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United States > Finance > Capital markets: equity offerings > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers
  2. Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers
  3. Hall of Fame
  4. Leading lawyers
  5. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • Alan Beller - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
    • Joshua Ford Bonnie - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
    • David Goldschmidt - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    • Michael Kaplan - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
    • Joshua Korff - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    • Andrew Pitts - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
    • Leslie Silverman - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
    • Richard Truesdell - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Capital markets: equity offerings clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s capital markets team is now led jointly by Michael O’Leary and Austin managing partner Matthew Lyons, following the departure of former co-head David Buck - and three other capital markets partners - to Sidley Austin LLP. The team leverages the firm’s signature strength in oil and gas matters to specialize in advising issuers and managers on equity offerings in the energy space, and it also secures a significant volume of real estate deals. Highlight manager-side transactions included O’Leary and Charlie Ofner advising the underwriters on Hess Midstream Partner’s $390.9m IPO, while Courtney Cochran Butler assisted the underwriters with Buckeye Partners’ $588.7m equity offering. Recent issuer clients include Just Energy Group, NGL Energy Partners and TETRA Technologies. Jordan Hirsch and Melinda Brunger are also recommended. Stephanie Beauvais and Meredith Mouer left for in-house positions at Shell and Tellurian respectively. Named attorneys operate from Houston, unless otherwise stated.

Client-oriented and responsiveBaker Botts L.L.P. scores highly for its ‘excellent energy capital markets expertise’, with sources particularly noting its ‘specialist knowledge in master limited partnerships’. Houston-based Joshua Davidson heads the capital markets group and advised Citibank Global Markets as joint book-running manager on Plains GP Holdings’ $1.5bn public offering. In Dallas, Preston Bernhisel advised EnLink Midstream Partners on its $600m at-the-market offering. Other names to note include David Kirkland and Mike Bengtson, who co-chair the corporate department from Houston and New York respectively, and the ‘practical and unflappable’ Mollie Duckworth in Austin. In a notable set of lateral hires, the team welcomed five new partners from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s Houston office in 2017, including former US M&A and securities head David Peterman and former Houston corporate and M&A head Efren Acosta.

Bracewell LLP’s issuer-focused practice is well known for its expertise in the energy sphere but it also frequently assists its extensive roster of financial services clients with equity offerings. William Anderson co-chairs the Houston-based department and advised Holly Energy Partners on its issuance of common units in exchange for incentive distribution rights held by HEP Logistics Holdings in a deal worth $1.2bn. Timothy Langenkamp recently joined the team from Sidley Austin LLP and assisted Global Infrastructure Partners Capital Solutions Fund with a $250m equity investment in Caprock Midstream. Other key names include Troy Harder and group co-chair Charles Still. Emily Leitch left to join Jones Day.

Traditionally better known for its high-yield debt practice, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP’s strong underwriter relationships continue to translate into an increasing volume of equity deals. Among its recent work, high-profile partner Jonathan Schaffzin and William Miller advised the underwriters on a $2.1bn stock offering by Equinix. Miller also led advice to the underwriters on Keane Group’s $584.7m IPO. Elsewhere, James Clark and Miller acted for the underwriters on two common stock offerings by Mercury Systems totaling $398m, while Douglas Horowitz assisted Wells Fargo Securities as sole book-running manager with PBF Energy’s $275.3m public offering. The New York-based team also benefits from the experience of Daniel Zubkoff, William Hartnett and John Tripodoro.

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s much-admired equity practice impresses with its ‘strong response times, practicality and commerciality of advice’ and the client consensus is, ‘expensive but worth it’. The New York-centered group strikes an enviable balance between manager and issuer work, with notable expertise in cross-border and multidisciplinary deals. Among its key company-side mandates, Craig Brod acted for Open Text on a public share offering to help fund its $1.6bn acquisition of Dell EMC’s enterprise content division. Jeffrey Karpf is ‘a safe pair of hands for a complex deal’ and with Sung Kang advised Keysight Technologies on two offerings to support its acquisition of Ixia, including a $400m takedown of common stock. On the manager side, the ‘practical and effective’ Adam Fleisher acted for the underwriters on China Rapid Finance’s $64.2m IPO. Leslie Silverman, David Lopez and senior counsel Alan Beller are also recommended.

