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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

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Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The quality of legal services fromDebevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘always top notch’ and the practice has a strong private equity and investment manager following that includes the likes of Beacon Capital partners and TPG Real Estate. The team was once again busy on behalf of key client JPMorgan Asset Management, with Peter Irwin advising on the joint venture acquisition and financing of Ink Block, a mixed-used project located in Boston, and Edward Rishty assisting with the acquisition and financing of 850 Lake Shore Drive, located in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. The team was also active on behalf of foreign investors, including sovereign wealth funds, and Nicole Levin Mesard continued to handle a number of transactions for Westfield Corporation; Levin represented Westfield in its $600m mortgage financing secured by Westfield San Francisco Centre and Westfield Emporium, both in San Francisco. In other work, Rishty represented Carmel Partners in connection with engaging Greystar Real Estate Partners as the property manager and leasing agent for substantially all of the properties in Carmel’s real estate portfolio. All named attorneys are based in New York.

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United States: Antitrust

Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based group is led by Gary Kubek and Daniel Abuhoff, who provide ‘very situation-specific advice, based on a strong commercial understanding of markets and how the regulators would view potential issues’. Kubek is working with the London and Moscow offices to assist Dover Corporation with obtaining multi-jurisdictional approvals for its $780m acquisition of Wayne Fueling Systems. Michael Schaper and counsel Kyra Bromley are other contacts.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘a very capable firm with growing bench strength’. ’Fantastic’ practice head Bruce Yannett, along with Sean Hecker and Jonathan Tuttle, represented the former CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals in multiple parallel investigations, and Yannett represented Rolls Royce in DOJ and UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) anti-corruption investigations. Hecker worked alongside Matthew Fishbein in advising New York City on campaign finance investigations. David O’Neil advised EMI Music Publishing Management on DOJ litigation pertaining to the 1MDB scandal. The firm also advises major corporate and individual clients on domestic and cross-border FCPA, anti-money laundering and tax investigations. Yannett, Hecker and Fishbein are based in New York, as are Andrew Levine and Helen Cantwell. Mary Jo White returned to the New York office in January 2017 following her near four-year term as chair of the SEC, and John Gleeson joined that office in March 2016 after serving as a district judge in the Eastern District of New York. Tuttle and O’Neil are based in the Washington DC office, which Andrew Ceresney joined in January 2017 after serving as director of enforcement at the SEC.

Leading lawyers

Bruce Yannett - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Sean Hecker - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

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Financial services: litigation
Financial services: litigation - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Comprising numerous former regulators, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s integrated team leans heavily on its regulatory, litigation and white-collar groups to provide ‘practical and thorough advice’ across the gamut of issues facing the financial services industry. Bruce Yannett, Sean Hecker and Washington DC-based David O’Neil recently successfully secured non-prosecution agreements for Union Bancaire Priveé and HSZH Verwaltungs in relation to the DOJ’s Swiss bank program. Other highlights include the continued representation of JPMorgan Chase in mortgage-related disputes and the firm’s successful representation of Capital One in derivative litigation arising from regulatory inquiries regarding its AML compliance program. The return in March 2017 of Mary Jo White, following her recent tenure as chair of the SEC, and Andrew Ceresney, who served under her as the Director of Enforcement at the SEC, is a major fillip for the team going forward.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has strong renown in the market thanks to its continued involvement and successful track record in major complex litigation. For long-time client Prudential Financial, Maeve O’Connor and Edwin Schallert have handled securities class action and derivative lawsuits regarding unclaimed life insurance benefits and a putative class action concerning the interpretation of a provision of the California Insurance Code. Other ongoing cases include John Kiernan and David O’Neil’s representation of FanDuel in litigation and negotiations surrounding the issue of whether daily fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling. Other key figures in the department include Shannon Rose Selden, whose clients include Standard General and JC Flowers, and fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers Mark Goodman.

