Commercial lending in United States
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is a popular choice among corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors for major cross-border financings. These are often in support of bespoke acquisitions, refinancings and restructurings, and clients benefit from cross-practice expertise in high yield debt and structured products. Other areas of strength include advice to private equity portfolio companies on dividend recapitalizations. Practice head Meme Peponis enjoys a very strong reputation in the market for leveraged loans and high yield bonds. Other key individuals include Duane McLaughlin, Amy Shapiro, and the recently promoted partner Katie Reaves, who regularly advises corporates, private equity sponsors, and portfolio companies. All named lawyers are based in New York.
‘They are by far the best and most talented individuals I have ever worked with. They work tirelessly to exceed deadlines and have a great way of explaining complex matters in simple terms. They are very patient with questions and offer unique solutions and opinions when asked’
‘They are very experienced and negotiate a lot of loan transactions; their “deal experience” and on-going relationships with lenders/lenders’ counsel is a valuable asset relating to being able to advise as to “market” provisions’
‘Great service ethos. True interest in partnering. Strong associates can carry the load cost effectively’
‘From a technical standpoint Meme Peponis is in a league of her own. She is the most talented lawyer from a banking standpoint I have ever worked with. You can call them any hour of the day or night and they will do whatever is necessary to get us the answers we need’
‘The members of our team from junior associate to partner are fully engaged and participating at a level appropriate to their bill rates. Advice is practical and on point. Issues are solved rather than amplified’
Lenders in Forest City Acquisition Financing
International Flavors & Fragrances
Suzano Papel e Celulose SA
Consolidated Precision Products
- Advising ESL Investments on the $2.2bn financing for its $5.2bn acquisition of Sears Holdings.
- Assisting the manufacturer, International Flavors & Fragrances, on a $350m facility to part finance its $7.1bn takeover of Frutarom Industries.
- Advising the technology company, Cohu, on a $350m loan to finance its $796m acquisition of Xcerra Corporation.
- Advising the Brazilian pulp and paper company, Suzano Papel e Celulose, on $9.2bn worth of commitments to help finance its merger with Fibria Celulose.
- Representing Honeywell International on the €1.485bn and $425m financing for the spin-off of its transportation systems business, Garrett Motion.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is, pound-for-pound, one of the leading borrower's counsel in the market, with a first-class reputation for representing some of the country's largest private equity and corporate investors. Given the firm's strong connection to major funds such as Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and The Blackstone Group, its lawyers are extremely well versed in leveraged finance, as well as other forms of finance, including high yield debt, syndicated loans, second lien financings and mezzanine capital investments. Working out of New York, the team is led by the highly rated Jeffrey Ross. Former partner and co-head David Brittenham continues to act as of counsel, and the team was boosted by the recruitment of Sunil Savkar from Ropes & Gray LLP. Partners such as Paul Brusiloff, Scott Selinger, and Ramya Tiller round out the strong practice, while Ryan Rafferty is singled out among the associates.
Other key lawyers:
‘This is a creative group and not afraid to push new technology in a thoughtful manner that allows it to clear the market. One of the best finance practices’
‘The Debevoise team brings superior knowledge of the subject matter and deliver their services in a professional, courteous manner. I never hesitate to contact the Debevoise team around a complex transaction or a simple question. From my perspective, this differentiates them from other firms’
‘The Debevoise finance team provides top caliber capital markets advice to its clients. Its partners and associates take time to learn the businesses they represent so their perspective is not just representative of the latest market dynamics, but relevant and practical’
‘Jeff Ross is an outstanding lawyer. He has no peers. His understanding of the market place is remarkable’
‘Ryan Rafferty and Ramya Tiller are ultimate professionals, work tirelessly and are pleasant to work with day-in, day-out’
‘Sunil Savkar is a terrific leveraged loan lawyer. Extremely well versed in the latest technology; practical and reasonable; adept at handling very complex situations’
‘Scott Selinger is a partner we value greatly. His understanding of our business is thorough, as is his knowledge of our objectives within capital markets’
Barnes & Noble
Booz Allen Hamilton
Cerberus Capital Management
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Cornerstone Building Brands
Crescent Capital Group
EIG Global Energy Partners
Elliott Management Corporation
Gramercy Funds Management
Kelso & Company
Morgan Stanley Investment Management
Providence Equity Partners
Sirius Computer Solutions
The Blackstone Group
The Carlyle Group
- Represented Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on the financing for its $3.8bn acquisition of Anixter International.
- Advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on the $1.24bn financing for its acquisition of a majority equity interest in Sirius Computer Solutions.
- Assisted affiliates of Elliott Management Corporation on the financing for its $683m acquisition of the US book retailer Barnes & Noble.
- Represented Tribune Media Company on the financing aspects of its $6.4bn sale to Nexstar Media Group.
- Advised affiliates of Amerilife Holdings, a JC Flowers portfolio company, on a $395m refinancing allowing it to raise additional capital for future acquisitions and to pay a special dividend to equity holders.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is a popular choice as borrowers counsel. The team represents an impressive array of corporates as well as an increasing number of private equity clients, as demonstrated by major mandates for funds such as Evergreen Coast Capital. Clients benefit from a strong east and west coast presence, with Los Angeles-based partner Linda Curtis jointly running the team with Aaron Adams in New York. The firm also has experienced lawyers in Dallas, Houston, and Denver, all of whom have strong cross-border expertise, regularly working with colleagues in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. While the practice is primarily known for its borrower-led work, the firm has also made a strong push into the direct lender space. Partners such as Janet Vance in New York are very well regarded.
Aaron Adams; Linda Curtis
Other key lawyers:
Stone Canyon Industries / BWAY Corporation
Dean Foods Company
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Tiffany & Co.
- Advised Marriott International on a $4.5bn multicurrency revolving credit agreement.
- Represented the private equity firm, Evergreen Coast Capital, on the acquisition and related financing for its $5.7bn take private of the healthcare company Athenahealth.
- Assisted the clothing manufacturer, Wolverine World Wide, on the $1.45bn financing for its new joint venture with Xtep International Holdings in China.
- Represented Berkshire Hathaway Energy, and its utility subsidiaries, on $5.65bn worth of separate unsecured credit agreements.
- Advised RedBird Capital Partners on the financing aspects of Yankee Global Enterprises’ $3.47bn purchase of the YES Network from The Walt Disney Company.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP undoubtedly has one of the highest quality and most active borrower-led practices in the market, regularly topping the tables for both deal volume and activity. Private equity sponsor work has been the team's bread and butter for almost as long as the industry has existed, and the firm's roster of major clients is testament to its continued standing in the market. As demonstrated by the firm's advice to the life sciences giant AbbVie on the financing of its Allergan takeover, the team is no stranger to the financing of major corporate acquisitions either. The firm's fund clients are also gradually leading to greater exposure to the direct lender market, where lawyers are often advising the lenders. Chicago is home to several of the firm's top debt finance lawyers, including Linda Myers, Michelle Kilkenney, and Maureen Dixon. New York is also an increasingly key centre for the firm, with highly-rated partners such as Jay Ptashek, David Nemecek (who divides his time between here and Los Angeles), Melissa Hutson, Jason Kanner, Eric Wedel, and Andrea Weintraub. Clients also rate the 'top-notch' Christopher Kirkham in San Francisco and Brian Ford in Los Angeles.