Clifford Chance’s highly regarded REIT practice positions it as an attractive choice for equity deals in that space - for both managers and issuers. Manager highlights include Andrew Epstein and Jay Bernstein assisting the underwriters with KKR Real Estate Finance Trust’s $241.6m IPO, while Jason Myers and US capital markets co-head Kathleen Werner advised Goldman Sachs as sole underwriter on Park Hotels & Resorts’ $325m public offering of common stock. On the issuer side, Kathleen Werner and Richard Catalano handled Safety, Income and Growth’s $205m IPO and concurrent $45m private placement. Jonathan Zonis, who co-heads the Americas capital markets practice, is also a key partner in the New York-based group.

Technology powerhouse Cooley LLP is ‘a growing force in major deals’, with sources highlighting it as ‘at the vanguard of trends in the equity capital markets arena’. The firm’s specialist sector focus ranks it among the top for IPOs by technology, life sciences and venture-backed companies, with its ‘accessible and smart lawyers’ also commended for their ‘strong complementary experience in M&A and complex private matters’. Palo Alto’s Eric Jensen has ‘first-class industry knowledge’ and advised longtime client, Snap, on its $3.4bn IPO - notably, the second largest tech IPO in history. In another company-side highlight, San Diego-based department co-chair Charlie Kim assisted Akcea Therapeutics with its $143.8m IPO. On the manager side, Jensen acted for the Goldman Sachs-led underwriter syndicate on Redfin’s $159m IPO. The group also includes San Francisco’s Andrew Williamson, New York-based Div Gupta and San Francisco-based practice co-chair David Peinsipp, who is ‘a great relationship builder’. The group was further strengthened by several new hires in 2017, which included a three-partner team from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati comprising of Washington DC-based Robert Sanchez and New York partners Adam Dinow and Sacha Ross.

The ‘efficient and effective’ group at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP attracts rave reviews for its lawyers’ ‘strong commercial acumen’ and ‘peerless market knowledge’. In particular, finance co-chair William Fogg has a ‘razor-sharp mind’ and advised the underwriters on JPMorgan Chase’s $1.2bn offering of depositary shares. North America capital markets head Andrew Pitts is widely lauded as a ‘market leader’ and he and ‘rising star’ Scott Bennett assisted the underwriters and selling stockholders with Alcoa’s $465m common stock offering. The New York-based group also continues to raise its game on the issuer side and, in what was arguably the group’s key highlight of 2017, Stephen Burns and ‘strong performerJohnny Skumpija advised Crown Castle International on its $1.5bn convertible preferred stock offering and concurrent $3.8bn common stock offering. Senior corporate figure William Whelan is also highly regarded for equity transactions.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s comprehensive national practice routinely handles IPOs and follow-on offerings for both issuers and underwriters, with strong showings in the technology and life sciences fields. In New York, group chair Christopher Paci advised the underwriters on YogaWorks’ $40m IPO. In Austin, US corporate chair John Gilluly acted for the underwriter on Upland Software’s $40m follow-on offering. In a highlight for the Baltimore office, Jay Smith advised Laureate Education on its $490m IPO. Gislar Donnenberg joined the Houston office from Paul Hastings LLP. The practice also benefits from well-staffed offices in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Short Hills and Silicon Valley.

