Firm Profile > Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP > Houston, United States

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
600 TRAVIS STREET, SUITE 2310
HOUSTON, TX 77002
United States

Industry focus > Insurance: non-contentious Tier 1

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP provides a comprehensive range of transactional and regulatory services for insurance clients, with a distinctive offering in reinsurance cessions through alternative risk transfer. In a representative M&A transaction, Alexander Dye advised Protective Life Corporation in its acquisition via reinsurance of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company’s individual life insurance and annuity business, in an estimated capital investment of $1.2bn. On the securities side, John Schwolsky represented MetLife in connection with its first yen-denominated notes offering, with an aggregate principal amount of ¥151.7bn. The ‘deeply experienced’ and ‘extraordinarily knowledgeable’ Schwolsky co-leads the practice with Dye, who has a ‘particular gift for working with smart, demanding boards of directors’. Michael Groll, who has extensive experience in sidecar transactions, catastrophe bonds, and ILS fund formations, is also noted. All named partners are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Dye; John Schwolsky

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Aegon

Assurant

Assured Guaranty

CNO Financial

Protective Life Corporation

Genworth Financial

MetLife

Mutual of Omaha

Prudential Financial

QBE Insurance

Swiss Re

W.R. Berkley Corporation

Zurich Financial Services

New York Life

Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company

Dispute resolution > M&A litigation: defense Tier 2

Complex M&A litigation is a key focus for the business litigation practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, which acts for companies, controlling shareholders, boards of directors, special committees and financial advisors in a range diverse array of cases, including Delaware activism and takeover litigation, going private transactions and disputes arising out of alleged conflicts of directors or financial advisors. This work encompasses both domestic and cross-border matters, and the firm's network of offices across the US, which now includes a second office in San Francisco, gives it a presence in many jurisdiction besides Delaware. Nevertheless, it also handles key matters in the Delaware Court of Chancery, including a recent high-profile trial that tested whether the issue of whether the courts would enforce strict deadlines in merger agreements between sophisticated parties. Chair of the litigation department Tariq Mundiya and vice-chair of securities litigation Todd Cosenza both appear regularly in Delaware Chancery Court. Key partner Sameer Advani is also recommended. All are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Tariq Mundiya

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Xerox Corporation

Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb

Vintage Capital

Special Committee of AmTrust Financial Services

CenturyLink, Inc.

VCI Enterprises, Inc.

Independent Directors of Tonopah Solar Energy

GoldenTree Asset Management LP

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP handles a wide variety of shareholder derivative suits, securities class actions for underwriters and IPO-related securities litigation. It has a particularly prominent role IPO-related cases under the 1933 Act in both federal and state court, with matters for the underwriters of Uber and Greensky notable in 2019. Alongside Section 10b cases, the firm is also handling numerous event-driven securities matters, including class actions arising from the alleged misconduct of senior executives. In New York, litigation chair Tariq Mundiya and co-chairs of securities litigation Todd Cosenza, Michael Young and Antonio Yanez are the key practitioners. The firm recently launched a San Francisco office with hires including Simona Agnolucci from Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP, and recruited Randall Jackson in New York and Michael Gottlieb in DC, both formerly of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. All three have significant SEC enforcement and securities litigation expertise.

Practice head(s):

Tariq Mundiya; Todd Cosenza; Michael Young; Antonio Yanez

Key clients

Xerox Corporation

Uber Underwriters Group

Farfetch, Inc. Underwriters Group

Curo Group Holdings Corp.

CenturyLink, Inc.

CBS Corp.

Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb

GoldenTree Asset Management LP

GreenSky, Inc. Underwriters Group

Liberty Tax Inc.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

JP Morgan Securities LLC

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

Investment funds > Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advises large fund managers on the creation of novel financial products, including opaque exchange-traded funds and business-development companies. The team has experience with transactional work associated with closed-end funds, including IPOs, secondary market transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. A core focus is alternative investment funds, such as interval and commodities funds. Practice head Margery Neale and Barry Barbash, advise on ETF creation, BDCs, and fund governance, and assist clients in their dealings with the SEC. Jay Spinola is experienced in shareholder activism, Benjamin Haskin has an active transactions practice, and Elliot Gluck focuses on rights offerings.

