Firm Profile > Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP > Houston , United States
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Offices
700 LOUISIANA, SUITE 1600
HOUSTON, TX 77002
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Copyright Tier 1
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is 'one of the premier copyright litigation practices in the US' and has 'a particularly good market knowledge of the music and digital music market'. Bruce Rich co-heads the practice and acted for Pandora in a royalties payment dispute with the Copyright Royalty Board regarding non-interactive streaming services such as internet radio and others. Also leading the team is Benjamin Marks, who is noted for his 'guidance', 'knowledge', 'patience', 'responsiveness' and 'expertise'. He also represented Pandora on a separate dispute concerning royalty rates regarding on-demand streaming, in this case brought by the National Music Publishers' Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
Corporate governance Tier 1
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is 'very current on key issues and highly sensitive and thoughtful on difficult cases'. Ellen Odoner has 'a wonderful way to keep clients at ease while sharing difficult and sensitive analyses'; she assisted a special committee of the board of Sears with numerous related party transactions. The firm also has a strong area of expertise in the governance of non-profits, where Odoner and associate Aabha Sharma act for clients such as the School of American Ballet; Lyuba Goltser also has expertise in the non-profit space. Also recommended are Howard Dicker and Washington DC-based Adé Heyliger, the latter of whom advised Sanofi on the SEC relations issues of its purchase of Ablynx.
Environment: transactional Tier 1
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP fields a compact team that advises on M&A and corporate disposals, financings, restructurings and liquidations, as well as real estate and infrastructure development, securities disclosure, and warranties insurance and loan guarantees. In highlight work the firm assisted Westinghouse Electric with its $9.8bn Chapter 11 case; acted for Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Property Partners in the latter’s $14.4bn acquisition of the approximately 66% of common stock that it did not already own in GGP; and also acted for General Electric in the $2.6bn sale of GE Industrial Solutions to ABB. The Washington DC-based team is headed by the ‘terrific’ Annemargaret Connolly, who is considered ‘one of the best environmental transactional lawyers in the country’. Also recommended are counsels Thomas Goslin, Matthew Morton and John O’Loughlin, also based in Washington DC.
General commercial disputes Tier 1
The 'fearless, smart, savvy, and experienced' team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is 'well organized and very responsive' and acts for major US and multinational companies. In recent successes, 'brilliant litigator' David Lender and Eric Hochstadt obtained a complete defense jury verdict for client C&S Wholesale Grocers in an $800m antitrust class action in Minnesota, while David Yohai won an appeal for Discovery Communications at the Fourth Circuit in a content distribution dispute brought by one of the company's television distributors. Out of the Princeton office, 'excellent advocate' Diane Sullivan secured a victory for SAC Capital in long-running litigation when a New Jersey Superior Court granted the client's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the claims in a lawsuit with over $1bn at stake. Edward Soto in Miami co-chairs the team alongside Lender; David Singh is based in Silicon Valley. Named partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense Tier 1Diane Sullivan - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
International tax Tier 1
The team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a focus on corporate M&A and restructuring, as well as large private equity deals. It also handles bankruptcy tax matters. Heitner and Chayim Neubort advised Sanofi on the tax aspects of its $11.6bn acquisition of Bioverativ Inc. Elsewhere, Kimberly Blanchard advised Antin Infrastructure Partners on its acquisition of FirstLight Fiber from Oak Hill Capital Partners. Stuart Goldring, active in the TMT area, advised Westinghouse Electric on its sale to Brookfield Business Partners LP for $4.6bn. Mark Schwed acted for Paycor in its sale to Apax Partners. All named attorneys are based in New York. Kenneth Heitner and Martin Pollack left the firm in 2019.
M&A litigation: defense Tier 1
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York has a practice that is 'smart, hardworking, collaborative and knowledgeable', according to one client. Another describes the firm as 'a repeat player in this market with unparalleled experience, which brings a sophisticated and pragmatic approach to bear on litigation'. Leading lights John Neuwirth and Joseph Allerhand are co-heads of the securities litigation practice, in which clients highlight the talents of partners Joshua Amsel, Jonathan Polkes, Greg Danilow and newly promoted Evert Christensen. Neuwirth's track record of high-profile cases continued last year when he secured the complete dismissal of a class action against Brookfield Asset Management concerning its $2.8bn acquisition of Rouse Properties, Inc. The case raised issues of whether Brookfield was a controlling stockholder and owed fiduciary duties to Rouse’s shareholders. Danilow is representing Straight Path in high-profile litigation relating to its $3bn acquisition by Verizon Communications.
Merger control Tier 1
At Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, the 'expertise and technical capabilities are extraordinary' and the team's 'practical approach to complex legal issues is always on target'. Clients have rated Jeff White in particular as an adviser who is 'beyond excellent'. In recent highlights, Steven Newborn collaborated with Brianne Kucerik to advise Scripps on its cash-and-stock acquisition by Discovery. Steven Bernstein and Jeffrey Perry were part of the team which assisted Walgreens Boots with its acquisition of 1,932 stores and related assets from Rite Aid. John Scribner works with Sanofi and recently oversaw a number of strategic transactions for the client alongside New York's corporate expert Michael Aiello. Other key clients include Allergan, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson and CoStar. Unless otherwise stated, attorneys are based in Washington DC.
