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United States > M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Arnold & Porter is recommended for domestic and cross-border transactions, life sciences M&A and advice to private equity firms, and the team regularly works closely with the firm’s highly rated regulatory practices. The practice advised a special committee of the board of directors of American Realty Capital - Retail Centers of America on its merger agreement with American Finance Trust; and acted for longstanding private equity client American Securities in its acquisition of Mortgage Contracting Services, a national provider of outsourced solutions for mortgage services. Other key work included advising the parent company of longstanding client Cain Brothers & Company (CBC), a boutique healthcare-focused investment banking firm, on the sale of CBC to KeyBanc Capital Markets; assisting Carestream Health, an independent subsidiary of Canada’s Onex Corporation, with the sale of its digital dental imaging business to funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and CareCapital Advisors; and acting for private equity group EQT Mid Market US in its acquisition of Dorner Holding Corporation from Incline Equity Partners. San Francisco-based Edward Deibert, whose sector experience includes financial services, semiconductors, technology, consumer products and hospitality, and New York’s Derek Stoldt head the M&A practice; and the co-corporate and finance group chairs are New York-based Emanuel Cherney, who assists private equity firms and other buyers and sellers of public and private companies, and Washington DC’s Kevin Lavin, who is experienced in the government contracting and IT sectors. New York’s Stephen Koval and Washington DC-based Andrew Varner co-head the private equity practice; other key advisers include Steven Kaplan and Matthew Owens in Washington DC; and New York-based financial institutions M&A head Robert Azarow. Ronald Levine II, who has longstanding experience in corporate finance, private equity and M&A transactions, was hired in Denver from Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, while Joshua Berick joined Jones Day; and Hans Dyke moved to Bracewell LLP.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Following its 2017 merger with Gross Cutler Seiler Dupont LLC, Ballard Spahr LLP’s Colorado group expanded through incoming Boulder-based partners; the firm also recently merged with Minneapolis-based firm Lindquist & Vennum, extending its national footprint into the Midwest. The practice has deal experience in the life sciences, technology, aerospace, chemicals, manufacturing, and telecoms sectors. Other areas of strength include gaming, consumer products, retail, healthcare, financial services, waste management, and energy. M&A practice group leader Craig Circosta leads the Philadelphia team; he advised longstanding client Teleflex, a global provider of medical technologies, on its acquisition of CarTika Medical; and New York’s David Landau advised PVH Corp on its agreement to acquire online lingerie retailer True&Co. The team also assisted private equity firm Alliance Holdings with multiple matters, including an asset sale of one of its portfolio companies; and served as corporate counsel to Silver Bay Realty Trust, a Maryland corporation organized as a real estate investment trust, in Maryland corporation law matters regarding its sale to an affiliate of Tricon Capital Group. M&A and private equity investment transactions expert Karen McConnell heads the Phoenix team; Philadelphia-based Gregory Seltzer is co-practice leader of the emerging growth and private capital group; Brian Doerner is leader of the life sciences and technology group; and Michele Rowland, Damon Barry and Stephen Donelson are recommended Denver advisers. Amit Kakkar in Philadelphia is a key senior associate.

With a client base including public and private companies across a variety of industries, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP advises buyers, sellers, boards of directors and committees, as well as directors and officers, on M&A transactions, dispositions, joint ventures, spin-offs and other significant strategic transactions. The firm’s deal attorneys regularly work alongside its tax, antitrust, real estate, environmental, IP, and executive compensation and employee benefits practices. Department head William Hartnett, who advises public and private companies and commercial and investment banking firms, and M&A specialist Kimberly Petillo-Décossard advised on the $115m sale of its Fannie May Confections Brands’ business, including its subsidiaries Fannie May Confections and Harry London Candies, to Italy-based Ferrero International; and in the large deal market, John Schuster and Susanna Suh acted for Bermuda-based specialty insurance company Arch Capital Group in its $3.26bn acquisition of United Guaranty Corporation and AIG United Guaranty Insurance (Asia) from American International Group; while Michael Sherman led advice to The Empire District Electric Company on its sale to a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Other key deals included assisting Envigo International Holdings with its proposed merger with Avista Healthcare Public Acquisition Corp, and acting for clinical science-driven data services company MedAvante in its sale to WIRB-Copernicus Group, the world’s largest provider of regulatory and ethical review services for human research. Helene Banks has extensive experience practicing in the food, beverage, entertainment, media, healthcare, and insurance industries. All named advisers are based in New York.

Choate, Hall & Stewart’s ‘excellent, trustworthy team’ is highly rated for its advice to acquirers, targets, financing sources and investment bankers in public and private M&A, at both domestic and international level; and the firm fields lawyers with significant experience advising private equity firms on buyouts. The team’s sector expertise includes consumer products, financial services, healthcare and life sciences; other areas of strength include manufacturing, retail, and technology, media and telecoms. The department heads are Boston-based John Pitfield and the ‘brilliant and reliable’ Brian Goldstein; Pitfield advised alternative financing company Capital Resource Partners on its exit from Investment Metrics. He also acted for ABRY Partners through its portfolio company Oliver Street Dermatology Management in multiple purchases of dermatology practices in Texas, while Goldstein and Christian Atwood recently acted for growth capital private equity firm Leerink Transformation Partners in a number of investments, including in health technology company PatientPing and in San Diego-based T J Murphy led advice to Thinklogical Holdings on its $160m sale to Belden, an American manufacturer of networking, connectivity and cable products. Other notable deals included Sarah Camougis’s assistance to PRWireless, a Puerto Rico wireless operator doing business as Open Mobile, with its sale to Sprint; and Christopher Nelson’s advice to Southern Anesthesia & Surgical in its sale to healthcare products and services provider Henry Schein. The partners listed above are all based in the Boston office.

In early 2017, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP merged with British multinational law firm Eversheds LLP, creating Eversheds Sutherland, which expanded its corporate and M&A team in Atlanta with the addition of partner David Phillips, the former deputy general counsel and corporate secretary at Axiall. The practice, which is ‘business oriented, responsive, dedicated and time efficient’, has sector strength in timber, energy and natural resources, private equity, media and financial services (including fintech). Robert Pile and Brian Murphy in Atlanta advised payment technology solutions company First Data Corporation (FDC) on structuring issues and due diligence regarding its acquisition of CardConnect; practice head Wade Stribling and Michael Voynich advised USA Television, a portfolio company of MSouth Equity Partners, on its acquisition of several television stations; and Edward Kallal is ‘a very reliable, dedicated, responsive and competent counsel with high ethical standards’. Thomas Herman, Marc Rawls, Michael Gurion, David Zimmerman are also key Atlanta advisers. Additional highlights included advising Cox Media Group on its sale of the businesses of Cox Target Media, one of the largest direct marketing service providers in the US, to Platinum Equity; and assisting Atlanta-based mid-market private equity firm Argonne Capital with the sale of its portfolio company, Lube Stop, an Ohio-based operator of 51 quick oil change locations. Bert Adams in New York, and Washington DC-based William Dudzinsky Jr and Douglas Leary are also recommended.

Acting for US and foreign companies, Loeb & Loeb LLP is experienced in the purchase and sale of closely held businesses, and has particular expertise in the entertainment, media, technology, marketing and communications sectors. Its range of work includes negotiated transactions, corporate takeovers and proxy contests, going-private deals, and change-of-control transactions. The team acted for an international private equity firm and its subsidiary, Leadon Investment, in the acquisition of SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts, a portfolio of 25 upscale hotel properties across Canada, from British Columbia Investment Management Corporation. New York-based Mitchell Nussbaum - who led advice to recruitment services company GEE Group on its acquisition of SNI Holdco (and its wholly owned subsidiary SNI Companies) - and Los Angeles-based Arash Khalili are joint chairs of the capital markets and corporate practice. Lloyd Rothenberg in New York is deputy capital markets and corporate practice chair, and he acted for online advertising services company Rosebud Media in its acquisition of assets owned by New Media Investment group, including the Mail Tribune and Ashland Daily Tidings newspapers. Other key work included advising defense contractor OSI Systems on the $75.5m acquisition of a explosive trace detection business from Smiths Group; advising independent television producer Litton Entertainment (LE) on the sale of a majority ownership interest in LE to Hearst; and assisting New York-based data management and analytics consultancy Eccella with its sale of three separate entities to NGDATA, a multi-jurisdictional transaction involving IP, regulatory, securities and tax issues.

