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DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘knowledgeable, thorough and easy-to-work with attorneys’ are housed in offices all over the US, which reflects the fact that real estate is a core practice area for the firm. In Boston, well-regarded practice head John Sullivan represented Oxford Properties Group in its $1.29bn acquisition of two Class A office buildings from the Blackstone Group, while in Chicago Jesse Criz and David Sickle acted for Harrison Street Real Estate Capital in connection with its $1.9bn acquisition of Campus Crest Communities. The firm’s substantial overseas offering ensures the practice is involved in a high quantity of inbound international deals and, in one example, San Francisco-based Stephen Cowan and Lynn Cadwalader acted for Mirae Asset Global Investment in the $780m acquisition of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Hotel in Hawaii. In Washington DC, key players include global co-chair Jay Epstien and Frederick Klein, while in New York, Scott Weinberg and Jason Goldstein are thought by one client to be ‘among the best in the area of representing mortgage lenders and mezzanine lenders’. The New York offering was further enhanced by the hire of Eugene Pinover from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Leading lawyers

Jay Epstien - DLA Piper LLP (US)

John Sullivan - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey, a former trial attorney with the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, is ‘building a good team’ at DLA Piper LLP (US), which represents clients in US criminal cartel investigations across a wide range of industries, including technology, pharmaceuticals and aviation. The group also works with offices within the firm’s wider network on cross-border matters. Associate Matthew Bartlett is also recommended. Named attorneys are based in San Francisco.

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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

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s white-collar, corporate crime and investigations practice is chaired by New York’s John Hillebrecht and Chicago’s Jonathan King, following the departure of former chair Patrick Smith to found Smith Villazor LLP. Other key figures in the nationwide practice include Washington DC’s Laura Flippin and San Francisco’s Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey. The firm represents clients from a broad range of industries and is especially active in the FCPA space.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport
Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s wider product liability and mass torts practice is jointly headed by Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego. In Philadelphia, William Kiniry represented Porsche in an MDL arising out of 12 putative class actions alleging defects in the plastic engine cooling tubes in the first generation of Cayenne SUVs. The group includes Philadelphia-based James Brogan, who often advises on discovery and risk management issues, and Baltimore-based trial lawyer Joel Dewey. The firm’s clients include Goodyear.

Leading lawyers

Joel Dewey - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco) - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s product liability and mass torts group handles consumer class actions for a wide range of clients, including tobacco and healthcare product manufacturers. In Philadelphia, co-head Raymond Williams primarily represents clients in FDA-related matters. San Diego-based co-head Christopher Young has strong experience serving as both local and national counsel to clients in the life sciences and food and beverage industries. Brian Foster is also recommended in San Diego.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Jointly headed by Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego, DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘standout’ product liability and mass torts practice has a strong technical background in the life sciences. Young and Williams have been representing Medtronic in SynchroMed litigation alleging injury or death resulting from use of the device. New York-based Loren Brown, who jointly leads the wider litigation department, and the ‘fantastic’ Boston-based Matthew Holian led as national co-counsel defending Pfizer in a high-stakes MDL alleging melanoma developed through the use of Viagra. Lucas Przymusinski and Jessica Wilson were promoted in the New York and Boston offices respectively. Philadelphia’s James Brogan jointly heads the practice with Brown. Heidi Levine is now at Sidley Austin LLP.

Next generation lawyers

Cara Edwards - DLA Piper LLP (US)

Matthew Holian - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

At DLA Piper LLP (US), the product liability group defends clients in a wide range of matters, including asbestos and pesticide-related work. Practice head Christopher Campbell, who splits his time between Atlanta and New York, served as lead litigation counsel to Bayer against claims that the company failed to warn of severe adverse reactions regarding its pesticide products; in 2016, the claims were dismissed without prejudice. The team has been acting for BASF as national coordinating counsel in talc litigation across the country concerning allegations of asbestos contamination in certain products sold by a legacy company; advice is led by Matthew Holian in Boston, John Wellschlager in Baltimore and William Kiniry in Philadelphia. In Baltimore, Charles Scheeler and John Griffith continue to act for ExxonMobil in remaining litigation concerning Exxon Mobil Corporation v Albright, et al and Exxon Mobil Corporation v Ford, et al. In 2016, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a number of cases while several others were settled. Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego jointly lead the wider department.

