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United States : Finance
Within Asset finance and leasing, tier 4
Sidley Austin LLP’s New York-based transportation practice advises on a variety of asset-based transactions relating to equipment including aircraft, rail cars, containers, and shipping vessels. Clients include underwriters, lenders, insurers, borrowers and manufacturers. Paul Risko’s clients includes asset management firms, investment banks and pension funds, and his expertise spans securities, corporate finance and private equity; he has strong ties to the industry in Asia Pacific. Of counsel Rory Kelleher is also recommended; his practice is centered on aircraft finance, structured finance and equipment leasing. He predominantly advises manufacturers of aircraft and aircraft equipment or rail transportation products, as well as financial institutions and leasing companies. Past work has included advising a lender in relation to the Delta Air Lines bankruptcy, and representing an aviation corporation on aircraft purchase agreements with Airbus SAS.
Within Bank lending (including other sources of financing), tier 6
Sidley Austin LLP is an ‘outstanding firm with a very deep bench’, is ‘solution oriented’ and ‘great with clients’. Its core team is based in Chicago, where practice head James Clark is based. Areas of expertise include leveraged acquisitions, recapitalization financings, cross-border financings, letter of credit facilities and working capital financings. The group is also able to draw on the strong bankruptcy capabilities of the wider firm. Its impressive roster of clients includes Bank of America, Barclays Bank, BNP Paribas, Summit Partners, Union Bank and core client JPMorgan Chase. A team led by Robert Lewis in Chicago represented Colgate-Palmolive as borrower under a $1.8bn credit facility for which Citibank acted as administrative agent. The group also advised Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays Bank as administrative agents in concurrent $1.1bn, $400m and $300m credit facilities to DTE Energy, Michigan Consolidated Gas Company and The Detroit Edison Company. Well-respected attorney Zulfiqar Bokhari led a team acting for JPMorgan Chase as administrative agent on a $1.4bn credit facility to LKQ. Other recommended individuals at the firm include Mark Kirsons and Allison Satyr, in Chicago, and Pamela Martinson in Palo Alto.
Within Capital markets: debt offerings , Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP has an outstanding debt capital markets practice, and is particularly well known for providing advice to manager clients on investment grade debt offerings. A recognised leader in this area, recent mandates include representing the underwriters in two senior notes offerings by Occidental Petroleum of $2.6bn and $2.15bn, transactions led by Eric Haueter in the firm’s San Francisco office. Haueter also assisted the underwriters on the establishment of a $5bn global MTN program, a $500m global notes offering and a further $1.85bn global notes offering by The Walt Disney Company. The highly recommended Edward Petrosky has a depth of experience, and together with James O’Connor, advised the underwriters of PSEG Power’s $500m notes offering, and the underwriters of a $250m issuance of two series of notes by the Public Service Electricity and Gas Company. The team continues to develop its capabilities on the issuer side, and in 2011, O’Connor and Craig Chapman notably assisted Aon Corporation in a $500m issuance of notes. O’Connor also advised Colgate-Palmolive Company on two MTN offerings, of aggregate amount $500m. Chicago-based Larry Barden provided issuer counsel to FLIR systems regarding its $250m notes offering. Samir Gandhi also advised Maiden Holdings North America on its $107.5m notes issuance. Also recommended are Jonathan Miller and senior counsel Norman Slonaker, who bring significant and longstanding experience to the group. Lisa Reátegui left the firm in 2011 for an in-house position. All individuals are based in New York unless mentioned otherwise.
Within Capital markets: equity offerings , Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
The ‘extremely knowledgeable and helpful’ team at Sidley Austin LLP provides a ‘great service’ on equity offerings, particularly to financial institutions. The Chicago-headquartered firm also has excellent capital markets capabilities in New York and San Francisco. The group is rated for being ‘available at all hours of the day and willing to explain legal documents’, and clients also value the strength-in-depth across all levels. Practice head Edward Petrosky is based in New York, and led in advising the underwriters on a $351m offering of common stock by Home Properties, and also acted as underwriters’ counsel in the $569m IPO of RLJ Lodging Trust. ‘One of the best for executing equity transactions’, Samir Gandhi is ‘very professional and knowledgeable’; Gandhi recently advised the underwriters regarding the $322.5m IPO of First Republic Bank, and acted as underwriters’ counsel in Fuel System Solutions’ $69m offering of common stock. Eric Haueter, in San Francisco, advised the underwriters on several common stock offerings by Realty Income of $300.2m, $214.2m and $248m. Issuer mandates included advising PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust on two offerings of common stock totaling $491m, and Starwood Property Trust on two offerings of common stock totaling $930.5m; both transactions were led by J Gerard Cummins in New York. Chicago-based Larry Barden also represented the issuers on Owens Corning’s $258.3m offering of common stock. Also recommended are James O’Connor, Bartholomew Sheehan, Robert Mandell and associate Robert Ryan, all based in the New York office.
Within Corporate restructuring, tier 4
Headquartered in Chicago, Sidley Austin LLP’s practice is also represented by partners in the firm’s Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC offices. Led by bankruptcy co-chairs Larry Nyhan (‘one of the best global insolvency attorneys around, particularly strong in contested Chapter 11s’) and James Conlan (‘excellent negotiator’, ‘the man you want fighting in your corner’), this ‘professional and business savvy’ team counts on the services of over 30 partners in the US alone and is recommended it for its ‘very good expertise and efficient case management’. The firm’s debtor-side practice continues to gain in profile and it has become a real contender for some of the market’s most newsworthy cases. Highlight examples included acting for energy company Dynergy Holdings in its Chapter 11 proceedings, involving approximately $13.8bn in total assets and $6.2bn in total liabilities, and also acting for America’s largest employee-owned media and entertainment business, Tribune Company, in its Chapter 11 case – involving around $13bn in total funded debt. The firm also has a good name for creditor work and its strong international capability ensures a regular flow of cross-border mandates. Domestic creditor highlights included acting for General Electric Capital Corporation as agent for a senior debt syndicate with claims against Heartland Publications. Clients also single out the ‘hardworking’ Matthew Clemente and the ‘technically excellent’ Dennis Twomey for praise.
