The Legal 500

Latham & Watkins LLP

650 TOWN CENTER DRIVE, TWENTIETH FLOOR, COSTA MESA, COSTA MESA CA 92626-1925, USA
Tel:
Work +1 714 540 1235
Fax:
Fax +1 714 755 8290
Web:
www.lw.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s team handles a large number of high-profile cartel investigations in the US and Europe, and is often successful in convincing the authorities not to press charges against its clients. In a recent highlight, the DOJ dropped an investigation against a major autoparts manufacturer. The team also has experience of investigations within industries such as advertising, capacitors, power cables, precious metals and consumer products. Michael Egge in Washington DC and Niall Lynch, Belinda Lee and Daniel Wall acted as lead partners in these matters. One of the firm’s great assets is its global reach: the US antitrust team, which comprises 25 partners and counsel, works closely with colleagues in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Egge chairs the global practice alongside Al Pfeiffer and Christopher Yates. Jason Cruise in Washington DC was promoted to partner, while Marguerite Sullivan began a two-year tenure in the firm’s Brussels office. All attorneys are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Niall Lynch - Latham & Watkins LLP

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

The ‘highly recommended’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP handles business-to-business antitrust disputes, follow-on litigation defense, contentious merger clearance issues and frequently represents clients in large multidistrict litigation (MDL). A team of lawyers from the firm’s Washington DC office, led by highly regarded litigator Margaret Zwisler, successfully argued that The London Metal Exchange was immune from prosecution in relation to claims that it had conspired with a number of banks to restrict supply and inflate the price of physical aluminum. In San Francisco, Daniel Wall, Sadik Huseny and Tim O’Mara defended Live Nation Entertainment in a number of claims brought by StubHub under the Sherman Act and California state law alleging that the firm’s client and NBA team Golden State Warriors were contractually precluding consumers from reselling tickets on StubHub. Oracle Corporation, Cox Communications and Toshiba are other recent clients. The practice, which fields around 140 lawyers worldwide, saw Washington DC-based Jason Cruise make partner and Lawrence Buterman arrive from the DOJ’s Antitrust Division in New York. Since publication, Michael Lacovara has joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

Leading lawyers

Daniel Wall - Latham & Watkins LLP

Margaret Zwisler - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s team, which in the US includes 25 partners and counsel, has had an active and successful year in the merger control arena. It often works closely with its colleagues in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and earns praise for being ‘very responsive to clients’ needs’ and doing ‘an excellent job’. By way of example, the team advised Allergan on its $73bn sale to Actavis, one of the largest global M&A deals of 2015, which created one of the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Amanda Reeves in Washington DC and Joshua Holian acted for online travel booking firm Orbitz Worldwide in its $1.6bn sale to Expedia. Michael Egge in Washington DC is ‘incredibly knowledgeable and practical’, and Hanno Kaiser is considered a ‘brilliant attorney’. Jason Cruise in Washington DC was promoted to partner, while Marguerite Sullivan began a two-year tenure in the firm’s Brussels office. Al Pfeiffer and Christopher Yates serve as the department’s global chairs. All attorneys are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.

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United States: Dispute resolution

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s appellate practice is ‘a top contender’ for Supreme Court cases, with three upcoming appeals in the next term. Most notable among these is the highly anticipated and controversial case of Fisher v University of Texas, with practice head and 44th Solicitor General of the United States Gregory Garre defending the university against claims that its race-conscious admissions policy is unconstitution; this long-running appeal is still awaiting a decision. Other notable Supreme Court highlights include Florida v Georgia, which concerned a longstanding environmental dispute over water rights, and Campbell-Ewald v Gomez, a major class action pertaining to unsolicited text messages advertising the US Navy. Other clients include Ford Motor Company and online games service provider WildTangent; the team defended the latter in a major patent infringement case in the Federal Circuit, obtaining a complete win for the client. Maureen Mahoney, founder of the firm’s appellate practice, retired in 2015.

Leading lawyers

Gregory Garre - Latham & Watkins LLP

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Able to draw on resources from the firm’s nationwide securities litigation, white-collar defense and general commercial litigation practices, the ‘knowledgeable, responsive and practical’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP regularly acts for financial services clients in the defense of government enforcement actions and in private litigation. Richard Owens and Jeff Hammel continue to represent the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) on all its US LIBOR litigation; recently securing a notable victory for it before the SDNY when the court dismissed the BBA as a party in the sole class action in which it was named. Owens has also been one of the key partners representing Deutsche Bank in the defense of RMBS-related matters brought against the bank. Miles Ruthberg and Jamie Wine are recommended for their expertise in the accountancy industry and have had numerous successes for Ernst & Young in litigation arising out of Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Most recently they helped secure a favorable settlement for the auditor in an action brought by the New York Attorney General relating to its advice surrounding the bank’s notorious “Repo 105” transactions made prior to its insolvency. Former federal prosecutor Christopher Clark provides ‘no-nonsense litigation expertise’, which is underscored by ‘practical advice’. Other recommended partners include James Brandt and Kathryn Ruemmler.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s size and breadth allows it to handle a range of disputes in court and in arbitration forums across the country. Areas of strength include sports litigation, where recent highlights include representing Illinois High School Association in a high-profile putative concussion class action; Chicago-based Thomas Heiden took the lead role. Recommended partners in the Washington DC office include Gregory Garre and Edward Shapiro. Since publication, Michael Lacovara has joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Headed out of Washington DC by William McGlone, Sarah Nappi, and the ‘responsive and personableLes Carnegie, Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘well-rounded’ 22-strong team leverages a ‘strong domestic capability’ with a significant international network to provide a compelling offering to clients engaged in sanctions, export controls, CFIUS and customs matters. Recent highlights include the completion of its six-year representation of Schlumberger, the subject of multi-jurisdictional investigations and enforcement actions into its alleged violations of domestic sanctions laws. On the non-contentious front, the firm regularly develops and enhances compliance programs to ensure adherence to export controls, sanctions and customs laws. Benefiting from a significant array of institutional corporate and private equity clients, the group is also regularly called upon to secure CFIUS clearance on deals which may attract the scrutiny of the Committee. Carnegie regularly handles CFIUS work, as does Ed Shapiro, who recently secured clearance for Siemens on its $7.6bn strategic acquisition of Dresser-Rand Group.

