Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International LawThe Queen's Award for Enterpise 2012

Corporate

The following law firms are renowned for the expertise of their lawyers across a broad range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance matters. 

 

1 Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz

2 Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

3 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

4 Cravath Swaine & Moore

5 Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

6 Stikeman Elliott

7 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

8 Blake Cassels & Graydon

9 Weil Gotshal & Manges

10 Slaughter and May

11 Sullivan & Cromwell

12 Kirkland & Ellis

13 Herbert Smith Freehills

14 Richards Layton & Finger

15 Linklaters

16 Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison

17 Lenz & Staehelin

18 Noerr

19 Hengeler Mueller

20 Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz has a “world-renowned” corporate law practice demonstrated by the firm’s “dominance” of our research. This year marks the eighth time Wachtell Lipton has received our corporate governance and M&A award. From its New York office, the firm regularly handles complex transactions both in the US and around the world, advising public and private acquirers and targets on a variety of corporate matters. Its “impressive track record” includes involvement in five of the 10 largest transactions in the United States, and five of the 10 largest transactions globally during the past 10 years. The future is bright for the firm with recent mandates including advising Michael S Dell and MSD Partners in the $67 billion transaction to combine Dell and EMC, and in the prior $24.5 billion acquisition of Dell together with Silver Lake.

David Katz is “a true professional”, and our Corporate Governance and M&A Lawyer of the Year 2016. He specialises in major domestic and international merger, acquisition and buyout transactions, strategic defence assignments and proxy contests. He has been involved in numerous complex public and private offerings and corporate restructurings and is known to be “incredibly knowledgeable and articulate”, with clients and peers praising his “direct, clear and effective advice”. Martin Lipton is a founding partner of the firm and a “stellar adviser” on corporate governance matters. He is described as “a powerhouse of knowledge”, and he specialises in mergers and acquisitions, as well as matters affecting corporate policy and strategy. His clients include major international and national corporations who praise his “talented handling of intricate issues”.

 With more than 30 years of practice, Daniel Neff is a “thoroughly impressive practitioner” who “inspires confidence in clients”. He represents bidders and targets, public and private companies, private equity firms, leveraged acquirers and special committees of directors, and is trusted with handling their most complex and sensitive issues. Andrew Brownstein serves as co-chair of the firm’s corporate group, and impresses clients with his “invaluable and wide-ranging sector experience”. He has worked on many high-profile assignments including cross-border transactions, leveraged buyouts, complex restructuring deals, proxy fights and takeovers. 

The “notable” Andrew Nussbaum is “a favourite among clients” for his “commitment and enthusiasm” when working on complex legal matters. He has a particular talent for handling multibillion-dollar cross-border transactions across the US, Europe, Latin America, China, Russia and Australia.

Adam Emmerich has “extensive experience” handling high-value mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures and financing transactions. He is described as “one of the greatest practitioners in the market” having represented clients across a variety of industries throughout the US and globally who recommend him for offering “a personal service” and “a high standard of client care”.   

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is a leading law firm offering “outstanding” advice and representation on matters relating to the full spectrum of corporate transactions. With 23 offices covering major international financial centre, the firm serves public and private companies, private equity firms and financial sponsors, government entities, investment banks and individuals. The firm boasts 50 per cent of the Fortune 250 industrial and service corporations within its “impressive clientele”. Skadden announced in January that it advised Hong Kong-based private equity firm Forebright Capital Management in the $98.5 million going-private acquisition of China's Jinpan International.  

In the US Eileen Nugent is the global co-head of Skadden’s transactions practice and has experience of working on a broad range of acquisitions and dispositions of companies, subsidiaries and divisions, both public and private, hostile and negotiated, across the US and globally. Clients praise Nugent for “bringing real value to a transaction”. The “terrific” Brian Breheny is “responsive, hardworking and practical”. His practice comprises a wide variety of SEC compliance and corporate governance matters, with particular expertise pertaining to compliance with the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC’s tender offer rules and regulations, and federal proxy rules. He is recommended for being “an innovative and dedicated practitioner”. Also in the firm’s corporate practice, Peter Allan Atkins is “an internationally recognised leader”. He acts for high-profile clients across numerous industry sectors, including airlines, defence and aerospace, energy, financial institutions, health care, IT, insurance, media and telecommunications, retail and utilities.

