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Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s inexorable rise continues. The firm has retained its core client base of big names such as Madison Dearborn and Bain Capital, while developing tighter relationships with the likes of Blackstone, KKR, Cerberus Capital Management, Thomas H Lee Partners and TPG. The firm established a Boston office in 2017 with a series of key partner relocations and several lateral hires, including private equity specialist Matthew Cohn from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. This follows a number of recent lateral recruits in New York and Houston, two key private equity locations. The ‘top-echelon and pre-eminent law firm’ is the ‘crème de la crème’ and is commended for its oil and gas expertise thanks to its ‘unmatched knowledge and transaction expertise’. The ‘commercial’ team ‘can work faster than anyone without forgoing work quality’. In 2017, the firm advised anchor client Bain Capital on a $3.2bn carve-out acquisition from Sealed Air of its Diversey Care division and the food hygiene and cleaning business of its Food Care division. It also advised Blackstone on its $4.8bn acquisition of Aon’s technology-enabled benefits and human resources platform and its $6.1bn acquisition of TeamHealth Holdings. Beyond these large cap-deals, the firm also operates a market-leading mid-market practice. Notable partners include Jon Ballis, Sanford Perl, Matthew Steinmetz, Richard Campbell and New York’s Eunu Chun. Stephen Ritchie and Walter Holzer are ‘extremely practical and business minded’, they ‘consider the upside of every obstacle’ and are ‘very problem solving and creative’. New York’s Peter Martelli has played a key role in cementing the firm’s connection to Blackstone and Andrew Calder is a star performer in Houston. New York-based Michael Weisser and Leo Greenberg are also prominent names, Jeremy Lissis a rare M&A attorney with the ability to cut across multiple practice areas and solve problems’, and Corey Fox is a ‘super star’ whose ‘personal skills set him apart’. Jeffrey Seifman is ‘straightforward, cuts through the nonsense and is able to build consensus on very complex matters’. Steven Napolitano and Brendan Head joined from DLA Piper LLP (US) in May 2018. Attorneys are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

The ‘outstandingSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is the ‘leader in large-cap deals’, according to clients. The firm stands out thanks to its close relationships with KKR, Blackstone, Silver Lake and other big-name private equity houses, and it continues to work hard to develop its standing in the middle market through new client relationships and through established clients that are establishing mid-cap and growth funds, such as cornerstone client KKR’s new technology and healthcare growth funds. Key mid-market clients now also include EQT Partners, which was initially a client of the European practice, as well as Centerbridge Partners, KSL Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital. The lead partners in the practice, while closely associated to the private equity segment, still typically adopt a generalist approach and also frequently handle strategic M&A transactions. This kind of versatility has been pivotal to some headline engagements, including the firm’s advice to Internet Brands, a KKR portfolio company, on its $2.8bn acquisition of WebMD; the deal involved a tender offer for all the outstanding shares of WebMD common stock. In another headline deal, the firm advised KKR and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec on their $4.3bn joint acquisition of USI Insurance Services, a portfolio company of Onex Corporation. The firm’s strengths in leveraged finance, fund formation, employee benefits, executive compensation and tax structuring are other reasons for its prominence in the private equity segment. Marni Lerner leads the department and was lead partner on the Internet Brands transaction. Gary Horowitz is another outstanding practitioner and a regular adviser to KKR, while Wilson Neely is noted for his experience and connections to the likes of Blackstone and Centerbridge. Palo Alto partner Richard Capelouto is ‘an absolute star’ of the West Coast and recognized for his Silver Lake and Hellman & Friedman relationships. William Curbow and Ryerson Symons are also recommended, as is Brian Stadler for real estate deals, and Mark Pflug recently impressed as lead adviser to KKR on its $1.4bn acquisition of PharMerica.

