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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘outstanding’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable about industry trends and market standards’ and ‘very aware of the nuances of each client’s platform’, and the firm is ‘very well informed about transactional activity across the industry, thus giving it the ability to provide unique and valuable insights’. The group handles a range of property acquisitions and dispositions as well as joint ventures, leasing transactions, financings and major development projects, and the firm’s clients include a mix of private equity funds, financial institutions and publically traded corporations, among others. On the lender side, the practice recently acted for JP Morgan Asset Management as adviser to a domestic pension fund on its establishment of a joint venture with L&L Holding, established for the purpose of investment into New York-based real estate. The team also represented Third Point in its joint venture with Normandy Real Estate Partners to develop a property at Dumbo Heights, Brooklyn, and advised Westfield on its acquisition of three department stores across the US. Key partner Edward Rishty is ‘extremely responsive’ and provides ‘sound and well-informed recommendations in a timely and efficient manner’, and is ‘especially recommended for complicated and time-sensitive financings, where he always delivers exceptional results’. Corporate partners Nicole Levin Mesard and Peter Irwin are also recommended.

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United States: Antitrust

Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s group, which is jointly led by Daniel Abuhoff and Gary Kubek, assists clients with negotiating merger clearances from the DOJ and FTC. It also works with practitioners located in offices outside of the US on multi-jurisdictional merger filings and cross-border investigations. Abuhoff, Kubek, Michael Schaper, Erica Weisgerber and Kyra Bromley are acting for Discovery Communications in the DOJ’s second request investigation into the client’s proposed $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. In 2017, the team advised Showa Denko KK on obtaining DOJ clearance for its acquisition of SGL Carbon’s worldwide graphite electrodes business. Kelso & Co, Pernod Ricard and Dover Corporation are other notable clients. All named individuals are based in New York.

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United States: Dispute resolution

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s group was strengthened greatly by the return of former SEC chair, Mary Jo White and Andrew Ceresney, former SEC director of enforcement and now litigation co-chair alongside Mary Beth Hogan. Former head of the SEC’s FCPA unit, Kara Brockmeyer also joined the team in Washington DC, which includes Bruce Yannett (‘a class act’), who heads the white-collar regulatory defense group. In New York, Sean Hecker and David O’Neil represented Keppel Offshore & Marine in an internal investigation into corrupt payments to Petrobras and other Brazilian officials, leading to a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ and coordinated resolutions in Brazil and Singapore. O’Neil is also representing Sally Yates in US Congressional investigations and hearings regarding alleged Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election and is acting for Michael Pearson in relation to parallel DOJ and SEC investigations into the pricing of pharmaceuticals and accounting issues. The firm is also acting for Rolls-Royce in various aspects of the implementation of settlements and remediation related to a global FCPA investigation. Matthew Fishbein in New York and Washington DC-based Jonathan Tuttle are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Bruce Yannett - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Mary Jo White - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Sean Hecker - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