Practice head(s):

Margery Neale

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments and Aberdeen Funds

Credit Suisse Asset Management and Credit Suisse Funds

Flaherty & Crumrine Closed-End Funds

Gabelli Closed-End Funds

The New Ireland Fund

Precidian Funds/Precidian CTFs Trust

T. Rowe Price Funds

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

With a consistent transactional output and a sponsor-focused approach, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP holds a considerable share of upper-middle market work, advising funds involved across a range of industries, including technology, healthcare, financial services, and industrials. The firm has also seen a significant growth in its share of large-cap transactions. The team has a solid bench of dedicated private equity partners in both its New York base and the emerging Houston and Palo Alto offices, which are a boon to the firm's work in energy and tech-related buyouts. The practice is jointly headed by Jeffrey Poss and Neil Townsend, both of whom have had busy years advising clients such as Aquiline, Genstar Capital, and FFL Partners. Morgan Elwyn has a productive relationship with Insight Partners in its tech investments, while Bruce Herzog is the key name in the Houston office. All partners are in New York unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Poss; Neil Townsend

Other key lawyers:

Bruce Herzog; Morgan Elwyn; Steve Gartner; Matt Rizzo

Key clients

Aquiline Capital Partners

Calvert Street Capital Partners

The CapStreet Group

Centerbridge Partners

CIP Capital

Colony Capital

Court Square

Dock Square Capital

Dubin Clark & Co.

FFL Partners

Genstar Capital

Harvest Partners

Insight Partners

Kayne Anderson

Riverstone Holdings

The Sterling Group

Tenex Capital Management

Warburg Pincus

M&A/corporate and commercial > Shareholder activism

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's shareholder activism team is an integral part of its broader corporate and financial services department. Jointly led by Steven Gartner and Tariq Mundiya in New York, the practice group has core strength in acting for shareholders in activism campaigns, though the team is also recognized for its work for special committees. Highlights from the past year have included representing Third Point, Elliott and Sarissa in a number of successful campaigns, as well as advising the Hudson Bay Company in defense against an activism campaign. Russell Leaf and recently promoted partner Jared Fertman are also contacts in the New York office.

Practice head(s):

Steven Gartner; Tariq Mundiya

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Vintage Capital Management

Third Point

The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of EMC Insurance Group

Sarissa Capital Management

Monarch Alternative Capital

Elliott Management

RenaissanceRe

Argo Group

Hudson’s Bay Company

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP represents a range of domestic and international clients, including cable operators, competitive local exchange carriers, internet service providers, equipment manufacturers, broadcast licensees, and industry trade associations. The team represents clients in adjudicatory proceedings before US regulatory authorities including the FCC. Michael Hurwitz has significant experience in FCC complaint and enforcement proceedings, while the highly regarded Daniel Alvarez is renowned for his broadband deployment expertise. Another key team member is cable specialist Jonathan Friedman, who assists clients on myriad regulatory reform issues.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Friedman; Michael Hurwitz

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Comcast Corporation

NBCUniversal, LLC

CommScope Inc.

Manhattan Telecommunications Corporation d/b/a Metropolitan Telecommunications

INCOMPAS

Granite Telecommunications, LLC

NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Clients appreciate that lawyers at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP 'are all highly skilled attorneys with great resumes, but that doesn't get in the way of their advice'. The group represents public companies, financial institutions and their executives in investigations and enforcement matters relating to financial crime. The team has particular expertise in parallel SEC and DOJ investigations arising from the securities and hedge fund industries, as well as in FCPA and anti-corruption cases. In New York, Randall Jackson is a veteran trial lawyer, who represents financial institutions and individuals in securities fraud and FCA litigation. The white-collar defense group is co-led by New York's Michael Schachter and Washington DC's William Stellmach, while Martin Weinstein leads the compliance, investigations and enforcement group from DC, where he regularly handles FCPA cases.

Practice head(s):

Michael Schachter; William Stellmach; Martin Weinstein

Other key lawyers:

Randall Jackson; Amelia Cottrell

Testimonials

I like the fact that the team has flexible borders. By that, I mean that the firm is managed in such a way that the barriers between practices is not hardened. So, during an investigation if an employee benefits issue arises, then it is seamless the way in which the team introduces their benefits partner into the equation, in a cost-effective way.’

The DC office delivered excellent service to our company in a multi-country FCPA investigation.’

