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Clifford Chance

31 WEST 52ND STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10019-6131, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 878 8000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 878 8375
Email:
Web:
www.cliffordchance.com

United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's US real estate practice handles cross-border transactions, acquisitions and dispositions, equity structures, joint ventures, REIT matters, leasing, mortgage loans, credit facilities and mezzanine loans. ‚ÄėCommercially minded and solution-driven‚Äô practice chair Ness Cohen¬†recently advised Madison International Realty on its acquisition of Forest City's 51% interest in 14 retail properties in New York City; a portfolio valued at an estimated $1.3bn. Another highlight included representing YES! Communities on the acquisition and financing of 40 manufactured housing communities and refinancing of 20 other properties for approximately $515m. The firm also advised Almanac Realty Investors on its $376m¬†investment in a joint venture with PECO Real Estate Partners for the acquisition, management and development of a portfolio of retail properties nationwide, while Eddie Frastai¬†advised Standard Chartered Bank on a $100m mortgage loan to LG. Other clients include Safra National Bank of New York, Calatrava Grace, Hone Capital, Lakestar Properties and Deutsche Finance Group. Named attorneys are based in New York.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

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

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's team (which is 'fantastic to work with') is well placed to handle cross-border matters, drawing on its strong global network. The group is led from Washington DC by David DiBari, and, together with Wendy Wysong, who splits her time between Washington DC and Hong Kong, is representing Chinese telecoms giant ZTE through the settlement of the concurrent DOJ, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and OFAC investigations into unauthorized exports of US-origin equipment to Iran and other embargoed countries; the has significant repercussions for US-China relations. In another highlight, New York's Robert Houck advised Royal Bank of Scotland on numerous class actions and regulatory investigations by the CFTC, DOJ and UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into alleged manipulation of Libor and other benchmarks, and continues to assist the client with the implementation of settlement undertakings. Joshua Berman, who joined the Washington DC office from the US Department of Commerce, is representing Bruce and Nellie Ohr, as independent contractors for Fusion GPS, in congressional and senatorial investigations into President Trump's alleged collusion with the Russian government. Also in New York, Christopher Morvillo is advising Mike Lynch, founder of Autonomy, on DOJ, SEC and SFO investigations into allegations of accounting improprieties. Significant hires to the Washington DC office in 2018 included Glen Donath from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Robert Rice from Ropes & Gray LLP, Celeste Koeleveld from the New York State Department of Financial Services, and Daniel Silver from the Eastern District of New York.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's commercial arbitration practice has 'rigorous and deep knowledge' of investment disputes, with a key strength in Latin America-facing work. The team recently acted for Galway Gold in a disputes with the Republic of Colombia under ICSID arbitration rules; that matter was led by Washington DC-based Ignacio Suarez Anzorena, who is noted for his 'experienced strategic view'. Also recommended is 'sharp-thinking' José García Cueto in Washington DC. Other key clients include Enel Green Power and Red Eagle Exploration.

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International trade
International trade - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Benefiting from a 'unique global coverage', Clifford Chance's Washington DC-based team provides 'reliable and accurate advice' to an impressive roster of banks and international corporates on economic sanctions and export controls compliance and enforcement matters. The 'superb' George Kleinfeld is 'able to draw upon vast experience of dealing with regulators and different client types' and has an 'excellent knowledge across OFAC and DOC regulations and sanctions'. Kleinfeld also handles CFIUS work, including his recent involvement, alongside lawyers from Germany and London, on the clearance necessary for Cinven, on the $2.6bn sale of Germany-based CeramTec to an investor consortium led by BC Partners. Lead US partner for the firm's global risk team, litigator David DiBari and Wendy Wysong, who splits her time between Hong Kong and Washington DC, have been advising Chinese telecoms company ZTE in a US investigation of unauthorized exports of US-origin telecoms equipment to Iran and other embargoed countries. 'Superb' counsel Jacqueline Landells also regularly provides 'able support' to Kleinfeld on OFAC matters, and Joshua Fitzhugh, who was formerly an in-house lawyer at BAE Systems, has an 'excellent understanding of the aerospace industry' and its international trade implications.

