Firm Profile > Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP > New York, United States

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
787 SEVENTH AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10019
United States

Industry focus > Insurance: non-contentious Tier 1

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's insurance practice handles high-exposure M&A, capital markets and ILS transactional matters with a distinctive offering in reinsurance cessions through alternative risk transfer. The firm represents a broad range of clients including life and property-casualty insurers and reinsurers, commercial and investment banks, and private equity investors. In New York, practice group co-chair Alexander Dye focuses on M&A and capital markets transactions. Co-chair John Schwolsky is a well-regarded insurance transactional lawyer and represented The Allstate Corporation in its $4bn acquisition of National General Holdings Corp. Michael Groll has experience in sidecar transactions, catastrophe bonds, and ILS fund formations. Kara Baysinger and David Heales joined the team from Mayer Brown in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Dye; John Schwolsky

Other key lawyers:

Kara Baysinger; Michael Groll; David Heales

Testimonials

‘Willkie’s corporate insurance practice is by far the best I have worked with. John Schwolsky, the Willkie partner who leads the practice, has over 30 years’ experience and is deeply knowledgeable about insurance M&A transactions.’

‘John Schwolsky occupies a “first among equals” position both as the head of Willkie’s insurance practice and among his peers at other U.S. firms. In my experience, he is simply the best there is in the insurance M&A world. His partner, Alex Dye, is also excellent, and has a calm, reasoned demeanor that, in my experience, has proven particularly attractive to public company boards of directors.’

‘The practice’s strength in insurance industry issues is unparalleled. It’s breadth as a general service practice is most impressive.’

 

Key clients

Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd

The Allstate Corporation

American International Group, Inc.

Aquiline Capital Partners

Assured Guaranty

CNO Financial

Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company

Equitable Holdings, Inc.

Fidelity National Financial, Inc.

FIS

Genworth Financial, Inc.

KKR & Co.

MetLife, Inc.

Mutual of Omaha

New York Life

Protective Life Corporation

QBE Insurance

Spinnaker Insurance Company

Stone Point Capital

TigerRisk Partners LLC

Versant Health

Voya Financial, Inc.

W.R. Berkley Corporation

Zurich Financial Services

Labor and employment > ERISA litigation Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s ERISA litigation practice entered the higher end of the market owing to the recruitment of, among others, Craig MartinAmanda Amert and counsel Michael Graham (previously of Jenner & Block LLP) to the Chicago office, bringing with them a book of clients in the insurance, asset management, financial services and higher education sectors. Led by Amert, who chairs the firm’s ERISA litigation group, the team obtained successes in litigation concerning ESOPs, 403(b) plans and 401(k) fiduciary breaches. The group also handles putative class actions regarding the use of target-date funds and DOL investigations.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Amert

Other key lawyers:

Craig Martin; Michael Graham

Testimonials

‘This team has great depth of experience in ERISA litigation and has ably represented clients in all stages of litigation, with a strong record of successfully defending clients in district court actions and on appeal.’

‘Craig Martin’s greatest strength is his personal commitment to the highest level of client service. Craig is always available and responsive, and committed to providing his clients with the highest quality service possible.’

‘Excellent communication with a diverse group of individual office and director defendants.’

‘Craig Martin: strong team leader, good communications, realistic and helpful analysis.’

‘Michael Graham: Strong ERISA analysis. Good briefing and fact organization.’

Key clients

Northwestern University

Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting

Alight Financial Advisors

Alight Solutions

CenturyLink

Prudential Insurance Company of America

Former Directors and Officers of Appvion Corporation

Olin Corporation

Ruane, Cunnif & Goldfarb Inc.

Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP handles a variety of complex commercial disputes and class actions, including securities, antitrust, M&A and patent litigation. Noted for his 'unique blend of talent, tenacity and creativity', firm chairman Tariq Mundiya in New York has a great track record in corporate, securities and derivatives disputes. In a recent highlight, he represented Liberty Tax in high-profile litigation relating to the alleged misconduct of Liberty's founder, John Hewitt, securing dismissal of all claims in New York's Second Circuit. Washington DC-based Elizabeth Bower is recommended for her expertise in corporate international investigations and multi-district litigation. In March 2020, the firm opened a new Chicago office with the hire of six partners from Jenner & Block LLP, including 'outstanding trial lawyer' Craig Martin.

Practice head(s):

Tariq Mundiya

Other key lawyers:

Craig Martin; Tariq Mundiya; Elizabeth Bower

Testimonials

‘Craig Martin is an outstanding trial lawyer. He is incredibly effective in court. And despite his leadership role, he is very much a practicing lawyer who goes to court and tries cases regularly.’ 

‘I would say the commercial litigation group at Willkie is top notch. Willkie has a very deep bench of extremely brilliant attorneys who are always available and strive to produce the best outcomes for their clients.’

‘Tariq Mundiya boldly delivers results in high pressure environments often involving “bet-the-company” litigation. He brings a unique blend of talent, tenacity and creativity to every case he handles, in the relentless pursuit of the best possible outcomes for his clients.’

Key clients

CITGO

Google LLC

CenturyLink

BlackRock, Inc.

Aon

PG&E

Liberty Tax

Navy Federal Credit Union

Ulta Beauty, Inc.

Northern Trust Corporation

Public Storage

Marsh Inc.

Popsugar, Inc.

Scientific Games Corporation

Workday, Inc.