The ‘all-star team’ at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP secures an impressive market share of major issuer and underwriter-side mandates, with its ‘excellent ability to resource large and complex deals efficiently’ a recurring theme among sources. The group, which is composed of ‘top-quality lawyers’, also impresses with its ‘strong business savvy’ and ‘deep experience’. Richard Truesdell is ‘second-to-none’ and with Derek Dostal advised REV Group on its $275m IPO and a $272.5m secondary offering. In another high-value issuer-side transaction, Menlo Park’s Alan Denenberg acted for Equinix on a $2.1bn follow-on public offering. Key highlights for managers included Michael Kaplan, who is ‘widely recognized as an expert in the area’, assisting the underwriters with several secondary offerings by Hilton Worldwide Holdings worth a combined $3.6bn. Other stand-out names are Richard Sandler, Joseph Hall and Menlo Park-based Bruce Dallas. Named partners are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

Top decile firmDebevoise & Plimpton LLP distinguishes itself through its ‘professional and responsive team’ and ability to ‘provide expert advice with urgency’. The New York group’s strong issuer practice, which is notable for its private equity bent, is supported by robust underwriter expertise - it is also noted for its ‘great bench strength to assist on cross-practice matters’. Group co-head Steven Slutzky is highlighted for his ability to ‘address questions on the spot with the nuances that help decision-making’; he recently advised KKR and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, as the controlling shareholders, on a series of secondary offerings by US Foods Holding totaling $2.3bn. Peter Loughran had a strong year and advised on several high-profile deals, including assisting SiteOne Landscape Supply with a series of secondary offerings worth $1.2bn - he also acted for the underwriters on the $169m IPO of GMS. Matthew Kaplan is ‘a top-notch specialist’ and co-chairs the group.

At Dechert LLP, Boston-based group co-head Thomas Friedmann is well known for his specialist skill set in acting for business development companies. In a recent example, Friedmann advised Eagle Point Credit on its $30.3m public offering. The firm is also active on behalf of underwriters, with Philadelphia-based partners James Lebovitz and Gregory Schernecke advising the underwriters on Amicus Therapeutics’ $258.8m public offering. David Rosenthal co-leads the practice from New York and with Schernecke acted for the joint book-running managers on Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ $75m public offering. Other key clients include Franklin Square Capital Partners, Golub Capital and Stifel Nicolaus.

Eversheds Sutherland, which is highlighted as ‘the most knowledgeable firm with respect to business development companies’, finds favor for its ‘strong responsiveness’ and ‘cost-efficient service’. Steven Boehm steers the Washington DC-based practice and has ‘great regulatory expertise’; he advised Runway Growth Credit Fund on its $275m private placement. In another highlight, Harry Pangas acted for Triangle Capital on its $136.5m follow-on equity offering. Executive partner Cynthia Krus and financial services head Stephen Roth are other names to note.

Practical, knowledgeable and experiencedFenwick & West LLP is ‘a leader in its niche’. The Silicon Valley-headquartered firm sets itself apart through its focus on representing issuers from the technology and life sciences sectors on equity deals, and its client roster is dominated by venture capital and private equity-backed companies. Silicon Valley-based securities co-chair Jeffrey Vetter provides ‘real-world advice’; he teamed up with Seattle-based corporate lead Alan Smith and James Evans, who operates from the Seattle, Silicon Valley and New York offices, to advise Redfin on its $159m IPO. Robert Freedman co-heads the department from San Francisco and acted with Smith and Effie Toshav, who divides her time between Seattle and San Francisco, to advise Cascadian Therapeutics on its $94m public offering. Gordon Davidson is also a key name in Silicon Valley.

