Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings in United States

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is noted for high-yield debt offerings linked to acquisition financings for M&A and private equity transactions. The firm’s traditions in the energy sector also bring it a number of high-yield debt engagements, as does its prominence in restructurings. Entertainment is another key sector for the team. Houston partner Christopher Centrich is experienced in high-yield debt offerings in the energy sector. Dallas partners Garrett DeVries and Alan Laves are also key names, along with New York’s Rosa A. Testani.

Practice head(s):

John Goodgame; Zach Wittenberg

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Centrich; Garrett DeVries; Rosa Testani; Alan Laves; Katie Dinett


‘Insight, understanding and knowledge of capital markets instruments distinguishes Akin Gump. I have done many HY capital markets transactions and would consider the folks at Akin to be among the best.’

‘Responsiveness and detailed understanding and knowledge of the specifics of each instrument and interaction with the other instruments we have in place is what distinguished Alan Laves and Katie Dinett from the others I have worked with in the past. They were fantastic to work with, making my job easier, and giving me comfort that we were addressing all the issues related to each instrument.’


Key clients

Genesis Energy L.P.

Cinemark USA, Inc.

CEC Entertainment, Inc.

Laredo Petroleum, Inc.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

Fossil Group, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Genesis Energy L.P., a diversified midstream master limited partnership, in a series of senior unsecured notes offerings cumulatively valued at $1bn.
  • Represented Cinemark USA, Inc., a leader in the motion picture exhibition industry, in a series of high-yield debt offerings cumulatively valued at $1.5bn.
  • Represented CEC Entertainment, Inc., the family dining business, in its $650m offering of 6.750% senior secured notes due 2026.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P. has an impressive mix of issuer and underwriter engagements, being one of few firms that is headquartered outside New York to be routinely mandated by top investment banks to advise on headline high-yield debt offerings. Based in Houston, much of the practice centres on the energy sector, including oil and gas, and renewables; the firm is also noted for green and sustainability-linked financings. Houston partner Joshua Davidson  is head of capital markets and has a prolific record in representing both underwriters and issuers, including MLPs.

Practice head(s):

Mike Bengtson; Joshua Davidson

Other key lawyers:

Justin Hoffman; Travis Wofford


‘Josh Davidson is a very capable lawyer. Excellent reputation is well deserved. He is responsive and commercially minded.’

‘Baker Botts understands our business better than anybody else. Their industry expertise allows them to come up with creative legal solutions to meet complicated business goals. They are very thoughtful and commercial, and really understood how to tailor the deal to our specific business goals as opposed to taking a cookie-cutter approach.’ 

‘On the capital markets side, we work primarily with Travis Wofford. Travis is a big picture thinker and considers the legal issue in front of us as a whole, not just in terms of one specialty. The types of issues we face require a command of the industry, the market, and of course the legal and accounting issues. Thinking about those matters across practice areas and the various disciplines plays to his core strength. He is a high energy, insatiably curious, and thoughtful partner to us.’


Key clients

Barclays Capital Inc.

BofA Securities, Inc.

Cactus, Inc.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

Clarkson Platou Securities, Inc.

Clearway Energy Operating LLC

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

EnLink Midstream, LLC

Golar LNG Partners L.P.

Halliburton Company

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc.

Hoegh LNG Partners LP

Kimbell Royalty Partners LP

Liberty Broadband Corporation

Liberty Latin America Ltd.

Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

NRG Energy, Inc.

Quanta Services, Inc.

QVC, Inc.

RBC Capital Markets, LLC

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.

Summit Midstream Partners, LP

Sunnova Energy Corporation

Tallgrass Energy, LLP

Valero Energy Corporation

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Westlake Chemical Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Summit Midstream Partners LP on a private offering by its subsidiaries of a $7bn aggregate principal amount of 8.50% senior secured second lien notes due 2026.
  • Advised the underwriters on Shelf Drilling Holdings’ offering of $310m aggregate principal amount of its 8.875% senior secured first lien notes due 2024.
  • Advised Sunnova Energy Corporation on an offering of $400m aggregate principal amount of green 5.875% senior notes due 2026.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP‘s annual deal flow continues to outstrip its rivals by quite some distance thanks to its sizeable bench of senior practitioners and its strong connections to investment banks such as JP Morgan Securities, Citigroup, Credit Suisse Securities and Morgan Stanley. Team members typically operate in both the leveraged lending and high-yield bond spaces, making them especially adept at handling deals for investment banks. William Miller  is a key name, noted for his abilities on the bank and bond sides of acquisition financings, and Corey Wright  is an increasingly prominent practitioner. Marc Lashbrook and Joshua Zelig  are rising talents. Daniel Zubkoff  retired in 2021 and Douglas Horowitz  has left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Schaffzin; James Clark; William Hartnett; Douglas Horowitz; William Miller; Corey Wright; Marc Lashbrook; Joshua Zelig

Key clients

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited / Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC / Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc

Wells Fargo Securities / Wells Fargo Bank, National Association

Work highlights

  • Represented the initial purchasers in a Rule 144A offering of $1.2bn aggregate principal amount of 4.625% senior notes due 2029 by Caesars Entertainment, Inc.
  • Represented represented the initial purchasers in connection with a Rule 144A offering of $650m aggregate principal amount of 3.500% senior notes due 2030 by Catalent Pharma Solutions, Inc.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in connection with a Rule 144A offering of $1.15bn aggregate principal amount of 5.625% senior notes due 2029 and the dealer managers in connection with exchange offers for up to $1,05bn aggregate principal amount of existing debt securities by W. R. Grace Holdings LLC.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton does not typically handle a high volume of deals every year, but it does hold strong connections to a number of corporate issuers, along with private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies. A team led by David Lopez advised marquee client Warburg Pincus on the financing, including high-yield debt offering, linked to the acquisition of Exeter Finance from Blackstone. The firm is also rated for offerings by tech, telecoms and financial services businesses. The New York-based team also advises a range of Latin American clients on their high-yield debt issuances, and is prominent in green and sustainability-linked offerings. Jeffrey Karpf is another leading name in capital markets offerings, including high-yield debt, and Duane McLaughlin  is noted for offerings linked to acquisition financings.

