Most Highly Regarded Firms: Capital Markets 2012

This year we recognise the leading capital markets practices and firms, selected for their experience and reputation.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Alan L Beller Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, New York
Roberto Silva Jr Marval O’Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires
Antonia Stolper Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York
Diego Martín Salaverri Errecondo Salaverri Dellatorre González & Burgio Abogados , Buenos Aires
Kirk Davenport Latham & Watkins LLP, New York
Stephen Miller Allen & Overy LLP, London
John Lobrano Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, New York
Izumi Akai Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Tokyo
André Andersson Mannheimer Swartling Advokatbyrå, Stockholm
Philip Boeckman Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, London

New York is home to the foremost capital markets firms, a trend that has been seen since we began publishing this edition in 2005. The New York Stock Exchange and other trading markets are the markets of choice for many public, private and institutional investors throughout the world. The city fields 33 lawyers, just over half of all US entrants in the edition this year, including the most highly rated individual in the edition this year, Alan L Beller from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. He received the most nominations overall, a testament to his continued, superior expertise in complex securities, corporate governance and corporate matters. He has counselled senior officials of domestic and non-US entities in connection with SEC filings, corporate transactions and public and private offerings of securities. Alongside him in that office is Nicolas Grabar, a specialist in Latin America’s international markets and securities regulations, and Leslie Silverman who is known for his work relating to equity and debt offerings and derivatives and contributes to this year’s roundtable discussion. Edward Greene is a “senior statesman” in the firm with an “unbelievably good” reputation on guiding issuers and investors worldwide, including investment banking, corporate lending, derivatives, sales and trading, and transaction services. Jorge Juantorena is highly regarded and has extensive experience working on bank financing and related corporate governance matters.

The firm is also well represented in Europe by a leading equity team in the form of leading capital markets and takeover lawyer, Gabriele Apfelbacher, and Thomas Kopp in Frankfurt. In Paris Andrew Bernstein focuses on capital financing for joint ventures, with an focus in oil and gas matters, alongside IPO and equity offerings expert Pierre-Yves Chabert. Laurent Legein and Jan Meyers in Brussels are renowned as “high-class lawyers”.

Linklaters leads the research overall with 15 of its lawyers selected for inclusion. Carson Welsh is head of the equity and debt markets group and “extremely well known in the market”. He is joined by four further London based colleagues, including the very highly rated Keith Thomson and the “eminent” Lachlan Burn. Herbert Harrer in Germany is praised for his IPO work in particular, and he appears alongside the “stellar” Peter Waltz who stands out for his debt related work. The firm’s international breadth of expertise is demonstrated by further listings in France, Belgium, Portugal and Russia as well as a strong presence in the Far East: Kevin Wong advised on the US$3.2 billion IPO of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad on the Malaysian Stock Exchange, the largest IPO in Asia in 2012. This strength is underlined by further nominees in Hong Kong and Japan, while Richard O’Callaghan is selected for inclusion in Dubai.

The New York office of Shearman & Sterling LLP boasts Antonia Stolper, head of the firm’s capital markets Americas group and the Latin America affinity group, and one of the most highly regarded lawyers in this year’s listings. She is “highly recommended” for her work relating to IPOs for foreign private issuers involving both equity and debt financing. She represents clients such as Citi, HSBC, Volcan Compañía Minera SAA and many others in South American deals. She is joined by Robert Evans, a member of the firm’s capital markets Americas practice group, and experienced in advising on convertible and high yield debt securities. Outside of New York, the managing partner of the firm’s Asia practice Matthew Bersani is a “top-tier” counsellor for underwriters and investment banks, and Lee Kyungwon represents both issuers and underwriters in a wide range of corporate finance transactions. Both are based in Hong Kong. Julian Tucker in London is a structured financing practitioner with a broad range of experience working on aircraft financing and mortgage servicing in the public securitisation market. The firm enjoys two further listings in Italy and Washington, DC.

Co-chair of Latham & Watkins LLP Kirk Davenport is a securities lawyer in New York with many years of experience assisting underwriters, placement agents, purchasers, sellers, issuers and other parties on converting debt and equity notes, equity offerings and managing deals. He is among the list of highly regarded lawyers this year. In Los Angeles, Mark Stegemoeller has an impressive reputation; he “gets involved and is committed to working 24/7 to pull off a transaction”. In Silicon Valley, Anthony Richmond is recommended and a contributor would “work with him on a deal in a heartbeat”. He acts for private equity investors in a variety of matters and as external general counsel for several public companies, including Avago Technologies, Rentech and US Airways Group. The DC office boasts Scott Herlihy, a recognised governance and securities lawyer with an emphasis on real estate investment, and Joel Trotter, chair of the firm’s public company representation practice group and the deputy chair of the corporate department. Another notable name is Michael Sturrock in Singapore, vice chair of the firm’s global corporate group and a “first-tier” lawyer on debt and equity offerings relating to Asian companies. The firm lists two other lawyers in Saudi Arabia and Texas.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP performs well in the edition, with 11 listings, including John Lobrano, whose capital markets practice is supplemented by restructuring and liability management engagements, and Walter Looney, a public debt and high yield bonds expert in New York. In Palo Alto, Richard Hinman has extensive experience managing major transactions, such as advising the underwriters in the $16 billion IPO of Facebook this year – the largest technology offering ever and the third largest IPO in US history.

