The Legal 500

Latham & Watkins LLP

Work +1 714 540 1235
Fax +1 714 755 8290

United States

Top-tier recommendations


  • United States: Real estate and construction > Real estate

United States: Antitrust

Within Cartel, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP is involved in many of the most high-profile cartel investigations. In the investigation into the optical disk drives sector, the team so far has acted successfully for Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology, with the DOJ having closed its investigations against the client and its employees. The group is also representing Singapore Airlines and Singapore Airlines Cargo in various global cartel enforcement and litigation matters, including an appeal to the General Court against the European Commission’s decision in the air cargo cartel and ongoing proceedings in other jurisdictions. In the worldwide cartel investigation into the power cables industry, San Francisco-based Daniel Wall is acting for Sumitomo Electric Industries as part of a global team. The firm’s client roster also includes large automotive parts manufacturers and an electronic equipment designer, with highly regarded attorney Niall Lynch in San Francisco serving as lead partner in the respective matters. Michael Egge re-joined the Washington DC team after two years at the firm’s Brussels office, co-chairing the global antitrust practice with Al Pfeiffer and Christopher Yates, who are both in San Francisco. Catherine Palmer moved to the firm’s Hong Kong office, while Lawrence Buterman, formerly at the antitrust division of the DOJ, joined the Washington DC team. Sarah Ray and Brendan McShane were promoted to partner. Karen Silverman is also recommended.

[back to top]

Within Civil litigation/class actions, Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

Latham & Watkins LLP’ antitrust and competition practice has grown considerably during recent months. ‘Very good antitrust attorneyMargaret Zwisler, William Sherman and Jennifer Giordano, all in Washington DC, recently achieved a victory for The London Metal Exchange in a class action against various plaintiffs regarding alleged price-fixing of physical aluminium. In another highlight handled from the San Francisco office, ‘first-rate litigatorDaniel Wall, Christopher Yates and Sadik Huseny represented Apple in putative class actions involving an alleged violation of warranty, trespass and computer fraud laws by intentionally ‘bricking’ certain iPhones. For Sumitomo Electric Industries Limited, it assisted with follow-on damages actions in connection with the investigation into anti-competitive practices in the automotive parts industry. In a high-profile piece of litigation, the firm represented The Carlyle Group in a class action brought against 11 of the world’s largest private equity firms, and was also involved in the In re Pre-Filled Propane Tank Antitrust Litigation. Al Pfeiffer, Yates and Michael Egge, who rejoined the Washington DC team after two years in the firm’s Brussels office, act as global co-chairs of the practice. Catherine Palmer relocated to the firm’s Hong Kong office, but the team was augmented with the addition of Lawrence Buterman, formerly at the DOJ’s antitrust division, and the partner promotions of Sarah Ray and Brendan McShane.

[back to top]

Within Merger control, Latham & Watkins LLP is a second tier firm,

With 25 partners and counsel in its antitrust and competition group, Latham & Watkins LLP covers all aspects of antitrust law and gets ‘good marks in M&A-related work’. Working from offices in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the team advises key clients Nestlé, Energy Capital Partners, Actavis and The Carlyle Group, among many others. The US team closely cooperates with colleagues in other jurisdictions on cross-border deals, exemplified by recent antitrust advice for WhatsApp in its high-profile sale to Facebook. Other work includes advising Oracle on its acquisition of MICROS Systems. The highly regarded Michael Egge re-joined the Washington DC team after two years in the Brussels office, and co-chairs the global antitrust practice with Al Pfeiffer and Christopher Yates who are both in San Francisco. Karen Silverman, who specializes in complex strategic mergers and cartel defense from San Francisco, and counsel Sydney Smith, are also recommended.

[back to top]

United States: Finance

Within Asset finance and leasing, tier 4

Asset finance is a core part of Latham & Watkins LLP’ highly rated structured finance and securitization practice, with cutting-edge expertise across several classes, including aircraft, rental car fleets and cell towers. Kevin Fingeret heads the team out of New York, which also includes lawyers in Los Angeles and Chicago. A major highlight for the team was advising American Airlines as issuer on a $957m EETC to finance the purchase of 12 Airbus and five Boeing aircraft; this was notable as the company’s first EETC since it emerged from bankruptcy and merged with US Airways. The firm also represented Deutsche Bank as lead arranger in over $6bn worth of financings through variable funding asset-backed notes issued by Hertz Vehicle Financing. Deutsche Bank also instructed the firm on a helicopter lease backed structured term loan to an SPV subsidiary of an equipment leasing company secured by over 50 helicopters. New York’s Graeme Smyth has been particularly active on this front and is developing a very strong reputation for asset finance.

[back to top]

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

The ‘superb’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP is praised for its ‘consistent high level of professionalism, responsiveness, market knowledge and balanced advice among all attorneys’. The firm’s lawyers are ‘in the flow and know the market very well’, and the group has the ‘deepest bench’, with lawyers spread across New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Washington DC, as well as other key financial centers such as London. Global co-chair Michele Penzer leads the well balanced team, which comfortably acts for both borrowers and lenders, including some of the largest unregulated lenders in the market such as Jefferies. The ‘very seasoned’ Scott Gottdiener in New York ‘works extremely well with clients’, and Daniel Seale, counsel Christopher Dorian, Chicago’s David Crumbaugh, and Los Angeles’ Andrew Faye are ‘superb counsellors in every sense’. A notable highlight was advising the lead arrangers, including Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, on the €4.75bn senior secured bank loan and concurrent €12bn bond offering to finance Altice’s acquisition of France’s second-largest telecoms operator SFR. On the sponsor side, the firm advised The Carlyle Group on the $2.5bn financing, plus $1.3bn bond offering, connected to its acquisition of Ortho Clinical Diagnostics from Johnson & Johnson.

