The Legal 500

Latham & Watkins LLP

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United States

Top-tier recommendations


  • United States: Real estate and construction > Real estate

United States: Finance

Within Asset finance and leasing, tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP’ structured finance and securitization practice has a very strong focus on asset finance. The firm’s expertise covers a broad range of asset classes, from aircraft finance to broadcast tower securitizations and rental car fleet financings. Kevin Fingeret heads the highly versatile team from New York. It recently represented US Airways as issuer on $819m worth of EETCs to finance the purchase of 14 Airbus aircraft. Another highlight was representing Deutsche Bank as initial purchaser of a $177m securitization of revenues from the Distributed Antenna Systems network, which makes cellular services possible in subways and other enclosed spaces. The firm also acted for J.P. Morgan as initial purchaser of $950m of rental car asset-backed notes issued by Hertz Vehicle Financing LLC. Recently promoted partner Graeme Smyth and Loren Finegold are both very experienced in this area.

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Within Bank lending (including other sources of financing), Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

In an industry populated with extremely motivated, highly qualified and experienced teams’, Latham & Watkins LLPstill stands out significantly’. The ‘outstanding’, ‘highly creative and super commercial’ team is praised for its ‘seamless execution’ and blending of bank debt and high-yield work. New York-based global co-chair Michele Penzer and New York and Los Angeles-based John Mendez are key members of a team where the expertise extends to both borrower and lender work, with the Carlyle Group a particularly large client on the sponsor side. ‘Wonderful’ LA-based partner John Jameson has ‘years of experience, a down-to-earth manner and a practical approach’, and Chicago-based Jeffrey Moran is ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’. Recommended partners in Washington DC include Jeffrey Chenard and Jennifer Van Driesen; the latter is ‘extremely motivated and highly qualified’. The firm has been very active in cross-border deals, particularly as European borrowers increasingly seek access to US debt; on this front, it recently advised Actavis on the $4.25bn financing linked to its acquisition of Warner Chilcott. On the lender front, a significant highlight was advising the banks, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, on a $1.6bn facility, including a $1.034bn covenant-lite term loan, to finance Altice Group’s acquisition of Groupe Outremer Telecom. On the refinancing side, it represented Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Lloyds Banking Group on the $1.4bn refinancing of Oberthur Technologies.

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Within Capital markets: debt offerings, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Home to one of the largest capital markets practices in the country, Latham & Watkins LLP handles issuer and underwriter mandates from a multitude of sectors and debt products. A cross-office team of New York and Orange County lawyers recently advised Watson Pharmaceuticals on the issuance of $1.2bn worth of 1.875% notes due 2017, $1.7bn worth of 3.25% notes due 2022, and $1bn worth of 4.625% notes due 2042; proceeds of these offerings were used to fund a portion of its acquisition of Actavis Group. The aforementioned deal was led by Wesley Holmes and Peter Labonski; both are based in New York, where the latter serves as office chair of the corporate department. In Los Angeles, Steven Stokdyk represented Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan as managers in Costco Wholesale Corporation’s issuance of a series of senior notes due between 2015 and 2019 for the aggregate principal amount of $3.5bn. In Washington DC, Senet Bischoff acted for Barclays as manager in AutoZone’s 2.875% offering of senior notes due 2023. Patrick Shannon, also based in Washington DC, and New York partner Marc Jaffe co-head the practice with support from Lene Malthasen in London.

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Within Capital markets: equity offerings, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s sizeable team of capital markets lawyers, which includes over 60 partners spread across ten cities, stands out for its versatility and wide-ranging expertise. Practice co-chair Marc Jaffe in New York and Chicago office deputy managing partner Cathy Birkeland represented Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Securities as joint book-running managers in SeaWorld Entertainment’s IPO; a portfolio company of private equity fund Blackstone, it raised $807.3m. In Houston, master limited partnerships specialist Ryan Maierson led advice to Southcross Energy Partners LP on its $180m IPO, one of the first offerings by a master limited partnership to be filed confidentially as an emerging growth company under the recently enacted JOBS Act. Technology and Silicon Valley-based life sciences expert Patrick Pohlen acted for underwriters Citigroup and Morgan Stanley in the $98m follow-on offering by Tesaro; this follows a successful June 2012 IPO where it raised close to $87m. Los Angeles partner Julian Kleindorfer advised Spirit Realty Capital on its $500m NYSE-listed float in one of the largest REIT IPOs of recent times. Kirk Davenport is another key Los Angeles contact.

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Within Capital markets: global offerings, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s well-established practice assists corporates, investment banks and sovereign governments in debt and equity offerings in the US, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. The team’s recent achievements include advising on a number of significant cross-border IPOs, such as advising IEnova in connection with its MXN7.4bn global IPO of common stock, which was was sold in a registered offering in Mexico, and in a private placement in the US and outside Mexico; Roderick Branch, who splits his time between New York and Chicago, led on the deal. Other recent equity highlights include advising French company Criteo in its $287m IPO of ADS trading on NASDAQ; New York-based Marc Jaffe led the transaction.

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Within Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP has one of the biggest capital markets teams in the US, with key practitioners based in New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston among others. It advises a broad selection of issuer clients and is renowned for its work with private equity sponsors and portfolio companies. In Washington DC, global capital markets co-chair Patrick Shannon, alongside Jason Licht, advised The Carlyle Group on its acquisition of DuPont Performance Coatings by way of leveraged buyout in a transaction that included a $750m offering of 7.375% senior notes due 2012, and €250m of 5.75% senior secured notes due 2021. In the New York office, co-chair Marc Jaffe acted for WellCare Health Plans in its SEC-registered shelf takedown for a high-yield note issuance with the healthcare issuer issuing $600m of 5.75% of senior notes due 2020. On the underwriter side, Jaffe represented Jefferies and Deutsche Bank in an offering by Golden Nugget Escrow of $295m of 8.5% senior notes due 2021 and Julian Kleindorfer, alongside Kirk Davenport, advised Barclays Capital as lead purchaser in CyrusOne’s offering of $525m in senior unsecured notes.

