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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

787 SEVENTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10019, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 728 8000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 728 8111
Web:
www.willkie.com

United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's real estate bench deals with financing and refinancing, single-asset and multi-property portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, leasing and development transactions. Practice chair Thomas Henry recently advised Jiaming Investment on its joint venture with Tishman Speyer for the construction of The Spiral tower at Hudson Bay in New York. Henry and Carly Glover Saviano advised Paramount Group, a REIT, on the raising of $600m for investment in properties in New York and San Francisco. Henry and newly promoted partner Daniel Backer acted for IO Data Centers on its $1.3bn sale to Iron Mountain, while another highlight included advising Colony Cobalt on multiple mortgage loans totaling $125.1m which were secured by 17 properties. David Drewes acted for a joint venture between Meadow Partners and Slate Property Group on the acquisition of a $125m loan from an affiliate of Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies for the refinancing of a mixed-use development project in Brooklyn. Counsel Janice Levine handles residential closings, financing, leases and construction agreements. All named attorneys are based in New York.

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United States: Antitrust

Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 5

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's William Rooney 'is particularly outstanding, thorough and keen to understand the client's business'. He jointly leads the 'extremely methodical, extremely thorough, and extremely patient' team with Jeffrey Korn. Also notable is Wesley Powell, who acted as US antitrust counsel to CRF Health in connection with its acquisition by Genstar Capital. In other highlights, Silver Creek appointed the firm to oversee its takeover of Genesis Energy's crude oil transport infrastructure in Wyoming's Powder River basin. All named attorneys are based in New York.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 5

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's group is chaired by Washington DC's 'stellar' William Stellmach (whom clients rate for sanctions and anti-bribery matters) and New York's Michael Schachter, noted for his 'excellent judgment' and ability to provide 'bespoke and practical legal advice'. The duo work alongside  Amelia Cottrell in New York, who leads the securities enforcement group. Highlights for the group included representing Deerfield Management in DOJ and SEC insider trading investigations into the conduct of three former employees; they achieved a favorable resolution before the SEC and continue to represent the client in the DOJ investigation. Other key personnel include Martin Klotz in New York and Elizabeth Gray in Washington DC. In November 2018, the group welcomed veteran trial lawyer Randall Jackson from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.

Leading individuals: Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals

Randall Jackson - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is 'very strong at resolving disputes, whether through negotiation, mediation, arbitration or trial’. It continues to be retained by its longstanding clients in complex litigation and also picked up several new clients including CBS and Xerox. Its expertise spans numerous sectors of the economy, and it is particularly notable in the financial services space. In one example, Todd Cosenza represented the lead underwriters of ADT's IPO - which included Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley - in five putative class actions alleging misrepresentations and omissions in the offering documents. Tariq Mundiya is the litigation department chair; Mary Eaton heads the business and corporate litigation group; and Washington DC-based litigator Elizabeth Bower is a co-chair of the cybersecurity and privacy practice. Insurance and reinsurance litigation specialists Christopher St. Jeanos and Mitchell Auslander receive strong praise. Partners are located in New York unless otherwise stated.

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Headed out of Washington DC by the 'extremely talented' David Mortlock, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's two-partner team represents a growing roster of domestic and global corporates in a wide range of international trade and investment issues. 'A superstar in the sanctions space', Mortlock has superb insight into government trade policy as a result of his recent tenure as director for international economic affairs at the White House National Security Council. Mortlock provides ongoing guidance to Air France on compliance with US sanctions and export control laws regarding Iran and other jurisdictions. Also formerly at the government, where her most recent role was as acting general counsel of the Treasury Department, Priya Aiyar excels at advising clients on sanctions, AML and foreign investment matters, as well as on litigation and internal and government investigations.