Acting for public and private companies, family-held businesses, financial institutions, private equity firms and hedge funds, Vedder Price’s ‘overall service level is excellent and its experience in middle-market M&A is unparalleled’. The practice covers M&A deals, tender and exchange offers, going-private deals, spin-offs and divestitures, LBOs, and asset-purchase transactions, and it is experienced in transactions of all sizes, from mid-market deals to large-cap transactions that exceed $20bn in value. The M&A and private equity transactions practices are also enhanced by the firm’s expertise in complex, regulated industries, such as financial services, healthcare, construction, gaming and aerospace. Finance and transactions group chair Michael Nemeroff acted for private equity firm L Squared Capital Partners and investment and Longview Asset Management in the recapitalization and acquisition of Oracle Elevator; he also advised The Edgewater Funds, a Chicago-based private equity firm, on the acquisition of Viskon-Aire Corp. Other notable deals included Adam Lewis advising Fluence Automation on the acquisition of substantially all the assets of Bell and Howell’s software and hardware solutions business for sorting mail; and Guy Snyder assisting solid waste services company Groot Industries with its sale to Canada-based Waste Connections. Snyder and Joseph Kye are ‘able to navigate the most complex legal and business issues, and crystallize things quickly and efficiently’. William Bettman, John Obiala and John McEnroe are also recommended. Scott Adamson is a key contact in Los Angeles and Shelby Parnes is a highly regarded associate. Attorneys listed are based in Chicago, unless otherwise stated.

A leading adviser to middle-market buyers and sellers both in the US and internationally, Venable LLP’s 80-plus M&A attorneys assist with virtually all types of transactions, including acquisitions, mergers, spin-off and carve-out transactions, minority interest acquisitions, and joint ventures. The firm also fields lawyers with expertise in tax structuring, transaction financing, IP, employee benefits and executive compensation, corporate finance and securities, and regulatory issues, and its sector experience includes IT, cybersecurity, digital media and big data, entertainment, and education technology. Other industry areas of note include financial services, healthcare, energy and government contracts. Recent matters include acting for Norwegian fishing and biotechnology company Aker BioMarine Antarctic in the purchase of the krill oil inventory, customer accounts and krill oil-related IP from Neptune Technologies & Bioressources for approximately $34m. It also assisted GenRock Investment Fund I and its affiliates with the acquisition of portfolios of Pizza Hut restaurants; and acted for longstanding client Merkle Group (MG) in its sale of a majority stake in MG to London-based Dentsu Aegis Network, part of Japan’s advertising conglomerate, Dentsu. Charles Morton Jr, who divides time between Washington DC and Baltimore, focuses on the healthcare, technology and consumer products industries; he chairs the corporate practice alongside Washington DC-based Robert Bolger Jr, who focuses on advising clients in the advertising, entertainment services and hospitality industries, and across traditional and emerging media. Morton recently advised a client that provides human and operational performance improvement solutions on its €28m sale. Los Angeles-based Christopher O’Brien’s clients include content producers and distributors, talent agencies, investors, and financing sources.

Akerman LLP’s national corporate practice group includes more than 70 lawyers who handle complex work on both the buy side and the sell side, and it stands out for middle-market private equity deals. Highlights included advising Trivest Partners, the oldest private equity firm in the US’ Southeast, on numerous transactions, including the purchaseof 3D printing technology company NovaCopy. Martin Burkett and Carl Roston are the M&A and private equity practice chairs; Roston acted for middle-market private equity firm Comvest Partners on the sale of its portfolio company, Groundlink/Limo Holdings, and its subsidiaries, the Groundlink and Limo Anywhere apps, to MTG Technologies. National corporate practice group leader Mary Carroll advises a diverse roster of companies and private equity funds operating in the healthcare, life sciences, aviation, restaurant and technology sectors; and Jonathan Awner is a nationally recognized attorney for purchases and sales of car dealerships across the US. Awner led advice to the US’ largest automotive retailer, AutoNation, on the sale of the Fox Chevrolet automobile dealership; and Teddy Klinghoffer specializes in M&A transactions and private equity investments, as well as corporate compliance and governance issues. Klinghoffer acted for Associated Grocers of Florida on its sale to publicly traded Supervalu; and Stephen Roddenberry has represented clients in hundreds of M&A deals, spin-offs and restructurings of private and public companies. In a $360m deal, he advised The Geo Group, a Florida-based real estate investment trust, on its acquisition of New Jersey-based Community Education Centers. Other highly rated advisers are David Birke and Paul Quinn, who divides his time between the West Palm Beach and Chicago offices. Attorneys listed are based in Miami unless otherwise stated.

Foley & Lardner LLP’s client base includes US and international public and private companies, investment banks, private equity and venture capital funds, special board committees and lenders, and its M&A practice ranges from small product-line acquisitions to large-scale business mergers. Recent work includes acting for Sun Life Financial in the acquisition of The Premier Dental Group, a Minnesota-based dental network; advising medical supplies manufacturer DermaRite Industries on its sale to Tailwind Capital; and assisting a manufacturer with its stock acquisition of a rigid plastics business that manufactures containers. Other key matters included advising US Pipe and Wynnchurch Capital, as primary deal counsel, in the sale of US Pipe to Forterra Building Products; and acting for Sanimax Energy in the sale of its bio-diesel plant and related business to Renewable Energy Group. Milwaukee-based Steven Barth jointly chairs the firm’s national transactional and securities practice, and has extensive experience in counseling mid-market and closely held firms, including many family businesses. Washington DC-based David Sanders is vice-chair of the business law department, and a substantial portion of his practice involves representing medical devices, health services and biopharmaceutical companies.