‘Extremely experienced in all aspects of restructuring transactions’ and possessing a ‘very strong team’, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is among the very best firms for insolvency matters. The ‘smart, easy-to-work-with’ practice can ‘negotiate through a complicated transaction methodically to reach great results’. Gary Holtzer is co-chair of the firm’s business finance and restructuring department alongside Ray Schrock and the ‘calm but forceful’ Matt Barr; both based in New York. Also notable are Houston-based Alfredo Pérez, whose ‘knowledge of the process helps clients get through the court in minimal time’, Marcia Goldstein and Garrett Fail in the New York office, and new arrival Ryan Preston Dahl, who joined in New York from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. The practice is representing Sears Holdings Corporation and certain of its affiliates in its Chapter 11 proceedings, which commenced recently in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The department also led for Takata Corporation in the Chapter 11 of Takata's main subsidiary TK Holdings and certain of its affiliates; the matter required parallel proceedings in the US, Japan and Canada, as well as separate out-of-court sales in several other jurisdictions, and the resolution included a $650m settlement and the $1.6bn sale of Takata to Key Safety Systems. Other key clients for the firm are Westinghouse Electric, Claire’s Stores and iHeartRadio.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York is praised by one client for the 'unrivaled success and experience and the creative and sophisticated approach it brings to litigating in this area'. The firm has an impressive client roster of publicly traded corporations, financial institutions and private equity firms. Practice heads Joseph Allerhand and John Neuwirth and key partners Joshua Amsel and Evert Christensen are described by one client as 'best-in-class professionals in this space'. Neuworth and Amsel represented pharmaceutical company Sanofi in connection with federal class and individual securities actions arising from statements regarding the results of Phase 3 clinical trials for multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada. They secured the dismissal of all claims. 'Amazing advocate' Jonathan Polkes and up-and-coming partner Caroline Zalka (who is 'knowledgeable and smart, and always on top of her cases') are highly recommended. Allerhand and Stacy Nettleton acted for Signet Jewelers in a consolidated securities class action that alleged a five-year securities fraud concerning Signet’s in-house credit program.
Technology transactions Tier 1
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP regularly handles technology and IP acquisitions and disposals, outsourcing transactions and licensing and development agreements. New York-based Jeffrey Osterman advised Sanofi on the technology and IP aspects of its $11.6bn acquisition of Bioverativ, a company involved in the treatment of blood disorders. Further, practice head Michael Epstein, also based in New York, advised The Campbell Soup Company on its $6.1bn acquisition of Snyder’s Lance – a manufacturer and marketer of snack food products. Other M&A-related technology transactions included assisting the chemical distributor Nexeo Solutions with its $2bn sale to Univar, a distributor of specialty chemical products.
US taxes: non-contentious Tier 1
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 'responds quickly with well-considered explanations and provides clear and practical recommendations' in relation to private equity and investment fund structuring, cross-border M&A, REITs, corporate restructuring and financing matters. Major highlights included Mark Schwed acting for Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board in a consortium with Blackstone and GIC in the acquisition of a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk business. Schwed and Noah Beck, who joined in March 2018 from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, acted as tax counsel for SoftBank Vision Fund in relation to its multibillion-dollar investment in General Motors’ GM Cruise Holdings division. Also recommended are Mark Hoenig, who is 'very responsive', 'business-orientated' Chayim Neubort and Marc Silberberg, who is 'able to structure very complicated transactions resulting in significant tax savings'. All attorneys are based in New York.
Capital markets: debt Tier 2
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s ‘strong experience’ and ‘responsive service’ has been noted by clients, which also highlight the firm's ‘great value for money’. Historically stronger on behalf of issuers, where it leverages its stellar private equity client base to advise funds and portfolio companies on debt deals, the group has become increasingly prominent on the bank side. Among recent examples of the latter, up-and-coming partner Faiza Rahman, who ‘does a tremendous job of balancing legal and business issues’, advised the representatives of the initial purchasers on an $8bn unregistered bond offering by an affiliate of Keurig Green Mountain to finance the merger of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group. On the issuer front, Corey Chivers handled several headline mandates, including advising Elanco Animal Health on its $2bn senior notes offering and advising Mastercard on its $1bn multi-tranche notes offering. The New York group also includes ‘valuable asset’ Frank Adams, who advised Campbell Soup on its $5.3bn notes offering to finance its $6.1bn acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance. The firm also fields an impressive second line of associates, which includes Janeane Ferrari, ‘a rising star who gives 110% to serve her client’s needs’.
The ‘extremely committed’ Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP sets itself apart through its ‘incredibly deep bench of attorneys, who demonstrate exceptional knowledge of the law and capital markets’. Although it can turn its hand to any side of a deal, the mainly issuer-focused group stands out for its formidable private equity expertise. Alexander Lynch heads the group and brings to bear an enviable record in advising private equity clients, and their portfolio companies, on equity deals; he recently advised Advent International on its $1.2bn share offering. He also advised funds owned by the Goldman Sachs Group on a $1.1bn secondary sale of their remaining shares in TransUnion. In a flagship IPO, Corey Chivers advised Elanco Animal Health, the animal health division of Eli Lilly, on its $1.7bn IPO. The New York-based team also includes Faiza Rahman, who is ‘accessible 100% of the time and provides invaluable advice’, and Michael Hickey, who recently joined from Goldman Sachs.
Clients of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP highlight the firm’s ‘deep bench’ and ‘exceptional knowledge of the capital markets’ among its key attributes. The New York-based group has an impressive record in advising issuers, particularly private equity clients, in high-profile offerings, and also utilizes the firm’s wider global network to offer strong capability in cross-border transactions. Corey Chivers enjoys an increasingly prominent reputation for high-yield debt offerings and recently advised Avolon Holdings (Ireland) on its $1bn offering of senior unsecured notes; he also assisted AMC Entertainment Holdings with its $600m issuance of senior unsecured convertible notes to Silver Lake to finance AMC’s repurchase of a portion of its stock held by Dalian Wanda Group (China). Alexander Lynch heads the department.