[back to top]

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

The ‘innovative and dynamicMarc Jaffe in New York and the experienced Patrick Shannon in Washington DC co-head the sizeable practice at Latham & Watkins LLP. The team, which includes leading individual Kirk Davenport in New York, regularly handles high-profile debt offerings for both issuers and underwriters. New York-based Wesley Holmes advised global specialty pharmaceutical company Actavis on a $3.7bn four-tranche notes offering by subsidiary Actavis Funding SCS to fund part of the $28bn purchase of Forest Laboratories. A cross-office team, led by Jaffe in New York and Rachel Sheridan in Washington DC represented J.P. Morgan as underwriters to Exxon’s $5.5bn bond consisting of three and five-year fixed and floating rate notes and a ten-year tranche. This was the oil major’s first issuance in over 20 years. In addition to its strong East Coast presence, the practice fields key practitioners in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP’s status as a leading practice in this space was reinforced in 2014, with the firm at the forefront of a number of innovative deals; it structured the first-ever capital markets yieldco deal, a new corporate structure for investors seeking dividend income from a diversified portfolio of lower-risk high-quality assets, when it acted in Pattern Energy Group’s IPO. It has since handled a number of other yieldco transactions including solar energy producer TerraForm Power’s $501m float. In Silicon Valley, Mark Roeder advised clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Achaogen on its $82m NASDAQ IPO, and Patrick Pohlen led the advice to high-speed computer networking equipment maker Arista Networks on its NYSE-listed $225m IPO. In Houston, Ryan Maierson represented Barclays Capital in the close to $1.1bn IPO of Antero Midstream Partners. In New York, global practice co-chair Marc Jaffe acted for JP Morgan in the $236m issue of American Depositary Shares (ADSs) on NASDAQ by Paris-headquartered advertising firm Criteo. The practice also has a strong Washington DC presence, where Rachel Sheridan, global practice co-chair Patrick Shannon and Jason Licht are all key contacts.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP’s cross-border work in 2014 highlighted its extensive international network of capital markets experts. New York-based Ian Schuman formed an integral part of the broad cross-office US and Asia team that advised Artsonig, a subsidiary of KKR portfolio company Bis Industries Group, on its $250m issue of 11.5%/12% senior PIK toggle notes due 2019. In Houston, Sean Wheeler and Keith Benson advised GasLog on its NYSE $202m IPO. In Washington DC, Alexander Cohen advised, alongside members of the Singapore office, Indian online travel company MakeMyTrip Limited on its $145m follow-on offering of ordinary shares listed on NASDAQ. Marc Jaffe, Patrick Shannon and Lene Malthasen co-head the practice globally from, respectively, New York, Washington DC and London.

[back to top]

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

Top-tier firmLatham & Watkins LLP maintains a particularly active practice with over 100 high-yield deals worked on in 2014. This strong performance is due in part to the team’s ability to balance strong issuer, notably private equity-focused, and underwriter relationships. In Washington DC, Patrick Shannon and Jason Licht advised CommScope on its offering of $650m worth of 5% notes due 2021 and $650m worth of 5.5% senior notes due 2024, the proceeds of which were used to refinance existing higher-interest rate notes on favorable terms following its successful IPO. In Houston, Michael Chambers acted for CONSOL Energy in a $1.6bn Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of 5.875% senior notes due 2022 and a $1.5bn offer to purchase and consent solicitation with respect to the company’s 8% senior notes due 2017. In New York, Marc Jaffe, an ‘energetic and creative expert’, and Erika Weinberg advised Jefferies as underwriters on the $800m offering of 10.5% senior secured notes offering by DFC Global Corp as part of its acquisition by Lone Star Funds. Kirk Davenport, also in New York, is also recommended and the practice has additional key contacts in Chicago, California and Boston.

[back to top]

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

The ‘knowledgeable, practical and well-connected’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP impresses with its experience in complex, cross-border bankruptcies and it also utilizes its extensive national footprint to resource large national deals. The ‘results-orientedJan Baker in New York jointly co-chairs the global practice alongside New York-based Mitchell Seider and the ‘consistently top-notchPeter Gilhuly in Los Angeles. Baker had key roles in several of the firm’s largest deals over the past year, including leading the representation of uranium producer USEC in its pre-arranged Chapter 11, which involved over $1bn in liabilities. Also in New York, Paul Harner ‘gives good counsel in the heat of the moment and negotiates terrific outcomes’ and acted with Baker to advise US Airways in AMR’s Chapter 11. In another highlight for the group’s New York arm, Mark Broude advised BlueMountain Capital in a backstopped $1.5bn equity rights offering to current shareholders in Overseas Shipholding Group’s Chapter 11. In Chicago, Richard Levy ‘anticipates client needs to deliver practical, timely results’ and represented Royal Bank of Canada as agent for a syndicate of banks under a $500m secured credit facility in Legend Parent’s Chapter 11. Other recommended names in this ‘standout group’ include Caroline Reckler and the ‘extremely experienced’ David Heller; both are in Chicago.

[back to top]

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

Able to resource matters from the firm’s securities litigation, white-collar defense and general commercial litigation practices, Latham & Watkins LLP has ‘substantial bench strength’ throughout its national network of offices and is viewed as an ‘excellent choice for high-stakes matters’. The ‘capable, committed and skilled’ team has involvement in many significant matters affecting financial services clients including its continued representation of Deutsche Bank in RMBS-related actions brought against it by various investors, in addition to its settlement of the majority of the cases brought against the bank by monoline insurer Assured Guaranty arising from the RMBS financial guaranty policies. Richard Owens has had a key role in the RMBS work for Deutsche Bank and has also been a lead partner in the firm’s high-profile representation of the British Bankers’ Association in its US-based LIBOR litigation. Miles Ruthberg, Jamie Wine and Kevin McDonough are praised for their ‘thoughtful advice and knowledge of the accountancy industry’, and recently secured a highly important arbitration victory for Lehman Brothers’ accountant Ernst & Young. Other recommended partners include Christopher Clark, James Brandt and Blair Connelly.

[back to top]

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

Primarily focused out of New York but also benefiting from a large network of domestic and global offices, Latham & Watkins LLP’s integrated practice provides clients with both standalone regulatory compliance expertise along with regulatory driven transactional competence. Spearheaded by ‘market leaderDana Fleischman and the ‘excellentStephen Wink, the team is perhaps best known for its ‘fantastic’ broker-dealer practice. Wink recently aided Fantex on establishing the first ever broker-dealer and trading platform for the trading of securities representing interests in the earnings of sports stars. Wink also provided the necessary regulatory advice pursuant to another new entrant to the market, Alphaworks, on the establishment of its crowd funding platform. On the more traditional bank regulatory mandates, Alan Avery is viewed as a ‘safe pair of hands’ by both domestic and foreign financial institutions, and has ‘an excellent knowledge of the US regulatory regime’. Alongside Courtenay Myers Lima, Avery also continues to be involved in resolution planning work for a number of foreign banks. The recent arrival of Vivian Maese from Dechert LLP gives the firm a significant presence in the emerging FinTech space.