Within Financial services: litigation, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Securities class actions form the backbone of Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘smart and strategic’ financial services practice. JPMorgan Chase & Co is a longstanding client of the firm (as are various entities therein), and it has instructed the team on numerous disputes concerning MBS and the securitization of collateral mortgage obligations. Litigation arising from IPOs has been one of the key drivers of work for this ‘thorough and professional’ practice in recent years, and it has defended numerous financial institutions in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Robert Pietrzak, Andrew Stern and Dorothy Spenner helped underwriters Merrill Lynch and UBS to achieve a $13m settlement with Chinese investors who claimed for $1bn of American depository shares issued following Giant Interactive Group’s IPO. Stern and Nicholas Crowell represented BlackRock Mortgage Investors before the US Bankruptcy Court, in a case concerning a credit default swap with Lehman Brothers. This ‘creative’ duo also acted for Japanese client The Norinchukin Bank in 20 LIBOR class actions. On the regulatory and enforcement side, Paul Gerlach and Barry Rashkover are recommended, and both have served at the SEC. Gary Bendinger is a key resource for accountancy firms entangled in securities disputes and is ‘a particularly strong strategist’.
Within Financial services: regulatory, tier 4
Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘experienced’ 16-partner Washington DC-based team provides an ‘excellent service’ to a diverse client base that includes banks, insurance companies, broker-dealers and retailers, across the spectrum of regulatory compliance, transactional-related regulatory concerns and enforcement/investigations. Able to call upon the expertise of lawyers within related areas including banking, M&A and capital markets, the team has been handling a significant amount of transactional work as banks adapt to the various strictures imposed on them by regulatory changes in the market. ‘Excellent’ team head William Eckland recently provided the regulatory input for the underwriter on First Republic’s $3.2bn IPO. Eckland also provided regulatory advice to Western Union on its £606m acquisition of the global business payment division of London-based currency trader Travelex. The team provides ‘invaluable advice’, both on a strategic and pure compliance level, to a host of banks on Dodd-Frank regulations and its likely interplay with the new Basel III regulatory regime. New York-based Connie Friesen focuses exclusively on advising foreign banks and has been kept particularly busy advising Chinese banks as they continue to focus their expansionary plans on the US market. As well as recently helping establishing New York branches for a number of Chinese banks including the China Merchants Bank, Friesen recently represented Oversea-Chinese Bank on its $5bn offering of commercial paper in the US. Consumer finance also remains a real driver for the firm. Praised for his ability to ‘communicate complex concepts to the non-expert’, David Teitelbaum provides ‘practical, common-sense advice’ to financial institution clients across a swathe of regulatory matters. However, he is best known for his work within the payments systems arena and continues to represent the National Automated Clearing House Association across all areas of regulation and the ongoing development of the automated clearinghouse payment system. The firm’s prowess in the consumer finance arena is exemplified by its ongoing representation of MasterCard on domestic public policy, regulatory and compliance issues affecting payment systems, banks and other financial institutions. Also active in more esoteric regulatory areas, the team works increasingly closely with the firm’s privacy, data security and information law group across the panoply of privacy matters affecting financial institutions. Clients include Fortress Investment Group, Discover Financial Services, UBS, Morgan Stanley and Citibank.
Within Project finance, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s team is led out of New York by Irving Rotter and also has Washington DC-based expertise. It has an excellent name in energy matters, particularly solar and wind projects for sponsors, and also handles transport and infrastructure deals for prominent clients such as Anchorage Capital, Barclays Capital, Highstar Capital, Towpath Partners, KDC Solar and WestLB. It acted for HSH Nordbank on the $535m project financing of a 202MW wind energy generating facility in Washington State; and on the construction financing of a 262MW wind power facility in Washington State and its permanent financing through a prepay arrangement. A team including Rotter, Gregory McMahon and Neil Horner acted for WestLB on the sale, under section 363 of the US Bankruptcy Code, of its collateral, a biodiesel refinery and associated intellectual property, in exchange for the assumption of $36m of the indebtedness owed to WestLB. The firm opened a new office in Houston, recruiting seven partners including Glenn Pinkerton and Sergio Pozzerle, who bring expertise in energy-related projects from Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. and McDermott Will & Emery LLP, respectively. Also recommended are New York-based Anne Falvey and Washington DC’s David Hill. Ayaz Shaikh added further oil and gas expertise to the Washington DC team when he arrived from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in 2011; and Timothy Moran also joined from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, and represents lenders, project sponsors and developers. Los Angeles partners Sean Moran and Michael Joyce, who focus their practices on the use of complex and innovative structures to finance projects in the renewable energy field, as well as in fossil fuel and other infrastructure assets, also arrived from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.
Within Structured finance , Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
The ‘fantastic’ team at Sidley Austin LLP has ‘very good expertise in structured finance’ and a ‘service-oriented approach’. With on-the-ground presence in the New York, Chicago and San Francisco, the US practice is led by Renwick Martin and George Petrow. Hailed as ‘the “go-to” group for ABS or CMBS matters’, work highlights included assisting JPMorgan Chase on two ABS issuances of fixed-rate class A notes by Volkswagen Auto Lease Trust totaling $2.5bn, and advising Wells Fargo on three MBS offerings of commercial mortgage pass-through certificates totaling $4.2bn. For derivatives and structured products, Robert Robinson is ‘diligent, creative and highly responsive’, and Ellen Pesch co-heads the OTC derivatives group, and represents the International Swaps and Derivatives Association on various regulatory matters. Jeff Liebmann is singled out by clients and recently worked with Pesch on advising a large, international investment bank on the creation and issuance of a mortality-linked note program, which is the first of its kind to be offered in the US. Other noteworthy practitioners include the ‘responsive and thoughtful’ Kevin Hochberg (‘very knowledgeable in the container ABS space’) and Gary Stern (‘very good for entertainment-related finance’). In June 2011, derivatives partner Robert Aicher retired.
United States : Industry focus
Within Energy: litigation, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP‘s Washington DC-based energy litigation practice focuses on oil and gas matters. It is advising PG&E in state and appellate court cases stemming from the 2000-2001 California energy crisis, as well as in FERC proceedings. PG&E was the largest buyer of power at the time of the blackout and is seeking to recover overcharges from sellers resulting from the sustained price spikes. With billions of dollars still at issue, the team is leading the litigation for PG&E, and has achieved successful appeals at the DC and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, spawning hundreds of petitions for review in the Ninth Circuit. There is also a pending trial at the FERC and a judgment in a related action tried in the Court of Federal Claims remains outstanding. The team also provides broad-ranging representation for key client ExxonMobil in appellate litigation and arbitration. Global practice coordinator Eugene Elrod and William Williams are recommended.
