United States : Finance
Within Financial services: regulatory, tier 6
Headed by Ronald Glancz, Washington DC-based Venable LLP’s six-partner financial services group provides regulatory advice to a range of clients within the industry including commercial banks, savings banks, credit unions and bank holding companies. Although it is perhaps better known for its enforcement work, the team also has a significant capability for handling general compliance and transactional-related regulatory issues. John Beaty is regularly instructed by clients seeking advice on how to develop and alter their compliance structures to adapt to the rapidly changing regulatory landscape; he recently advised a trade association regarding the compliance of mobile telecommunications companies with respect to banking regulations in connection with payments and fund transfers involving mobile devices. Spearheaded by the ‘very well-connected’ William Donovan and working in close co-operation with the firm’s legislative and government affairs team, the team is frequently instructed by clients within the financial services industry to promote their interests on Capitol Hill and before government agencies. A measure of Donovan’s influence can be shown by his involvement with Congress in shaping the most significant pieces of legislation shaping the law relating to consumer financial services over the past 35 years.
Within Not-for-profit, Venable LLP is a third tier firm,
‘A truly professional’ group, Venable LLP’s 12-partner team acts as general counsel for a mix of trade associations and industry standards organizations on matters including compliance audits, tax controversy and employee relations. This ‘very strong’ group has ‘tremendous depth’, and is ‘excellent value for non-profits’; it is praised for doing its utmost to ‘protect associations while pointing out opportunities for improvement in the business model’. George Constantine imparts ‘impressive advice’ on new forms of governance structure while his colleagues expertly handle IRS examinations and litigation. Other areas of expertise include tax advice, gift acceptance, grant approvals plus drafting and revision of fund agreements. A key client recently instructed Brock Landry to devise a non-profit standards-making strategy, and the highly recommended Robert Waldman advised a major corporate fund on its grant-making program. The ‘smart and helpful’ Jeff Tenenbaum is ‘very knowledgeable on board-committee dynamics and legal issues affecting not-for-profits’. Tenenbaum and of counsel Jonathan Pompan are recognized as ‘experts in the field of credit counseling’, and utilize effectively their ‘sound business instincts and contacts’. While its charity practice is not as prominent as some competitors, the firm represents a large number of other non-profit clients including AARP, New York Blood Bank and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
United States : Investment fund formation and management
Within Real estate investment trusts (REITs), Venable LLP is a third tier firm,
Venable LLP’s Baltimore-based REIT practice is considered ‘second to none for Maryland counsel’, which makes it a natural port of call for firms seeking local counsel when registering public REITs, 80% of which are formed in Maryland. This ‘responsive, competent and practical’ team ‘does an excellent job’, a reputation which saw it act as Maryland counsel to the issuer in over 50 separate common stock offerings, and more than ten preferred or debt securities offerings. These included American Asset Trust’s $564m IPO, to date the largest REIT IPO since 2009. It also acted as Maryland counsel in the Sun Healthcare Group restructuring, which separated operating assets and real estate assets into two separate publicly traded companies. Practice head James Hanks is ‘the dean of the Maryland REIT Bar’, and Sharon Kroupa is ‘responsive, smart and on top of all the details’. ‘Knowledgeable problem-solver’ Chris Pate ‘always adds value’, and Patricia McGowan provides ‘on-the-mark advice.’
United States : Labor and employment
Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, tier 5
Venable LLP has ‘in-depth knowledge in the area of employer tax deferred plans’. Barbara Schlaff, in Baltimore, heads the ‘excellent and timely’ team, which includes five partners and one of counsel, Christopher Condeluci, who joined the firm from Miller & Chevalier Chartered in April 2011. Condeluci brings significant expertise to the firm, in particular in relation to healthcare reform. ‘Knowledgeable and personable’, Harry Atlas’s practice includes the implementation, operation and termination of all types of retirement plan.
United States : Litigation
Within Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices, Venable LLP is a third tier firm,
Baltimore-based Venable LLP has a ‘superior level of experience’, ‘tremendous depth’ and provides ‘excellent service’. Its attorneys are ‘excellent stewards and managers of the overall defense effort’. Recent key mandates include acting for Merck as national coordinating counsel in litigation alleging that its osteoporosis medication Fosamax causes ONJ. It serves as lead counsel for Boehringer Ingelheim in MDL litigation alleging that its Parkinson disease treatment Mirapex causes impulse control disorders such as compulsive gambling, litigation in which the client is a co-defendant with Pfizer. A number of these cases have been resolved while others have resulted in summary judgment for the defense at the court of appeals. For Abbott Laboratories, the firm is national coordinating counsel in litigation concerning HRT, in which plaintiffs allege that they developed cancer as a result of treatment. Other clients include Johnson & Johnson. Paul Strain co-heads the team with Sally Bryan, and is ‘excellent at trial’. Craig Thompson and Bruce Parker are also recommended.