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Securities litigation - defense
Securities litigation - defense - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance in New York has 'a strong securities litigation practice and is distinct from other New York firms in that it has a broad international platform; it is a regular player in financial institution securities litigation matters'. Practice head Robert Houck is 'a standout practitioner', according to one client, who describes him as 'thoughtful and creative in his representations, and well regarded by his peers'. The firm has 17 US litigation partners and securities litigation for global financial institutions and US companies is a substantial part of their work. Houck represented ICBC Standard Bank in a class action concerning alleged manipulation of platinum and palladium benchmarks in London. Christopher Morvillo, who handled investigations by UK and US regulators for the founder of Autonomy, is recommended, as are Jeff Butler and rising star senior associate Benjamin Berringer.

Next Generation Partners

Benjamin Berringer - Clifford Chance

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance‚Äôs New York-based practice, which is weighted towards underwriter-side work, excels in REIT-related offerings in line with its signature strength. The firm‚Äôs premier cross-border capability also marks it as ‚Äėa¬†leader in coordinating global offerings‚Äô. In a deal that showcases both of its sweet spots, Jason Myers¬†and department co-chair Kathleen Werner¬†advised the underwriters on China-headquartered HNA Tourism Group‚Äôs secondary offering of common stock of Park Hotels & Resorts. In another multi-jurisdictional highlight, Jake Farquharson¬†advised the underwriters on the $890m IPO of Mexican energy and infrastructure investment trust, CFE Fibra E, which marked the¬†first Fibra E securities to be sold in the US and international capital markets. Jonathan Zonis¬†co-heads a department that also includes the ‚Äėexceptionally strategic‚Äô Hugo Triaca, who recently joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

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Capital markets: global offerings
Capital markets: global offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Capital markets: global offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Well known in the international capital markets, Clifford Chance‚Äôs¬†generous global network generates a steady stream of cross-border deals for both issuers and managers, with notable expertise in the REIT and infrastructure spheres. The New York-based group significantly stepped up its activity in Latin America in 2018, with its recent experience spanning Mexico,¬†Ecuador,¬†Colombia and Brazil, among other jurisdictions. Recent highlights included¬†Jonathan Zonis, who¬†co-heads the Americas capital markets practice, advising¬†Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank Securities and HSBC Securities (USA) as underwriters on CAF ‚Äď Development Bank of Latin America‚Äôs $1bn notes offering. On the equity front, Jake Farquharson¬†acted alongside the tax department to advise the underwriters on the $890m IPO of CFE Fibra E, a Mexican energy and infrastructure investment trust. Hugo Triaca, who recently arrived from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, is noted for his ‚Äėdeep and broad understanding of the Latin American region‚Äô.

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

‚ÄėStrategic and solution-focused‚Äô,¬†Clifford Chance‚Äôs New York-based practice is mainly active for issuers and brings to bear strong expertise in the specialty finance arena. In a recent example of its niche strength, Gary Brooks¬†advised Oxford Finance, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Oxford Finance Co-Issuer II, on a $300m senior unsecured notes offering. The practice group also draws upon its international offices for support on cross-border deals, which recently included¬†Jonathan Zonis¬†acting alongside teams in London and Sao Paulo to advise Multibank on its $300m notes issuance. Hugo Triaca, who recently joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, is noted for his ‚Äėstrong understanding of the Latin American landscape‚Äô.

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

Clifford Chance

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance stands out for its expertise in Latin American project finance mandates, acting for both lenders and sponsors. Fabricio Longhin and Gianluca Bacchiocchi, who is based in New York, advised the Government of Argentina on the structuring and documentation of its public-private partnerships program, launched in 2017 through the Undersecretariat of Public-Private Partnerships (UPPP). Bacchiocchi and New York-based Jonathan Zonis also advised Goldman Sachs and a group of Colombian lenders on the $708m multi-source and multi-currency financing for the 491km Ruta al Mar toll road project in Colombia. Elsewhere, senior counsel David Evans and New York-based David Brinton advised KEPCO and COPA in the acquisition of 235MW of solar generating assets in California; Lori Ann Bean is advising OPIC in connection with a $200m loan to be provided to Kipeto Energy to finance the development and construction of a 100MW wind power generation project in Kajiado, Kenya; and Catherine McCarthy, who is experienced in transport sector deals, advised the IDB Group, Proparco and DEG in relation to the financing of the Port of Posorja in Ecuador, sponsored by DP World. Guido Liniado in New York was promoted to partner in 2019, and senior associates Alberto Haito and Jessica Springsteen are also recommended. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Leading individuals: Project finance