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Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)continues to grow its credibility’ thanks in part to its ‘dogged and determined style’. John Clarke in New York and James Mathias in Baltimore (who is ‘a leading player in REITs cases’) co-chair a practice with a nationwide presence. Timothy Hoeffner in New York obtained dismissal of complaints seeking $7bn in damages from Deloitte & Touche for alleged negligent misrepresentation in Adelphia Communications’ financial statements. In San Diego, Robert Brownlie and Shirli Weiss are recommended. Brownlie represented Southwest Water Company in a long-running matter in which the Ninth Circuit denied plaintiffs’ rights to reopen securities fraud claims. Perrie Weiner in Los Angeles secured the dismissal of claims against Resonant Inc IPO underwriter MBD Capital. Stellman Keehnel and ‘superstarAndrew Escobar in Seattle secured the dismissal of a class action against real estate database company Zillow. Also recommended are ‘fantastic litigatorJohn Hillebrecht in New York and SEC enforcement lawyer Ryan O’Quinn in Miami.

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United States: Finance

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

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s team is led from New York by capital markets chair Christopher Paci and debt capital markets head Jamie Knox. The practice also draws on partners from across the firm’s comprehensive domestic network, while internationally it plugs into its enviable global platform. Recent highlights include advising US Steel on its issuance of $980m of senior secured notes and acting for Mobile Mini in a private offering of $250m of senior notes. Knox led both deals, pairing up with Phoenix-based Gregory Hall on the latter. Clients also include Los Angeles Football Club, Marriott International and WP Carey.

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

DLA Piper LLP (US)

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

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘tailored approach’ and ‘strategic and thoughtful advice’ helps clients to achieve ‘very positive outcomes’. The group was significantly strengthened in 2016 through the arrivals of Baltimore-based Michael Stein, who was formerly deputy general counsel at Everi Holdings, and Kerry Johnson, who joined in New York from Hunton & Williams LLP. In addition, Melissa Bengtson and Scott Cowan were promoted to partner in Phoenix and New Jersey respectively. New York-based national capital markets chair Christopher Pacieffectively combines deep technical knowledge and extensive experience with a practical approach’; he advised Kadmon on its $75m public offering. In Chicago, Gregory Hayes acted for Equity Residential in its $881.2m at-the-market offering. Other key names include US corporate chair John Gilluly, who splits his time between Austin, Dallas and Houston, and Peter Astiz and Curtis Mo, who are both based in Silicon Valley.

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to lenders - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) attracts praise for ‘delivering incredible value; the firm goes to herculean efforts to help meet what might be considered unreasonable timeframes to close a loan’. The firm advises borrowers and lenders from its offices in New York, Chicago, San Diego, Houston and Washington DC; the lender side of the group has established a strong niche advising on loans to the technology and life sciences sector, with San Diego-based partners Troy Zander (‘second to none’) and the ‘incredibly responsive, knowledgeable and reasonableMatt Schwartz especially active on this front. In a key lender mandate, the firm advised MUFG Union Bank as agent and lender on $1.3bn of loans to ResMed, some of which pertained to the company’s acquisition of Brightree. Other key lender clients include Citibank, On Deck Capital, Oxford Finance and Goldman Sachs. On the borrower side, the firm advised DPH Acquisition on over $300m-worth of financing for its buyout of Dunn Paper Holdings. Jamie Knox and Gregory Ruback (who attracts praise for his ‘responsive, deep legal expertise paired with an ability to relate to business priorities’) are highlighted for their borrower-side expertise.

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) significantly expanded its project finance practice in 2016 with the recruitment of Timothy Moran, Philip Corsello and Vanessa Wilson from Sidley Austin LLP; Gregory Smith from Allen & Overy LLP; and Charles Carroll, who joined from Terra-Gen Power. The ‘highly experienced’, New York-based Joseph Tato leads the ‘excellent’ team, which is active on the lender and the sponsor side and has been especially busy with conventional power, renewables and water projects. Developing countries in Africa and Latin America are a specialism of the practice: Smith, an expert in emerging markets, acted for the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration on their financing of Energía Eólica de Honduras’ Cerro de Hula wind project in Honduras. On the sponsor side, the Miami-based John Murphy advised Concesionaria Vial del Pacifico as concessionaire, and Corficolombiana and Iridium as sponsors, on the financing of Colombia’s $1.2bn, 50km Conexión Pacifico 1 highway PPP project. Ghana and Argentina are other active jurisdictions for the team, which has also handled domestic mandates including Moran’s advice to Exelon Generation on the $250m tax equity financing of Oklahoma’s 198MW Bluestem wind project.