United States : Media, technology and telecoms
Within Marketing and advertising, Venable LLP is a first tier firm,
With over 60 lawyers, Venable LLP has one of the largest US advertising practices with lawyers in Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles handling regulatory, transactional and litigation work. Practice head Jeffrey Knowles, who is ‘an incredibly strong force in the advertising space and has put together a top-notch team’, is recognized for his expertise in direct response advertising and advertising compliance, reviewing television and radio scripts, internet and direct mail advertisements. Gregory Sater, who joined the Los Angeles team from Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff (which closed down in February 2012), is advising Skechers on its national direct response television campaign. Melissa Landau Steinman represented Perdue Farms, in advertising-related licensing and sponsorship transactions, notably promotional and co-branding agreements with Disney in relation to Cars II. The group in Washington DC represents nearly every marketing industry association as well as coalitions lobbying for industry self-regulation of online marketing. Privacy expert Stuart Ingis is strong on internet and behavioral advertising. Contentious work includes IP disputes, Sherman Act claims and litigation involving the FTC and FDA. Knowles and litigation head Roger Colaizzi are assisting The Sugar Association with its opposition to the $100m campaign by the Corn Refiners Association to rebrand High Fructose Corn Syrup as “Corn Sugar”. High-profile cases included defending New York Law School against a putative class action alleging that it systematically misled students and prospective students about their employment prospects after graduation. The team expanded with lateral hires including Amy Mudge and Randal Shaheen from Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington DC and former FTC Northeast director Leonard Gordon in New York. David Joy rejoined the FDA. Key clients include Amazon, Bank of America, Clorox, Dannon, Sony Ericsson and new clients Genie Bras and Kellogg.
Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Venable LLP is a second tier firm,
Venable LLP’s 20-attorney team in Washington DC and Tysons Corner advises on traditional privacy and data security issues as well as emerging issues, notably online targeted and behavioral advertising. Supported by the firm’s strong marketing, advertising and technology practices, attorneys advise on issues arising from privacy statutes and handle regulatory engagements across healthcare, telecoms, technology and financial services, regularly defending companies in FTC enforcement actions, litigating privacy issues and occasionally challenging agency regulations. Practice head Stuart Ingis, described as ‘the best privacy attorney in DC if not the US’, represented Turner Broadcasting Service in a lawsuit regarding the collection and use of data in online behavioral advertising. The ‘knowledgeable’ Emilio Cividanes is ‘a pleasure to work with’, and according to one client, ‘he cares about my company and understands its goals’. Ingis and Cividanes advised the Coalition of Association of National Advertisers, the Direct Marketing Association, American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Council of Better Business Bureaus, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau on privacy principles for online behavioral advertising. On the contentious side, Douglas Emhoff in Los Angeles and Kostas Katsiris in New York, who joined from Howrey LLP, successfully defended CNN/Turner in a putative class action. High-profile clients include Reed Elsevier, Time Warner and Experian.
Within Technology: outsourcing, Venable LLP is a third tier firm,
At Venable LLP, the ‘experienced, knowledgeable and responsive’ William Russell and James Nelson in New York, complement Nora Garrote and A J Zottola in Washington DC, who combine intellectual property and technology expertise. Clients appreciate Zottola’s ‘excellent domain knowledge; he has good judgment and common sense and his even temperament allows for a collaborative effort’. As well as representing longstanding client GE, recent instructions included representing Jones Lang LaSalle Americas in a multi-year agreement for facilities management and maintenance, project management and lease administration. The group has particular strength in BPO, ITO and procurement in the healthcare and energy sectors with a particular focus on cloud services. A prestigious client list includes Verizon and Accenture. Anthony Saur from DLA Piper LLP and senior associate Michelle Gross from Loeb & Loeb LLP strengthened the team.
Within Technology: transactions, Venable LLP is a second tier firm,
Venable LLP’s New York practice continued to expand, hiring partner Anthony Saur from DLA Piper LLP and senior associate Michelle Gross from Loeb & Loeb LLP, to join William Russell and James Nelson. The team advises vendors and customers on cloud computing, data privacy and security handling multiparty transactions in the healthcare, automotive and leisure sectors. Russell, who is recommended as ‘the best for complex commercial transactions’, represented GE Healthcare in establishing Intel-GE Care Innovations with Intel Corporation. A J Zottola in Washington DC, who wins praise for his ‘impressive expertise and fantastic analytic mind’, assisted Germany's largest car manufacturer with a long-term agreement with Hughes Telematics, with respect to the provision of a wide array of in-car telematic services. Nora Garrote, who advises on licensing, service agreements and IT outsourcing, wins praise for her ‘understanding of the key issues involved in technology transactions and extensive knowledge of technology contracts’.