In April 2018, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP merged with Hunton & Williams LLP to form Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, a move which brought together two reputable middle-market M&A practices. The legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon group is highly rated for its advice to public and private companies, MLPs, REITs, financial advisers and private equity funds on complex M&A transactions. Houston-based Michael O’Leary advised Energy Transfer Partners on its acquisition of certain interests in PennTex Midstream Partners, including a rich natural gas gathering system, two cryogenic natural gas processing plants, and residue gas and natural gas liquid pipelines. Highlights for the Austin office included the team advising virtual reality video game developer Owlchemy Labs on its sale to Google; and acting for GPB Capital Holdings, a New York-based global asset management firm, in its acquisition of a division of NTT Data. In the large deal space, Houston-based Christopher Richardson and Hal Haltom Jr acted for Hilcorp San Juan in its acquisition of San Juan Basin oil and gas properties from ConocoPhillips. Other recommended Houston advisers are John Clutterbuck, Melinda Brunger, Henry Havre, Mark Young, Jordan Hirsch, firm-wide managing partner Robert Jewell and Ashley Burns Muehlberger. The legacy Hunton & Williams group includes M&A group co-heads Steven Haas in Richmond, whose practice includes change-of-control transactions, strategic acquisitions and divestitures; Washington DC-based Steven Patterson, who works with a variety of retail and consumer products companies; and Fernando Alonso, who splits his time between Miami and New York and has particular experience in the energy, infrastructure and telecoms sectors. Highlights included advising Bank of the Cascades, and its parent company Cascade Bancorp, in their sale to First Interstate BancSystem, and assisting Darden Restaurants with its $780m purchase of Texas-based restaurant chain Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Notable departures included David Buck, Jon Daly and Bill Cooper to Sidley Austin LLP; Mark Solomon, Peter Bogdanow, David Washburn, Victor Zanetti and Joseph Hoffman to Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP’s Dallas office; and Matthew Lyons, Carmelo Gordian, Alan Bickerstaff, Ted Gilman, Brian Dillavou and Russ Denton going to Shearman & Sterling LLP’s new Austin office.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is ‘superb in every respect’. The practice has particularly deep sector knowledge in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, sports, financial services and investment funds, and also fields lawyers with deal experience in education, manufacturing, transportation, media and technology, among other areas. Matthew Brown is ‘a superstar, who anticipates and solves every problem before anyone asks, and he has a clear understanding of business and legal strategies’; Brown acted for Edwin Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor in the high-profile bid for and successful purchase of the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader and Straight Dope from Wrapports. Team head Mark Grossmann, who divides time between the Chicago and New York offices, assisted Victory Park Capital Advisors with the acquisition of substantially all the assets of Katy Industries, a manufacturer, importer and distributor of commercial cleaning and consumer storage products. Other key matters for the group included advising Svoboda Capital Partners on separate transactions, including the sale of DataBank Holdings, a national provider of business process automation solutions, to Kyocera Document Solutions; and acting for Meta Financial Group in numerous acquisitions, including the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and specified liabilities of Specialty Consumer Services to expand its presence in the tax services space. Other recommended attorneys include Stephen Antion in Los Angeles, Century City’s Daniel Peters and Chicago-based Jeffrey Patt and Kimberly Smith. Mara Glaser McCahan is a key Washington DC contact; Russell Black is a notable Charlotte name; and New York-based Farzad Damania is also highly rated. In Dallas the team recently hired Mark Solomon, Peter Bogdanow, David Washburn and Victor Zarnetti from the legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP firm.

Highly regarded for middle-market M&A deals, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLPdelivers consistently outstanding service in terms of response times, resources brought to bear, and the quality of the legal advice’. The firm’s clients include start-ups, multinationals, public corporations, private equity and hedge funds, parties to joint venture arrangements, venture capitalists, and individual investors, and its lawyers routinely assist with representations and warranties insurance policies on behalf of buyers, sellers and insurance carriers. Ernest Wechsler led advice to BlackRock in several matters, including its pending acquisition of fintech firm Cachematrix and its pending strategic investment in Scalable, an Anglo-German digital investment manager. The department heads are Scott Rosenblum and Howard Spilko. Spilko acted for Stone Point Capital, which is part of an investor group that includes KKR, in a number of corporate transactions, including the sale of investment and wealth management firm SCS Capital to Focus Financial Partners, and the purchase of a majority stake in Focus Financial Partners. In other matters, Eitan Tabak advised Atlantic Street Capital and its portfolio companies on several corporate transactions, including its acquisition of Planet Fit Indy 10, an owner and operator of Planet Fitness gyms. Thomas Molner is ‘an outstanding lawyer and business adviser’; James Moriarty co-heads the firm’s alternative assets transactions and private M&A practice groups; and Scott Abramowitz is a key senior associate. All partners listed are in New York. Corporate and transactional partners Todd Lenson and Jordan Rosenbaum joined from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP regularly advises on M&A transactions in the firm’s key industries of technology, financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and consumer and retail. Recent highlights include serving as legal counsel to CU Bancorp in its sale to PacWest Bancorp; advising Valley Campus Pharmacy (d/b/a TNH Advanced Specialty Pharmacy) on its sale to Diplomat Pharmacy; and assisting with its $55m acquisition of Texas-based ShippingEasy. The team also advised international investment bank Houlihan Lokey on its acquisition of Black Stone IP; and acted for Dura Coat Products, a developer and manufacturer of construction and industrial paint coatings, in the sale of a majority stake to Axalta Coating Systems. Los Angeles-based Jordan Hamburger and Orange County’s Matthew O’Loughlin are co-chairs of the firm’s M&A practice, where they are supported in Los Angeles by chair of the business, finance and tax division, Ben Orlanski, as well as Gordon Bava, who is co-chair of the firm. Richard Maire Jr is another notable name in Los Angeles and Washington DC-based Douglas Boggs, Alan Noskow and Brian Ashin are also recommended. In New York, Aydin Caginalp is another highly rated adviser.

Adopting a highly pragmatic approach’, Nixon Peabody LLP’s team is ‘very capable of dealing with both small and large transactions, and adjusts to the complexity of deals’. The practice fields lawyers with sector expertise in healthcare, consumer products, manufacturing, technology and energy. In cross-border transactions, the team acted for BBA Aviation in the sale of its global aviation support business. It also acts as outside general counsel to Magnecomp Precision Technology Public Co (Magnecomp) and recently advised the client on its public acquisition of Hutchinson Technology, a global supplier of critical precision component technologies. In other matters, the practice acted for Constellation Brands, through its subsidiary Greenstar Canada Investment Limited Partnership, in its investment of approximately C$245m in Canopy Growth Corporation; acted for German pharmaceutical company Merck and its subsidiaries in several M&A transactions, including the acquisition of BioControl Systems; and advised The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England on the acquisition of several bottling and distribution facilities. Boston-based M&A and corporate transactions head David Martland is ‘a great business partner - he is a very realistic lawyer who outlines the risks of certain business decisions and takes responsibility for his decisions’; and Christopher Keefe, Gregory O’Shaughnessy and Haydon Keitner are also recommended Boston contacts. Other highly regarded practitioners include John Partigan in Washington DC; New York-based Daniel McAvoy; office managing partner Thomas Gaynor and cross-border corporate and real estate transactions expert Jinjian Huang in San Francisco; Rochester’s Lori Green; and Brian Krob in Chicago.

Over half of the deals that Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP’s M&A group handles are in the technology sector, particularly its hallmark of semiconductors. Other industries where the practice distinguishes itself are life sciences and healthcare, professional services, mining and energy. The team advised US-based pharmaceutical company Sentynl Therapeutics on its sale to Zydus Cadila; acted for casual game publisher MobilityWare in its acquisition of mobile game publisher Critical Hit Software; and assisted biotech company Celladon Corporation with its merger with Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, a privately held biopharmaceutical company that is focused on novel product candidates for the treatment of orphan diseases. Other key work included acting for industrial services company Terra Millennium Corp in its sale to Court Square Capital Partners; advising American semiconductor manufacturer Exar Corporation on its sale to MaxLinear for approximately $700m; and assisting provider of cloud contact center software inContact with its $940m sale to Israel-based NICE. The recommended names are Silicon Valley’s Jorge del Calvo; and North Virginia-based Craig Chason, Steven Kaplan, Matthew Swartz and Steven Meltzer.