In Paris Armand Grumberg heads the firm’s European M&A practice. He has “a wealth of industry experience” in strategic and complex cross-border transactions, including public and private acquisitions, contested and hostile bids, joint ventures, corporate reorganizations, and capital market transactions. He continues to impress clients and peers with his “depth of commercial insight”.

In Palo Alto Kenton King is known for having “a particular talent for providing unique insight into difficult legal matters”. His practice focuses on the technology, semiconductor and biotech sectors, regularly handling complex, cross-border M&A transactions and advising companies and boards on shareholder activism and corporate governance matters. The “incredible” Lou Kling is widely recognised as “one of the most preeminent corporate attorneys in America”. His “diverse practice” consists of advising on the mergers and acquisitions of public and private companies, subsidiaries and divisions, including negotiated and contested acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and recapitalisations.

Corporate law is a particular strength of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, whose lawyers are internationally renowned for their “high level of skill”.  The start of 2016 saw the announcement that the firm is advising Mercuria Energy Group, one of the world’s largest independent integrated energy and commodities trading companies, on the acquisition by China National Chemical Corporation, one of China’s largest chemical companies, of a 12 per cent interest in Mercuria. The firm acts for buyers, sellers, financial investors and management, and prides itself on the ability to “thoroughly understand its clients’ business needs”, making it a top choice for many in the market.

In Germany Christoph Seibt is co-head of the firm’s public M&A group and one of the most highly regarded corporate lawyers in Germany. His clients include mainly listed companies, who praise his “savvy approach” and “superb technical skill”, which allows him to produce “work of the highest quality”.

The impressive Julian Long is manager of the London office and focuses his practice on complex domestic and cross-border M&A matters for a range of international clients, including many FTSE 100 companies. He is known for offering “first-rate advice” based on “a wealth of knowledge and experience”. He is joined by Mark Rawlinson, a “thoroughbred expert” in the field of corporate law. He is particularly recommended for his “client-centred service”, and has worked on some of the highest-profile transactions of the last 20 years, including advising AB Inbev on its £71 billion recommended acquisition of SABMiller, and BG Group on the £47 billion recommended offer from Royal Dutch Shell.

In Frankfurt Andreas Fabritius is known for his “fantastic work ethic”, advising German and international companies, banks, private equity sponsors and sovereign wealth funds on “virtually all areas of corporate law”. He is held in high regard for his “phenomenal level of skill” which has earned him “wide acclaim in the market”. Christoph von Bülow is “beyond impressive”. He specialises in public M&A transactions, and has “in-depth experience” dealing with the German regulator. His clients include strategic clients, private equity companies and investment banks, who describe him as their “practitioner of choice”.

In London David Higgins is “extremely capable” and advises a wide range of domestic and cross-border clients. He acts for private equity houses and other financial investors on public and private M&A transactions, as well as advising corporate and investment banks on restructurings and joint venture transactions. He receives praise “for working exceptionally well with clients”.

Cravath Swaine & Moore is consistently recognised as a “preeminent adviser” on corporate transactions. The firm, whose history dates back to 1819, declares its goal to be “the firm of choice for clients”, handling their “most challenging legal issues, most significant business transactions and most critical disputes.” Indeed, the high calibre of Cravath’s corporate team is illustrated by their continued involvement in ground breaking deals: Cravath is representing Anheuser-Busch InBev in the recently announced agreement on the terms of an acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of SABMiller by AB InBev, in a transaction valued at approximately $107.7 billion.

Faiza Saeed is “technically brilliant”. As co-head of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group, she advises public companies, boards of directors and special committees including Bacardi, DreamWorks Animation, Starbucks, and Time Warner among others. Such clients praise her for having “impressively strong analytical skills”. Richard Hall has a “well-deserved reputation for excellence”. Advising a wide range of high-profile clients, he comes “highly recommended” for “inspiring confidence” in clients.

