Firm Profile > Latham & Watkins LLP > San Diego , United States
Latham & Watkins LLP Offices
12670 HIGH BLUFF DRIVE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92130
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Latham & Watkins LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Appellate Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice, which has handled numerous high-profile appeals, often adopts a proactive approach in working with trial specialists before an issue even reaches the appeal stage, for which it attracts praise from clients. ‘Terrific’ practice head Gregory Garre successfully defended the United States Soccer Federation against claims brought by appellant North American Soccer League (NASL) before the Second Circuit, which denied the NASL a preliminary injunction reinstating its Division II designation. At the US Supreme Court, Garre argued for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in a dispute with the State of Georgia over water rights and the equitable division of two rivers originating in Georgia. At the Ninth Circuit, Richard Bress and Philip Perry led the group in representing agricultural biotech company Monsanto joining as intervenor-respondent in support of the EPA in proceedings reviewing the EPA’s registration of the herbicide dicamba. Washington DC-based duo Melissa Arbus Sherry and Scott Ballenger acted for Union Pacific Railroad in the Ninth Circuit’s case of Wells v Union Pacific Railroad Co, which focused on property rights in Union Pacific’s rights of way. In a pro bono case at the Eleventh Circuit, Garre and Ballenger presented arguments on behalf of petitioner Cory R. Maples, and convinced the Court that the client was denied effective assistance of counsel during his death penalty trial. Other noteworthy highlights included the group’s successful representation of Pandora Media and iHeartMedia in a class action copyright lawsuit at the Ninth Circuit (currently pending at the California Supreme Court), as well as a victory for client DWA Holdings as plaintiff-appellant at the Federal Circuit. In February 2018, counsel Susan Engel joined the firm from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
The ‘standout tier-one practice’ at Latham & Watkins LLP really ‘covers the waterfront for capital markets deals’, according to sources. Widely recognized for its ‘spectacular senior partners’ and ‘collaborative style’, the team had a banner year, which saw it rank among the top two firms for US equity offerings by deal value for both issuers and managers. The technology sector, in line with market trends, was a primary source of instructions over the past year, but the diverse group also secured high-profile mandates relating to the life sciences and retail industries. Among its recent headlines, global corporate chair Marc Jaffe, held up as ‘the go-to specialist in the capital markets space’, teamed up with Gregory Rodgers and Benjamin Cohen to advise Spotify Technology on its groundbreaking direct listing on the NYSE. Jaffe also acted alongside global capital markets co-chair Ian Schuman (‘an immense deal-maker’) and the London office to assist Farfetch with its $1bn IPO and private placement. On the manager side, Washington DC-based Rachel Sheridan advised Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan as underwriters on Carbon Black’s $174.8m IPO. The group also includes Michael Benjamin and Senet Bischoff and up-and-coming partner Nathan Ajiashvili. Named partners are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.
‘Among the best worldwide for capital markets’, Latham & Watkins LLP is also credited as ‘one of the top three firms in the technology space’ and as ‘a leader in equity transactions’. Indeed, peers comment that they ‘see this group everywhere’, due in no small part to its sizeable global network, which includes platforms across 14 countries. The group’s premier high-yield debt practice and ‘great balance between issuer and manager representations’ are other notable characteristics. An impressive equity performance during 2018 saw the firm earn top roles on a run of major IPOs. Most notably, Sweden-headquartered Spotify Technology turned to the team for its groundbreaking direct listing on the NYSE; the deal, which valued the company at $26.5bn, was led by widely revered global corporate chair Marc Jaffe (‘an institution’; ‘truly tremendous’) alongside Gregory Rodgers and Benjamin Cohen, all of whom are based in New York. In another technology highlight, Jaffe and New York-based global capital markets co-chair Ian Schuman (‘great in both debt and equity capital markets’), with support from the London office, advised UK-based Farfetch on its $1bn IPO. Jaffe and Schuman paired up again to advise the underwriters on Canada Goose’s $624.2m secondary offering. On the debt front, Washington DC-based partners Jason Licht and Shagufa Hossain assisted Shandong Ruyi Technology Group with its $1bn notes offering. The group also includes ’extremely strong’ global capital markets co-chair Witold Balaban, who is based between New York and London.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘first-class group’ strikes an enviable balance between issuer and underwriter representations, with clients and peers alike asserting it is ‘one of the most well-rounded practices in the market’. The team, which is noted for its ‘broad sector focus’ and ‘extremely deep bench’, ranked among the top two firms by total deal value for both issuer and manager-side high-yield corporate bond offerings during 2018. Global corporate chair Marc Jaffe is ‘an institution in the capital markets space’ and recently paired up with ‘excellent’ Ian Schuman to advise Jefferies on Nathan’s Famous’ $150m senior notes offering. Houston-based David Miller is ‘a very productive counterparty’ and, together with Houston’s Michael Chambers, advised Goldman Sachs on Endeavor Energy Resource’s $800m cash tender offer and also on its new issuance of $1bn worth of notes. On the issuer side, Houston’s Debbie Yee advised Sunoco on its $2.2bn notes offering, while Century City’s Steven Stokdyk advised Churchill Downs on its $500m senior notes offering. The group also benefits from the senior experience of Michael Benjamin (‘a great all-around lawyer’), Washington DC-based Patrick Shannon and Senet Bischoff. Named lawyers are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.
Cartel Tier 1
The Latham & Watkins LLP antitrust team 'is very good about communicating and setting expectations'; its lawyers 'are responsive to their clients' concerns, whether it is about staffing, strategy or budgeting'. On an individual level, San Francisco's 'seasoned attorney' Niall Lynch is noted for his 'wisdom, patience and strategic guidance', and Ashley Bauer is 'outstanding in many ways' and 'is always on top of every fact of the case'. The 'exceptionally knowledgeable, commercial, user-friendly and responsive' Elizabeth Prewitt recently joined the team from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, while Farrell Malone and Kirsten Ferguson were promoted to the partnership in Washington DC and San Francisco, respectively. Key clients include Toshiba, Ocean Spray Cranberries and Union Pacific Railroad. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
Latham & Watkins LLP provides 'thoughtful and sound case strategy' and global co-head Christopher Yates 'has a sense for clients' needs' and stands out through his 'outstanding experience not only in antitrust, but litigation as a whole'. Daniel Wall and Sadik Huseny are currently collaborating with him to advise Apple on putative class action suits challenging the legality of Apple's restrictions on third-party applications via its App Store. The US Soccer Federation appointed a team including New York's Lawrence Buterman and Washington DC's Gregory Garre to defend it in a claim brought by the NASL alleging that US Soccer and other professional leagues conspired to exclude NASL from the top divisions to monopolize the market. Also notable in Washington DC are Jennifer Giordano and Margaret Zwisler, while Al Pfeiffer sits in the San Francisco office. They recently acted for high-profile clients in the healthcare, telecoms and media sectors, such as Highmark and Cox Communications. Amanda Reeves co-heads the department in Washington, D.C., and was part of the team which defended Genentech in a suit filed by Russian biotechnology company Biocad alleging the client and other drug manufacturers engaged in predatory pricing and unlawful tying arrangements to prevent Biocad from competing in the US market. Named individuals are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.
Latham & Watkins LLP has particular expertise in negotiating broadcasting and licensing arrangements, and also handles major joint venture and distribution agreements in the media and entertainment and mobile app industries. Highlights in the Los Angeles office included Adam J. Sullins advising Facebook on the acquisition of certain sports broadcasting rights, and recently promoted partner Ghaith Mahmoud acting for Mattel in relation to a joint venture agreement with the internet technology company NetEast to develop new gaming experiences. Additionally, Silicon Valley-based practice head Anthony R. Klein acted for Lyft in the $250m acquisition of urban bike-sharing company Motivate, which included the adoption of existing city contracts. The firm also assisted Nestlé with licensing agreements to display third-party brands on its food products, which included agreements with household names such as Warner Bros and Disney.