Within Energy: regulatory, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s broad-based energy regulatory practice is highly recommended by clients. The team has represented consumer appliance and equipment manufacturers relating to Department of Energy rulemakings and enforcement arising from mandatory energy efficiency standards and test procedures, as well as the voluntary Energy Star program. It is advising a major privately owned oilfield services company in ongoing investigations and Congressional legislative activity regarding hydraulic fracturing. The team continues to represent Mobil Pipeline Company in respect of its denied application to the FERC to charge market-based rates for its Pegasus pipeline system, which is under review by the DC Court of Appeals. It is also advising Pacific Gas and Electric Company in ongoing proceedings arising from the California energy crisis, including another FERC proceeding set for March 2012. Additionally, it continues to act for TransCanada regarding its Keystone crude oil pipeline, providing regulatory advice regarding rates and terms of service, and environmental impact statements for cross-border Presidential permitting, which was subject to Congressional approval of the North American Made Energy Security Act to expedite pipeline development. Eugene Elrod and David Hill are the global practice coordinators. The ‘outstanding’ William Williams has ‘a great personality’, is knowledgeable, experienced, and highly esteemed by FERC staff. Lorrie Marcil is also recommended.
Within Environment: litigation, Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s team is ‘very professional, knowledgeable and very strong in all aspects in the environmental field’, and the ‘overall level of service is superb’: ‘expensive, but worth the money’. The practice spans the full range of activities in the economic and industrial sectors, advising clients in transportation, energy, chemicals, electronics, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, and property development. Clients include Duke Power Company, NCR Corporation, General Electric, Southwestern Electric Company and Exelon. The firm advised American Electric Power (AEP) in a landmark Supreme Court case, AEP v Connecticut, in which several states and land trusts brought a suit requiring the defendant to reduce its CO2 emissions; in June 2011, the case was brought before the Supreme Court and dismissed 8-0 in favour of AEP. The residents of Mississippi brought a similar climate change nuisance case in 2011, with the plaintiffs alleging that various companies in the area that emitted greenhouse gases were responsible for intensifying the property destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005: the firm successfully sought a dismissal of the suit on political grounds in both the district and Supreme courts. On the international side, the firm has experience in defending clients before courts in the European Union; this includes contesting EU directives regulating the nickel mining industry for a client in Finland, and for Belgium’s Umicore. Washington DC-based Christopher Bell handles litigation matters, and is recommended for ‘all-around environmental compliance requirements, RCRA rules and audit support’.
Within Environment: transaction and regulatory, Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘service is invaluable in ensuring successful outcomes’, and is noted for its ability to achieve ‘very positive and cost-effective’ results. The firm provides climate change regulation counseling in the US and European Union, and the onset of many new EPA permitting rules relating to curbing greenhouse gases has led to it acting as counsel to over 40 global multinational companies. Recent work highlights include taking a lead role on the treatment of emissions for the combustion of renewable biomass in EPA’s rules; the firm represents the National Alliance of Forest Owners in a coalition that is seeking to revise EPA’s accounting of biogenic emissions: this is a significant regulatory issue in the growing body of rules intended to affect climate change in the US, and the firm has so far persuaded the EPA to reconsider its position on the rule. The firm’s transactional practice advises on the range of issues relating to due diligence, bankruptcy, risk mitigation, insurance and compliance, and it has recently settled insurance claims for natural resource damages and other remediation costs totalling more than $60m for its clients. The global environmental practice is coordinated by David Buente, who is ‘one of the best environmental lawyers anywhere’, Robert Olian, and Judith Praitis, who is ‘excellent on environmental requirements, particularly the California rule’. Roger Martella, in Washington DC, is also recommended, and noted for ‘his ability to bring parties together and forge common and successful resolutions to very difficult and challenging issues’.
Within Healthcare: life sciences, Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP has ‘outstanding ability to provide practical legal advice that takes into account the legal/regulatory environment’; and is ‘at the top in FDA drug-related litigation’. The firm has key offices in Washington DC, Chicago and Silicon Valley, and international capabilities with life science groups in London, Brussels and Shanghai. It is acting for Allergan on regulatory issues, often adversarial, across all the company’s products; and for Bayer as launch counsel for three new products, advising on importation, distribution and reimbursement. GE Healthcare remains a key corporate client for transactional and licensing matters, with recent deals including its $590m acquisition of Clarient. On the contentious side – where it also has a significant product liability and IP practice – the group acted for Genentech, Johnson & Johnson and Novo Nordisk. Washington DC-based Scott Bass and Jim Stansel – co-heads of the global life sciences team – are ‘outstanding advisors’; Ray Bonner, also based in the capital, is ‘an absolute industry expert, savvy and business aligned’; Chicago-based corporate partner Pran Jha is ‘incredibly responsive, and gives intelligent and business-savvy advice’; and Washington DC -based Jeff Senger has ‘regulatory expertise that is broad and deep’.
Within Insurance: advice to insurers, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s insurance practice is ‘among the best’, and fields ‘a deep bench of very talented lawyers’ and ‘a cohesive network of people’ across its New York, Chicago and Los Angeles offices. Its recognized strengths include reinsurance (‘it is very close to the top if not the top in reinsurance litigation’); coverage cases involving asbestos, environmental and other mass torts (drawing on the firm’s wider expertise in environmental and product liability); and white-collar criminal defense and investigations. It is currently representing Pacific Employers Insurance in an appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in a case that involves questions of interpretation of the limits in a facultative reinsurance contract and late notice. It also recently obtained summary judgment for Jackson National Life in a class action suit, and acted for several Safeco companies in a significant dispute that ultimately reached a favorable settlement. Daniel Neppl, William Sneed, Thomas Cunningham and the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Susan Stone are highly recommended.
Within Insurance: non-contentious, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP is a ‘go-to’ firm for many clients in this industry, and marries ‘high quality with a deep and skilled team’. Recognized in the catastrophe (cat) bond market, it acted for French bank Natixis in a cat bond transaction designed to protect a corporate sponsor. Pylon II (which covers EDF) was the first corporate cat bond since 2007. The transaction was issued through an Irish SPV and secured €150m of European windstorm coverage on a per-occurrence basis. On the structured finance side, the team represented Lincoln National and Deutsche Bank in a $555m Regulation A-XXX redundant insurance reserve financing. The team also advised Nomura, UBS and Credit Suisse on similar transactions. Recent acquisition work includes having acted for Athene Holding in its $628m acquisition of Liberty Life from Royal Bank of Canada and also in Athene Holding’s acquisition of all outstanding issued stock of life insurer Investor Insurance. Insurance practice co-chair Jeff Liebmann has ‘unparalleled experience and insight in complex insurance transactions’, and Michael Madigan is ‘one of the pioneers in insurance-linked securities’. Jonathan Freedman and practice co-chairs Michael Goldman and Perry Shwachman are highly recommended. Nancy Corbett recently relocated to the London office.