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M&A litigation: defense
M&A litigation: defense - ranked: tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

'They just get it', says a client of the team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York, adding that 'they don't aggrandize or overreact to new developments even with bet-the-company stakes; they are very calm and tempered without minimizing the critical nature of the work'. The firm climbs the ranking this year and practice head Tariq Mundiya is described as 'exceptional - never surprised and always fully engaged - and he has a deep bench supporting him'. He is currently acting for Xerox Corporation in cases in state and federal courts arising from the termination of its deal with Fujifilm Holdings, which the latter alleged was wrongful and resulted in damages in excess of $1bn. He also led the successful defense of Hudson's Bay Company in litigation relating to its merger between with Saks Fifth Avenue. Also recommended are vice-chair of securities litigation group Todd Cosenza and partner Sameer Advani, who is 'a particularly good litigator who picks up complex and nuanced issues fast'.

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York 'has for decades tried and litigated complex, high-stakes securities matters and the lawyers are all top-notch, which is why they get many of the headline cases and help companies navigate to successful results', remarks a client. Chair of litigation Tariq Mundiya is 'an awesome attorney who comes up with innovative strategies to obtain the best possible results - he is not just book-smart, but also a master strategic thinker who exercises top-notch judgment'. He recently acted for Xerox Corporation in a $1bn derivative suit. Practice vice-chairs Todd Cosenza and Antonio Yanez scored a major victory for Lehman Brothers Holding when an $11.4bn claim brought by RMBS trustees was settled for $2.38bn. Yanez is currently handling matters arising from Puerto Rico's municipal bankruptcy for Bettina Whyte, the appointed agent for the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation. Securities litigation group chair Michael Young and, in Washington DC, senior counsel Richard Bernstein are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Todd Cosenza - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

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United States: Finance

Commercial lending
Commercial Lending: Advice To Borrowers - ranked: tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has 'a strong team from top to bottom', stocked with lawyers who do ''an exceptional job distilling complex topics'. On the borrower side, the firm advised Brookfield Business Partners on the financing for its $4.6bn buyout of Westinghouse Electric Company, and also advised Interpublic Group on the financing for its $2.3bn acquisition of the consumer data aggregator, Acxiom Marketing Solutions. The team is ranked for its borrower work, but also has strong capabilities on the lender side, where it recently advised the Ad Hoc First Lien Lender Group on the Chapter 11 proceedings of Claire's Stores and the restructuring of almost $2bn in company debt. Leonard Klingbaum chairs the practice group, which includes experienced vice chair Jeffrey Goldfarb, and partners Viktor Okasmaa, Joshua Deason, David Tarr and William Dye. Also recommended is Michael Niebruegge in Houston, who is noted for his energy-related financing work.

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's department comprises dedicated restructuring professionals who act across the full spectrum of insolvency issues, in and out of court. The team is experienced in company and creditor-side mandates, as well as complex cross-border issues, including Chapter 15 proceedings. Matthew Feldman is co-chair of the business reorganization and restructuring department with Rachel Strickland, who led in representing an ad hoc group of noteholders in connection with the Chapter 11 of Remington Outdoor Company and its affiliates. The team also advised Brookfield Business Partners in closing the $4.6bn bankruptcy acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company, previously owned by Toshiba Corp. In another highlight, the team is representing Aralez in its Chapter 11 proceedings pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The client filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2018 and is seeking to sell substantially all of its assets through the process. Also notable in the team is New York-based Paul Shalhoub, whose focus includes corporate restructuring transactions, acquisitions of distressed companies and debtor-in-possession financing.

Leading lawyers

Paul Shalhoub - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Rachel Strickland - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

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Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
Structured finance: derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

