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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

601 LEXINGTON AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10022, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 446 4800
Fax:
Fax +1 212 446 4900
Web:
www.kirkland.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s ‘incredibly responsive and knowledgeable’ practice principally operates from the firm’s offices in New York and Chicago, where it has a strong relationship with private equity clients such as Starwood Capital. The team acted for the aforementioned client in a number of major corporate deals, including New York-based Scott Berger and Jonathan Schechter advising on the roll-up sale of a $3.2bn portfolio of US select-service hotels, and Schechter and Chicago-based Edward Schneidman assisting with the $1.9bn take-private acquisition of Landmark Apartment Trust. On the investment side, examples of the team’s work included Berger and Schechter assisting GID Investment Advisers with its three-parcel land acquisition of Riverside Center on New York’s Upper West Side, and New York-based Christopher Hartmann and Chicago-based Daniel Perlman representing Aeroterm US in its $900m acquisition of more than 120 airport logistics assets located in the US and Canada. Other key players in Chicago are Andrew Small, who acted for Tucson Hotels in a $730m mortgage and mezzanine financing secured by 30 hotels, and newly promoted partner James Augustyn.

Next generation lawyers

Christopher Hartmann - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a strong choice for criminal and civil US and cross-border investigations, as well as follow-on damages actions. James Mutchnik in Chicago and Cormac Connor acted for global chemicals manufacturer Geo Specialty Chemicals in a DOJ investigation into an alleged price-fixing and customer allocation conspiracy. Other active practitioners include Daniel Laytin, San Francisco-based Eliot Adelson and Los Angeles-based Tammy Tsoumas. Katherine Rocco and Yi-Chin Ho joined respectively from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York and Latham & Watkins LLP in Los Angeles, while Matthew Reilly joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Leading lawyers

James Mutchnik - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Civil litigation/class actions
Civil litigation/class actions - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s team, which is led from Chicago by James Mutchnik and Daniel Laytin, features prominently in cases of the utmost complexity and significance, particularly in sectors that attract close regulatory scrutiny, including energy, hi-tech, telecoms and healthcare. ‘Reverse payment settlement’ cases in the pharmaceuticals sector is a notable area of activity and the team is handling multiple matters for Teva Pharmaceuticals’ Barr Laboratories Unit, including litigation arising from an alleged conspiracy to delay market entry of the generic version of antibiotic Cipro. In the financial services arena, a group including Joseph Serino and Eric Leon in New York and Robert Khuzami and Patrick Montgomery in Washington DC is representing Deutsche Bank in various matters, including two putative class actions concerning an alleged conspiracy with other financial institutions to manipulate the Gold Fix and Silver Fix markets, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Commodity Exchange Act. Matthew Reilly recently joined the firm in Washington DC from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, while other key hires are Katherine Rocco (New York), Yi-Chin Ho (Los Angeles) and Anna Rotman (Houston), who joined from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP and Yetter Coleman LLP respectively.

Leading lawyers

James Mutchnik - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s team was significantly bolstered by the hire of Matthew Reilly from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Reilly combines substantial private practice experience with skills learned during a tenure as head of the FTC’s Merger IV division, where he led on merger investigations and litigation across a broad cross-section of industries. The firm features prominently in some of the largest and most complex transactions, with a particular strength in those involving regulated sectors. In 2016, Mark Kovner and Ian Conner had key roles in Teva Pharmaceuticals’ $40bn acquisition of Allergan’s generics business; according to the FTC, this matter involved the largest pharmaceutical divestiture consent in US history. The team handled other mandates for Micro Focus International, Danaher Corporation and Delta Airlines. Marin Boney as well as New York-based Ian John and Katherine Rocco are other notable individuals. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Matthew Reilly - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Marin Boney - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state)
Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state) - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The combination of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and specialist appellate firm Bancroft PLLC has helped form ‘a top-notch team of highly skilled and creative attorneys’. This includes the renowned Paul Clement, from the legacy Bancroft firm, who achieved unanimous victories in Encino Motorcars v Navarro and Hughes v Talen Energy Marketing, supported by Jeffrey Harris and Erin Murphy respectively. Christopher Landau led a team that persuaded the US Supreme Court to reverse a California state court judgment and compel arbitration proceedings against DirectTV under the Federal Arbitration Act, effectively prohibiting state courts from infringing federal arbitration rights. The group had notable successes for clients in the energy and technology sectors. Chicago’s Andrew McGaan convinced the Third Circuit to affirm a bankruptcy court order approving a $4.4bn settlement in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings of Energy Future Holdings. Daniel Laytin, also based in Chicago, secured a favorable judgment for Trina Solar at the Sixth Circuit, resulting in the dismissal of a complaint regarding alleged predatory pricing. John O’Quinn convinced the Federal Circuit to vacate a $16.2m damages award against Cisco arising from patent infringement proceedings. In the Delaware Supreme Court, Chicago-based of counsel Robert Kopecky secured an affirmation of the dismissal of a shareholder derivative action for General Motors, preventing a potential flood of liability claims following a large-scale safety recall. Daniel Donovan and New York-based Jay Lefkowitz are also noted.