Terrific firmDebevoise & Plimpton LLP has a ‘top-notch’ private equity practice that encompasses a ‘broad range of services’ and a ‘breadth of resources to solve complex problems’. It reinforced its team with the hire of healthcare sector specialist Paul Rubin from Ropes & Gray LLP in September 2017 and the election of Sue Meng to the partnership. Healthcare is a sector where the firm has achieved notable success, including for big-name private equity houses such as Carlyle. The private equity offering is supported by notable fund formation expertise as well as strong leveraged finance, tax, and employee benefits and executive compensation departments. It also has excellent regulatory credentials with a number of prominent former SEC officials working within its ranks. Prominent clients include Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Blackstone, Apollo Global Management, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Kelso & Company, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, Providence Equity Partners and Temasek Holdings. In 2017, it advised anchor client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its $2.5bn carve-out acquisition of HD Supply’s waterworks division. It also represented CF Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and Blackstone on their $1.83bn all-cash acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Paul Bird is a senior name and is key to the firm’s connection to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and other private equity houses. Chair of the corporate department Jeffrey Rosen is ‘one of the best lawyers in New York’ and is well thought of in the private equity arena, as is co-head of the private equity group Kevin Schmidt, who has worked on numerous deals for Kelso, CPPIB and others. Kevin Rinker is noted especially for healthcare deals, but advises big names such as Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Carlyle, Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and Providence Equity in a variety of sectors. Rising star Uri Herzberg is ‘incredibly thoughtful, commercial and analytical with his advice’, ‘one of the smartest individuals’ and ‘has an uncanny ability to process information quickly and provide smart, tactical advice to his clients’.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s impressive geographic coverage across the US and globally enables it to capture a significant market share of top-bracket private equity transactions. The practice is equally adept in large-cap and mid-market private equity deals, and works closely with clients such as Carlyle, BC Partners, KKR, GTCR, One Equity Partners, Leonard Green & Partners, Genstar Capital, Odyssey Partners and Platinum Equity. The ‘top-notch firm performs at a top-notch level’, according to one client. It advised Carlyle on the sale of a majority stake in The Nature’s Bounty to KKR. In the energy space, it represented Arclight Capital Partners and Blackstone on their $2.17bn acquisition of four power plants from American Electric Power. Jennifer Perkins and Chicago’s Shaun Hartley are joint heads of the private equity practice; Perkins is described as an ‘excellent M&A lawyer’ who ‘understands and is experienced in the full range of M&A transactions’ and ‘has the demeanor, skills and judgment that not only gets deals done, but makes her a pleasure to work with’. Daniel Lennon in Washington DC jointly leads the firm’s relationship with Carlyle. Howard Sobel is a pivotal member of the team and is close to a number of big-name private equity houses, such as Leonard Green & Partners, Centerbridge Partners and Odyssey Investment Partners; he is ‘extremely smart as well as very business oriented and practical’. Washington DC’s David Brown leads the firm’s connection to Platinum Equity and has led a number of transactions for Carlyle’s healthcare and technology industry groups. Fellow DC partner Paul Sheridan leads the firm’s relationship with Onex Partners and Revolution Growth. Silicon Valley’s Josh Dubofsky is a key figure on the West Coast for clients such as KKR and Genstar Capital. Named partners are New York based unless stated otherwise.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has a significant foothold in the large-cap market through marquee client Apollo Global Management, and is also extremely prominent in the middle market. It has impressed in take-private and public company transactions, thanks in part to its renowned litigation resources that are frequently relied upon in such deals. It also has a formidable finance practice that supports the private equity transactions team. In 2017, the firm advised Apollo on its $2.2bn acquisition of ClubCorp, the largest US owner-operator of private golf and country clubs. It also advised Apollo alongside Vistria Group and Najafi Companies, as a consortium of investors, on their $1.1bn acquisition of Apollo Education Group. In the middle market, the firm maintains a strong connection to General Atlantic and, among a multitude of deals, it advised the private equity firm on the $440m sale of its ownership stake in TriNet Group to Atairos Group. Other key clients include 3G Capital, Oak Hill Capital Partners, Oaktree Capital Management, Crestview Partners, CI Capital Partners, Kohlberg & Co and KPS Capital Partners. The team ‘goes above and beyond for its clients’, is ‘extremely responsive’ and its ‘industry knowledge is first rate given the breadth of the firm’s platform in private equity’. The partners are ‘excellent’ and its ‘deep associate bench stacks up with other top-tier firms’. The firm is also praised for its wider resources and expertise, including in litigation, tax, financing, benefits and funds structuring. Key partners include Taurie Zeitzer, who leads the relationship with Apollo, and Matthew Abbott, who has a close relationship with General Atlantic and is ‘one of the best private equity and M&A lawyers of his generation’ with ‘judgment and technical acumen that is second to none’. Angelo Bonvino has a fine record with firms such as Kohlberg & Co, KPS and Oak Hill, while Carl Reisner is the primary relationship partner for CI Capital Partners. Neil Goldman is ‘an extremely cool and collected lawyer’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘thorough’ and ‘focused on the issues that matter’. John Scott is also highly recommended. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Ropes & Gray LLP has made further inroads into the large- and mid-cap market, building on its long history in the sector and its strength in key areas such as debt finance, tax, executive compensation and regulatory issues. In recent years, the firm has invested in expanding its private equity team in Chicago and on the West Coast, leading to greater connections to the likes of Golden Gate Capital in San Francisco and others. Bain Capital, TPG and Welsh Carson are amongst its longest-standing clients, though its wider client base includes Carlyle, Genstar Capital, HIG Capital, Summit Partners, TH Lee Partners and Baring Private Equity. It advised Bain Capital on a Bain-led consortium’s $18bn acquisition of Toshiba’s semiconductor business, reported as the largest Japanese deal since 2011 and the largest-ever private equity and leveraged finance transaction in Asia. It also represented TPG Capital in its $4.2bn carve-out of McAfee from Intel, in which TPG and Intel have formed a new joint venture with the private equity house having the majority stake in McAfee. The ‘go-to’ firm is a ‘top performer’, ‘responsive’ and ‘has a high-quality work product’. It is ‘excellent in terms of addressing issues, being commercial in its negotiations and is very easy to work with’. Will Shields leads the team and is a key relationship partner for Bain Capital. David Blittner has played a pivotal role in developing the firm’s presence in New York, as have Othon Prounis and Daniel Evans. Chair-elect Julie Jones is another prominent member of the team, as are Alfred Rose, David Chapin and Newcomb Stillwell. Chicago’s Neill Jakobe has contributed significantly to the firm’s growing practice away from the East Coast. In San Francisco, Jason Freedman is ‘practical’, ‘solution oriented’, has ‘a strong business sense’ and ‘strong M&A expertise’. Named lawyers are based in Boston unless stated otherwise.

