The Legal 500

Sidley Austin LLP

555 WEST FIFTH STREET, LOS ANGELES, CA 90013, USA
Tel:
Work +1 213 896 6000
Fax:
Fax +1 213 896 6600
Web:
www.sidley.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s 45-strong antitrust team has a good spread of attorneys across the US, with specialists in Washington DC, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The team handles criminal cartel cases in a wide range of areas, including autoparts, CRTs, LCD panels, and LIBOR/TIBOR. The firm acted as counsel to Citigroup in the appeal of what was perhaps the largest antitrust settlement in US history, in the ‘Payment Card Interchange Fee’ case. Peter Huston joined the firm’s San Francisco office in early 2015 after serving as assistant chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. William Blumenthal, Marie Fiala, Joel Mitnick and John Treece are the key partners. Active clients include BorgWarner, Dow and Macmillan.

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Civil litigation/class actions
Civil litigation/class actions - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s strong Chicago practice, which has recently handled cases in sectors such as telecoms, financial services and pharmaceuticals, is complemented by a network of antitrust specialists across the country, including in Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles. In the recent work for AstraZeneca, a cross-office team including joint leader of the global antitrust department John Treece, David Giardina, Courtney Hoffmann and Alycia Degen obtained a major appellate victory for the pharmaceutical company in a complex case spanning antitrust and IP issues relating to the heartburn drug Prilosec. Other clients include SSAB, Microsoft and St. Luke’s Health System. Former assistant chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division Peter Huston joined in San Francisco.

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP is ‘among the very best firms when it comes to representing clients trying to get deals cleared by the DOJ and the FTC’, according to sources. Forty-five partners are spread across offices in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Palo Alto. The firm acted for AT&T in the antitrust aspects of its $48.5bn acquisition of DirecTV, creating the largest pay-TV provider in the US. The group also handled all regulatory clearances for Cobra Electronics in connection with its acquisition by Monomoy Capital Partners II. Former FTC general counsel William Blumenthal has ‘all the institutional knowledge to deal with the agencies’ and ‘avoids expensive dead ends’. Blumenthal co-heads the practice with San Francisco-based Marie Fiala, Joel Mitnick in New York and John Treece in Chicago. ‘Smart and practicalKen Glazer is also recommended. Karen Kazmerzak, a former FTC attorney, was promoted to partner. All attorneys are based in Washington DC except where stated otherwise.

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United States: Dispute resolution

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s team can ‘turn its hand to any case’, with the group active in six Supreme Court cases in 2015 alone. It is able to draw on a deep bench, and its practitioners advocate in the Supreme Court as well as state and federal courts of appeals, handling both civil and criminal cases. On the civil side, Carter Phillips defended Tyson Foods in a class action bought by employees, which is awaiting a decision. Criminal justice cases constitute part of the practice, with Jeffrey Green appearing before the Supreme Court in this area. While at the court of appeals level, Constantine Trela successfully appealed on behalf of AstraZeneca at the Federal Circuit in a claim against Apotex for patent formulation infringement; the client was awarded a mammoth $99m in damages. Peter Keisler is another key figure and has an ‘excellent’ appellate practice.

Leading lawyers

Carter Phillips - Sidley Austin LLP

Peter Keisler - Sidley Austin LLP

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Financial services: litigation
Financial services: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Based out of Chicago and New York, but also benefiting from a strong nationwide presence, Sidley Austin LLP’s practice has significant ‘bench strength’ and therefore the critical mass to handle a tremendous range of enforcement actions and litigation affecting financial institutions. Lawyers out of New York - including Andy Stern, Nick Crowell and Alan Unger - have been active in numerous market manipulation cases including defending Standard Chartered Bank in Forex fixing claims. In addition, the firm continues to represent JPMorgan in its MBS litigation. The ‘excellentRobert Pietrzak was involved in the aforementioned case and along with Alex Kaplan continues to represent online brokerage firm TD Ameritrade in a trading dispute which alleges that it deviated from its ‘best execution’ responsibilities regarding the routing of clients’ orders. Former high-ranking SEC official Barry Rashkover and Susan Merrill, who was formerly head of enforcement at FINRA, are two of a number of former agency alumni at the firm, who provide significant insight to clients facing agency investigations or enforcement actions. Washington DC-based Neal Sullivan is recommended for his broker-dealer regulatory knowledge, while the ‘very experienced’ Chicago-based David Graham combines ‘thoughtfulness with a very strategic approach’ across a range of litigation affecting financial institutions.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP added to its already sizeable litigation department with a number of significant lateral hires in 2014 and 2015, including Bruce Braun, who joined the Chicago office from Winston & Strawn LLP. Recognized for its ‘professionalism’ and ‘proven successes’, the department receives work from major domestic and multinational companies. Yvette Ostolaza and Angela Zambrano in Dallas are ‘reserved and analytical when appropriate, but can also be aggressive and persuasive’. Praise is also levelled at Joseph Tompkins and Mark Guerrera in Washington DC and Supreme Court and appellate expert Mark Haddad in Los Angeles.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s international arbitration team handles both commercial and investor-state arbitrations and has a client base that includes states, financial institutions, and mining and oil and gas companies. The US group - which consists of 16 partners and counsel based across New York and Washington DC - complements the firm’s highly rated teams in London and Canada. Stanimir Alexandrov - who serves as a practice head along with Louis Kimmelman - is representing affiliates of Philip Morris International in an ICSID arbitration against Uruguay challenging tobacco packaging regulations. The widely publicized case has implications for health regulations, WTO rules and IP rights. In another highlight, Kimmelman successfully represented a global telecoms company in a standard essential patents dispute. Other clients of the group include Belize Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago, and the states of Costa Rica, Peru and Turkey.

