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TOP tier recommendations
United States: Litigation > Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort
United States: Industry focus > Energy: transactions
United States: Industry focus > Environment: litigation
United States: Industry focus > Healthcare: life sciences
United States: Industry focus > Healthcare: service providers
United States: Litigation > Product liability and mass tort defense: automotive/transport
United States: Litigation > Product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products (including tobacco)
United States: Litigation > Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices
United States: Litigation > Securities: shareholder litigation
United States: Litigation > Supreme Court and appellate
United States: Litigation > White-collar criminal defense
United States: Industry focus
Within Energy: litigation, King & Spalding LLP is a first tier firm,
A ‘terrific law firm’, the ‘outstanding’ and ‘efficient’ King & Spalding LLP is ‘top shelf in terms of acumen’, and ‘has some outstanding talent at partner level’. It is an established force in complex gas and oil litigation, including royalties and transactional disputes, and is supported by strong environmental expertise. The practice is particularly recognized for its international work, and global disputes head Reginald Smith is ‘a very distinguished litigator, who has handled high dollar, complex matters’; he recently represented Komet Group in a $100m oil and gas action in Iraq. Head of international arbitration Doak Bishop is ‘one of the best there is’, and is ‘sharp, deliberate, instinctive’, with ‘experience that is second to none’. Bishop recently acted for Chevron in a dispute with the Ecuadorian government, which is one of the largest cross-border arbitrations in history, and stemmed from a proposed $27bn judgement against the company in an Ecuadorian court. Atlanta-based Chilton Varner and Washington DC-based Tim Engel acted for Chevron and Shell in the first challenges to Gulf of Mexico oil exploration, after the lifting of the moratorium imposed following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The team also successfully defended Chevron and Anadarko in groundbreaking climate change litigation, respectively brought by the Alaskan village of Kivalina, which is being affected by the melting of Arctic sea ice; and victims of Hurricane Katrina. Both claims were made on the premise that the oil and gas industry’s conduct significantly contributed to global warming. By extension, it was argued major market players such as Chevron and Anadarko could be held liable for the losses suffered by victims of climate change phenomena. The recruitment of Ralph Johnson and Lynn McKay from Blank Rome LLP has bolstered the practice’s expertise in claims relating to naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) connected to oil and gas production. Newly promoted partner Jeremiah Anderson’s expertise includes environmental contamination and oil and gas construction disputes. Houston office head and ‘excellent’ trial lawyer Robert Meadows and San Francisco-based Charles Correll are both highly recommended.
Within Energy: regulatory, King & Spalding LLP is a second tier firm,
The ‘excellent’ King & Spalding LLP is ‘always focused on top-quality services at reasonable cost’, and has ‘demonstrable ability to facilitate complex filings and matters before FERC’. The firm has a broad base of expertise across oil, gas and electricity, and routinely dealing with FERC, CFTC, the federal departments of energy, state and interior, and NERC. The firm strengthened its regulatory offering by recruiting former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP attorneys James Bowe and William Rice. The pair brought with them a nationally renowned natural gas midstream development practice, and are particularly experienced in acting for independent storage developers, pipelines, and local distribution companies. Bowe and Rice represented Arlington Storage in its proposed acquisition of natural gas storage facilities, owned by its affiliate Steuben Gas Storage, to be achieved through a merger between the two. The team obtained FERC approvals for the transactions, including permission for the two companies to be subject to a single FERC gas tariff. On the electricity side, the firm is recognized as a leader in representing independent power producers (IPPs), and has taken prominent roles in FERC and related appellate proceedings concerning competitive market issues. The firm acted for EPSA, the national trade association for IPPs and power marketers, in a range of demand-response issues. These included opposing FERC’s rules requiring ISOs and RTOs to pay full price for electric energy obtained through supply and demand, without offsetting the avoided purchase costs. The matter is currently under review in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, on jurisdictional grounds. Tim Engel, who is highly regarded in oil and gas royalty, exploration and development matters, represented Chevron in the face of environmental groups’ attempts to halt exploration and rescind federal lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Other clients include BP, Exelon, Dynegy, GenOn Energy, NRG, LS Power Development, Electric Power Supply Association, Tenaska Energy, Destin Pipeline and Maxus Energy.
