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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

2 HOUSTON CENTER- SUITE 1475, 909 FANNIN STREET, HOUSTON, TEXAS 77010, USA
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Work +1 713 821 5650
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Fax +1 713 821 5602
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http://www.stblaw.com
Beijing, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York and 5 more

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘strong’ practice handles a broad range of corporate matters in the real estate space, with particular expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets funding, private funds and banking and restructuring matters. The firm has been especially active in the hotels, retail and residential sectors, advising on various high-value transactions. Practice head Gregory Ressa has significant expertise in real estate opportunity funds and private equity deals, and recently advised Invitation Homes on its $20bn merger with Starwood Waypoint Homes. Krista Miniutti is the other key figure; her recent work includes advising key client Blackstone on its $2.5bn refinancing of a portfolio of 147 properties across 27 states, and acting for the affiliates of Motel 6 Operating in the refinancing of its various hotels. The team also advised Blackstone Property Partners on its acquisition of an interest in Burbank Media District’s office portfolio, and acted for Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII in its mortgage and mezzanine loan refinancing of The Cosmopolitan, a luxury hotel in Las Vegas. Scott Kobak is recommended for domestic and cross-border financing matters, and Sasan Mehrara is also a key name to note. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Gregory Ressa - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Krista Miniutti - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 3

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP strengthened its cartel investigations practice in 2017 with the hire of John Terzaken from Allen & Overy LLP. Terzaken has recently assisted corporate executives and companies with criminal antitrust investigations into areas such as oncology services, generic drugs and bond trading. Jeffrey Knox represented a European transportation company in a price-fixing investigation. Mark Stein is based in New York.

Leading lawyers

John Terzaken - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Civil litigation/class actions: defense
Civil litigation/class actions: defense - ranked: tier 3

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s clients have benefited from John Terzaken’s arrival at the firm’s Washington DC office, since his move from Allen & Overy LLP in 2017. Terzaken is defending Tri-Union Seafoods in an MDL, in which it is alleged that the client was part of a packaged tuna price-fixing conspiracy, along with Bumble Bee and StarKist. Terzaken also defended Deutsche Bank in a class action connected to an alleged conspiracy among financial institutions to manipulate prices of SSA bonds. Recently promoted partner Abram Ellis and New York-based practitioners Thomas Rice and Paul Gluckow are handling more than 60 benchmark interest rate (including Libor and Euribor) cases for JPMorgan. Peter Thomas is the group leader. Named individuals are based in Washington DC, except where otherwise stated.

Next generation lawyers

Abram Ellis - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is an antitrust powerhouse in sophisticated US deals and cross-border transactions involving multiple regulators. Recent work includes New York-based Peter Guryan, Peter Thomas and counsel Ellen Frye (also in New York) working with the London office to assist ChemChina with the antitrust review of its $43bn acquisition of Syngenta; the team successfully negotiated clearances by the FTC, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and EC. Thomas also worked alongside Andrew Lacy, counsel Peter Herrick and others to advise Siliconware Precision Industries on the FTC’s investigation into its merger with Advanced Semiconductor Engineering. Sara Razi is another name to note, as is recently promoted New York-based counsel Richard Jamgochian. Named individuals are located in Washington DC, except where otherwise stated.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s stable of seasoned trial lawyers handle appeals in securities, financial services and insurance areas, as well as managing antitrust proceedings. The group is largely based in New York and clients include insurers, corporates and banks, such as JPMorgan Chase, Stonepeak Partners and Pfizer. Joseph McLaughlin and of counsel David Woll secured a victory for Countrywide Home Loans in the Appellate Division, First Department in New York, in an RMBS appeal case against Ambac Assurance. Mary Beth Forshaw, Lynn Neuner, George Wang and Los Angeles-based Chet Kronenberg represented Travelers in the New York Court of Appeals case against ACE and American Re-Insurance Company. Thomas Rice is also recommended, as are Linton Mann and Washington DC-based Abram Ellis.