Seward & Kissel LLP’s ‘team is extremely knowledgeable, available and responsive, and its lawyers represent great value for money’. Others praise the practice for being ‘very well aware of what is important and making sure the key points are captured in the process’. The practice is highly rated for its advice to investment management and shipping industry clients - and expanding its coverage within the financial services sector, the team has also handled multiple deals involving broker-dealers. Other areas of strength include complex middle-market transactions in the media and technology space. New York-based James Abbott and Nick Katsanos are ‘excellent, well-versed M&A attorneys, who are both extremely personable, which makes working with them very easy’. Abbott led advice to Borr Drilling in its acquisition from Transocean of its entire fleet of jack-up oil rigs; and Katsanos advised Scorpio Tankers, a provider of marine transportation of petroleum products, on its merger with Navig8 Product Tankers. The ‘amazingly responsive and attentiveCraig Sklar, who is ‘practical and focused on finding pragmatic solutions’, led advice to NewStar Financial in its acquisition of Fifth Street CLO Management, an affiliate of Fifth Street Asset Management, a publicly traded credit-focused asset management firm; Gerhard Anderson, who is ‘an excellent lawyer and tireless worker who excels in getting things done, and who always places his clients’ interests first’, assisted HNA Capital (US) Holding with its agreement to purchase, together with RON Transatlantic, a majority stake in global alternative investment firm Skybridge Capital; and Meir Grossman, who is ‘responsive and aware of clients’ overall issues’, handles a variety of M&A, private equity, venture capital, joint venture, and lift-out and seed capital deals.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP is ‘highly regarded for its deep knowledge of corporate law and M&A expertise; the firm’s associates are also knowledgeable and responsive to clients’ needs’. With a team of over 60 corporate M&A attorneys, the practice advises clients engaged on the full range of domestic and cross-border public and private transactions, including M&A deals and divestitures, going-private transactions, strategic alliances and joint ventures; and the M&A practice is supported by the firm’s leading labor and employment group. It also works closely alongside the global privacy and security team and M&A litigation team. Chicago-based national M&A chair Suzanne Saxman led advice to a healthcare solutions company on the acquisition of substantially all the assets of a clinical data management and clinical and statistical programing solutions provider. Steven Meier and Theodore Cornell III are also highly rated Chicago contacts, and in New York, vice-national M&A chair Andrew Lucano - who has significant experience in the communications industry advising cable operators and financial entities on the sale and purchase of cable systems throughout the US - and Stanley Bloch are ‘extremely knowledgeable and service oriented - they are true business partners with clients’. Other recommended names are Washington DC-based Robert Bodansky and Andrew Sherman; Ofer Lion and Douglas Mancino in Los Angeles; and Houston-based Paul Pryzant. In 2017, the firm opened a Hong Kong office, expanding its presence in Asia-Pacific.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLPdelivers exceptional service; the lawyers are all extremely knowledgeable and consistently deliver advice that is not only commercial, but that clients can trust’. The firm’s M&A attorneys handle deals throughout the US and overseas, on behalf of individuals, small privately held businesses, private equity firms, and multinational corporations. Representative work includes mergers, purchases and sales of stock and assets, MBOs, recapitalizations, and other corporate restructurings. M&A practice leader Will Chuchawat, who divides his time between Los Angeles and Shanghai, advised Mercury Systems on its $40.5m acquisition of Delta Microwave; and acted for Aerojet Rocketdyne in the acquisition of Coleman Aerospace. Los Angeles-based Lawrence Braun’s recent highlights include advising Windsor Fashions on the sale of a majority of its stock to Windsor Ultimate Holding and Sun Co-Invest Windsor; and acting for two operating companies, Karoun Dairies and Central Valley Cheese, and the affiliated owner of the Turlock facility, in their sale to Parmalat. David Sands, who splits his time between the firm’s Los Angeles, Orange County and Century City offices, advised Machinima on its sale to an affiliate of Warner Bros Entertainment, in an $85m reverse subsidiary merger, and acted for Prospect Mortgage in its sale to HomeBridge Financial Services; and Lucantonio Salvi is ‘an excellent lawyer who has a firm grasp of the subject matter and always approaches clients’ questions and issues with commercialism and practicality’. Salvi acted for Polaris Alpha, a portfolio company of Arlington Capital Partners, in the acquisition of Solidyn Solutions; and assisted private equity firm Riordan Lewis & Haden with the acquisition of an analytics and cybersecurity company. Jeryl Bowers and Linda Michaelson are the names to note in Century City. In May 2018, Eric Newsom joined the San Francisco from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Squire Patton Boggs’ highly regarded corporate M&A practice has a substantial presence nationally and regularly plays lead roles in significant M&A transactions in key industry sectors, including automotive, aviation, chemicals, financial and business services, food and beverages, and consumer brands. Cleveland-based Americas chair of the global corporate practice Daniel Berick was counsel to Meritor on the sale of a joint venture interest; Frank Placenti in Phoenix advised Cryogenic Industries on its sale to advanced technologies company Nikkiso Co; and Washington DC’s Abby Brown led advice to longstanding client Sterling Bancorp on its definitive merger agreement with Astoria Financial Corporation. Other key work included Stephen Mahon, who divides time between Cincinnati and New York, advising meat processor JBS USA Food Company on the acquisition of Plumrose USA; and New York’s Carolyn Buller assisting South Korea-headquartered SK Global Chemical Co with its $370m acquisition of Dow Chemical’s global ethylene acrylic acid business. San Francisco-based Nicholas Unkovic is a widely praised adviser.

Recent work for Sullivan & Worcester LLP, which has offices in Boston, New York and Washington DC, includes advising large public companies with active acquisition programs; assisting a nationally known buyout firm with M&A deals; acting for foreign enterprises expanding into the US; and assisting technology companies and family-owned businesses. The practice stands out for its assistance to some of the US’ largest public and private REITs on notable transactions. It acted for Iron Mountain, an American enterprise information management services company, in its $135m acquisition of MAG Datacenters, which operates Fortrust, a private data center business; and Carol Wolff led advice to Diversified Holding and two of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Community Broadcasting Service and Diversified Broadcasting, on the sale of two television stations. Other matters included acting for ChallengeME Esports, a provider of a sophisticated eSports matchmaking and tournament platform, in its acquisition of US-based platform provider eSports Hero; and advising The Paciello Group on its sale to VFO, a portfolio company of tech-focused private equity firm Vector Capital. Boston-based corporate and M&A head Lewis Segall and Benjamin Armour are highly rated attorneys.

Blank Rome LLP’s national M&A team has its core groups in New York and Philadelphia, with additional strength in Pittsburgh, Washington DC and Los Angeles, and it is experienced in public and private M&A, venture capital and private equity transactions. The team’s ‘level of service is very good and its lawyers are knowledgeable and responsive’, and it stands outs for its advice to fashion industry clients and its strong focus on digital media - including gaming, video, and internet and e-commerce companies. It also assists maritime and transport companies with transactions. Recent matters include acting for betting company Paddy Power Betfair in the acquisition of a US-based fantasy sports start-up; advising eGov Holdings, which trades as Aquilent, on its sale to government services company Booz Allen Hamilton; and acting for sensor technology manufacturer PCB Group in its $580m sale to MTS Systems. The names to note in Philadelphia are Alan Lieblich (who is particularly noted for his advice to clients in the manufacturing, insurance, technology and retail industries), Linsey Bozzelli and Louis Rappaport; and Brad Shiffman in New York is also noted.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP fields lawyers with expertise in strategic acquisitions and divestitures, cross-border transactions, corporate restructurings and reorganizations, and joint ventures. The practice acted for longstanding client Ixia, a publicly traded provider of testing, visibility and security solutions, in its $1.6bn sale to Keysight Technologies. It also assisted legal process outsourcing company Document Technologies with its acquisition of Epiq Systems; advised consumer packaging manufacturer Berry Global on the acquisition of AEP Industries; and acted for global specialty biopharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt in the strategic sale of its nuclear imaging business to IBA Molecular for approximately $690m. St Louis-based John Welge leads the firm’s transactions client service group; and Atlanta-based Rick Miller and Tara Newell in New York are also highly regarded. James Attonito in New York and Kristin Yemm in St Louis were made partners.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP’s corporate M&A practice fields lawyers with considerable experience handling sub-$500m transactions, particularly involving cross-border investments into the US. The team acted for personal care products manufacturer BWX in its acquisition of Mineral Fusion Natural Brands from North Castle Partners and other sellers; advised GAL Manufacturing Corporation and its affiliates on its sale to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund; and assisted Gordon Brothers Commercial & Industrial, and its subsidiary Carolina Pride Foods, with the purchase of substantially all the assets of Carolina Pride Foods. New York-based Lawrence Goodman is global M&A group head; and other recommended names include Evan Borenstein and Andrew Seiden, as well as Raymond Hum, who divides his time between Washington DC and New York, Valarie Hing, Jeffrey Ostrager and firm managing partner Matias Vega. Partners listed are in New York, except where otherwise stated.