Within Energy: transactions, tier 4
King & Spalding LLP is an international firm with specialist expertise in the expanding LNG space. Houston-based Philip Weems and Scott Greer are representing Anadarko in its $10bn LNG export project in Mozambique, which includes upstream agreements and related joint ventures. Head of the global transactions practice Ken Culotta is advising Administracion Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Electricas on the development of an LNG import terminal facility in Uruguay. The project includes the right to build an offshore receiving terminal together with one or more long-term sales agreements with an international supplier. Other LNG transactions being handled by the group include the development and construction of an export terminal for Freeport LNG; and the development, financing and construction of a storage facility for Floridian Gas Storage. Outside the LNG sector, the firm represented Haddington Energy Partners in the structuring of a $350m private equity fund to invest in midstream and energy infrastructure; Pacific Infrastructure on the development of a crude oil storage and export facility in Colombia; and Power Infrastructure on its acquisition of an oil and gas services company providing drilling services in Argentina. Attorneys from the firm’s finance department advised Bank of America on the amendment and restatement of Constellation Energy’s principal $1.5bn credit facility relating to its acquisition by Exelon; and Citigroup as joint lead arranger of five credit facilities totalling $4.2bn for Entergy.
Within Environment: litigation, tier 4
King & Spalding LLP handles ‘cutting edge’ and ‘highly complex matters’, and produces the ‘highest level of results’ in litigation. Its capabilities include EPA enforcement matters, permit challenges, cost recovery claims, and damages claims related to alleged environmental damage; it is particularly active in groundwater contamination cases. The firm is acting in a number of long-running cases, including the tri-state ‘Water Wars’ litigation involving Alabama, Florida and Georgia. In addition, the firm was instructed by Chevron as defense counsel in several personal injury and property damage cases related to naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in Louisiana. These cases, brought by individual workers, are pending in state and federal courts. The firm’s client base is primarily focused on the energy industry with the firm counting Chevron, Shell and Dow Chemical among its active clients. Its experienced team is ‘very proactive in anticipating developments, forming and implementing litigation strategies, and providing an expert work product’. Patricia Barmeyer heads the practice, in which Doak Bishop is ‘outstanding’ and ‘top notch’.
Within Healthcare: life sciences, King & Spalding LLP is a second tier firm,
King & Spalding LLP is ‘among the top firms in its field’; and ‘has the depth and breadth of expertise to assist with issues ranging from medical device regulation, drug regulation, import, customs and other US government topics. Its service is above excellent’. Among regulatory highlights, group head Mark Brown and Edward Basile negotiated a favorable consent decree of permanent injunction with the FDA and DOJ on behalf of client Terumo Cardiovascular Systems. Basile and Gina Cavalier are ‘responsive, knowledgeable and practical’. Other recommended lawyers include Laurie Clarke; Pamela Forrest; and associate Elizabeth Crockett. Michael Petty was recruited from Amgen, where he was vice president of development and regulatory law, in July 2012. All lawyers mentioned above are based in Washington DC. Judy Mohr and her patent team joined McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s Silicon Valley office in August 2012.
Within Healthcare: service providers, King & Spalding LLP is a second tier firm,
King & Spalding LLP’s national practice serves the full spectrum of providers including practitioners and investors. The group is divided into separate units including those for government investigation defense; services and payments; healthcare technology; and transactions. Highly respected Washington DC healthcare head Dennis Barry led the team which won a $1.4bn Medicare reimbursement settlement for 700 hospital clients in Cape Cod Hospital v Sebelius at the US Court of Appeals. Barry also led a team that represented the American Hospital Association in its successful application to the CMS to reverse a denial of incentive payments to more than 1,300 critical access hospitals which had acquired Electronic Health Records (EHR) hardware and software through capital leases. In transactional work, Atlanta-based Paul Quiros and John Harris were part of a team which advised St Joseph’s Health System on its $250m joint venture with Emory Healthcare to operate two hospitals in metropolitan Atlanta. Other key figures include Richard Shackleford and group chair Glenn Reed, both based in Atlanta, as well as Gary Eiland, who is head of the Texas healthcare group.
