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United States: Dispute resolution
General commercial disputes
McGuireWoods LLP’s team is noted for its ‘excellent response times’ and ‘great depth of knowledge’ and achieved a series of victories for its clients throughout 2014 and 2015. Highlights included Richmond-based Bryan Fratkin’s successful representation of Capital One in an MDL in the Northern District of Georgia. David Hartsell and Marta Stein in Chicago are recommended.
Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport
The product and consumer litigation department at McGuireWoods LLP is headed by Samuel Tarry, who continues to serve as national counsel for CSX Transportation in all punitive damages litigation. In 2015, Tracy Walker obtained reversal of a 2013 jury verdict against Hyundai in a $14m case alleging personal injuries sustained in a collision were caused by defective design of Hyundai’s Tiburon vehicle. Led by Tarry and Walker, the firm also continues to represent Ford as national counsel in class actions, product liability litigation and asbestos litigation. The aforementioned partners are based in Richmond. John Weisner retired.
Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco) - ranked: tier 2
At McGuireWoods LLP, Diane Flannery is leading a team that is currently serving as co-lead counsel to Lumber Liquidators in an MDL concerning allegations that the client knowingly sold Chinese laminate flooring containing unsafe levels of formaldehyde; proceedings are currently in the discovery phase. In other work, Stephen Busch successfully served as lead trial and coordinating counsel to leading tobacco company Universal Corporation in Hupan, et al v Alliance One International, as well as five related lawsuits pertaining to birth defects allegedly caused by exposure to hazardous herbicides and pesticides in Argentina; all six lawsuits were dismissed. Samuel Tarry is now head of the Richmond-based practice, having succeeded Terrence Bagley, who continues to play a full role in the practice.
Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
McGuireWoods LLP’s toxic tort and environmental litigation department is headed by Stephen Busch, who is currently serving as national trial and coordinating counsel for Carpenter Co in personal injury and wrongful death actions arising from catastrophic fires or alleged toxic exposure in connection to the use of certain products. Raleigh-based Mark Anderson represented Duke Energy in appealing a $25m fine imposed by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources for alleged environmental violations regarding coal ash at the client’s site in North Carolina; the firm obtained a $7m settlement with the state. Samuel Tarry and Tracy Walker are also recommended. All partners are based in Richmond unless otherwise noted.
White-collar criminal defense
McGuireWoods LLP had an excellent 2015, handling some very high-profile matters and recruiting Robert Bittman, Todd Steggerda and George Terwilliger to its Washington DC office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Terwilliger led the firm’s advice to former Illinois congressman Aaron Schock in a DOJ investigation into his political expenditures. Richmond-based practice head John Adams advised SunTrust Mortgage on a DOJ criminal investigation into the client’s handling of a federally mandated mortgage modification program, resolving the matter successfully. Highlights for Richmond lawyer Richard Cullen included representing former FIFA president Sepp Blatter. The Washington DC-based Todd Mullins is representing two former Barclays energy traders in an investigation into alleged market manipulation.
United States: Finance
McGuireWoods LLP’s ‘excellent’ lender-focused practice is built upon the firm’s roots in Charlotte, which is an important banking center. In recent years, the firm has added to its strong bank practice (clients include Bank of America and Wells Fargo) with an increasing number of non-bank clients, such as Capital One and GE Capital. Charlotte-based Raj Natarajan was appointed practice head in the summer of 2015, taking over from Robert Cramer, who remains a key name in the team. The group has a notable strength in auto dealer transactions and recently Manley Roberts advised Bank of America, as administrative agent, lender and letter of credit issuer, and Merrill Lynch, as sole lead arranger, on over $1.2bn of senior secured, syndicated credit facilities for Sonic Automotive.
United States: Industry focus
Energy transactions: conventional power
McGuireWoods LLP’s practice is led by Joanne Katsantonis, who advised Dominion Resources on its $500m acquisition of Carolina Gas Transmission from SCANA Corporation. Katsantonis and Michael Woodard also advised Morgan Stanley on Exelon Corporation’s proposed acquisition of Pepco Holdings for $6.8bn, while Brian Kelly advised Direct Energy on its partnership with SmartThings to offer energy management technology to its customers in Texas.
Energy transactions: oil and gas
At McGuireWoods LLP, practice head Joanne Katsantonis assisted Dominion Resources with its $4.4bn purchase of Questar Corporation, and on its $500m acquisition of Carolina Gas Transmission from SCANA Corporation. The team also advised Morgan Stanley on Exelon’s $6.8bn purchase of Pepco Holdings. Other clients include Direct Energy and Duke Energy.