Previously focused mainly on large leveraged buyouts, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP now covers the large- to mid-cap range with considerable success. The practice now includes a steady pipeline of infrastructure, growth equity and special situation transactions. It is also expanding its work for sovereign wealth funds and family offices. The firm has worked on a high market share of SPAC deals and has a strong private equity presence in New York, Boston, Silicon Valley and Dallas. Many of its core private equity clients, such as Advent International, engage the firm all over the world. Providence Equity, Centerbridge Partners and CVC Capital Partners are among its other key clients. It is also building its connection to TPG, having advised Pace Holdings, a SPAC sponsored by TPG Global, on its business combination with Playa Hotels & Resorts. It also advised Lindsay Goldberg and portfolio company Bluegrass Materials on the company’s $1.62bn sale to Martin Marietta Materials. Department head Douglas Warner is a genuine leader in the field, and fellow practice co-head and Boston-based Kevin Sullivan leads a number of the firm’s key relationships, including with Providence Equity. Boston’s Marilyn French Shaw is close to Advent and a number of other key clients, and Silicon Valley’s Kyle Krpata and Houston partner Glenn West are also key members of the team. Christopher Machera is an emerging talent. Attorneys are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has further cemented its position in the upper echelons of the market. Still known for its relationship with TPG, it now has a strong relationship with Warburg Pincus and is becoming closer to Carlyle. Few firms now can match its status in the large-cap market or its connections to a number of global sovereign wealth funds that are making direct investments and acquisitions. The team is ‘very responsive’, has ‘a deep level of expertise’, ‘brings significant industry knowledge’ and ‘is always good value for the money’. The firm has been especially active on behalf of TPG portfolio companies, including advising nationwide broadband provider RCN Telecom Services on its $2.36bn acquisition of Wave Broadband, creating the sixth-largest cable operator in the US. It also advised TPG portfolio company Surgical Care Affiliates on its $2.5bn stock and cash merger with leading health services company OptumCare. Paul Shim is a big name in the team, often advising TPG and a number of sovereign wealth funds. David Leinwand is a recognized leader in the market, with close connections to marquee clients TPG and Warburg Pincus; James Langston also regularly works woth TPG and Warburg Pincus and is an increasingly pivotal member of the team. Paul Tiger is another emerging talent. The firm’s strong antitrust, tax, employee benefits and leveraged finance practices also add to the private equity team’s compelling offering. Michael Albano is highlighted for his expertise in executive compensation and benefits in the private equity sector.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP continues to build its profile within the private equity community and now has a highly impressive client base that includes the likes of Atairos, Corsair Capital, Crestview Partners, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Lightyear Capital, Metalmark Capital, Morgan Stanley Capital, Tailwind Capital, TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus. The firm is noted for its connections to the current and former private equity arms of investment banks. In 2017, it advised the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs on its preferred equity financing for the $5.5bn acquisition of Cabela’s by Bass Pro Shops. It also advised Metalmark Capital on the sale of its majority interest in WorldStrides and represented I Squared Capital in its $1.9bn acquisition of Hutchison Global Communications from Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong. John Amorosi heads the department and has played an anchor role in developing the firm’s standing in private equity. Ronald Cami, former general counsel at TPG Global, is a key figure in Silicon Valley. Leonard Kreynin, John Bick, Michael Davis and William Chudd are also key partners. Attorneys are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is at the forefront of the private equity market through clients such as Goldman Sachs and Permira. It provides ‘an excellent level of service’ and its ‘partners are responsive’ and ‘have a keen understanding of the commercial and business aspects of transactions’. The ‘very talented’ practice also has ‘excellent legal acumen and industry knowledge’. Moreover, clients highlight the key contributions of associated practice areas such as tax. Other clients include AEA Investors, American Securities, CVC Capital Partners, KKR, New Mountain Capital, Onex Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. It advised Boston-based Yellow Wood Partners on the $1.42bn sale of its portfolio company PDC Brands to CVC Capital Partners, and assisted CVC Growth Fund with its $354m acquisition of Actua’s interests in VelocityEHS and Bolt Solutions. Robert Schwenkel, Christopher Ewan, Steven Steinman and Washington DC-based Brian Mangino are all experienced members of the private equity community. Andrea Gede-Lange and Randi Lally are emerging talents in the mainly New York-based team.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s extensive geographic coverage ensures it is plugged into multiple private equity centers and investment destinations, including California, New York, Washington DC and Dallas. The team benefits from the firm’s impressive regulatory credentials, including in Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) matters. Clients include CVC Capital Partners, AlixPartners, CPPIB, Oak Hill Capital Partners, Platinum Equity, Trilantic Capital Partners, as well as Littlejohn & Co, which the firm recently advised on its $475m sale of Newgistics to Pitney Bowes and on its acquisition of Tidel. Key members of the team include Sean Griffiths and Steven Shoemate in New York, Dallas partner Jeffrey Chapman and Ari Lanin in Los Angeles.