Other key lawyers:
‘K&E has great market share in sponsor deals, particularly in technology, and they therefore have great knowledge on market terms, lender behavior, etc.’
‘I think extremely highly of Chris Kirkham, Brian Ford and Andrea Weintraub. They are all top-notch lawyers. They are very smart, responsive, and commercial lawyers who give great advice and are great partners’
Bain Capital Private Equity
The Blackstone Group
The Carlyle Group
Madison Dearborn Partners
Siris Capital Group
Vista Equity Partners
- Advised the global biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie, on the financing for its $63bn acquisition of Allergan, involving a $38bn bridge financing and a $6bn term financing.
- Assisted ABRY Partners in several financings, including the $945m financing for the acquisition of Millennium Trust Company.
- Represented Apax Partners on the financing of several transactions, including the $662m financing for the take-private of Trade Me Group, New Zealand’s largest internet auction and classified advertising website.
- Advised on the $4.5bn financing for the public-to-private acquisition of Inmarsat by a consortium comprising Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan.
- Advised Bain Capital Private Equity on several transactions including the $1.7bn financing for the acquisition of Rocket Software.
McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a solid borrower practice that is especially experienced representing private equity sponsors on mid-market financings and acquisitions. The team has good experience in a range of mandates, including leveraged buyouts, asset finance, capital markets and recapitalizations. The firm has some strong niches, particularly when it comes to transactions in the healthcare sector, and also in the food, beverage, and agribusiness markets. The well regarded team is jointly led by Stephanie McCann and Michael Boykins in Chicago, and Gary Rosenbaum in Los Angeles. The bulk of the practice is based in these two cities.
Stephanie McCann; Michael Boykins; Gary Rosenbaum
AUA Private Equity Partners
California University of Science and Medicine
Gladstone Capital Corporation
Gold Star Foods, Inc.
Oskar Blues Brewery Holding Co
Raymundos Food Group
True West Capital Partners
Great Point Partners
- Assisting Comvest Investment Partners on the financing of several transactions, including the acquisition of Security and Data Technologies, a leader in the sale, installment, and servicing of fire and security protection systems.
- Representing H.I.G. Capital on the financing of several transactions, including the acquisition of Lipari Foods Operating Company, which involved a $665m senior secured loan facility.
- Advising CenterGate Capital on several transactions, including over $150m in financing required for the acquisition of O Holdings and its subsidiary, Ouray Sportswear.
- Representing Gemspring Capital on various transactions, including the financing and acquisition of Valant Medical Solutions.
- Advised Calera Capital Partners on the financing of its $70m acquisition of Bay State Physical Therapy of Randolph, and Milton Chiropractic and Rehabilitation.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP's New York finance team has established itself as one of the leading practices for advice to corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors. In the latter, lawyers get a strong flow of transactional work from major funds such as Apollo Global Management, Oak Hill Capital Partners, and KPS Capital Partners. The firm is also a popular destination for several major blue-chip corporate borrowers, including IBM. The expertise of its lawyers covers all areas of finance, including leveraged buyouts, bridge loans, and recapitalizations, through to complex cross-border refinancings and restructurings. The highly rated Gregory Ezring and Robert Zochowski Jr. jointly lead the 14-partner team. Other key lawyers include Thomas V. de la Bastide III, Eric Goodison, Monica Thurmond, and Brian Janson.
Gregory Ezring; Robert Zochowski Jr
‘The Paul Weiss financing team, especially Monica Thurmond, have a broad market presence and a remarkable ability to leverage their market knowledge and deep trust of their clients to find creative resolutions to complex financing needs. Monica Thurmond is a true subject matter expert, who is incredibly hard working – staying current with all open substantive and process issues – and creative and commercial enough to seek resolutions to knotty issues that both protect her clients, while ensuring that lenders are not unfairly harmed’
‘Eric Goodison knows the financing market, he knows my needs and nuisances fully’
Wave Division Management
Apollo Global Management
Spectrum Brands Holdings
KPS Capital Partners
Oak Hill Capital Partners
- Advised IBM on the financing for its $34bn acquisition of Red Hat, creating the world’s largest hybrid cloud provider.
- Assisting Apollo Global Management on several multimillion-dollar financings, including the $2.7bn acquisition of Shutterfly, and the acquisition of Snapfish.
- Representing KPS Capital Partners on several major transactions, including the $1.05bn senior secured credit facilities and $300m senior notes used to finance a portion of KPS’s $1.8bn acquisition of Howden from Colfax Corporation.
- Advised Dana Incorporated on $1.7bn of senior secured credit facilities for its acquisition of the Drive Systems segment of the Oerlikon Group.
- Represented Preferred Sands, a proppants manufacturer for the oil and gas industry, in a comprehensive out-of-court restructuring that involved the equitization or renegotiation of more than $1.4bn of funded indebtedness, the issuance of new debt, and the carve-out of certain of its in-basin production assets into a new entity, Signal Peak Silica.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has an active finance team that is best known for its advice to corporate borrowers. The firm has several highly experienced lawyers working out of New York, including John Estes, Neal McKnight, and Ari Blaut.
John Estes; Neal McKnight
Other key lawyers:
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is making an increasingly strong impression on the market, particularly on the borrower side where it has developed a very solid reputation for representing private equity sponsors and corporates. The firm's ability to handle high-end corporate acquisitions was demonstrated by its advice to FIS on its $42bn merger with Worldpay. The team also acts for a loyal cohort of private equity funds and is especially active in the mid-market space. The firm is also doing an increasing amount of work for banks and direct lenders. While the team will miss former practice head Leonard Klingbaum who joined Ropes & Gray LLP's New York team, the firm has a deep bench of talent to make up for the loss. New York partners such as co-chairs Viktor Okasmaa and David Tarr, and vice-chair Jeffrey Goldfarb, have developed extremely good expertise in this area. Other key lawyers include Joshua Deason, William Dye and, in Houston, Michael Niebruegge.
Viktor Okasmaa; David Tarr
Brookfield Business Partners
Hudson’s Bay Company
Court Square Capital Partners
Fidelity National Information Services (FIS)
Insight Partners and its portfolio companies
New Mountain Capital and its portfolio companies
Genstar Capital and its portfolio companies
Aquiline Capital Partners and its portfolio companies
The Sterling Group
ITE Rail Fund LP (ITE)
JP Morgan Ventures Energy
- Represented FIS on its $42bn merger with Worldpay and the related financing, including $9.5bn in bridge financing and an increase of FIS’s revolving credit facility from $4bn to $6bn.
- Advised Pattonair, a Platinum Equity (PE) portfolio company, on the financing of PE’s take-private of Wesco Aircraft Holdings and its subsequent $1.9bn merger with Pattonair.
- Assisted Insight Partners and its portfolio companies on several significant matters, including the related financing for its $1.16bn acquisition of the marketing technology and digital commerce company, Episerver.
- Represented Genstar Capital and its portfolio companies on several transactions, including the financing of its acquisition of Cetera Financial Group, a leading network of nearly 8,000 financial advisors.