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Financial services litigation
Financial services litigation - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Strengthened at the beginning of 2017 by the return of both Mary Jo White and Andrew Ceresney following high-profile stints at the SEC, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP benefits from a ‘real insiders’ knowledge’ of the inner workings of the regulatory agencies and is therefore able to provide ‘excellent and insightful’ advice which is rooted in real world expertise across both agency investigations/enforcement actions and follow-on private litigation. Benefiting from considerable in-house banking and government prosecution experience, Matthew Biben is a safe pair of hands in relation to sensitive white-collar regulatory defense and private litigation matters; he recently acted as co-counsel alongside consumer finance expert Courtney Dankworth for Santander’s subprime auto lending division in an Attorney General investigation into its auto-lending and dealer management practices. Bruce Yannett and Sean Hecker recently concluded the negotiation of non-prosecution agreements (NPA) for Union Bancaire Priveé and HSZH Verwaltungs in relation to the DOJ’s Swiss bank programs, while David O’Neil continues to represent a Swiss bank executive in relation to the investigations.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘very business-orientedDebevoise & Plimpton LLP is a strong brand in the market. The team has a broad commercial litigation practice and is adept at handling domestic and cross-border disputes; though its US lawyers are concentrated in New York and Washington DC, the team regularly handles litigation across the length and breadth of the country. Healthcare litigation is a particular strength; for key client Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Maura Monaghan has been handling class action lawsuits in Missouri, Florida and California. Insurance is another sector focus, where recent highlights included Maeve O’Connor’s representation of a group of defendants in one of the closely watched ‘shadow insurance’ lawsuits brought by private plaintiffs. Other leading litigators in the department include Shannon Rose Selden, Mark Goodman - who chairs the group alongside Monaghan - and Jyotin Hamid, who is praised for his ‘very practical approach to problem solving’. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Mark Goodman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The New York-based team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP handles investment treaty arbitration, international commercial arbitration, and public international law. ‘Market leader’ and department co-head Donald Donovan is representing Tethyan Copper Company in parallel arbitral proceedings - against Balochistan in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and against Pakistan in ICSID for breaches of its duties under the Pakistan-Australia BIT. Mark Friedman and Ina Popova are representing Perenco Ecuador against the Republic of Ecuador in an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration concerning Ecuador’s 2006 amendment of hydrocarbons law and its declaration that Perenco’s participation contracts had come to an end. Department co-head David Rivkin and the ‘strategically savvyCatherine Amirfar are acting for six Italian claimants against the Republic of Albania in an ICSID arbitration under the Albania-Italy BIT concerning investments in the Albanian energy and television broadcasting sectors. Other key names include the ‘creative and inspiringNatalie Reid, the ‘brilliantDietmar Prager, and the ‘exceptionalChristopher Tahbaz.

Leading lawyers

Catherine Amirfar - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

David Rivkin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Mark Friedman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ina Popova - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Natalie Reid - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York ‘deserves its top-tier ranking and has a strong presence in cross-border litigation’. The litigation department is chaired by former SEC director of enforcement Andrew Ceresney and Mary Beth Hogan and has many star litigators, including former SEC chair Mary Jo White and international disputes group co-chairs Donald Donovan and David W Rivkin. The firm excels in high-profile cross-border commercial litigation, white-collar crime, regulatory defense work, and cybersecurity and data privacy litigation. Chair of the white-collar defense group Bruce Yannett acted for Rolls-Royce in a case arising from allegations of bribery and corruption following investigations in the UK, Germany, China and elsewhere. Catherine Amirfar of the firm’s public international law group, IP specialist David Bernstein and experienced trial lawyer Sean Hecker are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Bruce Yannett - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

David W Rivkin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York has a leaner litigation team than some of its competitors but it ‘punches above its weight’. Mary Beth Hogan and former SEC enforcement director Andrew Ceresney chair the practice, in which Maeve O’Connor is also a key partner. The firm has ‘an unparalleled regulatory enforcement practice’, which includes former SEC chair Mary Jo White. The team’s work at the cutting edge of the discipline includes its representation of insurer MetLife in shareholder class actions pending in federal and state courts in New York and Alabama challenging practices related to payment of death benefits and escheatment of unclaimed death benefits. Plaintiffs allege that MetLife underestimated its reserves relating to $9.97bn in public stock offerings by failing to search the Death Master File to identify deceased policyholders. O’Connor led that matter and also defended HRG Group and FG Life against claims of engineering fraudulent reinsurance transactions to misrepresent FG Life’s financial condition. Shannon Rose Selden, who advised private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in a shareholder derivative suit, is also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Maeve O’Connor - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Finance

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP had a robust year on the issuer side, acting for a diverse range of companies spanning the communications, financial services and consumer products industries. Among its key highlights Matthew Kaplan, who co-chairs the New York-based practice, advised Discovery Communications on its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, which involved a $6.7bn notes offering to finance the transaction. Kaplan also acted for Westpac on four public debt offerings worth $9.2bn. Key partner Peter Loughran also had a busy year, most notably assisting International Paper Company with its issuance of $1bn in senior unsecured notes. Co-head Steven Slutzky advised the representatives of the initial purchasers on Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America’s $2bn notes offering.