Commercial lending Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP is one of the premier choices for borrower and lender work, with top-notch teams of lawyers spread throughout its US network of offices. The borrower side of the practice, which is particularly active in Washington DC thanks to its relationship with Carlyle Group, acts for a broad mix of private equity houses and corporates. Recently, the team advised CommScope, a US communications cable maker backed by Carlyle, on the financing of its $7.4bn takeover of Arris, the UK-based entertainment and networking equipment maker. Other key clients include Caesars Resort Collection, which it advised on a $1.7bn bond offering to finance existing debt. The firm's cross-border capabilities and strong banking relationships were demonstrated by its advice to JPMorgan Chase, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and MUFG Bank as lead arrangers on the $30.9bn bridge credit facilities to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to partly fund its acquisition of Shire. Other banking clients include Credit Suisse, Citibank, and Antares Capital. New York-based banking practice chair Daniel Seale jointly leads the top-tier team alongside vice chairs Greg Robins in Los Angeles and Stephen Kensell in London. Other key figures include New York managing partner Michèle Penzer, Christopher Plaut, Melissa Alwang, and Scott Gottdiener on the lender side. Jeffrey R. Chenard and Joshua Tinkelman are also recommended for their borrower side advice.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice group is headed by New York’s Bradd Williamson and is particularly active in the energy, technology and asset management industries. Recent highlights included New York-based Lori Goodman handling the equity compensation plans in connection with Spotify’s $26.5bn direct IPO listing on the NYSE. Additionally, San Francisco-based Julie Crisp and Los Angeles-based Laurence Seymour are advising T-Mobile on the benefits and compensation issues arising from its impending $126bn merger with Sprint Corporation; this deal will create the second largest wireless carrier in the US. In Silicon Valley, James Metz handled CH2M Hill’s £3.3bn sale to Jacobs Engineering Group, while David Taub in Los Angeles assisted Energy Transfer Equity and Energy Transfer Partners with its $1.8bn subsidiary sale to USA Compression Partners. Michelle Carpenter is ‘a true pleasure to work with and leaves no stone un-turned’; also based in Los Angeles, she advised Impact Biomedicines on its $7bn acquisition by Celgene Corporation. Also recommended are Washington DC-based Adam Kestenbaum, who has experience of equity transactions in the oil and gas sector, and associates Nikhil Kumar in Washington DC and Jordan Salzman in New York. Vice chair of the global tax department David Della Rocca also has a particular focus on employee benefits and executive compensation matters.
Latham & Watkins LLP advises developers, sponsors, financing entities, governments and export credit agencies on financing, M&A, project development and regulatory matters. Jointly headed by David Kurzweil in the New York office and Washington DC-based David Schwartz, the energy and power industry group has experience of projects involving a range of energy sources in the renewables space, including biofuels, biomass, ethanol, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind. Another key contact in New York is Eli Katz, who assisted Sempra Energy with the $1.5bn sale to Consolidated Edison of Sempra Solar Holdings, a US portfolio of solar and wind assets consisting of 981MW of operating renewable electric production projects, and shares in 379MW of jointly owned projects. Also recommended are Matthew Henegar, Jonathan Rod and David Penna, all of whom have particular expertise in project finance and are based in New York.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s global power industry group is jointly headed by New York-based David Kurzweil and Washington DC-based David Schwartz. The team advises developers, sponsors, financing entities, governments and export credit agencies on the full spectrum of issues in the conventional power industry, including commercial transactions, secured lending, corporate finance and project development. In one standout matter, Kurzweil and Los Angeles-based managing partner Jeffrey Greenberg led a multidisciplinary team that acted for Energy Capital Partners, as shareholders, in connection with Vistra Energy’s $1.7bn all-stock acquisition of Dynegy. Other recommended practitioners in the New York office include Paul Kukish and Edward Sonnenschein, who focus on M&A and joint ventures, and Matthew Henegar, who specializes in project finance. Barclays, Citigroup Global Markets and Sempra Energy are also key clients.
Latham & Watkins LLP is 'always responsive and exceptionally adaptable' and 'has built a very deep and dependable practice'. Highlights have included Houston-based Debbie P. Yee and Washington DC-based Nicholas P. Luongo acting for Silver Run Acquisition Corporation in its $3.8bn acquisition of Kingfisher Midstream and Alta Mesa. Also recommended in the Houston office is Robin Fredrickson, who 'brings a ton of value to any transaction'; Ryan Maierson, who heads the Houston corporate team; and Stephen Szalkowski, who focuses on M&A, joint ventures and private equity investments in the upstream and midstream sectors. New York-based Christopher Cross chairs the oil and gas group. Sean T. Wheeler left the firm for Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Environment: litigation Tier 1
Clients rely on Latham & Watkins LLP because the lawyers are ‘uniformly excellent and extremely knowledgeable and seasoned’ in all areas of environmental litigation, including climate change, air quality, toxic tort, water quality, insurance coverage, policyholder disputes, and energy and natural resources projects. The firm is assisting the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in an important water rights case filed against the State of Georgia seeking an equitable apportionment of waters to remedy environmental, ecological, and economic harms caused by over-consumption of water by the defendant in the Chattahoochee and Flint River basins. In another highlight, it is acting as counsel to Weyerhaeuser in seven putative class actions relating to the client’s sale of joists coated with a formaldehyde-based resin formulation. In San Diego, Robert Howard chairs the environment, land and resources department, and Kelly Richardson is noted for his chemical engineering background and ability to ‘see the big picture’. ‘Terrific’ Kegan Brown is recommended in New York, as is chair of the office’s environment, land and resources department, Gary Gengel, who leads ‘disparate groups from chaos to cooperation to success’. In Chicago, Mary Rose Alexander is global environment litigation practice chair and Robin M. Hulshizer and Thomas Heiden are other notable practitioners. Washington DC-based key contacts include Janice Schneider, Tommy Beaudreau, Steven Croley, Joel Beauvais, Julia Hatcher, and Robert Wyman, the last of whom divides his time between Washington DC and Los Angeles. Andrea Hogan left the firm in February 2019 to become senior counsel of the environmental and safety law group at Chevron.
Environment: regulatory Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP is valued for its ‘excellent depth of experience’ and its focus on ‘listening to what the client needs rather than over-reaching with its own agenda’. The sizeable team advises on issues such as hazardous substances and property contamination, climate change, toxic tort, and product liability in the context of transactional diligence, permitting, regulatory compliance, agency rule-making and legislation, and enforcement actions for high-profile clients. The firm is acting as lead counsel to FivePoint Holdings and Newhall Land & Farming Company in relation to the Newhall Ranch development, a masterplanned climate neutral city in southern California integrating a greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy designed by the firm, which allows the project to obtain regulatory and judicial approval and compliance with other state and federal laws. The firm is also retained by Monsanto with regards to numerous environmental law matters including the Endangered Species Act, the Plant Protection Act, and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act; the team also represents the client and before the Department of Agriculture, the EPA, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The ‘phenomenally well respected and very smart and accomplished’ Janice M. Schneider rejoined the Washington DC office as global vice-chair of the environment, land and resources department after almost three years as assistant secretary for land and minerals management at the Department of the Interior (DOI). Los Angeles-based Robert Wyman is another highly regarded practitioner. San Diego-based Kelly Richardson is ‘awesome'; 'he sees the big picture, knows where the client wants to end up, and maps out a strategy to get there’. In New York, Kegan Brown and co-chair of the environmental regulation and transactions practice Gary Gengel are ‘top of the line, consummate professionals’. Also in Washington DC, Stacey L. VanBelleghem and Tommy P. Beaudreau (former chief of staff at the DOI) are also recommended.
Environment: transactional Tier 1
Focusing on private equity, energy, chemicals and manufacturing, and working closely with the firm’s international network, Latham & Watkins LLP is involved in high-end transactions, which recently included advising the Carlyle Group on the environmental aspects of its €10.1bn acquisition of Akzo Nobel’s specialty chemicals business. In addition, the team advised US-based power plant operator ContourGlobal on negotiations with the Government of Kosovo regarding a €1.4bn project to develop, finance, construct, own and operate a state-of-the-art lignite-fired generation facility to replace current generation. The key figure in the team is James Barrett, who co-chairs the environmental regulation and transactions practice, and acts as chair of the Washington DC environment, land and resources department. Barrett is ‘professional to a T’; he is ’diligent, commercial, and easy to get along with’. New York’s Jean-Philippe Brisson advised Leonard Green & Partners on its $2.2bn acquisition of Pro Mach, a designer, manufacturer, and seller of packaging and processing products. Also recommended is Houston-based Joel Mack, who advised Silver Run Acquisition Corporation (an energy-focused SPV of Riverstone Holdings) on its $3.8bn acquisition of Kingfisher Midstream, a private provider of midstream services, and Alta Mesa, an independent exploration and production company.
Fintech Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP's multi-disciplinary fintech industry group marries the firm's deep experience in handling technology transactions with financial regulatory expertise. The group has a good track record acting for emerging companies, and recently advised Blockchain Luxembourg on the company's $40m series B preferred stock financing. Another client is Thesys CAT regarding advice on legal, governance and compliance matters relating to its work on the US Securities and Exchange Commission's consolidated audit trail (a database designed to track the life cycle of transactions on the US equity and options markets.) New York-based Stephen Wink is leading advice to blockchain company ConsenSys on range of regulatory, tax and technology matters concerning the formation of its venture capital and Token Foundry businesses. In another work highlight, the practice assisted Dynasty with the establishment of its real estate trading platform. The firm's already impressive bench was further bolstered by the arrival of Todd Beauchamp from Paul Hastings LLP to lead the payments and emerging financial services practice from Washington DC. Former practice head Vivian Maese left the practice to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.