Firm of choiceProskauer Rose LLP advises some of the biggest names in private equity, including Ares Management, Carlyle and KKR. It has an especially outstanding record in sports, media and entertainment and has client base that includes Catterton Partners, Grey Mountain Partners, JW Childs Associates and Summit Partners. In recent work, it advised Ares Management on Ares Capital’s $3.43bn acquisition of American Capital, and assisted Ares with its acquisition of Convergint Technologies. Los Angeles-based ‘great lawyerMichael Woronoff is one of the top private equity and M&A lawyers on the West Coast and leads the practice alongside fellow Los Angeles partner Monica Shilling. Boston partner Steven Peck has worked on series of large-cap deals in recent years and New York’s real estate private equity specialist Jeffrey Horwitz is ‘always extremely responsive and staffs projects with a very skilled team’, and is ‘extremely intelligent and practical’. Los Angeles-based Jonathan Benloulou is an up-and-coming talent.

White & Case LLP’s investment in building out its global private equity practice is paying considerable dividends. Its client base in the US now includes the likes of CVC Capital Partners, Global Infrastructure Partners, Harvest Partners, Quad-C Management, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, Investcorp, Certares, Dominus Capital and Triton. The firm is most active in the middle market, though is also relied upon to advise on large-cap deals, and recently it advised CVC on its $1.42bn acquisition of PDC Brands from Yellow Wood Partners. It also represented Global Infrastructure Partners on its $1.82bn acquisition of Medallion Gathering & Processing. The firm is ‘on a par or better’ than the top law firms in private equity, according to one client, and ‘always has the expertise needed in-house’, with clients also praising its global coverage and ability to handle multi-jurisdictional deals. Global co-head of private equity Oliver Brahmst is ‘second to none’ and ‘a leader who steps up when it is critical to do so’. Global head of M&A John Reiss also has extensive private equity experience. Carolyn Vardi is also recommended, and Matthew Kautz is ‘a trusted counsel’ and ‘provides excellent advice often in difficult situations’. Dan Latham is ‘an extraordinary lawyer’ with ‘a sharp mind’ and ‘an ability to understand his client’s perspective’.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a hugely impressive middle-market practice and has assembled an illustrious client list featuring the likes of Insight Venture Partners, Warburg Pincus, Riverstone Holdings, Aquiline Capital Partners, Genstar Capital, FFL Partners, Court Square and Centerbridge Partners. Fund formation, leveraged finance and financial services regulatory expertise sits alongside the firm’s considerable M&A and buyout experience. The firm recently advised A Place for Mom, a portfolio company of long-term client Warburg Pincus, on its sale to Silver Lake and General Atlantic. It also represented Insight Venture Partners in its investment in Ministry Brands. Firm chairman Steven Gartner and co-chairman Gordon Caplan are big names in the private equity segment, noted for their connections to Warburg Pincus and Insight Venture Partners respectively. Chairs of the private equity practice group Neil Townsend and Jeffrey Poss are also prominent individuals, as is energy sector specialist Bruce Herzog. Kirk Radke is a seasoned professional, especially in the middle market.