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Within Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy), Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP is a ‘premier legal adviser’ and its corporate restructuring team leverages its global reputation to offer clients ‘strong pockets of supplementary expertise’ and ‘seamless and effective cross-border capability’. Its lawyers are ‘outstanding, from senior partners through to associate level’ and ‘display not only technical expertise, but remarkable sensitivity to those involved in the bankruptcy process’. Jan Baker provides ‘untiring counsel and expertise’ and is ‘particularly effective in sharing his invaluable judgment and providing a calm hand’. Baker co-chairs the global team from New York alongside Mitchell Seider, while the ‘highly knowledgeablePeter Gilhuly heads the firm’s West Coast practice. The 19-partner group also includes Chicago-based Caroline Reckler, who is a ‘strong advocate in the face of difficult opposing counsel’. The firm continues to secure headline restructuring mandates from both debtor and creditor clients and it also receives instructions relating to distressed M&A. In terms of company-side highlights, the firm represented US Airways on the $17.5bn Chapter 11 of AMR Corporation, including advising it on the acquisition of AMR subsidiary American Airlines, through a merger under American Airline’s Chapter 11 plan. It also advised A123 Systems on its Chapter 11 and restructuring proceedings, which involved a highly contentious negotiation of the sale of its assets to Wanxiang America. On the finance side, the firm represented Goldman Sachs on a shariah-compliant DIP financing in the Chapter 11 cases of Arcapita Bank, which notably marked the first-ever approval of a shariah-compliant DIP financing and exit financing package by a US Bankruptcy court.

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Within Financial services: litigation, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

With firepower on both coasts as well as in Chicago, Latham & Watkins LLP is instructed by clients across the financial services industry, including banks, hedge funds, insurers and accountancy firms, and is able to put together a very cohesive team of regulatory experts, litigators and white-collar specialists. It is very active in Libor matters and, as well as representing numerous current and former senior officers of international banks in multi-pronged government investigations, is representing the British Bankers’ Association in a related civil action. Richard Owens handles Libor matters, and is the lead partner in the firm’s high-profile representation of Deutsche Bank in its RMBS litigation and governmental investigations. On the West Coast, the team is regularly involved in work for accountancy firms and asset managers. Blair Connelly, Christopher Clark, James Brandt and Peter Wald are also recommended.

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Within Financial services: regulatory, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP provides an ‘excellent service’ to clients on standalone compliance and transactional-related regulatory matters. The ‘extremely smart and knowledgeable’ Dana Fleischman has ‘a good sense of market practice’, and is ‘one of the best in the broker-dealer arena’. Alongside Stephen Wink, Fleischman recently acted for an investor in a major international securities and options exchange. The ‘excellent’ Wink is also very active on broker-dealer regulatory matters, and advised Fantex on the establishment of the first-ever broker-dealer and trading platform for the trading of securities representing interests in the earnings of sports stars. While the firm’s bank regulatory offering remains less visible than many of its higher-ranked peers, the recruitment of ‘market leader’ Alan Avery a few years ago is starting to pay some dividends, with Avery at the forefront of the practice’s ‘living will’ work for a number of foreign banks. He also advised a private equity firm on the regulatory aspects of its acquisition of non-controlling interests in various banks and bank holding companies. The team has also advised a number of banks on their capital raising activities, including advising on the issuance of Credit Suisse’s Gold Shares Covered Call, the bank’s first NASDAQ-listed product.

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Within Project finance, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

With its globally renowned energy practice, Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘outstanding team’ continues to feature in many of the largest projects in the sector, acting for lenders, investors and developers. Split across New York, Washington DC, San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco, the team also benefits from a global network of around 150 lawyers. ‘Excellent from start to finish’, the firm’s ‘knowledge enables it to provide service in a cost-effective way’, resulting in ‘strategic advice’ and ‘timely responses’. Washington DC-based John Sachs advised four lenders on refinancing six Idaho wind power projects through the rare combination of a bridge loan with bank and bond funding. San Diego-based practice head Kelley Gale, alongside Jonathan Rod in New York, advised lead initial purchaser Citigroup Global Markets and the lead arranger on the $1.32bn Solar Star project in California; the transaction was the largest single bond financing for a solar project to date. Washington DC-based Paul Hunt led a five-lawyer team advising Summit Power Group as sponsor and developer of the $3.5bn Texas Clean Energy Project; the 400MW, coal-fired, combined cycle polygen plant is set to be the cleanest coal power plant in the US and is anticipated to be among the cleanest globally, with 90% carbon capture and sequestration. Hunt also advised the energy consortium FutureGen Industrial Alliance on partnering with the US Department of Energy to fund the FutureGen project, a $1.65bn scheme comprising a coal-fired oxy-combustion plant in Meredosia, Illinois, and a 30-mile Co2 pipeline designed to transport clean, non-hazardous Co2 from the power plant to a permanent storage site. Hunt and Sachs advised Deutsche Bank as lead arranger for a lending facility, including construction and cash grant bridge loans, for the construction and design of a 36.5MW solar project portfolio in Massachusetts. In New York, Warren Lilien led a team handling Terra-Gen Power’s sponsorship of two separate wind projects in Kern County, California. Amy Maloney and Matthew Henegar advised Sovereign Bank (now known as Santander) on the $355m financing for Prairie Breeze Wind Farm in Nebraska. Jeffrey Greenberg, who splits his time between New York and Los Angeles, advised both the sponsors and the borrowers on the financing of Copper Mountain Solar 2 in Nevada. Christopher Cross in New York is an ‘outstanding deal lawyer, bringing genuine understanding of the client’s objectives to negotiations with counterparties’. Dennis Nordstrom, based in London and Washington DC, is also recommended.

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Within Structured finance, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘top-notch’ structured finance and securitization group is noted for its ‘excellent technical legal knowledge’. In New York, the focus lies particularly on off-the-run commercial and esoteric assets, including aircraft leases, cell tower assets, rental car fleets and whole business securitizations. However the group also handles more traditional assets, such as credit card receivables and sub-prime automobile loans. Highly recommended global co-chair Kevin Fingeret recently acted for Deutsche Bank – one of the group’s most significant clients – as initial purchaser in an offering of Secured Cellular Site Revenue Notes, Series 2013-1 by InSite Wireless Group LLC. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citibank are also on its client roster. In the structured aircraft financing space, the firm continues to advise US Airways, most recently as issuer in a public offering of Series 2013-1 enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETC), the fifth EETC for the client since 2010. Senior partner Vicki Marmostein heads the CLO-focused practice in Los Angeles and ‘always makes sure clients are happy with the work done’. Her team includes Dominic Yoong, who is ‘very committed to achieving goals’. In Chicago, Ellen Marks advises on regulatory matters and in New York Graeme Smyth was promoted to partner.