Foley Hoag LLP has offices in Boston, New York, Paris and Washington DC, and the team is experienced in advising buyers and sellers as well as private equity and other deal sponsors, and excels in complex acquisitions and divestitures of technology and life science companies and assets. The team acted for the shareholders of Canadian-based Northern Harvest Sea Farms in its agreement to be sold to Marine Harvest, one of the largest seafood companies in the world. It also recently advised battery pack manufacturer Brammo on the sale of its assets to Indiana-based Cummins, which manufactures diesel and natural gas engines. Boston-based Alexander Aber and Joseph Basile are the M&A practice group co-chairs; and Peter Rosenblum is also highly rated.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP’s corporate and M&A, private equity and investment fund practice is enhanced by its capabilities in finance and tax, and it has sector experience in financial services, transportation, specialty chemicals, agriculture and natural resources. Other areas of note include telecoms, consumer brands, outsourcing, and healthcare. New York-based Jane Jablons is highly rated; and Chicago-based Timothy Lavender led advice to Cooke Aquaculture on its unsolicited bid to acquire Omega Protein. Other active clients include Lifeway Foods, Cognizant and Aegis Capital Corp. Andrew Pillsbury works with clients in financial services, consumer goods, software, telecoms, logistics and transportation, manufacturing and energy.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s corporate and M&A team recently advised US asphalt producer Oldcastle Materials on the acquisition of Mulzer Crushed Stone (and related entities), assisted Aaron’s, a provider of lease-purchase solutions, with the all-cash acquisition of substantially all the assets of its largest franchisee for $140m, and advised US telecoms provider American Tower Corporation on its $125m purchase of a portfolio of 1,400 Paraguayan wireless communications towers. In the large deal space, the team acted for building materials group CRH in its pending $3.5bn acquisition of Ash Grove Cement Company, and assisted CRH with the $2.63bn sale of its Americas Distribution division to Beacon Roofing Supply. Atlanta-based practice leader Richard Cicchillo Jr is ‘very experienced’; Raleigh-based Thomas Steed III is also highly rated; and Carole Bellis and David Eaton are notable Silicon Valley contacts. Washington DC-based Gary Bronstein and Atlanta-based Thomas Kesler are also widely praised.

McGuireWoods LLP’s lawyers have significant experience in all types of private equity transactions, including LBOs, roll-ups, minority and junior capital investments, going-private transactions, independent sponsor transactions, and purchases of troubled companies. The practice also regularly assists with deals involving the energy, real estate and healthcare sectors. In other areas, Charlotte’s Chris Scheurer advised Park Sterling Corporation, the holding company for the Park Sterling Bank, in a stock-for-stock merger with South State Corporation; and Pittsburgh-based Scott Westwood, who is global head of the firm’s M&A and cross-border transactions department, advised digital imaging products provider Teledyne Technologies on its acquisition of UK-based e2v technologies. A multi-practice team also assisted the special committee of the board of directors of Constellation Healthcare Technologies, a consolidator of billing businesses used by doctors in the US, with its $309m going-private sale to its founder Paul Parmar and private investment firm CC Capital. Chicago-based Geoffrey Cockrell is co-private equity chair; Richmond-based Joanne Katsantonis chairs the energy industry practice; and James Anderson III is also a key adviser. Other notable Charlotte attorneys include David Whelpley Jr, who chairs the M&A, energy and private equity transactions department, and H Ramsey White III.

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP stands out for its experience in the metals and mining space, where it regularly works alongside leading Canadian firms on significant deals. The practice acted as US legal counsel to Vancouver-headquartered gold production company Goldcorp in its high-profile acquisition of Exeter Resource Corporation, the owner of the Chilean Caspiche project, a potentially high-tonnage, long-life mining asset; and assisted, as US legal counsel, Canada-listed Sandstorm Gold, with its share and cash acquisition of Mariana Resources, the Turkey-focused mining exploration specialist. In other areas, the practice advised longstanding Swedish client NIBE Industrier, a worldwide heat pump and climate solutions provider, in its purchase of The Climate Control Group, a US manufacturer of HVAC solutions for commercial and residential applications in North America. Corporate and securities chair David Stone, John Koenigsknecht, Michael Gray, Cristina DeMento and Joshua Klein are all recommended. All partners named above are in Chicago.

Perkins Coie LLP’s practice fields over 100 M&A attorneys who act for public and private companies and investors in domestic and cross-border M&A deals, joint ventures, carve-outs, spin-offs, and growth equity investments. The team advised Boeing on its acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences, assisted Onvia, a provider of sales intelligence and acceleration technologies, with its sale to software and information solutions provider Deltek, and advised Potlatch Corporation, a real estate investment trust with approximately 1.4m acres of timberland in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota and Mississippi, on its all-stock definitive merger agreement with Deltic Timber Corporation. Denver-based firm-wide M&A practice chair Jeff Beuche has substantial experience with transactions in the technology, software, agricultural products, telecoms and healthcare services industries. Seattle-based Nicholas Ferrer and Gina Eiben in Portland are also key contacts.

Schiff Hardin LLP’s ‘experienced lawyers deliver a very strong service at a reasonable cost and are practical, efficient and responsive’. The practice covers the entire M&A spectrum, including private and public company mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; majority and minority equity investments; MBOs and LBOs; and joint ventures and strategic alliances. It acted for Fortune 500 company Newell Brands in several matters, including its acquisition of Smith Mountain Industries, a candle maker that sells under the WoodWick candle brand. The team also advised Altaris Capital Partners, a healthcare-focused private equity firm, on its sale of CSafe Global to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners; and assisted Consolidated Communications Holdings, the ninth-largest fiber provider in the US, with the sale of its subsidiary Consolidated Communications of Iowa Company. The key contacts are team head Stephen Dragich, Steve Isaacs and Alexander Young. Other notable advisers are David McHugh, Matthew Galo and Jason Zgliniec. All partners listed above are in Chicago.

Thompson Hine LLP’s corporate practice has close to 100 attorneys, over half of whom regularly work on M&A transactions, including both domestic and cross-border deals. Cincinnati-based corporate transactions and securities practice group leader Frank Chaiken and Todd Schild recently led three acquisitions for packaging company Pro Mach, including its acquisition of Canadian company, Jalbert Automatisation; and Cleveland’s Tony Kuhel led advice to The Home Depot in its $265m purchase of Compact Power Equipment, a national provider of equipment rental and maintenance services. The team also advised American biotechnology company Intrexon in its definitive merger agreement to acquire gene therapy company GenVec, while large deal highlights included acting for American Entertainment Properties and AEP Rail, which are subsidiaries of Icahn Enterprises, in an agreement to sell the membership interests of American Railcar Leasing to SMBC Rail Services, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, for $2.8bn. Other key advisers include New York-based Garrett Evers, David Neuhardt in Dayton, Cincinnati’s John Cottingham, Thomas Aldrich in Cleveland, and Columbus-based Jim Balthaser.