Other key lawyers:

David Lopez; Jeffrey Karpf; Duane McLaughlin; Craig Brod; Jorge Juantorena; Adam Brenneman; Amy Shapiro


‘CGSH has represented multiple high-yield issuers and, consequently, is extremely knowledgeable about the state-of-the-art terms and conditions. The team uses its extensive knowledge and experience to help its clients make balanced and informed choices to structure highly-competitive transactions.’

‘Craig Brod and Amy Shapiro have outstanding transaction experience. They lead a well-staffed and highly-trained team of associate lawyers. The associate lawyers render excellent guidance and round-the-clock attention.’


Key clients

Astound Broadband


Andean Telecom Partners


Banco Davivienda








Doosan Bobcat

Cushman & Wakefield

CEMEX (Designated Underwriters Counsel)

Warburg Pincus

Work highlights

  • Represented Astound Broadband in a Rule 144A/Reg S offering of $900m senior secured notes and $1bn senior unsecured notes.
  • Represented MercadoLibre Inc. in an SEC-registered offering of $400m sustainability notes and $700m notes. The transaction was MercadoLibre’s inaugural debt offering.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in two high-yield global debt offerings by CEMEX with an aggregate total of $2.75bn.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has a healthy mix of issuer and underwriter engagements, being noted especially for real estate, specialty finance and Latin America deals. The firm has gained further recognition for ESG, green and sustainability-linked offerings, along with debt restructuring-related transactions. Gary Brooks  is a prominent name in high-yield debt and leveraged finance, and has strong connections to underwriters. Jonathan Zonis  and Hugo Triaca  are also rated for high-yield debt deals originating in Latin America.

Practice head(s):

Gary Brooks ; Jonathan Zonis

Other key lawyers:

Hugo Triaca 

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Ready Capital Corporation

CMI Energía

Compañía Latinoamericana de Infraestructura y Servicios S.A

BofA Securities, Inc.

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital Inc.


Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc.

Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S.A. – Eletrobras

J.P. Morgan

Work highlights

  • Advised CMI Energía, the renewable energy business unit of agro-industrial conglomerate Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI), on the refinancing of approximately US$1 billion in existing project finance debt owed by its subsidiaries in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
  • Advised BNP Paribas, Bradesco, Citigroup, Itau BBA, J.P. Morgan, Rabobank, Santander and UBS on the inaugural issuance of US$750 million 5.250% sustainability-linked Notes due 2028 by Amaggi, one of the largest vertically-integrated agribusiness companies in Latin America.
  • Advised on The Ad Hoc Bondholder Group (the Group) with respect to the debt restructuring of 6.75% Notes due 2021 by YPF Sociedad Anónima (YPF), Argentina’s state-run energy company. The Group, composed of institutional money managers managing or advising funds and other noteholders, held approximately 45% of the 2021 Notes and additional debt securities that were subject to the YPF exchange offers. The issuer aimed to exchange over US$6.2 billion in overall debt as part of this transaction.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is highly rated for complex and high-value deals; it does not have the volume of transactions that some of its competitors have. Many of its high-yield debt engagements relate to major acquisition and spin-off transactions. It has an outstanding client list of issuers and bulge-bracket underwriters, with a weighting towards underwriter mandates. Andrew Pitts, William Fogg and Craig Arcella are amongst the leading names in the market, along with Joseph Zavaglia, who has advised on a series of headline deals, including advising initial purchasers and the dealer managers in a series of offerings by CHS/Community Health Systems. Matthew Jones was promoted to partner in January 2021 and Johnny Skumpija joined Sidley Austin LLP in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burns; William Fogg; Craig Arcella; Andrew Pitts

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Zavaglia; Matthew Jones

Key clients


Cable One

Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors


New Fortress Energy

Occidental Petroleum

US Foods

Vista Outdoor

Work highlights

  • Represented the initial purchasers in the $1.2bn 144A/Reg S high-yield senior notes offering of NCR, proceeds of which were used to finance the acquisition of Cardtronics.
  • Represented Occidental Petroleum in its $2bn registered high-yield senior notes offering and its concurrent $2.3bn cash tender offer and consent solicitation.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in the $600m 144A/Reg S high-yield senior notes offering of Victoria’s Secret. The notes were offered in connection with the spin-off of Victoria’s Secret from L Brands.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has a prolific high-yield debt practice, particularly on the underwriters side. It consistently ranks in the top three of key league tables for US and global high-yield debt for managers. On the issuer front, it has advised a range of corporates on notable deals, including Bausch Health Companies on its $2bn senior unsecured notes offering and its $1.6bn senior secured notes and concurrent tender offer. The firm's well-established leveraged finance practice also provides it with a steady flow of high-yield debt engagements. Michael Kaplan has an outstanding record in the high-yield debt field, along with John Meade, Richard Truesdell, Byron Rooney and co-head of the Northern California office Alan Denenberg. Shane Tintle is amongst a group of emerging names, which includes Marcel Fausten and Derek Dostal. Former partner John Crowley has become senior counsel.