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United States: Industry focus

Within Energy: regulatory, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP has a strong position in the market, representing utilities, owners and operators of generation, transmission and distribution assets, marketers and traders and investors. David Schwartz, Washington DC-based Mike Gergen and Natasha Gianvecchio led advice to CONSOL Energy in a first-of-its-kind coal supply agreement with a large coal-fired generation supplier that will give it greater ability to compete in the PJM Interconnection market. Another highlight was representing San Diego Gas & Electric in federal court litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s and Forest Service’s respective decisions approving the Sunrise Powerlink project in Southern California. In the solar space, the firm has been advising Sempra Energy on regulatory matters regarding the financing of Copper Mountain Solar 2, a 150MW photovoltaic solar project in Nevada. Other clients include FirstEnergy Corporation and Duquesne Light.

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Within Energy: renewable/alternative, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s transactional and finance expertise provides a strong foundation for its renewable practice, which has extensive experience advising project sponsors, developers and financial institutions. John Sachs, who represents a range of clients on the development, financing and acquisition of US and international projects, led a team representing Deustche Bank as joint lead arranger of a lending facility for the acquisition, design, development, construction and operation of a 36.5MW portfolio of distributed solar generating projects in Massachusetts. Washington DC-based Paul Hunt is overseeing ongoing advice to FutureGen Alliance on the development and financing of the FutureGen 2.0 project, which comprises a 168MW coal-fired oxy-combustion plant; the 90% carbon capture and sequestration is to be located in Illinois, as well as a 30-mile pipeline that is needed to transport clean Co2 to a permanent storage site. New York-based Stephen Amdur, San Francisco-based Melanie Blunschi, Costa Mesa-based David Lee and Los Angeles-based Duncan Moore have all been promoted to partner.

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Within Energy: transactions, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice is ‘excellent from start to finish’ and the ‘outstanding team’ is particularly praised for its solid understanding of clients’ businesses and objectives. It operates globally, and has recently grown through a number of partner promotions. From its core in Houston, oil and gas chair Michael Darden and Jeffrey Muñoz recently led advice to longstanding client Plains Exploration & Production Company on the acquisition of interests in certain deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas properties from BP to the value of some $5.55bn. M&A expert David Kurzweil in New York, alongside Jeffrey Greenberg in Los Angeles, advised Energy Capital Partners on a re-pricing amendment and new term loan financing for the EquiPower portfolio of five power plants; the $1.47bn deal was one of the largest seen in the US of late. Another highlight saw ‘outstanding lawyerChristopher Cross (New York) and Catherine Ozdogan leading advice to NET Mexico Pipeline Partners LLC and ArcLight Capital Partners on the development and project financing of the $700m Agua Dulce natural gas pipeline in Texas, which will extend 124 miles to the US/Mexico border. Darden, Michael King and Stephen Szalkowski are advising Sumitomo Corporation on its acquisition of a $1.4bn interest in both Cline Shale and Wolfcamp Shale, the Permian Basin oil and gas assets controlled by Devon Corporation. In Washington DC, Paul Hunt is leading advice to Summit Power Group as sponsor and developer of the $3bn Texas Clean Energy Project, a 400MW coal-fired, integrated gasification and combined-cycle (IGCC) plant. Other recommended attorneys include Michael Dillard, who ‘gives strategic advice from the very start’ and New York-based Matthew Henegar, who has extensive knowledge of financing structures and complex inter-company asset sharing agreements. The power industry group’s key figures include Sean Wheeler, Jonathan Rod and David Schwartz; the latter two sit in New York and Washington DC respectively.

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Within Environment: litigation, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘superior’ and ‘strategic’ environmental practice is known for its deep bench of experienced lawyers, who cover the domestic market from coast to coast. The firm remains one of the premier firms in the field, and handles a wide range of complex litigation. Its highlights included defense work for The Monsanto Company relating to the cultivation of genetically engineered crops across the US; the year saw three victories for the client in both the Ninth Court and District Court for the District of Columbia, including the rebuffal of Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) claims. In a separate case, the practice represented CropLife America in litigation on the relation between pesticide registrations and the ESA; the plaintiffs alleged that the EPA failed to consult the relevant agencies to prevent the impact of pesticides on thousands of endangered species across the country, claims which were dismissed by the Northern District of California. The litigation practice is co-led by Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander, and the well-regarded Robert Wyman in Los Angeles. Julie Hatcher in Washington DC and Gary Gengel in New York are ‘terrific lawyers’.

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Within Environment: transactional and regulatory, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP is committed to covering the full range of environmental transactional and regulatory work. It recently acted for Poseidon Resources in securing all federal, state and regional land use approvals for a desalination facility in Huntington Beach, California; the project is valued at $500m and dovetails with its sister facility, for which the firm helped secure similar approvals in 2008. It also advised The Carlyle Group on its $4.9bn acquisition of DuPont’s Performance Coatings business, which was a major undertaking and involved environmental due diligence, the assessment of remediation liabilities, the transfer of hundreds of environmental permits, and the management of environmental counsel across foreign jurisdictions. In a further highlight, the team acted for Iberdrola on the development of the Tule Wind Project, a 200MW wind generation facility located in McCain Valley, southern California; this required negotiating various regulatory requirements, such as NEPA and CEQA issues, as well as gaining agency approvals for the project, which is located on federal, tribal, private and state lands. The large team covers both coasts, with Robert Wyman in Los Angeles and Mary Rose Alexander in Chicago co-leading the global practice. James Barrett in Washington DC is often sought out by The Carlyle Group for environmental advice.

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Within Healthcare: life sciences, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP is well regarded for both its corporate and regulatory expertise, leveraging the firm’s market-leading capital markets capabilities to act on some of the highest-profile offerings in the life sciences market. Recent examples include advising KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals on its IPO and follow-on offering, Aratana Therapeutics on its IPO of 5.75 million shares of common stock, and Prothena Corporation on its first public offering. Silicon Valley-based co-head Alan Mendelson was part of a team advising Complete Genomics on its acquisition by BGI-Shenzhen, in what was the first purchase of a US-based public company by a Chinese company. Boston-based co-head Peter Handrinos assisted Israel-based Chiasma on its US licensing and collaboration agreement with Roche to develop Octreolin. Washington DC-based co-head John Manthei is assisting several clients with regulatory matters, including AcqueSys in its negotiations with the FDA to obtain approval for a treatment for glaucoma, and Boston Scientific and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association in their negotiations with the FDA regarding the medical device user fee program. Start-up specialist Cheston Larson also co-heads from the firm’s San Diego office.