Thompson & Knight LLPdelivers top-of-the-line work and its excellent lawyers are timely and professional’. The practice has significant expertise in assisting clients in the oil and gas industry, particularly those with a focus on upstream and midstream activities, and its experience includes advising businesses and investors on M&A deals and dispositions, earnouts and LBOs. The team advised Endurance Resources on the sale of the majority of its Delaware Basin assets, held in two separate entities, to two separate buyers; and in non-energy matters, it acted for Anderson Media Corporation in its acquisition of a majority interest in media company BASS Productions. In large deals, the practice acted for Silver Hill Energy Partners in its sale to RSP Permian, and advised the conflicts committee of the general partner of American Midstream Partners on its merger with JP Energy Partners. In Dallas, corporate and securities practice leader Wesley Williams, Joe Dannenmaier, Steven Bartz and of counsel Fred Fulton, who ‘has an excellent business sense and handles a wide range of subjects’, are all highly regarded practitioners, as is Houston’s Michael Pierce.

With a client base ranging from mid-market private businesses to Fortune 500 companies, Arent Fox LLP’s ‘great value-for-money practice is very responsive and offers business-minded, practical advice’. Moreover, ‘its lawyers understand deals and find creative solutions to problems, and the firm’s senior associates are top-notch and completely trusted’. The team stands out for its expertise in deals involving hospitality, consumer products, restaurants, retail and real estate, and the ‘extremely effective’ Jay Halpern, who ‘understands both business and the nuances of negotiation’, advised Tupperware Brands Corporation on an array of corporate and commercial matters, including the potential sale and ultimate wind-down of its BeautiControl business. Corporate and securities group head Steven Cohen advises clients in the technology, media, sports, real estate, hospitality and healthcare sectors; Richard Gale’s transactional work crosses a broad spectrum of industries, including healthcare, technology, manufacturing, real estate and alcoholic beverages; and Amal Dave is ‘a terrific associate’. All named advisers are in Washington DC.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP’s corporate and business transactions practice has experience advising companies on transactions across the US and around the world. Recent matters include a multi-disciplinary, cross-office acting for the owners of performance art company Blue Man Group (BMG) in the sale of BMG to Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil; assisting Expedia and its subsidiary with the acquisition of GoConcierge, a software-as-a-service business that helps high-end hotel clients run and track concierge activities; and advising a fast-casual restaurant group on its majority interest sale to a private equity fund. Seattle-based Matthew LeMaster is the M&A group chair, and Sean McCann has extensive experience advising clients in the manufacturing, distribution, food and beverage, real estate, and professional services industries. Sarah Tune, who divides her time between Seattle and New York, is particularly focused on the food and beverage and restaurant industries.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP acts as counsel to public and private companies, financial sponsors, private equity firms and investment banks in M&A deals, divestitures, corporate restructurings, strategic partnerships, cross-border transactions, auctions, and takeover defense matters. The team acted for Greater Talent Network in its sale to United Talent Agency, and served as special US counsel to mining company Chaparral Gold on its sale to a Toronto-based private equity firm focused on developing precious and base metals projects. Minneapolis-based Jonathan Van Horn’s experience includes negotiated business combinations and contested acquisition transactions; and Timothy Hearn is particularly noted for his work with micro- and small-cap public companies. New York’s Eric Rytter chairs the firm’s private equity practice group; and Kevin Maler in Minnesota assists buyers and sellers in a variety of divestitures, asset purchases, stock purchases and mergers. In Utah, a significant amount of Layne Smith’s experience involves advising operating companies and investors in the healthcare and technology industries. New York-based Scott Desmond as well as Minnesota-based Robert Rosenbaum and William Jonason are also key contacts.

Exceptionally good to work with’, Duane Morris LLP’s experience includes assisting both mature and early-stage companies with negotiated acquisitions and divestitures, hostile acquisitions, and takeover defense. Kirk Domescik in Atlanta led advice to Unified Capital in its acquisition of a majority equity stake in Brightlink Communications. The team also acted for Donegal Mutual Insurance Company in the merger with Mountain States Mutual Casualty Company, and advised Hill International on the divestiture of its construction claims business through a sale of a combination of stock and assets to British private equity buyer Bridgepoint Development Capital. It also assisted Naked Brand Group, a fashion and lifestyle brand, with its merger with privately held lingerie and swimwear brand Bendon. Chicago-based team head Brian Kerwin has extensive experience representing business entities, lenders, private equity funds and entrepreneurs in various business transactions.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. handles a wide array of transactions for clients ranging from private equity firms and closely held corporations to large financial institutions and Fortune 500 public companies. The team’s scope of work includes private equity deals, strategic acquisitions and divestitures, LBOs and hostile takeovers, as well as proxy contests, tender offers, spin-offs, and going-private transactions. Recent work includes acting for FleetPride, the largest provider of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts in the US, in the purchase of Truck Parts & Equipment; advising Cook Children’s Health Care System on its acquisition of Child Study Center; and assisting Aspect Security, a consulting firm focusing on application security, with the sale of its business assets to Ernst & Young US. Dallas-based Tom Harris acts for buyers and sellers in public and private sale-of-business transactions, and Janice Sharry has particular experience in the energy, aviation, healthcare and food industries. Ricardo Garcia-Moreno, who has over 22 years of experience representing US, European and Latin American clients in domestic and international transactions, and George Gonzalez, who has deal experience in the energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, healthcare and technology sectors, divide their time between Houston and Mexico City.

Holland & Knight LLP’s M&A practice advises clients on transaction structuring and negotiation, due diligence, SEC matters, and corporate governance issues. Recent highlights include acting for Palm Beach Community Bank in its sale to Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida, and advising Royce Carlton, a New York-based independent speakers’ bureau, on its sale of a majority interest to ICM Partners, one of the world’s largest talent and literary agencies. In other matters, the practice advised Texas-based EZCorp, a provider of pawn loans in the US and Mexico, on its acquisition of GuatePrenda MaxiEfectivo; and assisted Carlyle Infrastructure Partners with the sale of intermodal terminal operator ITS ConGlobal. Leighton Yates Jr in Orlando and Stamford’s Martin Clarke are the names to note.

Irell & Manella LLP fields lawyers with experience advising companies in the technology, media and entertainment, computer hardware and software, communications, and cable sectors. The practice also has deal expertise in healthcare, biosciences, retail, manufacturing, energy, gaming, real estate development and finance. Highlights included acting for Angiotech Pharmaceuticals in its sale to a group of investors led by Vivo Capital and China-based ZQ Capital, and assisting Britt Private Capital and Jupiter Investors with their acquisition of Oakland-based Mountain Mike’s Pizza. The team also acted for Genstar Capital in its acquisition of enterprise software provider PDI, and advised Genstar Capital and Warburg Pincus portfolio company ConstructConnect, a provider of cloud-based services to the construction industry, on its approximately $632m sale to public company Roper Technologies. Los Angeles-based Gregory Klein has acted for clients such as Genstar Capital, Angeles Equity Partners, Platinum Equity, US Renewables Group, and Beach Point Capital. Joshua Grode left the firm to become CEO of film and television production company Legendary Entertainment.

