Firm Profile > Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP > Houston, United States

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
HOUSTON, TX 77002-3106
United States

Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) Tier 1

In January 2019, the ‘unusually skilled litigatorDouglas MealHeather SussmanMichelle Visser and Seth Harrington joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP from Ropes & Gray LLP. Sussman leads the newly launched Boston office, which also includes Meal and Harrington; Visser is based in San Francisco. Aravind Swaminathan, who is based in Seattle and co-heads the practice with Washington DC’s Antony Kim, has been advising the City of Seattle on data privacy and security matters, including data sharing restrictions, protection of law enforcement and sensitive information, public records management requiring technical cyber intelligence as well as the privacy ramifications of new technologies. The team has also acted successfully for Microsoft in a dispute against the US Government, in which the latter’s ability to obtain emails stored on servers in Ireland was challenged.

Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 1

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP acts across the entire life cycle of a project. The team has considerable strengths in development, environmental and regulatory issues, tax, financing and M&A, and also handles disputes and arbitration in relation to wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass and biofuel projects. San Francisco-based Les Sherman heads the US renewables department, and Houston-based Blake Winburne acts as global head of energy and infrastructure. Recent highlights have included San Francisco-based Mark Weitzel advising Invenergy on the sale of a 300MW wind power generation facility to a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway for $495m, which involved multiple layers of equity and debt financing. Other key lawyers include Christopher Moore, who acts as deputy business unit leader of the energy and infrastructure group in New York, and Thomas Glascock, who has experience of solar, wind, geothermal, landfill gas and biomass projects. Also of note, Wolfram Pohl was promoted to partner in 2018.

Product liability, mass tort and class actions: toxic tort - defense Tier 1

The ‘efficient, creative and nimbleOrrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is based in New York and stands out for its asbestos exposure and personal injury litigation expertise. The team is jointly led by San Francisco-based Darren Teshima and Kristen Fournier, who is ‘exceptionally talented at organizing incredibly complex and challenging litigation’. Together with ‘top flight trial attorneyMorton Dubin and John Ewald, Fournier continues to act for longstanding client Dow Chemical in personal injury lawsuits relating to exposure to asbestos and plant explosions. In other work, the group is defending Solvay against claims arising from the use of lead pigment in residential paint. Notably, Johnson & Johnson has instructed the team as national counsel for all cases alleging that asbestos-contaminated talc products caused cancer.

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal Tier 1

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s restructuring team works closely with its public finance practice, allowing for particular expertise in out-of-court public finance restructurings. The firm also has experience in representing bondholders and assisting municipalities in restructuring debt and long-term liabilities. New York-based Raniero D’Aversa leads the tea, which includes senior counsel Marc Levinson in California, who focuses on insolvency planning, bankruptcy cases and out-of-court reorganizations. Douglas Mintz is head of the Washington DC restructuring team and, in relation to the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s debt, he is leading in advising COFINA on transactional, finance and tax issues related to the proposed Title III plan of adjustment and financing. In another highlight, the practice represented Oppenheimer Funds in the Chapter 11 case of Lombard Public Facilities, a not-for-profit corporation formed to own a Westin hotel and conference center in Illinois, a novel matter in that it was taxpayer-funded through the issuance of municipal bonds.

Structured finance: securitization Tier 1

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP earns a tier one spot this year owing to its impressive track record of issuer and underwriter work, its considerable strength in MBS and its experience in a huge range of traditional and esoteric asset classes. In a standout matter, Leah Sanzari advised Harley Marine Services on its $455m whole-business securitization, which was collateralized by vessels and barges, customer contracts and other assets. Sanzari has also acted for Bank of America in over $20bn of Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac RMBS transactions in 2018. Key figures in the CMBS team include William Cullen and Janet Barbiere, who act for loan sellers including C-III Commercial Mortgage and Ladder Capital Finance, and purchasers and issuers such as UBS Securities, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley & Co. Department head Alan Knoll and Robert Moyle handled high-value auto loan, auto lease and credit card ABS, and Al Sawyers has been active in student loan securitization. In the Los Angeles office, of counsel Gaelyn Sharp assisted Galaxy Digital Ventures with a loan purchase facility and equity investment into BlockFi, a cryptocurrency-to-USD lending platform. Also in Los Angeles, Martin Howard advised Credit Suisse on over $1bn of re-securitization transactions in 2018. The team also has experience in aviation lease and PACE securitization. The practice group was further bolstered by the arrivals of Skanthan Vivekananda and Howard Goldwasser from Arnold & Porter in Los Angeles and New York, respectively.

Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters) Tier 1

Netflix, Wells Fargo and Fitbit are some of the the big names that turn to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. New York-based James McQuade co-heads the practice and defended Microsoft in trade secret litigation brought by IBM, whose global head of diversity left to join the client. Michael Weil  is based in San Francisco  and has 'extensive trade secrets experience' and is 'a strong litigator'. He acted for Crate & Barrel and its former CEO in a trade secret misappropriation case brought by Restoration Hardware after employees from the company left to join the client. Also recommended are West Coast-based Denise Mingrone and Cathy Lui .

