This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013
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FIRM OF THE YEAR - FRANCHISE, REAL ESTATE
DLA Piper is one of the world’s largest law firms with an astounding 4,200 lawyers in 78 offices throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Client commitment is at the heart of everything the firm does; the firm was built to serve clients wherever in the world they do business and aims to do so efficiently and with knowledge of both local and international considerations. The firm’s impressive roster of clients includes more than half of the Fortune 250 and nearly half of the FTSE 350 or their subsidiaries as well as emerging companies and middle market clients. The firm achieves a total of 135 listings across 28 practice areas, representing 42 of the firm’s offices.
|TOTAL LISTINGS IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 135|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Arbitration||4||Insurance & Reinsurance||5|
|Asset Recovery||1||Internet & e-Commerce||12|
|Aviation||2||Labour & Employment||4|
|Business Crime Defence||5||M & A||2|
|Capital Markets||2||Oil & Gas||4|
|Construction||2||Product Liability Defence||3|
|Corporate Governance||1||Project Finance||5|
|Corporate Tax||4||Public Procurement||6|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||2||Trademarks||3|
DLA Piper fields 23 lawyers in the real estate chapter, more than any other firm in the research, and is once again awarded the accolade of real estate firm of the year. The firm’s practice, with over 550 lawyers globally, represents the world’s largest real estate team. Highlight cases include securing victory for Buchanan Fund V, a real estate investment fund, in an $8.3 million lawsuit brought by lender Principal Commercial Acceptance and advising Menora Mivtachim on a joint venture to acquire the VBG portfolio worth €84.9 million. The firm is also home to our real estate lawyer of the year, Joseph Philip Forte. Based in New York, Forte is a four-time winner of this award demonstrating his superior knowledge of the sector.
The Chicago office is a hub of talent with four of its lawyers featuring in the chapter. Portia Morrison is singled out for her “superior knowledge” of real estate development and finance while Charles Edwards is praised for his strong transactional expertise.
In DC, Jay Epstien is chair of the US real estate practice and co-chair of the global real estate practice. His practice focuses on real estate transactions involving urban office buildings, shopping centres and multifamily residential projects and he is considered a “frontrunner” in the field. He is joined by Frederick Klein, who has a “very active” transactional practice. His recent highlights include representing the purchasers of both defaulted and performing mortgage and mezzanine loans and representing several life insurance companies on more than 20 loans for multifamily, office and hotel projects throughout the US. San Francisco-based Stephen Cowan specialises in real estate fund formations and workouts and is “highly knowledgeable” in real estate funds. Martin D Polevoy is head of the real estate practice in New York and focuses on acquisitions, dispositions, development, leasing, financing, joint ventures, construction contracts, restructuring and workouts. He is “phenomenal” according to our sources. In Dallas, Philip Weller specialises in structuring equity investments, forming REITs, financings, development, acquisitions and dispositions. He is “incredibly bright”.
Olaf Schmidt is based in the firm’s Milan office and heads the EMEA and Italian real estate departments. His background in investment and financing is most beneficial to clients in need of finding the most suitable structure for the realisation of their real estate investments in Italy. Susheela Rivers is head of the real estate group in Asia and resides in the Hong Kong office. She has nearly 20 years of experience in property and the hotel sector and has acted for Tesco in relation to all their real estate acquisition work in China including structuring their acquisitions. Australian head of real estate Les Koltai recently moved to the firm and advises on commercial, retail, industrial and residential property investment, developments, sales and acquisitions, joint ventures and commercial leasing. He is a “go-to lawyer” for fund to fund and real estate private equity investments.
Our franchise law firm of the year for the ninth consecutive time, as well as fielding our franchising lawyer of the year, Philip F Zeidman, DLA Piper dominates this practice area globally. Sixteen lawyers from seven of the firm’s offices are featured in our franchise chapter, seven of whom are based in the Chicago office. Dennis Wieczorek is chair of the firm’s franchise and distribution practice and concentrates his practice on US and international franchising, licensing and distribution law matters. He is a notable figure in the market and frequently retained as an expert witness in franchise litigation. Stuart Hershman has nearly 30 years’ experience in franchising, dealership and distribution. His expertise covers implementing franchise programmes, IP licensing arrangements as well as antitrust counselling in pricing, supply and other distribution matters. Michael Brennan is a “reputable lawyer” with considerable expertise in licensing and franchising matters. He is “highly regarded” in the international market and is a former chairman of the franchising committee of the International Bar Association. DC-based Erik Wulff is an “outstanding practitioner” and “highly accomplished” according to our respondents. His recent highlights include representing a multi-brand retailer of apparel and personal care products in establishing retail sales and distribution systems throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Richard Wageman, a partner in the Beijing office, chairs the franchise and advertising group in China. He represents several international franchisors with respect to their activities in China from the initial stages of setting up franchise systems to regulatory filings and corporate/commercial issues. In Moscow, Michael Malloy leads the Russian technology media and commercial practice group. He is “particularly strong on franchising matters”.
Twelve practitioners are selected for inclusion in the internet, e-commerce and data protection chapter, including Matthew Glynn and Patrick Van Eecke, both of whom also appear in the regulatory communications chapter. Based in Singapore, Glynn is head of IP and technology in Asia and leads the firm’s technology sector initiative across Asia-Pacific, while Van Eecke in Brussels is “internationally renowned” for his knowledge in internet law, data protection, e-commerce and telecommunications. The London office fields two practitioners: Duncan Calow and Mark O’Conor. Calow is an “innovative” lawyer with “great commercial insight” and renowned for his work in the convergent TMC worlds of content, technology and e-commerce. O’Conor focuses on all aspects of IT law and is “well versed” in e-commerce issues. In East Palo Alto, Mark Radcliffe specialises in software licensing, internet licensing and cloud computing. He is praised for his “creative approach to complex cases”.
Present in a total of 28 chapters out of a possible 32, DLA Piper demonstrates its leading capabilities throughout its international network across a broad range of practice areas.
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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.