Leading lawyers

Timothy Moran DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Structured finance
Structured finance - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper LLP (US)

The structured finance and securitization department at DLA Piper LLP (US) is ‘excellent across the board’, handling a range of asset classes, such as solar assets and student loans. The firm also has a robust CLO practice, and Richard Reilly served as primary deal counsel to Goldman Sachs in several CLO transactions totaling approximately $2.5bn in 2016. In other work highlights, the team acted for Ares Capital Management as collateral manager in a string of CLOs valued at $2.1bn. A testament to the department’s work with varied assets, ‘there is no better attorney for tobacco escrows’ than Boston partner Ronald Borod, who is also involved in a unique deal regarding Biomedical Funding LLC 2016-1 concerning the securitization and rating of early-stage biomedical assets even before they are producing cash flow through licensing or sale transactions. David Luce and Washington DC-based Richard Davis are also key contacts; the latter served as arranger’s counsel to MUFG Union Bank in a $75m revolving warehouse line secured by commercial loans to an SPV of Hercules Capital.

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United States: Industry focus

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

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s team is headed from New York by Joseph Tato and Andrianne Payson. The practice expanded significantly in 2016, welcoming, among others, project finance experts Gregory Smith from Allen & Overy LLP and Timothy Moran, Philip Corsello and Vanessa Wilson from Sidley Austin LLP; Smith, Moran and Wilson are based in Washington DC, Corsello in New York. The practice is most active in project acquisitions and finance; clients include Exelon Generation.

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

M&A and energy trading are the key areas for DLA Piper LLP (US), whose largely Houston-based practice is led by Jack Langlois and, in New York, Robert Gruendel. As well as advising clients such as Kayne Anderson and Terra Energy Partners on domestic matters, the department has a strong Latin America practice: Gruendel assisted Ecopetrol Costa Afuera Colombia SAS with designing an offshore drilling services contract.

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Energy: renewable/alternative
Energy: renewable/alternative - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s practice is led by New York’s Joseph Tato and Timothy Moran; Moran joined from Sidley Austin LLP with fellow project finance experts Philip Corsello (New York) and Vanessa Wilson. The department also handles M&A and PPAs, and has regulatory capabilities: Andrea Chambers joined from Ballard Spahr LLP in August 2016. Gregory Smith is recommended for project finance in emerging markets. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

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Healthcare: life sciences
Healthcare: life sciences - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) is praised for its ‘deep understanding of the life sciences industry and its outstanding litigation capability’. The team can also leverage its global network of offices to advise major pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and universities on big-ticket cross-border transactions and high profile contentious matters. The group showed its dedication to the sector when it added a number of well-regarded attorneys in its corporate, regulatory and IP teams, including FDA regulatory specialist George Karavetsos, who joined from a senior in-house role at the US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations. The ‘smart and strategicLoren Brown and Raymond Williams have been acting for Novo Nordisk as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel in federal and state court litigation involving the type-2 diabetes medication, Victoza. Lisa Haile and Stuart Pollack have been representing SteadyMed Therapeutics in an IPR petition to PTAB against United Therapeutics, relating to a process to purify prostacyclin derivatives, such as treprostinil. Product liability and mass tort expert Matthew Holian has ‘a very good sense of legal issues and business issues, and has a great way of explaining issues in a user-friendly way’. Other highlights included acting for Pozen during its acquisition of Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada to create Aralez Pharmaceuticals, and representing Biogen in its product liability lawsuit involving Tecfidera, its flagship multiple sclerosis medication. Larry Nishnick, who splits his time between San Diego and Los Angeles, is another name to note along with patent litigator Aaron Fountain, who excels in proceedings before PTAB. The group has a presence in San Diego, Washington DC, New York, Silicon Valley, Boston and San Francisco.

