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  1. Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers
  2. Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to underwriters
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

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The editorial for this section is in alphabetical, as opposed to ranking order, due to two ranking tables.

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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s issuer-focused practice receives a steady stream of instructions from energy and natural resources companies, but it has also recently acted on debt deals for major media and technology players. EOG Resources is an active client, which the firm recently advised on two significant transactions, including its $750m senior notes offering - Houston-based capital markets co-head John Goodgame led that work. In Dallas, securities specialist Seth Molay assisted Alliance Data Systems with its $300m Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of senior notes. New York-based Kerry Berchem is also a key contact. Other clients include Cinemark, Gulfport Energy and US Concrete.

Baker Botts L.L.P. continues to specialize in energy transactions, but also handles deals involving companies from the food and beverage, media, and telecoms industries for issuers, where it particularly excels, and underwriters. From Houston, Kelly Rose and the ‘very knowledgeable and experiencedDavid Kirkland jointly head a firm-wide corporate department that is considered ‘among the best in Texas’. Rose and Jason Rocha recently advised Halliburton on its $7.5bn offering of senior notes, while Kirkland and Andrew Ericksen acted for Schlumberger Holdings in a $6bn offering of senior notes. On the underwriter side, John Geddes advised Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank Securities, JP Morgan, TD Securities, HSBC, US Bancorp and Wells Fargo Securities on Sysco’s $2.5bn offering of senior notes.

Bracewell LLP’s deal list continues to be dominated by its work for energy issuers such as Apache, Venoco and Energy & Exploration Partners. Among the Houston-headquartered group’s work highlights, Troy Harder advised EOG Resources on its $1bn offering of senior notes and assisted Colorado Interstate Gas with a $375m senior notes offering. In a recent deal for an issuer outside the energy space, group co-head Charles Still assisted Sysco with a $2.5bn offering of senior notes. William Anderson is the other practice co-head; he acted for the underwriters in Independent Bank Group’s $45m offering of subordinated notes.

The ‘very strong’ New York-based team at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP stands out for its ‘first-rate product knowledge’, ‘deep bench’ and ‘fair fees’. The firm’s excellent links with investment banks continues to pay dividends and it advised underwriters on a stream of investment grade debt deals over the past year. Daniel Zubkoff, Douglas Horowitz and Joshua Zelig acted for the joint book-running managers, global financing coordinators and other initial purchasers during a $20bn offering of first lien notes by subsidiaries of Dell. Elsewhere, John Tripodoro, Corey Wright and Brian Kelleher led the firm’s advice to the joint book-running managers and co-managers on CCO Safari II’s $15.5bn offering of senior secured notes. Other recommended names include William Hartnett and Jonathan Schaffzin.

Both banks and issuers alike highlight Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP as a ‘top choice for challenging, complex issues’, due to its ‘strong access to current and former SEC officials’ and its ability to apply a ‘high degree of intellectual rigor to every transaction’. The New York-based team comprises lawyers who ‘consistently demonstrate excellent judgment’, with Craig Brod singled out for his ‘extensive knowledge and responsiveness’. At the end of 2015, Brod advised the underwriters on a six-tranche $5bn debt offering by Chevron and he also advised the underwriters on Chevron’s $6.8bn debt offering in 2016. Adam Fleisher is ‘very strong technically’ and advised Western Digital on its $18.1bn debt package to finance its acquisition of SanDisk. Latin America specialist Jorge Juantorena acted alongside counsel Grant Binder to advise Remex on several matters over the past year, including a $5bn three-tranche debt offering. Other respected figures include Jeffrey Karpf, who is ‘absolutely excellent’, Michael Volkovitsch, who stepped down to senior counsel in 2016, and Pamela Marcogliese, who is an up-and-coming partner.

Standing out for its ‘high-level professionalism’, Covington & Burling LLP’s service standards and value for money are highlighted as ‘equal to the top-tier firms’. New York-based Donald Murray chairs the group and advised Goodyear on three significant debt transactions including a $1bn senior notes offering. New York-based vice-chair Eric Blanchard is ‘very proactive with deep knowledge of securities law’; he advised Johnson & Johnson on two offerings of investment grade debt securities worth $7.5bn and €4bn respectively. In Washington DC, Michael Riella assisted HealthSouth with a $350m senior notes offering and a private placement of $350m of senior notes. Also in Washington DC, Kerry Burke is another key name in this ‘small group with big experience, knowledge and confidence’.