United States: Intellectual property
Within Trademarks: non-contentious - full coverage, tier 4
King & Spalding LLP’s trademark practice is formed of 11 partners and is predominantly based in Atlanta, with support coming from offices across the US including Houston and New York. Group head Holmes Hawkins primarily focuses on litigation, particularly patent infringement matters. The practice’s key partners are litigator Bruce Baber, who splits his time between New York and Atlanta; and Kathleen McCarthy in New York, whose main expertise lies in copyright and false advertising. The team continues to act as primary outside counsel to Coca-Cola, and also assisted another global beverages company in a co-branding initiative with a well-known musician. Other recent work highlights include representing the world’s largest shipping and logistics company in the management of its global trademark portfolio. Other key clients include UPS and ExxonMobil.
United States: Litigation
Within International arbitration, King & Spalding LLP is a first tier firm,
With ‘excellent service levels and fast response-times’, and ‘the ability to work well’ with co-counsel and local firms, King & Spalding LLP is an impressive proposition: ‘it is excellent on hearings, emergency issues, whatever it may be - it always gets really positive results’. Moreover, despite generally beings associated with the oil and gas sector, the team has ‘the broad range of knowledge and experience across different industries and fields that is crucial to winning cases’ and is ‘always looking ahead and planning its next moves’. With a caseload of some 60 pending arbitrations (valued at over $60bn), the last 12 months has seen the team secure a $440m settlement in favour of client Exterran against Venezuela; obtain a favourable jurisdictional decision for Teinver in its ICSID case against Argentina; and, on the commercial side, defend the Republic of Turkey in a $70m ICC case brought by Temzet Elektrik Ürestim Iletim Anonim S¸irketi. Moreover, clients report the firm as ‘more cost effective than most of its peers’. The ‘experienced and charming’, R Doak Bishop is ‘an outstanding attorney and an amazing arbitration lawyer’ according to clients, one of whom suggests ‘no attorney has more experience or better command of investor-state arbitration than Doak’. Credited with having done ‘a phenomenal job in building this practice’, he is supported by a phalanx of other capable partners in the Houston office including John Bowman, Craig Miles, Roberto Aguirre Luzi, Reginald Smith and Jennifer Price. While ICCA vice-president Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez is today primarily dedicated to sitting as an arbitrator, his colleague in the New York office, ‘the very capable’ Edward Kehoe, remains focused on acting as counsel and has ‘an admirably broad practice’. He is noted for his ‘grasp of the potential implications of an issue or of a parallel litigation’. The firm has also strengthened its bench. The New York office incorporated Henry Burnett, ‘an amazing lawyer: intelligent and hard-working, he delivers results’, and James Berger, a commercial disputes specialist, and saw Caline Mouawad promoted to partner. In Houston, litigator Kevin Mohr and ‘great up-and-comer’ Wade Coriell both joined the international arbitration team as partners, and Erika Serran Toussaint came over from White & Case LLP as counsel.