Willkie has a culture of generating and supporting very practical, business-oriented lawyers. That is reflected in the composition of the investigations teams.’

The Willkie team are all highly skilled attorneys with great resumes, but that doesn’t get in the way of their advice. Bob Meyer is a prime example of that – great outside pedigree, but tailored, focused advice packaged for my business and my team.’

Key clients

Jean Boustani, former Privinvest executive

Clovis Oncology and its CEO Patrick Mahaffy

Adidas employee James Gatto

Former JPMorgan trader Akshay Aiyer

Juniper Networks

Mega International Commercial Bank

Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes Tier 3

Recently involved in a string of high-profile matters with industry-wide repercussions, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a bench of experienced and well-respected litigators who between them cover all aspects of commercial disputes. Among the litigation highlights of the year was the widely publicized Fujifilm/Xerox merger dispute: department chair and M&A litigation expert Tariq Mundiya represented Xerox in the $2.3bn breach of contract action brought by Fujifilm in the Southern District of New York. A key development for the team was Michael Gottlieb's arrival from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP in November 2018; having brought his client CITGO to the firm, he acted for the oil company in Delaware Chancery Court in a case concerning the legitimacy of the appointments of Directors by the Guaidó government in Venezuela. In other significant news, the firm launched an office in San Francisco in September 2019, and brought in experienced litigators Benedict Hur and Simona Agnolucci from Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP as managing partners. Another highly regarded lawyer is Mary Eaton in the New York office, who specializes in shareholder litigation. Star litigator Craig Martin joined the team from Jenner & Block LLP in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Tariq Mundiya; Mary Eaton; Elizabeth Bower; Sameer Advani

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Good advice from start to finish; they kept us appraised of the issues/challenges/direction and what to expect throughout the process.

Very responsive. Any queries we had were addressed rapidly and with clarity. I’d be happy to work with Mary Eaton on any future case.

Key clients

Xerox

CITGO

Bloomberg

CenturyLink

CBS

KPMG

Navy Federal Credit Union

GoldenTree Asset Management

GreenSky, Inc. Underwriters Group

School of American Ballet

South China Morning Post Publishers

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan Securities

Morgan Stanley

Aaron Rich (brother of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich)

Finance > Commercial lending Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is making an increasingly strong impression on the market, particularly on the borrower side where it has developed a very solid reputation for representing private equity sponsors and corporates. The firm's ability to handle high-end corporate acquisitions was demonstrated by its advice to FIS on its $42bn merger with Worldpay. The team also acts for a loyal cohort of private equity funds and is especially active in the mid-market space. The firm is also doing an increasing amount of work for banks and direct lenders. While the team will miss former practice head Leonard Klingbaum who joined Ropes & Gray LLP's New York team, the firm has a deep bench of talent to make up for the loss. New York partners such as co-chairs Viktor Okasmaa and David Tarr, and vice-chair Jeffrey Goldfarb, have developed extremely good expertise in this area. Other key lawyers include Joshua Deason, William Dye and, in Houston, Michael Niebruegge.

Practice head(s):

Viktor Okasmaa; David Tarr

Key clients

Brookfield Business Partners

Interpublic Group

Hudson’s Bay Company

Court Square Capital Partners

Fidelity National Information Services (FIS)

Insight Partners and its portfolio companies

Citibank, NA

New Mountain Capital and its portfolio companies

Genstar Capital and its portfolio companies

FFL Partners

Investcorp

Pattonair

Aquiline Capital Partners and its portfolio companies

The Sterling Group

HealthEquity

ITE Rail Fund LP (ITE)

JP Morgan Ventures Energy

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Finance > Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a deep business reorganization and restructuring practice based in New York which acts both for distressed companies and creditors on a national and international level. On the debtors' side, the team represents clients (especially independent boards of directors and special committees) during restructuring procedures in and out of court - a prominent example is iHeart Communications, which was advised by recognized partner Paul Shalhoub  in relation to its Chapter 11 case. From a creditors' perspective, co-head Matthew Feldman acted for an ad-hoc group in the PG&E bankruptcy. Feldman's counterpart, Rachel Strickland, is currently active in the representation of the Official Committee of Tort Claimants in the complex chapter 11 cases of Imerys Talc America Inc., a French multinational company.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Feldman; Rachel Strickland