At the top of the market for securities offerings’, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is widely lauded for its ‘deep and well-qualified bench, from associate to senior partner level’. The New York-based practice continues to garner big-ticket mandates from both issuers and underwriters, and its diverse experience ensures it is regularly called upon by clients across all industry sectors. Craig Arcella is ‘undoubtedly a market leader’ and has been at the helm of a raft of headline deals recently, including advising the underwriters in Shire Acquisitions Investments Ireland’s $12.1bn senior debt offering, which was used to help fund Shire’s acquisition of Baxalta. William Whelan, another high-profile name, assisted the underwriters with two senior debt offerings by Express Scripts Holding worth a combined $6bn. Andrew Pitts also advised on several trophy deals, including acting for Royal Dutch Shell in two registered debt offerings totaling $12bn. Stephen Burns, William Fogg and up-and-coming partner Johnny Skumpija are also recommended. Kris Heinzelman retired in 2016.

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.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP continues to win a significant market share of the world’s largest investment grade debt deals, with its recent showings in the technology space particularly impressing. In a major highlight, Joseph Hall advised Visa on its $16bn senior notes offering, which was notable for being the largest-ever debt securities offering by a financial technology company. In another key technology transaction, Menlo Park’s Sarah Solum acted for Oracle in its $14bn notes offering. Exxon Mobil remains an active client and Michael Kaplan and Byron Rooney advised the oil and gas giant on its $12bn notes offering. Among its recent work for underwriters, Menlo Park-based Alan Denenberg advised the joint book-running managers on two offerings by Cisco Systems worth $13.2bn. Menlo Park-based Bruce Dallas and leading light Richard Truesdell are also key figures in a large team that was further strengthened by the promotions of Shane Tintle and Derek Dostal to partner. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Jointly headed by Matthew Kaplan and Steven Slutzky, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based team leverages the firm’s market leading private equity funds practice to dominate in that sphere, but it also routinely acts for corporate issuers, financial institutions and underwriters. In a key example of its signature strength, Kaplan advised Getty Images, a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group, on a $250m debt-for-debt exchange. Kaplan also assisted Westpac with a series of debt transactions totaling $13.7bn. Slutzky’s recent debt transactions included acting for Reynolds Group in the placement of $1.3bn senior secured notes, $750m senior secured floating rate notes and $800m of senior notes. Peter Loughran is also recommended and advised Manulife on its registered MJDS offering of $1.7bn of senior notes.

Dechert LLP handles a high volume of debt deals, with its expertise in life sciences and permanent capital vehicles ensuring much of the group’s work originates from issuers in those spheres. Among its recent highlights, New York-based department co-chair David Rosenthal acted for Egalet in a secured debt offering of up to $80m. In Philadelphia, William Lawlor and Ian Hartman advised Crown Holdings on its €600m private placement of senior unsecured notes and its $400m private placement of senior unsecured notes. In Boston, department co-chair Thomas Friedmann advised Eagle Point Credit on three debt financings, including a $25m notes offering. Philadelphia’s James Lebovitz is also a key contact.

Faegre Baker Daniels acts for a raft of major, and extremely active, corporate issuers in public and private debt offerings. Wells Fargo is a trophy client, which the firm routinely advises on its capital raising activities; Dawn Holicky Pruitt and practice head Sonia Shewchuk lead that relationship from Minneapolis. Target is another client and Shewchuk recently acted for the retail giant in its $2bn public offering of senior notes. Also in Minneapolis, Morgan Burns assisted Archer Daniels Midland with a $1bn offering of fixed rate notes. The team also regularly acts for Ameriprise Financial, Black Hills and Zimmer Biomet in their public offerings.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘excellent full-service capability’ and ‘attractive combination of US capital markets expertise backed by a strong global network’ make it a strong choice for underwriters. Highly rated global co-head Valerie Ford Jacob is also a significant draw, hailed as ‘best in class’ and a ‘recognized leader in complex transactions’. Ford Jacob and Michael Levitt advised the underwriters, led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mizuho Securities and US Bancorp, on a $1.1bn offering by Kroger. The same team also acted for the underwriters in Republic Services’ $500m offering of notes. New York head Paul Tropp is ‘extremely strong and very knowledgeable’; he advised the underwriters on Dollar General’s $500m issuance of senior notes.