- Assisted Aquiline Capital Partners on the financing for its acquisition of the HR outsourcing provider CoAdvantage from Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is by a wide margin the busiest law firm when it comes to lender-led advice. According to Thomson Reuters, in the first three quarters of 2019, the team advised on 127 leveraged loans with an aggregate value of over $129bn. The firm is often designated lender's counsel of choice for private equity-led leveraged buyouts, and there are few other practices in the market that can match it in terms of scale and experience. Practice heads Jonathan Schaffzin and Daniel Zubkoff lead the New York-based team and both have very busy workloads, and in partners such as Douglas Horowitz and James Clark the firm boasts two of the most seasoned banking lawyers in the market. Other key individuals include William Miller, who is regularly involved in major debt offerings, Corey Wright, who is noted for his expertise in debt exchanges and out-of-court debt restructurings, and Marc Lashbrook, who regularly handles major acquisition financings and high-yield debt. Jennifer Ezring also has a high profile for leveraged finance and asset-based lending.
Jonathan Schaffzin; Daniel Zubkoff
Other key lawyers:
‘Best law firm for practical advice and business acumen. They have the most deal reps so therefore know the market best. Experienced partners are adept at finding solutions to issues, and hence keeping costs down by not spinning wheels on immaterial points’
‘William Miller is an incredible lawyer who is deserving of recommendation’
‘Cahill also has a deep bench of associates who have tremendous experience’
Broadridge Financial Solutions
Wells Fargo Securities
- Advising the lead arrangers, including Citibank, BNP Paribas and DBS Bank, on a $1.6bn loan to Resorts World Las Vegas.
- Advising JP Morgan on a $1.5bn loan to Catalent Pharma Solutions to help finance its acquisition of Paragon Bioservices.
- Representing Credit Suisse Loan Funding on over $25bn worth of loan transactions, including a $2bn facility to Albertson to refinance an existing term loan.
- Advising Bank of America on a $2.75bn loan to Wand Newco, proceeds of which were used for the merger of ABRA Auto Body & Glass and Caliber Collision Centers.
- Counsel to Citigroup Global Markets and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith as lead arrangers on a $2bn Term loan B credit facility and a $225m revolving credit facility for AMC Entertainment Holdings.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a top-notch reputation for representing some of the market's largest financial institutions, including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan on a broad variety of lending mandates. These range from leveraged and investment grade acquisition financings, to spin offs, recapitalizations and restructurings. The firm's expertise on the borrower side has also been demonstrated through some of the largest transactions and financings of the past year, including complex debtor-in-possession work, all of which typically have a major cross-border element. The New York-based team has a more generalist ethos than most of its rivals, and its key lawyers are typically comfortable advising lenders and borrowers, including major private equity funds. Among these, Michael Goldman, George Zobitz, Tatiana Lapushchik, Stephen Kessing, and Joseph Zavaglia all enjoy excellent reputations.
Michael Goldman; George Zobitz; Stephen Kessing
‘Very proactive. Expertise on the legal issues. Good ability to think about the business issues as well as always meeting deadlines’
‘They work well as a team and have excellent associates. Unparalleled experience in other deals. Ability to wear the hat of the client and not just go strictly by the law. Excellent ability to deal with bank counsels and solve issues on the side of their clients’
- Represented The Walt Disney Company, as borrower, in connection with a $35.7bn bridge credit facility to finance its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
- Represented Occidental Petroleum Corporation, as borrower, in connection with $21.8bn of committed bridge facilities to back its acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, and the ensuing take-out financings in the bank and bond markets.
- Advised PG&E Corporation and its primary operating subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, in connection with the arrangement of $5.5bn of debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing.
- Represented JPMorgan Chase on a $6.55bn revolving credit facility to Automatic Data Processing.
- Assisted Bank of America on a $3.75bn revolving credit facility to United Rentals.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is often top choice for a broad range of acquisition financings, direct loans, structured financings, debt restructurings and bridge loans. The breadth of its workload is also reflected in its wide range of clients both on the lender and borrower side encompassing, respectively, major banking institutions and alternate lenders, and blue-chip corporates and private equity sponsors. The deals themselves are often among the most challenging the market has to offer. While most of the partners have good experience working on either side of the table, practice heads James Florack and Jason Kyrwood are especially active on the lender side, alongside partners such as Monica Holland and Kenneth Steinberg. On the borrower side, the highly-rated Sartaj Gill is the main point of contact, but partners such as the versatile Meyer Dworkin and John Perry are also very active. All named lawyers are based in New York.
James Florack; Jason Kyrwood
- Advising the lead arrangers and bookrunners on a $34.35bn exit bridge financing to Pacific Gas and Electric Company and PG&E Corporation in connection with their emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Assisting the lead arrangers on a $33.5bn senior unsecured bridge loan facility for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company to finance its acquisition of Celgene Corporation in a cash and stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $74bn.
- Representing the sole lead arranger and bookrunner on a $17bn senior unsecured bridge loan facility to Fiserv, Inc. for its acquisition of First Data Corporation.
- Advising the private equity arm of Brookfield Business Partners on the financing for the $13.2bn acquisition of the Power Solutions business of Johnson Controls International.
- Assisting Ford Motor Company on an amendment to its existing credit facility, and a new $2bn revolving credit facility and a new $1.5bn term loan facility.
Latham & Watkins LLP is one of the few firms that can successfully balance out a top tier lender-led practice with a top tier borrower one. Beneath both banners the expansive practice covers every corner of the market. The private equity sponsor side is led out of Washington DC by Manu Gayatrinath, with support from fellow DC-based vice chairs Jason Licht and Joshua Tinkelman. This side of the practice benefits from strong relationships with funds such as The Carlyle Group. The corporate borrower work is spread throughout the firm's extensive US network of offices. The lender side, which represents financial institutions and direct lenders, boasts an array of talent including banking chairs Daniel Seale in New York and Los Angeles-based Greg Robins. Other key individuals include New York managing partner Michele Penzer and the highly rated Alfred Xue. The expanding team also promoted several new partners in New York, Washington DC, Houston, and Los Angeles. The recruitment of Trevor Wommack in Houston from Vinson & Elkins LLP added to the firm's financing expertise in the energy sector.
Daniel Seale; Greg Robins; Manu Gayatrinath
Bank of America
Royal Bank of Canada
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Ares Capital Management
Golub Capital Markets
The Carlyle Group
Leonard Green & Partners
UGI Energy Services
Advanced Micro Devices
One Equity Partners
- Advised JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and other lenders on a $10bn loan to Panther BF Aggregator 2 LP, to help finance Brookfield Business Partners’ $13.2bn acquisition of the Power Solutions business of Johnson Controls.
- Assisted Citibank and Goldman Sachs on a $3.32bn facility linked to a joint venture created by CVC Capital Partners and Messer Group, the Americas gas arm of Linde.
- Counsel to Barclays on the $2.65bn refinancing of outstanding senior secured credit facilities held by the clothing company PVH Corp, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands.
- Advising the Carlyle Group on the €3.6bn financing of a share holding in the Spanish oil and gas company, Compañía Española de Petróleos, from Mubadala Investment Company.
