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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

100 PEARL STREET 14TH FLOOR HARTFORD, CT 06103-4500, USA
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Work +1 860.263.2930
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United States: Antitrust

Civil litigation/class actions: defense
Civil litigation/class actions: defense - ranked: tier 5

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s credentials in successfully defending class actions were recently illustrated by Corey Roush, Pratik Shah and others assisting Daimler Trucks with obtaining dismissals of claims brought by direct and indirect purchasers of Class Eight heavy-duty trucks. In the financial services arena, the team has defended clients such as OCBC Bank and Resona Bank in financial benchmarking cases. Elsewhere, the firm also demonstrates strong capabilities in single-plaintiff lawsuits; Fairley Spillman was lead antitrust partner in a team defending Inguran against a monopolization lawsuit brought by ABS Global. Litigated merger cases are another notable generator of work for the firm. Paul Hewitt leads the team. Named individuals are based in Washington DC.

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has a strong client following in industries such as technology, financial services, energy and healthcare. It handles all stages of the merger process, ranging from cross-border merger analysis and merger filings to US/EC/UK CMA merger investigations and litigation. In 2017, Corey Roush, Paul Hewitt and others assisted VCA with successfully negotiating an FTC second request investigation and obtaining clearance for its $9.1bn sale to Mars Petcare. Roush was also the lead partner in a team which acted as antitrust counsel to 7-Eleven in its $3.3bn acquisition of Sunoco LP. Gorav Jindal has 18 years of transactional antitrust experience at public sector level and private practice. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal) - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s bicoastal group maintains specialism in Indian law, employment and intellectual property. ‘Star’ co-head Pratik Shah, who has a ‘knack for boiling down complex cases to their essence and advocating for his client in a calm, clear and compelling way’, argued for the Gun Lake Tribe as respondents in Patchak v Zinke, a case challenging a federal statute on separation of powers grounds. At the lower Courts of Appeals level, Shah obtained favorable outcome for Gila River Indian Community in a Ninth Circuit appeal filed by the owners of land surrounded by Gila River reservation and concerning Article III standing issue in a case arising from an easement dispute.Rex Heinke in Los Angeles co-heads the practice. Clients also include Sikorsky Aircraft, McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Leading lawyers

Pratik Shah - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

New York-based partners Stephen Baldini, Robert Hotz and Douglass Maynard jointly lead the team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which acts predominantly for clients in the financial services, energy, defense and healthcare industries. Hotz and the ‘excellent’ James Joseph Benjamin (also based in New York) are representing former ConvergEx broker, Kal Bassily, in civil charges filed by the SEC in connection with allegations of securities fraud executed in Bermuda. The Washington DC-based Mark MacDougall is representing the former director of information technology for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in connection with a DOJ investigation into the use of private computer servers by State Department officials. Benjamin and Mike Asaro, also based in New York, represented a former senior analyst of a hedge fund managed by Artis Capital in connection with an SEC insider trading investigation, resulting in a civil settlement.

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Able to leverage the expertise of numerous ex-government officials and of experts from across the firm’s global network including practitioners in London, Geneva, Beijing and Hong Kong, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a popular choice for governments and private entities across customs, export controls, economic sanctions and trade remedies matters. As part of his broad-ranging contentious and non-contentious expertise, team head Thomas McCarthy has a focus on representing defense and aerospace clients in export control matters which are subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR); he is currently acting for a large domestic aerospace and defense contractor in a wholesale review and assessment of a significant number of ITAR agreements to ensure compliance with State Department regulations. The arrival in January 2017 of the ‘excellent’ Kevin Wolf from the US Department of Commerce (DOC) enhances the firm’s export controls capability, particularly in light of his role as the central strategist and implementer of President Obama’s Export Control Reform Initiative. Bernd Janzen has ‘significant insights into the inner workings and psychology of the Department of Commerce’, having also formerly served at the office and is noted for his trade litigation expertise. The ‘exceptional’ Spencer Griffith is also recommended for trade remedies where he is appreciated for his ability to ‘quickly grasp the political issues that governments often deal with that are outside of the "fact" based realm of cases’; he recently secured a notable victory for the government of British Columbia in the trade subsidy case regarding supercalendered paper imported to the US from Canada. Lars-Erik Hjelm is noted for his customs law expertise.

