This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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Highlights of the past year saw Shearman & Sterling advise Piraeus Bank, the largest financial group in Greece by assets, loans and deposits on its 8.4 billion euro recapitalisation at the height of Europe’s financial crisis and Liberty Global on its $23.3 billion acquisition of Virgin Media in a stock and cash merger transaction.
|SHEARMAN & STERLING|
|Arbitration||3||Insolvency & Restructuring||1|
|Corporate Governance||3||Private Funds||2|
|Corporate Tax||3||Project Finance||10|
The firm also bolstered its private equity practice, structured finance capabilities and securities enforcement, anti-corruption and FCPA practices with strategic hires. Further changes came in the form of a restructuring plan for Germany which saw the firm close its Düsseldorf and Munich offices to concentrate on providing smaller elite teams to work on “high-end cross-border transactions in Europe” out of its Frankfurt office according to regional managing partner for Europe Nick Buckworth.
|Total Listings in WWL||70||Established||1873|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||804|
|Number of partners||187||Number of offices||18|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Lawyers in the firm’s project development and finance practice have advised on projects ranging from port facilities in North America to toll roads in France. Gregory Tan is deputy practice group leader of the practice and is “world class” according to peers. He is “smart, exceptionally able and unwavering in his commitment to seeing a deal through to closing”. Robert Freedman in New York is a “high-profile” project finance lawyer whose experience includes advising Citigroup as arranger and the note purchasers in a financing for four California solar projects owned by subsidiaries of Consolidated Edison. Cynthia Urda Kassis is “sensational” and is particularly active in project financings in Latin America. Iain Elder in Abu Dhabi recently led the team advising Indorama Ventures on its joint venture with Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company to build an aromatics plant, known as Tacaamol. Managing partner for the Europe/ Middle East/Africa region and for the London office Nicholas Buckworth’s project financing skills are greatly respected in the market. Paris-based Christophe Asselineau heads the firm’s Africa practice and project development and finance group in Paris. With more than 25 years’ experience, he is considered a “leading authority” in the field.
Capital markets law is a further strength of the firm. Apostolos Gkoutzinis in London is a “pre-eminent” practitioner who earns praise for his “analytical mind”. He is joined by Julian Tucker who specialises in structured finance and is “highly sought after”. His experience includes advising Arion Bank hf on the restructuring and transfer of Kaupthing Bank’s covered bond programme. Asia managing partner for the firm Matthew Bersani focuses his practice on corporate finance and securities transactions. He represents both issuers and underwriters and is “highly proficient” in debt and equity transactions. Robert Evans III is a “font of knowledge” on capital markets law and specialises in public and private securities offerings. Barry Cosgrave is noted for his Islamic finance practice. He is based in the firm’s London office.
Shearman & sterling’s M&A experience includes “high-profile” transactions such as advising Cadbury on its $19.4 billion acquisition by Kraft and Sony as part of a consortium in the $4.5 billion acquisition of Nortel’s patents portfolio. “Stand outs” include Creighton Condon, the firm’s senior partner who has extensive experience in acquisitions, sales and joint ventures, and advises private and public companies. John Marzulli Jr is “first rate” on cross-border merger and acquisition transactions while Clare O’Brien is noted for her “meticulous approach” and “invaluable counsel”. Peter Lyons’ experience includes advising the special committee of the board of directors of Sprint Nextel Corporation in the acquisition of 78 per cent of Sprint Nextel Corporation by Softbank Corp.
Shearman & Sterling uses its global network to provide clients with a coordinated competition strategy in multinational transactions and investigations. Trevor Soames in Brussels is “without doubt a star in the market”. He is noted for his “creative solutions” and “strong command of the law”. Wayne Dale Collins has more than 30 years’ experience in the field and specialises in defending mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures before competition agencies throughout the world, antitrust litigation and investigations. Head of the firm’s Brussels office and co-head of the global antitrust group Stephen Mavroghenis is lauded for his competition work. He recently advised Syniverse in the phase two commission review of its €550 million acquisition of MACH. The acquisition was cleared with limited conditions. Beau Buffier is also co-head of the global antitrust group and concentrates his practice on defending clients in merger investigations and other civil and criminal investigations.
The firm’s proudest moment of 2013 was its involvement in a pro bono civil rights class action Ligon v City of New York (SDNY) with the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Bronx Defenders and Latino Justice PRLDEF regarding the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” policies and practices. In the ruling Judge Scheindlin awarded the Ligon plaintiffs remedial relief and attorneys’ fees in connection with the preliminary injunction they won earlier that year.
Shearman & Sterling is committed to ensuring diversity within the firm holding the view that diversity in perspectives, backgrounds and experiences enhances the quality of the firm’s work and its lawyers’ lives. The firm’s projects include a summer guest lecture series, on-campus recruiting and an international associate programme in the New York office.
According to the firm it will continue to seek growth opportunities in key geographic and industry markets to better serve its clients, and at present is focused on growing its litigation/disputes, project finance and private equity capabilities.
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