O’Connor is also active in SEC enforcement proceedings. The addition of Gregory Lyons and Satish Kini has supplemented the team’s banking arsenal. The pair has acted for the sector’s leading trade associations (including the Private Equity Growth Capital Council and the Financial Services Roundtable) on Dodd-Frank Act compliance issues and international regulatory initiatives. Insurance is another area of excellence, and the team frequently represents monoline insurers in litigation contesting obligations under credit default swaps. Key institutional clients include American Express, Credit Suisse and UBS.
Within Financial services: regulatory, Debevoise & Plimpton is a second tier firm,
Based out of the firm’s New York and Washington DC offices and aided by a significant presence in Europe and Asia, Debevoise & Plimpton’s ‘intelligent, thoughtful and hardworking’ financial institutions group has the scope and critical mass to resource a broad range of domestic and cross-border mandates. Praised for its ability to provide ‘technically correct advice, while giving commercially sound guidance’, the team is ‘particularly effective at contextualizing new developments in financial services regulation into the broader context’. The team’s standing in the industry is underscored by its involvement for a plethora of trade associations including the Private Equity Growth Capital Council on the regulatory implications arising from Dodd-Frank and numerous Basel Committee regulatory initiatives. The firm’s banking work also continues to grow under the leadership of the ‘intelligent, thoughtful and hardworking’ Satish Kini and Paul Lee, both of who helped secure the necessary FDIC approval to allow the completion of Westpac’s cross-border acquisition of J O Hambro Capital Management. However, the team remains best-known for its ‘outstanding knowledge of insurance regulatory matters in the US, Europe and Asia’. Particularly active at handling transactional matters within the insurance sector, the ‘real value proposition is that there are not a lot of firms that combine both a top-notch Wall Street M&A practice and a deep understanding of the insurance industry and insurance regulation’. The ‘exceptional’ Nicholas Potter is the ‘authority on insurance M&A and provides instant credibility when he enters the room’. Potter recently represented MassMutual on the sale of its interest in its Taiwan-based affiliate, MassMutual Mercuries. The ‘excellent’ John Vasily is also a leading figure within the insurance industry, and hot on the heels of his high-profile representation of AIG on AIA’s spin-off and subsequent IPO, recently advised the insurance giant on its $2.16bn sale of its majority interest in Nan Shan Life Insurance. Co-head Gregory Lyons is also a pivotal member of a team that includes counsel Michael Devins, who ‘has an encyclopaedia-like understanding of the insurance M&A landscape and the legal framework for getting deals done’.
Within Project finance, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton handles a mix of sponsor and lender matters in the electrical power, oil and gas exploration, petrochemicals and mining sectors, with a notable niche in the area of PPP financings and asset dispositions for both distressed and sound project finance transactions. The team acted for the US Department of Energy on a $1.45bn loan guarantee to the 250MW Solana solar power project, and on the $1.2bn senior-secured financing for the Mojave solar power project. It also acted for the developer on the establishment, construction and operation of Chicago’s proposed new Abraham Lincoln International Airport, on a PPP basis; and for ExxonMobil, in structuring the inter-sponsor arrangements in connection with the development of a proposed floating LNG terminal in New Jersey. In the mining arena, the team acted for the sponsors on joint exploration arrangements for the development of copper deposits in Colombia and on the development of a gold mine to exploit the Natalka deposit in northeastern Russia. New York-based partners Ivan Mattei, Craig Bowman and Darius Tencza are recommended.
Within Structured finance , tier 4
Acting for clients such as Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, Debevoise & Plimpton handles the full gamut of derivatives and structured finance transactions, but has particular expertise in matters relating to insurance and investment management products. Other areas of strength include regulatory and tax-related advice, hedge fund experience and expertise in cross-border transactions. Practice co-chair Byungkwon Lim is particularly strong in the derivatives arena, and remains busy assisting clients on compliance with Dodd-Frank Act requirements. For structured products, Pierre Maugüé (also co-chair) and William Beekman come recommended; for products relating to the insurance industry the key contacts are Ethan James (who joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in 2011), Nicholas Potter and Thomas Kelly. The firm maintains a strong relationship with Dart Management, for which it handles various derivatives and structured finance matters, including the recent review of various trading documents and in the restructuring of the client’s various subsidiaries. New client gains include Rabobank and Citibank’s securities lending business.
