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Latham & Watkins LLP

Michael Benjamin

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Latham & Watkins LLP

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Michael Benjamin is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins where he is a member of the firm’s Capital Markets Practice. Mr. Benjamin has built a leading capital markets practice representing issuers and investment banks in a broad range of public and private transactions, including: high yield and investment grade debt offerings, initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, leveraged buyouts, cross-border securities offerings and liability management transactions.


Corporate Partner


United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings

Within: Capital markets: debt offerings

Latham & Watkins LLP reinforced its capital markets team in 2016 with the hires of Washington DC-based counsel Paul Dudek, who was formerly chief of the SEC’s office of international corporate finance, and Michael Benjamin, who joins the New York office from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Regularly acting for both issuers and underwriters in a mix of investment grade and high-yield offerings, the group also draws on the firm’s global footprint to excel in cross-border matters. In a recent example, New York-based Gregory Rodgers and Orange County-based Charles Ruck led a US team that worked alongside the firm’s London office to advise Amgen on its CHF700m offering of bonds listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange - the firm also acted for Amgen during its $4.9bn debt exchange offer. In an underwriter-side highlight, Washington DC-based Rachel Sheridan and counsel Brandon Bortner assisted JP Morgan with Exxon Mobil’s issuance of six tranches of fixed rate notes and two tranches of floating rate notes totaling $12bn. In New York, Marc Jaffe and Ian Schuman are also recommended, while Patrick Shannon is a key name in Washington DC. Kirk Davenport retired in 2016.

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Capital markets: equity offerings

Within: Capital markets: equity offerings

Strong in all areas’, Latham & Watkins LLP has a ‘broad and deep team’ which is noted for its ‘specialist “big game” experience’. The already sizeable practice increased significantly in 2016, following the hires of Washington DC-based counsel Paul Dudek (formerly chief of the SEC’s office of international corporate finance) and New York-based Michael Benjamin (from Shearman & Sterling LLP). The firm continues to garner roles on some of the most high-profile equity deals to hit the market. Most notably, New York-based global co-chair Witold Balaban teamed up with Courtenay Myers and the Hong Kong office to advise the underwriters on SoftBank’s issuance of $5.5bn mandatory exchangeable trust securities, convertible into Alibaba shares in three years. On the issuer side, New York-based global corporate chair and ‘leader in his fieldMarc Jaffe and New York-based Ian Schuman assisted Camping World Holdings with its $250m IPO. Chicago’s Cathy Birkeland is also recommended. Kirk Davenport retired in 2016.

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Capital markets: global offerings

Within: Capital markets: global offerings

Latham & Watkins LLP continues to make a major impression on the global capital markets, with US-based lawyers regularly working alongside market-leading practices in key regions such as Asia and Europe (the firm has the leading high-yield practice in London). The US team has continued to expand through several high-profile recruits; most notably, New York’s Michael Benjamin from Shearman & Sterling LLP and Washington DC’s, Paul Dudek, who was previously chief of the Office of International Corporate Finance at the SEC. The firm’s deal list was similarly impressive, with advice to Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho and Goldman Sachs as underwriters during Softbank’s issue of $5.5bn mandatory exchangeable trust securities convertible into Alibaba shares in three years. New York partners Ian Schuman and Witold Balaban jointly chair the global team with Cathy Birkeland in Chicago.

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings

Within: Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings

Latham & Watkins LLP’s well-balanced practice acts on an enviable volume of both issuer and underwriter-side matters, ably demonstrating its ‘broad expertise and deep experience in high-yield debt’. The firm’s ability in pathfinder transactions is also a significant attraction, and clients say ‘it is first in line for innovative deals that need creative lawyers’. New York-based Marc Jaffe is ‘second-to-none in the high-yield space’; he and Senet Bischoff advised Toys R Us on its landmark bond exchange and refinancing of long-term debt, as well as on a private placement of additional new secured notes. New York-based department co-head Ian Schuman worked on several deals for high-profile underwriter clients. In another standout deal, Houston-based high-yield debt specialist Michael Chambers advised Goldman Sachs on American Energy - Permian Basin’s $530m offering of senior secured first lien notes. New York’s Gregory Rodgers and Washington DC-based partners Jason Licht and Patrick Shannon are also recommended. Kirk Davenport retired in 2016 but the firm hired Michael Benjamin from Shearman & Sterling LLP, who has a strong background in high-yield debt.

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