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP delivers ‘practical and pragmatic advice and a very high level of service’. Chicago-based practice head Mark Filip and Houston-based Brigham Cannon are ‘diligent and knowledgeable’. They were part of the team that advised BASF on an internal review concerning alleged antitrust violations. The firm helped General Motors to negotiate a criminal resolution with the DOJ concerning recalls. Other clients include some of the world’s largest manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies, which the firm advises on major FCPA investigations and FCA cases. Chicago lawyers John Lausch and John Hartmann, New York’s Henry DePippo and the Washington DC-based Robert Khuzami are active in the white-collar space. Michael Garcia left to become Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals in January 2016.

Leading lawyers

Mark Filip - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Brigham Cannon - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Financial services: litigation
Financial services: litigation - ranked: tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Drawing on the expertise of lawyers within the firm’s commercial litigation, government investigations and transactional teams, Kirkland & Ellis LLP has significant visibility in the market across a range of disputes involving high-profile financial services entities. Former director of enforcement at the SEC, Washington DC’s Robert Khuzami has ‘immense credibility before the regulators’, and alongside Joseph Serino and Eric Leon, successfully defended Deutsche Bank in a proposed class action accusing it and several other banks of infringing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) with deals tied to alleged rigging of the forex market. Khuzami and Serino are also acting for Deutsche Bank in two putative class action cases relating to its involvement in the alleged manipulation of the gold and silver fixes.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP maintains its position among the top echelons of litigation practices in the US and is regularly called upon by household-name corporations in the pharmaceutical, financial services, energy and transportation sectors, among others. A cross-office team led by Michael Slade and Los Angeles-based Michael Baumann secured a bench trial victory for Boeing in the Central District of California, which found that two US subsidiaries of RSC Energia were alter egos and thus liable for a $300m judgment against the Russian company. Other successes included James Hurst’s successful representation of AbbVie in a breach of contract and good faith and fair dealing case against MedImmune. In a significant development for key client BP in a string of litigation following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a team led by Richard Godfrey, Mark Filip, Hariklia Karis and Washington-DC based Mike Brock secured the dismissal of Oil Pollution Act claims. Partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated. Since publication, Aaron Marks has joined in New York from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.

Leading lawyers

Richard Godfrey - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Leading trial lawyers
Leading trial lawyers

William Pratt - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Aaron Marks - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Gregory Arovas - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

James Hurst - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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M&A: litigation: defense
M&A: litigation: defense - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has ‘an excellent litigation practice with extremely knowledgeable lawyers giving excellent advice’. Yosef Riemer has ‘an outstanding practice and is at the top of the game for private equity litigation, having led some pivotal cases’. He achieved a major victory for Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital’s portfolio company BMC Software in a case relating to its $6.9bn take-private transaction by securing a favorable opinion in the largest Delaware statutory appraisal action ever to reach a post-trial decision. Riemer and Matthew Solum defended former directors of Clearwire Corporation in a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit challenging its $14bn acquisition by Sprint. Solum and Jay Lefkowitz acted for Epiq Systems in litigation and a proxy contest. Los Angeles-based Mark Holscher, who had a key role in defending Pershing Square Capital Management in cases arising from its hostile takeover bid for Allergan, is also recommended. All named attorneys are based in New York except where otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Yosef Riemer - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport
Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport - ranked: tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s product liability and mass tort litigation practice has experience handling class and putative class actions and personal injury lawsuits. Robert Ellis in Chicago and Robyn Bladow in Los Angeles have been representing General Motors in a class action alleging defects in the headlamp systems on 2014 and 2015 pickup trucks. In Washington DC, Stuart Drake and Andrew Clubok have been leading advice to Volkswagen in an MDL alleging the company’s violation of the Clean Air Act. Key partners include Andrew Bloomer in Chicago.

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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 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s litigation practice handles class action defense for a wide range of clients. Richard Godfrey and Andrew Langan, both of whom are based in Chicago, have been representing L3 Technologies in a class action alleging defective military and consumer rifle accessories. In Washington DC, Eugene Assaf and Daniel Bress successfully obtained complete dismissals with prejudice for United Technologies in three putative federal class actions concerning allegations of defects in the company’s Carrier home air conditioning systems. The team includes Andrew McGaan in Chicago and Jay Lefkowitz in New York.

Leading lawyers

Andrew McGaan - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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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 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s practice excels in defending clients against product liability claims. The group has been serving as national counsel to Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie in a number of claims alleging failure to warn regarding the company’s arthritis drug Humira; the firm won dismissal of two cases with no payment for AbbVie. In New York and Washington DC respectively, Jay Lefkowitz and Michael Shumsky represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in Welch v Merck & Co, Inc et al before the Third Circuit, which affirmed the dismissal of all product liability claims arising from the plaintiff’s use of the generic drug alendronate sodium. Clients also recommend Mike Brock, who is based in Washington DC.