Tokyo and Hong Kong both make prominent contributions this year in the form of the head of the Tokyo office David Sneider: “We have worked with them for more than 10 years and would highly recommend him,” reports one client. Also well regarded are Takahiro Saito and Alan Cannon. In Hong Kong, Leiming Chen assists multinational companies in the energy, retail and real estate industries on navigating SEC regulations and implementing dual listings on the NYSE and Hong Kong Exchange, as does Jin-Hyuk Park a “respected” lawyer. Celia Lam has acted for ICBC, China Mobile, UBS and many other clients in this area, and is “well thought of”.

Also with 11 listings, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP continues to show a strong presence in the research. Co-ordinator of the global corporate and finance group Robert Buckholz has a lot of experience handling IPOs, privatisations, and various forms of financing. Jay Clayton has advised various multinational companies and their boards in connection with corporate investigations and regulatory matters involving the US SEC, the Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Andrew Soussloff has represented international companies on high-value matters, such as the $4.2 billion acquisition by United Rentals of RSC Holdings. In Washington, DC, Robert Risoleo is a “true expert” on cross-border securities offerings and structured financing for oil & gas ventures. Head of the London firm, Richard Morrissey has worked on many deals for private equity firms and is considered a key source of counsel on US securities regulations. David Rockwell concentrates on equity matters for non-US companies and financial institutions. His clients include Porsche, ING, SEB, Sky Deutschland, Anheuser-Busch InBev and UBS.

In Frankfurt, the managing partner Wolfgang Feuring is a known name in the market, as he brings his industry experience from Deutsche Bank and over 25 years of experience to assist on major transactions for companies such as Commerzbank, Porsche and Merck. He is joined in that office by Konstantin Technau, a top capital markets lawyer who is known for his IPO work, particularly spearheading the first Frankfurt/NYSE listing by a German issuer. He has worked on deals for Rio Tinto and Sky Deutschland, the latter of which he worked on with Carsten Berrar, an “extremely committed, very experienced and capable manager of difficult solutions”. In Hong Kong, Chun Wei is renowned as the firm’s Asia coordinator and head of the China practice. She is identified as an authority on corporate finance and consolidations on major intra-regional deals such as the $1.9 billion IPO and dual listing on the Hong Kong Exchange and Shanghai Exchange by New China Life Insurance Company.

On our list of highly regarded lawyers is co-head of the Japan practice, Izumi Akai. In Tokyo, he practises both US and Japanese law and is “respected” by peers and “highly acclaimed” by clients. He advises on capital markets and financing in corporate ventures of all kinds, with a specialism in real estate financing.

Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP enjoys four listings in New York. Andrew Pitts’ work covers IPOs, regularly advising investment banks, issuers and underwriters on securities law, high yield and convertible debt, among other areas. Alongside him is Kris Heinzelman an experienced offerings specialist, and William Whelan, the leader of the securities practice and a generalist lawyer with substantial experience representing issuers, underwriters and banks. William Rogers is a leading regulatory law adviser for financial institutions like the Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. One of the most highly recommended lawyers in the firm is Philip Boeckman, managing partner of the London office. He is “very knowledgeable” and advises both issuers and underwriters in transactions. David Mercado’s practice focuses on a variety of financing options, including private equity funds, relating to mergers and acquisitions in South America.

Another hotspot for capital markets work this year has been Argentina. Between 2009 and 2010 the political administration underwent dramatic changes, but 2011 saw steady financial growth, leading to more foreign investment and a competitive legal marketplace. Established law firms such as Marval O’Farrell & Mairal boast some of the best lawyers in the region, such as the “extraordinary” Roberto Silva, a privatisation, restructuring and securitisation lawyer, and one of our most highly regarded lawyers this year. Alongside him is Ricardo Walter Beller who is respected for his financing expertise. Santiago Carregal also features as “one of the best” and a prominent member of the capital markets bar. Similarly, at their own firm, Javier Errecondo and Diego Salaverri are “excellent” on corporate financing, regulations and capital markets work for major domestic and international clients. At Bruchou Fernandez Madero & Lombardi, Enrique Bruchou is a well-known capital markets and banking lawyer with a focus on banking investments and capital raising for financial institutions. Roberto Lizondo advises on debt securities, debt restructurings and equity offerings mainly for international clients in the Latin American region. Another notable name is Diego Serrano Redonnet from Perez Alati Grondona Benites Arntsen & Martinez de Hoz (Jr); he is recommended as among the top in the country. Nicholson y Cano Abogados lists Carlos Marcelo Villegas, a “very good lawyer” on international transactions.

Allen & Overy LLP holds a solid position in this year’s research, primarily in Europe. In London, Stephen Miller stands out as being “very strong on the debt side”, earning him a place on the most highly regarded list. Alongside him is Boyan Wells, an investment yields specialist, Roger Wedderburn-Day, who works on international debt and eurobonds, MTN programmes and privatisations, Angela Clist, a securitisation lawyer within the real estate and trusts arena and Christian Lambie, an “accessible and smart lawyer”. Tony Sparks recently joined the firm in Sydney, and Kenneth Aboud in Singapore is a “must” for inclusion.The head of the corporate group in Budapest, Zoltán Lengyel is “very active and well known in the market” for his representation of clients like ExxonMobile, Eni SpA, and Randstad. The firm enjoys listings in other European countries, including Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Three lawyers are selected from Mannheimer Swartling Advokatbyrå, including André Andersson, chair of the firm’s banking and finance practice group. He is one of the most highly respected lawyers in Sweden, with experience advising on restructuring of distressed debt in Sweden and the Baltic region. He concludes the most highly regarded list for this year’s capital markets research.

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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.

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