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King & Spalding LLP

633 WEST FIFTH STREET, SUITE 1700, LOS ANGELES, CA 90071, USA
Tel:
Work +1 213 443 4355
Fax:
Fax +1 213 443 4310
Web:
www.kslaw.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ team provides ‘an excellent quality of service’ and brings ‘a strong level of experience and expertise, particularly in the corporate financing space’. The practice focuses on private equity, restructuring, M&A and tax matters, and regularly advises on the deployment of equity and debt capital to the public and private markets. Key individuals include Timothy Goodwin, who handles the structuring and formation of investment funds and has notable expertise acting for REITs and tax-exempt pension fund investors; Joshua Kamin, who advises on real estate transactions in the office, multifamily, retail and healthcare sectors, among others; and Jennifer Morgan, who handles private equity and transactional matters from the New York office. Davis Powell is also a name to note and recently represented Hansainvest in its formation of a multifamily residential joint venture platform with Bell Partners. Other highlights included advising Black Creek Capital on multiple fund formations, including a new investment platform through portfolio company MIRA Group and a new open-end real estate fund, the Black Creek Industrial Open End Fund, which seeks to build a diverse portfolio of buildings across the US. Douglas Emmett and Clarion Partners are also key clients.

Next generation lawyers

Davis Powell - King & Spalding LLP

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal) - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘second to none’ expertise spans intellectual property, life sciences, healthcare, energy and environmental areas. The group is particularly strong in cases with a regulatory angle. At the Federal Circuit, Daryl Joseffer defended the district court judgment for Amgen in a $4bn patent infringement appeal by Sanofi and Praluent, and is leading a team, including Anne Voigts, defending a jury verdict for Google in copyright infringement case filed by Oracle and pertaining to the alleged use of the Java platform for Android. Jeffrey Bucholtz represented PODS Enterprises at the Eleventh Circuit appeal filed by U-Haul from a $65m award at the trademark infringement jury trial. ‘One of the finest’, Merritt McAlister is also noted.

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

King & Spalding LLP

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

At King & Spalding LLP, Wick Sollers and Mark Jensen in Washington DC and Paul Murphy in Atlanta are singled out for their ‘experience and reputations for integrity and leadership’. The firm is best known for its healthcare white-collar practice, but it also excels in SEC work - including regulatory, insider trading and FCPA matters and governmental investigations. The Washington DC-based John Richter is representing four employees of Fresenius Medical Care Saudi Arabia in connection with a global DOJ FCPA investigation arising from corruption allegations. The team is acting for Equifax in a number of matters arising from a cybersecurity incident, including state and congressional investigations as well as city and state enforcement matters. Christopher Wray left to become Director of the FBI and Robert Hur was appointed to a US Attorney position. Zachary Fardon leads the newly opened office in Chicago.

Leading lawyers

Wick Sollers - King & Spalding LLP

Zachary Fardon - King & Spalding LLP

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is active in litigation in various forums, including trial and appellate courts, and before government agencies and regulatory bodies. Its broad practice sees it handling litigation across the country, including cases with cross-border elements. In the fallout of a cybersecurity incident that attracted significant media attention, Equifax retained the firm, led by Atlanta-based Phyllis Sumner, to represent it in an array of consumer class actions, congressional hearings and investigations. In professional malpractice disputes, it is a ‘go-to firm’; recommended partners James Cusick and James Capra are experts in this field. Former US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Zachary Fardon joined in 2017 to head the firm’s new Chicago office. Richard Marooney’s practice takes in business litigation in the energy, accounting and financial services industries, among others. Named attorneys are based in New York except where otherwise indicated.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 1

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is commended for its ‘precise legal advice’. It handles investment and international commercial arbitration and stands out for its experience in energy-sector disputes. Tracie Renfroe and Wade Coriell, who works across the firm’s Houston and Singapore offices, secured a $380m victory for ConocoPhillips’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Burlington Resources, in a long-running investment treaty arbitration against Ecuador before ICSID, and successfully defended Burlington Resources against Ecuador’s $2.6bn counterclaim for alleged environmental harm and infrastructure damage. Roberto Aguirre Luzi, department co-head Doak Bishop and Craig Miles won a long-running ICSID arbitration case for Spanish clients Teinver, Transportes de Cercanías and Autobuses Urbanos del Sur against the Argentine Republic over the unlawful expropriation of two airlines. Key contacts include global disputes head Reginald Smith, John Bowman, Silvia Marchili and recently promoted partner Jorge Mattamouros, in addition to New York-based Henry Burnett, James Berger, David Kiefer, recently promoted partner Viren Mascarenhas and Edward Kehoe, who co-heads the department. Washington DC-based consultant Margrete Stevens is also recommended. Named individuals are based in Houston unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Doak Bishop - King & Spalding LLP