Gianluca Bacchiocchi - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners: Project finance

Guido Liniado - Clifford Chance

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Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
Structured finance: derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

The team at Clifford Chance is well placed to advise clients on US and European capital markets regulation, and has experience in novel derivatives transactions, which have recently included insurance-linked swaps and derivatives linked to various securitization structures. A key figure in the practice group is David Felsenthal, who provides ongoing advice to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) on the enforceability of standard form repo and securities lending agreements. Additionally, Felsenthal acts for Deutsche Bank in cross-border contingent forex forward agreements related to M&A, and often advises hedge providers, such as Goldman Sachs, on international project finance transactions. In the insurance space, Gareth Old assisted Premia Reinsurance, Watford Reinsurance and Arca Reinsurance with the creation of trust structures to enable reinsurance trusts to hold and trade derivatives. Also recommended is Lee Askenazi, who specializes in ABS and securitization, and has been involved in significant credit risk transactions. Other key clients include ISDA, Bayview Asset Management, Wells Fargo and Pacific Investment Management Company.

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

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has an active CLO practice, and considerable expertise in mortgage-related ABS, including non-performing and re-performing residential mortgage loans. In the CLO space, a team including Robert Villani advised Credit Suisse Asset Management on a litany of CLO resets and new issues, though the CRE CLO practice took a hit with the departure of Steven Kolyer, who joined Sidley Austin LLP. Key figures in the ABS team include Lee Askenazi, who acts for Bayview Asset Management in its ongoing program of rated securitizations of seasoned and re-performing residential mortgage loans. Chimera Investment Corporation is another major client in the residential mortgage loan space. In addition to mortgage-related ABS, the team advised Global Jet Capital on a series of offerings backed by business aircraft assets. Robert Hagan was promoted to partner, and James Gouwar, who focuses on the tax aspects of structured finance transactions, joined the team from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: renewable/alternative power
Energy: renewable/alternative power - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance¬†has energy-sector expertise in finance, capital markets, corporate transactions and M&A, with a focus on the Latin American market. Key figures in the team include Washington DC-based¬†Fabricio Longhin, New York-based¬†David Brinton, who leads the Americas corporate practice and Lori Bean, who is instructed by multilateral and development finance institutions in Washington DC. Longhin and the New York-based senior associate¬†Guido Liniado¬†acted for various entities of the Albanesi Group, as borrowers, in the financing of the 133MW Arroyo Seco cogeneration plant and the refinancing of 170MW Timb√ļes cogeneration plant in Argentina, which involved the execution of a dual-tranche $395m credit agreement. Also in the New York office,¬†Hugo Triaca¬†joined the team from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and¬†Thais Garcia¬†was promoted to partner.

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Insurance: non-contentious
Insurance: non-contentious - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's multi-disciplinary insurance team stands of for 'responsiveness', 'thorough subject matter expertise', 'excellent drafting skills' and 'first-rate advice'. The practice has a particular focus on the development of new corporate and transactional structures tailored to the sector, as well as facilitating capital flow and alternative investment strategies for insurers and reinsurers operating in the life and P&C markets. The core areas are complemented by insurance-related employment, real estate and tax advice. Gary Boss, who 'is on top of every issue and ensures high-quality advice by all involved practice areas', and 'thorough' senior associate Analisa Dillingham advised Armour Group Holdings on the $500m sale of ILS Investment Management, while also continuing to act for Slice Insurance Technologies in the structuring of its partnership with XL Catlin on a unique cloud-based cyber insurance solution. 'Helpful and hard-working underwriting attorney' Joseph Cosentino and insurance finance advisor Nicholas Williams are also key partners in New York.