Next generation lawyers

Aaron Fountain - DLA Piper LLP (US)

Larry Nishnick - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Healthcare: service providers
Healthcare: service providers - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) has strengths in reimbursement litigation, M&A and regulatory audits for clients. Miami-based managing partner Joshua Kaye recently advised Gastro Health on its recapitalization agreement with Audax Private Equity in a platform acquisition transaction and assisted Meridian Behavioral Health during its sale to Audax Capital. IntegraMed Fertility and DentaQuest are also clients. Austin-based Karen Nelson is ‘extremely knowledgeable, helpful and practical’. Jacqueline Hodes moved to Jones Day and Frank Sheeder joined Alston & Bird LLP but the departures were offset by the arrival of Ryan O’Quinn, who joined the Miami office from Stumphauzer & Sloman PL, and New York-based Dennis Williams’ elevation to the partnership.

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Insurance: advice to insurers
Insurance: advice to insurers - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

The team at DLA Piper LLP (US) has ‘always been of the highest caliber’, according to clients. It frequently undertakes cross-border arbitration as well as reinsurance and insurance litigation involving toxic tort claims and professional liability disputes. It acted for Beazley in a D&O policy dispute with a former board member of a legacy Nevada corporation concerning his exclusion under the client’s D&O coverage policy and represented Brit Insurance against Lloyd’s in a $64m denial of coverage claim relating to allegations of legal malpractice. MetLife and Chubb are two of many big-ticket clients of the practice. Global insurance transactions and regulations practice head William Marcoux and global insurance and reinsurance chair Michael Murphy are key figures in the team, which also includes Aidan McCormack, who has ‘a unique understanding of the insurance industry’. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

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Insurance: advice to policyholders
Leading lawyers

Kirk Pasich - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Insurance: non-contentious
Insurance: non-contentious - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) undertakes significant cross-border transactions in the insurance sphere and has advised on acquisitions, joint ventures and capital market matters in Europe and Asia for reinsurers, insurers and hedge funds. It has been advising clients on the recent trend of non-traditional capital entities entering the insurance market, such as advising Blackstone in relation to a $600m capital raise for its joint venture partner, reinsurer Harrington Re. Other highlights included advising new hedge fund reinsurer Somerset Re on its $375m capital raise and assisting Fosun International with its $1.8bn acquisition of shares in Bermuda insurer Ironshire. Legal & General, Wells Fargo and Swiss Re are also on the client roster. William Marcoux is the joint practice head with Michael Murphy, ably supported by David Luce, Gerald Rokoff and the Chicago-based counsel Carl Poedtke. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

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United States: Intellectual property

Patent litigation: full coverage
Patent litigation: full coverage - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) provides ‘high-quality legal services in an effective and efficient way’ and ‘fully understands the management and decision-making processes in large corporations’. Washington DC-based Joseph Lavelle is ‘bright, responsive and well versed in patent litigation’ and ‘evaluates the merits of a case at the very beginning, developing a strategy based on its strengths and weaknesses’. Key figures in the Chicago office include technology expert Matthew Satchwell, who is ‘highly reliable for clients and formidable to opponents’, and Paul Steadman, who has a strong engineering background and is ‘an outstanding trial lawyer’. San Diego-based John Allcock currently represents Sophos, a network security provider, in an eight-patent infringement action brought by Finjan.

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Patent litigation: international trade commission
Patent litigation: international trade commission - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ITC practice stands out for its expertise in public interest and domestic industry issues, and its impressive client list includes a number of consumer electronics and engineering sector clients, such as Samsung, Toshiba and Netlist. The team successfully defended Silicon Laboratories and Samsung in an ITC investigation following a patent infringement claim by Cresta Technology relating to the components used in the respondents’ television products. Silicon Valley-based Mark Fowler is a well-regarded first-chair trial lawyer and chairs the firm’s US patent litigation practice. Chicago-based Matthew Satchwell and Paul Steadman, San Diego’s Sean Cunningham and Joseph Lavelle in Washington DC are also key contacts.

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Patents: licensing
Patents: licensing - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) advises major technology clients on the patent licensing and related IP aspects of cross-border M&A transactions. It also assists clients with patent licensing arrangements in resolving litigation, including advising on settlement agreements related to litigation with non-practicing entities. Silicon Valley-based Jeff Aronson is ‘always up to date on the latest case law and state of the law’. In a typically prolific year, the highly recommended San Diego-based Mark Lehberg assisted Qualcomm with its $3bn joint venture with TDK Corporation, involving multiple cross-border patent licensing agreements and other IP and technology licenses. Senior counsel Knox Bell in San Diego acted for Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in its collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline involving related licensing for the commercial exploitation of the outcomes from research for specific fields of medical application. Boston’s Mike McGurk, Philadelphia-based Darius Gambino and life sciences expert Lisa Haile in San Diego are also highly recommended.

