Firm Profile > Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > Washington DC, United States
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Offices
801 PENNSYLVANIA AVE, NW
WASHINGTON DC 20004
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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
With particular experience advising clients in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and retail sectors, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's New York-based practice handles a range of intellectual property and false advertising litigation before the courts, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and National Advertising Division (NAD). A team led by practice head David Bernstein and cybersecurity and data privacy partner Jeremy Feigelson successfully settled false advertising litigation brought by Guardant Healt against its client Foundation Medicine relating to the companies' competing cancer testing products. Jyotin Hamid and Bernstein lead a team including counsel Megan Bannigan which continues to represent Merck KGaA in coordination of global false advertising litigation pending in 11 jurisdictions. In another work highlight, the practice advised BA Sports Nutrition before the NAD in a challenge brought by Stokley Van-Camp, which has now been referred to the FTC. Other key names to note include Michael Schaper, James Pastore and Washington DC-based healthcare sector expert Paul Rubin. The group's impressive client roster also includes American Express, L’Oreal USA, Costco Wholesale Corporation and Unilever.
Bruce Yannett in New York leads Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's 'smart, pragmatic and responsive' team. The group is renowned for representing multinationals in the spectrum of matters involving internal and public investigations by regulators and prosecutors, but it is also adept in representing individuals. Alongside London's Karolos Seeger, Yannett represented Rolls-Royce in parallel global investigation concerning allegations of bribery and corruption in overseas markets, leading to deferred prosecution agreements with the DOJ and the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and a leniency agreement with federal prosecutors in Brazil. Washington DC's David O’Neil is representing Twitter in DOJ and congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election; this included preparing the client's general counsel for congressional hearings before three committees in October and November 2017. Mary Jo White, Mary Beth Hogan and Helen Cantwell are representing the non-management members of the board of directors of CBS Corporation in an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the CEO and senior news personnel. New York-based Andrew Ceresney and Matthew Biben and Washington DC's Kara Brockmeyer are also recommended. In June 2018, the team lost Sean Hecker, who left to co-found Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.
General commercial disputes Tier 1
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP excels in complex commercial litigation and is noted for its 'top-drawer technical skills'. From its offices in New York and Washington DC, the firm's litigators take on disputes in state and federal courts across the country, and are regularly entrusted to handle disputes with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. Its expertise in the healthcare and life sciences sector is of particular note. In one recent victory for Allergan, Mark Goodman, John Gleeson and of counsel Edwin Schallert secured summary judgment and the dismissal of all claims in multidistrict litigation (MDL) before the District of Massachusetts. Maura Monaghan co-chairs the litigation department with Goodman and is noted for her 'superb brief writing and surgical analysis'. Other leading practitioners include John Kiernan, commercial and securities litigation specialist Maeve O’Connor, Shannon Selden, who often acts for hedge funds and private equity firms in high-value disputes, and Susan Reagan Gittes, who made partner in July 2018.
Insurance: non-contentious Tier 1
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is 'well known and highly thought of' for its insurance sector expertise in connection with M&A transactions, financings and capital markets matters, as well as tax and regulatory advice. Major recent highlights for the team have seen John Vasily and David Grosgold advise AXA on its $15.3bn acquisition of Bermuda-based insurer XL Group, while also acting for AIG on its $5.56bn purchase of Validus Group. Thomas Kelly led for Global Atlantic Financial Group on the reinsurance of $9bn worth of fixed annuities and reserves of Talcott Resolution, The Hartford’s run-off life and annuity businesses, following its sale to a group of investors. Nicholas Potter advised Morgan Stanley & Co on its role as financial advisor to Assurant in relation to its $2.5bn acquisition of The Warranty Group. Alexander Cochran and Marilyn Lion, who act for clients such as Wilton Re and The Carlyle Group, are up-and-coming partners in the insurance transactions space. All mentioned partners are based in New York.
International arbitration Tier 1
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP excels in handling investment arbitration, coupled with commercial arbitration and public international law in 'a seamless and efficient manner'. Mark Friedman recently represented Perenco Ecuador Limited against the Republic of Ecuador in an ICSID arbitration concerning Ecuador’s 2006 amendment of the Hydrocarbons Law and its declaration that Perenco’s Participation Contracts had come to an end. Other work includes acting as lead counsel for the Government of Qatar in various international disputes pertaining to coercive measures imposed by numerous Middle Eastern states on Qatar, which led to grave human rights abuses; the matter was jointly led by Catherine Amirfar, Donald Donovan, and 'excellent' department co-head David Rivkin. The team is also representing the client in the ICJ against the State of the UAE for violations of the UN CERD treaty. Other key names include Natalie Reid, who is co-chair of the firm's Caribbean practice, and Ina Popova.