United States : Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts
Within M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m), Venable LLP is a second tier firm,
Venable LLP ‘understands the scope of each deal and manages transactions promptly. Its experienced team always gives full service, and communication is clear. The firm’s attorneys are always available to meet the needs of our busy and demanding schedules, and in a very professional way that caters to the client’. The practice represented Metastorm in its merger with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Open Text Corporation for $182m in cash, net of escrow. It also advised online search marketing provider Impaqt, an affiliate of Maryland Corporation Merkle Group, in its recent sale to Merkle; and assisted National Security Partners, an affiliate of private equity firm FedCap Partners, in its acquisition of former subsidiaries of Xedar Corporation, Point One and FuGEN. ‘Amazing attorney’ Alan Epstein represented Arianna Huffington in connection with the €315m sale of The Huffington Post to AOL. Los Angeles-based Epstein acts for the local market’s production and technology companies, digital media businesses, branded merchandising and licensing businesses, and internet companies, all areas that complement the firm’s strong advertising practice. Clients say that Epstein ‘provides excellent service’. Baltimore-based Charles Morton Jr and Sharon Kroupa are co-chairs. Morton is ‘outstanding’. He is ‘extremely knowledgeable regarding the completion of M&A transactions, and is a strong project manager on every transaction. In addition, he is a great negotiator and has an excellent bedside manner’. Also in Baltimore, Michael Baader ‘has a strong business sense and cooperative personality’, and Bryan Rakes ‘has a good, intuitive sense of when to push the other side and when not to’. Thomas Washburne, in Washington DC, is ‘very responsive, to the point, and business-knowledgeable’.
United States : Real estate and construction
Within Construction (including construction litigation), tier 4
The 18-attorney practice at Venable LLP handles transactional and litigation matters from offices throughout Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. The team is supported by strong groups in other practice areas, including land use, real estate, environment, and particularly insurance. The group is led by Leonard Goodman in Washington DC; with over 20 years experience in transactions and litigation, and LEED accredited, he is able to advise on the unique aspects of sustainable building and to negotiate green provisions into clients’ design and construction contracts. The group continues to serve as primary outside counsel for OTO Development, LLC, the nation’s most active developer of select-service hotel brands; it is assisting with 41 hotel deals (worth $750m) either open, under construction, or in the entitlement process. John Milliken in Virginia is at the forefront of the firm’s PPP work, representing private entitites partnering with the states of Virginia, Florida, Texas and Missouri in highway infrastructure projects.
Within Land use/zoning, Venable LLP is a third tier firm,
John Milliken leads the team at Venable LLP in Tyson’s Corner, whose service levels are ‘excellent’. It continues to represent Vornado/Charles E Smith, in 2011 gaining approvals for the redevelopment of Crystal City, a 25 million sq ft mixed-use development. Milliken is noted for his ‘depth of experience, professional background, and exceptional knowledge of local issues’.
Within Real estate, tier 5
Venable LLP’s national practice comprises 21 partners and 16 attorneys. The team is ‘available and readily approachable’, and is valued for its ‘rapid responses and thoughtful experience’. It covers all aspects of real estate transactions for a wide range of clients, from lenders to private equity players. The ‘excellent’ Lawrence Gesner and highly regarded Stephanie DeLong have been representing Fannie Mae in various transactions involving properties located throughout the country, including assisting the association in the restructuring of an $8bn loan secured by over 100 multi-family properties. Philip Horowitz is praised for his business acumen and ability to ‘think through alternatives’, and Sarah Smith for her excellent drafting skills; they recently led the advice to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the acquisition of an office building in Washington DC. The team, which operates primarily out of Washington DC and Baltimore, is co-headed by ‘top real estate lawyer’ Kevin Shepherd and Robert Gottlieb, who is noted for his hands-on approach.
United States : Tax
Within Domestic tax: East Coast, tier 7
Venable LLP’s national full-service tax practice has seen recent expansion, mostly in Washington DC where it has grown its legislative group, to bring the team to 28 partners, with 21 of these on the East Coast, led by co-heads Brian O’Connor and Jeffrey Gonya. The firm’s significant REIT practice, spearheaded by O’Connor from Baltimore, works heavily in real estate, with high-tech companies and in the hospitality industry. The mid-tier transactional practice covers M&A, fund formation, and IPOs. The firm is working for a major worldwide hotel group in controversy and specialized planning matters.
Further information on Venable LLP
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Venable LLP in other jurisdictions.
- Finance : Financial services: regulatory
- Finance : Not-for-profit
- Investment fund formation and management : Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Labor and employment : Employee benefits and executive compensation
- Litigation : Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices
- Media, technology and telecoms : Marketing and advertising
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: data protection and privacy
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: outsourcing
- Media, technology and telecoms : Technology: transactions
- Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts : M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)
- Real estate and construction : Construction (including construction litigation)
- Real estate and construction : Land use/zoning
- Real estate and construction : Real estate
- Tax : Domestic tax: East Coast