The Legal 500

Clifford Chance


United States: Dispute resolution

White-collar criminal defense
White-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 5

Clifford Chance

The lawyers at Clifford Chance are ‘very good with people and have excellent judgment’. The firm is especially active in representing high-level executives, but it also assists major financial institutions with internal and government investigations. Additionally, Washington DC-based practice chair David DiBari and New York lawyer Edward O’Callaghan represented aerospace company Fokker Services in a multi-agency investigation into possible exports of US-made parts to embargoed destinations; the pair negotiated a settlement with the agencies. Christopher Morvillo and David Raskin, also based in New York, are defending former Alstom executive Lawrence Hoskins in federal criminal proceedings stemming from an indictment for FCPA violations and other alleged crimes.

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United States: Finance

Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s asset finance practice provides ‘genuinely excellent legal advice’ and is ‘clearly worth the money’. The highly reputed and ‘very knowledgeable team’ has longstanding experience in assisting investment banks, export credit agencies (ECAs), investors, airlines and aircraft leasing companies with all aspects of asset finance and leasing matters, and demonstrates particular cutting-edge expertise in securitizations and equipment trust certificate (EETC) issuances. In a recent highlight on the securitization front, practice co-head Zarrar Sehgal advised Goldman Sachs on the issuance of $556m of senior secured asset-backed loans by Apollo Aviation Securitization Equity Trust 2014-1, and on the M&A side, practice co-head John Howitt led a team that represented Milestone Aviation Group, the world’s largest helicopter leasing company by fleet value, with its $1.78bn sale to GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). The New York-based, four-partner group also receives a steady stream of work from AWAS, and recently assisted the prominent aircraft leasing company with its first private placement term loan worth $350m. The firm’s blue-chip client base also includes BNP Paribas, LATAM Airlines Group and new client Global Jet Capital. The ‘very experiencedEmily DiStefanofocuses on the important issues’ and is ‘always calm and collected’.

Leading lawyers

John Howitt - Clifford Chance

Zarrar Sehgal - Clifford Chance

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s ‘highly professional team’ offers ‘innovative solutions’, and ‘always identifies the key challenges of the transaction early in the process’. The group is highly active in the REIT space, and advised on numerous high-profile matters in 2015. Jay Bernstein and Andrew Epstein have ‘a broad background of experience as well as strong contacts within the industry’, and recently advised National Storage Affiliates on its $278m IPO. Clifford Cone advised the underwriters, led by Wells Fargo Securities, on the $580m IPO of Tekla World Healthcare Fund, and Alex Camacho acted for Merrill Lynch, Piper Jaffray, Deutsche Bank and Stifel Financial on Tandem Diabetes Care’s $69m follow-on offering of common stock. JPMorgan, GTECH and LATAM Airlines are also notable clients.

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Capital markets: global offerings
Capital markets: global offerings - advice to corporates - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Capital markets: global offerings - advice to financial institutions - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance was particularly active in Latin America-based high-yield matters in 2015. Alex Camacho led advice to the Mexican offshore service provider Offshore Drilling Holding as issuer in a $950m senior notes offering due 2020 placed by Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Santander, and, on the underwriter side, he advised Morgan Stanley in a $300m offering of notes by Grupo IDESA. BNP Paribas, LATAM Airlines, Goldman Sachs and Santander Investment Securities are among the many other recent clients of the team, which is headed by Kathleen Werner and Jon Zonis. Gary Brooks is another key contact.

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s US capital markets practice is led out of New York by Gary Brooks. The four-partner team does not handle the volume of deals as evidenced elsewhere, but focuses instead on sophisticated cross-border work involving foreign issuers, particularly from Latin American. Examples from 2015 included Brooks advising LATAM Airlines on its first issuance of high-yield notes (a $500m Rule 144A/Regulation S offering) and a related tender offer for $300m of notes of TAM Capital 2 (part of LATAM). Elsewhere, Alex Camacho acted for managing underwriters Goldman Sachs and Santander in Mexican company Gruma’s $300m Rule 144A/Regulation S offering while Jonathan Zonis handled electricity company AES Panama’s $300m notes offering.

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Financial services: regulatory
Financial services: regulatory - ranked: tier 7

Clifford Chance

Led out of New York by the ‘efficient and responsiveNick O’Neill, and aided by a vast international network of offices, Clifford Chance excels at providing comparative advice to international clients in the industry, which is cognisant of both the domestic and the international regulatory issues affecting their businesses. The team has a particular strength in the funds space and is advising numerous domestic fund managers, including Fortress and WP Carey, on the AIFMD implications of their activity in the EU. Other work includes advising the US teams at global banks including UBS and Mizuho on a survey of US regulatory licensing requirements relating to the restrictions of doing business in other parts of the world.

