This firm is featured in the Who's Who Legal 100 Elite Firms
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Chairman of Executive Committee: Carter G Phillips
Chairman of the Management Committee: Larry A Barden
Number of partners worldwide: 692
Number of lawyers worldwide: 1,825
Offices: Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, DC
Sidley Austin is one of the world’s premier law firms, with a practice highly attuned to the ever-changing international landscape. The firm has built a reputation for being a powerful adviser for global businesses, with more than 1,800 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide. In 2013, Sidley opened its nineteenth office in Boston, Massachusetts. Sidley maintains a commitment to providing quality legal services and to offer advice in litigation, transactional and regulatory matters spanning virtually every area of law. The firm’s lawyers have wide-reaching legal backgrounds and are dedicated to teamwork, collaboration and superior client service.
Sidley has been granted a licence to practise local law in Singapore under the country’s Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) programme. Sidley was one of only four firms to be granted this licence on 19 February 2013 by Singapore’s Ministry of Law, bringing the total number of QFLP firms to 10.
Sidley values the recognition it has received in response to its leadership in its wide range of legal services around the globe. These accolades come from professional peers, publications and industry journals, and clients in numerous industries. They include:
Main Areas of Practice
Accountants/Professional Service Firms Liability; Antitrust/Competition; Appellate; Banking and Financial Services; Communications Regulatory; Complex Commercial Litigation; Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation; Corporate Reorganisation and Bankruptcy; Emerging Companies and Venture Capital; Employee Benefits; Energy; Environmental; ERISA Litigation; Financial Services/Consumer Class Actions; Food, Drug and Medical Device Compliance and Enforcement; Food, Drug and Medical Device Regulatory; Global Finance; Government Strategies; Healthcare; Insurance; Insurance/Reinsurance Disputes; Intellectual Property Litigation; International Arbitration (Commercial and Treaty); International Trade; Investment Funds, Advisers and Derivatives; Labour, Employment and Immigration; Life Sciences; M&A; M&A and D&O Litigation; Privacy, Data Security and Information Law; Private Equity; Products Liability; Project Finance and Infrastructure; Public Finance; Real Estate; Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory; Securities; Securities Litigation; Tax; Tax Controversy; Technology and IP Transactions; Transportation; Trusts, Estates and Not-for-Profits; White-Collar: Government Litigation and Investigations.
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FIRM OF THE YEAR – TRADE AND CUSTOMS, USA, ILLINOIS
Early 2013 saw Sidley Austin granted a licence to practise local law in Singapore under the Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) programme. As one of only 10 international firms with this capability, Sidley places itself at the forefront of the Singapore, and more widely Asia Pacific legal marketplace. This move will enable the firm to expand the legal services it can offer to multinational businesses in the region.
|Arbitration||3||Insolvency & Restructuring||4|
|Aviation||1||Insurance & Reinsurance||8|
|Business Crime Defence||4||Life Sciences||23|
|Corporate Governance||2||Private Funds||13|
|Corporate Immigration||2||Product Liability Defence||8|
|Corporate Tax||6||Project Finance||1|
|Environment||9||Telecoms & Media||4|
|Information Technology||2||Trade & Customs||12|
As one of the few US law firms with a continuous presence in Asia for the past 30 years, Sidley truly stands out as a “worldwide” firm. Home to more than 1,800 lawyers, Sidley is able to provide a huge breadth of service in litigation, transactional and regulatory matters. Its strategic growth into key business centres also led to the opening of its Boston office in April 2013, and the firm continues to ensure that clients are able to access “first class” legal services regardless of home base.
|Total Listings in WWL||161||Established||1873|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||1847|
|Number of partners||691||Number of offices||19|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Our law firm of the year for trade and customs, Sidley’s international trade team includes approximately 60 professionals. They assist clients in the full range of trade and dispute resolution matters including customs classifications, export control and trade and investment negotiations. Neil Ellis has “exceptional knowledge” of trade law. He practises in the areas of international trade regulation and antitrust. Chair of the firm’s international trade and dispute resolution practice Andrew Shoyer is an “excellent” practitioner. He focuses on the implementation and enforcement of trade and investment agreements. Richard Belanger is another “star” at the DC office and helps to implement import/export compliance programmes for companies from a wide range of industry sectors including electronics and heavy equipment. In the Geneva office, Todd Friedbacher is a “leader” in the field. He counsels and represents governments and private parties on issues arising under the WTO agreements.
Sidley’s global life sciences group is home to a significant number of renowned practitioners experienced in all aspects of work from regulatory and transactional to litigation. Sidley lawyers have achieved recent wins in the patent infringement area for clients such as eBay, Microsoft and AstraZeneca. The team includes lawyers focused on key areas of law including food, drug and medical devices and healthcare. In the product liability field, Sara Gourley is a “first-rate” practitioner. Her practice focuses on pharma blood products liability litigation. Debra Pole is another “world-class” litigator with extensive jury trial experience. Michael Davis is a “highly accomplished” lawyer who heads the products liability and mass torts practice. Maarten Meulenbelt and Maurits Lugard focus on EU regulatory issues in the Brussels office and both are highly recommended for their work.
In the capital markets field, a number of Sidley lawyers are recommended for their expertise in debt and equity, and structured finance transactions. In Sydney, Robert Meyers’ “impressive” practice encompasses public offerings and private placements of debt, equity and hybrid securities. Prabhat Mehta in Singapore is a “big name” in the capital markets field and leads deal teams on transactions across Asia. Matthew Cahill is “well regarded” for his structured finance work in the London office which he joined in 2012. Co-head of the global finance practice Cathy Kaplan is an “expert” on a broad range of structured finance transactions including asset and mortgage backed financings and structured notes.
The firm’s investment funds, advisers and derivatives practice comprises of 120 lawyers in eight offices around the world. Lawyers are experienced in the formation and operation of all types of alternative investment vehicles. Effie Vasilopoulos heads the firm’s investment funds practice in Asia and is highly regarded for her “pragmatic and useful” advice. In New York, Michael Schmidtberger’s principal areas of practice are securities and futures-related funds and corporate transactions. David Sawyier is a “phenomenal” lawyer and advises on investment and hedge fund matters from the firm’s Chicago office.
Further leading practitioners include Roger Martella Jr, who is recognised for his “outstanding work in the environment field and Stephen Kinsella OBE, an “incredible” antitrust practitioner with a particular focus on media, technology and pharmaceutical sector cases.
Sidley staff contributed over 100,000 hours to pro bono projects in 2012. The firm’s committee on pro bono and public interest law coordinates the practice and helped implement Sidley’s four significant firm-wide initiatives: the capital litigation project, the political asylum and immigrants’ rights project, the veterans’ benefits project and the most recent addition, the Africa-Asia agricultural enterprise programme. Alongside this, individual offices also take part in a number of different projects in virtually every area of law.
Sidley states that its mission is to “continually attract, retain and promote to partnership and leadership outstanding lawyers who reflect the global marketplace and the communities that we serve”. To achieve this aim, the firm has implemented a number of diversity and inclusion programmes. One example is the Sidley prelaw scholars initiative which offers a stipend to cover tuition for an LSAT preparation course as well as application fees to a number of colleges and universities.
Sidley marked the QFLP licence as an “important new phase” in its development in Asia and has affirmed its desire to continue growing in the region as well as further bolstering its existing practices around the world. These strategies will ensure that Sidley remains one of the premier law firms in the world in the years to come.
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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.