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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

Top decile firmDebevoise & Plimpton LLP distinguishes itself through its ‘professional and responsive team’ and ability to ‘provide expert advice with urgency’. The New York group’s strong issuer practice, which is notable for its private equity bent, is supported by robust underwriter expertise - it is also noted for its ‘great bench strength to assist on cross-practice matters’. Group co-head Steven Slutzky is highlighted for his ability to ‘address questions on the spot with the nuances that help decision-making’; he recently advised KKR and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, as the controlling shareholders, on a series of secondary offerings by US Foods Holding totaling $2.3bn. Peter Loughran had a strong year and advised on several high-profile deals, including assisting SiteOne Landscape Supply with a series of secondary offerings worth $1.2bn - he also acted for the underwriters on the $169m IPO of GMS. Matthew Kaplan is ‘a top-notch specialist’ and co-chairs the group.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s global practice, which is led out of New York by group co-heads Matthew Kaplan and Steven Slutzky, is particularly active in Latin America, Europe and Australia. Recent highlights include Paul Rodel assisting Globo Comunicação e Participações with its $200m offering of senior secured exchangeable notes. Australia-based Westpac remains an active client and Matthew Kaplan recently advised it on a $1.2bn offering of convertible securities through its New Zealand branch. Kaplan also advised Deutsche Bank, as lead underwriter, on Liberty Mutual Finance Europe’s $500m senior notes offering.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s issuer-focused practice is recognized for its strength in private equity, financial services and TMT-related matters. Matthew Kaplan co-heads the New York-based group and a strong year saw him advise The Hertz Corporation on a $1.2bn private notes offering, and handle a $350m notes offering for Booz Allen Hamilton. In a notable private equity mandate, Paul Rodel advised Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services, a portfolio company of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, on its $700m notes offering. Peter Loughran, group co-lead Steven Slutzky and newly promoted partner Morgan Hayes are also recommended.

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has established an excellent pedigree for sponsor-side borrower mandates. The esteemed David Brittenham co-chairs the team with Jeffrey Ross, and although William Beekman retired, the partner numbers remain high thanks to the promotion of the highly rated Ramya Tiller, and the recruitment of Brian Liu from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP. The firm’s borrower work goes beyond the private equity sphere and a major highlight was representing Envision Healthcare on the financing for its $15bn merger with AMSURG, which included implementing the financing for the company’s post-merger capital structure. The firm also advised Discovery Communications on the financing of its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, which included a $9.6bn bridge facility. On the sponsor side, the firm enjoys a strong relationship with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which it advised, alongside Brand Industrial Services, on the $4bn financing required for the combination of the industrial services businesses of Brand and Safway Group. The firm also represented the Blackstone Group and CF Corporation on the financing of its $1.bn acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Scott Selinger is also recommended.

Leading lawyers

David Brittenham - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ramya Tiller - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Financial services regulation
Financial services regulation - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘pragmatic and practical’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP displays ‘deep knowledge of the financial services regulatory reform agenda’ and handles strategic compliance and transactional work for a broad cross-section of financial services clients ranging from investment and regional banks to insurance companies and funds. Noted for its ‘deep knowledge of the regulatory issues applicable to foreign banking organizations’, the team has handled a significant volume of work for international banks on the requirements associated with establishing Intermediate Holding Companies and on associated issues including stress testing and capital planning. Its growing prominence in the area was also recently recognized by the European Banking Federation (EBF), the principal trade group for European banks, which engages the firm on its Volcker Rule advocacy efforts. The team is able to provide insightful advice that is closely attuned to the regulator’s perspective as a result of housing numerous former high-ranking government officials. For example, David Portilla, who previously served as senior policy advisor to the Treasury Department’s Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) office, is an invaluable resource to clients seeking highly strategic guidance which is cognisant of the ‘mood music’ emanating from the Hill. As well as his work alongside the ‘excellentSatish Kini for the EBF, Portilla also recently partnered with the ‘vastly experiencedGregory Lyons on behalf of Citizens Financial Group on its acquisition of Western Reserve Partners. Although she is better known for her enforcement expertise, the return in March 2017 of Mary Jo White, following her stint as chair of the SEC, adds further gravitas to the team. Clients include Santander, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Canada and Silicon Valley Bank.

