The Legal 500

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United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 4

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz stands outs for its expertise in REIT and real estate mergers and acquisitions, and the team was once again active in various multibillion-dollar deals. Practice co-head Adam Emmerich advised Regency Centers on its $15.6bn merger with Equity One and also acted for the special committee of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust in its merger with Colony American Homes. In another significant transaction, Emmerich and Ronald Chen represented Javelin Mortgage Investment in its acquisition by Armour Residential REIT. The team’s sector expertise in hospitality and gaming was also in evidence, with practice co-head Robin Panovka advising Gaming and Leisure Properties on its acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment’s real estate assets. All named attorneys are named in New York.

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United States: Antitrust

Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 2

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Merger control is a major area of strength at New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where the antitrust team covers filings, second request investigations and merger-related litigation. In a recent highlight, Ilene Gotts advised Danone on the antitrust aspects of its $10bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods. In a separate matter, Gotts represented Faiveley Transport and its subsidiary Faiveley Transport North America in a civil antitrust lawsuit brought by the DOJ challenging the client’s proposed $1.8bn acquisition by Wabtec. Other key partners are Damian Didden (who has previous experience as as a trial attorney at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division), Nelson Fitts and Joseph Larson. Of counsel David Schwartz acts for companies from sectors such as retail, paper and petroleum, among others.

Leading lawyers

Ilene Gotts - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 3

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is a ‘terrific’ New York-based firm that ‘has done a really good job of boosting its practice’. Key figures include David Anders, who has advised the NBA on several high-profile investigations, and John Savarese, who is known for advising JPMorgan Chase in the aftermath of the Bernie Madoff investigations and successfully representing the client in a number of class action lawsuits. Ralph Levene has assisted UBS with cross-border tax and securities law issues. Wayne Carlin is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and handles litigation, internal investigations and the design of compliance policies.

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

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz benefits from a cadre of ‘highly talented’ general commercial litigators who regularly undertake ‘high-stakes’ civil and criminal agency proceedings and litigation for major banks, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. The ‘terrificJohn Savarese has handled numerous matters arising out of the financial crisis and has represented financial institutions and senior executives in SEC enforcement proceedings and white-collar investigations. The arrival of former high-ranking federal prosecutor Marshall Miller in April 2016 further enhances a strong white-collar team, which also includes David Anders and Jonathan Moses.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 3

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is particularly renowned for its track record in transactional disputes and is regularly called upon by its clients in high-profile corporate governance and takeover cases. William Savitt, Bradley Wilson and Ryan McLeod represented the outside directors of the board of Facebook in a stockholder class action that challenged the company’s stock reclassification. Other cases in 2016 included antitrust and securities litigation and a host of disputes in the financial services space. Jonathan Moses co-heads the team alongside Savitt.

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M&A: litigation: defense
M&A: litigation: defense - ranked: tier 1

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is ‘the crème de la crème, undoubtedly at the top of the market, a fantastic M&A shop and absolutely a first-tier player’. Having set the doctrinal framework for M&A litigation over the years, the firm continues its run of success in high-stakes matters. William Savitt, who is ‘one of the best M&A litigators around’ and has a long track record of victories in the Delaware Court of Chancery, defended Lexmark International and its board in a challenge to its $3.6bn acquisition by a consortium of investors led by Apex Technology. The team successfully argued that the case should be moved from Kentucky state court to Delaware due to forum selection bylaws and the case was dismissed. Savitt, who co-leads the practice with Jonathan Moses, represented all defendants in An Nguyen v Michael G Barrett, et al, which challenged disclosures issued by Millennial Media in connection with its 2015 acquisition by AOL. The court dismissed all claims. Rising star Ryan McLeod is now a partner.

Leading lawyers

William Savitt - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Next generation lawyers

Ryan McLeod - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz has great depth in its securities litigation team, which is led by ‘exceptional lawyerWilliam Savitt and Jonathan Moses. The firm regularly acts in high-stakes litigation for blue-chip corporate clients such as Facebook and JP Morgan. Savitt, Bradley Wilson and rising star Ryan McLeod are representing outside directors and the board of Facebook in connection with a putative class action challenging the proposed reclassification of the company’s common stock in order to increase Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic activities. Savitt also represented Lionsgate in obtaining the dismissal of a securities class action alleging that the company had misled investors by not disclosing a pending SEC investigation. In Lima v Vivint Solar Inc,Paul Vizcarrondo and Carrie Reilly achieved a victory for underwriters of Vivint Solar’s IPO by obtaining the complete dismissal with prejudice of all claims. John Saverese has long represented JP Morgan in Madoff-related litigation, which continued in 2016.