United States : Industry focus
Within Energy: transactions, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton’s energy transactions team ‘has the horsepower to take on any task at any time, and the work is always first class’. The team advised Sithe Energies on several electricity matters including the insolvency of Washington Group International, its construction contractor on several major electricity generation facilities and the $1.7bn sale of Sithe New England Holdings to Exelon Corporation. It also represented the same client on the sale of seven generation facilities in the US and Canada to Reservoir Capital Group and the sale of its remaining non-North American assets to Marubeni. It also acted for EBG Holdings during its $5bn merger with Astoria Generating Company Holdings; Tenaska in the formation of TPF II, a $2.4bn energy investment fund that invests in the US electric power generation sector; and Cogentrix in its $2.4bn sale to GS Power Holdings. The team’s oil and gas practice predominantly focuses on transactions with international aspects. For example, it advised Mitsui and affiliates on an agreement with Anadarko Petroleum to participate in the Marcellus Shale gas project, including the purchase of 32.5% of Anadarko’s interest in over 300,000 net acres of mineral leases in consideration for carrying up to $1.4bn of Anadarko’s share of drilling and related costs. Further, the team is also representing Mitsui regarding the Sakhalin-2 offshore oil and gas development in Russia’s Far East, and representing Mobil Oil and Texaco in a tender bid and negotiations for development of oil and gas fields in the continental shelf area of Sakhalin Island. Maurizio Levi-Minzi co-heads the energy and natural resources practice with Sarah Fitts.
Within Insurance: non-contentious, Debevoise & Plimpton is a first tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton is credited as being ‘the very best firm – bar none – with respect to knowledge involving insurance M&A and securities work’, and also ‘one of the most business-savvy firms with a deep appreciation of what truly matters to the client’. The practice’s international reach is also an attraction for clients, with a core practice in New York and key industry locations London and Hong Kong. In a US-Asia deal, the group advised AIG during the $2.16bn sale of its 97% interest in Nan Shan Life Insurance to Ruen Chen Investment Holding and Pou Chen Corporation. The group is acting for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as financial advisor to Nationwide Financial in its merger with Harleysville Mutual. The estimated net surplus of this merged entity is in excess of $13.5bn and over $16bn in annual direct written premiums. Nicholas Potter, who has ‘an outstanding knowledge of the insurance industry’, is leading the matter. Seeing an increase in instructions from the healthcare sector, the group is also advising CIGNA in regulatory and tax matters relating to its $3.8bn acquisition of HealthSpring. John Vasily is highly rated as a corporate legal advisor in the field of insurance, and Thomas Kelly is also recommended. The much-respected Wolcott Dunham stepped down from the partnership in 2011 but remains of counsel, while the team was expanded by adding Ethan James from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Eric Dinallo, who was formerly the superintendent of New York state insurance department.
United States : Intellectual property
Within Copyright, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton is a leading IP firm with national scope, particularly in the areas of technology and internet law, and its 'first-rate team offers succinct, clear and thorough advice' concerning copyright litigation, enforcement, licensing and counseling. The practice's track record includes having advised the Association of American Publishers and various publishing houses on the copyright infringement case challenging Google's proposals to develop a digital archive of published works through its Google Books Library Project. Bruce Keller leads the IP litigation group from New York and is also noted for his work on issues of first impression as well as entertainment industry cases. Keller successfully defended Sony Pictures Television and A&E TV in a high-profile copyright case brought by a photographer who claimed his copyrighted photo was infringed by the television film, Who is Clark Rockefeller? Keller also won a copyright infringement claim for the National Football League against Titlecraft's wooden replicas of the NFL's Vince Lombardi Trophy. New York-based litigator Jeremy Feigelson is also recommended, as is Washington DC-based Jeffrey Cunard, who handles IP transactions and copyright litigation.