Leading lawyers

Louis Kimmelman - Sidley Austin LLP

Stanimir Alexandrov - Sidley Austin LLP

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Headed out of Washington DC by ‘stalwartAndrew Shoyer, Sidley Austin LLP’s 14-partner group is ‘exceptionally strong on policy-related matters’, where it is ‘uniquely positioned to represent clients before the WTO’ by virtue of its Geneva office, and also on EU policy changes by dint of its Brussels offering. ‘A leader in the field’, Shoyer provides ‘nuanced and practical advice’ on export controls and economic sanctions. Neil Ellis and Geneva-based Iain Sandford are representing the government of China in a challenge to US zeroing and non-market economy anti-dumping methodologies. The team regularly handles trade remedies matters for Asian clients, where it is helped by a comprehensive network of offices in the region; it recently acted for China’s largest tire producer, in a US anti-dumping/countervailing duty petition brought by the United Steelworkers against imports of passenger-vehicle and light-truck tires from China. Robert Torresen has a focus on economic sanctions and export control matters and alongside Shoyer has been developing Cuba travel policies for companies following President Obama’s recent relaxation of Cuba sanctions. Torresen is also well versed in customs matters and alongside ‘excellent’ senior counsel Richard Belanger recently advised TransCanada on various US regulatory issues concerning the movement of natural gas and equipment through or into the US. Other recommended practitioners include the ‘practical and collaborativeJames Mendenhall and the ‘outstanding, responsive and effectiveRichard Weiner. The team was strengthened in May 2015 by the arrival of David Simon from the Department of Defense.

Leading lawyers

Andrew Shoyer - Sidley Austin LLP

Richard Belanger - Sidley Austin LLP

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M&A: litigation: defense
M&A: litigation: defense - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has a strong track record in M&A litigation and recently handled the successful defense of directors of Kenneth Cole Productions in matters arising from its going-private transaction. It also represented the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in the high-profile Rural Metro stockholder litigation. New York-based Andrew Stern was central to both matters, with Robert Pietrzak involved in the latter. In Chicago, James Ducayet and Kristen Seeger are defending Con-way in a challenge to its acquisition by XPO, and David Graham advised Tellabs in class actions relating to its sale to Marlin Equity Partners. Chicago-based Hille Sheppard, San Francisco and Palo Alto based Sara Brody and former justice of the Delaware Supreme Court Jack Jacobs in New York are also recommended. The firm is known for ‘carefully crafted litigation strategies’.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport
Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Headed by Sara Gourley and Maja Eaton in Chicago, as well as Debra Pole in Los Angeles, Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘excellent’ product liability team represented Ford in successfully obtaining a motion to dismiss a putative class action brought against Ford, General Motors and Toyota concerning their vehicles’ susceptibility to theft; Michael Mallow (Los Angeles) served as defense counsel to Ford. Mallow, along with Mark Campbell, Eric Mattson, Los Angeles-based Sean Commons, as well as Michael Andolina and Liv Kiser (both in Chicago) have an impressive track record of defending Honda against class actions, with recent victories including the denial of a class certification and the dismissal of a number of class actions alleging that Honda’s vehicles are defective. Delphi is another client of the practice. Catherine Barrad now practices in-house at California State University.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco) - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘superb’ practice provides ‘outstanding client orientation’ and is ‘very thorough in analysis and preparation’. Sara Gourley and Maja Eaton share leadership of the practice with Los Angeles-based Debra Pole. Alycia Degen in Los Angeles is acting alongside Elizabeth Chiarello and Kara McCall, who ‘knows what it takes to win’, to represent cosmetic products manufacturer Beiersdorf against a putative class action alleging that the labelling of its Nivea Skin Firming Lotion is false and misleading. McCall and Chiarello are working with ‘excellent class action lawyer’ Robert Scarborough to defend Owens Corning against four putative statewide class actions concerning defects in virtually every aspect of Owens Corning’s Oakridge roofing shingle business. All named lawyers are based in Chicago, except where noted otherwise. Michael Davis retired.

Leading lawyers

Sara Gourley - Sidley Austin LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

The ‘result-driven’ group at Sidley Austin LLP is praised as having ‘a deep bench in the pharmaceutical and medical device area’. The practice is led by Debra Pole in Los Angeles, along with Chicago-based Sara Gourley and ‘outstanding trial lawyerMaja Eaton. Gourley and fellow Chicago-based lawyers Craig Knot and Eugene Schoon are representing Grünenthal as lead counsel in over 50 cases brought by plaintiffs alleging injuries resulting from their mothers’ ingestion of thalidomide during pregnancy. A team including Eaton - along with Alycia Degen in Los Angeles, plus Rebecca Wood and Robert Keeling in Washington DC - continues to serve as national counsel to St. Jude Medical in litigation alleging manufacturing and design defects in the client’s Riata ICD Leads, as well as failure to warn; approximately 950 cases have been resolved. Michael Davis retired.

Leading lawyers

Maja Eaton - Sidley Austin LLP

Sara Gourley - Sidley Austin LLP

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Headed by the ‘outstandingMaja Eaton and Sara Gourley in Chicago) plus Debra Pole in Los Angeles, Sidley Austin LLP’s team is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and has ‘an excellent bench’. Eaton and Tim Kapshandy continue to serve as national coordinating counsel to General Electric in asbestos litigation; they recently obtained summary judgments and dismissals in all of its remaining cases in the asbestos federal MDL, which once comprised over 1,000 claims. In Washington DC, the well-regarded David Buente and Timothy Webster continue to represent Coronet Industries in negotiations with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) concerning site assessment and remediation arising from allegations of exposure to chemicals from the client’s historic phosphate mining operations. Other clients include NCR.

Leading lawyers

David Buente - Sidley Austin LLP

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Among the leaders of the pack in securities litigation’, Sidley Austin LLP provides ‘top-notch service with excellent responsiveness and subject matter expertise’. Its team spans the US, with outstanding partners spread throughout its office network. The three leaders of the practice are the ‘absolutely terrificYvette Ostolaza in Dallas, Hille Sheppard in Chicago and the ‘experienced and practicalSara Brody in San Francisco. In Chicago, ‘all-round great litigatorJames Ducayetensures all pieces of a defense strategy fit together’ and ‘great thinker and strategistDavid Graham is recommended. Ducayet defended ADM and its board in a derivative action brought by shareholders in Illinois state court, and he and Graham are defending Tellabs and two of its former officers in consolidated securities class actions. In New York, Andrew Stern counts JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America among his clients. He is also involved in the new wave of energy sector matters, including shareholder derivative actions for Duke Energy. Robert Pietrzak defended two putative class actions for PetroChina. Among the firm’s many standout lawyers is Norman Blears in Palo Alto, who is a renowned expert in litigation and SEC enforcement matters.

