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Commercial lending in United States

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP, having undergone a number of staff changes in recent years, is now in a position to provide a full-service offering to banks, direct lenders and other financial institutions, assisting with complex financings including mezzanine, bridge, alternative capital and asset-based loans. Operating out of New York, the group has a number of highly capable partners, including Rajani Gupta, who maintains the team's relationship with key client Ares, and Judah Frogel, who leads the firm's LIBOR remediation work. Jin Hee Kim is another key name and handles complex restructuring issues. In February 2021, the firm announced the arrival of Jake Mincemoyer from White & Case LLP to lead the leveraged finance practice, while Stanimir Kostov, also from White & Case LLP, arrived in May to bolster the direct lending practice.

Practice head(s):

Jake Mincemoyer

Other key lawyers:

Rajani Gupta; Jin Hee Kim; Judah Frogel; Todd Koretzky; Stanimir Kostov

Testimonials

Jin Hee Kim is a recent addition to the team and is a trusted advisor we have worked with for many years. She brings a depth of knowledge on UCC Article 9 issues and properly advises in structuring complicated syndicated lending transactions.’

A&O has an excellent and deep commercial lending and leveraged finance practice which enables them to be incredibly responsive to client requests and tight deadlines – and to do so without sacrificing the quality of the work product which has been excellent. Beyond that, A&O has an incredibly broad global footprint and has offices in nearly every country in which we operate – which means we increase legal efficiency and decrease costs by not having to engage separate law firms in each jurisdiction in which we operate. In addition, as A&O provides legal advice and services to both lenders and borrowers, we, as a borrower, feel we get the benefit of lender side perspective, knowledge and technology.

Jin Hee Kim came highly recommended to me by one of my former colleagues. I think her background and experience separate her from some of her peer group – not only is she an expert in commercial lending, but she has also has experience in both corporate and M&A and has, herself, spent time in-house. Beyond that, here are the two main ways in which Jin Hee has really added exceptional value: (i) she has assembled a first rate team of finance attorneys on short notice to assist us on a global basis – and she has done an excellent job of managing that team and ensuring that our expectations are being met and exceeded, (ii) she has been an excellent resource for market information and has been able to guide our thinking in terms of different potential financing options. Jin Hee has also engaged associate Deland Ji in the NY office to work with us on our matters and we have been very pleased with the quality of her work.

The A&O team represents a wide range of clients – from banks to funds to sponsors – which allows it to know “what the other side is thinking”, a huge advantage to its clients.’

No one knows their documents like Judah Frogel. He doesn’t leave any stone unturned and has vast experience to call from when advising his clients. Incredibly user-friendly and commercial.

Strong team, particularly Rajani Gupta. The entire team is “commercial” and works well with their clients to deliver strong results for sponsors and their portfolio companies.

Rajani Gupta, in particular, stands out. She’s very smart and responsive and she works hard to find a fair result for everyone.’

Key clients

Scotiabank

Colfax Corporation

BMO Capital Markets

Goldman Sachs

Golub Capital

Jefferies

Nomura

RBC Capital Markets

Credit Suisse

Coherent, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised funds managed by Apollo Global Management, Inc. on a multibillion-dollar cross-border asset-backed lending package to finance the acquisition of Tech Data Corporation.
  • Advised Credit Suisse on the repricing of a 3.03bn term loan, originally used to finance the acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company in 2018 by Brookfield Asset Management.
  • Advised WillScot Corporation on the stock-for-stock merger with Mobile Mini.

Bracewell LLP

Bracewell LLP's primary focus is the energy industry, where it advises large companies from the oil and gas, renewables and petrochemical sectors on the complex and high-value transactions. The group also has a strong lender practice which includes assisting domestic and foreign banks with financing acquisitions in the energy sector, as well as restructuring and refinancing matters. Dewey Gonsoulin and Heather Brown jointly lead the team from Houston; the former focuses on the upstream energy sector and the latter advises on reserve-based loans and dividend recapitalizations. Though primarily based in Texas, the firm also has a New York office, which includes Fernando Rodriguez Marin and Robin Miles, both of whom have additional expertise in project financing.

Practice head(s):

Dewey Gonsoulin; Heather Brown

Other key lawyers:

Kate Day; Fernando Rodriguez Marin; Robin Miles; Nicolai Sarad; Stephanie Koo Song

Key clients

Bank of Oklahoma Financial, N.A.

Citibank, N.A.

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

DCP Midstream Operating, LP and DCP Midstream Partners

Ferrellgas, L.P.

JPMorgan Chase

Phillips 66 and Phillips 66 Partners LP

Pioneer Natural Resources

Société Générale

Sysco Corporation

Targa Gas Marketing, LLC, Targa Midstream Services LLC and Targa Liquid Marketing and Trading LLC

The Carlyle Group

UniCredit Bank A.G.

Work highlights

  • Advised Phillips 66 and Phillips 66 Partners LP as borrowers on the amendment and restatement of their revolving credit facilities totaling $5.75bn.
  • Represented Société Générale in connection with a $1.9bn senior secured revolving credit, facility to Mercuria Commodities Canada Corporation, Mercuria Energy America, LLC, and Minerva Bunkering (USA) LLC.
  • Advised JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. on a $1bn reserve-based revolving credit facility to AEPB Acquisition Company LLC

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is the most active firm in the market for lender-side transactions, having closed the highest number of financing transactions for 2019 and the first half of 2020. The New York-based team features a vast number of experienced partners, all of whom advise the largest commercial and investment banks, as lenders and underwriters, on their most complex and important acquisition financings, leveraged buyouts, bridge financings and recapitalizations. One such team member is Douglas Horowitz, who is the relationship partner for JP Morgan and one of the busiest dealmakers at the firm. Jonathan Schaffzin is another name to note for his work in the healthcare, telecoms and technology sectors, while Jennifer Ezring is recommended for asset-based transactions. Other key names include James Clark, Marc Lashbrook and Corey Wright.

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Horowitz; James Clark; Jonathan Schaffzin; Corey Wright; Marc Lashbrook; Jennifer Ezring; Joshua Zelig

Key clients

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Wells Fargo Securities

Jefferies Finance LLC

Nomura Securities International, Inc.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Truist Securities

Work highlights

  • Advised the lead arrangers on a $1bn revolving credit facility and a $185m incremental revolving credit facility for Caesars Entertainment, Inc.
  • Advised JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. on a $1.25bn term B credit facility and a $250m revolving credit facility for Consolidated Communications, Inc.
  • Advised Credit Suisse Loan Funding LLC and Nomura Securities International, Inc. on an amendment to provide $2.95bn of first lien incremental term B loans and a $150m incremental increase to the first lien revolving credit facility for The Ultimate Software Group, Inc.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Focusing on the borrower side of the market, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is highly regarded by peers and clients alike for assisting private and public companies, as well as private equity firms and their portfolio companies, with complex leveraged and investment grade transactions, often in the context of financing acquisitions or restructuring. Based in New York, Duane McLaughlin co-leads the team alongside Amy Shapiro, while fellow senior partner Meme Peponis is another key name and advises on high-yield bond issuances, bridge loans and syndicated credit facilities. Through 2020, all three senior team members have been advising the US Treasury on administering financial support to companies in the airline industry adversely affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Amy Shapiro; Duane McLaughlin

Other key lawyers:

Meme Peponis; Katie Reeves

Key clients

U.S. Department of Treasury

Astound Broadband

Warburg Pincus

ESL Investments

Sotera Health

Belron

Doosan Bobcat

International Flavors & Fragrances

Howmet Aerospace

Starbucks

Work highlights

  • Advised the US Department of the Treasury on its financial assistance of the US airline industry pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
  • Advising Warburg Pincus on the financings for its transactions.
  • Advised Radiate on the refinancing of its senior secured credit facilities in advance of its $8.1bn sale to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP has a very solid finance practice, and is capable of advising borrowers and sponsors on all major types of financings. In particular, the firm has core strengths in the areas of technology and life sciences, where it advises a number of established market players on acquisition financings, in addition to assisting innovative start-ups with securing capital for development. The key partners include practice heads Gian-Michele a Marca and Michael Tollini, who operate from San Francisco and Washington, DC, respectively. Patrick Flanagan is recommended in the New York office.