- Representing Eldorado Resorts on the financing for its $17.3bn acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corporation.
Milbank has a superb reputation for advising lenders, and remains one of the leading players in the market for complex, high profile leveraged finance transactions. The firm is a favorite with banks and is also doing an increasing amount of advice for direct lenders. The team's deal list is testament to its status in the market, both for complex and domestic cross-border financings and refinancings, often with a heavy capital markets component. Practice head Marc Hanrahan is one of the best known lawyers in the market, and he is backed up by a highly respected team of New York-based individuals, including Lauren Hanrahan, Marcus Dougherty, and up-and-coming partners Charles Stern and Benjamin Sayagh.
‘Milbank stands out as a commercially minded yet client first platform that can go toe-to-toe with any of the other big law firms in the leveraged finance space. They are fierce advocates for their banking clients while simultaneously helping them navigate a competitive landscape to best position them to win financing mandates’
‘Marcus Dougherty and Ben Sayagh have distinguished themselves as leaders in this field – both in terms of their practical skill sets (subject matter expertise, dedication to craft, client service, responsiveness, etc.) and ability to deliver for their clients as trusted advisors’
Royal Bank of Canada
- Representing the banks, including Barclays and HSBC, as global coordinators on the multibillion dollar financing to support The Carlyle Group and GIC’s acquisition of the Specialty Chemicals division of AkzoNobel.
- Assisted the banks, including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies Finance, Macquarie Capital, and Mizuho Bank as joint lead arrangers on the multibillion dollar financing of KKR’s acquisition of BMC Software.
- Advised the lenders on the financing of Inmarsat’s $6bn takeover by Apax and Warburg Pincus.
- Assisted the lenders, including HSBC, on a $625m facility to The Carlyle Group to support its acquisition of a 37% stake in Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A.U (Cepsa), from Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investor.
- Advised Credit Suisse and several other lenders on the financing of Carlyle Partners’ multibillion dollar acquisition of the equity interests of StandardAero Holding Corp.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has an excellent pedigree for both top-end, cross-border borrower and lender-led financings. On the borrower side, this includes advice to blue-chip corporates such as Altria, as well as major private equity sponsors, including KKR, The Blackstone Group, and Hellman & Friedman. Partners such as Jennifer Hobbs, Alden Millard, and Brian Steinhardt (who also represents infrastructure sponsors) are top names to consider when it comes to borrower-led work. On the lender side, key institutional relationships with banks such as JP Morgan Chase ensure a steady flow of complex mandates, including bridge and acquisition financings, restructurings and debtor-in-possession financings. Key individuals on the lender side include William Sheehan and Alexandra Kaplan. Other names of note include practice head Patrick Ryan , James Cross, and Houston-based partner Matt Einbinder. All named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.
Other key lawyers:
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of Montreal
KeyBank National Association
Royal Bank of Canada
Toronto Dominion (Texas)
Blue Buffalo Pet Products
Hellman & Friedman
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
KSL Capital Partners
New Mountain Capital
NextEra Energy Capital Holdings
Twenty-First Century Fox
Walgreens Boots Alliance
WME Entertainment/WME IMG Holdings
- Advising Twenty-First Century Fox on the financing of the spin-off of its news and sports business, as part of its $52.4bn takeover by Disney.
- Representing Digital Colony Partners and the EQT Infrastructure IV Fund on the financing of their acquisition of Zayo Group Holdings.
- Assisting a Hellman & Friedman led investor group on the financing of its $11bn acquisition of Ultimate Software.
- Representing JP Morgan Chase Bank, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, and Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC on a bridge term loan facility of up to $20bn for IBM to finance its $34bn acquisition of Red Hat.
- Assisting JP Morgan Chase Bank in connection with a $14.6bn term loan facility for Altria Group to finance its acquisition of a 35% equity interest in JUUL Labs for $12.8bn.
Proskauer Rose LLP has been one of the leading pioneers in the growth of the alternate lender market, with many major firms still playing catch up. The firm's foothold in mid-market, second-lien financings is demonstrated by its impressive workload for the direct lending arms of major funds such as Apollo, Ares, KKR, and The Carlyle Group. The highly rated co-heads of the private credit group, Steven Ellis and Stephen Boyko, divide their time between the firm's New York and Boston offices. Other key individuals in New York include global finance co-head Ron Franklin and leveraged finance head Justin Breen. The firm also has strong expertise advising private equity sponsors and corporate borrowers, and has good industry-specific knowledge in areas such as healthcare and life sciences, sports, technology, media, telecoms, and gaming.
Steven Ellis; Stephen Boyko; Ron Franklin; Justin Breen
The Carlyle Group
- Advised KKR as lender on a $325m facility to Marlin Equity Partners to help finance its acquisition of the telecom expense management company Tangoe.
- Advised Ares as lender on over 30 financings in the last year, including a facility to the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, a Blackstone portfolio company.
Shearman & Sterling LLP is a mainstay of the New York finance market, where it has established extremely strong relationships with financial institutions, as well as an increasing number of direct lenders. The team expanded significantly in 2019 following the arrival of former Allen & Overy LLP partners Michael Chernick and Alan Rockwell, who both have long track records serving the market. Rockwell joins the highly rated Maura O’Sullivan as practice head, adding weight to a team that includes global co-head of leveraged finance Joshua Thompson. The team, which also includes the well regarded capital markets expert Jonathan DeSantis, works closely with colleagues in key regions such as Europe and Asia. The firm also offers corporate and private equity borrowers a strong range of expertise, with Gus Atiyah coming highly recommended.
Maura O’Sullivan; Alan Rockwell
Recommended for ‘overall quality of work product, strong commercial knowledge, and longstanding partnership‘
‘Jonathan DeSantis offers strong commercial knowledge’
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Boston Scientific Corporation
CVS Health Corporation
JP Morgan Chase
- Advised a UK investment bank as administrative agent on a c.$1.5bn financing for INEOS Enterprises consisting of multicurrency term loan A and B facilities in part to finance the acquisition of Ashland Global Holdings.
- Assisting Credit Suisse as administrative agent on a $2.85bn financing to Buckeye Partners to finance a portion of its acquisition by Australia-based IFM Investors and for working capital or other general corporate purposes.
- Represented JP Morgan Chase Bank on a $1.4bn financing for Atlantic Aviation FBO (a subsidiary of Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation) to refinance existing debt facilities.
- Advised CVS Health Corporation on its $3bn financing, consisting of a five-year senior unsecured revolving credit facility and a 364-day senior unsecured revolving credit facility.
- Assisted Credit Suisse on amendments to Hyland Software’s existing $1.7bn facilities, permitting a special dividend and adding a $147m incremental first lien term loan and a $225m incremental second lien term loan.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a truly multi-faceted finance team, with strong expertise across a range of areas. This includes advice to private equity sponsors and corporate borrowers, as well as major banks and direct lenders, ranging from Citi through to Antares. The New York-based team forms a core part of the firm's broader global network, and lawyers work closely with colleagues in key centers in London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong. The cross-border nature of the work, particularly on complex and often distressed refinancings and restructurings, is an area of real strength. Practice heads Douglas Urquhart and Daniel Dokos regularly advise both borrowers and lenders. They are supported by a strong team including, on the borrower side, Andrew Colao, who leads the firm's private equity finance practice, and Brenton Lewis. For lender-led advice, Morgan Bale, Heather Viets and Justin Lee have all established very strong reputations.