Within International trade, King & Spalding LLP is a second tier firm,
King & Spalding LLP has a strong expertise in WTO disputes, and this is underpinned by an office in Geneva. In addition to its WTO practice, the team also represents clients in trade remedies, trade compliance and FCPA matters, and has a growing practice in export controls and economic sanctions and foreign direct investment investigations before CFIUS. The group provides ‘excellent response times, service and results’. Recent instructions include representing US Magnesium LLC, as petitioners, in antidumping proceedings on imports from China and Russia. Other clients include NBCUniversal, Dow Chemical and Lafarge. Stephen Orava, who divides his time between Washington DC and Geneva, ‘combines excellent business understanding with world-class legal expertise in the international trade area to deliver practical, actionable advice’, and ‘strives to ensure that his entire team delivers value and satisfies the client’s needs’. The ‘articulate’ Joseph Dorn has ‘substantial experience in international trade matters’. John Richter rejoined the firm in August 2012 from his position as vice president and deputy general counsel at WellCare Health Plans and, in October 2012, counsel Joseph Laroski joined from the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Within Product liability and mass tort defense: automotive/transport , King & Spalding LLP is a third tier firm,
King & Spalding LLP is a ‘powerhouse’ in catastrophic injury and wrongful cases for clients in the automotive and transport sectors. Among its shipping and logistics clients are Freightliner and Allied Holdings. It also advises car manufacturers including Kia, General Motors and Toyota, as well as automotive component parts manufacturers including Delphi, Bosche and Fujikura. Philip Holladay recently acted as lead counsel for General Motors Canada, winning summary judgment for the defense in a wrongful death case concerning a crash in 2001. The team is held in high regard for its handling of nationwide discovery and Andrew Bayman continues to act for Toyota as its national discovery counsel in the series of unintended acceleration cases. Atlanta-based Chilton Varner is a highly venerated litigator with a broad base of litigious expertise.
A ‘very fine firm overall’, King & Spalding LLP’s large practice is ‘good to work with’ and its attorneys are ‘great team players’. The firm has broad national coverage with offices on both coasts and has a dedicated science practice group that provides additional regulatory support in complex cases. The practice has a key focus on tobacco litigation defense. ‘Great trial lawyer’ Jeffrey Furr has acted as lead counsel to RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company in major litigation for over 15 years. With the assistance of Ursula Henninger and Ray Persons, he recently represented RJ Reynolds in Engle progeny cases in Florida. Atlanta-based Richard Schneider formed part of the team that achieved a significant victory for RJ Reynolds in an appeal before the Florida First District Court of Appeal concerning limitation periods for Engle class members. William Durham and Randy Bassett are other recommended figures in Atlanta.
Within Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices, King & Spalding LLP is a second tier firm,
Traditionally strongest in the South, King & Spalding LLP is steadily growing a countrywide practice through its offices in Washington DC and San Francisco. The group attracts praise for its ‘excellent’ response times, as well as industry knowledge and considerable bench strength. It continues to act as both national coordinating and lead trial counsel to GlaxoSmithKline in litigation involving antidepressant drug, Paxil. AstraZeneca, Merck and Johnson & Johnson are also clients. In Atlanta, the ‘terrific’ Chilton Varner is ‘one of the finest trial lawyers in the country’ and ‘dean of the product liability Bar’. The ‘remarkably talented’ Andy Bayman is ‘just as capable in the courtroom as he is in the backroom strategizing’. Houston-based Bruce Hurley is acting for DePuy Orthopedics as trial counsel in litigation concerning its Pinnacle hip implants. Stephen Devereaux is ‘a master strategist’ and ‘creative thinker’, and Robert Woo has the ‘perfect demeanor’ to go along with his ‘extraordinary insights and intelligence’. Theodore Hester is a ‘wonderful’ adviser: his judgment, attention to detail and knowledge of the inner workings of Congress ‘are matched only by his extraordinary integrity’.
Within Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort, King & Spalding LLP is a first tier firm,
King & Spalding LLP’s ‘premier practice’ is ‘consistently high in quality’ from partners to associates, and has an excellent reputation for matters involving high financial risk and complex precedential issues. This ‘responsive’ and ‘practical’ group advises clients including Halliburton, Akzo Nobel Paints and The Lincoln Electric Company, and has particularly strong teams in California, Georgia and Texas. It is national counsel to Chevron in MTBE litigation brought by various utilities companies, concerning alleged contamination of public drinking water. The ‘outstanding’ Kevin Buster shows an ‘extraordinary knowledge of the law and science’, and ‘understanding of clients’ objectives’. San Francisco-based Peter Strotz is ‘an excellent trial lawyer’ who can ‘think on his feet’ and attracts high praise for building good relationships with judges and juries. Appellate attorney Paul Johnson ‘writes with lucidity’ and explains cases to judges in ‘a succinct but clear way to reinforce points’. Strotz and Johnson successfully acted as lead trial counsel to UOP in an asbestos exposure case.