Dispute resolution > M&A litigation: defense Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's New York office is home to a deep bench of litigators with experience in representing companies, controlling shareholders, boards of directors, special committees and financial advisors in a range of deal-related disputes, including Delaware activism and takeover litigation, going private transactions and cases arising out of alleged conflicts involving directors or financial advisers. 'The team is well seasoned to handle these complex litigation matters', notes one client. Additionally, clients rate chair of the litigation department Tariq Mundiya as being 'litigation-tough and solution-savvy'. Mundiya successfully represented Xerox Corporation in two long-running matters related to the terminated merger with Fujifilm and claims against directors alleging breaches of fiduciary duties in the purchase of then acquisition target HP. Litigation vice-chair Todd Cosenza, who has a track record in landmark shareholder class actions, successfully resolved a breach of purchase case for VCI that claimed a post-closing purchase price adjustment in the sale of Promotion Execution Partners LLC.

Practice head(s):

Tariq Mundiya

Other key lawyers:

Todd Cosenza

Testimonials

‘The Willkie team handles many complex MA litigations every year and the team is well seasoned to handle these complex litigation matters.’

‘Tariq Mundiya is an excellent attorney who can be best described as litigation-tough and solution-savvy. Day in and day out, he handles some of the most novel and complex securities and M&A ligation cases throughout the country.’

Key clients

Xerox Corporation

Vintage Capital Management, LLC

Special Committee of AmTrust Financial Services

CenturyLink, Inc.

VCI Enterprises, Inc.

Tonopah Solar Energy LLC

Resideo Technologies Inc.

Investment fund formation and management > Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds Tier 2

Margery Neale in New York chairs the asset management group at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, which advises a range of clients including registered open- and closed-end funds, ETFs, BDCs, and broker-dealers, and also offers trustee and director representation. The highly experienced Barry Barbash is a key figure in the firm's Washington DC office. Having previously served as the director of the SEC's investment management division, Barbash advises clients on issues as diverse as fund M&A, digital assets, 1940 Act compliance, and enforcement proceedings by regulators. Jay Spinola is another notable figure within the firm, particularly for 1940 Act work, in addition to complex transactions such as ETF mergers. Contacts on the more junior end of the partnership include Washington DC-based Anne Choe, who is praised by clients for her 'incredible understanding of investment management regulation', and New York trio Brian GreeneJohn Knapke, and Deborah Tuchman, all of whom were promoted at the start of 2020. Laura Friedrich joined in New York from Shearman & Sterling LLP in February 2020.

Practice head(s):

Margery Neale

Other key lawyers:

Barry Barbash; Jay Spinola; Anne Choe; Elliot Gluck; Benjamin Haskin; Brian Greene; John Knapke; Deborah Tuchman; Laura Friedrich

Testimonials

‘Willkie has one of the best and deepest investment management practices in the industry. They have attorneys that can handle the full range of issues.’

‘Barry Barbash is the dean of the 1940 Act practice area. His wise counsel is always available, and he has more experience than almost anyone else practicising today.’

Anne Choe is an up and coming partner who is excellent. She has exceptional client service skills.

‘The Willkie team has significant experience, which would serve any client well, but most particularly in specialized problem solving and with regulatory matters (exams, exemptive relief, trending issues). The partners offer wide-ranging legal advice, all balanced by current industry practice and an ability to understand to their clients’ businesses. The practice has become particularly strong with regards to investment advisory and broker-dealer issues, in particular, Reg. BI.’

‘We have worked primarily with Barry Barbash and Anne Choe. Anne has an incredible understanding of investment management regulation, especially as it pertains to investment advisers, and brings both significant experience and excellent industry understanding to the issues. She continues to build her relationship with us and our business and we highly value her advice, responsiveness and understanding of our business. Barry’s experience as head of the Division of Investment Management shines particularly in developing areas of regulatory practice, but he is just as capable in giving day-to-day legal advice with a deep understanding of the business operations. In addition, Neesa Sood, counsel, continues to stand out in her understanding of investment company regulations and industry practices.’

‘We have complete access to the Wilkie Farr team at all times. Besides their overall knowledge of the complexities revolving around securities laws, they are thinking all the time on how to help the client. They are not afraid to talk about tough and complex topics.’

‘Jay Spinola is the partner at Wilkie Farr that we work with. He is an outstanding representative for his firm. He is level headed, knowledgeable about all facets of our industry and goes beyond the basics and helps to guide us into new areas that are always arising. We are very fortunate to have him as our attorney.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse Asset Management and Credit Suisse Funds

Flaherty & Crumrine Closed-End Funds

Gabelli Closed-End Funds

The New Ireland Fund

T. Rowe Price Funds

M&A/corporate and commercial > Private equity buyouts Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has retained its strong position within the private equity market, regularly advising on deals within the upper-middle-market through to the bulge bracket, acting for funds such as Centerbridge Partners and Genstar Capital. The firm has expanded its national team, with additions to its Bay Area and Houston offices, most notably hiring Jay Hughes from McGuireWoods LLP to bolster the Texas-based team. Elsewhere, expansions in key European financial centers have strengthened the team's global platform and capabilities in cross-border deals. The practice group is jointly led by Jeffrey Poss, who maintains an active middle-market practice, and has notable expertise in the financial services sector; and Neil Townsend, who works with a number of key sponsor clients on buyouts, sales, and investments, and is particularly experienced in complex transactional arrangements such as PIPE deals. Kirk Radke is a senior dealmaker who remains highly active in private equity deals, and Matthew Rizzo is noted for his work on early-stage and growth investments in a number of industries. Also recommended are Morgan Elwyn, who works with funds and portfolio companies on a range of transactions and corporate governance issues, and Houston's Bruce Herzog, who specializes in work with funds focused on energy, industrials, and telecoms investments. Named lawyers are in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Poss; Neil Townsend