International litigation Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘a terrific firm' where the 'team works seamlessly together’. Michele Johnson in Orange County is global chair of the firm’s litigation and trial department, which handles high-value and cross-border white-collar crime matters, antitrust cases and general commercial litigation. The US-based vice chairs are Brian Kowalski in Washington DC and Douglas Lumish in Silicon Valley. Recent highlights include Chicago-based trial lawyer Sean M. Berkowitz assisting General Electric with several lawsuits arising from Thomas Petters’ multibillion-dollar fraud scheme. Other key contacts in the team include New York-based Jamie Wine, Mary Rose Alexander in Chicago and Al Pfeiffer in San Francisco.
International tax Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP advises an assortments of the world's largest companies and private equity firms. Practice lead Nicholas DeNovio in Washington DC advised Mattel on amending its credit agreement to provide, among other things, provision of guarantors and grants of liens by certain Mattel subsidiaries if its debt rating is ever downgraded. New York-based Jiyeon Lee-Lim advised Spotify on its direct listing on the NYSE, valued at $26.5bn. Jocelyn Noll in the New York office recently advised BC Partners on its $2.8bn joint venture with Medina Capital. Samuel Weiner in Los Angeles is also notable.
Land use/zoning Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP has expertise across the gamut of zoning mandates, with particular strengths in California and the Western states. The firm often combines its land use and zoning expertise with its environmental know-how, an recent example of which included advising Newhall Land & Farming on the development of Newhall Ranch, the first climate neutral city proposed in southern California; the firm's work in this matter focused on designing a greenhouse gas emissions strategy, and negotiating a settlement with a federally recognized American Indian tribe concerning certain permits. In Los Angeles, the firm is instructed by Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies in relation to its proposed $150m aerial gondola system for Dodger Stadium, which will be initiated through a mobility partnership with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Further, the practice group is acting for the California American Water Company in relation to the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. Chair of the environment, land and resources department James L. Arnone, co-head of the project siting and approvals practice Lucinda Starrett, and George Mihlsten are ‘heavyweight’ attorneys in Los Angeles. In Washington DC, the 'outstanding’ Janice M. Schneider acts as vice-chair of the environment, land and resources practice, and is ‘very familiar with how government works and how to approach issues in a manner to get support from officials’. Also recommended is San Diego-based Christopher Garrett, who co-heads the project siting and approvals department.
M&A litigation: defense Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP has an outstanding reputation in M&A litigation cases in Delaware and across the US involving both public and private companies. Michele Johnson in Orange County and Blair Connelly in New York, who is 'the person to go to for complex cases', lead the practice and were the key lawyers in one of the standout cases of the year: the firm acted for ExamWorks in a Delaware Chancery Court case based on allegations of a flawed buyout process, and achieved a rare award of sanctions against the plaintiffs for discovery abuses in advance of trial. Connelly also worked with San Francisco-based partner Peter Wald in the defence of a shareholder derivative case against Oracle's board of directors, which alleged breaches of fiduciary duty causing the company to overpay for NetSuite Inc. The firm has a deep bench of respected partners, including Los Angeles-based Brian Glennon, who worked with Johnson to defend Avago Technologies in matters arising from its $37bn acquisition of Broadcom; James Brandt in New York; and Colleen Smith in San Diego.
The Century City-based entertainment, sports and media practice at Latham & Watkins LLP boast impressive experience in the sector with strong cross-border capabilities. In a recent work highlight, practice head Joseph A. Calabrese advised Hollywood Foreign Press Association on the negotiation of an agreement for the US broadcast rights to the Golden Globe Awards on traditional network television and various new media platforms. Alongside Robert D. Haymer he also acted for Skydance in connection with Tencent’s acquisition of a minority interest in the company. Nancy A. Bruington handles a range of financing transactions and assisted Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) with the refinancing of its existing revolving and term loan credit facility and execution of a new second lien term loan facility. The group also frequently advises Lions Gate Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Netflix; Kenneth T. Deutsch in Los Angeles led advice to the latter on the structuring and negotiation of co-production and distribution arrangements for the upcoming motion pictures Klaus and Over the Moon, which were co-produced with parties in Spain and China respectively. Changes to the team include Christopher Brearton's departure to an in-house role at MGM, and Justin Hamill's arrival in the New York office from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense Tier 1
Co-headed by Gwyn Williams in Boston and Thomas Heiden in Chicago, the ‘superbly diligent and clear-headed team’ at Latham & Watkins LLP has a strong track record representing clients from the automotive, tobacco and sports industries. Together with the ‘exceptional strategist’ Kenneth Parsigian based in Boston, Williams has been acting for longstanding client Philip Morris as global coordinating counsel in a lawsuit filed by the South Korean National Health Insurance Service, which claims damages for health care benefits paid to smoking patients and dependents. In Chicago, Mark Mester advised the National Collegiate Athletic Association in a number of class actions consolidated in a multi-district litigation (MDL) regarding allegations that plaintiffs have suffered adverse consequences as a result of participating in athletics at NCAA member institutions. The team also continues to represent Chevron in a series of class actions in the high-profile Hot Fuels litigation.
Latham & Watkins LLP's experience includes conversions of existing corporations and partnerships into REITs; private placements and public offerings of equity, including IPOs, debt and exchangeable securities; mergers, acquisitions and liquidations; and ongoing company representation and REIT compliance issues. Active clients include Digital Realty Trust, Essex Property Trust, Hudson Pacific Properties, InvenTrust Properties, Phillips Edison, Realty Income and Redwood Trust. The team acted for Phillips Edison, a US-based owner and developer of shopping centres, on its sale of real estate assets and the third-party asset management business, to Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT I. The global group is co-chaired by Michael Brody, Julian Kleindorfer and Ana O’Brien. Other experienced advisers are Lewis Kneib, Orange County's William Cernius, San Diego-based Craig Garner and counsel in the Orange Country and Los Angeles offices David Wheeler; Brent Epstein made partner. Named attorneys are in Los Angeles, unless otherwise stated.
Latham & Watkins LLP's securities litigation and professional liability group had a successful year in 2018, having handled precedent-setting cases for a growing roster of blue-chip clients, which include Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions and large accounting firms. An example is its work for Apple in a securities class action in which the plaintiffs allege that the company is liable as a 'control person' for allegedly false and misleading statements made by one of its third-party suppliers. Miles Ruthberg and up-and-coming partner Jason Hegt in New York, along with Matthew Rawlinson in Silicon Valley, were the lead lawyers in that case. Rawlinson, Jeff Hammel in New York and Andrew Clubok in Washington DC lead the practice. Veteran litigator James Brandt in New York and Robert Perrin in Los Angeles are representing PG&E in class actions arising from the wildfires in northern California in 2017. The firm's work in the life sciences sector includes defending a class action for biopharmaceuticals company Aratana Therapeutics, in which New York partners Kevin McDonough and Jamie Wine secured a dismissal with prejudice.
Shareholder activism Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP regularly acts for company boards in the defense of activist campaigns. Mark Gerstein and Christopher Drewry in Chicago, and Scott Herlihy in Washington DC, advised Owens-Illinois on an activist campaign brought by Atlantic Investment Management. Gerstein and Michael Dillard in Houston advised QEP Resources on an investment in the company by Elliott Management. In Silicon Valley, Tad Freese and Josh Dubofsky acted for e.l.f. Beauty in its relations with Marathon Partners, while Dubofsky, Ruck, Mark Roerder and Alan Mendelson advised Mellanox Technologies on its relationship with Starboard Value. Other clients include Aratana Theraputics and Cars.com, the latter of which the team advised on an investment in Starboard Value by Drewery, Aslani Far and Gerstein. Other key figures include Dennis Craythorn and Adel Aslani-Far in New York, Peter Handrinos in Boston, and Patrick Pohlen in Silicon Valley, the last of whom advised Calix on a campaign brought by Voce Capital Management.
Technology transactions Tier 1
Latham & Watkins LLP is well known for handling commercial technology and IP licensing transactions in industry sectors including financial services, retail and telecoms. Recently promoted partner Ghaith Mahmoud, who is based in Los Angeles, has been advising Tencent Holdings on contractual risks involved with certain IP licensing and software distribution arrangements. San Francisco-based J.D. Marple represented the fintech company Digital Asset Holdings in contractual negotiations with the Australian Stock Exchange to replace the post-trade settlement system with a blockchain solution. The team is also acting for prominent grocery store operator Safeway in the sale of its Canadian division to the retailer Sobeys, which involves the negotiation of a transition services agreement pursuant to which the client will provide IT services to the purchasing party. Silicon Valley-based practice head Anthony R. Klein is also recommended.