DLA Piper LLP (US) operates primarily in the middle market, with a high volume of transactions driven by the likes of ABRY Partners, Wind Point Partners, Arbor Investments, Prairie Capital, Sterling Partners and Stonebridge Partners. The firm has made a particular impression in the healthcare sector, marrying its strong private equity credentials with excellent healthcare regulatory expertise. Food and beverages, life sciences, chemicals and industrials are also key sectors. Moreover, the firm has made an impression in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions for clients such as Wind Point and ABRY. It advised Wind Point on the sale of Novolex to Carlyle and represented Arbor in its acquisition of Greco & Sons. New York-based Daniel Eisner is an experienced figure, noted for his relationship with Arsenal Capital, and Atlanta’s Joe Alexander is the key relationship partner for ABRY. Miami partner Joshua Kaye is recommended for healthcare sector deals and is praised for his M&A and regulatory knowledge.

Dechert LLP’s bold global investment into its private equity practice is certainly earning recognition. Having achieved real traction in New York with a number of important hires, it has turned its sights to building its platforms in London and Asia. Clients now include Bregal Partners, Centre Partners Management, One Equity Partners, Court Square Capital Partners, GIC, Graham Partners, Quilvest Private Equity and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Advisors. It maintains a solid middle-market footing and is gaining further ground in big-ticket deals. Healthcare and financial services are two key sectors for the team, which provides ‘good value for money’ and a ‘good overall service’. The firm advised new client MSD Partners on its acquisition, alongside CCMP Capital Advisors and Alberta Investment Management, of Hayward Industries. It also represented GIC, as part of a private equity consortium led by Blackstone, in the acquisition of a majority stake in Thomson Reuters. Mark Thierfelder is chair of the global private equity practice and has an outstanding reputation. Philadelphia partner Geraldine Sinatra is ‘great with strategy and high-level business advice’ and is ‘good at applying her broad knowledge to the situation at hand’. Jonathan Kim and Christian Matarese are both up-and-coming names, and Markus Bolsinger has helped elevate the team in New York. Derek Winokur and Philadelphia-based CEO Henry Nassau are also recommended. Named lawyers are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Goodwin continues to impress in growth equity, with clients recognizing the firm’s ability to span venture financing right through to leveraged buyouts, highlighting the ‘incredible service and responsiveness, cutting-edge legal advice, practical sensibilities and understanding of the need to get the deal done’. The firm is hailed as a ‘solution business’ and private equity clients note that portfolio companies often continue working with the team after private equity investors have exited. It is recognized for its particular strength in Boston and its leadership in real estate and healthcare deals, and recently it advised regular client Great Hill Partners on its respective acquisitions of PartsSource and Quantum Health. Boston-based John LeClaire and Michael Kendall and Los Angeles-based Andrew Weidhaas lead the practice. San Francisco’s Brian McPeake, New York partner Stuart Rosenthal and James Hutchinson in Washington DC are also recommended.

