The Legal 500

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United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 5

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz handles a mix of domestic and cross-border transactions in the real estate space and has notable expertise in REIT M&A. The team is jointly chaired by corporate lawyer Adam Emmerich, who focuses primarily on M&A and capital markets transactions across a range of sectors, including healthcare and telecoms. The other key figure is Robin Panovka, who focuses on strategic transactions across the hospitality, gaming and retail sectors, and has recently been involved in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Other highlights for the team included advising Cousins Properties on its merger with Parkway Properties, and the resulting creation of two publically traded REITs with a combined value of $7bn; acting for Gaming and Leisure Properties i its $500m acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment’s real estate assets; and advising Morgan Stanley on a number of gaming and hotel restructurings and dispositions.

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United States: Antitrust

Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 3

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

New York-based M&A powerhouse Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz assists clients with the antitrust issues connected to big-ticket transactions. In 2017, Damian Didden acted as antitrust counsel to Broadcom in its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm. Ilene Gotts’ recent work includes assisting Danone with obtaining DOJ clearance of its acquisition of WhiteWave. Nelson Fitts handles antitrust issues within sectors such as energy, pharmaceuticals and financial services, among others. Joseph Larson is another notable partner.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates - ranked: tier 4

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is particularly noted for its corporate representations. Clients of David Anders have included the NBA and Monsanto. Wayne Carlin is a former director at the SEC’s New York regional office. Ralph Levene and John Savarese are also recommended.

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Financial services litigation
Financial services litigation - ranked: tier 3

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

While it is better known for its financial services M&A excellence, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz also has significant capability in relation to high-stakes regulatory enforcement actions/investigations and follow-on private litigation. Past highlights have included assisting Bank of America on the negotiation of its $8.5bn settlement to resolve multibillion-dollar put-back claims by investors in more than 500 MBS issued by Countrywide, as well as representing JPMorgan Chase in the $19bn litigation brought against it by the trustee for the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s failed firm. John Savarese, David Anders and Jonathan Moses are all recommended.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 3

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Shareholder, M&A, financial and securities litigation are the standout areas at New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Thanks to its consistent track record in the area, the team is a prominent name for corporate governance and takeover cases. Jonathan Moses and William Savitt head the litigation department, which is regularly called upon by financial services and corporate clients in high-stakes cases, with the values in dispute often exceeding the $1bn mark. Other key figures in the department include Carrie Reilly, Stephen DiPrima and John Savarese.

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

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York has ‘a highly consistent team that is very good at what it does; the firm has to be considered as one of the leaders in its field’. Lawyers who are regarded as being ‘at the very top of the market’ include William Savitt and Jonathan Moses, who are heads of the litigation practice. The firm is a key player in many of the most high-profile and high-value corporate disputes. One example is In re PetSmart, Inc, in which Theodore Mirvis and Rachelle Silverberg achieved a significant victory for PetSmart in appraisal litigation that challenged the price of its $8.7bn sale to a consortium led by BC Partners. Savitt secured a landmark decision in an appraisal case arising from Hilltop’s acquisition of regional broker-dealer SWS in which fair value was determined to be below the original deal price. Ryan McLeod is a rising star and played a key role in defending a stockholder class action challenging the reclassification of Facebook shares.

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 3

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York has a team of highly experienced securities litigators led by William Savitt and Jonathan Moses. A highlight for Moses and Elaine Golin was their work for mortgage originator PNC Financial Services Group in ongoing litigation with former mortgage securitizer Residential Funding Company, LLC. The case alleges that PNC and others breached their representations and warranties on loans sold to RFC, which is seeking to recover losses incurred in its bankruptcy. A motion to dismiss was partially granted. Savitt and Ryan McLeod continued to act for outside directors and the board of Facebook in connection with a putative class action challenging the proposed reclassification of common stock. John Saverese, who represented JPMorgan in Madoff-related litigation, Carrie Reilly and Bradley Wilson are also recommended.

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United States: Finance

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

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Utilising the firm’s strength in corporate, finance and litigation, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s New York-based team has secured work in some the largest US bankruptcies such as representing the prepetition term lenders providing a $450m DIP financing facility in Toys"R"US’ high-profile Chapter 11 proceeding. The group also secured mandates in the Chapter 11 proceedings of Payless ShoeSource, Energy Future Holdings, Westinghouse Electric Corporation and retailer Sports Authority as well as advised Scotiabank and other lenders on Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s restructuring and related litigation. Richard Mason took over the practice lead from Harold Novikoff, who now acts as of counsel to the firm.

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 1

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s executive compensation team works intimately with the firm’s renowned M&A practice to handle issues arising from high-value transactions, spin-offs, restructurings and IPOs. Michael Segal, who specializes in representing individual executives and management teams, leads the offering with financial sector expert Jeannemarie O’Brien and Andrea Wahlquist. Adam Shapiro is also a key contact and has strong experience in corporate governance and spin-off transactions.

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

Universally acclaimed as a domestic and global leader in M&A, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz remains at the forefront of $1bn-plus transactions from its sole office in New York. The firm, which is ‘in a class of its own’ in M&A, continues to attract a sizable market share of large-cap deals, takeover and activist defense work, proxy contests and special committee engagements. In 2017, it advised United Technologies on its $30.3bn acquisition of Rockwell Collins and represented Whole Foods Market in its $13.7bn acquisition by Amazon.com. Founding partner Martin Lipton continues to be at the forefront of technically challenging and transformational deals involving US corporations. The ‘standoutAdam Emmerich is a ‘fantastic lawyer’, as are David Katz, Steven Rosenblum and Andrew Nussbaum. Edward Herlihy, Daniel Neff, Andrew Brownstein and Igor Kirman are also formidable practitioners.

Leading lawyers

Adam Emmerich - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Andrew Nussbaum - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Daniel Neff - 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 1

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

A ‘first port of call for sophisticated or "first of a kind" transactions’, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s ‘cutting-edge’ practice is led jointly by noted sector specialist Robin Panovka and Adam Emmerich. REIT M&A provides the bulk of the work and the New York-based group is regularly involved in headline transactions, such as its recent advice to Regency Centers on its combination with Equity One to form a $15.6bn REIT. The team also acted for Cousins Properties in its merger with Parkway Properties and the simultaneous spin-off of the Houston-based assets of both companies, which created two publicly-traded REITs with a combined asset value of $7bn.

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

New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz works with large international businesses on the tax aspects of corporate reorganizations, acquisitions, dispositions, financings, restructurings and joint ventures. Jodi Schwartz assisted Ireland-based Medtronic with its $6.1bn sale of a portion of its patient monitoring and recovery division to Cardinal Health, while Eiko Stange handled Tesla Motors’ acquisition of German machine industry company Grohmann Engineering. Joshua Holmes is another name to note, as is Tijana Dvornic, who assisted Canada-based multinational Valeant Pharmaceuticals with the $1.3bn sale of its CeraVe, Ambi and AcneFree brands and related assets to L'Oréal USA.

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

New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s team comprises 11 lawyers and handles both corporate and real estate transactions, as well as reorganizations and financial matters. Practice lead Jodi Schwartz provided advice to CenturyLink during its acquisition of Level 3 Communications for $34bn, and also represented CBS in the Reverse Morris Trust sale of CBS Radio to Entercom Communications. Deborah Paul assisted Apollo Global Management’s affiliated funds with the $5.1bn purchase of West Corporation. Eiko Stange, who acted for United Technologies during the $30.3 acquisition of Rockwell Collins, is another name to note.

Leading lawyers

Deborah Paul - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Jodi Schwartz - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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