International litigation Tier 1
New York-based Debevoise & Plimpton LLP stands out for its 'exceptional attorneys and high level of integrity'. Department co-chairs Andrew Ceresney and Mary Beth Hogan lead the team which includes many star litigators, including former SEC chair Mary Jo White and international disputes group co-chairs Donald Donovan and David Rivkin. The firm excels in high-profile cross-border commercial litigation, white-collar crime, regulatory defense work, and cybersecurity and data privacy litigation. It has represented Société Générale in connection with an investigation by the Department of Justice and France’s Parquet National Financier into the potential corruption of foreign officials in Libya in connection with the client's equity derivatives business; that matter was led by the chair of the white-collar defense group Bruce Yannett. Other clients include the Government of Grenada, Deutsche Bank and Rolls-Royce. Catherine Amirfar of the firm’s public international law group, IP specialist and 'excellent litigator' David Bernstein, Dietmar Prager and experienced trial lawyer Sean Hecker are also recommended.
International tax Tier 1
The team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advises some of the largest corporations and private equity firms in the US on tax issues relating to M&A, financing, capital markets deals, investment vehicles, derivatives and insurance matters. In recent highlights, Gary Friedman led advice to Discovery Communications in its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, and co-lead Peter Schuur advised Global Atlantic Financial Group on the reinsurance of approximately $9bn of fixed annuities and other spread-based reserves of insurance company Talcott Resolution. Co-lead Peter Furci advised Tribune Media Company on its $3.9bn sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group. Rafael Kariyev advised AmTrust Financial Services in a strategic transaction with Madison Dearborn Partners for a portion of AmTrust’s US fee businesses, valued at $1.15bn. Erin Cleary was recently made partner. Partner Vadim Mahmoudov departed to PwC as a principal in October 2017. Of counsel Burt Rosen retired. All named lawyers are located in New York.
Trademarks: litigation Tier 1
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provides ‘the very best in trademark litigation representation’ and has ‘a breadth of experience across all industries and sectors’. David Bernstein is hailed as the ‘best trademark litigator in the country’ and heads the practice alongside ‘trademark litigation superstar’ Jeremy Feigelson. Cross-border litigation is a particular specialty, with the team recently representing WeWork Companies in a multi-jurisdictional dispute that resulted in the global rebranding of UrWork, a similarly named China-based competitor of the client. Bernstein and Michael Schaper are also currently acting for Costco Wholesale Corp in an attempt to appeal a ruling that the client willingly infringed and counterfeited the trademark of Tiffany & Company. Jyotin Hamid is recommended for his ‘tremendous knowledge and experience’, while counsel Megan Bannigan ‘translates complex legal issues into clear pragmatic legal advice’. Named attorneys are based in New York.
US taxes: non-contentious Tier 1
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York tax group ‘consistently delivers a high level of service’ and has been called ‘one of the best practices for private equity and hedge fund formation’. Recent notable work in the private equity area included Michael Bolotin acting for EIG Global Energy Partners in the formation of a joint venture with FS Investments to manage the $4bn FS Energy and Power Fund, and also advising CVC Capital Partners on its investment in Republic Finance. The practice has also been active on several standout M&A transactions, an example of which included Peter Schuur advising American International Group on its $5.6bn acquisition of Validus Group. In other highlights, Gary Friedman advised Discovery Communications on its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, while Peter Furci advised Tribune Media Company on its $3.9bn sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group. Rafael Kariyev ‘is highly skilled and extremely knowledgeable’ in the structuring and formation of private investment funds. Erin Cleary was promoted to partner in May 2018. Vadim Mahmoudov left for PwC in October 2017, and Burt Rosen retired from practice.
Capital markets: debt Tier 2
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based practice, which is widely revered for its expertise in the financial services and private equity spaces, handled a string of event-driven debt transactions over the past year, acting for the full range of corporations, financial institutions and investors. Most notably, capital markets co-head Matthew Kaplan advised Discovery Communications on its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, which included a $6.7bn notes offering. Steven Slutzky, who co-leads the department, is highly regarded for private equity-related matters and advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and American Greetings on a $282.5m offering of senior notes related to the former’s $1.1bn acquisition of a 60% stake in American Greetings. Also recommended is Peter Loughran, who assisted AXA Equitable Holdings with two sizeable debt issuances, including a $3.8bn senior notes offering. Although issuer-side mandates provide the bulk of instructions, the firm also advises underwriters.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s equity capital markets practice leverages the firm’s top-drawer private equity offering to specialize in advising private equity sponsors, and their portfolio companies, on strategic transactions. Peter Loughran is a key contact and advised DE Shaw, as selling shareholder, on two secondary offerings by James River Group, worth $119m and $120.3m respectively. In another example of the group’s signature strength, Paul Rodel assisted Atkore International, a portfolio company of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, with two secondary offerings totaling $273m. Matthew Kaplan and Steven Slutzky co-lead a New York-based team that also counts AXA, Discovery Communications and Principal Financial Group among its clients.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP houses a robust issuer-side practice, which is particularly well versed in representing private equity funds, and their portfolio companies, in high-yield debt offerings. The group, which also acts for public companies and underwriters, has a solid track record in sophisticated event-driven deals, often involving acquisition finance, restructuring or leveraged recapitalization elements. In a recent example of its strong suit, capital markets co-lead Steven Slutzky advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and American Greetings on the sale of $282.5m of senior notes in connection with CD&R’s acquisition of a 60% ownership stake in American Greetings. In another private equity-related highlight, Paul Rodel advised Brand Industrial Services, a portfolio company of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, on its $300m tack-on offering of senior unsecured notes. Other representative clients include Booz Allen Hamilton and Warner Music Group. Matthew Kaplan co-heads a New York-based group, which also includes Peter Loughran.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘very deep expertise’ in a wide range of cybersecurity matters, including incident preparation, response and investigation, related civil litigation and regulatory defense, and national security issues. The practice is headed by Washington DC’s Luke Dembosky, who is ‘a trusted adviser in very high-stress, high-risk situations’, and New York’s Jeremy Feigelson. New York’s Jim Pastore is ‘incredibly knowledgeable, precise and detailed’. The team has been advising PayPal, the NBA and other clients on privacy and data security issues, including compliance with GDPR and CCPA. Other highlights include assisting Royal Bank of Canada with the response to a data breach at the client's vendor Expedia.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acts for a variety of well-known corporates and investment firms including Amazon, Getty Images, Verizon and HarbourVest Partners. Elizabeth Pagel Serebransky recently advised AIG on the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of its $5.6bn acquisition of insurance company Valdius Group, and Meir Katz is advising Ply Gem Holdings on its $5.5bn stock-for-stock merger with NCI Building Systems. Further, Jonathan Lewis assisted an investment consortium with a $4.1bn acquisition of Kindred Healthcare. Also recommended is practice chair Lawrence Cagney, who is instructed by clients such as Apple, AXA Equitable, Walt Disney and Edward Jones, and recently advised International Paper on its $1.8bn merger with Graphic Packaging. All named partners are based in New York.