Daniel Dokos; Douglas Urquhart
Avolon Holdings Limited (Avolon)
Brookfield Asset Management
Ditech Holding Corporation
OMERS Private Equity
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Providence Equity Partners / Providence Strategic Growth
Sears Holdings Corporation
syncreon Group Holdings B.V.
Thomas H. Lee Partners
- Advised the lenders, including Citi as administrative agent, on a $26.8bn loan to Occidental Petroleum to support its $55bn acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum.
- Assisted Goldman Sachs in $9bn bridge and term loan facilities to Conagra Brands to support its $10.9bn acquisition of Pinnacle Foods.
- Advised Syncreon Group Holdings on a complicated global financing and cross-border balance sheet restructuring involving $1.1bn of funded debt.
- Assisting Providence Equity Partners on multiple financings, including a $550m loan to fund its acquisition of GlobalTranz Enterprises.
- Represented Jefferies, Macquarie, and Antares as lead arrangers and joint bookrunners in the $345m financing for Leonard Green’s acquisition of Wrench Group.
White & Case LLP's borrower and lender clients benefit from a highly versatile team of lawyers. The primarily New York-based team works closely with colleagues in key global jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Paris, London, and Frankfurt on major cross-border financings and refinancings, as well as with domestic lawyers in Los Angeles and Chicago. The dedicated borrower side is led by Justin Wagstaff, and also includes Sherri Snelson, who joined from O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Eliza McDougall (who also represents lenders), and Los Angeles-based partner Brenda Dieck (who also represents lenders). This side of the group regularly represents major corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors. Jake Mincemoyer leads the lender side, which represents a broad range of major financial institutions and direct lenders on the full spectrum of matters. The experienced team includes global practice head Eric Leicht and Nicholas Palumbo.
Eric Leicht; Jake Mincemoyer; Justin Wagstaff
‘Excellent partners that offer real advice. Great cross border experience as well’
‘White & Case provide seamless legal advice from their market leading lawyers in Frankfurt and New York. The integrated advice supports our international capital markets activities and provides up to date and commercially supportive solutions to us’
‘The team is extremely knowledgeable about sponsor finance and is very client service focused (highly responsive, strong at dissecting key issues and explaining them in a way that is easy to understand and that allows for better decision making). Unlike other practices, there is also heavy involvement at a partner level throughout a transaction life cycle and in future transactions with the same borrower’
‘Consistently delivers tailored, commercial advice that positions us best to lead deals for our clients’
‘Nick Palumbo has distinguished himself as a thought leader among a small group of direct lending lawyers in the market today, with the skill set and deal experience to opine on traditional middle market deals and billion dollar plus syndicated private deals’
‘Justin Wagstaff provided integrated advice that ensured we achieved a commercially successful transaction’
Avast Software B.V.
CVC Capital Partners
- Represented Credit Suisse on $655m and €1bn in loans to Helios Software Holdings and ION Corporate Solutions to refinance existing debt.
- Represented Jefferies LLC, Citigroup Global Markets, and HSBC Securities as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners on a $750m senior secured term loan facilty and a $275m senior secured super-priority revolving facility to Jefferies Finance LLC and JFIN Co-Issuer Corporation to help refinance existing debt.
- Advising Deutsche Bank in connection with the amendment and restatement of Neiman Marcus Group LTD’s $900m revolving credit facility.
- Assisting a consortium, composed of Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners and GIC, as private equity sponsors in the financing of the leveraged acquisition of Genesee & Wyoming – an established owner and operator of short railroad lines in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia – for $8.4bn.
- Represented IFM Investors in connection with a senior secured $2.25bn term loan B and a senior secured $600m revolving credit facility to finance its acquisition of Buckeye Partners.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has a well-balanced New York-based team with a strong track record advising borrowers and lenders on complex financings and refinancings. On the lender side, the team is a popular choice with major financial institutions, while on the direct lending side it has over 25 years' experience representing mezzanine and loan funds, including market leaders such as Antares Capital and KKR Credit Advisors. The firm is also well regarded for its mid-cap sponsor-led private equity work, where it represents a broad range of active funds, including Permira and Onex, as well as their portfolio companies. The team's ability to handle cross-border financings has also been boosted by major investments in the London team. J. Christian Nahr leads the multi-faceted team, which includes major names such as F. William Reindel, Daniel Bursky, Brian Murphy, and Emil Buchman, as well as up-and-coming partners like Adam Summers.
J. Christian Nahr
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The Cranemere Group
- Counsel to a syndicate of lenders led by Bank of America, and a syndicate of purchasers led by Citi, on a respective $1.15bn facility and $700m note offering to Clarivate Analytics to refinance its debt following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, Churchill Capital Corp.
- Advising Citibank, as administrative agent and lead arranger, in $1.2bn in loans to Allison Transmission, and in an amendment to reprice Allison Transmission’s $646m term loan facility.
- Counsel to Bank of America and Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith in their arrangement of $1.15bn in loans, consisting of a $1.025bn term A loan and $125m revolving credit facility, for Alliance Laundry Systems.
- US counsel to funds affiliated with Onex Corporation in connection with the $2.69bn financing for the acquisition of WestJet Airlines.
- Counsel to Permira and its portfolio company, WeddingWire, in WeddingWire’s acquisition of XO Group and the related $648.97m financing.
Jones Day offers an extremely diverse and adaptable practice led out of New York by the highly experienced Brett Barragate. The team forms a core part of the firm's overall global financing offering, and works closely with teams in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. This has made it a popular choice with global banks, where the firm currently sits on over 40 panels. In the US, the team also has a strong presence in Chicago and Cleveland. Its lawyers advise a fairly even mix of borrowers and lenders, including financial institutions, credit funds, private equity funds, and corporate borrowers. Key lawyers include the highly versatile Chip Bensinger, Lewis Grimm, Kim Desmarais (who is very active on the leveraged buyout side), and Rachel Rawson in Cleveland.
Citizens Financial Group
International Automotive Components Group
Twin River Worldwide Holdings
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association
- Advised the Bank of Montreal on a loan to Nuvei Technologies, a US electronic payment processing company, to finance its $889m acquisition of the UK-based mobile payments company Safecharge International.
- Advised Welbilt, a global food service equipment manufacturer on an amendment to an increase of its $1.3bn senior secured credit facility.
- Represented the multinational gaming and racing facilities owner, Twin River Worldwide Holdings, on a $400m bond issue and a concurrent $550m senior secured credit agreement.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is one of the leading players when it comes to advice to direct lenders, particularly on mid market loans. The team is led out of Chicago by Michael Jacobson and includes several highly experienced partners, including Stuart Shulruff and Derek Ladgenski. The firm also has a strong group of lawyers in Los Angeles, including Glen Lim.