Leading lawyers

Mike Brock - Kirkland & Ellis 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 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

At Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the product liability and mass tort practice’s deep bench of trial experts often handles high-profile litigation. Douglas Kurtenbach and Jeffrey Clark, in Chicago and Washington DC respectively, have been defending Axiall in various toxic tort lawsuits claiming personal injuries resulting from exposure to a fire at a vinyl chloride plant in Louisiana, including a number of cases at the Fifth Circuit and the US Supreme Court. In Chicago, Kevin Van Wart and Brenton Rogers have been defending YRC Worldwide and Roadway Express in lawsuits alleging that the vinyl chloride contamination of drinking water in Sauk Village, Illinois was caused by the companies’ operations. Key names include Jay Lefkowitz in New York and Eugene Assaf in Washington DC. Clients recommend Andrew McGaan, Richard Godfrey and Mark Filip in Chicago.

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has ‘a top-notch team that delivers phenomenal client service’, say clients, who appreciate its ‘ethical and energetic representation’. On behalf of the board of SAIC, Mark Filip, who works from Chicago and Washington DC, obtained the complete dismissal of matters arising from the CityTime fraud committed by two low-level employees. Chicago-based Robert Kopecky and Joshua Rabinovitz are defending General Motors in four derivative actions relating to the company’s recall of ignition switches. Highlights for Andrew Clubok in New York included defending Facebook in a series of securities class actions, derivative suits and government investigations in the wake of its IPO. He secured the dismissal of all derivative suits. Clubok’s team for the class actions included the ‘deal-orientedElizabeth Deeley in San Francisco. Joseph Serino in New York and Susan Davies in Chicago are defending a class action for BASF Metals alleging conspiracy to manipulate platinum and palladium prices. Clients also recommend New York-based former SEC director of enforcement Robert Khuzami.

Leading lawyers

Mark Filip - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s issuer-focused practice is largely split between the firm’s New York and Chicago offices, and is particularly well regarded for food and beverage, energy and technology sector work. In New York, ‘great lawyerJoshua Korff and Michael Kim advised Kraft Heinz Foods on a series of senior notes offerings totaling $7bn. Christian Nagler is also a key name in New York and acted for Molson Coors Brewing in multiple offerings, which included a series of senior notes offerings worth a combined $5.3bn. In Chicago, Robert Hayward and Keith Crow assisted Kellogg with several transactions including offerings of senior notes and senior debentures totaling $1.4bn. Other key contacts are Dennis Myers and Gerald Nowak in Chicago, and Richard Aftanas in New York.

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP specializes in company-side matters but continues to raise its profile among underwriters. The firm’s top-tier private equity group ensures a steady flow of instructions from funds looking to exit their investments and recent examples include advising 3G Capital as selling stockholder in Restaurant Brand International’s $601.7m secondary offering - ‘market leaderJoshua Korff and Michael Kim led that work from New York. Also in New York, Christian Nagler acted for Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Cantor Fitzgerald as the underwriters in Conyers Park’s $402m public offering. In Chicago, Robert Hayward advised US Silica on its $174m public offering. Other recommended names include Chicago-based Dennis Myers and Richard Aftanas in New York.

Leading lawyers

Joshua Korff - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Extremely creative, knowledgeable and experienced’, the team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a dominant issuer-side practice, which is highly sought after by private equity clients, such as Apax Partners and Bain Capital, as well as public companies. Split largely between the firm’s New York and Chicago offices, the department continues to secure key roles on many of the most high-profile deals to come to market and can turn its hand to almost any industry sector. In New York, Christian Nagler recently acted for Charter Communications in two offerings of senior notes totaling $4.2bn, and ‘leader in his fieldJoshua Korff advised Acelity on $2.1bn of notes offerings made by its subsidiaries, Kinetic Concepts and KCI USA. In Chicago, Gerald Nowak assisted NRG Energy with three senior notes offerings worth a combined $2.6bn. Other recommended partners include Chicago-based Dennis Myers and New York-based Richard Aftanas.

Leading lawyers

Joshua Korff - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has earned its status as ‘among the best at advising on finance terms for borrowers and M&A work’ through a long track record advising private equity clients on major LBOs, as well as corporate borrowers on complex acquisitions and restructurings. The firm has a ‘deep and very responsive’ debt finance team led out of Chicago by Linda Myers, which was further strengthened in early 2017 with the promotion of Maureen Dixon, Judson Oswald and Lucas Spivey to the partnership. The team’s wide-ranging workload included advising Caesars Entertainment on its Chapter 11 restructuring and assisting Molson Coors with the $12.3bn financing to acquire the remaining stake in MillerCoors, as well as the Miller brands outside the US, from Miller Brewing. On the sponsor side, the firm is also handling an increasing amount of work for Thoma Bravo, which it advised on the $1bn financing to acquire Qlik Technologies, as well as the financing for the takeover of Trader Corporation. The group is also handling an increasing amount of direct lending work to clients such as PSP Investments Credit USA, KKR Credit and Vista Equity Partners. Clients recommend Louis Hernandez (‘there is none better on the financing side’) and Nicholas Schwartz.