Latham & Watkins LLP's full-service practice handles significant regulatory and transactional work for a roster of high-profile clients. Matthew Brill, 'one of the top lawyers in town', according to clients, recently secured a victory for Charter at the Second Circuit in a case concerning the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and set a precedent relating to the definition of an automated telephone dialing system. Brill also acts for Charter in a lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General's office regarding Time Warner Cable's alleged misrepresentation of the broadband speeds provided to customers, alongside the firm's white-collar crime team. The practice is led by direct broadcast satellite and emerging technologies specialist James Barker, along with Brill and New York-based transactional specialist James Gorton. Satellite expert John Janka is serving as lead counsel to ViaSat in a range of strategic and regulatory matters, including contested spectrum proceedings and non-geostationary orbit satellite network applications. Barker recently led the regulatory team advising T-Mobile on its acquisition of Level 3 Communications, while Gorton headed the transactional team. Another key mandate for the firm has been its representation of the independent board of directors of T-Mobile in its merger with Sprint, working on transactional, regulatory and national security issues. Other notable names in the practice include Matthew Murchison, who has done 'great work on some complicated litigation' as well as providing regulatory counsel, and has significant experience in TCPA and broadcast licensing matters; and of counsel Elizabeth Park, who is experienced in both regulatory and transactional telecoms matters. Murchison recently represented Comcast and the West Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association in their challenge to state and local one-touch make-ready laws, along with Brill, and appellate specialist Melissa Arbus Sherry.
Latham & Watkins LLP has significant experience in satellite, telecoms and broadcast transactions, for both financial clients investing in the space and established industry players. The firm recently advised CommScope on its $7.4bn acquisition of ARRIS International, as well as advising on related financing issues. Practice co-head Matthew Brill advises telecoms as well as private equity clients on their transactions, and recently assisted LogMeIn with its $350m acquisition of cloud-based communications provider Jive Communications. Fellow co-head James Barker handles spectrum work for clients, particularly concerning spectrum auctions and transactions, and recently acted for Blackrock Financial Management and ADK Capital Partners in connection with the FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction. Barker and Brill are key contacts for the T-Mobile committee of independent directors, which they are advising in connection with T-Mobile's proposed merger with Sprint, in one of the wireless sector's largest recent transactions. Other recent highlights for the firm include work for Viasat in various spectrum proceedings, representing Hytera in its acquisition of Sepura and its US subsidiaries, and assisting JP Morgan in the debt financing of Sirius XM. Satellite and broadcast specialist John Janka serves as regulatory and transactional counsel for Viasat along with of counsel Elizabeth Park. All lawyers listed are based in Washington DC.
US taxes: contentious Tier 1
Applauded for 'deftly assisting' clients, the team at Latham & Watkins LLP is involved in a number of large tax litigation matters. Well-respected Jean Pawlow is representing Citigroup in the US Court of Federal Claims, seeking a refund of taxes in excess of $400m. Pawlow also represents Siemens Corporation in US Tax Court litigation involving the gain on the distribution by a US subsidiary of an automotive parts business to its German parent. Group lead Miriam Fisher represented actor Johnny Depp in relation to tax issues arising from a lawsuit against his former financial managers; the case was resolved successfully. Alongside Brian McManus in Boston, Fisher is also representing Palace Exploration against allegations of abuse by the State of New York in a test case on appeal to New York's Supreme Court. DC-based counsel Andrew Strelka works with numerous clients, including Siemens and Weyerhaeuser Company. Kimberly Eney joined as a counsel in Washington DC in July 2018 from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
US taxes: non-contentious Tier 1
The tax practice at Latham & Watkins LLP has developed a reputation for its expertise in private equity deals, and is often involved in large M&A and capital markets transactions. Of late, Jiyeon Lee-Lim and Matthew Dewitz acted for Spotify in relation to the cross-border tax analysis leading up to its IPO and listing on the NYSE valued at $26.5bn. 'Highly regarded expert' David Raab is acting for The Carlyle Group in relation to its €10.1bn acquisition of AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business. In Chicago, chair of transactional tax Joseph M. Kronsnoble handled a number of significant acquisitions on behalf of Leonard Green & Partners, such as the purchase of majority stake in MDVIP, CPA Global and Troon Golf. Looking west, San-Francisco-based Kirt Switzer structured the merger between client IXYS Corporation and Littelfuse as a tax-free reorganisation, and ‘outstanding specialists’ Samuel Weiner and Pardis Zamorodi are contacts in the Los Angeles office. Other key figures include Chicago-based Diana S. Doyle, and Washington DC-based Andrea A. Ramezan-Jackson and counsel Kimberly Eney, the latter of whom joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All named individuals are based in New York unless specified.
Capital markets: debt Tier 2
Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘extremely broad sector coverage’ and ‘very deep bench’ translates into a comprehensive national debt practice, which packs a punch in both issuer and underwriter mandates. The global corporate group is chaired by Marc Jaffe, who is widely revered as ‘the go-to specialist for capital markets’. New York-based Jaffe acted alongside Erika Weinberg, also based in New York, to advise JP Morgan, as lead underwriter, on Teleflex’s $500m senior notes offering. On the issuer side, New York’s Senet Bischoff assisted Mattel with its $1bn issuance of senior notes and its subsequent $500m tack-on offering. In Washington DC, Patrick Shannon and Leakhena Mom advised Novolex, a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group, on its $500m private placement of notes to support its acquisition of Waddington Group. New York partners Michael Benjamin and Stelios Saffos, and Washington DC-based Jason Licht are also noted for debt matters. Counsel Jason Ewart joined in New York from Paul Hastings LLP.
Corporate governance Tier 2
Recent highlights for Latham & Watkins LLP included Orange County-based William Cernius and Andrew Gray acting for Realty Income Corporation in relation to an alleged bear raid by Spruce Point Capital Management. In Houston, Ryan Maierson is instructed by TechnipFMC, a British company listed on both the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext, but not a foreign private issuer. William O'Neill retired.
Latham & Watkins LLP has an impressive record in domestic and multi-jurisdictional investigations and white-collar criminal defense. The group is jointly chaired by Steven Bauer in San Francisco, Kathryn Ruemmler in Washington DC and New York's Benjamin Naftalis. Alongside Alice Fisher and Anne Robinson (both in Washington DC), Bauer represented Dow Chemical in a multibillion-dollar FCA suit, successfully obtaining a motion to dismiss from the District Court for the District of Columbia. In another highlight, Ruemmler is representing Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications in a New York Attorney General investigation into its alleged misrepresentation of broadband performance to consumers. In terms of individual representations, New York's Chris Clark was retained by Elon Musk, following fraud charges filed by the SEC in relation to the client's misleading tweet about taking Tesla private; the matter culminated in a quick settlement, which involved improvements to corporate governance and the payment of a monetary penalty. White-collar defense and securities litigator Eric Swibel and former federal prosecutor and white-collar specialist Terra Reynolds were appointed joint heads of litigation for the Chicago office in early 2019. Also of note, Elizabeth Prewitt, who focuses on international cartel matters, investigations and litigation, joined the team from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.
Latham & Watkins LLP's data privacy and security team is headed by Washington DC’s Jennifer Archie, San Francisco’s Michael Rubin and New York’s Serrin Turner. Archie has been advising consumer electronics company Vizio on global data privacy and security matters, including the client’s potential expansion of smart television sales outside the US and into markets with different data protection laws. Rubin and Serrin have been assisting Facebook as leading global counsel with the investigation, preparation and handling of regulatory submissions and litigation in relation to the client’s September 2018 data breach. The client portfolio also includes Apple, Lyft and LG Electronics.
Latham & Watkins LLP's DC-based power industry department represented Energy Capital Partners in its $5.6bn acquisition of Calpine. As regulatory lead partner, Natasha Gianvecchio assisted the client in obtaining approvals at both federal level and state level. On the contentious side, a group led by practice head David Schwartz represents Avangrid in two class action cases pertaining to alleged market manipulation. The actions were prompted by a white paper published by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) which claimed that the client's abuse of the market increased electricity prices so that ratepayers paid approximately $3.6bn extra over a three-year period. Michael Gergen is the name to note for advice on policy and transmission-related work.
General commercial disputes Tier 2
Household name corporations and financial institutions turn to the trial-ready lawyers at Latham & Watkins LLP, who are well versed in cases with potential liabilities exceeding the $1bn mark. Facebook retained San Francisco-based Elizabeth Deeley and Andrew Clubok and counsel Susan Engel in Washington DC to represent the company in several matters, including in five consolidated putative nationwide class action lawsuits filed in the Northern District of California involving claims of unfair competition. In a major victory in federal court, a trial team led by Thomas Nolan in Los Angeles acted for CashCall and its CEO in an enforcement action by the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) concerning CashCall's servicing of certain unsecured installment loans; the court rejected CFPB's claims, and the agency has appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit. James Brandt and Miles Ruthberg in New York receive praise. Other key figures in the team include Sean Berkowitz in Chicago, New York-based Joseph Serino and Laura Washington in Century City.
