Chambers & Partners has compiled their independent and objective list of America's Leading Lawyers for Business 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' 2004-2005 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.
The Firm: "Perennially strong" for both public company M&A and private equity matters. Both nationally and internationally Kirkland & Ellis's reputation for private equity is unsurpassed with clients endorsing it as "the all-star team." The corporate group numbers approximately 150 attorneys active on such matters as corporate finance, M&A, corporate governance and restructurings. Market commentators noted that the team "has done a great job with its work in the troubled company M&A arena."
The Lawyers: Clients place Jack Levin on a pedestal as "the father of private equity." He is "extraordinarily talented" with "a wealth of experience in LBOs" that has attracted a loyal client following. He remains a valuable source of strategic advice and is commended as one of the market's pioneering figures. "First-class practitioner" Kevin Evanich is much admired for his work on fund formation and leveraged acquisitions and buyouts. He has advised an impressive range of clients such as Code Hennessy & Simmons, Adams Street Partners and Pfingsten Partners. He acted for GTCR in the formation of its new $2 billion private equity fund. Although some attorneys find his approach aggressive, Bill Kirsch "has a 'can-do' attitude and excellent judgment" and wins further plaudits from clients as "a great businessman's lawyer - we can outline a problem and objective to him and he gets there." His work on one of the largest mergers in Europe, acting for Madison Dearborn Partners in its $4.1 billion acquisition of Jefferson Smurfit Group of Ireland, is representative of his and the team's seamless approach to both local and international work. He also acted for Conseco in its sale of the General Motors Building in New York City to Macklowe Properties for $1.4 billion, one of the highest prices ever paid for a New York office building. "Constructive deal doer" Carter Emerson has combined his work on major M&A transactions with corporate governance and advice on 144A offerings. He has also recently worked on the corporate aspects of restructurings including that of worldwide battery manufacturer, Exide Technologies. As a certified public accountant, Jeffrey Hammes offers financial acumen in addition to legal expertise. He represents private equity funds on M&A and buyouts, acting for Bain Capital on its acquisition of Unisource Worldwide form Georgia-Pacific for $850 million. He has also recently worked on the acquisition of software companies for Golden Gate Capital and counsels an extensive client base that includes Thayer Capital, Gryphon Capital and Swander Pace Capital. Also a certified public accountant, Sandy Perl was endorsed by clients as "unflappable and wise beyond his years; he sees ten moves ahead." With a track record displaying an impressive range of private equity funds, he represented Madison Dearborn Partners and Mentor in their acquisition of REM and acted for William Blair Capital Partners in its sale of Pharma to Inveresk Research. Scott Falk's corporate practice encompasses public M&A, securities and corporate governance. Clients say "he is a delight to work with -- knowledgeable and with a wide range of experience." Representative matters include acting for Concord EFS in its $6.7 billion proposed merger with First Data and advising United Airlines and its parent company on corporate restructuring.
The Clients: Kraft; Madison Dearborn Partners; Conseco; GM; Concord EFS; United Airlines; GTCR; Bain Capital; Code Hennessy & Simmons; Adams Street Partners; Pfingsten Partners; SUN Capital Partners; PayPal; Providence Equity; Thayer Capital and William Blair Capital Partners.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers & Partners: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2004-2005