Leading lawyers

Gregory Lyons - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

David Portilla - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The New York-based business restructuring and workouts group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a varied practice advising both debtors and creditors on restructuring and bankruptcy related litigation. In recent highlights on the company side, the team acted as aircraft counsel to CHC Group in its $2bn Chapter 11 proceedings and Natasha Labovitz and litigation partner Mark Goodman assisted Georgia-Pacific LLC and Koch Industries with matters related to the bankruptcy of Georgia-Pacific affiliate Bestwall, which has been subject to ongoing asbestos-related litigation; prior to Bestwall’s Chapter 11 filing, the team also advised on the reorganization of capital structure enabling the client to operate without impact from the proceedings. On the creditor side, the group has significant experience in acting for hedge funds and assisted Gramercy Funds Management as a shareholder and creditor of Banro Corporation with out-of-court recapitalization. The team is also advising Standard General as shareholder and equity holder of General Wireless on the company’s Chapter 11 case. Following the retirement of Richard Hahn, Labovitz is the sole head of the practice which also includes Jasmine Ball and Christopher Updike.

Next generation lawyers

Christopher Updike - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Industry focus

Environment: transactional
Environment: transactional - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP regularly acts for private equity firms, industrial companies and other businesses in domestic and international transactions. New York counsel Stuart Hammer advised private equity investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on the environmental due diligence and environmental provisions of its acquisition of SunSource, a distributor of hydraulic and pneumatic fluid power products. Harry Zirlin in New York is a highly rated associate.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s ‘strategically savvy’ New York-based department benefits from its ‘longstanding industry expertise’, is known for its track record in prominent insurance disputes and is particularly noted for acting in disputes and advising on regulatory matters involving life insurance companies; it also handles government investigations. Maeve O’Connor, who is a ‘whip-smart, ferocious and superbly skilled litigator’ and heads the team with Edwin Schallert, is representing MetLife and several of MetLife’s present and former officers and directors in connection with putative shareholder class action lawsuits challenging MetLife's practices with regard to payment of death benefits and escheatment of unclaimed death benefits. O’Connor also successfully represented HRG Group and FG Life among others in a case brought by a putative class of annuitants claiming that the defendants engineered a series of fraudulent reinsurance transactions. Prudential is also a client. Eric Dinallo joined The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in 2017.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Commended for its ‘solution-orientated approach’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘a noteworthy ability to get the right outcome for its clients in a commercial fashion’ and the team advises on high-stakes insurance M&A, as well as regulatory matters, pension risk transfers and private equity investments. Nicholas Potter, who heads the team with John Vasily, advised CF Corporation and The Blackstone Group on the $1.8bn all-cash acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Marilyn Lion advised Wilton Re on its acquisition of Aegon Transamerica’s two largest US run-off businesses. Vasily, Potter and others also advised AXA on its proposed IPO of interests in its US life insurance business, including AXA Financial and AXA Equitable. E. Drew Dutton, who is based across the New York and Hong Kong offices, worked alongside a cross-office team in advising AIG on the sale of its Japanese life insurance business to FWD. Alexander Cochran, Thomas Kelly and David Grosgold are also noted. All named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

John Vasily - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Nicholas Potter - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alexander Cochran - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

David Grosgold - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Marilyn Lion - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has strength in sports-related intellectual property matters. Head of the intellectual property litigation group David Bernstein recently represented the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs in their dispute with Snoop Dogg regarding his application for the ‘Leafs by Snoop’ trademark. John Kiernan and David O’Neil were engaged by FanDuel on litigation over the legality of daily fantasy sports contests in New York and Illinois and before numerous other state attorneys general. A settlement was reached with the New York Attorney General pertaining to allegations of false advertising in October 2016, with other matters ongoing.