Healthcare: life sciences Tier 2
Considered by clients as ‘superior’, Latham & Watkins LLP's life sciences practice stands out for its ‘expertise, breadth of capabilities, diligence and customer focus’. Washington DC’s regulatory expert John Manthei acted for pharmaceutical manufacturer Alvogen, obtaining a temporary restraining order preventing the State of Nevada from using medication distributed by the client in an execution. Manthei and Ben Haas (who is also based in Washington DC) assisted Endo and its subsidiary Par Sterile Products with a challenge to FDA’s implementation of the 2013 Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) in relation to the regulation of pharmaceutical compounding by outsourcing facilities. Silicon Valley’s Alan Mendelson represents emerging and public growth life sciences companies in a number of business transactions, including M&A, private placements and public offerings. The ‘fully engaged and very accessible’ Nathan Ajiashvili, who is based in New York and specializes in capital markets, and Washington DC’s associate Eitan Bernstein are also recommended.
The healthcare practice at Latham & Watkins LLP advises on all aspects of M&A and private equity transactions, as well as providing regulatory advice and representation in government investigations and whistleblower actions, fraud and abuse claims and other types of litigation. A major highlight for the Los Angeles practice was Daniel Settelmayer's work for DaVita on the $4.9bn sale of DaVita Medical Group to UnitedHealth affiliate Optum, while in Washington DC, Stuart S. Kurlander assisted Kohlberg Kravis Roberts on the regulatory aspects of three separate service provider acquisitions, each in the billion-dollar value range. On the contentious side, San Diego-based Katherine Lauer advised Tenet Healthcare Corporation on a False Claims Act qui tam action concerning an alleged referral of Part B ambulance services to providers at below-cost rates. In 2017, the healthcare white-collar practice was boosted by the arrival of former Paul Hastings LLP counsel Terra Reynolds, who joined as a partner and local co-chair of the litigation and trial department in Chicago.
The insurance practice at Latham & Watkins LLP covers business interruption and property loss claims, various types of liability claims, crime and fidelity losses, intellectual property and transaction-related matters. Washington DC-based partner David A. Barrett has been serving as lead coverage counsel on the National Collegiate Athletic Association's attempt to recover $75m for its medical monitoring settlement and defense costs against concussion-related bodily injury claims. In San Diego, Brook Roberts represents Montrose Chemical Corporation of California in appellate proceedings concerning a $100m coverage claim resulting from environmental contamination. The client base also features Facebook, Toyota and Michigan State University.
International trade Tier 2
Latham & Watkins LLP's eight-partner Washington DC-based team provides 'succinct analysis and guidance on how best to resolve trade issues', primarily with regard to export controls and sanctions matters, from both a compliance and enforcement perspective. Its clients include many global corporates in highly regulated sectors, including life sciences and financial services. The 'customer-oriented and responsive' Les Carnegie and William McGlone have 'significant knowledge of the regulations, as well as strong ties with the regulators'. In addition to standalone mandates, the team also picks up a huge amount of work by virtue of the firm's vast deal engine, in terms of both ad-hoc evaluation of compliance risk and CFIUS advice on M&A. Carnegie and Edward Shapiro are involved in the most significant CFIUS work handled by the team, on behalf of US target businesses and overseas acquirers (where it is well positioned as a result of its vast international network of offices). Shapiro recently acted for US-based energy exploration company Armstrong Energy in connection with the $400m sale of its Alaska North Slope Assets business to New Zealand-based energy firm, Oil Search. Eric Volkman is recommended for the investigations and enforcement side of export controls and trade sanctions cases.
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 2
Latham & Watkins LLP has an outstanding national and international presence, enabling it to develop tight connections to corporates and be in the frame for one-off bet-the-company M&A engagements. Ranging from high-value to middle market deals, the firm has a substantial pipeline of deals, which feeds a sizeble team. Clients include T-Mobile USA, Dell Technologies, DXC Technology Company, Novelis and Phillips 66 Partners. In the large-cap space, the firm has impressed in a number of transactions, including advising the committee of independent directors of T-Mobile on the company's proposed $146bn combination with Sprint. In another headline deal, the firm advised the special committee formed by the board of directors of Tesla on evaluating its $71.6bn going-private transaction. Charles Ruck has built an enviable record in large-cap deals, especially in the life sciences and telecoms sectors, and now splits his time between Orange County and New York. Luke Bergstrom is a big name in Silicon Valley, particularly in technology and life sciences deals, while Mark Gerstein and Bradley Faris are the senior figures in Chicago. Having joined the firm in 2017 to bolster the New York office Peter Harwich has advised on a series of headline deals DXC Technology Group, including its $6.5bn reverse Morris trust transaction involving the tax-free spin-off of its US public sector business and three-way merger with Vencore and KeyPoint Government Solutions to form Perspecta.
Marvin S. Putnam leads Latham & Watkins LLP's entertainment, sports and media litigation offering based in Century City. He and recently promoted partner Laura Washington are handling a range of matters stemming from Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct, including representing Miramax in several related class actions and defending ex-independent director of The Weinstein Company Holdings, Tim Sarnoff, in both the aforementioned class actions and several additional claims. Other clients include Ticketmaster, author Michael Pollan and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM); the team is advising the latter in a defamation dispute brought against President Donald Trump, including on media coverage and public interest issues relating to subpoenas for unaired The Apprentice footage, as well as assisting with internal investigations into allegations of misconduct on certain reality TV shows. Alongside Putnam, Jessica Stebbins Bina jointly leads a team including associate Robert Ellison, in the representation of MGM.
Merger control Tier 2
The 'excellent' antitrust team at Latham & Watkins LLP 'has outstanding knowledge of the agencies, is efficient in its work process, and fields a deep bench of more-than-capable associates'. Global practice co-head Amanda Reeves, Jason Cruise and counsel Alan Devlin 'are superstars; they are smart, efficient and practical'. Agrium (now Nutrien) appointed a team led by Michael Egge, recently promoted partner Farrell Malone and Reeves to obtain clearance for its merger of equals with Potash. In San Francisco, Karen Silverman and client-recommended counsel Jason Daniels are currently representing home security company Ring in the antitrust aspects of its acquisition by Amazon for over $1bn. Also notable are counsel Sydney Smith, who advised Siemens on the US aspects of its merger of equals with Alstom, and San Francisco's Christopher Yates, who co-heads the global practice with Reeves.
Outsourcing Tier 2
Latham & Watkins LLP has been particularly active in the tourism, media, telecoms, banking and healthcare industries, where it is often involved in IT outsourcing arrangements and transactions that involve management and business administration processes. Key contacts in the practice group include Silicon Valley-based department head Anthony R. Klein, San Francisco-based JD Marple and Jeremiah M. Wolsk, who practices in the firm's Washington DC office. Highlights include advising Charles Schwab on agreements with Accenture in relation to BPO outsourcing projects. OpenTable, Clorox Company, PacifiCare Health Systems and Broadcast Music are also among the team's clients.
The 'high-level professionals' at Latham & Watkins LLP impress with their 'polished demeanor', and continue to grow their practice, most recently with the addition of 'top shelf' litigator Jamie Underwood from Alston & Bird LLP. The group recently succeeded in defending Arista Networks in its ITC litigation opposite complainant Cisco Systems after Arista had received adverse decisions from the ITC; the client ultimately prevailed using rulings from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and an enforcement action trial. Additionally, Comcast relied on the team for its defense against an ITC investigation filed by Rovi, again weaving in CBP tools to allow the previously forbidden import of redesigned products. Other instructions came from Nautilus Hyosung, Amphenol and Ford. Practice head Bert Reiser and Kevin Wheeler are also recommended.