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s department is led by Washington DC-based David Evans, Christopher McIsaac, Fabricio Longhin, Lori Bean and Catherine McCarthy, and New York-based Gianluca Bacchiocchi, who recently joined from DLA Piper LLP (US). The team regularly acts for commercial banks in Latin American project finance, advising BESI - Grupo Novo Banco and Credit Suisse on the $274m financing of the Red Dorsal Nacional de Fibra Optica project, Peru’s first nationwide fiber optic network. Longhin assisted JPMorgan Chase, Ficohsa and CIFI with the $145m financing of the expansion of Honduras’ Corredor Turístico toll road. McCarthy advised Natixis and a syndicate of lenders on a cross-jurisdictional matter involving the Seabras-1 submarine cable, a telecoms cable connecting New York and São Paulo. Bean has also been active, advising OPIC, Standard Bank and Nedbank on the financing of Ghana’s 192MW Amandi power plant, and assisting OPIC and IFC with the financing of the 53MW Cap des Biches power plant in Senegal. OPIC is one of Bean’s regular clients, and she also advised it on the $200m financing of a wind power project in Kenya, and on its proposed investment in the 300MW Lake Turkana Wind Project, also in Kenya. On the sponsor side, Evans advised Matelec Group on the financing of the €134m Tobene Power Project, a 96MW oil-fired power plant being constructed in Senegal.

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Structured finance
Structured finance - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s team, based in New York, is noted for its ‘high industry knowledge, strength-in-depth and the responsiveness of its lawyers’. The practice covers securitization, structured products and derivatives, including transactional and regulatory matters, and the firm’s international platform enables it to advise in relation to EU and US regulations. The group is headed by Steven Kolyer and Robert Villani. Kolyer advised Providence Equity as sponsor/portfolio manager on several CLO mandates, which required the implementation of a ‘tax blocker’ to deal with Volcker and risk retention regulations. Villani acted for Credit Suisse Asset Management on the formation of Atrium XII, a managed cash flow CLO with a value of $818m, and on a number of other CLOs, including Madison Park Funding XVIII, with a value of $719m. Robert Gross and William Cejudo, both from Bingham McCutchen, have enhanced the firm’s capabilities in the RMBS market and the tax aspects of structured finance.

Leading lawyers

Steven Kolyer - Clifford Chance

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 5

Clifford Chance

Strong on project finance matters and praised for its ‘excellent service’, Clifford Chance’s team is led by Washington DC-based partners David Evans, Christopher McIsaac, Fabricio Longhin, Lori Bean and Catherine McCarthy, as well as Gianluca Bacchiocchi, who recently joined the New York office from DLA Piper LLP (US). The team recently assisted the Matelec Group with the financing of the €134m Tobene power project, a 96MW power plant in Senegal.

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 5

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s practice is headed by David Evans, Christopher McIsaac, Fabricio Longhin, Lori Bean and Catherine McCarthy in Washington DC, as well as the New York based Gianluca Bacchiocchi (who joined from DLA Piper LLP (US) in January 2015). Longhin advised OPIC, Standard Bank and Nedbank on the financing of Ghana’s 192MW Amandi power plant.

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Insurance: non-contentious
Insurance: non-contentious - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s team represents insurers, reinsurers, private equity firms and hedge funds, and has notable experience in start-ups and alternative capital reinsurance ventures, with expertise in M&A, risk retention issues, restructurings and regulatory matters. Practice co-head Gary Boss recently advised on the formation of Fidelis Insurance Holdings, assisting the client in raising $1.5bn in capital. Watford Re continues to be a client - the department helped with the formation and establishment of the Bermuda-based reinsurer in 2014. The team is also recommended for its cross-border strength; clients include the Bank of Luxembourg, Swiss Re and CM International Holding PTE, which practice co-head Nicholas Williams advised on its acquisition of Sirius International from White Mountains for $2.2bn. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York. Joe Cosentino joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

First rate in every respect’, Clifford Chancehas proven on numerous occasions that it goes the extra mile and gets the job done’. Its ‘highly responsive’ team provides ‘a global perspective to the advice it gives’ and is particularly singled out for its deep insight into the US real estate sector, where it draws upon the firm’s strengths in real estate finance and REITs. Practice head Roger Singer (‘a sage in the private equity space’) is leading the advice to Madison International on its $1bn Madison International Real Estate Liquidity Fund VI. Another key individual is Nick O’Neill, who specialises in banking and financial services regulation in the UK and across the EU. O’Neill is advising US fund managers and placement agents on AIFMD-related issues concerning their activities in the EU. Jeff Berman regularly advises US and non-US investment advisers, funds and banking organisations on regulatory matters.