Appellate Tier 2

Forming a ‘top-notch’ practice, the appellate lawyers at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP are hailed by clients for their strengths in brief writing, ‘unbelievably thorough preparation for oral argument’ and ‘best-in-class appellate advocacy’. Based in New York, practice head Joshua Rosenkranz is ‘simply brilliant’ and ‘an incredibly polished oral advocate’. At the Federal Circuit, the trio of Rosenkranz, Kelsi Corkran and Andrew Silverman led the team on scoring a victory for appellant Oracle in a $8.8bn copyright court battle against Google; with far-reaching implications for the software industry and currently remanded to the district court, the dispute concerns Google’s use of Oracle-owned Java programming code in its Android operating system. At the US Supreme Court, Robert Loeb secured a unanimous win for petitioner Terrence Byrd in Byrd v United States, a case concerning the relationship between car-rental agreements and drivers’ reasonable expectations of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. In another US Supreme Court case, Eric Shumsky ( who is ‘incredibly smart and a fantastic writer’) argued for petitioner Erik Hughes and secured a winning majority vote in proceedings involving statutory interpretation of the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C), also referred to as the 'C-Plea' in federal sentencing procedures. Other recent highlights in the US Supreme Court include scoring a 9-0 victory for respondent Microsoft Corporation in the highly publicized data privacy case of United States v Microsoft Corp, as well as achieving a win for the respondent in Sessions v Dimaya, a judgment upholding the Ninth Circuit's decision that the 'residual clause' relating to the definition of violent crime in the Immigration and Nationality Act is unconstitutionally vague. Based in San Francisco, recently promoted partner Brian Goldman is another name to note.

Copyright Tier 2

Technology and entertainment are the key areas of focus for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Annette Hurst has a special focus on the technology sector and acted for Oracle in a dispute against Google concerning the latter's use of the former's Java compute language in its Android systems.  Lisa Simpson works in industries such as pharmaceuticals, retail, technology and entertainment. Paul Fakler recently joined from Arent Fox LLP and is very active in the music and technology sectors. He advised Music Choice and Sirius XM Satellite Radio on regulatory issues.

E-discovery Tier 2

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is noted for both its e-discovery litigation capabilities and its in-house technological solutions, under the banner of Orrick Analytics, a service led by Daryl Shetterly in Wheeling, West Virginia. The e-discovery team is led by Washington DC's Wendy Butler Curtis, who draws on significant litigation experience and expertise in analytics and service innovation. The team was engaged to handle e-discovery by Microsoft in a gender discrimination class action brought by current and former employees, successfully convincing the court that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate commonality, typicality or adequacy. Other key names include Jeff McKenna in San Francisco and Kelly Cullen in Wheeling.

Energy: transactions: conventional power Tier 2

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP acts for independent power companies, private equity funds, electric utilities, power generation and transmission cooperatives and federal agencies in various types of financing and M&A transactions. The global energy and infrastructure practice is headed by Houston-based Blake Winburne, while the power practice is led by New York-based Tara Higgins, who advised GE Energy Financial Services on the mezzanine debt financing of the 1,182MW South Field combined-cycle, gas-fired power project in Columbiana County, Ohio. Other clients include Energy Solutions, Energy and Calpine Corporation.

Fintech Tier 2

With experience handling matters spanning a breadth of financial technologies, including alternative lending platforms, payment solutions, blockchain and AI, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's fintech group boasts a client roster ranging from banks, investment funds and other financial institutions to unicorn companies, such as Revolut and Stripe. Silicon Valley-based John Bautista has been advising the latter since its formation and most recently acted for Stripe and Goodwater Capital on a $93m investment round in Monzo. The practice is able to leverage its public policy team to assist clients with the evolving regulatory landscape; the group recently represented OnDeck Capital before the California Department of Business Oversight in its ongoing inquiry into the appropriate state regulatory framework for the online lending industry. In another work highlight, the firm assisted Barclays and RBC Capital Markets as joint lead book-running managers and representatives of the several underwriters with a follow-on public offering by Rapid7. New York-based partners Christopher Austin and Howard Altarescu, who have particular expertise in capital markets and finance respectively, jointly head the team alongside cyber, privacy and data expert Barrie VanBrackle in DC.

General commercial disputes Tier 2

The 'top-notch team' at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP continues to secure major wins for its clients in disputes ranging from fraud to trade secrets to unfair competition. Examples include New York-based Richard Jacobsen's successful representation of Ocwen Financial in the Southern District of Florida in one of the first actions brought directly by an investment fund against a loan servicer for breach of representation and warranties, and the team's representation of Credit Suisse in RMBS-related litigation; Barry Levin and Darren Teshima in San Francisco and Seattle-based Daniel Dunne were part of the team, which has secured dismissals in three significant monoline actions. In other high-profile work, a team that includes Morton Dubin and 'tremendous trial attorney' Peter Bicks in New York is defending Johnson & Johnson in talc cases; the client is facing over 7,000 product liability lawsuits. New York-based Elyse Echtman and Khai LeQuang in Orange County are also recommended. Will Stute joined the Washington DC office from McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense Tier 2