Leading lawyers

Mark Goodman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘top-quality’ department at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP delivers ‘excellent response times’ and has ‘a fantastic reputation’ for advising on international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and public international law. The international dispute resolution team is led by the ‘renownedDonald Donovan and the ‘vastly experiencedDavid W Rivkin. It acted for Tethyan Copper Company in an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration with the Pakistani province of Balochistan and also represented it in an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration with Pakistan. Other highlights included acting for Perenco Ecuador as claimant against the Republic of Ecuador in an ICSID claim concerning Ecuador’s 2006 amendment of the hydrocarbons law, as well as assisting Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Occidental Exploration and Production Company in an ICSID case with the Republic of Ecuador. The ‘exceptionalCatherine Amirfar, who rejoined the firm in 2016 after spending two years as counselor on international law at the US Department of State, is co-head of the public international law group. Other key contacts include Mark Friedman, who is ‘first rate’, the ‘excellentNatalie Reid and recently made partner Ina Popova. All individuals mentioned are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Catherine Amirfar - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

David W Rivkin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Mark Friedman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ina Popova - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Natalie Reid - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Co-chaired by Donald Donovan and David W Rivkin in New York, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘vast’ international dispute resolution team is ‘very experienced’ on a range of matters, including high-profile commercial litigation, white-collar and regulatory defense work, cybersecurity and data privacy matters, and complex IP disputes. Rivkin and Christopher Tahbaz, also based in New York, led Sanum Investments on a Singapore Court of Appeal case against its holding company Lao Holdings. David O’Neil in Washington DC and Courtney Dankworth in New York represent EMI Music Publishing Management in litigation brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking more than $1bn in an asset forfeiture matter. Also in New York, Bruce Yannett chairs the white-collar and regulatory defense group, Mary Beth Hogan co-heads the litigation group alongside Andrew Ceresney, who recently rejoined the firm after serving as the director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), David Bernstein heads the IP litigation group, and David Sarratt was recently promoted to partner. John Kiernan and Mark Friedman, who divides his time between London and New York, are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

David W Rivkin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

For the biggest, hardest problems it has an enormous track record of success’, say clients of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. While the firm’s securities litigation team is not the largest in New York it ‘punches above its weight and has a presence on some of the most prominent matters in the market’. Litigation department co-chair John Kiernan has standout litigators in his team, including Maeve O’Connor and Edwin Schallert, who represented Prudential Financial in two key matters; in Burton v The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, they secured dismissal of a putative class action that raised issues of first impression concerning the interpretation of provisions in the California Insurance Code. O’Connor also represents insurance company MetLife. The firm’s workload covers diverse industry sectors. For example, Bruce Yannett and Washington DC-based Colby Smith are acting for mining company Barrick Gold in a class action alleging securities fraud. O’Connor and Schallert successfully defended the former CFO of Hertz in a class action alleging misstatements of the company’s financial position. In a significant development, the firm’s regulatory enforcement practice saw the return of former SEC Chair Mary Jo White and former SEC enforcement director Andrew Ceresney in early 2017.

Leading lawyers

Maeve O’Connor - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Finance

Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The aviation finance group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘professional, experienced and extremely dependable’. Specializing in raising public and private capital for airline companies, the team’s client list includes well-known US carriers such as American Airlines and Spirit Airlines. John Curry, a ‘guru of aircraft finance and leasing’, has completed a wide variety of work for Delta Air Lines, including, alongside counsel Le V Lam, advising the client on separate mortgage facilities with five different lending groups to finance 26 aircraft, and, alongside Lam and fellow counsel Raymond Wells, assisting with separate lease facilities with three lessor groups to finance a pool of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Currently, Jasmine Ball and counsel Jaeyong So are acting as aircraft counsel to CHC Group, a large global commercial helicopter service company, in relation to its Chapter 11 proceedings, seeking to restructure $2bn of debt. The team also remains active in EETC offerings, having acted for Spirit Airlines in its first-ever EETC offering, totaling $576.6m. All named individuals are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