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Team leader Matt Feldman is smart, savvy, accessible and has a never-ending work ethic. That is a rare combination of hard work and accessibility’

Key clients

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals

Ad hoc Lender Group of LBI Media

Bettina M. Whyte, as COFINA Agent

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

Official Committee of Tort Claimants in Imerys Talc America

Independent Directors of Specialty Retail Stores Holdings

Ad hoc Group of Lenders of Drive

Glansaol Holdings

Brookfield Business Partners

Ad hoc First Lien Lenders Group of Claire’s Stores

The North American Refractories Company Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust

Wells Fargo Bank

Industry focus > Energy transactions: oil and gas Tier 3

New York-headquartered firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an increasingly attractive proposition to many oil and gas entities, by virtue not only of the firm's traditional strength in core transactional areas including M&A, private equity, finance and restructuring, but also its heightened and more focused industry sector knowledge since the opening of the firm's Houston office in 2014. Led by Michael De Voe Piazza and private equity specialist Bruce Herzog, the oil and gas transactions team 'has a robust view of the energy market place and is very well connected with energy industry executives', enabling it to effectively handle a significant volume of private and public M&A in the upstream and midstream sectors. Other work includes joint venture structuring, energy-related private equity fund formation structuring, and energy finance and capital markets transactions. 'Responsive and informed' Houston-based partner Cody Carper has strong ties with private equity sponsors and oil and gas companies and has a flourishing reputation in the market for upstream and midstream transactions, including drilling partnerships, financing transactions, acquisitions and divestitures.

Practice head(s):

Michael De Voe Piazza; Bruce Herzog

Other key lawyers:

Cody Carper; Archie Fallon; Steve Torello; David Aaronson; Will Thanheiser

Testimonials

The team communicates well, has a robust view of the energy market place and is very well connected with energy industry executives.

Cody Carper and Michael Piazza are extremely responsive, informed, and commercial in our negotiations.

Cody Carper’s prior experience working in-house at an energy company affords us great confidence when we are negotiating agreements with oil and gas operators.

Key clients

Bayou City Energy

EOG

Juniper Capital

Lime Rock Partners

Post Oak Energy

Alpine Energy Capital

Riverstone Holdings

Samson Resources II

Springbok Energy Partners

Waterbridge Resources LLC

Industry focus > Insurance: advice to policyholders Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s New York-based insurance dispute resolution practice is particularly focused on representing insurance brokers aligned with policyholders, and also handles coverage cases for policyholders. Christopher St. Jeanos represented insurance broker Marsh USA in a coverage dispute pivoting on whether and when a ‘special relationship’ exists between a policyholder and insurance broker. Mitchell Auslander has experience in advising insurance companies seeking coverage from their own insurers or reinsurers. Auslander and St. Jeanos co-chair the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mitchell Auslander; Christopher St. Jeanos

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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s New York-based employee benefits and executive compensation experts often work with the firm’s top-tier insurance vertical to handle high-value M&A transactions. Practice heads Michael Katz and Jordan Messinger also advise on a steady workflow of mid-cap M&A deals and public offerings in the financial services and technology fields; the firm’s recent West Coast expansion into the Palo Alto and San Francisco markets may help to strengthen its presence in the latter. Solid experience in proxy reporting and SEC disclosure is cited, while Peter Haller is the go-to name for asset managers, investment banks and investment funds clients seeking advice on ERISA fiduciary compliance or prohibited transaction advice.

Practice head(s):

Michael A. Katz; Jordan A. Messinger

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

This group can break down complex regulatory questions as well as anyone else, but what really differentiates them is their ability to communicate in terms of implementation and operational compliance.

Peter Haller’s knowledge of the law and appreciation for in-house operations is great! They have a particular private equity focus.

Michael Katz is a particularly talented lawyer.  His technical expertise is top notch.

Key clients

Warburg Pincus

Insight Partners

Genstar Capital

RenaissanceRe Holdings

Bloomberg L.P.

MetLife

KPMG LLP

Credit Suisse

Take Two Interactive Corp.