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a good track record in employment disputes and the team - which is jointly led by Julie Totten, who splits her time between Sacramento and San Francisco, and New York-based Mike Delikat - is regularly engaged by clients from the financial services, technology, retail and higher education sectors. Delikat and Jim McQuade, also based in New York, represented Microsoft in a trade secret litigation against IBM, while Lynne Hermle and Jessica Perry in Silicon Valley helped achieve for the same client the rejection of class certification in a proposed nationwide gender discrimination class action. The duo also successfully defended Twitter in a highly publicized dispute relating to a gender class action filed by a former software engineer. Jill Rosenberg and Renee Phillips in New York obtained a complete defense verdict for RBS relating to an alleged whistleblower retaliation. Oracle, Apple, Sephora and Citibank are other key clients. Recommended individuals also include Andrew Livingston and Michael Weil in San Francisco, as well as Joe Liburt and Julia Riechert in Silicon Valley. Also in New York, Lisa Lupion, who made partner in January 2019, and senior associate Mark Thompson are further names to highlight.

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

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has developed an active buy-side and sell-side technology M&A practice and is highly rated for deals involving the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors; the team also stands out for cross-border work. Significant clients are 8minutenergy Renewables, Michelin North America and Yelp. Highlights included advising 8minutenergy Renewables, the largest independent solar power developer in the US, on its approximately $655m sale of the Mount Signal 3 Solar Photovoltaic Project to Capital Dynamics; acting for Michelin North America in its acquisition of NexTraq, a US provider of commercial fleet telematics, from FLEETCOR Technologies; and assisting Superior Plus with the $900m acquisition of the outstanding equity interest in NGL Propane, NGL Energy’s retail propane distribution business. In other matters, the team advised American multinational corporation Splunk on its acquisition of SignalSense, which provides cloud-based data collection and breach detection solutions; and acted for Viavi Solutions in its acquisition of Trilithic, a provider of electronic test and measurement equipment. The principal advisers are Silicon Valley-based Ed Batts, who is global M&A and private equity head, Pete Lamb and Mark Seneca; New York-based global corporate business unit leader King Milling, US global Japan transactional chair Hiroshi Sarumida and Tal HacohenChuck Walker in Houston; and San Francisco's John Cook. The practice hired New York-based David Schwartz, who is focused on complex M&A transactions for technology and life sciences companies, from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

Securities litigation - defense Tier 2

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a national reach and, since the arrival of the entire team from Morvillo Law, it has become much more prominent in Washington DC. Kenneth Herzinger leads the white-collar, investigations, securities litigation and compliance group from San Francisco. In the same office, James Kramer is a senior partner in the team and alongside rising star senior associate Alex Talarides acted for PayPal Holdings in securing the dismissal of a proposed shareholder derivative action stemming from a Federal Trade Commission investigation. For the same client, they are currently handling a putative shareholder class action resulting from a data breach at subsidiary TIO Networks Corp. Robert Stern and Richard Morvillo in DC are representing TD Ameritrade in actions alleging violations of the Commodities Exchange Act and state common law, arising from losses suffered by traders in futures and options in early 2018. In Los Angeles, key partner Michael Tu continues to represent Sumner Redstone in a series of high-profile securities litigation matters regarding the governance of Viacom Inc and CBS Corporation.

Venture capital and emerging companies Tier 2

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's 'super-responsive' team is very well known for advising a client base predominantly made up of US-based unicorn entities, and has core strength in handling tech, cybersecurity, fintech, and privacy mandates. Silicon Valley partners John Bautista and Harold Yu, alongside newly promoted partner Josh Pollick in Santa Monica, advised Stripe, a San Francisco fintech unicorn, and Goodwater Capital, a California venture capital firm, on investments into a $93m Series D financing round in Monzo, a digital and mobile-only English bank. Other clients include Pinterest, Getaround, ThoughtSpot and Twist Bioscience Corporation. In Silicon Valley, chairman of the global firm Mitchell Zuklie is a notable name, with other key contacts including Stephen Venuto and Don Keller. Peter Fusco is a key name in New York.

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense Tier 3

As reported last year, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's merger with Morvillo LLP in January 2018 greatly boosted the team's profile on the East Coast, adding, among others, Amy WalshScott Morvillo and Gregory Morvillo in New York as well as Richard Morvillo in Washington DC. Highlights included the DOJ and SEC appointment of Washington DC's Billy Jacobson and Guy Singer to the Braskem monitorship, a role the duo were also awarded separately by the Brazilian federal prosecutor, following the company's FCPA settlement concerning its involvement in Operation Carwash. From the San Francisco office, Walter Brown and Melinda Haag are representing Travis Kalanick, founder and former CEO of Uber, in various civil and investigatory matters. In San Francisco, Pamela Davis and practice group chair Kenneth Herzinger are also recommended.

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 3

The team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP acts for an impressive corporate client base, which includes Oracle, Visa, Barclays and Levi Strauss. Recently highlights include advising Github on its $7.5bn sale to Microsoft, acting for Humble Bundle in its sale to IGN, and advising Vettery on its sale to Adecco. San Francisco-based Juliano Banuelos heads the team team and assists Cisco Systems with up to ten acquisitions per year, an example of which is the recent $1.9bn acquisition of Broadsoft. New York-based Laura Becking is advising Nvidia on the winding down of its Icera modem operations subsidiary, and Silicon Valley-based Nancy Chen and Santa Monica-based Michael Yang advising clients such as Pinterest and PagerDuty on their respective IPOs. Other names to note include Jason Flaherty, senior associate Justin Ho and managing associate Keith Tidwell. Jonathan Ocker left the firm for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP.