Within Trademarks: litigation, Debevoise & Plimpton is a first tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton continues to defend leading consumer goods brands in high-profile trademark disputes. The practice successfully defended Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) in the highly publicised trademark dispute brought by rival fashion design house Christian Louboutin regarding trademark protection for the red colored sole on footwear. The firm defeated YSL's pursuit of a preliminary injunction, which the plaintiff then appealed to the Second Circuit; the case attracted a number of amicus briefs. David Bernstein is a lead lawyer on the case and is involved in other trademark and trade dress litigation regarding major global brands. Bernstein continued to act for Allied Domecq (owned by brewer and distiller Pernod Ricard) as a defendant in the Stolichnaya trademark dispute brought by the Russian government against SPI Group. In this case, the plaintiffs recently filed a third amended complaint, which was dismissed at a district court ruling. Bruce Keller was part of a team leading for plaintiff The Gap Inc in a trademark infringement and dilution case brought against travel company G.A.P. Adventures, citing actual customer confusion regarding both companies' brands and logos. It won a district court ruling of infringement.
United States : Investment fund formation and management
Within Alternative/hedge funds, tier 4
Debevoise & Plimpton may be better known for its powerhouse private equity practice, but its broad capability also spreads across a range of asset classes and alternative funds. It advises on operational issues facing its sponsor clients, including trading and reporting compliance, negotiation of service agreements and other regulatory and compliance issues. It supplements this with work for sovereign wealth funds and pension funds on their investments into hedge funds and other unregistered investment products. Clients include Abu Dhabi Investment Capital, Oaktree Capital Management and Ramius Alternative Solutions. Byungkwon Lim heads the hedge funds practice, and is also expert in derivatives and structured finance.
Within Private equity funds, Debevoise & Plimpton is a first tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton fields 50 US-based attorneys, comprising ‘one of the deepest benches in the private equity industry’, and its ‘first-rate’ team of fund formation lawyers is considered to be among the best in the market. The depth of team and expertise allows it to staff credible teams simultaneously for multiple clients including GP sponsors and institutional investors, among them major private equity firms such as The Carlyle Group, and advise on transactions, tax, ERISA, fund structuring and fundraising. Distressed debt continued to be a key driver in 2011, with the team acting for longstanding client Oaktree Capital Management in forming Oaktree Opportunities Fund VIII, a global distressed debt fund that closed in March 2011 with $7bn in capital commitments. In conjunction with Oaktree Opportunities Funds VIIIb, this represented one of the largest distressed products raised in 2010 or 2011, and is reflective of the scale of the work handled by the firm. The team also represented three of the ten largest funds globally to close in the second quarter of 2011, including EIG Global Energy Partners’ Energy Fund XV, a $4.1bn fund specializing in power, energy and energy-related infrastructure investments. Illustrating its international reach, the team acted for Vinci Capital on the formation of a $1.4bn buyout fund focused on Brazil. ‘Extremely satisfied’ clients cite the team’s ‘good knowledge of changing trends in fund terms’, thanks in part to its 30-year track record and the expertise of practice co-chair Michael Harrell, ‘a real industry leader’. Fellow co-chair David Schwarz is also highly recommended, as is ‘rising star’ Erica Berthou, whose ‘dedication, skill, judgment and work effort are simply phenomenal’. Rebecca Silberstein also draws praise as ‘an excellent negotiator who really goes to bat for her clients’, as does Jennifer Burleigh for her ‘great command of issues, market sentiment and commercial awareness’. The team’s fund formation and transactional capability is underpinned by a strong tax offering, which includes the ‘top-notch’ Peter Furci.
United States : Labor and employment
Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton’s three-partner executive compensation group has considerable experience in corporate governance, ERISA, and tax and securities laws. The New York-based attorneys are ‘very responsive, and deliver quality advice’. Department head Lawrence Cagney is ‘extremely intelligent and creative’ and ‘one of the best in the field of executive compensation’, and ‘understands the subtle nuances of the law’. The ‘very collaborative and solution-oriented’ Elizabeth Pagel Serebransky and Jonathan Lewis are also recommended. Serebransky was the lead partner advising on a definitive merger agreement under which Access Industries acquired Warner Music Group Corp. Lewis is advising International Paper in its pending acquisition of the outstanding common stock of Temple-Inland. Practice clients include Hertz Global Holdings, Kelso & Company, and Schneider Electric. Associate Alison Buckley is also recommended.