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Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates - ranked: tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘highly sophisticated’ practice is led from New York by Mark Stein and Paul Curnin. Stein was appointed by the DOJ and SEC to serve as global corporate compliance and FCPA monitor for Avon Products, which entered into a deferred prosecution agreement concerning alleged bribery of Chinese government officials. New York’s Jonathan Youngwood and Palo Alto’s James Kreissman are representing Alibaba in an ongoing SEC investigation into various accounting practices. Curnin and Kreissman are representing the outside directors of Pacific Gas and Electricity Company in two lawsuits concerning the October 2017 California wildfires. Washington DC’s Jeffrey Knox is representing a high-profile individual connected with the DOJ’s FIFA corruption investigation. New York’s Nicholas Goldin is another key practitioner.

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Financial services litigation
Financial services litigation - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Deeply embedded into the fabric of the financial services community, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provides ‘hard-nosed, smart and efficient’ representation to major banks, including Bank of America, UBS and Deutsche Bank, across many of the highest-profile pieces of litigation and regulatory actions affecting the industry. The team has handled a raft of antitrust-related financial services matters, including its ongoing representation of JPMorgan in Libor litigation. Having recently secured a favorable settlement for Deutsche Bank for its alleged role in the conspiracy to manipulate prices of supranational, sub-sovereign and agency bonds, the team is currently defending the bank in class actions brought by investors who suffered losses as a consequence of alleged fixing of the US Treasury securities market. The ‘hardworking, well-prepared and knowledgeable’ Jonathan Youngwood is one of the key partners representing Deutsche Bank in the aforementioned US Treasury securities case, and alongside Paul Gluckow represented JPMorgan in private litigation and government investigations regarding the collapse of the auction rate securities market in the aftermath of the credit crisis. The team has also defended numerous financial services entities in RMBS-related disputes, and spearheaded by Joe McLaughlin and of counsel David Woll, recently secured a landmark appellate victory for Countrywide Home Loans. A New York appeals court ruled that bond insurer Ambac cannot use state insurance law to avoid proving loss causation in a suit alleging Countrywide Financial fraudulently induced it into issuing unconditional and irrevocable insurance policies on mortgage-backed securities.Craig Waldman, who excels at representing private equity clients in transaction-related litigation, the ‘smart, charming but tough’ Lynn Neuner and Peter Kazanoff, whose ‘easy going manner belies forceful and strategic thinking’, are also recommended.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Uniformly excellent in all respects’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acts for household-name companies from various industries, including Pfizer and Travelers. Another high-profile client is Twitter, which practice co-chair Jonathan Youngwood and Palo Alto-based James Kreissman have been representing in a consolidated securities fraud class action and related derivative action in the Northern District of California. In 2017, the arrival of John Terzaken from Allen & Overy LLP further bolstered the firm’s antitrust litigation practice, and the hire of Michael Osnato from the SEC served to reinforce its government investigations and litigation practice. Stephen Cutler joined from JPMorgan Chase in 2018. In other developments, Linton Mann III, Washington DC-based Abram Ellis and Palo Alto-based Stephen Blake were promoted to partner. Chet Kronenberg in Los Angeles, Mary Beth Forshaw and Lynn Neuner are ‘highly experienced, strategic and client-focused lawyers’. Paul Curnin jointly chairs the practice. Named attorneys are based in New York except where otherwise indicated.

Leading lawyers

Deborah Stein - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Linton Mann III - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is experienced in complex, high-value arbitrations and often utilizes its international offices in cross-border proceedings. It represented Danone, in a UNCITRAL international arbitration and ancillary proceedings following a product contamination caused by supplier Fonterra. Daiichi Sankyo, Berkshire Hathaway, and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma are also clients. The team is chaired by Peter Thomas in Washington DC and Tyler Robinson in London; the latter is ‘a master at collating highly complex and technical elements cohesively’. New York-based Mary Beth Forshaw is also noted.