With 'deep experience in the financial services industry', Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provides 'strategic and practical advice' to a diverse array of clients, including investment and regional banks, insurance companies and funds. The team has developed a strong reputation for its work on behalf of foreign banks on the extraterritorial impact of US regulations. In this context, the 'skilful and knowledgeable' David Portilla is advising the European Banking Federation in its response to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's (OCC) request for public comment on how the Volcker Rule implementing regulations should be revised and on related ongoing advocacy efforts. Co-head Gregory Lyons handles a broad array of standalone regulatory work and M&A-related regulatory issues; he provides ongoing advice to Risk Management Association on the development and implementation of the global stay resolution protocols that the US and foreign governments are requiring to be implemented to protect bank and broker-dealer counterparties in securities finance transactions. 'An expert on all areas of financial regulation', Washington DC-based Satish Kini is also a key member of the team and, alongside Lyons and Portilla, recently acted for Credit Suisse on the migration of its primary dealer from its broker-dealer to branch. The team was enhanced on the broker-dealer regulatory front by the arrival in June 2018 of Jeffrey Robins from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Other clients include American Express, Bank of New York Mellon, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. Named attorneys are based in New York, unless otherwise indicated.
Private equity buyouts Tier 2
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has 'a very high quality practice', most notably in the healthcare, financial services, insurance, technology, media and telecoms sectors. The team is 'responsive and commercially adept', 'balances the business objectives of clients while being realistic about likely exposures, threats and issues, and has a proven track record of creatively designing structures and solutions'. The firm is consistently recognized for its private equity funds formation department, which has proved fundamental to the build-out of its client portfolio and the success of the buyouts practice. Additional strength in leveraged finance, employee benefits, executive compensation, tax, litigation and deep regulatory knowledge is key to the team's performance. Clients include Blackstone, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, The Carlyle Group, Cerberus Capital Management, Kelso & Co, Providence Equity Partners, Temasek and long-term anchor client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). Paul Bird is a senior figure within the sector, known for advising the likes of CD&R and Carlyle; he led the team that advised CD&R on its purchase of New York-listed Ply Gem Holdings through a $2.4bn take-private transaction. Kevin Schmidt is 'outstanding', 'a thoughtful business adviser', 'technically sharp', 'has a no-nonsense approach', 'is someone who looks to get the deal done by protecting the client's interests but focusing on what matters' and is 'thoughtful, energetic and responsive': he led the team that advised CF Corporation and Blackstone on the $1.83bn all-cash acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Kevin Rinker has a notably strong record in healthcare deals and 'doesn't need to win every point just for the sake of it, but rather focus on what is most important'. Andrew Bab is a leader in healthcare deals and led the team that advised a consortium featuring TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) on its $4.1bn acquisition of Kindred Healthcare, resulting in Kindred to operate as a standalone company with Humana owning 40% and TPG and WCAS taking a 60% share; Kindred’s LTAC hospitals, IRFs and contract rehabilitation services businesses became a separate specialty hospital company owned by TPG and WCAS. Gregory Gooding is 'very smart and pragmatic' and recommended for financial services deals. Jennifer Chu and Uri Herzberg are emerging names, as is Christopher Anthony, who was promoted to partner in 2018.