Insurance: advice to policyholders Tier 3

With a presence on both US coasts, the insurance team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is particularly strong in data protection and technology-related claims, as well as in financial services and D&O liability matters. In a major highlight for Credit Suisse, San Francisco-based Barry Levin led the defense against multiple liability allegations made by monoline insurers and trustees from residential mortgage-backed securities trusts. Practice leader Darren Teshima, who is based in the same office, represented Premera Blue Cross against a declaratory relief action initiated by its commercial general liability insurer Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company, which revolved around the coverage for 38 class action lawsuits arising from a data breach. Khai LeQuang, who counts EFG Bank and Erste Abwicklungsanstalt among his clients, is the key partner in Orange County.

Patents: licensing Tier 3

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP advises an impressive list of technology clients on a broad range of transactions with significant patent elements. The team's client list features several stellar technology players, including Pinterest, Microsoft, Instagram and Tesla in addition to a significant number of start-ups valued at $1bn and more. The bicoastal duo directing the practice consists of Glynna Christian in New York and Daniel Yost in Menlo Park.

Patents: litigation (full coverage) Tier 3

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP shoulders a strong and varied caseload for hi-tech clients, often coming from the electronics, telecoms, semiconductor, software and entertainment sectors. New arrival Jared Bobrow, who joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP together with Jason Lang, now chairs the practice alongside Sten Jensen in Washington DC. Los Angeles' Alyssa Caridis successfully defended Donghee against a six-patent infringement suit filed by Plastic Omnium Advanced Innovation & Research, eliminating two patents in IPRs, three in district court and one in subsequent mediation. Also recommended are Steven Routh in Washington DC and New York's Richard Martinelli, whose 'ability to efficiently and rapidly achieve client objectives is exceptional'. Also of note, Jacob Heath in Silicon Valley made partner, and Clement Seth Roberts joined the San Francisco office from Durie Tangri LLPElizabeth Gardner left for Robins Kaplan LLP, George Kanabe left for McAfee and Gabriel Ramsey joined Crowell & Moring LLP. Other clients include Fujifilm, Micron Technology and Nitto Denko, one of several Japanese clients.

Structured finance: derivatives and structured products Tier 3

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's structured finance team is best known for its strength in securitization, though the firm also advises end-users and dealers on regulatory trading matters and structured note offerings. Nikiforos Mathews assists Goldman Sachs with the development of compliant credit support documentation and master agreements, and also advises Microsoft Corporation on cleared derivatives and various other trading mandates. Another name to note is Al Sawyers, who acts for a number of banks and liquidity providers in relation to issuances of municipal and tender option bonds. In 2019, Skanthan Vivekananda, who specializes in credit-linked and OTC derivatives, joined the Los Angeles office from Arnold & Porter.

Technology transactions Tier 3

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has been especially active in the fintech, healthcare and automotive sectors, and recently advised Alta Motors on its collaboration with Harley-Davidson for the development and commercialization of electric motorcycle technology. The team is jointly headed by Glynna Christian in New York and Daniel Yost Silicon Valley. Also recommended is San Francisco-based Anik Guha, who advised the website and online publishing platform Verst on the acquisition of its staff by Dropbox. In 2018, Ellen Ehrenpreis joined the Silicon Valley office from Edgewood Law Partners, and Geoff Willard joined the team in Washington DC. Josh Pollick, who divides his time between Santa Monica and San Francisco, was promoted to partner in January 2018.

Trademarks: litigation Tier 3

The practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP undertakes the full range of trademark litigation. In a high-profile international dispute, Peter Vogl and Silicon Valley-based Diana Rutowski achieved a favorable ruling in the Paris High Court on behalf of CoorsTek Medical. The ongoing dispute pertains to CeramTec GmbH's intent to block the manufacture and sale of the client’s colored ceramic hip components. Vogl and Lisa Simpson are based in the New York office and are currently representing Kars 4 Kids in a trademark lawsuit against America Can!. Sony Entertainment America, BIC Corporation and L.A. Gear are also clients. David Hosp, Mark Puzella and Sheryl Garko joined the firm's Boston office from Fish & Richardson P.C..

Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing) Tier 3

Core strengths for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP include global portfolio management, trademark filings and clearance as well as IP-related due diligence. Recent work highlights include an engagement from BIC in which New York-based Peter Vogl assisted the client in combating gray goods and infringing products entering the US from China. The client roster encompasses clients from a vast array of industries and includes cloud computing company The client recently engaged Beth Goldman in San Francisco for counsel on trademark matters related to the Dreamforce Conference and also for clearance on its new mascots.