Lowenstein Sandler LLP’s M&A practice group advises major corporations and private equity sponsors on a broad range of strategic acquisitions and dispositions, and also acts as US counsel alongside non-US law firms in cross-border M&A transactions. Recent experience includes acting for The Estée Lauder Companies in its acquisition of makeup brand Too Faced, assisting Diligent Corporation, a provider of secure online document sharing, with its sale to Insight Venture Partners, and advising BASF Corporation on its acquisition of Zed X, a developer of digital agricultural intelligence. New York-based M&A chair Marita Makinen’s deals frequently involve highly complex capital structures, intricate management incentives, talent retention issues, and the protection of IP; corporate department chair Peter Ehrenberg’s representative experience includes acting for an independent owner, operator and developer of utility-scale solar assets in the US, in its sale; and private equity chair Steven Siesser acts for investors, target companies and intermediaries, such as investment banks and high-net-worth individuals.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. is highly regarded for its middle-market expertise and the practice is particularly focused on emerging and regulated industries, such as communications, digital media, energy and cleantech, as well as healthcare, life sciences and technology. The client base includes buyers, sellers and private equity and venture capital firms and their portfolio companies, as well as boards of directors, financial advisers and management teams. The team acted for Workterra, an innovator in cloud-based benefits administration and talent management, in its sale to CareerBuilder. Dean Zioze chairs the firm’s M&A practice; Zioze’s experience includes strategic acquisitions and divestitures, including private equity transactions, MBOs, cross-border deals, distressed sales, and carve-out transactions. Michael Fantozzi also has extensive M&A experience. Other key contacts include Matthew Gardella, who has served as counsel for clients involved in the retail, technology, life sciences, and media and telecoms sectors, and Marc Mantell, who focuses primarily on companies engaged in the technology ecosystem. New York-based Charlotte Edelman is also a key contact. Named attorneys are based in Boston, except where otherwise stated.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP’s M&A team fields over 70 attorneys, who regularly advise clients on both buy-side and sell-side M&A transactions. Atlanta-based Rhys Wilson’s experience includes advising on the sale of a luxury resort to a private equity group; and Phillip Cooper acts for public and private companies in the financial services, insurance, staffing and energy sectors, as well as for manufacturing, technology, and sports and entertainment clients. Other key contacts include managing partner of the firm’s Atlanta office, Michael Hollingsworth II, and Gus Dixon in Columbia.

Pryor Cashman LLP regularly advises on deals involving the energy, software, technology and advertising sectors. The practice also has transactional experience in the apparel, medical supplies and life sciences industries. Richard Frazer led advice to music mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons, a longstanding client, on the sale of prepaid debit card company UniRush to Green Dot Corporation. Other matters included assisting Asian supermarket chain NYM Holding with its merger into iFresh (a SPAC), and advising Marina Biotech on the acquisition of hypertension treatment Prestalia® from Symplmed Pharmaceuticals. John Crowe leads the firm’s M&A and private equity practice and is also a member of the banking and finance, media and entertainment, and investment management groups; and Stephen Goodman heads the life sciences and technology practices. All named partners are based in the New York office.

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is highly rated for its assistance to buyers and sellers in public and private strategic transactions, as well as for financial sponsor deals. The practice includes government contractor and healthcare M&A deals, and the team recently acted for CenseoHealth in its sale to New Mountain Capital. It also advised Nashville-based logistics company Tennessee Steel Haulers on its sale to Daseke. On the buy side, the team assisted Gen Cap America, a private investment firm specializing in acquisitions and recapitalizations of middle-market businesses, with its acquisition of The Bargain Barn, which operates as United Grocery Outlet and GO Grocery Outlet. The key contacts are Washington DC-based chair of the firm’s government contracts practice, Todd Overman, who advises companies on the issues involved in doing business with the federal government, and Nashville-based Riney Green, who has extensive experience in advising both private-equity backed and publicly traded companies in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, commercial real estate and financial services.

Brown Rudnick LLP has particular experience in specialized industries, including technology, healthcare, energy and government services. Recent work includes acting for transnational pharmaceutical company Lupin in its acquisition of privately held Symbiomix Therapeutics, which brings to market innovative therapies for gynecologic infections, and advising an Albuquerque-based biotech company that develops and markets blood diagnostic devices on its cross-border sale to a British firm. Boston-based Samuel Williams is the firm’s corporate and capital markets managing director; Williams advises public and private corporations in a variety of areas, including businesses in the IT, semiconductor, communications and other high-tech sectors.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP’s M&A group attorneys have extensive experience advising private and public companies in various transactions, including LBOs, and asset and equity acquisitions and dispositions, as well as extensive experience in transactions involving corporate restructurings and/or distressed situations. Denver-based online gaming industry specialist Elizabeth Paulsen has acted in a number of transactions in the renewable energy space; and Gino Maurelli regularly acts as lead partner or primary transaction attorney in upper and lower middle-market transactions.

Dickinson Wright PLLC advises on deals in a range of industry sectors, including financial services, media, sports, real estate, automotive and consumer products, and has a growing specialism in deals involving Japan and China. Notable matters included acting for an acquisition entity formed by Vinnie Johnson (the owner of Piston Automotive) in its acquisition of Irvin Automotive, a subsidiary of Japan-based Takata Corporation, and assisting Manufacturers Supply Co with the sale of all its assets to North America’s largest fastener distributor, Fastenal. Columbus-based Scot Crow was recently promoted to practice manager. Other highly rated advisers include Michigan-based Richard Bolton and Mark High.

At Ohio-headquartered law firm Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, the team handles stock and asset purchases, as well as mergers and consolidations. Its representative experience includes advising community banks and large financial institutions on M&A deals, including assisting a large publicly held bank holding company with its acquisition of a mutual savings bank in a simultaneous mutual-to-stock conversion and stock-for-stock merger. The team also acted for a publicly held company in the sale of a portfolio business in a cash-for-assets transaction with a principal competitor, and assisted an owner with the sale of two nonprofit nursing homes. Cincinnati-based John Barnes heads the M&A practice and has recently been focused on transactions in the healthcare industry; and corporate department chair Susan Zaunbrecher’s clients include Peoples Bancorp, United Bancshares, Lexmark International and Chemed Corporation.

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP is highly regarded for its assistance to acquirers, sellers and private equity firms with mergers, stock and asset acquisitions, tender offers, joint ventures, LBOs, and spin-offs. The team’s recent experience includes advising a publicly traded food and beverage manufacturer on its acquisition of a national direct-to-consumer provider of bottled water, office coffee and water filtration services; and acting for a protection solutions company in the acquisition of a provider of single-use gloves. The names to note are Princeton-based John Stoddard III, and Douglas Raymond and David Denious in Philadelphia.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. is recommended for its significant healthcare M&A practice, which comprises over 50 healthcare M&A lawyers, who regularly structure and negotiate complex business transactions for healthcare companies. The team also works with venture capital and private equity funds in relation to health-related targets. It acted for Colorado-based Envision Healthcare Holdings in its merger with Nashville-based AmSurg, which resulted in the formation of one of the nation’s largest provider organizations, and regularly assists Richmond University Medical Center with transactional matters. The practice’s recommended advisers are team head Mark Lutes, Steven Epstein, Douglas Hastings, Katherine Lofft and Joseph Lynch in Washington DC; New York-based Jeffrey Becker and John Gleason; Chicago-based Amy Dow and Kevin Ryan; and Gary Herschman in Newark.

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP’s M&A attorneys handle a variety of mergers, equity and asset acquisitions and dispositions, LBOs and joint ventures in a range of industries, including energy, transportation and healthcare. Recent work includes advising Dallas-based Frog Street Press, which creates early childhood educational resources, on its sale to Excelligence Learning Corporation. The corporate chairs are Houston-based Daniel Cohen, whose practice includes M&A deals throughout the US in the transit operator sector, and Michael Newman in Dallas, who serves as outside general counsel to over 75 US and foreign companies and investors seeking business opportunities in Texas and Mexico.

Holland & Hart LLP’s experience includes strategic acquisitions and dispositions, private equity transactions, auction processes, roll-up transactions and LBOs. The practice acted for cybersecurity firm Optiv Security in its recent acquisition of big data company Decision Lab, and assisted the same client with its recent acquisition of Toronto-based security and networking solutions provider Conexsys. It also advised Canada-based mining and exploration company Centerra Gold on its plan of arrangement to acquire Denver-based Thompson Creek Metals. Denver’s Chris Groll, who leads the firm’s M&A practice, advises individuals and companies in industries such as cement and construction, food and beverage, software and internet, consumer products, professional services, and manufacturing.