Practice head(s):

Gian-Michele a Marca; Michael Tollini

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Flanagan; Jason Savich

Key clients

Uber Technologies Inc.

Athenex, Inc.

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

HealthCare Royalty Partners

Meredith Corporation

Pure Storage, Inc.

Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Horizon Therapeutics PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Cornerstone OnDemand on its $1.15bn Term Loan B for the financing of its acquisition of Saba Software, a portfolio company of Vector Capital.
  • Advised Biohaven on a $500m structured loan provided by Sixth Street Specialty Lending, Inc.
  • Represented TiVo in obtaining a $715m senior secured term loan and a $60m revolving loan credit facility.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

From its New York office, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP occupies a position at the very top of the lender-side market. The group is frequently consulted by the largest investment banks to assist with transactions involving complex financial structures including asset-based financings, leveraged spin-offs and mezzanine financing. Restructuring is another area of expertise, and the firm handles debtor-in-possession, exit and distressed M&A financing. A number of partners have close relationships with specific banking clients; Michael Goldman heads up the practice and is the contact partner for Credit Suisse, while practice lead Stephen Kessing is a close advisor to Citibank. On the borrower side, the group primarily advises on investment grade bridge and acquisition transactions, frequently working with US and international corporate borrowers on multi-currency and cross-border loans. Managing partner George Zobitz is especially active in this area, having advised a number of US universities on securing credit facilities. Other key names include Joseph Zavaglia and Tatiana Lapushchik.

Practice head(s):

Michael Goldman; George Zobitz; Stephen Kessing

Other key lawyers:

Tatiana Lapushchik; Joseph Zavaglia

Key clients

Bank of America

Citi

Credit Suisse

JPMorgan

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Represented Mylan, N.V., as borrower, in its $4.6bn of credit facilities in connection with the combination of Upjohn.
  • Advised JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. on the arrangement of a $7bn amended and restated revolving credit facility made available to Amazon.com.
  • Advised Credit Suisse AG on the arrangement of $3.89bn of credit facilities made available to Reynolds Consumer Products in connection with Reynolds’ IPO.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is lauded by peers for its work in the debt finance market, especially with regards to its advice to lenders. In addition to its usual deal work, throughout 2020 the firm has being busy helping clients navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, including assisting airlines and other participants with obtaining grants from the federal government under the CARES Act. The firm has a deep bench of first-rate lender lawyers, including James Florack, who is recommended for his work in Latin America, and Jason Kyrwood, co-practice head alongside Florack, who specializes in LBO financings. Sartaj Gill is one of the firm's key borrower-side specialists, along with junior partner John Perry. The group continues to add to its enviable team of partners; Nicholas Palumbo arrived from White & Case LLP in 2021 to further strengthen the direct lending practice.

Practice head(s):

James Florack; Jason Kyrwood

Other key lawyers:

Monica Holland; Kenneth Steinberg; Sartaj Gill; Meyer Dworkin; John Perry; Nicholas Palumbo

Key clients

Advent

Atairos

Brookfield

CDPQ

Charterhouse

Cornell Capital

Crestview

GHK

Loews

Madison Dearborn

Metalmark

Sycamore Partners

Symphony Technology Group

Tailwind Capital

ADC Therapeutics

Aeroméxico

Atlassian

Baldwin Risk Partners

Chaparral Energy

Clarivate

ContourGlobal

Dean Foods

Delek Group

E*TRADE Securities

FedEx

Ford Motor Company

Graham Packaging

IHS Markit

Marsh & McLennan Companies

Murphy USA

Reynolds Consumer Products

Royalty Pharma

Spirit Airlines

Xponential Fitness

Credit Suisse

JPMorgan

Jefferies

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised the arrangers on several facilities provided to 7-Eleven, Inc. in connection with its acquisition of Speedway.
  • Advised the arrangers on financings for Bain Capital’s acquisition of US LBM.
  • Advised the joint lead arrangers, the existing administrative agent on a $2.1bn refinancing term loan facility provided to iHeartCommunications, Inc.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP focuses its highly capable practice on borrower-side advice, and is consulted by some of the world's largest private equity firms to assist with their most important financing transactions, often involving complex financial structures, syndicated lending, second lien financings and mezzanine capital investments. The group also has an extensive portfolio of corporate borrower clients, which includes leading companies from the software, healthcare and media industries. Jeffrey Ross chairs the finance group and focuses on advising private equity firms on complex acquisitions transactions. The team also includes Paul Brusiloff, Sunil Savkar and of counsel David Brittenham, all of whom handle complex leveraged transactions. Highly regarded associate Ryan Rafferty departed in November 2020 to join Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Ross

Other key lawyers:

Paul Brusiloff; David Brittenham; Sunil Savkar; Scott Selinger; Ramya Tiller

Testimonials

Debevoise provides consistently good advice and is always prepared to execute complex transactions. The team is dedicated to providing the best service and the highest quality work product. With over thirty years experience with the team, there is no doubt in my mind that they are the best in the business.

Very knowledgeable with high grade loan structures. Ability to quickly analyze and provide detailed and understandable guidance. Also, brings perspective of work they have done in other areas when applicable to provide context.

Jeff Ross has been a pleasure to work with. He understands the complexities of our credit agreement and is able to help us resolve issues and provide solid guidance. One of the best high yield term-loan specialists I have worked with.

Very sharp team, filled with seasoned experts who know the space and can advise you on strategic decisions with a commercial lens.

Partner Jeff Ross is an “all star”, combining highly strategic advice with deep experience in complex leveraged finance markets. His trusted counsel has been vitally important in all stages of the investment lifecycle and I couldn’t recommend working with him highly enough. Moreover he always brings a great, diverse team to each engagement.’

Debevoise’s Leveraged Finance practice is truly top notch. In terms of sophistication, depth and breadth of experience and ability to ramp up quickly to respond to client demands. I have worked them on both leveraged buyouts and complex mergers/JV situations and they are always thoughtful, up to date on market trends and highly accommodating. As compared to other top firms I have worked with, they go above and beyond to provide a superior level of client intimacy.’

Diligent, detail-oriented, thoughtful. Overall an outstanding team that works hard and produces terrific results.’

Scott Selinger – Smart, practical and efficient. He focuses on the key issues without getting bogged down with academic points.’

Key clients

The Blackstone Group

Barnes & Noble

Booz Allen Hamilton

The Carlyle Group

Cerberus Capital Management

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Cornerstone Building Brands

Crescent Capital

Elliott Management Corporation

Epicor Software

EQT Partners

International Paper

Kelso & Company

Kindred Healthcare

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners

Providence Equity Partners

Resolution Life

Third Point Re

TPG Capital

White Cap

Work highlights

  • Represented Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in the financing aspects of its $4.7bn acquisition of Epicor Software.
  • Advised Steven Cohen and Cohen Private Ventures on the financing aspects of the $2.4bn acquisition of the New York Mets.
  • Advised The Carlyle Group on the financing aspects of its $1.8bn acquisition, with T&D Holdings, of a majority interest in Fortitude Re.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP's debt finance team, which operates across the New York and Philadelphia offices, is notable for the breadth of its expertise. The department handles leveraged and acquisition financing transactions involving both banks and alternative lenders, as well as restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings. Fund finance is one of the group's key strengths, as are transactions involving business development companies. The New York office houses most of the key practitioners; Scott Zimmerman leads the global leverage finance practice, while Jay Alicandri, co-chair of the global finance department alongside Richard Jones, does extensive work with clients in the private debt space. Sarah Gelb advises on middle-market private equity transactions from Philadelphia.