Robert Townsend is co-head of the firm’s M&A group and is a “true great” in the industry. Described by clients as having “impressive technical abilities”, he is renowned for his “exceptional level of skill when handling complicated matters”. Damien Zoubek is “internationally renowned” for providing “expert advice to clients” on a broad range of corporate matters. Mark Greene has an “unrivalled reputation” in the industry for working “at the top of his game”. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and securities matters, with clients particularly impressed by his “consistently dependable advice” combined with a “high level of customer service”.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett boasts an exceptional corporate team. The firm’s “enviable client list” includes many of the leading and most innovative companies worldwide, to whom Simpson Thacher offers a “pragmatic, straightforward and collaborative approach” when advising on a full range of corporate transactions. Recent highlights include representing Lightyear Capital, a New York-based private equity firm focused on financial services investing, and Public Sector Pension Investment Board, one of Canada's largest pension investment managers, in the acquisition of AIG Advisor Group, a subsidiary of American International Group, by investment funds affiliated with Lightyear and PSP Investments.

As head of Simpson’s mergers and acquisitions, and financial institutions practice, Lee Meyerson is a “naturally gifted lawyer” and “as smart as they come”. With over 30 years’ working in the industry, he has advised some of the most elite financial and investment firms across the globe on a wide variety of transactions and compliance matters. He particularly stands out in our research for his “excellent client manner”. Richard Beattie is known for his “distinguished practice”. With a “long-standing reputation for excellence”, he counsels clients on M&A, governance issues, investigations and litigation involving corporate officers and other crisis situations.

With 40 years of practice in the industry Charles Cogut has “abundant experience”. He advises clients on domestic, international and complex multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions, buyouts, private equity transactions and further corporate governance matters. He is known to be “particularly skilled” in handling transactions which have a cross-border element. Alan Klein is a “leading authority” on mergers and acquisitions, shareholder activism and corporate governance matters. With an “exemplary reputation in the market”, his clients have included Microsoft, whom he advised on its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s phone business, its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype and its investment in Barnes & Noble’s Nook business.

Robert Spatt is “vastly experienced” with a practice focused on advising companies, financial advisors, control stockholders, and leveraged buyout firms on a range of transactions and issues. He is particularly praised for being “commercially astute and very knowledgeable”. The “truly outstanding, innovative and technically gifted” Adam Signy also receives recognition in our research. He has represented banks, private equity firms and corporate clients across a range of industries, and has a reputation for being “very attuned to clients’ needs”.

Stikeman Elliott is consistently recognised as one of Canada’s foremost business law firms with a strong corporate practice. Known for providing top tier services to its clients, the firm is regularly retained by domestic and international companies from a range sectors including mining, infrastructure, technology, financial services, energy and retail, among others. With a well-integrated global network, Stikeman was the first Canadian firm to open offices in London and New York, and has extensive experience across the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The firm looks set to maintain its position as a market leader, with recent transactions including acting for Sprott Asset Management in its successful hostile takeover bid to acquire all of the outstanding units of Central GoldTrust. This transaction was valued at over C$1 billion.

William Braithwaite focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance, and comes particularly praised for “keeping the bigger picture in mind without losing sight of the finer details”. Having acted on some of the world’s major cross-border merger transactions, he also advises Canadian corporations, boards of directors, and institutional shareholders, as well as various governments and regulatory authorities on governance matters.

In Montreal John Leopold stands out in our research for his “commercial know-how”. He has a particular focus on cross-border transactions and clients are impressed by his “high level of commitment and all-round technical excellence”. Alongside him Edward Waitzer is described as “hard-working and dynamic”. He comes recommended for “always adding value” for clients, and focuses his practice on complex business transactions, acquisitions and restructurings, as well as advising on public policy and governance matters.

Brian Pukier is an “acclaimed practitioner” whose practice is focused primarily on cross-border M&A, corporate finance transactions, as well as corporate reorganisations and public policy. Clients and peers recommend him particularly for his ability to “effectively tailor his advice to the industry”. Sidney Horn has “brilliant, in-depth knowledge” of commercial, corporate and securities law. He advises large domestic and international corporations on finance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. Clients are impressed with his “wealth of experience” and “intricate legal knowledge”. William Rosenberg continues to provide “world-class expertise”. He is widely recommended as a leading lawyer by clients across Canada, the US and Europe, who praise his “sophisticated handling” of all types of corporate transactions.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton once again features highly in our research, illustrative of its “exceptional” corporate team. With offices located in major financial centres around the world, the firm has “a proven track record” of serving the international business requirements of its enviable client base, comprising multinational corporations, international financial institutions, sovereign governments and their agencies, as well as domestic corporations. Cleary Gottlieb is actively involved in some of the most high-profile and complex international transactions, a recent example being its representation of UTH Russia in its acquisition of the operating assets of CTC Media for approximately $200 million as a rare instance of an acquisition of a Russian business via a US public M&A transaction.