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has an ‘exceptionally strong team of lawyers with deep industry experience’. Highlights for the firm included the continued defense of Daniel Capen against allegations he defrauded workers’ compensation insurance carriers, and representing the former speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert in a federal grand jury trial. Other clients include Neiman Marcus, the board of directors of the American Psychological Association, and Governor Scott Walker; the firm is advising all three in relation to major criminal investigations. FCPA investigations and cases involving allegations of securities and healthcare fraud form a major part of the firm’s caseload. The joint heads of the practice are Kimberly Dunne in Los Angeles, John Gallo and Scott Lassar in Chicago, Mark Hopson and Karen Popp in Washington DC, and the ‘phenomenally talentedTimothy Treanor in New York.

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United States: Finance

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

Sidley Austin LLP

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

Sidley Austin LLP

The ‘exceptional’ capital markets practice at Sidley Austin LLP is jointly headed by New York-based Edward Petrosky, Craig Chapman and William Massey and Chicago-based Kevin Blatchford. The team has had a busy year despite market turbulence; highlights included advising new client BorgWarner on its issuance of $1bn of senior notes and acting as designated underwriters’ counsel in relation to Disney’s $2bn notes offering. Eric Haueter, who handled the Disney work, is ‘careful and detail-oriented’. Petrosky, who acted on the BorgWarner matter, also led the advice to Simon Property Group, a leading REIT, on notes offerings totaling $1.1bn. The REIT space is a rich source of financing work for the practice, as are private equity and corporate acquisitions. Other names to note are Aryeh Zarchan, James O’Connor and Robert Ryan, all based in New York.

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

Sidley Austin LLP

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s New York-based group is ‘very responsive’ and ‘always there for the client’, providing ‘great expertise and sound judgment’ to issuers and underwriters involved in IPOs, privatizations, secondary offerings and at-the-market equity offerings. Vijay Sekhon recently joined the firm’s Los Angeles office from Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP, while Martin Wellington joined in Palo Alto from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Other key figures include Edward Petrosky, who advised Wells Fargo Securities as initial purchaser in Land O’Lake’s $200m private placement; Palo Alto-based Sam Zucker, who handled Dicerna Pharmaceuticals’ $49m follow-on offering; and Craig Chapman and James O’Connor, who together acted for Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank on Great Western Bancorp’s two stock offerings. Other key clients of the firm include eBay, Western Union and Health Care REIT (now Welltower).

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP

Commercial lending: advice to lenders - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has a longstanding reputation for its work on behalf of lenders, but in recent years the practice has diversified, with Dallas-based Angela Fontana at the forefront of the firm’s efforts to develop its work on behalf of borrowers and sponsors. In Houston, Herschel Hamner advised Hunt Oil Company on a $1.7bn revolving credit facility and, on the lender side, assisted JPMorgan with a revolving credit facility in excess of $2.2bn for oil and gas service company Weatherford International. Other standout matters included the firm’s advice to General Electric on the financing aspects of the sale of its sponsor finance business and bank loan portfolio. Robert Lewis and Mark Kirsons in Chicago and Kelly Dybala in Dallas are other key names in the team, which was boosted by the arrivals of media and entertainment financing specialist Richard Petretti in Los Angeles and Houston-based Robert Stephens, who focuses on oil and gas, from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP respectively.

Leading lawyers

Angela Fontana - Sidley Austin LLP

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP provides a ‘business-oriented service’ to clients across the spectrum of mandates, from banking and consumer financial services regulation and the regulation of payment systems to capital and other structural issues faced by financial institutions. Connie Friesen and the ‘very practicalWilliam Eckland provide an ‘excellent service’ across a range of bank regulatory compliance issues including those relating to the Volcker rule and other core Dodd-Frank provisions. Friesen is noted for her expertise advising foreign banks on the impact of Dodd-Frank on their US operations; she has been advising Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo de Investmento (BESI) and a Chinese securities firm, Haitong Securities, on their submissions to the Federal Reserve Board to successfully effect Haitong’s acquisition of BESI without unduly onerous restrictions applying under the Bank Holding Act. In the consumer finance space, the firm is well known for its payments practice, which is led by the ‘superbDavid Teitelbaum. Teitelbaum has been acting for the National Automated Clearinghouse Association in its efforts to develop a same-day ACH product. James Huizinga is also recommended for consumer finance mandates and, alongside the ‘very smart’ Joel Feinberg, is advising MasterCard on regulatory and public policy matters affecting electronic payment networks and electronic payments. The team is rounded out by a ‘very strong’ broker-dealer regulatory practice which includes numerous ex-SEC and FINRA alumni, including the ‘superbJames Brigagliano, whose previous role as deputy director of the SEC’s Division of Trading & Markets affords him great regulatory insight. Kevin Campion is also recommended and, as well as regular advisory work for investment banks including Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan on trading issues, is also often engaged by SIFMA to assist it in drafting comment letters to the SEC in response to proposed or new regulation.

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Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations)
Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s team has lawyers located in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and New York and handles some of the most complex matters for large non-profit organizations, including transactions, drafting and negotiating contracts, and litigation. The ‘simply terrificMichael Clark and ‘the reliable and professionalPaul Svoboda are practice leaders; Clark’s recent experience includes advising a corporate foundation’s board and staff on directors’ and officers’ fiduciary duties, while Svoboda developed education-related charitable program guidelines for a charitable trusts group. Jack Bierig and counsel Lynn Fleisher are also highly rated advisers. All named practitioners are in Chicago.

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s practice is headed by five partners: Eugene Elrod and Kenneth Irvin in Washington DC, Cliff Vrielink and James Rice in Houston and New York-based Irving Rotter. Praised for its experience, ‘thoughtful work’ and ‘good bench strength’, the group works on a wide spectrum of energy and infrastructure deals. In the telecoms space, Ayaz Shaikh, who is ‘thoughtful, strategic, tough and friendly’, advised Facebook on the development, procurement, construction and financing of satellites and related infrastructure in connection with the social media giant’s initiative to bring internet connectivity to under-served parts of Asia and Africa. Vrielink assisted Partners Group with its investment in the $500m Seabras-1 project, involving the first direct submarine fiber-optic cable between New York and São Paulo. Much of the team’s work is on renewables projects: Timothy Moran and counsel Philip Corsello acted for AES Solar Power in the development of $400m-worth of solar projects in Hawaii, also advising the client on an $875m tax equity funding - the largest such funding of a solar facility to date. Other clients include Citigroup Energy, Mexican state-owned electric utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Macquarie Capital Group and Natixis. The department is singled out for ‘providing great protection to its clients’. Robert Stephens joined the Houston office from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in January 2015.

