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
Chiyuda-Ku, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, New York and 3 more

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States: Antitrust

Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s antitrust team advises a range of clients in a range of industries on the antitrust issues pertaining to transactions, with a focus on the healthcare sector. Representing pharmaceuticals developer Lannett in its acquisition of Kremers Urban Pharmaceutical is a case in point. The firm continues to work for Amazon and Toyota. Gary Kubek and Daniel Abuhoff head the antitrust team.

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United States: Dispute resolution

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Led by Bruce Yannett, the ‘responsive and strategic’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘as good as it gets for SEC and DOJ investigations and regulatory matters’. Jonathan Tuttle continues to represent JPMorgan Chase in state and federal investigations into its RMBS practices. Sean Hecker has a strong reputation and has been representing numerous individuals in US and UK criminal and regulatory investigations regarding alleged Forex manipulation. Along with Yannett, Hecker has also been acting for four separate Swiss banks in connection with the DOJ’s program designed to encourage Swiss banks to cooperate with the DOJ’s investigations into the use of foreign bank accounts by US citizens and residents to commit tax evasion. Eric Dinallo, the ‘tenacious but balanced litigatorMatthew Biben and the ‘intellectual, thorough and knowledgeableMary Beth Hogan are also names to note.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based team is considered ‘outstanding for bet-the-farm litigation’, particularly in the healthcare and financial services sectors. Recent highlights include Maeve O’Connor and Edwin Schallert’s representation of Prudential Financial in numerous class actions across the country, and Mark Goodman and Sean Hecker’s defense of a major pharmaceutical company in a breach of contract claim. The team of ‘technically excellent litigators’ includes the ‘scalpel sharp’ Maura Monaghan, Shannon Rose Selden, who has a strong private equity client base, and John Kiernan, whose broad practice spans contract disputes, derivatives and consumer class actions.

Leading lawyers

John Kiernan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s international dispute resolution team is ‘supremely professional’ and among the premier international arbitration practices in the world. The New York and Washington DC offices, which handle commercial and investment treaty arbitrations and public international law, work closely with the firm’s teams in key arbitration centers such as London, Paris and Hong Kong. Group co-chair David Rivkin is the current President of the International Bar Association (IBA), a testament to his outstanding reputation in the field, and in April 2016 Donald Donovan began a two-year term as President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). Donovan is praised for his ‘breadth of knowledge, legal skill and ability to understand people at all levels’. Mark Friedman - whose expertise is in investment treaty cases - is representing energy company Perenco in a $4bn-plus dispute with Ecuador. In another highlight, Donovan and Friedman joined Natalie Reid and Dietmar Prager to represent Tethyan Copper Company in an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration against Pakistan and an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration against the Pakistani province of Balochistan. Other clients include sovereign states such as South Korea, financial investors, healthcare companies and major manufacturers.

Leading lawyers

David Rivkin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s dispute resolution team is among the best in the world for handling commercial litigation, enforcement proceedings and government investigations on behalf of multinational companies, states and state-owned entities. New York-based Donald Donovan and London-based Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC are lead counsel for insurance company Cigna in the US courts, and for Cigna’s parent company, ACE, in the Cayman Islands and before the Privy Council. The case, which stems from denied coverage claims regarding alleged losses incurred during the Liberian civil war, concerns the enforcement of competing awards obtained in multiple jurisdictions. Goldsmith, the firm’s co-managing partner and chair of the European and Asian litigation team, is ‘very professional and particularly experienced’. Bruce Yannett, head of the white-collar practice and a ‘leading FCPA lawyer’, represents financial institutions, manufacturers, retail chains and other types of company in government investigations. Other esteemed members of the group include David Rivkin, Sophie Lamb, Mark Friedman and David Bernstein.

Leading lawyers

David Rivkin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Overview

Firms that excel in this practice area are historically internationally-focused, such as White & Case LLP, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and international behemoths such as King & Spalding LLP, Herbert Smith Freehills and Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. There are also up-and-coming boutiques that specialize in international law and arbitration, such as Dan Tan Law, which was founded in 2011 by Dan Tan, formerly of Latham & Watkins LLP, O’Melveny and Myers LLP and Lovells. Three Crowns LLP, another top-notch boutique, was co-founded in 2014 by a group that includes Jan Paulsson, who is widely recognized as a legend in the field of international arbitration. The growth of international law specialists, outstanding international legal boutiques and dedicated international practices at major law firms is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP does ‘market-leading securities work for insurance companies and has a strong regulatory investigations practice’. John Kiernan - co-chair of the firm’s litigation practice - has star players in the New York team in Maeve O’Connor and Edwin Schallert, who have represented significant clients in high-profile matters such as MetLife, Prudential Financial, the board of directors of Dell and the former CFO of Hertz. O’Connor’s most recent work for MetLife involved the defense of multiple shareholder class actions in federal and state courts challenging the insurer’s payments of death benefits; she won dismissal of nearly all the claims. In the Hertz matter, O’Connor and Schallert won a motion to dismiss claims that the company misstated its financial position. Bruce Yannett and Gary Kubek are key advisers to JPMorgan Chase on RMBS investigation and derivative litigation. Also recommended are Colby Smith and Jonathan Tuttle in Washington DC, whose clients include Barrick Gold Corporation. The firm has a substantial hedge fund and private equity client base.

