Firm Profile > Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP > Houston, United States

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
United States

Capital markets: debt Tier 1

The ‘top-tier practice group’ at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP scores highly for its ability to ‘work collaboratively with the other side to get deals across the line’. Headed by New York-based Arthur Robinson, the global capital markets team is also noted for the 'knowledge and expertise’ of its attorneys, and its strong track record in issuer-side deals. Microsoft and KfW are among the group's repeat issuer clients, though the well-balanced practice is also routinely instructed by major investment banks. New York-based Roxane Reardon had a banner year on the debt side, which included advising the underwriters on CVS Health’s $40bn notes offering, which marked the third-largest corporate bond sale on record. In Palo Alto, Daniel Webb and William Brentani advised the underwriters on Apple’s six-tranche notes offering, worth a combined $7bn. Among its work for issuers, Palo Alto’s Kevin Kennedy assisted Alibaba Group with notes offerings totaling $7bn, while Joshua Bonnie, who splits his time between New York and Washington DC, advised Ingersoll Rand on $1.1bn worth of debt offerings. New York-based Mark Brod is also a name to note. In 2018, William Golden and Jonathan Ozner made partner in Washington DC and New York, respectively.

Capital markets: equity offerings Tier 1

A leader in equity capital markets’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP finds favor for its ‘talented and very knowledgeable lawyers’, who ‘don't look to pick fights but know how to collaborate to get a deal across the line’. The ‘premier team’ is particularly noted for its ‘strong expertise in major private equity-related deals’, which recently included New York-based Joseph Kaufman (‘very strong and great to deal with’) advising National Vision Holdings, and entities affiliated with KKR, on two secondary offerings totaling $1.1bn. Kaufman also advised BrightView Holdings, a portfolio company of KKR, on its $539m IPO. In another set of private equity-related deals, Washington DC-based Joshua Bonnie, ‘a clear market leader’, and New York’s Edgar Lewandowski advised Hilton Worldwide Holdings on several deals, including on a $1.4bn share sale by certain selling stockholders affiliated with Blackstone. In Palo Alto, Kevin Kennedy, who provides ‘a safe pair of hands’, is highly regarded for technology-related offerings; he acted for the underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Securities, on Dropbox’s $969.4m IPO. Other key contacts in New York include global capital markets head Arthur Robinson, Richard Fenyes, who assisted First Data with its $1.7bn secondary offering, and Kenneth Wallach.

Capital markets: global offerings Tier 1

Solution-focused, creative and practical’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s global capital markets practice ‘sets the standards for effectiveness and efficiency’. The group’s comprehensive experience is a big draw and clients value its ‘broad track record which covers all types of industries’ as well as its ‘strong capability to act for both issuers and underwriters’. Its expertise in both debt and equity matters is also a significant differentiator and the firm routinely ranks among the top three by value for global IPOs as well as global bond deals. Led out of New York by Arthur Robinson, who is also ‘a leader in his field’, internationally, the group leans on well-staffed platforms in Hong Kong, London, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. Recent highlights included advising the international managers, Morgan Stanley and Daiwa Securities, on the $1bn IPO of SG Holdings. On the debt side, the firm advised the initial purchasers on a $500m notes offering by Gol Finance. Among its issuer-side mandates, the team advised Hapvida Participações e Investimentos and PPAR Pinheiro Participações, as the selling shareholder, on the $668m IPO of Hapvida and listing on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange. Other key contacts include Todd Crider and David Williams, who co-lead the Latin America practice, and Ryan Bekkerus.

Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings Tier 1

One of the market's standout firms for high-yield debt work’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP draws praise from all corners of the market for its ‘superior subject matter expertise’, ‘clear and concise communication skills’ and ‘business-savvy and technically-minded lawyers’. The largely New York-based group, which is widely revered for both its ‘premier issuer-side practice’ as well as for ‘representing the major investment banks on a regular basis’, provides comprehensive coverage of high-yield matters, with notable firepower in multi-jurisdictional and private equity-related transactions. Sector specialist Arthur Robinson heads the global team and led the charge on several of the firm’s bank-side mandates over the past year. Most notably, he paired up with the ‘excellent high-yield lawyerDavid Azarkh to advise the underwriters, led by JP Morgan Securities, on Sprint Corporation’s upsized $1.5bn offering. Among its headline mandates for issuers, Richard Fenyes, who is ‘very responsive, proactive and creative’, advised Community Health Systems on its $1bn notes offering. In Palo Alto, William Brentani assisted Hub International on its offering of $1.3bn worth of senior notes. Other key contacts include up-and-coming partner John Ericson, who advised the initial purchasers on a $702m high-yield notes offering by WeWork, and Kenneth Wallach.