Leading lawyers

Timothy Moran - Sidley Austin LLP

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP is particularly noted for its strength in big-ticket company-side mandates, often defending debtors against creditor claims following emergence from Chapter 11 proceedings. A cross-office team including Larry Nyhan and Jessica Boelter achieved recognition of LDK Solar’s restructuring at a US bankruptcy court (following similar judgments in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands) in one of the first such multi-jurisdictional rulings involving a Chinese entity. In another high-profile company-side mandate, the firm is acting as special corporate and litigation counsel to Energy Future Holdings in its $40bn restructuring. Other notable clients include Dynegy Holdings (in ongoing matters subsequent to its 2012 filing), MGM International Resorts (in relation to the bankruptcies of three entities in which it holds interests) and Tribune Media (in obtaining the dismissal of an appeal by hedge fund creditor Aurelius subsequent to Tribune’s 2012 reorganization). On the creditor side, where it is less prolific, highlights included acting for Wells Fargo in $57m of claims against SCI Holdings. Nylan and James Conlan lead the group from Chicago; other key names include Kevin Lantry in Los Angeles and Paul Caruso, Matthew Clemente and Duston McFaul in Houston.

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Combining highly acclaimed bankruptcy and public finance practices, Sidley Austin LLP acts on major municipal debt restructurings and bankruptcies, representing bondholders, bond insurers, bond trustees and other stakeholders. On the public finance side, San Francisco-based Eric Tashman is the name to note. The bankruptcy team includes Los Angeles-based Jeffrey Bjork and Gabe MacConaill, who are recommended along with Washington DC-based Guy Neal. The latter three represented National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation, an insurer of over $2bn of Detroit’s debt obligations, in connection with the city’s Chapter 9 proceedings. In other recent work, the team represented Assured Guaranty in relation to the bankruptcy proceedings of the cities of Stockton and San Bernardino.

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Structured finance
Structured finance - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has a longstanding presence in the financial products market and its lawyers are praised for having ‘the highest level of knowledge and efficiency’ and providing ‘thoughtful and steady advice’. It works for issuers and underwriters in securitizations across the full spectrum of asset classes, and provides advice on all highly structured products. The team is led by Myles Pollin in New York and Gary Stern in Chicago. Kevin Blauch is another key member of the team and has a good reputation for his work with issuers, underwriters and sellers of mortgage loans. Edward Fine is renowned for his expertise in securitizations in the real estate sector; Jonathan Nunes has advised clients such as Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley; San Francisco-based Dale Lum acted for CarMax Auto Owner Trust on five public offerings of auto loan backed notes totaling $5bn. Other key names include ‘expert in OTC derivativesEllen Pesch, and senior counsel Renwick Martin, who is ‘knowledgeable in securitization matters’.

Leading lawyers

Renwick Martin - Sidley Austin LLP

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Eugene Elrod, Irving Rotter, Kenneth Irwin, Cliff Vrielink and James Rice head Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘savvy’ team, which is praised for its business acumen and strong bench strength. The ‘responsive’, ‘knowledgeable’, ‘personableGlenn Pinkerton is also recommended. Clients include Duke Energy Corporation, Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Exelon Corporation and Competitive Power Venture Holdings.

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s team of ‘responsive’ and ‘knowledgeable’ lawyers was strengthened by the arrival of several partners from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in 2015, including Kenneth Irvin, Daryl Rice, Terence Healey, Karen Dewis and Robert Stephens; and by the recruitment of Kevin Lewis from Vinson & Elkins LLP. Clients include Duke Energy Corporation and Anadarko Petroleum Company.

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Energy: litigation
Energy: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable’ team is ‘among the best’ and earns praise for its ‘good judgment’. With a focus on oil and gas, the practice represents upstream, midstream and downstream companies and also groups of individuals. A team including Los Angeles-based Michelle Goodman and appellate practice head Mark Haddad represented CMS Energy and CMS Energy Resources Management as one of many defendants in a multidistrict litigation involving alleged natural gas price manipulation. Robert Velevis and Dallas office managing partner Yvette Ostolaza defended EnLink subsidiaries in a lawsuit brought by Targa Midstream Services alleging breach of an agreement to operate a natural gas processing plant in Louisiana. Houston lawyer Tracy LeRoy represented an offshore drilling company in an internal investigation prompted by allegations by an oil producer of kickbacks pertaining to a series of drilling contracts in the Middle East. William Williams is a notable figure in the market.

Leading lawyers

William Williams - Sidley Austin LLP

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Energy: regulatory
Energy: regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘excellent’ energy practice received an additional boost with the arrival of five partners from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, including Terence Healey and Kenneth Irvin, who heads the firm’s global energy practice alongside Eugene Elrod. The ‘very timely’ and ‘knowledgeable’ team includes former FERC members and excels in the oil and gas and electric power sectors, attracting clients such as pipeline companies and energy producers but also financial institutions. The ‘very responsiveLorrie Marcil represented the Magellan Pipeline Company in regulatory matters and successfully defended the company in a tariff changes protest filed at the FERC by Suncor Energy. Irvin led advice to Morgan Stanley Capital Group and Merrill Lynch Commodities on regulatory matters pertaining to electricity and natural gas marketing activities.

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Energy: renewable/alternative
Energy: renewable/alternative - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

The ‘very results-oriented’ team at Sidley Austin LLP is noted for its solid transactional, project finance and development experience, as well as ‘its ability to find solutions on tough issues’. Irving Rotter assisted Bordas Wind Energy with the sale of development rights and royalty arrangements for a 600MW wind farm in Texas. Other clients include Citigroup Energy and AES Solar. Robert Stephens and global energy practice co-head Kenneth Irvin joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP can count on the experience of prominent figures in environment litigation, including Samuel Gutter and Roger Martella in Washington DC and Robert Olian in Chicago. The experienced team represents a broad array of clients in environmental disputes, including National Alliance of Forest Owners, Bayer Healthcare and TransCanada, and excels in complex air, water, waste and climate change-related litigation. Recently, the team successfully defended NV Energy against a challenge before the Ninth Circuit by an environmental group seeking to vacate an EPA decision over air emission limits for the company’s Reid Gardner power plant. A team including Martella was retained by a coalition of 20 trade associations to draft comments and prepare for litigation regarding the EPA’s proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. Washington DC-based David Buente is highly recommended and considered ‘one of the most brilliant guys in the environmental field’.