US taxes: non-contentious Tier 3

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s team of ‘very competent tax advisors’ are ‘an invaluable resource’ and are noted for adding value ‘by not only listing the applicable laws, but offering creative and business-orientated tax-efficient guidance that suits the requirements and operations of the business’. Dustin Calkins advised Stockbridge Capital Group on its $100m acquisition of the Alexan Yale Street residential complex. Silicon Valley-based partner Peter Lamb and Ed Batts handled multiple acquisitions on behalf of Splunk and Michelin North America. Meanwhile, Mark Weitzel advised Canadian Solar on the tax aspects of its $160m sale and subsequent debt and tax equity financing of a development-stage solar energy project based in North Carolina. Led by Peter Connors, the New York tax group provides ongoing advice to Credit Suisse on its structured note program. Also in New York, John Narducci advised Harley Marine Services on the tax aspects of its inaugural $455m whole-business securitization. Michael Masri joined the New York office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in 2019. All named practitioners are based in San Francisco unless stated otherwise.

Capital markets: debt Tier 4

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s team has an established track record in public finance deals, and is noted for its expertise in the energy and technology sectors, as well as its longstanding relationships with major corporate issuers such as Levi Strauss. On the public sector front, San Francisco-based Roger Davis advised the Public Finance Authority on a $150m bond issuance to finance the development of a proton therapy facility in New Jersey. On the corporate side, the team advised Viavi Solutions on two transactions totaling $221m; Silicon Valley-based Ed Batts and New York-based Stephen Ashley led that work. The global capital markets group is jointly led by San Francisco-based William Hughes, who joined in 2018 from Fenwick & West LLP, and Christopher Austin, who splits his time between New York and Silicon Valley.

Capital markets: equity offerings Tier 4

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s group, which is well represented on both the East and West Coasts, continues to broaden its work for banks. Highlights included global capital markets co-chair Christopher Austin, who splits his time between New York and Menlo Park, advising Barclays as underwriter on three public offerings of Rapid7 common stock totaling $190m. Austin also paired up with New York’s Stephen Ashley to advise Credit Suisse and Jefferies, as underwriters, on Intercept Pharmaceutical’s $172.5m follow-on offering. The firm’s issuer-side practice remains robust, with the addition of new global capital markets co-lead William Hughes, who joined in San Francisco from Fenwick & West LLP and has expertise in the technology sector.

Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 4

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's US antitrust department has a particular strength in the technology space and continues to serve household names such as Microsoft. The team's clients also include household names such as Sony, eBay and Fujifilm. San Francisco-based Karen Johnson-McKewan is currently representing Netflix in a counterclaim to Fox's case alleging Netflix unlawfully hired two of Fox's former employees; Netflix claims Fox's employment contracts violate California's unfair competition law. Jay Jurata leads the practice from Washington DC and is collaborating with San Francisco's Robert Rosenfeld to defend longstanding client Microsoft in a class action brought by indirect purchasers alleging Microsoft overcharges for its Intel-compatible PC operating systems and software. Also notable in Washington DC are Alex OkuliarSteve Routh and new addition Amy Ray, who recently joined the practice from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Energy regulation: oil and gas Tier 4

Houston-based Blake Winburne leads the energy and infrastructure focus group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, which consists of six partners. The firm has a strong track record of handling regulatory work for major oil and gas projects. In a standout highlight, a group led by Lisa Tonery (New York) is advising Pivotal LNG on potentially supplying LNG to the US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay for use as fuel; this raises the novel question of whether the transported gas would fall under DOE jurisdiction according to the Natural Gas Act. Elsewhere, Tonery is assisting Cheniere Energy with regulatory issues arising from its construction of the $18bn Sabine Pass Liquefaction project; recently she represented the client in seeking authorizations to expand its export facilities by adding a third marine berth. DC-based partner Erik Swenson is another name to note; energy tax expert Michael Masri joined the New York office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in January 2019.

Energy: transactions: oil and gas Tier 4

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is especially active in the downstream market, where it advises on acquisitions, joint ventures and project development, though the team also handles financing and asset acquisitions in the midstream and upstream sectors. New York-based Blake Winburne and Bradford Gathright jointly head the global energy and infrastructure group, which counts Chevron, Equinor and Wells Fargo Bank among its key clients. Also in New York, King Milling and Tal Hacohen advised Superior Plus Corporation on the $900m acquisition of the outstanding equity interest in NGL Propane.

Leading trial lawyers Tier 4

Peter Bicks - Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Peter Bicks is noted for his 'flawless performance in the courtroom' and his expertise in complex commercial disputes, intellectual property and mass tort claims. Bicks secured a victory for Oracle in an $8.8bn Federal Circuit Court of Appeals case against Google for copying its Java technology. 'A top-notch litigator', Bicks has also represented KBC Bank in a $1.5bn RICO claim filed by Lazare Kaplan.

Merger control Tier 4

The senior ranks at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP were recently strengthened by the arrival of Amy Ray from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Longstanding client Microsoft recently appointed a team led by Alex Okuliar and James Tierney to oversee its acquisition of software development platform GitHub, and the pair also advised Cisco on the DOJ investigation into its acquisition of Viptela. The team, led by Jay Jurata, has a particular strength in the technology space but has also handled significant merger clearance work in the energy space. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

Patents: litigation (International Trade Commission) Tier 4

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP maintains its reputation as one of the ITC practices with the most varied client portfolio. In a recent standout instruction, the group successfully convinced the ITC not to institute the investigation filed by Amarin Pharmaceuticals against DSM and Pharmavite by arguing that the dispute fell under the jurisdiction of the US Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the team defended Bosch and Foxconn in an investigation filed by JST Corporation which alleged infringement of an electric connector patent. The main practitioners are Jordan Coyle and Steven Routh. NVIDIA, Fujifilm and Hon Hai Precision Industry are long-standing clients.

Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 4

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP reports an uptick in infrastructure fund mandates and Asia-related matters, particularly regarding venture capital fund investor work; tech-sector mandates in particular are another core strength. New York-based Quinn Moss and Dolph Hellman in San Francisco advised the San Francisco City and County Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS) on a €200m investment in Niam Nordic VII, KB, a Swedish limited partnership, which has a €1.1bn target and is investing in commercial and residential real estate in the Nordic Region. Hellman also advised the same client on its $35m investment in Versant Venture Capital VII, a fund investing in biotechnology companies focused on transformative therapeutics. Of counsel Yong-Nam Jun, based in Los Angeles, assisted with the formation of a joint venture fund between Hyundai Motor Company, SK Telecom and Hanwha, and Element AI, investing in companies and assets specializing in artificial intelligence. Other clients include Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF), New York Common Retirement Fund (NYCRF) and Capital Dynamics. Moss and Hellman jointly head the practice.

Real estate Tier 4

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP , which provides ‘proactive and outside-the-box thinking’, has a cross-country practice which advises on issues including portfolio acquisitions, dispositions, fund formations and joint ventures. Practice head Gerard Walsh advised Westbrook Partners on the $700m sale of the south portion of St John's Terminal in New York to a joint venture between Oxford Properties Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Jonathan Roheim took a lead role for Hackman Capital Partners on the purchase of development rights for the Culver City creative office project from Hudson Pacific Properties in Los Angeles. Nicole Walsh and New York-based Tal Hacohen acted for Superior Plus on a $900m real estate and M&A deal that involved the acquisition of outstanding equity interest in NGL Propane. San Francisco-based Jacobus Machalow was promoted to partner and led on the representation of Swift Realty Partners as the seller and a partner in a joint venture, for the recapitalization of equity interest in a $600m portfolio of four office properties across California. Michael Liever, from the San Francisco office, advised the City of San Francisco on the development of The Grand Hyatt Hotel at San Francisco International Airport. New York-based Marshall Brozost acted for State Street Global Advisors on the $276m sale of a multi-tenant office building to Related Beal in Boston. Randolph Perry is also recommended. Katherine Jones was promoted to partner. All named attorneys are based in Los Angeles unless otherwise stated.

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate Tier 6

The bankruptcy and debt-trading practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has ‘a unique ability to craft complex international restructurings’. Known for cross-border work, the firm ‘can field any number of excellent litigators’ and has particular experience in the energy and automotive industries. Raniero D’Aversa is one of ‘the best Chapter 11 tacticians available’ and leads the team from New York that includes the ‘smart and very practicalLaura Metzger, who is ‘amazingly responsive and closing-focused’, and ‘super litigatorAlvin Lee, who specializes in ‘situations where you need to kick in the front door to get your stuff back’. The team advised Ocean Rig on its restructuring, including the terms of the schemes of arrangement approved by a Cayman court, the Chapter 15 proceedings and matters relating to the issuance of new equity to creditors. In another highlight, the firm represented the conflicts committee in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Seadrill and 86 of its affiliated debtors, which involved the restructuring of up to $14bn of Seadrill's debt. Other clients include Wells Fargo, Toyota Motor Corporation and EDP.

Project finance

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is regularly engaged in project finance transactions in the infrastructure and energy space. Global co-head of infrastructure Daniel Mathews advised New York State Urban Development Corporation (Empire State Development) on the financing for phase 2 of the $2.3bn Moynihan Train Hall Redevelopment Project, which involves the TIFIA program and other federal, state and local funding. Additionally, Young Lee is advising is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the $24bn redevelopment of the Hudson River underwater rail crossings and associated infrastructure. On the energy front, Houston-based Blake Winburne, who is global head of the energy and infrastructure practice, advised Southwest Generation on a $292m HoldCo portfolio financing involving gas-fired power plants in its existing fleet; Tara Higgins, who co-heads the firm’s global power practice, advised the owners of the St. Joseph Energy Center on the refinancing of the two-phase natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant 1400MW project; and Mark Weitzel in San Francisco advised Canadian Solar on its $160m sale and subsequent debt and tax equity financing of a development-stage 74.8MW solar energy project in North Carolina. Christopher Gladbach and Paul Zarnowiecki in Washington DC, Christopher Moore, and tax expert Richard Chirls are also key figures. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Latin America: International firms > Projects and energy Tier 4

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's relatively new Houston office is making an ever-greater impression on the Latin America energy segment, especially in Mexico. Having had key roles in relation to Mexico's energy reforms, the firm has maintained activity levels in the power sector, including in renewables. Clients include VINCI, Proman, Pattern Energy, Renewable Resources Group, Proyectos Globales de Energia y Servicios CME, Eurus Energy and EDP Renewables. The team 'has a vast knowledge base across all aspects of a project in development', 'has strong competencies in areas such as project finance, municipal bonds, as well as offtake/sales and construction' and is 'fully available, flexible and business oriented'. Blake Winburne, global head of the energy and infrastructure group, also has extensive experience in energy projects in the region. Paris partner Yves Lepage, 'an outstanding professional and leader', is a key figure in infrastructure transactions and projects, having advised VINCI Airports on a series of deals in Latin America. However, the practice has been hit by departures from its Houston office, with former co-chair of the Latin America practice Rodrigo DominguezWilliam Parish  and former senior associate Emilio Grandio-Urrea joining White & Case LLP, and the subsequent July-2019 departure of Geroge Humphrey to Thompson & Knight LLP.