Clients of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP assert ‘you’re in good hands with this team’. Among its key attributes, sources highlight its ‘prompt thoughtful analysis’ as well as its ability to ‘combine securities law knowledge with sound commercial judgment’. The New York-based group enjoys strong links with underwriters and it also occasionally acts for issuers, such as its advice to Formula One Group and the selling stockholders (including CVC Capital Partners) on a $660m public offering - global capital markets co-head Valerie Ford Jacob and Michael Levitt led that work. In a manager-side highlight Paul Tropp, who is singled out for his ‘deep understanding of the client’s business’, advised the underwriters on TCG BDC’s $166.5m IPO.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP strikes the right note with its ‘extremely responsive service’ and ‘high-quality work product’. The firm continues to win a good balance of issuer and manager-side mandates, with notable strength in advising private equity sponsors. In a recent example, group-co head Daniel Bursky and ‘up-and-coming partnerMark Hayek advised JELD-WEN Holding, an Onex portfolio company, on its $661m IPO and its $495m secondary offering. The same pair also advised the underwriters on Athene Holdings’ $1.2bn IPO and its two secondary follow-on offerings. Team co-head Stuart Gelfond is ‘an excellent and extremely responsive relationship partner’ and assisted Oneok with its $1bn at-the-market offering. The ‘outstanding’ New York-based team also includes younger partner Andrew Barkan, who advised AEA portfolio company Evoqua Water Technologies on its $500m IPO.

The national group at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is particularly active in handling equity offerings on behalf of issuers, with notable experience in the energy and technology sectors - it also has a sound manager-side practice. Among its recent work, Denver’s Robyn Zolman advised The Williams Companies on its $2.1bn public offering of common stock. In a manager-side matter, Houston partners Doug Rayburn and James Chenoweth advised Barclays Capital as underwriter on Targa Resources’ $783.7m public offering. Andrew Fabens, Stewart McDowell and Peter Wardle co-chair the department from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively.

Goodwin garners a high volume of deals within the technology, financial services and life sciences sectors, and it also has a prominent track record in REIT-related work. Although traditionally skewed towards issuer clients, the practice has dramatically increased its profile on the manager side recently, as evidenced by its advice to the Morgan Stanley-led underwriting syndicate on Snap’s headline $3.9bn IPO - Silicon Valley partners Richard Kline and Anthony McCusker led that work. The same team also advised the underwriters on MuleSoft’s $221m IPO and the issuer on Okta’s $187m IPO. In a major REIT headline, Boston-based partners Gilbert Menna and Scott Chase assisted the underwriters with Invitation Homes’ $1.8bn IPO, which was notably the second-largest REIT IPO in history. Boston-based Ettore Santucci heads the group. In April 2018, Kristopher Brown joined in New York from Dechert LLP.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s capital markets team, which stands out for its ‘problem-solving approach’, leverages the firm’s global weight in regulated industries to specialize in representing clients in the healthcare, life sciences, financial services, TMT and aerospace and defense sectors. Notable examples include Philadelphia’s Steve Abrams assisting OptiNose with its $138m IPO, and Washington DC’s Richard Parrino advising Dell Technologies on the sale of $1.1bn of ‘tracked’ VMware stock in three transactions. Manager-side work is also becoming a more prominent feature of the practice and Washington DC-based department head David Bonser advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as the underwriter, on Hudson Pacific’s $653.6m public offering, while a New York team of Lewis Cohen and counsel David Tyler served as US counsel to the banks acting as Brazilian and international placement agents on a share offering by IRB Brasil Resseguros.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s issuer practice leverages the firm’s robust REIT offering to shine in that space, it also has a focus on power, retail and financial services. New York-based Peter O’Brien co-heads the department and together with newly promoted partner Christina Kwon advised Great Plains Energy on its equity financing to support the acquisition of Westar Energy, which involved concurrent offerings of mandatory preferred stock and common stock totaling approximately $2.5bn. In a highlight example of its strength in REIT-related matters, Richmond-based co-head David Wright, Washington DC’s Robert Smith, New York-based tax specialist George Howell and Richmond-based transactional real estate counsel James Davidson assisted Chimera Investment Corporation with two offerings of preferred stock totaling $470m. Group co-head Susan Failla, who is based in New York, is also a key contact.