Leading lawyers

Robert Olian - Sidley Austin LLP

Roger Martella - Sidley Austin LLP

Samuel Gutter - Sidley Austin LLP

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

The team at Sidley Austin LLP is praised for its ‘exceptional knowledge of the industry and regulatory implications’, as well as for its ‘great response times and excellent service’. The recommended Roger Martella, in Washington DC, has been very active in representing a large industry coalition on issues related to the Council on Environmental Quality’s draft guidance on incorporating greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change in NEPA reviews. Regarding the Clean Air Act, the team assists a high-profile roster of clients, including Ford, John Deere and Cummins, in different matters related to the regulation of vehicle emissions. The team, which is led from Los Angeles by Judith Praitis, is also well regarded for advising clients on compliance with a wide range of California laws regulating air emissions, water discharges, solid and hazardous waste management and medical waste management. Robert Olian and Byron Taylor in the Chicago office and Washington DC-based David Buente are highly recommended.

Leading lawyers

David Buente - Sidley Austin LLP

Judith Praitis - Sidley Austin LLP

Robert Olian - Sidley Austin LLP

Roger Martella - Sidley Austin LLP

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Environment: transactional
Environment: transactional - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

The transactional experts in Sidley Austin LLP’s environmental team are spread across the country, with Laura Leonard in Chicago, Judith Praitis in Los Angeles and Roger Martella in Washington DC. A team led by Leonard has advised on numerous transactions involving the acquisition and the subsequent sale and leaseback of hundreds of gasoline stations, largely in California, including advice on risk management and insurance and corrective action plans. She is also advising Duke Energy on its acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas. New York-based counsel Maureen Crough is advising Delta Air Lines on the implementation of environmental provisions in numerous agreements related to the redevelopment of passenger terminals at JFK Airport. She also advised Exelon Generation Company, as sponsor, regarding its $613m Rule 144A offering for Continental Wind.

Leading lawyers

Laura Leonard - Sidley Austin LLP

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Healthcare: life sciences
Healthcare: life sciences - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP is ‘ahead of most other firms in work related to life sciences’ and is relied upon by clients for its ‘high-quality, commercial advice’ and its ‘deep bench of knowledge and experience in healthcare regulatory issues’. The firm houses an excellent FDA practice that includes Washington DC-based Coleen Klasmeier and James Stansel and Chicago-based Meenakshi Datta, and it also provides deep expertise in cross-border regulatory matters. Diane McEnroe is assisting a global consumer products company in its interface with the FDA regarding a post approval safety concern, including reviewing the FDA’s authority to mandate a clinical trial post approval for an over-the-counter (OTC) product. A recent representative case for its litigation team was acting for Gilead Sciences, Hoffmann-La Roche and Genentech in Hatch-Waxman case against Natco Pharma concerning Tamiflu. The corporate group also had a fruitful year, advising the likes of Baxter International, Health Care REIT (now Welltower) and GlaxoSmithKline on joint ventures, sales and acquisitions. In another highlight, it acted as insurance, state pharmacy and healthcare regulatory counsel to Cigna in its pending $54.2bn sale to Anthem, which will create a company that is expected to cover 53 million medical members. The team is also highly active in capital markets transactions for life sciences issuers as well as product liability and patent litigation. Pran Jha is an ‘excellent deal lawyer’ who ‘understands the needs of clients’; David Pritikin, Raymond Bonner, William Sarraille, Patricia Thayer, Jeffrey Rothstein, Sharon Flanagan are also recommended. IP transactional practitioner Wenseng Wendy Pan and corporate partner Jennifer Fitchen joined the team in 2015 from O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Cooley LLP respectively.

Leading lawyers

Coleen Klasmeier - Sidley Austin LLP

David Pritikin - Sidley Austin LLP

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Insurance: advice to insurers
Insurance: advice to insurers - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘very efficient and well-rounded team’ provides ‘objective and sound counsel’ to clients, and has ‘a strong understanding of the reinsurance business’ as well as experience in property, casualty and life insurance matters. The ‘excellent team’ is led by Joel Feldman, the ‘extremely knowledgeableWilliam Sneed and reinsurance specialist Susan Stone, who splits her time between New York and Chicago. Stone, along with the ‘hardworking’ Daniel Neppl, recently represented Amerisure in a reinsurance dispute in which the client collected reinsurance billings totaling over $14m. Feldman has also had an active year, successfully dismissing a class action against client Principal Life Insurance Co., which related to whether the client is a fiduciary under ERISA. The department was strengthened in 2015 by the arrival of Ellen Dunn to the New York office from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. All lawyers mentioned are based in Chicago, except where stated otherwise.

Leading lawyers

Susan Stone - Sidley Austin LLP

William Sneed - Sidley Austin LLP

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Insurance: non-contentious
Insurance: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘extremely strong practice’ is ‘at the top of the list’ and ‘one of the market leaders in representing clients in the insurance and financial services industries’. The practice leads in property and casualty issues, especially in the catastrophe bond space - New York-based Michael Madigan and Chicago-based Michael Pinsel lead the firm’s property and casualty alternative risk transfer practice, which recently represented Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool in its $100m Bosphorus Ltd catastrophe bond. Michael Goldman and the ‘practical, energetic and dynamicPerry Shwachman, both based in Chicago, lead the global insurance and financial services group; Goldman recently assisted Kemper Corporation in a multistate unclaimed property audit, and Shwachman is representing Genworth Financial in the sale of its lifestyle protection insurance business. New York-based Jeff Liebmann recently advised MassMutual on a $1.25bn pension risk transfer from Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Other clients on the firm’s roster include ACE, Deutsche Bank and AIG. Jeremy Watson in Chicago made the partnership.