United States : Intellectual property
Within Patent litigation: full coverage, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP's ‘entire team works together like a well-oiled machine. They are the definition of grace under pressure'. Notable clients in the hi-tech and related industries include RIM, which it is representing in Mosaid Technologies v Dell Inc et al; and Microsoft, which it is representing in smartphone litigation against Motorola. The practice achieved a $95m-plus jury verdict for the plaintiff in SynQor v Artesyn Technologies et al, with a ruling that all the defendants infringed patents. In subsequent court proceedings, it also obtained a permanent injunction against the defendants as well as additional damages. In life sciences, David Pritikin, William Baumgartner and Todd Krause acted for Merck and Schering-Plough in Hatch-Waxman litigation against generic drugs companies. Other clients include Deutsche Bank, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer. Jeffrey Olson and Thomas Beck are also recommended. Joseph Micallef, who joined from Arnold & Porter LLP, is an experienced ITC practitioner.
Within Patent litigation: International Trade Commission, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP has substantial experience in litigating patent disputes before the ITC, and the firm represents a number of well-known names in the high-tech and electronics sectors. The practice has been kept busy representing core clients Microsoft and Research in Motion (RIM), particularly in the smartphone dispute between Microsoft and Motorola. The practice reached settlements for RIM in disputes with Motorola and Spansion. Brian Nester in Washington DC has extensive trial experience, as do Richard Cederoth, Douglas Lewis and national IP chair David Pritikin, who are all based in Chicago. The firm continued to build its team of specialists, hiring Joseph Micallef from Arnold & Porter LLP, who is experienced in handling disputes regarding electronics and computer technology.
United States : Investment fund formation and management
Within Alternative/hedge funds, Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s hedge funds practice is ‘held in the highest regard’ for its ‘depth of knowledge and impressive expertise that is a cut above the rest in nearly every field’. The 120-strong team of ‘world-class counselors’ spans the gamut of fund formation domestically and through its considerable global reach, giving the practice ‘an excellent perspective on market norms’. Fund formation highlights included representing Investcorp Investment Advisors in a $1bn seed capital fund targeting new and emerging managers; and representing Soroban Capital, a hedge fund led by Eric Mendelblatt, the former co-founder of TPG Capital and COO of the US principal strategies business at Goldman Sachs, in its inaugural fund launch. The team also frequently acts on hybrid funds, including representing Garrison Investment Group in its formation of a closed-end opportunity fund targeting distressed real estate, corporate and financial assets. In Chicago, David Sawyier is ‘top-notch in his field’ and practice co-head William Kerr is ‘as expert and smart as they come’. Fellow co-head Michael Schmidtberger in New York is ‘among the best hedge fund lawyers; his advice is always measured and practical, with an eye towards both the business needs and the legal risks’. In San Francisco, Mark Whatley and David Tang are ‘responsive and exceptionally knowledgeable’.
Within Mutual/registered funds, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s investment management practice includes five partners that focus primarily on mutual funds and who have collectively amassed ‘deep business and industry knowledge’ in capital markets and broker-dealer matters. This ‘small but fully formed’ team handles all of BlackRock’s registered fund formation matters, which has included two index funds, 13 target funds and several alternative strategies funds. The team’s pioneering strengths in the derivatives and ETF arenas have seen it capitalize on the ongoing boom in this work. For example, it acted for BNP Paribas in relation to registration statements for two commodity futures ETFs, and for new market entrant Factor Capital Management in the initial registration of five commodity futures ETFs. It is also heavily involved on the underwriter side of transactions for financial institutions such as UBS, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, and most recently represented them in two common stock offerings and one preferred stock offering by a subsidiary of Kayne Anderson. John Mackinnon is highly recommended, as is big-hitter Frank Bruno, who is ‘among the top in the industry’.
Within Real estate investment trusts (REITs), Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s REITs practice focuses on capital markets elements and is a particularly strong attraction to underwriters, thanks in no small part to its track record dating back to Kimco Realty’s watershed IPO in 1991, generally acknowledged as the first REIT IPO of the modern era. The team acts as designated underwriters’ counsel for Simon Property Group, the largest US REIT, and acted on 23 public offerings in the first eight months of 2011 with a cumulative deal value of $8.9bn. Highlights included acting as underwriters’ counsel on Simon Property Group’s $1.2bn notes offering and representing the underwriters in Equity Lifestyle Properties’ $359m offering of common stock and $198m offering of preferred shares. The team also took advantage of the proliferation in at-the-market (ATM) offerings, acting as underwriters’ counsel on Kilroy Realty’s $200m ATM offering in 2011. Global co-ordinator of the securities group J Gerard Cummins, capital markets co-head Edward Petrosky and tax specialist David Miller are recommended, as is Bartholomew Sheehan. All four are based in New York.
United States : Labor and employment
Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, tier 5
Sidley Austin LLP’s predominantly Chicago-based employee benefits and executive compensation practice consists of 20 lawyers, with several more across the firm focusing on corporate governance and executive compensation. Matthew Johnson is co-chair of the firm’s global employee benefits practice, which is recognized for its skill in designing, drafting and advising on the administration of all types of employee benefits plans. Nine partners focus their practice on this area, including Joseph Manicki and Melissa McGrory, both newly promoted. On the executive compensation side, the firm represents its broad client base on all aspects of such arrangements.
Within ERISA litigation , Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP continues to impress with the size, scope and complexity of the ERISA litigation cases that it handles. The team’s ‘work product in the ERISA space has been outstanding, and it has delivered significant wins in complex ERISA class actions’. From a plethora of interesting cases, it recently represented AT&T and its Management Pension Plan in a class action raising multiple challenges under ERISA and the Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA) to a cash balance plan conversion, including age discrimination, anti-backloading, anti-cutback, and disclosure claims. In 2010, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of AT&T on the ADEA age discrimination claims and all remaining ERISA claims. In 2011, the Third Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court’s orders granting summary judgment to the defendants on all of the plaintiffs’ claims. In another highlight piece of work, the firm successfully defended an ERISA class action brought by participants in the Exelon 401(k) plan alleging that the company, some of its officers, and some of its board members breached their fiduciary duties by permitting the plan to pay excessive fees to its service provider. The Seventh Circuit agreed that plaintiffs had not presented a plausible case to believe that Exelon had paid excessive fees, and that Exelon had no obligation to scour the market to find the cheapest available funds. Partners who specialize in this work and are creating an exciting force in this field include head of the firm’s national ERISA litigation group Anne Rea and Priscilla Ryan, Mark Blocker and Erin Kelly.