Commercial lending Tier 1

Few will dispute the top-tier status of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which is among the market leaders for borrower and lender-led financings, including LBOs and strategic buyouts. The practice group also has strong teams in sector-specific areas such as energy. Borrower-led mandates include advising Silver Lake Partners on the financing of its $3.5bn buyout of Blackhawk Network Holdings, which it acquired jointly with P2 Capital Partners. The firm also advised Community Health Systems on its complex multi-billion dollar restructuring. For the lenders, the team advised JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs on the financing for IBM's $34bn acquisition of Red Hat. Further, the team acted for JPMorgan Chase in an $8.5bn bridge facility to finance Northrop Grumman's acquisition of Orbital ATK. Patrick Ryan leads the first-class practice, which includes some of the leading lawyers in the market, including James Cross, Brian GluckJennifer HobbsWilliam SheehanAlexandra Kaplan, and Houston's Matt Einbinder.

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 1

The team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP now includes seven partners following the promotion of Jeannine McSweeney in January 2019. In a significant transaction in the private equity space, Gregory Grogan advised a Blackstone Group-led consortium on a $20bn partnership agreement with Thompson Reuters. An equally sizeable public transaction saw David Rubinsky advising Vistra Energy on all executive compensation and employee benefit matters related to its $20bn merger with Dynegy. Practice head Brian Robbins has been instructed by high-profile senior executives including CEOs of Avon Corporation, National Geographic, Evercore and Ralph Lauren; he also recently advised Dover Corporation on its $3bn spin-off of Apergy. Other names to note include Palo Alto-based Tristan Brown, who was involved in KKR’s $9.9bn acquisition on Envision Healthcare and Andrew Blau, who has expertise in equity and cash-based incentive schemes, deferred compensation and retirement plans. Named lawyers are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Financial services litigation Tier 1

Being well versed in the complexities of often arcane and intellectually challenging financial products, and benefiting from a 'high-caliber' litigation capability, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has excellent credentials in the market, and is regularly engaged by major banks and private equity funds, including KKR, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, on their most sophisticated matters. Jonathan Youngwood jointly chairs the litigation department and has a superb track record in financial services cases, including recent success for UBS in persuading the court to deny class certification in a case arguing that the bank did not provide sufficient due diligence as to the suitability of the investment in connection with a putative class of investors’ purchases of UBS Puerto Rico closed-end funds. The firm has also been involved in numerous market manipulation cases and, as well as its victory for Deutsche Bank in securing the dismissal from class actions alleging manipulation within the US Treasury securities market, is also representing electronic trading platform, Tradeweb, as one of the defendants accused of conspiring to protect the OTC market for interest rate swaps. Paul GluckowJoseph McLaughlin and Craig Waldman are also recommended.

General commercial disputes Tier 1

Highlighted for its 'solid advice and terrific advocacy' Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is among the leading disputes practices in the US. The firm particularly excels in insurance litigation. Recent work in this field includes Lynn Neuner’s defense of Travelers in litigation concerning its provision of a “wrap-up” insurance program to Bethlehem Steel; cases were filed at the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, federal court in Connecticut and state courts across the East Coast. Recent highlights among highly regarded partner Bryce Friedman’s busy workload was his successful representation of a company in two arbitration proceedings against two of the client’s significant business partners. Paul Curnin and Jonathan Youngwood co-head the litigation group, which also includes Linton Mann III. Deborah Stein left for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in January 2019. Named partners are based in New York.

Insurance: advice to insurers Tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's practice focuses on both primary coverage and excess insurance matters, including terrorism-related coverage, cybersecurity, business practice issues, bad faith allegations, residual value policies and natural disasters. Bryce Friedman in New York represented Travelers in its complaint and motion for preliminary injunction against Old Mutual's attempt to shed its indemnification liability to the client via a reorganization. New York-based practice lead Mary Beth Forshaw acted for National Union Fire Insurance Company in a coverage dispute aimed to recover the amounts it paid to fund a Master Settlement Agreement between insured Fresenius Medical Care and the plaintiffs who brought the underlying injury lawsuits against Fresenius. Commercial litigator Susannah Geltman, who is also based in New York, represents national insurers in coverage disputes. Deborah Stein joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's Los Angeles office in 2019.

