This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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In 2013, Davis Polk & Wardwell officially launched its enforcement and litigation practice in Hong Kong with the arrival of two leading partners, Martin Rodgers and James Wadham, strengthening the firm’s presence in a highly active market for commercial disputes.
|DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL|
|Banking||7||Insolvency & Restructuring||3|
|Business Crime Defence||2||Investigiations||2|
|Commercial Litigation||7||Private Funds||2|
|Competition||6||Product Liability Defence||1|
|Corporate Governance||5||Project Finance||1|
The firm also made a further seven hires including three additions to its “renowned” litigation practice, with Neil MacBride and Jon Leibowitz joining in Washington, DC, and Avi Gesser returning to the firm in New York. 2013 saw Davis Polk move to consolidate its position as a dominant firm in commercial litigation, and having acted in a number of major cases including LIBOR litigation for Bank of America, the firm has demonstrated that it remains a first-rate firm for high-stakes trials, business disputes and government enforcement matters.
|Total Listings in WWL||60||Established||1849|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||c 800|
|Number of partners||152||Number of offices||10|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Commercial litigation is a core practice area for Davis Polk & Wardwell and the firm represents international clients across a wide range of areas including banking, contractual, intellectual property, M&A and consumer class actions. Robert Wise Jr is an “exceptional litigator” and acted in a number of major cases in 2013. He successfully represented Bank of America and other bank defendants in LIBOR litigation and also acted for Morgan Stanley in sub-prime class actions arising from $9 billion in trading losses and the financial crisis. The “vastly experienced” Robert Fiske Jr focuses on disputes relating to professional liability, securities, product liability and white-collar crime and is a “highly esteemed” government prosecutor. Daniel Kolb is a “truly outstanding” trial lawyer and has appeared on numerous occasions before the federal and state courts throughout the US. He is described as a “go-to guy” for accounting and tax fraud matters. Guy Miller Struve specialises in trials and appeals across a number of sectors including antitrust, bankruptcy, constitutional, criminal and securities among others. He receives praise for his “unparalleled understanding” of US litigious processes. In Paris, Georges Terrier is a “superb advocate” with experience of advising some of the largest French companies in matters pertaining to luxury goods, transport, banking and insurance.
The firm has a “distinguished” banking practice and advises on the full range of transactional, regulatory and disputes-related issues. Davis Polk & Wardwell prides itself on hiring and retaining leading individuals in the banking law field, including Randall Guynn, head of the firm’s financial institutions group and widely acknowledged as “one of the US’s finest banking regulatory and M&A lawyers”. He provides strategic regulatory advice and acts in M&A and capital market transactions where the target or issuer is a financial institution. John Douglas heads the banking regulatory practice and is lauded for his “expert handling” of failed and troubled banking transactions. He has acted in many complex and delicate FDIC-assisted M&A transactions, advising a range of clients including Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Bank United. Waide Warner Jr heads the project finance group and is an “industry leader” in acquisition finance, restructurings and derivatives. With over 30 years’ experience in the field, clients benefit from his “valuable knowledge” of project financings executed in the bond and commercial bank markets which involve international agency lenders and political risk insurers. James Florack co-heads the global credit group and specialises in financings for leveraged acquisitions, whether led by financial sponsors or otherwise. He is lauded for his “cross-border expertise” and acts for a range of financial institutions including Credit Suisse, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
Davis Polk & Wardwell has a “very active” capital markets practice and is a trusted firm for major corporations looking for advice on securities offerings around the world. Thomas Reid is the firm’s managing partner and is a “major player” in the global capital markets field. He has represented underwriters and issuers in some of the biggest and most significant IPOs and equity capital raisings in Europe and internationally. Michael Kaplan co-heads the global capital markets group and is described as “sharp and technically astute” by peers. He regularly acts for issuers and underwriters in connection with capital markets and leveraged finance transactions, including offerings of convertible and high-yield debt. Jeffrey Oakes leads the firm’s European financial institutions group and is a “real authority” on securities offerings in the public and private markets, with a “vast network” of clients which include European companies and investment banks.
The firm has a “strong reputation” for work in the competition field, and the global practice is led by Christopher Hockett, an “undisputed leader” on all antitrust matters with “significant” experience of acting for clients in relation to government investigations and the competition aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Arthur Golden is a “legend” of the US competition bar and receives widespread praise for his counselling and advice on the full range of competition matters.
PRO BONO OR INITIATIVES
Pro bono work is at the core of Davis Polk & Wardwell’s values, and the firm is committed to providing legal services to those who cannot otherwise obtain legal counsel. The firm has a clear strategy focusing on mentoring, training and the provision of resources to serve public needs in its active jurisdictions. In 2013, Davis Polk & Wardwell represented death row inmate Timothy McKinney, who was convicted of murder in 1999. In light of emerging doubts over the accuracy of eyewitness testimonies in the original trial, the firm were able to negotiate with the prosecution to secure Mr McKinney’s release after 16 years of incarceration.
The firm’s diversity committee is dedicated to advancing and promoting the firm’s diversity initiatives across all of its global locations, and consists of members including all of Davis Polk & Wardwell’s management committee as well as representatives from the recruiting and associate development departments. The firm supports affinity groups for lawyers who share common interests or backgrounds, and also operates a number of women’s initiatives; Davis Polk & Wardwell is committed to attracting and retaining talented women and giving them the opportunities to become leaders at the firm.
In 2014, Davis Polk & Wardwell will focus on maintaining its status as one of the world’s leading firms for offering a broad range of legal services with deep expertise in each practice group. The firm aims to consolidate its position as a world leader for commercial litigation, capital markets and banking law by continuing to hire and retain recognised experts across its 10 offices.
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