Commercial lending Tier 2
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP offers borrower and lender clients a versatile and well-balanced service with a strong grounding in complex financings and refinancings. Its borrower-side group is one of the most active in the market, regularly handling business-critical deals on behalf of corporates and private equity sponsors. The team recently advised Brookfield Property Partners on the $6.4bn facility to help acquire the REIT, General Growth Properties. Additionally, the group advised Brookfield Asset Management on a $4.3bn bridge loan to partly finance its $11.4bn acquisition of Forest City Realty Trust. Other active sponsor clients include Advent International and Centerbridge Partners. The team also has an active lender-side practice, which recently advised Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs on a $49bn facility to finance CVS Health Corporation's $77bn acquisition of Aetna. The team is led by global finance head Daniel Dokos, who is very strong on the lender side, and Douglas Urquhart, who is a name to note for borrower-side mandates. Other key partners include Morgan Bale, Heather Viets and the recently promoted Justin Lee, who are most active on the lender's side, and Andrew Colao, Damian Ridealgh and Allison Liff on the borrower's side.
Clients praised Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP for its ‘depth of knowledge’ of the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of upper-market M&A transactions and IPO offerings. Additionally, the ‘responsive and accessible’ team acted in high-profile Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings for clients including A&P, Claire’s Stores and Sears Holdings. Practice head Paul Wessel advised Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Property Partners on its $14.4bn common stock acquisition of General Growth Properties, and Michael Nissan, who has particular expertise in the private equity space, advised Mubadala Investment Company on the $4.7bn sale of its 60% equity interest in EMI to Sony. ‘First-class practitioners’ Amy Rubin and associate Amanda Rosenblum are also contacts; Rubin recently assisted Blackstone and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division with its $1.9bn sale of data and technology solutions company Ipreo to IHS Markit. Associate Jennifer Britz is also a name to note. The team was further strengthened with the addition of counsel Ellen Sueda from King & Spalding LLP. All mentioned lawyers are based in New York.
ERISA litigation Tier 2
As lead counsel for UnitedHealth Group, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP defended its ERISA-governed health plan providers against a putative class action forwarded by physical therapy provider Spinedex; practice co-head Nicholas Pappas led on the case, which claimed a denial of benefits to plan beneficiaries. The New York-based team, which includes practice co-heads Jeffrey Klein and Paul Wessel, have experience in a wide range ERISA litigation including withdrawal liability, fiduciary duty, disclosure obligations and plan termination. Working alongside the firm’s broader commercial and tax litigation team, the practice also has significant experience defending cases arising from Chapter 11 proceedings, securities law and RICO laws.
The well-reputed team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York handles class action litigation, single-plaintiff cases, and restrictive covenant disputes, and has particular expertise in wage-and-hour and discrimination claims. Jeffrey Klein leads the team and has over 30 years of experience. He successfully defended Sterling Jewelers (together with co-counsel Seyfarth Shaw LLP) in a 44,000-plaintiff class arbitration on alleged gender discrimination. Employment expert Gary Friedman is representing Nuance in a putative class and collective action involving claims of breach of contract, fraud and violations. Klein and Friedman were also engaged by HCTec in a wage-and-hour putative collective action filed in Nashville. Klein continues to represent Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP) in an $80m lawsuit filed by terminated employees. Other notable practitioners are Nicholas Pappas, counsel Lawrence Baer and senior associate Ami Zweig.
Leading trial lawyers Tier 2
Diane Sullivan - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Headline matters for 'terrific trial lawyer' Diane Sullivan includes acting as lead counsel for Johnson & Johnson in a unanimous defense verdict in New Jersey state court involving cancer claims pertaining to the client’s talcum powder product. Described as 'tough and fearless', Sullivan's reputation has brought her major class action suits for clients including Philip Morris USA. She continues to represent Exxon Mobil in a dispute that is expected to reach trial in the New Jersey federal court this year.
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 2
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP may not have the volume of high-value deals compared to tier one firms, but it has 'a huge ability to deploy many people at the same time at the very last minute, meeting a high-level expectation in terms of competences and experiences, responding to sensitive questions and providing touchy legal opinion to help'. It is praised for its 'knowledge and professionalism' which is 'far beyond any of its peers' according to one client. Another stresses its 'best in-the-boardroom work' and its 'plain English credibility and excellent communication skills'. It routinely impresses in hostile takeovers, activist defense work and distressed M&A. Among a number of complex and challenging transactions, it advised Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Property Partners, on the latter's $14.4bn billion acquisition of 66% of the common stock that it did not already own in GGP, the REIT that owns, develops, and operates regional shopping malls across the US. It also represented Atos, the French IT services company, on its $3.57bn acquisition of Syntel. Showcasing its expertise in hostile transactions, it advised athenahealth, the health services company, on its evaluation of a $6.46bn unsolicited takeover bid by Elliott Management. Much credit should go to corporate group chairman Michael Aiello, who has played an integral role in building the team's prominence in the market; he is 'one of the best outside lawyers in a boardroom environment' and has 'extremely effective communication skills' according to one client. At the same time, while the team suffered from a perceived thin layer of senior gravitas in the past, there are several names that have achieved greater recognition in recent years, such as Michael Lubowitz, Frederick Green, Howard Chatzinoff and James Griffin, who has transferred to the Dallas office from Silicon Valley; Griffin is 'excellent in understanding the issues, helping to analyze them, and then working to find solutions', in one instance 'in a very unique way to solve a very complicated public company acquisition'. Jackie Cohen is 'the deal maker', 'calm and discreet but energetic', 'pragmatic, honest and able to contradict where she believes the client could be wrong or where it needs a second opinion'; 'it is difficult to imagine a deal without her,' says one client. Matthew Gilroy is an emerging name. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's New York-based cross-departmental media and entertainment litigation practice group is jointly led by Bruce Rich and Benjamin Marks, who alongside Todd Larson successfully represented Pandora Media before the Court of Appeal for the D.C. Circuit, which upheld the favorable royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board. Key matters in the television space include Yehudah Buchweitz's representation of Showtime Networks in a series of putative class actions relating to allegations of issues in connection with viewing the pay-per-view boxing match between boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, and the team's representation of A&E Television Networks in a dispute with The Weinstein Company (TWC) concerning A&E’s termination of certain agreements it had with TWC, including those relating to the TV series Project Runway and dozens of movies. The group is also acting for Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, the Association of American Publishers and SAGE Publications in a copyright infringement dispute with Georgia State University regarding the parameters of the fair use doctrine in the academic setting. Sirius XM Radio, Facebook and Getty Images are also clients; a team successfully defended the latter in a copyright infringement action brought by Zuma Press.