Other key lawyers:

Michael Kaplan; John Meade, Richard Truesdell, Byron Rooney; Alan Denenberg; Shane Tintle; Marcel Fausten; Derek Dostal

Work highlights

    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP operates primarily on the issuer side, representing a range a corporates and private equity houses. Financial services and insurance is a particular forte for the firm and the capital markets team. Much of the practice is driven by leveraged financings involving high-yield debt, notably for the firm’s impressive private equity client base, which includes The Carlyle Group, Stone Point Capital and longstanding anchor client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Matthew Kaplan , Steven Slutzky , Peter Loughran , Paul Rodel  and Eric Juergens are rounded capital markets specialist with an impressive record in high-yield debt. Nicholas Pellicani was promoted to partner in May 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    Matthew Kaplan; Steven Slutzky

    Other key lawyers:

    Peter Loughran; Paul Rodel; Eric Juergens; Nicholas Pellicani


    ‘Knows the market very well, is collaborative, gives great advice, and has an outstanding work ethic. They represent us well.’

    ‘Steve Slutsky and Peter Loughran are incredibly experienced, have seen it all, collaborative, thoughtful, etc.’

    ‘Highly commercial and plug-in as though they’re an extension of our internal team. Great at anticipating issues, providing solutions, and building on prior work with our firm.’

    ‘I think the ability of the capital markets team to work collaboratively and seamlessly with their counterparts in M&A (and elsewhere as appropriate) is fairly unique. I think the Debevoise team is also extremely forward-leaning as it relates to new structures or other bells & whistles to incorporate into our debt financings, and they do a terrific job of getting underwriting banks comfortable with what we need.’

    ‘I’ve worked most with Scott Sellinger (Finance) and Steve Slutzky on the capital markets side and both are top-notch attorneys from my perspective. They are extremely commercial, able to interface with counterparties in a respectful manner yet ultimately protect our interests / achieve what we need. Their knowledge of their subject matter is beyond impressive, yet they always know how to explain things to my team at the level of detail and depth that is relevant and appropriate. They are a pleasure to work with and feel like extensions of my own team.’

    Key clients

    American Greetings Holding LP

    Antares Holdings, LP

    Atkore International Group Inc.

    Booz Allen Hamilton

    Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services, Inc.

    Brighthouse Financial, Inc.

    The Carlyle Group

    Core & Main LP

    Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

    D.E. Shaw

    Gogo Inc.

    JetBlue Airways

    PowerTeam Services LLC

    Radio Systems Holdings, Inc.

    Sirius Computer Solutions, Inc.

    Spirit Airlines

    Stone Point Capital

    Warner Music Group Corp.

    Work highlights

    • Advised Sitka Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Ambac Assurance Corporation, in connection with the offer and sale of $1.17bn aggregate principal amount of LIBOR plus 4.50% floating rate senior secured notes due 2026.
    • Advised CD&R and LABL, Inc., in the offer and sale of $500m of senior secured notes due 2028 and $460m m of senior notes due 2029, to fund the acquisition of LABL Holding Corporation and Fortress TopCo, Inc.
    • Advised Antares Holdings LP on the offer and sale of $500m aggregate principal amount of 3.950% notes due 2026.

    Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

    Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has consistently elevated its position in high-yield debt with it now cementing its position amongst the top firms as issuer’s counsel. It is prominent as underwriters’ counsel. It has advised on a series of headline and high-value high-yield deals for the likes of T-Mobile and Novelis, and has represented the underwriters in offerings by Clarivate and Sonic Automotive. Along with its connections to corporates and investment banks, the firm is also frequently advised by private equity clients and their portfolio companies. Head of the capital markets team Daniel Bursky leads many of the group’s headline deals, operating across the equity and debt space. Andrew Barkan, Mark Hayek and Joshua Coleman are also key names in the department.

    Practice head(s):

    Daniel Bursky

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Barkan; Mark Hayek; Joshua Coleman


    ‘Responsive, collaborative, insightful, excellent knowledge of current trends & best practices, business-savvy.’

    ‘Fried Frank does a lot of high-yield debt offering and they are incredibly knowledgeable about the market and what terms clients going into the market should be negotiating. They are also great communicators that explain complicated terms clearly and help us make the best decisions.’

    ‘The individuals we work with are incredibly responsive and easy to understand. They also make every client feel like they are the most important.’

    Key clients

    Aerie Pharmaceuticals

    At Home

    Broadstone Net Lease



    Evoqua Water Technologies

    Extended Stay

    Goldman Sachs BDC



    KITS Eyecare

    Lithia Motors



    The Navios Group (and related entities)


    RedBall Acquisition Corp.

    Spanish Broadcasting System

    Sterling Check Co.