Edward Kehoe - King & Spalding LLP

John Bowman - King & Spalding LLP

Next generation lawyers

Viren Mascarenhas - King & Spalding LLP

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLPhas distinguished itself in the enforcement of international judgments’. The US practice, which works as part of a global disputes practice across 20 offices worldwide, handled high-stakes litigation including a $3bn matter for Petersen Energía against YPF and Argentina relating to the loss of the company’s 25% holding in YPF. Practice head Reggie Smith in Houston led that case and also represented the plaintiffs in Ascom (Stati) v Kazakhstan Enforcement, which concerns a $500m arbitral award under the Energy Charter Treaty. James Berger specializes in the enforcement of international arbitral awards, and acted for Rusoro Mining in efforts to enforce a $1.2bn award against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Zach Harmon in Washington DC and Andrew Hruska in New York are also recommended.

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

Noted for its ‘first-rate’ US petitioners trade remedy practice which is always adverse to China, King & Spalding LLP is well-positioned to pick up a sustained flow of work for its clients in the light of the Trump administration’s protectionist trade policy. However, as a caveat to this, the team’s popularity with the current administration has meant that it has lost several high-profile lawyers to the government in the past 12 months including Stephen Vaugn and Gill Kaplan. Following on from the firm’s successful representation of AK Steel as one of the petitioners in the anti-dumping and countervailing duties investigations of corrosion resistant, cold-rolled and hot-rolled steel imports, Steve Jones is representing AK Steel in the investigation initiated by the Trump administration under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 into whether imports of steel threaten to impair US national security and in the first administrative reviews of the flat-rolled orders. ‘Very smart’ team head Stephen Orava and Michael Taylor have vast anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitioner expertise, with Orava also regularly handling WTO litigation including his ongoing representation of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association in challenging Thailand’s subsidies in the sugar sector. Praised for his ‘high level of experience’, Taylor also spearheads the firm’s customs work which includes representing clients before the border agencies concerning import violations, classification, valuation declarations and origin determinations. Other recommended partners include Christine Savage, who leads the firm’s export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS sub-group, and Section 337 expert Jeffrey Telep. Neal Reynolds joined the firm in December 2017 from the ITC.

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M&A litigation: defense
M&A litigation: defense - ranked: tier 4

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has a prominent securities litigation practice in the South through its Atlanta office, where Michael Smith, Warren Pope and Robert Thornton are the key names. In In re Books-A-Million, Inc Stockholders Litigation, Pope successfully secured the dismissal of all claims on appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court. In In re Carmike Cinemas, Inc Shareholder Litigation, Smith and Pope represented Carmike’s board in a shareholder class action that challenged its proposed $1.1bn merger with AMC Entertainment. They successfully defeated the plaintiffs’ emergency attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport
Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

While Carol Wood heads the overall tort and environment practice at King & Spalding LLP, Philip Holladay leads the firm’s Atlanta-based automotive and transportation subgroup. The team recently underwent significant changes; Shawn Stephens and Dan Willoughby retired and Halli Cohn departed to Troutman Sanders in July 2017. The departures were countered with the July 2017 hire of four partners from Reed Smith LLP in New York, namely John Hooper, Kelly D’Auria, Eric Gladbach and Jacqueline Seidel. In one highlight, Hooper, Gladbach and Seidel obtained approval of the economic loss class action settlement for Toyota in the high-profile Takata airbag MDL. The firm’s client roster also includes Ford, Mercedes and General Motors.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco) - ranked: tier 4