Leading lawyers

Mike McGurk - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing)
Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing) - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper LLP (US)

The ‘excellent’ team at DLA Piper LLP (US) has ‘a strong understanding of worldwide trademark prosecution’. It manages trademark portfolios for clients in a variety of industries, has been advising many clients on the IP aspects of corporate and commercial transactions, and has niche expertise regarding certification marks. A key client is Dannon, which the team is advising on trademark selection and filing strategy, clearance and registrability, prosecution and enforcement, and issues surrounding product packaging, advertising and marketing strategy in compliance with industry regulations. Other clients include ESPN, Hyatt, Mark W Cross, Philip Morris and UL. ‘Outstanding’ practice head Ann Ford in Washington DC is recommended, as are the ‘very knowledgeableMark Feldman and Keith Medansky in Chicago.

Leading lawyers

Ann Ford - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds
Private equity funds - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

At DLA Piper LLP (US), David Goldstein led a contingent advising MC Credit Partners on the formation of a credit fund and Brazilian manager BGL Fund Management on the launch of a $350m fund. Other key figures include Victor Levy (‘engenders trust and confidence in his clients’) and Richard Ginsberg, who handle significant fund formation work; and Richard Reilly, who advises placement agents and ‘can always be trusted to represent the clients’ best interests’. Fund-of-funds clients include China Orient Asset Management International. Other than Chicago-based Ginsberg, the named lawyers are located in New York.

Next generation lawyers

Victor Levy - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions)
Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions) - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ten-partner benefits and executive compensation team is led by Cisco Palao-Ricketts in Palo Alto, Rita Patel in Washington DC, and Rich Ashley in Chicago. The group advises major corporate and financial services clients, and handled all benefits and compensation issues related to the acquisition of a leading American telecoms company. Ian Kopelman and Anne Pachciarek in Chicago act on multimillion-dollar deals and are also key contacts.

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Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s expertise includes NLRB cases, employment-focused litigation, and wage and hour, discrimination and harassment class actions. Daniel Turinsky in New York and New Jersey-based litigator Joseph Domenick Guarino are defending Al Jazeera America and its CEO in an ongoing race discrimination and retaliation dispute with its former executive vice president of finance. Verizon Wireless, Allegion and Republic Services are other clients. Practice head Michael Sheehan, who divides his time between Chicago and New York, Maria Rodriguez in Los Angeles, Brian Kaplan, Joseph Alan Piesco and Eric Wallach, who are based in New York, and Chicago-based Rachel Cowen are highly regarded. Ron Holland, Ellen Bronchetti and Pankit Doshi joined the San Francisco office from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, Mary Dollarhide joined in San Diego from Paul Hastings LLP and Cathryn Le Regulski in Northern Virginia made partner.

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Labor-management relations
Labor-management relations - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s David Durham, who is based in San Francisco, is representing American Baptist Homes of the West in two ongoing appeals against NLRB decisions, which overturned precedents that stated that employers are not required to disclose confidential witness statements to unions within the context of workplace investigations and that management have the right to permanently replace striking employees. The ‘excellent’ Chicago-based Marilyn Pearson advised United Airlines on labor negotiations with flight attendant unions. Other clients include Station Casinos, Michelin and Prime Healthcare. Washington DC’s Harriet Lipkin and Joseph Anthony Turzi are recommended. Ron Holland and Ellen Bronchetti joined the San Francisco office from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. Nicole Smith departed to Venable LLP.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m) - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘level of service is exceptional; the lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and responsive and deliver a high-quality work product - and practical advice’. The firm recently welcomed Sherman Chu to the Silicon Valley office from Cisco, where he served as general counsel for the Greater China region, while Michael Stein, who divides time between Baltimore and Washington DC, was hired from Everi Holdings, where he served as senior vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate compliance officer. Other key hires included energy sector specialist Drew Baldinger in Houston from Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP. In the technology space, the firm acted for Qualcomm’s board in its acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, and advised SolarWinds in its sale to private equity technology investment firms, Silver Lake Partners and Thoma Bravo. Key energy transactions included acting for Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors on the sale of privately held entities, Silver Hill Energy Partners I & II (formerly co-owned with Ridgemont Equity Partners), to RSP Permian; while in real estate it acted for timeshare company Diamond Resorts International in its sale to Apollo Global Management. The practice is also recommended for deals involving the life sciences, healthcare and franchising and distribution, as well as insurance, manufacturing and financial services. New York-based US M&A chair Jonathan Klein is highly rated, and managing partner of the firm’s Texas offices John Gilluly III is US corporate co-chair. Frank Layson is ‘very talented at finding creative solutions to difficult issues and truly partners with clients during transactions’.