[back to top]

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

With its global presence and a team that has ‘excellent knowledge and experience’, Latham & Watkins LLP regularly features in landmark deals and ‘impresses’ with its ‘speedy responses and value for money’. It has a prominent role in the Cameron LNG, a $10bn liquefaction-export project being developed by Sempra, GDF Suez, Mitsui and Japan LNG Investment in Hackberry, Louisiana; the firm is advising export credit agencies JBIC and NEXI, as well as a syndicate of 29 commercial banks, on the $7.4bn debt financing. Key lender-side clients for the group include Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays. Its credentials are equally strong on the sponsor side, where it acts for both large and small developers, often in niche areas such as renewables and private equity. It recently advised sponsor Competitive Power Ventures and borrower CPV Maryland on the financing for the CPV St Charles Energy Center in Maryland, one of the first gas-fired merchant power plants to be financed in the growing PJM market. New client wins on the sponsor side included NRG Renew, GSO Capital Partners and DE Shaw. The project development and finance group is led globally by Kelley Michael Gale in San Diego. Other recommended attorneys include Paul Hunt and David Penna in Washington DC, Jonathan Rod, Matthew Henegar and Warren Lilien (‘very experienced’) in New York, and Jeffrey Greenberg in Los Angeles.

[back to top]

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

Although its team lacks the size of some of its peers in the ranking, Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘very strong’ offering more than makes up for that through the quality of its work on novel and sophisticated transactions. Based in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the six-partner group is active across a broad range of asset classes and adds value to clients on deals which are innovative or first to market. The ‘very creative and knowledgeableKevin Fingeret is ‘excellent at thinking outside the box’, and both he and Graeme Smyth recently represented Citibank, as administrative agent and lender, in connection with two warehouse financings of consumer loans marketed through two of the largest peer-to-peer lending networks. Both Fingeret and Smyth are also regularly involved in highly structured financings in the aviation industry, and both were recently instructed by American Airlines to advise it as issuer on its $957m enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETC) offering. The team also has a significant presence in the CLO market for US asset managers and European asset managers looking to access the US market; a good deal of that work is handled out of Los Angeles by Vicki Marmostein and Dominic Yoong, and Yoong recently advised Ivy Hill Asset Management on the $334.4m Ivy Hill IX Middle Market CLO transaction. In addition to providing swaps and securitization regulatory advice to clients, Chicago-based Ellen Marks has handled work for Discover as issuer on approximately $6.7bn in credit card receivables for the first three-quarters of 2014.

[back to top]

United States: Government

Within Government contracts, tier 4

Much of Latham & Watkins LLP’s work pertains to False Claims Act cases, particularly for healthcare contracts, while the team also handles bid protests, claims, investigations and criminal prosecution in all sectors. In a highlight victory, it represented Honeywell in claims against the government concerning alleged patent infringements. The team represented GSD&M Idea City and IT enterprise solutions provider ViON in False Claims Act matters, and Rotech Healthcare in bid protests. ‘The entire team is superb, no matter how technical and complicated the issue’, and is spread across five US offices and led by Washington DC-based David Hazelton.

[back to top]

United States: Industry focus

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

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘regulatory partners are all best in class – extremely hard working and responsive to clients. The firm has a leading energy regulatory practice across the gamut of power and oil and gas matters, the latter of which has seen a significant uptick, particularly regarding investment and financing matters. Ken Simon, who is ‘very knowledgeable and current on what’s happening in Washington DC’, recently led advice to Howard Energy Midstream Partners on the preparation of applications for a Presidential Permit and FERC authorization for two pipelines to transport gas from Texas to Mexico. Simon also advised Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity purchaser of interest in the owner of the Freeport LNG Export project, on all regulatory issues affecting the project. On the power side, Washington DC-based global chair of energy regulatory and markets David Schwartz and Natasha Gianvecchio led advice to GE Energy Financial Services on multiple FERC proceedings regarding PJM’s allocation of over $100m in regional transmission upgrade costs to merchant transmission facility Linden VFT. Gianvecchio also led advice to Energy Capital Partners, EquiPower Resources and Brayton Point Energy on the regulatory aspects of acquiring Wheelabrator Technologies from Waste Management for $1.94bn.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLPcontinues to impress’. Advising both developers and lenders, the firm has been at the forefront of the recent yieldco activity in the market, with New York partner Kirk Davenport and Chicago-based Brad Kotler advising TerraForm Power Incorporated, one of only five existing energy yieldco-structured IPOs. New York partners David Kurzweil and Matthew Henegar and Los Angeles-based Jeffrey Greenberg led a cross-departmental, inter-office team advising Energy Capital Partners on its $1.94bn acquisition of Wheelabrator Technologies, a company that converts municipal solid waste and other renewable waste fuels into clean energy. David Kurzweil and David Schwartz head the energy practice from New York and Washington DC respectively. Kelley Michael Gale chairs the global project development and finance group from San Diego.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP is the ‘go-to counsel, especially for complex, highly structured transactions’. The firm handles a broad range of M&A, secured lending, corporate finance and project development in the oil and gas and power sectors. Ryan Maierson in Houston and Eli Hunt and Edward Sonnenschein in New York advised Access Midstream Partners on its $50bn merger with Willams Partners. New York-based power co-chair David Kurzweil and Paul Kukish advised Energy Capital Partners on the sale of ten US power plants to Dynegy Incorporated for $3.45bn. Co-chair of the oil and gas practice Sean Wheeler led a team from Houston acting as target’s counsel on the sale of Athlon Energy to Encana. Washington DC partner David Schwartz is recommended for power work, and Christopher Cross in New York and Michael Darden in Houston are names to note for oil and gas.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘a top-notch firm when it comes to environmental litigation’ and has handled high-profile work in a wide range of areas. It has particular expertise in regulatory litigation in the climate change field, product defense, policyholder litigation, and toxic tort and class actions concerning contaminated properties. In the last-mentioned area, recent cases include representing Buckeye Partners in a mass tort related to an accidental release of gasoline from a pipeline with over 400 individual plaintiffs, and the Riverside Cement Company in a mass tort related to the alleged exposure to hexavalent chromium from two cement manufacturing facilities. The team is also representing NASSCO in a large sediment contamination clean-up in San Diego and related federal cost recovery litigation. Mary Rose Alexander in Chicago has a ‘deep understanding of potential problems’ and leads the environment, land and resources team together with the ‘very visibleRobert Wyman in Los Angeles. Another name to note is New York-based Gary Gengel.