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Within Healthcare: service providers, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

With a ‘deep, experienced team’, Latham & Watkins LLP has ‘great healthcare industry insights and knowledge, and provides solid advice’; ‘the overall level of service is excellent’. It recently advised DaVita on regulatory matters and structuring of its high-profile $4.4bn acquisition of HealthCare Partners, which manages medical groups and physician networks in California, Nevada and Florida. Other recent mandates include advising UnitedHealth Group on its acquisition of Medica and three subsidiaries, with Washington DC-based Stuart Kurlander leading the advice. In enforcement-related contentious work, the firm is representing Tenet and several of its hospitals in a qui tam action pending in the Southern District of Florida. San Diego-based enforcement partner Katherine Lauer, Washington DC-based Daniel Meron, formerly general counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services, and compliance expert Daniel Settelmayer, based in Los Angeles, co-lead the practice.

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Within Insurance: advice to policyholders, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP provides ‘very efficient’ services across a broad range of high-stakes insurance matters, including business interruption and property loss, D&O, product liability, IP, and its core practice area of environmental coverage. Peter Rosen chairs the global insurance coverage litigation practice in Los Angeles, where the firm maintains a strong presence. ‘Leading expertAndrew Lundberg advised Imperial Holdings on criminal and civil proceedings arising from the company’s life insurance premium financing business; and is currently representing Meritor in pursuing coverage for tens of thousands of asbestos bodily injury claims arising from the company’s acquisition of the former Rockwell International’s automotive business. Brook Roberts and John Wilson successfully obtained a California Supreme Court review of Fluor Corp v Superior Court, as part of Fluor’s ongoing dispute with Hartford over the insurer’s right to enforce anti-assignment provisions over Fluor’s ability to transfer coverage benefits between its various businesses. The group is also representing Allergan in connection with product liability insurance issues arising out of the company’s Botox product line. Other clients include Westfield, Western Digital and The Advertiser Company.

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United States: Intellectual property

Within Patent litigation: full coverage, tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP provides ‘best of the best service’ on complex patent litigation matters. Highlights included winning for the plaintiff in TransPerfect Global v MotionPoint Corporation, with a verdict finding asserted claims by the defendant to be invalid as well as Transperfect’s patent covering language translation technology to be valid and infringed. Maximilian Grant and Matthew Moore in Washington DC have been acting for Capital One Financial in a dispute relating to patents covering online billing technologies brought by Intellectual Ventures. Chicago-based Kenneth Schuler and New York-based Daniel Brown handle Hatch-Waxman litigation. Also recommended are Lawrence Gotts in Washington DC for his litigation strategy skills, and Richard Frenkel in Silicon Valley for his technical expertise. The practice continues its commitment to building a practice, recently hiring a team of lawyers, including ‘incredibly gifted trial attorneyDouglas Lumish and Jeffrey Homrig to the Menlo Park office from Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP.

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Within Patent litigation: International Trade Commission, tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice head Bert Reiser in Washington DC, and Ron Shulman and Julie Holloway in Menlo Park form a strong team of Section 337 litigators, and regularly bring patent matters to trial. Highlights included representing complainant Interdigital in high-profile proceedings regarding allegedly SEPs in certain wireless devices with 3G or 4G capabilities, which was brought against respondents Samsung, Nokia, Huawei, ZTE and LG; the latter defendant was terminated from initial proceedings, but Interdigital obtained a Federal Circuit reversal of this decision and LG was remanded for further investigation. Other instructions have come from AU Optronics and General Imaging.

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Within Trademarks: litigation, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP draws on its wider commercial litigation capabilities to handle contentious trademark matters for some high-profile brands. For example, it has recently been co-counsel to Apple in a case currently on appeal against plaintiff Black Tower Press alleging trademark violations in relation to the use of the iBooks term; it is also handling a number of other trademark disputes for the client. The practice also acted for Jurlique in bringing a trademark infringement suit against Eminence Organic Skincare as well as on related opposition proceedings that subsequently settled. Key trial attorneys include team leader Perry Viscounty in Orange County, litigator Jennifer Barry in San Diego and Matthew Walch in Chicago, who has experience handling TTAB contentious matters.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Within Alternative/hedge funds, tier 5

Latham & Watkins LLP’s global group of 100 lawyers was bolstered on the hedge fund side with the recruitment of Nabil Sabki from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in May 2013. Sabki, is praised as ‘a creative problem solver’ and ‘exceptionally well versed in hedge funds’, and has been advising a variety of clients on a range of regulatory and transactional matters. Group co-chairs Christopher Clark and Stephen Wink are representing a group of funds, including Redwood Capital Management, in a landmark case concerning their enjoinment claim for payment of $1.6bn in eurobonds issued by the Republic of Argentina in 2005 and 2010.

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Within Private equity funds, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLPworld-class’ team includes Chicago-based Nathaniel Marrs, and Los Angeles based co-head Scott Klein and Yoni Tuchman, who are all ‘outstanding fund lawyers’. In New York Andrea Schwartzman is ‘a superb attorney’, and Chicago-based Alan Van Dyke is ‘unique among tax attorneys in his ability to explain tax concepts in a manner comprehensible to non-tax aficionados’. Washington DC based co-head Barton Clark led a team which advised Riverstone on the formation of its $7.7bn Riverstone Global and Energy Fund targeting upstream oil and gas investments. A prominent player in the energy industry, it recently acted for Carlyle Group on its acquisition of NGP Energy Capital Management, including the purchase of a 40% stake from Barclays Natural Resource Investments. In another highlight, Kathleen Walsh, who co-heads from New York, led a team which advised Carousel Capital on the formation of its fourth fund.

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Within Real estate investment trusts (REITs), Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP has ‘outstanding depth across the REIT disciplines’ and is ‘easily one of the best firms in the space’. In keeping with its market-leading US-based capital markets practice, the REIT group has acted on REIT securities offerings totalling nearly $70bn since 2006. Recent work on the includes advising the underwriters, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, on the offerings of both CyrusOne and American Homes 4 Rent, while on the issuer sideit advised Kimco Realty Corporation and Kilroy Realty Corporation on their senior notes offerings totalling $650m. Equally prominent in M&A, the very highly regarded Julian Kleindorfer was part of a team which advised Spirit Realty Capital on its $7.4bn combination with Cole Credit Property Trust II. Kleindorfer ‘provides outstanding service, with excellent responsiveness and work ethic accompanied by insightful, strategic and incredibly well informed advice’. Other key partners in a large group include Los Angeles based tax expert Michael Brody, Chicago-based Gary Axelrod, and William Cernius in Orange County.