Patents: licensing Tier 2
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP provides comprehensive service on licensing matter, including due diligence in relation to M&A and joint ventures, research and development agreements and outsourcing agreements. On the life sciences side, the group recently advised Eli Lilly on the licensing aspects of its collaboration with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, which aimed at using the latter's technology platform to discover and commercialize new medicines for cardio-metabolic disease, neurodegeneration and pain. A recent technology highlight was advising Facebook subsidiary Oculus on several strategic commercial agreements regarding Oculus' virtual reality products. Atos, The Campbell Soup Company and Sanofi are also clients. Practice head Michael Epstein, Jeffrey Osterman and Charan Sandhu in New York, and Silicon Valley's Karen Ballack form the heart of the practice.
Private equity buyouts Tier 2
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is a global titan in the private equity arena and in the US boasts strong teams in New York, Boston, Dallas and Silicon Valley. It has more than seventy repeat financial sponsor clients in the US alone, and has looked to diversify the practice, building its standing in growth equity, middle market deals, special situations and SPAC transactions. It has also focused on alternative asset managers such as sovereign wealth funds and has a significant market share of Canadian pension fund clients. Key clients include Advent International, Blackstone, CPPIB, CVC Capital Partners, Centerbridge Partners, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, Providence Equity Partners and TPG. It advised CPPIB in a consortium that also includes Blackstone and GIC, on the consortium's $20bn acquisition of a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk business. Doug Warner co-heads the department alongside Boston's Kevin Sullivan, with the former leading the firm's relationships with TPG, Centerbridge, CPPIB and CVC, while the latter heading the firm's connection to Providence Equity Partners, Francisco Partners and TA Associates. Kyle Krpata is a key figure in Silicon Valley, where he led a team that advised SoftBank Vision Fund on its $2.25bn minority investment in GM Cruise Holdings, a developer of self-driving vehicles, alongside a $1.1bn investment in Cruise by General Motors. Peter Feist is another experienced name and recently advised OMERS Private Equity and Berkshire Partners on their $3.85bn sale of Husky IMS International (Canada) to Platinum Equity. Glenn West is another prominent figure in Dallas and Boston's Marilyn French Shaw remains pivotal to the firm's relationship with Advent International. Christopher Machera is an emerging talent and has a strong connection to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
From its base in New York, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s team is best known for handling high-value fund formation work for prominent managers. Jonathon Soler advised Crow Holdings Capital Partners on forming Crow Holdings Realty Partners VIII. Andrew Chizzik continues to advise Apollo Credit regarding its Apollo Credit Fund, and in another matter, assisted Brookfield Asset Management with its formation of Brookfield Infrastructure Debt Fund I, an $883.5m infrastructure debt fund acting as a primary investment vehicle for making mezzanine debt investments in North America. Stephanie Srulowitz and Soler advised American Securities on forming American Securities Partners VIII, LP, a $7bn buyout fund.
Real estate Tier 2
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s team of ‘creative problem solvers’ advises on investment, acquisitions, divestment, debt offerings, development, financing, leasing and REIT maters. Other areas of expertise include loan workouts, restructurings, joint ventures, and capital markets offerings in the debt and equity space. Philip Rosen and David Herman recently advised Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) and Brookfield Property Partners (BPY) on the $14.4bn acquisition of around 66% of common stock of GGP. The firm also advised BAM on its $11.4bn acquisition of Forest City Realty Trust. Another highlight included representing The Kroger Company on its $2.2bn sale of a multi-state convenience store portfolio which included 762 stores to EG Group. Samuel Zylberberg acted for Atalaya Capital Management on a preferred equity investment and $250m construction loan for the development of a 40-story Ritz-Carlton hotel with residences in New York. Michael Bond, who provides ‘the best advice available in complicated and difficult situations’, advised Sears Holdings on the real estate aspects of its high-profile Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Other clients include AIG, Blackstone, Madison International, MGM Resorts International, Tishman Speyer and TPG Real Estate. All named attorneys are based in New York.
Shareholder activism Tier 2
At Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Washington DC-based Adé Heyliger advises well-known businesses on proxy fights with leading activist investors; his track record includes acting for Procter & Gamble in a contest with Trian Partners; following its success in that matter, Proctor & Gamble added Trian Partners' founder Nelson Peltz to the board.