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Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 5

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP joins the ranking following a string of successes in 2017. These include victories for former AIG CEO Martin Sullivan in a series of government investigations, stockdrop class actions and opt-out cases in which plaintiffs alleged that AIG and its executives made materially misleading statements about exposures to the RMBS market and about liquidity levels leading up to the global financial crisis. Steven Ross in Washington DC and Robert Pees in New York led the case.

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is well known for advising issuers, including private equity funds and their portfolio companies, on debt transactions, with notable strength in the energy and natural resources areas. Recent highlights include Houston office managing partner Christine LaFollette advising Noble Energy on two offerings of senior notes worth a combined $1.1bn. The firm also continues to build on its underwriter-side practice, and Houston-based securities co-lead John Goodgame assisted Wells Fargo Securities with WildHorse Resource Development’s $150m private placement of senior unsecured notes.

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s issuer-focused practice is well known for its work on behalf of energy and natural resources companies - it also had recent strong showings in the healthcare, financial services and technology sectors. In a recent example of its key sweet spot, New York’s Rosa Testani assisted Warrior Met Coal with a $350m senior secured notes offering. Dallas-based Seth Molay is another key partner and advised Gulfport Energy on several recent matters, including on a $600m notes offering. The group also draws on the senior experience of Houston’s John Goodgame and New York-based corporate head Kerry Berchem.

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP continued to be highly active on tax equity and cash equity investments into the renewable sector. Washington DC-based John Marciano and Los Angeles-based Edward Zaelke advised key client Royal Bank of Canada on the debt and tax equity financing of the Buckthorn Wind Project in Texas. Marciano together with Jeremy Schwer in Washington DC and Los Angeles-based Daniel Sinaiko acted for Quantum Strategic Partners on the cash equity and back-leverage investment in future cash flows from 230MW of residential solar projects developed by SolarCity. The team also handled a number of significant debt financings for sponsors, both in the US and overseas; Zaelke and Sinaiko assisted Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Company with the financing of the 1,180MW Sweihan Photovoltaic Independent Power Project in Abu Dhabi, and Marciano advised WindHQ on the financing for the Astra wind farm in Texas. Another name to note in the team is Los Angeles-based Thomas Dupuis, who assisted Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital with the purchase of numerous solar assets in the US.

Next generation lawyers

John Marciano - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 1

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s energy sector expertise secured significant matters in the wave of energy exploration and production (E&P) related bankruptcies. In recent highlights, the group is advising ad hoc bondholders of Seadrill Group on the company’s $13.1bn restructuring, which includes $2.3bn of bond debt, and is also acting for the steering committee of second lien lenders and noteholders of SunEdison as well as an ad hoc group of noteholders of Stone Energy Corporation in the companies’ Chapter 11 cases. On the company side, the team assisted FirstEnergy Solutions with out-of-court restructuring negotiations of $4bn of debt. In the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of CHC Helicopter (CHC) - a company which largely serves offshore oil and gas companies - Michael Stamer, bankruptcy litigator Abid Qureshi and Washington DC-based James Savin advised an informal group of secured noteholders on restructuring agreements and related contentious matters. Beyond the E&P industry, Ira Dizengoff, Phil Dublin and Qureshi represented an ad hoc group of first lien lenders, including over 75 hedge funds, in Avaya‘s Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Daniel Golden jointly heads the global team, and Qureshi and Dublin are the co-administrative US financial restructuring partners. Jason Rubin, who assisted with the CHC matter, made partner. The lawyers mentioned are based in New York, except where otherwise stated. In October 2018, a team of attorneys joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP to set up the firm's new Hartford, Connecticut office, including Renée Dailey.