With a focus on commodity-linked derivatives, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acts for industry associations, end-users and market infrastructure providers in derivatives trading mandates and structured transactions, and SEC and CFTC compliance, investigations and enforcement matters. In the Washington DC office, Athena Eastwood acted for various commodities-based corporates in relation to swaps and futures transactions and regulatory issues, and Paul Pantano advised the Futures Industry Association on QFC stay protocols and related CFTC rulemaking procedures. Also recommended is New York-based counsel Conrad Bahlke, who is advising the United Nations World Food Programme on precipitation-based derivatives related to drought and famine relief and climate change events.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: transactions: oil and gas
Energy: transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP¬†is 'unique' due to 'the depth of knowledge it has about various aspects of the energy industry, as well as the technical acumen and commercial instincts that its lawyers offer'. Jointly headed by¬†Bruce Herzog¬†and Michael De Voe Piazza, the latter of whom is among ‚Äėthe foremost private investment attorneys in the energy space', the Houston-based team¬†has experience of upstream and midstream asset acquisitions and disposals, the negotiation of drilling partnerships and other joint venture agreements, and energy finance and capital markets transactions. Piazza advised Samson Resources II on the sale of its East Texas and North Louisiana assets to an affiliate of Rockcliff Energy II for a cash purchase price of $525m. Another recommended lawyer is¬†Cody Carper, who is ‚Äėextremely responsive, informed, and commercial in negotiations‚Äô.¬†Archie Fallon¬†joined the team from King & Spalding LLP, Steven Torello¬†joined from DLA Piper LLP (US), and Washington DC-based¬†Norman Bay¬†joined from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's 'very strong team' has a 'great insight into the representation of insurance brokers and a deep understanding of insurance coverage'. 'Excellent coverage lawyer' Christopher St. Jeanos achieved a positive verdict for Marsh USA in its $15m dispute with Lloyd's and the owner of a yacht over property loss resulting from a fire. He also collaborated with 'experienced and smart' Mitchell Auslander on the representation of multiple clients of Legal Services of New York City who received undervalued recovery payments after suffering property losses due to flooding by Superstorm Sandy. Both partners are based in New York.

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

The 'combination of exceptionally deep transactional experience, outstanding legal skills and thorough business understanding' makes Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's 'client-focused' insurance practice 'one of the best in the market'. The team, which focuses on M&A, capital markets and alternative risk transfer matters, is also recommended for its 'very strong insurance regulatory practice' and 'involvement in many of the largest and most complex transactions in recent years'. The client base ranges from life, P&C and financial guaranty insurers to private equity investors, financial funds and commercial and investment banks. Michael Groll took a lead role for Aspen Insurance Holdings on its $2.6bn sale to Apollo Global Management, while 'highly knowledgeable and responsive' John Schwolsky advised on the $2.5bn merger of client Assurant and The Warranty Group. Alexander Dye, who 'inspires the confidence of boards of directors and is able to keep calm under pressure', acted for Protective Life Corporation on a $1.17bn reinsurance transaction which involved the acquisition of the individual life and annuity business of Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston. All mentioned partners are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Alexander Dye - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

John Schwolsky - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Michael Groll - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Alternative/hedge funds
Alternative/hedge funds - ranked: tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

The team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is led by Barry Barbash, who operates out of the Washington DC and New York offices, and has expertise in a broad range of fund formation and regulatory matters. Names to note in the New York office include Joseph Cunningham, Rita Molesworth and counsel Deborah Tuchman, while James Silk is a key contact in Washington DC.

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Mutual/registered/ exchange-traded funds
Mutual/registered/ exchange-traded funds - ranked: tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP 's 'extremely diligent and intelligent' team 'provides excellent client service on a wide range of matters', notably in the regulatory arena. Margery Neale and Jay Spinola advised a leading asset manager on launching its first ETF and registering five additional ETFs. In another matter, Neale and  Elliot Gluck assisted a prominent manager with acquiring 15 mutual funds advised by an insurance company with $13.2bn under management. Washington DC-based Benjamin Haskin and Georgia Bullitt are also key contacts. Neale and former SEC Division of Investment Management director Barry Barbash, who divides time between the Washington DC and New York offices, jointly head the practice. Rose DiMartino retired in March 2019. The team is based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Barry Barbash - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Margery Neale - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

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Private equity funds (including venture capital)
Private equity funds (including venture capital) - ranked: tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP handles private equity fund formations and manager M&A deals. In New York, the 'very thoughtful' Arash Farhadieh assisted Insight Venture Partners with the closing of its tenth fund, which closed with commitments of $6.3bn. Phillip Isom assisted DoubleBlue Capital Management with the closing of both its inaugural Argentine credit fund, DoubleBlue Argentina Consumer Finance Fund I, and its parallel fund DoubleBlue Argentina Consumer Finance Offshore Fund I. Houston-based Michael De Voe Piazza and Lior Ohayon are also key names.