Responsive, client-focused and highly professional’, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s ‘high-caliber practice’ stands out for its ‘deep dedication to achieving client aims’. Department co-head and ‘very strong lawyerDaniel Bursky paired up with Mark Hayek to advise Under Armour on its $600m offering of senior notes. Bursky also acted with Andrew Barkan to assist the underwriters with multiple offerings of investment grade notes by Procter & Gamble including two offerings worth $1.7bn and $1.2bn respectively. Stuart Gelfond jointly heads the New York-based group and led the firm’s advice to Novelis, as co-counsel alongside Torys and King & Spalding LLP, in two offerings of senior notes totaling $2.6bn. Other clients include Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Extended Stay and Perrigo.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s debt practice had a banner year, advising on a string of headline offerings for major multinationals from offices across its national network. In San Francisco, group co-chair Stewart McDowell acted for Intel in the issuance of $2.7bn of senior notes. New York-based co-chair Andrew Fabens advised GE on its $37.5bn private offer to exchange outstanding debt securities by newly formed finance subsidiary, GE International Funding Company. In Los Angeles, co-chair Peter Wardle assisted AECOM with a $1.6bn exchange offer of senior notes, while in Denver, Robyn Zolman continued to raise her profile and advised AT&T on a $7bn exchange offer. In a highlight on the underwriter side, McDowell worked alongside San Francisco’s Douglas Smith to advise the underwriters on numerous offerings by Wells Fargo, including a $3.7bn offering of floating rate notes.

Real estate and REIT-related matters are sweet spots at Goodwin, in line with the firm’s signature strength, and it also receives a steady stream of instructions from life sciences issuers. Among recent work highlights, Gilbert Menna led the advice to Gaming and Leisure Properties during its $1.4bn offering of senior notes. James Barri had a strong year and acted for VEREIT in its $1bn offering of senior notes and also assisted Nike with its $1.5bn offering of investment grade notes. On the underwriter side, New York-based Mark Schonberger advised Wells Fargo Securities and Morgan Stanley on three offerings of notes by Ventas Realty totaling $1.9bn. Ettore Santucci chairs the largely Boston-based group.

Hogan Lovells US LLP leverages its robust regulatory practice to provide a specialist skillset in advising issuers from the regulated industries on debt matters, with healthcare, telecoms, defense, aerospace and life sciences all standing out as strong areas of expertise. Highlights in 2016 saw Washington DC-based Eve Howard acting for HNA Group, the owner of China's fourth-largest airline, on its circa €1.5bn debt finance raising relating its CHF2.7bn (enterprise value) acquisition of cargo handling company Swissport Group from PAI Partners. Also in Washington DC, Richard Parrino advised UnitedHealth Group on its $2.5bn notes offering. Glenn Campbell splits his time between Baltimore and Washington DC and worked alongside Washington DC’s Allen Hicks in advising Lockheed Martin on its $7bn investment grade notes offering, which was used to partially finance its $9bn acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft. Elsewhere, Amy Freed, who splits her time between Baltimore and New York, acted for 21st Century Fox in two offerings of senior unsecured notes totaling $1.1bn. Washington DC-based group head David Bonser is also recommended.

The ‘highly dependable, knowledgeable and responsive’ team at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP strikes the right note with its ‘pragmatic and problem-solving approach’. The firm regularly ranks among the most prolific capital markets practices in Texas, mainly for energy issuers, but it is also increasingly active for underwriters and recent experience also spans the financial services and technology industries. Houston-based department co-head David Buck is ‘excellent’ and acted for Enterprise Products Operating in its $1.2bn issuance of senior unsecured notes. In another highlight, Washington DC-based William Cooper and Houston’s Stephanie Beauvais advised the underwriters on Magellan Midstream Partners’ $650m notes issuance. Houston-based Michael O’Leary jointly heads the group alongside Buck.

Jones Day’s team is led from Cleveland by global capital markets co-chair Christopher Kelly and national lead Michael Solecki, and it also calls on key partners in the firm’s Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Silicon Valley offices. In Atlanta, Joel May had a strong year; he and corporate governance specialist Lizanne Thomas advised Southern Company on its $8.5bn offering of senior notes, and he also acted with Chicago’s Edward Winslow to assist Newell Rubbermaid with its $8bn offering of senior notes. In New York, Rory Hood and John Owen advised representatives of the underwriters on PepsiCo’s $4.5bn offering of senior notes. Clients also include Lam Research, Omnicom Group and Starbucks.