Victor Lewkow is described as “a lawyer like no other”. He specialises in public and private M&A transactions, as well as advising corporations on governance issues and the fiduciary duties of directors. He is known for having “a fantastic reputation in the industry” and is described as “second to none” by clients. Alan Beller is held in high regard for being “extremely thorough and not missing a thing”. He advises both US and non-US clients on a wide variety of complex corporate governance, securities and corporate matters, who praise his “tremendous understanding” and ensuing “high level of practice”. 

The “superb” Jan Meyers is known to be a “splendid professional”. Recommended for his “straight talking”, clients value his ability to “get the job done”. Simon Jay receives commendation for his “calm demeanour” and “unrivalled expertise”. His practice consists of advising on all types of mergers and acquisitions, as well as joint ventures and restructurings. His client base includes significant domestic and international corporate companies and private equity funds. The “fantastic” Paul Shim is known for his “resolute focus”. He has experience of “expertly handling” public and private M&A transactions, as well as advising on governance matters and the fiduciary duties of officers and directors to corporations and their boards.

Blake Cassels & Graydon is home to a concentration of “industry-leading” practitioners in corporate law. The firm prides itself on building long-term relationships with its diverse national and international client base, providing strategic legal advice and handling complex negotiated transactions both within Canada and internationally. Recent highlights include advising Capstone Infrastructure Corporation on the proposed acquisition of Capstone by iCON Infrastructure Partners III for approximately C$480 million. With offices across Canada, the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the firm draws on its full spectrum of capabilities to provide the “highest-quality advice and representation” to clients.

Jeffrey Lloyd advises purchasers, target companies and vendors on public and private M&A transactions, with experience in both negotiated and unsolicited transactions. He has worked extensively across a variety of industry sectors, including real estate, power generation, financial services, mining, and retail/consumer products. He is praised by clients for “anticipating troubles and disputes” before they arise and having a “diligent approach” to matters.

The “highly skilled” Pat Finnerty is a “distinguished player” in the market. He frequently advises on commercial and corporate transactions, with an emphasis on public offerings, private placements, joint ventures, and public company mergers and acquisitions. With a reputation for his “encyclopaedic knowledge”, clients describe him as being “in a class of his own”.

Brock Gibson QC is regarded as “one of the very finest corporate lawyers”. His clients include leading issuers, financial institutions, investment dealers, energy and service companies who recommend him for his “consummate understanding” of their business needs. His recent experience includes acting as lead counsel on more than 170 mergers and acquisitions, reorganisations, and public equity and debt offerings, as well as on some of the largest commercial transactions in Canada. Michael Gans “continues to impress clients” with his knowledge of inbound M&A transactions. He has acted for offerors and targets on public negotiated and unsolicited domestic and cross-border take-over bids, as well as purchasers and vendors in asset and share purchase transactions.

Weil Gotshal & Manges provides a “wealth of expertise” in its “market-leading” M&A, private equity and finance practices. Clients include corporate, private equity and financial institutions, who come to Weil for the “recognised depth and quality of expertise” of the firm’s lawyers. Having offices in 20 locations spanning three continents and nine countries, the firm is known for its “extraordinary capabilities” in cross-border transactions. Weil boasts a reputation for excellence and achievement in this field, with current highlights including the firm advising the Canadian Progressive Waste Solutions in its all-stock $2.67 billion merger with Waste Connections in the US.

The “impressive Richard Climan is a “much sought-after” practitioner in the industry. His practice comprises advising clients on all types of acquisition transactions and related matters, such as mergers, divestitures, hostile takeovers, leveraged buy-outs and cross-border transactions, among others. He is recommended for his “hands-on technique”, and has been involved in some of the most prominent acquisitions specifically in the life sciences and technology sectors over the past 20 years.

