TOP tier recommendations
United States: Finance > Financial services: regulatory
United States: Finance > Structured finance
United States: Litigation > White-collar criminal defense
United States: Finance
Within Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy), tier 7
From New York, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP concentrates on creditor representations, but it also acts for debtors and acquirers, and is known for its strong record in contentious bankruptcies. Adam Harris heads the team and recently acted alongside Brian Pfeiffer to advise Owl Creek Asset Management as one of the largest creditors in the Washington Mutual bankruptcy - it also defended Owl Creek against allegations of inequitable conduct and insider trading. The firm also represented an ad hoc group of second-lien noteholders - including affiliates of Tennenbaum Capital Partners and JPMorgan Investment Management - in their purchase of substantially all of the assets of Real Mex Restaurants.
Within Financial services: regulatory, tier 8
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s seven-partner team provides ‘highly practical and business-oriented advice’ across the spectrum of regulatory issues affecting the investment fund industry. The ‘impressive’ Joseph Vitale is ‘particularly knowledgeable regarding matters at the intersection between the private equity and banking worlds’, and has represented the Clinton Group in the acquisition of equity interests in numerous financial institutions including as lead investor in the recapitalization of Pacific Mercantile Bank. Spearheaded by the ‘outstanding’ Donald Mosher, the firm also excels at handling the myriad regulatory issues affecting the payments industry. The ‘premier expert in emerging payments’, Mosher is a ‘genuinely nice guy that has made great connections with regulators and has gained their respect over the years for being a responsible, smart, thoughtful and respectful attorney’. Other recommended partners include Eleazer Klein, who is ‘particularly strong advising on hedge fund regulatory compliance issues’.
Within Structured finance , Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is a third tier firm,
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s New York-housed Paul Watterson, ‘practical, knows how to move deals along, and does them well’, and Craig Stein co-head a four partner group which straddles structured products and derivatives. Well supported by the tax practice, the group provides a sophisticated expertise which attracts complex instructions. In recent instructions, Philip Azzollini and Stein acted as counsel to Wells Fargo Bank on the restructuring of a collateralized debt obligation transaction. Watterson acted for as counsel to Prudential Investment Management, the collateral manager, and as US counsel to the co-issuers in connection with a CLO issuance of $413m. Stein also represented credit fund manager Claren Road Asset Management, to negotiate participation in a credit facility in the form of a Total Return Swap (TRS) with Credit Suisse Group, in which Claren acquired participation in loans to an Indonesian multinational under a revolving credit facility. Joseph Suh is recommended for his expertise across the structured and derivatives field and special counsel Kristin Boggiano highly rated in the derivatives space. The group has acted for Cerberus Capital Management, Deerfield Capital Management, Fortress Investment Group, Guggenheim Partners and Wells Fargo Securities.
United States: Investment fund formation and management
Within Alternative/hedge funds, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is a first tier firm,
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has over 40 years’ experience representing the leading hedge fund managers, including approximately half of the 100 largest hedge funds, firmly placing it among the top echelon of legal advisors in the alternative asset management arena. Its investment management group is made up of 15 partners and 66 other fee-earners, all of whom devote themselves exclusively to structuring all types of alternative investment funds, from hedge funds to funds of hedge funds and hybrid funds for existing fund managers as well as a growing number of new investment managers. Its tax, ERISA, financing, M&A and regulatory and compliance expertise has made it a destination firm in all disciplines, with regulatory issues continuing to dominate the discourse surrounding alternative funds in 2012. It has also benefitted from a year that saw the largest number of hedge fund launches in the first quarter since the industry’s peak in 2007; highlights included representing Centerbridge Partners LP in the formation of a new $1.95bn credit fund. In an indication of the ongoing consolidation in the market and its strength in investment advisory M&A, it also represented Perella Weinberg Partners Capital Management LP in its acquisition of a proprietary trading team from Deutsche Bank and the subsequent formation of the PWP Diversified Equities Funds. Stephanie Breslow and Steven Fredman jointly head the team, and are recommended alongside senior statesman Paul Roth and regulatory compliance expert Marc Elovitz. The team was joined by a number of lawyers from the now-defunct Dewey & LeBouef LLP and from in-house positions.
Within Private equity funds, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is a third tier firm,
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s alternative investment management practice spans both hedge and private equity matters for a client base of institutional fund managers. The practice was significantly strengthened by the arrival of the legacy Dewey & LeBeouf LLP private equity team, which brought with it expertise in real estate funds and secondary transactions, as well as several new clients including GE Asset Management and LCN Capital Partners. This expertise supplements the practice’s existing strength in distressed-focused funds, where it continues to represent Black Diamond Capital Management LLC, an alternative asset management firm which specializes in distressed debt, mezzanine, and turnaround investments. The newly recruited Joseph Smith represented Kotak Mahindra in the formation of two Indian private equity funds. The firm has also been advising a number of Latin American fund managers, including representing Hemisferio Sul Investimentos SA in the formation of a Brazilian real estate private equity fund. Other highlights included representing NewSpring Capital in the formation of a growth capital fund, and representing Tishman Speyer Properties LLP in the formation of a real estate fund to pursue value-added investments in North America. Practice co-head Stephanie Breslow comes highly recommended.