Leading lawyers

Maeve O’Connor - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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White-collar criminal defense
White-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provides an ‘excellent level of service’ and is particularly active in conducting anti-corruption investigations for high-profile clients from a range of sectors. Additional recent work includes handling inquiries made by various regulators into JPMorgan Chase’s credit card debt collection practices. The ‘very talentedBruce Yannett heads the group and is noted for ‘great judgment and advocacy skills’. Other key figures in the New York office include Sean Hecker, Andrew Levine, Helen Cantwell, Matthew Biben and Jim Pastore, who became a partner in July 2015. Former district court judge John Gleeson joined the New York office in March 2016. Paul Berger is noted for ‘outstanding knowledge and an incredibly practical approach’. His colleagues in Washington DC include Jonathan Tuttle, David O’Neil and, since March 2016, the former co-chief of the asset management unit of the SEC’s division of enforcement, Julie Riewe. Toyota, Rolls-Royce, Shell and Deloitte are clients.

Leading lawyers

Bruce Yannett - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Finance

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Headed by the highly regarded John Curry, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s global aviation practice has seven ‘very strong’ partners and three counsel with longstanding experience in financing and capital markets, restructuring, fleet transactions and M&A. The team is particularly known for its representation of domestic and international airlines and recently assisted Spirit Airlines with its $576.6m 2015-1 EETC offering and Delta Air Lines with its $500m 2015-1 EETC offering. Longstanding client American Airlines also continues to rely on the team’s financing expertise: in 2015, the group advised the industry heavyweight on several mortgage financings and facilities and also represented the client as lessor in separate leases of a large number of vintage E145 aircraft to Trans States Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines. In other cross-border aviation work, the group advised CHC Helicopter on a $145m asset-based revolving credit facility. Counsel Raymond Wells and Le Lam are also recommended. All mentioned attorneys 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 managers - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable, very thoughtful’ team earns praise from clients for being ‘in tune with the industries’ in which they work. Led by Steven Slutzky and Matthew Kaplan, it team handles the full array of capital markets transactions for its clients, which include public company, financial institution and private equity issuers, and to a lesser extent underwriters. A standout matter in 2015 was advising Spirit Airlines on its $577m debut offering of enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETCs), the proceeds of which will be used to finance 15 new aircraft. This deal, which was led by Kaplan, is an example of the type of nonstandard matters the team often works on. Other highlights include Kaplan assisting Corporate Risk Holdings with various matters relating to its Chapter 11 proceedings, including refinancing and restructuring around $2bn worth of debt. Other key figures include Peter Loughran, who handled a series of debt deals in 2015 for International Paper.

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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 managers - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s client roster includes a wide range of corporate issuers, private equity firms, financial institutions and underwriters, and the group handled numerous IPOs, tender offers and follow-on transactions throughout 2015. Peter Loughran advised Envision Healthcare on a series of secondary offerings of common stock totaling $3.4bn, and also acted for Tribune Media in a $519m secondary offering along with a $480m spin-off and public listing on the NYSE of Tribune Publishing Company. Global capital markets co-head Matthew Kaplan is also recommended, as is Steven Slutzky, who recently assisted HD Supply with a series of secondary offerings totaling $3.6bn. All named attorneys are based in New York.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Capital markets: global offerings - advice to financial institutions - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s capital markets practice spans the entire spectrum of debt and equity offerings advice, and has a particularly good reputation in the high-yield debt space. In a notable highlight, Matthew Kaplan assisted Westpac Banking as issuer with several transactions, including a $1bn offering of notes due 2018, a $1bn offering of notes due 2020, and a $600m offering of floating-rate notes due 2018; all offerings totaled approximately $7.1bn. Steven Slutzky is another name to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in 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

The ‘terrific’ capital markets team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLPbrings great judgment’ to its advice to clients, which in the high-yield space are typically issuers. Highlights from 2015 included Steven Slutzky handling metal products manufacturer NCI Building Systems’ $250m notes offering, the proceeds of which were used to fund its $245m acquisition of CENTRIA. Slutzky heads the practice alongside Matthew Kaplan, who assisted Corporate Risk Holdings restructure around $1.8bn of indebtedness, including three separate exchange offers requiring the issuance of $540m in new second and third lien high-yield notes. Another name to note is Peter Loughran, who acted for Tribune Media in several securities transactions, including its $1.1bn notes offering.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s exceptional borrower practice is largely built off its leading reputation in the private equity and fund formation space, and this is bolstered by an impressive roster of corporate clients. The highly regarded David Brittenham leads the New York-based team, which includes William Beekman, Paul Brusiloff, Jeffrey Ross and recently promoted partner Scott Selinger. The group is frequently entrusted to handle marquee transactions and advised on one of the largest private equity deals of 2015: the financing of CPP Investment Board’s $12bn acquisition of Antares Capital, GE Capital’s sponsor lending business. The firm is traditionally strong in the insurance, healthcare and TMT industries, and it attracted significant work in these sectors again in 2015, including: assisting Stone Point Capital with the financing of its equity investment in Alliant Insurance Services; advising Envision Healthcare on a $1bn senior secured term loan facility intended for the acquisition of Rural/Metro Corporation; and handling the financing of Activision Blizzard’s $5.9bn acquisition of Irish public company King Digital, which involved significant regulatory aspects and was subject to the rules of the Irish Takeover Panel.