The ‘responsive, efficient and broad’ group at Jones Day is ‘virtually always available to provide service’ and is also prized for its ‘deep and experienced bench’. The team had a strong showing on the manager side during 2017, with US practice lead Christopher Kelly, who splits his time between New York and Cleveland, acting for the underwriters on KeyCorp’s $500m public offering. Recent issuer work includes Cleveland-based Michael Solecki assisting Cliffs Natural Resources with its $680m public offering. Atlanta capital markets head Mark Hanson had an active year, which saw him advise Modern Media Acquisition on its $207m IPO. The group also includes Cleveland-based Kimberly Pustulka, who is ‘an extremely intelligent and hardworking specialist’, as well as new hires Emily Leitch, who joined the Houston office from Bracewell LLP, and Alan Seem, who arrived in Palo Alto from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

The ‘consistently greatKirkland & Ellis LLP sets itself apart through its ‘practical and extremely responsive advice’ and ‘solid bench strength from junior to partner level’. In New York, the ‘very strongJoshua Korff led several recent highlights, such as advising WideOpenWest on its $356m IPO. Among the Chicago group’s key deals, Robert Hayward assisted Carvana with its $225m IPO. The firm’s manager-side work is often overshadowed by its high-profile deals for issuers, particularly private equity funds, but underwriter matters account for an increasing share of the practice, such as Houston’s Matthew Pacey assisting the underwriters with C&J Energy Services’ $261.6m share offering. Other senior names are ‘top-notch’ New York partners Christian Nagler and Richard Aftanas and Chicago’s Dennis Myers.

Latham & Watkins LLP is widely lauded as ‘a benchmark for capital markets’ and its ability to garner a constant supply of top-flight deals - from both issuers and managers - confirms its position as a market leader. According to sources, New York-based global corporate chair Marc Jaffe is ‘head and shoulders above the rest’. Jaffe led many of the group’s most high-profile recent deals, including assisting Goldman Sachs with Canada Goose’s C$340m dual-listed IPO on the NYSE and the Toronto Stock Exchange and its $259m follow-on offering - New York-based Ian Schuman and Boston’s John Chory co-led the IPO advice. In another bank-side headline, Washington DC-based Rachel Sheridan acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as underwriter on Emerald Expositions Events’ $303m IPO. Among its work for issuers, Jaffe and Schuman advised Camping World on its $249m IPO and $303m common stock offering. The group also includes global capital markets co-chairs Witold Balaban in New York and Chicago-based Cathy Birkeland. Wenchi Hu joined the New York office in 2017 from the SEC.

Mayer Brown’s national practice is led out of Chicago by Edward Best and also draws upon key names in New York, Houston and Palo Alto. The team is well versed in the full spread of equity deals and routinely acts for issuers, investment banks, financial sponsors, placement agents and selling shareholders in major deals. In a significant highlight, New York’s George Baptista advised Companhia de Saneamento do Paraná on its $496m IPO. New York’s David Bakst is a high-profile figure in the team and assisted Adaptimmune Therapeutics with its $61.9m offering of American depositary Shares. New York-based John Berkery and Houston-based William Heller are also recommended. In a significant development, the firm recently hired a new capital markets team from Morrison & Foerster LLP, which included new global group co-head Anna Pinedo and Jerry Marlatt, as well as tax specialists Thomas Humphreys and Remmelt Reigersman - all join the New York office, except Reigersman who joins in Palo Alto.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s diverse sector focus spans infrastructure, energy, transport and gaming and the New York-based group is particularly well known for its close links to banks. Rod Miller, who is ‘a recognized capital markets expert’, and Paul Denaro advised the underwriters on Brookfield Infrastructure Partners’ $700.4m offering of limited partnership units. Elsewhere, James Ball advised the underwriters on Plug Power’s $17m offering of common stock. The team also secures a significant share of issuer mandates, with Miller recently assisting MGM Growth Properties with its $386.6m follow-on offering.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s well-balanced practice handles an even mix of underwriter and issuer-side work, with an emphasis on the energy, financial services, technology and life sciences areas. In arguably its key highlight of 2017, Boston’s Michael Conza advised CarGurus on its IPO. Justin Chairman co-leads the practice from Philadelphia and advised Corporate Office Properties on its $200m at-the-market equity offering. Pittsburg’s Amy Pandit co-leads a team that also includes New York-based Tom Giblin, Philadelphia-based Joanne Soslow and newly promoted partner Sean Donahue in Washington DC.