United States : Litigation
Within International arbitration, Debevoise & Plimpton is a first tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton is ‘extremely skilled in international arbitration’, and maintains a strong reputation as a leader in the field; ‘the work is of consistently high quality, carefully thought out, and persuasively presented’. The firm is one of few to combine investment treaty arbitration, general commercial dispute resolution and public international law, with experience in a wide range of arbitral forums. These include the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The firm continues to represent Occidental in an ICSID arbitration against Ecuador, in claims filed after Ecuador terminated the client’s exploration and production rights and seized all of its assets in the country; the claim is for more than $3bn in damages for expropriation and other treaty and contract claims. The firm is also assisting Perenco Ecuador in an ICSID claim for nearly $1bn against Ecuador, which has proceeded to a merits hearing. On the commercial side, the firm acted for a tire manufacturing company in a series of disputes, including a successful $20m International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) arbitration over a contract to provide tires for a mining equipment manufacturer. Within the ‘very committed and talented’ team, co-chairs Donald Donovan and David Rivkin are ‘leading practitioners’ in the field, and are ‘recommended without reservation’. Catherine Amirfar also stands out as ‘an exceptional advocate’, alongside the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Mark Friedman.
Within Securities: shareholder litigation, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Leveraging off its strength in white-collar crime and regulatory investigations, Debevoise & Plimpton provides ‘all-encompassing experience in securities litigation and regulation’. Led from the firm’s New York and Washington offices by Edwin Schallert and Colby Smith respectively, the firm is known for its excellent cross-border enforcement capability, which attracts a broad mix of clients from both inside and outside the US. The team acts for both financial institutions and corporations on securities fraud and derivatives actions and secured several notable victories over the past year. The firm successfully won dismissal of all claims against client Manulife Financial Corp, and two of its officers, in a cross-border case alleging misstatement of the company’s financial condition. In another of its recent highlights, the firm won dismissal of all claims against Security Capital Assurance (now Syncora Holdings) and four former offices in a case alleging failure to disclose exposure to subprime mortgage risk. Gary Kubek is also highly active in this area.
Within White-collar criminal defense , Debevoise & Plimpton is a first tier firm,
The ‘best in class’, Debevoise & Plimpton’s ‘cordial, talented and responsive’ white-collar and government investigations team has an ‘unparalleled level of knowledge’ across the spectrum of matters including financial fraud, FCPA violations and matters impacting on the pharmaceutical industry. The team has ‘recent, practical experience and an effective way of delivering advice to lawyers and non-lawyers alike’, and handles criminal and SEC investigations and litigation, as well as parallel civil and administrative proceedings. Recognized as the ‘doyen of the white-collar bar’, co-head Mary Jo White is regularly called upon by corporates to extricate them from high-stakes problems. Very active in the financial industry, she continues to represent Kenneth Lewis, former CEO of Bank of America, and recently successfully argued that he should not face individual charges in the SEC’s case against the bank for its disclosures relating to the acquisition of Merrill Lynch. White is one of no fewer than 11-former assistant US attorneys that also includes ‘excellent’ co-chair Bruce Yannett, who was recently part of a multi-office team that represented Ferrostaal in an extensive internal compliance investigation regarding allegations of corruption in several jurisdictions. The ‘thoughtful, commercial and very experienced’ Sean Hecker is representing a former employee of JPMorgan in an SEC inquiry into CDO transactions. Andrew Ceresney and Matthew Fishbein are recommended. Clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Forest Laboratories, Ferrostaal and HCA. Neil Eggleston left in February 2012 to join Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
United States : Media, technology and telecoms
Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton’s cross-border, interdisciplinary team provides regulatory counseling in the US and Europe, defends government enforcement actions and supports financial services transactions. Data sharing, data breaches, regulatory investigations and internal data policies are key specialisms. The group has particular strength in publishing, with Bruce Keller and his team representing members of the Association of American Publishers, achieving an unprecedented settlement in connection with the Google Library Project. Keller handled the litigation element of the case and Jeffrey Cunard led the settlement negotiations. Jeffrey Jacobson is representing ABC, ESPN, Hulu, MTV Networks, Myspace and NBC Universal in a consumer fraud and electronic privacy putative class action relating to zombie cookies. Andrew Ceresney is assisting a US bank with an internal investigation relating to the loss of back-up tapes. Satish Kini is advising a consulting firm on a series of data breaches. Colby Smith is advising on a multijurisdictional investigation by US authorities of a large European oil and gas company. Clients include John Wiley & Sons, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson Education, Penguin Group (USA), Simon & Schuster and Siemens.
