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White & Case LLP

John Reiss

Work +1 212 819 8247
White & Case

Work Department

Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity




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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

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

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

White & Case LLP impresses with its domestic and global credentials and is engaged in a high volume of large-cap M&A transactions. Clients highlight the firm’s ‘solid counsel in many jurisdictions due to its global presence’ making it ‘head and shoulders above’ many others on cross-border deals and ‘a powerhouse among M&A law firms’. Clients also praise the ‘innovative approach’, ‘depth and breadth of the M&A practice’, ‘outstanding judgment with a thorough understanding of relevant market and industries’ and ‘seamless and outstanding client service’. It is ‘more responsive, creative and practical than many other firms’, according to one client. In addition, the team’s experience in private equity, makes it especially adept in competitive auction situations. In 2017, the firm advised power generation company Calpine Corporation on its $17bn sale to Energy Capital Partners and a consortium of investors. It continued to advise health benefits giant Anthem on its landmark $54.2bn acquisition of global health insurance service company Cigna Corporation; the firm’s work involved headline disputes with Cigna in the Delaware Court of Chancery over payment of a $1.85bn reverse termination fee and other claims relating to alleged breaches of the merger agreement. Further demonstrating the firm’s experience in energy and infrastructure, it advised Sempra Energy on its $18.8bn acquisition of Energy Future Holdings, which indirectly owns 80% of Oncor Electric Delivery. John Reiss is global head of M&A and ‘ensures that the firm works seamlessly across multiple offices, jurisdictions and practice areas’. Global co-head of the private equity practice Oliver Brahmst and head of the Americas corporate and M&A practice Gregory Pryor are also high-profile names. Dan Dufner is ‘extremely responsive, creative and flexible’, ‘an extraordinary counselor’ with ‘skill, sound judgment, loyalty and dedication’. Morton Pierce brings further senior level gravitas and Michael Shenberg is recommended for power sector deals. Silicon Valley’s global head of technology M&A William Choe is ‘top notch’, ‘invests time into understanding clients’ businesses and strategy’, ‘is commercially savvy’ and ‘provides effective communication’. Denise Cerasani is ‘second to none’ and has ‘best-in-class judgment’; she is noted for her experience with financial advisers. Clients also praise the strength of the firm’s tax team in M&A transactions. Named partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

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Private equity buyouts

Within: Private equity buyouts

White & Case LLP’s investment in building out its global private equity practice is paying considerable dividends. Its client base in the US now includes the likes of CVC Capital Partners, Global Infrastructure Partners, Harvest Partners, Quad-C Management, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, Investcorp, Certares, Dominus Capital and Triton. The firm is most active in the middle market, though is also relied upon to advise on large-cap deals, and recently it advised CVC on its $1.42bn acquisition of PDC Brands from Yellow Wood Partners. It also represented Global Infrastructure Partners on its $1.82bn acquisition of Medallion Gathering & Processing. The firm is ‘on a par or better’ than the top law firms in private equity, according to one client, and ‘always has the expertise needed in-house’, with clients also praising its global coverage and ability to handle multi-jurisdictional deals. Global co-head of private equity Oliver Brahmst is ‘second to none’ and ‘a leader who steps up when it is critical to do so’. Global head of M&A John Reiss also has extensive private equity experience. Carolyn Vardi is also recommended, and Matthew Kautz is ‘a trusted counsel’ and ‘provides excellent advice often in difficult situations’. Dan Latham is ‘an extraordinary lawyer’ with ‘a sharp mind’ and ‘an ability to understand his client’s perspective’.

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