Leading lawyers

David Brittenham - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Financial services: regulatory
Financial services: regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provides ‘high-calibre advice’ to domestic and foreign banks, non-bank consumer services entities and insurance companies on compliance issues as well as regulatory-driven financial services M&A. Gregory Lyons and ‘lawyers’ lawyer’ Satish Kini have ‘excellent knowledge’ of the regulatory changes affecting the industry and continue to advise a plethora of domestic and international financial services entities, including Royal Bank of Canada, Silicon Valley Bank and Société Générale, on Volcker rule compliance issues. They have also been representing a number of trade associations including the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC) in their dealings with the Federal Reserve and other regulators to obtain regulatory relief and guidance on various Volcker rule issues. Benefiting from integrated banking, private equity and corporate groups, the team is also regularly involved in strategic financial services M&A, as entities dispose of non-core assets and elements of the business which may attract heightened regulatory scrutiny. Alongside Eric Dinallo, Lyons advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) on its acquisition of the leveraged buyout financing business of GECC, a US SIFI. Notably, the deal was structured in such a way that CPPIB did not itself become designated as a non-bank SIFI and therefore subject to the onerous regulatory burdens attached to such a designation. Other recommended practitioners include Nicholas Potter, who is well regarded for insurance M&A; of counsel Paul Lee, who has an outstanding reputation across a range of regulatory issues, including Dodd-Frank and the Basel initiatives; and ‘the thoughtful’ David Luigs, who heads the firm’s consumer finance practice out of Washington DC.

Leading lawyers

Paul Lee - 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 ‘diligent’ practice, headed by Ivan Mattei and counsel Douglas Buchanan, is commended for its ‘prompt, accurate and commercial’ advice. The team is notably strong in infrastructure and PPP projects, with Mattei advising the Department of Energy on the $1.5bn financing of a solar power plant in Arizona, and, with counsel Armando Rivera Jacobo, on the $1bn financing of a similar plant in the Mojave Desert, California. The team advises several power companies as sponsors: Jacobo and Sarah Fitts acted for Footprint Power on the financing of the Salem Harbor Power Station project, which involved a $600m construction financing loan as well as a $130m letter of credit. Fitts and counsel Michael McGuigan, who is praised for his ‘quick responses, deep knowledge and excellent negotiating techniques’, assisted Marquis Energy with securing a $228m loan for the expansion of its ethanol facility in Hennepin, Illinois; the expansion will make the client the largest dry mill ethanol producer in the US. Transport infrastructure is another area of activity for the practice: Buchanan and McGuigan advised Westfield Group on its redevelopment of the Great Hall Terminal at Denver International Airport and, together with Mattei, acted for InfraRed Capital Partners, Walsh Group, Vinci Concessions, Alstom and Keolis on the development of the Purple Line light rail project in Washington DC. Other clients include Mitsui & Co. and Toyota.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

In two examples of its impressive capabilities, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP represented Altegrity in Delaware bankruptcy court in restructuring for its $1.8bn Chapter 11, and acted for Standard General as DIP lender and successful stalking horse bidder in the $1bn filing of RadioShack. In keeping with its reputation for handling big-ticket litigation, the firm is acting for Ernst & Young as joint administrators of Nortel Networks, successfully arguing for pro rata allocation of the company’s value in the Canadian and US courts. Other keynote mandates included advising American Seafoods Group on its $1bn out-of-court restructuring, acting as international counsel to ship builder OSX Brasil in its cross-border reorganization, and representing Oaktree Capital Management as holder of one of the largest claims ($2.7bn) in Energy Future Holdings. The firm’s well-known private equity capabilities also see it handle a significant number of out-of-court company-side mandates for private equity sponsors; recent examples include acting for Kelso & Company as sponsor to Logan’s Roadhouse in a $200m senior note swap, and for Elan Holdings (a joint venture of Crown Resorts and Oaktree) in the distressed acquisition of a prime brownfield site in Las Vegas. Richard Hahn and Natasha Labovitz lead the seven-partner, New York-based group, which includes Jasmine Ball, Shannon Selden, of counsel George Maguire and litigator Joseph Moodhe.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 5

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘client-oriented’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is praised for its ‘responsive, pragmatic, in-depth’ advice. Practice head Sarah Fitts acted alongside counsel Armando Rivera Jacobo advising Footprint Power on the financing of the Salem Harbor Power Station development project. Other clients include Oaktree Capital Management and Syncora Holdings.