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Leading trial lawyers
Leading trial lawyers

Henry Gutman - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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M&A litigation: defense
M&A litigation: defense - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is ‘certainly a top-tier firm in this practice area’. The firm has several star litigators in New York, including Peter Kazanoff, who acted for TD Bank in a derivative action filed by shareholders of TD Ameritrade arising from the acquisition of Scottrade Financial Services and its affiliate Scottrade Bank. The case concerned allegations that TD Bank abused its power as controlling shareholder and breached fiduciary duties by failing to recognize conflicts of interest. Litigation co-chair Jonathan K. Youngwood and rising star Craig Waldman are defending Vistra Energy in three class actions in Houston and Delaware challenging its $1.7bn acquisition of Dynegy. The firm also has a strong practice in California, and Palo Alto-based James Kreissman and newly promoted Stephen Blake represented Silver Lake Partners in merger litigation and appraisal actions arising from the $24.8bn leveraged buyout of Dell and the $67bn acquisition of EMC.

Leading lawyers

James Kreissman - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Peter Kazanoff - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Craig Waldman - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Stephen Blake - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is ‘at the top of the list - its lawyers are hard-nosed, smart, efficient and highly professional’. Jonathan Youngwood in New York leads the practice and is ‘a star - hardworking, no-nonsense and extraordinarily knowledgeable’. With Palo Alto-based Jonathan Kreissman he defended Alibaba in cases arising from a fall in its share price three months after its $25bn IPO. The cases allege that the company failed to disclose material information about its interactions with the Chinese regulator SAIC. Clients praise the firm’s ‘good associate bench and excellent understanding of the current state of securities class action litigation’. ‘Tenacious litigator’ and New York-based co-head of the firm’s global litigation practice Paul Curnin represented Valeant Pharmaceuticals in a securities class action alleging fraudulent misstatement or concealment of material information following a dramatic fall in its share price. Among the firm’s other leading lights are Peter Kazanoff, Lynn Neuner, Thomas Rice, Joseph McLaughlin and George Wang in New York, and Chet Kronenberg in Los Angeles. Newly promoted Stephen Blake in Palo Alto is a rising star.

Leading lawyers

Jonathan Youngwood - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Stephen Blake - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

The ‘phenomenally talentedSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is widely commended as ‘a leader in the securities space’. In particular, lawyers attract effusive praise for their ‘rapid response times’ and ‘remarkable business sense’. The practice, which is almost evenly split between issuer and manager mandates, regularly acts on some of the largest debt issuances in the market, such as advising Apple on multiple bond offerings totaling over $28bn - Palo Alto partners Kevin Kennedy (‘a go-to specialist for technology-related transactions’) and Daniel Webb led that work. In another Palo Alto office highlight, William Brentani assisted Microsoft with its $17bn notes offering. Arthur Robinson heads the practice from New York and is ‘a giant in the high-yield debt area’; he also acts on major investment grade deals such as advising the underwriters on Northrop Grumman’s $8.2bn notes offering. In another manager-side headline, New York-based Roxane Reardon acted for the underwriters on a set of note offerings by UnitedHealth totaling around $6.8bn. Other names to note include Kenneth Wallach and Andrew Keller - both operate from New York.

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Put simply, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP houses ‘one of the best teams in this space’, with its ‘exceptional lawyers’ roundly praised for their ‘strong business awareness’, ‘tremendous work ethic’ and ‘instant response times’. In particular, ‘IPO powerhouse’ Joshua Ford Bonnie is noted as ‘second-to-none’; he recently acted with Edgar Lewandowski to assist Invitation Homes with its $1.8bn IPO. Among the other names to note, Richard Fenyes advised Gardner Denver Holdings, a portfolio company of KKR, on its $950m IPO and he also advised TransUnion on four secondary offerings totaling $3bn. The group’s manager-side firepower is equally impressive, with Joseph Kaufman and David Azarkh assisting the underwriters with Laureate Education’s $465.5m IPO, and Ryan Bekkerus acting for the underwriters on Schneider National’s $550m IPO. Other key partners in the ‘deep and broad’ team include Roxane Reardon, Palo Alto’s William Hinman and group chair Arthur Robinson. All partners are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Joshua Ford Bonnie - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ryan Bekkerus - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Capital markets: global offerings
Capital markets: global offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Capital markets: global offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice, which is highlighted as ‘head and shoulders above the competition’, spans the full spread of equity, debt and equity-linked transactions. The firm’s extensive global footprint is supported by offices in Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea and the UK, and it is routinely involved in deals in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In a major global highlight, the firm advised the joint global coordinators (Goldman Sachs, Daiwa Securities and Nomura Securities) on Japan Post Holdings’ approximately $11.6bn equity offering. In another headline equity deal, the team assisted China’s Qudian with its $975.5m US IPO. Recent debt work includes advising Czech Republic-based Residomo - a portfolio company of Blackstone and Round Hill Capital - on its €680m senior secured notes offering. Key names in Arthur Robinson’s ‘exceptional’ New York team include Todd Crider, John Ericson and Ryan Bekkerus.