Leading lawyers

Jeff Liebmann - Sidley Austin LLP

Michael Goldman - Sidley Austin LLP

Perry Shwachman - Sidley Austin LLP

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United States: Intellectual property

Patent litigation: International Trade Commission
Patent litigation: International Trade Commission - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

At Sidley Austin LLP, Brian Nester and David Pritikin head the practice from Washington DC and Chicago respectively, advising on every stage of ITC investigations and proceedings. The group is currently defending Summit AGRO North America Holding Corporation in a suit regarding sulfonamide preparation, and has successfully obtained an initial determination of invalidity on the patent asserted by FMC Corp. The firm acted for Microsoft in a series of high-profile cases against Motorola concerning Android-based smartphones, prevailing in two ITC proceedings and obtaining exclusion orders against the accused Motorola phones. Chicago-based Richard Cederoth is also recommended, and has recently participated in the defense of Nokia and Microsoft against InterDigital, successfully securing a non-infringement verdict.

Leading lawyers

Brian Nester - Sidley Austin LLP

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Patent litigation: full coverage
Patent litigation: full coverage - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s attorneys have ‘impressive, technically sound strategic thinking’, providing ‘valuable practical advice which is focused on the bigger picture’. Key figures include David Pritikin, who has represented Microsoft in a series of cases against Motorola regarding Android-based smartphones; Paul Zegger, who secured a $98m damages award for AstraZeneca, upheld by the Federal Circuit; and Patricia Thayer, who acted for Gilead Sciences, Hoffmann-La Roche and Genentech in Hatch-Waxman litigation against Natco Pharma concerning the influenza drug Tamiflu. Thomas Rein can ‘boil extremely complicated issues down to their essence, completely understand them and explain them to a judge’, and Washington DC-based Jeffrey Kushan and Peter Choi are ‘technically oriented’ and ‘very strong before the patent review board’. All named lawyers are based in Chicago, except where otherwise stated.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Alternative/hedge funds
Alternative/hedge funds - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Clients laud Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘marquee practice’ for being ‘exceptional in every way’. Its 125-strong team handles investment fund formation, management, derivatives and regulatory issues for a broad cross-section of hedge fund clients, including a number of the world’s largest managers and emerging funds. Michael Schmidtberger and Benson Cohen are acting for Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC in the expansion of its HedgeFocus feeder fund platform. In another highlight, David Sawyier (‘there is nobody who works harder for his clients’) worked with Daniel Spies and tax expert Bridget O’Neill (who is ‘a rock star’) in assisting Axar Capital Management with its establishment, the formation of Axar’s initial hedge fund and with negotiating seed investments. ‘Accomplished counselorLaurin Kleiman and the ‘extraordinarily talented’ Janelle Ibeling are recommended, as is San Francisco-based David Tang, who stands out for his knowledge of securities law compliance issues arising from fund formations and fund investments. William Kerr and Bradley Howard are the other names to note. In 2015, Jennifer Spiegel joined from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, while Scott Macdonald was promoted to partner.

Leading lawyers

David Sawyier - Sidley Austin LLP

William Kerr - Sidley Austin LLP

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Mutual/registered funds
Mutual/registered funds - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP fields ‘an absolutely stellar’ team which draws praise for its ‘extensive industry knowledge’. It is ‘particularly effective in managing large projects to an extremely tight timetable’. The firm’s expertise covers a wide range of registered fund products, including ETFs, UITs, target date funds, money market funds, traditional mutual funds and closed-end funds. It is also active in the liquid alternatives space, and regularly advises registered fund managers on alternative strategies, as well as funds sponsored by alternative advisers. Key figures include Laurin Kleiman, who is ‘an accomplished counselor’, and Frank Bruno and Jonathan Miller, who are ‘aware of the legal underpinnings at hand and also have a great deal of practical knowledge, which is handy in a crisis situation’. A team including Bruno, John MacKinnon, James Munsell and Jesse Kean has been advising BlackRock’s money market funds on new rules concerning money market fund reform. Elsewhere, MacKinnon and Paul Risko have acted for underwriters in various public offerings by business development companies (BDCs). Counsel Douglas McCormack is also recommended.

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Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 5

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has been particularly active for clients forming funds to invest in real assets including agri-business, real estate, infrastructure, and metals and mining. Alyssa Grikscheit and Javier Fierro are acting for Banco Interacciones in the formation of a fund to invest in infrastructure in Mexico, and in a related offering of Mexican securities. In addition to its fund formation expertise, the firm leverages its extensive resources in ancillary disciplines such as real estate and M&A to provide a full service to clients that covers seed capital transactions, restructuring funds and managers, and handling compensation plans. Timothy Clark has ‘deep private equity fund formation experience and proffers counsel that satisfies fiduciary, regulatory and commercial objectives’. Also recommended are Christian Brause, James Munsell, Beth Quintana and Susan Lewis. In 2015, Jennifer Spiegel joined from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Scott Macdonald was promoted to partner. Timothy Spangler joined Dechert LLP.

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United States: Labor and employment

ERISA litigation
ERISA litigation - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has a strong practice defending financial institutions in 401(k) class action litigation, as well as acting for health and life insurance providers. Eric Mattson and Joel Feldman, both based in the firm’s Chicago office, successfully defended a class action ERISA claim brought against Principal Life Insurance. A multi-office team, including Anne Rea and Chris Meyer in Chicago and Carter Phillips and David Carpenter from the Washington and Los Angeles offices respectively, continues to represent Bank of America in a decade-long multi-faceted class action battle regarding the plan’s ‘normal retirement age’. On the insurance side, Feldman and Mark Blocker, who is also based in Chicago, acted for The Hartford in a class action dispute brought by Family Dollar employees alleging that the insurer subsidized sale of life cover sold to the company by overcharging for cover sold directly to the employees.

Leading lawyers

Anne Rea - Sidley Austin LLP

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Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s Chicago-based practice is based around a core of executive compensation, transactional and ERISA plan management matters. Beth Dickstein and senior counsel Robert Ferencz act for the AT&T pension plan as outside ERISA fiduciary and investment counsel, which includes advising on numerous ongoing matters. Transactional highlights saw Matthew Johnson and Nicholas Turner advising eBay and PayPal on the employee benefits aspects of eBay’s spin-off of PayPal into a separate company. Johnson also advised International Game Technology on its purchase by GTECH. Other clients include the American Bar Association Retirement Funds, which Dickstein and Ferencz assisted with a change in service providers, and Cummins, which Eileen Lu acts for in relation to employee benefits issues raised by its acquisition of many of distributors across North America.