[back to top]

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

With offices on both coasts and Chicago, Latham & Watkins LLP has a strong domestic presence and an outstanding reputation for both transactional and regulatory work. Rulemaking and legislative work constitutes a significant part of the practice: it acted in water quality rulemaking, and provided input on the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the CAA through the National Climate Coalition. In other work, the team is advising SCS Energy on obtaining the approval to construct and operate an integrated gasification combined-cycle power plant, the first of its kind in utilizing carbon capture and sequestration technology. It assisted long-term client The Carlyle Group with numerous transactions, assessing potential environmental issues, developing risk transfer strategies and negotiating contract terms; recent examples include the client’s acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho Clinical Diagnostics unit, and its sale of its Veyance Technologies subsidiary to Continental. The practice’s global chair is Los Angeles-based Robert Wyman and global vice-chair is Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander, who is ‘one of the smartest and most effective environmental lawyers’. Also recommended is Houston-based Joel Mack, who leads the environmental transactional support practice. Jean-Philippe Brisson joined the New York office from Linklaters LLP and is particularly rated for his work on carbon transactions.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP has ‘unparalleled knowledge’ and ‘quality across the spectrum of patent litigation, CMS reimbursement, regulatory law and antitrust’. Best known for its powerhouse capital markets and M&A practices, the firm nevertheless fields a robust regulatory team led by John Manthei, Stuart Kurlander and Benneville Haas, which supports the transactions teams and handles investigations and FDA approvals on a standalone basis. Signature deals included advising Allergan on its $66bn merger agreement with Actavis, and the latter on its $28bn acquisition of Forest Laboratories. The firm also assisted Boston Scientific on its expansive merger policy which in 2014 saw its acquisition of three companies for a $755m aggregate value. In licensing, key Silicon Valley partners Alan Mendelson, Judith Hasko and Mark Roeder advised OncoMed Pharmaceuticals on its agreement with Celgene to jointly develop six anti-cancer stem cell candidates from OncoMed’s pipeline. Daniel Brown, based in New York, is a main contact for IP litigation and Peter Handrinos and Cheston Larson, based in Boston and San Diego respectively, have notable expertise in early-stage finance.

[back to top]

Within Healthcare: service providers, tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP combines a leading government enforcement litigation practice in the capital with considerable West Coast regulatory capacity. In Washington DC, highly regarded attorneys such as Daniel Meron and Stuart Kurlander have been representing a range of clients subject to investigations, including HCA and UnitedHealth Group. A cross-office team including San Diego-based Katherine Lauer is representing Tenet Healthcare in a False Claims Act qui tam matter involving allegations of violations of the federal anti-kickback statutes, while Lauer and Los Angeles-based Daniel Settelmayer are advising Sheridan Healthcare as lead regulatory counsel on its $2.35bn sale to AmSurg in a signature deal.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP covers matters across the board including business interruption, property loss, professional liability, D&O, product liability and sport-related matters with a particular strength in environmental coverage. The Los Angeles office is the hub for environmental work and is also where global practice chair Peter Rosen is based. Several long-running matters continue with Brook Roberts and John Wilson of San Diego continuing to represent Fluor Corporation in its ongoing dispute with Hartford over the enforcement of anti-assignment provisions and the policyholder’s right to freely assign coverage benefits. Andrew Lundberg of Los Angeles also continues his work with Meritor, seeking coverage for thousands of asbestos bodily injury claims arising from the acquisition of Rockwell International’s automotive business. Further matters include assisting former directors and officers of PCNB in coverage litigation against a Travelers subsidiary, as well as representing the NFLPA in a putative class action alleging the client’s liability for concussion-related injuries sustained by former NFL players. Other clients include Allergan, Wynn Resorts and URS Corporation.

[back to top]

United States: Intellectual property

Within Patent licensing and transactional, Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

At Latham & Watkins LLP, Anthony Klein is the global co-chair of the technology transactions practice. The group is well regarded in the life sciences sphere; in 2014 it advised Alios BioPharma on the IP aspects of its $1.7bn acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Vivian Maese recently joined from Dechert LLP, and focuses on complex technology transactions in the financial services industry, and Geoffrey Kuziemko joined having previously worked in-house experience at Exelixis. All individuals mentioned are based in Silicon Valley and New York. Other key clients include OpenTable, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Avalanche Biotechnologies and Cadence Pharmaceuticals.

[back to top]

Within Patent litigation: full coverage, tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP provides ‘excellent industry advice, in-depth knowledge and well-rounded experience’ to an impressive client roster which includes Amazon, Adobe, InterDigital and Par Pharmaceutical. Recent work highlights include acting for the plaintiff in InterDigital v ZTE, a district court litigation where the jury found three patents valid and infringed, as well as representing InterDigital in a parallel ITC proceeding against several complainants, two of whom have taken the case to federal appeal. The firm is also notable for its strong Hatch-Waxman practice which is led by Chicago-based Kenneth Schuler and New York-based Daniel Brown, ‘some of the best patent lawyers in the Hatch-Waxman industry’. Schuler represented Cadence Pharmaceuticals in its ANDA dispute with Exela over patent exclusivity for Ofirmev, the only available IV formulation of acetaminophen in the US. Other key contacts include IP co-chairs Douglas Lumish in Silicon Valley and Matthew Moore in Washington DC; the latter defended Capital One in a five-patent infringement suit brought by Intellectual Ventures, all of which were invalidated due to lack of patentable subject matter. David Callahan and Ann Marie Wahls joined the Chicago office from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

[back to top]

Within Patent litigation: International Trade Commission, tier 4

Bert Reiser’s group at Latham & Watkins LLP is highly active in ITC appellate work; the firm acts for InterDigital in three patent infringement cases filed against respondents LG, Samsung, Nokia, Huawei and ZTE regarding patents covering 3G wireless technology, appealing the ITC’s termination of two investigations at the Federal Circuit. Reiser and Maximilian Grant also obtained exclusion and cease-and-desist orders on behalf of Crossmatch which were partially upheld in an appeal; the firm filed petitions for rehearing together with the ITC, both of which were granted by the Federal Circuit. On the defense side, the team represented AU Optronics in a patent action filed by Thomson Licensing, prevailing on all claims before the ITC and in a subsequent appeal. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP draws on its wider commercial litigation capabilities to handle various trademark disputes – while it is particularly in the technology sector, it also has niche expertise in contentious trademark matters in the nonprofit sector. Practice head Perry Viscounty in Silicon Valley has been handling several trademark disputes for Apple, most recently successfully defending it against trademark infringement claims by publisher JT Colby & Co regarding the use of the iBooks mark. Perry and San Diego-based Jennifer Barry successfully represented nonprofit medical center City of Hope in trademark litigation against City of Hope in Louisville. The same pair also successfully represented Behr Paints in a suit against competitors RPM International Inc and Rust-Oleum regarding the defendants’ use of the Deck Cover mark. Other clients include Ford, GE and The Heroes Project.