Acting for corporate issuers and underwriters, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP focuses on esoteric ABS and has particular experience in securitization involving consumer loans, oil and gas assets and insurance brokerage fees. The US structured finance practice is headed by Frank Nocco, who acted for Lendmark Financial Services in a series of consumer loan ABS offerings, and also advised Guggenheim Securities, as lead bookrunner, on a $300m bond offering backed by insurance administration fees of Lombard International Administration Services Company. Another key figure is Jason Smith, who handled a litany of ABS for The Hertz Corporation, and also advised OnDeck, an online small business lending platform, on a $225m ABS offering. The team also has an active CLO practice, which includes Robert Chiperfield, who is engaged by prominent asset managers including Apollo Global Management and Redding Ridge Asset Management. Other contacts include Ariel Kronman and Shawn Kodes, the latter of whom was promoted to partner at the end of 2018.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's transaction team a notable track record of work for private equity clients, as well as on high-level public M&A. Private equity specialists Shayla Harlev and Brian Gingold, based in Boston and New York respectively, advised private equity firm Antin Infrastructure Partners on its $1bn acquisition of FirstLight Fiber from Oak Hill Capital Partners. Harlev also recently advised Berkshire Partners on the sale of its majority stake in Torres Unidas to Andean Tower Partners. Michael Aiello operates out of New York and has significant experience working with large financial advisers and asset managers; he is acting for JP Morgan Securities and Perella Weinberg Partners in connection with AT&T's Time Warner acquisition, and for Evercore partners in its financial advice to T-Mobile's committee of independent directors in connection with the proposed Sprint merger. Aiello also handles broadcast transactions, such as advising Scripps Networks on its $14.6bn merger with Discovery Communications. Another name to note is Frederick Green, who assisted Straight Path Communications in its $3.1bn sale to Verizon Communications. Transactional specialist Howard Chatzinoff leads the group alongside Michael Lubowitz, both of whom have long histories in market-shaping telecoms deals, across the wireline, wireless and broadcast spaces.
Leading the team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP are employment litigator Jeffrey Klein and commercial litigator Gary Friedman, both based in NewYork. Klein acted for the financial services company Perella Weinberg Partners in litigation against three former partners who sought to recruit the firm's entire restructuring team. Friedman worked with Magellan Health in a lawsuit against a former employee who threatened to release confidential information about the company. Further, the team was involved in a trade secret misappropriation case for semiconductor manufacturing company Applied Materials. Christopher Cox joined Hogan Lovells US LLP in 2019.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's team of experienced lawyers counsels employers in a variety of matters, such as internal investigations and compliance audits, workforce reductions, diversity initiatives and compensation arrangements. Recent work includes being engaged by several clients to conduct internal investigations involving claims of workplace misconduct and sexual harassment. Mastercard, Signet Jewelers and Belmond are on the group’s client roster. Practice head Jeffrey Klein is well versed in discrimination claims; he has additional expertise as a sports attorney and player agent and is regularly retained by athletes and sports organizations. Another key contact from the New York-based practice is Gary Friedman, who is experienced in advising companies as well as their boards of directors and committees in internal investigations, as well as assisting employers regarding matters pertaining to organizational changes such as reductions in force, reorganizations, restructurings and changes of control. Senior associate Ami Zweig is also noted.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's Steven Reiss and Adam Hemlock, both of whom are based in New York, recently obtained a preliminary settlement approval on behalf of Calsonic Kansei in two purported class actions brought by end-user purchasers and automobile dealers following the DOJ's landmark criminal investigation into the global auto parts cartel. The pair also advise Bridgestone and its US subsidiary in ongoing multi-district litigation arising from the auto parts investigation. In other highlights, General Chemical Corporation and its parent company appointed the group to defend it in a series of putative class actions alleging price-fixing practices in the liquid aluminum sulfate market. Panasonic is also a notable client.
Led jointly by Steven Tyrrell in Washington DC and Christopher Garcia in New York, the team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represents a broad mixture of corporate and individual clients in enforcement matters and multi-agency criminal and civil investigations. Highlights for the co-chairs include the representation of Sanofi in a DOJ FCPA investigation, in which they secured a declination for the client and a successful resolution to a parallel SEC investigation. Alongside Holly Loiseau, Tyrrell also represented Vantage Drilling in an investigation into allegations relating to Operation Carwash, leading to a series of declinations and no enforcement action. Among other high-profile individual representations, Tyrrell is currently defending the head of engine development and former head of brand development at Volkswagen against criminal charges filed by the DOJ in Detroit, arising from allegations of manipulation of emissions control systems. Other key names include Sarah Coyne and Jonathan Polkes in New York and Washington DC's Adam Safwat.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advises energy companies and private equity firms on M&A, joint ventures, project financing and restructuring transactions. New York-based practice head Rodney Moore has 'deep industry knowledge' and acts for clients in upstream and midstream property, pipeline and processing facility acquisitions and midstream joint venture transactions. Also in New York, Howard Chatzinoff advised Westinghouse Electric Company on the $4.6bn sale of its global business to Brookfield Business Partners. Dallas-based Kevin Crews left for Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has experience handling prominent transactions in the media and entertainment sector. The team boasts impressive corporate, M&A and financing expertise; it assisted AMC Entertainment with its $600m million issuance of senior unsecured convertible notes to Silver Lake, and advised Getty Images on the acquisition by the Getty family of all of the equity interests in Getty Images held by The Carlyle Group. Howard Chatzinoff, who heads the practice alongside Michael Lubowitz, acted for independent music publisher Carlin America in relation to its $245m sale to Round Hill Music. Other key practitioners include Michael Aiello, who advised Scripps Networks Interactive on its $14.6bn merger with Discovery Communications. All attorneys listed are based in New York.