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s consumer products group is led by Richard Schneider in Atlanta, while the wider practice is headed by Carol Wood in Houston. The team continues to represent RJ Reynolds Tobacco in Engle Progeny tobacco cases in Florida and recently obtained several defense verdicts and appellate victories in related lawsuits. In other work, Andrew Bayman and Stephen Devereaux defended Floor & Decor in several personal injury claims and a putative nationwide class action, in which plaintiffs allege that laminate flooring sold by the defendant emits excessive levels of formaldehyde. Charlotte-based Cory Hohnbaum and Jeffrey Furr are other key figures in the department.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

The life sciences and healthcare practice group at King & Spalding LLP is co-headed by Atlanta-based Andrew Bayman and Bruce Hurley in Houston. Led by Bayman, the team continues to represent GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as national counsel in litigation related to the anti-depressant medication Paxil, which involves allegations that the use of the drug during pregnancy causes congenital defects. In other work, Hurley and Houston-based Tracie Renfroe continue to represent Johnson & Johnson in hip implant litigation including an MDL, in which plaintiffs allege defective design, defective manufacturing and failure to warn. Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly are also clients of the firm. In April 2017, the Austin office was strengthened with the hire of Lana Varney, Stephen Huffaker and Lisa Shub from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, and in July 2017, Eric Gladbach, Kelly D’Auria and Jacqueline Seidel joined from Reed Smith LLP. Shawn Stephens and Dan Willoughby retired and Halli Cohn joined Troutman Sanders in July 2017. Senior counsel Chilton Varner in Atlanta is another name to note.

Leading lawyers

Chilton Varner - King & Spalding LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP regularly represents manufacturers in high-profile toxic tort litigation in the automotive, chemical products and pharmaceuticals industries. In Los Angeles, Alex Calfo and Julia Romano continue to defend Johnson & Johnson in talc litigation and recently obtained defense verdicts in two lawsuits involving claims that talcum powder products, including J&J’s Baby Powder, caused the plaintiffs to develop mesothelioma. Led by Houston-based Tracie Renfroe, the team acts as lead trial counsel for Shell in products liability, negligence, nuisance and trespass claims alleging that agricultural chemicals contaminated drinking water wells. The practice is headed by Atlanta-based Kevin Buster; Carol Wood leads the overall tort and environmental department in the Houston office, where the recommended Robert Meadows and Elizabeth Taber are also based.

Leading lawyers

Robert Meadows - King & Spalding LLP

Next generation lawyers

Elizabeth Taber - King & Spalding LLP

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Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 4

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has ‘a strong brand and a strong reputation, as well as experienced trial lawyers’. Paul Bessette, who works mainly from the Austin office, and Israel Dahan in New York are currently representing FXCM Inc in a class action brought by shareholders who suffered losses after the Swiss National Bank allowed the Swiss franc to trade freely against the euro. They allege the forex trader misled the market about potential risks. In Atlanta, Michael Smith and Warren Pope are acting for Equifax in lawsuits arising from a cybersecurity breach in which plaintiffs allege the company misled the market about its ability to protect against such breaches. Austin-based Michael Biles and Dixie Johnson in Washington DC are among the other notable partners.

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United States: Finance

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

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s practice is largely weighted towards issuer-side clients and handles the full spread of public and private offerings and liability management transactions. Practice head Keith Townsend recently advised SunTrust Banks on a $1bn notes offering. Carrie Ratliff is also a key partner and, with Jeffrey Stein, assisted UPS with a two-tranche notes offering totaling €1.2bn. The group also includes Houston-based Jeffery Malonson and new counsel Jennifer DePalma, who joined from The Credit Junction in 2017 and splits her time between the firm’s Palo Alto and New York offices. Named attorneys are based in Atlanta, unless otherwise stated.

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 5

King & Spalding LLP

Commercial lending: advice to lenders - ranked: tier 4

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has a good reputation for borrower and lender work. The alternative lender side of the practice was boosted by the arrival of partner Jennifer Daly, who rejoined the firm from Hunter Peak Investments. The firm has strong relationships with several national banks including Citizens Bank and SunTrust Bank, the latter of which it represented as lead arranger in a $1.75bn facility to Buckeye Partners, a major petroleum pipeline operator. On the borrower side, the firm represented FleetCor Technologies on a $600m loan to finance a portion of its purchase of the Brazilian company, Serviços e Tecnologia de Pagamentos. The firm also advised EVO Payments International on an $845m facility, part of which was used to finance its acquisition of Sterling Payment Technologies. Atlanta-based Carolyn Alford heads the team, which has several well-regarded members in New York and Charlotte, including Todd Holleman, Cecilia Hong, and Chris Molen.

