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' 2006 review of national legal talent in the area of "Tax," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
Illinois Ranking: 1
The Firm: A team of 20 lawyers ensures the Chicago office contributes significantly to Kirkland & Ellis' worldwide reputation for tax. In particular, the group's work is recognized as preeminent in the private equity and bankruptcy areas. Commentators were in no doubt as to the impressiveness of the "wonderful" lawyers here and were envious of the "strength in depth" of the all-encompassing tax service on offer to clients. Strong on transactions of many types, the team is pefectly placed to react to the recent increase in LBOs, and it is additionally highly respected in Illinois for its tax controversy practice.
The Lawyers: Esteemed adviser Jack Levin is widely revered as "the dean of tax law." The influence of this "fabulous lawyer" is felt throughout the corporate and transaction-based areas of the firm, and he has many years of experience of complex deals and fund formations. Jeffrey Sheffield commands the respect of commentators for his transactional tax advice. A recent highlight was working on the sale of Toys 'R' Us to KKR and others, one of the biggest deals of 2005. Sheffield also represented GM in the sale of one of its interests and has been involved in buyouts around the world. Widely recognized for his expertise in private equity Donald Rocap is lauded as an excellent corporate lawyer by commentators. People say he is "very thorough and easy to work with," as well as "flexible" — often a deciding factor in getting a deal done. "Smart and thoughtful" Todd Maynes uses his considerable knowledge of tax law to solve bankruptcy and controversy problems for some of the biggest companies in the country. Recent work has included acting as the lead lawyer for United Airlines in its bankruptcy hearings, and successfully representing other airlines in a case that disputed the amount of money that the state authority had taken in fuel tax. Clients referred to William Welke as "an invaluable resource for any team, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the law." This "creative lawyer" is known for his experience in structuring private equity transactions and represents leading investment funds such as Madison Dearborn Partners.
Clients/Work Highlights: Alcoa; American Capital; BainCapital; Conseco Services; GTCR; Goense Bounds & Partners; Northwest Airlines; Parthenon Capital; Sara Lee; ServiceMaster; Summit Partners and Tenet Healthcare.
New York Ranking: 3
The Firm: Champions of complex litigation and tax controversy, this firm has obtained favorable rulings from the IRS for a host of clients including United Airlines, Conseco and GM. It has also tried numerous tax cases before the US Supreme Court. Its prowess in court is equalled by its transactional strength. CVC Capital Partners enlisted the team's assistance in its creation of CVC European Equity Partners IV. Experienced attorneys raised $7.2 billion from institutional investors across the USA, Middle East and Europe. The team also acted as lead counsel on the closing of CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific II (Fund II), a joint venture with Citigroup. The fund closed at $2 billion and is reportedly the largest private equity fund in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The Lawyers: Described as "methodical and thoughtful," Patrick Gallagher is recognized for his substantial private equity fund formation practice. He is equally schooled in bankruptcy restructurings and workouts. "Intensely knowledgeable" Greer Phillips "always comes up with brilliant solutions." He is "superexperienced" in both domestic and cross-border transactions and advises clients in Europe, Asia and Latin America, as well as US investors. Kevin Treesh focuses on planning and structuring both domestic and international acquisitions and dispositions. He enters the rankings following glowing market feedback. Also garnering plaudits for his thriving M&A practice is rising star Steven Clemens, an attorney equally experienced in the formation of private equity funds.
Clients/Work Highlights: Clients of the firm hail from the USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2006 - www.chambersandpartners.com.