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Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP

Brian Gold, Wendy Lazerson and Jennifer Zargarof lead the team at Sidley Austin LLP, which acts for clients such as Aon, Exelon, and Archer Daniels Midland. The firm handles a varied caseload of Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act claims, discrimination class actions, executive contract disputes, and unfair labor practice charges, among other matters. Zargarof and Douglas Hart acted for CVS Caremark and Pizza Hut in major class actions concerning a range of wage and hour issues; with regards to the former client, the firm successfully achieved decertification of a class containing over 60,000 employees. Geoffrey DeBoskey and Sarah Konsky, who were part of the team that worked on the aforementioned matters, now work in-house. Counsel Eric Suits was a new addition from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Named attorneys are spread across Chicago, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and New York.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Corporate governance
Corporate governance - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has a ‘knowledgeable, responsive and very practical team’ that regularly advises public companies as well as foundations, universities and other nonprofits. The firm has handled shareholder engagements and activist approaches, CEO transitions and internal investigations arising from whistleblower allegations. Key figures include Thomas Cole and John Kelsh, who are based in Chicago, and ‘thought-leader’ Holly Gregory, who works in New York. Kelsh ‘understands issues quickly and is very good at problem solving’.

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M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 5

Sidley Austin LLP

In May 2015, Sidley Austin LLP launched a new office in Century City, Los Angeles, with the hire of Dan Clivner from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and six other partners. This, along with expansions in Palo Alto, New York, Houston, Boston and Washington DC, cements the firm’s place as genuine proposition right across the US. From its heartland of Chicago, it represents a multitude of Fortune 1000 manufacturing and industrial clients, and, in December 2015, it represented Keurig Green Mountain in its $13.9bn acquisition by an investor group led by JAB Holding. In another substantial deal, it advised Catamaran Corporation on its $12.8bn sale to UnitedHealth Group. In addition, it represented long-term client General Electric in a series of transactions, including the sale of its sponsor finance business and a bank loan portfolio to CPP Investment Board. Real estate and REITs are another area of strength, and the firm advised Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust on its $7.7bn stock-for-stock merger with Colony American Homes. Chicago-based Thomas Cole is the elder statesman of the practice and often advises on many of the firm’s most significant transactions. Also in Chicago are Paul Choi, who is noted for spin-offs, and Brian Fahrney. In New York, Michael Gordon is an ‘out-of-the-box strategic thinker’ and recommended for public company and real estate deals. San Francisco partner Sharon Flanagan is ‘very strong in general public company SEC matters’.

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLPbrings the right experts to the table when a specialist is required’, say sources, and the firm now provides an even wider array of experts in the private equity sphere following the addition of four new partners. In Los Angeles, Vijay Sekhon joined from Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP and M&A lawyer Dan Clivner joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, while in Palo Alto, technology expert Martin Wellington arrived from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. In New York, Geoffrey Levin joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. The firm represented General Electric in connection with the $12bn sale of its sponsor finance business and a bank loan portfolio to CPP Investment Board. Other clients include Apollo, Harvest Partners and Century Park Capital Partners. The key partners are Chris Abbinante, Matthew Rizzo and Scott Freeman. The attorneys give ‘rapid responses no matter how detailed the request’. Jeffrey Smith is recommended.

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Venture capital and emerging companies
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has a ‘terrific’ team which is well versed in all aspects of financing and M&A for start-ups and investors. It has a strong presence in Silicon Valley, which is complemented by the firm’s New York and Boston offices. Hank Berry, Tom DeFilipps and Deborah Marshall jointly head the practice. Sam Zucker advised CytomX Therapeutics on its $80m IPO and its $70m series D preferred stock financing. New arrival Martin Wellington, who joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and focuses on M&A and public offerings, advised Vessel Group on its $75m series A and $57m series B financing rounds, with backing from Benchmark, Greylock Partners and Bezos Expeditions. All lawyers are in the Palo Alto office unless otherwise specified.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Cyber law
Cyber law - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP is, according to one client, ‘among the very best - the privacy team is bright, creative, hardworking, timely and decent’. Washington DC-based Edward McNicholas, Alan Raul and Anna Spencerare outstanding in every respect’. Apple, AT&T, Neiman Marcus, and Michaels Stores are among its high-profile clients. James Cole joined after serving as US Deputy Attorney General, and trial lawyer Michael Mallow joined from Loeb & Loeb LLP; both have strengths in privacy, data security and information law.

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Technology: data protection and privacy
Technology: data protection and privacy - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s team has a prominent practice in the financial services sector and has extensive experience acting for telecoms and analytics companies. ‘The privacy team is truly a pleasure to work with - they are well connected with privacy regulators and thought leaders around the world and can bring significant expertise to bear on behalf of the client’. Alan Raul represents clients on federal, state and international privacy issues; Anna Spencer has strengths in health-related privacy and security; Edward McNicholas’ niche is assisting technologically sophisticated companies with regulatory and policy issues; and John Casanova plays an important role in the practice from the Singapore office.

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Technology: outsourcing
Technology: outsourcing - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s team, which is led by the well-regarded Mark Kaufmann in Chicago, receives praise for ‘its close attention to detail, being timely, clear, responsive, and for having a true sense of proportion and business judgment’. Palo Alto-based Glenn Nashis uniquely skilled’ and Jeffrey Rothstein in Chicago ‘is very good at tailoring services to meet clients’ needs’. Recent works includes advising General Electric on its strategic investment in data analytics provider Meridium, and assisting OneAmerica with an onshore/offshore arrangement involving the outsourcing of its entire IT infrastructure to a third-party provider, including end-user computing, servers and storage, security services, network, database, and data centers. It also assisted a global professional services group in connection with the licensing of several third-party tools and pieces of software for the development of solutions to be sold to the client’s financial services customers.

