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

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

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United States: Finance

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

John Curry - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Bank lending (including other sources of financing)
Bank lending (including other sources of financing) - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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

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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

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

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Capital markets: global offerings
Capital markets: global offerings – advice to corporates - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy)
Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy) - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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Financial services: litigation
Financial services: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

Paul Lee - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: transactions
Energy: transactions - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

John Vasily - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Nicholas Potter - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

Bruce Keller - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

David Bernstein - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Alternative/hedge funds
Alternative/hedge funds - ranked: tier 5

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

David Schwartz - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Michael Harrell - 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

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

Leading lawyers

Lawrence Cagney - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Labor and employment litigation
Labor and employment litigation - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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United States: Litigation

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

John Kiernan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

David Rivkin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Securities: shareholder litigation
Securities: shareholder litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

Jeffrey Rosen - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

Peggy Andrews Davenport - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

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

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United States: Tax

Domestic tax
Domestic tax - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

David Schnabel - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Peter Furci - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Leading lawyers

Gary Friedman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Peter Schuur - 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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Further information on Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in other jurisdictions.

Germany

Offices in Frankfurt

France

Offices in Paris

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

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Legal Developments worldwide

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