This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013
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Founded in 1931, Debevoise & Plimpton has over 150 partners in offices in Europe, Asia and America. The firm concentrates on corporate, international, litigation, real estate, tax and trusts and estates law and advises businesses and individuals. Debevoise & Plimpton enjoys a prestigious standing in the legal market as demonstrated by our research in which the firm achieves an impressive 49 listings across 15 legal sectors, representing seven of the firm’s offices.
|DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON LLP|
|TOTAL LISTINGS IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 49|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Arbitration||6||Internet & e-Commerce||2|
|Asset Recovery||1||M & A||2|
|Business Crime Defence||2||Project Finance||1|
|Commercial Litigation||4||Real Estate||2|
|Corporate Tax||5||Regulatory Communications||2|
|Insurance & Reinsurance||4|
Debevoise & Plimpton boasts one of the largest funds practices in the world. Specialising in private equity and hedge funds the firm is considered a “market leader” in the field. Since 1995, the firm has acted as counsel for sponsors of, or investors in, over 1,300 private equity funds worldwide, with committed capital of over $1 trillion. The firm garners 14 listings in our private funds chapter representing four of the firm’s offices – attesting to the global reach of its practice.
Eight of the lawyers recognised hail from the firm’s New York office, with partner Rebecca Silberstein particularly well recommended. She recently represented KKR and KKR Asset Management in formation of various private funds, joint ventures and separate accounts. Co-chair of the firm’s global private equity funds and investment management groups Michael Harrell is considered “a big name in the market”. He was a key part of team that represented J F Lehman & Company in its formation of JFL Equity Investors III, a $575 million fund focused on the defence, aerospace and maritime sectors. His co-chair of the private equity funds group is the “brilliant” David Schwartz, whom peers describe as “exceptionally talented” and “very hardworking”. Jennifer Burleigh is singled out for her “first class business acumen” and recently led the team that advised Tenex Capital Management in the formation of its $450 million fund Tenex Capital Partners.
Four “stellar” practitioners from the London office are featured, including the “fantastic” Geoffrey Kittredge. Co-chair of the firm’s European private equity funds group, he is a “real pleasure to deal with” according to peers. Kittredge led the team that advised Baring Vostok Capital Partners in connection with the formation and raising of approximately $1.5 billion of commitments to its fifth Russian-focused private equity fund. Anthony McWhirter has “unparalleled experience” in this sector and provides “top-quality advice” to investment managers and other financial institutions on a broad range of multi-jurisdictional private equity and other investment funds, including tax-driven fund structures and listed funds. Hong Kong-based Andrew Ostrognai chairs the firm’s private equity practice in Asia and is “very prominent” in the market and Frankfurt-based Friedrich Hey is “counsel of choice” for numerous offshore funds on matters relating to their structuring and with respect to German taxable and tax-exempt investors. He is also listed in the corporate tax chapter.
Debevoise & Plimpton has an “impressive” international arbitration practice, with six of its partners recognised for their “top notch” abilities in this field. Vice president of the International Bar Association David Rivkin has handled international arbitrations throughout the world and before virtually every major arbitration institution. He recently won a significant victory on behalf of client Occidental Petroleum Corporation, which was awarded approximately $1.8 billion plus interest for its claims against the government of Ecuador. Rivkin is also an “exceptional” litigator and recognised in our commercial litigation chapter. Donald Donovan is “globally renowned” for his arbitration skills. His “impressive” track record includes representing the European Commission as amicus curiae in Sosa v Alvarez-Machain. London-based Lord Goldsmith QC is chair of the firm’s European and Asian Litigation practice and is recognised in both the commercial litigation and arbitration sections of this edition. He is “greatly respected” and considered a “trailblazer” in dispute resolution. Sophie Lamb is “a top name” in the legal market according to peers.
The firm is also very well represented in our corporate tax chapter indicating the “formidable strength” of its tax practice. Alongside the aforementioned Friedrich Hey, one of the most highly regarded corporate tax lawyers in our research, the firm fields four lawyers from its New York office. Gary Friedman is a “true expert” on the US and international tax aspects of complex, multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions while Andrew Berg is a “genius” at the tax aspects of business joint ventures, debt restructurings, spin-offs and private equity. Peter Schuur is a “key tax advisory figure” in the private equity field and was part of the team involved in advising HarbourVest Partners in its $806 million acquisition of Absolute Private Equity. David Schnabel is “very active” on large, complex deals and peers praise his “top notch counsel”.
Since its inception the firm has been committed to public service and pro bono legal service remains a fundamental part of the firm to this day. Recent matters include representing, in conjunction with the Education Adequacy Project at Yale Law School, the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding in a lawsuit it has brought in Connecticut state court against various Connecticut state officials alleging violations of the state constitution’s guarantees related to public elementary and secondary education.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.