Leading lawyers

Arthur Robinson - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ryan Bekkerus - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Best in classSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is roundly praised for its ‘unrivalled business acumen’ and ‘exceptionally hard-working and intelligent lawyers’. Most notably, global capital markets head Arthur Robinson is ‘a stand-out expert for high-yield deals’; he and John Ericson advised the initial purchasers, led by JP Morgan Securities, on Ascent Resources Utica’s $1.5bn senior notes offering. Andrew Keller had a very strong year, which included acting for Sirius XM Holdings on two high-yield debt offerings by its subsidiary Sirius XM Radio totaling $2bn and, together with David Azarkh, assisting the underwriters with Noble Holding International’s $1bn notes offering. Joseph Kaufman also enjoys a strong profile in the market and advised HCA on its $1.5bn issuance of senior secured notes. Other key names in the ‘simply outstanding’ group are Kenneth Wallach, Edward Tolley and Palo Alto’s William Brentani. Named lawyers are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers

Arthur Robinson - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Commercial lending: advice to lenders - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is a top-tier choice both for borrower and lender work, enjoying a superb reputation with clients and peers alike. The first-class team is led by Patrick Ryan and boasts a strong selection of market-leading lawyers, including James Cross, Jennifer Hobbs, Brian Steinhardt, William Sheehan, Brian Gluck, the up-and-coming Alexandra Kaplan, and the recently promoted Adam Shapiro. The firm was engaged on several blockbuster borrower mandates, including advice to Invitation Homes on the $2.5bn debt financing for its $20bn merger of equals with Starwood Waypoint Homes. Another highlight was representing Mars on the debt financing for its $9.1bn acquisition of the pet healthcare services company, VCA. On the private equity front it represented KKR and CDPQ on the financing related to their joint $4.3bn acquisition of USI Insurance Services from Onex Corporation. The firm was similarly busy for the lenders and represented JPMorgan Chase on an $8.5bn bridge loan to Northrop Grumman Corporation for its acquisition of Orbital ATK. Another highlight was the firm’s advice to Goldman Sachs on the bridge financing to Thermo Fisher Scientific for its $7.2bn acquisition of Patheon.

Leading lawyers

James Cross - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Patrick Ryan - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alexandra Kaplan - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Financial services regulation
Financial services regulation - ranked: tier 3

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Leveraging its longstanding position as one the country’s premier financial institution transactional practices, the ‘hardworking’ team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP continues to be engaged by many leading domestic banks on M&A deals in the sector. The team provides a highly integrated approach which utilizes the experience of deal makers, including the ‘highly experienced and well-known’ Lee Meyerson, as well as regulatory experts, such as ‘up-and-coming’ counsel Mark Chorazak. Meyerson and Chorazak recently teamed up to advise Toronto-Dominion Bank and TD Ameritrade on the combined $4bn acquisition of Scottrade Financial Services. The team also receives a steady flow of work from its ‘top-notch’ roster of private equity clients on their investments in the financial services sector and, led by Elizabeth Cooper, recently acted for Blackstone on its acquisition of Harvest Fund Advisors. Lesley Peng is another key member of the team and is regularly involved in financial services capital markets transactions; alongside Meyerson she advised the underwriters of TCF Corporation on its $175m offering. The return in January 2018 of Keith Noreika following a stint as Acting Comptroller of the Currency heightens the firm’s credibility in the market and enhances its ability on the transactional front as well as on standalone regulatory matters.