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

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘extremely talented lawyers’ have considerable experience in representing the sponsors of oil and gas projects, with particular emphasis on LNG mandates; Ken Culotta, who demonstrates ‘keen insight into client needs and expectations’, is advising Quebec LNG on the finance for an LNG export project in Canada, while Scott Greer continued to assist Freeport LNG with the non-recourse financing of its LNG export terminal near Freeport, Texas. In other highlights, Culotta, Daniel Rogers and Vera de Gyarfas assisted SeaOne Caribbean with the development finance for a compressed gas liquids production, transportation and delivery project at Mississippi, and Culotta and Archie Fallon advised Magnum Energy on the private equity financing of an up to 10 million barrel refined products storage facility in Utah. Brian Betancourt and James Bowe are key contacts in New York and Washington DC respectively. Named attorneys are based in Houston unless otherwise stated.

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Structured finance: securitization
Structured finance: securitization - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP fields a ‘deep bench’ that specializes in middle-market finance deals involving esoteric assets, although it is best known for its work in whole-business securitization. Department head Michael Urschel (‘an incredible talent in all respects’) advises issuers and underwriters in whole-business securitizations, but has recently been more active on the bank-side; he recently acted for the underwriting banks in the whole-business securitizations of Jimmy John’s, Focus Brands, TGI Friday’s and a major fried chicken franchise. Charlotte-based Ronald Lovelace led a team advising Five Guys Enterprises on a $425m issuance backed by the client’s whole-business securitization. The department is rapidly growing. Following the arrivals of Terry Novetsky and Jeffrey Misher in 2016, the department brought on Jennifer Daly from Hunter Peak Investments and counsel Brandon Dalling from Latham & Watkins LLP in 2017. Counsel Anthony Mechcatie is another contact.

Leading lawyers

Michael Urschel - King & Spalding LLP

Next generation lawyers

Anthony Mechcatie - King & Spalding LLP

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United States: Government

Government relations
Government relations - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s group has notable expertise in handling congressional investigations and political law matters, as well as assisting clients drawn from the healthcare, infrastructure, defense and automotive/transportation sectors. The team is also well known for handling regulatory work for foreign corporations with US subsidiaries. In the healthcare area, the firm assisted Adventist Healthcare with securing grant funding for early childhood behavior health projects, and with securing provisions in mental health legislation enacted by Congress. The group also represented MultiCare Health System in lobbying efforts to secure funding for the construction of an inpatient psychiatric facility; the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Accessibility Act of 2017, which assists hospitals with leveraging federal support, was issued as a result. In another matter, the team represents Equifax before the Senate and the House of Representatives in congressional inquiries pertaining to the company’s high-profile cybersecurity breach in September 2017. Practice head Thomas Spulak, automotive sector specialist Jacqueline Glassman, Ted Hester and healthcare expert C’Reda Weeden are noted. International trade specialist Steve Kupka and counsel Wintta Woldemariam joined the team in 2017.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy litigation: oil and gas
Energy litigation: oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP provides ‘excellent client service’ and has ‘a strong team of lawyers and depth of expertise’. The team regularly handles general commercial disputes in the oil and gas sector, toxic torts as well as personal injury and property damage matters and is also highly experienced in royalty cases. Recently, the eminent Robert Meadows and Charles Correll reached a settlement on behalf of ConocoPhillips in three-state royalty class action, while other highlights included representing Chevron in multiple lawsuits resulting from a fire at its Richmond Refinery, defending ATP Oil & Gas against shareholder claims related to ATP’s bankruptcy in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and acting on behalf of Halliburton in a trade secret case brought by SandBox Enterprises. Adam Gray, Jorge Mattamouros and Andrew Stakelum have been elevated to the partnership. Tim Engel is described as ‘very detail-oriented, reliable’ and ‘meticulous in his case preparation’.