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘pragmatic’, ‘highly professional’ practice is led by the ‘calm’, ‘savvySarah Fitts and includes Ezra Borut and Maurizio Levi-Minzi. Highlights included advising Kelso & Company on its $376m joint acquisition with Ajax Resources of W&T Offshore’s interest in West Texas’ Yellow Rose Field. Christopher Smeall is also recommended.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘one of the go-to firms for non-contentious work’, having as it does ‘a premier insurance department’ that is ‘excellent in all elements of the practice area’. The team advises a broad spectrum of clients including insurers, reinsurers, private equity funds and asset managers on matters including M&A, capital markets deals and regulatory issues. Practice co-chair Nicholas Potter recently advised insurers on several cross-border deals, including acting for Exor during its $6.9bn acquisition of Bermuda-based reinsurer, PartnerRe. He also assisted StanCorp Financial Group in its sale to Meiji Yasuda Life for $5bn. Fellow co-chair John Vasily and David Grosgold advised AXA on an agreement with SulAmérica to acquire its Brazilian large industrial and commercial risks insurance business for R$135m. Clients recommend ‘excellent negotiator and trusted adviser’ Marilyn Lion, regulatory expert Thomas Kelly and Alexander Cochran, who is experienced in pension risk transfers and recently assisted Prudential with several pension risk transactions. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

John Vasily - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Nicholas Potter - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘excellent’ practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is underpinned by its wider commercial litigation capabilities. It has been involved in several high-profile copyright cases, most notably representing several broadcast television companies before the US Supreme Court in a case against Aereo in 2014. More recently, it has been representing Rimini Street in seeking a declaratory judgment that the software maintenance services it provides do not infringe Oracle’s copyrights. Washington DC-based practice chair Jeffrey Cunard and recently promoted partner Jim Pastore in New York are recommended. Former practice chair Bruce Keller became an assistant US attorney in New Jersey.

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Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘among the very best for the most complex trademark disputes’. The team is praised as ‘very responsive, business-oriented, and dedicated to the interests of the client’. Work highlights included the successful representation of Snyder’s-Lance subsidiary Princeton Vanguard in a Federal Circuit appeal against a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cancel the client’s ‘Pretzel Crisps’ trademark on the grounds that it was generic; the Federal Circuit found in the client’s favor, ruling that the ‘genericness’ of a multi-word trademark cannot be decided based on the genericness of its component words. The team also represented Swiss Watch International as defendant in a trade dress dispute with Audemars Piguet. Other clients include Pernod Ricard, KIND and Kate Spade. ‘Excellent trademark litigatorDavid Bernstein is recommended along with Michael Schaper and Jyotin Hamid in New York. Bruce Keller became an assistant US attorney in New Jersey.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘a leader in the private equity funds arena, and with good reason; it knows the territory from top to bottom’. The firm’s global practice serves a wide range of US and non-US clients including newly established managers, independent boutiques, private equity arms of insurance companies and financial institutions, as well as institutional and individual investment professionals. Its longstanding track record in the private funds arena has seen it act for sponsors and investors on more than 1900 private equity funds worldwide with a combined capital of over $2 trillion. Team head Erica Berthou is ‘one of the best private equity funds lawyers in the business’; her expertise spans formation, expansion and restructuring advice for investment managers, fund structuring and day-to-day operational advice, and assistance with complex carried interest arrangements and co-investment vehicles. The group also handles tax, ERISA and regulatory and compliance issues. In 2015, David Schwartz led the advice to Morgan Stanley on its formation of a $4bn global infrastructure fund. The group has been particularly active in the secondary market; in an illustration of its leading capability in this space, Jordan Murray took the lead on Liberty Mutual’s disposal of two separate portfolios of 50 private equity fund interests worth approximately $225m. Jonathan Adler, Andrew Ahern, Michael Harrell, Rebecca Silberstein and Kenneth Berman are also recommended. Matthew Dickman joined Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Leading lawyers

David Schwartz - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Erica Berthou - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provides ‘sound and practical’ advice on transfers of large numbers of employees, executive compensation following large M&A deals, and plan management matters. Practice head Lawrence Cagney, who ‘is held in high regard on all matters relating to executive compensation’, is advising Verizon on the sale of its operations in three states, which includes the transfer of employee benefit responsibilities. Elizabeth Pagel Serebransky acted for Standard General in its acquisition of over 1,700 stores from bankrupt retailer RadioShack. In other recent work, Jonathan Lewis is advising Prudential Financial on de-risking transactions with Motorola Solutions and Kimberly-Clark, the latter mandate is reducing the pension liabilities of the leading provider of hygiene and safety solutions by $2.5bn. Meir Katz, who handles transactional matters, was made partner in July 2015. All named lawyers are all located in New York.

Leading lawyers

Lawrence Cagney - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘excellent subject matter knowledge’ includes wrongful termination, where it handles all actions brought by senior-level employees and whistleblower cases; corporate raiding involving disputes over non-compete agreements and various issues connected to hiring executives; contract disputes centered on highly paid executives and sophisticated compensation agreements; and matters involving alleged sexual harassment, employee fraud and other misconduct. The practice is led from New York by Jyotin Hamid, who ‘gives sound, practical advice’, and Mary Beth Hogan. In ERISA-related work, Hamid acted for GoldenTree Asset Management in three cases against three pension funds arising out of investment management and advisory services provided by GoldenTree through Source Interlink, which was an employer that ceased making contributions to the funds.