John Curry - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Jointly headed by Matthew Kaplan and Steven Slutzky, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based team leverages the firm’s market leading private equity funds practice to dominate in that sphere, but it also routinely acts for corporate issuers, financial institutions and underwriters. In a key example of its signature strength, Kaplan advised Getty Images, a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group, on a $250m debt-for-debt exchange. Kaplan also assisted Westpac with a series of debt transactions totaling $13.7bn. Slutzky’s recent debt transactions included acting for Reynolds Group in the placement of $1.3bn senior secured notes, $750m senior secured floating rate notes and $800m of senior notes. Peter Loughran is also recommended and advised Manulife on its registered MJDS offering of $1.7bn of senior notes.

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘fantastic’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLPcould not be bettered’, according to some. In a major headline, capital markets co-head Steven Slutzky led the firm’s advice to US Foods Holding in its $1bn IPO, which was notably the fifth-largest IPO in the US during 2016. Matthew Kaplan jointly leads the New York-based practice and has handled a string of landmark equity deals recently, including acting for BoozAllen Hamilton Holding in a series of secondary offerings totaling $2bn. Peter Loughran is also an active member of the team and advised SiteOne Landscape Supply on its $241.5m IPO. Among the firm’s manager-side work, Loughran advised Barclays and Credit Suisse as lead underwriters on the $169m IPO of GMS.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Capital markets: global offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s multi-disciplinary team is well versed in global debt and equity offerings for underwriters and issuers. Westpac Banking Corporation is a major client, which the firm advised on a series of issues in 2016 totaling $13.75bn. On the equity side the firm acted for Booz Allen Hamilton, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, in a series of secondary offerings worth £2bn. The group also handled several significant transactions for underwriters, such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital and Goldman Sachs, in connection with offerings by Metlife totaling $3.9bn. Matthew Kaplan and Steven Slutzky jointly lead the team from New York.

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s diverse practice is weighted towards the issuer side, and it acts for an impressive range of corporate issuers, asset managers and portfolio companies in high-yield matters. Steven Slutzky jointly leads the New York-based department and advised HD Supply on its $1bn high-yield notes offering; he also assisted US Foods Holding with its $600m offering of notes. Group co-head Matthew Kaplan acted for Corporate Risk Holdings in several capital markets transactions connected to its $2bn restructuring, including its $825m offering of senior first lien secured notes. NCI Building Systems and Univar are other clients.

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘an incredibly responsive, practical, deep and experienced’ borrower-led practice that is ‘the best in the business’. The team, which is led by ‘incredibly helpful’ finance chair David Brittenham, attracts praise for its strength-in-depth; partners such as Jeffrey Ross (‘great at knowing what terms we want’), Paul Brusiloff, and Scott Selinger (who ‘demonstrates depth beyond his age’) are commended for ‘caring deeply about the client relationship and working to ensure success’. The firm has an excellent track record advising private equity sponsors such as Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Oaktree Capital Management, Providence Equity Partners and Stone Point Capital, and its work for corporates is also at the cutting edge. Recent corporate borrower highlights include advising Hertz Corporation on the $5.3bn financing required for the spin-off of its equipment rental business. In other significant mandates, the firm advised Envision Healthcare on the financing of its $15bn merger with Amsurg, and Activision Blizzard on the financing of its $5.9bn acquisition of King Digital.