The team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 'understand the full life cycle of private equity funds'. Highlights included Rebecca Silberstein advising Kelso & Company on forming Kelso Investment Associates X, a buyout fund with a $2.5bn target; David Schwartz assisting HarbourVest Partners with establishing the HIPEP VIII Investment Program with a $1.7bn target; and Andrew Ahern assisting Leeds Equity Partners with forming Leeds Equity Partners VI, a buyout fund which beat its $750m target. Jonathan Adler, who acts for sponsor-side clients, and counsel Cate Bae are key names. Other clients include Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Blackstone Alternative Asset Management and Credit Suisse. All named individuals are located in New York.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York has 51 partners involved in securities litigation and enforcement matters, who collectively have deep and broad experience in federal securities class action litigation, multi-jurisdictional and multidisciplinary matters involving overlapping civil litigation, federal and state enforcement actions and related legislative inquiries. Mary Jo White, who was formerly chair of the SEC, and Andrew Ceresney, a former director of enforcement at the SEC, ensure the firm has a high-calibre regulatory enforcement practice. Mary Beth Hogan and Maeve O’Connor are among the partners who ensure the litigation side of the practice is also of high quality. O'Connor is currently representing MetLife, Inc and certain officers and directors in connection with a putative shareholder class action pending in New York that challenges the company's practices in regard to payment of death benefits and escheatment of unclaimed death benefits. While most claims have been dismissed, one Section 11 matter remains pending. Shannon Selden, who is representing private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in a putative derivative suit, is also recommended.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provides the full spectrum of transaction services, but is notable for its work with large financial advisers on high-value transactions. Jonathan Levitsky works across both public and private M&A mandates, and recently handled work for Discovery Communications in connection with its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks, advised the Carlyle Group on acquiring Crestview Partner's shareholding in live broadcast company NEP, and advised Spruce House Investment Management on its $170m investment in GTT Communications. Levitsky, along with M&A specialist Paul Bird, advised Tribune Media on its now-cancelled sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group, and currently advises on Tribune's pending $6.4bn sale to Nexstar Media Group, one of the largest upcoming deals in the broadcast market. Levitsky leads the group along with Michael Gillespie and Michael Diz, both of whom specialize in telecoms and media transactions. Other prominent team members include William Regner and Jeffrey Rosen, who have a strong track record of work with large financial advisers, including clients such as Guggenheim Securities, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Securities. Latin American media conglomerate Globo Comunicação e Participações, private equity firms Spruce House Investment Management, and broadcast company MSG networks are other notable names among the firm's client list.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is regularly instructed in aircraft and non-aircraft financings, capital markets transactions, fleet purchases, M&A, restructurings and airport infrastructure development mandates. Brian Liu advised AAR Corp on a term loan for its new Canadian subsidiary, AAR Canada Holdings. Counsel Jaeyong So, Jasmine Ball and Geoffrey Burgess in London are advising CHC Group on its Chapter 11 proceedings in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, in which CHC successfully restructured more than $2bn of debt. The team is also particularly noted for its experience in acting for leading airlines. Counsel John Curry and Paul Brusiloff jointly head the team. Lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated. Le Lam has moved to an in-house role.
Environment: transactional Tier 3
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP combines ‘superior technical expertise with practical solutions that meet all stakeholder objectives’. The team is primarily instructed by large corporations and private equity clients, and has a varied practice covering the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors. Highlights include advising Solenis on its merger with BASF’s paper and water chemicals business, and acting for Chugoku Electric Power, as a member of an investor group, in the acquisition of majority ownership interests in Kleen Energy Systems, which operates a 620-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Connecticut. New York-based practice chair Stuart Hammer ‘brings a clear passion to his work’ and ‘helps clients understand and mitigate risk’. Also in New York, Harry Zirlin is an active associate in the practice group.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is able to combine the expertise of lawyers with significant regulatory know-how across the financial services landscape with a formidable team of litigators, many of whom (including former SEC chair Mary Jo White and ex-director of enforcement at the agency Andrew Ceresney) have former high-ranking agency experience. It excels at guiding financial services clients through sensitive issues, both from a crisis management perspective as well as in the defense of agency enforcement actions and ensuing private litigation. Courtney Dankworth excels at consumer finance matters, and alongside the 'solutions-oriented' Matthew Biben represented Santander Consumer USA in an investigation by the Delaware and Massachusetts Attorneys General offices into its auto lending and dealer management practices. Demonstrating the firm's ability to handle multi-jurisdictional enforcement/investigation matters, Bruce Yannett recently represented Société Général in an investigation by the DOJ and French regulators into the potential corruption of foreign officials in Libya in connection with the bank's equity derivatives business. Maeve O’Connor and Mary Beth Hogan are also recommended. All named attorneys are based in New York.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's healthcare team, which is led out of New York and Washington DC, provides a broad range of legal services, including corporate, M&A, litigation and white-collar defense, regulatory compliance, private equity financing and capital markets, as well as intellectual property and data privacy law. John Gleeson and Maura Monaghan defended EmblemHealth in a False Claims Act-related qui tam lawsuit initiated by realtors in the New York Supreme Court. On the transactional side, Kevin Rinker led for Hospital Corporation of America on its $1.5bn asset acquisition of Mission Health, while Andrew Bab represented a consortium consisting of TPG Capital, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Humana in its $4.1bn purchase of Kindred Healthcare. Transactional antitrust and trial lawyer Ted Hassi joined the Washington DC office from O'Melveny & Myers LLP in July 2018. All other mentioned attorneys are based in New York.