Within Securities: shareholder litigation, tier 5
King & Spalding LLP’s securities litigation group provides ‘excellent support and service’. The 36 partner practice, particularly known for trial capability, has a broad practice with active clients including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Caremark and Morgan Stanley. Atlanta-based Jeffrey Cashdan was instructed in one of the more unusual cases of 2012; he served as lead counsel for The Coca-Cola Company in an action filed in Delaware Court of Chancery claiming that a 1917 stock certificate for Palmer Union Oil Company should be converted to Coca-Cola common stock. Richard Cirillo, in New York, is commended for ‘legal knowledge, business acumen and attentiveness’; Cirillo recently defended a Big Four accounting firm against allegations of audit malpractice, and succeeded in having all claims dismissed and the full award of the counterclaim for unpaid audit fees.
Within Supreme Court and appellate, King & Spalding LLP is a second tier firm,
‘Excellent’ King & Spalding LLP calls on the talents of patents guru Daryl Joseffer, who is the ‘cream of the crop’ of a younger generation of Supreme Court practitioners; Jossefer has ‘already built a successful practice’. The firm’s recent Supreme Court docket includes acting as co-lead counsel with Paul Clement in PPL Montana, LLC v Montana; after securing victory in this matter on behalf of the petitioner, a team led by energy specialist Ashley Parrish has been retained to argue a complex tax matter before the Court. Appeals-wise, the firm is particularly well known for Jossefer’s work in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, for clients such as McKesson Technologies and Allergan; and for Jeffrey Bucholtz’s FDA and life sciences docket representing clients such as Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and RJ Reynolds Tobacco.
Within White-collar criminal defense , tier 7
King & Spalding LLP’s credentials in the white-collar field are widely recognized; leveraging off the firm’s ‘huge healthcare defense group’, and a ‘very strong antitrust practice’, it is ideally placed to take on high-stakes criminal cases and parallel civil litigation, and for this is ‘held in very high regard’. In common with many of its peers, it also benefits from having a number of former government lawyers among its ranks. These include Washington DC-based Christopher Wray, whose experience is far reaching, taking in securities fraud, healthcare fraud, FCPA and export violations, bank secrecy and money laundering, public corruption, IP and cybercrime, and RICO. Wray has represented various Fortune 100 financial institutions in DOJ investigations, and acted for a number of leading global pharmaceutical companies in investigations into off-label promotion issues as well as parallel False Claims Act qui tam litigation. Other mandates included assisting a major healthcare company with multiple federal and state regulatory investigations, and acting for a leading telecoms company in multiple investigations into stock options prices. In New York, Andrew Hruska chairs the firm’s special matters and government investigations group, which represents companies, audit and special committees, and individuals in various white-collar and regulatory enforcement matters and internal investigations for large corporates.
United States: Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts
Within M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m), King & Spalding LLP is a second tier firm,
King & Spalding LLP represents sellers, purchasers, target companies and financial advisors in all types of domestic and international transactions, including acquisitions of stock and assets, divestitures of stock and assets, tender offers, LBOs, hostile takeover defenses, proxy contests, corporate governance advice, private equity, and joint ventures/strategic alliances. The firm’s attorneys have also developed a range of industry expertise in specific areas, including aerospace and defense, climate change, consumer products, energy and natural resources, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices, retail and restaurants, sports, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications, transportation, and logistics. Highlights included acting for Arcapita Bank BSC (c) in connection with the $630m sale of 90% of the Sunrise III joint venture, the owner of 29 senior living facilities in the US, to Sunrise Senior Living and CNL Lifestyle Properties; representing EarthLink in connection with its $516m merger with ITC^DeltaCom, one of the largest providers of integrated communications services in the Southeast; and assisting Haddington Ventures in connection with its $540m sale of equity interests in Port Barre Investments (d/b/a Bobcat Gas Storage) to Spectra Energy Corporation. The team also advised Sprint Nextel (Sprint) in its definitive agreement with Clearwire Corporation, in which Sprint will acquire the approximately 50% stake in Clearwire that it does not currently own, equating to a total cash payment to Clearwire shareholders, other than Sprint, of $2.2bn.