Jones Day remains at the forefront of mid-market private equity while also building its name in portfolio company transactions for large-cap private equity houses. The Riverside Company is an anchor client, but it is also often engaged by EagleTree Capital (formerly Wasserstein & Co), Cortec Group, Wellspring Capital Management, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners and One Equity Partners. PAG is a new client. The firm advised EagleTree on its $525m acquisition of Corsair from Francisco Partners. The team is ‘best in class’, ‘superb’, delivering ‘extreme responsiveness and unsurpassed attention to detail’ and paying ‘utmost attention to client needs and concerns’. Clients praise the firm’s ‘unique global reach’, ‘deep bench’ and ‘one-stop shop’ platform. In the US, much of the firm’s private equity capability is based in New York, Chicago and Cleveland. Cleveland’s Chuck Hardin is ‘world class’ and ‘an exceptional business lawyer’. Cleveland partner Denise Carkhuff leads a number of key client relationships and Dan Michaels is making an impression in Washington DC. Chicago-based Lisa Lathrop is also highly regarded, as is New York-based practice head Andrew Levine.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP delivers an ‘excellent service’ and has ‘a very strong and capable team’, a ‘deep bench’ and ‘impressive market knowledge’. Clients identify the firm as a strong middle-market player with top teams in Philadelphia, New York and Orange County. Its client list includes Apollo, Ares Capital, Arsenal Capital Partners, LLR Partners, Sun Capital Partners and Versa Capital Partners, and in recent years it has added Platinum Equity, The Wicks Group of Companies and Freeman Spogli & Co. The team has excellent regulatory credentials and an especially strong record in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, energy, financial services, and media and technology. It advised Platinum Equity portfolio company Veritiv on its $1.25bn sale of Vertiv’s ASCO Power business to Schneider Electric. Philadelphia-based Barbara Shander is praised by clients for her ‘very commercial’ approach and ‘willingness to take reasonable risks’ in the hope of closing the deal and she leads the team alongside Orange County partner James Loss. Philadelphia-based David Gerson and New York’s Alec Dawson are top names. Los Angeles partner John Filippone is ‘an incredibly knowledgeable, smart and practical deal lawyer’.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s towering profile in M&A makes it an attractive prospect for large-cap private equity houses on big-ticket deals. In 2017 alone, it advised Permira Funds on its $1.8bn acquisition of Duff & Phelps and on its $1.9bn sale of an 80% stake in Netafim to Mexichem. It also advised Fortress Investment Group on its $3.3bn acquisition by SoftBank Group and represented The Warranty Group and patent company TPG Capital in the $2.5bn sale of Warranty to Assurant. New York partner Allison Schneirov heads the private equity department.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a broad array of private equity, sovereign wealth fund and family office clients, and its strong M&A, leveraged finance, CFIUS, employee benefits, antitrust and tax credentials make it a genuine player in the market. The firm has impressed in the real estate private equity segment, with Anthony Colletta leading the team that advised Whitehall Street Global Real Estate on the $850m sale of portfolio company American Casino & Entertainment Properties to Golden Entertainment. Los Angeles-based heads of the private equity practice Alison Ressler and Rita-Anne O’Neill advised Ares Management on its $1.45bn strategic partnership with DuPage Medical Group. New York’s George Sampas and Brian Hamilton are also recommended, and Richard Pollack has relocated to London.

Vinson & Elkins LLP is a market leader in energy sector private equity. The firm’s ‘deep expertise within the energy sector’ has enabled it to attract engagements from the likes of Apollo, Blackstone, Crestview Partners, KKR, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, Oaktree Capital Management, Quantum Energy Partners, Riverstone, TPG and Warburg Pincus. It advised Apollo portfolio company Double Eagle Energy Permian on its $2.8bn sale of undeveloped acreage and producing oil and gas properties in the core of the Midland Basin to Parsley Energy. It also advised Blackstone Energy Partners on its $2bn acquisition of EagleClaw Midstream Ventures from EnCap Flatrock Midstream. Houston-based head of the corporate group Keith Fullenweiderhas an exceptional sense of business judgment for an attorney’ and is ‘consistently able to deliver the full firm’ for clients’ broader needs. Houston partner Matthew Strock and New York managing partner James Fox are also key partners.

Arnold & Porter is noted for healthcare and life sciences deals and brings leading expertise in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CFIUS issues. The firm primarily operates in the middle market, though on occasion stretches into the large-cap space. ACAS (formerly American Capital) and Onex are key clients, as are DC Capital Partners, EQT Partners, Halifax Capital Partners, JW Childs and NexPhase Capital. The firm recently advised American Securities on its acquisition of Mortgage Contracting Services. New York-based Emanuel Cherney and Stephen Koval, and Washington DC partner Andrew Varner are key names.

Choate, Hall & Stewart, based in Boston, has a solid client base of mid-market private equity houses, which include the likes of Summit Partners, Windjammer Capital, Riverside Partners, Great Hill Partners, Mainsail Partners, Spectrum Equity and Century Capital. In recent work, it advised Riverside Partners on its $200m leveraged acquisition of Alarm Funding Associates from Keyser Capital. TJ Murphy is the key partner in the team. Former private equity department head Christian Atwood moved to Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Hogan Lovells US LLP is primarily known for advising middle-market private equity firms and is increasingly recognized for cross-border deals. As one of the world’s leading regulatory firms, it has an especially strong record in regulated sectors such as life sciences, healthcare, technology and financial services. Clients include KRG Capital Partners, Actis, Advent International, ACON Investments, Anschutz, Quad-C Management, Columbia Capital, One Rock Capital and Warburg Pincus. A team led by New York’s Alex Johnson advised UK-based private equity fund Actis on the sale of Anthelio Healthcare Solutions, the largest independent provider of healthcare technology solutions in North America, to Atos. Denver partner George Hagerty and Northern Virginia’s Robert Welp are also recommended.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is recognized for its middle-market credentials and its fine reputation among independent sponsors. Its tax planning expertise is a strong attraction for many private equity houses, which class it as a ‘go-to’ firm and a ‘great value provider’. Clients include Sterling Partners, Frontenac Company, Pfingsten Partners, Victory Park Capital, Prairie Capital, Centre Lane Partners and PSP Capital Partners. LongueVue Capital Partners and NextGen Growth Partners are new clients. In recent work, it advised Prairie Capital on the sale of StatLab Medical Products. Chicago-based Kenneth Miller and Kimberly Smith head the team, which also has strength in New York and Los Angeles.