M&A litigation: defense Tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has a deep bench of 'solid, sensible and skilled litigators'. The firm has 'the people, the reputation and the track record' to excel in this area of law. The firm frequently handles shareholder M&A litigation in state and federal courts throughout the US and has substantial expertise in shareholder activist litigation, post-closing appraisal proceedings, and disputes between merger parties. Peter Kazanoff and Craig Waldman are the principal practitioners in New York. Kazanoff is currently acting for GardaWorld Consulting (UK) in a case arising form its acquisition of private security business Hestia. With Waldman, he is also representing KKR in cases connected with its $9.9bn acquisition of Envision Healthcare. Litigation co-chair Jonathan Youngwood, who handled three putative class actions in Texas for La Quinta Holdings, is also recommended. James Kreissman, the firm’s senior West Coast litigator and chair of its Asia litigation practice, and newly promoted partner Stephen Blake are the key names in Palo Alto.

M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP continues to be recognized for its leading position in bulge-bracket private equity buyouts and this is increasingly matched by its presence in strategic M&A. The firm's outstanding private equity knowledge and experience is frequently brought into play when representing sellers in contested auctions. Strategic M&A clients are also regularly spawned from private equity exits, where the firm maintains a relationship with the company's management. The firm is also noted for its standing in domestic and cross-border transactions, especially in the financial services, healthcare, technology and energy sectors; it has a well-established office in Houston that has augmented its reputation in the oil and gas industry. The team is 'extremely thorough, knowledgeable and very responsive'. Clients include American Electric Power, Gerdau, Hilton Worldwide, Marathon Oil, Microsoft and Walgreens Boots Alliance. It advised L3 Technologies on its announced $33.5bn combination with Harris Corporation through an all-stock merger of equals transaction. It also advised Blue Buffalo Pet Products on its $8bn sale to General Mills. Moreover, it advised regular client Microsoft on its $7.5bn acquisition of GitHub. Alan Klein, who is recommended for cross-border deals and high-value tech deals especially, and Mario Ponce head the M&A practice, which includes leading financial institutions M&A expert Lee Meyerson, rapidly emerging talent Eric Swedenburg, experienced big-ticket M&A specialist William Curbow and junior partner Anthony VernaceBrian Stadler is recommended for real estate-related deals and Latin America transactions specialist Todd Crider is 'an outstanding individual'.

Not-for-profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities) Tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's exempt organizations group is 'a leader in the field' that provides 'sophisticated, thoughtful advice in a timely manner'. Headed by New York-based David Shevlin ('an industry expert supported by an equally qualified team'), the eight-lawyer group acts for a mix of private foundations, public charities, social welfare organizations, and governing boards in relation to audits and investigations, tax matters, endowment issues, and disaster relief. Recent highlights include advising the Stephen A. Schwarzman Foundation on its $350m donation to MIT to fund the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. The team also advised Atlantic Philanthropies on its $177m grant to create the Global Brain Health Institute. Other clients include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Private equity buyouts Tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has an illustrious reputation in the private equity industry, thanks in part to its long-standing relationships with the likes of Blackstone, KKR and Silver Lake Partners, as well as other managers such as EQT Partners, Centerbridge Partners, KSL Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital. It has worked on many of the biggest, most complex and headline-grabbing deals of the last decade and maintained this record in 2018 when it advised a Blackstone-led consortium on completing a partnership agreement with Thomson Reuters for Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk Business (F&R); the consortium now owns 55% of new company created to hold the F&R business. Marni Lerner heads the private equity group and remains a frequent adviser to KKR, including on its $9.9bn acquisition of Envision Healthcare. Gary Horowitz, another key relationship partner for KKR, is 'very practical' and 'gets to the finish line really quick without any unnecessary noise'.  Wilson Neely 'deserves the accolades' and remains close to Blackstone, while Palo Alto partner and 'really senior practitioner' Richard Capelouto is a regular counsel to Silver Lake and Hellman & Friedman. Anthony Vernace  is 'a really talented lawyer'. All partners are based in New York, unless stated otherwise.

Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 1

Large-cap fund formation mandates and high-value asset manager M&A matters form the backbone of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's practice. Highlights included Barrie Covit and Washington DC-based David Greene advising The Carlyle Group on forming $18.5bn fund Carlyle Partners VII, which made investments in five industries across the US; Thomas Bell assisting Macquarie with the formation and fundraise of MIRA Infrastructure Global Solution (MIGS), the client's first globally diversified umbrella infrastructure fund; and Jonathan Karen advising Brightstar Capital Partners on its inaugural fundraise, which raised $710m. The client base includes Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, and KKR. Other key contacts include Peter Gilman, Glenn Sarno, Jason Herman and Parker Kelsey; Palo Alto-based Michael Nooney and Tom Wuchenich in Los Angeles are also names of note. Unless stated otherwise, all named attorneys are based in New York.