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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 provides an ‘outstanding service’ and is a ‘top firm with top people who are very capable of handling the largest, most complex transactions’. Clients appreciate the ‘prompt advice that is useful in real-world settings’ and the firm’s focus ‘on the issues that are important’ and on ‘anticipating questions before they are asked’. It handles a good balance of private equity and strategic M&A and has improved its position in both. Cornerstone private equity client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice was not active in the buyout arena in 2015, but the firm still had a blockbuster year on behalf of private equity sponsors such as Apollo Global Management, Stone Point Capital, Kelso & Company and J.C. Flowers. Corporate clients include Amazon, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Pernod Ricard and Verizon Communications. The firm is especially well known for its M&A record in healthcare, technology, media and telecoms, insurance and asset management. The firm represented the Dolan family as controlling stockholder of media and telecoms company Cablevision Systems in its $17.7bn sale to Altice, the Netherlands-based telecoms company. In addition, it advised CPP Investment Board on its $12bn acquisition of GE Capital’s sponsor lending business, including Antares Capital, a prominent lender to US-based middle-market private equity sponsors. The talented team features the hugely experienced Jeffrey Rosen, who was a key figure in the CPPIB matter. He was also lead partner on Verizon Communications’ $10.54bn sale of certain wireline assets to Frontier Communications. The ‘thoughtful, smart and savvyWilliam Regner is commended by clients for his ‘fundamental deal work’ and is noted for his record in the asset management and TMT sectors. Gregory Gooding is another standout figure in M&A transactions and acts across multiple industries, including financial services. Paul Bird is a senior member of the M&A team and has a formidable record in both strategic M&A and private equity buyouts. Andrew Bab and Kevin Rinker are leaders in healthcare, while Michael Diz is an up-and-coming member of the group. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Jeffrey Rosen - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The New York-based team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is rated as ‘world class in terms of knowledge, breadth of capabilities and professionalism’. The firm - which has strong focuses on the insurance and healthcare sectors - witnessed considerable growth in the private equity sphere in 2015, representing 16 clients in nearly 30 announced transactions. As an example, it assisted P2 Capital with its sale of Interline Brands to Home Depot for $1.6bn; Andrew Bab led on that matter. The co-head of the team, Kevin Schmidt, ‘stands out in his peer group’ for his ‘responsive, commercially minded approach’. Rising star Kevin Rinkerknows when to push and when to listen’, and recently demonstrated his abilities for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and the middle-market private equity platform of Morgan Stanley. Michael Diz demonstrates ‘strong commercial skills in addition to legal acumen’; for example, he acted for Providence Equity Partners and SRA International in the merger between SRA and the government services unit of CSC, which created the largest pure-play IT services provider serving the US government. He worked closely on this matter with corporate co-chair Margaret Andrews Davenport, who remains an important member of the private equity team. Rebecca Silberstein and Paul Bird are also recommended. Michael Harrell is the firm’s leading figure in fund formation. Recently promoted to partner, Jennifer Chu is very seasoned in handling private equity matters; alongside lead partners Gregory Gooding and Jeffrey Rosen, she advised Apollo Global Management on its takeover of a majority interest in new company AR Global. Tax lawyer David Schnabel went to Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Clients consider the attorneys ‘incredibly responsive’ and part of a firm that ‘strives for efficiency and continuity’.

Leading lawyers

Peggy Andrews Davenport - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Cyber law
Cyber law - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP fields a ‘thorough, client-friendly and very professionally managed team’, and singled out for particular praise by clients are Jeremy Feigelson and recently promoted partner David Sarratt. They are both based in New York, as is Jim Pastore, who was promoted to the partnership in April 2015. In Washington DC, former head of the DOJ’s criminal division David O’Neil joined the team, bringing strengths in cybersecurity and white-collar crime, and former chief privacy officer at Fannie Mae Jeewon Kim Serrato joined as litigation and cybersecurity counsel. Home Depot, Viacom, Sony and NBCUniversal are among its high-profile clients.

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Technology: data protection and privacy
Technology: data protection and privacy - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s Jeremy Feigelson leads the cybersecurity and data privacy practice and he and recently promoted partner David Sarratt are considered ‘thorough and client friendly’. Jim Pastore, who focuses on privacy and cybersecurity, was promoted to the partnership in April 2015; and new hire David O’Neil, who was previously head of the DOJ’s criminal division, joined the Washington DC office bringing strengths in cybersecurity and white-collar and criminal matters. Former chief privacy officer at Fannie Mae Jeewon Kim Serrato joined as litigation and cybersecurity counsel. Bruce Yannett is leading work for Home Depot following its widely reported data breach of 2014, which resulted in the theft of payment card details of millions of customers; the work includes board-level investigation, post-breach remediation strategies and law enforcement compliance.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acts for an impressive number of major media and telecoms companies, family-controlled groups, private equity investors and underwriters, including Amazon, AMC Networks, Tribune Company, Helios Investment Partners, and Verizon. M&A specialists Jeffrey Rosen and Michael Diz assisted Verizon with the $10.5bn sale of its local wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications. In another highlight, the practice advised the controlling shareholders in The Madison Square Garden Company on the spin-off of the client’s live sports and entertainment businesses. In another 2015 highlight, Richard Bohm advised an independent committee of the Board of Directors of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia on its $365m sale to Sequential Brands. Bohm and Michael Gillespie jointly lead the ‘outstanding’ TMT department, which also includes the ‘absolutely terrificJonathan Levitsky, William Regner and Jeffrey Cunard.