Private equity buyouts Tier 2
Latham & Watkins LLP has an extensive private equity team, backed by a range of complementary skills from around the firm, such as leading acquisition and leveraged finance, regulatory and antitrust expertise. The firm has a close association with The Carlyle Group and a range of other private equity houses including BC Partners, KKR, GTCR, Hellman & Friedman, Leonard Green & Partners and Odyssey Investment Partners. The team provides 'extremely commercial counsel', 'endless energy', 'strong customer service' and 'identifies the right commercial outcome'. It has 'broad expertise and deep domain experience' and 'is comprised almost entirely of good, committed, moral and rational people who ably and zealously advocate for their clients'. The New York and Washington DC offices dominate the practice in the US; the firm has an unrivalled standing in Washington DC where it manages relationships with the likes of Carlyle, Onex Partners and Platinum Equity. The sizeable team in New York is a match for most competitors in the city and has developed an especially strong reputation in the energy sector, often working with colleagues in Houston, on deals for the likes of ArcLight Capital and Energy Capital Partners. The Chicago and Boston offices are building their presence in the market, while the firm has successfully targeted West Coast-based clients such as Leonard Green & Partners and Platinum Equity. The firm's outstanding international presence was in evidence when Washington DC partner David Dantzic led a multi-office team that advised Carlyle Group and GIC on the €10.1bn acquisition of the specialty chemicals business of AkzoNobel. In another cross-border deal, the firm advised Leonard Green & Partners on its acquisition of CPA Global, the leading intellectual property management firm, from Cinven; after a hotly-contested auction, this was Leonard Green's first leveraged buyout in the UK. Howard Sobel and Washington DC's Daniel Lennon are the firm's most senior private equity names in the US, with Lennon noted for his longstanding connection to Carlyle. David Allinson is 'smart, extremely knowledgeable and incredibly experienced' and 'always provides thoughtful, cogent advice and a phenomenal service'. Thomas Malone is 'an extraordinary attorney who is best characterized by his dogged work ethic and fierce client advocacy'. Paul Kukish, Washington DC's Paul Sheridan and Chicago partner Shaun Hartley co-chair the global private equity practice; the latter two are 'very strong commercial thought partners, strong negotiators, and truly understand clients' businesses'. Alexander Johnson has joined from Hogan Lovells US LLP. The named partners are New York-based unless stated otherwise.
The ‘superbly diligent and clear-headed’ product liability, mass tort and consumer class actions practice at Latham & Watkins LLP is headed by Thomas Heiden in Chicago and Gwyn Williams in Boston. In recent work, Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander and Robert Howard in San Diego represented Monsanto in an ongoing public nuisance claim filed by major West Coast municipalities and several states seeking to compel defendants to remediate vast water bodies. Other highlights include defending Chevron in a C-137 release contamination case, and acting for Southern California Gas Company in regulatory agency matters involving the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility. Kelly Richardson in San Diego is another name to note.
Real estate Tier 2
Latham & Watkins LLP provides ‘unparalleled organization, attention to detail and thoroughness’. It is adept at handling M&A, corporate and traditional real estate company transactions, borrower and lender-side finance, private equity and advice on public REITs. Areas of expertise include acquisitions and dispositions, land use, development projects and ground leases, joint ventures, loan enforcement actions and restructurings and workouts. Client sectors include hospitality, healthcare, life sciences, multi-family housing and condominium developments, industrial, office, retail and mixed-use projects. Chicago-based Gary Axelrod recently advised Loews Hotels on a $300m joint venture PPP with Kansas City and several other government entities. Another highlight included representing Walton Street Capital in relation to its acquisition of a class A office building in Chicago as well as a new flagship Apple store for $370m. Robert Buday and Rachel Bates, who are also based in Chicago, co-led in representing Hyatt Hotels on the sale of the Andaz Maui, the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, and the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa to Host Hotels & Resorts for $1bn. A further highlight included acting for Phillips Edison Grocery Store REIT I on its $2bn merger with Phillips Edison Grocery Store REIT II, a public non-traded REIT; this created a national portfolio of 323 shopping centers with a value of roughly $6.3bn. New York-based Michelle Kelban advised Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank as the lender in $300m worth of construction loans for multifamily condominiums in Houston, Orlando and New York City. Michael Haas joined as co-chair of the real estate practice in New York from Jones Day. San-Diego-based James Mann was promoted to partner in January 2018. Los Angeles-based associate Pablo Clarke is also recommended. James Hisiger retired. Other clients include Stepstone Real Estate Partners, Starwood Capital Group, Lineage Logistics and ACORE Capital.
Latham & Watkins LLP specializes in representing distressed companies and acquirers in the sale and purchase of distressed assets. The growing debtor practice was boosted by the additions in New York of George Davis, who acts as global chair of the restructuring, insolvency and workouts practice, and Andrew Parlen, both from O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Also leading the team are global vice chairs Jeff Bjork, who joined the Los Angeles office from Sidley Austin LLP, and Chicago-based Richard A. Levy. Other contacts in the team include Peter Knight and Jim Ktsanes in Chicago, New York's Mitchell Seider and Ted Dillman in Los Angeles. The practice is acting for Citibank as administrative agent for PetSmart’s first lien term loan of approximately $4.5bn, in the ongoing challenge to PetSmart’s out-of-court reorganization and financial restructuring. In another highlight, the department is representing Blackhawk Mining in the out-of-court restructuring of the company’s capital structure, including its asset-based lending, first lien term loan, and second lien term loan credit facilities. The team also continues to represent Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in litigation related to the 2016 Chapter 11 plan agreed for online mobile payments and identity verification company Jumio.
Sport Tier 2
Latham & Watkins LLP's entertainment, sports and media practice is noted particularly for its transactional experience, and counts the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Tencent Holdings and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) among its clients. Joseph A. Calabrese is acting for the International Olympic Committee, alongside Brussels-based Marc Hansen, in connection with preparations for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, including advising on matters ranging from host city contractual relationships and commercial matters to digital rights, real estate, sponsorships, and governmental relations. Calabrese jointly heads the practice alongside Adam J. Sullins who leads advice to Facebook on its acquisition of sports distribution rights, including its $600m bid for Indian Premier League cricket rights in India and its acquisition of media rights for the 2018-2021 UEFA Champions League soccer competitions in Latin America. In another impressive work highlight New York-based counsel Michael Kuh, Paul Tosetti and Russell Sauer, Jr. (who is a key name for litigation) acted for the United Bid Committee of Canada, Mexico and United States in its successful bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Another key name to note is associate Kendall Johnson, who has experience across a range of transactions. Christopher Brearton’s departed to an in-house role at MGM, and corporate lawyer Justin Hamill arrived in the New York office from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Latham & Watkins LLP has 'a deep bench of multidisciplinary experts' and is regarded by some of its peers as 'perhaps the market-leading equity derivatives group'. Indeed, the team is among the market's most active equity derivative groups on the issuer side and the manager side. Rafal Gawlowski is a key contact for equity-linked derivatives. Another figure in the team is Courtenay Myers Lima, 'a trusted business partner', who specializes in linked notes transactions. Myers Lima acted for Credit Suisse, as issuer, in multiple index-linked notes issuances, and also assisted several foreign banking groups with regulatory matters associated with their US operations. The team also has experience in the development of proprietary trading indices. Also recommended is Melissa Alwang, who specializes in leveraged finance.
Latham & Watkins LLP has strengths in manager-side CLOs and ABS, where it is active across a range of asset classes and has recently expanded into rail car, container and solar asset securitization. Further, practice head Kevin Fingeret and Loren Finegold acted for Guggenheim Securities, as initial purchaser, in the first-ever data center securitization. Additionally, Fingeret and Graeme Smyth advised Vivint Solar on its $466m private placement of notes backed by a pool of residential solar generation contracts, which marked one of the largest solar securitizations to date. The CLO practice includes key figures Vicki Marmorstein, Dominic Yoong and Douglas Burnaford. Clifford Capital, Black Diamond Capital Management, Ares Management and AXA Investment Managers are among the CLO team's key clients. Also recommended is Chicago-based Ellen Marks, who has experience in a range of structured finance transactions and also advises on swaps and securitization regulation.
Latham & Watkins LLP acts on the defendant and plaintiff sides of trade secret disputes and has a notable focus on the technology sector. Los Angeles -based Daniel Schecter and D.C based Kathryn Ruemmler acted for the UAE bank ENBD in a dispute in which stored value cards provider InfoSpan claimed that the client misappropriated its trade secret for the development of its payment system SpanCash. Perry Viscounty works from the San Francisco office and represented supplement-maker Metagenics in a trade secrets dispute in which a former employee allegedly used confidential information to set up a rival business.
International law firm Latham & Watkins LLP's 'practical and responsive' team has a strong focus on the start-up, emerging company and venture capital sectors, and is well known for advising clients on the whole life-cycle of an emerging company. Recent work for the group includes advising Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, a rare-disease therapeutics company, on its $63.5m Series B financing. The client roster includes Ginkgo BioWorks, ArcherDX, 4D Molecular Therapeutics and Impossible Foods. Key partners include Alan Mendelson, who is global chair of the life sciences industry group, and John Chory and Benjamin Potter, who share leadership of the emerging companies practice. Patrick Pohlen is also recommended.
Regulatory work for Latham & Watkins LLP's oil and gas clients is handled by the oil and gas industry group in conjunction with the energy regulatory and markets group, with David Schwartz acting as the key contact for both teams. Chevron Corporation, ExxonMobil Pipeline and Santa Fe Gas are some examples of notable clients of the practice. In an ongoing matter, J. Patrick Nevins serves as counsel to the $9bn Delfin Midstream LNG export project on a range of issues, including obtaining FERC approvals for the onshore components of the project; once completed, this will be the first deep-water port LNG export project in the US. Nevins has both 'deep regulatory knowledge' and 'commercial acumen on par with transaction specialists at other firms'. Elsewhere, Eugene Elrod and others are acting for PTE Pipeline in rate proceedings at both the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and FERC.