[back to top]

United States: Investment fund formation and management

Within Alternative/hedge funds, tier 5

In 2014, Latham & Watkins LLP enhanced its US and global hedge funds capabilities with a number of significant new additions. Enforcement expert John Sikora joined the Chicago office following a 16-year tenure at the SEC, while Nancy Kowalczyk joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. The London office was bolstered by the arrivals of Tom Alabaster, who came from The Carlyle Group, as well as Nick Benson, formerly of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Co-led by Nabil Sabki, Stephen Wink and Christopher Clark, the practice has marked an uptick in fund formation instructions, including those involving liquid alternatives, as well as enforcement-related mandates. Clients include Ares Management, V2 Capital and Ulysses Management LLC.

[back to top]

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

In 2014, Latham & Watkins LLP strengthened its US and global capabilities with a number of additions to the group, including former SEC assistant director John Sikora joining the Chicago office, along with Nancy Kowalczyk who moved from from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Co-led by global chairs Barton Clark, Scott Klein and Kathleen Walsh, the group acts for some of the largest global fund managers, and represented Onex in the formation of large-cap North America-focused buyout fund Onex Partners IV LP, which raised $5.15bn in capital commitments, surpassing its initial target of $4.5bn. Reflecting its M&A capabilities, the team acted for Highstar Capital in its acquisition by Oaktree Capital.

[back to top]

United States: Labor and employment

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

The ‘exceptionalLatham & Watkins LLP maintains an impressive client portfolio that incorporates investment trusts, private equity investors and their portfolio companies, and public companies. Emerging high-tech companies are covered too, by James Metz in Silicon Valley. The team’s strength lies in M&A-related EBEC work and covers governance and regulatory issues, stock and cash-based incentives, pensions and employee benefits, equity plan amendments and more. For compensation work, the team is considered to be ‘one of the best in the business’. David Della Rocca in Washington DC now co-chairs the benefits and compensation practice group together with James Barrall in Los Angeles. Together with London and US colleagues, Della Rocca led advice to The Carlyle Group on its acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, which raised complex cross-border employee benefit and employment issues. Together with the tax, corporate and finance teams, the EBEC group advised Actavis on its cross-border acquisition of Forest Laboratories. It also assisted Darden Restaurants with its sale of Red Lobster, which covered complex equity and employee benefit matters. Tax lawyer and EBEC expert Adam Kestenbaum in Washington DC was promoted to partner. Bradd Williamson is also recommended.

[back to top]

United States: Litigation

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

Although Latham & Watkins LLP’s team handles a diverse spread of international trade-related work, it is particularly well known for its prominence in government investigations and enforcement matters. Its capability in this area was further strengthened in 2014 through the arrival of former federal prosecutor Michael Fee into the firm’s Boston office from Ropes & Gray LLP. The ‘formidably talentedWilliam McGlone enjoys an excellent profile for export controls and economic sanctions-related advice and co-chairs the Washington DC-headquartered department alongside Les Carnegie; together they are representing CARE USA in compliance issues relating to US sanctions against Syria, Cuba, Sudan and Somalia. Among the firm’s recent CFIUS cases, Jarrett Taubman acted for Singapore and California-based Avago Technologies in its $6.6bn acquisition of semiconductor and software company LSI. In another highlight piece of work, Carnegie and Taubman advised Infrastructure Partners on CFIUS and export control issues relating to its $1.43bn sale of a 50% stake in the Ruby pipeline to Canada’s Veresen. Other key figures in the group include white-collar experts Alice Fisher and Maria Barton, who are based in Washington DC and New York respectively, and Washington DC-based customs specialist Sarah Nappi.

[back to top]

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

At Latham & Watkins LLP, Boston-based Kenneth Parsigian and Gwyn Williams attract praise for their impressive tobacco litigation credentials. Both are representing key client Philip Morris in a medical monitoring class action filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, in which plaintiffs seek to obtain a court-supervised medical surveillance program at an estimated cost of $187m. Chicago-based Mark Mester and counsel Kathleen Lally recently represented Electrolux in a class action before the Northern District of California, in which it was alleged that steel dryers sold by the client are not 100% steel; the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and the request for appeal was subsequently rejected by the Ninth Circuit. Mester, together with Washington DC-based Christine Rolph and William Rawson, also recently represented Masco in various nationwide class actions claiming significant personal injury and property damage resulting from allegedly defective diisocyanates and spray polyurethane foam (SPF); plaintiffs sought both compensatory and punitive damages, and a 50-state medical monitoring program for all homeowners whose residences had been affected by SPF, however following the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s 2013 decision to deny transfer and consolidation, the firm convinced plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss all claims by April 2014. Lally was promoted to counsel in 2014.

[back to top]

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

Recommended for its ‘high level of service’, Latham & Watkins LLP combines an impressive environmental regulatory practice with a strong product liability offering. The firm’s experience in large-scale matters is illustrated by its role as counsel to Riverside Cement Company in a mass tort involving 50 suits (including six medical monitoring class actions) alleging exposure to hexavalent chromium or other emissions from the client’s operational facilities; Los Angeles-based Kirk Wilkinson and Michael Romey have implemented a successful pre-litigation strategy. Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander is representing Buckeye Partners in a mass tort pending in state court in Washington County, Wisconsin arising from the accidental release of gasoline from a pipeline owned and operated by the client; the action involves over 400 individual plaintiffs who allege a range of injuries including severe emotional distress and diminution in property value.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP has ‘a truly nationwide practice’, with prominent litigators spread from coast to coast. Brian Glennon in Los Angeles is now global co-chair of securities litigation alongside Jeff Hammel in New York and William Baker III in Washington DC. New York’s James Brandt and Richard Owens are among the lawyers representing Deutsche Bank in RMBS cases across the US. The practice is often called upon by major accounting firms – Miles Ruthberg is defending Deloitte China and Ernst & Young in SEC proceedings and class actions respectively. New hires mark the upward trajectory of the Chicago office, which brought in former chair of litigation at DLA Piper Samuel Isaacson and SEC veteran John Sikora. There is also expansion in Los Angeles, where John Pierce, who has ‘a real trial presence’, joined from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The firm also has ‘a talented bench in Silicon Valley’, where Patrick Gibbs and Matt Rawlinson have a large technology client base; they defended the former CEO of sTec Inc in one of the SEC’s largest insider trading investigations. Kevin Metz in Washington DC and Peter Wald in San Francisco are acting for Weatherford International in several shareholder class actions.