Real estate Tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which has ‘unparalleled experience in working on complex transactions’, advises public and private real estate companies on M&A, sales, development, leasing, structured financing, joint ventures and partnerships. Gregory Ressa heads the team, which is ‘always available, incredibly thoughtful and diligent with a focus on representing the client well and also being incredibly commercial’. Ressa recently advised the special committee of the board of GGP on the mall owner's $27.7bn sale to Brookfield Property Partners. Sasan Mehrara represented Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII on its acquisition of Gramercy Property Trust for $7.6bn. Krista Miniutti advised BioMed Realty and affiliates on the $3.7bn refinancing of various portfolios of office and research facilities, while Scott Kobak acted for KKR on its $401.9m acquisition of 22 senior housing facilities from Cascade Living Group. Newly promoted partner Davis Coen advised Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust on its $1.8bn acquisition of an industrial portfolio from Cabot Industrial Properties. Another highlight included representing Northwood Investors on its acquisition of two office buildings in New York and San Francisco for a combined total of $595m. Other clients include The Carlyle Group, Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Centerbridge, Invitation Homes and KSL Capital Partners. Whitney Salinas was promoted to partner. All named partners are based in New York.

Securities litigation - defense Tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has 'a very experienced and knowledgeable team for securities class action defense'. The firm built on its extensive track record of success last year with victories that included the defeat of class certification in a case for UBS, a successful appeal for La Quinta Holdings in the Second Circuit Appeal to affirm the dismissal with prejudice of a securities class action, and the defeat of a motion for certiorari in the US Supreme Court on behalf of JP Morgan. The firm is also a prominent player in IPO-related litigation and is handling matters related to the $25bn IPO of Alibaba in 2014, which include an ongoing consolidated Exchange Act complaint. The firm successfully settled a related Securities Act lawsuit in California state court. Jonathan Youngwood and Paul Curnin in New York, and Palo Alto-based up-and-coming partner Stephen Blake were part of the team handling those cases. New York-based Joe McLaughlin, who handled a 10b5 class action for Perrigo, 'literally wrote the book - he knows the law, the precedents and how to apply them'.

US taxes: non-contentious Tier 1

The ‘knowledgeable and creative’ New York tax team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP ‘provides a one-stop shop for clients’ in M&A, real estate, private equity and funds-related tax matters. Jonathan Goldstein advised Microsoft on the tax aspects of its acquisition of GitHub for $7.5bn. In other highlights, Robert Holo acted for KKR in its acquisition of Envision Healthcare for $9.9bn, while Nancy Mehlman and Andrew Purcell acted for Vistra Energy in connection with tax aspects relating to its merger with Dynegy in an all-stock transaction. Purcell and John Hart also assisted La Quinta Holdings in the spin-off its real estate business into a publicly traded REIT. In another highlight, Gary Mandel acted for a Blackstone-led consortium in the acquisition of 55% equity in a new special purpose company. Katharine Moir and Marcy Geller are key contacts in Palo Alto.

Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP focuses on project finance and development in relation to solar, wind and gas storage facilities, transmission lines, and water treatment projects. The energy and infrastructure group is headed by New York-based David Lieberman, who advised Morgan Stanley Senior Funding on the $1.2bn financing of Blackstone’s acquisition of an equity interest in ET Rover Pipeline, a FERC regulated interstate natural gas pipeline in the final stages of construction. Also recommended is senior counsel Amy Beller, who is also based in New York and is regularly instructed by commercial and investment banks and renewable energy companies in corporate and project finance matters.

Energy: transactions: conventional power Tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has experience of high-value transactions in the electricity, gas and water utilities sectors, and also advises on pipeline and energy infrastructure projects. Headed by David Lieberman in the New York office, the energy and infrastructure practice group acts for major corporates and financial groups such as American Electric Power, Citigroup and Siemens Financial Services. Also in New York, Justin Lungstrum advised Barclays on the provision of a $950m senior secured bridge credit facility to Energy Capital Partners in connection with the $17bn acquisition of Calpine Corporation.

Energy: transactions: oil and gas Tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advises on a range of energy-sector transactions including asset and project financing, investment, acquisitions and disposals. Key figures in the department include New York-based head of energy and infrastructure David Lieberman, and Robert Rabalais, who heads the firm's Houston office. Also in the Houston office, Christopher May and Breen Haire acted for JP Morgan Securities and Tudor Pickering Holt & Co Advisors, as financial advisers to Energen Corporation, in connection with its announced sale to Diamondback Energy, an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $9.2bn. New-York based Eli Hunt joined the team from Latham & Watkins LLP and Natalie Regoli came from Baker McKenzie LLP and is praised by clients for 'her ability to easily communicate with clients and get the commercial concepts into writing'.