Leading lawyers

David Brittenham - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ramya Tiller - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Financial services regulation
Financial services regulation - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Based out of New York and Washington DC and aided by an international network that includes key offices in London and Hong Kong, the ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provides ‘practical advice that goes beyond just an understanding of the regulatory requirements’. The firm has longstanding strength within the insurance sector and leverages this to provide niche expertise to non-bank SIFI-designated entities on the heightened regulatory requirements that are attached to this designation. The ‘practical and pragmatic’ David Portilla in New York not only has profound knowledge of non-bank SIFI matters but is also praised for his ‘deep knowledge of foreign banking organizations and the current regulatory requirements applicable to those institutions’. Portilla has been working alongside the ‘responsiveGregory Lyons, also in New York, and the ‘strategicSatish Kini in Washington DC to provide broad-ranging Volcker Rule compliance advice to a wide roster of clients, including TIAA-CREF, Royal Bank of Canada, and Fifth Third Bancorp, as well as representing trade associations, including SIFMA and Private Equity Growth Capital Council, in their dealings with the Federal Reserve and other regulators to obtain regulatory relief and guidance on various Volcker Rule issues. Praised for his ability to ‘add value by providing a practical perspective on regulatory matters’, Lyons has also been central to the firm’s resolution planning work and recently worked alongside the restructuring group to draft a living will for AIG; the first of its kind for a non-bank SIFI. The broker-dealer regulatory practice was recently enhanced by the arrival in January 2017 of David Aman from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Since publication, former broker-dealer practice head and blockchain expert Lee Schneider has moved to McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Leading lawyers

Paul Lee - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

David Portilla - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based practice is particularly strong in infrastructure and PPP matters. Ivan Mattei and senior counsel Douglas Buchanan head the practice with strong support from counsel Armando Rivera Jacobo. On the equity investment side, Maurizio Levi-Minzi acted for Brookfield Business Partners on its $768m purchase of a 70% stake in Odebrecht Ambiental, Brazil’s largest private water distribution and treatment company. Other clients include Meridiam Infrastructure, Footprint Power, Mitsui and the US Department of Energy. Corporate energy partner Sarah Fitts is also recommended, as is counsel Michael McGuigan.

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a rounded practice acting mainly for creditors but also for debtors. On the creditor side, in the SunEdison case, My Chi To is leading the representation of D E Shaw and Co and Madison Dearborn Partners as holders of notes and other claims against the debtor. With litigation partner Shannon Rose Selden and new arrival Christopher Updike, To also represents D E Shaw and Madison in the New York Supreme Court regarding breach of contract claims against TerraForm Power, LLC and TerraForm Power, Inc. The group is a ‘hidden gem’ and, ‘for the cost-benefit they provide, a shop to watch’ and also represented Oaktree Capital in the high-profile Energy Future Holdings Chapter 11. In the retail sector, the firm is representing hedge fund Standard General regarding its distressed investment in the second American Apparel bankruptcy and private equity sponsor Kelso & Company in connection with the prearranged Chapter 11 of Logan’s Roadhouse. In a notable debtor-side engagement, the firm is acting as aircraft counsel to CHC Group in connection with its Chapter 11 proceedings, with Richard Hahn and Jasmine Ball working alongside the firm’s aviation team. Hahn and Natasha Labovitz lead the New York-based team.

Next generation lawyers

Christopher Updike - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Industry focus

Insurance: advice to insurers
Insurance: advice to insurers - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is adept at undertaking insurance disputes arising from government investigations, life insurance matters and cross-border litigation. It is representing MetLife in multiple class action suits concerning a dispute over the client’s death benefits payment system arising from an inquiry into the way life insurance companies use the Social Security Death Index. It is also acting for a group of defendants including HRG Group in a putative class action alleging that the clients purposefully created fraudulent reinsurance transactions. AIG, MassMutual and the Life Insurance Council of New York are also on the client roster. Eric Dinallo, Maeve O’Connor and Edwin Schallert lead the practice, which also includes Daniel Abuhoff and international disputes chair Donald Francis Donovan. All lawyers mentioned operate from the New York office.