Leading lawyers

Robert Meadows - King & Spalding LLP

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Energy regulatory: conventional power
Energy regulatory: conventional power - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP handles the full array of regulatory matters before state and federal authorities, with a particular strength in transaction-related issues. Neil Levy is highly experienced in advising independent power producers and recently assisted LS Power with various transactional regulatory matters, including the acquisition of a 3,950MW generation portfolio from TransCanada and the acquisition of generation facilities in Illinois with a combined generating capacity of approximately 1,300MW from NRG. In another highlight case, David Tewksbury is representing a NRG subsidiary in a D.C. Circuit appellate proceeding related to FERC’s rules for the capacity market administered by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). The firm’s client roster also includes Dynegy, Exelon and Tenaska Energy.

Leading lawyers

Neil Levy - King & Spalding LLP

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Energy regulatory: oil and gas
Energy regulatory: oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP provides ‘top quality work’ and fields a ‘deeply knowledgeable, highly competent and very responsive’ team that handles the full range of regulatory matters, including project developments, transactions and compliance matters within the oil and gas sector. The ‘incredibly knowledgeable and commercially orientedJames Bowe is advising Arlington Storage Company, a Crestwood Midstream Partners affiliate, on the FERC authorization process for the expansion of a salt cavern natural gas storage facility and assisted NOVA Chemicals Corporation with its negotiation and documentation of long-term contracts to transport ethane under the Interstate Commerce Act. The recent caseload also includes assisting RH energytrans with the development of a new interstate natural gas pipeline and representing ConocoPhillips in numerous royalty matters. The firm continues to work for Eagle LNG Partners, Chevron and BP America.

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP enjoyed further expansion in 2017, with eight new partner hires in Houston and New York. The practice particularly excels in the LNG space and in one major deal practice head Ken Culotta (‘an exceptional relationship manager’) and Jeffrey Malonson acted for Next Decade on its $1bn merger with Harmony Merger. Other noteworthy practitioners are Atlanta-based Keith Townsend, Archie Fallon and counsel Monica Hwang, who has ‘excellent international transactional experience’. All named lawyers are based in Houston save where stated otherwise.

Next generation lawyers

Archie Fallon - King & Spalding LLP

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is recommended for issues such as climate change, coastal erosion, automotive and other emission regulations, and enforcement. Other areas include oilfield contamination, drinking water and soil contamination litigation, and oilfield fracking litigation. The practice is lead trial counsel for Shell in a coordinated docket of over 30 cases involving strict product liability, negligence, nuisance, and trespass claims against manufacturers and distributors of legacy agricultural chemicals. Washington DC-based Granta Nakayama leads the group. Key Houston contacts include office managing partner Tracie Renfroe; Carol Wood, who heads the national tort and environmental practice group; and Elizabeth Robertson Taber. Matthew Blaschke is a key San Francisco contact. Since publication, Peter Hsiao has joined in Los Angeles from Morrison & Foerster LLP.

Leading lawyers

Granta Nakayama - King & Spalding LLP

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 4

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is best known for its environmental agency enforcement expertise; acting in claims involving high-exposure and high-profile groundwater, waste, soil, water, air, and climate issues; and environmental aspects of project developments. Washington DC-based Granta Nakayama and Houston’s Carol Wood are highly rated; Patricia Barmeyer and Adam Sowatzka are key Atlanta contacts.

Leading lawyers

Granta Nakayama - King & Spalding LLP

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Healthcare: life sciences
Healthcare: life sciences - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s multidisciplinary practice handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters for clients in the industry, including FDA and IP issues and high-profile corporate transactions. Co-head Nikki Reeves, Lisa Dwyer, Jeffrey Bucholtz and Sheldon Bradshaw led advice to Egalet on an FDA issue regarding the company’s Arymo ER drug. Co-head Christina Markus defended a pharmaceutical and medical device distributor against claims brought by the California State Board of Pharmacy alleging violation of state requirements for wholesale distributor licenses. In San Francisco, Thomas Duley was engaged by Dermira on various matters arising from a license agreement with Hoffmann-La Roche. The practice is also led by Mark Brown, David Farber and Seth Lundy. Other names to note are Andrew Bayman and John Harris in Atlanta, Peter Strotz in Los Angeles, Donald Zimmer and Stephen Abreu in San Francisco, and Preeya Noronha Pinto in Washington DC. The team was strengthened by the arrival of Joseph Diamante and Charles Cantine from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP in New York. Partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Next generation lawyers

Lisa Dwyer - King & Spalding LLP

Preeya Noronha Pinto - King & Spalding LLP

Stephen Abreu - King & Spalding LLP

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Healthcare: service providers
Healthcare: service providers - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