Leveraging the expertise of strong financial services regulatory, white-collar and securities litigation practices, Latham & Watkins LLP provides a 'top-notch' service to investment and commercial banks, funds and accountancy firms on many of their highest-stakes disputes. Benefiting from the expertise of numerous former high-ranking government lawyers, the team has a strong degree of credibility before the agencies, and excels at defending clients embroiled in multi-pronged agency investigations/enforcement actions and follow-on private litigation. Washington DC-based partner Andrew Clubok, who joined the firm in December 2017 from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, is representing UBS in several matters, including as a defendant in a short-selling dispute, and as a plaintiff in a case brought against Highland Capital, arising out of a failed restructured transaction for the securitization of collateralized loan obligations and credit default swaps. New York-based Richard Owens has a strong reputation in the market and continues to represent the British Bankers' Association in all US litigation regarding allegations of Libor manipulation. Also based in New York, Jeff Hammel is assisting Owens in the aforementioned matter and is a key member of the team, which also includes Washington DC-based Kathryn Ruemmler, who excels at agency enforcement matters, and New York-based partner Miles Ruthberg, who has a particular niche defending accountancy firms.
The largely New York-based at Latham & Watkins LLP impresses with its 'breadth and depth of knowledge', and is able to tap into significant international financial services regulatory expertise as a result of having lawyers based in key financial centres, including a team in London that is growing rapidly. Its clients include traditional banks, broker-dealers and fintech entities and it handles both standalone advisory matters and regulatory issues associated with transactions in the sector. Benefiting from an 'immense amount of knowledge and experience', Alan Avery is able to 'provide a valuable perspective' to domestic and foreign banks on the impact of US federal and state banking laws on their global operations. Avery is particular adept at assisting foreign banks on US bank regulatory requirements related to entry or expansion of existing operations in the US market. As well as representing Bank of China on its US resolution planning requirements, he provides the regulatory overlay to National Bank of Canada's subsidiary Fiera Capital on its US financial services M&A mandates. Dana Fleischman has an 'excellent reputation' on the broker-dealer front; she recently advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the regulatory aspects associated with the sale of its global research index platform to Intercontinental Exchange. As part of his wide-ranging practice, Stephen Wink has developed significant expertise on the regulatory aspects of work at the intersection of fintech and broker-dealer law; he is advising peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange Airswap on the various regulatory issues surrounding cryptocurrency exchanges in a domestic and global context. Other recommended practitioners include Washington DC-based partner Todd Beauchamp, who heads the payments practice, and Courtenay Myers Lima, who has a focus on broker-dealer matters. Named attorneys are based in New York, unless otherwise indicated.
Healthcare: health insurers Tier 3
The healthcare practice at Latham & Watkins LLP handles M&A transactions on both a corporate and regulatory level, while also advising clients on government investigations, financing, compliance, fraud and abuse, program reimbursement, licensure issues and managed care matters. In a major highlight, Washington DC partner Daniel Meron successfully advised UnitedHealthcare on its challenge to an administrative payment rule within the Medicare Advantage program which determined overpayments on the basis of adequate documentation within patients' medical charts. Daniel Settelmayer in Los Angeles assisted Molina Healthcare on the sale of multi-state service provider Pathways Health and Community Support to Atar Capital.
Latham & Watkins LLP is rated for its 'deep bench of talent', 'deep litigation expertise', and its 'responsiveness, business acumen, industry knowledge and zealous advocacy'. The group is 'not afraid to take calculated risks' and 'thinks creatively', making it an 'excellent choice' for litigation mandates. Recent standout matters show the practice's wide-ranging sector expertise, including an impressive caseload of pharmaceuticals and life sciences litigation. With expertise in district court and ITC litigation alike, the group recently advised Xperi on several cases brought against Samsung regarding 23 patents covering various technologies, including three suits in the Eastern District of Texas, two in New Jersey and one in Delaware Federal Court, in addition to one case at the ITC. Honda instructed the team to advise on its infringement case against Intellectual Ventures, which is pending in California and at the ITC. Major pharmaceutical highlights including the representation of AbbVie Biotechnology in litigation against Amgen and Boehringer Ingelheim, which involved biosimilar versions of blockbuster drug Humira; against Novartis in a 13-patent case involving Hepatitis C drug patents; and against AstraZeneca over blockbuster breast cancer drug Imbruvica. San Diego's Jennifer Barry, Chicago's David Callahan and Washington DC's Michael Morin direct the practice. The 'tough and tenacious' Maximilian Grant, also based in Washington DC, 'adeptly orchestrates all of the assets on the battlefield, but is always focused on the big picture'. Silicon Valley's Douglas Lumish is 'one of the top litigators in the country'. Also of note, Tara Elliott and counsel Rachel Weiner Cohen joined in Washington DC from WilmerHale. Other clients include Arista Networks, Zimmer Biomet and Alvogen.
Noted for its 'deep expertise and insights into the fund formation and private equity business', Latham & Watkins LLP handles a broad range of fund formation mandates, with energy-focused funds being a particular sweet spot. In New York, Andrea Schwartzman handled the formation of Searchlight Opportunities Fund via a hybrid structure of debt investments and equity-related securities; in another matter, Kathleen Walsh and Matthew Chase assisted Onex Partners Manager with forming its fifth large cap private equity fund, which raised $7.2bn in commitments. In Washington DC, Barton Clark advised Juniper Capital Partners on forming Juniper Capital III, a fund investing in the oil and gas space. Another key figure is Nadia Sager, who splits her time between the San Diego and Los Angeles offices.
Trademarks: litigation Tier 3
At Latham & Watkins LLP, San Francisco-based Perry Viscounty is representing Tesla in a lawsuit filed by Nikola Corporation concerning the client’s new electric semi-truck. The matter concerns purported trade dress rights and several design and utility patents relating to the fuselage, door and windshield. In San Diego, Jennifer Barry defended Funko in litigation issued by Gibson Guitars pertaining to the client’s POP! range, namely the shape of guitar models accompanying several rock band figurines. Craigslist is another notable client, recently engaging the team for representation on several cases, including a successful claim for damages and a permanent injunction against Instamotor. Michael Morin in Washington DC and Chicago-based David Callahan lead the team alongside Barry.
Government contracts Tier 4
Based in Washington DC, Latham & Watkins LLP's practice handles a variety of matters in the government contracts space, from bid protests, contract disputes and False Claim Act matters to general counseling and transactional work, supporting the firm’s corporate and banking and finance departments. The firm acts for clients in the aerospace and defense, healthcare, technology and IT sector. Under the lead of practice head David Hazelton, the team successfully represented Cerner Corporation, a supplier of health information technology solutions, before the Court of Federal Claims and the Federal Circuit Court as an intervenor defendant in a bid protest relating to a contract awarded to it by the Veterans Affairs for electronic health record services. In the False Claim Act arena, partnering with the firm’s environmental group, Anne Robinson represented Dow Chemical in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit. Counsel Kyle Jefcoat and associate Dean Baxtresser are the other key team members.
Patents: licensing Tier 4
Leveraging an expansive global footprint, Latham & Watkins LLP has in-depth expertise of the life sciences and technology sectors and more importantly has strong track record in a range of patent transactions. In a recent highlight, Silicon Valley-based practice head Judith Hasko advised biotechnology player Prothena on a global collaboration agreement with Celgene, aimed at developing new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and involving the US and Irish jurisdictions. Additionally, Hasko assisted Revolution Medicines with its exclusive worldwide partnership with Sanofi to develop and commercialize new treatments for lung cancer and other types of cancer. Mapi Pharma, Codexis and Puma Biotechnology also feature on the client roster.
Latham & Watkins LLP stands out for its ‘excellent expertise’ across sponsor and lender-side mandates; the team 'understands client objectives and risk tolerances' and is 'solutions-driven'. Jonathan Rod, who co-chairs the project development and finance practice with New York and Washington DC-based David Penna (his 'client attention is unparalleled'), led advice for Brookfield Energy Marketing on the €96.4m financing for the Cerro Dominador project, a 110MW photovoltaic plant and a solar plant located in Santiago, Chile. Rod also advised Dominion Energy and Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG on the $3bn project financing in connection with the Cove Point LNG export terminal in Maryland, and Antonio Del Pino and Penna advised La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and CKD Infraestructura México (CKD IM) on the $1.4bn pending acquisition of 80% of a portfolio of eight wind and solar assets owned by Enel Green Power. Los Angeles-based Jeffrey Greenberg, counsel Kelly Thomason Self and Omar Nazif in San Diego are also recommended, as are Matthew Henegar, Warren Lilien, Veronica Relea and Eli Katz. Amy Maloney joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in October 2018. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
Latham & Watkins LLP > Firm Profile
Latham & Watkins offers clients across the globe innovative legal services and solutions to their most complex business issues and disputes. Building on a tradition of excellence in transactions, Latham provides robust complementary corporate and litigation advice and representation. Since 1934, the firm has expanded into a global legal powerhouse, a ‘one firm’ firm embodying a culture of collaboration. Today, Latham lawyers in offices in nearly all of the world’s major financial centers deliver seamless, top-quality client service.