The team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 'fights aggressively, but reasonably', 'communicates effectively' and 'makes sure to engage the client on strategic approaches'. Life sciences and technology-related instructions form the heart of the practice and often involve post-grant proceedings as the practice is among the most active before the PTAB. Recent highlights include successfully defending Illumina against patent infringement claims brought by Ariosa Diagnostics in 2012 regarding patents covering non-invasive prenatal testing. Other clients include General Electric, Sanofi and Hewlett-Packard. Brian Ferguson in Washington DC, Edward Reines in Silicon Valley and Elizabeth Weiswasser in New York direct the practice. Derek Walter, also in Silicon Valley, recently made partner. Counsel Sudip Kundu joined in New York from Kundu PLLC, while Jared Bobrow and counsel Jason Lang left for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense Tier 3
New York-based Arvin Maskin heads the product liability and mass tort practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, which handles class actions and product liability lawsuits in the technology, cosmetics and sports sectors. The team represented Japanese fiber manufacturer Toyobo in the two final remaining cases related to the performance of zylon fiber in bullet-resistant vests, and also defended Dometic Corporation in a class action regarding an alleged defect in the cooling units of the client’s gas absorption refrigerators. Also of note, Diane Sullivan in New Jersey successfully represented Johnson & Johnson as lead trial counsel in one bellwether case involving allegations that asbestos contamination of baby powder led the plaintiff to develop mesothelioma. David Singh in Silicon Valley is another key member of the practice group.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is headed by New-York-based Arvin Maskin and is increasingly active in high-profile water contamination cases. In New Jersey, Diane Sullivan and Allison Brown are acting for Respol in environmental litigation filed against multiple defendants regarding the pollution of the Passaic River. Acting alongside New York-based David Lender, Sullivan is also representing Procter & Gamble as trial counsel in an action filed by the Suffolk County Water Authority alleging that the client manufactured and distributed products that leached a possible carcinogenic chemical into public drinking wells.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advises REITs on M&A, joint ventures, public and private offerings, follow-on offerings, private debt and equity placements, and the public issuance of debt. The tem advised Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Property Partners (BPY) on BPY's $14.4bn acquisition of the approximately 66% of common stock it did not already own in General Growth Properties, a REIT that owns, develops and operates regional shopping malls. Michael Bond, Phillip Rosen and David Herman in New York are the names to note.
Trademarks: litigation Tier 3
Hailed for its ‘very strong brief writing and creative thinking’, the core strengths of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP lie in representing media and technology companies. The ‘very accessible’ Randi Singer ‘really cares about her clients’ and recently acted for Twitter in a Southern District of New York lawsuit which concerned infringing products hosted on the client’s platform. It was successfully argued that there was no concert between Twitter and Alurent, the owner of the infringing products, resulting in no penalties for the client. Benjamin Marks heads the practice alongside Bruce Rich and is currently representing Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in a trademark infringement and copyright royalty dispute with Vanderbilt University. eBay, Facebook and Discovery Communications are also clients. All named attorneys are based in New York.
Appellate Tier 4
Headquartered in New York, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s seasoned appellate lawyers handle litigation in areas such as intellectual property, finance, taxation and business torts, among others. Practice head Gregory Silbert represented appellee Hungarian State Railways in an appeal challenging US jurisdiction in a case brought by a group of Hungarian Holocaust survivors before the Seventh Circuit, which sided with the client and dismissed the case on international comity grounds. At the Federal Circuit, Silicon Valley-based Edward Reines secured a victory for Life Technologies in a patent dispute with Promega over gene-testing technology. At the Eleventh Circuit, Bruce Rich led on scoring a win for clients Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Sage Publications in a copyright infringement dispute with Georgia State University. David Singh, Steven Reiss and Adam Banks are also key figures.
Cartel Tier 4
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's global antitrust offering is headed by Steven Newborn in Washington DC. Steven Reiss and Adam Hemlock continue to represent an international manufacturer and its US subsidiaries in the ongoing DOJ investigation into the auto parts cartel. Hemlock is also leading the advice to the former CEO of a US manufacturer of generic over-the-counter drugs in a DOJ investigation into price-fixing practices, while Reiss is acting for a senior executive in an investigation into alleged bid-rigging in the television commercial production industry.
Healthcare: life sciences Tier 4
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP focuses on corporate matters and litigation with a ‘deep understanding of both the technology and the law’ and the ability to ‘plan appropriately and communicate effectively’. Practice co-head Elizabeth Weiswasser advised Sanofi on a bench trial in the client’s patent litigation infringement case against Merck, involving Sanofi’s insulin biologic blockbuster Lantus Solostar. Jeffrey Osterman, Michael Aiello and Jackie Cohen have been assisting Avista with its acquisition of regenerative medicine developer Organogenesis. Silicon Valley-based co-head Edward Reines and Derek Walter, who was made partner in 2018, are ‘the ultimate professionals’, and Michael Epstein is renowned for his technology and IP transaction expertise. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.
International arbitration Tier 4
The 'smart and savvy' team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acts for clients in complex arbitration proceedings, which recently included representing MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company as co-counsel alongside Dechert LLP in a dispute against the Republic of Croatia. In addition, the team successfully represented the Government of Hungary against a Portuguese Bank based on alleged violations of the Portugal-Hungary Bilateral Investment Treaty. Ted Posner and Eric Ordway in New York are also recommended.
International trade Tier 4
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's two-partner team is engaged in a raft of significant trade matters as a consequence of the firm's vast pipeline of transactional work. 'An expert on foreign investment and sanctions', Washington DC-based team head Ted Posner is regularly engaged on the CFIUS front for the firm's impressive roster of private equity sponsors on their global transactions; he recently acted for Antin Infrastructure Partners on the CFIUS review of its acquisition of FirstLight Fiber from Oak Hill Capital Partners. Posner also 'has a uniquely deep understanding of the intersection of policy, politics and business', traits which are admirably demonstrated in his continued role for Chevron on bilateral investment treaty matters.