Leading lawyers

Linda Myers - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nicholas Schwartz - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The premier debtor-side practice at Kirkland & Ellis LLP had a bumper 2016 for work in the E&P sector. The firm acted as debtor’s counsel in the Chapter 11 of Magnum Hunter Resources and also of Sabine Oil & Gas, which was a particular achievement for the team after it was ruled midstream agreements could be rejected in the event of an upstream bankruptcy. The firm also successfully represented Sabine in litigation involving claims by unsecured creditors. Other debtor representations included LINN Energy, Midstates Petroleum and Penn Virginia Corporation - the last of which is notable for the decrease of funded debt obligations from $1.2bn to around $90m. James Sprayregen, who is a ‘great manager of cases and lawyers’ and ‘commands the respect of other law firms’, heads the practice from the Chicago office. Sprayregen leads representations of Energy Futures Holdings and Caesars Entertainment Operating Company alongside the head of the New York team Paul Basta. New York-based Nicole Greenblatt and Chicago-based Adam Paul, who has ‘great intelligence and capability’, are also names to note.

Leading lawyers

James Sprayregen - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Paul Basta - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP continues to represent the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla in defense of the constitutionality of the Puerto Rico Emergency Moratorium and financial Rehabilitation Act and numerous executive orders, and the applicability of the automatic stay included in PROMESA. This is following on from the defense of the constitutionality of the Puerto Rico Public Sector Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act, which ultimately was ruled by the US Supreme Court to be preempted by US Bankruptcy Code. The team is led by Paul Basta in New York and James Sprayregen, who splits his time between New York and Chicago.

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Structured finance
Structured finance - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Routinely delivering an excellent service’, Kirkland & Ellis LLP displays ‘second-to-none’ thought leadership and industry knowledge, especially in automotive finance and securitization matters. In the Chicago office, James Antonopoulos led a team that acted for CarMax Business Services in four public offerings of notes totaling $4.87bn and backed by pools of motor vehicle retail installment contracts. The ‘insightful’ Chicago-based Jeffrey O’Connor advised Deere & Company in relation to John Deere Owner Trust 2016-B; a $755m trust holding an amortizing pool of equipment retail installment sale and loan contracts. In addition to the group’s work with equipment and auto-related assets, Scott Gordon acted for Wyndham Worldwide Corporation during three securitization offerings of timeshare loan receivables, the first of which was among the first securitization transactions to use a horizontal retention structure to comply with new US risk retention requirements. Janette McMahan assisted Ally Bank with its Regulation AB II compliant registration for its AART auto-lease platform.

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United States: Industry focus

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP represents key names such as BP and Chesapeake Appalachia in litigation, including environmental and commercial disputes alongside class actions. The team, which includes the well-regarded Richard Godfrey, acted as lead trial counsel for the former in litigation pertaining to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Washington DC-based Daniel Donovan represented Chesapeake Energy in a declaratory judgment action objecting to a class arbitration initiated by Scout Petroleum, alleging the underpayment of royalties. He also defended Chesapeake Appalachia and its affiliates in antitrust litigation pertaining to alleged reductions of royalty payments on oil and gas leases, which the lawsuit alleged were in violation of Pennsylvania’s unfair trade and consumer protection laws, the Sherman Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Leading lawyers

Richard Godfrey - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

M&A and private equity investment are Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s key strengths. The largely Houston-based team, which was particularly busy on the sell side in 2016, has a broad range of power clients, and acted on numerous transactions worth billions of dollars. Andrew Calder advised Energy Future Holdings on its own sale, and the sale of its stake in Oncor Electric Delivery, to NextEra Energy for $18.7bn; other clients include Exelon and Questar. Doug Bacon and Adam Larson joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Vinson & Elkins LLP respectively. Rhett van Syoc is recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Rhett van Syoc - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s ‘extremely impressive’ Houston-based team, which frequently handles ‘large, complex’ M&A and joint-venture formation but also covers project finance, has ‘excellent industry knowledge’. David Castro and the ‘quick-on-his-feetAnthony Speier advised Seneca Resources on its joint development agreement with IOG CRV-Marcellus to develop Marcellus Shale gas assets in Pennsylvania. The department saw numerous changes in 2016: Adam Larson joined from Vinson & Elkins LLP and Doug Bacon arrived from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, while Rahul Vashi and Bradford Rossi made partner. William Benitez is recommended.

Leading lawyers

Andrew Calder - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Anthony Speier - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

William Benitez - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP provides ‘an exceptional service’, and the ‘well-staffed teams make you feel like you are their first and only client’. The firm has successfully represented entities in a broad range of civil, criminal and administrative proceedings including mass torts and class actions, white-collar criminal disputes, partially responsible party (PRP) litigation and appellate matters. Kevin Van Wart and Bradley Weidenhammer are acting as lead counsel for Boeing in a case brought by 200 property owners, defending the client against medical monitoring and property damage claims concerning groundwater contamination linked to a release of vinyl chloride. Washington DC-based Mike Brock continues to represent BP entities in various matters arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and Richard Godfrey, Andrew Langan and Andrew Running represent the City of Chicago against three plaintiffs in a putative class action regarding dangerous levels of lead exposure as a result of sewer line replacement and water meter installation. All named individuals are based in Chicago, except where otherwise stated.