King & Spalding LLP is noted for healthcare, life sciences and energy deals. In 2017, the firm handled a variety of portfolio company deals and advised Lindsay Goldberg on its acquisition of four independent packaging companies and their captive co-owned sheet feeder. Arcapita and Roark Capital are key clients. Atlanta-based Raymond Baltz is a private equity leader in the South East. In August 2018, Jonathan Melmed joined from Morrison & Foerster LLP.

New York’s Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is noted for financial services sector transactions and deals involving corporate restructurings and distressed situations. The ‘terrific team’ is ‘beyond excellent’, according to one client, with the ‘very smart’ James Moriarty, who ‘knows how to get the deal done’, singled out for his ‘extremely knowledgeable’, ‘very thorough’ and ‘pragmatic’ approach. Clients include Stone Point Capital, Quad Partners, BlackRock, York Special Opportunities Fund and Shamrock Capital. The firm advised Stone Point as part of an investor group on its acquisition of a majority stake in Focus Financial Partners. Other key partners include Howard Spilko and Ernest Wechsler.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a fine record in mid-market deals and is especially highly regarded for healthcare transactions. It ‘puts together strong teams, ensuring that all relevant skills are covered’ and its ‘buyout/M&A skills are very effective’. HIG Capital is an anchor client for the firm, but it also work with the likes of Baird Capital, CenterGate Capital, JW Childs and New Harbor Capital Management. It advised HIG on the sale of portfolio company Centerfield Media to Qology Direct. Chicago is the firm’s key office for private equity expertise, followed by Miami, New York and Washington DC. Notable partners include Chicago-based Andrew McCune and Brooks Gruemmer as well as Harris Siskind and Frederic Levenson in Miami. New York’s Timothy Alvino is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and is ‘able to work with the most difficult of situations to bring matters to a successful conclusion’.

McGuireWoods LLP has further cemented its presence in middle-market private equity, particularly in the healthcare, food and beverage, and energy industries. In the independent sponsor sub-sector, the firm has an especially strong standing. Most of its private equity buyout talent is concentrated in Chicago, Dallas and Charlotte. Operating primarily in the sub-$500m deal space, the firm advises prominent funds such as Silver Oak Services Partners, Shore Capital Partners, Falfurrias Capital Partners, Source Capital, Gauge Capital, Hermitage Equity Partners, Cornwell Capital and Summit Park. In 2017, the firm advised healthcare-focused Shore Capital Partners on several acquisitions and add-on acquisitions by its portfolio companies. Geoffrey Cockrell, Thomas Zahn, Christopher Nesbit, David McLean and Jon Finger are key partners.

Morrison & Foerster LLP continues to impress in energy and technology private equity deals, and in 2017 it advised DE Shaw Renewable Investments on its acquisition of solar companies from First Solar and Torch Clean Energy. It also advised Starwood Energy Group Global on its leveraged acquisition of two natural gas-fired electricity generation companies from Dynegy. Other clients include Blackstone Energy Partners, Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners and GPI Capital. Former practice head Jonathan Melmed joined King & Spalding in August 2018.

Paul Hastings LLP reinforced its San Francisco private equity team in 2016 with a number of senior lateral hires and now has notable private equity expertise in its Chicago, California and New York offices. The team is ‘one of the best’, ‘highly knowledgeable and experienced, responsive with high-level thinkers’ and is ‘fantastic across the board’, with partners that are ‘very smart, practical and the type of people you want around in tough deals’. Clients include Pfingsten Partners, GI Partners, Symphony Technology Group, Francisco Partners and HIG Capital. It advised Francisco Partners and Elliott Management on their multibillion-dollar acquisition of Dell Software. Steve Camahort, Michael Kennedy and Dana Kromm are big names in San Francisco, as are William Simpson and Brandon Howald in Orange County and Robert Miller in Los Angeles. Chicago’s Brian Richards heads the team.