Other key lawyers:

Bruce Herzog; Kirk Radke; Jay Hughes; Matthew Rizzo; Morgan Elwyn

Key clients

Aquiline Capital Partners

Calvert Street Capital Partners

The CapStreet Group

Centerbridge Partners

CIP Capital

Court Square

FFL Partners

ForgeLight

Genstar Capital

Insight Partners

Warburg Pincus

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 2

The securities litigation group in Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's New York office is 'top-notch and every year handles some of the most complex and novel securities cases'. The firm has a broad client base, representing issuers, underwriters, and auditors in securities class actions, frequently obtaining significant victories in securities fraud cases. Its work also encompasses cases arising from IPOs, as well as internal or government investigations. 'Litigation-tough and solution-savvy' chair of  litigation Tariq Mundiya 'behaves like a fox in the courtroom and is quick on his feet'; for Liberty Tax, he secured the dismissal of multi-forum securities and derivative litigation arising from the alleged conduct of Liberty’s founder and controlling stockholder. Todd Cosenza  and Antonio Yanez are co-chair of the securities litigation group. Cosenza continues to be involved in high-profile cases, a prime example being his work for more than 30 underwriters to Uber’s IPO in securities class actions in California.

Practice head(s):

Tariq Mundiya; Todd Cosenza; Antonio Yanez

Testimonials

‘The Willkie securities team is top-notch and every year handles some of the most complex and novel securities cases. Willkie won a complete dismissal of a #MeToo securities fraud case in New York, which was affirmed on appeal at the second circuit.’

‘Tariq Mundiya is an excellent attorney that can be best described as: litigation tough and solution savvy. Day in and day out, he handles some of the most novel and complex securities ligation cases throughout the country. In the courtroom, Tariq behaves like a fox, always able to see the big picture, wise, quick on his feet, and attuned to clues in the surrounding terrain. Using creative legal strategies to address complex securities issues, Tariq is able to lead his clients to victory time and again, often in bet-the-company litigation. I would say Tariq is one of the most talented lawyers in America – he’s bright, has impeccable judgment, and will pull out all the stops for a victory.’

Key clients

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

CenturyLink, Inc.

Liberty Tax Inc.

JP Morgan Securities LLC

CBS Corporation

Xerox Corporation

Curo Group Holdings Corp.

Resideo Technologies Inc.

Vintage Capital Management, LLC

Media, technology and telecoms > Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a diverse offering which includes advising on rule making and adjudicatory proceedings, regulatory compliance and obtaining approval for transactions. Practice co-chair Jonathan Friedman has a solid client roster of cable operators, video programmers, and equipment manufacturers. Fellow practice head Michael Hurwitz focuses on net neutrality, online video, and media ownership issues. Daniel Alvarez has also been active in the areas of net neutrality and open internet, though he also stands out for his work in cybersecurity and privacy matters, generally.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Friedman; Michael Hurwitz

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Alvarez

Testimonials

‘Very responsive and knowledgeable, both with respect to the law as well as FCC practice. Efficient and responsive to the client.’

Key clients

Comcast Corporation (including NBCUniversal)

CommScope Inc.

NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

Granite Telecommunications, LLC

ForgeLight, LLC

INCOMPAS

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

The New York-based employee benefits and executive compensation team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is notable for working in tandem with the firm's well-established insurance practice in order to provide support on high-value M&A transactions in the sector. Jointly headed by Michael Katz and Jordan Messinger, the team supports a suite of private equity firms and investment funds with ERISA fiduciary compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Michael Katz; Jordan Messinger

Testimonials

Jordan Messinger is a creative, problem-solving lawyer‘.

Key clients

AdaptHealth Corp

Aquiline Capital Partners

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Credit Suisse

Fidelity National Financial, Inc.

Fidelity National Information Services, Inc.

Franklin Resources, Inc.

Genstar Capital

HealthEquity, Inc.

Hudson’s Bay Company

Insight Partners

MetLife, Inc.

Mueller Industries, Inc.

RenaissanceRe Holdings

Take-Two Interactive Corp.

W. R. Berkley Corporation

Warburg Pincus

Industry focus > Energy transactions: oil and gas Tier 3

Co-headed from Houston by Bruce Herzog  and the 'top-of-classMichael De Voe Piazza, and also regularly drawing upon the expertise of corporate, finance and restructuring experts from the firm's New York and Washington DC offices, in particular, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's oil and gas team is 'able to efficiently work through all aspects of a transaction', whether it be in the context of joint venture structuring, M&A or energy finance and capital markets transactions. Since the establishment of the Houston office in 2014, the firm has been particularly successful in nurturing strong relationships with local mid-market oil and gas-focused private equity firms, which are appreciative of its 'keen eye on the industry and what is market and what is important', particularly as it pertains to the upstream and midstream sectors. Cody Carper joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Michael De Voe Piazza; Bruce Herzog

Other key lawyers:

Steve Torello; Archie Fallon; David Aaronson; Will Thanheiser; Lynn Abell; Jay Hughes

Testimonials

‘The team has a keen eye on the industry and what is market and what is important. It is able to efficiently work through all aspects of a transaction.’

‘Michael Piazza is top of class; he is a very well rounded lawyer who is able to handle almost any type of project thrown his way, be it traditional oil and gas, to corporate matters, to complex private equity transactions.’

Key clients

Kayne Private Energy Income Funds

Pickering Energy Partners

Colony Capital, Inc.