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United States: Finance

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 3

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s bankruptcy and restructuring group brings together the firm’s corporate, finance and litigation expertise. Emil Kleinhaus has been leading the representation of debtor YH Limited in its bankruptcy case involving $1.5bn in debt and of Education Management Corporation in continued litigation related to the restructuring of over $1bn in debt. Kleinhaus argued an appeal at the Second Circuit on behalf of the latter relating to the Trust Indenture Act. Joshua Feltman advised the largest creditor of Dex Media in connection with Dex’s bankruptcy proceedings and, on the debtor side, assisted Key Energy Services in connection with its pre-packaged bankruptcy. The team has also been representing Scotiabank and other lenders in restructuring negotiations and litigation with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. The restructuring and finance group is chaired by Harold Novikoff.

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions)
Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions) - ranked: tier 1

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Leading M&A firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz advises clients on the executive compensation aspects of various corporate transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs and IPOs. Financial sector specialist Jeannemarie O’Brien handles high-value deals and compensation structures, while Andrea Wahlquist is an expert in the acquisition and management of portfolio companies for private equity sponsors. The team is headed by Michael Segal, who acts for senior executives; key contacts also include spin-offs and corporate governance expert Adam Shapiro.

Leading lawyers

Adam Shapiro - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Andrea Wahlquist - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Jeannemarie O’Brien - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Michael Segal - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

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

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

New York firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is a ‘superb firm’ that has an ‘enviable reputation amongst boards of directors’, making it a go-to firm for bulge-bracket deals, takeover defense and contested transactions, special committee engagements, shareholder activism and proxy contests. The firm advised Monsanto on its $66bn acquisition by Bayer to create the world’s largest agricultural supplier. It also represented Medivation in its $14.6bn acquisition by Pfizer, this after advising Pfizer on its proposed $160bn combination with Allergan, a deal which was eventually terminated. In addition, the firm advised CenturyLink on its $34bn acquisition of Level 3 Communications. The hugely experienced and seasoned Martin Lipton remains ‘the leading lawyer in the US’, according to one client, an assessment which attracts wider support. Adam Emmerich, David Katz and Steven Rosenblum are also outstanding practitioners and Edward Herlihy is ‘excellent by any measure’. Andrew Nussbaum, Daniel Neff, Andrew Brownstein and Igor Kirman are also highly regarded.

Leading lawyers

Adam Emmerich - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

David Katz - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Martin Lipton - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Steven Rosenblum - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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United States: Real estate

Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 2

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

At Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York, the REIT team engages solely in M&A transactions, spin-offs and joint ventures. Practice leaders Adam Emmerich and Robin Panovka advised AMB Property Corporation on its $14bn merger with Prologis. Together with Ronald Chen, Emmerich also advised the special committee of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust on the merger with Colony American Homes in a stock-for-stock transaction, while Panovka led the spin-off of a nursing facility portfolio from Ventas as well as the acquisition of American Realty Capital Healthcare by the same client.

Leading lawyers

Robin Panovka - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 3

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Jodi Schwartz, Deborah Paul, Eiko Stange and Joshua Holmes are the key partners for international tax at New York firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and advise on corporate reorganizations, acquisitions, spin-offs and other dispositions, financings, restructurings and joint ventures. Recent highlights include Schwartz advising Monsanto during its $66bn acquisition by Bayer and Paul assisting French Danone with the $12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods. Stange advised Tesla Motors on its acquisition of Germany’s Grohmann Engineering, while Holmes handled the $4.3bn merger between client Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation and Starz. Tijana Dvornic became a partner in January 2017.

Next generation lawyers

Tijana Dvornic - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s practice regularly handles the tax aspects of corporate reorganizations, acquisitions, spin-offs, financings, restructurings and joint ventures. Jodi Schwartz assisted Century Link with its $34bn acquisition of Level 3 Communications, which included the assumption of pre-existing debt, and advised Monsanto on its $66bn acquisition by Bayer. Other highlights included Deborah Paul’s advice to Supervalu on its $1.4bn sale of Save-A-Lot to Onex Partners and Harman International Industries on its $8.8bn acquisition by Samsung Electronics; Eiko Stange’s advice to Regency Centers on its $15.6bn merger with Equity One; and Joshua Holmes’s advice to TD Ameritrade on its $4bn acquisition of Scottrade.

Leading lawyers

Deborah Paul - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Jodi Schwartz - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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