Providing ‘the expertise of New York firms at a more reasonable cost’, Atlanta-headquartered King & Spalding LLP has a significant issuer-side practice that has recently acted for companies in the energy, financial services, consumer products and real estate industries. Lawyers demonstrate ‘excellent knowledge of the rules and markets’, with Keith Townsend praised as a ‘very strong lawyer’. Townsend acted for ConocoPhillips in its $3bn offering of fixed rate senior notes, and assisted Total System Services with its $1.5bn offering of fixed rate senior notes. Other key names include William Smith, who has ‘strong knowledge of the law, excellent client skills and business understanding’, Jeffery Malonson, who joined the Houston office in 2016 from Vinson & Elkins LLP, and newly promoted partner Carrie Ratliff.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s issuer-focused practice is largely split between the firm’s New York and Chicago offices, and is particularly well regarded for food and beverage, energy and technology sector work. In New York, ‘great lawyerJoshua Korff and Michael Kim advised Kraft Heinz Foods on a series of senior notes offerings totaling $7bn. Christian Nagler is also a key name in New York and acted for Molson Coors Brewing in multiple offerings, which included a series of senior notes offerings worth a combined $5.3bn. In Chicago, Robert Hayward and Keith Crow assisted Kellogg with several transactions including offerings of senior notes and senior debentures totaling $1.4bn. Other key contacts are Dennis Myers and Gerald Nowak in Chicago, and Richard Aftanas in New York.

Latham & Watkins LLP reinforced its capital markets team in 2016 with the hires of Washington DC-based counsel Paul Dudek, who was formerly chief of the SEC’s office of international corporate finance, and Michael Benjamin, who joins the New York office from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Regularly acting for both issuers and underwriters in a mix of investment grade and high-yield offerings, the group also draws on the firm’s global footprint to excel in cross-border matters. In a recent example, New York-based Gregory Rodgers and Orange County-based Charles Ruck led a US team that worked alongside the firm’s London office to advise Amgen on its CHF700m offering of bonds listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange - the firm also acted for Amgen during its $4.9bn debt exchange offer. In an underwriter-side highlight, Washington DC-based Rachel Sheridan and counsel Brandon Bortner assisted JP Morgan with Exxon Mobil’s issuance of six tranches of fixed rate notes and two tranches of floating rate notes totaling $12bn. In New York, Marc Jaffe and Ian Schuman are also recommended, while Patrick Shannon is a key name in Washington DC. Kirk Davenport retired in 2016.

The ‘very experienced and capableMayer Brownalways exceeds expectations’. Led from Chicago by ‘outstanding lawyerEdward Best, the capital markets group houses a well-balanced debt practice, which routinely advises corporate issuers and underwriters on sophisticated transactions. Among Best’s recent work, he assisted Nissan Motor Acceptance with its $1.5bn notes issuance. Also in Chicago, Philip Niehoff acted for AbbVie in a $7.8bn senior notes offering. In Palo Alto, Jennifer Carlson advised Republic Services on its $500m notes issuance and cash tender offer for up to $600m of notes. Among the firm’s work for underwriters, Best and Carlson acted for Morgan Stanley in Kellogg’s issuances of $750m of senior notes and $650m of senior debentures. Chicago partners Michael Hermsen and David Schuette are also active members of the team. Since publication, Anna Pinedo and Jerry Marlatthave joined in New York from Morrison & Foerster LLP.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s firm-wide strength in advising lenders translates into a solid underwriter-side practice. However, it also secures a significant share of high-profile issuer work, with government issuers increasingly turning to the team. Most notably, Paul Denaro advised the government of Bermuda on its $665m Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of senior notes. Denaro also acted for Export Development Canada on two bond offerings worth a combined $2bn. Brett Nadritch is another key name in the team and assisted the underwriters with American Airlines’ $813.7m two-tranche notes offering. Other highlights included advising the underwriters in Verizon Communications’ $6.1bn offering of notes. Rod Miller and global capital markets head Marcelo Mottesi are also recommended. All named partners operate out of New York.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s ‘outstanding’ group has a strong record handling debt offerings for domestic and foreign issuers from the energy, financial services, technology and life sciences industries. Philadelphia-based Joanne Soslow chairs the group and acted for AmeriGas Partners in its $1.3bn offering of senior notes. In another example of the firm’s strong links with energy issuers, New York’s John Hood advised Entergy on a $750m offering of senior notes. Also in Philadelphia, Justin Chairman is ‘extremely knowledgeable, responsive, creative and practical’, and acted for Liberty Property in its $400m senior notes offering. Ameren, Louisiana Public Facilities Authority and OM Asset Management are also clients.