Leading lawyers

Keith Noreika - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Lee Meyerson - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Elizabeth Cooper - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations)
Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

The exempt organizations practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acts for a broad spectrum of clients, including cultural institutions, higher education institutions, public charities and donors, with private foundations acting as cornerstone clients for the team. The workload includes endowments, mergers, charitable giving, tax and governance issues, investments, auditing and organization. Recent highlights include representing the Lung Cancer Research Foundation in its successful merger with Free to Breathe, assisting the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation with a $500m endowment to support the Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University, and acting for Barry Diller and the Diller Von Furstenberg Family Foundation in the formation of a charitable entity for the purpose of renovating a dilapidated pier on Manhattan’s West Side as a 2.7 acre public park and performance space. In addition, the foundation will give a cash gift of over $100m towards construction costs. The team also assisted Charles and Valerie Diker with a gift of 91 works of Native American art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in addition to the 20 works of Native American art already gifted to the museum by the client. David Shevlin heads up the practice from New York and is supported by counsels Jennifer Franklin and Jennifer Reynoso.

Leading lawyers

David Shevlin - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 5

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP specializes in capital markets financings, and in 2017 the practice handled a high volume of mandates for lenders to the renewable energy sector; practice head David Lieberman advised the mandated lead arrangers and joint bookrunners on NextEra Energy’s $134.8m financing of two solar power plants in Georgia, and Kenneth Wyman acted for the joint lead arrangers for Terra-Gen’s $176.4m financing of Voyager I’s anticipated development of a 131.1MW wind generation facility in California. The team also executes similar work in the conventional power sector; Todd Crider assisted Jefferies and Seaport Global Securities as initial purchasers with a $500m project bond offering by Stoneway Capital to be used for the construction and operation of four power generation projects in Argentina. While the practice is predominantly lender oriented, it also handles sponsor mandates; Latin American specialist Juan Francisco Méndez is advising Albanesi Energía on a $175m credit facility that will finance the construction of a new power plant in Argentina. All named partners are based in New York.

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 5

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

The New York-based bankruptcy practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is strong in creditor representation and in bankruptcy litigation. The group, which is led by Sandeep Qusba, represented the initial purchasers and joint lead arrangers of the $3bn exit financing of Ultra Petroleum Corp and its subsidiaries. William Russell, who ‘combines a deep knowledge of bankruptcy issues with the courtroom skills of an absolutely top-notch litigator’ and Qusba also recentlt represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in Gawker Media’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. And in a debtor-side representation, Elisha Graff acted for J G Wentworth in its financial restructuring and pre-packaged Chapter 11. Michael Torkin joined from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and former partner Steven Fuhrman now supports the team as of counsel.

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Structured finance: securitization
Structured finance: securitization - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acts for banks and initial purchasers across a range of esoteric assets, and is highly active in wireless tower securitizations. As an example, the department acted for Barclays, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities in relation to a $760m offering of secured tower revenue securities issued by SBA Tower Trust. Headed by ‘highly recommended’ senior counsel John Schueller, the team advised JPMorgan on the placement of $750m timeshare loan-backed variable funding notes. The group is also active in fleet and auto loan securitizations and has an active CLO practice, which focuses on acting for collateral managers. Laura Palma retired in 2017.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy: transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s New York office continued to feature on big-ticket M&A, often with a private equity component. Highly rated practice head David Lieberman is part of a team advising Vistra Energy on its $20bn merger with Dynegy, while Brian Chisling is acting for American Electric Power on the $2.1bn sale of four power plants to a Blackstone and ArcLight joint venture. The team was also busy on bridge credit facilities and bond offerings for the likes of ITC Midwest.

Leading lawyers

Brian Chisling - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has particular expertise in financing transactions, with Houston-based practice head Robert Rabalais active on a range of debt facilities for clients such as JPMorgan Chase Bank and Eureka Midstream. The team is also regularly engaged on private equity deals; New York-based energy group chair David Lieberman and Houston-based Christopher May advised Alinda Capital on the $2.1bn sale of its oil terminal business to SemGroup Corporation. Other clients include Navigator Energy Services and Marathon Oil. Since publication, Natalie Regoli has joined from Baker McKenzie LLP.

