Award Chambers & Partners

America's Leading Business Lawyers 2003-2004: Corporate/M&A

Chambers & Partners has compiled their independent and objective list of America's Leading Business Lawyers based on comments gathered from thousands of interviews with clients and lawyers from Maine to Hawaii.   This  guide -- which is designed to reflect market opinion -- contains a view of the firms and attorneys who are considered leaders in their field. 
In Chambers' 2003-2004 review of national legal talent in the area of "Corporate/M&A," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
Chambers' comments:
Ranking: 1

The Firm:
"An all-around solid corporate practice," its trump card remains a huge and preeminent private equity group that is national in scope and operation. Peers concede that no other Midwest practice operates in the same league. Although the firm has been hit by the downturn in venture capital work, such is its grip on the market that its caseload remains prolific.

The Lawyers: The firm continues to benefit from the presence of Jack Levin, described simply as "the consummate attorney." An undisputed doyen of the Chicago legal scene, he earns the highest respect for his "innovative and inquiring mind." His status as a private equity lawyer is matched by a superlative reputation as a tax attorney. The "combative" M&A practice, although slightly overshadowed by its private equity counterpart, contains a number of top-level, experienced attorneys. Its aggressive style may not appeal to all commentators, but no one denies that the team is "crammed with incredibly smart people." The corporate caseload is underpinned by the firm's outstanding blue-chip debtor bankruptcy practice, and attorneys have kept active by handling the corporate aspects of insolvency cases. Regarded as one of the "most accessible" senior attorneys at the firm, Carter Emerson was commended to researchers as a "first-class individual in the traditional corporate mould." He concentrates on complex M&A, LBOs and IPOs, recently representing Dean Foods on its $1.5 billion merger with Suiza Foods and advising on the sale of OSCA to BJ Services. The popular Kevin Evanich has a general corporate practice, and represents both institutional clients and some privately held companies. He advised on the sale of SecurityLink to ADT for $1 billion, and acted on the disposal of Anchor Food Products to a consortium of HJ Heinz and McCain Foods and that of Bently Nevada to a division of GE, each for over $600 million. Bill Kirsch is rated as another of the group's "key players." Employing an "assertive" style in the meeting room, he has advised on various private equity fund structures, and represented Reiman Publications on its purchase by Reader's Digest. Other highlights include the acquisition of TWA by American Airlines, and representing Madison Dearborn Partners on its acquisition of Jefferson Smurfit, one of the largest LBOs in European history. Jeffrey Hammes acts for clients such as Bain Capital, Golden Gate Capital and Hidden Creek Industries. His LBO and restructuring practice has included advising on a $700 million LBO for Golden Gate Capital and on Dade Behring's $1.5 billion debt for equity restructuring.

The Clients: A recent highlight for the firm was advising GTCR Golder Rauner on its $800 million acquisition of TSI Telecommunication Services. Other clients include Adolph Coors Company; American Medical Laboratories; BioChem Pharma; Dean Foods; Doncasters; Gaylord Container; GM; Great Lakes Chemical Corporation; Lands' End; Madison Dearborn Partners; PayPal; Thomas H Lee Company; TWA; Willis Stein & Partners and William Blair & Company.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers & Partners:  America's Leading Business Lawyers 2003-2004