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 3
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is commended for the 'sophistication and scope' of its practice. It continues to impress in a range of sectors, especially healthcare, TMT, insurance and financial institutions, and private equity. The firm has worked hard to develop its sector expertise over the last decade, streamlining efforts with certain M&A practitioners given the task of focusing on individual industries alongside colleagues from other departments. Few firms now have the same level of combined M&A and regulatory expertise in its chosen focus sectors. Clients include Discovery Communications, Johnson & Johnson, HCA, International Paper, Pitney Bowes, Tribune Media, Time and Verizon Communications. In a uniquely complex transaction, involving multiple moving parts, it advised long-term private equity client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its $2.4bn acquisition of New York-listed Ply Gem in a take private transaction alongside a parallel purchase of Atrium Windows & Doors and then merger of Atrium with Ply Gem. It followed this deal with a series of add-on transactions for Ply Gem culminating in its $5.5bn stock-for-stock combination with NCI Building Systems. In the mega-deal space, it advised Discovery Communications on its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive and further illustrated its expertise in the media sector with a number of deals for Tribune Media including its proposed $6.6bn sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group, which was eventually terminated. The senior team has expanded considerably in recent years with a series of partner promotions, including Sue Meng, who is 'a strong lawyer who gets amazing amounts of work done', Uri Herzberg, Alexander Cochran and Jennifer Chu. It now has 'a fantastic mix of senior lawyer oversight with outstanding transaction lawyers and associates', which are praised for their 'brilliance and interpersonal skills'. Clients also highlight 'the level of integration and coordination among the practice areas', which 'operate seamlessly with one another on the various aspects of a deal'. Jeffrey Rosen is 'a brilliant strategist and negotiator' and Paul Bird is another senior name with a wealth of big transaction experience. Practice co-head Michael Diz is 'a strong and capable young partner', 'demonstrates a long-term commitment to learn and truly understanding clients' businesses and strategies' and 'develops positive working relationships with in-house counsel and business leaders'. Kevin Rinker, who also co-heads the M&A group, has an excellent record in healthcare deals. Also recommended are Gregory Gooding and William Regner, the latter of whom has been noted as 'another strong corporate finance and M&A professional'.
Merger control Tier 3
Daniel Abuhoff and Gary Kubek jointly lead the antitrust offering at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP from New York. In recent highlights, the team acted for Discovery in its high-profile, high-value acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, and a team including counsel Erica Weisgerber advised TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Strowe on the antitrust aspects of its acquisition of Kindred Healthcare. Other key names in New York include Michael Schaper and Kyra Bromley. In Washington DC, Ted Hassi joined the practice from O'Melveny & Myers LLP.
Real estate Tier 3
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, which provides ‘creative solutions in complex negotiations’, handles acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, development projects, financing, restructurings and leasing transactions. Its client base includes private equity funds, financial institutions, REITs, pension funds, hedge funds, publicly traded corporations and other investors. 'Incredibly bright' corporate partner Nicole Levin Mesard, a 'tough negotiator', advised Westfield on its $24.7bn sale to Unibail-Rodamco. In another highlight for Westfield, the firm advised on the $175m sale of Horton Plaza, a 900,000 square foot retail center in San Diego. Real estate chair Peter Irwin advised CPPIB on a $1bn joint venture with Alberta Investment Management Corporation and WPT Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust for the development and operation of industrial real estate assets across the US. Counsel Serhat Krause and Mesard acted for a family office in relation to the $650m investment and development of two residential towers in New York. Edward Rishty advised JP Morgan Asset Management on the $510m acquisition and financing of Groupon’s national headquarters in Chicago in a joint venture with Sterling Bay. Other clients include Brasil Warrant Investments, Rockwood Capital, The Brickstone Companies and Oaktree Capital Management. All named attorneys are based in New York.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a notable focus on representing private equity and hedge funds, and has particular experience in the insurance sector. The multidisciplinary team is led by ‘go-to reorganization expert’ Natasha Labovitz, who assisted David’s Bridal in developing balance sheet options with respect to its $750m funded term loan and bond debt. Also notable in the team is My Chi To, who is leading for Crescent Capital Group, KKR Credit Advisors and GoldPoint Partners, as holders of approximately $188m of senior secured notes of the Rockport Company and its subsidiaries. The department advised in the sale of Rockport’s business as a going concern to Charlesbank Capital Partners. The firm also represents Georgia-Pacific and Koch Industries in the Chapter 11 proceedings of Bestwall in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina. The client is party to a funding agreement whereby it agrees to fund all of Bestwall’s asbestos liability including any trust established in the bankruptcy. The firm also assisted Georgia-Pacific Holdings in a reorganization of its corporate structure that separated its main operating businesses from the Bestwall unit to ensure that it is excluded from the Chapter 11 filing. Christopher Updike left the firm to take up the position of general counsel at Stretto.
The New York-based group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘very effective’ according to sources, who note it as ‘a tightly-run ship’. The firm houses a sizeable global capital markets department, which leans on international teams in London, Paris, Moscow, Hong Kong and Frankfurt, and is best known for its focus on issuer representations, particularly within the financial services, insurance and private equity spheres. Among its recent headlines, Peter Loughran advised AXA and AXA Equitable Holdings on the latter’s IPO as well as on the partial spin-off of the US arm from the French insurer in a $4bn deal, which also included the $860m issuance of exchangeable bonds. Matthew Kaplan, who co-leads the practice, advised Australia-based Westpac on its issuance of $3bn worth of notes. The team also benefits from the senior experience of Steven Slutzky, who co-leads the group, and Paul Rodel.