Mayer Brown has invested heavily in its commercial lending practice in recent years. The team, which includes lawyers in New York and Chicago, has made a strong impression on the market, and provides strong cross-border support to clients investing in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. On the borrower side it acts for major blue chip corporates such as General Motors, as well as private equity sponsors. On the lender front, it is especially active on mid-market loans, particularly in the direct lending space where Chicago-based partner Matt O’Meara runs the private credit group. Other key individuals include highly experienced global head of leveraged finance Scott Zemser and global head of banking and finance Paul Jorissen, as well as David Duffee (all three in New York), and Fred Fisher and Kristin Rylko in Chicago.
Paul Jorissen; Scott Zemser
‘They have a lot of experience and are always available to talk through deal structures’
‘Kristin Rylko is simply phenomenal. She is able to articulate complex legal issues while also providing guidance that balances protecting the lender and being commercial to get the deal closed’
- Advised General Motors on separate $2bn and $3bn revolving credit facilities in 2019.
- Advised Goldman Sachs as agent on a growth capital investment in Wine.com, consisting of a preferred equity investment and a senior secured credit facility.
- Represented Tenneco, the automotive components manufacturer, on the $4.9bn acquisition financing of Federal-Mogul.
- Advised Monroe Capital Management Advisors on several direct lending mandates including a credit and guaranty agreement with IPR Acquisition Co and Inland Pipe Rehabilitiation.
- Assisted CIBC Capital Markets on a $175m syndicated loan to Summit Utilities.
McGuireWoods LLP flies under the radar due to the finance world's often New York-centric worldview, despite the fact that it has one of the most active practices in the market. Led out of Charlotte by Raj Natarajan, the team is among the largest players in the market in terms of volume and deal numbers. Strong relationships with Bank of America and Wells Fargo ensure a strong flow of mid-market lender mandates, while the firm also has major niches in key areas such as healthcare finance where it represents specialised lenders such as White Oak Healthcare Finance. Key lawyers include Eric Burk, Kent Walker, Rebecca Chaffin, Kevin McGinnis, and David Lapp in Charlotte, as well as Hamid Namazie in Los Angeles, Penny Zacharias in Pittsburgh, Anne Croteau in Raleigh, and Chris Molen in Atlanta.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very strong in the syndicated loan market. Very knowledgeable on comps and work well both with banks as well as the banks clients’
‘The legal team as a whole is very knowledgeable and fully aware of constant updates that are made to bank regulations which affects future changes to be made to Credit Agreements when there is a credit action taking place. The entire legal team is excellent to work with and are always available for any questions or inquiries regarding a deal being worked on’
‘Eric Burk and Dave Lapp are able to work through issues with opposing counsels well without creating a lot of unnecessary tension. They are very knowledgeable and easy to deal with. They focus on the key points and provide strong counsel to the bankers on solutions to issues’
‘Partner Kevin McGinnis is truly one of the best. An extremely talented legal mind and always a pleasure to work with’
‘Anne Croteau and her team have a wide range of expertise and work to keep the overall cost reasonable’
Bank of America, N.A.
White Oak Healthcare Finance
BMO Harris Bank
Fifth Third Bank
Capital One Corporate Finance
- Advised Bank of America on a range of major asset-based and consumer finance facilities, including a $7bn loan to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the restatement of a $1.6bn facility for Mattel.
- Assisted Wells Fargo on a $4bn loan to BlackRock and a $1.2bn facility to Ubiquiti Networks.
- Represented Capital One Corporate Finance on a $1.45bn loan to VSP Optical and a $150m facility to AccessOne.
- Assisted White Oak Healthcare Finance on approximately $250m in loans including a $130m facility to FOX Management Rehabilitiation.
- Advised BBVA Compass on amending and refinancing an existing $380m facility including a $50m revolver to be used to fund future acquisitions.
Paul Hastings LLP is well regarded for its strong expertise in representing banks on major leveraged buyouts, refinancings, and syndicated loans. The firm is a popular choice among private equity houses for sponsor-designated mandates, and has a reputation for commerciality. New York hosts most of the team, including Jennifer Yount who leads the global finance and restructuring group, and highly respected leveraged finance co-chairs Michael Baker and John Cobb. Other key centers for the firm include Los Angeles, where Katherine Bell is a lead partner, and Chicago, where Maureen Sweeney has a strong debt finance practice. The firm also represents direct lenders and has a strong offering on the borrower side, advising both corporates and private equity funds.
Jennifer Yount; Michael Baker; John Cobb
‘The team has great knowledge not only of our credit agreements but the market in general and they work well with counsel for our lenders. It finds ways to accomplish our goals in a manner acceptable to lenders’ counsel even after the agent and/or counsel have pushed back on a given change. And they are easy to work with. In short, they are very sharp, incredibly nice, and very effective’
‘Very active and understand what the prevailing terms are in the market. Good experience with all counter-parties to understand key issues throughout the negotiation process based on the lender’
Bank of America
Wells Fargo Bank
Citigroup Global Markets Inc. / Citibank, N.A.
Royal Bank of Canada
TD Securities (USA)
Owl Rock Capital Corporation
Goldman Sachs Lending Partners
Apollo Global Management
White Oak Global Advisors
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
- Advised JP Morgan Chase Bank as lead arranger and administrative agent on a $4bn senior unsecured revolving credit facility for Valero Energy Corporation, one of the leading downstream energy companies in the world.
- Represented Barclays Bank on the $1.2bn financing for Victory Capital Holding’s acquisition of USAA’s asset management business, along with a refinancing of Victory’s existing debt.
- Assisted Credit Suisse Securities and several other lenders on the $1.031bn financing for KKR’s take-private acquisition of the software company MYOB.
- Represented CDW as borrower in connection with the refinancing and extension of its $1.45bn term loan.
- Advised the autoparts manufacturer, Trico Group, on an incremental addition to its first lien term loan facility and the issuance of a second lien term loan facility in a financing deal worth $971m.
Vinson & Elkins LLP is one of the leading firms in the market when it comes to energy-related financings, where the firm is regularly instructed by borrowers and lenders. Its expertise covers a range of areas, including upstream, downstream, and midstream oil and gas, as well as renewables. In terms of financings, the lawyers have a broad skillset that encompasses asset-based loans, leveraged buyouts, and DIP financings. The firm has strong relationships with most of the major financial institutions, as well as direct lenders who are increasingly active in the energy space. The firm also has good expertise representing lenders to the retail sector. Borrower clients include major corporates and private equity sponsors. Brian Moss and Erec Winandy co-head the team from their respective Houston and Dallas offices. The New York office also boasts several experienced debt finance lawyers, including David Wicklund and Brett Santoli. Another name to note is Chris Dewar in Dallas.
Brian Moss; Erec Winandy
‘Erec Winandy and Chris Dewar provide excellent legal advice and highlight areas where the bank needs to be protected versus when a more commercial solution is acceptable. I feel significantly better about each credit agreement drafted by this V&E team than any other firm. Both pay great attention to detail, are commercial when necessary but focus on risks to the bank, great ability to negotiate across the table without being combative, able to clearly articulate legalese in a simple manner’
‘The team is able to combine an intimate knowledge of oil & gas law with superlative finance advice, leading to an unbeatable combination of skills when it comes to energy finance. Stand out lawyers one and all (and I’m likely missing a few): Brian Moss, John Connolly, Keith Fullenweider, Guy Gribov, James Longhoffer, Bryan Loocke. They really know their oil & gas law and market, and can provide both strategic and legal advice in a seamless fashion’
Wells Fargo Bank, NA/ Wells Fargo Strategic Capital
JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA
Bank of America, NA
Global Partners LP
EIG Global Energy Partners
The Blackstone Group
Apollo Investment Corp.