Leading lawyers

Gary Boss - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Analisa Dillingham - Clifford Chance

Rising stars

Dean Agnos - Clifford Chance

Kirsten Gaeta - Clifford Chance

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Transport: aviation and air travel - finance
Transport: aviation and air travel - finance - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance advises a range of investment banks, arrangers, finance and operating lessors, servicers, investors, airlines, export credit agencies and governmental authorities, on aviation finance transactions. Aviation capital markets transactions, including landmark debt and equity offerings and portfolio securitizations and EETC issuances, are a key areas of expertise. Zarrar Sehgal advised Aergo Capital on its second asset-backed securitization deal, METAL 2017-1, which is secured by a portfolio of 26 aircraft; he also advised the lead arranger and lender, Deutsche Bank, on the $579.8m Harbour Aircraft Investments securitization of 30 aircraft. Elsewhere, Emily Wicker, Philip Wagman and Lee Askenzai  advised Global Jet Capital, as servicer, and Business Jet Securities 2018-2, as issuer, on the issuance of $674m of secured notes in an asset backed securitization. Patrick O’Reilly  was instructed by lessor, AWAS (Ireland), on the sale and leaseback of five Boeing 737-MAX-8 aircraft with GOL Linhas Aéreas, coupled with lessor PDP financing for each aircraft. Also recommended is Madalyn Miller, who was promoted to partner in May 2019. John Howitt and Sehgal jointly lead the US asset finance team. Named lawyers are based in New York.

Leading lawyers

Emily Wicker - Clifford Chance

John Howitt - Clifford Chance

Zarrar Sehgal - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Patrick O'Reilly - Clifford Chance

Rising stars

Madalyn Miller - Clifford Chance

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Private equity funds (including venture capital)
Private equity funds (including venture capital) - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Primarily based in New York, Clifford Chance's funds team is well known for handling real estate and debt funds. Roger Singer advised Griffis Residential on forming Griffis Fund IV, its debut multifamily fund, and is currently assisting the client with forming Griffis Fund V. Michael Sabin advised Greystone on the formation and fundraise of its $750m inaugural real estate debt fund, the Greystone Senior Debt Opportunity Fund. Other clients include Exeter Property Group, Capital Dynamics, Colony NorthStar, and Berkshire Group. In 2018 Victor Levy joined from DLA Piper LLP (US).

Next Generation Partners

Victor Levy - Clifford Chance

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 5

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's New York-based team advises corporates and¬†high-profile C-suite individuals on the full range of employee benefits and executive compensation issues arising from transactions. Clients particularly praised ‚Äėthe walking encyclopedia of ERISA knowledge‚Äô,¬†Paul Koppel,¬†as ‚Äėone of the most well-rounded benefits lawyers in practice‚Äô. A standout matter for Koppel involved advising Credit Suisse on a $8.7bn portfolio of CLO issuances in the US and European markets. Practice head Howard Adler¬†is advising the National Titanium Dioxide Company on its $1.6bn subsidiary sale to Tronox. Clients also noted the team's expertise in Title 1 fiduciary issues.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 6