Springbok Energy Partners, LLC

Carnelian Energy Capital III, L.P., a fund managed by Carnelian Energy Capital Management, L.P.

Hawthorne Energy

Southern Gas Company

IACX Energy, LLC, a portfolio company of Haddington Energy Partners III, LP which is managed by Haddington Ventures, LLC

Newpek, LLC

Contango Oil & Gas Company

Juniper Capital

Media, technology and telecoms > Fintech Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a longstanding track record advising on matters at the intersection of the financial services and technology sectors. The firm is especially active in the investor space, representing several key private equity and venture capital funds, as well as their portfolio companies. It is also increasingly active in cryptocurrency, and related securities, thanks in part to the expertise of New York-based senior counsel Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Other key members of the team include private equity co-chair Jeffrey Poss and regulatory counsel Conrad Bahlke, both of whom are also in the New York office.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Poss

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Giancarlo; Conrad Bahlke

Testimonials

‘Fantastic team, significant experience both on the intellectual and real-world items. Extremely helpful for a small company to be able to tap into that expertise/experience. Have not seen that strong a team/bench at many firms at all.’

‘The experience and track record. The ability to explain very challenging concepts or implications in an easy to grasp, actionable manner.’

Key clients

Acumatica

Aquiline Capital Partners

Brinker Capital

FIS

Forecast Foundation

Franklin Resources, Inc.

Genstar Capital

HealthEquity

Insight Partners

Kony Inc.

Loyale Healthcare

Lykke Exchange

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)

Overstock/tZERO

Personal Capital

Ripple Labs Inc.

SIFMA

SIX

Virtual Currency Association

Virtus

Warburg Pincus

Industry focus > Insurance: advice to policyholders Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's insurance dispute resolution practice primarily represents insurance brokers aligned with policyholders. Based in New York, Mitchell Auslander and Christopher St. Jeanos co-head the practice. Auslander has extensive experience in handling major coverage disputes,  and St. Jeanos is an experienced trial lawyer who has represented entities in all aspects of the insurance and reinsurance industry. In March 2020, Craig Martin  opened the firm's office in Chicago, having previously been at Jenner & Block LLP.

Practice head(s):

Mitchell Auslander; Christopher St. Jeanos

Other key lawyers:

Craig Martin

Testimonials

‘Willkie’s attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and experienced. ’

 

 

Key clients

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.

Aon

Willis

Lockton

Crystal & Company

Bloomberg LP

First Data Corporation

Guy Carpenter

Experian Partner Solutions

First American Financial Corporation

Options Clearinghouse Corporation

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP stands out for its strong sector focus and close collaboration with specialist industry practices within the wider firm, most notably its restructuring, asset management, and insurance groups. Indeed, highlights from the review period have included distressed M&A and work with asset managers and insurance companies on major acquisitions, sales, and joint ventures. Practice co-head Steven Seidman represented Centerview Partners LLC and PJT Partners LP as financial advisors to Mylan in its merger with UpJohn. Up-and-coming partner Laura Delanoy, also played a key role in this deal. Practice co-head David Boston was also active in the asset management space, advising Franklin Templeton on the $4.5bn purchase of Legg Mason. Standout work in the insurance industry included advice on Allstate's $4bn purchase of National General Holdings.

Practice head(s):

David Boston; Steven Seidman

Other key lawyers:

Laura Delanoy

Key clients

AdaptHealth Corp.

Take-Two Interactive Software

Franklin Templeton

Hudson’s Bay Company

Conga

Kony Inc.

Centerview Partners LLC

PJT Partners LP

ForgeLight LLC

KKR & Co. Inc., Fidelity National Financial, Inc., American International Group, Zurich Insurance Group

Insight Partners

Colony Capital

Aquiline Capital Partners

FFL Partners

Genstar Capital

Personal Capital

Virtus Partners Holdings LLC

Atlas Holdings LLC

Dyal Capital Partners

BofA Securities

Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd.

Real estate Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s ‘responsive’ real estate team handles a broad caseload, both in terms of matter types and geographical reach. Work over the review period has been spread across California, Washington DC, New York and Florida, among other states, and covers the gamut of transformative development projects, asset and share transactions, major leases and convertible equity investments in addition to a variety of financing matters. David Drewes (‘quick to grasp complex deal structures and nuanced terms’) operates from New York alongside co-chair Thomas Henry, who has particular experience in restructuring and joint venture mandates. Clients also benefit from the firm's capabilities in real estate capital markets and M&A deals, fund formation and extensive asset management services.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Henry; David Drewes

Other key lawyers:

Carly Glover Saviano; Daniel Backer

Testimonials

Very responsive, we always feel like a priority. At the same time, they feel they manage their time efficiently and leverage associates appropriately to ensure bills remain reasonable.

David Drewes well-versed in the intricacies of the documents that we work with, and also are able to grasp relatively complex deal structures and nuanced terms without much back and forth. I find that he also possesses good business sense, in that he understand the give and take between ensuring an ironclad legal position, versus achieving that same potential position through practical workarounds, even if the technical legal details are not quite as clear cut as you would like. He is also good at proposing solutions, rather than just identifying problems and risks.’

Key clients

Hudson’s Bay Company

Paramount Group, Inc.

Colony Capital

Choice Hotels International

Washington Prime Group, Inc.

Harbor Group International (HGI)

DiamondRock Hospitality, Inc.

Meadow Partners

Tribeca Associates

Slate Property Group

Vereit

Jiaming Investment (Group) Co., Ltd.

Centerbridge Partners

Bloomberg L.P.

St. John’s University

Access Industries Inc.

IO Data Centers LLC

Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd.