Practice head(s):

Jay Alicandri; Richard Jones; Scott Zimmerman

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Gelb; Samantha Koplik; Lindsay Flora; Edward Newlands

Key clients

BC Partners

B&G Foods

Blackstone/GSO Secured Lending Fund

Bregal Partners

Court Square Capital Partners

Crown Holdings

Graham Partners

FS/KKR

Hercules Capital

ING Capital

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners

PennantPark Investment Corporation

Prospect Capital Corporation

Sterling Investment Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Crown Holdings on an amendment and extension of its $3.2bn multi-currency senior secured facility.
  • Advised Sterling Investment Partners Advisers on all financing matters related to its investment in AIMS Companies.
  • Advised Blackstone / GSO Secured Lending Fund on its senior secured credit facility with Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has one of the most active practices in the debt finance market, and has an excellent reputation among peers for advising private equity sponsors, investment banks, private companies and funds on transactions of numerous types. The group has a particular strength in direct lending, having acted as counsel to market-leading clients such as BlackRock and KKR. The team has a number of standout practitioners, including William Reindel, who specializes in fund financings. Daniel Bursky is another key name; in addition to leading the capital markets practice, Bursky works with investment banks, private equity firms and corporate borrowers on matters ranging from mezzanine financing and high-yield debt. Christian Nahr leads the leveraged finance group, which also includes Brian Murphy, Emil Buchman and Adam Summers.

Practice head(s):

Christian Nahr

Other key lawyers:

William Reindel; Daniel Bursky; Brian Murphy; Emil Buchman; Adam Summers

Key clients

At Home Group

Bank of America

Citi

Credit Suisse

Humana

IDEXX Laboratories

Informatica

ITT Corp.

Jefferies

MasTec

Onex Corporation

Permira

ProQuest

RedBird Capital Partners

T-Mobile

Tapestry

Under Armour

Work highlights

  • Advised T-Mobile on $46bn of debt transactions in connection with the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.
  • Advised Bank of America, N.A. on $8.8bn of new loan and credit facilities for Royalty Pharma,
  • Advised Informatica on the amendment and US$2.8b refinancing of its existing credit facility.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Best known for its borrower-side practice, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is consulted by funds, sponsors and private companies to advise on a broad range of debt finance transactions. The group collaborates with the firm's M&A and private equity teams to provide a complete service to borrowers looking to finance acquisitions. Moreover, the team works with the real estate department to provide comprehensive service to multinational hotel companies such as Marriott International, Inc. Aaron Adams and Linda Curtis lead the department from New York and Los Angeles, respectively, though the team also has a strong presence in Dallas, Houston, and Denver. Laura Rupenian joined the San Francisco office in November 2020 and is recommended for leveraged finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Adams; Linda Curtis

Other key lawyers:

Janet Vance; Laura Rupenian

Work highlights

  • Advised Tutor Perini on a $425m term loan B and a $175m revolving credit facility.
  • Advised Marriott International, Inc. on the comprehensive amendment of its existing $4.5bn credit facility relating to the pandemic impact on the business.
  • Advised Amazon.com on a 3-year, $7bn senior unsecured revolving credit facility.

Goodwin

Goodwin Procter LLP has a strong reputation for its work in middle market finance, where it advises sponsors on a wide variety of deals. One of the team's strengths is leveraged buyouts, though it is more than capable of assisting with asset-based loans and restructuring issues. The group has developed substantially in recent years, to the extent that it has been able to open an office in Santa Monica. Kristopher Ring has been the key partner in this development following his arrival from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in October 2019. Other names to note include San Francisco-based Fredrich Lim and Milena Tantcheva in Boston, who specializes in working with real estate investment trusts. Jennifer Bralower chairs the team from New York.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Bralower

Other key lawyers:

Kristopher Ring; Fredrich Lim; Milena Tantcheva

Key clients

Benefit Street Partners

Crescent Capital Group

PennantPark Investment Advisers

Bregal Sagemount

Charlesbank Capital Partners

Delos Capital

Piney Lake

AEA Mezzanine

Thoma Bravo LLC

Fortress Investment Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in its $2bn strategic financing collaboration with Blackstone.
  • Represented Wayfair Inc. in a private placement of convertible senior notes in an aggregate principal amount of $535m.
  • Represented Cerence Inc.  in its offering of $175m.

Jones Day

Jones Day is an active player in the international and domestic debt finance market, regularly making use of its global network of offices to advise on complex, cross-border financing transactions. The group is notable for its diverse client base which includes leading investment banks such as JPMorgan Chase, as well as prominent corporate borrowers. Brett Barragate, in addition to leading the team, has expertise spanning all areas of debt financing, and is experienced in numerous industries including automotive, energy, telecoms and fintech. Though the group is primarily based in New York, Aldo LaFiandra and Rachel Rawson act as key members from Atlanta and Boston, respectively,

Practice head(s):

Brett Barragate

Other key lawyers:

Aldo LaFiandra; Charles Bensinger; Lewis Grimm; Rachel Rawson

Testimonials

‘Al LaFiandra is the best lawyer that I’ve worked with in my 30 year career. The rest of the team takes his lead. While he has represented me on the banking side, the other side of the table has frequently commented on how good my counsel was in the process. I would highly recommend Jones Day.’

‘Very experienced across smaller club deals as well as larger financing’

‘Al LaFiandra identifies the risks, makes sure everyone understands the risks and then finds an acceptable solution to satisfy all parties. Everyone is pleased with the process and the outcome. ’

‘Kevin Samuels is both an excellent lead partner as well as mentor and manager for associates so that work product is uniform and tailored to our philosophies’

Key clients

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

EagleTree Capital

Ferro Corporation

JPMorgan Chase Bank

KeyCorp

Macy’s Inc.

The Riverside Company

TransDigm Inc.

U.S. Bank National Association

Wells Fargo Bank, National Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Ferro Corporation on the expansion of its receivables purchase program with ING Belgium in Europe.
  • Advised an ad hoc group of senior secured lenders on the restructuring of the global logistics syncreon group.
  • Advised TransDigm Inc. on the repricing of its existing $7.51bn term loans.

Katten

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has a track record in mid-market financings, most particularly those involving direct lenders. Chicago-based Michael Jacobson leads the private credit department and advises on uni-tranche and mezzanine financings. Stuart ShulruffDerek Ladgenski and Glen Lim are other names to note.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP provides comprehensive advice to a range of clients involved in debt transactions, which often includes complimentary advice on tax, regulatory and real estate issues. Though active in all areas of the market, the group is particularly notable for its lender-side practice as it works with all of the ten largest banks in the US, in addition to major non-bank lenders such as KKR, Apollo and Blackstone. Carolyn Alford leads the nationwide team from Atlanta and has specialist expertise in the energy, healthcare and media sectors. Of the firm's national network of offices, New York houses the largest number of finance partners, including Ellen Snare and Todd Holleman, though the Chicago practice has developed at an impressive pace since the arrival of Amy Peters in 2018.

Practice head(s):

Carolyn Alford

Other key lawyers:

Ellen Snare; Todd Holleman; Amy Peters

Key clients

Five Guys Holdings, Inc.

Tenex Capital Management

W. C. Bradley Co.

Kloeckner Metals Corporation

Evolent Health LLC

Omni Logistics, LLC

Acuity Brands

Apollo Global Management, LLC

Antares Capital

Barclays Bank PLC

BC Partners Credit

Blackstone Credit

Capital One, N.A.

Citibank, N.A.

Citizens Bank, N.A.

CVC Credit Partners

Golub Capital

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

KKR Credit Advisors, LLC

Monroe Capital

Owl Rock Capital Partners

Truist Bank

Webster Bank

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Kloeckner Metals Corporation and its affiliates, on a $330m senior secured ABL credit facility.
  • Advised Bank of America on a $4.6bn Loan and Security Agreement with Ashtead Group.
  • Advised Barclays Bank PLC on a $675m loan to RW Purchaser LLC.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is an outstanding firm for borrower-side advice, ranking at the very top of the tables both for deal count and transaction value. The debt finance team is integrated into the private equity practice, and as such, it routinely acts for some of the most prominent private equity sponsors in the market; KKR, The Carlyle Group and Apax Partners all consult the firm for advice on their most important transactions. The group also has a strong portfolio of corporate borrower clients, as shown by David Nemecek's recent work assisting Macy's Inc. with obtaining $4bn in addition liquidity in order to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Contacts in the New York office include Jay Ptashek, Eric Wedel and Melissa Hutson, while Linda MyersMichelle Kilkenney and Maureen Dixon are names to note in Chicago. 