Leading lawyers

Les Carnegie - Latham & Watkins LLP

William McGlone - Latham & Watkins LLP

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M&A: litigation: defense
M&A: litigation: defense - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP provides ‘good advice and good results’. Jeff Hammel and Christopher Clark in New York and Los Angeles-based Brian Glennon co-lead the practice, which is known for high-stakes deal-related litigation. A highlight was the dispute arising from the hostile bid for client Allergan by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square Capital Management, which involved Peter Wald in San Francisco, Orange County-based Michele Johnson, Blair Connelly in New York, who is very active in Delaware courts, and Colleen Smith in San Diego, who ‘does a great job managing litigation and handling court appearances’. Silicon Valley-based Patrick Gibbs (‘very solid on strategy, one of the leading M&A litigators in Northern California’) is defending Avago Technologies in suits arising from its $37bn acquisition of Broadcom. Samuel Isaacson in Chicago advised Globe Specialty Metals on four class actions following its $3.1bn merger with Grupo FerroAtlántica.

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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 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is highly experienced in defending clients in high-stakes complex litigation, with a particular expertise in handling product recalls. The practice co-heads are Thomas Heiden in Chicago, Michael Romey in Los Angeles and Gwyn Williams in Boston. Williams and Kenneth Parsigian served as co-lead counsel for Philip Morris in a consumer class action trial before the Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts arising from claims of violations of the state’s consumer protection statute; they successfully secured denial of a class certification and the trial ended in 2015. Los Angeles-based Russell Sauer and of counsel Amy Quartarolo successfully represented the United States Soccer Federation in a high-profile concussion class action; the case was dismissed with prejudice in 2015.

Leading lawyers

Kenneth Parsigian - Latham & Watkins LLP

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is highly experienced in handling and winning bet-the-company litigation for major industrial companies and manufacturers. Chicago-based Thomas Heiden, Michael Romey in Los Angeles and Gwyn Williams in Boston are the practice co-heads. Heiden, along with Claudia Salomon in New York plus Peter Wald and Melanie Blunschi (San Francisco), are representing utility company Southern California Edison (SCE) in a $4bn ICC arbitration against Mitsubishi regarding a radioactive leak in steam generators which Mitsubishi supplied to a nuclear power plant operated by the client. Other clients include Philip Morris, Fluor Corporation and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges. The team was strengthened by the promotion of Kegan Brown (New York) to partner; Drew Gardiner (San Diego), Garrett Long and Michael Nelson (Chicago) were promoted to of counsel. Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander is also recommended.

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLPhas a record that compares well with any firm’. Jeff Hammel and Christopher Clark in New York and Brian Glennon in Los Angeles chair the securities litigation practice. Glennon and Patrick Gibbs in Silicon Valley are defending Apple in a securities class action that alleges liability for false and misleading statements made by a third-party supplier; the case could have huge impact on the scope of liability under federal law. Hammel’s highlights included representing directors and officers of Bank of Austria in litigation arising from the Madoff Ponzi scheme. In New York, James Brandt is acting for BNP Paribas board members in a breach of fiduciary duty claim, and Richard Owens is representing the British Bankers’ Association against allegations of manipulating LIBOR. Peter Wald in San Francisco is ‘an impressive attorney with presence and integrity, who can cut through legal issues with precision’, and with Miles Ruthberg in New York he is advising one of the firm’s many accounting industry clients Deloitte on a $1.3bn negligent representation matter. The Chicago office also has a strong team that includes Sean Berkowitz and SEC veteran John Sikora.

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White-collar criminal defense
White-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has continued to grow its bench significantly. The New York office took on former assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York Benjamin Naftalis and former counsel to Crédit Agricole CIB Sandeep Savla; the Washington DC office gained former assistant US attorney Kevin Chambers and former White House assistant counsel Daniel Dominguez. The practice is chaired by Steven Bauer, who divides his time between San Francisco and Brussels, and Kathryn Ruemmler, who works from both Washington DC and New York. The firm served as counsel to PG&E in the criminal indictment that followed the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, and represented an oilfield services company in a multi-agency investigation into alleged violations of US trade sanctions relating to Iran and Sudan. Douglas Greenburg in Washington DC, David Schindler in Los Angeles and Margaret Tough in San Francisco are recommended.

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United States: Finance

Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s structured finance and securitization group has a superb reputation for its asset finance and leasing expertise and regularly handles securitizations of rental car fleets, cell tower assets and aircraft. In recent highlights, practice head Kevin Fingeret and Graeme Smyth led advice to American Airlines as issuer in a $1.06bn EETC offering for the financing of 21 aircraft and on a separate $1.2bn EETC offering to finance the purchase of 28 aircraft; the duo also advised Citigroup Global Markets as initial purchaser on a $712m sub-prime automobile loan securitization. Other work included assisting Guggenheim Securities as arranger with a $200m structured bridge loan to Vertical Bridge to acquire a portfolio of broadcast towers and related assets from iHeartMedia. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s capital markets practice, headed by Marc Jaffe in New York and Patrick Shannon in Washington DC, is one of the largest in the world, advising on all product types across a wide array of industries. The team has longstanding ties with many of the key underwriters, but the steady expansion of the firm’s private equity client base means issuer-side representations now account for roughly half its work in this area - particularly in the investment grade arena. Notable recent matters include advising the underwriters on CNO Financial’s $825m offering of senior notes and assisting CommScope with its $3bn acquisition of certain businesses of TE Connectivity, including debt financing via a $2bn notes offering. Jaffe and Senet Bischoff led on the former; Shannon and Jason Licht led on the latter. As an example of the firm’s cross-border expertise, a team led by Chicago-based Roderick Branch acted for Illinois Tool Works in its offering to European investors of €1bn of New York-listed notes. Kirk Davenport and Ian Schuman are other key names.

Leading lawyers

Kirk Davenport - Latham & Watkins LLP

Marc Jaffe - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is particularly noted for its strength in the life sciences space, but has also received high-profile mandates in the telecoms, technology and consumer retail sectors. Silicon Valley-based Patrick Pohlen and Brian Cuneo advised biopharmaceutical company Aimmune Therapeutics on its $183m IPO, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Piper Jaffray acting as underwriters. In the Washington DC office, Patrick Shannon and Jason Licht acted for Axalta Coating Systems on a number of matters, including its $1.1bn IPO, a $1.2bn follow-on public offering, and a $560m private placement. Marc Jaffe co-chairs the global capital markets practice in New York, where Kirk Davenport and the recently promoted Nathan Ajiashvili are also key figures.