Midwest firm Husch Blackwell LLP has significant inbound and outbound M&A experience on major transactions. The team acted for King Juice Company in the sale of its business to private equity firm Mason Wells, and advised Marshfield Clinic Health Systems on the $325m purchase of St Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Wisconsin. In the upper middle-market space, the group assisted Canada-based Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp with its $608m agreement to purchase a 25% equity interest in renewable energy and power generation owner and operator Atlantica Yield from Abengoa, and acted for AMC Entertainment Holdings in its $929m acquisition of Nordic Cinema Group Holding, which operates 68 theaters across northern Europe, from private equity firm Bridgepoint and Sweden-based media group Bonnier Holding. Eric Lenzen in Milwaukee is the practice head.

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP’s M&A and corporate practice group is well known for its technology sector experience in the sub-$500m market. David Calhoun, who is chair of the firm’s private equity and M&A practice, led advice to the management team of Epicor, which provides enterprise resource planning, when Epicor was sold by equity fund Apax to KKR for $3.2bn. The team also advised UK-based multinational Sage Software on the $260m acquisition of its automated clearing house business, Sage Payment Solutions. In other matters, the practice assisted Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest third-party hotel management company, with its $307m sale to private equity group Kohlberg & Companies. Ward Bondurant is ‘a responsive and pragmatic M&A partner, who is truly an extension of his clients - he takes the time to understand their business and people’. Both partners mentioned are in Atlanta.

Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLPhas great lawyers and is fantastic for its responsiveness and depth of knowledge of Delaware corporate law’. The commercial law counseling group acts for a number of leading private equity, hedge and mutual funds, and frequently advises clients in the oil and gas and MLP space; and the Delaware corporate law group assists with complex corporate transactions and corporate governance issues in Delaware. The team served as Delaware counsel to a special committee of the board of SeaWorld Entertainment (SWE) regarding its sale of Blackstone Group’s stake in SWE to China’s Zhonghong Zhuoye Group Co. In large deals, the team acted as Delaware counsel in longstanding client Bayer’s proposed acquisition of seed producer Monsanto Co; the merger would create one of the world’s largest agrochemical companies. David Harris and Louis Hering are highly rated commercial law experts.

The corporate group of California law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson specializes in advising buyers and sellers on M&A transactions and privately negotiated investments. On the buy side, the practice is highly rated for its assistance to private equity firms, financial sponsors and strategic investors with their acquisitions of both minority stakes and multibillion-dollar businesses. On the sell side, it advises companies, boards, special committees and shareholders on achieving their exit goals. The team recently acted for Berkshire Hathaway in its acquisition of a minority stake in Pilot Travel Centers, doing business as Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America. The recommended names are Los Angeles-based Mary Ann Todd, Robert Denham and Justin Hellman.

Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A. is recommended for its role as Delaware counsel in significant M&A deals. Recent examples include its advice to cloud, messaging and digital products provider Synchronoss regarding its acquisition of Intralinks Holdings, and its assistance to Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, with its acquisition of MoneyGram International. Large deal highlights included acting for Microsoft Corp in its acquisition of LinkedIn Corp. William Haubert is team leader; and John Mark Zeberkiewicz, Stephen Bigler and Mark Gentile are also highly rated advisers.

Robinson & Cole LLP’s clients range from technology start-ups to multinational corporations, and a significant part of its work involves cross-border transactions. The team’s scope of work includes assisting public and private companies with acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, LBOs, and going-private deals. Business transactions chair Eric Kogan, who divides his time between Stamford and New York, counsels clients in various industries, including digital media, retail and luxury consumer goods, manufacturing, and technology and software. Kogan has assisted The Nielsen Company, a global information and data company, with several transactions, including its acquisition of marketing intelligence company Visual IQ.

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP is particularly focused on deals in the insurance brokerage and environmental services industries, as well as on cross-border transactions. The M&A attorneys also assist longstanding firm clients in the technology, retail and consumer goods sectors. The team acted for Ryan Insurance Financial Services in the sale of substantially all of its assets to Baldwin Risk Partners, which included complex employment issues regarding restrictive covenants and termination issues. Megan Harmon in Pittsburgh, who acts for family businesses, start-ups and publicly and privately held organizations in business transactions, and Sarah Hewitt, who splits her time between the New York and Philadelphia offices, are the M&A group chairs; and Christian Moretti in New York is noted for his advice to funds and strategic buyers, particularly Italian- and French-owned entities, on cross-border M&A transactions.

Founded in California, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauthdelivers excellent service levels for good value for money, and responses are always timely; the team also has great business acumen, providing broad advice that takes into account business considerations’. It recently acted for tech company ScanSource in its acquisition of payment services company POS Portal, and advised craft brewery Wicked Weed Brewing on its sale to Belgium-headquartered brewing company, Anheuser-Busch. The practice also stands out for its medical device industry expertise. The Newport Beach-based co-chairs of the corporate and securities practice group are Christopher Ivey, who has ‘outstanding business acumen and considers transactions holistically’, and Mark Skaist, who is also an experienced adviser. The ‘excellent’ Ryan Azlein divides his time between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP focuses on complex middle-market M&A transactions. In recent work, the team has advised AMETEK, a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, in numerous strategic acquisitions, including its $182m all-cash acquisition of laboratory analytics provider MOCON, and acted for Carnegie Fabrics, a family-owned provider of sustainable textiles and wall coverings, in its sale of a majority stake to private equity firm Calera Capital. It also assisted The Ultimate Software Group, a provider of cloud-based capital management solutions, with its acquisition of San Francisco-based technology company Kanjoya. Former corporate department head Todd Lenson and Jordan Rosenbaum exited for Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, which led to Christopher Doyle and Jeffrey Lowenthal becoming chairs of the firm’s corporate group. Bradley Kulman and Matthew Schwartz are also key contacts. All partners named are based in New York.

Troutman Sanders advises sellers, purchasers, target companies, special committees and financial advisers on domestic and cross-border transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures and other strategic alliances. Recent work includes advising Union Bankshares Corporation, the bank holding company for Union Bank & Trust, on the acquisition of Xenith Bankshares in an all-stock transaction, and acting for network communications and technology company Windstream Holdings in a merger agreement to acquire Broadview Networks Holdings. Atlanta-based corporate department chair Andrea Farley’s representative matters include advising a publicly held distributor of automotive replacement parts, office products and electrical materials on the acquisition of a manufacturer of personal protection products; and Richmond’s Mason Bayler Jr’s experience includes assisting a public utility company with its sale to a private equity firm. John Bradley in Irvine is also a key contact.

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  • New Anti-Money Laundering Law

    The new anti-money laundering ( AML ) law of the UAE took effect at the end of October 2018. Containing features recommended by the Financial Action Task Force ( FATF ), the new law introduces subtle but important changes to the AML landscape in the UAE. 
  • Confidentiality Under Renewed Focus

    The UAE federal government has recently issued a raft of important legislation, addressing and in many ways updating areas of law that are key to businesses in the jurisdiction. Amongst this legislation is Federal Decree-Law 14 of 2018 concerning the central bank and the organisation of financial institutions and activities (the New Banking Law ) and Federal Decree-Law 20 of 2018 concerning anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (the New AML Law ). Both the New Banking Law and the New AML Law repeal and replace the previous legislation on their respective subjects. Importantly, the New Banking Law and the New AML Law have together enhanced the protection afforded to confidential information under UAE law, in particular where financial and legal service providers and their customers and clients are concerned. 
  • Israel Chapter in The Virtual Currency Regulation Review

    Earlier this year, the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) issued two circulars, one on the taxation of digital tokens and the second addressing the taxation of utility tokens in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Additionally, in March, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) released a detailed interim report by the Committee for the Regulation of Public Offerings of Decentralized Cryptocurrency Coins (Report) (with a follow-up report due to come out around October 2018). Moreover, it is expected that before the end of 2018, legislation will come into force that for the first time will see Israeli primary legislation define virtual currencies as financial assets and mandate licensing for related services, as is later discussed in detail.

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