Other key lawyers:

Linda Myers; Jay Ptashek; David Nemecek; Michelle Kilkenney; Maureen Dixon; Eric Wedel; Jason Kanner; Melissa Hutson

Key clients

Apax Partners

American Securities

Bain Capital Private Equity

The Carlyle Group

KKR & Co. Inc.

Macy’s, Inc.

Madison Dearborn Partners

Thomas H. Lee Partners

TPG Capital

Thoma Bravo

United Airlines

Warburg Pincus

Work highlights

  • Advised Advent on the financing for the acquisition of the elevator division of thyssenkrupp AG.
  • Advised American Securities on securing $746m in financing for the acquisition of United PF Holdings.
  • Advised Bain Capital Private Equity on a $1.2bn term loan, a $300m delayed-draw term loan and a $500m ABL credit facility for the acquisition of a majority stake in US LBM.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Truly a stand-out firm for financing work, Latham & Watkins LLP sits at the top of both the lender and borrower sides of the market. As regards lender work, the group regularly assists all the leading commercial banks with their largest and most complex transactions, and also maintains a first-class direct lender practice. On the borrower side, the practice group acts for private equity firms, their portfolio companies and other corporate borrowers form a variety of industries. The team spans numerous offices; Daniel Seale leads the banking practice from New York and has particular expertise in acquisition financing, while vice chair Greg Robins operates from Los Angeles. Manu Gayatrinath chairs the Washington DC-based private equity group, which also includes vice chair Jason Licht. Other names to note include managing partner Michèle Penzer and junior partner Alfred Xue, who is developing a very strong reputation in transactions involving direct lenders.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Seale; Manu Gayatrinath

Other key lawyers:

Greg Robins; Jason Licht; Josh Tinkelman; Michèle Penzer; Alfred Xue

Key clients

Antares Capital

Ares Capital Corporation

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

Golub Capital

JP Morgan

Jefferies

Morgan Stanley

Owl Rock Capital

Royal Bank of Canada

UBS AG

BC Partners

Caesars Entertainment, Inc.

The Carlyle Group

KKR

Leonard Green & Partners

One Equity Partners

Onex

Platinum Equity

Weatherford International Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Save A Lot on the successful completion of a comprehensive recapitalization of the business and significant deleveraging of the company’s balance sheet.
  • Represented the lenders in providing a $2.4bn asset-based credit facility to support WillScot’s merger with Mobile Mini.
  • Advised Sequa Corporation on a set of amendments to its credit facilities.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown has an impressive debt finance practice, which advises both borrowers and lenders of various types on matters including acquisition finance, fund finance and restructuring. The department has developed significantly in recent years and continued to do so in 2020 with the expansion of its direct lending practice; the team now works with a number of leading clients in this area. Scott Zemser, who leads the team from New York alongside David Duffee and Chicago-based Frederick Fisher, stands out for his expertise in cross-border leveraged finance transactions and is highly regarded across the market for his experience with Yankee loans. Kristin Rylko, who also operates from Chicago, specializes in the financing of investment funds.

Practice head(s):

David Duffee; Frederick Fisher; Scott Zemser

Other key lawyers:

Kristin Rylko; Mae Rogers; Matt O’Meara

Testimonials

‘Not only is the team solid on the nuts and bolts of closing the deal, but the team also knows how to add value in the process. Relative to other peers, does a good job of providing forward-thinking advice and taking into account the needs and goals of the client.’

‘Mae Rogers is solutions-oriented. She takes initiative to solve problems that she identifies. At other firms, I am often frustrated when law firms dump problems in my lap and expect me to solve them. That is not an issue with Mae or the Mayer Brown team. Nicole Goodman is a strong associate with good judgment. She is proactive in resolving issues with opposing counsel.’

‘The finance team at Mayer Brown does a phenomenal job of balancing often-competing demands: accuracy, timeliness, working with challenging opposing counsel, cost, etc. The Mayer Brown team consistently makes my job easier by solving problems where possible and/or focusing my attention on the most-critical items. They also have deep firm resources outside of finance, which we frequently leverage and not all firms can offer.’

‘The three main finance partners I work with (Fred Fisher, Beth Vogel, Chris Chubb) all share several key characteristics (consistency across a group is valuable and not easy to find): incredible responsiveness, unfailing accuracy, a positive attitude, and strong ability to navigate challenging situations.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Citibank, N.A.

Credit Suisse

General Motors

Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Madison Capital

Monroe Capital Management Advisors LLC

MUFG

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Advised General Motors on a $1.95bn credit agreement.
  • Advised BNP Paribas, Glas Trust Company LLC and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as agents, respectively, for separate syndicates of lenders in connection with the workout, restructuring, financing and insolvency cases of Waypoint Leasing Holdings Ltd.
  • Assisted United Airlines with arranging $6.8bn in financing for MileagePlus Holdings.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has had an impressive year in the debt finance space, handling a range of financing transactions for corporate borrowers. The healthcare sector is an area of particular focus; the group works with healthcare providers and investors on complex deals such leveraged buyouts and restructuring. Though healthcare is certainly a focus, the firm is also active in numerous other areas; private equity finance is an area of heavy activity and is complemented by the department's ability to collaborate with the firm's antitrust and corporate departments. Stephanie McCann and Michael Boykins are the names to note in Chicago, while Gary Rosenbaum operates from the Los Angeles office.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie McCann; Michael Boykins; Gary Rosenbaum

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Samis; Ikechukwu Chidi; George Houhanisin

Testimonials

The Commercial Lending Practice at MWE is unique in its approach which I credit to Stephanie McCann who we followed to MWE. Stephanie and her Team take the time to not only fully understand know our needs and our existing agreements to quickly and fully address any questions or issues, but she got to know our Company’s unique culture, and what is important to our business. I feel that other firms often get “caught in the weeds” in our negotiations, and I need to intercede and remove the “business decisions”.’

I have worked with Stephanie McCann on all of our major debt financings, including ones directly associated with our most significant acquisitions, for many years. In fact, it was my absolute confidence and satisfaction with her knowledge and abilities that led to our decision to follow her to MWE when she moved there from Kirkland & Ellis. Stephanie not only understands financing agreements, but most importantly understands our specific Company and what factors are most important to us. Stephanie is seen at the highest levels of our Company as a valued and trusted part of our team.’

Key clients

American Builders & Contractors Supply Co. ,Inc.

Amulet Capital Partners

AUA Private Equity Partners

Caregiver 1, Inc./ Caregiver 2, Inc.

Castle Harlan Partners

City National Bank

Comvest

Gemspring Capital Management, LLC

Gladstone Capital

Great Point Partners

H.I.G. Capital, LLC

HCI Equity Partners

Hidden Harbor Capital Partners

Industrial Opportunity Partners, LLC

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

LaSalle Capital

Martis Capital Management, LLC

McNally Capital, LLC

Meduit Group, LLC

MidCap Financial Services

New Harbor Capital Partners

Oxford Finance LLC

Prime Healthcare Services, Inc.

Quorum Health Corporation

REV Group, Inc.

Spanos Barber Jesse & Co.

Tema Oil and Gas Company

TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp.

True West Capital Partners

Wellspring Capital Management LLC

WhiteHorse Finance Inc.

WindRose Health Investors

Work highlights

  • Advising American Builders & Contractors Supply Co., Inc. on issuing $700m of aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes.
  • Advised Quorum Health Corporation on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
  • Advised Prime Healthcare Services, Inc. on a $700m public bond financing.