Leading lawyers

Marc Jaffe - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Capital markets: global offerings
Capital markets: global offerings - advice to corporates - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Capital markets: global offerings - advice to financial institutions - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is particularly well regarded for its capital market advice to financial institutions, but is equally active on the corporate side for issuers. Leveraging its longstanding experience in equity offerings, the group recently assisted Leerink Partners as underwriters with Switzerland-based Auris Medical Holding’s $25m offering of common shares listed on NASDAQ, and an Asia-US cross-border team led by Shanghai-based Karen Yan advised Baozun on its IPO of 12.7 million American depositary shares, representing 33 million class A ordinary shares listed on NASDAQ. In a European matter, the group assisted Manchester United with its $46m NYSE block trade secondary offering of three million class A ordinary shares. New York-based Marc Jaffe and Washington DC-based Patrick Shannon the US team, which has seen 14 partner promotions since 2014.

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has an impressive profile in the high-yield space and successfully balances a leading issuer side practice with a very strong showing on the underwriter side. In the period under review, the firm handled $92bn worth of high-yield offerings, among which are standout matters such as advising the underwriters in relation to American Energy - Permian Basin’s $295m offering of senior secured second lien notes. Houston-based Michael Chambers and Chicago-based Roderick Branch led on that matter, which was one of only a handful of such deals done in the energy space in 2015. Out of Washington DC, practice co-chair Patrick Shannon assisted Cogent Communications with its issuance of $250m of notes, and out of New York, co-chair Marc Jaffe and Erika Weinberg acted for Intrepid Aviation in its $120m notes offering. Other key contacts are Jason Licht in Washington DC as well as Kirk Davenport and Ian Schuman in New York.

Leading lawyers

Marc Jaffe - Latham & Watkins LLP

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Commercial lending: advice to lenders - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has an exceptionally broad practice, handling deals across the value spectrum. As well as routinely advising its premier banking clients on upper and middle-market lending, it is increasingly attracting work from non-traditional lenders in the middle market. Daniel Seale (who was appointed global co-chair in July 2015, taking over from Michèle Penzer who is now managing partner of the New York office) led a cross-border team advising Barclays, as agent and arranger, on financing related to Platform Specialty Products’ acquisitions of Chemtura AgroSolutions and Arysta LifeScience. Other highlights included assisting Citibank, as administrative agent and joint lead arranger, with a $4.5bn revolving credit facility for Halliburton pertaining to its acquisition of Baker Hughes; this was one of the largest financings handled by the Houston team. Scott Gottdiener works closely with Jefferies, and at the end of 2014 he advised the client, as agent and arranger, on financing in excess of $1.9bn provided to Thoma Bravo for its acquisition of Compuware. Key highlights on the borrower side included the Washington DC team advising Avago Technologies on the $19bn financing used for its $37bn acquisition of Broadcom. Its middle-market offering is primarily based out of its Chicago office, which was bolstered in 2015 by the arrival of three partners from Sidley Austin LLP. David Crumbaugh in Chicago and Los Angeles-based Andrew Fayé are also key names in the team. John Mendez retired in 2015.

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Financial services: regulatory
Financial services: regulatory - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP

Centered out of New York and aided by practitioners throughout its national and international spread of offices, Latham & Watkins LLP’s team provides a ‘strong service’ across a broad mix of bank, broker-dealer and derivatives regulatory issues. Alan Avery is ‘one of the top financial services regulatory lawyers in the industry’ and has been active on discrete advisory matters, for example, for numerous private equity firms on Volcker rule issues, as well as in relation to the regulatory issues surrounding transactions such as his recent work for National Bank of Canada on its investment in Fiera Capital. The ‘fantasticDana Fleischman has an ‘excellent sense of market practice’ and leads the firm’s broker-dealer group alongside Stephen Wink. Wink recently advised Riverstone, and its broker-dealer subsidiary, on the establishment of third party marketing services in the US and the EU and a debt trading desk. Other recommended partners include the ‘excellentCourtenay Myers Lima, who has broad-ranging bank regulatory knowledge; Yvette Valdez, who heads the firm’s derivatives regulatory practice; and Vivian Maese, who is well versed in fin-tech regulatory issues.

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

The practice at Latham & Watkins LLP is headed up by the San Diego-based Kelley Michael Gale, who, along with Jonathan Rod and Brett Rosenblatt, advised the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, AIG Asset Management, and the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America on a note purchase relating to the $239m financing of the 102MW Coram Wind Project in California. The firm’s 80 project finance lawyers in the US, and 160 worldwide, means clients can count on someone ‘always being available’. Clients also report that its ‘response times are very quick’ and that it is ‘the best in terms of industry knowledge’. Jeffrey Greenberg advised Union Bank, BNP Paribas, Citibank and GE Capital on financing the construction of the 1,050MW Moxie Freedom Generation Plant in Salem, Pennsylvania. The team also acted for lead arrangers BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole in the financing of the construction of the Middletown Energy Center in Ohio. On the sponsor side, John Sachs and David Penna assisted Deepwater Wind Holdings on the development and financing of the construction of the 30MW Block Island Wind Project, which will be situated off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. Rod and Greenberg acted for Sasol, a South African sponsor, on the first-phase financing of a $14bn petrochemicals complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The team also advised Panda Power Funds on financing the $900m construction of the ‘Hummel Station’ in Pennsylvania. Other clients include Bank of America and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding.

Leading lawyers

David Penna - Latham & Watkins LLP

John Sachs - Latham & Watkins LLP

Jonathan Rod - Latham & Watkins LLP

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s leading out-of-court restructuring practice is supported by highly impressive creditor credentials. The firm represented an ad hoc group of bondholders, including JPMorgan and AQR Capital, in the highly litigious settlement of claims under the $4.1bn bankruptcy of NII Holdings, and is acting for Credit Suisse as agent in the $2.3bn Chapter 11 of Quicksilver Resources. In a distressed M&A matter, it advised stalking horse bidder Blackhawk Mining in its acquisition of the majority of assets of Patriot Coal following an auction. Other notable company-side mandates included representing Reichhold Industries in its emergence from bankruptcy via a debt-for-equity exchange, and assisting Allen Systems Group with exiting its $666m pre-packaged Chapter 11. New York-based practice co-chair Mitchell Seider, and Chicago-based partners Richard Levy and Peter Knight ‘form a very strong team who are, individually, as good as it gets’, and the ‘excellentPeter Gilhuly in Los Angeles is also noted. Other key New York figures include fellow practice co-chair Jan Baker, Mark Broude and litigator Christopher Harris.