Leading lawyers

Michael Gillespie - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Real estate and construction

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘top-notch’ practice wins praise for its ‘smart lawyers with great people skills, who understand the business imperatives that underlie the legal issues’. As well as acting for key client Westfield Corporation on a number of high-value mandates, including the $1.1bn divestiture of five shopping centers to an investor group led by Centennial Real Estate Company, the team was also busy on behalf of the firm’s large private equity client base. The ‘outstandingPeter Irwin advised JPMorgan Asset Management on the sale of 7 Bryant Park in New York to an affiliate of Bank of China, and Nicole Levin Mesard assisted Rockwood Capital in providing two separate mezzanine financings secured, indirectly, by two hotels located in New York. Edward Rishty was also active, representing Oaktree Capital Management, as part of its joint venture with the Kushner Companies, in a refinancing of Northern Liberties, a mixed-use development in Philadelphia. All named attorneys are based in New York.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘strong’ and ‘creative’ New York-based department has a ‘deep bench’ that also benefits from close ties with the firm’s London and Paris offices. Led by Burt Rosen, the department has an ‘excellent reputation’ for handling complex M&A transactions, private equity and hedge fund formation, financing, bankruptcy, and restructuring. Rosen worked alongside the ‘extremely intelligent’ and ‘responsivePeter Schuur in advising CPP Investment Board on its $12bn acquisition of GE Capital’s sponsor lending business, Antares Capital. The ‘brilliantPeter Furci is advising The Dolan Family, controlling stockholders of Cablevision, on Cablevision’s $17.7bn sale to Altice. Rosen also worked alongside Gary Friedman in advising Exor on its $6.9bn acquisition of PartnerRe. Additional highlights included representing Activision Blizzard in its $5.9bn acquisition of King Digital Entertainment and acting for StanCorp Financial Group in its $5bn sale to Meiji Yasuda Life. Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Baring Private Equity Asia and Allergan are also clients. David Schnabel recently joined Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

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 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘responsive, committed, creative and engagedDebevoise & Plimpton LLP’s diverse tax practice has experience in air travel, banking, communications, energy and insurance, and is led by Burt Rosen. Rosen and Gary Friedman advised Italian investment company Exor on tax and insurance matters relating to its $6.9bn acquisition of Bermudan reinsurer PartnerRe. Peter Furci led the team in two key deals: assisting Verizon with its sale of wireline operations to Frontier Communications in a $10.54bn deal, and representing the Dolan Family in its sale of New York cable television company Cablevision to Altice. Seth Rosen and Robert Stafferoni withdrew from the partnership and became of counsel. David Schnabel joined Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Leading lawyers

Peter Furci - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Latin America: International firms

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 6

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a long association with Latin America and in particular, two main Brazilian issuer clients, Globo Comunicação e Participações (Globopar) and the banking titan Itaú Unibanco. The firm has worked with the Brazilian bank in connection with its global medium-term note (MTN) programme, among other transactions. In this regard, New York-based Spanish speaker Paul Rodel is the primary name at the firm.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has longstanding relationships in Latin America, with a particularly strong record in financial institutions, telecoms and media infrastructure, and mining M&A as well as restructuring. The firm is also well known for its representation of major family groups in Central America, Chile and Colombia. A large part of the M&A practice has focused on infrastructure investment for global clients such as Mitsui which it advised on its $675m acquisition of a 20% interest in VLI, a Brazilian integrated logistics company wholly-owned by Vale. Insurance is another key strength of the firm on a global basis and in 2014 it represented insurance giant AXA on its acquisition of a 51% stake in Mercantil, Colpatria’s insurance operations in Colombia. In addition, it advised Global Atlantic Financial on the sale of its Bermuda and Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance businesses to BTG Banco Pactual. The firm’s renowned private equity and investment fund strength is also in evidence in Latin America, where it represented Capital Group on its $200m minority investment in Tanner Servicios Financieros, the Chile-based financial services company. On the communications side, it advised Eutelsat Communications on its $1.42bn agreement to acquire 100% of Satélites Mexicanos (Satmex). The firm has real connections to Latin America through its partners and senior advisors. Newly made-up New York partner and Colombia-born David Grosgold is a rising star in the financial institutions space and has worked on a range of deals in Latin America. New York counsel and Mexico-born Armando Rivera Jacobo is well known in the infrastructure space. Michael Gillespie is known for his work with family groups and in TMT transactions; he ‘communicates well’ and is ‘very attentive’ to clients’ needs, ‘focuses on the right issues’, is a ‘good team leader’ with a ‘strong knowledge of the marketplace and products’. Gregory Gooding is similarly experienced with a leaning towards private equity and public M&A in Latin America. Maurizio Levi-Minzi has been active throughout the region for over 20 years and is known for infrastructure deals. The team is ‘very good’, ‘always very responsive’ and provides ‘good execution’ and ‘senior level involvement’. It is a ‘great firm’ that delivers a ‘very high level of customer service in different areas’.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Widely recognised as having ‘one of the top teams’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP fields 16 dedicated partners, has a track record in the region spanning more than 40 years, and remains at the forefront of developments in Latin America. In a case that reflects the growth of disputes between Asian and Latin American companies, David Rivkin –who is co-chair of the firm’s international dispute resolution group and also took up the role of president of the International Bar Association in 2015– succeeded in obtaining an $85m arbitral award for Asian shipbuilder CIMC Raffles against Brazil’s Schahin Group; the case, which concerned the failure to pay the outstanding balances for two semi-submersible drilling rigs, involved a series of US enforcement actions. In another highlight, fellow co-chair Donald Francis Donovan, along with Mark Friedman, Dietmar Prager (joint chair of the firm’s Latin America group), newly promoted partner Natalie Reid and London-based Peter Goldsmith QC acted for Tethyan Copper Company, a project company jointly owned by Chile’s Antafogasta Minerals and Canada’s Barrick Gold, in parallel ICSID and ICC proceedings concerning a mining development in the Reko Diq region of Balochistan in Pakistan. Within Latin America, Ecuador remains a key source of instructions, with Friedman representing Perenco Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration concerning amendments to the country’s hydrocarbons law; in September 2014, the tribunal found Ecuador to be in breach of its international and contractual obligations to the client. The practice also acted in the landmark BIT arbitration Occidental Petroleum Company and Occidental Exploration and Production Co v The Republic of Ecuador and Empressa Estatal Petróleos del Ecuador, obtaining the largest-ever ICSID award for Occidental; the firm continues to represent the client in annulment proceedings initiated by Ecuador following the award. Other 2014 highlights included representing Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz, the founder of Grupo Diniz, in a dispute with European joint venture partner Casino Guichard-Perrachon, which has spawned three ICC arbitrations and litigation in Paris and Brazil; and representing GLG Partners, a subsidiary of alternative investment managers MAN Group, in a dispute arising from its investment in a restructured Brazilian consumer products business; Christopher Tahbaz acted on this matter. The firm combines its market-leading arbitration expertise with strong credentials in public international law, advising states and corporate clients. All attorneys named are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