Within Telecoms and broadcast: transactional, Debevoise & Plimpton is a second tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton’s ‘responsive, results-oriented’ 35-strong media group undertakes M&A and capital markets work for longstanding clients in the media, broadcasting and telecoms sector. The telecoms group is integrated into the firm’s corporate practice and its cross-disciplinary strength and market reputation help it win prestigious, large-scale mandates. According to clients, it is a ‘professional and resourceful group that understands the media industry’. Lawyers ‘always come up with creative solutions and are excellent negotiators’. Jeffrey Rosen and his team represented Access Industries in its $3.3bn acquisition of Warner Music Group and acted for The Carlyle Group in the $3bn sale of Insight Communications to Time Warner Cable. Michael Gillespie, recommended as a ‘senior professional and excellent negotiator who goes beyond what one would expect’, represents Globo Organization, Latin America’s largest media company. Kevin Rinker advised LivingSocial on its acquisition of Ticket Monster, South Korea’s leading social commerce website. Richard Bohm acted for Discovery Communications in its $156m acquisition of BBC Worldwide’s 50% interest in the BBC Worldwide-Discovery joint ventures Animal Planet and Liv. Bohm also represented longstanding clients the Dolan family in the tax-free leveraged spin-off of AMC Networks to the stockholders of Cablevision. Steven Gross ‘knows all about debt restructuring and is a tough negotiator: skilled, firm, and trustworthy’. Other clients include Alibaba, Amazon.com, News Corporation and Verizon.
United States : Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts
Within Antitrust, tier 6
‘Very knowledgeable in the antitrust arena’, Debevoise & Plimpton is recommended for its ‘excellent client service’. Staffed principally by litigators, who have substantial merger experience, the three-partner department works closely with other departments, such as the white-collar criminal defense, intellectual property and corporate M&A teams. The well-rounded group acts for plaintiffs and defendants, and has experience across a wide range of industries, managing an even workload of mergers, investigations and litigation. Recent work includes representing Amazon.com in its acquisition of e-commerce company Quidsi, which owns Diapers.com and Soap.com. The firm also continued to act for The Association of American Publishers in copyright litigation over Google’s plan to scan full-text books, which included a DOJ antitrust investigation. Based in New York, key antitrust contacts include Gary Kubek, Daniel Abuhoff and of counsel Kyra Bromley. Michael Schaper was recently promoted to partner and is adept at handling IP-related antitrust issues.