Leading lawyers

Jan Baker - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Structured finance
Structured finance - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

In addition to ‘excellent knowledge of the sector’, Latham & Watkins LLP’s structured finance lawyers provide ‘remarkable commitment, responsiveness to clients’ needs and teamwork’. The group operates out of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and is led by the ‘highly praised and knowledgeable’ global co-chair, Kevin Fingeret. It acts across the whole gamut of securitization and structured finance, including the securitization of rental car fleets, cell tower assets and aircraft; it also has a ‘top-class’ CLO practice and its adept at innovative and first-of-a-kind deals. Fingeret and Graeme Smyth acted for American Airlines in its public offering of Series 2015-2 enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETCs) worth $1.06bn. The team acts for US and European asset managers. The ‘highly endorsed’ Vicki Marmorstein, based in Los Angeles, focuses mainly on CLOs, and led advice to Black Diamond as collateral manager in a European CLO transaction with an aggregate value of €427m. Also in Los Angeles, Dominic Yoong acted for Carlyle GMS Investment Management, as collateral manager, and Carlyle GMS Finance Inc, as originator, in relation to an offering of notes by a subsidiary of the latter worth $390m. Chicago-based Ellen Marks is also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Vicki Marmorstein - Latham & Watkins LLP

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP

Alongside exceptional transactional experience, Latham & Watkins LLP provides strong expertise in FCA cases. A particularly noteworthy appellate victory was defending United Technologies against a $657m post-trial damages award entered under the False Claims Act concerning false pricing statements made in a 1983 contract bid, with the ‘excellent’ Edward Shapiro taking the lead. In another FCA case, the group successfully represented advertising firm and Air Force contractor GSD&M in claims alleging the provision of inflated cost estimates. Under the lead of David Hazelton, the Washington DC-based group provides ‘top-notch lawyering coupled with practical advice and terrific client service’. Roger Goldman is another name to note.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

David Kurzweil and David Schwartz lead Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘proactive’, ‘solution-minded’, ‘responsive’ practice, which consists of ‘true experts in their field’, including project finance specialist Jeffrey Greenberg. In a transactional highlight, the practice advised Energy Capital Partners on its $3.45bn sale of EquiPower and Brayton Point to Dynegy. Other clients include Deepwater Wind Holdings, JPMorgan, Moelis & Company and Terra-Gen Power.

Leading lawyers

David Kurzweil - Latham & Watkins LLP

David Schwartz - Latham & Watkins LLP

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice is jointly led by Christopher Cross, Michael Darden and Sean Wheeler, and is commended for its ‘exceptional expertise’. In an illustration of its presence in large-scale transactions, Wheeler advised Encana Corporation on its $7.1bn acquisition of Athlon Energy. Brett Braden, Jeffrey Muñoz, David Miller and Robin Fredrickson are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Michael Darden - Latham & Watkins LLP

Robin Fredrickson - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Energy: regulatory
Energy: regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP covers a wide range of contentious and non-contentious energy regulatory work. Electricity and oil and gas work are core practices, and it frequently assists clients with M&A and finance issues as well as FERC approval applications. Natasha Gianvecchio led advice to EquiPower Resources and Brayton Point Energy on regulatory and market aspects regarding their $3.45bn sale to Dynegy. Gianvecchio and global chair of energy regulatory markets David Schwartz assisted GE Energy Financial Services subsidiary and merchant transmission facility, Linden VFT, with multiple FERC proceedings in relation to PJM’s allocation of over $100m in regional transmission upgrade costs to Linden VFT. Peter Malyshev went to Reed Smith LLP.

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Energy: renewable/alternative
Energy: renewable/alternative - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has a ‘deep bench of capable lawyers’, handling all aspects of the development and financing of renewable energy projects, advising developers, lenders and borrowers. On the borrower side, the team advised Deepwater Wind and Deepwater Block Island on the development and financing of Block Island Wind Farm. Another key element of the practice is energy M&A work, such as the assistance to D. E. Shaw Renewables Investments in its acquisition of Balko Wind, a 300MW wind energy project in Oklahoma. David Kurzweil and David Schwartz head the team from New York and Washington DC respectively. Kelley Michael Gale chairs the project development and finance practice from San Diego.

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Sources say of Latham & Watkins LLP that ‘there is no better firm for getting high-quality bang for your buck’ and that it ‘never fails to live up to its reputation as one of the best firms in the world’. The environment, land and resources practice, which comprises more than 160 lawyers across the US, is chaired by Los Angeles-based James Arnone and vice chaired by Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander. The firm is recognized for handling all types of environmental dispute, including toxic torts, product defense and climate change-related litigation. The team is representing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection before the US Supreme Court in a case against the state of Georgia related to water rights in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin. The team was also busy in the insurance coverage area, where it successfully represented Fluor in a coverage action against Hartford Accident & Indemnity before the California Superior Court, the California Court of Appeal and finally the California Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found in Fluor’s favor and overruled a longstanding interpretation of the Insurance Code that restricted the assignment of insurance rights. Another name to note is former practice chair Robert Wyman, who is based in Los Angeles. Marc Campopiano in Orange County and Andrea Hogan in San Francisco were both promoted to partner.

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

The ‘top-drawer’ environmental team at Latham & Watkins LLP has an exceptional regulatory practice, including permitting, compliance, agency rulemaking and legislation, enforcement actions and litigation. Los Angeles-based James Arnone chairs the group and Mary Rose Alexander in Chicago is vice chair. Former practice chair Robert Wyman splits his time between Los Angeles and Washington DC. A team led by Wyman is assisting Arizona Public Service Company in the environmental aspects of the renewal of the site lease for the Four Corners Power Plant on the Navajo Nation and across the Hopi Reservation; the advice included the environmental review process under NEPA as well as coordinating with federal agencies on compliance with the ESA and NHPA. The team is acting for Monsanto in regulatory matters related to the development of new genetically engineered crops. New York-based Gary Gengel is recommended. Marc Campopiano in Orange County and Andrea Hogan in San Francisco were recently promoted to the partnership.

Leading lawyers

Robert Wyman - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Environment: transactional
Environment: transactional - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Clients say that the team at Latham & Watkins LLPis just so very good at what it does and how it does it’, on account of its ‘super-talented, extremely hard-working and knowledgeable lawyers that are available literally 24/7’. The environmental support practice works in tandem with the firm’s transactional lawyers, regularly providing due diligence and advice on large industrial M&A and other transactions involving the firm’s private equity and strategic company clients, which include the likes of The Carlyle Group, Platinum Equity and Onex. Highlights included representing Allergan in relation to the hostile takeover bid by Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals; it also advised the client on its eventual sale to ‘white knight’ buyer Actavis and on the sale of its global generics business to Teva Pharmaceuticals. The team also advised Sasol Chemical on obtaining financing for the construction of a new ethane cracker in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The ‘very pragmatic’, Houston-based Joel Mack ‘grasps the transactional big picture very quickly and delves into its minutiae’. Chicago-based counsel Sara Orr is described as an ‘extremely hard-working and knowledgeable environmental lawyer who does not miss a beat’. James Barrett is the other key name.