Environment: transactional Tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has a strong transactional practice that has expertise acting in regulated sectors, and has a strong client base of private equity investors. The practice group advises on environmental risk analysis, regulatory developments, liabilities arising out of environmental conditions, and compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations, in the context of M&A, bankruptcy, capital markets, and banking and finance transactions. It advised Gerdau on the $600m sale of rebar production, fabrication and placing operations to Commercial Metals; that deal was led by ‘top notch’ senior counsel Adeeb Fadil, who is ‘smart’ and ‘very experienced’, and co-heads the practice in Washington DC. Also recommended is New York-based co-head Mike Isby, who is acting for Aqua America in the $4.3bn all-cash acquisition of Peoples, the largest natural gas distribution company in Pennsylvania.

International tax Tier 2

Robert Holo leads the practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which assists large corporate and private equity clients on cross-border M&A, capital markets transactions and financings. The team also advises on restructuring and fund formation, among other things. Holo and Marcy Geller advised SiriusXM on its acquisition of Pandora for $3.5bn. Holo also advised Spotify on its mutual investment agreement with China's Tencent entertainment group. Jonathan Goldstein, Nancy Mehlman, John Creed and Katharine Moir all have significant private equity client bases and are recommended. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York, excluding Moir in Palo Alto.

Merger control Tier 2

The 'very experienced and competent' team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP adopts a 'creative and hands-on approach' to service its enviable, diverse client roster. The 'outstandingSara Razi recently advised K2M on its $1.4bn merger with Stryker, and the 'competent and always available' counsel Ellen Frye is working with Peter Guryan in New York to represent L3 in the merger review of its announced merger of equals with Harris. Guryan is also working alongside counsel Richard Jamgochian to assist First Data with the antitrust aspects of its acquisition by Fiserv in an all-stock transaction. Practice head Peter Thomas and Andrew Lacy represented Daimler and BMW in their proposed mobility services joint venture. Other key clients include Bayer, Boeing, Mars and Taiyo Nippon Sansa. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC unless otherwise indicated.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) Tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's practice covers M&A, investment and joint venture transactions, capital markets and other financings, REIT compliance, fund formation, and corporate governance. The client list includes Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust and KKR Real Estate Finance Trust; in large REIT buyouts, the team acted for global real estate investor Blackstone in the high-value acquisition, by affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII, of Gramercy Property Trust. Other highlights included advising JP Morgan Securities, as financial adviser to diversified net-lease REIT WP Carey, which merged with Corporate Property Associates 17 - Global, a publicly held, non-traded REIT. New York-based Brian StadlerGregory Ressa and Edgar Lewandowski are the names to note.

Structured finance: securitization Tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has attracted a steady stream of high-value ABS mandates, where it acts for loan sponsors and initial purchasers in deals involving rental pass-though certificates, rental cars and fleets, and telecom tower revenues. The key figure in the team is senior counsel John Schueller, who acted for the initial purchasers in a litany of fleet financing transactions with Element Fleet Management Corp and Enterprise Fleet Management. Further, Schueller acted for the financing subsidiaries of American Tower Corporation in its $526m 144A-compliant offering of secured tower revenue securities, and also advised the financing subsidiaries of Vantage Data Centers on its $1.1bn of secured data center revenue notes, which marked the first securitization financing in the data center industry.

Cartel Tier 3

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP fields antitrust experts and experienced litigators such as John Terzaken, Abram Ellis and Jeffrey Knox to service its enviable client base on the full range of cartel issues. The group has recently advised on sensitive and high-stakes DOJ investigations into the consumer foods, aviation fuel, financial services and healthcare sectors pertaining to allegations of price fixing, collusion and hiring practices. Also notable are Sara Razi and Brooke Cucinella, who recently joined the New York office as partner from the DOJ. All other named partners are based in Washington DC.

Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 3

A key name in the antitrust litigation practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is practice head John Terzaken III. He sits in the Washington DC office alongside Sara RaziAbram Ellis and Peter Thomas, who are currently representing McKesson in a class action alleging that it conspired with generic drug manufacturers to fix prices and allocate customers. In the financial services sector, New York-based Peter Guryan and Michael Garvey teamed up with Ellis to defend Tradeweb against a number of putative class actions alleging a number of banks conspired to manipulate the over-the-counter market for interest rate swaps; Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan are also key clients in the financial space. Andrew Lacy - also in DC - is part of the team acting for HCA in a class-action claiming that three defendant hospital networks around San Antonio colluded to depress nurse wages. In a notable hire, former assistant US attorney Brooke Cucinella joined in New York from the Southern District.

