This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013
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FIRM OF THE YEAR – CALIFORNIA
Established in 1934 in Los Angeles, Latham & Watkins now has a commanding global presence with over 2,000 lawyers in 31 offices around the world. The firm has reclaimed its title as Californian law firm of the year, with fantastic practices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and San Francisco. In addition to offices in established US financial centres such as Boston, Chicago, New York and New Jersey, Latham & Watkins has a strong presence in Asia and the Middle East with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Riyadh, where the firm now acts in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi. Despite the size of Latham & Watkins, its lawyers are united by their commitment to teamwork and high standards in all aspects of their work. In the past decade Latham has provided over $675 million in free legal services to the disadvantaged and the non-profit sector. Our research identifies an outstanding 95 inclusions across 24 practice areas.
|LATHAM & WATKINS LLP|
|TOTAL LISTINGS IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 95|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Asset Recovery||1||Life Sciences||5|
|Aviation||2||M & A||4|
|Business Crime Defence||3||Oil & Gas||4|
|Commercial Litigation||3||Private Funds||3|
|Corporate Governance||4||Public Procurement||3|
|Corporate Tax||3||Real Estate||2|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||4||Trade & Customs||1|
|Internet & e-Commerce||1||Trademarks||1|
|Labour & Employment||1|
Latham & Watkins has a history of excellence in project finance and has practised in the area since the early 1980s. With a particular focus on energy, mining, telecommunications and transportation infrastructure, the firm provides specialist technical advice to clients. The practice works for high profile market leaders and has recently advised lenders on a $20 billion financing of the Ichthys LNG project. Jonathan Rod emerges as one of the most highly recommended lawyers in our research and “the one to call in New York” for many of our respondents. His practice specialises in the energy, oil, gas and infrastructure sectors where he has “exceptional technological understanding”. He is joined in New York by David Gordon, vice chair of the firm, who has “exceptional experience” in the developing, financing and restructuring of private power projects. Nicholas Collins is a “standout” practitioner in Abu Dhabi and a “trusted adviser” for many clients working in the MENA region. In Tokyo, Michael Yoshii is “financially minded” and has “exceptional business acumen”. He advises project companies, sponsors and lenders in high-profile project developments in Asia. Two Latham & Watkins lawyers are listed in both our project finance and public procurement chapters. Joseph Bevash, managing partner of the Tokyo office, is an “authority” on project finance in Asia, having worked on many of prominent developments in the region. Stephen McWilliams, managing partner of the Singapore office, is “incredibly experienced” and has represented many high profile clients on landmark projects. Similarly, two noteworthy practitioners are featured in our project finance and oil and gas chapters. Based in Houston, Michael Darden is co-chair of the firm’s global oil and gas industry team. His “pragmatic advice” has made him a favourite among our respondents. William Voge, in the firm’s London office, is a “leading project finance lawyer” who specialises in the oil and gas industry and focuses on structuring complex project financings involving multiple groups and types of lenders.
The firm has an excellent competition practice that benefits from its geographical footprint and the local knowledge of its lawyers, and we list 11 lawyers in the corresponding chapter. Latham & Watkins practices across the main pillars of competition including litigation, mergers and cartel and conduct investigations. It recently acted for Lucasfilm in its $4.05 billion acquisition by The Walt Disney Company. Susanne Zuehlke was one of the leading partners of the deal. She is a “tough litigator” who has acted before the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. Joining her in Brussels is Marc Hansen, an “outstanding professional” whose practice focuses on UK and EU competition law with particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional investigations. John Kallaugher, based in London, is “logical and sharp” and uses his “incisive mind to find innovative solutions for complex problems”. He has a broad competition practice with an interest in transport, particularly aviation. Margaret Zwisler and Abbott “Tad” Lipsky are very highly recommended in DC. Zwisler is an “excellent” lawyer and “a leading authority in the area”. She has over 35 years of experience representing competition defendants from a variety of industries. Lipsky is a “distinguished” attorney who has worked on “influential cases” all over the world. His “commercial nous is second to none” having served as chief competition lawyer for The Coca-Cola Company from 1992 to 2002. In San Francisco, Daniel Wall is “greatly respected” for his work with high-profile clients including Apple, Intel and Compaq Computer.
Latham & Watkins has been a leading environmental law firm for the past 30 years and we feature nine lawyers in our environment chapter. Gene Lucero is particularly highly recommended by our respondents and is “well respected nationally”. Before joining the firm, he directed the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement of the federal environmental laws governing hazardous waste for six years. Lucero is now of counsel to Latham & Watkins’ Los Angeles office and is a “distinguished senior statesman”. Robert Wyman Jr is another “high flyer” who is the global chair of the firm’s environment, land and resources department. In San Diego, Christopher Garrett’s “first-class” practice focuses on state and federal regulation of a wide variety of matters including air pollution, water quality and hazardous waste. Claudia O’Brien, based in DC, is head of the firm’s air quality and climate change practice. Her “technical expertise” and “analytical prowess” is commended by our respondents. Managing partner of the Brussels office, Jean Paul Poitras is listed in both of our environment and aviation chapters. He is a “creative” and “proactive” lawyer and is currently coordinating a global team in a cartel matter involving one of the airlines involved in the air cargo investigations.
With over 300 lawyers worldwide in its capital markets practice, Latham & Watkins has the capacity to offer a full range of services to major clients. It advises investment banks, issuers and private equity sponsors on almost every type of capital markets offering. Recently, the firm has advised the arrangers on $680 million medium term note programme for Samruk-Energy. In New York, Kirk Davenport II is highly recommended in our research for his “excellent” practice which covers capital markets and securities law including debt and equity financing. Anthony Richmond, based in Silicon Valley, has a “sharp mind” and “the ability to see a problem from all angles”. In his broad financing practice, he works with high-profile private equity investors. Los Angeles-based Mark Stegemoeller is “involved and committed to his clients” and fields a “proactive practice that achieves results”. He focuses on public and private debt and equity securities offerings for investment banking and corporate clients. Michael Sturrock, vice chair of the firm’s global corporate department, is “one of the leading lawyers in Singapore”. His practice covers issuers and underwriters in corporate financings as well as public and private M&A.
Our research confirms Latham & Watkins’ position as one of the leading law firms in the world. In addition to the offices mentioned above, Latham & Watkins also has a presence in Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Milan, Rome, Moscow, Barcelona and Madrid.
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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.