Pace Gallery

Finance > Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate Tier 3

Jointly led by Matthew Feldman and Rachel StricklandWillkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's New York-based business reorganization and restructuring practice is composed of a core group of experienced professionals who are equipped to handle a full range of restructuring mandates. On the company side, the firm is known for its regular representation of clients from a wide range of industries in both in- and out-of-court restructurings. The rapidly growing creditor-side practice has recently been involved in a range of notable matters, including the Chapter 11 cases of PG&E and Hertz Corporation. Daniel Forman made partner in January 2020, joining the ranks of the group's established partners, which include noted practitioner Paul Shalhoub.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Feldman; Rachel Strickland

Other key lawyers:

Paul Shalhoub; Daniel Forman

Testimonials

‘The Restructuring practice at Willkie is unique in a few ways. From a business perspective, they are a highly commercial group. Each partner appears to have a strong following from different segments of the market which allows them to cover the market efficiently. Also they may be the only group with a female co-head who is also an influential member of the firm’s partnership.’

‘Rachel Strickland: She is not only a great practitioner but also a fantastic advisory partner to investment bankers and financial advisors. She has great commercial business instinct and does not get mired in being too academic.’

‘Very strong leadership under the direction of Matt Feldman complemented by a team of lawyers with strong core competencies. The team’s reputation is very strong; when one of the practitioners speaks, the audience listens. From a client’s perspective, this is critical in ensuring one’s position is articulately framed and considered by opposing parties.’

‘Matt Feldman is a great practitioner. While very thoughtful, he is not stringent in his position. He listens to the client and considers both legal and business ramifications while providing guidance on particular matters. His knowledge of the law and his vast experiences provide uncompromised advice.’

‘Willkie quickly staffed our case with the appropriate partners from oil and gas, restructuring, and finance. They all worked really well together, and despite the “small” size of our case and the lack of “attractiveness”, the Willkie team provided us with the appropriate amount of attention.’

‘Ana Alfonso led the relationship with us, and never once failed to effectively communicate the issues at hand and what to expect. Further, she displayed great commitment to seeing our case to resolution by pushing her team to meet our high expectations.’

Key clients

Ad hoc group of Subrogation Claim Holders of PG&E Corporation

Disinterested Manager of Neiman Marcus Group LTD LLC

Tonopah Solar Energy

Pace Industries

Ad hoc group of Hertz Senior Noteholders

Official Committee of Tort Claimants in Imerys Talc America, Inc.

The North American Refractories Company Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement

Citibank, N.A.

Special Committee of Intelsat Connect Finance S.A.

Henry Modell & Co.

LSC Communications / Atlas

Ad hoc Cross-Holder Group of TNT Crane & Rigging, Inc.

Wells Fargo, N.A.

The Franchise Group

Eva Automation, Inc.

Murray Energy

Ad hoc group of Preferred Holders of Ligado Networks LLC

Global Brands Group

M&A/corporate and commercial > Shareholder activism Tier 3

The cross-departmental group at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP leverages the firm’s well-known corporate law, financial services and litigation specialists to act on both sides of activism mandates, both for activist shareholders, as well as for boards of directors and special committees of large public companies. It handles a wide range of matters, including M&A challenges, proxy contests, and general governance issues. Based in New York, the group is led by Russell Leaf and litigation department chair Tariq Mundiya. Jared Fertman also has extensive experience in proxy fights. Steven Gartner has retired.

Practice head(s):

Russell Leaf; Tariq Mundiya

Other key lawyers:

Sameer Advani; Jared Fertman

Key clients

Vintage Capital Management

Third Point LLC

Sarissa Capital Management

Monarch Alternative Capital

Elliott Management

New Mountain Vantage

Independent Members of Xerox’s Board of Directors

HealthEquity, Inc.

Investment fund formation and management > Alternative/hedge funds Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP expanded its offering in the funds space during the early months of 2020, with the hire of fund formation specialist Laura Friedrich from Shearman & Sterling LLP, and the promotions of Brian Greene and John Knapke to the partnership. On the fund formation side, the firm is particularly notable for its work with insurance-linked securities, both for established managers and new participants in the market, while on the operational side, it advises on broker-dealer issues, compliance, derivatives, and adviser M&A. Leadership duties within the practice are split between Joseph Cunningham, Rita Molesworth, and Mark Vandehaar. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Margery Neale; Joseph Cunningham; Rita Molesworth; Mark Vandehaar

Other key lawyers:

Laura Friedrich; Brian Greene; John Knapke

Industry focus > Environment: transactional Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has broad environmental, health and safety capabilities and is adept at assessing the risks and opportunities in a plethora of commercial settings. M&A and private equity transactions are areas of focus for department head William Thomas, who is rated for his experience in international and cross-border matters involving emerging issues such as ESG, sustainability and climate change. Thomas is based in the Washington DC office.

Practice head(s):

William Thomas

Key clients

American Railcar Industries, Inc.

FFL Partners, LLC

Icynene-Lapolla

Hudson’s Bay Company

Compass Partners Capital, LLC

American Trailer Rental Group

Franchise Group, Inc.

Foundation Source

Tenex Capital Management

Colony Capital, Inc.

Atlas Holdings LLC

Seaport Capital

Dispute resolution > International trade Tier 4

Praised for its ‘ability to find solutions to complex matters’, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is consistently engaged on internal investigations and CFIUS reviews, as well as sanctions and export control compliance programs. The team remains very active in sectors such as financial services, technology, and telecoms. The ‘exceptionalDavid Mortlock chairs the global trade and investment practice, and is recommended for his ‘strong appreciation of different types of businesses and sectors’.

