This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR – CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Wachtell Lipton’s steadfast focus on solving clients’ most important problems has seen the firm achieve tremendous results in its short history. Key to its success is a relatively low associate to partner ratio and its careful selection of matters.
|WACHTELL LIPTON ROSEN & KATZ|
|Business Crime Defence||3||Insolvency & Restructuring||3|
|Corporate Governance||12||Real Estate||2|
2013 saw the firm advise Verizon Communications in its $130 billion acquisition of Vodafone Group Plc’s 45 per cent interest in Verizon Wireless and advise Supervalu in its sale of its New Albertson’s business and concurrent tender offer of up to 30 per cent of its shares to Cerberus in a transaction valued at $3.3 billion.
|Total Listings in WWL||43||Established||1965|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||c. 250|
|Number of partners||81||Number of offices||1|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
The firm’s corporate practice is home to many of the country’s “leading lights”. Our corporate governance firm of the year, Wachtell Lipton is renowned for its depth of expertise in matters relating to public companies, boards of directors and shareholder activism. The firm is also home to our corporate governance and M&A lawyer of the year David Katz, a “trusted adviser” to boards of directors and board committees on corporate governance matters and crisis management. He is also praised for his “sound judgement” and experience in domestic and international merger, acquisition and buyout transactions. He is joined by Martin Lipton, who specialises in advising major corporations on matters affecting corporate policy and strategy as well as M&A transactions. Clients praise his “astute legal mind” and “ability to think on his feet”. Andrew Brownstein serves as co-chair of the firm’s corporate group and is a “font of knowledge” on proxy fights and takeovers. Adam Emmerich specialises in M&A, securities law and corporate governance and is particularly noted for his experience in takeover defence. He is also noted for his real estate expertise. Andrew Nussbaum has extensive experience working with international companies and those in the media and entertainment industry. He is “highly talented” and a “great strategist”. Co-chairman of the executive committee Edward Herlihy is a “sensational lawyer” specialises in takeover battles, proxy contests and financial institution matters. Daniel Neff is also highly recommended for his corporate governance and M&A experience.
Commercial litigation is a further area in which the firm excels. Lawrence Pedowitz specialises in commercial, regulatory, white-collar crime and professional liability matters, and is “superb” by all accounts. Theodore Mirvis is an “exceptional litigator” who is particularly recommended for his handling of corporate governance issues.
Wachtell Lipton’s competition practice includes “key figures” in the market. Ilene Knable Gotts is a “sensational” lawyer with extensive experience in the competition law aspects of mergers and acquisitions. She has been involved in numerous high-profile transactions including Google/Nortel, Essilor/PPG Industries and Publicis/Rosetta. Michael Byowitz specialises in merger control and investigations by competition authorities throughout the world. His representative experience includes acting as antitrust counsel for Novartis in its acquisition of Alcon. David Schwartz advises on competition law as it applies to M&A transactions and has experience in a range of industries.
At Wachtell Lipton, pro bono clients are clients of the firm and no distinction is made between hours spent on pro bono or other client matters. Each matter is supervised by a partner and training is provided to associates regularly. Examples of the firm’s work include handling immigration matters through partnerships with Immigration Equality and the Legal Aid Society, and representing indigent women in family court battles with abusive spouses in partnership with inMotion. Furthermore, the firm represented and secured a victory for Swiss installation artist Christoph Büchel in the artist’s highly publicised dispute with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
The diversity committee provides guidance and recommendations on policies, procedures and actions steps to meet the firm’s diversity and inclusion objectives. Some examples include adopting a written policy for alternative work arrangements and being involved in school-sponsored minority job fairs.
Wachtell Lipton is the “go-to” firm for complex, high stakes transactions and this assessment looks unlikely to change.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz enjoys a global reputation as one of the world’s leading business law firms. The firm regularly handles many of the largest and most complex transactions, investigations and litigations in the US and around the world. Wachtell Lipton has contributed to major evolutions in corporate law in order to advance the interests of its clients. Wachtell Lipton originated the “poison pill”; structured the first cross-border “Morris Trust” transaction between SmithKline Beckman and Beecham; and has been involved in – and litigated – transactions giving rise to most of the landmark takeover and corporate governance decisions in Delaware. Wachtell Lipton approaches its clients’ legal issues within the larger framework of each client’s strategic, business and financial goals. The firm focuses on matters that require the attention, extensive experience, expertise and reputation of its partners. The firm does not handle routine matters, limits the number and type of matters it undertakes, and operates with a ratio of partners to associates far above those of its major competitors.
Corporate: Wachtell Lipton counsels both public and private acquirers and targets, advising on a wide range of corporate matters, including US, cross-border and international mergers and acquisitions, private equity and strategic investments, spin-offs and split-ups and securities offerings and other capital raising transactions. The firm is recognised for its leadership in takeover defence, shareholder activism and corporate governance. The firm has represented the NYSE in connection with the Exchange’s listing standards and corporate governance initiatives for listed companies and has advised special committees of boards of directors.
Litigation: Wachtell Lipton’s litigation practice is consistently at the cutting edge of the leading commercial and corporate litigation battles dominating headlines. The firm makes appearances in state and federal courts throughout the country at both trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. It also has a leading practice representing companies and individuals in state and federal regulatory and criminal investigations. The firm is considered one of the leading transaction and takeover litigation firms in the country having litigated many of the seminal cases establishing US takeover law. The firm’s litigators also advise on a range of corporate governance matters and handle derivative demands and other litigation challenging the actions of boards of directors. The firm consistently handles some of the nation’s leading commercial disputes covering diverse industries and subject matters. The firm has a leading white-collar and regulatory enforcement practice. It has represented major financial institutions and multinational corporations, as well as their boards of directors and senior executives, in a range of complex and high-profile white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters nationally and internationally.
Restructuring and Finance: Wachtell Lipton has one of the leading restructuring practices, principally representing banks, hedge funds, private equity funds and other creditors and acquirers in national and multinational bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings. Attorneys in the restructuring and finance group regularly handle the financing of complicated acquisitions or divestitures of businesses in financial distress or bankruptcy, highly leveraged transactions and other major transactions involving significant debtor/creditor issues. Additionally, the firm has a market-leading financing practice, with extensive experience in all types of financing transactions, including senior secured facilities, bridge facilities, Rule 144A and registered high-yield and investment grade bond offerings, tender offers, exchange offers and consent solicitations.
Antitrust: Wachtell Lipton’s leading antitrust practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions and government investigations, including international antitrust and banking antitrust issues.
Executive Compensation and Benefits: Wachtell Lipton has a leading executive compensation and benefits practice addressing the most sensitive issues facing public and private companies both in the deal and non-deal contexts.
Tax: Wachtell Lipton has a leading tax practice advising clients on tax aspects of corporate reorganisations, acquisitions, spin-offs and other dispositions, financings, restructurings and joint ventures.
Real Estate M&A: Wachtell Lipton has a leading real estate M&A practice focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate governance, restructurings and joint ventures across the REIT, real estate, hospitality and gaming sectors. The firm consistently plays an active role in major transactions in these sectors, with an emphasis on large-scale public company M&A and strategic transactions.
Co-Chairmen: Edward D Herlihy and Daniel A Neff
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
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