Keith Flaum is known for his “practical and authoritative advice”. His particular expertise includes handling acquisitions of publicly traded companies in cross-border transactions, as well as highly complex cross-border joint venture transactions. James Griffin is “a consummate professional”. He is known to be an “exceptionally creative and instinctive lawyer”, representing public and private companies across the industry sectors in M&A transactions, as well as matters relating to the fiduciary duties of directors.

In New York Michael Aiello has been described by clients as a “top-notch practitioner”. As chairman of the firm’s corporate department, his “broad knowledge and high level of skill” make him a “real asset to the firm”. His clients include acquirors, targets, buyout groups, boards of directors, special committees, investment banks, investors and shareholder groups. He is joined by Howard Chatzinoff who co-heads the firm’s M&A practice. He is “recommended without a second thought” by clients, and has a particular emphasis on public and private M&A transactions, dispositions, spinoffs, and joint ventures.

Regarded as one of the most prestigious law firms in the world, Slaughter and May fields a “truly outstanding” corporate law department. The firm has offices in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Beijing, with 112 partners and almost 1,130 employees worldwide, and is known for its “commitment to excellence” and “ability to find innovative solutions to the most complex of legal problems”. The firm’s reputation is corroborated by their “prestigious client base”, acting for more FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies than any other law firm. Such high-calibre work has seen the firm advise Rambus on its acquisition of all outstanding shares in Smart Card Software for £64.7 million in cash.

The “superb” Nigel Boardman has a broad corporate practice focusing on domestic and international corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures, among others. Widely regarded as a “leader in the field”, he has an “enviable client list” including national and international companies. William Underhill has developed specific expertise in corporate finance, including securities issues and mergers and acquisitions. He is highly praised by clients for his “meticulous advice” and willingness to “always go the extra mile”.

Stephen Cooke heads the firm’s M&A practice and has experience handling takeover bids and acting for a number of listed companies including FTSE 100 clients. He is praised for his “world-class expertise”. Sources “think very highly” of Frances Murphy, who is recognised for her international corporate practice. She “skilfully” acts for both corporate clients and investment banks on corporate finance and M&A transactions, as well as being a “trusted adviser” on corporate governance matters. She is joined by Nilufer von Bismarck, who receives praise for her “creativity” and “professionalism”. Clients are impressed with her “extensive experience”, having worked across financial services, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, retail and media industries.

Corporate law is one of Sullivan & Cromwell’s strongest areas of practice, providing “specialist integrated advice” across a range of industry sectors to clients around the world. With approximately 800 lawyers working across the firm’s network of 12 offices throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and the US, Sullivan & Cromwell is well positioned to serve its diverse client base. Clients include US and non-US industrial and commercial companies, financial service institutions, investment funds, governments and individuals. The firm is often engaged in complex commercial matters that have significant tax, regulatory and litigation issues, and continues to distinguish itself by its headline making transactions, most recently advising Stykerin its $2.78 billion acquisition of Sage Products.

Rodgin Cohen has a reputation for being a “truly outstanding, innovative and technically gifted” lawyer and impresses clients with his “commercial flair”. He specialises in acquisition, regulatory, enforcement and securities law matters for US and non-US banking and other financial institutions as well as their trade associations.

Alison Ressler is a “leading authority” on corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and capital markets. Acting for a number of major corporate clients, she advises US and non-US corporations, private equity investors, boards of directors and financial advisers. Joseph Frumkin is the managing partner of the firm’s M&A group, and has been involved in “many of the largest mergers and acquisitions transactions in history”. As a “highly esteemed” practitioner, he is particularly praised for his “thorough and intelligent approach” to complex matters. Frank Aquila “stands out amidst the competition” for his “broad multidisciplinary practice”. His “enviable client list” includes global leaders such as Avon, International Airline Group, Kraft Foods Group and Pharmacia, among others.

Kirkland & Ellis maintains its position as a top corporate firm in this year’s research. The firm’s team is known for possessing an aptitude for developing “novel, creative and constructive solutions”. In January the firm announced its representation of Abbott in its $5.8 billion acquisition of Alere, as well as representing  Madison Dearborn Partners in the $2.775 billion sale of Sage Products, LLC, to Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK) in an all-cash transaction.