A ‘true partner to clients’, Morrison & Foerster LLP distinguishes itself through its ‘cutting-edge knowledge’ and ‘strong, partner-led service’. The firm’s relationships with domestic and foreign financial institutions, particularly Canadian banks, has really come to the fore in recent years. In a recent example, New York-based of counsel Melissa Beck advised National Bank of Canada on a $1.3bn notes offering. Bank of Nova Scotia and RBC are also clients of the firm. The firm also acted for the underwriters during multiple recent debt offerings by Bank of America, including advising Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the lead underwriter in a $1bn offering of green bonds. In San Francisco, Brandon Parris acted for Boyd Gaming in its $750m offering of senior notes. Since publication, Anna Pinedo and Jerry Marlatt have moved to Mayer Brown.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s ‘deep knowledge’, ‘experience in complex transactions’ and ‘ability to effectively brief members of the client’s team’ mark the group as a ‘true competitor to the traditional leaders in this area’. San Francisco-based Brophy Christensen is an ‘excellent strategist’ and ‘knows how to keep a transaction moving to its conclusion’; he jointly leads the practice alongside ‘fantastic deal-makerMichael Schiavone in New York. Schiavone recently acted alongside New York’s Daniel O’Shea in advising the underwriters on two separate offerings by Nissan Motor Acceptance including a $1.5bn offering. In Los Angeles, John-Paul Motley acted for American Honda Finance in two separate debt offerings including a $1bn MTN offering. The group also includes newly promoted partners Jaroslaw Hawrylewicz and Shelly Heyduk, who operate out of New York and Newport Beach respectively.

The launch of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s new Houston office in 2016, including the arrival of corporate and securities specialist David Ronn from McGuireWoods LLP, bolstered the firm’s growing capital markets presence in the energy and infrastructure fields. Technology, life sciences and financial services are also active areas for the issuer-focused team. Highlights saw San Francisco-based Brett Cooper assisting Pacific Gas and Electric with its $600m offering of senior notes. In New York, Stephen Ashley worked with the firm’s Hong Kong office to advise 361 Degrees International on its offering of $400m of senior notes. Also in New York, Tara Higgins acted with Ashley in assisting Cube Hydro Partners with the $140m issuance of senior secured notes.

Consistently good’, Paul Hastings LLP is lauded for its ‘knowledgeable and confident lawyers’ and its ‘strong experience across a wide variety of capital markets matters’. The group’s Latin America expertise is also a notable strength and Michael Fitzgerald and Joy Gallup acted for the global coordinators and initial purchasers in a landmark dual-tranche $2bn bond offering by Mexico City Airport Trust. The same team also advised underwriters Goldman Sachs, HSBC Securities and Morgan Stanley on Televisa’s $1.2bn senior notes offering. Cathleen McLaughlin is ‘very efficient, knowledgeable and resourceful’ and acted for the government of Jamaica in its $743.2m bond offering. Michael Zuppone chairs the largely New York-based department.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP impresses with its ‘extremely competent and proficient lawyers’. In particular, capital markets co-head John Kennedy is a ‘very strong practitioner’, and fellow co-head Gregory Ezring and deputy corporate chair Monica Thurmond are ‘strategic and quick-thinking’. Ezring and Tracey Zaccone recently advised Prime Security Services Borrower and Prime Finance on their offering of $3.1bn of notes. In another key issuer mandate, Tong Yu acted for Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in three notes offerings worth a combined $11bn. On the underwriter side, Christopher Cummings handled several offerings by TransCanada Pipelines including advising HSBC and JP Morgan on a $1bn senior notes offering.

