This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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2014 is a year of change for Bryan Cave as Don Lents, who has served as chair for two consecutive terms since 2004 steps down to be replaced by Therese Pritchard on 1 October. Pritchard will be the first woman to hold the position in the firm’s 140-year history.
|Arbitration||1||Labour & Employment||1|
|Corporate Tax||2||Product Liability Defence||1|
|Franchise||3||Sports & Entertainment||2|
Over the last few years Bryan Cave has continued to grow. 2012 saw the firm merge with Denver-based Holme Robert & Owen adding offices in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs and expanding the firm’s capabilities in energy and sports law. Early 2014 saw the firm open its doors in Miami with the hire of arbitration “expert” Pedro Martinez-Fraga and “talented litigator” Ryan Reetz. The firm has also established a significant global footprint with offices in North America, Asia and Europe.
|Total Listings in WWL||20||Established||1873|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||1105|
|Number of partners||418||Number of offices||26 + 1 affiliated|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Bryan Cave’s environment practice is “market-leading”. The practice comprises more than 40 lawyers with the necessary skills and expertise to advise on contentious and non-contentious matters. New York-based Roberta Gordon’s practice encompasses advising on the environmental aspects of transactions, litigating cases and counselling on compliance and remediation issues. Also in New York, Kevin Healy has a “long-standing reputation” in the field for providing “sound advice”. He was previously general counsel to the New York City department of environmental protection and brings “unrivalled experience” to his practice. Henry Ipsen in Denver focuses on regulatory enforcement and litigation, superfund allocation and permitting. He is a “seasoned practitioner” who “commands respect” in the marketplace.
Franchise is an area in which the firm’s reputation is “truly established”. The firm primarily represents franchisors or manufacturers but also has experience representing distributors and franchisees. The firm’s sector experience includes hotels and lodging, restaurant and food distribution, consumer products, motion picture distribution, bookselling and publishing, health care, agriculture and electronics. Kenneth Costello is “highly knowledgeable” on licensing and branding, structuring franchising programmes, regulatory compliance programmes, multi-level distributorships and antitrust counselling. Anthony Marks is “very well thought of” in the field and advises on the spectrum of franchise and distribution law. Jonathan Solish is an “authority” on franchise law.
The firm’s real estate practice consists of almost 150 lawyers who are well-equipped to handle transactions in the US and internationally. Barry Ross in New York specialises in complex development, joint venture and financing transactions and is “much admired” by peers. In Atlanta, John Parks concentrates on commercial real estate and has worked with industrial, multi-family, retail, hotel, restaurant and health care developers.
Bryan Cave’s recently acquired sports practice is “top notch”. Representative clients include professional sports franchises and their owners including Los Angeles Lakers, Olympic organisations, corporate sponsors such as Visa, entertainment companies and professional athletes. Key names include Steven Smith and Richard Young. Smith focuses on naming rights, sponsorships, licensing agreements, stadium operations, television and media contracts and representing leagues and national governing bodies. Young specialises in sports litigation and is known for his “creativity”.
The tax practice includes professionals with experience in tax advice and tax controversy. The firm was recently special tax counsel to AT&T in a transaction in which AT&T received $4.85 billion on the lease and sale of 9,700 wireless towers to Crown Castle International Corporation. “Standout” Philip Wright was a key partner in the deal. John Barrie is also a “significant figure” in the marketplace and advises on federal and state tax controversy and transactional matters.
Pro bono is an instilled feature of the firm and all lawyers are encouraged to participate in the programme and provide a service which is of the same quality delivered to all firm clients. In 2013, Bryan Cave filed an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court for the Family Equality Council. The brief was filed in the cases United States v Windsor, which challenges the Defence of Marriage Act and Hollingsworth v Perry, which challenges California’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.
Bryan Cave’s diversity committee consisting of 15 partners leads the firm in its efforts of becoming an increasingly diverse and inclusive firm by providing advice and direction in designing and implementing policies, practices and programmes that promote the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse lawyers at the firm.
Under the leadership of Don Lents, Bryan Cave added 11 offices in the US, Europe and Asia and grew its annual revenue to $624 million in 2012 from $384 million in 2004. According to Pritchard the firm’s future growth plans will focus on “organic growth and strengthening and deepening our relationships with clients”. She adds, “I would expect us to continue to find combination opportunities if they have the right synergies.”
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