    Tapestry (f/k/a Coach)


    Tradeweb Markets

    Under Armour

    Work highlights

    • Counsel to T-Mobile in multiple matters, including a $3bn private offering of 2.250% senior notes due 2026, 3.375% senior notes due 2029 and 3.500% senior notes due 2031 by T-Mobile’s direct wholly-owned subsidiary T-Mobile USA, Inc.
    • Counsel to Novelis in multiple matters, including the issuance of $750m aggregate principal amount of 3.250% high yield senior notes due 2026 and the issuance of $750m aggregate principal amount of 3.875% high yield senior notes due 2031.
    • Advised a syndicate of initial purchasers, led by Citigroup Global Markets and Goldman Sachs & Co, in Clarivate’s $1bn offering of 3.875% high-yield senior secured notes due 2028 and $1bbn offering of 4.875% senior notes due 2029, each related to Clarivate’s proposed acquisition of ProQuest LLC and its consolidated subsidiaries.

    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has an excellent debt offerings practice with additional credibility in high-yield debt, particularly for issuers. It continues to offer strong teams based in New York, Houston and California. The firm is better known for investment grade offerings, though continues to advise on a sizeable number of high-yield deals, most notably in the energy, technology, retail, construction, and healthcare sectors. Co-chairs of the capital markets department Andrew Fabens and Hillary Holmes, based in New York and Houston respectively, are strong debt offerings specialists with a high-degree of expertise in high-yield. The hire of high-yield debt leader Douglas Horowitz is a big boost to the practice.

    Practice head(s):

    Andrew Fabens; Hillary Holmes,

    Other key lawyers:

    Douglas Horowitz

    Work highlights

      Greenberg Traurig, LLP

      Greenberg Traurig LLP has an established high-yield debt practice, particularly for issuers. The firm’s US-based team is especially active in Latin America, thanks to the presence of Marc Rossell and Oscar Stephens in New York. It is also noted for its experience in the energy and power, telecoms and real estate sectors. Fort Lauderdale’s Kara MacCullough is also experienced in high-yield debt, including cross-border deals.

      Practice head(s):

      Alan Annex; Mark Kelson; Peter Lieberman; Bruce March




      Key clients

      Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

      Oppenheimer Holdings Inc.

      Inversiones Latin America Power Limitada

      United Wholesale Mortgage

      SBA Communications Corporation

      Green Brick Partners

      TopBuild Corp.

      Ingles Markets, Incorporated

      Nomad Foods Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised the client on its $1.5bn billion (aggregate principal amount) offering of 3.125% senior notes due 2029.
      • Advised United Wholesale Mortgage on the closing of its previously announced private placement of $800m aggregate principal amount of 5.5% senior notes due 2025.
      • Represented Nomad Foods in its offering and sale of €750m  senior secured notes.

      Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

      Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has a particular focus on energy, power, REITs, retail and financial services. It has a broad spread of issuer clients and an especially strong connection to underwriters such as RBC Capital Markets, JP Morgan Securities and Bank of America Securities. Although better known for investment grade debt, it has achieved substantial growth in high-yield thanks to its well established energy capital markets practice in Houston, where partners Henry Havre and Michael O’Leary  have advised on a series of headline deals.

      Practice head(s):

      Courtney Cochran Butler; Susan Failla; Pete O’Brien; David Wright

      Other key lawyers:

      Henry Havre; Michael O’Leary

      Key clients

      Hilcorp Energy I, L.P.

      RBC Capital Markets

      J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.

      Banc of America Securities

      Work highlights

      • Represented Hilcorp Energy I, L.P. and Hilcorp Finance Company in connection with its tender and private offering, Rule 144 A of senior notes.
      • Represented the underwriters in the $750m tender offer and public offering, and follow-on of senior notes by Genesis Energy, L.P.
      • Advised the initial purchaser in Kraton Polymers LLC and Kraton Polymers Capital Corporation’s $400m private offering, Rule 144A of senior notes.

      Jones Day

      Jones Day‘s widespread connections to industrials across the US brings it a steady volume of issuer engagements. The firm’s strong New York office is also gaining ground in underwriter engagements. Cleveland partner Michael Solecki  is a prominent name in the market, along with Edward Winslow  in Chicago and Rory Hood in New York.

      Practice head(s):

      Brett Barragate; Jayant Tambe

      Other key lawyers:

      Michael Solecki; Edward Winslow; Rory Hood


      ‘Extremely knowledgeable and responsive.’


      Key clients

      Asbury Automotive Group Inc.

      Peabody Energy Corporation

      Gray Television Inc.

      Work highlights

      • Advised Bally’s Corporation on a $1.5bn Rule 144A and Regulation S offering of senior notes.
      • Advised Coronado Global Resources on its offering of $350m of 10.750% senior secured notes due 2026.
      • Represented CITGO Petroleum Corporation in a $650m Rule 144A offering of 6.375% senior secured notes.

      Kirkland & Ellis LLP

      Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a clear market leader in high-yield debt for issuers. The firm routinely advises private equity and corporate clients on high-yield debt offerings used to finance M&A and buyouts. It advises a range of issuer clients including Ares Capital, The Boeing Capital, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Starwood Capital. The firm is also known for its work in the refinancing and restructuring field, and recently represented Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in a series of headline capital markets offerings, including its $575m offering of 5.875% senior notes due 2026 and $525m offering of 6.125% senior notes due 2028. New York’s Sophia Hudson and Joshua Korff, and Los Angeles partners Philippa Bond and Monica Shilling are major players in the market; Shilling’s major client is Ares Capital. Houston partner Matthew Pacey is another key name.

      Other key lawyers:

      Sophia Hudson; Joshua Korff; Philippa Bond; Monica Shilling; Matthew Pacey

      Key clients

      Agiliti, Inc.