Scott Falk PC has been described as a “specialist in dealing with complex transactions”. His practice comprises mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings for public companies, who praise him as an “insightful adviser”.

In Hong Kong Nicholas Norris is praised for having “exceptional strategic abilities”. His “eminent practice” includes representing private equity firms, investment banks and major corporations on a matters pertaining to corporate finance, joint ventures, M&A and private equity transactions.

In New York Daniel Wolf is “widely acclaimed” for his corporate practice. He specialises in mergers and acquisitions, representing public and private companies as well as private equity firms in a broad range domestic and international transactions. Clients say they are most impressed with his “skill and dedication”, which makes him a “pleasure to work with”. He is joined by Sarkis Jebejian who has a “superb reputation” in the market for his “high standard of work”. His clients include Accenture, Golden Gate Capital, NextEra Energy, Vista Equity Partners and the independent directors of General Motors, among other industry leaders.

Herbert Smith Freehills is internationally renowned for its corporate legal services. The firm offers “market-leading” advice and representation on public and private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructurings and corporate governance. Herbert Smith Freehills prioritises establishing “long-term and deep relationships” with clients, aiming to be “trusted advisers” to clients facing complex legal and risk management challenges. Clients include the world's leading corporate and commercial organisations, investment banks, financial institutions, governments and public sector bodies.

Chair and senior partner of the firm, James Palmer is “head and shoulders above the competition”. He is recommended for “expertly guiding clients through their most complicated transactions and challenges” and offering “strong analysis” and “sophisticated solutions”.

In Sydney Tony Damian is known for providing “detail-oriented” legal advice to clients, while “keeping in mind the bigger picture”. He is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading mergers and acquisitions lawyers, with over 20 years of experience advising on listed company takeovers and mergers, along with private M&A deals.

In Madrid Álvaro Sainz is a “creative and knowledgeable lawyer” who works “exceptionally well with clients”. He offers “expert advice” on matters pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and reorganisation, corporate governance, commercial contracts and private equity.

Ralf Thaeter is the managing partner of Herbert Smith Freehills in Germany, and is described as an “innovative and creative lawyer”. He brings over 24 years’ worth of “extensive experience” practising corporate law, and has a particular focus on the energy industry including gas, power and renewables.

Rebecca Maslen-Stannage is a “real asset to clients” due to her “extensive technical abilities”. Based in Sydney, she advises leading Australian and international clients across the agribusiness, airports, construction, and retail industries, among others.

The corporate practice at Richards Layton & Finger is recognised worldwide for its “in-depth knowledge, creativity, and close attention to detail”. The firm advises national and international businesses, large cap corporations, international law firms, growing mid-market and private companies, top-tier investment banks and private investment groups on a wide range of transactions and corporate governance issues. With a particularly specialised focus on “understanding the nuances and intricacies” of Delaware law, the firm boasts handling more deals than any other Delaware firm, and has also been listed as handling the highest-value deals for 15 years running in Corporate Control Alert's annual rankings.

Gregory Varallo is a “highly respected” practitioner in the market. Described as “technically excellent”, he focuses his practice on complex corporate and business litigation, arbitration, corporate governance, and corporate transactions. With an “impressively broad practice” Samuel Nolen advises individuals, boards and management on corporate governance, transactional and control dispute issues. He is also a “fantastic litigator”, and frequently represents corporate and individual clients in derivative and class actions, fiduciary responsibility actions and other complex cases. Stephen Bigler is a “splendid professional”. His practice comprises counselling on matters pertaining to entity formation, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, defensive planning, capital-raising transactions and stockholder meetings. His clients particularly praise him for providing “insightful advice” combined with “brilliant commercial acumen”.

The “outstanding” Mark Gentile is a “top name” in the market. He regularly advises corporations, directors, board committees, officers, and stockholders on M&A, divestitures, recapitalisations, and corporate governance. He is “a firm favourite among clients”. Donald Bussard has been described as “one of the all-time greats”. He has an “impressive understanding” of the main issues facing corporate clients as a result of current global economics, and “always offers a straightforward and considered approach to complex issues”.