David Rivkin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Francis Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Local practitioners of note (by country)

M & M Bomchil’s Guido Tawil is one of the most relevant figures in the region, regularly acting as chair, arbitrator, counsel or expert witness in international arbitrations under the ICC, LCIA, ICSID, ICDR/AAA, UNCITRAL and SCC rules. In recent ICSID cases, Tawil was appointed by the claimant in several cases against Venezuela. He is acting as tribunal member in Highbury International, Compañía Minera de Bajo Caroní and Ramstein Trading v Venezuela; and in Anglo American v Venezuela. Also highly regarded is of counsel and former partner Rafael Manóvil, frequently involved in arbitration proceedings as counsel or arbitrator. With a strong emphasis in natural resources (specifically oil and gas), Abeledo Gottheil Abogados’ partners Hernán Martín Oriolo and Luís Alberto Erize, have strong credentials representing clients in a series of ICSID disputes against Argentina. Oriolo has assisted Compañía General de Combustibles and Tecpetrol win arbitral awards. In a recent ICC matter, the firm acted as co-counsel alongside Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for IMS Health in Prescription Data et al v IMS Health et al. Another star in the arbitration arena is Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez De Hoz, Jr’s José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz (jr). Martínez de Hoz (jr) has a strong practice in both investment and commercial arbitration and was recently appointed as arbitrator in the Energy Arbitrators List (EAL) of the ICDR/AAA. Jointly with Vinson & Elkins LLP, he successfully represented El Paso International in an ICSID arbitration against Argentina. Julio César Rivera, founding partner at Rivera & Asociados is currently acting as tribunal member, sole arbitrator or president of the tribunal in several ICC cases. Emilio N Vogelius at Estudio Beccar Varela also has his share of arbitration cases and frequently participates in arbitration proceedings under UNCITRAL and ICC rules. Also relevant is independent arbitrator Raúl Emilio Vinuesa, who is regularly present in ICSID arbitrations, including acting as tribunal member appointed by the respondent in Anglo American v Venezuela.

Vice-president of the ICC José Emilio Nunes Pinto is one of the leading names in the arbitration practice in Brazil. In recent matters, Nunes Pinto acted as chair of the ad hoc panel in Huntington Ingalls v Ministry of Defence of Venezuela. Luiz Olavo Baptista has a long track record acting as both chairman and arbitrator under ICSID and ICC rules. Representative work includes acting for Malicorp in an ICSID case against Egypt. Arnoldo Wald has a long-standing career as an arbitrator and is currently a member of the ICC and chairs the Arbitration Commission of the ICC’s Brazilian Committee. Francisco Müssnich and André de Albuquerque Cavalcanti are both experienced arbitration partners at BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão, currently involved in a high profile ICC arbitration acting on behalf of an investment bank. At Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados, Eduardo Gonçalves has acted as arbitrator in a number of international cases and is currently a member of the French Arbitration Committee, the ICC Latin American arbitration group and the International Arbitration Institute. Gilberto Giusti and Júlio César Bueno at Pinheiro Neto Advogados are permanently involved in ICC arbitrations. Giusti is enrolled in several associations including the Latin American Arbitration Association, and is a member of the ICC and the LCIA. In a recent case, jointly with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York and Appleby in Bermuda, he acted as co-counsel for GLG and EMSS3 (as creditors) in an ICC arbitration against Parmalat. At Souza Cescon Advogados, Carlos Braga and Gabriel Seijo Leal de Figueiredo spend part of their time assisting clients on ICC and ICDR/AAA cases. Fernando Eduardo Serec heads the dispute-resolution practice at TozziniFreire Advogados and is recognised for his international arbitration work in Brazil, USA and Europe. In recent matters the firm acted for the claimants – as co-counsel with several other firms from New York, France and Brazil – in an ICC arbitration case between Diniz Group and Casino Guichard-Perrachon. The recommended and experienced Pedro Soares Maciel focuses his practice on international and domestic arbitration and litigation before the ICC and the LCIA. He recently moved from Veirano Advogados to Lefosse Advogados. Ferro, Castro Neves, Daltro & Gomide Advogados is a boutique firm with a wealth of experience advising clients on arbitration cases before the ICC, LCIA and Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS). Marcelo Ferro is the key name and was recently involved as co-counsel alongside Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in the Diniz Group v Casino Guichard-Perrachon ICC case. Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice AdvogadosEliane Cristina Carvalho is currently dealing with a multibillion-dollar case before the LCIA. Another notable practitioner is Ellen Gracie Northfleet, recently elected by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration to its governing board.