      Ares Capital Corporation

      Array Technologies, Inc.

      Blue Owl Capital, Inc.

      The Boeing Company

      Carvana Co.

      Datto Holding Corp.

      Integral Ad Science

      Jamf Holding Corp.

      KORE Wireless Group, Inc.

      loanDepot, Inc.

      Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

      Option Care Health

      Rocket Software Inc.

      Shoals Technologies Group, Inc.

      Starwood Capital Group

      TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs & Co.

      Vine Energy Inc.

      Latham & Watkins LLP

      Latham & Watkins LLP is the leading firm across issuer and underwriter engagements in the high-yield debt field. It holds a major market share on both sides, advising on more than 168 high-yield debt deals with a total value of $118bn during the period of research. The firm’s global standing and extensive geographic presence brings it a wealth of engagements from non-US issuers along with domestic issuers; many of its US offices are involved in capital markets transactions, including New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston and Silicon Valley. On the underwriter side, the firm routinely represents bulge-bracket investment banks such as BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley. Amongst its steady diet of deals, it is frequently involved in M&A and buyout-driven transactions, along with debt restructurings. New York managing partner Marc Jaffe and global head of capital markets Ian Schuman are highly rated capital markets practitioners with extensive experience in high-yield debt. Keith Halverstam  is vice-chair of the capital markets practice and has a major focus on high-yield, as does Senet Bischoff Stelios Saffos  has become a big name in the market and Washington DC’s Rachel Sheridan is a pivotal figure in Washington DC. All named individuals are based in New York, unless stated otherwise.

      Practice head(s):

      Ian Schuman; Jenna Cooper; Keith Halverstam; Jeffrey Lawlis

      Other key lawyers:

      Marc Jaffe; Senet Bischoff; Stelios Saffos; Rachel Sheridan

      Work highlights

        Mayer Brown

        Mayer Brown has a prestigious history in capital markets and has upped its emphasis on high-yield debt in recent years. It continues to be recognised for its work in the financial services sector, and has achieved further growth in energy and Latin America deals. The firm has impressed in Covid-19 pandemic and financial distress-driven transactions and has added to its client base with a series of designated underwriters' counsel appointments. Chicago partner and co-head of the capital markets group Edward Best  has an excellent record in offerings by financial institutions, John Berkery  is a senior figure in high-yield and investment grade debt, while Ryan Castillo was recently elevated to partner status. Anna Pinedo and Phyllis Korff provide further senior-level gravitas. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

        Practice head(s):

        Eddie Best; Anna Pinedo

        Other key lawyers:

        John Berkery; Ryan Castillo; Phyllis Korff


        ‘In addition to being proactive, creative, thorough, responsive and insightful, the Mayer Brown team distinguishes itself by bringing broad market knowledge to bear on the specifics of our business and commercial issues.’

        Key clients

        Atkore, Inc.

        Bonanza Creek Energy

        Carrington Holding Company

        Concho Resources

        Global Net Lease, Inc.


        KBR, Inc.

        Ocwen Financial Corporation

        Oshkosh Corporation


        QNB Finansbank

        Ready Capital

        Regency Energy

        Tenneco Inc.

        Triton Container International Limited

        Tronox Inc.

        United Natural Foods, Inc.


        YUM! Brands, Inc.

        Ziraat Bank

        Work highlights


          Milbank‘s prestigious reputation in the capital markets field brings it a wealth of high-level engagements from financial institutions, public companies and private equity houses. Many of its high-yield debt deals are related to cross-border acquisition financings; the firm has an exceptional standing in leveraged finance. Energy, infrastructure, projects, gaming and aerospace are amongst its most active sectors. It also works on a significant volume of deals originating from Latin America. Marcelo Mottesi is global chair of the capital markets group and co-head of the Latin America team. Rod Miller heads the US securities department and is especially active in high-yield debt, as is Brett NadritchAntonio Diaz-Albertini joined from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP in March 2021. All are based in New York.

          Practice head(s):

          Marcelo Mottesi; Rod Miller

          Other key lawyers:

          Brett Nadritch; Antonio Diaz-Albertini

          Key clients

          Bank of America Merrill Lynch

          Carlyle Aviation

          Castlelake Aviation


          Credit Suisse

          Deutsche Bank

          Frontier Communications

          Goldman Sachs

          Guitar Center

          JP Morgan Securities LLC

          MGM Resorts International

          MGP Growth Properties

          United States Steel Corporation

          Voyager Aviation

          Work highlights

            Paul Hastings LLP

            Paul Hastings LLP‘s global commitment to capital markets and leveraged finance has provided the foundation for a growing high-yield debt practice. It is now routinely engaged by key underwriters such as Barclays, Jefferies and RBC Capital Markets. On the issuer side, the firm represents a range of private equity funds, public companies and private businesses, notably in the energy and real estate sectors. It is also at the forefront of issuances out of Latin America, especially Mexico. The firm operates a well integrated high-yield debt and leveraged finance practice with partners such as John Cobb  operating across the divide. Frank Lopez is co-head of capital markets and managing partner of the firm; he is a recognised specialist in high-yield debt. Cathleen McLaughlin  is another senior practitioner with an extensive record in Latin America offerings, including infrastructure-related transactions, as is Michael Fitzgerald, who has a peerless record in Mexico capital markets deals.