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United States: Labor and employment

Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s employee benefits and executive compensation (EBEC) advice is ‘extremely prompt, informed and dependable’. Key areas of expertise include public company executive compensation, corporate governance and disclosure matters, equity plan amendments, separation arrangements, deferred compensation plans, and proxy litigation. The firm’s clients include public companies, private equity houses and start-ups, particularly in the life sciences sector. The group also has a growing energy practice, driven largely by its Houston office. Its global reach means it often advises in relation to cross-border M&A deals: work highlights in this area included advising Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation on the acquisition of all of its outstanding stock by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International; Koch Industries on its $7.2bn acquisition of Molex; and Omnicom Group on its business combination with Publicis Groupe. In Los Angeles, James Barrall is at the ‘top of his game, highly responsive and ready to think outside the box’, and Laurence Seymour and David Taub are also recommended. Washington DC-based David Della Rocca is ‘smart, knowledgeable, approachable and value driven’. Robin Struve in Chicago, and New York-based Bradd Williamson and Jed Brickner are also recommended, along with James Metz in the Silicon Valley office, who was recently promoted to partner.

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United States: Litigation

Within International trade, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘absolutely terrificLatham & Watkins LLP is a ‘phenomenal resource’ to its clients, combining ‘superior technical knowledge and practical solutions’ with ‘commitment to its clients’ needs and operational realities’. Clients describe the Washington DC-based team as a ‘model practice group’ and note its ability to ‘nimbly tap other legal resources within the firm’ to ‘deepen its advice’. It combines white-collar and regulatory expertise to act in relation to export control and sanctions, CFIUS, customs and FCPA/anti-corruption matters, and its client list includes a raft of large multinationals and traded companies. Among its highlights in the FCPA arena, Alice Fisher, Doug Greenburg and William Baker III successfully settled one of the longest-running FCPA investigations in the SEC’s history, on behalf of Eli Lilly & Company. The ‘extremely seasoned, practical, responsive and politically connectedWilliam McGlone heads the team, which recently welcomed the arrival of white-collar specialist Maria Barton in New York and ‘tireless, engaging advocate and forward thinkerLes Carnegie.

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Within Product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products (including tobacco), Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘effective and efficient’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP has continued to draw on the strength of former Goodwin Procter LLP lawyers Kenneth Parsigian and Gwyn Williams, who joined in October 2012. Parsigian, who is ‘the complete package’ and ‘delivers on all fronts’, has been representing Philip Morris International for over a decade and advises the company on cases arising in a range of international jurisdictions. Alongside the ‘dedicated’ Williams, Parsigan also represents both Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International in a medical monitoring class action filed in the district court of the District of Massachusetts, and a further case with the same client is a class action appeal before the New York Court of Appeals, which raises the novel issue of whether New York will recognize a claim for medical monitoring. Outside of the tobacco litigation space, Washington DC-based Christine Rolph and William Rawson are leading advice to Masco Corporation in a national class action alleging that its spray polyurethane foam (SPF) product has caused personal injury and property damage; the high-profile matter also brings the firm’s chemical regulatory expertise to bear.

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Within Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘very responsive’ team at Latham & Watkins LLPmaintains a good level of communication’ with clients and has a ‘strong reputation’ for defending toxic tort claims. Recent highlights include representing Nalco Holding Company in relation to Deepwater Horizin; Chicago-based Thomas Heiden and Mary Rose Alexander secured a full dismissal of personal injury, property damage and putative class action lawsuits and the court granted summary judgment. The firm achieved a dismissal for Chevron and other defendants in claims relating to alleged radioactive, hazardous and toxic substances contamination from a nuclear fuel facility. Alexander is valued for her ‘legal analysis, creativity and ability to think outside the box’ and Heiden is ‘excellent’. In October 2012, Kenneth Parsigian and Gwyn Williams joined the firm’s Boston office from Goodwin Procter LLP.

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Within Securities: shareholder litigation, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP does ‘an absolutely amazing job in shareholder matters, displaying impressive subject matter expertise’. Jeff Hammel in New York, who is ‘a cool hand, seasoned and knowledgeable about all aspects of securities law’, co-chairs the practice with William Baker in Washington DC and Patrick Gibbs in Silicon Valley. The firm is ‘a big player in the technology sector for securities matters’, and represents all of the big four accounting firms, as well as major financial institutions, international energy companies and private equity firms. Key clients include PG&E Corporation, Repsol and Deutsche Bank. New York-based James Brandthas seen it all and provides valuable assessments of litigation matters’, and Peter Wald in San Francisco is ‘top-notch, responsive and efficient’. New York partners Miles Ruthberg and Jamie Wine obtained a dismissal for Ernst & Young in a $150m claim brought by the New York Attorney General in regard to the Lehman Brothers collapse. Baker and Washington DC-based Kevin Metz, who is ‘smart, strategic and devoted to clients’, are representing oil services company Weatherford International in class actions and derivative litigation arising from the restatement of its financial results.

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Within Supreme Court and appellate, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice benefits from the excellent reputation of former Solicitor General Gregory Garre. In 2013, Garre argued four cases before the Supreme Court including the constitutionality of ‘affirmative action’ in college admissions case Fisher v University of Texas in which instance the firm achieved a major win on behalf of the University of Texas with its admissions programme upheld. There was also a 5-4 win on behalf of Ball State University in Vance v Ball State University in which the question of who qualifies as a ‘supervisor’ for purposes of triggering vicarious employer liability under the federal employment discrimination laws was decided in favor of the client. In two constitutionality of dog sniffs cases – Florida v Harris and Florida v Jardines – the firm secured victories on behalf of the State of Florida, effectively securing a presumption that trained law enforcement dogs are reliable. This firm also has a deep nationwide appeals bench. Richard Bress – ‘a very strong appeals lawyer’ – recently secured a major appellate victory on behalf of American Beverage Association in a high-profile challenge to New York City’s ‘large-soda ban’. The firm also secured appellate-level victories for a range of other clients including Ford, Monsanto, and Union Pacific Railroad. J Scott Ballenger and Lori Alvino McGill also have superb reputations.

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Within Trade secrets, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s Perry Viscounty recently represented America Chung Nam in America Chung Nam v Cycle Link, a three-week trade secrets trial which ended in a tremendous result for the client: the jury voted unanimously in favor of ACN, awarding $13.1m plus $5m in punitive damages. Other key matters included Steven Bauer and James Lynch acting for semiconductors manufacturer Marvell, in which the client was cleared of all allegations of trade secrets misappropriation. Jennifer Barry is also a significant figure in the market.