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance¬†continues to make progress in corporate M&A and private equity transactions. It provides 'a one-stop shop for all aspects of a transaction with global coverage', according to one client. It is 'truly at the table as a partner and takes the time to understand and explore the client's perspective and position on issues to help negotiate through those issues rather than merely present the pros and cons of what's on the table'.¬†It advised¬†Mondelńďz International in connection with the merger of Dr¬†Pepper Snapple Group and Keurig Green Mountain;¬†Mondelńďz ¬†held an approximately 24% stake¬†in Keurig and now holds a stake of some 14% in Keurig Dr Pepper. This is just one of a string of headline deals in the consumer goods and retail sector, where partner¬†Sarah Jones¬†has such a strong standing.¬†In another headline deal, the firm advised Evercore, as the financial adviser to the Scripps Family, in connection with the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive by Discovery Communications. Other clients include Pfizer, Hearst, S&P Global and Philip Morris International. Energy and infrastructure is another area of particular eminence, with leader of the Americas corporate practice¬†David Brinton¬†having an established record in this space. The Americas team is also leveraging the firm's global standing in private equity with¬†Kevin Lehpamer¬†leading the initiative in the US; he is 'overtly calm, well structured and covers all bases'. John Healy provides further public and cross-border M&A expertise, while Benjamin Sibbett¬† is an emerging talent and 'takes the time to listen to the issues of the transaction, helps explore the issues both legally and from the business perspective ‚Äď given his wealth of experience in transactions ‚Äď and has a special gift in explaining to the counterparty the complicated legal issues their own counsel often cannot articulate effectively'.¬†Thais Garcia is a fundamental team member for cross-border deals involving Latin America.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance¬†has a cross-disciplinary practice which handles privacy and cybersecurity matters in relation to IP, antitrust, corporate transactions and litigation. The practice is headed by Megan Gordon, who is based in Washington DC and specializes in risk management, transactional due diligence, compliance and internal investigations, and the ‚Äėwonderful‚Äô Daniel Silver from the New York office, whose expertise as a litigator includes regulatory enforcement and white-collar criminal defense. Key clients are from the financial, technology, media and telecoms, consumer goods and retail and automotive sectors. Washington DC‚Äôs Steven Gatti, who is well versed in regulatory matters across the financial services sector, is another name to note.

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Boasting impressive cross-border capabilities, Clifford Chance combines regulatory, transactional and litigation expertise and advises clients on a range of fintech matters, including marketplace lending, blockchain, smart contracts, initial coin offerings, artificial intelligence and insurtech. Its client roster spans from established technology sector players, such as TBG and Imagination Technologies Group plc, to R3 (a consortium of more than financial institutions), and emerging start-ups and scale-ups. In an example of the latter, Gary Boss is advising Slice Insurance Technologies on several corporate and regulatory matters, including on a joint venture with a large US insurance carrier and on the structuring of a similar joint venture in Japan. In another work highlight, David Felsenthal and Washington DC-based litigator Megan Gordon assisted AANDB TECH with privacy policy and terms and conditions relating to the set up of its FINCONECTA initiative, a platform aiming to integrate solutions between fintech companies and financial institutions. The group also has experience representing clients in the ICO market with investigations and enforcement matters. Robert Villani is another key name to note, particularly for capital market related instructions. Except where otherwise stated, all individuals mentioned are based in the firm's New York office.

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United States: Real estate

Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's REIT team in New York brings together a cross-section of lawyers from the real estate, capital markets, M&A, funds, governance, regulatory, finance and tax practices; it has experience in the US and international markets, with notable clients including Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance,¬†Colony NorthStar,¬†ReNew REIT and¬†Corporate Property Associates 17 - Global.¬†REITs practice leader Jay Bernstein,¬†US tax, pensions and employment practice tax head¬†Richard Catalano,¬†Jason Myers,¬†Larry Medvinsky¬†and Clifford Cone¬†acted for CNL Financial Group, a private investment management firm, in both¬†the formation of an externally managed non-traded company, CNL Strategic Capital (the company), and¬†the company's IPO; and co-head of the US capital markets practice¬†Kathleen Werner¬†and Catalano¬†led advice to¬†Corporate Property Associates 17 ‚Äď Global, a¬†publicly held non-traded REIT, on its merger with WP Carey, a¬†large, diversified net-lease REIT.¬†Andrew Epstein¬†and¬†Jake Farquharson¬†are also highly rated;¬†Steven Mastrovich,¬†former managing director of three major investment banks,¬†joined as counsel.

Leading lawyers

Jay Bernstein - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Jake Farquharson - Clifford Chance

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United States: Tax

Financial products
Financial products - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance advises on numerous high-value debt programs. It advised Corporate Property Associates 17, a publicly held non-traded REIT, in connection with its merger with W.P. Carey, a commercial-focused net-lease REIT, valued at $6bn. The firm also has a strong CLO and CDO practice, and has advised on $21bn of products for a variety of clients, including Arbor Realty Trust, LoanCore, Money360 and other issuers. New York-based Richard Catalano leads the team, which also includes Philip Wagman, Avrohom Gelber, David Moldenhauer and Michael Seaton. Alan Kravitz  left to become counsel at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in February 2018.