Practice head(s):

David Mortlock

Testimonials

‘Always available and at short notice. Responsive to emails and providing help whenever needed. Unpicks the matter and then provides clear advice at each step. It is easy to understand and can quickly determine the practical steps needed to resolve.’

‘David Mortlock is exceptional. So responsive and makes himself available for calls. His advice is clear and concise. He has a deep understanding of international trade, which he brings to bear in his advice. He is able to explain complex matters in a digestible way, which makes it straightforward for the recipient to make decisions about how to proceed. He also has a strong appreciation of different types of businesses and sectors, which is vital in how he delivers his advice – practical and clear.’

‘Knowledge of legal areas; business acumen and relationships with governmental officials.’

‘Ability to find solutions to complex matters.’

Key clients

Essentra PLC

Dispute resolution > Leading trial lawyers Tier 4

Craig Martin - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Based in Chicago, Craig Martin has a well-rounded trial and appellate practice, ranging from white-collar criminal defense work to civil rights cases. In a recent standout highlight, he secured $11m in damages for prison inmate William Dean, whose cancer was misdiagnosed by Wexford Health Source. Martin was formerly a partner Jenner & Block LLP.

Antitrust > Merger control Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has further expanded its antitrust capabilities with the opening of its Chicago office, led by Craig Martin, who joined the team from Jenner & Block LLP in March 2020. In New York, the group has solid capabilities in merger control filings and investigations, regularly working on cross-border transactions with its European teams. The team also stands out for its work on private equity transactions, representing notable investors such as Franklin Templeton and Third Point LLC. Elsewhere, the firm represents clients in strategic mergers and large-scale business transactions across a variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing. William Rooney jointly leads the team alongside Jeffrey Korn, both of whom are well-respected antitrust lawyers with solid records in domestic and international merger control proceedings.

Practice head(s):

William Rooney; Jeffrey Korn

Other key lawyers:

Craig Martin

Testimonials

‘Bill Rooney makes complex cross-border antitrust issues manageable and addressable.’

Key clients

Atlas Holdings

Conga

FFL Partners

Follett Higher Education Group, Inc.

ForgeLight LLC

Forum of Firms

Franklin Templeton Investments

Highline Aftermarket, LLC

Mueller Industries, Inc.

Owl Creek Asset Management

Scientific Games Corporation, Bally Technologies, Inc. and SG Gaming, Inc.

Sterling Group

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Third Point LLC

ValueAct Capital

Investment fund formation and management > Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's private equity and fund formation practice fields a highly experienced team across numerous offices, domestic and international. The group acts regularly on high-profile cases for notable clients including sponsors, financial institutions and wealth managers, with particular strength in advising on bespoke liquidity and capital solutions matters. Phillip Isom and Lior Ohayon jointly lead the PE fund formation practice, while Margery Neale chairs the asset management group. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Phillip Isom; Lior Ohayon; Margery Neale

Key clients

Acceleration Resources

Andros Capital Partners LLC

Astorg Partners

Banneker Partners

Blue Water Energy

Bridge Growth Partners

C2 Energy Capital

Cibolo Energy Partners

Citi Private Bank

Credit Suisse Asset Management

Discovery Americas

Gainline Capital Partners LP

GoldenTree Asset Management

Grant Avenue Capital

ICV Partners

Insight Partners

Mission Peak Capital

Monarch Alternative Capital

Morgan Stanley

PAI Partners

Paramount Group

Post Oak Energy Capital

Related Fund Management

Sage Road Capital

The CapStreet Group, LLC

TPH Asset Management

Zurich Alternative Asset Management

Finance > Structured finance: derivatives and structured products Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's derivatives practice stands out for its coverage of commodity asset classes, with extensive expertise in energy, environmental commodities, metals and agricultural products. The group advises on listed and over-the-counter derivatives, and is also able to draw on the firm's capabilities in regulatory enforcement. The department is led by New York's Thomas French, who maintains a standout hedge fund client base. Supporting French in the New York office is commodities transactional expert counsel Conrad Bahlke, while Rita Molesworth is a key name for advice on regulations affecting financial institutions. Washington DC is the main base for the firm's regulatory lawyers, among whom Athena Eastwood and senior counsel Paul Pantano stand out for their commodities work.

Practice head(s):

Thomas French

Other key lawyers:

Paul Pantano; Athena Eastwood; Conrad Bahlke; Rita Molesworth

Key clients

Futures Industry Association Inc.

Citigroup Energy, Inc.

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)

Vitol, Inc.

Dairy Farmers of America

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

Media, technology and telecoms > Technology transactions Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has made strong inroads into the market, particularly following the establishment of its Palo Alto office in 2018. Highly rated practice head Matthew Berger and partner Tiffany Lee are firmly embedded in the technology and life sciences sectors, representing innovators and customers. Collectively, they are praised for their 'incredible amount of know-how and experience in this field, which allows them to provide practical solutions and opinions when dealing with difficult customers or in low-leveraged situations'. The practice covers a broad range of matters, from M&A, through to strategic alliances, research and development, licensing and cloud services.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Berger

Other key lawyers:

Tiffany Lee

Testimonials

‘Matt Berger and Tiffany Lee have an incredible amount of know-how and experience in this field, which allows them to provide practical solutions and opinions when dealing with difficult customers or in low-leveraged situations. Matt and Tiffany also provide a great deal of assistance in deftly drafting contracts to not always win the contract drafting battle, but to protect the company’s interest in the long-term war. ’

Key clients

Salesforce

Facebook

Snap

Spotify

LG Display

Dong-A Pharmaceutical

City of Hope

Cisco

Six

Loyale Healthcare

LG Innotek Co., Ltd.