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

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP was active for lenders on a high volume of term-loan and capital markets financings including New York-based practice head David Lieberman advising Cobank as mandated lead arranger on NextEra Energy’s $39.6m financing of two solar power plants in California. In the M&A space, Houston-based Christopher May assisted BlackRock Energy and Power Infrastructure Group with a PIPE investment in NextEra Energy Partners.

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Environment: transactional
Environment: transactional - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advises on transactions involving environmental risk; developments regarding environmental matters, including climate change and sustainability; liabilities arising out of environmental conditions; and compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations. The team assisted Vistra Energy with its announced combination with Dynegy, which is expected to produce the leading integrated power company across key US power markets. New York-based senior counsel Adeeb Fadil, who focuses on environmental aspects of transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, loans, securities offerings, and bankruptcies and restructurings, is recommended. Senior counsel Michael Isby, whose practice concentrates on the environmental aspects of M&A deals, securities offerings, and lending, is another key name.

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Insurance: advice to insurers
Insurance: advice to insurers - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has a strong track record in disputes and advises on a range of industry issues such as primary coverage, excess insurance, notice requirements, bad faith, data breach and crime coverage; it also defends and investigates business practice issues such as allegations of fraud and whistleblower cases. Bryce Friedman, who is ‘quick on his feet and extremely smart’, represented various Travelers entities in two False Claims Act whistleblower cases alongside Los Angeles’ Deborah Stein. Department head Mary Beth Forshaw, who has ‘great trial skills’, worked alongside the ‘very thorough’ Lynn Neuner, Chet Kronenberg in Los Angeles and George Wang in settling a $500m long running reinsurance claim for Travelers. Andrew Frankel is also representing Travelers in a long-running dispute surrounding asbestos-related personal injury claims against an affiliate of Honeywell International. AIG, Beazley Group, and Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group are also clients. Susannah Geltman and Elisa Alcabes are also recommended. Named individuals are based in New York office unless otherwise stated.

Leading lawyers – Coverage

Mary Beth Forshaw - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Bryce Friedman - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Deborah Stein - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Susannah Geltman - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Insurance: non-contentious
Insurance: non-contentious - ranked: tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP regularly handles high-value and complex insurance industry M&A and capital markets transactions. Gary Horowitz, who heads the team with Lee Meyerson, advised KKR and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) on their $4.3bn joint acquisition of USI Insurance Services (USI), and, alongside Elizabeth Cooper and Steven DeLott, advised KKR on the investment in Focus Financial Partners by an investor group led by Stone Point Capital and KKR. Kenneth Wallach and Hui Lin advised AssuredPartners on its inaugural bond offering of $500m. Patrick Naughton and Lesley Peng are also recommended among the New York-based team.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Mutual/registered/ exchange-traded funds
Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds - ranked: tier 4

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Private equity titan Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP handles a range of work concerning ’40 Act funds run by leading private equity sponsors, including ETFs and business development companies. Washington DC-based Rajib Chanda (‘an industry thought leader who provides cutting-edge advice on the most difficult questions’) advised Blackstone, a cornerstone client, on securing exemptive relief to offer multiple shares in Blackstone/GSO Floating Rate Enhanced Income Fund. Chanda and David Blass, also in Washington DC, advised the same client on its October 2017 purchase of Harvest Fund Advisors. In the New York office, Sarah Cogan advised the underwriters (spearheaded by Wells Fargo Securities) on a $9m offering of shares in GAMCO Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust, which is advised by Gabelli Funds. Other clients include KKR, which Chanda advised on the merger between KKR Prisma and PAAMCO, creating PAAMCO Prisma, and the independent trustees of PIMCO’s closed-ended funds, which Cogan advises.