Next Generation Partners

Michael Seaton - Clifford Chance

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International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's team assists on a wide variety of international businesses transactions, including M&A, restructurings, joint ventures, investments and various financing and capital markets deals. In recent highlights, David Moldenhauer advised Development Bank of Japan on its $50m investment into Meridiam's third North American infrastructure-focused fund. Philip Wagman advised Hearst on its acquisition of the magazine and book businesses of health and wellness content company Rodale Inc., which publishes Men's Health, Women's Health, Runner's World and other titles. Richard Catalano was recently appointed head of tax in the Americas region. Avrohom Gelber, another key figure, advised the underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs and Evercore, on the IPO of Mexican energy and infrastructure investment trust CFE Fibra E. James Gouwar joined the practice in New York in September 2018 from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Based in New York, Clifford Chance’s five-partner team has expertise across a wide-range of tax areas, including M&A activities, joint ventures and REIT’s, with a particularly strong presence in the capital markets space. Recent highlights include Philip Wagman working alongside the banking and capital markets teams to advise Global Jet Capital on various capital markets issuances, and Richard Catalano advising ReNew REIT on its formation and initial capitalization pursuant to a joint venture with a sovereign wealth fund and real estate investment manager to acquire senior housing healthcare property. Other highlights include acting for Hearst Corporation in the acquisition of Rodale, a health and wellness content company, and 21st Century Media Newspaper. Avrohom Gelber, David Moldenhauer and Mike Seaton are other key lawyers. James Gouwar joined in September 2018 from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, while Alan Kravitz departed to Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and William Cejudo left for Dechert LLP.

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Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has seen a further uptick in bulge-bracket financings across Latin America. With a growth in large-cap deals in Brazil, this has further favoured a firm that has an especially strong record in Latin America's largest economy. This should not detract from its experience elsewhere, as the firm 'does a very good job of covering the territory and has a strong fleet of Spanish speakers'. Syndicated loans and trade and commodities finance have been a particular feature of its Brazil work, while project finance is flourishing right across the region. The firm has built a particularly formidable position in Colombia and Argentina project financings and is recognised for its experience in restructurings in Brazil and Mexico, including in the offshore oil-and-gas sectors. From a historical reliance on multilateral agency (MLA) and development finance institution (DFI) clients, the firm has successfully diversified its client base to also include a range of key commercial banks, alternative lenders and corporate borrowers. Clients now include Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, CVC Capital Partners, Franklin Square Asset Management, Rialto Capital, Sealed Air and Siemens. It advised BNP Paribas, JP Morgan, Mizuho and Rabobank on the $9.2bn acquisition financing of Suzano Papel e Celulose's $11bn acquisition of Fibria; the financing involved a bridge loan facility and an export prepayment facility. The firm also advised Supercanal, the Argentine cable, television and internet provider, on its $400m restructuring involving Chapter 15 proceedings and a tender offer for its $300m New York law-governed notes. The team 'always meets its commitments and takes initiative more than any other firm to anticipate issues and provide solutions', according to one client.  Chris Willott is a giant of the Brazil financing market, while Jennifer Demarco has a prolific record in Latin American restructurings. Jay Gavigan is another big name in Latin American financings and restructurings, including acquisition finance, syndicated loans and project finance. In the latter segment, Washington DC's Fabricio Longhin has made a significant impression on the market in recent years and is 'a very experienced practitioner across a range of products', 'maintains an outwardly cool demeanour, seems unflappable and is smart and reasonable'; he is one of a number of Argentine natives in the team that have helped the firm gain an especially strong position in financings linked to Argentina's recent RenovAr programme. Catherine McCarthy and Lori Bean are key members of the Washington DC team that continues to work closely with MLAs and DFIs on Latin America financings. Guido Liniado was elected to the partnership in May 2019 and senior associate Andrew Young is another up-and-coming name. Madrid partner José Guardo is commended for 'effectively negotiating with sponsors', 'professionalism throughout difficult negotiations' and is 'critical in keeping the deal moving'.

