The Legal 500

Venable LLP

Work +1 202 344 4000
Fax +1 202 344 8300

United States

Top-tier recommendations


United States: Finance

Within Financial services: regulatory, tier 5

Washington DC-based firm Venable LLP has ‘deep knowledge and expertise in the financial services area’ and provides a ‘responsive and collegial’ service to a broad range of entities in the sector including banks, insurance companies, savings and loan holding companies and diversified financial institutions. The team has a number of former regulators in its ranks, including Ralph Sharpe, who heads the firm’s financial services group risk management and compliance team and provides ‘stellar enforcement experience’ as a result of his long tenure at the OCC. Ronald Glancz chairs the firm’s overall financial services group and as part of his broad-ranging canvas of expertise regularly assists companies and investors seeking to become or acquire a bank.

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Within Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations), Venable LLP is a first tier firm,

Venable LLP has a ‘spectacular’ team led from Washington DC by the ‘excellentJeffrey Tenenbaum. Tenenbaum’s clients include think tanks and advocacy groups as well as charities, foundations and professional associations. Other team members in the capital include George Constantine, Lisa Hix, Ronald Jacobs, Brock Landry and Lawrence Norton. The firm’s Baltimore-based co-managing partner Robert Waldman is also very active in this area, and Thora Johnson is another contact in that office. Foundations, hospitals, educational institutions and trade associations are among Waldman’s clients, and philanthropy and estate planning are key parts of his work. The ‘responsive, practical and knowledgeable’ lawyers serve many of their clients as outside general counsel, and are especially active in tax court litigation and the formation of nonprofit entities. The group also has a track record for innovation in the area of IRS audits.

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United States: Government

Within Government contracts, tier 4

Bid protests are a significant element of the ‘outstanding’ practice at Venable LLP. The team secured the award of the $6.9bn Air Force NETCENTS-2 contract for its client Dell Federal Systems after filing three bid protests. In another highlight victory, it represented Carlson Wagonlit Travel in five pre- and post-award protests against the General Services Administration (GSA)’s IDIQ contract award. Paul Debolt, in Washington DC, and ‘business-oriented expert’ Scott Hommer in Tysons Corner, Virginia, co-head the team. Thomas Madden and John Farenish retired, and Douglas Proxmire – particularly noted for the construction sector – joined the Tysons Corner and Washington DC office.

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United States: Intellectual property

Within Trademarks: non-contentious: full coverage, tier 4

Venable LLP’s Mark Harrison handles all trademark, domain name prosecution and enforcement matters for Laureate Education and its affiliates, and advises Perdue on brand protection strategy across social media platforms. The group also acts for a major mobile device manufacturer and a higher education institution, advising on worldwide trademark clearance and prosecution. Other key figures in the team include Andrew Price and associate Rebecca Liebowitz, whose practice focuses on searching, registering and enforcing trademarks. Counsel Linda Zirkelbach joined from Potomac Law Group PLLC, and Jacqueline Patt left to found trademarks boutique Markery Law. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

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United States: Labor and employment

Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, tier 5

Venable LLP acts for public and private corporations as well as individuals, and is particularly experienced in working with non-profit organizations. Its offering includes advice on health, welfare, benefits and compensation plans as well as multi-employer pension plans and ongoing ACA compliance. In New York, Juliana Reno joined from Kutak Rock LLP and Keith Mong joined from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Washington DC. The team is led by Thora Johnson in Baltimore. Christopher Condeluci left the firm.

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United States: Litigation

Within Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices, Venable LLP is a third tier firm,

Venable LLP’s Baltimore-based practice has a close relationship with Merck & Co, which selected the firm to handle the overall management and strategy in Fosamax litigation, where plaintiffs allege the osteoporosis medication causes osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femur fractures; it involves two MDL proceedings in federal court and various claims in state courts. Paul Strain and Stephen Marshall represented the same client in negotiating the settlement of 1,200 plaintiffs’ claims in relation to the osteonecrosis of the jaw cases in late 2013, and Marshall played a key role in securing the dismissal of over 600 atypical femur fractures cases on pre-emption grounds in early 2014. Bruce Parker and Craig Thompson are representing Takeda Pharmaceuticals in litigation relating to diabetes drug Actos. Other clients of the group include AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim and LabCorp.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Within M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m), Venable LLP is a first tier firm,

Venable LLP’s M&A practice ‘treats its mid-market clients as if they are of much greater scale’. The team represented New York-based media sales company StoreBoard Media, on its sale to a Chicago-based private equity firm, and advised RKJS Bank on its acquisition, through a bankruptcy sale, of 1st Mariner Bank. Washington DC-based Charles Morton Jr stands out for his ‘impressively calm demeanor and broad expertise across many legal areas; he can be counted on to guide clients through tough decisions’. Robert Bolger Jr is particularly effective at representing technology and other emerging clients; his recent transactions include advising one of the world’s largest direct response marketing companies on its corporate and business transactions; and assisting an international electronic components company with various acquisitions.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Within Marketing and advertising, Venable LLP is a first tier firm,