Winston & Strawn LLP has impressive private equity talent spread across its US offices, most notably Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. It delivers ‘consistently perfect advice which reaches far beyond legal advice’ and has ‘strong client orientation and response times’. Healthcare deals are a particular strength of the practice. Clients include The Jordan Company, GenNx360 Capital Partners, Frontenac Company, Water Street Healthcare Partners, Norwest Equity Partners and Kainos Capital. Los Angeles’ Eva Davis is ‘a very good negotiator’ with ‘very strong business acumen’ and ‘does a great job getting things done efficiently and with good results’, thanks to ‘lots of experience that actually saves time and money in the end’. Bradley Vaiana and Dominick DeChiara lead the practice, and James Kellyis a master of his craft’; all three are based in New York.

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  • Korean Financial Regulators Advance Legislation to Introduce Regulatory Sandbox to Spark FinTech

    The 2018 year in review in Korea was notable for the sluggish overall economy, uncertainty surrounding the geo-politics and impact on Korea due to the global trade wars, on-going concerns related to the lack of jobs and unemployment, increased taxes and burdens for businesses and families, and no meaningful improvement or clarity in the current situation for 2019. In response, the Korean National Assembly passed a legislation called the Financial Innovation Support Act (the “FinISA”) on December 7, 2018 to spark the financial services industry in conjunction with FinTech products and services. The FinISA, which will soon take effect in March 2019, is intended to lay the legal foundation to introduce a regulatory sandbox for innovative financial services, where FinTech firms test their new products and services without certain regulatory oversight pursuant to exemptions for a limited period of time (“Sandbox”). As the FinISA exempts or defers application of existing finance-related regulations for new financial technology, products or services with the purpose of fostering the creation of innovative and new financial products and services, it will also support the stabilization of such services in the financial services market at the end of the testing period and is expected that the FinISA will support a revitalization of the FinTech industry which experienced sluggish growth in recent times. In particular, as companies and investors become more interested in security tokens and Security Token Offerings (“STO”) which are regulated by the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act (the “FSCMA”), there have been on-going discussions and debates as to whether the FinISA could lead to a breakthrough in the crypto-asset industry based on blockchain technology. Crypto assets encompasses those assets which utilize blockchain technology where the asset is digitalized by utilization of cryptography, peer-to-peer networks and a public ledger of verified transactions resulting in a ‘units’ of such a crypto asset without any involvement by middle-persons or brokers (e.g., cryptocurrency.

    The sacking of Nissan’s high-profile chairman may have beenproof that nobody is infallible. But Nicola Sharp argues that it should also beseen as an indicator that no company can be considered safe from wrongdoing.
  • 2018 FCPA Enforcement Actions and Highlights

    Overall, 2018 was a more active year in terms of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") enforcement actions compared to 2017.
  • Legality of advertising with statements on the effects of medical treatments

    Advertisements featuring statements on the effects of medical treatments are only permissible if they are supported by sound scientific evidence. This was reaffirmed by the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Frankfurt, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt.
  • Sayenko Kharenko announces new partner promotion

    Sayenko Kharenko announces new partner promotion
  • ECJ – Distinctive character necessary for registration as EU trade mark

    For a sign to be capable of being registered as an EU trade mark, it must be distinctive across the entire European Union. This was confirmed by the Court of Justice of European Union (ECJ) in a ruling from 25 July 2018.
  • Supporting local and international charitable organizations

    As one of the leading law firms in Cyprus, we are active promoters and supporters of local economic growth by sponsoring local events, applying environmental-friendly practices, minimizing our ecological impact, and most importantly, by raising money for local charities and non-profit organizations.
  • BAG – Employers can claw back bonus payments

    The Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court, confirmed in a recent ruling that employers can claw back collectively agreed bonus payments from employees under certain circumstances.
  • Stricter supervision in relation to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exceptio

    Recently there were a lot of publications within the European Union expressing concerns about the allegedly very high number of Cypriot passports being given to foreign investors the last few years. The Council of Ministers has decided on 9th January 2018 with the decision with number 84.069, to impose a stricter supervision of all the parties involved in the Scheme for the naturalisation of non-Cypriot investors in Cyprus by exception.
  • 19% VAT on Plots

    In order to harmonize the  Acquis Communautaire on the Taxation of untapped and undeveloped plots of land, the Cyprus Government enacted, on 03/11/2017, relevant legislation for the imposition of 19% Value Added Tax (VAT) on these properties, with a date of enforcement being 02/01/2018. The relevant legislation refers to plots/pieces of land offered and/or provided for construction for economic purposes.

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