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Insurance: non-contentious
Insurance: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘a top-notch insurance industry practice’ and is ‘definitely top of its field’, according to clients. The team advises on high-value insurance M&A, regulatory matters, pension risk transfers and private equity investments for insurers, reinsurers and asset managers, among others. Respected joint practice leader Nicholas Potter and David Grosgold advised Exor on its hostile acquisition of PartnerRe, including terminating a separate merger agreement between PartnerRe and AXIS Capital; Potter also assisted with StanCorp Financial Group’s $5bn sale to Meiji Yasuda Life. The recommended Alexander Cochran assisted Swiss Re with its acquisition of term life insurance policies from Citigroup; Cochran is also known for his work in financing and securities offerings. The well-regarded John Vasily is the other joint head of the practice, which also includes Marilyn Lion, who ‘has very deep insurance industry expertise’, and regulatory expert Thomas Kelly. AIG and Prudential Financial are among the firm’s other clients. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

John Vasily - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Nicholas Potter - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alexander Cochran - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Marilyn Lion - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s team has ‘extensive experience in copyright counseling and litigation’. It has been defending the NFL against claims by retired NFL players, who sought payment for the NFL’s continued use of game action footage. In a software copyright matter, it has been representing Rimini Street in seeking a declaratory judgment that the software maintenance services it provides do not infringe Oracle’s copyrights. Other clients include Bridgestone, Symphony Space and the New-York Historical Society. Practice chair Jeffrey Cunard in Washington DC is ‘very knowledgeable’ and Jim Pastore in New York is a ‘skilled litigator’.

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Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘one of the finest law firms in the country’ for complex trademark disputes. The ‘outstanding’ team is praised as ‘committed, thoughtful, experienced and extremely responsive’. It represents Havana Club Holding and the Cuban state-owned Empresa Cubana Exportadora de Alimentos y Productos Varios in the long-running dispute over the ownership of the ‘Havana Club’ trademark with Bacardi, which purchased the rights from a company that used the mark before the Cuban revolution. Other highlights included representing Merck KGaA Darmstadt in its multi-jurisdictional dispute with Merck & Co regarding the use of the name Merck, specifically how the 1970 coexistence agreement is applied on the internet, and acting for the Snyder’s-Lance subsidiary Princeton Vanguard before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding the registration of the client’s ‘Pretzel Crisps’ trademark. Other clients include Snap, Highline Capital Management and GlaxoSmithKline. David Bernstein, Michael Schaper and Jyotin Hamid in New York are recommended.

Leading lawyers

David Bernstein - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Noted for its ‘excellent industry knowledge’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘top-ranked’ team of ‘very responsive, creative negotiators’ acts for a heavyweight roster of private equity clients such as KKR and The Carlyle Group across a wide range of asset classes. Erica Berthou - ‘a true star’ - and counsel Katrina Rowe advised Global Infrastructure Partners on its third infrastructure fund, which represents the largest fund the client has raised to date. In the buyout space, Rebecca Silberstein and Andrew Ahern advised Kelso & Company on a $2.6bn fund. On the debt fund side, Berthou advised Oaktree Capital Management on the launch of two debt funds with a combined total of $11bn in commitments, and assisted GSO Capital Partners with a $6.5bn mezzanine fund. David Schwartz and Jonathan Adler regularly advise on fund formation matters for clients including Morgan Stanley. On the fund M&A front, Jordan Murray advised an investment firm on a minority sale to Goldman Sachs. Michael Harrell retired as a partner, but continues to act as of counsel.

Leading lawyers

David Schwartz - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Erica Berthou - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Adler - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Katrina Rowe - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions)
Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions) - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The New York-based group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is led by Lawrence Cagney. The Dolan family enlisted the firm to oversee Cablevision’s $17.7bn sale to Altice - a matter led by Elizabeth Pagel Serebransky. Cagney advised Activision Blizzard on its acquisition of King Digital, and assisted StanCorp with its sale to Meiji Yasuda. The team also advises Apple, Walt Disney Allianz and UBS on various employee benefits and executive compensation matters. Jonathan Lewis and Meir Katz represented Prudential in the de-risking of its group annuity contracts.