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Environment: transactional
Environment: transactional - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP offers ‘an exceptional service’ and the lawyers’ ‘excellent negotiation skills always help clients achieve their goal’. The group handles the full spectrum of transactional matters, advising on environmental due diligence, analyzing regulatory compliance and potential liabilities and negotiating environmental contracts. Brian Land is ‘an outstanding transactional lawyer who can navigate the trickiest issues’ and alongside Jonathan Kidwell advised GEP Haynesville on the $850m acquisition of natural gas assets from Encana Corporation. In another highlight, Sara Michaelchuck Webber represented gas supply company Questar Corp in its $6.2bn agreement to combine with Dominion Resources, and also advised Corning on the strategic realignment of its interest in Dow Corning. Abbott Laboratories, Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Sensata Technologies are also clients. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

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Transport: aviation and air travel
Transport: aviation and air travel - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Clients of Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s aviation litigation group include Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and The Boeing Company. In one particularly high-profile case, Chicago-based Michael Slade and Los Angeles-based Michael Baumann, after years of litigation, obtained a ruling of over $500m to be paid to The Boeing Company and Boeing Commercial Space Company, following the failure of a commercial satellite joint venture, Sea Launch. Craig Primis and Matthew Papez are part of a team defending The Boeing Company in separate lawsuits in Illinois and Florida regarding the crash of a National Air Cargo jet and subsequent death of all seven crewmembers; the two Washington DC-based partners are also defending The Boeing Company against claims brought by Alabama Aircraft Industries alleging breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment and conversion of intellectual property.

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s litigation team represents rail and automotive clients in high-profile product liability and personal injury cases. General Motors is among the group’s key clients, and Richard Godfrey and Andrew Bloomer in Chicago, as well as Mike Brock in Washington DC, act as lead counsel in over 2,000 personal injury suits arising out of the company’s recalls of 2.6 million vehicles relating to ignition switches, power steering and other safety concerns. In other standout matters, Washington DC partners Daniel Donovan and Bridget O’Connor won a dismissal of a $40m lawsuit brought against BNSF Railway Company. The team is also part of a multi-firm effort to defend Volkswagen in DOJ proceedings regarding violations of the Clean Air Act.

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The ‘excellent’ team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP provides ‘spot-on copyright advice’ and is regularly involved in high-profile cases. For example, it continues to represent Fox News in the prominent dispute with the media monitoring company TVEyes, which defends its provision of TV news broadcasts for subscribers as fair use. Other highlights included acting for Oracle in its long-running dispute with Google regarding the use of Oracle’s Java source code in Google’s Android operating system, representing Cisco Systems in a software copyright infringement suit against Arista Networks, and the defense of Damien Hirst against allegations by a Canadian artist in a jewelry copyright matter. Other clients include IBM, Limited Brands and Take-Two. ‘Smart and responsive’ practice head Dale Cendali, Johanna Schmitt and Claudia Ray, all of whom are based in New York, are recommended, as is Diana Torres in Los Angeles.

Leading lawyers

Dale Cendali - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Patent litigation: full coverage
Patent litigation: full coverage - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s group of ‘terrific communicators’ provides ‘a uniformly first-class service’, offering clients ‘effective oral advocacy and solid courtroom work’ along with ‘excellent advice on strategy, research and investigations’. Leora Ben-Ami is a key contact in the New York office, as is ‘great problem-solverGregory Arovas, who is ‘hard working and always prepared’. Highlights included securing a $94m verdict in favor of AbbVie in an infringement and breach of contract case brought by MedImmune and representing Cisco Systems in a suit brought against Arista Networks alleging infringement of 12 technology networking patents. The first matter was led by Chicago-based James Hurst, and the latter by San Francisco’s Adam Alper and Michael De Vries in Los Angeles. The firm also acted for CR Bard before the US Supreme Court, where a $1bn judgment awarded to the client in a long-running dispute with WL Gore & Associates was upheld. Energy Labs, Medtronic, IBM and Capital One are also clients. In early 2017, New York's Steven Cherny departed for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Leading lawyers

Leora Ben-Ami - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next-generation lawyers

Amanda Hollis - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Patent litigation: international trade commission
Patent litigation: international trade commission - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s team includes a number of ‘excellent IP trial lawyers’, who ‘speak the language of IP and business’; it has particular expertise in the technology, electronics, software and retail products space. Gregg LoCascio and Sean McEldowney successfully represented BASF and Argonne National Laboratory in a patent infringement case against Umicore before the ITC. Among other impressive highlights, the team represented Cisco Systems in proceedings involving multiple patent infringement claims against Arista Networks; the ITC issued a final determination in favor of Cisco Systems and issued a limited exclusion and cease and desist order prohibiting the entry of the infringing products. It is also acting for Energetiq Technology in an ITC investigation regarding patents related to laser-driven light sources. New York-based Gregory Arovas has notable experience in handling ITC and US district court cases involving software and medical-related technologies. It also has strength in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Sean Trainor joined O’Melveny & Myers LLP in January 2017.