Sport Tier 4
The sports practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP offers 'attention to detail and an intimate understanding of the marketplace'. The group has particular experience handling a range of employment disputes for its sports sector clients; Jeffrey Klein acted for head football coach of the University of Maryland DJ Durkin in an ESPN investigation into the death of a football player as a result of heatstroke during spring practice. Beyond labor law litigation, Yehudah Buchweitz defended Showtime Networks in a series of putative class actions brought by plaintiffs who claimed to have been unable to stream the high-profile boxing match between boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and UFC star Conor McGregor after purchasing the pay-per-view match. Litigator Eric Hochstadt is another name to note, particularly for antitrust matters.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion
A commitment to diversity and inclusion has been at the core of our firm since Frank Weil, Sylvan Gotshal, and Horace Manges found many doors closed to them because of their religious beliefs. They founded Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP to open those doors. For over 30 years, Weil has been a leader in investing in formal initiatives to cultivate an inclusive culture where all feel comfortable and encouraged to excel.
We believe the results of our inclusion efforts tell a remarkable story. Today, 16 Firm leaders are LGBT+, people of color, or women serving as heads of practice groups, Firmwide committee chairs, or Management Committee members. The General Counsel and three Management Committee members (19 percent) are women. Three of the Firms practice group leaders and two office heads are attorneys of color.
Weil has consistently been at the forefront of law firm diversity training programs for over two decades, and regularly introduces new programs and initiatives to further bolster our efforts in this area. For example, in 2011, Weil implemented an annual 2-hour diversity education requirement for all US attorneys and staff. Each year, a new program is developed and customized specifically for Weil to provide concrete skills for achieving inclusion. Program topics have included unconscious bias, mentoring and delivering feedback across difference, working with difference generations, religious diversity, and managing cross-cultural relationships. In 2015, Weil launched an innovative new initiative called Upstander@Weil to inspire all attorneys and staff to stand up for inclusion in the workplace, community and at home. This campaign expands the powerful ally concept within the LGBT+ community to a broader spectrum of groups, including people of color, women, veterans, etc.
For more information on Diversity & Inclusion at Weil, click here.
Q&A with Diversity Leadership
Business Finance & Restructuring Partner Jacqueline Marcus discusses her role as Diversity Committee Co-Chair, TOWER Co-Chair, and one of the Firms first flex-time partners.
Q: How did you get involved in Diversity and Inclusion efforts at Weil?
Ive been involved with the Firms Diversity Committee for more than 20 years. I first started as the counsel representative when now retired partner Andrea Bernstein was heading up the Committee. Andrea was a true pioneer in this area so Ive had some big shoes to fill. I took over from Andrea as Chair in 2015. As of this year, Chris Garcia became Co-Chair of the committee. With respect to gender diversity, I became Co-Chair of TOWER, the Taskforce of Womens Engagement and Retention, in 2014. I currently co-lead this effort with Britta Grauke in Frankfurt and Paul Genender in Dallas.
Q: Tell me about the Committees and what your roles entail.
The Diversity Committee consists of partners, counsel and senior staff in Weils offices around the world, and we work closely with our very talented Global Diversity team, led by Weils Global Diversity & Social Responsibility Director Meredith Moore. Because we currently have TOWER dedicated to gender diversity, the Diversity Committee is focused on race, sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans, disability, and other forms of diversity. Its really a collaborative effort to leverage off of everyones ideas. In each of these committees, we are focused on recruitment, retention, development, and advancement. We discuss metrics, feedback from recent programs and initiatives, and ideas for new efforts. In addition, I often work with other groups like Business Development and Legal Recruiting, for example, because issues of Diversity and Inclusion are relevant and important in every area of our Firm. I try to go to recruiting events as often as I can to show support and importance for diversity to new recruits. I also try to attend a number of affinity group meetings and events so that I can learn, first hand, what is important and impactful for our diverse associates.
Q: Do you receive feedback on programs and initiatives from lawyers and staff who arent involved specifically with the Diversity Committee?
Yes, were always looking for feedback. While we love the positive feedback, negative feedback can be helpful too. Its wonderful that Weil has been doing diversity programming and events for so long. There is a risk, however, that people can get diversity fatigue, so its a challenge to keep things interesting and current. Many of the programs we embark on are based on or inspired by feedback. Our Upstander initiative, for example, was developed in part because we heard from many of our people that they wanted to do more for inclusion but didnt know how. Mentoring circles developed because of feedback from female associates that some wanted more access to female partners, some to male partners, and others to female senior associates. The program incorporated elements of all three (one female and one male partner and 5-6 female associates across levels). As time went on, some female associates wanted male associates to participate, so now more than half of the circles include equal numbers of men and women.
Q: Whats an example of a recent program or initiative that you feel was particularly successful?
As a result of recent and ongoing events, we as a Firm wanted to be more forthright about addressing racial issues, so we devoted our 2017 annual diversity training to Talking Boldly About Race: Being an Upstander in a Time of Cultural Unrest. Because the sessions were so interactive, there were differences in the subjects that were raised and the individual experiences that were shared. We followed up with a session open to all where the facilitator, Verna Myers, shared her insights from the 30 sessions we held at the Firm. A lot of people attended and participated in discussing what they had learned during the diversity training and in the months since. This is also a great example of our efforts to keep our ideas for programming fresh and to maintain the momentum over time. Diversity also isnt just about race, ethnicity or gender, but its also ways of thinking about things perspectives and perceptions, so our 2017 diversity month theme was Diversity of Thought. I think we can sometimes forget that not everyone has the same opinions as we do or thinks the same way that we do.