Next Generation Partners

Arash Farhadieh - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design - ranked: tier 5

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acts for a number of prominent asset managers, investment banks, plan sponsors and other financial entities, with standout names including Citigroup, Warburg Pincus, Genstar Capital, Bloomberg and HealthEquity. The team's service covers the full scope of employee benefits and executive compensation matters, including ERISA obligations such as fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transactions, and designing and implementing complex compensation arrangements for investment professionals. Michael Katz, Peter Haller and Mark Holdsworth are the key names, and Geri Anne McEvoy was promoted to partner in 2018. All named lawyers are based in New York.

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Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

The New York-based team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP works with the wider firm’s insurance, private equity and investment funds teams to provide comprehensive employee benefits and executive compensation advice on corporate transactions. Group head Michael Katz advised on a number of significant transactions including Brookfield Business Partners’ $4.6bn agreement to acquire 100% of Westinghouse Electric Company, and Jordan Messinger advised on Protective Life Corporation’s $1.2bn protective agreement to re-insure Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston. Mark Holdsworth assisted TriTech Software Systems with its Bain Capital funded recapitalization exercise, while Peter Haller leads on ERISA Title 1 matters for asset managers, investment banks, private wealth advisers and investment funds. Additional clients include Citigroup, Genstar Capital, MetLife and HealthEquity. Geri Anne McEvoy was made partner in 2018.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a steady stream of big-ticket M&A engagements and continues to expand its senior team. In addition to several partner promotions, the firm hired Matthew Rizzo and Jessica Sheridan from Sidley Austin LLP. The Houston office was also reinforced with Archie Fallon and Steven Torello joining from King & Spalding LLP and DLA Piper LLP (US) respectively. This has further enhanced the firm's already strong energy credentials. It also has 'great depth and expertise in insurance M&A', 'a can do attitude' and 'is willing to work day and night to make a timeline'. The firm illustrated its financial services M&A expertise when it advised Assurant, the global risk management solutions provider, on its $2.5bn acquisition of The Warranty Group, the global provider of protection plans and related programs. It also advised Aetna on the $21.45bn sale of its US group life and disability business to The Hartford. Moreover, it advised AmTrust Financial Services’s special committee on a $2.95bn take private transaction involving the business's management group and private equity investors. Other key partners include co-chairs of the M&A group David Boston and Steven Seidman and financial services M&A expert Gregory Astrachan, who has 'excellent technical expertise, extensive market knowledge, a can do attitude and is a pleasure to work with'. Houston-based energy M&A specialists Michael De Voe Piazza and Cody Carper are also recommended. All partners are New York-based unless stated otherwise.

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP continued to expand its team with the hires of Matthew Rizzo and Jessica Sheridan from Sidley Austin LLP, where Rizzo was a practice area team leader; the two have an especially strong record in healthcare and healthcare services deals. In addition, energy sector specialists Steven Torello and Archie Fallon have joined the Houston office from DLA Piper LLP (US) and King & Spalding LLP. The reinforced team has an especially fine record in the middle to upper-middle market. Department members are 'client-oriented', 'extremely talented, hard working, creative and commercial'.  Clients include Warburg Pincus, Insight Venture Partners, Court Square, Centerbridge Partners and Genstar Capital. The firm has advised Genstar Capital and its portfolio company Apex Fund Services on a series of deals, including Apex's multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Deutsche Bank Alternative Fund Services, among other financial services deals. It also advised Insight Venture Partners on a number of transactions, including its $1.16bn acquisition in Episerver. Other key partners include chairman Steven Gartner, and co-chairs of the private equity practice Jeffrey Poss and Neil Townsend; Poss is 'a fantastic partner', 'extremely commercial, very practical, very closely engaged on projects and able to efficiently leverage his team'. Co-head of the energy practice and Houston managing partner Bruce Herzog is another key contact. The named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