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Patents: licensing
Patents: licensing - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is noted for advising on patent licensing issues related to corporate, private equity, financing and restructuring transactions. As an example, it advised a private equity firm with research and advice relating to a patent license agreement in the software space. New York-based David MacDonald advised Sun Pharmaceutical Industries on its licensing agreement with Almirall for the development and commercialization of tildrakizumab, and handled Purdue Pharma’s worldwide collaboration with Eisai to develop and commercialize Lemborexant. In another highlight, Chicago-based Neil Hirshman assisted a leading semiconductor company with its potential patent cross-licensing agreement with a global technology company.

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Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

At Kirkland & Ellis LLP, New York-based Dale Cendali led a team defending Virgin Group against claims of misappropriation of ideas, allegations of breach of contract and unjust enrichment brought by the former CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; the case settled. Cendali is also acting for IBM in a case against Teraproc that includes allegations of theft and distribution of confidential and proprietary source code. Diana Torres in Los Angeles is representing LifeLock’s subsidiary Lemon in a Sixth Circuit appeal pertaining to a dispute with its former executives, former general counsel and technology entrepreneur Wenceslao Casares, which includes allegations of breach of fiduciary duty. At state court level, Washington DC-based Craig Primis is acting for Hercules Capital in an alleged trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit against Tennenbaum Capital Partners in California and is defending Honeywell against allegations of trade secret misappropriation brought by DSM Dyneema in North Carolina. SolarCity and Akorn are also clients. Chicago-based Reed Oslan, Daniel Bress and Katharine Burke in Washington DC, and New York’s Joshua Simmons are also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Joshua Simmons - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Katharine Burke - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice is regularly involved in high-profile trademark litigation and has particular expertise in trademark dilution and reverse confusion cases. It successfully defended AT&T, defeating a preliminary injunction motion brought by Citigroup alleging that the defendant’s new customer appreciation program ‘AT&T Thanks’ infringes the mark of its customer loyalty program ‘Thankyou’. On the plaintiff side, the team has been representing SoulCycle in a dispute with Soul Pose to protect its ‘Soul’ family of marks. The practice also continues to assist Nike subsidiary Converse in a trade dress dispute with Walmart, Skechers and several other companies regarding the plaintiff’s ‘Chuck Taylor All-Star’ shoe design; currently in an appeal against an ITC decision. Other clients include Accenture, California Credit Union, Droga5, Facebook and Oracle. Practice head Dale Cendali and Claudia Ray in New York are recommended, as is Diana Torres in Los Angeles.

Leading lawyers

Dale Cendali - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘one of the top firms in the space’ and one that clients are ‘most happy to have in their corner’ thanks in part to the strength in depth of its team, which is ‘excellent from top to bottom’. New York-based Andrew Wright (for some ‘the best in the business’) advised Warburg Pincus on the creation of four funds with a combined $18bn in capital commitments, while in Chicago the ‘outstandingBruce Ettelson, John Muno (who has ‘great market knowledge and an efficient and co-operative working style’), Scott Moehrke and William Welke advised Thoma Bravo on a $7.5bn technology buyout fund. In another highlight, Ettelson and Muno acted alongside Chris Kallos (who attracts praise for his ‘excellent legal and business judgment’) for Madison Dearborn Partners on a $4.4bn fund. Other key figures in Chicago include new partner Katie St. Peters, who is ‘able to work through issues with opposing counsel efficiently and professionally’, and Sarah Kirson, whose ‘entrepreneurial and growth-oriented approach’ makes her a natural choice for younger private equity firms. In New York, practice head John O’Neil, who regularly acts on fund formation matters for Vista Equity Partners, and ‘fund formation rock starJohn Budetti are recommended, as is San Francisco-based Karin Orsic, who is praised for her ‘excellent client service and deep domain knowledge’. Other clients include HGGC, Starwood Capital Group and 3G Capital.

Leading lawyers

Andrew Wright - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Bruce Ettelson - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Katie St. Peters - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions)
Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions) - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s team is led by New York-based Scott Price and advises an enviable client roster featuring 3G Capital, Carlyle and Avis. Michael Krasnovsky advised Cerberus Capital Management on the carve-out of Avon’s North American business and strategic investment in Avon’s international business, and handled Corning’s strategic realignment of its interest in its joint venture with Dow. Other notable highlights included Exelon’s acquisition of Pepco, KKR’s investment in the UFC, and Price’s work on behalf of Baxalta regarding its $32bn unsolicited takeover by Shire. Laura Bader joined Jones Day.