A go-to player for priority transactions’, the team at Proskauer Rose LLPcarefully weighs up business considerations against legal strategy’. Among the names to note, department co-head Frank Lopezknows how to push the counterparty without overstepping the mark’; he and Stephen Gruberg advised Celgene on its $8bn offering of five tranches of unsecured senior notes. The same team also acted for the underwriters, including Citigroup, JP Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in PulteGroup’s offering of $1bn of senior notes. Other clients include Ares Capital, Imperial Capital and Light Tower Rentals. Los Angeles-based Monica Shilling and department co-head Julie Allen are also recommended. All individuals are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

Praised for being ‘highly knowledgeable and business-minded’, Shearman & Sterling LLP has a focus on financial services, healthcare, telecoms and mining-related work. Largely based in New York, under the leadership of David Beveridge, the group is also represented in Washington DC, Palo Alto, San Francisco, São Paulo and Toronto. Among its recent issuer highlights, Beveridge advised Electronic Arts on a $1bn offering of senior notes, while Stephen Giove acted for Viacom during its $1.3bn offering of senior notes. However, advice to managers remains the team’s sweet spot and ‘strong performerRobert Evans recently acted as underwriters’ counsel in Lowe’s Companies’ $3.3bn offering of investment grade notes, while Lisa Jacobs advised the underwriters on Ford Motor Credit’s $2.2m offering. Jonathan DeSantis and Merritt Johnson are also recommended. In 2016, Michael Benjamin left for Latham & Watkins LLP.

Prompt, professional and very knowledgeable’, Sidley Austin LLP is favored for its ‘strong technical knowledge and commitment to exemplary service’. The capital markets team is well known for its advice to banks, but its dedication to building up its issuer practice continues to translate into a steady stream of company-side mandates. Most notably, the ‘excellentJames O’Connor acted with Jason Friedhoff to advise Caterpillar Financial Services on a private debt exchange offer and ten debt offerings of MTN, worth a combined $3.5bn. In addition, Robert Ryan assisted Synchrony Financial with three offerings of senior notes totaling $1.2bn. The firm also remains a pre-eminent choice for underwriters’ counsel and San Francisco-based Eric Haueter advised various underwriters on three significant transactions for Disney including a new $8bn MTN program. Elsewhere, Edward Petrosky paired up with O’Connor to assist the underwriters with four MTN offerings by American Honda Finance. Craig Chapman, William Massey and Chicago-based Kevin Blatchford are also recommended. Named partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Go-to firm’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is highlighted by many as ‘the first port of call’ for capital markets deals, with clients highlighting the team’s ‘exceptional service’, ‘great value for money’ and ability to ‘understand the unique needs of the client’. The firm had a banner year in the technology space, advising on a slew of deals for some of the sector’s most high-profile names: New York-based Kenneth Wallach assisted Dell with a $20bn first lien notes offering; Palo Alto-based Kevin Kennedy acted for Apple in $26bn worth of bond offerings; and Palo Alto-based William Brentani advised Microsoft on its offering of $19.7bn worth of senior notes. Also in New York, Arthur Robinson heads the department and brings ‘deep experience and strong technical knowledge’ to his role; he and Marisa Stavenas acted for the dealer manager in an exchange offer by IHS Markit related to the merger of IHS and Markit. Roxane Reardon and Andrew Keller are other key contacts in New York.

In 2016, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP handled several headline matters, including acting for HSBC Securities as lead underwriter in HSBC Holdings’ $8bn offering of senior notes, which was notable for being HSBC’s largest-ever dollar issuance. The group also advised Pfizer on a $5bn five-tranche offering of notes and a $1.7bn exchange offer. Global corporate finance co-head Stacy Kanter was the lead on both deals. Coca-Cola was also an active client in 2015 and 2016 and a team led by Dwight Yoo assisted the beverage giant with a series of debt offerings, including a A$1bn two-tranche Australian dollar-denominated notes offering and a $4bn three-tranche US dollar-denominated notes offering. Michael Zeidel and Gregory Fernicola are also key members of the team. All named individuals are based in New York.