Copyright Tier 4
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP works on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with a particular emphasis on the technology sector. Key members of the team include Jeffrey Cunard in Washington DC as well as Jeremy Feigelson and James Pastore in New York.
The New York-based insurance litigation group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP engages in securities litigation, coverage class actions and single disputes, governmental and regulatory investigations (particularly in the health insurance space), ERISA litigation, and reinsurance arbitration proceedings across all policy types. Maeve O’Connor has been advising MetLife in a putative shareholder class action lawsuit concerning allegations that the client's procedures for financial reporting and valuing its reserves for group annuity payments are inadequate. Securities litigation co-chair Edwin Schallert counts Prudential Financial among his clients. Susan Reagan Gittes was promoted to partner in July 2018.
The New York-based media and entertainment practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is jointly led by Jonathan Levitsky, Michael Gillespie and Michael Diz, and handles a range of corporate transactions. In recent work, Levitsky advised Discovery Communications on its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, and assisted The Carlyle Group with its agreement to purchase Crestview Partners’ remaining shareholding in NEP. The group has also been active for financial advisers in significant transactions. Greater Media, Meredith Corporation and Tribune Media are all clients.
The 'very reliable' antitrust litigators at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 'seamlessly work together' and the team recently welcomed Ted Hassi from O'Melveny & Myers LLP to its Washington DC office. The 'bright, prompt and professional' Michael Schaper is one client's 'go-to expert'; he recently led advice to Toyota and its affiliates in relation to civil litigation and class actions arising from the landmark global auto parts cartel. In other highlights, counsel Erica Weisgerber and Gary Kubek are representing the Bank of Yokohama in two multi-defendant putative class actions alleging manipulation of Euroyen, TIBOR and Yen-Libor interest rate benchmarks. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.
Healthcare: life sciences Tier 5
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's practice is co-headed by corporate lawyer Andrew Bab and Kevin Rinker, litigators Maura Monaghan and Marc Goodman and FDA regulator Paul Rubin, who is based in Washington DC. The practice prepared a report on medical device cybersecurity in collaboration with the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) Steering Committee, which included FDA officials and representatives from large medical device manufacturers. The client portfolio also includes GlaxoSmithKline and Merck. Antitrust litigator Ted Hassi joined from O'Melveny & Myers LLP in July 2018. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has an excellent reputation for advising private equity firms and corporate clients on complex financing transactions, including leveraged finance deals and high-yield debt offerings. The highly experienced partners David Brittenham and Jeffrey Ross lead the New York-based team, which also includes Ramya Tiller and Scott Selinger. Major highlights include advising Access Industries on the financing for its $5.6bn investment into the energy company Calpine, which was acquired through a consortium of investors that also included Energy Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, in a transaction valued at $17bn. Another key client is Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which the firm advised, alongside Ply Gem Holdings, on the financing aspects of Ply Gem's $5.5bn merger with NCI Building systems.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > Firm Profile
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. The firm brings a distinctively high degree of quality, intensity and creativity to resolve legal challenges selectively and cost-efficiently for its clients. Deep partner commitment, industry expertise and a strategic approach enable the firm to bring clear commercial judgment to every matter. Drawing on the strength of its culture and structure Debevoise & Plimpton delivers the best of the firm to every client through true collaboration.
Main areas of practice: Mergers & acquisitions: consistently ranked among the leading M&A firms, Debevoise is one of a handful of true advisors of choice to the world’s leading corporations, financial institutions and private equity firms. The practice offers clients sophisticated, market-wise teams in both public and private M&A. They regularly develop innovative structures and approaches, deal smoothly and effectively with associated shareholder and governance issues, activist challenges and related litigation.
Private equity: the firm’s private equity group is one of the most respected in the field. The practice includes specialized groups that are experts in fund formation and investment management, buyouts and other equity and debt investments, finance, securities and capital markets, tax, and management compensation and employee benefits. The group approaches its work with a deep level of industry expertise, drawing on the firm’s myriad specialists to deliver efficient, commercial, cutting-edge results.
Funds/investment management: the funds/investment management group is one of the largest, most diverse and most successful practices of its kind in the world. The team has acted on behalf of sponsors of, or investors in, more than 2,000 private investment funds with committed capital exceeding $2.5 trillion. With a global regulatory network and deep international experience, the practice counsels across the entire life cycle of these complex products and vehicles—covering organization and economic arrangements for sponsors, fund formation, downstream transactions, exits, firm and fund restructurings, buy-side work, secondaries and wind downs.
The corporate department also includes highly active practices in capital markets, leveraged finance, business restructuring & workouts, real estate, project finance, equipment finance, structured finance, intellectual property and environmental.
The corporate department also includes highly active practices in capital markets, leveraged finance, business restructuring and workouts, real estate, project finance, equipment finance, structured finance, intellectual property and environmental.
Litigation: Debevoise’s top-ranked white collar & regulatory defense team’s expertise includes defending against criminal prosecutions and civil enforcement actions, handling securities-related litigation, conducting internal investigations, negotiating complex global settlements, and facilitating cooperation with government regulators.