Next generation lawyers

Michael Krasnovsky - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a ‘strong team of creative, motivated partners and associates’ and the level of service is always ‘top notch’. Clients view the team as a ‘top-tier practice with an expanding talent pool’, which is ‘poised to compete on all major deals for years’; it is ‘confidently recommended for any complex transaction’. The firm’s expansive strategy has seen a series of eye-catching lateral hires over the years, including the recruitment of Jonathan Davis from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP at the end of 2016. Building on its market-leading presence in the private equity sector, the firm is now a recognized leader in strategic M&A and has built up an impressive corporate client list. It is also notably strong in corporate governance and shareholder activism, advising a range of corporates and boards of directors on proxy contests. In 2016, the firm advised longstanding client Teva Pharmaceuticals on a series of transactions, including its $40.5bn acquisition of Allergan Generics; this included the largest-ever US antitrust drug divestiture order in a pharmaceutical merger, involving divestitures to 11 different buyers with an aggregate value of $1.7bn. The firm also represented Baxalta in a $32bn unsolicited takeover bid by Shire, including the initial rejection of the bid and subsequent agreed transaction, which closed in June 2016. In another multibillion-dollar deal, the firm advised Molson Coors Brewing on its $12bn purchase of the 58% stake in MillerCoors that it did not already own, from SABMiller; the carve-out of the MillerCoors business was pivotal to the completion of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $106bn acquisition of SABMiller. Illustrating its strength in technology deals, the firm advised Micro Focus International, the global software company, on its $8.8bn acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business through a Reverse Morris Trust structure. Key partners include David Fox, Daniel Wolf, Sarkis Jebejian, William Sorabella, Chicago-based Scott Falk and Washington DC-based George Stamas. David Feirstein is also recommended by clients. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Daniel Wolf - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

David Fox - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Davis - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLPdoes not rest on its laurels’ and continued to build out its leading private equity practice with the acquisition of Peter Martelli from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Since arriving, Martelli advised Blackstone on its $6.1bn acquisition of physician services business TeamHealth, one of the largest buyouts of 2016. In addition, the firm brought in Michael Weisser and Sarah Stasny from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. These followed a string of headline lateral hires over the last few years. While it is increasing its exposure to the highest-value deals, with one client hailing it as ‘top of the list’ for the ‘largest and most complicated buyouts’, the firm still has ‘legions of partners to service the middle market’. It is particularly strong in certain market segments, such as real estate and energy. The firm’s Houston office, led by Andrew Calder, has become a major force in energy buyouts for clients such as Blackstone and KKR. In 2016, Calder and the team advised Blackstone on its $2.17bn acquisition, along with ArcLight, of four Midwest power plants from subsidiaries of American Electric Power. The firm reinforced its Houston office in 2016 with the hire of Adam Larson from Vinson & Elkins LLP and Doug Bacon from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Other highlights included advising long-time client Bain Capital on its $1.28bn sale of portfolio company Physio-Control International to Stryker and assisting KKR with its strategic investment in professional mixed martial arts organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Other clients include Madison Dearborn Partners, Apax Partners, Carlyle, Centerbridge Partners, Golden Gate Capital, GTCR, Oaktree Capital Management, Silver Lake, TPG and Warburg Pincus. Notable partners include Jon Ballis, Stephen Ritchie, Sanford Perl, Matthew Steinmetz, Richard Campbell and New York’s Eunu Chun. Jeffrey Seifmanworks hand in hand’ with clients and Los Angeles-based Tana Ryan is ‘great’, ‘finds the right solution to get the deal done’, and ‘thinks very well on her feet’. New York partner Leo Greenberg is a ‘real star and a great guy’. All named partners are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Eunu Chun - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Jon Ballis - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing
Advertising and marketing - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Chicago-based Ross Weisman leads Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s advertising group, which is recognized for its contentious expertise. The team regularly advises clients before the NAD and the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), and has experience in FTC matters. In recent highlights, Washington DC-based Gregg LoCascio successfully defended Abbott in a putative class action relating to its Ensure Muscle Health Shake and Ensure Clinical Strength products, which plaintiffs claim are falsely advertised with phrases such as ‘the number one doctor recommended brand’ and ‘targeted specialized nutrition’; and Chicago-based Robert Ellis represented General Motors in a putative class action alleging false advertising relating to statements made on the fuel economy of its Lambda line of vehicles. LoCascio, Weisman and Robin McCue in Chicago defended Dyson in a lawsuit against SharkNinja alleging Dyson’s ‘Twice the Suction’ claims are false following the release of a new vacuum cleaner by the plaintiff. Jonathan Brightbill in Washington DC and Megan New and Jordan Heinz in Chicago are recommended for false advertising matters.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s copyright, trademark, internet and advertising group advises media and entertainment clients across a wide range of IP issues; recent highlights include representing Fox News Network in a copyright infringement lawsuit against TVEyes and acting for Take-Two Interactive Software in a lawsuit in which Take-Two allegedly infringed a tattoo artist’s copyrights by accurately depicting the tattoos of NBA players in the NBA 2K16 video game. Dale Cendali led the matters and is recognized also for her Broadway expertise; Cendali is representing Anastasia Musical in a plagiarism suit. Other clients include Facebook, FremantleMedia and Droga5. Johanna Schmitt and Claudia Ray are also recommended. Joshua Simmons made partner in 2016. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