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Healthcare: life sciences
Healthcare: life sciences - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is the ‘gold standard’, according to one client, and is singled out for its market-leading work advising on the regulatory aspects of high-value capital markets and M&A transactions in the life sciences space. The strong FDA regulatory group also handles investigations and FDA approvals on a standalone basis. John Manthei has ‘an encyclopedic knowledge of the FDA regulations’ and ‘takes the time to become an expert on the product’; Stuart Kurlander, Benneville Haas and Alice Fisher (‘one of the best for white-collar defense in the healthcare sector’) are also names to note. The corporate team had a prolific year and further cemented its position in the market when it defended Allergan against an unsolicited takeover bid and then later assisted the company in its sale to ‘white knight’ buyer Actavis. It also acted for Receptos in its $7bn sale to Celgene. New York-based Daniel Brown is a prominent name to note in the IP field, and obtained a victory for Par Pharmaceuticals in an ANDA bench trial against Novartis in district court. Peter Handrinos and Cheston Larson, based in Boston and San Diego respectively, have notable experience in early-stage finance. Other key attorneys include Silicon Valley partners Alan Mendelson, Mark Roeder and licensing specialist Judith Hasko.

Leading lawyers

Alan Mendelson - Latham & Watkins LLP

John Manthei - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Healthcare: service providers
Healthcare: service providers - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is best known for transactions, although it also has deep regulatory and litigation expertise and has broad capabilities in reimbursement, fraud and abuse, and government investigations. It has a prestigious reputation among hospitals and hospital systems, including both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. HCA and Tenet Healthcare are key clients. In 2015, the firm represented Tenet in several litigation matters, including an FCA case and a class action. The firm has particular strength in California, but this is complemented by genuine strength in other key centers, such as Washington DC, Boston and Houston. San Diego’s Katherine Lauer is noted for California matters, and Los Angeles lawyer Daniel Settelmayer and Washington DC-based Daniel Meron have excellent reputations.

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Insurance: advice to policyholders
Insurance: advice to policyholders - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP utilizes its global footprint to assist clients in cross-border matters, and the insurance practice works closely with colleagues in the corporate and finance departments; the team is particularly experienced in negotiating representations and warranties coverage pertaining to corporate transactions. The firm is also strong in environmental coverage and is representing Montrose Chemical Corporation of California in an environmental contamination lawsuit following DDT pollution from the client’s operations in Torrance. Brook Roberts in San Diego is leading that matter and is also acting alongside John Wilson in the same office to represent Fluor Corporation in a case against Hartford relating to a policyholder’s right to assign interests under a policy. Los Angeles-based Andrew Lundberg continues to represent Meritor in asbestos coverage litigation following the client’s acquisition of Rockwell International’s automotive business. The team is also representing the NCAA in the high-profile concussion-related class action lawsuits arising from injuries suffered by student athletes. Other clients include Canadian Solar, Los Angeles Dodgers and Wynn Resorts. Peter Rosen leads the practice from Los Angeles, and has substantial experience in property, casualty and D&O matters.

Leading lawyers

Andrew Lundberg - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

The ‘superb’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘among the top firms in the sports and media business and has a real edge on international matters’. The US practice worked with attorneys in the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore offices to advise Tencent, a Chinese internet and social media company, on a broadcast license for the exclusive distribution rights to NBA games. Lawyers from the Century City and Los Angeles offices are assisting MLS expansion franchise, the Los Angeles Football Club, with the site selection and planning of a new stadium in southern California. Joseph Calabrese - who is the global chair of the firm’s entertainment, sports and media practice - and Christopher Brearton are leading a team advising the International Olympic Committee on the creation of an over-the-top digital global Olympic sports channel. Litigator Russell F Sauer Jr is also recommended.

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United States: Intellectual property

Patent litigation: International Trade Commission
Patent litigation: International Trade Commission - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘responsive and competent’ team handled numerous infringement suits in 2015, and was particularly active in a number of sectors, including aircraft, electromechanical devices, LEDs and wireless communication systems. Bert Reiser and Maximilian Grant acted for NVIDIA Corporation in an ITC investigation brought against Samsung and Qualcomm alleging infringement of seven patents related to mobile phones and tablets. The group is also defending NVIDIA against graphics processing unit related patent claims brought by Samsung. Other key figures include Matthew Moore, who participated in the ITC investigation against Suprema on behalf of Cross Match Technologies, and Richard Bress, who represents InterDigital Communications in an infringement case against Nokia, Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corp and LG regarding 3G technology.

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Patent litigation: full coverage
Patent litigation: full coverage - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘excellent in all aspects - particularly with regard to response times, strategy development and industry knowledge’, and the firm provides ‘an efficient and strategic approach to all cases’. The group recently secured a favorable verdict for InterDigital Communications in which smartphones and mobile devices produced by ZTE Corporation were found to be infringing InterDigital’s 3G technology patents. Maximilian Grant also won a significant ruling in an en banc hearing at the Federal Circuit, which reversed an earlier ruling regarding the ITC’s authority in patent cases; the case centers around a patent dispute over fingerprinting technologies between the firm’s plaintiff client, Cross Match Technologies, and South Korean company Suprema. In San Francisco, Roger Chin achieved a trial victory and subsequent affirmance in Novartis’ suit concerning its dementia treatment product. Matthew Moore, Douglas Lumish and Kenneth Schuler co-chair the practice from Washington DC, Silicon Valley and Chicago respectively.

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Trade secrets
Trade secrets - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Perry Viscounty, who splits his practice between Orange County and Silicon Valley, is one of the key figures for trade secrets matters at Latham & Watkins LLP. The group serves an impressive roster of clients, including Allianz, Allergan, Arista, craigslist and Goop. San Francisco-based James Lynch and Jennifer Barry in San Diego represent Lyft, a San Francisco-based peer-to-peer ridesharing company, in litigation against the company’s former COO for breach of written contract and confidentiality agreement by allegedly taking materials such as Lyft’s financial information, marketing and product plans, consumer lists and data, international growth documents and private personnel information, and subsequently joining Lyft’s chief rival Uber. Chicago-based Kenneth Schuler, Matthew Walch and Maximilian Grant in Washington DC are representing Market Track, a provider of market intelligence solutions for the advertising and promotional industry, in litigation asserting trade secret misappropriation claims against a competitor.

