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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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John Vasily

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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Work Department

Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Institutions, Latin America Practice




Latin America: International firms

Corporate and M&A

Within: Corporate and M&A

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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United States: Industry focus

Insurance: non-contentious

Within: Leading lawyers

John Vasily - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Within: Insurance: non-contentious

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.

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Legal Developments by:
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

  • Anomalies of insurance law

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

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