Leading individuals

Chris Willott - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Guido Liniado - Clifford Chance

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance impresses with its breadth of geographic and product coverage. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina have been especially good markets for the capital markets group, which is also active in Colombia, Peru, Central America (including Guatemala), and Paraguay; the firm's substantial Sao Paulo office has helped to cement its standing in Brazil capital markets transactions. The team operates across the debt and equity spheres, notably in transactions involving sovereign, quasi-sovereign and corporate issuers. Historically, the practice centred on Brazil, but it has broadened out successfully in recent years, making particular progress in project and infrastructure bonds, private placements and structured derivatives. It has been at the forefront of infrastructure finance through the capital markets, most notably in Colombia's 4G toll road programme, and in Argentina, Peru and Paraguay; in this instance the team works especially closely with the firm's market leading project finance practice. Gianluca Bacchiocchi is widely regarded as one of the market leading forces in project bond financings. Clients include AES Gener, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Corporación Andina de Fomento, Credit Suisse, Electrobras, Evercore, FibraHotel, HSBC Securities, Klabin Finance and Multibank. The firm has held a prominent position in the Fibra sector in Mexico over many years and in 2018 advised Goldman Sachs and Evercore on the pioneering $890m IPO of Mexican energy and infrastructure investment trust CFE FIBRA E. In the sovereign and quasi-sovereign space, the firm advised Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan, as joint lead managers, on the $2.5bn and $3bn notes offerings by the Republic of Ecuador. Additionally, it advised the underwriters on the $864m IPO of Hapvida, the Brazilian healthcare services company. The Latin America capital markets group provides 'extraordinary services and commitment', 'knows the market and makes things easier'. It is made up of 'modest lawyers despite their enormous experience' who 'just want to close deals'. Hugo Triaca is another key member of the team, operating across the capital markets segment, including in investment grade, high yield and hybrid securities. Co-head of the Americas capital markets practice Jonathan Zonis is a prolific adviser on Latin America capital markets issuances, including project bonds, sovereign bonds and high yield debt. Sao Paulo managing partner Anthony Oldfield is also key figure on Brazil company issuances and Jake Farquharson is an increasingly pivotal member of the team, notably in the Mexican Fibra segment; he is 'a great securities lawyer with a lot of knowledge to handle very sophisticated work, his attention to detail is fantastic and he can work endless hours'. Anand Saha is equally impressive, including in Brazil equity deals. Sao Paulo counsel Anja Pfleger Andrade is recommended for structured capital markets and derivatives and fellow Sao Paulo counsel Patrick Jackson continues to impress in capital markets and liability management transactions. Alejandro Camacho has retired from the partnership and is now senior counsel in the team.