HealthEquity

W. R. Berkley Corporation

Cisco Systems

Aspen Insurance Holdings

AdaptHealth Holdings

Mueller Industries

Franklin Resources

Hudson’s Bay Company

Aquiline Capital Partners

Media, technology and telecoms > Fintech Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's multi-disciplinary team has a track record of acting for private equity investors and fintech companies in corporate and finance transactions. Contacts in New York include practice head Jeffrey Poss, who specializes private equity and venture capital transactions, and Eugene Chang, who is a name to note for intellectual property matters. The firm strengthened its practice with several new hires in 2019: Washington DC-based Michael Gottlieb joined from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, boosting the team's profile in cybersecurity and data privacy incident response, while litigators Simona Agnolucci and Benedict Hur joined from Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP and subsequently helped establish the firm's San Francisco office. In addition, former CFTC chairman Christopher Giancarlo joined as senior counsel in New York, adding substantial regulatory expertise in cryptocurrency space.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Poss

Key clients

FIS

Aquiline Capital Partners

Insight Partners

Genstar Capital

Ascensus

HealthEquity

Warburg Pincus

CIP Capital

The CapStreet Group

Kony

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)

Nvoicepay

Finance of America Holdings

Real estate > Real estate Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acts for private fund managers and real estate investors in strategic transactions across a variety of asset classes nationwide. The team is also active in real estate development finance and mortgage finance, and has also established a reputation in the New York commercial leasing market. Thomas Henry co-chairs the department in New York, acting for domestic and international real estate companies, funds and institutional lenders. Another contact in New York is David Drewes, who was recently promoted to practice co-chair. Highlights from the past year included acting for Paramount Group (a fully integrated real estate investment trust) in a series of transactions aimed at expanding into the San Francisco office market.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Henry; David Drewes

Other key lawyers:

Carly Glover Saviano; Daniel Backer; Janice Levine

Testimonials

‘Willkie’s real estate practice is top tier and competes from both an experience and client service perspective with any real estate practice in the country. They become an extension of your company, focusing on driving your transactions to closing with excellent legal advice coupled with practical solutions.’

‘While all the partners and associates are top tier, Tom Henry in particular is in class of his own.  He should be considered 1 of the best if not the best real estate attorney in the country. He has a combination of legal precision and a business acumen that is difficult to match.  Some lawyers have 1 or the other but having both separates Tom from all his peers and gives him all the tools to provide first class representation to all his clients.’

‘Very strong work ethic – will work 24/7 to get work done within our timing requirements; highly professional; top shelf skill sets and knowledge for complex transactions; very good sense of when to defer to client on business decisions.’

‘Carly Saviano, Dan Backer, Mark Proctor and Liz Case are stand-outs’.

Key clients

Hudson’s Bay Company

Paramount Group

Colony Capital

Choice Hotels International

Washington Prime Group

Harbor Group International (HGI)

DiamondRock Hospitality

Meadow Partners

Tribeca Associates

Slate Property Group

Vereit

Jiaming Investment (Group) Co.

Centerbridge Partners

Bloomberg

St. John’s University

Access Industries

Dispute resolution > International trade Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is a destination for clients seeking to obtain approval for their transactions by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Another strength of the global trade and investment practice is international trade compliance and economic sanctions; areas of focus for department head David Mortlock. In the fall of 2019, Priya Aiyar left for an in-house role at American Airlines.

Practice head(s):

David Mortlock

Testimonials

The team has several advantages: its pragmatic approach, its clear justifications for reaching a certain position, the clear guidance it provides to clients, and its willingness to understand the client’s business.

The group has practical experience gained within the industry, for example, in relation to governmental sanctions. Such experience means that additional context can be drawn outside the legal advice. It is invaluable in the corporate sector to have advice from someone who has seen a particular scenario play out from different sides. In particular, David Mortlock stands out from the crowd. His high-class knowledge and previous experience are the best.

I work with David Mortlock – he is an exceptional US sanctions lawyer, who gives very clear and comprehensive advice and always makes himself available, despite the fact that I am based in London.  I really cannot praise him highly enough.

Key clients

Air France

Finance > Structured finance: derivatives and structured products Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's derivatives group is particularly active in the commodities space, with recent highlights in energy and soft commodities work. Structured finance and derivatives group chair Thomas French has experience of derivatives transaction across a range of asset classes, while Washington DC's Paul Pantano specializes in energy and commodities derivatives, and acts for energy companies, swap dealers and trade associations, among others.