Q: Why do you think diversity and inclusion are so important at Weil?
It truly is ingrained in firm culture the Firm was founded by three gentlemen who couldnt find work because of their religion, so I think its particularly incumbent upon us to pay it forward. It may not be the case these days that people cant find work because they are Jewish, but whatever the defining characteristic may be, I feel that its incumbent upon us to make sure that those kinds of barriers to advancement dont exist for other people now or in the future. And the Firm and its clients reap the benefit of our diversity efforts research reflects diverse work groups produce better work product.
Q: How important do you think diversity is to clients?
Law firms have been completing diversity surveys for years, and I think sometimes in the past, clients inquiries regarding the diversity of their law firms was simply about checking a box. Whats changed in the past several years is that companies are actually withholding work if your survey results arent adequate. The other thing thats changed is that clients and potential clients are not only asking for diversity statistics firmwide, but what they really want is diverse teams working on their matters. We believe that diverse teams bring a greater array of skillsets, experiences, and creativity, and allow more voices to be heard in terms of approach, which ultimately generates a better work product. In addition, many of our clients are international and global, so its important to have teams that can be sensitive to issues all over the world.
Q: In addition to being involved in Weils Diversity efforts, you were also one of the Firms first flex-time partners. Can you explain what the flex-time program is?
You could say that career path diversity is another way we strive to be inclusive at the Firm. Weil created the role of Flex-Time Partner in 2007, which is available for both women and men who have made a long-term career choice to work on a flexible schedule. I was among the first in that class, which also happens to be the first time that women comprised more than one-half of the new partner class at the Firm. Now Im currently one of four Flex-Time Partners at the Firm. Additionally, the firm has a long-standing Flex-Time Program for associates to adopt a reduced work schedule while continuing their commitment to practicing law.
Q: Why did you choose to work as a Flextime partner and how has it worked out for you?
What prompted me to be flex-time was my personal upbringing. I was brought up in a Sephardic Jewish family with strong pride in the traditions of our culture. It was highly unusual for a woman to get an education or have a job. While my parents were very supportive an encouraging, at the same time, these cultural traditions were ingrained in me. When I had my first child, I didnt feel comfortable working full time, so thats when I started flex-time. I was an associate at that time and after several years I did become counsel and eventually partner. Im eternally grateful to the firm for making that flex-time option available for me. Whats interesting and different these days is theres much more focus on work life balance, and much more effort by the firms to make working easier for men and women with families. Maybe this will mean that less people will opt for the flex-time arrangement, and instead utilize these other programs and be able to juggle the demands of work and family better more easily.
Q: Whats next for Diversity & Inclusion at Weil?
From a diversity and gender point of view, I think were generally doing a pretty good job of bringing people into the firm, although we need to maintain a focus on this area. Where we are redoubling our efforts is making sure that everyone has the tools and the opportunities to thrive at the firm, so that youll see the percentages of female, people of color, and LGBT+ partners accelerate over time. Our work is far from over, but were up for the challenge!
Awards and Accolades
Below are a few of the awards Weil has received honoring our commitment to diversity and inclusion:
- ‘Best International Firm for Diversity‘ – Euromoney Legal Media Groups Americas Women in Business Law Awards 2017
- ‘Top 10 for Diversity‘ – Chambers Associate 2017
- ‘Top Law Firm for Equality: 100% Rating in the Corporate Equality Index‘ – Human Rights Campaign Foundation 2018
- ‘Leadership and Excellence in Inclusion and Diversity Award‘ – Morgan Stanley Legal Compliance and Division 2016
|Firm has a written diversity strategy that has been communicated to all Firm attorneys.||Firm gives billable credit for work that is directly related to diversity efforts (but is not pro bono work).||Firm ties a component of partner compensation to diversity efforts.||Firm has a diversity committee that includes senior partners and that reports to the Firm’s highest governing body.||Firm has a full or part-time diversity professional who performs diversity-related tasks.||Firm has affinity or employee resource groups for its women and diverse attorneys, which meet at least quarterly.||Firm has a succession plan that specifically emphasizes greater inclusion of women and diverse lawyers.||Firm mandates and monitors that minority and women attorneys have equal access to clients, quality work assignments, committee appointments, marketing efforts and Firm events.||Firm requires inclusion of at least one diverse candidate in all hiring decisions.||Firm policy specifically prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.||Firm provides opportunity for attorneys to voluntarily disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression through Firm data collection procedures.||Firm policy specifically provides for paid maternity leave.||Firm policy specifically provides for paid paternity leave.||Firm has a formal, written part-time policy that permits partners to be part-time.||Firm has a flex-time policy.||Firm provides for or mandates diversity training for all lawyers and staff.||Firm has a supplier diversity program.|
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Corporate governance
- Environment: transactional
- General commercial disputes
- International tax
- M&A litigation: defense
- Merger control
- Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
- Securities litigation - defense
- Technology transactions
- US taxes: non-contentious
- Capital markets: debt
- Capital markets: equity offerings
- Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
- Commercial lending
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- ERISA litigation
- Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
- Leading trial lawyers
- M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
- Media and entertainment: litigation
- Patents: licensing
- Private equity buyouts
- Private equity funds (including venture capital)
- Real estate
- Shareholder activism
- Structured finance: securitization
- Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
- Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
- Workplace and employment counseling
- Civil litigation/class actions: defense
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
- Energy: transactions: oil and gas
- Media and entertainment: transactional
- Patents: litigation (full coverage)
- Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense
- Product liability, mass tort and class actions: toxic tort - defense
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Trademarks: litigation
- Healthcare: life sciences
- International arbitration
- International trade