Leading lawyers

Elizabeth Pagel Serebransky - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Lawrence Cagney - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Meir Katz - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘fantastic private equity relationships’ and ‘long-term relationships with white shoe corporate clients’. The firm’s ‘fantastic white-collar crime litigation and SEC enforcement practice’ adds to the credibility of its corporate practice. It has an especially strong record in financial services, TMT and healthcare. Clients include Amazon.com, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Pernod Ricard and Tribune Media, as well as major private equity houses such as Apollo Global Management, Carlyle and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Healthcare continues to be a growth area for the department, which advised leading biopharmaceutical company Allergan on its $2.9bn acquisition of LifeCell from Acelity. It also advised relatively new client Envision Healthcare on its $15bn merger with AmSurg. In the TMT sector, the firm has longstanding relationships with Verizon as well as the Dolan family, the controlling shareholder of Cablevision Systems, which it continued to advise on Cablevision’s $17.7bn sale to Altice. The firm also advised Activision Blizzard on its $5.9bn acquisition of King Digital Entertainment. In addition, the firm represents a number of private equity sponsors in the TMT space, such as Carlyle’s TMT group and Providence Equity Partners. Jeffrey Rosen is chair of the corporate department and a big name in high-value M&A. Paul Bird is another senior practitioner with an impressive record in major transactions, including the Envision Healthcare deal. Andrew Bab and Kevin Rinker lead the firm’s focus on healthcare M&A. Michael Diz is another key team member and is especially active in the TMT sector. Co-heads of the M&A group William Regner and Gregory Gooding are also recommended. All named partners are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Jeffrey Rosen - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jennifer Chu - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Uri Herzberg - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a ‘go-to’ firm at the ‘top of the legal community’, providing ‘the highest level of service’ thanks to ‘the commercial acumen of the professionals’. The firm is praised for bringing the ‘most critical commercial and risk points to the forefront’ and for its ‘consistent quality of work and strong cultural fit’ with clients. The firm extended its client relationships in 2016, advising 21 private equity sponsors on deals, up from 15 in 2015. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Kelso & Company are long-term clients, but it is also receiving regular engagements from key names such as Providence Equity Partners, and is making solid progress with diversified sponsors such as Carlyle, including its technology and media, healthcare, and consumer and retail divisions. The firm also impressed with its work for alternative capital providers such as Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Healthcare, insurance, technology, media and telecoms are key sectors for the practice, which benefits from the support of the firm’s market-leading fund formation practice, its esteemed borrower-oriented leveraged finance practice, an established tax practice and a solid employee benefits and executive compensation team. In 2016, it advised CPPIB on its $1.1bn acquisition of specialty insurer Ascot from AIG. Key partners include senior name and ‘experienced M&A attorneyPaul Bird, who is pivotal to the firm’s work for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Kevin Schmidt leads the firm’s connection to Kelso and CPPIB and Kevin Rinker has an impressive record with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and Providence Equity; Rinker has the ‘experience base, familiarity with market precedents and ability to help create unique structures to position clients to make the best deals they can’. Uri Herzberg, who was promoted to partner in July 2016, also receives praise from clients. Peggy Andrews Davenport has retired from the partnership, but remains of counsel.

Leading lawyers

Paul Bird - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Uri Herzberg - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing
Advertising and marketing - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is recognized for its contentious expertise, which includes preliminary injunction experience. Jeremy Feigelson represented L’Oréal USA in a class action related to the accuracy of the claims made in the client’s advertisements for its anti-aging cream and David Bernstein is defending BA Sports Nutrition in an NAD challenge brought by the makers of Gatorade claiming that the client’s advertising campaign unfairly criticized its brand and falsely suggested that Gatorade is not a sports drink due to its artificial ingredients. Bernstein leads the group, which includes litigators Michael Schaper and Jyotin Hamid; Hamid is representing Merck in a cross-border trademark infringement and false advertising dispute against Merck & Co relating to an advertising campaign. Other clients include the NFL and GlaxoSmithKline. James Pastore and Jeremy Feigelson are also recommended. Washington DC-based cybersecurity expert Luke Dembosky joined from a position at the US Department of Justice. Attorneys mentioned, unless otherwise specified, are based in New York.