[back to top]

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

Former Solicitor General of the United States Gregory Garre presides over the team at Latham & Watkins LLP which recently strengthened its ranks with the return of Melissa Sherry after serving for five years as an assistant to the United States Solicitor General in the Department of Justice. Garre was recently active in Fisher v University of Texas in which the firm successfully defended the University of Texas’ race conscious admissions program against an attack on the plan and on race-conscious admissions plans more generally. In the appellate courts, the widely regarded Richard Bress secured a victory in the New York State Court of Appeals on behalf of the American Beverage Association in a successful challenge to the City of New York’s ban on sugar-sweetened soft drinks; the Court of Appeals struck down the Soda Ban as ultra vires, and ruled that the New York City Board of Health had exceeded its executive authority. Another highlight saw Garre represent WildTangent in Ultramercial v Hulu, obtaining a dismissal of patent infringement allegations made against the client.

[back to top]

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

Perry Viscounty heads the team at Latham & Watkins LLP out of Silicon Valley which benefits from IP strength and from international reach into London, New York and Washington DC. San Francisco-based James Lynch is currently representing Lyft in litigation against the company’s former COO alleging breach of written contract, confidentiality agreement and fiduciary duty, by allegedly taking Lyft materials to a competitor. Other clients include household names such as Ford and GE. Matthew Rawlinson is another name to note in the firm’s Silicon Valley office. Viscounty and San Diego-based Jennifer Barry are ‘creative thinking with broad knowledge and show dedication’. All in all this is a firm that has ‘earned its reputation in the IP industry’.

[back to top]

Within White-collar criminal defense , Latham & Watkins LLP is a third tier firm,

The growing team at Latham & Watkins LLP recently saw Kathryn Ruemmler and Jonathan Su return to the Washington DC office from the Office of the White House Counsel and John Sikora and Michael Fee join the Chicago and Boston offices respectively. The practice, which is known for successfully handling one of few trials of a major corporation, is once again heading down this route in representing PG&E in relation to a pipeline explosion in a residential community. Other areas of expertise include environmental crime and data privacy. In New York, Richard Owens and Jeff Hammel are very active on the financial services front, including representing the British Bankers’ Association in all US litigation relating to allegations of manipulation of LIBOR, while in Washington DC, Alice Fisher and Brian Kowalski successfully obtained a declination from the DOJ with regards its FCPA investigation of Merck & Co. The highly rated David Schindler, who ‘provides tough but practical advice’, leads in Los Angeles.

[back to top]

United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Within M&A: large deals ($1bn+), Latham & Watkins LLP is a first tier firm,

One of Latham & Watkins LLP’s key features is its unmatched geographic reach – with multiple offices across the US and throughout the world it is a global giant in M&A. It also packs a considerable punch in New York, where it competes head-to-head against the elite Wall Street firms. The impact of this standing is demonstrated by its defense of healthcare company Allergan in the $53bn unsolicited takeover proposal by Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and Pershing Square Capital Management. Orange County’s Cary Hyden and Paul Tosetti in Los Angeles were the leader advisers to Allergan; the deal also illustrates the firm’s strength in the pharmaceutical sector. Safeway is another key client, originating from the firm’s San Francisco office – in 2014 San Francisco partner Scott Haber led the team that advised the client on its $9bn sale to Albertsons, another US-based food and drug retailer. The firm’s international offices are integral to generating inbound transactions into the US: prominent New York partner Adel Aslani-Far and Eli Hunt worked alongside Munich colleagues to advise Germany’s Siemens on its $7.6bn acquisition of Dresser-Rand. With its size and the depth of its resources, the firm covers a wide range of sectors including energy, technology, telecoms, healthcare and life sciences. Its status in the competitive energy market has also grown in recent years, especially following the launch of a Houston office in 2010: it recently advised Freeport-McMoRan on the $3.1bn sale of its Eagle Ford Shale assets to Encana. The M&A team is supported by a prominent finance practice and a formidable antitrust department in the US and in Europe, as well as an established tax team. William Finnegan, an expert in MLPs, and Sean Wheeler are key figures in Houston, while Washington DC-based Daniel Lennon and Paul Sheridan have excellent reputations, the former having a close association to private equity giant The Carlyle Group. Chicago’s Mark Gerstein and David Allinson in New York head the global M&A practice.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP grew its M&A litigation practice through the hires of Samuel Isaacson in Chicago from DLA Piper, where he served as litigation department chair, and Los Angeles-based trial lawyer John Mark Pierce from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The team secured a victory for US Airways in a shareholder lawsuit arising out of the $11bn merger between US Airways and American Airlines, the complaint alleging that US Airways’ board of directors breached its fiduciary duties. It also represented Safeway and individual directors in shareholder class actions resulting from its $9bn sale to Albertsons, controlled by Cerberus Capital Management, and acted for Actavis in a shareholder class action concerning its recently completed $28bn acquisition of Forest Laboratories. Washington DC-based William Baker III, Jeff Hammel in New York, and Los Angeles-based Brian Glennon are the global co-chairs. Blair Connelly in New York and Orange County-based Michele Johnson are also key litigators.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP’s commitment to the private equity sector in the US and across the world has earned it the attention of a vast array of private equity sponsors. With its deep bench of senior talent and extensive internal expertise it has attracted clients such as Platinum Equity, KKR, Apollo, Energy Capital, Leonard Green, Odyssey Partners, GTCR, BC Partners, Bain Capital, Yucaipa, Ares Management, and Global Infrastructure Partners. In 2014 the firm worked on a series of complex carve-out transactions, including Carlyle’s $4.15bn acquisition of Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics from Johnson & Johnson; the transaction involved operations in 45 jurisdictions around the world and was an example of the firm’s active practice in the healthcare sector. In other major transactions, it advised Onex, CPPIB and The Gates Corporation on the $5.4bn sale of the latter to Blackstone, in what was one of the largest LBOs in the world in 2014 and involved a dual-track process involving a possible IPO; this was also yet another deal that illustrated the strength of the firm’s geographic platform as it involved multiple offices across the globe. The firm’s market-leading leveraged finance practice is another string to its bow. Washington DC partner David Brown and New York’s Jennifer Perkins are the co-chairs of the private equity practice which includes immensely experienced and hugely respected New York partner Howard Sobel. Other key partners include Washington DC’s Daniel Lennon, who is principal partner for the Carlyle relationship. In New York, names to note are Raymond Lin, global chair of the M&A practice David Allinson, the ‘extremely bright, dedicated and thoughtfulTed Sonnenschein who is a ‘real star’, Tom Malone and David Kurzweil. The team overall is ‘incredibly sharp’, ‘smart’, ‘shrewd’, ‘extremely thorough’ and ‘commercial’.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP provides a unique platform to the emerging growth and venture community. It has genuine strength on both East and West Coasts, unrivalled public company expertise and it has the firm’s extensive international presence. It is the only elite international law firm to have a substantial presence in the four largest venture capital markets in the US; Boston, Silicon Valley, Southern California and NewYork. Clients that it has recently taken public include Achaogen, Ardelyx, Avalanche Biotechnologies, Calix, Codexis, Demand Media, Evoke Pharma and Nevro. Life sciences work on East and West Coasts was a key theme for the firm in 2014 with it working on a series of headline IPOs. In recent years, the firm has focused hard on developing relationships with the venture community, including Formation 8, Meritech Capital Partners and Nexus Venture Partners. It has worked on a series of financings for companies such as OpenGov, Illumio and Kidaptive. In other headline exit deals the firm represented OpenTable on its $2.6bn acquisition by The Priceline Group and advised the underwriters on Arista Networks’ $225m IPO. Boston’s John Chory is global co-chair of the emerging companies practice with a fine record in tech deals. Fellow co-chair of the team and Silicon Valley partner Patrick Pohlen is also strong in tech as well as life sciences. Los Angeles-based Daniel Burnham is a prominent name in the entertainment industry, while Silicon Valley’s Alan Mendelson is a standout figure in the life sciences sector.