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Within White-collar criminal defense, tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘a firm that truly represents the attorney-client relationship at its best’, and its lawyers are ‘smart, efficient and strategic’. The global breadth of the practice enables it to handle multi-jurisdictional investigations, an ability which is demonstrated clearly through its work for former and current bank executives in the ongoing LIBOR investigations. In the anti-corruption arena, a team of ‘exceptional practitioners’ from the Washington DC office, including Alice Fisher, William Baker and Douglas Greenburg, negotiated a settlement for an international pharmaceutical company following a multi-year FCPA investigation into alleged violations in four countries. New York-based Christopher Clark, whose ‘considerable government experience provides gravitas and credibility in white-collar matters’, represented Mark Cuban in a securities fraud case along with outside co-counsel; after a three-week trial in Texas, Cuban was cleared of the charges. Richard Owens, also based in New York, receives plaudits for his ‘insightful application of securities law’; he and Clark acted for a former portfolio manager who pleaded guilty to insider trading and co-operated with the government in its investigation of S.A.C Capital. Cases concerning export control and OFAC sanctions are also becoming prevalent; Maria Barton and Les Carnegie are particularly well-versed in this area, and are considered ‘the epitome of professionalism’. They are based in New York and Washington DC, respectively. Former prosecutor Michael Fee joined the Boston office in early 2014.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s multi-disciplinary practice is led by Jennifer Archie and Kevin Boyle in Washington DC. Typical mandates include assisting EU companies setting up in the US and (including transactional support) and advising US and multinational clients on compliance with US and foreign regulations. Key areas of expertise include compliance programs, breach response and disclosure. Archie is currently advising various leading online brands on data privacy and compliance; notably, she is defending Guthy-Renker against alleged violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, and recently successfully represented a private client in relation to the FTC investigation into online social gaming network OpenFeint. Other key clients include Delta Air Lines, US Airways and Yahoo!.

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Within Technology: outsourcing, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP operates mostly on the customer side, handling large-scale multinational deals covering ITO and specialist BPO; these include asset and fund management outsourcing, finance and accounting, tax compliance, human resources and payment processing. Its strength is underpinned by the firm’s global platform and resources supported by expertise in intellectual property and advanced technology tools. JD Marple in Silicon Valley is representing Avery Dennison with outsourcing for the design and building of a worldwide financial management system to Accenture. Marple also advised Twitter on a BPO transaction involving payment records. Jeremiah Wolsk, based in Washington DC, is representing a major US wireless operator on a cellular infrastructure outsourcing agreement.

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Within Technology: transactions, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s 51-lawyer team is widely recognized for its transactional and IP strength within the crossover areas of media and technology. With extensive international reach and a presence on both the East and West Coasts, it is a strong player that, in 2013, saw increased activity in relation to strategic acquisitions and cross-border joint ventures and collaboration. Practice co-head Anthony Klein in Silicon Valley and Christopher Kaufman in Menlo Park are assisting Avago Technologies with its $6.6bn purchase of LSI Corporation in 2013’s second-largest acquisition in the semiconductor space. Klein advised Spansion on its $175m acquisition of the microcontroller and analog business of its strategic partner Fujitsu Semiconductor. JD Marple advised Intuit on the $1.025bn sale of Digital Insight to Thoma Bravo, and is advising Brightstar Corporation on its joint venture with SoftBank. In Los Angeles, Roxanne Christ and David Blood are advising The Yucaipa Companies on the $150m acquisition of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market from Tesco. Additional clients include Advanced Micro Devices, Avery Dennison, Perfect World, Seamless, Sony Online Entertainment, Starbucks and US Airways.

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Within Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s regulatory team in Washington DC ‘understands the core business and technology and the realities of the regulatory landscape’. The firm’s size enables it to handle multiple significant mandates involving communications, finance and M&A. Clients include carriers, satellite and broadcast companies and investors in the telecoms and communications sectors, who appreciate the ‘deep team of seasoned professionals who are capable of giving advice on the full panoply of telecoms issues’. Practice head John Janka is advising ViaSat on regulatory matters including the acquisition of spectrum assets, the development of broadband services in unserved parts of the US, and obtaining FCC authority to deploy a second-generation satellite to deliver high-speed in-flight internet services. Janka and James Barker are acting as special regulatory counsel in the bankruptcy sale of LightSquared and are advising on regulatory solutions to the GPS issues raised by the LightSquared dispute. Barker and Matthew Brill (‘a thoughtful advocate with a wealth of information’) are advising Time Warner Cable on regulatory matters involving video, voice and broadband internet services. Brill and Barker also lead FCC counsel for longstanding client Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications in its $1.2bn acquisition by AT&T. ‘Adept attorneysMatthew Murchison and Karen Sprung are also recommended.

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Within Telecoms and broadcast: transactional, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

At Latham & Watkins LLP, a ‘deep team of seasoned professionals’ combines transactional and regulatory strength to facilitate a high volume of big-ticket international deals. Clients include acquirers and providers within communications and related services. Attorneys have broad experience advising on outsourcing, hosting and co-location, licensing and content distribution, as well as debt and equity transactions, private equity and M&A within this field. For example, practice head John Janka, along with Senet Bischoff and Raymond Lin in New York, advised Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank ofAmerica Merrill Lynch as underwriter’s on Intelsat’s $4bn IPO. Janka also advised Jefferies and UBS Investment Bank on UK satellite operator Avanti’s senior secured notes offering. Jason Licht and Patrick Shannon advised CommScope on its $38.5m IPO and notes offering. William O’Neill is assisting Digital Generation with various corporate transactions, including the acquisition of Peer39 and North Country Media and the $525m sale of its television advertising delivery business to Extreme Reach. James Barker and Rachel Sheridan advised Morgan Stanley, J.P.Morgan and UBS Investment Bank on the $187m IPO of in-flight connectivity provider Gogo. Other high-profile clients include Ciena Corporation, Citadel Communications, Kymeta, Time Warner Cable and USA Mobility. Attorneys are located in Washington DC except where stated.