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Cyber law (including data protection and privacy)
Cyber law (including data protection and privacy) - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York based team ‘takes great pride in understanding clients’ internal processes, controls and culture, and brings great professionalism, expertise and work ethic’. Jeremy Feigelson leads the ‘top-of-the-game’ practice, which includes the ‘highly accomplishedJim Pastore as well as David Sarratt and new arrival from the Department of Justice Luke Dembosky, who is ‘an extremely competent litigator and negotiator, specifically regarding international cybercrime, intellectual property crimes and incident response’. The team assisted the National Basketball Association with its incident response plan through tabletop exercises and also provided American Express with a global cyber program, which included pre-breach and risk mitigation advice. Demonstrating its COPPA expertise, the team defended a compliance investigation by the New York Attorney General against Viacom.

Next generation lawyers

David Sarratt - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Clients single out Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for its ability to ‘always do a terrific job navigating complex and high-profile issues’ while ‘providing consistently top-quality solutions’. In a notable highlight, practice co-head Jonathan Levitsky advised Discovery Communications on its investment in Lionsgate, and Lionsgate’s subsequent $4.4bn acquisition of Starz. Other clients include Amazon.com and the NFL; co-head Michael Schaper is representing the latter in a class action brought by former players regarding payment for continued use of old game footage. The team also operates in the private equity space and recently assisted The Carlyle Group with its investment in production company NEP Group. Co-head Michael Diz is noted for his telecoms expertise, clients praise ‘impressive’ IP litigator David Bernstein and M&A specialist Richard Bohm is recommended. All attorneys are based in New York.

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Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
Telecoms and broadcast: transactional - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Michael Diz and Jonathan Levitsky are key members of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s technology, media and telecoms department. The team handles domestic and international mandates within the telecoms, content production, distribution, broadcast, cable television and radio sectors, assisting with M&A, IP issues, tax and financing. Levitsky advised Discovery Communications on its purchase of shares in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (Lionsgate) and its subsequent involvement in Lionsgate’s $4.4bn acquisition of Starz, while Diz and Jeffrey Rosen recently advised Verizon Communications on its $1.8bn acquisition of XO Communications’ fiber-based internet protocol and Ethernet networks; they also assisted the client with the sale of its California, Florida and Texas local wireline operations to Frontier Communications, totaling $11bn. Diz is also working with Richard Bohm in advising the Dolan Family as the controlling stockholders of Cablevision on its sale to Altice for $18bn, and as the controlling stockholders of The Madison Square Garden Company on the spin-off of Madison Square Garden’s live sports and entertainment businesses. Bohm and Michael Gillespie jointly chair the firm’s media and telecoms group, which also includes IP specialist Jeffrey Cunard. Other clients include Amazon.com, Twitch Interactive, Tribune Media Company and the independent committee of the board of directors of Viacom.

Leading lawyers

Michael Gillespie - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Diz - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s clients in the international tax arena include American Airlines, The Carlyle Group, Verizon Communications and Kelso & Company. Key partner Michael Bolotin is an ‘incredibly knowledgeable and practical go-to person on complex international tax matters’, and the rest of the team ‘strives for continuity, is responsive and works well with others’. Peter Furci advised Cablevision on its $17.7bn sale to the Dutch Altice, while practice leader Burt Rosen and Gary Friedman acted for Italian investment company Exor during its $6.9bn acquisition of PartnerRe. ‘Outstanding international tax lawyerPeter Schuur supported StanCorp Financial Group in its $5bn sale to Japanese insurer Meiji Yasuda Life. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Gary Friedman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Peter Schuur - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘excellent’ tax team, which is jointly headed by the ‘outstanding, proactive and thoughtfulPeter Schuur and Peter Furci, is commended for its ‘responsiveness, commitment and creative approach to clients’ objectives’ and for its ‘capacity to explain complicated issues in plain English’. Furci led a team advising Verizon Communications on its acquisitions of Telogis and the fibre-optic business of XO Communications. Other highlights for the group included acting for the majority shareholders of Cablevision during its sale to Altice and assisting Envision Healthcare with the tax issues arising from its $15bn merger with Amsurg Corp. Gary Friedman, Robert Staffaroni, Michael Bolotin and Burt Rosen are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Gary Friedman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Bolotin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Latin America: International firms