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Transport: aviation and air travel - finance
Transport: aviation and air travel - finance - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

For many, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘a top choice for operator and borrower-side work’. Headed by John Curry, the ‘elite’ team in New York has extensive experience covering the full range of aircraft-related transactions and acts for several of the most active airlines in the US, including American Airlines, for which it has handled a number of sale-leaseback transactions and aircraft restructurings. Curry also assisted American Airlines with the first-ever JOLCO to be utilized by a US airline. Counsel Jaeyong So acted as aviation counsel for CHC Group in relation to its US Chapter 11 proceedings. Brian Liu joined the team from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in 2017.

Leading lawyers

John Curry - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a respected copyright advisory and litigation practice, which has experience in the copyrightability of software and other licensing issues that emerge from new media. Highlights include being retained to defend Take-Two Interactive Software against a claim brought by the Psychic Readers Network, a fortune-telling service, alleging infringements contained within the client’s video game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Jeffrey Cunard is recommended in Washington DC, Jeremy Feigelson and practice chair Jim Pastore are recommended in New York.

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Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Hailed as providing ‘highest-quality’ litigation advice, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘terrific’ department often represents clients in high-profile cross-border disputes. Clients ‘do not hesitate to recommend’ co-head David Bernstein, who, along with Jim Pastore, represented Case-Mate in federal litigation brought against Walmart regarding infringement over the ‘Case-Mate’ mark. Bernstein and Michael Schaper have been acting for WeWork in litigation brought against UrWork arising from the launch of a confusingly similar mark. Jyotin Hamid has been assisting GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with opposition proceedings brought by Neutec Group and Sandoz regarding GSK’s Advair mark. The department, which is also led by Jeffrey Cunard, was bolstered by the arrivals of Henry Lebowitz from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Paul Rubin from Ropes & Gray LLP in 2017. All partners are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

David Bernstein - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds (including venture capital)
Private equity funds (including venture capital) - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s team, which handles high-value formation work across asset classes, has ‘excellent industry knowledge and good negotiation skills’ while remaining ‘very responsive and creative’. Rebecca Silberstein advised Stone Point Capital on forming Trident VII, a $5.5bn buyout fund targeting financial services companies. In 2017, the team handled a number of impressive debt fund mandates: Andrew Ahern advised EIG Global Energy Partners on forming a $2bn credit platform, and Jonathan Adler assisted Crescent Capital Group with forming a $4.6bn mezzanine debt fund. David Schwartz handled a $736m real estate fund formation for Och-Ziff Capital Management. Counsel Cate Bae is a key name below partner level. Other clients include The Carlyle Group and several sovereign wealth funds. Erica Berthou, Jordan Murray and Katrina Rowe are now at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

David Schwartz - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Adler - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Known by clients as ‘very service-focused and prompt’, the team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is based in New York and consists of Meir Katz, Lawrence Cagney, the ‘responsive and vastly experiencedElizabeth Pagel Serebransky and Jonathan Lewis. Tribune Media recently engaged the practice to advise on its $6.6bn sale to the Sinclair Broadcast group, and Pagel Serebransky is currently assisting Discovery with its acquisition of Scripps Networks. The group also represents senior executives, management teams and companies such as Walt Disney, Apple and Ralph Lauren in the negotiation of executive compensation agreements. Counsel Michael Snypes recently joined the firm from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and the ‘very knowledgeable and reliable’ Alison Buckley-Serfass was promoted to counsel.