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP is an extremely busy finance firm, often ranking near the top of tables for deal count and value. Though the team does provide advice to borrowers, it is best known for its lender work; Bank of America and Wells Fargo are key bank clients which the firm advises on high-value financings in a huge variety of industry sectors. The group enjoys a dominant presence in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is quickly becoming one of the most significant financial centers in the US. Practice head Raj Natarajan and Eric Burk are both based in Charlotte, while Chris Molen and Hamid Namazie work from Atlanta and Los Angeles, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Raj Natarajan

Other key lawyers:

Eric Burk; Chris Molen; Hamid Namazie

Key clients

Bank of America, N.A.

Capital One, N.A.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Gunvor USA LLC

Mercuria Energy Trading Inc.

PNC Financial Services

U.S. Bank

Madison Capital

Hayfin Advisors

MUFG Union Bank

Work highlights

  • Represented Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as administrative agent in BlackRock’s $4bn amendment to its five-year revolving credit agreement.
  • Represented a leading financial institution in its $2.39bn credit facility for a global leader in total cash management.
  • Advised Mercuria on a $1.9bn cross-border senior secured borrowing base revolving credit facility.

Milbank

Milbank is undoubtedly one of the premier firms for lender-side advice, having spent many years advising leading investment banks and direct lenders on leveraged deals, most notably acquisition financings and public-to-private transactions. The group also showcases capabilities in cross-border transactions; with offices in London, Germany and Asia, the team is able to seamlessly handle New York and London legal structures, providing clients with end-to-end service in multi-jurisdictional mandates. Practice head Marc Hanrahan enjoys a stellar reputation throughout out the market for his leveraged finance expertise. The New York office is also home to a number of other experienced partners including Lauren Hanrahan, Marcus Dougherty and Charles Stern. The finance team now also has an on-the-ground contact in Los Angeles, following Eric Reimer's transfer from the corporate department to the leveraged finance group in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Marc Hanrahan

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Hanrahan; Eric Reimer; Marcus Dougherty; Charles Stern; Benjamin Sayagh

Key clients

Goldman Sachs & Co.

Credit Suisse

Citibank

Nomura

HSBC

Ares Management

Royal Bank of Canada

Credit Agricole

KKR

Owl Rock

Work highlights

  • Advised the financing sources on a $4.53bn cross-border debt financing to finance the take-private acquisition of Inmarsat plc.
  • Advised the administrative agent, collateral agent, joint lead arrangers and bookrunners on structuring and arranging senior secured financing to support Blackstone’s acquisition of a majority stake in MagicLab.
  • Advised the financing sources on Ivanti, Inc’s take-private acquisition of  MobileIron, Ivanti’s acquisition of Pulse Secure LLC and the refinancing of Ivanti’s existing debt.

Moore & Van Allen, PLLC

Moore & Van Allen, PLLC is a very busy lender-side firm, consistently ranking among the market leaders in syndicated lending transactions by volume. The group has a strong foothold in Charlotte, North Carolina, a market which has developed significantly in recent years and is now one of the key financial centers outside of New York. Tom Mitchell and Wayne McKinzie co-lead the team; both are well known in North Carolina for working with financial institutions on leveraged and investment grade transactions.

Practice head(s):

Tom Mitchell; Wayne McKinzie

Other key lawyers:

Charlie Harris; Tripp Monroe; Ryan Smith

Testimonials

MVA takes the time to understand our business model and how it is unique and how they can leverage that to help us in the Legal space. Their responsiveness and quality of work is unparalleled compared to other firms I have worked with.’

Wayne Mckinzie, Meredith Reedy, and Luis Llubera are exceptional legal partners. They bring extensive knowledge and professionalism without being condescending.’

Key clients

Bank of America, N.A./BofA Securities, Inc.

Wells Fargo Bank, National Association/Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Truist Bank

Regions Bank

Fifth Third Bank

TIAA/Nuveen/Churchill Asset Management

CoBank, ACB

KeyBank N.A.

PNC Bank, National Association

U.S. Bank, National Association

Work highlights

  • Advised CoBank, ACB on a $2.75bn senior credit facility for CHS Inc.
  • Advised Bank of America on a $1.5bn revolving credit facility for a private information technology company.
  • Advised Wells Fargo Bank on a $1.5bn revolving credit facility for Weyerhaeuser Company.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is best known for its work on the lender side of the market, where it advises both investment banks and non-bank lenders on transactions across numerous sectors, though the team is particularly strong in film finance and the sports market. Asset-based lending is one of the team's core strengths; it works with almost all of the leading banking institutions in this space. Leveraged finance is another area of heavy activity, though the work in this area focuses on the direct lenders such as Ares and Blackstone. Marshall Stoddard, who splits his time between the New York and Los Angeles offices, is experienced in cross-border acquisition financing transactions. Boston-based Matthew Furlong co-leads the team alongside Jonathan Bernstein and is a market leader in sports financing.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bernstein; Matthew Furlong

Other key lawyers:

Marshall Stoddard; Daniel Papermaster; Rick Eisenbiegler; Marc Leduc; Marjorie Crider; Elizabeth Khoury Ali

Key clients

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Bank of America, N.A.

HSBC

MUFG Bank Ltd., MUFG Union Bank NA

Citizen’s Financial Group Inc.

Gordon Brothers Finance Company

Ares Capital Corporation; Ares Commercial Finance

Prospect Capital Corporation

Churchill Asset Management

Principal Financial Group

BlackRock Capital

Willow Tree Credit Partners

Institutional Investors

Work highlights

  • Represented institutional investors in a $3bn private placement financing of The Vanguard Group Inc.
  • Represented Ares Commercial Finance as collateral agent, revolving credit agent and revolving credit lender in an $835m first lien unitranche facility for Differential Brands Group Inc.
  • Advised Bank of America, N.A. on a reserve based credit facility and subsequently a debtor-in-possession financing for Templar Energy LLC and affiliates.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP stands out for its impressive breadth of service, with the firm capable of assisting traditional banks, direct lenders, private equity sponsors and corporate borrowers, particularly within the technology, healthcare and life science sectors. Most of the team operates from the New York office, where key names include practice head Mark Wojciechowski, Dario Avram, Jay Gavigan (a 2019 arrival from Clifford Chance) and  Geoffrey Peck. Outside of New York, David Ephraim, who acts as managing partner of the firm's Boston office, is recommended for fund finance, while Jill Feldman maintains a broad practice that includes project finance and real estate finance from San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

David Ephraim; Mark Wojciechowski

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Jacobs; Dario Avram; Jill Feldman; Jay Gavigan

Key clients

Silicon Valley Bank

Altamont Capital Partners

Vector Capital Management, L.P.

Group of Noteholders to Mesquite Energy

Palladium Equity Partners

International Bank

Perceptive Advisors

OrbiMed Advisors

Hayfin Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Represented an international bank as lender in connection with an umbrella-style capital call loan facility with nine private equity and venture capital funds and alternative investment vehicles.
  • Advised a large international bank on the  restructuring of term and revolving loan facilities to an artificial intelligence-based online consumer healthcare provider.
  • Advised Altamont Capital Partners on its equity investment in Cornerstone Advisors.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP acts for lenders and borrowers across a full range of debt finance transactions, though the team stands out in particular for its expertise in cross-border leveraged deals and asset-based lending. During 2020, the firm has been busy on the borrower side, assisting companies with amending existing credit facilities or securing new financing in order to survive the economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The New York office is home to many of the department's key partners, including joint practice heads Jennifer Yount, Michael Baker and John Cobb, though the offices in Orange County, Los Angeles and Houston all house experienced team members. Maureen Sweeney left the firm in October 2020 to take up an in-house position.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Yount; Michael Baker; John Cobb

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Bell; Peter Burke; Jennifer Hildebrandt; Holly Snow

Testimonials

The Paul Hastings finance team is not only extremely knowledgeable about the markets (whether it be ABL or cash flow or large cap or middle market) but also innovative.’

Kathy Bell, Jennifer Yount, Jennifer Hildebrandt and Peter Burke are all stand-out finance partners who really partner with the team.’

Very smart, efficient attorneys with whom I enjoy working.

Holly Snow is terrific.’