Practice head(s):

Thomas French

Other key lawyers:

Conrad Bahlke; Athena Eastwood; Paul Pantano

Key clients

Futures Industry Association

Commodity Markets Council

Citigroup Energy

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)

United Nations World Food Programme

Vitol

Investment funds > Alternative/hedge funds Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advises hedge funds, commodity pool operators, and family offices. In addition to fund formation, the team has a focus on operational issues, such as examinations, swaps and derivatives transactions, and various other investing activities. Key figures in the practice group include Joseph CunninghamMark Vandehaar, and Margery Neale, who chairs the firm’s general asset management group. James Anderson has a strong regulatory practice, acting in the development and implementation of internal compliance procedures, helping to run mock SEC examinations, and handling investigations. Barry Barbash is a name to note for transactional work, and Rita Molesworth, a ‘fantastic advocate’, advises commodity pool operators and futures merchants on derivatives and securities matters.

Practice head(s):

Margery Neale; Joseph Cunningham; Mark Vandehaar

Testimonials

‘Rita is our advocate.  She knows the private fund space inside and out, and doesn’t hesitate to apply creativity and problem-solving to her analysis of the regulations.’

Investment funds > Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advises on formation and fundraising matters for a mix of sponsors, institutional investors, family offices, limited partners, and other transactional parties. Boasting a strong on-the-ground presence in several key commercial centers across the globe, the team is well placed to advise on the formation and management of buyout, real estate, energy, and software private equity funds on an international scale. The private equity fund formation team is jointly led by Lior Ohayon and Phillip Isom, who has led recent standout work for Gainline Capital Partners and The CapStreet Group. Margery Neale heads the firm's asset management practice. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Phillip Isom; Lior Ohayon; Margery Neale

Other key lawyers:

Arash Farhadieh

Key clients

Insight Partners

Credit Suisse Asset Management

Monarch Alternative Capital

GoldenTree Asset Management

Astorg Partners

Gainline Capital Partners

Sage Road Capital

The CapStreet Group

ICV Partners

Morgan Stanley

PAI Partners

Paramount Group

Post Oak Energy Capital

Related Fund Management

Acceleration Resources

Blue Water Energy

C2 Energy Capital

Cibolo Energy Partners

Discovery Americas

Mission Peak Capital

TPH Asset Management

Banneker Partners

Grant Avenue Capital

Bridge Growth Partners

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP  is active in strategic M&A across a wide variety of industries, with the firm's global platform and 'seamless' working relationships between established sector-specific practices being a considerable benefit to its M&A practice. The team is particularly strong in the areas of real estate, communications and asset management, as well as in hostile takeovers and transactions arising out of restructuring matters. Clients include investment funds, banks, corporate boards, and financial advisors. The firm's recent headline mandate was its advice to FIS in the client's $42bn merger with Worldpay. The practice is headed up by David Boston and Steven Seidman. Other names to note include Gregory Astrachan, who is recommended for his work with corporates and banking clients, and Adam Turteltaub, who focuses on cross-border deals and strategic investments. Five partners were promoted internally in 2019: Laura AckerZiyad Aziz, Elizabeth Bannigan, Howard Block, and Jared Fertman all made partner. Further, Claire James joined the team from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Practice head(s):

David Boston; Steven Seidman

Testimonials

The team provides seamless coverage from all areas of expertise, leveraging global partners and relationships as well when necessary. Their technical knowledge and understanding of market norms is top-level. I also find them more “current” in their style–few screamers, but still able to take firm positions without resorting to bullying behavior.

Bob Rachofsky (the lead partner on our account) does a tremendous job staying on point, leveraging his talent and experience, and reflecting our own culture of firmness without being rude. He behaves like a member of our team rather than just an advisor. He is equally comfortable in negotiations, drafting sessions, board discussions, etc.