Highlights for the ‘genuine and sophisticated’ practice at King & Spalding LLP included representing over 200 hospitals in litigation opposing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ cuts to in-patient hospital rates, advising the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center on the formation of a joint entity that will develop a hospital campus in Frisco, Texas; and acting for Community Health Systems in Medicare reimbursement litigation. Key names to note include Atlanta-based transactional specialist Jon Harris, Mark Polston and Daniel Hettich in Washington DC, and Stephen Goff, who splits his time between the firm’s Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento offices; Polston is representing multiple teaching hospitals in reimbursement litigation, and Goff assisted CalPERS with the negotiations surrounding its contracts with health plans. The department also handles regulatory issues, investigations and enforcement matters. In 2017, healthcare tax expert Travis Jackson joined the Los Angeles office from Polsinelli PC and Constance Dotzenrod left to start her own firm.

Leading lawyers

Jon Harris - King & Spalding LLP

Next generation lawyers

Daniel Hettich - King & Spalding LLP

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

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is active in the financial institutions sector, advising on claims related to the credit crisis and other insured losses, and also handles property, business income and other losses from catastrophic events and natural disasters in addition to data- and cyber-related claims and asbestos cases. The team continues to represent Coca-Cola in disputes over coverage for asbestos lawsuits filed against its former subsidiary, Cleaver-Brooks LLC, and also represents the client in a $1.5m insurance recovery suit seeking business interruption losses that Coca-Cola incurred at two of its bottling plants in Nepal. Representing SunTrust Banks and certain affiliates in coverage for claims made against the bank and its affiliates in relation to the credit crisis is another highlight. Anthony Tatum, Meghan Magruder and Shelby Guilbert in Atlanta and John Fontham and Martin McNerney in Washington DC are standout individuals.

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Transport: rail and road - finance
Transport: rail and road - finance - ranked: tier 1

King & Spalding LLP

The Charlotte-based equipment leasing and transportation finance group at King & Spalding LLP has extensive experience of a wide variety of financing and lease structures covering rolling stock and a host of other rail equipment. Christopher Buchanan and practice head Jason Huff are intimately familiar with Wells Fargo Rail Corporation, having acted for the client since its inception in the 1990s, and continue to assist it with its transactional and leasing business. Mickey Jett and Derek Marks are active associates in the department. Following the establishment of the practice in 2016, the team has grown rapidly: Brian Betancourt joined the New York finance team from Alston & Bird LLP, while Jennifer Daly rejoined the firm’s New York office from a senior role at Hunter Peak Investments.

Leading lawyers

Christopher Buchanan - King & Spalding LLP

Jason Huff - King & Spalding LLP

Next generation lawyers

Mickey Jett - King & Spalding LLP

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Transport: rail and road - litigation
Transport: rail and road - litigation - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

Atlanta-based Philip Holladay heads the department at King & Spalding LLP, which handles a range of automotive-related disputes, including headline class action product liability claims, environmental litigation and personal injury cases. Holladay represented General Motors of Canada in a catastrophic personal injury case, while John Hooper, Eric Gladbach and Jacqueline Seidel recently settled an economic loss class action suit for Toyota Motor Company concerning the recall of airbags produced by parts supplier Takata. Also recommended are Washington DC-based Granta Nakayama, who has been involved in major environmental investigations; Randall Bassett in Atlanta, who represents UPS in its catastrophic trucking injury cases; and Alexander Calfo, who is a key contact in the Los Angeles office.

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Transport: rail and road - regulation
Transport: rail and road - regulation - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s specialist automotive practitioners are intimately familiar with the regulatory issues facing the automotive industry, having previously held positions at US environmental and safety agencies. Acting for Toyota Motor Company, practice head Jacqueline Glassman has advocated before the NHTSA regarding the Takata airbag recall; Theodore Hester represented Toyota in the congressional investigations aspects of the airbag crisis. Glassman has expertise in the nascent autonomous vehicles space and has advised Global Automakers on certain safety regulations and proposed legislation governing autonomous vehicles. Granta Nakayama has been involved in a number of high-profile environmental suits, and is representing Porsche before the EPA, California Air Resource Board and the DOJ regarding the company’s use of diesel engines purchased from VW.