Leading lawyers

Daniel Golden - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Robert Huffman leads the team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which has established expertise in advising aerospace and defense sector clients on bid protests, FCA matters, transactions, contentious matters and intellectual property work. The group represented Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation in a bid protest regarding the US Department of Education’s $417m award to provide debt collection services relating to defaulted student loans. Since publication, Angela Styles has joined from Bracewell LLP.

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Government relations
Government relations - ranked: tier 1

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s public law and policy group has an excellent reputation for its expertise in specialty areas such as emerging technology, complex or controversial projects and Cuba law and policy. Other core areas of strength include Native American matters, health, trade, and environment issues. Scott Parven leads the Cuba team, which is well known for assisting companies with entry into the Cuban business markets; past matters have included obtaining an Office of Foreign Assets Control license to authorize a US company’s import of a pharmaceutical product made in Cuba, and acting for a multinational telecoms equipment provider in an internal investigation into several transactions where equipment sold to Cuba was repaired in the company’s US service center without proper authorization. In another matter, Parven led the advice to non-profit organization Rettsyndrome.org on applying for Department of Defense medical research funds worth $300m. Ed Pagano led the team assisting the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers with blocking congressional passage of legislation to prevent its transition from the Department of Commerce. Jeffrey McMillen, Joel Jankowsky and John Jonas are also recommended. In April 2017 G Hunter Bates and Brian Pomper took over as co-chairs of the practice from Donald Pongrace, who remains active.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP benefited from the US upturn in midstream transactions, with the team active on a number of mandates including practice heads John Goodgame and Christine LaFollette advising MPLX on the $2bn acquisition of various terminal, pipeline and storage assets from Marathon Petroluem. In the upstream sector, the highly recommended David Elder advised Sanchez Energy on its joint venture with The Blackstone Group to purchase 318,000 gross operated acres in the Western Eagle Ford. Named individuals are based in Houston.

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Energy: renewable/alternative
Energy: renewable/alternative - ranked: tier 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

At Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Los Angeles-based Edward Zaelke was kept busy handling numerous solar and wind projects, including acting for Northleaf Capital Partners on its significant investment in a portfolio of solar and wind projects being developed in Texas by Apex Energy. Other names to note include Los Angeles-based Daniel Sinaiko and Washington DC-based John Marciano; the latter assisted WindHQ with the acquisition and financing of the Astra wind farm in Texas.

Leading lawyers

Edward Zaelke - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Alternative/hedge funds
Alternative/hedge funds - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is ‘always responsive and forward-thinking in terms of the advice it provides’. In New York Stephen Vine heads the practice, which handles a range of work for a number of well-known and lesser-known names in the sector, some of which are at the interface of private equity and hedge funds. Kelli Moll has experience in working with start-up managers entering the business with great pedigrees, as well as fund formation mandates using alternative fee structures; Dennis Pereira is also a key contact. In Dallas, Eliot Raffkind is ‘a great resource for his extensive knowledge of hedge fund practices and current issues’.

Leading lawyers

Stephen Vine - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Next generation lawyers

Dennis Pereira - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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Private equity funds (including venture capital)
Private equity funds (including venture capital) - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLPprovides the perfect mix of responsiveness, practicality, experience and in-depth knowledge’. In New York Stephen Vine and Ann Tadajweski handle heavyweight debt fund matters, with Arina Lekhel and Dennis Pereira also acting for leading names in the industry. In the same office, new partner Jonathan Ross is ‘an exceptional member of the team’. In Washington DC, Fadi Samman, who has secondaries expertise, advises leading sovereign wealth funds.