The Carlyle Group
- Represented Wells Fargo Bank on several multimillion-dollar transactions including a $2bn revolving credit facility for Viper Energy Partners.
- Assisted Bank of America on several transactions, including a $50m credit facility to Parker Drilling Company during its chapter 11 bankruptcy and in its $50m secured asset-based exit credit facility.
- Advised Barclays Bank as administrative agent on a $1bn term loan B credit facility to WaterBridge Midstream Operating, which is a portfolio company of Five Point Energy.
- Represented Vantage Energy on the $1.65bn financing, including a reserve-based loan and high yield bonds, for its acquisition of QEP’s Williston Basin assets in North Dakota and Montana.
- Advised Anadarko Petroleum, which was recently acquired by Occiental Petroleum, on a $3bn loan as part of its master limited partnership Western Midstream.
Bracewell LLP is best known for its energy-related financing expertise, where it represents a broad spread of borrowers and lenders on high profile upstream, midstream, and downstream transactions. The firm's lawyers are well versed on all stages of the financing journey, including major refinancings and restructurings, as well as structured products and forms of asset finance. The bulk of the team works out of Houston, with key partners such as practice head Dewey Gonsoulin, Heather Brown, and Stephanie Koo Song. The firm also has an expanding New York practice that includes the highly experienced Robin Miles.
MUFG Union Bank, NA
Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank
Targa Resources Partners
Phillips 66 Partners and its Master Limited Partnership
- Represented Kinder Morgan on over $6bn in financings, including a $4.5bn five-year revolving credit facility, and finance advice on the $1.56bn sale of the US portion of the Cochin Pipeline to Pembina Pipeline Corporation.
- Represented Enterprise Products Operating on a $3.5bn multi-year revolving credit facility.
- Advised the lender as administrative agent in two financings for EnLink Midstream, including a $1.75bn facility connected to its purchase of all outstanding publicly traded shares of EnLink Midstream Partners.
- Assisted Société Générale on several facilities including a $1.7bn loan to an energy and commodities trading company.
- Representing MUFG Union Bank as administrative agent on a $1.5bn revolving credit facility to Great Western Petroleum to fund the acquisition of oil and gas properties and refinance existing debt.
Dechert LLP has an active team led by Scott Zimmerman out of New York. The practice is especially strong on the borrower side, representing a mix of corporates and private equity funds on leveraged loans and acquisition financings, as well as refinancings and highly structured debt. The firm also has a particularly strong niche in fund finance work, thanks in part to the expertise of Jay Alicandri, and it regularly represents investment managers on negotiating their loan facilities. The team is also active in the direct lending sphere, where it represents a range of alternate financiers. The experienced Jeffrey Katz has strong expertise representing borrowers and lenders, as does Philadelphia-based partner Sarah Gelb.
‘Great senior level attention. Unlike other firms, I generally deal with one partner on a deal rather than many partners or junior level staff’
‘Deep knowledge of structured lending to credit funds and financing for asset managers. Partners are diligent and focused, and generally great to work with’
‘Jeff Katz provides a wide range of expertise from leveraged lending and restructuring advice. He excels at thinking several steps ahead in helping us thinking about structuring a document and implications. He has a nice balance of thinking like an investor while balancing role as attorney’
‘Jay Alicandri is very smart, diligent, and focused. He’s personable and a pleasure to work with’
Court Square Capital Partners
Morgan Stanley Capital Partners
PennantPark Investment Corporation
Prospect Capital Corporation
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT)
Blackstone/GSO Secured Lending Fund
- Advised B&G Foods, a leading foods manufacturer and distributor, on a $1bn loan, including a $550m bond issue.
- Advising the environmental services and waste management company US Ecology on the financing for its $966m acquisition of NRC Group Holdings.
- Assisting the global asset manager, Barings BDC, on an $800m facility agreed with ING Capital.
- Represented Blackstone/GSO Secured Lending Fund on a $600m warehouse credit facility provided to BGSL Jackson Hole Funding.
- Assisted ING Capital on a $75m multicurrency facility to Monroe US Private Debt Fund.
DLA Piper LLP (US) has a versatile US commercial lending team with a strong presence on both the east and west coasts. The group has several impressive niches, and in San Diego, West Coast Finance Chair Matt Schwartz leads a strong venture lending practice which represents a range of banks, funds, and family offices on their investments into the technology and life science sectors. The team has strong expertise in a variety of financings, including leveraged and asset-based loans, venture debt, acquisition financings, and mezzanine and second-lien debt. In New York, partners such as East Coast chair Jamie Knox is also noted for his advice representing borrowers.
Matt Schwartz; Jamie Knox
King & Spalding LLP has an active global finance practice, which in the US has strong teams of lawyers spread throughout its New York, Chicago, Charlotte, and Atlanta offices (the latter being its main headquarters). The versatile group represents a good mix of borrowers and lenders and is well versed in leveraged finance asset-based loans, DIP financings, and related structured finance and capital markets work. Clients include major corporates, private equity sponsors, international banks, and direct lenders. The group, which works closely with lawyers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, is also noted for its strong expertise in industries such as transportation and energy. Atlanta's Carolyn Alford leads the team, which also includes Amy Peters in Chicago, and Todd Holleman, Jennifer Daly, and Ellen Snare in New York.
BC Partners Credit
Capital One, National Association
Citizens Bank, NA
GSO Capital Partners
JP Morgan Chase
KKR Credit Advisors
Northleaf Capital Partners
Owl Rock Capital Partners
Americold Realty Trust
Colonial Pipeline Company
D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments
Piedmont Office Realty Trust
Roark Capital Group
TPG Sixth Street Partners
- Advised Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group as $85m senior term loan lender and $30m DIP term lender on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the Gymboree Group.
- Assisted BMO-Harris Bank on a $1bn synidcated floor plan credit facility to Rush Enterprises, which will be used to finance commercial vehicles and buses for working capital.
- Represented Bank of America as administrative agent on a $1bn incremental facility for the equipment rental company Ashtead Group.
- Advised Edens Limited Partnership as borrower on several loans, including a $700m syndicated revolving credit facility and $140m syndicated term loan facility.
- Advised TPG Sixth Street Partners on the financing of a $615m joint venture with Corvias Group to invest in public-private social infrastructure assets.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP offers a broad-based debt finance practice that is particularly active on the lender side. The firm represents a mix of major institutions and alternative lenders, and is known for its strong experience of the film finance and sports market. The team also has good experience in areas such as asset-based lending, retail finance, private placements, and restructurings. Boston-based Jonathan Bernstein heads the practice, which also has several experienced leveraged finance lawyers in New York, including Frederick Eisenbiegler and Thomas Mellor. Lawyers regularly work with colleagues in London, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijin,g and the Middle East on major cross-border deals.