Leading lawyers

Jonathan Klein - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) has consolidated its position in the middle market and is now often engaged in high-value deals too; it is noted for its record in healthcare, life sciences, media and energy. It advised Arsenal Capital Partners on a series of transactions in 2016, including its acquisition of Peterson Chemical Technology and BW Peterson Holdings, and its sale of Chromaflo Technologies to American Securities. ABRY Partners is a growing client for Atlanta-based Joe Alexander and the team advised the private equity house on its $550m sale of Emerging Markets Communications and its $126m leveraged buyout of AddSecure. Chicago’s Steven Napolitano and New York-based Daniel Eisner are co-chairs of the department. Other notable clients are Wind Point Partners, Arbor Investments, Baird Capital, Centerbridge Partners, Sterling Partners and Stonebridge Partners.

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Venture capital and emerging companies
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s practice is led by Jeffrey Lehrer in Virginia and Randy Socol in San Diego, with the rest of the team spread nationwide. Lehrer focuses on corporate and securities transactions, domestic and international M&A, venture capital, joint ventures, and corporate finance, while Socol acts for clients from the biotech, healthcare, media and medical device sectors as well as, on the funding side, venture capital firms and strategic investors. Recent highlights include Richard Ginsberg in Chicago leading advice to social media management tool Sprout Social on its Series C financing, led by Goldman Sachs and New Enterprise Associates; Socol advising Llamasoft on its $50m Series B preferred stock financing by Goldman Sachs; Megan Muir in Seattle assisting SEOmoz, a software as a service (SaaS) company, with its $10m Series C preferred stock financing, led by venture capital fund Foundry Group; and Trenton Dykes in Seattle handling a $36m Series A preferred stock financing by venture capital investors ARCH Venture Partners, Polaris Partners and Maveron LLC. Atlanta-based associate Forrest Neal is another key contact.

Next generation lawyers

Forrest Neal - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Cyber law (including data protection and privacy)
Cyber law (including data protection and privacy) - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Data protection and data breach response - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) has ‘an intelligent and practical cyber team, the lawyers provide not only expert advice but deliver findings and analysis in a comprehensible and actionable way’. Washington DC co-chair Jim Halpert led a team that negotiated and drafted revisions to seven state breach notice laws, and advised on student privacy legislation which was enacted in three states on behalf of the State Privacy and Security Coalition. New York’s Vincent Sanchez and Washington DC-based Thomas Boyd are the other co-heads of the practice, which recently saw EU privacy expert Carol Umhoefer swap the firm’s Paris office for New York. Boyd advises on legislative and regulatory issues regarding privacy, financial services and electronic commerce, while Sanchez focuses on complex commercial transactions involving new technologies. New clients include Hyundai Motor America and Synovus Financial. In early 2017, the former co-head of the practice at Sidley Austin LLP, Anna Spencer, joined the firm's Washington DC office, bringing expertise in healthcare privacy matters. Since publication, breach response specialist Tara Swaminatha has joinedSquire Patton Boggs.

Leading lawyers

Jim Halpert - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Outsourcing
Outsourcing - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s practice is led by Vincent Sanchez, who advises buyers and suppliers of outsourced services, and is experienced in large-scale global implementation projects and BPOs involving human resources, accounting, financials and technology. Greg Manter led a team which advised telecoms services provider Inteliquent on the negotiation of a large services agreement over a three-year term, which requires the client to provide wireline and mobile public switched telephone network and routing services throughout the US, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico for T-Mobile. Manter is also assisting a major insurance company for business, agribusiness and home and auto cover with the negotiation of a master services agreement (MSA) with PwC for consulting and implementation services. Associate Ryan Sulkin’s strengths range from ITO deals, data protection, licensing, e-commerce and IP. Adam Sak departed for a position at SourceTech Law Group and Sachin Lele departed for a position at DRL Enterprises.