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United States: Labor and employment

Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP handles a range of cases, from nationwide wage and hour class actions and EEO disputes, to complex labor controversies and high-profile arbitrations. It is particularly active in the sports sector and represents the National Football League (NFL) in several matters; Daniel Nash and Stacey Recht Eisenstein represented the NFL in lengthy disciplinary proceedings involving Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, following Peterson’s suspension and fine after a criminal plea agreement relating to alleged child abuse. Nash, Eisenstein and Nathan Oleson are representing the NFL in federal class action suits against claims for alleged injuries suffered as a result of the use of painkillers and other prescription drugs by players over the course of their careers. Starbucks, Ernst & Young, CEC Entertainment and Home Depot are also clients. Gregory Knopp and Gary McLaughlin in Los Angeles, Richard Rabin in New York, and Donna Mezias in San Francisco are also key figures in the team, while Robert Lian is the practice head. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m) - ranked: tier 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s team represents public and private companies, prominent investment funds, boards of directors and special committees, investors, senior management, and shareholders in complex M&A deals, dispositions, joint ventures, partnerships and other strategic transactions. New York-based Kerry Berchem heads the corporate practice, for which recent matters included John Goodgame in Houston advising Columbia Pipeline Partners Conflicts Committee on a merger with Columbia Pipeline Group, for an aggregate transaction value of $915m. Large deal highlights included Frank Reddick in Los Angeles leading advice to pet healthcare services company VCA on its sale to Mars, and Daniel Fisher in Washington DC acting for the special committee of the board of directors of Neff Corporation in its proposed sale to United Rentals for approximately $1.3bn. Other recommended practitioners include New York’s Jeffrey Kochian, who advised an NYSE-listed provider of loyalty and marketing solutions on its acquisition of a Nasdaq-listed digital marketing company; and Adam Weinstein, who for over 20 years has served as lead counsel to a mega-cap private equity fund as well as its affiliates and portfolio companies in complex, global LBO carve-out transactions and public company acquisitions. In Dallas, Thomas Yang acts for public and private companies in mergers for cash and stock, forward and reverse triangular mergers, asset and stock sales, and joint ventures. Growth in the practice included the hiring of Irvine-based Terrence Allen - who is experienced in representing private equity funds, public and private companies and leading entrepreneurs in their most important transactions - from Pepper Hamilton LLP and Dallas-based Courtney York - who is noted for advising public and private corporate clients primarily in the technology, telecoms, media and consulting industries - from Baker Botts L.L.P..

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Natasha Kohne and Michelle Reed jointly lead Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s department from San Francisco and Dallas respectively; Kohne focuses on post-data breach investigations, class action lawsuits and regulatory actions, while Reed handles privacy and security risk assessments and policy advice. Apollo Global Management and Vizio are clients; Kohne defended the latter in a data privacy class action relating to VPPA and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Kohne also advised Alpha Industries on notifying its customers following a data breach. Reed’s work includes acting for SevenTwenty Strategies on an investigation following a hack by white hat hacker Chris Vickery and handling an investigation and regulatory negotiations for Honza following a data breach. David Turetsky is now a professor.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is ‘the clear leader for entertainment financings’, acting for lenders, investors and financiers, including CIT Bank, Bank of America, City National Bank and Finch Finance. John Burke leads the group from Los Angeles and recently advised MUFG Union Bank on multiple television and film financings, including a $146m loan for Pacific Rim: Uprising, a $50m loan for season three of Narcos and a $55m loan facility for The Spy Who Dumped Me. Burke also assisted Comerica Bank with the financing of Dear White People, Max Steel and Chaos Walking and advised SunTrust Bank with the financing of Lost in Space and Detroit. Christopher Spicer is singled out as ‘the rising star of the media finance field’; he advised JPMorgan Chase on a $35m loan facility provided to Black Bear Pictures for the movie Suburbicon, and acted for East West Bank regarding a $67m facility to Bona Film Group, a production loan for season six of Orange is the New Black, and a $10m print and advertising loan relating to Collide. Non-lender clients include RatPac Dune Entertainment, Image Nation and Endgame Entertainment. Marissa Román Griffith and Alissa Miller are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

John Burke - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Next generation lawyers

Christopher Spicer - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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