I have really enjoyed working with Holly Snow and Joyce Shin. I always know that I can get hold of them on the phone if there is anything we need to discuss and I don’t have to ask them to put anything together to discuss. It is a very efficient process working with them and I always feel like we have good alignment on getting the deal done as quickly as possible.’

Key clients

JP Morgan

Bank of America

Wells Fargo Bank

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. / Citibank, N.A.

Barclays Bank PLC

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Royal Bank of Canada

TD Securities (USA) LLC

Société Générale

Antares

Owl Rock Capital Corporation

Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC

Apollo Global Management

KKR

Guggenheim Partners

Sixth Street Partners

AXA Global

White Oak Global Advisors, LLC

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Brightwood Capital

Kayne Anderson

Accel-KKR

Everberg Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on the $2.25bn financing of the acquisition of a global software business.
  • Advised Barclays Bank PLC on the $1.27bn fifth amended and restated credit agreement for Encompass Health.
  • Represented Wells Fargo Bank in various amendments to the reserve-based credit facility for Parsley Energy.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has a very strong reputation among its peers. Based in New York, the finance group works with many of the world largest private equity sponsors and funds on complex acquisitions, recapitalizations and other leveraged transactions. Many of the team members have long-standing relationships with major private equity houses; Gregory Ezring, for example, handles almost all major financing transactions for Apollo Global Management. Also adept at advising corporate borrowers, 2020 saw the firm consulted by a number of companies, including Carnival Corporation and SeaWorld, to assist with urgent financings necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The group is jointly led Ezring and Robert Zochowski Jr., and includes senior names such as Monica Thurmond and Thomas de la Bastide in addition to up-and-coming practitioners like Brian Janson. David Tarr joined the team from Willkie in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Ezring; Robert Zochowski Jr.

Other key lawyers:

Thomas de la Bastide; Monica Thurmond; Eric Goodison; Brian Janson; David Tarr

Key clients

Apollo Global Management

KPS Capital Partners

Aptiv PLC

Revlon, Inc.

Ares Management

Roark Capital Group

Carnival Corporation & plc

Spectrum Brands

Dana Incorporated

Taylor Morrison

Diamond Offshore

The Chatterjee Group

Elanco Animal Health

Towerbrook Capital Partners

Foresight Energy

TPG Capital

General Atlantic

Wave Division Management

Kohlberg & Company

Weatherford International

Work highlights

  • Advised funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management on their acquisition of Tech Data Corporation.
  • Advised Roark Capital Group on its acquisition of Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.
  • Advised Kohlberg & Company on its acquisition of a majority stake of Parts Authority.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP is the go-to firm for middle market transactions involving direct lenders, and is lauded throughout the market for its expertise in this space. Having recognized the importance of this rapidly developing market before many of its competitors, the group maintains close relationships with a number of large alternative lenders, including Ares and KKR. Firm chairman Steven Ellis works with a variety of funds, and co-leads the private credit practice alongside Stephen Boyko, who is the relationship partner for a number of key lender clients. Both split their time between the New York and Boston offices, while leveraged finance experts Justin Breen and Ron Franklin operate exclusively from New York.

Practice head(s):

Steven Ellis; Stephen Boyko; Justin Breen; Ron Franklin

Key clients

The Carlyle Group

KKR

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

Owl Rock

Apollo

Ares

NXT

Churchill

Work highlights

  • Represented KKR in a $520m senior secured credit facility in connection with P2 Energy.
  • Advised Ares on over 20 transactions.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP is one of the busier firms in the market, and is noted for its ability to collaborate with its overseas offices (particularly London) to assist private equity clients with cross-border financing deals. Though the group is more than capable of advising lenders, it is the borrower side of the market where the firm really shines. Stefanie Birkmann is one of the firm's key lawyers in this regard, and has been busy throughout 2020 helping consumer-focused businesses such as Samsonite navigate through the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Byung Choi is the name to note in Boston; he advises corporate borrowers from a wide variety of industries and co-leads the team alongside Birkmann. Contacts on the more junior end of the partnership include Kevin Jarboe and Alexander Zeltser, working from Boston and New York, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Stefanie Birkmann; Byung Choi

Other key lawyers:

Leonard Klingbaum; Andrea Hwang; Alyson Gal; Joanne De Silva; Kevin Jarboe; Alexander Zeltser

Testimonials

Highly efficient and customer centric focus. Deep bench of partner and non partner expertise. Breadth of expertise across traditional sponsor finance to distress and special situations. Ropes is the top firm I interact with across lending and finance, including bankruptcy finance.

Leonard Klingbaum, Max Silverstein, and Gregg Galardi are my go to counsel for every possible transaction. Each possesses deep expertise, creativity, and judgement as compared to most of their peers. They are extremely commercial with a great ability to provide advice in the context of legal contracts. Too many finance lawyers I work with operate in the black and white ends of legal contracts. Leonard, Max and Greg are exceptional at operating in the shades of grey where commercial decisions must take place.’

Key clients

Bain Capital

Charlesbank Capital Partners

TPG Capital

TSG Consumer Partners

Advent International

The Blackstone Group

Silver Lake Partners

New Mountain Capital

Berkshire Partners

CCMP Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Samsonite International S.A. on a $1.65bn refinancing of its term loan A facility revolving facilities.
  • Represented TSG Consumer Partners in its $1.2bn acquisition of a majority stake in Pathway Vet Alliance.
  • Advised Michaels Stores on its $375m 4.75% senior secured notes offering due 2027 and $1.67bn term loan financing to recapitalize its debt structure.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP is highly regarded in this space, utilizing its tax, regulatory and capital markets departments to provide a truly comprehensive service to clients in large-scale and complex financings. The firm is well placed to advise all parties involved in financing transactions, though its real expertise lies in advising lenders; the group has close relationships with Credit Suisse, Barclays and other banks. Most of the key team members are based in New York, including practice heads Maura O’Sullivan (who represents major banks in syndicated lending transactions) and Alan Rockwell. Having arrived from Allen & Overy LLP in November 2019 alongside Michael Chernick, Rockwell focuses on working with financial institutions on acquisition financings. The firm also saw some notable departures in 2020, with Joshua Thompson joining Sidley Austin LLP in April and Ronan Wicks retiring in December.

Practice head(s):

Maura O’Sullivan; Alan Rockwell

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Thompson; Michael Chernick; Gus Atiyah; Jonathan DeSantis

Testimonials

‘Shearman & Sterling has very broad practice areas and is particularly strong in M&A and cross-border issues.’

‘Strong team with solid legal advice business-minded and practical – strong drive to execution. They are responsive and able to work within tight timelines and make good recommendations on terms to enhance company position and negotiations’

‘Really enjoyed working with Michael Steinberg and Frank Oliver, who have been our primary lawyers on debt financings for the last 2 years. They both provide strong, practical advice, helping to identify issues, be aware of areas of negotiation or risk, and help us to achieve market or better-than market terms on our debt financings. They have good knowledge of market terms, and also have worked on enough deals to provide context on specific lenders and any relevant precedents. They are also extremely responsive, collaborative and execution-driven, and they align with the objectives and what we are trying to achieve with our financings, while hitting often-tight timelines. They also work well with the rest of our team, helping to educate on the more technical aspects of our debt financing in a way that is understood by a group of individuals who have not been as involved.

‘They have a strong offering of partners who can cover bank and bond and are generally trusted by lenders.’

‘Alan Rockwell and JD DeSantis. Both are always available and also very good at helping their client understand the commercial points clearly while not getting bogged down in the legal nuances.’