            Practice head(s):

            Frank Lopez

            Other key lawyers:

            John Cobb; Cathleen McLaughlin; Michael Fitzgerald; Arturo Carrillo; Joy Gallup; Pedro Reyes


            ‘Counsel at Paul Hastings is extremely knowledgeable, efficient and precise. Top law firm we have ever worked with.’

            ‘Michael Fitzgerald, Arturo Carrillo and Joy Gallup are outstanding.’

            ‘Very focused, excellent market knowledge, global pratcice allows for 24/7 work.’

            ‘Frank Lopez, partner – much more thoughtful and holistic in his approach, gets the business side of the transaction.’

            ‘Their experience and understanding of the Latin American market is incredible, as well as their legal knowledge for every situation.’

            ‘Mike Fitzgerald is a landmark in this practice. Arturo Carrillo is an extremely smart and flawless attorney with high knowledge of the market. Joy Gallup is a fantastic lawyer that is prepared for any surprise that could arise.’

            ‘Mike Fitzgerald is probably the best capital markets lawyer in the world. His understanding of the matter is excellent. Arturo Carrillo is also amazing, and he knows what the clients are looking for. Joy Gallup is an excellent lawyer and very technical for the matters that are required. Pedro Reyes is the glue that makes everything work.’


            Key clients


            BMO Capital Markets

            BofA Securities Inc.


            Credit Suisse

            Deutsche Bank Securities

            EnfraGen, LLC

            Goldman, Sachs & Co.

            Inseego Corp.


            J.P. Morgan


            Morgan Stanley

            NGL Energy Partners, LP

            Operadora de Servicios Mega, S.A. de C.V., SOFOM, E.R.

            RBC Capital Markets

            Sagicor Financial Company Ltd.

            Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated

            Wells Fargo Securities

            Work highlights

            • Advised NGL Energy Partners on a $2.05bn senior secured notes offering by its wholly owned subsidiaries as well as its entrance into a $500m ABL facility.
            • Advised Jefferies and RBC Capital Markets as the underwriters in connection with a $350m high-yield senior secured notes offering by 99 Cents Only Stores.
            • Advised Barclays as the underwriter and the sole lead arranger in connection with a $1bn high-yield senior notes offering for KIK Consumer Partners and Centerbridge Partners as part of a recapitalization package that also included a $900m term loan.

            Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

            Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has a prestigious record in issuer-side engagements, frequently representing major private equity clients in acquisition finance-driven high-yield debt offerings. The firm also advises a multitude of public companies on their high-yield offerings, along with distressed businesses seeking urgent funding. Gregory Ezring is chair of the finance and capital markets groups. He and Brian Janson often represent anchor client Apollo Global Management and its portfolio companies in their fund raising programs, including high-yield debt issuances. John Kennedy, co-head of the capital markets team, continues to be noted for high-yield offerings in the corporate recovery environment and also represents a number of foreign issuers accessing the US capital markets. Tracey Zaccone is also active in private equity-driven deals and fund raisings linked to corporate distress relating to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

            Practice head(s):

            Gregory Ezring; John Kennedy; Brian Janson; Tracey Zaccone

            Other key lawyers:

            Mark Wlazlo


            ‘Excellent group – responsive, know the market well, commercial but mindful of risk.’

            ‘I’ve worked with Paul Weiss on many bond offerings and IPOs. What really distinguishes Paul Weiss from other firms is that they understand commercial aspects of the deal as well as legal aspects, which allows them to provide commercially reasonable solutions/advice. Their advice was always well thought out and thorough, and the working groups in the deals highly appreciated their advice. All Paul Weiss team members I worked with were highly collaborative and approachable, which was a big plus.’

            ‘Individuals I worked with (e.g., Brian Janson, Gregory Ezring, Mark Wlazlo) really understood the client’s needs, commercial aspects of the deals, and legal issues, which allowed them to provide commercially reasonable solutions/advice. The individuals were highly respected and trusted.’

            Work highlights

              Ropes & Gray LLP

              Ropes & Gray LLP has an excellent record in big-ticket high-yield debt offerings, particularly those linked to leveraged buyout transactions. Key private equity clients include Baring Private Equity Asia and Bain Capital. The firm has also built fruitful connections to underwriter banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Along with private equity, the capital markets team is especially active in the financial services and healthcare sectors. Paul Tropp has played a key role in representing underwriters and Alexander Zeltser  is rated for advising private equity funds, their portfolio companies and underwriters. Thomas Fraser is a key figure in Boston.

              Practice head(s):

              Patrick O’Brien; Craig Marcus; Paul Tropp

              Other key lawyers:

              Alexander Zeltser; Thomas Fraser

              Key clients

              Baring Private Equity Asia Ltd

              Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

              Tronox Holdings plc

              U.S. Acute Care Solutions, LLC

              Morgan Stanley

              LPL Holdings, Inc.

              Trinseo S.A.

              Bain Capital LP and Surgery Partners


              Work highlights

              • Represented J.P. Morgan as lead book-running manager in Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc.’s private offering of $1bn in aggregate principal amount of 3.375% senior unsecured notes due 2026.
              • Represented Tronox Holdings plc in the offering by its wholly owned subsidiary, Tronox Incorporated, of 4.625% Senior Notes due 2029 for an aggregate principal amount of $1.07bn.
              • Represented LPL Holdings, Inc. in its 144A/Reg S offering of $400m in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes.