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Outsourcing
Outsourcing - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s Neil Hirshman and Gregg Kirchhoefer co-chair the practice and have extensive experience in structuring and negotiating high-value outsourcing transactions and representing clients in the wireless, hi-tech, healthcare, medical devices, life sciences, aviation and insurance sectors. The team advised Accretive Health, a healthcare billing and revenue cycle management services, on the renegotiation of its MSA with Ascension Health, which involved a ten-year exclusive arrangement involving the rebadging of 8,000 employees and $6bn in revenue. Daniel Lewis assisted Patterson with the negotiation of a SaaS transaction and related implementation with NetSuite, and also advised on the negotiation of an ITO with NTT Data.

Leading lawyers

Gregg Kirchhoefer - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Neil Hirshman - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s team routinely works alongside the firm’s corporate, private equity and restructuring attorneys on complex matters for public and private companies. Seth Traxler and Neil Hirshman jointly lead the technology transactions team, while Gregg Kirchhoefer heads up outsourcing. In a notable recent matter, Kirchhoefer and Daniel Lewis acted for airline telecoms company Gogo in its technology and services contracts with Inmarsat, a provider of global mobile satellite communications. Other highlights included Matthew Lovell acting for Apax Partners in its sale of Epicor Software Corporation, Traxler assisting spine surgery-focused medical device company Mazor Robotics with an exclusive co-promotion, co-development and potential distribution agreement with Medtronic, and New York’s Lisa Samenfeld representing Acorda Therapeutics in its combination with a Finnish biopharmaceutical company Biotie. Also in New York, Edward Sadtler led advice to ABRY Partners on numerous transactions, including the sale of LanguageLine, a translation technology services company. Named partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

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United States: Real estate

Construction (including construction litigation)
Construction (including construction litigation) - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The Chicago-based construction team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is best known for its litigation expertise and, in 2016, was involved in cases nationally and internationally, including in the Middle East and South America. The group primarily focuses on commercial and residential real estate, but infrastructure and energy projects are important aspects of the practice too; schools, company headquarters, fertilizer plants and renewable energy projects are some of the recent developments it has worked on. A highlight for the team is the ongoing representation of a major contractor in a multimillion-dollar dispute with a state owner regarding defects in the construction of a company headquarters. Other clients include BP Petroleum, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Academy for Global Citizenship. James Nowacki is a key name for the group and is based in Chicago.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The international tax group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is based across the Chicago and New York offices. Dean Shulman, Mike Carew and Benjamin Schreiner together advised Baxalta Incorporated on its merger agreement with Irish company Shire in a $32bn transaction that created a leading rare-diseases platform, and acted for Molson Coors Brewing in its agreement with AB InBev to purchase for approximately $12bn SABMiller’s 58% stake in MillerCoors. Alongside Vincent Thorn, Carew and Shulman supported Micro Focus International in its $8.8bn Reverse Morris Trust acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company’s software business. Russell Light assisted Solera Holdings with its $6.5bn sale to Vista Equity Partners.

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US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 3

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s ‘extensive’ tax controversy practice is particularly noted for its transfer pricing prowess. The firm has extensive experience in the airline industry and is representing Delta Air Lines in a dispute with the Regional Transportation Authority regarding sales and use taxes on jet fuel. The team is also is the lead tax adviser in numerous major bankruptcies and restructurings. Clients include Energy Future Holdings, Corus Bankshares, GFGI Liquidation Trust and BPCP Dispatch Holdings. Chicago-based partners Natalie Keller, Todd Maynes and JoAnne Nagjee are the key names.

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

For many, Kirkland & Ellis LLP is the ‘go-to firm for complex deals locally and internationally’, thanks in part to its ‘proven track record in the tax arena and reliable global capabilities’. Working closely with the transactional department, 2016 proved to be yet another highly active year for the non-contentious tax practice, especially in the energy and oil and gas fields. In an illustration of the practice’s ability to leverage the firm’s market-leading restructuring capability, Todd Maynes, Gregory Gallagher and Sara Zablotney led advice to Energy Future Holdings and 70 of its affiliates on the tax aspects of their Chapter 11 applications, which have involved more than $40bn in debt. In another highlight, Dean Shulman and Mike Carew led the tax advice for Baxalta Incorporated during its $32bn merger with Shire, while Shulman, Carew and Benjamin Schreiner acted for Molson Coors Brewing on its purchase of a 58% stake in SABMiller from AB InBev. The firm also assisted the same client with its sale of a 58% stake in MillerCoors (SABMiller’s and Molson Coors’ joint venture in the US) to AB InBev for approximately $12bn.

Leading lawyers

Todd Maynes - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

William Levy - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Next generation lawyers

Gregory Gallagher - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Mike Carew - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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