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP saw the highly recommended Jennifer Coplan from the New York office promoted to joint head of the practice alongside the ‘extremely competentGlenn Nash in Palo Alto and the ‘very knowledgeableJeffrey Rothstein in Chicago. Nash advised eBay on its separation from PayPal, covering all aspects of IP and technology work for the client, and handled PayPal’s $890m acquisition of Xoom, a digital money transfer company. Rothstein advised long-term client General Electric on patent and other IP licenses regarding its acquisition of French company Alstom. Coplan handled Charter Communications’ licensing negotiations with ActiveVideo for cloud-based technologies, and its $135m acquisition of ActiveVideo in a joint venture ARRIS. In the Los Angeles office, Joshua Hofheimer advised Los Angeles County on negotiations with Oracle for software licenses and an amendment to a master services agreement for the Assessor’s Modernization Project. Other clients include KPMG, Facebook and Amazon. Mark Kaufmann and Pran Jha are recommended and are key contacts in the practice. Russell Weiss joined the Los Angeles office in 2015, and specializes in transactions involving the convergence of the technology and entertainment sectors.

Leading lawyers

Glenn Nash - Sidley Austin LLP

Jennifer Coplan - Sidley Austin LLP

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Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Frederick Beckner and Christopher Shenk jointly head Sidley Austin LLP’s communications regulatory practice following the departure in 2015 of David Lawson to take up the position of senior vice president and assistant general counsel at longstanding firm client AT&T. A team including Beckner, highly recognized general and appellate litigator Peter Keisler, and Jim Young acted for the client in an appellate court case before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals challenging the FCC’s Net Neutrality Order. The practice also represented the telecoms giant before the FCC in regard to the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction. Other clients include Facebook, Morgan Stanley, Tribune Company, and GE Capital. Mark Schneider and Marc Korman are advising the last client on various FCC rules and regulations, including advice on regulatory rules impacting telecoms, radio, television, wireless and other businesses. In 2015, the firm opened a new office in Century City to act as a hub for the firm’s global media, entertainment and digital technology practice.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

From its offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Sidley Austin LLP fields a substantial team that has a strong focus on all types of debt finance, including CMBS, acquisition loans, construction and development loans, term loans, bridge financings and mezzanine loans. As well as advising Deutsche Bank and other lenders in connection with multibillion-dollar financings for a number of trophy office buildings in New York, the team also represented M&T Bank in more than 50 separate commercial real estate loan originations to major developers. The team also handles corporate transactional work for clients such as Canyon Capital and Fortress Investment Group, and in 2014 it acted for the latter in relation to the $450m acquisition of United El Segundo, Rapid Gas and Apro. Key players in New York include practice co-chair Alan Weil, who has ‘vast and unparalleled experience in construction loans’, and ‘excellent real estate litigatorRichard Fries, while in Chicago, co-chair Charles Schrank is the main contact. In Los Angeles, co-chair Marc Hayutin’s team was boosted by the arrival of Joel Rothstein from Paul Hastings LLP. Matthew Fernand left the firm to work in-house.

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

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP is well known in the REIT sector and is regularly involved in high-profile capital markets deals for issuers and underwriters. The team has an outstanding portfolio of clients, including Simon Property Group, PennyMac Mortgage Trust, Ventas, Rouse Properties and Health Care REIT (now Welltower). High-profile transactions included assisting Strategic Hotels & Resorts in relation to its all-cash purchase by affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII for about $6bn. Other notable mandates included advising Recall on its $2.6bn acquisition by recently converted REIT Iron Mountain, and assisting Aviv REIT with its $3bn acquisition by Omega Healthcare Investors. Edward Petrosky, J Gerard Cummins and Christian Brause lead the practice form the New York office. Bartholomew Sheehan III and James O’Connor, also at the New York office, are noted.

Leading lawyers

Edward Petrosky - Sidley Austin LLP

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United States: Tax

Financial products
Financial products - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP works for leading world banks, securities firms, European and Asian private and sovereign issuers, borrowers and other market participants in a variety of public and private securities transactions. Its lawyers are renowned for their expertise in structured notes, swaps, hedging transactions and market derivatives. Work highlights included acting for the underwriters in BHP Billiton’s issuance of $1bn of subordinated fixed-rate reset notes. The team is led by Robert Kreitman in New York. Kreitman was in charge of the team advising Goldman Sachs as joint agent and book-runner in Passenger Railroad Insurance’s $275m catastrophe bond issuance. David Miller acted for REIT client Ventas in its equity offering program of $1bn of common stock. Other clients include Barclays, Deutsche Bank, General Electric and JPMorgan.

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International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

The ‘astute’ team at Sidley Austin LLP is frequently involved in cross-border transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, financings, licensing arrangements, joint ventures, structuring and restructuring, and it is regarded for its insurance and investment funds expertise. Recent highlights include advising General Electric on the proposed but ultimately terminated sale of its appliances business to Electrolux for $3.3bn. The team also advised Recall Holdings on its $2.6bn acquisition by Iron Mountain, and Stericycle on its $2.3bn acquisition of Shred-it International. In New York, Laura Barzilai and Robert Kreitman are ‘excellent’, and Christian Brause was recently promoted to partner. Los Angeles-based Edwin Norris and Sharp Sorensen in Chicago are also recommended. Gary Kaplan recently retired.

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US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s broad practice covers internal investigations involving tax issues, all stages of the administrative process from audits to administrative appeals before the IRS, as well as federal and state tax disputes. The practice is led by Jay Zimbler and Matthew Lerner. The team is representing American Airlines and United Airlines in suits brought by the Regional Transportation Authority in the Circuit Court of Cook County challenging their sourcing of local sales taxes. Another client is ABA Retirement Funds.

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP’s team has a ‘practical and commercial approach’, provides ‘great value’ and is noted for its work with MLPs. Sharp Sorensen co-heads the national tax practice from Chicago and led a team that assisted Catamaran Corporation with its sale to UnitedHealth Group for $12.8bn. Another notable transaction the team was involved in was the planned but terminated agreement for General Electric to sell its appliances business to Electrolux for $3.3bn, with Suresh Advani and Karen Hayes advising GE. Laura Barzilai and Robert Kreitman head the practice in New York, while Edwin Norris is in charge of the tax group in the Los Angeles office.

Leading lawyers

Sharp Sorensen - Sidley Austin LLP

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Further information on Sidley Austin LLP

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Mongolia

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