Next generation lawyers

Ryan Sulkin - DLA Piper LLP (US) (Associate)

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper LLP (US)

The team at DLA Piper LLP (US) assists both growing and established technology companies in commercial and technology transactions, employment matters and IP patent protection strategies, with clients receiving ‘the highest level of care at all stages of their growth’. Recent matters included advising the Qualcomm board of directors and special committee on the headline acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, acting for Tubemogul in its sale to Adobe, and assisting SoftBank Group International with its role in the $130m Series B funding of Zymergen, a Silicon Valley-based bioengineering start-up. Other key clients include Amazon, Sony and Vodafone. Co-global US technology chair Victoria Lee in Silicon Valley is highly rated; global technology transactions and strategic sourcing chair Vinny Sanchez divides his time between Chicago and Century City; and Frank Ryan in New York is US IP and technology co-chair. In Northern Virginia, Eric Grossman is also recommended; IP specialist Heather Dunn, who divides her time between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, is ‘a thoughtful, patient adviser who considers clients’ future strategies’; and US tax practice chair Sang Kim in Silicon Valley ‘shows deep interest in clients’ long-term welfare’.

Leading lawyers

Victoria Lee - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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

DLA Piper LLP (US)

The ‘extremely helpful, invaluable and incredibly knowledgeable’ team at DLA Piper LLP (US) is co-led by Michael Senkowski and the ‘strategic and responsiveNancy Victory, following their move from Wiley Rein LLP in late 2016 along with Eric DeSilva. The practice, which is ‘excellent at seeing the big picture in terms of regulatory compliance and has a great understanding of the inner workings of the FCC’, is also noted for its spectrum expertise and its ability to secure regulatory approvals for transactions. Recent highlights include DeSilva representing AT&T in the FCC’s 600MHz incentive auction, and Senkowski advising OneWeb on a significant cross-border matter, which involves securing authorization in over 20 countries for its new global satellite system aimed at bringing broadband to rural areas around the world; he is also advising Samsung on FCC proceedings relating to 5G spectrum availability. Victory is advising Verizon on the regulatory implications of a tax-related company reorganization. Other clients include T-Mobile, América Móvil, TracFone Wireless and CTIA.

Leading lawyers

Michael Senkowski - DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
Telecoms and broadcast: transactional - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘incredibly responsive, knowledgeable and proactive’ three-partner telecoms team, based in Washington DC, ‘receives top marks’ from clients, and was established in late 2016 following the arrival of the ‘tremendousMichael Senkowski, the ‘unbelievably reliableNancy Victory and the ‘fantasticEric DeSilva from Wiley Rein LLP. Senkowski and Victory jointly chair the group and both are recommended for their telephony and wireless work. The team is particularly recognized for its spectrum expertise; DeSilva advised AT&T on multiple spectrum licensing acquisitions and leasing deals and, while at her previous firm, Victory assisted Columbia Capital with the sale of a 700MHz spectrum license held by one of its investment companies to T-Mobile. The practice also utilizes the firm’s global footprint and Frank Ryan in New York is advising VimpelCom on network sharing agreements in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Other clients include Samsung, CTIA and TracFone Wireless.

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United States: Real estate

Construction (including construction litigation)
Construction (including construction litigation) - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s construction practice is based mainly in Atlanta but has experts across the country, including in Baltimore and Chicago. The firm’s focus is on commercial and residential real estate, as well as infrastructure projects, with recent work in this area including stadia and large-scale mixed-use developments. The team fields experts in front-end negotiations as well as disputes and predominantly acts for owners, although not exclusively. A particularly noteworthy transaction is the ongoing representation of the baseball team Atlanta Braves regarding the billion-dollar mixed-use development in SanTrust Park; this is a major project in the area and will include offices, hotels and residential blocks, as well as retail and entertainment venues. The project has also involved negotiating the surrounding infrastructure developments, including roads and transportation links, and was led by Maxine Hicks. Robert Crewdson and Anthony Meagher co-chair the department from Atlanta and Baltimore respectively.