Leading lawyers

Jacqueline Glassman - King & Spalding LLP

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Transport: shipping - litigation
Transport: shipping - litigation - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s transport litigation team was significantly strengthened by the arrival of Joseph Akrotirianakis, who joined the firm’s Los Angeles office from Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo in 2017. Akrotirianakis represents shipping companies and marine terminal operators in contract litigation, environmental law cases and major labor disputes. The firm also leverages its Washington DC-based antitrust department to handle shipping cartel investigations. Everport Terminal Services is among the department’s key clients.

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s clients include content distributors from traditional media as well as digital and new media services. Kenneth Steinthal and Joseph Wetzel in San Francisco represented the Radio Music License Committee on behalf of its members in the first rate-setting arbitration with performing rights organization the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, resulting in a 20-year rate-setting agreement that is substantially lower than the pre-settlement rate. The group is also representing ESPN as plaintiff in litigation against Broadcast Music, challenging the defendant’s license structure and rates for audiovisual programming. On the technology side, Bruce Baber in New York and Daryl Joseffer in Washington DC are representing Google at the appeal stage of its long-running dispute with Oracle.

Leading lawyers

Kenneth Steinthal - King & Spalding LLP

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Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing)
Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing) - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

At King & Spalding LLP, the group acts for clients in sectors ranging from fashion and hospitality to energy. In Austin, Richard Groos has been representing Mary Kay in enforcement and protection matters, including opposition proceedings brought before the TTAB regarding the client’s ‘Journey’ trademark. New York-based Kathleen McCarthy was engaged by Rolex on an opposition brought against Ralph Lauren Corporation before the TTAB arising from an application of marks. The group was strengthened by the arrival of Joseph Diamante and Charles Cantine to the firm’s New York office from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. The wider IP group is jointly led by Holmes Hawkins in Atlanta and Robert Perry in New York.

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United States: Labor and employment

ERISA litigation
ERISA litigation - ranked: tier 4

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP provides ‘a top-level quality of service’ delivered by ‘the top echelon of lawyers in the field’, according to one client. Known for his ‘ability to understand both the technical and practical implications of a case’, Atlanta-based David Tetrick successfully obtained a motion to dismiss on behalf of Peabody Energy in a stock-drop case. In Washington DC, Bobby Burchfield specializes in retiree health benefits and recently represented Meritor at the Sixth Circuit; in 2008, the appeals court ruled against Meritor on the question of whether retirement healthcare benefits are vested for life, but based on rulings in Gallo v Moen and M&G Polymers v Tackett, the firm filed a petition for rehearing, in which the appeals court found in favor of the client. Also notable is Tetrick’s work for Chevron in connection with disputes concerning withdrawal liability allegedly owed to a pension fund.

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Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 5

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s full-service offering is led by Kenneth Raskin, who is currently advising Jamestown Properties on the ERISA aspects of its investments and several high-end acquisitions across the nation. Raskin also acted for the CEO and senior management team of Nature’s Bounty regarding KKR’s purchase of a majority stake in the company from Carlyle Group, and advised on a number of Chapter 11s on behalf of a multinational technology company. Laura Westfall has significant expertise in ACA and healthcare benefits and was recently promoted to the partnership. The firm’s client roster also includes names such as Morgan Stanley, General Motors and JW Aluminum. All named attorneys are based in New York.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Corporate governance
Corporate governance - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP handles a range of matters concerning hedge fund shareholder engagement and structural governance matters. Jim Woolery in New York, who joined in May 2017 from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, handles a range of shareholder activism work, including advising a special committee of the independent directors of comScore on engagement by Starboard Value - four new independent directors were added to the board. Rob Leclerc is also a key contact in New York, with Cal Smith and Jeff Stein key contacts in the firm’s Atlanta office. Other clients include Equifax, Energizer and Under Armour.