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Private equity funds (including venture capital)
Private equity funds (including venture capital) - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP handles major formation work for fund sponsors, as well as large-cap asset manager M&A. Key fund formation mandates included Michael Wolitzer advising Blackstone on forming €7.8bn real estate fund Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V; Peter Gilman also advises the same client. Other big-name clients include The Carlyle Group, which Barrie Covit advises on several funds; CVC, which Glenn Sarno advised on forming a special situations debt fund; KKR, which Jason Herman advised on several real estate funds; Macquarie, which Thomas Bell advises on infrastructure funds; and Silver Lake Partners, which Jonathan Karen works with. All prior names are in New York, but Michael Nooney in Palo Alto and Tom Wuchenich in Los Angeles are also names of note. The firm also added two partners in Washington DC: former Investment Company Institute general counsel David Blass and David Greene, who joined from Latham & Watkins LLP. Parker Kelsey was promoted to partner in New York.

Leading lawyers

Barrie Covit - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Michael Wolitzer - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Thomas Bell - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

The team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP consists of five partners in New York and Tristan Brown in Palo Alto, and services a client roster including the likes of JPMorgan Chase, Hilton and Microsoft. A team led by Greg Grogan is currently guiding Invitation Homes through its $20bn merger of equals with Starwood Point Homes; Brian Robbins and Andrew Blau recently advised China National Chemical on its acquisition of Syngenta. Also notable was David Rubinsky advising Capsugel on its multi-jurisdictional sale to Lonza, and Larry Moss assisting Teleflex with two separate acquisitions. Senior counsels Erin Murphy in Palo Alto and Jamin Koslowe in New York are also names to note.

Leading lawyers

Brian Robbins - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP maintained strong levels of activity in both strategic M&A and private equity buyouts in 2017. The firm sets the benchmark in private equity, thanks to key relationships with the likes of Blackstone and KKR, and it frequently leans on private equity deal technology and related expertise in its wider M&A practice. Operating across all industries, it has particular strength in financial services, utilities, industrials and manufacturing, retail, real estate, healthcare and technology. Clients highlight the team for its ‘first-rate’ expertise in ‘large M&A and strategic investment transactions with public companies’, and it continues to advise Microsoft on many of its major transactions. The department is also praised for its ‘great analytical skills, practical advice and timely delivery’, and ‘combination of skill and efficiency’. The firm’s strength in lender and borrower finance is a key asset, as is its abilities in tax, antitrust and employee benefits. Other clients include Best Buy, Hilton Worldwide, L-3 Communications, Mars, Melrose Industries and Walgreens Boots Alliance. In 2017, it advised ChemChina on its $43bn acquisition of Syngenta, the Swiss agrochemical and seeds company; this was the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company. The transaction involved in-depth CFIUS issues, antitrust filings in multiple jurisdictions and debt financings from London and Hong Kong. The firm also represented Invitation Homes in its $20bn merger of equals with Starwood Waypoint Homes; it had advised Invitation Homes ever since it was formed by Blackstone in 2012. Key partners include Alan Klein, who has ‘invaluable experience’ stemming from ‘a long career of advising on complex M&A transactions, particularly with international components’. Mario Ponce is another pivotal member of the team and Lee Meyerson is recommended for financial services sector transactions. Eric Swedenburg has ‘a great client base’ and ‘a solid backbone of experience’ and young partner Anthony Vernace ‘brings very strong project management skills, great judgment and a practicality to solving thorny issues’. Brian Stadler is the key name for real estate and REIT deals and William Curbow is one of the team’s more experienced members. Above-named attorneys are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Alan Klein - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Lee Meyerson - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Mario Ponce - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Anthony Vernace - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