Main areas of practice: Antitrust and competition: providing globally integrated service to clients facing issues relating to class actions, cartels, in-country and cross-border merger clearance, private antitrust and rapidly changing competition issues.
Banking: handling financing transactions in the US and globally on behalf of lenders, borrowers and purchasers.
Capital markets: advising US and international issuers, underwriters, placement agents and initial purchasers with a market-leading practice in offerings of equity, equity-linked and debt securities.
Emerging companies: advising on the entire growth cycle of a company, from organization and incorporation, to venture, mezzanine and late-stage funding and through to initial public offerings.
Energy: advising clients domestically and across borders on energy-related M&A, capital markets, project finance, regulatory, tax, environmental and litigation matters.
Environmental: serving clients in numerous industry sectors and markets across the US and Europe in all aspects of environmental, land use and natural resource law.
Financial regulatory: providing financial institutions with globally integrated regulatory, transactional and litigation practices capable of anticipating issues and providing advice needed to navigate today’s highly regulated capital and financial markets.
Intellectual property litigation: protecting, defending and capitalizing on intellectual property assets, through counseling, transactions and award-winning litigation.
Life sciences: harnessing deep knowledge of the economic, market, regulatory and political climates in which life sciences companies operate to advise industry participants on transactions, investigations, litigation, intellectual property matters and regulatory challenges.
Litigation and trial: leveraging a robust track record of providing trial as well as preventative advice and effective crisis management to clients in high-stakes controversies.
Mergers and acquisitions: handling enterprise-transforming deals for a wide range of strategic acquirers and private equity firms in the US and around the world, as well as providing day-to-day advice on corporate governance, proxy access and compliance issues.
Private equity: offering private equity funds and their portfolio companies a practice specializing in leveraged buyout structuring and financing, antitrust, executive compensation and tax, as well as exit strategies.
Project development and finance: providing clients with an integrated global team advising on structuring, documenting and negotiating development and financing agreements, as well as related issues associated with complex projects.
Restructuring, insolvency and workouts: advising debtors, sponsors, creditors and creditors’ committees on some of the most significant and innovative restructurings, including complex insolvencies and workouts.
Supreme Court and appellate: representing US and global clients in all aspects of appellate litigation before the US Supreme Court, as well as US and state appellate courts.
Tax: regularly advising on tax planning for multinational corporations, handling tax controversies before the US Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities across Europe.
Technology: representing private and public companies, as well as venture capital firms and investment banks within the technology industry, on capital markets, antitrust, competition, employee benefits, financing, intellectual property and M&A matters.
|Antitrust and competition|
|Intellectual property litigation|
|Litigation and trial|
|Mergers and acquisitions|
|Project development and finance|
|Restructuring, insolvency and workouts|
|Supreme Court and appellate|
|Jennifer Barry||View Profile|
|Holly Bauer||View Profile|
|Sony Ben-Moshe||View Profile|
|Sosi Biricik Klijian||View Profile|
|Daniel Brunton||View Profile|
|Ann Buckingham||View Profile|
|Matthew Bush||View Profile|
|Jeffrey Carlin||View Profile|
|Steven Chinowsky||View Profile|
|Barry Clarkson||View Profile|
|Robert Frances||View Profile|
|Drew Gardiner||View Profile|
|Craig Garner||View Profile|
|Christopher Garrett||View Profile|
|Robert Howard||View Profile|
|Jennifer Koh||View Profile|
|Stephanie Kuhlen||View Profile|
|Cheston Larson||View Profile|
|Katherine Lauer||View Profile|
|Steven Levine||View Profile|
|James Mann||View Profile|
|Omar Nazif||View Profile|
|Jason Ohta||View Profile|
|Kelly Richardson||View Profile|
|Brook Roberts||View Profile|
|Brett Rosenblatt||View Profile|
|Jake Ryan||View Profile|
|Nadia Sager||View Profile|
|Colleen Smith||View Profile|
|Darryl Steensma||View Profile|
|Michael Sullivan||View Profile|
|Kelly D. Thomason Self||View Profile|
|John Wilson||View Profile|
|Scott Wolfe||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 600+ Number of Lawyers : 2,200+
OtherChair and managing partner : William H Voge
Latham & Watkins LLP > Firm Profile
Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s premier global firms, offers clients decades of market-leading experience serving multinational companies, investment banks, private equity funds, venture capital firms, sovereign wealth funds, governments and other organizations based or operating in Latin America. Latham’s Latin America practice includes members in the firm’s offices around the globe who have ties to virtually every jurisdiction in Latin America and possess the legal expertise, cultural knowledge, Spanish and Portuguese language skills, and industry know-how to provide top-ranked advice.
Main practice areas: Antitrust and competition: Latham’s global antitrust and competition team provides integrated service to clients facing issues relating to in-country and cross-border merger clearance, state aid controversies, cartel defense and rapidly changing competition issues in Latin America and to Latin American clients facing similar issues in the US, EU, Asia and the Middle East.
Banking: the firm’s banking group handles a variety of sophisticated financing and funding transactions for lenders, borrowers and purchasers in Latin America. The firm represents market-leading financial institutions and financial services providers, and has participated in complex cross-border financings.
Capital markets: Latham’s capital markets practice has worked on ground-breaking capital markets transactions to meet clients’ capital-raising needs in Latin America. Latham handled Mexico’s first-ever energy sector IPO and Mexican Stock Exchange listing; Latin America’s largest high-yield offering during the 13 months ended 31 January 2014; and Latin America’s first insolvency exit.
Communications: Latham’s communications practice regularly represents Latin American, European and US clients doing business in the region on communications transactions and regulatory matters.
Corporate/mergers and acquisitions: the firm is recognized worldwide and in Latin America for advising on the most significant cross-border M&A and corporate transactions across a variety of industries, including natural resources, energy, mining and banking, as well as providing day-to-day advice to clients in Latin America on cross-border corporate governance and compliance issues.
Energy: Latham’s premier global energy practice routinely advises clients in Latin America and Latin American clients on energy-related M&A, private equity, capital markets, project finance, regulatory, tax, environmental and litigation matters. Latham’s clients in the energy sector are market leaders in both traditional and renewable power generation and transmission, oil and gas transportation, power and oil and gas marketing, as well as oil and gas exploration, production and refining.
Restructuring, insolvency and workouts: Latham is a leading global legal adviser to debtors, sponsors, creditors and creditors’ committees on some of the most significant and innovative cross-border and cross-industry restructurings, including those in Latin America.
Litigation/international arbitration: the firm’s internationally recognized litigation and dispute resolution practices handle multijurisdictional commercial disputes, class actions, white-collar and government investigations, mass torts and securities controversies. The firm has established a strong record representing corporations, state-owned entities and states in a variety of international disputes.
Project development/finance: Latham advises Latin American clients through every stage of the largest and most significant infrastructure projects in Latin America, using its experience within project development and financings, including structuring, documenting and negotiating development and financing agreements.
|Chair and managing partner||William H Voge|
|Latin America practice||Sony Ben-Moshe|
|Latin America practice||Antonio Del Pino|
OtherLawyers worldwide : 2,400+
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Capital markets: equity offerings
- Capital markets: global offerings
- Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
- Civil litigation/class actions: defense
- Commercial deals and contracts
- Commercial lending
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- Energy: renewable/alternative power
- Energy: transactions: conventional power
- Energy: transactions: oil and gas
- Environment: litigation
- Environment: regulatory
- Environment: transactional
- International litigation
- International tax
- Land use/zoning
- M&A litigation: defense
- Media and entertainment: transactional
- Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Securities litigation - defense
- Shareholder activism
- Technology transactions
- Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
- Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
- US taxes: contentious
- US taxes: non-contentious
- Capital markets: debt
- Corporate governance
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
- Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
- Energy regulation: conventional power
- General commercial disputes
- Healthcare: life sciences
- Healthcare: service providers
- Insurance: advice to policyholders
- International trade
- M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
- Media and entertainment: litigation
- Merger control
- Patents: litigation (International Trade Commission)
- Private equity buyouts
- Product liability, mass tort and class actions: toxic tort - defense
- Real estate
- Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
- Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
- Structured finance: securitization
- Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
- Venture capital and emerging companies
- Energy regulation: oil and gas
- Financial services litigation
- Financial services regulation
- Healthcare: health insurers
- Patents: litigation (full coverage)
- Private equity funds (including venture capital)
- Trademarks: litigation
- Government contracts
- Patents: licensing
- Project finance