Latin America: International firms > Corporate and M&A Tier 5

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has demonstrated a deep commitment to the Latin America region in recent years, most notably from its Houston, New York and San Francisco offices. It is especially active in the energy, infrastructure and technology sectors. Historically the practice has centred on large multinationals and private equity houses making investments into Latin America, although it is increasingly focused on Latin American companies, particularly Mexican businesses, deploying capital outside of the region. The firm has made a particular impression in energy asset and project acquisitions, especially in Mexico, including transactions involving offshore support vessels, natural gas transportation and renewable power plants. It has also built a reputation in private equity joint ventures and acquisitions  in the real estate sector across Latin America. Clients include Pattern Energy, Proyectos Globales de Energia y Servicios CME, Renewable Resources Group, VINCI, Daikin Applied Americas and Prisma Capital. The Latin America team was special counsel to Renewable Resources Group in a restricted issuance of capital development certificates (CKD) in Mexico generating first CKD-fund issued in Mexico dedicated solely to in-country agricultural projects. It also advised global renewable power developer Eurus Energy, on its acquisition of a Mexican entity that is currently developing a 50MW wind-power generation project in the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico.  However, former co-head of the Latin America practice Rodrigo Dominguez and William Parish joined White & Case LLP in April 2019, followed by senior associate Emilio Grandio-Urrea in June; this was compounded in July with the departure of George Humprhey to Thompson & Knight LLP. It is expected that the firm will respond rapidly to this spate of departures.

Founded in San Francisco 150 years ago, Orrick is a leading global law firm with a particular focus on serving companies in the technology, energy, infrastructure and financial sectors. The firm is recognized worldwide for delivering the highest quality, commercially-oriented legal advice.

The firm: Recognized by Chambers Latin America, Chambers Global, Chambers USA and Latin Lawyer, the Orrick team includes lawyers who are fluent in Spanish and English, as well as Portuguese for transactions involving Brazil, and are admitted to practice in Latin American jurisdictions. The firm knows the region’s civil law system, business practices, and regulatory and political landscapes, which allows it to add value for international clients seeking to grow their presence in Latin America. The team also works with lawyers across more than 25 Orrick offices worldwide to help Latin American clients pursue expansion strategies and obtain capital in the international markets.

Orrick guides clients through complex cross-border matters that are shaping the future of a region ripe for substantial international investment. These have included the acquisition of the Dominican Republic’s largest airport company; the development of a US$1.3bn petrochemical facility in Mexico, including negotiating to close a first-of-its kind structure with Mexico’s Comisi?n Federal de Electricidad (CFE) to transport low-cost natural gas from the United States to the facility in Mexico; the structuring and launching of a US$200m Mexican investment fund, which will be the first ever agrotech-dedicated fund in Mexico; and the acquisition of nine airports and three partial management contracts, including co-control stakes in Costa Rica’s two major airports.

The team has handled matters in every Latin American country and works in the region on a daily basis. Orrick has developed a strong network of contacts in the business and government sectors, connecting them with the key professionals in the region. As a result, the firm has long-standing collaborative relationships with top local law firms in Latin America that complement its strengths and reinforces the ability to counsel clients on the most complex international legal matters.

Areas of practice: M&A and private equity; corporate; power; renewables, oil and gas; infrastructure; project finance; corporate finance; real estate; restructuring; intellectual property; international trade, investigations and compliance; and technology.

Department Name Email Telephone
Partners Carlos Treistman E:
Partners Rodrigo Dominguez E:
Other fee-earners : 25
Partners : 30

The Firm

Orrick is focused on serving clients in the Technology and Innovation, Energy and Infrastructure, and Finance sectors globally. Founded more than 150 years ago, the firm today has 1,100 lawyers in offices across the U.S., Europe and Asia. The firm provides clients with innovative approaches to their most complex transactional, litigation and regulatory matters. Financial Times singled out Orrick as the “Most Innovative Law Firm in North America” in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and Fortune has named the firm among the “100 Best Companies to Work For” four years in a row.