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense Tier 3

New York's Paul Curnin and Mark Stein chair the group at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which is noted for handling high-profile corporate representations, including investigations and criminal prosecutions. In 2018, the group benefited from the arrival of former JPMorgan Chase general counsel Stephen Cutler and Brooke Cucinella, who joined from the Criminal Division of the Southern District of New York. Jonathan Youngwood in New York and Palo Alto's James Kreissman are representing Alibaba in an SEC investigation into accounting practices. Other highlights included Washington DC-based Jeffrey Knox's representation of the former CFO and acting secretary general of Fifa in investigations initiated by the DOJ and Swiss Attorney General's Office into alleged widespread corruption in connection with World Cup hosting, media and advertising rights. New York's Joshua Levine and Nicholas Goldin are other practitioners to note.

Financial services regulation Tier 3

Strengthened by the recruitment in April 2018 of Stephen Cutler from JPMorgan Chase, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's integrated transactional and regulatory team is a one-stop-shop for financial institutions engaged in M&A and capital markets matters. Team head Lee Meyerson is regularly at the forefront of the most significant matters handled by the team and recently advised NewStar Financial on its acquisition by First Eagle and the sale of its portfolio of assets of investment assets to GSO Capital Partners. Meyerson also led the firm's representation of TCF Financial's $3.5bn merger with Chemical Financial, the largest bank merger-of-equals transaction in over a decade. As well as working alongside Meyerson, Elizabeth Cooper regularly takes the lead on matters, as demonstrated by her recent work for a Blackstone-led consortium on its $20bn partnership agreement with Thomson Reuters for its Financial and Risk Business. Cooper also receives a significant flow of work on behalf of asset management firms acquiring minority interests in private equity sponsors; she recently advised Rockpoint on the sale of a minority interest to Blackstone Strategic Capital Holding. Recently Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Washington DC-based Keith Noreika has significant gravitas in the industry and, as well as providing useful input on financial services M&A, also provides ongoing standalone regulatory assistance to a plethora of clients, including Morgan Stanley and TCF Financial. Named attorneys are based in New York, unless otherwise indicated.

Insurance: non-contentious Tier 3

Focusing on M&A, capital markets  and corporate management advice for large insurance companies, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP operates in the P&C, life and annuity, health, brokerage and third-party areas in the sector. Private equity specialist Gary Horowitz advised on the $6.7bn sale of Sedgwick to a consortium led by Carlyle, while he also acted for JP Morgan Securities as financial advisor to Validus in relation to its $5.56bn acquisition by AIG. Senior counsel Steven DeLott, meanwhile, advised a group of underwriters, led by Barclays Capital, on Willis North America's $1bn senior notes offering. Both lawyers are based in New York.

Technology transactions Tier 3

Leveraging an enviable private equity client base, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP ‘provides extremely practical advice’ on licensing, outsourcing and co-development arrangements in the media, banking and automotive sectors. New York-based practice head Lori E. Lesserrecognizes critical nuances’ and is ‘a true difference maker, who provides clients with a competitive advantage in any negotiation’; she advised Blackstone on a $20bn partnership agreement with Thomson Reuters for its Financial & Risk Business, which provides data analytics services for the client’s data and financial technology platform. Counsel Marcela Robledo, who is based in Palo Alto, assisted Alibaba with a strategic retail partnership agreement with Starbucks that involves the technological integration of several coffee delivery platforms into one single online store.

Appellate Tier 4

Paul Curnin and Jonathan Youngwood jointly head the appellate practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which is primarily based in New York. Assisted by senior counsel Janet Gochman on the brief, Youngwood convinced the Second Circuit to affirm a district court’s dismissal with prejudice of a securities class action brought against the firm’s client La Quinta Holdings and other parties. Led by Joe McLaughlin at the New York Court of Appeals, the group secured a victory for the respondents in the insurance case Ambac Assurance Corp. v Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Acting for client Best Buy at the federal District Court of Minnesota, McLaughlin and George Wang led on defending a decision issued by the Eight Circuit, denying class certification in a securities fraud class action. In September 2018, Brooke Cucinella joined from the Southern District of New York.

International arbitration Tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has expertise in complex, high-value arbitration and is able to seamlessly utilize its international network in cross-border proceedings. The team represented Danone in UNCITRAL arbitration and ancillary proceedings following a product contamination caused by supplier Fonterra. Key contacts are Washington DC-based practice head Peter Thomas and Tyler Robinson in London; the latter in particular is ‘a master at collating highly complex and technical elements cohesively’. New York-based Mary Beth Forshaw is also a noted practitioner.