United States: Litigation
Within Securities: shareholder litigation, tier 4
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s ‘diverse and premier client base gives the firm cutting edge institutional knowledge on almost any issue’. The group, although fairly small consistently attracts complex, high-value instructions. The Washington DC-based Howard Schiffman’s ‘industry knowledge and business is top notch’. In New York, fellow co-chair Martin Perschetz is ‘very capable and good to work with’, Mark Mandel has a ‘keen awareness of client needs and satisfying client expectations’, and Gary Stein is ‘accessible, available, and makes our company his number one priority’. Another client notes, ‘where we employed multiple firms on particular issues, we found it to be superior and have transferred the vast majority of our legal work, particularly in litigation’. Richard Morvillo left for Morvillo Law. Practice clients include National Westminster Bank, Tontine Capital Partners and H&R Block.
Within White-collar criminal defense , tier 8
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is highly rated by clients for its ‘exceptional service levels’ and ‘subject matter expertise that is of the highest quality’. Already a credible player, it was given a further boost in 2013 by the arrival of Barry Bohrer, a former name partner of popular boutique Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C.. However, this was shortly preceded by the departure of Richard Morvillo who left to form Morvillo Law. Boher is located in the New York office, while the Washington, DC office includes the ‘exceptional’ Peter White. Meanwhile, the New York office is home to talented attorneys such as litigation co-chair Martin Perschetz and Sung-Hee Suh. The firm represents various financial organizations both in the US and abroad, and has a number of household names on its roster. Areas of expertise include anti-money laundering, OFAC, antitrust, FCPA, tax and public corruption, and it was recently instructed by Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA), following the seizure by the DOJ of over $6m of the company’s own funds from its interbank accounts in the US. Other mandates included acting for two Cayman Islands-based investment funds, in SEC enforcement proceedings over an alleged Ponzi scheme.
United States: Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts
Within M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m), Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is a second tier firm,
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has offices in both New York and Washington DC. The practice regularly represents clients on billiondollar-plus M&A deals, in addition to smaller-sized transactions, with many of the transactions being cross-border deals. The M&A practice is especially well known for distressed acquisitions and the private equity group represents several of the most active private equity and hedge funds, and their portfolio companies, in a variety of deals. The team represented Cerberus Capital Management in its $950m acquisition of 53% of AT&T’s Yellow Pages - Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive Businesses, and associated recapitalization; advised Charming Shoppes, the parent company of three, nationwide women’s apparel retailers - Lane Bryant, Catherines Plus Sizes and Fashion Bug - on its $890m cash sale to Ascena Retail Group; and acted for Morton’s Restaurant Group (Morton’s) in its completed sale to affiliates of Tilman J Fertitta (Fertitta), pursuant to which Fertitta launched a tender offer to acquire all of Morton’s outstanding common stock, with the expectation that it would acquire all non-tendered shares in a second-step merger, to be consummated, substantially, with the tender offer’s completion. The practice also advised private equity firm, Pouschine Cook Capital Management, on the $175m sale of its North Carolina-based portfolio company, Doe & Ingalls Management, a premium provider of specialty production chemicals and customized, supply-chain services to the life sciences and microelectronics industries, to Thermo Fisher Scientific, which serves the scientific, pharmaceutical and health care communities; and represented Levine Leichtman Capital Partners in its acquisition of privately-held, lawn care company Lawn Doctor, a franchiser of residential lawn care businesses and operator of 460 independently-owned franchise locations that offer lawn, tree, and shrub and pest control services. M&A group chair Marc Weingarten, Stuart Freedman and David Rosewater are key contacts.
United States: Real estate and construction
Within Real estate, tier 5
New entrant to the table Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has a five-partner team based in the firm’s New York office, with a focus on private equity transactions. It is led by Jeffrey Lenobel and includes Marshall Brozost, formerly of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Lenobel is acting for the Museum of Modern Art on the development of a new tower with gallery space, having previously represented the museum on the acquisition of the land and building housing the American Folk Art Museum. Brozost represented the Praedium Group in matters involving 16 properties with an aggregate value of $500m. The firm also completed work for the Kyo-ya Company and a subsidiary in relation to six resort hotels in Waikiki and Maui, Hawaii, and San Francisco; the hotels secured a $1.25bn securitized mortgage loan and the team, led by Lenobel and Bruce Cybul, negotiated $1.85bn mortgage and mezzanine refinancing.
United States: Tax
Within Domestic tax: East Coast, tier 5
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s firm-wide focus on the financial services industry necessitates a strong tax department, which is provided by the seven-partner New York-based team. The practice is recognized for its strength in the area of hedge, private equity and alternative investment funds, and the firm’s other practice areas require the expertise of the tax department to provide clients with a holistic service. Alan Waldenberg heads the practice and led the firm’s advice to Cerberus Capital Management in its $950m acquisition of 53% of AT&T’s advertising solutions and interactive businesses. Philippe Benedict and Shlomo Twerski have worked on a number of fund launches for multiple investment management clients.
Further information on Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
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Offices in London
- Finance : Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy)
- Finance : Financial services: regulatory
- Finance : Structured finance
- Investment fund formation and management : Alternative/hedge funds
- Investment fund formation and management : Private equity funds
- Litigation : Securities: shareholder litigation
- Litigation : White-collar criminal defense
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
- Real estate and construction : Real estate
- Tax : Domestic tax: East Coast