Leading lawyers

Elizabeth Pagel Serebransky - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Lawrence Cagney - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Meir Katz - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a relatively compact M&A department compared to some of its competitors, yet it maintains an impressive market share of headline and complex deals. The firm has a particularly strong profile in certain industry segments, notably technology, telecoms, media, healthcare, financial services and private equity. Its longstanding private equity expertise has helped it bring innovative forms of deal technology to the strategic M&A segment and align itself with novel forms of financing. In 2017, the firm made a big splash in the media sector, advising Tribune Media on its $6.6bn sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group and Time Inc on its $2.8bn sale to Meredith Corporation. Moreover, the firm advised Discovery Communications on its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive and Verizon Communications on its $3.1bn all-stock acquisition of Straight Path Communications, beating off AT&T in an especially intense bidding war. The firm continues to represent biopharmaceutical giant Allergan on a regular basis, and advised it on its $2.47bn acquisition of medical technology company Zeltiq. The ‘great team’ has ‘broad expertise from deal strategy to SEC/regulatory, board advice and tax’. The department is ‘very collegial’, ‘always accessible’ and ‘worth every penny’. The firm is recommended for ‘more complex and public company M&A deals’ and clients believe that it provides ‘a leg up over counterparties in deals’ and ‘is more user-friendly than others’. Chair of the corporate department, Jeffrey Rosen is ‘strong on big, complex deal negotiations and on tax-related matters’. Paul Bird straddles strategic M&A and private equity buyouts, is ‘a trusted voice at board meetings’ and is ‘always thoughtful and calm under pressure’. Co-head of the M&A group William Regner is a ‘phenomenal lawyer’, is ‘business savvy and practical’, ‘relates well to C-suite and board members’ and ‘gives highly sophisticated advice in a way that is easy to understand and act on’. Fellow co-head of the M&A group Gregory Gooding is a leader in financial services deals. Technology, telecoms and media expert and regular adviser to Verizon Michael Diz is ‘good on M&A and complex negotiations’. Andrew Bab and Kevin Rinker are noted for healthcare deals, with the latter also recognized for private equity buyouts expertise. Jonathan Levitsky is active in the media sector and was the lead partner on the previously mentioned Discovery Communications transaction.

Leading lawyers

Jeffrey Rosen - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alexander Cochran - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Jennifer Chu - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Uri Herzberg - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Terrific firmDebevoise & Plimpton LLP has a ‘top-notch’ private equity practice that encompasses a ‘broad range of services’ and a ‘breadth of resources to solve complex problems’. It reinforced its team with the hire of healthcare sector specialist Paul Rubin from Ropes & Gray LLP in September 2017 and the election of Sue Meng to the partnership. Healthcare is a sector where the firm has achieved notable success, including for big-name private equity houses such as Carlyle. The private equity offering is supported by notable fund formation expertise as well as strong leveraged finance, tax, and employee benefits and executive compensation departments. It also has excellent regulatory credentials with a number of prominent former SEC officials working within its ranks. Prominent clients include Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Blackstone, Apollo Global Management, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Kelso & Company, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, Providence Equity Partners and Temasek Holdings. In 2017, it advised anchor client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its $2.5bn carve-out acquisition of HD Supply’s waterworks division. It also represented CF Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and Blackstone on their $1.83bn all-cash acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Paul Bird is a senior name and is key to the firm’s connection to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and other private equity houses. Chair of the corporate department Jeffrey Rosen is ‘one of the best lawyers in New York’ and is well thought of in the private equity arena, as is co-head of the private equity group Kevin Schmidt, who has worked on numerous deals for Kelso, CPPIB and others. Kevin Rinker is noted especially for healthcare deals, but advises big names such as Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Carlyle, Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and Providence Equity in a variety of sectors. Rising star Uri Herzberg is ‘incredibly thoughtful, commercial and analytical with his advice’, ‘one of the smartest individuals’ and ‘has an uncanny ability to process information quickly and provide smart, tactical advice to his clients’.