The ‘top-notch’ group at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is ‘excellent in every respect’, exhibiting a ‘business-friendly approach’, and ‘very deep bench’. The firm sits comfortably at the top of the market globally, which also ensures it is regularly involved in some of the most prominent cross-border matters. Most notably, the New York office teamed up with the London office to advise Anheuser-Busch InBev Finance on its $46bn offering of notes as well as on its subsequent $1.4bn offering of notes; the initial transaction was notable for being the second-largest corporate bond sale on record and the US side of the deal was led by Frank Aquila. Among its work for underwriters, Robert Risoleo assisted Citigroup Global Markets and UBS Securities with Aetna’s $13bn notes offering, while Los Angeles-based Patrick Brown advised the underwriters on two offerings of notes by AT&T totaling $10bn. Robert Downes and Catherine Clarkin are also highly regarded. Named partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Vinson & Elkins LLP is hailed for its ‘responsive and practical approach’ and ‘coordinated Houston and UK offices, which are a great asset in cross-border transactions’. An undoubted leader in the energy arena, where it is widely regarded as ‘a top choice for issuers’ counsel’ but also acts for underwriters, the group’s robust experience in transport, financial services, real estate and telecoms matters also deserves mention. Practice co-head David Oelman is a sought-after name, who recently acted with Alan Beck and firm chair Mark Kelly in advising Anadarko on its $3bn offering of senior notes. Oelman and Beck teamed up again to assist Plains All American Pipeline with its $1bn investment grade offering of senior notes. Michael Harrington has ‘deep expertise in debt deals’ and acted alongside Kelly to advise LyondellBasell Industries on its €750m offering of senior notes. Matthew Strock jointly leads the Houston-headquartered team together with Oelman.

Historically stronger on the issuer side, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP strengthened its manager-side credentials with its recent advice to the underwriters during Microsoft’s $19.7bn offering of senior notes to finance its acquisition of LinkedIn. The deal, which was notable for being the technology giant’s largest-ever bond offering, was led by Corey Chivers. Chivers also led the firm’s advice to Willis Towers Watson (Ireland) in two notes offerings worth $1bn and €540m respectively. Elsewhere, Jennifer Bensch acted for Mizuho Securities USA in a ¥30bn senior unsecured notes offering by DH Japan Finance. Alexander Lynch heads a New York-based practice that also includes Frank Adams and the newly promoted Faiza Rahman.

John Donovan’s New York-headquartered team at White & Case LLP is complemented by platforms in Washington DC and Miami, the latter facilitating the group’s strong showing in Latin America. The firm’s historically close relationships with lenders translates into a robust financial issuer practice and it also shines in energy deals. Gary Kashar and banking partner Francis Zou advised Agricultural Bank of China (New York Branch) on several matters, including the update of its $10bn MTN program and a subsequent $1.2bn offering of senior notes under the program. Kashar also acted for Kansas City Southern in a $2bn note exchange offer. In another highlight, Jonathan Michels teamed up with Daniel Nam and global M&A head John Reiss to assist Fortis with its $2bn Rule 144A/Regulation S notes issuance.

In a significant highlight, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in three multi-tranche, multi-market offerings of senior notes to finance its pending acquisition of Actavis Generics; Jeffrey Hochman led the firm’s advice on the $15bn bond sale. In addition to its notable strength in life sciences matters, the firm also leverages its funds expertise to advise private equity sponsors and portfolio companies on debt matters. Cristopher Greer jointly heads the capital markets team and assisted Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, a portfolio company of Platinum Equity, with its $650m senior secured notes offering. Gregory Astrachan leads the department alongside Greer.

WilmerHale’s prominent life sciences practice continues to feed into its capital markets activity and the firm acts for an impressive volume of pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, including Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and PerkinElmer. Washington DC-based Erika Robinson jointly leads the practice; her recent work highlights include acting for Analog Devices in a $1.3bn offering of senior notes and advising Thermo Fisher Scientific on its $1bn issuance of senior notes. Brian Johnson jointly leads the department from New York, and the team also calls on partners in Boston.

In 2016, Winston & Strawn LLP strengthened its capital markets group with four lateral hires in New York: Joel Rubinstein, Jonathan Rochwarger and Elliott Smith all joined from McDermott Will & Emery LLP (where Rubinstein led the capital markets practice), while Keith Andruschak arrived from Mayer Brown. Manager-side mandates comprise the bulk of instructions, and the firm routinely acts on complex, high-value deals across a broad range of industries. In Chicago, Cab Morris recently advised the joint book-running managers on several deals, including Illinois Tool Works’ $1bn offering of notes, Newell Rubbermaid’s $8bn offering of notes and Exelon’s $1.8bn offering of notes. Matthew Bergmann and Christopher Zochowski jointly lead the M&A and securities practice from Chicago and Washington DC respectively.