Debevoise brings unmatched government experience to client matters, boasting 15 former Assistant US Attorneys, two former Attorneys General and a wide range of former government lawyers. The department also includes the former chair of the securities and exchange commission, Mary Jo White, the former director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC, Andrew Ceresney, and former leading federal district court judge, the Honorable John Gleeson.
The firm’s strategic crisis response and solutions group brings together rapid response crisis teams from a range of disciplines, aligning experience and expertise to be matched to a specific challenge.
Debevoise’s international dispute resolution group is a global leader that has racked up some of the largest awards in the world for its clients. Lawyers in the practice handle a broad range of matters, including international commercial and treaty arbitration, public international law and complex commercial litigation.
The highly regarded intellectual property group handles a wide variety of cases, including trademark, trade dress and advertising disputes; copyright matters in media and entertainment; right of publicity issues; and unfair competition, trade secret and patent cases. Many of its cases have cross-border components, and it has deep experience across a wide range of industries.
The commercial litigation practice is one of the strongest in the industry, consistently delivering outstanding results for its clients. The group is stacked with broad-gauged litigators known for their judgment, business savvy and strategic advice. The team handles cross-border and domestic disputes of every kind across a diverse range of industries.
The cybersecurity & data privacy practice has special expertise in helping clients navigate the forensic and legal aftermath of data breaches. The firm’s cross-border, interdisciplinary team also offers regulatory counseling, defends clients in government enforcement actions, litigates privacy-related class actions and other matters, and handles transactions where data protection and security issues arise.
Other areas of litigation concentration include trial practice, securities litigation, antitrust, bankruptcy, insurance industry disputes, business integrity, products liability, professional services liability, M&A litigation, employment litigation, environmental litigation, contract disputes, and sensitive litigation & advice.
Tax & employee benefits: the tax department works closely with the firm’s corporate lawyers in structuring complex transactions. The department also focuses on tax planning and advice for business entities, high-net-worth individuals and exempt organizations, and includes an active executive compensation and employee benefits practice.
Industries: Debevoise handles complex transactions and litigation for clients in a wide range of industries.
The Insurance Group brings more than 35 years of experience to the most complex insurance industry transactions, the highest-stakes disputes and the most challenging regulatory engagements.
The banking group advises banks and other financial institutions on the gamut of regulatory, litigation and transactional matters.
The healthcare group employs an integrated, cross practice approach covering healthcare and life sciences matters.
The technology, media & telecommunications (TMT) group advises major media, telecommunications and technology companies on some of the most significant commercial matters.
Other industries in which the firm is prominent include aviation; consumer & retail; consumer finance; energy & natural resources; industrials & manufacturing; and mining.
|Aviation||John T Curry III|
|Bankruptcy and restructuring||Richard F Hahn|
|Bankruptcy and restructuring||M Natasha Labovitz|
|Commercial litigation||Mark P Goodman|
|Commercial litigation||John S Kiernan|
|Cybersecurity and data privacy||Jeremy Feigelson|
|Energy and natural resources||Ezra Borut|
|Executive compensation and employee benefits||Lawrence K Cagney|
|Financial institutions||Gregory J Lyons|
|Financial institutions||John M Vasily|
|Insurance||Nicholas F Potter|
|Insurance||Thomas M Kelly|
|Intellectual property||David H Bernstein|
|Intellectual property||Jeffrey P Cunard|
|International dispute resolution||Donald Francis Donovan|
|International dispute resolution||Lord Goldsmith QC|
|International dispute resolution||David W Rivkin|
|Latin America||Maurizio Levi-Minzi|
|Latin America||Dietmar W Prager|
|Leveraged finance||David A Brittenham|
|Litigation||Mary Beth Hogan|
|Litigation||Andrew J Ceresney|
|Mergers and acquisitions||Gregory V Gooding|
|Mergers and acquisitions||William D Regner|
|Private equity funds||Rebecca Silberstein|
|Private equity funds||Jonathan Adler|
|Private equity transactions||Kevin M Schmidt|
|Project finance||Douglas B Buchanan QC|
|Project finance||Ivan E Mattei|
|Real estate||Peter J Irwin|
|Securities||Matthew E Kaplan|
|Securities||Steven J Slutzky|
|Tax||Peter A Furci|
|Tax||Peter F G Schuur|
|White-collar criminal defense||Bruce E Yannett|
Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 138 Number of Other Fee-Earners : 535
OtherPresiding Partner : Michael W Blair Deputy Presiding Partner : Bruce E Yannett Other Offices : London Other Offices : Paris Other Offices : Frankfurt Other Offices : Moscow Other Offices : Hong Kong Other Offices : Shanghai Other Offices : Tokyo
Diversity and Inclusion
Statement on Diversity
One of the greatest strengths of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is its community. The Fundamental Values of the Firm articulate the importance of cohesiveness and collegiality within the firm, founded in the character of those we select as partners, counsel, associates and staff and in fundamental principles of fairness and cooperation with an emphasis on the success of the firm as a whole.