Noted for being ‘really good at dealing with regulatory matters’, Venable LLP significantly expanded its advertising practice through the recent addition of two partners and two counsel. Notably, San Francisco’s Angel Garganta joined from Arnold & Porter LLP, bringing expertise in food, beverage, and supplement litigation, and consumer protection laws, and New York’s Jessie Beeber arrived from Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC, specializing in intellectual property disputes including those involving false advertising and right of publicity issues. The team is co-chaired in Washington DC by litigator Roger Colaizzi and regulatory expert Jeffrey Knowles; Colaizzi specializes in intellectual property rights involving Lanham Act false advertising, state deceptive trade practices and social media, and Knowles focuses on national television advertising, direct-to-consumer marketing and e-commerce. Amy Ralph Mudge (also in Washington DC) is another name to note in the regulatory space, regularly representing clients before the FTC, DOJ and NAD. The department continues to provide compliance advice to Kellogg relating to regulatory matters, advertising to children, food marketing and packaging, sweepstakes and promotions, and social media marketing. The group also assists Dick’s Sporting Goods with advertising and pricing compliance, and negotiating event sponsorship. On the contentious side, the team defends DirectBuy in class actions alleging violations of the TCPA.

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Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Venable LLP is a third tier firm,

Venable LLP’s Washington DC-based practice head Stuart Ingis has extensive experience guiding clients through the process of cybersecurity matters such as investigations by the FTC, Congress, state attorneys and other federal agencies. The team is privacy counsel to the Association of Global Automakers, for matters involving the first privacy principles with regard to the Internet of Things, in this case, in-vehicle technologies. David Strickland joined the Washington office in 2014, having served as an administrator of the NHTSA, and prior to which he spent eight years on the staff of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Elizabeth Oesterle left the firm in December 2014 to take a government affairs role at Experian. As well as the capital, the team also has attorneys based in Tyson’s Corner.

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Within Technology: outsourcing, Venable LLP is a third tier firm,

Four partners head the outsourcing department at Venable LLP: Nora Garrote and A J Zottola in Washington DC, James Nelson in San Francisco, and William Russell who is based in both Washington DC and New York. Clients praise the team for its ‘professional and knowledgeable approach, quickly turning to documents and responding to requests’. Garrote is ‘first rate’, with ‘industry-specific knowledge’. Zottola provides ‘thoughtful, practical advice’ and has experience of using technology and social media for internal corporate policies; his experience also includes assessing and weighing risks for clients. Russell led the team acting for Wyndham Hotel Group to negotiate a call center services agreement in relation to a significant new China initiative. Of counsel Michelle Gross left to join Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

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Within Technology: transactions, Venable LLP is a first tier firm,

Venable LLP is a ‘strong performer’ in the market; the Washington DC centered team is ‘well versed in the language necessary for inclusion in all types of agreements’ and clients ‘trust the firm’s advice and assistance for high-profile and financially significant transactions’. Clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as nonprofits and trade associations. It regularly assists longstanding client GE Healthcare with structuring and negotiating deals in support of its core healthcare technology business, and in 2014 the team advised it on the development of a new line of healthcare technology services. In 2014 the ‘very smart and practical’ James Nelson advised Wyndham on negotiating various new agreements with vendors in China. Nora Garrote’s expertise and experience ‘allows her to provide industry-specific guidance’, and A J Zottola and William Russell, who splits his time between Washington DC and New York, are also recommended. Michelle Gross left to join Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Within Land use/zoning, Venable LLP is a third tier firm,

Venable LLP fields a team of 14 land use experts, while the practice is particularly visible in New York and Maryland. In 2014, the Washington DC team obtained zoning approvals for a 252-unit residential conversion in Crystal City and David Karceski, who divides time between the Baltimore and Towson offices, advised Enterprise Holdings on land use matters related to a new rent-a-car facility in Towson.

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Within Real estate, tier 4

With a presence in the Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore, Venable LLP’s ‘stellar’ transactional experience covers development, leasing, financing and tax-related work. It is also noted for its disputes expertise. Lawrence Gesner is recommended for complex real estate financing matters and leads work for Fannie Mae on structured financing transactions. Thomas Millspaugh heads the department, which also includes Robert Gottleib, noted for his tax-related expertise, and Mitchell Evall and Andrew Schmerzler.

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Within Real estate investment trusts (REITs) , Venable LLP is a third tier firm,

Clearly the leader in Maryland’, Venable LLP is the ‘go-to firm for REIT matters’, where its ‘knowledgeable practitioners are on the pulse of developments’. The seven-partner practice mainly acts for publicly traded REITs, handling IPOs, stock and debt offerings, M&A and other transactions. With the IPO market slowdown in 2014, the practice shifted towards working on follow-on equity offerings and senior debt offerings. Among other mandates, the firm advised Blackstone Mortgage Trust, ARCP and Healthcare Trust of America on respective ATM offerings. The practice also advised seven high-profile REITs on follow-on common equity offerings and assisted with eight IPOs for traded and non-traded REITs. Sharon Kroupa is ‘outstanding, responsive and knowledgeable’, and James Hanks is ‘a pleasure to work with’.

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