Many partners at McGuireWoods LLP have prior in-house experience at utilities, which translates into a steady flow of instructions from electric power providers. Utility practice co-head Noel Symons represented Kansas City Power and Light Company in challenging a rate increase proposed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) resulting from the integration of the Entergy transmission system into MISO. Managing partner of the Washington DC office and chair of the energy enforcement team Todd Mullins defended two Barclays energy traders in a FERC investigation involving accusations that they manipulated Western US energy markets by scheming to trade day-ahead fixed-price electricity to boost the bank’s financial swap positions. Other clients include Dominion Resources and Great Plains Energy. Brad Funari joined Reed Smith LLP.
With a number of team members having prior in-house experience at utility companies, McGuireWoods LLP is well equipped to guide its clients through the electric regulatory space. Key elements of the practice include rate cases, disputes between regional transmission organizations, market tariffs, compliance matters and enforcement cases. As well as its electric power expertise, the firm advises on gas and nuclear matters. Todd Mullins, managing partner of the Washington DC office and chair of the energy enforcement team, represented two former Barclays energy traders in a FERC investigation; the defendants are accused of manipulating electricity prices in Western US markets between 2006 and 2008. Utility practice co-head Noel Symons represented Kansas City Power and Light in its challenge to a $4.5m per year cost shift, resulting from the inclusion of a new transmission owner. Joseph Reid chairs the regulatory and compliance department from Richmond, Virginia.
Healthcare: service providers
McGuireWoods LLP has deep experience in regulatory issues and transactions, with significant revenue derived from private equity investments in the healthcare sector. Investigations and litigation, including antitrust and whistleblower cases, are also growing parts of the practice. The firm represents a variety of hospitals and health systems, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis and nephrology chains, and private equity and other healthcare investors. It recently advised Lenoir Memorial Hospital, one of the few remaining independent hospitals in North Carolina, on its potential sale. Much of the healthcare workload is handled out of Chicago, with Charlotte, Richmond, Washington DC and Dallas also playing a key role. Scott Becker is a big name, particularly in relation to ambulatory surgery and private equity. Jim Riley is recognized for dialysis-related work, and Amber Walsh is an expert in healthcare private equity, ambulatory surgery and dialysis matters.
United States: M&A/corporate and commercial
M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)
A significant part of McGuireWoods LLP’s practice consists of representing strategic buyers, and a large percentage of its clients are serial acquirers. The team acted for Dominion Midstream Partners in its $290m acquisition of an approximately 50% interest in Iroquois Gas Transmission System, while on the sell side it acted for The Warren Alpert Foundation in its sale of Warren Equities for approximately $400m. It also advised Milestone Equipment Holdings on its merger with a motor carrier equipment owner and lessor. Scott Westwood in Pittsburgh chairs the M&A and cross-border transactions department.
United States: Media, technology and telecoms
Chicago-based Steve Gold leads the practice at McGuireWoods LLP, and focuses on ITOs and BPOs, IT procurement transactions, e-commerce and data matters, and software license and open source software counseling. Gold is considered a ‘go-to person due to his wide breadth of experience in these areas, his technical background and his legal management skills’. Recent mandates include acting for a global beer distribution company in a technology outsourcing transaction with a subsidiary of a UK-based telecoms company in which the client renegotiated and expanded its network integration and management agreement. Derek Roach is another key partner in Chicago, and recently assisted a publishing company renegotiate its existing application support and development outsourcing, which was being restructured from a managed services model to a staff augmentation model.
McGuireWoods LLP has a ‘highly responsive’ team of 33, headed by the well-regarded Steve Gold from the Chicago office. The team supports clients from a range of industries, including telecoms, education and healthcare, and has experience in complex technology transactions, such as IT procurement and ERP implementation. Gold frequently handles deals involving e-commerce and data matters, as well as licensing and software management. Derek Roach is another key figure in the Chicago practice and focuses on technology licensing and ERP system integration. In North Carolina, Rakesh Gopalan assists customers and vendors in a variety of technology transactions.
Further information on McGuireWoods LLP
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about McGuireWoods LLP in other jurisdictions.
Offices in Brussels
- Commercial, corporate and M&A
- Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping
- Industry focus : IT and telecoms
- Industry focus : Manufacturing
- Industry focus : Retail
- Real estate and construction
Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption)
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Finance : Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
- Human resources : Employment: employers and senior executives
- Private client : Personal tax, trusts and probate
- Real estate : Commercial property
Offices in New York, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlottesville, Chicago, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, Richmond, McLean, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Dallas, Tysons, and Houston
- Dispute resolution : General commercial disputes
- Dispute resolution : Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport
- Dispute resolution : Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
- Dispute resolution : Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
- Dispute resolution : White-collar criminal defense
- Finance : Commercial lending
- Industry focus : Energy: litigation
- Industry focus : Energy: regulatory
- Industry focus : Energy transactions: conventional power
- Industry focus : Energy transactions: oil and gas
- Industry focus : Healthcare: service providers
- M&A/corporate and commercial : M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: outsourcing
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: transactions