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United States: Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts

Within Antitrust, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Headline work for Latham & Watkins LLP included advising Omnicom on its $35.1bn public company merger with Publicis Groupe; Michael Egge, who is held in high regard for his merger expertise, is a great asset in large cross-border mergers such as this, and divides his time between the firm’s Washington DC and Brussels offices. In San Francisco, the group has a dedicated technology and entertainment focus, and advised Lucasfilm on its $4.05bn acquisition by Walt Disney, and Yahoo! on its $1.1bn acquisition of microblogging platform Tumblr. The ‘very experienced and knowledgeable team’ is also a leading force at the growing legal intersection between IP and antitrust law. Christopher Yates, who is the firm’s standout private antitrust litigator, is representing SanDisk Corporation in connection with patent infringement counterclaims against patent portfolio company Round Rock Research. Aside from mergers and private litigation, the practice group enjoys a strong reputation in cartel cases. With a global team, the antitrust practice continues to advise Singapore Airlines Cargo and Singapore Airlines in relation to the worldwide airline cargo cartel investigations and in follow-on civil damages actions. Other clients include Actavis, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Toshiba. Al Pfeiffer, global co-chair of the practice together with Egge and Yates, is particularly renowned in contentious matters, and Daniel Wall, also based in San Francisco, specializes in merger-related litigation. In Washington DC, Margaret Zwisler attracts high praise for her extensive experience in the defense of antitrust class actions. In March 2013, the practice group bolstered its capabilities in Asia with the addition of trans-Pacific litigator Yi-Chin Ho in Los Angeles, who focuses on the representation of Chinese and Taiwanese companies in antitrust litigation.

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Within M&A: litigation, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLPdoes a phenomenal job in representing companies through the litigation process. The team provides an impressive level of expertise, responsiveness and value for executive management and boards of directors’. The practice has extensive experience in litigating deal-related actions, with its M&A litigation attorneys operating across various sectors and well versed in Delaware law. The group has prevailed on a number of occassions in M&A litigation filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, winning both at the preliminary injunction stage and at trial, and handles all types of litigation arising from M&A transactions, covering breach of fiduciary duty cases, hostile takeover litigation, material adverse change litigation, poison pill cases, proxy contests, and shareholder derivative suits. The team acted for Plains Exploration & Production Company and certain of its directors in relation to the challenge of the $6.9bn merger between Plains and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold; and also represented Leonard Green & Partners (LGP), a private equity firm, in a shareholder class action regarding the acquisition of BJ’s Wholesale Club by LGP and CVC Capital. Blair Connelly in New York attracts praise.

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Within M&A: mega-deals ($5bn+), Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s international standing has borne a string of cross-border and transatlantic transactions. The firm has elite status in the M&A space, operating from 11 different US offices. With its roots in California, the firm remains a leader for healthcare and life sciences transactions, a position that was reinforced by the launch of a Boston office in 2011. Similarly, having had a presence in Houston since 2010 it has been able to exploit the lucrative oil and gas market, most notably in the shale sector. Among a series of high-profile and complex transactions, the firm advised US Airways on its landmark merger with American Airlines, which created the world’s largest airline with a market value of some $11bn, and was complicated by American Airlines being in bankruptcy; the deal was led by Silicon Valley partners Peter Kerman, Anthony Richmond and Josh Dubofsky and involved pivotal advice from the firm’s bankruptcy team. On the cross-border front, the firm advised Omnicom Group on its $35.1bn merger of equals with Publicis Groupe; the transaction involved a dual-listing on the NYSE and Euronext Paris. Illustrating its strength in the pharmaceuticals sector, a team led by Orange County’s Scott Shean and Charles Ruck advised Actavis on its $8.5bn acquisition of Warner Chilcott, in what was one of the largest-ever deals involving a generic and specialist pharmaceutical company. Key partners include New York-based global M&A co-chairs Adel Aslani-Far and Mark Gerstein, the latter being the lead partner on the Omnicom transaction. In Houston, William Finnegan and Michael Dillard are making a particular impression; Dillard advised Plains Exploration & Production on its $10.75bn acquisition by Freeport-McMoRan. Washington DC-based Daniel Lennon heads the global corporate group and has a strong reputation for private equity transactions, especially thanks to his close association with The Carlyle Group. The overall group provides ‘excellent service’, has ‘strong M&A capability from senior partner to mid-level associate’, with ‘great knowledge’ and a ‘thorough and great work ethic’.

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Within Private equity buyouts, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Few private equity departments can match Latham & Watkins LLP’s in terms of national and international resources and industry expertise. It is a huge player when it comes to cross-border deals or transactions involving assets or operations in multiple jurisdictions; recent highlights on this front include advising One Equity Partners portfolio company Chemlogic Inc on its $1.35bn sale to Solvay. The firm also has extensive experience in retail as well as highly regulated industries such as energy, healthcare, defense and telecoms. The private equity buyout team also benefits from the firm’s market-leading leveraged finance practice, which advises borrowers and sponsors as well as lenders. In a further illustration of its eminence in the energy sector, it advised key client The Carlyle Group on its $424m acquisition of a 47.5% stake in energy and NGP Energy Capital Management, and also advised Energy Capital Partners on its $1.1bn acquisition of EnergySolutions. Blackstone Energy Partners is also a key client. Increasingly regular client KKR has instructed it on deals in the financial services sector, including when it acquired Alliant Insurance Services in December 2012. Other bulge-bracket clients include BC Partners, while in the middle to upper-middle-market, it acts for Leonard Green & Partners, Odyssey Investment Partners and Platinum Equity. Key partners in New York include ‘excellent lawyerHoward Sobel, Ray Lin, the ‘terrific’, ‘smart’ and ‘hard-workingDavid Allinson, Ted Sonnenschein and David Kurzweil, who is recommended for energy transactions. In Washington DC, global corporate chair Dan Lennon and private equity co-chair David Brown are names to note.

