16 Latham & Watkins
With a global network spanning 13 countries Latham & Watkins aims to help clients achieve their business goals anywhere in the world. In its latest promotion round, the firm made up 25 new partners and 31 counsel, effective as of 2016, across the firm’s five departments and its network; reflecting Latham & Watkins commitment to its global coverage and full-service offering.
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
With a “renowned” finance practice, Latham & Watkins has an “impressive roster of clients” and is actively engaged in some of the most complex and challenging deals in the market. Practitioners at the firm are recommended for their banking and project finance expertise. One recent example of the firm’s work is representing the sponsors in the $290 million project financing of a 30MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island; the first transaction to use Alstom’s new Haliade 150-6.0 MW turbine generators on a commercial basis.
Global co-chair of the energy-power industry group Jonathan Rod in New York handles securities and finance matters with “great flair”. He is an “innovative lawyer” who has spent considerable time working on project bond financings in US capital markets. Stephen McWilliams in Singapore is a “leading figure” in the Asia-Pacific region for project finance transactions. Los Angeles-based Jeffrey Greenberg stands out for his work with financial institutions and private equity sponsors, public and private companies, in connection with the development and financing of projects. Alongside him, Gregory Robins chairs the office’s finance department and specialises in leveraged finance. Christopher Kandel in London is co-chair of the global banking practice group and a “stellar practitioner”. His “sensible and practical advice” is much admired by clients who rely on his experience in leveraged finance and restructuring matters.
The capital markets practice is “stellar” and is comprised of more than 300 lawyers in offices around the world. Co-chair of the global Islamic finance practice Craig Nethercott is recommended for his “insightful advice” and “ability to get to grips with an issue in record speed”. On the structured finance front, Ellen Marks in Chicago is a “stand out” while in Los Angeles Vicki Marmorstein is an “incredibly impressive lawyer”. She represents multinational companies and funds and is described as “someone to be reckoned with”. On the debt and equity side, in Singapore vice chair of the firm’s global corporate department Michael Sturrock represents both issuers and underwriters in corporate financings, and both buyers and sellers in public and private merger and acquisition transactions. He is consistently regarded as possessing “unprecedented expertise in handling complex transactions”. He is joined by Sharon Lau who has been highly praised for her “creative and solutions-driven” approach, and “tenacity in negotiations”. The New York office is represented by the “technically gifted” Kirk Davenport II.
The antitrust and competition practice aids clients in gaining merger clearance, as well as in their cartel and conduct investigations, and with litigation matters. The firm is particularly recommended for its work in private litigation matters in recent years as well as working on some of the larger deals in the market including Actavis’ $73 billion acquisition of Allergan.
Co-chair of the firm’s practice Al Pfeiffer is based in San Francisco where he specialises in litigation. He boasts an “enviable reputation” in the market and has a “commanding presence in the courtroom”. Fellow co-chair Sven Völcker in Brussels is an “esteemed practitioner” who clients “cannot praise highly enough”. His “expertly guides clients through” EU and German competition law issues. Lars Kjølbye formerly spent 10 years at the European Commission’s DG Comp and uses this experience to provide “insightful advice” to clients on their competition issues across a range of industries. Daniel Wall has particular expertise in the application of antitrust laws to high technology industries, and over the past 34 years has litigated over 80 antitrust cases, and handled over 50 merger review processes. Niall Lynch is best known as a litigator specialising in cartel matters. He is a “first-rate” lawyer with “finely tuned skills” and a “great eye for detail”. Abbott “Tad” Lipsky Jr in Washington, DC served as The Coca-Cola Company’s chief antitrust lawyer for 10 years, and has “vast experience” across the US, EU, Canada and Japan. Clients praise his “international mindset” and “quick grasp of complex issues”.
Latham & Watkins is a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge and has committed to providing the equivalent of 60 hours per US lawyer per year in pro bono legal services. Each year since making this commitment, the firm has surpassed the goal. Just one of the ways in which Latham & Watkins has instilled a culture of pro bono at the firm is by treating associate pro bono hours the same as commercial billable hours for the purposes of evaluation and bonuses. Highlights of the practice include its human rights work representing asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their homelands, and its endeavours to assist Holocaust survivors who might be eligible for a monthly lifetime pension out of Germany’s social insurance system.
The firm is made up of a “rich mixture of men and women of different races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, cultures and primary languages”. Latham & Watkins’ commitment to diversity is demonstrated through its diversity programmes, its equal employment opportunity policy and its women enriching business committee, which is designed to attract top talent and support the long-term success of women.