Tax > US taxes: non-contentious Tier 4

The team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advises on the tax aspects of various deals for clients in financial services, insurance and private equity. Headed up by Christopher Peters in New York, the tax department works closely with the firm’s corporate, real estate, and restructuring practice groups on a range of acquisitions, divestitures and Chapter 11-related proceedings. Peters is noted for his broad transactional experience, particularly for clients in tech, insurance, and asset management. Houston-based Robert Jacobson focuses on industrial business and energy sector work, especially oil and gas exploration, and midstream activities.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Peters

Other key lawyers:

Robert Jacobson

Testimonials

‘Multi disciplinary approach, excellent understanding of the economics of a transaction or a deal, global-international understanding of multi jurisdictional transactions and deal’

‘Christopher Peters: Sparring partner with the ability to look at complex transactions, restructurings and deals with a holistic bird eyes view, ability to assess multi disciplinary US and global tax aspects.’

Key clients

AIG / American General Life Insurance Company

Blackstone

Court Square Capital Partners

FFL Partners

Franklin Templeton

Insight Partners

MetLife, Inc.

The Sterling Group

Voya Financial

Finance > Commercial lending

Boasting significant development in recent years, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has developed a strong reputation in the debt finance market, particularly on the borrower side where it advises many of the largest private equity firms and their portfolio companies on leveraged deals, acquisition financing and restructuring. Evidence of the group's expertise in this area can be seen in its relationship with Insight Partners, which it advises on many complex financing issues. New York-based Viktor Okasmaa chairs the department and has developed strong relationships with many of the firm's key private equity clients.

Practice head(s):

Viktor Okasmaa

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey Goldfarb; Joshua Deason

Testimonials

‘Great focus on the client. Available 24/7 on short notice. Senior level attention to every deal. Consistency of team across assignments. Ability to translate complex concepts / legalese into practical business considerations. Commercial – focus on getting deals done efficiently.’

Key clients

Aquiline Capital Partners

Blackstone

Brinker Capital

CenturyLink

CIP Capital Partners

Citibank, N.A.

Court Square Capital Partners

Franchise Group

Genstar Capital

Hudson’s Bay Company

Insight Partners

Interpublic Group

Platinum Equity

The CapStreet Group

The Sterling Group

TigerRisk Partners LLC

T. Rowe Price

Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

The white-collar defense and compliance, investigations and enforcement team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acts for public trading companies, financial institutions and executives in criminal and regulatory matters around the globe. It has particular strength in financial crime and has developed particular strength in securities-related matters, where it often acts for prominent hedge funds. The team is headed from the New York office by Michael Schachter, and from Washington by William Stellmach and Martin Weinstein. Randall Jackson is recommended for government and internal investigations, civil litigation and regulatory compliance. Craig Martin and Matthew Basil joined in Chicago from Jenner & Block LLP in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Michael Schachter; William Stellmach; Martin Weinstein

Other key lawyers:

Randall Jackson; Amelia Cottrell; Craig Martin; Matt Basil

Testimonials

‘I highly recommend the exceptional team at Willkie Farr in the area of corporate investigations and white collar criminal defense’. 

‘The team conducts a thorough and comprehensive review, provides wonderful counsel in high-stakes situations, and brings to bear the wisdom and judgement of having worked these kinds of matters over many years, including as former prosecutors’.

‘Phenomenal team with expertise in using technology efficiently in an age where there is an abundance of material to review electronically’.

‘Assembled a very collaborative team to assist us during an exceptionally challenging time’. 

‘Michael Schachter had a complete mastery of the facts and documents involved in a complex matter, and was very transparent and straightforward with his advice and recommendations’.

‘Michael Schachter’s judgement and counsel brought clarity and calm to a challenging situation’.

‘William Stellmach leads the practice and I have found him to be exceptional in client service, approach, expertise, attention to detail and just the overall experience that the client gets’.

‘Deeply experienced and sophisticated group led by Michael Schachter, who is an excellent, multifaceted lawyer’. 

Key clients

CITGO Petroleum Corporation

Former Privinvest executive Jean Boustani

Former Adidas marketing director James Gatto

LafargeHolcim Ltd.

Mega International Commercial Bank

Former JPMorgan trader Akshay Aiyer

Former Diageo Executive

Latin America: International firms > Corporate and M&A Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is a growing force in Latin America deals, especially in energy and infrastructure, insurance and technology transactions. The core US-based team, primarily in New York and Washington DC, works closely with the Paris office, which represents a number of Europe-based clients with Latin America interests. Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru are amongst its primary jurisdictions. Native Colombian Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza  leads the Latin America team and has an extensive record in the region, covering a variety of industries and jurisdictions; this includes investments in power and infrastructure projects. Washington DC partner Jorge Kamine is noted for energy and infrastructure M&A, including transactions involving metro projects, renewable energy and LNG.

Practice head(s):

Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza

Testimonials

The WF&G team has not only experience in Latin America, but also people of Latin origin with extensive experience in the region.

‘An excellent team with knowledge of the market in context of terms and good practices, with pragmatic advice.

Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza is extremely dynamic and particularly excellent at business development. She has excellent relationships in the region and has built a very good team.’