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Within Venture capital and emerging companies, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP is somewhat unusual for an elite global firm in that it has an intense focus on venture captital and emerging companies. In the five years up to the end of 2013, the firm advised on more than 500 venture financings with an aggregate deal value in excess of $9bn. As well as growing its Boston office, it recently hired Daniel Burnham in Los Angeles from Strategic Law Partners and he has become a global co-chair of the emerging companies practice alongside Boston’s John Chory, who is a ‘brilliant strategist’ and Patrick Pohlen in Silicon Valley, who is a ‘fantastic business partner and adviser’. The firm is a market leader in most of the key emerging company segments, including technology, life sciences and cleantech – the latter in part due to its outstanding global energy credentials. The firm is also eminent in growth company public offerings owing in part to its efforts to grow its life sciences capabilities on both coasts; recent IPOs include those by Evoke Pharma, BIND Therapeutics, Conatus Pharmaceuticals, Aratana Therapeutics, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals. Recent M&A transactions include Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub. The firm also advised OncoMed Pharmaceuticals on its headline collaboration with Celgene Corporation to develop anti-cancer stem cell products and small molecule anti-cancer therapeutics. The emerging companies department is ‘excellent on all counts’, commended in particular for its ‘professionalism’, ‘responsiveness’, and ‘practicality’. Boston partner Susan Mazur is ‘super smart’, ‘responsive’, ‘diligent’ and ‘great at complex transactions’. Managing partner of the Boston office Philip Rossetti provides ‘excellent deal advice’ and is a ‘great partner in going through a difficult transition’ as he is an ‘incredible calming influence’. Leading lawyer Alan Mendelson is ‘exemplary’.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Within Land use/zoning, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP has a tremendous reputation for land use and environmental matters, winning praise for its ‘excellent judgment and recommendations’. Besides acting for longstanding clients such as NBCUniversal, Poseidon Resources and Paramount Pictures, a group of California-based lawyers recently assisted JMB Reality with land use entitlements and environmental clearance for a 731,250 square foot LEED platinum office tower in Los Angeles. It has also been advising Mariott International on obtaining the entitlements for its new West Coast flagship hotel and nightclub, The West Hollywood Edition. Lucinda Starrett and Jim Arnone lead the practice, which includes the ‘very smartGeorge Mihlsten; all three are based in Los Angeles.

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Within Real estate, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’s 20-partner practice is ‘very good at complex real estate transactions’ and is headed in the US by the ‘brilliantJames Hisiger, the global co-chair of the real estate department. Robert Buday in Chicago led the real estate aspects of the firm’s advice to Spirit Realty Capital on its $7.1bn merger with Cole Credit Property Trust II, and also led on a mandate from Inland American Real Estate Trust regarding its $2.3bn equity interest purchase agreement with AR Capital. New York-based Michelle Kelban, who is ‘very knowledgeable and service orientated’, advised Citigroup Global Markets Realty as secured lender in a loan-on-loan transaction for Lone Star Real Estate Fund II, secured by a four-hotel portfolio real estate loan that was in default; she also advised the client as agent and lead lender on a highly structured acquisition financing for Lone Star Real Estate Fund II, secured by five non-performing loans and 38 properties located in 25 states. Additionally, Kelban led work for Goldman Sachs regarding a $1.5bn secured term loan financing for SuperValu, secured by mortgages on more than 100 properties in 25 states. Other key highlights for the group included acting for Realty Income Corporation on its $3.1bn acquisition of American Realty Capital Trust, a publicly listed REIT; this was led by David Meckler who is based in Los Angeles and Orange County. Kevin Ehrhart in Los Angeles is ‘first-class’ and Sony Ben-Moshe in San Diego is recommended for his experience in Latin America.

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United States: Tax

Within Domestic tax: Central, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘stellar’ practice at Latham & Watkins LLP is led by Diana Doyle in Chicago and Houston-based Timothy Fenn, who is ‘a very good lawyer’. The team acts on the structuring of complex transactions as well as handling audits and controversies, and regularly joins forces with counterparts elsewhere in the US to advise on major deals such as Linn Energy’s $4.3bn acquisition of Berry Petroleum. Fenn also advised Phillips 66 Partners LP on its IPO, in what was one of several MLP-related deals handled by the firm in 2013. Other clients of the team include GE Capital, Goldman Sachs, Mattel and Koch Industries, which Doyle advised on the acquisition of electronic components company Molex.

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Within Domestic tax: East Coast, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘stellar’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP is praised for its ‘depth of knowledge’ and responsiveness, working primarily out of New York with lawyers also based in Washington DC and Boston. It has broad expertise, and supports the firm’s very strong corporate team in transactions. New York-based David Raab is the chair of the firm’s global tax department, and led advice to Lucasfilm in relation to Disney’s acquisition of the company for $4.05bn. The ‘incredibly conscientiousJiyeon Lee-Lim has ‘excellent technical skills’. In Washington DC, Nicholas DeNovio advised Omnicom Group on its merger with Publicis Groupe. Cheryl Coe in Washington DC, Lisa Watts in New York, and David Kahn in Boston are also recommended. Counsel Raymond Holst joined the firm’s New York office from Morgan Stanley in October 2012.

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Within Domestic tax: West Coast, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP has 34 tax lawyers in California, across offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, advising on structuring investments and transactions, corporate finance, operation and compliance, tax examinations and controversy, and employee benefits and compensation. The firm worked on the merger between US Airways and American Airlines, a $16bn deal to create the world’s largest airline, with Grace Chen and Kirt Switzer leading the advice on the complex tax issues involved in the transaction. Switzer also advised SanDisk on its acquisition of Smart Storage Systems, a cross-border transaction worth £300m; and Laurence Stein advised Linn Energy on its purchase of Berry Petroleum, which was the first ever acquisition of a public C Corporation by an upstream LLC or MLP. The firm also advised GeoEye on its acquisition by Digital Globe, with transactional tax chair Samuel Weiner acting as the lead tax partner on the West Coast. Pardis Zomorodi is the firm’s local tax department chair, and works alongside Michael Brody and John Clair on transactional tax matters.

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Within International tax, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP is recognized in the market as a key player. Washington DC-based Nicholas DeNovio chairs the international tax practice, which works across the firm’s US offices and is particularly well resourced in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The New York team was bolstered by the arrival from Morgan Stanley of Raymond Holst, who has experience advising on complex debt, equity-linked and hybrid structured products, and broadens the firm’s capabilities in assisting financial institutions. Work highlights included advising Leonard Green & Partners on its first European investment, the acquisition of a minority stake of 25% in Topshop and Topman, the British multinational fashion brand retailer with standalone stores; Chicago-based Joseph Kronsnoble led the advice. The firm also has a dedicated Asian tax practice, co-chaired by Los Angeles-based Sam Weiner and Jiyeon Lee-Lim in New York. David Raab in New York is also recommended.

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Within Tax controversy, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Gerald Kafka and Miriam Fisher co-head a ‘tremendously responsive’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP, and have a wealth of expertise in tax matters covering pre-litigation settlements as well as litigation. The team, which includes the highly regarded Brian McManus, sees a steady flow of work from the firm’s impressive corporate practice, as well as handling standalone work. Cavanagh joined Kafka in acting for Wells Fargo in an action in the US Court of Federal Claims to recover more than $350m of interest-netting claims across six major bank mergers spanning more than a decade. The attorneys named are all based in Washington DC.

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United States

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