Key clients

AmTrust Financial Services special committee

Centerview Partners

Atlas Holdings

Perella Weinberg, as financial advisor to AIG

Brookfield Business Partners

Assurant

Aetna

Protective Live Corporation

Voya Financial

Interpublic Group

Evercore

GoldenTree Asset Management

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)

Warburg Pincus

Zurich Insurance Group

Choice Hotels International

Alleghany Corporation

Aberdeen Asset Management

Dyal Capital Partners

BB&T

Centerbridge Partners

TriTech Software Systems

Deutsche Bank Asset Management

Antitrust > Merger control Tier 5

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP attracts praise for its strong transatlantic merger practice, particularly in collaboration with the firm's teams in London and Brussels. Operating out of New York, the department is jointly led by cross-border experts William Rooney and Jeffrey Korn. The latter focuses primarily on merger matters and regulatory investigations, whereas the former displays a key strength in advising internet and financial technology clients. Overall, the merger control team covers a broad range of industries with a strong suit in healthcare and private equity sectors. Wesley Powell takes a leading role in civil as well as criminal antitrust matters and enhances his merger control practice with expertise in financial services, health care and insurance.

Practice head(s):

William Rooney; Jeffrey Korn

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Fidelity National Information Services Inc.

Former JPMorgan currency trader

Constantia Flexibles

Vintage Capital Management LLC

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Arkema Innovative Chemistry

Marsh-McLennan Companies

CRF Health Group Limited.

ITE Management LP

Healthequity, Inc.

Former Bank of America and Deutsche Bank trader

RenaissanceRe

Viking Global

Third Point LLC

ValueAct Capital

Owl Creek Asset Management

Dispute resolution > Leading trial lawyers Tier 5

Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design Tier 5

As the leader of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s ERISA fiduciary practice, New York-based Peter Haller retains a solid client list of asset managers, investment banks, investment funds and private wealth advisers. Haller is routinely engaged to advise on fiduciary obligations, prohibited transaction rules and dealings with the DOL. Additionally, the team provides advice on the structuring of investment products for pension plans.

Practice head(s):

Michael Katz; Jordan Messinger

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Warburg Pincus

Insight Partners

Genstar Capital

RenaissanceRe Holdings

Bloomberg L.P.

MetLife

KPMG LLP

Credit Suisse

Take Two Interactive Corp.

HealthEquity

W. R. Berkley Corporation

Cisco Systems

Aspen Insurance Holdings

AdaptHealth Holdings

Mueller Industries

Franklin Resources

Hudson’s Bay Company

Aquiline Capital Partners

Tax > US taxes: non-contentious Tier 5

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's tax practice is well integrated with the firm's corporate, real estate and restructuring practices, enabling a holistic approach to a wide range of tax matters. Practice head Christopher Peters is particularly active in the technology and insurance sectors, where he advises on private and public M&A and private equity matters. Robert Jacobson in Houston advises on federal taxation in relation to leveraged buyouts, MLPs and corporate reorganizations. Also recommended is Henry Cohn, who focuses on REIT taxation and bankruptcy-related tax issues. All named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Peters

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

FIS

Insight Partners

Aspen Insurance Holdings

RenaissanceRe

Protective Life Corporation

Nephila Holdings

Franklin Templeton Investments

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)

Colony Capital

Acumatica

The Sterling Group

GoldenTree Asset Management

Neuberger Berman

Cowen

FFL Partners

LoanMe

Glendale Energy Capital

Silver Creek Midstream

Labor and employment > ERISA litigation

Chairmen: Thomas M Cerabino; Steven J Gartner

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 700 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 175 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 and mergers. The team has represented a global client base in national and international merger filings, US and European investigations of all forms of anticompetitive activity, class action and private litigation, and business ventures in multiple jurisdictions. Willkie’s team also enjoys a strong reputation for effective representation of clients in connection with regulatory investigations in the United States and before the European Commission. The firm focuses on providing practical advice to clients facing cross-border antitrust problems 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

*Studio Legale Delfino e Associati operates in Italy through its affiliate Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Photo Name Position Profile
 David Aaronson  photo David Aaronson Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/a/aaronson-david
 Ryan Cicero  photo Ryan Cicero Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/c/cicero-ryan
 Jonathan Curth  photo Jonathan Curth https://www.willkie.com/professionals/c/curth-jonathan
Mr Michael De Voe Piazza  photo Mr Michael De Voe Piazza Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/p/piazza-michael-de-voe
 Archie  Fallon  photo Archie  Fallon Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/fallon-archie
 Jay Hughes  photo Jay Hughes Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/h/hughes-jay
 Garrett Johnston  photo Garrett Johnston Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/j/johnston-garrett
 Jay  Martin  photo Jay  Martin Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/m/martin-jay
Total number of lawyers : Approx. 700
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