Responsive and deeply knowledgeableMorrison & Foerster LLP has ‘a rare ability to deliver value while also delivering partner access’. The team, which is equally adept at advising issuers and underwriters, handles a wide range of private investment in public equity transactions, IPOs and follow-on offerings, with notable expertise in technology, energy, financial institutions and real estate. REIT work is a sweet spot and Washington DC-based REIT co-chair Justin Salon advised the underwriters on Plymouth Industrial REIT’s $55.1m IPO. On the company side, San Francisco’s John Campbell assisted Krystal Biotech with its $45.5m IPO. A senior team including Anna Pinedo, Jerry Marlatt and tax specialists Thomas Humphreys and Remmelt Reigersman left for Mayer Brown.

At O'Melveny & Myers LLP, New York-based department chair Michael Schiavone is a recognized expert in capital markets transactions, with broad experience across public and private securities offerings for both managers and issuers. Among his recent work, Schiavone advised Goldman Sachs, as representative of the underwriters, on Thermo Fisher Scientific’s $1.7bn common stock offering and he advised Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings on a $819m secondary public offering by its sponsors. Other names to note include Los Angeles managing partner John-Paul Motley, who assisted Malibu Boats with its $58m public offering, and San Francisco’s Peter Healy, who advised Healthcare Trust of America on a public equity offering.

The ‘immensely responsive’ group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP finds favor for its ability to ‘remain flexible and not impose an overly rigid idea of how things should work’. The practice, which is particularly well known for its expertise in technology and telecoms, has a strong presence across all the key hubs in California and also benefits from a robust New York office. In San Francisco, Karen Dempsey is ‘experienced, smart and especially open-minded’ and advised new client Granite Point Mortgage Trust on its $205m IPO. Among the New York team’s highlights, global department chair Christopher Austin acted for Ladenburg Thalmann & Co as underwriter on a follow-on offering by Axsome Therapeutics. San Francisco partners Brett Cooper and Andrew Thorpe are also noted.

Paul Hastings LLP’s team is particularly well versed in advising underwriters and issuers on offerings in the life sciences, technology, and real estate spaces - it also has an active Latin America practice. Highlights included Latin America head Michael Fitzgerald, advising Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan as global coordinators on Becle’s $912m IPO on the Mexican Stock Exchange. Domestic work includes San Diego’s Teri O’Brien’s advice to Kratos Defense & Security Solutions on several equity offerings, including a $197.2m follow-on offering. New York’s Yariv Katz is also a key name and advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup as joint book-running managers on Sun Communities’ $409m follow-on public offering. Michael Zuppone chairs the group from New York. Taisa Markus moved to the New York office of White & Case LLP.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s issuer-focused practice, which is centered in New York, is sought after for its ‘extremely pro-business approach’ and its ‘broad sector expertise’. Raphael Russo had a stand-out year on the equity side, which included advising the issuers on the $152m IPO of J. Jill and the $345m IPO of Mosaic Acquisition. In fact, the group had a strong year for IPOs generally, with ‘outstanding’ department co-head John Kennedy also advising Preferred Sands on its $100m IPO and David Huntington advising MPM Holdings on its $250m IPO. The team also includes high-profile department co-chair Gregory Ezring and key partner Monica Thurmond.

The ‘top-flight group’ at Proskauer Rose LLP distinguishes itself through its ‘comprehensive expertise’, ‘immediate response times’ and ‘very practical advice’. The practice, which has traditionally been dominated by issuer-side mandates, continues to see an uptick in manager-side work, such as Los Angeles-based group co-chair Philippa Bond’s advice to the underwriters on Five Point Holdings’ $399m IPO. Among its highlights for its core issuer client base, Los Angeles-based private equity co-head Monica Shilling assisted Carlyle’s business development company, TCG BDC, with its $166m IPO, and she also acted for Floor & Décor on its $192m IPO and $428m secondary offering. In New York, group co-chair Frank Lopez, together with senior counsel Daniel Forman, assisted Leisure Acquisition with its proposed $250m IPO. Other key contacts in New York are Julie Allen, who is ‘always calm, cool and collected’, and Stuart Bressman.

