This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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Since 2012, King & Spalding has embarked on an ambitious growth plan. The firm has significantly expanded its disputes practice adding 10 partners across its offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, the Middle East and Singapore, and plans to double the size of its London office by the end of 2014.
|KING & SPALDING|
|Business Crime Defence||2||M&A||2|
|Construction||6||Product Liability Defence||6|
|Corporate Governance||1||Project Finance||1|
|Corporate Tax||1||Real Estate||4|
|Energy||11||Sports & Entertainment||1|
|Environment||2||Trade & Customs||7|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||3||Trademarks||2|
The firm’s strategy of bolstering its strongest practice areas in select markets has seen it open 12 new offices in the past seven years, eight of which are located outside of the US. The firm sees global expansion as vital if it is to remain one of the elite players in the legal market.
|Total Listings in WWL||78||Established||1885|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||800|
|Number of offices||17|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
King & Spalding’s international arbitration practice covers both foreign investment and commercial arbitration and is “world-renowned”. Head of the practice Doak Bishop has almost 30 years’ experience in disputes in the oil and gas, energy, construction, environmental, and foreign investment sectors. He serves as both arbitrator and counsel. Eric Schwartz divides his time between New York and Paris and has acted on behalf of high profile companies, public authorities and sovereign states in proceedings in Europe, Africa, Asia and the US. He is also noted for his particular expertise in construction disputes. New York-based Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez is “superb” in commercial and investment arbitrations. His experience includes representing investors in disputes arising under chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement and other bilateral investment treaties. John Bowman is noted for his arbitration experience and knowledge of the energy industry. A large portion of his cases involve international oil and gas disputes. Recent hire Peter Megens is based in the firm’s Singapore office where he concentrates his practice on arbitration and construction in particular.
Energy is an area in which the firm excels. Daniel Rogers advises on energy-related infrastructure development and finance, commodities marketing and training, transportation projects and transactions. He is singled out for his “understanding of the industry and commercial drivers”. Garry Pegg is co-managing partner of the London office and focuses on corporate and commercial transactions most notably in the energy sector. Mehdi Haroun in Paris is dual French/Algerian-qualified and focuses his energy practice in France and North Africa. His representative experience includes advising DONG Energy on the tender process launched by the French government in July 2011 for the development, construction and operation of five offshore wind farms in France. Jennifer Josefson advises on M&A and joint venture arrangements, joint operating agreements, concessions, PSAs, farm-ins, supply and service agreements and international arbitration in the oil and gas sector. In Houston, Kenneth Culotta is the leader of the firm’s global transactions group. He focuses on cross-border transactions in the energy sector and provides “invaluable advice”.
The trade and customs practice recently launched a London outpost with the hire of Iain MacVay to expand its global trade offering. Headquartered in the Geneva and Washington, DC, offices, the team is particularly well known for handling US countervailing duty cases against imports from China as well as representing governments in proceedings before the WTO. Chair of the international trade practice group Stephen Orava is a “WTO expert”. His expertise is “unrivalled” in the field. Gilbert Kaplan is based in DC and focuses on international trade and trade policy cases. He is “highly knowledgeable” on section 337 cases at the International Trade Commission and antidumping and countervailing duties.
Further “standout” individuals include Bruce Baber, a “talented litigator” active in the areas of patents and trademarks; Chilton Davis Varner, a trial lawyer known for her expertise in product liability law; Donald Zimmer Jr who excels in the areas of life sciences and product liability defence; and Michael Egan, co-head of the firm’s merger and acquisitions practice and a “trusted” adviser on governance issues.
The firm’s recent matters include representing two wrongfully convicted individuals in a case in with the US Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether state prosecutors are absolutely immune from suit when they fabricate evidence at the investigation stage and then introduce said evidence at trial. The firm’s clients were African-American teenagers who were framed for murder by white prosecutors and convicted by an all-white jury in Iowa. They were released after 25 years in prison. King & Spalding was also appointed independent counsel to the Special Court for Sierra Leone in the Charles Taylor trial and submitted a confidential legal and factual report and recommendation to the court.
King & Spalding believes that the diversity of its firm enhances its ability to provide legal services of the highest quality to clients and is committed to attracting, retaining and promoting diversity throughout the firm. In order to ensure that these goals are met, the firm’s diversity committee works closely with the recruiting and professional development departments. One of the firm’s initiatives is the diversity retreat which includes workshops on mentoring, law firm economics and creating a professional and personal development plan.
King & Spalding has enjoyed a tremendous amount of growth in recent years and 2014 will continue in a similar vein as the firm continues to expand its London offering and evolve in line with its clients’ needs.
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