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Trademarks: litigation
Trademarks: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s skilled and wide-ranging litigation practice incorporates a significant number of trademark disputes, particularly in the technology sector, and it has a niche in contentious trademark matters in the nonprofit sector. Practice head Perry Viscounty in Orange County and San Diego-based Jennifer Barry successfully represented craigslist in several trademark and copyright suits against 3Taps and its apartment listing websites. The firm also represented Yucaipa, the owner of the Aloha Airlines trademark portfolio, in a dispute with Hawaiian Airlines over the use of the ‘Aloha’ mark. In the nonprofit sector, the team successfully represented The Heroes Project in a trademark infringement suit against Fitco Cares Foundation and Fitco Fitness Center Outfitters regarding the defendants’ use of the HEROES PROJECT mark.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘responsive team’ has ‘a lot of depth’. Its experience spans acting for both sponsors and investors globally, ranging from large managers such as Riverstone Holdings and Carlyle Group, as well as mid-market funds targeting specific geographic regions or industries, such as EMX Capital and VMG Partners. Andrea Schwartzman worked alongside Alan Van Dyke in assisting Linzor Capital Partners with forming Linzor Capital Partners III, a $621m fund pursuing equity and equity-related investments in middle-market companies in Latin America. Barton Clark is experienced in counselling US and non-US private equity funds and their sponsors on fund formation, portfolio investments, and regulatory issues arising from the Investment Advisers Act and Investment Company Act. Clark is global co-chair of the practice along with Kathleen Walsh and Scott Klein. Michael Chiswick-Patterson joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP advises businesses and private equity funds on the benefits and compensation aspects of transactions. Key highlights saw Los Angeles’ James Barrall acting for Allergan during its sale of its generic pharmaceuticals business to Teva Pharmaceutical. On the East Coast, Washington DC-based David Della Rocca assisted The Carlyle Group with its purchase of Acosta Sales & Marketing, and New York-based Bradd Williamson advised Leonard Green & Partners as part of a syndicate that purchased Life Time Fitness, a deal which included challenges regarding ‘golden parachute’ and deferred compensation packages of executive pay. Other clients include Blackstone, KKR, Siemens, LiveNation, Riot Games and some individual executives. Los Angeles-based Michelle Carpenter and New York’s Lori Goodman and Austin Ozawa were made partner in January 2016.

Leading lawyers

Bradd Williamson - Latham & Watkins LLP

David Della Rocca - Latham & Watkins LLP

James Barrall - Latham & Watkins LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Commercial deals and contracts
Commercial deals and contracts - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s team has experience in joint ventures, strategic alliances, complex commercial licensing, and supply and distribution agreements, particularly in relation to technology, media and entertainment, and manufacturing. It is acting for the operator of China’s most popular social media network, Tencent, in its five-year digital partnership deal with the NBA to run live coverage and highlights on its mobile and web platforms. It also advised Tencent on a distribution agreement with HBO. Elsewhere, it advised Delphi Automotive on the sale of its international thermal division to Germany-based Mahle Group; the complex carve-out transaction included various IP licenses between the buyer and the seller. Silicon Valley-based Anthony Klein is the technology transactions and IT systems industry group chair. Century City-based Nancy Bruington works with production companies, mezzanine investors and financial institutions in motion picture and television financing and co-financing transactions, corporate finance transactions and the formation and capitalization of entertainment companies. Kenneth Deutsch has particular expertise in structuring complex financings and strategic joint venture arrangements, and negotiating production, financing and distribution deals.

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Corporate governance
Corporate governance - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

The ‘very strongLatham & Watkins LLP draws on the expertise of its corporate, tax and litigation departments to assist a host of public companies with shareholder activism and proxy contest defense and in relation to unsolicited takeover attempts. SEC disclosure and compliance matters also form a large part of the firm’s work inthis area. Key figures include Steven Stokdyk and Joel Trotter, who are based in Los Angeles and Washington DC respectively, and Bradley Faris and Mark Gerstein, who are based in Chicago. Representative work included advising Puma Biotechnology on an engagement by a shareholder seeking board representation, and assisting Allergan defend against an unsolicited takeover bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square Capital Management. Other clients include MicroStrategy, Omnicom Group and Wesco Aircraft Holdings.

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP combines having ‘high-end and top-quality partners’ with being ‘a much bigger firm’ than many of its competitors and consequently having a higher deal volume than most. The firm’s geographic spread in the US includes notable strength in key locations such as New York, Chicago, Houston and the West Coast, and its extensive international network ensures it is well placed to advise on cross-border deals. It has a broad array of corporate, financial institution and private equity clients, and provides industry experience in areas such as energy, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, to name a few. In 2015, the firm represented pharmaceutical and medical device company Allergan on its $73bn acquisition by Actavis, a white knight acquirer; this followed the firm’s successful defense of the client against a $53bn unsolicited takeover by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square Capital Management. Orange County’s Cary Hyden and Michael Treska and Los Angeles’ Paul Tosetti led the advice to Allergan. Led by Charles Ruck and Scott Shean in Orange County, the firm also advised Allergan on the $40.5bn sale of its global generics business to Teva Pharmaceuticals. From Houston, the firm advised Access Midstream Partners on its $50bn merger with Williams Partners. Led by ‘accomplished practitioner’ and noted energy M&A specialist William Finnegan in Houston, the firm advised Energy Transfer Equity on Energy Transfer Corp’s proposed $37bn acquisition of the Williams Companies, a deal which later looked under threat due to uncertainty in the energy market. Fellow Houston partner Sean Wheeler also has a ‘great practice’ in energy M&A, and New York lawyer Adel Aslani-Far is one of the firm’s most active partners in major deals. Washington DC’s Paul Sheridan and Daniel Lennon - who has close ties to The Carlyle Group - have excellent reputations. Mark Gerstein and Bradley Faris in Chicago and David Allinson in New York are global co-chairs of the M&A practice.

Leading lawyers

Adel Aslani-Far - Latham & Watkins LLP

Mark Gerstein - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Overview

The commercial deals and contracts section was introduced this year to highlight work on significant supply, distribution, franchising, licensing and joint venture contracts. Science and technology, retail and leisure, finance, and pharmaceuticals are among the most relevant industries for these types of contracts and partnerships, and key firms include Covington & Burling LLP, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP and WilmerHale.