Reed Smith LLP’s national practice, which is chaired by Danielle Carbone, is dominated by issuer representations. Offerings in the life sciences and technology sectors comprise the bulk of work, and the group has experience across the full gamut of IPOs, follow-on offerings and venture capital investment. Aron Izower and Herbert Kozlov are other key names. Named individuals are based in the firm’s New York office.

The ‘outstanding’ capital markets team at Ropes & Gray LLP is regarded by many as ‘a go-to practice for private equity funds’ - its client base also encompasses corporate issuers and investment banks. Jointly led from Boston by Patrick O’Brien and Paul Kinsella, the large national group also includes key practitioners in San Francisco and New York. In a major coup, San Francisco’s Thomas Holden advised Canada Goose Holdings, as the issuer, and Bain Capital, as a selling shareholder, on both Canada Goose’s C$340m IPO and its $259m follow-on offering. In another cross-border highlight, O’Brien, together with the firm’s Shanghai and Hong Kong offices, advised China-based biotechnology company Zai Lab on its $172.5m IPO. Boston partners David Fine and Craig Marcus advised Planet Fitness on three separate follow-on offerings worth $306m, $326m and $348m respectively.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s national practice, which is spread between New York, Washington DC, Palo Alto and San Francisco, acted on an impressive stream of IPOs over the past year - for both issuers and underwriters. In a major headline on the company side, Richard Alsop assisted Altice USA with its $2.1bn IPO. Alsop also advised Ardagh Group on its $354m IPO. The group’s work for underwriters has been equally impressive, such as Ilir Mujalovic and Harald Halbhuber advising Credit Suisse as sole book-running manager on Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings’ $600m IPO. Mujalovic also acted for the underwriters on Venator Materials’ $522.1m IPO. Other key names are Jonathan DeSantis, who heads the capital markets practice for the Americas, highly regarded younger partner Merritt Johnson, global managing partner David Beveridge and new arrival Lona Nallengara, who joined from the SEC. All named partners are based in New York. Robert Evans departed in 2017 for the SEC, while Palo Alto’s Alan Seem left for Jones Day.

Put simply, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP houses ‘one of the best teams in this space’, with its ‘exceptional lawyers’ roundly praised for their ‘strong business awareness’, ‘tremendous work ethic’ and ‘instant response times’. In particular, ‘IPO powerhouse’ Joshua Ford Bonnie is noted as ‘second-to-none’; he recently acted with Edgar Lewandowski to assist Invitation Homes with its $1.8bn IPO. Among the other names to note, Richard Fenyes advised Gardner Denver Holdings, a portfolio company of KKR, on its $950m IPO and he also advised TransUnion on four secondary offerings totaling $3bn. The group’s manager-side firepower is equally impressive, with Joseph Kaufman and David Azarkh assisting the underwriters with Laureate Education’s $465.5m IPO, and Ryan Bekkerus acting for the underwriters on Schneider National’s $550m IPO. Other key partners in the ‘deep and broad’ team include Roxane Reardon, Palo Alto’s William Hinman and group chair Arthur Robinson. All partners are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