Leading lawyers

Paul Bird - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Uri Herzberg - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing: litigation
Advertising and marketing: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Led by ‘top advertising practitionerDavid Bernstein, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘excellent service and insightful advice’ makes it ‘a go-to firm in this arena’. The group handles matters before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Advertising Division (NAD) and has substantial preliminary injunction expertise. Its recent work includes representing Merck in a false advertising, trademark infringement and breach-of-contract dispute against Merck & Co over the use of the name Merck; defending Foundation Medicine in false advertising litigation brought by Guardant Health surrounding the client’s liquid assay products; and acting for FanDuel in false advertising claims. Other clients include Growcentia and Allergan; Bernstein and Michael Schaper are representing the latter in an NAD challenge over promotional claims made by Synergy Pharmaceuticals. The department also includes cybersecurity experts Jeremy Feigelson and James Pastore, ‘brilliant litigatorJyotin Hamid and Washington DC-based healthcare specialist Paul Rubin, who joined in 2017 from Ropes & Gray LLP. Unless otherwise specified, named attorneys are based in New York.

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Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Data privacy and data protection - ranked: tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based group ‘brings great professionalism, expertise and work ethic’ to its compliance and incident response expertise, and ‘takes great pride in understanding clients and creating and tailoring advice to their specific needs’. Jeremy Feigelson and Luke Dembosky jointly lead the group; Feigelson defended Viacom in a multidistrict privacy class action in which plaintiffs allege its Nickelodeon online properties violate the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) by tracking child users’ behavior, and Dembosky assisted a major energy company with an internal cybersecurity investigation. Clients also single out David Sarratt and Jim Pastore, who is ‘an exceptional attorney’ and ‘smart, patient and flexible in his approach’; Pastore acted for Aptos on a cybersecurity incident involving unauthorized access to credit card data. New clients for the department include Citibank, Bloomberg, Smith & Nephew and Prudential Financial Services.

Leading lawyers

Luke Dembosky - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

David Sarratt - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Jim Pastore - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLPalways provides the absolute best quality of work’, with ‘deep sector knowledge, competitive dynamics and an exceptional understanding of key industry trends’ making it ‘unreservedly recommended’. Highlights included corporate specialist Jonathan Levitsky advising Discovery Communications on its $15bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, acting for Tribune Media Company in its $6.6bn sale to Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and Jeremy Feigelson successfully representing Viacom in a privacy lawsuit that alleged the client had disclosed the online viewing activity of children violating the Video Privacy Protection Act, as well as acting for Take-Two Interactive Software in a right of publicity claim relating to characters in Grand Theft Auto V who allegedly look similar to real individuals. The team also advised Guggenheim Securities and JP Morgan Securities as financial advisers to the Walt Disney Company regarding its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, and handled Time’s sale to Meredith. Other key practitioners include telecoms expert Michael Diz, cyber specialist James Pastore and litigator Michael Schaper. All attorneys are based in New York.

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based technology, media and telecoms group works on big-ticket transactions in this space. Jonathan Levitsky advised Discovery on its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive and assisted Tribune Media with its $6.6bn sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group. M&A partners Michael Diz and Jeffrey Rosen advised Verizon on its $3.1bn acquisition of Straight Path Communications and separate $1.8bn acquisition of XO Communications. Alongside William Regner, Rosen also advised the special committee of the board of directors of Viacom on a proposed merger with CBS. Diz also advised Morgan Stanley as financial adviser to Consolidated Communications Holdings regarding the latter’s $1.5bn acquisition of FairPoint Communications. Fellow M&A expert Michael Gillespie is also a key figure. Of counsel Richard Bohm advised Greater Media on its acquisition of outstanding stock from Beasley Broadcast Group. Globo, Time and The Dolan Family are also key clients.