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

With its deep bench of talent and extensive expertise, Latham & Watkins LLP continues to attract a wide range of private equity sponsors in the US and abroad. The firm covers the full spectrum of market participants: leading international funds, mid-market investors, and investors active in specific industry sectors such as IT, energy, healthcare, life sciences, and financial services. Examples of large private equity clients are Apollo, GTCR and Onex Corporation; in the middle market, the firm regularly represents Riverstone, Odyssey Investment Partners and One Equity Partners. The group benefits from the firm’s cross-disciplinary approach, drawing on broad capabilities in areas such as tax, fund structuring and acquisition finance. In 2015, the group advised on the sale by BC Partners (its client) and CPP Investment Board of a majority stake in cable operator Suddenlink Communications to multinational telecoms company Altice; Raymond Lin and John Giouroukakis led the advice. Daniel Lennon in Washington DC is key to the firm’s relationship with The Carlyle Group, and recently assisted a client with a joint control acquisition alongside PAI Partners of Custom Sensors & Technologies. Howard Sobel has an excellent reputation; Ted Sonnenschein is ‘a star’ and ‘incredibly knowledgeable’; another name to note is David Kurzweil. The US private equity group is headed by David Brown in Washington DC and Jennifer Perkins. The firm overall has a ‘superb’ private equity department with ‘highly creative lawyers’. All attorneys are in New York except where stated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Howard Sobel - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Venture capital and emerging companies
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s clients praise the firm as ‘an incredibly responsive, practical and comprehensive legal partner’. The practice regularly supports clients across the technology, life sciences and emerging growth sectors from its Boston, New York and numerous California offices. Patrick Pohlen and John Chory, who lead the team from the Silicon Valley and Boston offices respectively, are both highly experienced in advising on all aspects of M&A work. Boston-based Susan Mazur was lead lawyer for LogMeIn in a series of acquisitions, including the high-profile $100m acquisition of password management service provider LastPass, and its purchase of Zamurai. New York’s Stephen Amdur advised Raine Securities on its several growth-stage investments in portfolio company DraftKings, which - through Latham’s contacts - resulted in an affiliation with ESPN. Other clients include Fantex, Duolingo and Ascendis Pharma. Life sciences specialist Brian Cuneo was made partner in Silicon Valley at the end of 2014, and in March 2015, Evan Smith in Boston, who regularly advises entrepreneurs in early-stage company formation and strategy, was promoted. Alan Mendelson is a key figure.

Leading lawyers

Alan Mendelson - Latham & Watkins LLP

John Chory - Latham & Watkins LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Cyber law
Cyber law - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s Washington DC-based practice head Jennifer Archie is ‘dynamic, responsive, personable, and clearly and simply communicates in a way that bridges the gap between technology and law’. During the team’s representation of LogMeIn in its acquisition of LastPass, LastPass suffered a data breach involving users’ personal information; the team supervised the security breach and recovery, and devised deal terms to mitigate issues arising that might have affected the transaction; Susan Mazur and Sarah Gagan in Boston were both involved in this matter. New York-based Jeff Hammel is a securities litigator, and recently handled cybersecurity matters for a large publicly traded company.

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Technology: data protection and privacy
Technology: data protection and privacy - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice leader Jennifer Archieis one of the best all-round privacy attorneys - her knowledge is comprehensive across privacy areas, including data breach and preparation work, litigation defense, and enforcement actions’. Ongoing work includes advising Vizio on global data privacy and security matters, including the potential expansion of smart TV sales into foreign markets with explicit data protection laws. For The Carlyle Group, it acted in the acquisition of Novetta Solutions, a provider of data analytics and cybersecurity solutions.

Leading lawyers

Jennifer Archie - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Technology: outsourcing
Technology: outsourcing - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Anthony Klein, JD Marple and Jeremiah Wolsk lead Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice, which acts for clients such as The Carlyle Group, PwC, Time Warner, Siemens, Invista and Platinum Equity. Recent work includes representing a health insurance payer in a BPO transaction with a global business management consultancy for accounting, finance, call center and other services. In other work, it represented a global conglomerate in an outsourcing transaction for the maintenance and management of its facilities throughout the US. Wolsk is leading advice to a developer and manufacturer of satellite terminals in negotiations over a manufacturing and supply agreement for LCD technology. The team represents both vendors and users of technology, emerging technology companies, middle-market and goods and services companies, and large multinational corporations.

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has a wide-reaching international network, with strength in China, Germany, the UK and elsewhere, and assists clients with IP and technology licensing agreements and outsourcing. Silicon Valley-based practice head Anthony Klein advised semiconductor company Spansion on its $1.6bn sale to Cypress Semiconductor. Klein also worked with the firm’s M&A practice on several acquisitions by Avago Technologies, including its $37bn purchase of Broadcom, and its $6.6bn acquisition of LSI. The firm continued to advise long-term client AMD on its joint venture with Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics. New York-based Jeffrey Tochner advised Delphi Automotive on the sale of its thermal division to MAHLE Group in Germany, including IP purchase agreements and licensing. In Boston, Sarah Gagan advised Voxel8 on its negotiations with two academic institutions concerning licensing agreements. The team collaborated with its Hong Kong and Singapore offices to advise Tencent Holdings on its five-year digital partnership with the NBA; the client will run live NBA matches and highlights through Chinese social media outlets. JD Marple and Tad Freese in Silicon Valley and Steven Chinowsky in San Diego are also key contacts in the practice. Other clients include Toshiba, Expedia and Facebook.

Leading lawyers

Anthony Klein - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP leverages its expertise in telecoms matters to covers the full spectrum of regulatory, contentious and transactional work, including advising on net neutrality rulemaking and appellate proceedings, as well as undertaking complex litigation for telecoms providers. The practice successfully represented Cox Communications in recent class action litigation in the Western District of Oklahoma against a group of Cox cable subscribers. Matthew Brill, who recently succeeded John Janka as the chair for the global communications law practice, is providing ongoing advice to Time Warner Cable on a broad range of legal matters relating to the company’s cable television, broadband internet access and digital telephone services. In a recent highlight Brill, together with industry group co-head James Barker, advised Time Warner Cable on its compliance with video, voice, and broadband regulations, and defended it against net neutrality complaints brought under the FCC’s Open Internet Order rules. The firm is also acting for Lightsquared in a contested bankruptcy reorganization process and in the negotiation of new credit facilities. Fellow co-head James Gorton is also recommended.

Leading lawyers

John Janka - Latham & Watkins LLP

Matthew Brill - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
Telecoms and broadcast: transactional - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP owes much of its outstanding reputation to its experience handling transformative deals in the telecoms, broadcast and satellite space. Recent highlights include advising Time Warner Cable on all aspects of its proposed merger with Charter Communications and Bright House Networks, and assisting Thales on its bid for the construction of one of the world’s largest satellite constellations for OneWeb, a Channel Islands-based satellite internet service provider. The firm has also been heavily involved in the FCC’s Advanced Wireless Services and Broadcast spectrum auctions. Other key clients include Comcast Corporation, Cox Communications, Sirius XM, the NFL Players Association, and JPMorgan, which the team routinely advises at all stages of their transactions. The practice’s heavy hitters include joint department heads James Barker and James Gorton, Matthew Brill - who serves as the global chair of the firm’s communications law practice - and TMT specialist John Janka.