Within M&A: mega-deals ($5bn+), Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
Clients ‘could not be more complimentary of the level of service’ provided by Debevoise & Plimpton. Its attorneys ‘have deep M&A and cross-border experience and it shows on deals. They cover all their bases, and anticipate your needs before you do. Their approach to problem-solving is creative, thorough and elegant. They also staff leanly, making them excellent value for the level of service provided’. The practice has particularly strong experience with complex leveraged acquisitions and cross-border transactions. The practice represented International Paper in its $4.3bn acquisition of Temple-Inland, assisted Reynolds Group in its $4.5bn acquisition of Graham Packaging Company, and acted for Schneider Electric in its $2bn acquisition of Telvent GIT, a software and solutions provider to the electricity, water, transportation and oil and gas industries. The team was counsel to Access Industries in its $3.3bn acquisition of Warner Music Group, acted for Reynolds Group in its $6bn acquisition of Pactiv Corporation, a NYSE-listed global manufacturer and supplier of consumer food and beverage packaging and storage products, and represented Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in its $3.2bn acquisition of Emergency Medical Services Corporation. Jeffrey Rosen is corporate chair. Rosen is ‘among the consummate M&A/corporate lawyers in the country’. Paul Bird and William Regner are co-corporate and M&A chairs. Regner ‘delivers high-value and to the point advice’. Corporate partner Kevin Rinker has ‘deep M&A experience and business acumen. He is able to guide contentious and complex negotiations and land us in a great place. Kevin is also an effective and measured negotiator and able to see the big picture without losing sight of all the details’.
Within Private equity buyouts, Debevoise & Plimpton is a first tier firm,
The ‘extremely capable’ and ‘high-quality’ Debevoise & Plimpton continued to feature in many of 2011’s highest value and headline transactions. It recently represented marquee client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) on its $4.3bn sale of Diversey Holdings to Sealed Air. It also acted for CD&R on its $3.2bn acquisition of Emergency Medical Services and advised Providence Equity Partners on its $1.9bn going private acquisition of SRA International. While the firm is most closely associated with CD&R, its private equity client portfolio is steadily increasing. Indeed, nine of the firm’s top 20 clients are private equity houses. Some of the credit should go to the firm’s ‘dominant’ and ‘go-to’ funds formation practice (See Private equity funds), although transactional work for private equity houses accounts for a much larger slice of firm revenues. Additional key clients include HarbourVest Partners, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, The Carlyle Group, Providence Equity Partners, Stone Point Capital and Kelso & Company. The department ‘can be counted on for critical advice at crunch time’ and is ‘well staffed with senior and very experienced partners, and very smart and very hard working team members’. The team has ‘deep sector knowledge’, is ‘very user-friendly’ and ‘understands how to get things done in a commercial manner’. The partners are ‘very client-focused’, are ‘very responsive’ and are strong on ‘coordination’ and ‘deal quarter-backing skills’. The team is praised for its ‘industry knowledge’ and ‘practical advice’. Clients also point to the contribution of ‘specialty’ practice areas such as tax, litigation, benefits and finance. Senior members of the department include New York partners Franci Blassberg; Peggy Andrews Davenport (‘extremely bright’, ‘great ability to get to the heart of the commercial issues’); Paul Bird (‘excellent negotiator and corporate mergers lawyer’); Kevin Rinker (‘extremely client oriented’, ‘calm under fire’, ‘commercial’), Jeffrey Rosen (‘one of the strongest lawyers I have worked with’, ‘has a grasp of every facet of a deal’, ‘understands the pulse of the negotiations’, ‘unfazed by deal complexity’); and Kevin Schmidt.
United States : Real estate and construction
Within Real estate, Debevoise & Plimpton is a third tier firm,
The three-partner New York based team at Debevoise & Plimpton provides a ‘top-notch legal service in a very cost-effective manner’. Practice chair Steven Alden led the advice to Beacon Capital Partners on its acquisition of a long-term ground lease at 330 Hudson Street and a 270,000 sq ft sublease to Pearson Education. The group represented the same client in its acquisition of an interest in the partnership that owns 1633 Broadway, a 2.4 million sq ft office building valued at $2bn. The highly regarded Peter Irwin represented a consortium of investors led by Oaktree Capital Management in the acquisition of Sea Island, Georgia, and also led the advice to JPMorgan in the joint venture acquisition of a $700m Fifth Avenue building. As well as advising clients such as TIAA-CREF and Tishman Speyer, Nicole Levin Mesard represented Westfield LLC in its retail space investment at the World Trade Center site; the joint venture has an estimated value of $1.25bn. Bolstered by corporate, tax and project finance partners, the resourceful team conducted a variety of complex real estate transactions in 2011; half of the deals were located outside of New York, spread across 20 states.