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 5

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance advises on the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of major transactions, often working alongside other offices in the firm’s global network. Practice head Howard Adler, who has equity-based compensation expertise, and ERISA counsel Robert Stone advised Geodis on its purchase of Ozburn-Hessey Logistics from a private equity firm. The team also advises private equity clients; Stone advised Long Wharf Real Estate Partners on matters relating to the formation of its fifth fund. Other clients include GoldenTree Asset Management and the Hearst Corporation. Both lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 7

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is well positioned for cross-border mandates and has a highly credible New York M&A team. The firm holds the ‘gold standard for responsiveness’, and lawyers are ‘always available and ready to do what it takes to respond to clients’ needs’. The team is ‘totally service-oriented’, ‘practical’, ‘business-oriented’ and has ‘strong energy sector knowledge’, particularly in the Latin American markets. In 2015, it was heavily engaged in inbound transactions, and advised CM International Holding, the Singapore-based investment arm of China Minsheng Investment, on its $2.2bn acquisition of global property and casualty insurer and reinsurer Sirius International Insurance Group from White Mountains Insurance Group. In addition, it represented regular client Mondelēz International as a major shareholder in Keurig Green Mountain in the $13.9bn acquisition of Keurig by JAB Holding Company, and it advised American Tower Corporation on its $1.1bn acquisition of the Nigerian telecommunications tower business of Bharti Airtel. New York’s David Brinton is ‘extremely responsive, has in-depth M&A experience and extensive knowledge about the energy sector’. He is ‘a commercial and business-oriented lawyer’ that ‘understands the business considerations for transactions as well as the finer legal points and focuses on identifying the issues that matter’. Brinton is recognized for his record in Latin America transactions. Other key partners include the immensely experienced John Healy, who has an impressive record in public M&A and deals in the finance and healthcare sectors. Sarah Jones is New York and UK qualified and has close connections to notable clients such as Mondelēz. Benjamin Sibbett is recognized for healthcare, media and information services deals and represents clients including McGraw Hill Financial and Pfizer. Clients also applaud the depth of the team, including the high-quality associates. Robert Masella joined Shearman & Sterling LLP.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 5

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s 17-partner practice advises funds, private investors and lenders on a full range of real estate issues, and benefits from the firm’s broad international network in obtaining a steady stream of inbound work on behalf of major foreign investors. Highlights in 2015 included advising key client Madison International Realty on structuring and purchasing a $300m interest in two joint ventures relating to a portfolio of 42 US retail assets, and representing Bank J. Safra Sarasin (Luxembourg) and Safra National Bank in connection with a first priority mortgage loan encumbering the sub-ground leasehold interest in Union Station in Washington DC. Names to note in the New York-based team are practice head Douglas Wisner and Ness Cohen.

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Regarded as ‘top among the tops’, Clifford Chance covers the entire REIT space, providing depth and breadth as well as ‘outstanding counsel in a timely manner’. Jay Bernstein leads the New York-based team, which advises both issuers and underwriters on tax and corporate matters related to the structuring and restructuring of REITs. The team recently acted as co-adviser to Chambers Street Properties in its merger with Gramercy Property Trust, creating one of the largest industrial and office net lease REITs, with 288 properties and 52m sq ft in major markets throughout the US and Europe. In the area of non-traded REITs, it advised Carey Watermark Investors 2 on its IPO, which was one of the first non-traded REIT offerings to offer more than one class of share, in anticipation of forthcoming FINRA regulatory changes; the ‘terrific and very knowledgeableKathleen Werner led the advice. Counsel Jake Farquharson is regarded as a ‘great professional’ with an ‘outstanding capability to identify challenges and find solutions’. ‘Tax mastermindRichard Catalano is also recommended. Other clients include National Storage Affiliates Trust, Sutherland Asset Management and Apollo.