United States : Litigation
Within International arbitration, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Despite the departure of Daniel Price in June 2011, Sidley Austin LLP is considered ‘one of the best’, with ‘proven expertise’ in investor-state work. With a strong reputation in international trade matters, the firm represents both multinational companies and governments in all major arbitral institutions, with added experience in ad hoc proceedings under UNCITRAL and ICSID Additional Facility rules. Recent highlights include acting for the Republic of Peru in three separate cases, including acting in Renée Rose Levy de Levi and Gremcitel SA v Republic of Peru: a claim for more than $2.5bn concerning coastal property purchased for development in Peru by the claimants. The firm also represented Costa Rica in a dispute brought by German investors under the Costa Rica-Germany BIT, the investors claiming that measures adopted by the Republic of Costa Rica to protect the nearly extinct baula (leatherback) sea turtle constitute breaches of the treaty. On the investor side, the group acted for a Dutch investor in the Slovak health insurance market against the Slovak Republic under UNCITRAL rules; the case centered on changes in Slovak laws which prevented health insurance companies from operating on a for-profit basis. The firm’s experience extends to large commercial cases; recent work includes acting in several large arbitrations for affiliates of United Company Rusal. The team is praised for its ‘excellent service’; Stanimir Alexandrov is ‘superb’: ‘an outstanding speaker’ and ‘a superb strategist’. Jennifer Haworth McCandless and Marinn Carlson are also recommended.
Within International trade, Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
‘Well established’ in WTO proceedings and trade policy, Sidley Austin LLP provides ‘deep and comprehensive’ answers to complex global trade problems. Counsels Brenda Jacobs and Larry Walders led the charge for respondents in litigation over solar panels acting as US co-ordinating counsel for the Chinese solar panel industry. The firm’s Asian client roster includes five major Japanese steel companies, including Sumitomo Metal Industries and Nippon Steel, which were both represented by Richard Weiner on trade defense matters relating to the Malaysian and Indonesia steel markets. Trade policy highlights for the team included advising the Embassy of Korea on the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), and longstanding client Caterpillar on lobbying. Caterpillar has also called upon Richard Belanger’s expertise in several issues involving FCPA and foreign trade regulations. Elsewhere, Robert Torresen and Lisa Crosby give ‘very professional and clear advice’ on economic sanctions and export controls for clients in the defense, technology and financial services industries. Supplemented by the strength of its Geneva office, the firm’s ‘superb WTO practice’ represents industry bodies and international government ministries in dispute settlements and negotiations. A key highlight for Andrew Shoyer included advising Brazilian sugar cane industry association UNICA on the application of WTO rules to biofuels. Shoyer recently took over as practice head after Dan Price left in 2011 to set up an international business advisory firm; Price continues to work with the team as co-counsel and arbitrator.
Within Product liability and mass tort defense: aerospace/aviation, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP has a strong product liability presence that includes aviation. The firm has represented GE in litigation arising from a Kenya Airways crash in Cameroon that claimed 114 lives in 2007, in which plaintiffs’ claims included alleged negligent design and manufacture of the aircraft and its components. The firm represented its client in removing the cases to federal court. When one of the cases was remanded back to state court, the firm successfully appealed to the Seventh Circuit against the remand order. As a consequence, the cases were dismissed on grounds of forum non conveniens. Lory Barsdate Easton is the key contact.
Within Product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products (including tobacco), Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s robust practice handled a variety of matters in 2011 including representing Taco Bell in a class action challenging its claims about the seasoned beef used in many items on its menu. The charges were exposed as factually incorrect and the case was voluntarily dismissed before the court heard any motions. The firm is defending Owens Corning against a nationwide class action concerning 18 types of roofing shingles marketed over the past 25 years. Summary judgment was secured for the client, but the case is ongoing after an appeal by plaintiffs. Other recent clients include Synutra International, which instructed the group following allegations from more than 100 Chinese citizens that its infant formula, produced by a subsidiary of the Maryland-based defendants, was contaminated with melamine. Dial, a subsidiary of Henkel, has instructed the firm following class action lawsuits filed by individuals alleging that Dial Complete, an antibacterial handwash, was deceptively marketed. Tyson Foods and Rollins Orkin are also clients. Chicago-based practice chair Michael Davis is ‘clearly one of the leading lawyers in the market’. Kara McCall in the same office has extensive litigation experience and is actively involved in consumer fraud cases.
Within Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices, Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s team is ‘very experienced and has broad skills’, ‘the ability to work with an international team of lawyers’, and is ‘worth the money for big-ticket litigation’. The group shows ‘willingness to take aggressive positions’, ‘excellent written and oral work product’, and ‘good collaboration with inside counsel’. It has a lead role in litigation for Bayer, involving several thousand actions relating to the oral contraceptives Yasmin and Yaz. Plaintiffs assert that the drugs are associated with a higher risk of side effects, including blood clots and gallbladder problems, than other oral contraceptives. It is defending Grünenthal in cases brought by plaintiffs whose mothers ingested thalidomide in drug trials in the 1950s and 1960s at a time when it is alleged that the company had knowledge of the likelihood of severe birth defects. For Takeda, the firm is playing a lead role in litigation concerning the type-2 diabetes medicine Actos, following claims that it caused bladder cancer. Sara Gourley and Craig Knot are ‘excellent – both very skilled and experienced’. Group head Michael Davis and up-and-comer Kara McCall are ‘very smart lawyers’ who ‘take on the clients’ problem as their own’. Maja Eaton is ‘first choice for complicated disputes regarding medical causation’ and ‘one of the best at addressing complicated issues in ways that judges and juries can understand’. All recommended partners are based in Chicago.
Within Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP is recognized as one of the dominant players in environmental litigation, and was recently involved in a case centering on the issue of global warming and whether private entities, which emit greenhouse gases, can be sued. The firm represented American Electric Power in a case in which the US Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit’s verdict and held that the Clean Air Act displaces any federal common law right to seek abatement of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants. Other clients include Henkel, which the firm defended in a case alleging significant birth defects to a child arising from a mother’s alleged exposure to chemicals. David Buente in Washington DC is ‘great in dealing with environmental cases’; also recommended are Michael Davis, James Mizgala and Sherry Knutson in Chicago.