Debevoise is committed to creating a work environment that values each individuals contributions to our community. We recognize that we must work together every day to respect the different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences of people at the firm and to support our colleagues so they have the ability to develop to their full potential. These values are the foundation of our firm and strengthen our ability to work together as a team so that we can provide our clients with the best legal services available.
Debevoise is committed to promoting the diversity of our community. This commitment stems naturally from the values that shape our firm. To continue to flourish, our firm strives to recruit and develop the finest talent from all backgrounds and beliefs. Our ability to respond to the needs of our clients in an increasingly open and global environment requires that the members of our community have a broad range of skills and experiences. The firms commitment to diversity furthers these goals.
Diversity is a Core Value and a Critical Business Priority
Debevoises top priority has always been to provide the best legal service to our clients, and we recognize that the inclusion, sponsorship and advancement of lawyers of color, women lawyers and LGBTQ+ lawyers within the firm are cornerstones of our continued success.
Our performance on diversity is an important business metric. Some of the ways we invest in attracting diverse talent are sponsoring diverse student groups at law schools across the country; attracting diverse candidates at the Northeast BLSA Job Fair, the Hispanic National Bar Association Job Fair and the Lavender Law Career Fair (LGBTQ+), and recruiting from historically black universities; connecting diverse candidates with diverse Debevoise lawyers to provide guidance during the recruiting process; hosting a Diversity Reception and social events for diverse offerees, enriching the summer associate experience through the involvement of Debevoise affinity groups; and providing diversity and inclusion training for summer associates.
Investing in the Development and Retention of Diverse Lawyers
Debevoise takes the necessary steps to ensure that diverse associates are able to develop their legal skills and see a career path for themselves at the firm.
- Mentoring programs support the retention and promotion of diverse lawyers, increase lawyer engagement and foster talent development.
- Training and professional development programs help lawyers identify and utilize practical tools they can implement in their daily practice.
- Affinity groups and affinity group programs strengthen the sense of community and facilitate mentorship among lawyers.
- The Diversity Speaker Series features senior legal executives from different fields and diverse backgrounds speaking about their professional experiences and career paths.
- To sustain a strong pipeline of women leaders at the firm, the Womens Task Force comprised of top management and representative male and female partnerswas formed to review, update, formulate and implement initiatives designed to develop and retain women talent.
Building an Inclusive Community of Diverse Lawyers
Our lawyers serve in leadership positions at, and the firm supports, organizations that cultivate a more diverse and inclusive legal profession and create opportunities for minority students.
Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
Debevoise is active in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). Presiding Partner Michael W. Blair serves on the Executive Committee of the Board and as Treasurer. In 2017, Debevoise was named a Top Performer by the LCLD.
In 2017, Debevoise joined more than 40 leading global businesses to launch Catalyst CEO Champions for Change. Partner and Co-Chair of Debevoises litigation department, Mary Beth Hogan, is a member of Catalysts Board.
National Association of Women Lawyers
Debevoise is a member of the National Association of Women Lawyers Challenge Club.
Experiencing Diversity and Inclusion at Debevoise
At Debevoise, diversity and inclusion are about having an environment where everyone feels welcome, valued and comfortableregardless of sexual orientation, gender, religion or raceso that they have the ability to develop to their full potential.
What People Say About Us
- #1 in the 2017 Chambers Associate Law Firm Diversity Survey.
- #6 for Overall Diversity by Vault 2018 Best Law Firms for Diversity Survey.
- In 2017, 66% of women litigation partners were among Benchmark Litigations Top 250 Women in Litigation in the United States.
- Perfect Score for the ninth consecutive year, Debevoise received a perfect score for Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundations Corporate Equality Index (CEI).
- Recognized nine times by Working Mother Media as one of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women.
Debevoise Womens Review
The Debevoise Womens Review, a first-of-its-kind platform among law firms, was developed to inspire the legal and business communities to engage in discussion and collective action around gender diversity. Unlike a traditional marketing platform, the content is developed and the editorial process managed almost entirely by lawyers at the firm, most of whom are associates, allowing for an authentic, first-person perspective. Join the conversation at women.debevoise.com.
Not Just Talk: From Idea to Action
At Debevoise, we ensure that associates have a voice in how the firm follows through on its commitment to diversity and inclusion. We value their ideas and we dont just listenwe act. For example, the firm recently developed a new diversity training program aimed at mid-level and senior associates who are involved in assigning work to, and supervising, junior lawyers and staff. This new program was suggested by an associate at an affinity group meeting. Within a month, we had developed a program and added it to the firms regular mid-level and senior associate training curriculum.
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Advertising and marketing: litigation
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
- General commercial disputes
- Insurance: non-contentious
- International arbitration
- International litigation
- International tax
- Trademarks: litigation
- US taxes: non-contentious
- Capital markets: debt
- Capital markets: equity offerings
- Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
- Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- Financial services regulation
- Private equity buyouts
- Private equity funds (including venture capital)
- Securities litigation - defense
- Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
- Transport: aviation and air travel - finance
- Environment: transactional
- Financial services litigation
- Healthcare: service providers
- M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
- Merger control
- Real estate
- Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
- Capital markets: global offerings
- Insurance: advice to insurers
- Media and entertainment: transactional
- Civil litigation/class actions: defense
- Healthcare: life sciences
- Commercial lending