Vice-president of the ICC José Emilio Nunes Pinto is one of the leading names in the arbitration practice in Brazil. In recent matters, Nunes Pinto acted as chair of the ad hoc panel in Huntington Ingalls v Ministry of Defence of Venezuela. Luiz Olavo Baptista has a long track record acting as both chairman and arbitrator under ICSID and ICC rules. Representative work includes acting for Malicorp in an ICSID case against Egypt. Arnoldo Wald has a long-standing career as an arbitrator and is currently a member of the ICC and chairs the Arbitration Commission of the ICC’s Brazilian Committee. Francisco Müssnich and André de Albuquerque Cavalcanti are both experienced arbitration partners at BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão, currently involved in a high profile ICC arbitration acting on behalf of an investment bank. At Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados, Eduardo Gonçalves has acted as arbitrator in a number of international cases and is currently a member of the French Arbitration Committee, the ICC Latin American arbitration group and the International Arbitration Institute. Gilberto Giusti and Júlio César Bueno at Pinheiro Neto Advogados are permanently involved in ICC arbitrations. Giusti is enrolled in several associations including the Latin American Arbitration Association, and is a member of the ICC and the LCIA. In a recent case, jointly with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York and Appleby in Bermuda, he acted as co-counsel for GLG and EMSS3 (as creditors) in an ICC arbitration against Parmalat. At Souza Cescon Advogados, Carlos Braga and Gabriel Seijo Leal de Figueiredo spend part of their time assisting clients on ICC and ICDR/AAA cases. Fernando Eduardo Serec heads the dispute-resolution practice at TozziniFreire Advogados and is recognised for his international arbitration work in Brazil, USA and Europe. In recent matters the firm acted for the claimants – as co-counsel with several other firms from New York, France and Brazil – in an ICC arbitration case between Diniz Group and Casino Guichard-Perrachon. The recommended and experienced Pedro Soares Maciel focuses his practice on international and domestic arbitration and litigation before the ICC and the LCIA. He recently moved from Veirano Advogados to Lefosse Advogados. Ferro, Castro Neves, Daltro & Gomide Advogados is a boutique firm with a wealth of experience advising clients on arbitration cases before the ICC, LCIA and Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS). Marcelo Ferro is the key name and was recently involved as co-counsel alongside Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in the Diniz Group v Casino Guichard-Perrachon ICC case. Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice AdvogadosEliane Cristina Carvalho is currently dealing with a multibillion-dollar case before the LCIA. Another notable practitioner is Ellen Gracie Northfleet, recently elected by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration to its governing board.

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s illustrious traditions in Latin America are centred primarily on major infrastructure projects, especially big transportation developments such as toll roads. Over the years, the practice has expanded into energy, petrochemical and mining deals. The firm has a particularly strong record in Chile, Peru and, increasingly of late, Colombia, where it has represented a sponsor on joint exploration arrangements for the development of copper deposits. It has also worked on a series of financings for the development, refurbishment and upgrade of toll road facilities in Chile and more recently in Mexico. The firm has a notable record with large concession developers and also works with a range of financial institutions including major agencies, as well as several Japanese trading houses such as Mitsui. In April 2014, the team advised the latter on its acquisition of a 20% interest in VLI, the Brazilian integrated general cargo logistics company owned by Vale. Key members of the team include the immensely experienced Ivan Mattei, who over the years has worked on petrochemical, transportation and mining projects, and more recently, has advised on a series of PPP matters in the US and Latin America. He has been closely involved in concession programmes in Chile, Mexico, Brazil and latterly in Colombia. Maurizio Levi-Minzi is well known for his mining sector expertise, but is also experienced in oil and gas, and electricity transmission. Counsel Armando Rivera Jacobo has an emphasis on both development and financing with a strong record in transportation infrastructure, and water and energy projects, most notably in Colombia and Mexico. Ezra Borut, Craig Bowman and Christopher Smeall are also key members of the team.

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Latin America: International firms

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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:
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