Mutual/registered/ exchange-traded funds Tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has solid experience handling work involving ’40 Act funds, among other areas. Rajib Chanda is 'an excellent adviser' and is assisting MassMutual with its $5.7bn sale of OppenheimerFunds to Invesco. In another matter, Chanda and David Blass are advising Impact Shares on the launch of its first ETF, the Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF, in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Other clients include Blackstone, Wells Fargo Securities, Oaktree Capital, Morgan Stanley, KKR Asset Management and Legg Mason. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate Tier 4

Traditionally a creditors' practice, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is increasingly experienced in company-side work. The multidisciplinary team specializes in prepackaged Chapter 11 filings and can call on the expertise of the head of the restructuring and bankruptcy practice Sandeep Qusba, who leads the team from New York, which also includes William Russell Jr., Michael Torkin and Elisha Graff. The team represented Dixie Electric and its affiliates in its Chapter 11 filed in 2018 in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. It also acted for JPMorgan Chase as administrative agent for a $45m DIP loan facility for the Nordam Group, in relation to Nordam's Chapter 11. In another highlight, the firm is representing the committee of independent directors of the board of Danaos Corporation in connection with the company’s debt restructuring with its lenders, as well as its largest stockholder and manager; the transaction resulted in a debt reduction of $551m and the refinancing of approximately $2.2bn in credit facilities. Other key clients include Blackstone Group, Deutsche Bank and Templar Energy.

Structured finance: derivatives and structured products Tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has a specialized derivatives practice that is well known for its expertise in margin lending, and is engaged by major buy-side clients in cross-border forex and equity hedging transactions. The department in headed by Joyce Xu, who advised Blackstone on the deal-contingent forex and interest rate derivative matters associated with the financing and acquisition of Cirsa Gaming. Xu also advised PPL Corporation on the execution of forward sale agreements in relation to its registered $1.7bn common stock offering. Also recommended is Jonathan Lindabury, who acted for JP Morgan and UBS in a margin lending transaction with the CEO of a pre-IPO company, which was secured by shares in that company. Further, Lindabury advised Goldman Sachs on multiple convertible note hedging and warrant transactions in relation to a convertible senior note offering by Square Inc.

Project finance

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is best known for its expertise in capital markets deals across the infrastructure and energy sectors. Standout work for department head David Lieberman included acting for MUFG and Mizuho as lenders in connection with NextEra Energy’s $42.1m financing to support the development of Pinal Solar’s 30MW energy storage project, located on 104 hectares near Casa Grande, Pinal County, Arizona. In addition, Lieberman advised Morgan Stanley and MUFG, as lenders, on Frontera Generation’s $735m refinancing of a 536MW natural gas-fired power plant in Texas, and Brian Chisling advised Macquarie CAF Management on its formation of a joint venture with the operators of Harbor Performance Enhancement Center to provide $130m in capital for the development of a shipping container staging hub located at Terminal Island in the Port of Los Angeles. Of counsel Kenneth Wyman and senior counsel Amy Beller advised the lenders, including Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, on Terra-Gen’s $244.3m financing for the construction and repowering of wind farms located in the Tehachapi area of Kern County, California and Big Spring, Texas, respectively. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

The firm

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is widely recognized as one of the pre-eminent law firms in the world. The firm devotes to its clients the legal talent and skill of over 900 lawyers with a commitment to hard work, excellence and integrity. Clients around the world in a wide array of industries turn to Simpson Thacher for advice on their largest and most complex transactions and their most challenging legal disputes. The firm offers straightforward, pragmatic advice that recognizes the business needs of clients in light of prevailing commercial and legal realities. The firm has played a substantial role in many of the most complex and noteworthy transactions and matters of the last decade.

Areas of practice

M&A: Simpson Thacher is recognized globally for its role on behalf of parties on all sides of complex M&A transactions, buyouts, stock and asset purchases, restructurings, spinoffs, joint ventures and contested transactions. Simpson Thacher also counsels clients on a broad range of corporate governance and control matters, including proxy contests and challenges by activist investors.

Private Equity: Simpson Thacher is the world’s leading legal advisor in the private equity sector. Since the earliest days of private equity, clients have sought Simpson Thacher’s advice across the spectrum of private equity activity and the firm continues to be the firm of choice for many of the world’s most sophisticated private equity firms. Simpson Thacher’s scale and depth gives it insight into the needs of every participant in private equity transactions: private equity sponsors, senior bank lenders, subordinated and bridge lenders, management and financial investors and underwriters.