[back to top]

United States: Media, technology and telecoms

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

Latham & Watkins LLP’s team regularly provides security and privacy advice to a custom mobile identity platform. The team is also providing COPPA compliance advice to AgeCheq, an ecosystem which aims to provide help for app developers who must comply with child privacy laws and for parents who can control their children’s web activity. Jennifer Archie heads the team from the Washington DC office and is supported by Kevin Boyle in the same office.

[back to top]

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

Anthony Klein and JD Marple, both in Silicon Valley, along with Jeremiah Wolsk in Washington DC, lead the outsourcing practice at Latham & Watkins LLP which advises clients on all aspects of outsourcing. Wolsk has particular foreign expertise in this area, having been involved in many technology and outsourcing deals in South Africa; highlight examples include representing a major financial institution and the South African revenue service. The team also represented a medical device manufacturer in a global system integration agreement with IBM for changes to certain elements of its ERP system. Key clients include Boston Scientific, Twitter, Old Mutual and Clorox.

[back to top]

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

With its extensive national and international presence, Latham & Watkins LLP has transactional and IP strength across a number of different areas: it is particularly strong in media technology, and also has significant experience in financial services, software and e-commerce, among others. Anthony Klein co-chairs the global technology transactions practice and the global IT hardware and software industry group; he recently represented Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in its multi-year agreement with Synopsis. JD Marple represented Twitch Interactive, an operator of a live video platform for online gaming, in the IP aspects of its $970m acquisition by Amazon. Another recent highlight saw the group advising Illinios Tool Works on the $3.2bn divestiture of its industrial packaging segment to The Carlyle Group. Other representative clients include Intuit, OpenTable, Monsanto and Avalanche Biotechnologies. Vivian Maese joined the New York team from Dechert LLP, and focuses on complex technology transactions in the financial services industry. 2014 also saw the firm boosting its entertainment, sports and media practice with the addition of six partners from O'Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles. Judith Hasko and Boston-based Sarah Gagan are further names to note. Unless otherwise specified, named attorneys are based in Silicon Valley.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP is often called upon by its telecoms clients for regulatory matters, as well as contentious, and transactional work. The team, led by John Janka, regularly represents clients before administrative agencies such as the FCC, FTC, ITC, federal executive agencies, the State Department, as well as other government bodies such as Congress or the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Matthew Brill, James Barker, and Lawrence Gotts are representing Time Warner Cable in a number of matters relating to its television, broadband and digital telephone services; these include advising the client on attempts to reform FCC and congressional retransmission consent rules governing the carriage of broadcast television signals on cable and satellite systems, as well as advising on the regulatory aspects of the client’s launch of the Los Angeles Lakers’ and Dodgers’ regional sports networks (RSNs), which in turn involved advising on FCC rules relating to program access and program carriage. Other clients include InterDigital, which it is representing in numerous patent litigation matters before the ITC and the District Court, and LightSquared, for which it is acting as regulatory counsel for its involvement in building a 4G LTE wireless network.

[back to top]

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

With 97 attorneys in its communications practice, Latham & Watkins LLP has the capacity to cover a wide range of areas within the industry, including wireless and wireline telecoms, satellite, cable television, broadcast, broadband services and internet, as well as emerging technologies. The team is led by John Janka and regularly acts for private equity firms, venture capital funds, banks, and other financial institutions that invest in the sector as well as companies. It is best known for M&A, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and other licensing, financing, and capital markets work. Time Warner Cable is a key client, and it has recently been advising on its proposed merger with Comcast; as well as strategic advice, it has been handling the FCC review and providing antitrust advice. Matthew Brill and James Barker are leading on the Time Warner Cable matter and Barker, together with Rachel Sheridan, also represented JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank in several notes offerings by Sirius XM Radio. As a longstanding client of the group, JP Morgan also instructed the firm in various other matters, including the amendment and restatement of a revolving credit facility for Cox Communications and Cox Enterprises for the refinancing of an existing debt. The firm recently recruited Joseph Calabrese, Christopher Brearton, Robert Haymer, Nancy Bruington, and Kenneth Deutsch from O'Melveny & Myers LLP to the Los Angeles office. Other key practitioners to note are Patrick Shannon and San Diego-based Craig Garner.