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  • Bär & Karrer Advises CEVA Logistics on its IPO, the anchor investment by CMA CGM and its migration

    CEVA Logistics, one of the world's leading third-party logistics companies, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange, where trading commenced on 4 May 2018. With a market capitalization of CHF 1.6 billion and generating gross proceeds of CHF 821 million, this is so far considered as the largest IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange for 2018. In addition, CMA CGM, the third largest container shipping group in the world, has committed to make a strategic cornerstone investment in CEVA Logistics by purchasing CHF 379 million of mandatory convertible securities which will convert into shares of CEVA Logistics once certain regulatory approvals have been obtained. Simultaneously with the IPO, CEVA Holdings, the former holding company of the CEVA group, migrated from the Marshall Islands to Switzerland by way of a cross-border merger with CEVA Logistic as the surviving company.
  • BAG: Employer not liable for harm caused by vaccine

    Employers who have flu vaccines administered within their company are not liable for any harm that might occur as a result of the vaccine. That was the verdict of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court, in a recent ruling.
  • Tax Update

    Cyprus Tax Department has announced that, as of June 1 st 2018 , the following taxes, not bearing interest and charges, can ONLY be paid via JCCsmart (website ) . JCCsmart is a Cyprus portal used to contact payments to various organizations including the Government. This measure follows the successful implementation of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax withheld from employees through JCCsmart.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on the Financing of the Largest Thermoelectric Plant in Latin America

    Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe S.A. (CELSE) has successfully issued bonds for approx. USD 1 billion equivalent in local currency at a fixed, long-term rate in international capital markets. The innovative bond issue is guaranteed by the Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), the export credit agency of Switzerland. The bonds are part of a financial package to finance the development, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a thermoelectric power plant by CELSE in the state of Sergipe in the northeast region of Brazil. Besides the bond issue for approx. USD 1 billion, the transaction includes a USD 200 million loan from the International Finance Corporation and a financial package of the Inter-American Development Bank in the amount of approx. USD 300 million. Once operational expected for in 2020, CELSE will sell electricity to 26 distribution companies in Brazil, becoming the largest and most efficient thermoelectric plant in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • BAG: Threats made by employee can justify dismissal with immediate effect

    Employers do not have to accept threats made by employees. These can constitute good cause justifying extraordinary notice of dismissal with immediate effect, as demonstrated by a ruling of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court.
  • SyCipLaw is Tier 1 Firm in IP STARS 2018 Rankings

    SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) was once again ranked by Managing IP’s IP STARS 2018 as a Tier 1 firm in Patent and Trademarks/Copyright in the Philippines. In addition, SyCipLaw partners Enrique T. Manuel and Vida M. Panganiban-Alindogan are ranked as Trade mark star – Philippines . Mr. Manuel is also ranked as Patent star – Philippines .
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on Partial Self-Tender Offer

    On 21 September 2017, an extraordinary shareholders' meeting of the SIX Swiss Exchange listed N.V. authorized the board of directors to repurchase up to 33 1/3% of the company's share capital by means of a partial self-tender offer. The resolution adopted under Dutch law contained detailed information, among others regarding the period for which the authorization is granted, the manner in which the shares are repurchased and the price range within which the offer price must be set.
  • New Serbian Law on Foreigners Adopted

    In March 2018, the new Serbian Law on Foreigners was adopted, replacing the 2008 version of this law- in force until recently without any amendments. The new law will enter into force on 3 October 2018.
  • The Serbian Law on Foreign Exchange Amended

    On 20 April 2018, the amendments to the Law on Foreign Exchange (the “Law ”) were adopted and will enter into force on 28 April 2018 . Exceptionally, the application of certain provisions related to the assuming of competencies over foreign exchange control by the National Bank of Serbia is delayed until 1 January 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Vyaire Medical on its Acquisition of Acutronic Medical Systems

    Vyaire Medical, Inc., a global leader in respiratory care, acquired all shares in the Acutronic Medical Systems group, a Switzerland and Germany-based leader in the design and manufacture of neonatal ventilation equipment.