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M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m) - ranked: tier 2

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is highly rated for middle-market M&A deals and private equity transactions, but it also handles large-cap transactions. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Washington DC, and fields lawyers with sector expertise in energy, healthcare and life sciences, real estate, and IT, among others. Middle-market highlights included acting for GE Digital in a $915m agreement to acquire ServiceMax; and advising an affiliate of Atkins Nutritionals, a portfolio company of Roark Capital Group, on its $730m combination with The Simply Good Foods Company. Recent large deal matters included advising Carmike Cinemas on a merger agreement with AMC Entertainment Holdings, which created the largest theater exhibitor in the world; and assisting restaurant chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen with its $1.8bn sale to Restaurant Brands International, which owns brands including Burger King and Tim Horton’s. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP’s former chair James Woolery recently joined in New York as head of the firm’s M&A and corporate governance practices; Atlanta-based Rahul Patel is focused on M&A deals, joint ventures and strategic corporate transactions; and global corporate practice group leader Keith Townsend is also highly rated. Other key advisers include Atlanta-based Raymond Baltz Jr and Justin King; Jack Capers Jr, who divides time between Atlanta and Silicon Valley; and New York’s Robert Leclerc. Since publication, Matthew Jacobson has moved to Ropes & Gray LLP.

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 5

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is noted for healthcare, life sciences and energy deals. In 2017, the firm handled a variety of portfolio company deals and advised Lindsay Goldberg on its acquisition of four independent packaging companies and their captive co-owned sheet feeder. Arcapita and Roark Capital are key clients. Atlanta-based Raymond Baltz is a private equity leader in the South East.

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Venture capital and emerging companies
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 5

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has an outstanding reputation in the life sciences sector, though its commitment to early- and mid-stage growth companies through to unicorns has attracted clients from across the industry, most notably in the tech segment. It recently advised Peleton Technology on its Series B-1 and Series B-2 preferred stock financings, valued at $65m. Other clients include Jounce Therapeutics, Apama Medical, Theatro Labs, GE Digital and GE Ventures. The ‘extremely responsive’ team is spread across the firm’s offices in California, New York, Atlanta and Houston, and is ‘well-versed in the norms of Silicon Valley and outside the Valley as well’; the ‘skilled negotiators’ are ‘first choice for an end-to-end legal support package’. Silicon Valley’s Judy O’Brien is ‘straight talking, knowledgeable, seasoned and measured’ with ‘a very shrewd legal mind’, and she heads the practice alongside San Francisco partner Geoff Leonard. Silicon Valley partner Laura Bushnell is also a prominent name and Atlanta senior associate Nathan Mihalik is ‘experienced, efficient and super detail-oriented’. Matt Stewart joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

Next generation lawyers

Nathan Mihalik - King & Spalding LLP

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United States: Real estate

Construction (including construction litigation)
Construction (including construction litigation) - ranked: tier 1

King & Spalding LLP

The ‘Pre-eminent construction law practice’ at King & Spalding LLP is known for its strength in energy industry construction matters and has a ‘tremendous level of background knowledge in the oil and gas industry’. The group is based across numerous cities in Texas and does a substantial amount of work for large multinational energy owners, including Cheniere Energy, Freeport LNG and Tallgrass Energy. ‘Exceptional lawyerCraig Ledet and ‘excellent strategist’ Michael Stenglein (Austin) work on major construction disputes in the US and across the world, arising from disruption, inefficiency, defects and even major industrial casualty events such as explosions, fires and equipment failures. Scott Greer and Angus McFadden are both highly regarded industry experts for transactional matters. Greer advised LNG Canada, a joint venture comprising Shell, KOGAS, Mitsubishi and PetroChina, on a four-train LNG facility, including a 650km pipeline; and McFadden advised the Atlanta Falcons on agreements relating to the construction of the club’s new stadium. Austin-based Adam Gray is a ‘rising star in the construction world’. Unless indicated otherwise, named lawyers are based in Houston.

Leading lawyers

Scott Greer - King & Spalding LLP

Next generation lawyers

Adam Gray - King & Spalding LLP

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 3

King & Spalding LLP

In 2017, King & Spalding LLP boosted the Houston arm of its REIT practice with the hires of transactional real estate partners David Runnels, Darren Inoff and Jason Peters from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. The practice has a diverse focus, which encompasses M&A, corporate finance transactions and structuring matters - for public and private REITs. Atlanta’s Spencer Johnson co-heads the group and, together with ‘very strong’ Atlanta-based tax partner Peter Genz, acted as special REIT counsel to Deltic Timber on its merger with Potlatch. Anthony Rothermel, who splits his time between New York and Atlanta, and New York-based John Wilson co-lead the practice alongside Johnson.

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