Wells Fargo Bank, NA
Bank of America, NA
Gordon Brothers Finance Company
JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA
- Represented Wells Fargo Bank on a $1.2bn asset-based revolving and first-in-last-out facility and $125 million term loan facility in connection with the acquisition of Essendant.
- Advised JP Morgan Chase on a $1.2bn facility to Insight Enterprises to finance its acquisition of PCM.
- Represented Bank of America in the amendment and restatement of a $450m term facility and a $1.25bn revolving facility provided to Affiliated Managers Group.
- Advised JP Morgan Chase on the amendment and restatement of a $1 billion revolving credit facility for Brighthouse Financial.
- Represented Bank of America in a $750m senior secured amended and extended revolving credit facility for Container Leasing International.
Morrison & Foerster LLP's well regarded financial transactions group is a trusted advisor to corporate borrowers, private equity sponsors, banks, and credit funds. The firm has invested heavily in the practice and opened an office in Boston in 2019 following its recruitment of the finance team from Riemer & Braunstein, including well regarded partner David Ephraim and its New York-based partner Jonathan Jacobs. While the east coast practice expanded - and it is in New York that finance chair Mark Wojciechowski is based - the west coast team also stands out for its strong niche in tech-based financings. San Francisco-based partners such as Dario Avram and Jill Feldman are especially noted in this area.
‘Great finance lawyers who are excellent business partners for their clients. They know their clients inside out and are very responsive and commercially savvy’
‘Dario Avram is hard-working and gives very helpful advice. He is good at understanding and advising on the business trade-offs of legal terms’
‘David Ephraim is an excellent lawyer and client relationship manager’
Silicon Valley Bank
- Advised Silicon Valley Bank on a $375m loan to Ribbon Communications Operating Company, a maker of IP-based software solutions.
- Advised Spark Networks on the financing required for its acquisition of Zoosk, making Spark the second largest dating service in the US, in a deal that required German and English legal advice.
- Represented Vector Capital on a $100m loan to support Permira Funds’ acquisition of Synamedia.
Ropes & Gray LLP has been a leading player in the leveraged finance market for many years. The team, which is spread between the firm's New York and Boston offices, sees a regular deal flow from major clients such as Bain Capital and Silver Lake Partners. In recent years, the firm hasn't been afraid to look beyond its traditional strengths. The recent recruitment of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's finance chair Leonard Klingbaum as well as Andrea Hwang not only added to the firm's New York office (especially following the departure of Sunil Savkar to Debevoise & Plimpton LLP), it also strengthened the firm's offering in the alternate lender space, where Alyson Gal in Boston and Joanne De Silva have also made good headway. On the borrower side, Boston's Byung Choi and Kevin Jarboe are very well regarded, as are practice head Stefanie Birkmann and Alexander Zeltser in New York.
Stefanie Birkmann; Byung Choi
Other key lawyers:
Avista Capital Partners
Golden Gate Capital
TSG Consumer Partners
Kohlberg & Co
The Blackstone Group
Silver Lake Partners
American Industrial Partners
Benefit Street Partners
Cortland Capital Market Services
Constitution Capital Partners
Hancock Capital Management
KKR Credit Advisors US
TPG Sixth Street Partners
Pacific Investment Management Company
Altamont Capital Management
- Represented a group of investors, including Bain Capital, in the debt financing for their acquisition of US Renal Care, a leading provider of dialysis services for patients suffering from end-stage renal disease.
- Assisted Golden Gate Capital on the multi-million dollar debt financing for its acquisition of Ensemble Health Partners Holdings, an industry-leading national revenue cycle management provider.
- Represented Digital Room, an H.I.G. Capital portfolio company, in connection with its $395m dividend recapitalization.
- Advised TPG Sixth Street Partners on $175m of clinical trial financing to Clovis Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on acquiring, developing, and commercializing innovative anti-cancer agents in the global markets.
- Represented KKR Credit Advisors in connection with its $80m unitranche term loan to Marlin Equity Partners to finance its add-on acquisition of Simplywell and its subsidiaries.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's market leading corporate practice ensures that the firm's finance lawyers are regularly involved in some of the largest acquisition financings that the market has to offer. The team's workload, which also involves advice to private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, includes high profile cross-border mandates, bridge financings, first and second lien loan facilities, leveraged recapitalizations, and major restructurings and debtor-in-possession financings. Added to this mix is an increasingly strong lender practice, as demonstrated by relationships with major institutions such as Credit Suisse and Barclays. Clients benefit from the expertise of several highly-rated partners including Chicago-based global finance head Seth Jacobson, and New York head Steven Messina and Stephanie Teicher.
Seth Jacobson; Steven Messina
Other key lawyers:
- Advised Centene Corporation on the finance aspects of its $17.3bn acquisition of WellCare Health Plans, as well as a new $2bn unsecured multicurrency revolving credit facility.
- Assisted Dassault Systèmes in the finance aspects of its $5.8bn acquisition of Medidata Solutions.
- Represented Pinnacle Entertainment on the finance aspects of its acquisition by Penn National Gaming in an approximately $2.8bn cash and stock transaction.
- Assisted Barclays Bank and Barclays Capital in connection with a $1.9bn debtor-in-possession financing for Ditech Holding Corporation and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries.
- Represented Credit Suisse on $175m of incremental senior secured term loans to Speedcast International Limited and one of its US subsidiaries for the purpose of acquiring the businesses of Globecomm Systems.
Winston & Strawn LLP has a versatile team that regularly advises lenders and borrowers on mid-cap financings. The bulk of the team works out of the firm's Chicago and New York offices, with highly-rated co-chairs Michael Mullins, Ronald Jacobson, and Patrick Hardiman based in the former, and William Brewer and Mats Carlston working out of the latter. The firm has developed strong relationships with several major banks and is also increasingly active on behalf of direct lenders, including Antares Capital and Twin Brook Capital Partners. The team advised on over $70bn in loans in the past year, covering a range of products and transaction types, including leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, unitranche and second lien facilities. Other key individuals include Chicago's Chuck Boehrer, and Charlotte-based partner Jason Bennett.
William Brewer; Mats Carlston; Patrick Hardiman; Ronald Jacobson; Michael Mullins
Bank of Ireland
Twin Brook Capital Partners
US Bank, NA
Wells Fargo Bank, NA
- Advising Barings Finance in connection with a $470m amendment and restatement of its existing credit agreement for Professional Datasolutions.
- Represented Citibank, as administrative agent and lender, in connection with a $150m facility to Great Lakes MC Subsidiary. The facility is backed by a portfolio of collateral loans managed by Great Lakes MC.
- Advising Rent-A-Center and its subsidiaries in connection with the amendment and extension of its existing $200m asset-based credit facility led by JP Morgan Chase Bank as administrative agent.
- Represented Twin Brook Capital Partners as administrative agent on a $102.5m amended and restated cash flow credit facility for Primeritus Financial Services, which was linked to the acquisition of equity and certain assets and liabilities of GIP CARS Acquisition.
- Represented Kayne Senior Credit II GP as administrative agent in connection with a new $120m credit facility for Sundance Holdings Group.