Key clients

Bank of America

Morgan Stanley

Citigroup

Credit Suisse

Goldman Sachs

Jefferies

JPMorgan Chase

Nomura Securities

Macquarie Capital

UBS

Deutsche Bank

Societe Generale

Toronto Dominion Bank

RBC

BNP Paribas

Truist

Work highlights

  • Advised Bank of America and certain other asset-based lenders on providing Macy’s Inventory Funding LLC with a $3.15bn asset-based inventory financing.
  • Advised Bank of America, N.A. as administrative agent and certain other lenders on a $1bn exit financing for NMG Holding Company, Inc.
  • Advised Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. on a $350m first lien incremental term loan facility and a $87.5m first lien incremental revolving facility for AI Aqua Merger Sub, Inc. and AI Aqua Zip Bidco Pty Ltd.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is one of the dominant players in the debt finance market; it is equally adept at advising leading banks on complex leveraged transactions as working with major private equity firms looking to finance acquisitions. On the lender side, the firm is known throughout the market for its relationship with JP Morgan, for which it handles a litany of transactions every year; in a recent highlight, William Sheehan acted for the client in relation to a $15bn senior unsecured revolving credit facility for General Electric Company. Much of the firm's borrower work involves advising private equity firms such as Blackstone on leveraged buyouts. Patrick Ryan leads the team, which operates almost entirely from the New York office and includes highly reputed partners such as Jennifer Hobbs, James Cross and Alexandra Kaplan. Matt Einbender is a name to note in Houston.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Ryan

Other key lawyers:

James Cross; Jennifer Hobbs; William Sheehan; Alexandra Kaplan; Alden Millard; Brian Steinhardt; Matt Einbinder

Key clients

Airbnb, Inc.

Aramark Corp

Avantor Performance Materials Holdings Inc.

Blackstone

BrightSpring Health Services

Cigna Corporation

Dillard’s, Inc.

EQT

Garda World Security Corporation

KKR

Mars, Incorporated

Patricia Industries

PetVet Care Centers Management LLC

Red Ventures LLC

Refinitiv

SBA Communications Corporation

SS&C Technologies Inc

The E.W. Scripps Company

Waystar

WW International Inc.

Yageo Corporation

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of Montreal

Citigroup

Crédit Agricole

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

JPMorgan

KeyBank National Association

Morgan Stanley

MUFG Union Bank

Royal Bank of Canada

Scotiabank

Société Générale

Toronto Dominion (Texas)

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Advised JPMorgan on a $15bn senior unsecured revolving credit facility for General Electric Company
  • Advising Hellman & Friedman and its portfolio company Polaris Parent Corp. on the financing related to the proposed $11bn merger of Polaris with Churchill Capital Corp III.
  • Advising Garda World Security Corporation on the committed debt financing related to its announced offer for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of G4S plc.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is active across the entire spectrum of debt finance matters, though it most highly regarded for its borrower-side work. The group frequently works alongside the firm's M&A and private equity teams to advise private equity sponsors on the financing of acquisitions, and also assists corporate borrowers with both leveraged and investment grade deals. Clients are able to consult leading lawyers at a number of the firm's US offices; global lead Seth Jacobson works from New York alongside Steven Messina, while Kristine Dunn runs the Los Angeles practice and has additional experience in real estate finance. From Chicago, Lynn McGovern operates a broad practice that includes debtor-in-possession financings and restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Seth Jacobson; Steven Messina; Kristine Dunn

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Teicher; Lynn McGovern

Work highlights

  • Advised Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd on a $2.2bn 364-day secured term loan facility.
  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank on a $275m secured term loan facility for a chemical company.
  • Advised Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated on a refinancing of its $630m senior secured credit facilities.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a solid reputation in the debt finance market, regularly acting on the borrower side of high-value transactions. John Estes, Neal McKnight, and Ari Blaut are contacts in the team.

Troutman Pepper

Troutman Pepper has a solid borrower-side practice, with experience in a variety of debt finance deals, including note issuances, private placements, acquisition financings and restructuring. Technology is one of the firm's core strengths; it works with companies at all stages of development looking to secure financing. Through 2020, the firm has been busy assisting companies with navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, which has included working on main street and CARES Act loans. The team is led from Atlanta by Harris Winsberg and Hazen Dempster, though it also has key practitioners in Washington DC, Raleigh and Philadelphia. Clients have singled out Lisa Kabnick in particular as a star performer in the Philadelphia office.

Practice head(s):

Harris Winsberg; Hazen Dempster

Other key lawyers:

Bradley Boericke; Ann Brown; Hazen Dempster; Lisa Kabnick

Testimonials

Lisa Kabnick is our primary contact at Troutman Pepper and she is our legal Fairy Godmother.

Act as a true and trusted partner, not transactional.’

Lisa Kabnick knows the resources which are available at the firm and she does an excellent job of matching our needs with their skill sets as well as their personalities.’

Troutman Pepper has an exceptional ability to mobilize quickly and adjust staffing dynamically at all times through the process. This yields an end result that is very thoughtful and efficiently developed, a strong value proposition. Troutman’s attorneys are universally pragmatic and are well trained to identify risks and gaps. For capabilities that are not readily available in-house, partners have a wide network of connections to outside firms whose work is integrated seamlessly. For matters with higher-than-average complexity, Troutman is my go-to firm, as I trust the quality of their work and the value of how they deliver it.’

Lisa Kabnick is a gifted attorney and businesswoman who understands trade-offs and never loses sight of the desired end state. She is tireless and cultivates great associates who allow her to tackle massive volumes of complex work.’

Key clients

Resolute Forest Products, Inc.

Baudax Bio, Inc.

AGCO Corporation

Truist Bank

Southern Company Gas

Israel Discount Bank of New York (IDB Bank)

Fifth Third Bank

CIBC Bank USA

Wells Fargo Trade Capital

Mangrove Equity Partner

Work highlights

  • Advised Genuine Parts Company on a $500m accounts receivables securitization.
  • Advised Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. on a $400m loan agreement.
  • Advised Vishay Precision Group, Inc. on a $75m credit agreement.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

With offices in Houston and Dallas, Vinson & Elkins LLP is well placed to advise on transactions in the energy sector; the group assists both lenders and borrowers on upstream, midstream and downstream transactions using a variety of structures. Outside of energy, the group has also been active working with borrowers looking to secure financing under the CARES Act in order to ensure liquidity through the Covid-19 pandemic. Brian Moss and Erec Winandy jointly lead the global finance group, acting for commercial banks, corporate borrowers and private equity firms. Contacts in the New York office include senior partners Brett Santoli and David Wicklund.

Practice head(s):

Brian Moss; Erec Winandy

Other key lawyers:

David Wicklund; Brett Santoli; Christopher Dewar; Guy Gribov

Testimonials

The team we use of Brian Moss, Guy Gribov and Caitlin Lawrence is extremely strong. They know the market, the document and what is important to us from a practical perspective. Guy Gribov, especially, is extremely impressive as to his knowledge of the document and how it applies to real world situations.’

Subject matter expertise, promptness and an ability to apply the document to situations that arise in our business.

Key clients

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Bank of America, N.A.

Texas Capital Bank

Mizuho Securities USA Inc.

Societe Generale

Morgan Stanley Capital Group

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company

Hilcorp Energy

Southwest Airlines

Talos Energy LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Blackstone Infrastructure Partners on an agreement to acquire 100% of the membership interests in TGE’s general partner.
  • Advised Southwest Airlines on several financings to keep the company in business a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Advised Hilcorp Energy on behalf of its subsidiary, BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. in a $2bn credit facility to acquire BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

The team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP showcases impressive breadth of service, acting for investment banks, private equity firms and corporate borrowers in all types of financings. Many of the largest investment banks, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, consult the firm for assistance in their capacity as arrangers, while the firm also aids a number of private equity firms with acquisition financing and dividend recapitalizations. The firm's focus on the borrower side is high-value investment-grade transactions. As a recent example, in 2020 the team worked with General Electric Company on a $15bn senior unsecured revolving credit facility. Based in New York, Daniel Dokos and Douglas Urquhart lead the practice group. Other key team members include Morgan Bale, who focuses on representing banks in cross-border acquisition financings, and Heather Viets, who in recent years has developed a strong reputation as a generalist finance lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Dokos; Doug Urquhart

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Colao; Benton Lewis; Morgan Bale; Heather Viets; Justin Lee

Testimonials

‘Responsive and agile – the team is able to digest and provide guidance and advice on complex structures and security issues efficiently and in a way that can be understood by the client. The way the team works drives better instructions and therefore superior outcomes more cost efficiently than their competitor firms.’