The ‘outstandingSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is the ‘leader in large-cap deals’, according to clients. The firm stands out thanks to its close relationships with KKR, Blackstone, Silver Lake and other big-name private equity houses, and it continues to work hard to develop its standing in the middle market through new client relationships and through established clients that are establishing mid-cap and growth funds, such as cornerstone client KKR’s new technology and healthcare growth funds. Key mid-market clients now also include EQT Partners, which was initially a client of the European practice, as well as Centerbridge Partners, KSL Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital. The lead partners in the practice, while closely associated to the private equity segment, still typically adopt a generalist approach and also frequently handle strategic M&A transactions. This kind of versatility has been pivotal to some headline engagements, including the firm’s advice to Internet Brands, a KKR portfolio company, on its $2.8bn acquisition of WebMD; the deal involved a tender offer for all the outstanding shares of WebMD common stock. In another headline deal, the firm advised KKR and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec on their $4.3bn joint acquisition of USI Insurance Services, a portfolio company of Onex Corporation. The firm’s strengths in leveraged finance, fund formation, employee benefits, executive compensation and tax structuring are other reasons for its prominence in the private equity segment. Marni Lerner leads the department and was lead partner on the Internet Brands transaction. Gary Horowitz is another outstanding practitioner and a regular adviser to KKR, while Wilson Neely is noted for his experience and connections to the likes of Blackstone and Centerbridge. Palo Alto partner Richard Capelouto is ‘an absolute star’ of the West Coast and recognized for his Silver Lake and Hellman & Friedman relationships. William Curbow and Ryerson Symons are also recommended, as is Brian Stadler for real estate deals, and Mark Pflug recently impressed as lead adviser to KKR on its $1.4bn acquisition of PharMerica.

Leading lawyers

Gary Horowitz - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Richard Capelouto - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Wilson Neely - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 3

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘very strong’ IP transactions group regularly partners on the firm’s high-profile corporate, M&A and capital markets transactions; it also handles prominent standalone IP, technology, and privacy and cybersecurity transactions as well as counseling matters. The IP team acted for Johnson Controls regarding the approximately $2bn sale of its Scott Safety business to 3M. It also assisted private investment firm Centerbridge Partners with its acquisition of enterprise software providers Syncsort and Vision Solutions; and acted for global radio company SiriusXM in its $480m strategic cash investment in Pandora. IP transactions group head Lori Lesser in New York is ‘pragmatic, technically brilliant and a pleasure to deal with’; and key counsels include Christopher Sprigman in New York and Palo Alto-based Marcela Robledo.

Leading lawyers

Lori Lesser - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Marcela Robledo - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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United States: Real estate

Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advises on a wide range of M&A, capital markets and finance matters for a broad client base, which includes REITs, private equity funds and financial institutions. Blackstone is a trophy client and a multidisciplinary team recently advised Blackstone-owned Invitation Homes on its $1.8bn IPO - which was the second-largest IPO by a REIT in history - and also on its $20bn merger-of-equals with Starwood Waypoint Homes. In another headline transaction, the firm handled Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII’s $1.1bn acquisition of a portfolio of 64 senior living properties from HCP and its joint venture with Brookdale Senior Living to own and operate the portfolio. Real estate head Gregory Ressa, corporate partner Brian Stadler and tax specialist John Hart are the key contacts - all are based in New York.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 2

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advises on complex cross-border M&A, financing and capital markets transactions, fund formation, financial products and restructurings for multinational companies, banks, investment funds and other clients. Robert Holo assisted Minnesota-based Mosaic Company with its acquisition of Brazilian fertilizer company Vale Fertilizantes, while John Hart advised Blackstone on the sale of 25% of the shares of Hilton Worldwide to Chinese tourism industry group HNA for $6.5bn. Alibaba and CVC Capital Partners are other notable clients. Jonathan Goldstein is also recommended. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s tax group is split between New York and California and focuses on the tax aspects of domestic and cross-border M&A deals, as well as capital market issuances, other types of fund raising and real estate matters. Rob Holo represented The Mosaic Company in its cash-and-stock acquisition of Vale’s Fertilizantes business for $2.5bn. Another highlight was Gary Mandel advising Team Health on its sale to funds affiliated with Blackstone for $6.1bn. Nancy Mehlman was active for Invitation Homes during its IPO of common stock shares worth $1.77bn, while Katharine Moir in Palo Alto advised Microsoft on its offering of senior notes worth $17bn. John Hart, who assisted CVC Capital Partners with the formation of their seventh private equity fund in Europe and North America, is recommended. Jonathan Goldstein is another name to note.

Leading lawyers

John Hart - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Rob Holo - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Goldstein - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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