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Land use/zoning
Land use/zoning - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s land use practice is led from Chicago by Ted Novak, although the firm’s expertise in this area spans the country, with attorneys based in Boston, Atlanta and Los Angeles, among other cities. The client base is broad and ranges from real estate developers and sporting teams to private equity firms and technology companies. As a result, the team is also well versed in handling varied projects, including residential and mixed-use developments, tourist destinations and stadia. A highlight for the team has been Atlanta-based Maxine Hicks’ advice to baseball team the Atlanta Braves on the development of a new 57-acre stadium known as ‘The Battery Atlanta’; the estimated value of the project stands at $1bn and includes gaining approvals for the surrounding infrastructure. Other important partners include Boston-based John Rattigan and Chicago-based Richard Klawiter and Paul Shadle.

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s practice delivers ‘excellent client service’ when it comes to ‘structuring and raising capital for funds as well as REIT law’. Clients recommend New York M&A partner Christopher Giordano and capital markets lawyer Jesse Criz in Chicago (who is ‘an expert at REIT law, funds and real estate transactions’), who together advised Harrison Street Real Estate Capital on its $1.9bn acquisition of Campus Crest Communities. Team lead Robert Bergdolt in New York worked on KBS Growth and Income REIT’s IPO worth $1.5bn, which was followed by a distribution reinvestment plan. Kerry Johnson in New York and Robert Le Duc (who splits his time between Chicago and Minneapolis) represented underwriters Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities regarding a preferred stock offering by Ashford Hospitality Trust.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Throughout 2016 and early 2017, DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘responsive, business-savvy and knowledgeable’ international tax department, which has a ‘geographic reach to almost all countries’, experienced a number of staff changes: New York lawyers Maruti Narayan, Drew Young and Frank Mugabi were all promoted to partner; in Palo Alto, Idan Netser joined from Fenwick & West LLP; and in Miami, Antonio Macias Valdes joined from KPMG Law LLP as a principal economist. Clients recommend co-heads Sang Kim, who is based in Palo Alto and hailed as ‘knowledgeable and resourceful’, and Sibel Owji, who is based in San Francisco and is ‘particularly strong in project management’. Also noted is the ‘experienced and proactiveMichael Hardgrove in Boston and Palo Alto’s ‘creativeBen Olivas. Kim advised Qualcomm Incorporated on its $3bn joint venture with TDK Corporation and Hardgrove acted for Danaher Corporation in the separation into two independent, publicly traded companies via a tax-free spin-off.

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

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) delivers ‘an excellent service’ and represents clients in federal, state, local, civil and criminal tax audits, appeals and litigation. It also advises multinational companies on international tax audit issues. Michael Patton in Los Angeles is noted for his transfer pricing expertise and led the US sub and Swiss parent of a transportation and logistics company in its US-Switzerland advance pricing agreement renewal, involving commodity trading. The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is also a client. In New York, Ellis Reemer is praised by clients. Since publication, Kathryn Keneally has moved to Jones Day .’

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

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s tax practice works very closely with the firm’s corporate and real estate departments to handle the tax aspects of M&A, private equity and real estate transactions for clients including Qualcomm Incorporated, Windpoint Partners, Juniper Networks and Kadmon Holdings. Sang King, Gerald Rokoff and Stacy Paz lead the ‘very reliable group’, which advised e-commerce giant Groupon on tax issues related to its $782m sale of a controlling stake in LS Korea and Ticket Monster. In another highlight, it provided tax advice to NuVasive on its $410m acquisition of Ellipse Technologies.

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Latin America: International firms

Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Demonstrating its commitment to Latin America with a steadily expanding network of offices across the region has enabled DLA Piper LLP (US) to generate a greater variety of energy sector engagements. In addition, the development of its agency lender practice in Washington DC, led by Gregory Smith, has furthered its exposure to renewable energy and infrastructure projects, and an impressive client base now includes Concesionaria Vial del Pacifico, OPIC, Pluspetrol, Iridium/ACS and Cosapi. A strong name in project finance, Miami partner John Murphy led the team that advised Concesionaria Vial del Pacifico, Corficolombiana and Iridium on the $1.2bn Conexión Pacifico 1 highway PPP project in Colombia; the first project to be awarded under the Autopistas para la Prosperidad PPP programme, the deal constitutes the largest ever project financing in the local market. Co-chair of the Latin America group and global co-chair of energy Robert Gruendel is another key player in the team, along with Eduardo Gallastegui in Mexico City.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

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