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 5

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a number of key Latin America issuer-side relationships, particularly in Brazil. In 2017, it advised Brazilian media conglomerate (and long-term client) Globo Comunicação e Participações (Globopar), on its $200m bond offering. New York’s Paul Rodel was the lead partner.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Providing ‘extremely high levels of service’ and ‘high quality M&A legal advice’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP displays ‘high level business acumen and industry knowledge’ and ‘in depth knowledge of its clients’; it is particularly recognised for its transactional record in the beverages, healthcare and financial institutions sectors. The firm has developed an especially strong record in Brazil-related M&A transactions, restructurings and issues surrounding distressed assets, along with white-collar crime, compliance and sanctions. Highlight transactions include its representation of Brookfield Business Partners and institutional clients of Brookfield Asset Management in their $768m acquisition of a 70% controlling stake in Odebrecht Ambiental, Brazil’s largest private water distribution, collection and treatment company. The firm has an especially strong global private equity practice and advised Evercore on the transfer of Evercore Mexico Capital Partners (EMCP) to Glisco Partners, a new entity created by EMCP principals; this involves Glisco assuming all responsibility for the management of existing EMCP funds, which manage some $266m of invested capital. In another landmark private equity engagement, the firm advised Latin America’s largest private equity firm, GP Investments, on the creation of a joint venture with a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to acquire a controlling stake in BR Properties, a Brazilian real estate company that GP founded in 2006 and exited in 2010. Co-head of the Latin America group Maurizio Levi-Minzi is closely associated with the region and has a fine record in private equity and infrastructure transactions. Colombian born partner David Grosgold is praised for his financial services M&A experience, his abilities on cross-border M&A involving Latin American entities, and his ‘insurance industry expertise’. Clients also appreciate his ‘strong command of both the legal aspects of transactions coupled with business acumen’. Michael Gillespie is recommended for TMT deals and is widely recognised for his long-term association with Brazilian media group Globo Comunicação e Participações. Gregory Gooding is another key member of the team, particularly in relation to private equity deals. All partners are based in New York.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘one of the top arbitration teams, both in quality of advice and responsiveness’. International Council for Commercial Arbitration president Donald Francis Donovan jointly leads the international dispute resolution group, while the highly regarded Dietmar Prager is Latin American group co-chair. They have been handling several Brazil-related commercial arbitration cases arising from construction disputes and, on the investment treaty arbitration side, are representing Holcim as claimant in an expropriation-related ICSID arbitration with Venezuela. Mark Friedman, who divides his time between London and New York, also continues to act for investors in disputes with Latin American states; his recent highlights include representing Gramercy Funds Management and an affiliate in a dispute with Peru arising from the country’s attempts to avoid payment of agrarian bonds awarded in exchange for a previous expropriation. All lawyers mentioned are located in New York unless stated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Donald Francis Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Further information on Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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France

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Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Latin America: International firms

India

London

Offices in London

Russia

Offices in Moscow

United States

Offices in Washington DC and New York

Legal Developments by:
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

  • Anomalies of insurance law

    Although the courts are often at pains to point out that insurance law is merely a subset of general contract law and should be applied without any concession or discrimination simply because the subject matter is insurance, there are, in fact, several aspects that are peculiar to insurance. An understanding of these anomalies will assist in penetrating the sometimes arcane depths of insurance law. They include:
    - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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