Within Securities: shareholder litigation, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Praised for ‘doing a very good job of managing the substantive and procedural issues that arise in securities actions’, Sidley Austin LLP team is excellent at ‘analysis and fact finding’ and always demonstrates ‘business knowledge coupled with legal reasoning’. Group strength is weighted towards New York and Chicago but the firm also has significant capability in its Washington DC and Los Angeles offices. In New York, Robert Pietrzak is a ‘very experienced and savvy class action defense lawyer’ and has ‘developed particular experience in representing China companies that raise funds in the US’, and Gary Bendinger is recommended for his ‘excellent courtroom strategy, presentation style and persuasiveness’. In Chicago, SEC enforcement specialist David Graham is ‘well-regarded for class actions, consumer matters and antitrust’, and Hille Sheppard is highlighted for ‘thoroughness, analytical ability and persuasiveness’. The firm’s work for auditors has impressed over the past year: it successfully represented a Big Four accountancy firm in an action brought by the trustee of securities company, Refco Litigation Trust, and also successfully advised an accountancy firm in a Madoff-related, multidistrict litigation involving securities, state law, and insurance claims. Other representative clients include CNO Financial Group and Johnson & Johnson.
Within Supreme Court and appellate, Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘top-notch’ practice argued five cases in the US Supreme Court’s first session in 2012. The firm is notable for its capabilities nationwide and is particularly active before the Third, Seventh and Ninth circuits. Numerous lawyers from this firm attract praise from clients including managing partner Carter Phillips, who is ‘first among equals as an appellate and Supreme Court advocate’ and Constantine Trela, who is ‘a gifted appellate advocate’. Global appellate co-chair Mark Haddad ‘knows how to frame the issues and deliver results’, and product liability specialist Debra Pole ‘knows how to try a case’. In American Electric Power Company Inc v State of Connecticut, a Clean Air Act case before the US Supreme Court, Peter Keisler successfully argued the case for a team that also included Phillips and former principal deputy associate attorney general Joe Guerra. The Supreme Court unanimously reversed a previous verdict by the Second Circuit, and in doing so upheld the primacy of the Clean Air Act over federal common law. In the first term of 2012, Philips argued a US Supreme Court case for Fox Television, which will determine whether Fox has rights to control swear words under the First Amendment. On the appellate front, the firm scored a major victory for Star Scientific in a patent appeal before the Federal Circuit, which reversed each of the four earlier invalidity findings against the client. Other clients of this ‘superb’ practice include CSX Transportation, Bayer and Microsoft.
Within White-collar criminal defense , tier 5
Spearheaded out of Chicago but also benefiting from a strong presence on both coasts, Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘good and deep team’ provides ‘very responsive and on point advice’ to corporates and individuals across a range of matters including securities fraud, FCPA violations, tax and healthcare fraud, among others. The team is involved in some high-profile matters within the financial services industry including representing a major bank in a number of DOJ investigations relating to mortgage securitization practices. The firm’s already strong roster of former government officials was recently further bolstered by the arrival of David Rody and David Hoffman, in New York and Chicago respectively. The team is particularly accomplished at representing clients from highly regulated industries and recently represented healthcare entity Genentech in a government investigation into allegations of improper promotional activities related to the cancer drug, Rituxan. The ‘super smart’ Bradford Berenson has ‘an excellent bedside manner’ and ‘applies well thought-out defense strategies in both court motions and court appearances’. The ‘highly experienced and knowledgeable’ Karen Popp provides ‘expert and practical advice’ and along with Berenson represents several global pharmaceutical companies in connection with FCPA investigations before the DOJ. Clients include AT&T, Aventis, Celgene, Duke Energy and Johnson & Johnson.
United States : Media, technology and telecoms
Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s international inter-disciplinary team draws support from lawyers across the firm. In the US, it has particular strength in the telecoms, financial services and healthcare sectors. Supported by a strong technology practice, the group is recognized for its data security, data breach and e-discovery expertise focusing on cyber security, cloud computing and social media. Practice head Alan Charles Raul in Washington DC represents companies responding to FTC and other investigations and advising on public policy matters. Raul and Edward McNicholas, commended for his ‘deep knowledge of privacy and information security’, submitted comments, on behalf of AT&T, to the FTC, FCC and Commerce Department in connection with policymaking and regulatory proposals and is preparing further submissions to the FTC on proposals under the COPPA. In 2011, the group filed an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court for Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading US companies, in support of AT&T in FCC v AT&T. The team represented AT&T in cases concerning terrorist surveillance programs and in class actions over Carrier IQ’s smartphone diagnostic software. Anna Spencer, who ‘asks tough questions and provides, concise legal arguments’, represents CAQH CORE, an association of health plans, providers and clearing houses, on developing rules for the electronic exchange of health information. John Van De Weert advises on financial privacy. Former Congressman Rick Boucher advises on congressional and strategic policy and provides regulatory guidance.
Within Technology: transactions, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s 46-lawyer technology transactions group focuses on capital markets, M&A, regulatory compliance and investment fund services, and has particular depth in IT procurement, outsourcing, digital media and life sciences. Other deals combine life sciences and technology. Practice head Jeffrey Rothstein in Chicago handles high-profile IP and IT transactions. Rothstein advised Monsanto on its crop gene collaboration with BASF, and acted for LG Life Sciences on a variety of drug candidate licenses with US-based companies, inbound to and outbound from Korea. ‘Exceptional lead negotiator’ Mark Kaufmann, and ‘excellent negotiator and scrivener’ ‘Jonathan Wagner represented OneAmerica Financial Partners in the outsourcing of its IT infrastructure and operations to Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems North America. A prestigious client list includes GE Healthcare, Iridium Communications and LG Life Sciences.
Within Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Head of Sidley Austin LLP’s communications group, David Lawson in Washington DC, has represented AT&T for over a decade, notably in regulatory proceedings before the FCC and the US Congress. The group’s US activity is largely focused on providing regulatory advice to its flagship client. With 15 partners divided between Chicago and Washington DC, where it has close ties to the communications bar, the ‘excellent’ team is commended for its ‘responsiveness, knowledge and FCC expertise’. Recent mandates for AT&T include advising on wireless regulation and roaming rights, intercarrier compensation disputes, class-action disputes concerning alleged price fixing, and the auction of wireless spectrum for broadband services. Cybersecurity and location reporting are other key issues. David Carpenter in Chicago is a leading name. Carter Phillips and Mark Schneider, a former FCC associate general counsel, are assisting News Corporation, Fox Television Stations, and Tribune Company with challenges to the FCC’s maintenance of rules governing the cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast properties, and the multiple ownership of television stations and acting as lead counsel representing media property owners in the industry appeal of the FCC’s media ownership rules, which is pending before the 3rd Circuit. The firm has also represented News Corporation and Fox in challenges to FCC rulings concerning its ban on broadcast indecency. Other work included advising GE Capital on the regulatory implications of restructurings and reorganizations, notably the impact of attribution, multiple and cross-ownership, and foreign ownership rules; acting for United States Cellular on the FCC’s revised rules with regard to location accuracy for Enhanced 911 services and the transition to next-generation 911 services; and advising Grupo Televisa on the regulatory and compliance elements of its investment in Univision.