A popular choice for sophisticated equity deals, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is ‘unbeatable on large or "first-of-a-kind" transactions’, according to some. Corporate finance specialist Stacy Kanter is a ‘superstar’ and, together with Ryan Dzierniejko, advised WeWork Companies on SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund’s $4.4bn investment into WeWork. In another issuer highlight, Gregory Fernicola and Dwight Yoo assisted Kinsale Capital Group with an upsized $106m secondary offering and an upsized $150m secondary offering. The team also receives a steady stream of manager-side work, such as ‘leader in his field’ David Goldschmidt advising the joint book-running managers on Medical Properties Trust’s $571m offering of common stock. Goldschmidt also advised the joint book-running managers on Granite Point Mortgage Trust’s IPO. Michael Zeidel and seasoned specialist Phyllis Korff are also key names. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s ‘extremely responsive team’ receives plaudits for its ‘invaluable industry knowledge and experience’ and ‘seamless handovers between partners as necessary’. In New York, department deputy head Catherine Clarkin is ‘always accurate, thoughtful, and practical’ and led on several highlight deals over the past year, including advising the joint lead book-running managers on Cadence Bancorporation’s $172.5m IPO. New York’s Robert Buckholz also secures strong praise for his ‘great instincts’ and ‘excellent client relationship skills’; he acted for the underwriters on several offerings by Becton, Dickinson and Company, including a $2.2bn follow-on offering. On the company side, Clarkin assisted Byline Bancorp with its $124.5m IPO, while New York-based group co-head Robert Downes advised Clipper Realty on its $87m IPO. Sarah Payne, who co-leads the group from Palo Alto, and Los Angeles-based Patrick Brown are also recommended.

In line with its firmwide strength in oil and gas, Vinson & Elkins LLP’s Houston-headquartered practice predominantly handles offerings for energy and natural resources issuers - it also acts for a significant volume of REITs, life sciences companies and financial institutions. In a deal that demonstrates its core strength, practice co-head David Oelman advised BP Midstream Partners on its $765m IPO. In another company-side highlight, Douglas McWilliams and Ramey Layne advised Natural Gas Partners-backed Vantage Energy Acquisition on its $552m IPO. The firm’s growing prominence on the manager side is evident in McWilliams and Layne’s recent advice to the underwriters on Silver Run Acquisition’s $1bn IPO, while Oelman assisted the underwriters with Antero Midstream’s $875m IPO. The group also draws on the experience of capital markets co-head Matthew Strock.

The ‘experienced, timely and commercial’ team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP plugs into the firm’s prominent private equity practice to specialize in advising portfolio companies on their IPOs and follow-on offerings. Alexander Lynch - ‘a key player in this space’ - heads the New York-based department and was involved in several offerings by special purpose acquisition companies during 2017, including advising Fortress Investment Group, as co-sponsor, on Mosaic Acquisition’s $345m IPO and advising Federal Street Acquisition on its $460m IPO. The firm also routinely handles work for underwriters and Lynch acted for Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan as underwriters on the $250m Camping World IPO. Senior name Corey Chivers and ‘rising star’ Faiza Rahman are also noted.

White & Case LLP handles a broad spread of equity matters for both issuers and underwriters, with notable expertise in technology, life sciences, infrastructure and cross-border - particularly Latin America-related - offerings. In a strong example of its multijurisdictional prowess New York-based John Vetterli, who is regional head of the Americas capital markets group, acted alongside the firm’s Sao Paulo office to assist Loma Negra Compañía Industrial Argentina Sociedad Anónima with its IPO and listing of American depositary shares on the NYSE, totaling $1.1bn. On the underwriter side, the ‘technically excellentColin Diamond - also based in New York - advised the underwriters on three offerings by IQVIA Holdings worth a combined $2.7bn. The firm has also recently undertaken work for Kornit Digital, NeuroDerm and Roivant Sciences. In 2018, global capital markets specialist Taisa Markus joined from Paul Hastings LLP.

WilmerHale’s focus on the life sciences sector continues to pay dividends and it advised issuers on a string of debut and secondary offerings during 2017. Highlights included New York-based transactional chair Steven Singer advising Agios Pharmaceuticals on a $287m public offering. In Boston, life sciences co-chair Stuart Falber assisted Apellis Pharmaceuticals with its $150m IPO. New York-based Brian Johnson and Washington DC-based Erika Robinson co-chair a capital markets group that also includes Boston’s David Westenberg.

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