Capital Markets: Simpson Thacher is a leader in capital markets transactions worldwide. The capital markets practice is prized for its reach and range — from Manhattan to Silicon Valley, from London to Hong Kong, São Paulo and beyond. With a uniquely balanced practice, representing both issuers and underwriters, the firm enjoys a premier standing in advising on IPOs and other equity capital markets transactions, as well as high yield debt, convertible debt and investment grade offerings. Clients rely on Simpson Thacher’s mastery of intricate deal structuring and its experience across the full spectrum of products and industries.

Banking and Credit: With a widely recognized top-level practice, Simpson Thacher counsels clients on their most sophisticated credit transactions. The firm is consistently ranked among the top firms by Loan Pricing Corporation. Clients rely on Simpson Thacher to advise on an array of sophisticated credit transactions and financial instruments at all levels of the corporate capital structure. The firm’s practices focus on many areas of the bank and syndicated lending market, including: leveraged finance, acquisition finance, including bridge financing, investment grade finance and project and energy finance.

Litigation: Clients seek the practice’s advice on high-stakes litigation, cross-border disputes, as well as government and internal investigations in the Americas, Europe and Asia. With more than 200 litigators, the practice offers a substantial bench of talent to resolve a wide array of legal issues. Clients benefit from the practice’s ability to leverage its broad experience and versatility to address their unique legal and business interests.

The litigation practice includes:

  • Asia Litigation
  • Antitrust and Trade Regulation
  • Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • ERISA Litigation
  • False Advertising Litigation
  • Funds Compliance, Regulatory and Investigations
  • Government & Internal Investigations
  • Insurance & Reinsurance
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • International Arbitration
  • International Regulatory & Compliance
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation
  • Product Liability & Mass Tort
  • Securities Litigation
  • Whistleblower & False Claims Act

Private Funds: Simpson Thacher has one of the world’s pre-eminent private funds practices. The practice is global in scope and covers funds with a wide variety of investment criteria, including buyout, hedge, real estate, energy/infrastructure, credit, secondary, venture capital, fund-of-funds and other types of funds pursuing ‘alternative investment’ strategies. The team provides comprehensive advice to many of the world’s best-known institutional alternative asset managers, as well as smaller first-time funds and independent boutiques.

Real Estate: The firm’s global real estate practice spans all areas of the real estate industry, including sophisticated real estate finance, sales and acquisitions, restructurings, real estate development, joint ventures, co-investments and partnerships. Simpson Thacher’s synthesis of real estate experience with its leading corporate practices — M&A, capital markets, banking and restructuring — allows the firm to offer institutional real estate investors a single source of advice for their most complex real estate matters.

Restructuring and Bankruptcy: Simpson Thacher’s deep experience in some of the largest and most complex bankruptcies and out-of-court restructurings allows the firm to provide effective, strategic advice to clients across every part of the capital structure, from holders of senior secured debt, to unsecured and subordinated debt, to equity. Our Private Capital and Special Situations Investment Group executes complex and bespoke strategic credit, opportunistic equity and rescue finance transactions.

Energy and Infrastructure: Energy companies and their lenders and investors turn to Simpson Thacher for cutting edge legal advice on a broad range of activities throughout the world. The firm is at the forefront of developments in the energy and infrastructure industries, giving us the unique perspective necessary to advise a diverse group of clients in all phases of their energy and infrastructure businesses. The practice’s clients work in electric power and transmission; renewable and clean energy, including wind, solar and geothermal; electric, gas and water utilities; exploration and production, midstream, refining and petrochemicals, energy services and all segments of the infrastructure sector.

Financial Institutions: We offer clients unique insight into issues relating to the financial services industry, gained through our extensive deal experience and deep knowledge of the complex and changing regulatory framework. We have represented clients in many of the largest and most complex mergers of the past decades, as well as important and innovative capital raising transactions and regulatory matters ranging from compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act and its implementing regulations to chartering new institutions and obtaining regulatory approvals for expanded banking powers.


Department Name Email Telephone
M&A Alan Klein +1-212-455-3188
M&A Mario Ponce +1-212-455-3442
Private Equity Marni Lerner +1-212-455-3443
Capital Markets Art Robinson +1-212-455-7086
Banking and Credit Patrick Ryan +1-212-455-3463
Litigation Paul Curnin +1-212-455-2519
Litigation Jonathan Youngwood +1-212-455-3539
Private Funds Michael Wolitzer +1-212-455-7440
Real Estate Greg Ressa +1-212-455-7430
Restructuring and Bankruptcy Sandy Qusba +1-212-455-3760
Energy and Infrastructure David Lieberman +1-212-455-3545
Financial Institutions Lee Meyerson +1-212-455-3675