United States : Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts
Within Antitrust, tier 4
Commended for its ‘excellent service levels’, Sidley Austin LLP is ‘highly responsive and provides solid advice’. With antitrust lawyers in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC, the firm not only offers strong national coverage, but also a significant global presence, where it is recognized for its cross-office collaboration with well-regarded competition teams in London and Brussels. The firm handles antitrust matters spanning a range of industries, with a particular focus on the pharmaceutical sector (where the team is supported by a strong patent group and FDA expertise); and high-tech instructions (where it acted for AT&T on the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA). In 2011, the firm won a new client in Astellas Pharma, and defended the leading biomedical engineer in class actions, relating to the alleged delayed market entry of generic versions of its immunosuppressant drug. The firm also represents a number of financial services clients, and recently acted for a Japanese bank in a series of class actions, filed in a number of jurisdictions, relating to price-fixing claims that contributor banks involved in setting Libor rates by the British Bankers’ Association violated the Sherman Act. Key antitrust contacts include Charles Douglas, Marie Fiala and Lawrence Fullerton. In Chicago, John Treece and Marc Raven are ‘a pleasure to work with and very strong technically’. New York-based Alan Unger is ‘incredibly smart, creative, and focused on achieving business objectives’.
Within M&A: large deals ($1bn-5bn), Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Fielding ‘a team whose breadth and depth is great’, Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘lawyers are responsive, proactive, commercially practical, and current in terms of knowledge of the marketplace. Another client says: ‘I would recommend it without hesitation. The firm is simply outstanding’. The practice handles a wide variety of M&A transactions, including public company acquisitions and mergers, corporate separations, tender offers, negotiated and unsolicited transactions, auctions and transactions involving troubled companies, the firm’s lawyers also assist in the design and implementation of structural defenses to unsolicited takeover proposals. Recent representations include advising Caterpillar in its $8.6bn acquisition of Bucyrus International; acting for Alberto Culver Company in its $3.85bn sale to Unilever; and assisting General Electric Company (GE Energy Division) in its $3bn acquisition of Dresser. The team also acted for Health Care REIT in its $2.4bn acquisition of the real estate assets of Genesis HealthCare, and advised The Western Union Company in its $976m acquisition of Travelex Global Business Payments, a division of Travelex Holdings. In New York, Scott Freeman and Joseph Armbrust are singled out by clients. Chicago-based Frederick Lowinger, Imad Qasim and Paul Choi are ‘recommended for thought leadership, business acumen, efficiency and responsiveness’.
Within M&A: litigation, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP has extensive experience in handling litigation, and providing advice, concerning all types of challenges to M&A, including advice on fiduciary responsibilities and claims involving proxy disclosures, hostile and competing bidders, troubled deals, shareholder suits, related SEC and/or stock exchange investigations, post-closing adjustments, earn-outs, breach of fiduciary duty actions, appraisal actions, and books and records actions. The practice represented Alberto-Culver, and its directors, in litigation arising out of the company’s sale to Unilever, the class action complaint seeking an injunction against the proposed transaction; acted for Bank One and its board of directors in connection with breach of fiduciary duty litigation relating to JPMorgan Chase & Co’s $57bn acquisition of Bank One in a stock-for-stock merger, the litigation involving allegations relating to inadequate price and the termination fee; and represented Caterpillar in connection with shareholder litigation, which challenged Caterpillar’s acquisition of Buryrus International. Chicago-based financial and securities litigation head Walter Carlson and Richard Kapnick are key contacts.
United States : Real estate and construction
Within Real estate, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s real estate department is spread across the firm’s offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Washington DC, handling ‘the most complex, innovative and challenging transactions’ nationwide. Co-chaired by Marc Hayutin, Lee Smolen and Alan Weil, the department includes 90 lawyers worldwide, with 84 in the US. With a particular specialism in multi-state, multi-side deals, the team represented Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund in the sale-and-leaseback acquisition of 49 restaurant sites in 15 states, a transaction with an aggregate value of $71.5m. Another recent highlight saw real estate finance and workout specialist Bruce Fraser instructed by Canyon-Johnson on its preferred equity investment in a joint venture for the development and construction of a $160m mixed-use project with the City of Los Angeles. The practice has also been working alongside the firm’s strong bankruptcy practice in assisting clients with distressed assets and other real estate issues resulting from a challenging economic environment. Smolen and John Rafkin assisted Wells Fargo Bank on the restructuring of a $1.4bn structured debt stack, which included the consolidation and recapitalization of subordinated debt. On the opportunity funds front, Mitchell Poole acted for Fortress Credit in a joint venture with Atlas Capital Group in respect of an acquisition of a $167m preferred equity interest in a member of a company in possession of a Class A office building in Manhattan. Robert Boyd and Scott Cooper represented three life insurance companies as co-lenders in connection with the origination of a $725m mortgage financing for the office building at 601 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, formerly known as Citicorp Center. Paul Walker is also recommended.
United States : Tax
Within Domestic tax: Central, Sidley Austin LLP is a first tier firm,
Sharp Sorensen heads up Sidley Austin LLP’s broad-based full-service Chicago tax group and co-ordinates the firm’s national tax practice, which handles M&A, public and private joint ventures, spin-offs, securitizations, and offerings. Sorensen is advising eBay on the tax aspects of its $240m acquisition of Zong, and Lee Christie and Tracy Williams are representing various insurance companies and investment banks including Genworth, UBS, Nomura, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse in connection with insurance securitizations involving life insurance reserve financing. Williams also led the firm’s advice to Bermuda-based Athene Holding on its acquisitions of two US life insurance and annuity companies, involving cross-border insurance restructuring, extensive tax-related modelling, and significant use of financial instruments.
Within Domestic tax: East Coast, tier 4
Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘responsive, very client-focused’ eight-partner team is co-headed by Laura Barzilai and Robert Kreitman (‘both very good technical tax lawyers’), who also co-ordinate the national controversy and national tax practices respectively from New York. ‘A firm with a strong tax department, particularly in the financial products area’, it provides federal and state tax advice on transactions and financing techniques as well as representation in federal and state tax controversies to a Fortune 100 client roster as well as privately-held companies and pooled investment vehicles. The firm also represents state and local governments in securities offerings and has particular expertise in hedge funds, insurance, capital markets, structured finance, real estate and M&A. Barzilai represented KPMG with respect to tax matters in several acquisitions and other transaction including its February 2011 acquisition of EquaTerra, a Houston-based sourcing advisory firm with more than 300 employees in 13 offices in the US, Europe and Asia. Nicholas Brown represented Barclays Captial and JPMorgan Securities as underwriters in Rule 144A/Regulation S offerings of $1bn and £325m Fixed Rate Reset Guaranteed Exchangeable Subordinated Callable Notes due 2041. Practice clients include Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, The City of New York and Swiss Re.