Leading lawyers

John Janka - Latham & Watkins LLP

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United States: Real estate and construction

Land use/zoning
Land use/zoning - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘vast’ team regularly advises on high-profile, complex developments throughout the US, and in particular has a ‘very strong West Coast presence’. Areas of strength include energy, mixed-use, hospitality, business, retail, industrial and infrastructure projects. The team advised Tribune Company on its agreements relating to LA Metro’s regional connector transit project, and continues to advise NBCUniversal on the $1bn development plan for the Universal Studios site in Los Angeles. It is also acting for Poseidon Water on its Carlsbad desalination project. Other clients include California American Water, Chargers Football, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, and NRG Energy. Michael Carroll in Orange County, Christopher Garrett in San Diego and Lucinda Starrett in Los Angeles co-head the department.

Leading lawyers

Christopher Garrett - Latham & Watkins LLP

Lucinda Starrett - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP sizeable practice covers a wide range of real estate asset classes, including hospitality, gaming and destination resorts, and healthcare and life sciences facilities. Recent highlights include Los Angeles-based David Meckler advising Lineage Logistics on the financing and acquisition of a portfolio of cold storage facilities, and, in Chicago, Gary Axelrod representing GEM Realty Capital in the acquisition of a large resort property. In the debt finance space, the team’s impressive client roster includes ACORE Capital, Barclays and Deutsche Bank; New York-based practice head James Hisiger was busy in this regard, representing Citigroup Global Realty Markets in financing the $423m acquisition of five properties in California and a non-performing loan. Los Angeles-based Scott McPhee has ‘great knowledge of mezzanine lending and excellent negotiation skills’. The firm’s strong international offering ensures a reliable stream of inbound investment matters, as demonstrated by New York-based Michelle Kelban advising a foreign investor on the development joint venture, acquisition and pre-development financing of One Wall Street.

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has a sizeable practice in this space, with more than 40 partners and counsel providing specialist REIT-related advice. Chaired from Los Angeles by Michael Brody and Julian Kleindorfer, the team advises a strong portfolio of clients on the full breadth of REIT matters, including formation, the conversion of existing corporations and partnerships into REITs, private and public offerings securities offerings, M&A and real estate transactions, executive compensation structures, and compliance issues. In 2015, the practice was very busy on M&A deals, with highlights including advice to Hudson Pacific Properties in its $3.7bn acquisition of a portfolio of 26 Bay Area properties, and assisting Digital Realty Trust with the $1.8bn acquisition of The Telx Group. The team was reinforced by the recent promotion to partner of San Diego-based Michael Sullivan.

Leading lawyers

Julian Kleindorfer - Latham & Watkins LLP

Michael Brody - Latham & Watkins LLP

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP

The tax team at Latham & Watkins LLP utilizes the firm’s international network of offices to provide ‘top-notch’ advice on an array of high-profile cross-border transactions. Global chair of international tax Nicholas DeNovio, who is based in Washington DC, worked alongside Laurence Stein in Los Angeles to advise Allergan on the $40.5bn sale of its global generics business to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, as well as its $73bn sale to Actavis. New York-based David Raab, the former global tax department chair, led advice to Avago Technologies in its $37bn acquisition of Broadcom. Additional highlights included advising Sorin on its $2.7bn merger with Cyberonics, advising Globe Specialty Metals on its $3.1bn merger with Grupo FerroAtlantica and acting for Avanir Pharmaceuticals in its $3.5bn sale to Otsuka Pharmaceutical. In San Francisco, Kirt Switzer is ‘excellent’, and New York-based Jiyeon Lee-Lim - the new global tax department chair - is ‘highly recommended’.

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s six-lawyer team provides ‘superb value for money’ and has vast tax litigation experience in the US Tax Court, Court of Federal Claims, district courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court, and is also well versed in finding resolutions during the administrative process. The ‘strategic, articulate and confident’ global chair Miriam Fisher (Gerald Kafka moved to of counsel status) provides advice that is ‘practical, pragmatic, tactically astute and legally impeccable’. Fisher is assisting blender manufacturer Vitamix determine its tax liability in Michigan in tax refund litigation involving the use of a favorable income apportionment method. ‘Excellent adviserBrian McManus, who puts clients ‘in stressful tax controversy situations at ease’, represented Guidant Financial and several of its clients in connection with numerous IRS examinations, appeals and Tax Court cases. Other notable clients are Carlson Capital and Palace Exploration.

Leading lawyers

Gerald Kafka - Latham & Watkins LLP

Miriam Fisher - Latham & Watkins LLP

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

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s team is ‘dependable and accurate with its advice’ and was called upon frequently to assist with M&A deals over the past year, playing an active part in high-profile transactions in the technology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors. The group was also active in the REIT space, and is noted too for its expertise in relation to MLPs, strategic restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency. San Francisco-based Kirt Switzer is the global transactional tax practice chair and co-led the tax advice to Kythera Biopharmaceuticals in its $2.1bn sale to Allergan. Another key name is David Raab, a former global chair of the department; Raab led the tax advice to Avago Technologies in its $37bn acquisition of Broadcom, one of largest-ever technology deals. Pardis Zomorodi, who is ‘easy to work with and dependable’, acted for Excel Trust, a REIT, in the sale to Blackstone Property Partners. Samuel Weiner advised Avanir Pharmaceuticals on its sale to Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. Other key clients include KKR, The Carlyle Group and Hudson Pacific Properties. Another key name, Andrea Ramezan-Jackson, was promoted to partner in the Washington DC office.

Leading lawyers

Kirt Switzer - Latham & Watkins LLP

Pardis Zomorodi - Latham & Watkins LLP

Samuel Weiner - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Further information on Latham & Watkins LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Latham & Watkins LLP in other jurisdictions.

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Indonesia

Latin America: International firms

India

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Offices in Milan and Rome

Japan

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Philippines

Russia

Offices in Moscow

Singapore

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United States

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    This update discusses the recent case of  Rals International Pte Ltd v Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza SpA  [2016] SGCA 53 where the Singapore Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court that the assignee’s claim based on a number of promissory notes did not fall within the scope of the arbitration agreement in the underlying Supply Agreement. The assignee of such notes was therefore free to litigate in the courts.