[back to top]

United States: Real estate and construction

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

Latham & Watkins LLP has a particularly splendid track record throughout California. The land use group, which forms part of the energy and infrastructure project siting and defense practice, naturally handles a large amount of matters in the energy industry, but is equally busy in the hospitality, retail, residential and industrial sectors. Highlights in 2014 included obtaining entitlements for a new one million sq ft mixed-use center in the Village at Westfield Topanga, as well as advising The Related Companies, a New York-based real estate company, on entitlements for the Grand Avenue project in Los Angeles. The client roster also includes NBCUniversal, JMB Realty and California American Water Company. Lucinda Starrett heads the practice from the Los Angeles office; in the same office, Beth Gordie and Benjamin Hanelin were promoted to counsel; Christopher Garrett in San Diego is another name to note. Laura Godfrey Zagar joined Perkins Coie LLP.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘broad-based’ practice demonstrates ‘professionalism, responsiveness, market knowledge and the ability to work through complex issues in very short periods of time’. Global co-head of real estate James Hisiger, who is based in New York and is ‘very in tune with the market’, worked alongside the ‘fantasticSony Ben-Moshe in San Diego to advise Bank of America on a $1.25bn senior secured refinancing along with a $300m senior unsecured note offering for Penn National Gaming as operator/lessee and manager of gaming and pari-mutuel properties, and a $1.15bn financing, concurrent with a $2.05bn senior bond offering, for GLP Financing LLC, a newly formed REIT and subsidiary of Gaming and Leisure Properties. Particularly noted for its hospitality expertise, the team is advising Starwood Capital Group Global on its acquisition of TMI Hospitality, a matter which was led by Edward Sonnenschein in New York and the ‘brilliantGary Axelrod in Chicago, who has ‘vast expertise in the hospitality sector’. New York-based Michelle Kelban, who is ‘always very responsive’, led advice to Constellation Barclay Holding U.S. LLC on its $240m purchase of an 80% stake in the Intercontinental New York Barclay Hotel, together with the financing of the acquisition and renovation. The team also advised MPG Office Trust during its $2.03bn sale to Brookfield Office Properties. Chicago-based Robert Buday is recommended along with David Meckler in Orange County and Los Angeles-based Kevin Ehrhart. The ‘brilliant’ Scott McPhee joined the Los Angeles office from Morrison & Foerster LLP.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP boasts a highly diversified and experienced REIT practice: in close cooperation, the securities and M&A, finance and real estate as well as the tax, benefits and compensations groups continue to act for industry heavyweights both on the issuer and underwriter side. Recent M&A work in the REIT space saw the three-partner team of William Cernius, John Newell and the highly regarded Michael Brody advise BRE Properties on its merger with Essex Property Trust, resulting in the creation of a $16.2bn West Coast multifamily REIT. Conversion and restructuring work included assisting Senior Resource Group with a complex restructuring of the ownership and the financing of the client’s portfolio of senior housing communities in three states. The practice also frequently represents clients in at-the-market (ATM) offerings: the well-regarded Julian Kleindorfer led the advice to Bank of America Merrill Lynch on its $150m ATM offering to Parkway Properties. Lewis Kneib was promoted to the partnership and M&A expert David Wheeler was made counsel.

[back to top]

United States: Tax

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

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘very impressive’ tax practice is led by global department chair David Raab in New York, while transactional tax practice chair Kirt Switzer, who succeeded Los Angeles-based Sam Weiner in the post, is based in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Raab’s work included advising The Carlyle Group on its $4.15bn acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business. His colleagues in New York include Lisa Watts, who represented Siemens in its acquisition of the Dresser-Rand Group. Cheryl Coe who is based in Washington DC, advised Riverstone Holdings on global fundraising and strategic co-investments; Chicago’s Alan Van Dyke was also involved in this matter, as well as advising Onex Partners IV and its parallel vehicles on the raising of $5.15bn. Diana Doyle is another key Chicago lawyer who regularly acts for Koch Industries; she recently advised the client and its subsidiaries on several acquisitions and investments, including the $7.2bn acquisition of Molex. In Houston, Timothy Fenn represented an oil and gas exploration and production company in its sale to Encana Corporation for $7.1bn. Grace Chen, a colleague of Switzer in the Bay Area, worked alongside the latter to assist Safeway with its proposed sale to Albertsons. Los Angeles is home to five tax partners, including Laurence Stein and Pardis Zomorodi; the former represented Actavis in its $28bn acquisition of Forest Laboratories, and the latter was the lead tax partner advising Darden Restaurants on its sale of Red Lobster. Also recommended are Washington DC’s Nicholas DeNovio and Boston’s David Kahn. John Clair has now retired.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP is widely regarded as one of the leaders in this space, regularly advising on tax-heavy deals and covering spin-off, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and complex capital markets offerings. The US team works closely with colleagues in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Singapore. Nicholas DeNovio in Washington DC is the practice chair; he and Los Angeles-based Laurence Stein recently led advice to Actavis on its acquisition of Forest Laboratories. Kirt Switzer in San Francisco acted for Safeway in the proposed sale to Albertsons LLC (owned by Cerberus Capital Management) which had a transaction value of $9bn. Other high-profile M&A deals include The Carlyle Group’s acquisition of Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business, the sale of Questcor to Mallinckrodt, and Siemens’ acquisition of Dresser-Rand Group. Raymond Holst, Jiyeon Lee-Lim and Davis Raab, all based in New York, are other names to note.

[back to top]

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

Latham & Watkins LLP’s lawyers are ‘masters of the technical rules but also keen to adopt the best strategy for clients’, ‘provide excellent timely responses across the board and have very good knowledge of clients’ businesses’. The ‘innovativeGerald Kafka in Washington DC and the ‘wonderful' Miriam Fisher, who is ‘very experienced in government matters’, co-lead the group. The team is widely recognized for its litigation skills but also for its ability to resolve cases short of litigation. It also has a leading reputation for advising on US tax enforcement abroad. The firm successfully represented Shea Homes before the US Tax Court in its application of the completed contract method of accounting for residential housing developments (which allows deferred payment of income until completion of the development); the IRS has recently filed a notice of appeal. In an ongoing matter, it is acting on behalf of Wells Fargo before the US Court of Federal Claims, in a case testing the IRS’ position, with the aim of recovering $350m of interest-netting relating to six major bank mergers over a ten-year period; the overall value of the claim is $400m. The ‘knowledgeable and responsiveBrian McManus is another name to note.

[back to top]

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.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi


Offices in Brussels


Offices in Shanghai and Beijing


Offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, and Dusseldorf


Offices in Madrid and Barcelona


Offices in Paris

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong


Latin America: International firms



Offices in Milan and Rome


Offices in Tokyo


Offices in London



Offices in Doha


Offices in Moscow


Offices in Singapore

South Korea

Saudi Arabia

Offices in Riyadh

United States

Offices in Chicago, Washington DC, Silicon Valley, Costa Mesa, Newark, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, Menlo Park, and Los Angeles

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to