Within Domestic tax: West Coast, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Edwin Norris chairs Sidley Austin LLP’s tax group in the firm’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices on the West Coast. Norris regularly advises clients, including Warner Bros, in connection with joint ventures and film financing transactions and recently has seen a high volume of work advising technology companies with respect to acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and financings. Ivy Jones recently advised a prominent hedge fund client in connection with a leveraged financing of an acquisition of a $200m pool of loan receivables from a California bank. Municipality bond expert Clifford Gerber’s practice clients include the City of Los Angeles, Catholic Healthcare West and First Republic Bank. Moshe Kupietzky is a ‘first-rate finance and transactions attorney’.
Within Financial products, Sidley Austin LLP is a second tier firm,
Sidley Austin LLP’s clients include the world’s leading securities firms as well as US and non-US issuers and borrowers. The team, based predominantly in New York and Chicago, works with clients on the development, structuring, and issuance of complex derivative financial products, and advises on debt, equity and hybrid securities, structured notes and other innovative financial products. Robert Kreitman, in New York, is recognized for his considerable financial products experience, including in residential and commercial mortgage-backed securitizations. Kreitman recently represented Deutsche Bank Securities in connection with the securitization of a commercial mortgage loan. Nicholas Brown, whose practice focuses on the development and application of financial products and corporate securities, is also recommended. Practice clients include Barclays Capital, Genworth, JP Morgan, Nomura and UBS.
Within International tax, tier 5
Chicago-based Sharp Sorensen leads Sidley Austin LLP’s international tax offering which builds on the firm’s solid domestic practice and handles cross-border transactions with a European element. Sorenson and Drew Scott from London recently supported the firm’s corporate department advising Western Union on the tax aspects of its $976m acquisition of the global business payments division of UK-based Travelex Holdings. Laura Barzilai provided tax advice to Bermuda-based reinsurer Validus Holdings in the formation of a newly formed special purpose sidecar reinsurer.
Within Tax controversy, Sidley Austin LLP is a third tier firm,
Laura Barzilai, based in New York, and Jay Zimbler, in Chicago, co-chair Sidley Austin LLP’s federal and state tax controversy practice. The firm represents clients throughout the administrative processes and at the judicial level, and is particularly active in the banking, food processing, hedge fund, insurance, telecoms and transportation sectors. Zimbler and Barzilai have represented numerous public and private companies in multimillion-dollar disputes along with Chicago-based Kevin Pryor. The firm’s SALT practice has a good reputation in the market. Tracy Williams in Chicago is strong in the field, and represents AIG in state litigation in various states. Other recommended SALT lawyers include Richard Leavy in New York, and Scott Heyman. Key clients include First Data Corporation and Tyson Foods.
Further information on Sidley Austin LLP
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Sidley Austin LLP in other jurisdictions.
Offices in Brussels
- Competition : Competition
- Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping : Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping
- EU regulatory : Chemicals (REACH)
- EU regulatory : Environment (including WEEE and RoHS)
- EU regulatory : Food
- EU regulatory : Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
- Media and entertainment : Media and entertainment
- Banking and finance : Foreign firms
- Corporate and M&A : Foreign firms
- Dispute resolution : Foreign firms
- Private equity/venture capital : Foreign firms
Offices in Frankfurt
Offices in Hong Kong
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Capital markets (debt) : Capital markets (debt)
- Capital markets (equity) : Capital markets (equity)
- Corporate (including M&A) : Corporate (including M&A)
- Dispute resolution : Dispute resolution
- Dispute resolution: international arbitration : Dispute resolution: international arbitration
- Investment funds : Investment funds
- Private equity : Private equity
- Regulatory : Regulatory
- Restructuring and insolvency : Restructuring and insolvency
- Structured finance and securitisation : Structured finance and securitisation
Latin America: International firms
Offices in Tokyo
- Antitrust and competition law : International firms and joint ventures
- Banking and finance : Independent local firms
- Banking and finance : International firms and joint ventures
- Capital markets : International firms and joint ventures
- Corporate and M&A : International firms and joint ventures
- Structured finance/securitisation : International firms and joint ventures
Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : EU and competition
- Corporate and commercial : Financial services
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: premium deals, £250m+
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Finance : Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Finance : Debt capital markets
- Finance : Derivatives and structured products
- Finance : Investment funds
- Finance : Securitisation
- Insurance : Insurance: corporate and regulatory
- Insurance : Insurance: insolvency and restructuring
- Insurance : Insurance and reinsurance litigation
- Real estate : Commercial property
- Real estate : Property finance
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Offices in Singapore
- Banking and finance : Foreign firms
- Capital markets : Foreign firms
- Corporate and M&A : Foreign firms
- International arbitration : International arbitration
Offices in Geneva
- Finance : Asset finance and leasing
- Finance : Bank lending (including other sources of financing)
- Finance : Capital markets: debt offerings
- Finance : Capital markets: equity offerings
- Finance : Corporate restructuring
- Finance : Financial services: litigation
- Finance : Financial services: regulatory
- Finance : Project finance
- Finance : Structured finance
- Industry focus : Energy: litigation
- Industry focus : Energy: regulatory
- Industry focus : Environment: litigation
- Industry focus : Environment: transaction and regulatory
- Industry focus : Healthcare: life sciences
- Industry focus : Insurance: advice to insurers
- Industry focus : Insurance: non-contentious
- Intellectual property : Patent litigation: full coverage
- Intellectual property : Patent litigation: International Trade Commission
- Investment fund formation and management : Alternative/hedge funds
- Investment fund formation and management : Mutual/registered funds
- Investment fund formation and management : Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Labor and employment : ERISA litigation
- Labor and employment : Employee benefits and executive compensation
- Litigation : International arbitration
- Litigation : International trade
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: aerospace/aviation
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products (including tobacco)
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort
- Litigation : Securities: shareholder litigation
- Litigation : Supreme Court and appellate
- Litigation : White-collar criminal defense
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: data protection and privacy
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: transactions
- Media, technology and telecoms : Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : Antitrust
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : M&A: litigation
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : M&A: large deals ($1bn-5bn)
- Real estate and construction : Real estate
- Tax : Domestic tax: Central
- Tax : Domestic tax: East Coast
- Tax : Domestic tax: West Coast
- Tax : Financial products
- Tax : International tax
- Tax : Tax controversy