United States: Real estate and construction
Within Construction, King & Spalding LLP is a third tier firm,
Described as ‘attentive, prompt, well informed and highly qualified’, King & Spalding LLP maintains a dedicated transactional practice that advises on high-value matters nationally and internationally. It is at the forefront of LNG construction work, and is representing Anadarko in all aspects of its multibillion-dollar Mozambique LNG export facility. It is also advising a consortium of Georgia Electric Membership Corporations on issues relating to the permitting, development, construction and financing of an 850MW clean coal-fired power plant in Georgia, with an estimated construction cost of $2.1bn. On the contentious side, it is particularly strong in energy-related construction disputes and has a long record of success. In litigation matters, it has represented CEMEX in connection with claims of over $60m for alleged delays and disruption at a cement plant construction project. Following a number of court hearings, the case was pending in state court in Orlando, Florida, before being settled favorably to CEMEX. Practice head Scott Greer takes the lead on transactional matters and is recommended for his ‘vast array of knowledge of international energy construction and development projects’. Craig Ledet is an ‘exceptional litigator’.
Within Real estate, tier 4
King & Spalding LLP’s real estate practice unites roughly 70 lawyers located in Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, Charlotte, Houston, Frankfurt, Paris, London, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Sarah Borders, in Atlanta, chairs the team and has notable expertise in restructurings and bankruptcy cases, representing creditors and debtors. She recently assisted GE Capital Real Estate in relation to its mortgage loan to an investment fund managed by the Blackstone Group, the proceeds of which financed Blackstone’s $1bn purchase from Duke Realty of suburban office buildings across the South and Midwest. The firm also acted for Morgan Stanley in relation to $2.5bn of investments across the US; and for Jamestown and its numerous private equity funds in wide-ranging investments and joint ventures. Clayton Howell advises equity investors in relation to real estate assets and platforms, and developers in complex urban development projects. Partners Group, Union Real Estate Investment, and The Brookdale Group are also clients. Kristina Kopf Thomas and Spencer Johnson were recently promoted to partner.
Further information on King & Spalding LLP
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United Arab Emirates
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Corporate and M&A : Corporate and M&A
- Investment funds : Investment funds
- Projects and energy : Projects and energy
Offices in Frankfurt
Offices in Paris
Latin America: International firms
Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: premium deals, £250m+
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Dispute resolution : Mediators
- Finance : Islamic finance
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Oil and gas
Offices in Moscow
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Corporate and M&A : Moscow
- Energy and natural resources : Energy and natural resources
- Intellectual property : Intellectual property
- Real estate and construction : Real estate and construction
- TMT : TMT
Offices in Singapore
- Dispute resolution : Local firms
- Projects and energy : Foreign firms
- International arbitration : International arbitration
Offices in Riyadh
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Capital markets : Capital markets
- Corporate and M&A : Corporate and M&A
- Projects and energy : Projects and energy
Offices in Geneva
- Industry focus : Energy: litigation
- Industry focus : Energy: regulatory
- Industry focus : Energy: transactions
- Industry focus : Environment: litigation
- Industry focus : Healthcare: life sciences
- Industry focus : Healthcare: service providers
- Intellectual property : Trademarks: non-contentious - full coverage
- Litigation : International arbitration
- Litigation : International trade
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: automotive/transport
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products (including tobacco)
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort
- Litigation : Securities: shareholder litigation
- Litigation : Supreme Court and appellate
- Litigation : White-collar criminal defense
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
- Real estate and construction : Construction
- Real estate and construction : Real estate