              Shearman & Sterling LLP

              Shearman & Sterling LLP has a well-established high-yield debt practice, with a particularly prolific record on the underwriter side. BofA Securities, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are amongst its key underwriter clients. The high-yield team is very much part of a thriving leveraged finance practice. Ilir Mujalovic leads the Americas capital markets group and is particularly active in the healthcare sector. Jonathan DeSantis  is another key figure with an excellent reputation and prolific record in representing underwriters and issuers. Jason Lehner provides further senior-level expertise from Toronto. Named individuals are based in New York, unless stated otherwise. Merritt Johnson  has joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

              Practice head(s):

              Ilir Mujalovic

              Other key lawyers:

              Jonathan DeSantis; Jason Lehner

              Key clients

              BofA Securities Inc.

              Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

              Cowen & Co.

              Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

              CVR Partners

              Dycom Industries, Inc.

              Greenidge Generation

              Goldman Sachs & Co.

              J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

              Leeward Renewable Energy

              Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

              Service Corporation International No

              Valvoline Inc.

              Work highlights

              • Advised Valvoline Inc. on its Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of $535m of 3.625% senior notes due 2031.
              • Advised CVR Partners, LP and its wholly owned subsidiary, CVR Nitrogen Finance Corporation, on their private placement offering of $550m aggregate principal amount of 6.125% senior secured notes due 2028.
              • Advised Dycom Industries, Inc. in connection with its offering of $500m aggregate principal amount of 4.5% senior notes due 2029.

              Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

              Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is consistently at the forefront of the high-yield debt market, both for issuers and underwriters. The high-yield practice is rated for standalone transactions and those as part of leveraged financings, which is a particular forte for them. The firm advised on well over 100 high-yield deals in both 2020 and 2021; it achieves this volume of deals despite having a relatively small senior-bench compared to its natural competitors. Along with its prestigious underwriter client base, its swathe of private equity clients and their portfolio companies, the firm is also recognised for its regular engagements in deals involving first-time issuers. It has also made an impression in ESG and sustainability-linked financings. The firm is further noted for advising on deals involving high-yield issuers that are looking to achieve investment grade status. Roxane Reardon is a rounded debt capital markets specialist with an especially strong record in underwriter engagements. Kenneth Wallach is rated for private equity-related deals and transactions in the technology sector. Both are based in New York. The lauded Arthur Robinson has stepped down as global head of capital markets.

              Practice head(s):

              Joshua Ford Bonnie; Roxane Reardon; Kenneth Wallach

              Other key lawyers:

              John Ericson; Richard Fenyes; David Azarkh; Ryan Bekkerus; Marisa Stavenas; Arthur Robinson; Hui Lin; Kevin Kennedy


              ‘The team has tremendous depths within its high-yield debt practice. The team is well versed on what is happening in the markets and how investors are likely to react to new or changed terms. The team includes a diverse group of individuals.’

              ‘The lawyers are practical and responsive. They are all very knowledgable as well.’

              ‘Best people, best ideas, great to work with.’

              ‘Art Robinson – best capital markets partner on Wall Street. Commercial, solution oriented, loves challenging deals.’


              Key clients

              Academy Sports & Outdoors, Inc.

              AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.

              American Tire Distributors


              APX Group Holdings, Inc. (a/k/a Vivint Smart Home)


              Ashton Woods

              AssuredPartners, Inc.

              Avantor, Inc.

              Axis Specialty Finance LLC

              Bank of America Merrill Lynch

              BC Partners

              Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc.

              BMC Software, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of Boxer Parent Company Inc.)

              BMO Capital Markets Corp.

              The Carlyle Group

              Cedar Fair, L.P., Canada’s Wonderland Company, Magnum Management Corporation, and Millennium Operations LLC

              CHS/Community Health Systems, Inc.

              CNO Financial

              Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc.

              Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

              Dell Inc.

              Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

              The E.W. Scripps Company

              Finance of America

              First Data Corporation

              First Reserve

              Garda World Security Corporation

              Gates Industrial Corporation

              GFL Environmental Inc.

              Global Medical Response, Inc.

              Goldman, Sachs & Co.

              HCA Inc.

              Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

              Home Point Capital Inc.

              Hub International Limited

              Ingersoll Rand Inc. (f/k/a Gardner Denver Holdings, Inc.)


              J.P. Morgan Securities

              K. Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc.

              KKR Financial Holdings

              KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc.

              Masonite International Corporation

              Mr. Cooper Group Inc. and its subsidiary Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc.

              Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

              Multiplan Corporation

              Performance Food Group Company

              PPD Inc.

              PPL Corporation


              Silver Lake

              Sirius XM Radio Inc.

              Summit Materials

              Teleflex incorporated

              Teine Energy Ltd.

              TPC Group Inc.

              Wash Multifamily Acquisition Inc.

              Weight Watchers International, Inc.

              Wells Fargo Securities

              Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.

              ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.

              Work highlights

              • Advised the initial purchasers in the inaugural high-yield debt offering by Roblox.
              • Advised ZoomInfo Technologies in its inaugural high-yield debt offering and its high-yield debt offering in connection with the financing of its acquisition of
              • Advised the initial purchasers on the financing transactions, including a high yield debt offering by DT Midstream in its spin-off from DTE Energy Company’s non-utility natural gas pipeline, storage and gathering business.

              Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

              Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is a genuine market leader in high-yield debt, especially on the issuer side, though with a more than respectable record in underwriter engagements. The firm has made an impression in high-yield debt across the world, notably in Europe, Asia and Latin America; the New York office frequently represents Latin American issuers in their high-yield debt fund raisings, including advising CEMEX, the Mexican cement giant, in a series of high-yield offerings totalling some $3.75bn. Moreover, in the US, it has strong teams on both East and West coasts, bringing further connections to a range of issuers and underwriters. The firm has an excellent record in representing first-time issuers and in offerings to finance acquisitions, recapitalisations and refinancings. Michael Zeidel is leader of the Americas capital markets team and has a fine record in high-yield debt. Ryan Dzierniejko, Laura Kaufmann Belkhayat, Michael Hong and Gregory Fernicola are also key names, along with Gregg Noel, the head of the West Coast capital markets team who is based in Palo Alto and Los Angeles. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

              Practice head(s):

              Michael Zeidel; David Goldschmidt

              Other key lawyers:

              Ryan Dzierniejko, Laura Kaufmann Belkhayat, Michael Hong; Gregory Fernicola; Gregg Noel,

              Work highlights

                Vinson & Elkins LLP

                Vinson & Elkins LLP has become a recognised force in high-yield debt, partially due to the increase in energy companies tapping the debt markets. The firm’s growing prominence in private equity, especially energy-sector deals, has given it further prominence in leveraged finance-related transactions. David Stone  is a prolific adviser on high-yield debt transactions, particularly for energy companies and underwriters; he led the team that represented Antero Midstream and Antero Resources in a series of high-yield debt offerings totalling some $3.1bn. Noel Hughes, who split his time between London and New York, has left the firm.

                Practice head(s):

                Sarah Morgan; David Stone

                Other key lawyers:

                Noel Hughes


                ‘David Stone and Doug McWilliams of V&E are unique in being involved in the highest of profile transactions and in their breadth of experience.’

                ‘David Stone and Doug McWilliams are considered the best in the business. They are involved in almost every transaction, have a long history in the market and are exceptionally smart in the business.’

                Key clients

                Antero Midstream Corporation

                Antero Resources Corporation

                Barclays Capital Inc.

                Bank of America Securities LLC

                BofA Securities, Inc.

                Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

                Continental Resources, Inc.

                Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

                Enviva Partners, LP

                Goldman Sachs & Company

                Group 1 Automotive, Inc.

                J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

                Morgan Stanley

                Oasis Petroleum LLC

                Hilcorp Energy I, L.P.

                Range Resources Corporation

                RBC Capital Markets

                Targa Resources Corp.

                Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

                Work highlights

                • Advised Antero Midstream Corporation and Antero Resources Corporation in five high-yield debt offerings totaling approximately $3.1bn.
                • Advised Targa Resources Partners LP in two high-yield debt offerings twith a total deal value of $2bn.
                • Advised Continental Resources in connection with its private placement of new 5.75% senior unsecured notes due 2031, which was upsized to $1.5bn in aggregate principal amount from the originally proposed $1bn billion offering.

                Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

                Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a healthy high-yield debt practice, in large part driven by its extensive private equity and corporate client base, along with an impressive pipeline of engagements from underwriter clients. Frank Adams  is a prominent figure in acquisition and leveraged finance, along with high-yield debt. Michael Hickey has played a pivotal role in developing stronger connections to underwriters and in elevating the firm’s standing in high-yield debt. Corey Chivers  is also a key name, along with prominent emerging talent Merritt Johnson , a recent hire from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Alexander Lynch  heads the capital markets group. All named individuals are based in New York.

                Practice head(s):

                Alexander Lynch

                Other key lawyers:

                Frank Adams; Michael Hickey;  Corey Chivers; Merritt Johnson

                Work highlights

                  White & Case LLP

                  White & Case LLP has an established presence in US and global high-yield debt offerings, notably transactions originating from Latin America. The firm is also making an impression in sustainability-linked offerings. Traditionally underwriter-centric, the capital markets team has focused hard on successfully developing issuer and sponsor-side relationships, including private equity funds and their portfolio companies. Daniel Nam  and Jonathan Michels are experienced figures in high-yield and investment grade debt, and liability management transactions, including US and Latin America deals. Andrew Weisberg and Rafael Roberti are also key names in the team which is led by regional section head of the Americas capital markets section David Thatch . All are based in New York.

                  Practice head(s):

                  David Thatch

                  Other key lawyers:

                  Daniel Nam; Jonathan Michels; Andrew Weisberg; Rafael Roberti; Gary Kashar


                  ‘Jonathan Michels is an excellent partner. He has amazing connectivity and and insight not only in legal but industry matters. He’s consistently available but most importantly, brings a business sense that allows him to be a true partner.’


                  Key clients

                  Alliant Holdings

                  Barclays Capital Inc.

                  BofA Securities, Inc.

                  BMO Capital Markets

                  BNP Paribas

                  Calpine Corporation

                  Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

                  Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

                  Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

                  Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

                  JBS Finance Luxembourg S.à r.l.

                  J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

                  Minerva Luxembourg S.A.

                  Mizuho Securities

                  Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC.


                  NOVA Chemicals Corporation

                  Oi S.A.

                  Stone Point Capital LLC

                  Transocean Inc.

                  UBS Securities LLC

                  Work highlights

                    Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

                    Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a prolific high-yield debt practice, frequent offerings linked to buyouts and M&A transactions. The firm is also noted for offerings by insurance companies and healthcare businesses. New York partner Cristopher Greer is co-chair of the capital markets group and has an extensive record in high-yield debt driven financings of buyouts by private equity houses such as Platinum Equity.

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Christopher Greer

                    Work highlights