Key clients

3Pillar

Apex Group

Arroyo Energy

Atlas Holdings

BNP Paribas Cardif

CIP Capital

CMA CGM

Genstar Capital

Grupo Argos

Insight Partners

John Laing Group

Macquarie Capital

Maurel et Prom

STOA

Swiss Re

Vilmorin & Cie

Weener Plastics

Zurich Insurance Group

Willkie is an elite international law firm that delivers superior client service across a broad spectrum of practice areas. In addition to the firm’s primary practice areas of corporate/M&A; private equity; business reorganization and restructuring; complex litigation; compliance, investigations and enforcement; antitrust and competition; asset management; and insurance and reinsurance, the firm’s approximately 750 attorneys collaborate to provide multidisciplinary advice across the areas of capital markets; communications and media; crisis management; cybersecurity and privacy; environment, health and safety; employment counseling; executive compensation and employee benefits; finance; global trade and investment; technology and commercial transactions; intellectual property; private clients; real estate; special committee; structured finance and derivatives; tax; and a wide range of industries.

Willkie brings together multidisciplinary capabilities to deliver comprehensive advice in an integrated manner, leveraging the firm’s resources to create value for clients.

Main areas of practice
Corporate/M&A: Working in close cooperation across offices in the US and Europe, Willkie attorneys provide advice on significant domestic M&A matters as well as complex cross-border transactions. The team represents buyers, sellers, special committees of boards, debt and equity investors and financial advisors in matters ranging from contested takeovers and management buyouts to strategic alliances, leveraged recaps and acquisitions from reorganization proceedings. The practice advises both public and private companies in a broad range of industries. The team finds solutions to meet client objectives and helps clients early on in the process to identify and assess risks in a transaction. The group also regularly advises clients on relevant regulatory and judicial developments in areas such as antitrust, tax, ERISA, corporate governance and securities laws as they affect the M&A environment.
Contact: David K Boston
Tel: +1 212 728 8625
Email: dboston@willkie.com
Contact: Steven A Seidman
Tel: +1 212 728 8763
Email: sseidman@willkie.com

Private equity: Willkie represents more than 300 US and international private equity sponsors as well as portfolio companies, management teams, issuers, debt providers and financial advisors. Willkie’s 360° private equity platform provides ‘lifecycle’ legal counsel to clients: from pre-IPO consideration, planning, and launch to other activities including follow-on offerings, M&A and investments. Building strong client relationships, many clients retain Willkie’s services beyond the first engagement and through their growth cycle. Willkie is one of the few major law firms to offer deep transactional, fund formation and regulatory compliance experience, combined with sector-specific knowledge and a commercial approach.
Contact: Jeffrey R Poss
Tel: +1 212 728 8536
Email: jposs@willkie.com
Contact: Neil W Townsend
Tel: +1 212 728 8272
Email: ntownsend@willkie.com

Business reorganization and restructuring: Willkie’s business reorganization and restructuring department is an international practice with experience in all aspects of business and financial restructuring and insolvency matters. Integrated US and European restructuring professionals offer the hands-on, results-driven experience that today’s distressed situations demand. Professionals are held in high regard for their responsiveness and proven experience in complex multi-lateral cross-border restructurings (both in and out of court). Willkie represents a broad spectrum of clients in the US, UK, France, Germany and other key European jurisdictions.
Contact: Matthew A Feldman
Tel: +1 212 728 8651
Email: mfeldman@willkie.com
Contact: Rachel C Strickland
Tel: +1 212 728 8544
Email: rstrickland@willkie.com

Complex litigation: The firm is known for advising clients in virtually all major areas of litigation, including antitrust; bankruptcy; complex commercial; compliance, investigations and enforcement; corporate governance; crisis management; employment; financial reporting; insurance and reinsurance; intellectual property; securities and white-collar litigation. Willkie provides regulatory compliance counseling and advice on internal investigations, with particular experience in asset management and international business practices, including bribery, corruption, money laundering, fraud and sanctions matters. The firm represents major corporations, financial institutions and individuals (such as corporate officers, directors and accountants) in complex commercial and class-action litigation and investigations. Lawyers are skilled in navigating ever-evolving regulations, often drawing on direct experience at government agencies.
Contact: Tariq Mundiya
Tel: +1 212 728 8565
Email: tmundiya@willkie.com

Antitrust and competition: Willkie has a long-standing history of handling high-profile antitrust litigation, mergers, and investigations. The team has represented a global client base in national and international merger filings, U.S. and European investigations of all forms of anticompetitive activity, class action and private litigation, and business ventures in multiple jurisdictions. The team includes partners and associates in the U.S., the UK and the EU and is known for its collaboration and seamless cross-border work on behalf of clients with international and national needs across a wide spectrum of industries.
Contact: Jeffrey B. Korn
Tel: +1 212 728 8842
Email: jkorn@willkie.com
Contact: William H Rooney
Tel: +1 212 728 8259
Email: wrooney@willkie.com

Asset management: The firm is recognized as preeminent in the asset management area and provides a wide array of legal services to, among other clients, registered and regulated open-end and closed-end funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and other private funds, and their sponsors, advisers, directors, partners, managers, shareholders, clients and service providers. The team regularly advises asset managers on subjects ranging from operations, to fund formations, to compliance and regulation. The team provides insight and knowledge into the legal needs of sponsors of public and private funds alike, bringing a practical, efficient approach to analyzing issues and solving problems. The group provides vast regulatory experience and includes a former Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management as well as other former senior SEC staff members.
Contact: Margery K Neale
Tel: +1 212 728 8297
Email: mneale@willkie.com

Willkie offices: New York, Washington, Houston, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Brussels, Milan, Rome

Chairmen: Thomas M Cerabino; Matthew A Feldman

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Total number of lawyers : Approx. 750
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