Leading lawyers

Jay Bernstein - Clifford Chance

Richard Catalano - Clifford Chance

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United States: Tax

Financial products
Financial products - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Under the leadership of New York-based partner Richard Catalano, Clifford Chance’s financial products team exhibits ‘excellent, integrated, structured advice in all related tax and corporate areas’, including CLOs, derivatives, commercial real estate and insurance. Catalano is especially known for his work on REITs and has advised clients such as Empire State Realty Trust and Colony American Homes. The ‘authoritative and knowledgeableDonald Carden continued to advise global institutions on tax-efficient structures in relation to some of the largest insurance-related deals. William Cejudo has expertise in the tax aspects of structured finance transactions, including those involving RMBS, CMBS, real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs), REITs and offshore funds. Clients include Appian Capital, Berkshire Group, Madison International and GoldenTree Asset Management.

Leading lawyers

Donald Carden - Clifford Chance

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International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

The New York-based team at Clifford Chance is ‘technically excellent’ and has ‘deep industry knowledge’, and benefits from the firm’s established network of offices worldwide. The team advised Exeter Property Group on the establishment of its European investment platform, and on its separate accounts with Morgan Stanley and GIC. The team also assisted Fidelis Insurance with the formation of Fidelis Insurance Holdings, and its $1.5bn equity capital raise. Richard Catalano heads the team; Donald Carden and Mike Seaton are experienced advising on complex tax structuring in insurance-related matters. David Moldenhauer is ‘outstanding’ on international tax and Philip Wagman is also noted.

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chancecombines good business sense with strong technical knowledge’. The team has a broad spread of clientele in the banking, insurance, automotive and real estate industries, with practice chair Richard Catalano (‘highly competent’) among those with a special focus on REITs. He led a team acting as co-adviser and tax counsel to Chambers Street Properties in its $5.7bn merger with Gramercy Property Trust, a deal which created one of the largest industrial and office net lease REIT. David Moldenhauer is also recommended.

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Latin America: International firms

Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance reinforced its projects and energy practice with the hire of Gianluca Bacchiocchi from DLA Piper in 2014. Bacchiocchi is a capital markets and structured finance expert by background but has increasingly become a leading figure in project bonds in the infrastructure and energy space, complementing the firm’s existing project development and financing expertise. The firm itself had broad and deep expertise in its key offices in New York, Washington DC and São Paulo; with clients ranging from major multi-lateral agencies, to key money-centre banks and large Latin American sponsors. The Madrid office also plays a pivotal role in securing sponsor mandates in the region. Colombia has become a key growth market for the firm with a series of substantial infrastructure projects. Ports, airports and toll-road projects have become a notable feature of the practice throughout the region. The firm recently advised Goldman Sachs in connection with a $2bn multi-tranche, multi-currency, financing package relating to three toll roads in Colombia; part of the country’s current $20bn infrastructure programme. Chile, Peru, Mexico and Central America are also notable markets for the practice. Energy is another major component of the Latin America team’s workload, including headline LNG projects and renewables transactions. The firm’s international resources and expertise were highlighted when it represented China Development Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Bank of China on the $4.7bn financing of two hydroelectric dams in Argentina. In addition, the firm advised various lenders in connection with UTE renewable energy programme in Uruguay, which involves 12 wind power projects. Washington DC-based Fabricio Longhin is close to a number of agencies including the IDB, as well as several commercial banks. Also in Washington DC, Chris McIsaac and Lori Ann Bean are key names on the agency side, as is Kate McCarthy who frequently represents IFC as well as a number of commercial banks. David Evans is known for energy sector work, especially in Mexico, particularly on behalf of sponsors and commercial banks. São Paulo-based Chris Willott represents a number of Brazilian sponsors with interests in the wider region.

Leading lawyers

Chris McIsaac - Clifford Chance

Fabricio Longhin - Clifford Chance

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Further information on Clifford Chance LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Clifford Chance LLP in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Angola

Australia

Offices in Sydney and Perth

Belgium

Offices in Brussels

China

Offices in Shanghai and Beijing

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague

Germany

Offices in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich

Algeria

Spain

Offices in Madrid and Barcelona

France

Offices in Paris

Ghana

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Indonesia

Latin America: International firms

India

Iraq

Italy

Offices in Rome and Milan

Japan

Offices in Tokyo

London

Offices in London E14 and London EC2R

Luxembourg

Offices in Luxembourg

Morocco

Offices in Casablanca

Netherlands

Offices in Amsterdam

Philippines

Poland

Offices in Warsaw

Qatar

Offices in Doha

Asia Pacific: Regional international arbitration

Romania

Offices in Bucharest

Russia

Offices in Moscow

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

South Korea

Offices in Seoul

Thailand

Offices in Bangkok

Tunisia

Turkey

Offices in Istanbul

United States

Offices in Washington DC, New York, and Menlo Park

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Clifford Chance LLP

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