Main Areas of Practice


  • Advised on more than 860 venture capital financings valued at over US$14.6 billion for companies based in 35 countries. We helped the following companies and their investors cross the billion-dollar mark to unicorn status: Asana, Convoy, DoorDash, Graphcore, HashiCorp, Lime, Monzo, PagerDuty, Revolut, Swiggy and Warby Parker. Additionally, Orrick helped companies with their strategic exits, advising on 30 sell-side M&A deals and 7 initial public offerings, including the US$70 million IPO for Twist Bioscience on Nasdaq.
  • Argued on behalf of Microsoft a historic data privacy case before the Supreme Court. U.S. v. Microsoft was a globally watched clash over the federal government’s right to seize private emails stored in foreign countries. With the case pending, Congress enacted the CLOUD Act, which updated the Stored Communications Act in a way that addressed the concerns of Microsoft and the tech industry – and which was heavily influenced by Orrick’s legal position throughout the litigation. The Supreme Court declared the case moot, but it was a clear victory for Microsoft, which strongly supported the legislation.
  • Scored back-to-back wins for Microsoft and Twitter in major gender discrimination cases. Orrick’s Employment team persuaded two separate judges to reject bids for class certification of gender bias claims in less than two weeks. These cases were referred to as “the barometer for gender bias litigation in the tech industry.”
  • Represented Oracle in the appeal, retrial on remand, and second appeal of the Oracle v. Google copyright trial – one of the most closely watched IP cases of the decade. The Federal Circuit unanimously found that Google’s use of Java was not fair use as a matter of law. In overturning the jury verdict, the Federal Circuit reaffirmed important copyright protections for software developers and set the stage for a new trial to decide how much Google should pay to Oracle in damages for its unauthorized use of Java.
  • Advised Hedera Hashgraph on its US$82.5 million Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) round in August, totaling US$100 million in SAFTs raised by the company in 2018. Hedera Hashgraph is the creator of a technology to overcome one of blockchain’s major flaws: that it is either fast but unsecure, or secure but slow.
  • Secured a very successful resolution in the jury trial of Desktop Metal v. Markforged, one of the most significant litigations in the rapidly growing 3D printing industry. The case involved allegations of patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, unfair trade practices and breach of fiduciary duty.

Energy & Infrastructure:

  • Advised GE Energy Financial Services in a mezzanine debt financing of the 1,182 MW South Field combined-cycle, gas-fired power project in Columbiana County, Ohio. Equity and financing on the development stage project totaled US$1.3 billion.
  • Advised Recurrent Energy, LLC in the sale of interests in five California solar photovoltaic projects. Pensionskassernes Administration acquired 49 percent interest in the Garland and Tranquility projects equivalent to 260 MWp. In a separate transaction, Korea Electric Power Corporation acquired interests in the Astoria (100 MWac/131 MWp), Astoria 2 (75 MWac/100 MWp) and Barren Ridge (60 MWac/78 MWp) projects.
  • Advised Clearway Renew LLC in the US$1.35 billion acquisition of an approximately 4.7 GW development pipeline of utility-scale solar projects from SunPower, spanning 16 states.
  • Advised Equinor with Total in the acquisition of Cobalt International Energy L.P.’s 60 percent operating interest in the North Platte discovery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
  • Represented Ocean Rig in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit against an attempt to overturn a New York bankruptcy court’s order recognizing the company’s Cayman Islands-based restructuring proceedings under chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Advised Port Authority of NY & NJ in the redevelopment of the Hudson River underwater rail crossings and associated infrastructure (Gateway Project) currently in the preliminary stages of development and financing, including possible RRIF/TIFIA funding.

Financial Services:

  • Secured a win for client TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex in a putative class action stemming from losses suffered by TD’s customers – traders in futures options – in connection with extreme market volatility in early February 2018. A judge in the U.S. District Court for the South District of Florida ruled in our client’s favor and denied the plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class of over 200 customers. Another ruling dismissed all but one of the claims brought against TDAFF, including all claims asserted under the Commodity Exchange Act.
  • Secured a complete victory in the Ninth Circuit on behalf of the City of Stockton, California in an appeal from an order confirming the plan of adjustment in the City’s chapter 9 bankruptcy case. The appellate win marked the latest important step in Stockton’s emergence from novel bankruptcy proceedings, which Orrick’s teams have guided for more than six years.
  • Helped bank group KBC secure a complete dismissal of a long-running US$1.5 billion RICO lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff, diamond manufacturing and distribution company Lazare Kaplan International, alleged the theft of US$135 million in diamonds from Lazare’s Belgian and other foreign subsidiaries.
  • Advised on the first-ever restructuring of a U.S. territory and the largest U.S. municipal restructuring to date by serving as co-counsel to the COFINA Senior Bondholder’s coalition in connection with its restructuring and its exchange issuance of approximately US$12 billion in restructured bonds.
  • Advised on the first renewable natural gas project financing in the U.S. capital markets, a US$61.4 million green bond issued by the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pinal to finance one of the world’s largest anaerobic digester facilities in Arizona.
  • Advised a leading real estate private equity firm on the US$1+ billion mixed-use redevelopment project for St. John’s Terminal in Manhattan and on the revitalization of San Francisco’s historic Pier 70.
  • Advising online lender Oportun in its funding strategies, including all of its consumer loan securitizations, warehouse facilities and whole loan sales, in addition to providing regulatory advice.
  • Advised the initial purchasers and placement agents on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ US$147.5 million bond offerings and US$227.5 million note offering to fund portions of the construction for an expansion of the Morongo Casino Resort Spa in California.
  • Advised a leading Asset Management firm on upsizing a US$260 million hybrid securitization backed by trade financing loans, finance leases and factored receivables originated or acquired in Latin America.
U.S.A. : 903
Worldwide : 1,100+