United States : Tax
Within Domestic tax: East Coast, Debevoise & Plimpton is a first tier firm,
Burt Rosen chairs the 10-fee-earner tax department at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, which handles the full range of M&A, fund formation, and corporate work, with significant cross-border capabilities. The firm recently represented Hewitt Associates in connection with its $4.9bn merger with Aon Corporation, and advised Access Industries on its $3.3bn all-cash purchase of Warner Music Group’s entire recorded music and publishing business. Clients report ‘first-class’ service levels. Peter Schuur has ‘a terrific grasp of US and UK tax issues’, and Vadim Mahmoudov knows the intricacies of his clients’ businesses and has an ‘in-depth understanding of tax issues’. Adele Karig is also recommended.
Within International tax, Debevoise & Plimpton is a first tier firm,
Debevoise & Plimpton global tax department chair Burt Rosen leads a team of some 50 lawyers spanning offices in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt with particular expertise in the financial products tax space. The firm’s lawyers work closely with clients and investment banks on cross-border M&A, private equity, hedge fund formations, joint ventures, bankruptcies and restructurings, public and private financings and real estate transactions to clients in a diverse range of industries including airlines, banking, communications and media, energy, insurance and mining. Seth Rosen led the firm’s tax advice to American International Group in connection with AIA Group Limited’s spin-off from and $20.51bn IPO and listing in Hong Kong, the largest IPO in Hong Kong and the world’s largest IPO in the insurance sector at that time. David Schnabel and Rosen led the tax advice to Reynolds Group in a series of acquisitions and financings totalling more than $15.9bn, including acquisitions of Graham Packaging Company, Pactiv Corporation, Reynolds Consumer Products and Closure Systems International and Evergreen group of companies. Representative clients include Carlyle Group, Mitsui, Pernod Ricard and Verizon.
Further information on Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in other jurisdictions.
Offices in Shanghai
Offices in Frankfurt
Offices in Paris
- Capital markets : Capital markets
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : Stock market litigation
- Dispute resolution : White-collar crime
- Mergers and acquisitions : Mergers and acquisitions
- Tax : Tax
Offices in Hong Kong
- Corporate (including M&A) : Corporate (including M&A)
- Dispute resolution: international arbitration : Dispute resolution: international arbitration
- Investment funds : Investment funds
- Private equity : Private equity
Latin America: International firms
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Capital markets : Capital markets
- Corporate and M&A : Corporate and M&A
- International arbitration : International arbitration
- Projects and energy : Projects and energy
Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : Equity capital markets: UK capability
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: premium deals, £250m+
- Corporate and commercial : Private equity: transactions
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: corporate crime
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: white-collar crime
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Dispute resolution : Public international law
- Finance : Acquisition finance
- Finance : Asset finance and leasing
- Finance : Emerging markets
- Finance : Investment funds
- Insurance : Insurance: corporate and regulatory
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Mining and minerals
Offices in Moscow
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Capital markets : Capital markets
- Corporate and M&A : Moscow
- Energy and natural resources : Energy and natural resources
- Shipping and transport : Shipping and transport
- Finance : Asset finance and leasing
- Finance : Bank lending (including other sources of financing)
- Finance : Capital markets: debt offerings
- Finance : Capital markets: equity offerings
- Finance : Capital markets: global offerings
- Finance : Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
- Finance : Corporate restructuring
- Finance : Financial services: litigation
- Finance : Financial services: regulatory
- Finance : Project finance
- Finance : Structured finance
- Industry focus : Energy: transactions
- Industry focus : Insurance: non-contentious
- Intellectual property : Copyright
- Intellectual property : Trademarks: litigation
- Investment fund formation and management : Alternative/hedge funds
- Investment fund formation and management : Private equity funds
- Labor and employment : Employee benefits and executive compensation
- Litigation : International arbitration
- Litigation : Securities: shareholder litigation
- Litigation : White-collar criminal defense
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: data protection and privacy
- Media, technology and telecoms : Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : Antitrust
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : M&A: mega-deals ($5bn+)
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : Private equity buyouts
- Real estate and construction : Real estate
- Tax : Domestic tax: East Coast
- Tax : International tax