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Shareholder activism
Shareholder activism: advice to shareholders - ranked: tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's Russell Leaf represented Carl Icahn in a successful proxy contest to halt a proposed merger of SandRidge Energy and Bonanza Creek, followed by a contest to take control of SandRidge. In addition, Tariq Mundiya acted for Third Point LLC in a proposed proxy contest for control of Nestlé, and also assisted the client with an engagement at Campbell Soup Company. Another key activist client is Elliot Management, which Maurice Lefkort recently advised on a proxy contest at Arconic; the settlement secured three seats for the manager and the removal of one existing board member as well as the company's re-domiciliation to Delaware.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's cross-departmental fintech practice group includes lawyers from its corporate and finance, litigation, and intellectual property departments combining 'phenomenal work ethic, insight and deal skills'.¬†The team is particularly adept at handling¬†investments in technology companies for private equity and venture capital clients, which include¬†Genstar Capital and Insight Venture Partners.¬†Jeffrey Poss¬†‚ÄĒ who has attracted praise from one client as being 'the single best transactional attorney with whom they work' ‚ÄĒ led a team alongside partners in London which acted for billing and payment solutions provider OSG Billing Services on its acquisition of London-based Communisis PLC. The practice is also advising BIDS Trading on regulatory matters relating to its¬†partnership with Bats Europe¬†for the creation of a block trading service for the European equity market. The group has been bolstered with the launch of a¬†Palo Alto office led by¬†technology transaction lawyers Tiffany Lee¬†and Matthew Berger¬†who recently joined from Paul Hastings LLP.

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP represents domestic and international clients on the full spectrum of regulatory issues. Group leader Thomas Jones is 'responsive, knowledgeable and a strategic thinker'; he specializes in FCC merger review and enforcement proceedings, and recently acted for Granite Telecommunications and Manhattan Telecommunications (d/b/a/ Metropolitan Telecommunications) in connection with USTelecom's petition for forbearance concerning the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Another prominent name in the practice is of counsel Mia Hayes, who has a particular focus on competition and FCC transaction review, and assisted Jones in his work for Granite and Manhattan. Michael Hurwitz has significant experience in FCC complaint and enforcement proceedings, and successfully defended key client Comcast in a program carriage dispute with beIN sports. Comcast also retains the firm on several other regulatory matters, with broadband deployment expert Daniel Alvarez handling work concerning the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, and cable specialist Jonathan Friedman assisting with various regulatory reform issues. Of counsel Renee Gregory is a key contact for spectrum work, and also has significant experience in wireless matters. Friedman and Gregory advise ARRIS Group on 3.5GHz spectrum proceedings and other mid-band issues.

Next Generation Partners

Daniel Alvarez - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

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United States: Tax

US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 5

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Recommended for its ‚Äėability to jump on basic and complex tax matters in a way that clients understand‚Äô,¬†Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP¬†handles private equity and fund formation, restructuring and mid-market M&A, and has a strong presence in the insurance and private equity sectors. Among its recent highlights, the team advised¬†Assurant on its deal to acquire The Warranty Group for $2.5bn, and also acted for Morgan Stanley Investment Management in its agreement to acquire a commercial real estate credit platform with over $5bn in gross assets under management. Key contacts include Christopher Peters¬†for M&A and¬†Hillel Jacobson¬†for private equity. Federal taxation lawyer Robert Jacobson¬†in Houston is ‚Äėa¬†great tax partner - he does not complicate what are often complicated issues‚Äô. Anthony Carbone¬†left for Morrison & Foerster LLP¬†in June 2018. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

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Offices in Washington DC, New York, Houston, and Palo Alto

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