Leading lawyers

Michael Gillespie - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Diz - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The ‘excellentDebevoise & Plimpton LLP team advises on tax issues relating to M&A, private equity (including fund formation), financing transactions, capital markets deals, derivatives and insurance matters. The ‘very creative, responsive and smartPeter Schuur assisted American International Group (AIG) with the sale of its Japan life insurance business, AIG Fuji Life Insurance, to FWD Group, while Peter Furci advised the private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its acquisition of Capco from FIS, a global leader in financial services technology, which involved significant US and UK tax planning. The ‘outstanding’ Gary Friedman is also strongly recommended. Rafael Kariyev was promoted to partner in July 2017. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Gary Friedman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Peter Schuur - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘proactive and thoughtful’ New York-based team, ‘one of the top in tax’, mainly provides support on transactions and also assists with structuring and planning in connection with private equity fund formation, financial services, insurance and other areas. The ‘outstandingPeter Schuur, who is ‘very creative, responsive and smart’ advised International Paper on its partnership with Graphic Packaging worth $1.8bn, while Peter Furci assisted Clayton, Dubilier & Rice with its $2.5bn purchase of HD Supply’s Waterworks Division via a carve-out transaction. Gary Friedman ‘provides solid, practical advice’, for example during the $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Network Interactive by client Discovery Communications. Michael Bolotin supported Elliott Management with its $540m preferred-stock investment in Roadrunner Transportation Systems. Pacific Life Insurance Company and Schneider Electric are other active clients. Rafael Kariyev was promoted to partner in July 2017.

Leading lawyers

Gary Friedman - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Peter Schuur - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Bolotin - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Latin America: International firms

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

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has made an impression in deals involving distressed assets and in transactions involving strong compliance concerns; the firm’s prominent white-collar crime practice has provided pivotal advice on a number of deals. The firm has also worked on a series of deals for Latin American family offices, notably a number of outbound acquisitions in the US and Europe. Financial services (including insurance), telecoms and media are key industry sectors for a Latin America practice that is increasingly active in representing private equity funds in regional transactions. Brazil is a major jurisdiction for the team, with Argentina and Colombia also featuring strongly. Clients include AIG, Ambev, Axa, Brookfield Asset Management, Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração, Gávea Investimentos, Organizações Globo, Prudential Financial and Vinci Partners. Recent matters include advising Ambev on its acquisition of a 30% interest in leading Caribbean brewer, Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, and the restructuring of its joint venture with E. León Jimenes. It also represented Brookfield Asset Management on its $768m acquisition (along with institutional partners) of a 70% controlling stake in the core water, wastewater and industrial water treatment business of Odebrecht Ambiental. The practice is commended for its expertise in ‘corporate insurance deals’, is ‘highly responsive’ and provides a ‘very high level of service’ as well as having ‘excellent industry knowledge and experience’. For at least one client, it is the ‘go-to firm for Latin America deals by a long mile’. Colombian born partner David Grosgoldhas a great depth and breadth of experience in corporate insurance matters in Latin America’, is ‘one of the few true corporate insurance experts in the field’ and ‘is always a pleasure to work with’. Head of the Latin America group Maurizio Levi-Minzi is another key M&A player who has significant experience in the region, as do Michael Gillespie and Gregory Gooding. Corporate insurance expert John Vasilyreally gets what is commercially important to his clients’; with deep experience in Latin America, he is ‘a very impressive lawyer at the top of his game’ and ‘is proactive in getting his team to deliver what is needed’.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based practice is led by the highly regarded Donald Francis Donovan and David Rivkin, who jointly lead the firm’s international dispute resolution group, alongside Dietmar Prager who co-heads the Latin America practice. Major work highlights in the investment treaty space included representing Perenco Ecuador against the Republic of Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration pertaining to Ecuador’s 2006 amendment of the hydrocarbons law and a subsequent termination-of-contract dispute; acting for LafargeHolcim in a pending ICSID arbitration against the government of Venezuela; and representing Gramercy Funds Management (and an affiliate) in a dispute with Peru arising from the country’s attempts to avoid payment of agrarian bonds issued in exchange for expropriated rural properties. On the commercial side, mandates saw Catherine Amirfar acting for a pharmaceutical company in a multimillion-dollar contractual dispute; and Prager representing a construction contractor in ICC arbitration arising from an EPC contract. Mark Friedman and Patrick Taylor are also noted.

Leading lawyers

Dietmar Prager - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donald Francis Donovan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Further information on Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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Germany

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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

  • Anomalies of insurance law

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

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