Linklaters ranks highly in our research, reflecting its prominent global position as a leading corporate law firm. The firm provides “commercial and insightful advice” to clients on their most complex and strategically important projects and transactions. Linklaters has built its practice on a foundation of having a thorough understanding of clients’ business needs and the firm is often at the forefront of developing innovative structures to the complexities characteristic in corporate deals. Recent work includes advising Delhaize Group on its €26 billion cross-border merger with and into Netherlands-based listed retailer Ahold.

Hans-Ulrich Wilsing is a “distinguished expert” in the field. He is known for “broad experience” of corporate matters, advising on private and corporate restructurings, public takeovers and mergers and acquisitions. Ralph Wollburg is “technically outstanding” and “beyond impressive”. Clients praise his “thoroughly business-oriented approach” which “exceeds their expectations”. The internationally renowned Charles Jacobs is an “exceptional lawyer”. He specialises in public and private M&A and international capital raisings, as well as providing general commercial and boardroom advice. He receives praise from clients for “always adding value” in his work.

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison places a strong emphasis on its corporate department, which goes to the core of its provision of legal services. With offices in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and China Paul Weiss offers a multifaceted corporate practice combining the capabilities of more than 250 lawyers across borders, industries and practice areas. The firm’s lawyers are recognised internationally as leaders particularly in mergers and acquisitions due to their innovative approach to complex transactions. The firm advises some of the world's largest multinational corporations, top-tier international investment banks, private equity, hedge funds and entrepreneurs. The firm is often involved in headline-grabbing deals having recently advised Xerox Corporation in its plan to separate into two independent public companies to maximise returns to shareholders and align the businesses to current market dynamics.

As chair of the corporate department and co-head of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group Robert Schumer provides strategic counsel to corporations, boards of directors and special committees on corporate governance, M&A, fiduciary duties, as well as matters relating to policy and strategy. He is recommended for his “vast experience” and “clear vision”, making him “highly sought after” by clients.

Recent hire Scott Barshay “possesses specialist experience in the field”. He is particularly valued for his “unrivalled technical, strategic and intellectual skills”, and has represented clients in many of the most significant M&A transactions and activist defence situations of 2015 and 2016. One example includes representing Cameron International in its $15 billion sale to Schlumberger.

Stephen Lamb focuses his practice on Delaware corporate law and governance issues. With a “well-deserved market place reputation”, he is lauded by clients for his “in-depth knowledge” and “distinguished work”. The “extremely talented” Toby Myerson is co-head of the firm's global mergers and acquisitions group. His practice comprises notable corporate clients such as Citigroup, Resolute Forest Products, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and investment banks such as Lazard Frères, Nomura Securities, and Rothschilds.

 In Beijing Xiaoyu Greg Liu is praised for his “focused approach” that “consistently achieves results”. He is “highly effective” and “user-friendly”, advising on a range of cross-border M&A transactions for both domestic and international clients.

Swiss law firm Lenz & Staehelin is host to an excellent roster of corporate lawyers. The firm is known to be “Swiss-oriented but globally attuned”, attracting clients from among the world’s most successful corporations and private individuals. Widely seen as one of the leading players in Switzerland, Lenz & Staehelin prides itself on its ability “to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing complexities of legal and regulatory environments”. The firm continues to be in the spotlight, recently advising the Swedish defence and security company SAAB in its strategic joint venture with UMS Aero Group, a Swiss producer of tactical unmanned aerial vehicles under the name UMS Skeldar.

Andreas Rötheli is head of the firm’s corporate and M&A group in Geneva. Described as an “impressively diligent professional” and a “well-known name in the market”, he regularly advises on international and domestic transactions, including private equity buy-outs and transactional real estate matters. He is joined by Rudolf Tschäni, who is widely regarded as “one of the most knowledgeable and experienced” practitioners in the industry. He provides advice on corporate governance matters as well as in takeover and stress situations, impressing clients and peers with his “meticulous attention to detail”. Matthias Wolf is a “bona fide expert” on a wide variety of matters pertaining to M&A, banking and finance, capital markets and corporate law. He is “highly sought after” by private and listed companies for his “comprehensive knowledge and extensive expertise”.