‘Doug Urquhart and Sabrina Lyon are technically excellent, accessible, responsive and highly engaged – you always feel like the only deal notwithstanding how busy they truly are.’

Key clients

Advent International Corporation

Deutsche Bank

Alaska Air Group, Inc.

Doncasters Group

American Securities

Forest City Enterprises, L.P.

Avolon Holdings Limited

Goldman Sachs

Berkshire Partners

J.Crew Group, Inc.

Briggs & Stratton Corporation

JP Morgan Chase

Brookfield Asset Management

Kayne Anderson

Campbell Soup Company

Lee Equity Partners

Cardtronics

Lindsay Goldberg

Ceridian HCM Holding Inc.

Morgan Stanley

Citi

Providence Equity Partners/Providence Strategic Growth

Cornell Capital

Thomas H. Lee Partners

Credit Suisse

Westinghouse Electric Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse on a $7.5bn committed bridge financing to support the merger of IFF and DuPont.
  • Advised Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC on a $3bn amended senior secured term facility to reprice existing indebtedness.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs on a $2.2bn first and second lien committed financing to support the  acquisition of Duff & Phelps LLC by Stone Point Capital and Further Global.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is notable for its breadth of expertise, with equal strengths advising large investment banks and direct lenders, and borrowers and funds. The global debt finance group is chaired by Eric Leicht, who has a very close relationship with key client Deutsche Bank, having worked with the client to develop innovative pricing models. Justin Wagstaff leads the global borrower practice, which primarily works with private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, though is more than capable of assisting other types of corporate borrowers. Though the team is spread across numerous offices, New York is the location of the largest practice and includes key names such as David Ridley and of counsel Joseph Furst. The department saw some departures in 2021, with former practice head Jake Mincemoyer joining Allen & Overy LLP, and Nicholas Palumbo moving to Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Practice head(s):

Eric Leicht; Justin Wagstaff

Other key lawyers:

Sherri Snelson; Eliza McDougall; Brenda Dieck; Joseph Furst

Testimonials

Extremely responsive, client friendly and knowledge group of lawyers that show high levels of engagement on particularly complex transactions.’

Working with W&C feels like much more than just a client-service relationship like I often feel with competitors. They go out of their way in terms of dedicating the time and creative thinking to make sure that their solutions and work quality have our best interests and mind. A firm that I feel much more comfortable with vs others in terms of knowing I am getting the right answer and document quality I can rely on. Key partners and associates are always available on a moment’s notice and have the knowledge to answer things immediately, and senior representatives at the firm are equally accessible and in the know on details.

Justin Wagstaff has been a true business partner at our Company, always going above and beyond in what we ask for. He has an ability to understand and explain complex matters in a way that allows management to make better decisions for our business. He takes the time to provide the right context and make sure we have a proper baseline of understanding before exploring optionality. His technical expertise is superior and is able to provide broader context regarding what is considered industry norms and how to apply past learnings to current topics/issues. Justin is timely in all requests and makes himself available to us as needed. We consider him an important part of our team.’

W&C team exemplifies the utmost in professionalism and expertise. Very thorough in their understanding of the subject matter and key issues. A solutions-oriented mindset to their approach, providing a framework for optionality and tradeoffs in a clear and concise fashion. Timeliness and quality in all deliverables. Always responsive and available for consultation and advice.’

David Ridley: Solution oriented, great knowledge of where the market is, quick turnaround times, flawless, fun to work with.’

Excellent responsiveness, turnaround times, solution oriented, large team with international presence, seamless to work with.’

Justin Wagstaff is fantastic – will work as hard as needed to get the job done, strong negotiator in a transaction and easy to work with.

Hands on approach, commercial, and strong customer service while always being available.’

Have worked with David Ridley a lot. Super responsive. Always available. Can handle challenging discussions with clients.’

Very well experienced partners. Good presence in US and Europe. Always up to date on market terms.’

Key clients

Deutsche Bank

Credit Suisse

Jefferies Finance LLC

Barclays

Morgan Stanley

Bank of America

Goldman Sachs

Truist Bank

Golub Capital

Owl Rock Capital

Alvogen Pharma US No

Brookfield Infrastructure Group No

IFM Investors

Entrepreneurial Equity Partners

Harvest Partners

Hess Corporation

Hertz Corporation

Pilot Travel Centers

Stone Point Capital

Swissport

Work highlights

  • Advised IFM Global Infrastructure Fund on a $2.25bn initial term loan and a $600m revolving credit facility.
  • Representated Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank AG in connection with the $2.61bn financing provided to Univision Communications.
  • Advised Harvest Partners on a $ 1.6bn financing in connection with the purchase, with TA Associates and GI Partners, of MRI Software.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Boasting significant development in recent years, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has developed a strong reputation in the debt finance market, particularly on the borrower side where it advises many of the largest private equity firms and their portfolio companies on leveraged deals, acquisition financing and restructuring. Evidence of the group's expertise in this area can be seen in its relationship with Insight Partners, which it advises on many complex financing issues. New York-based Viktor Okasmaa chairs the department and has developed strong relationships with many of the firm's key private equity clients.

Practice head(s):

Viktor Okasmaa

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey Goldfarb; Joshua Deason

Testimonials

‘Great focus on the client. Available 24/7 on short notice. Senior level attention to every deal. Consistency of team across assignments. Ability to translate complex concepts / legalese into practical business considerations. Commercial – focus on getting deals done efficiently.’

Key clients

Aquiline Capital Partners

Blackstone

Brinker Capital

CenturyLink

CIP Capital Partners

Citibank, N.A.

Court Square Capital Partners

Franchise Group

Genstar Capital

Hudson’s Bay Company

Insight Partners

Interpublic Group

Platinum Equity

The CapStreet Group

The Sterling Group

TigerRisk Partners LLC

T. Rowe Price

Work highlights

  • Advised Insight Partners on its acquisition of Veeam Software in a transaction valued at approximately $5bn.
  • Advised investment management company Brinker Capital on its merger with Orion Advisor Solutions.
  • Represented Platinum Equity in the financing associated with its $2.7bn acquisition of Cision Ltd.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP focuses on lender-side work, and handles an impressive variety of deal types for a number highly active financial institutions. Though capable in many areas, the group has particular expertise in middle-market leveraged cash-flow and asset-based lending transactions. The practice truly is a national one, with key partners operating from a number of major financial centers: William Brewer and Mats Carlston lead the New York team; Michael Mullins, Ronald Jacobson and Patrick Hardiman are based in Chicago; and Jason Bennett operates from Charlotte. The team also has a strong on-the-ground presence in Los Angeles and Texas.

Practice head(s):

William Brewer; Mats Carlston; Patrick Hardiman; Ronald Jacobson; Michael Mullins

Other key lawyers:

Charles Boehrer; Jason Bennett; Chip Gage; James Waters; Nick Gurguis

Testimonials

‘Chip Gage, James Waters, and Nick Gurguis are exceptionally talented. The best that I have worked with in my career. I would recommend them to anyone for any size financing. They offer unique insights, market leading perspective, and extremely fast turnaround times.’

‘Chip Gage is extremely cool under pressure, an intellectual giant, very personable and relatable, and almost always win the “jump ball” points in credit agreements. He is our firm’s only finance attorney, which speaks volumes, not only of our confidence in him, but also of his incredible bandwidth.’

Key clients

Antares Capital

Bank of Ireland

Barings LLC

BNP Paribas

Citibank, N.A.

Citizens Bank

First Eagle Alternative Credit

UBS AG

U.S. Bank, N.A.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Work highlights

  • Represented BMO Harris Bank N.A., as administrative agent, in connection with a $40m debtor-in-possession credit facility for High Ridge Brands Co.
  • Advised Multinational Industrial Business on a $350m revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank as administrative agent, for various lenders.
  • Represented Intuit Financing Inc. as seller and servicer of small business loans, in connection with its registration as a non-bank Small Business Association-approved lender for the Paycheck Protection Program.