Next Generation Partners

Anja Pfleger Andrade - Clifford Chance

Jake Farquharson - Clifford Chance

Patrick Jackson - Clifford Chance

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance¬†remains active throughout Latin America, notably in energy and infrastructure transactions. The firm is also at the forefront of¬†investments by international financial sponsors into Latin America and cross-border transactions from Asia into the region. Moreover, the firm frequently advises Latin America businesses on outbound transactions into other parts of the world. Clients include Actis,¬†Caisse de D√©p√īt et Placement du¬†Qu√©bec (CDPQ), CVC Capital Partners, Mitsubishi, CITIC Agri Fund, Castlelake, KKR, The Coca Cola Company, Empresas P√ļblicas de Medell√≠n (EPM) and IFM Investors. The practice advised Canadian pension fund CDPQ on a transaction in the infrastructure sector in Mexico. It also advised¬†Actis Infrastructure Fund on its acquisition of the 110MW El Pelicano Solar Plant in¬†Chile from SunPower Corporation. Other matters included advising Canadian pension fund CDPQ on a transaction in the infrastructure sector in Mexico. The Latin America team delivers 'the gold standard for responsiveness', is 'practical and business-oriented' and has 'strong energy sector knowledge'; staffed by 'hands-on partners' and 'very high quality and experienced professionals that have a pragmatic approach' and 'deep knowledge', this 'allows the team to perform very well in fast-paced and complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions'. 'The commitment and availability of the partners, allied with their language skills, review of documents and turn-around of drafts with quality in short periods of time is the differential' and 'the intense support and dedication of the associates enables the partners to take part in all transactions simultaneously'. Moreover, 'the firm is able to draw on its resources across jurisdictions to put together the most effective teams'.¬†Madrid partner¬†Javier Amantegui¬†is noted for infrastructure transactions and private equity investments in Latin America.¬†David Brinton¬†heads the America's corporate/M&A practice and has an extensive record in Latin America; he 'creates very strong bonds with clients', is 'a great strategic thinker' who 'provides clear and creative solutions to complex issues', and is 'commercial and business-oriented' with 'an easy-going and approachable style'. Clients highlight his expertise in energy transactions. Sao Paulo partner¬†Anthony Oldfield¬†has an impressive mix of M&A and capital markets work; he is 'a¬†very capable, engaged and experienced lawyer who identifies the critical issues and risks in order to support business decisions'.¬†Madrid partner¬†Samir Azzouzi¬†is another key member of the Latin America practice, especially in private equity and energy and infrastructure transactions.¬†Thais Garcia ¬†has a fine reputation in financial sponsor deals; she is 'a truly dedicated partner', ¬†has 'an excellent understanding of investment details and strong knowledge of the region', 'does a terrific job of distilling down very complex shareholder agreement issues to allow clients to make the right decisions' and is 'very engaged, super smart and always keeps the whole team moving at the pace that's needed'. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Leading individuals

David Brinton - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Thais Garcia - Clifford Chance

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 5

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance fields a team of 'amazing legal experts' who are able to 'quickly put down strategies for the short and long term' and have 'a high understanding of business technical issues'. Ignacio Suárez Anzorena  is' just the guy you want in your corner' - he is 'full of energy' and gives 'high-level advice for every situation' -, and José García Cueto is 'deeply familiar with all the complex aspects revolving the world of arbitration'; both are particularly recommended for construction-related arbitration in the energy, infrastructure, and oil and gas sectors. The firm is advising an investor in an ICSID investment treaty dispute against the Republic of Panama, and is representing Galway Gold in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Colombia concerning certain concession rights which have been affected by environmental measures adopted by Colombia. Janet Whittaker is also recommended.

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is unsurpassed in terms of its breadth of expertise and geographic coverage. It routinely captures market share in hot markets and is rarely left behind by competitors. Clients range from commercial banks and investment banks, to development finance institutions (DFIs), multilateral agencies (MLAs), institutional investors and sponsors and developers. It has also impressed by leveraging its extensive network, from Sao Paulo to New York, Washington DC, Madrid and beyond. Despite Argentina's recent economic woes, the firm continued to advise on a significant number of projects linked to the country's public-private partnerships (PPP) programme, especially on the lender side. Colombia, Peru and Paraguay have also been important markets, while Brazil is beginning to show promise for the team. The firm has continued to demonstrate leadership in private placement financings, notably those linked to wind farms in Peru. It continues to be at the forefront of project bonds in the region and has also further developed its standing in hybrid financing structures. Gianluca Bacchiocchi is 'the go to guy for many of the banks' on project bonds, and has impressed further in hybrid financings and PPPs in Argentina. Washington DC partner Fabricio Longhin continues to earn multiple accolades, derived in part from his leadership in Argentina and Colombia infrastructure projects, including road PPPs in the former, along with multi-source financings in Paraguay. Washington DC's Lori Ann Bean and Catherine McCarthy continue to be at the forefront of MLA and DFI financings in Latin America, while Madrid partner José Guardo is an increasingly prominent figure in Spanish-driven financings. New York's Guido Liniado  has been elevated to partner, while Washington DC's Alberto Haito and Jessica Springsteen are key names at associate level.

Leading individuals

Gianluca Bacchiocchi - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Guido Liniado - Clifford Chance

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Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Clifford Chance LLP in other jurisdictions.

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