The “internationally renowned” Hans-Jakob Diem is head of the firm’s corporate and M&A practice group in Zurich. Described as the “go-to expert” by clients, he is frequently involved in some of the highest-profile domestic and cross-border transactions in the market.

Noerr is home to an outstanding team of corporate lawyers and the firm traces its history back 60 years. Handling around 300 large and medium-scale transactions a year, the practice is extremely experienced in dealing with the most complex issues. With professionals across Germany, Europe and the US, Noerr offers its international clients a “unique combination of legal excellence, creative thinking, international experience and in-depth industry knowledge”. The firm’s recent signature transactions are indicative of another strong year for the firm. In February this year, Noerr announced it had recently advised the foodpanda group on the sale to JustEat of food delivery service companies that do not belong to foodpanda’s core business, for a total purchase price of €125 million. The transaction will impact the company’s Brazilian and Mexican markets, as well as the Rocket internet services in both Spain and Italy. 

Tobias Bürgers is experiencedin the areas of mergers and acquisitions and the laws of stock corporations. He receives particular recognition in our research for having an “innovative way of looking at things that all delivers a fresh approach” to clients’ business needs. Christian Pleister is renowned for his “fantastic contribution to the market”. As a specialist at handling complex transactions, he frequently advises major clients across the telecommunications technology, media and energy sectors.

Alexander Ritvay, a “hugely respected” name in the market, practises across a “broad range” of corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions, corporate finance and restructurings. He receives particular recognition for his “distinctly client-oriented approach”. Thomas Schulz is a “standout practitioner” with a “superb reputation” for his corporate expertise, he handles numerous, domestic and cross-border transactions for his “distinguished clientele” who include strategic and financial sponsors, among others. 

Hengeler Mueller enjoys an “eminent reputation”, with an impressive roundup of more than 240 lawyers including 90 partners and offices across Germany, Europe, London and Shanghai. The firm dedicates itself to providing “high-end legal advice” to leading German and international industrial and commercial companies, banks, private equity companies, insurances and other financial service providers. The firm’s clientele includes 22 of the 30 DAX companies, 31 of the companies comprising the EURO STOXX 50, and 14 of the 30 companies listed in the Dow Jones. Recent highlights include advising the Allianz Global Investors on its acquisition of Rogge Global Partners of 100 per cent of the issued share capital in RGP from Old Mutual and RGP Management.

Michael Hoffmann-Becking skilfully advises a wide range of impressive clients across industry sectors. His “scrupulous approach” and “exhaustive knowledge base” has given him a reputation for excellence in the industry. The “wonderful” Maximilian Schiessl is “a sensational lawyer” who “certainly knows his stuff”. Clients and peers hold him in high regard for his “exceptional abilities” and “versatile thinking” in relation to complex issues. Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain is “a certain inclusion”. Clients particularly value his “entrepreneurial approach” and “highly sophisticated solutions” to their most complicated issues.

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell has a “fantastic reputation” for corporate work, particularly in Delaware. Based in Wilmington and with its roots going back to the 1930s, the firm is dedicated to providing legal services to the local community as well as handling significant matters for national and international clients interested in doing business in the state. Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell’s lawyers have longstanding experience of advising on transactional work, including mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, and financings among others. Clients include corporations, international law firms, in-house counsel, private equity and venture capital investors, to whom the firm is “committed to working with to achieve the best result possible”.

Patricia Vella focuses her practice on corporate counselling, corporate governance, financing, mergers and acquisitions and divestitures, as well as contests for corporate control. She is particularly known for “getting to the heart of an issue” as well as her “hands-on and friendly approach.”

Gilchrist Sparks III is praised among peers for his “meticulously crafted work”. As a “key industry player” he specialises in corporate and business litigation as well as corporate counselling and receives praise for his “comprehensive understanding of clients’ needs”. Frederick Alexander comes highly recommended by clients and peers for having “boundless knowledge of corporate law”. His practice comprises corporate governance and transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and corporate control contests, and he is praised for his “clear sightedness in relation to complex issues.”

The “excellent” Kenneth Nachbar is described as “invaluable in providing a real-world assessment of legal issues and risks”. His “notable practice” focuses on cases involving mergers and acquisitions, control contests and shareholder class and derivative actions. 

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