Award Chambers & Partners

The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2007: Private Equity

On an annual basis, Chambers & Partners conducts extensive research and thorough data analysis in compiling its objective list of legal talent available at the highest level of international legal practice. Its research methodology has been independently audited and confirmed to be thorough, robust and complete.

In Chambers' 2007 review of international legal talent in the area of Private Equity, our Firm is listed among the best in the world.

Chambers' comments:

Private Equity: Buyouts & Venture Capital Investments
USA Ranking: 1

The Firm: The firm undoubtedly dominates the Midwest, but with recent, significant lateral hires in New York and London, and the opening of a new Hong Kong office in autumn 2006, the private equity group's global strategy is clear for all to see. The international office network is said to provide "a seamless service," while the US team is famed for its "tough negotiators." The firm's wide-ranging expertise was recently put to the test in its representation of the spin-out of the Venture Capital division of Citigroup, the group's fourth spin-out deal in 18 months. It also advised on the subsequent USD3 billion fund-raising for the new venture.

The Lawyers: Chicago rainmaker and widely published author Jack Levin is mentor to this impressive group, winning praise for his first rate strategic advice. Also based in Chicago, Kevin Evanich earned commendation for his eclectic practice, which encompasses M&A, LBOs and fund formation. He is a talented business lawyer who "never fails to provide the best possible service." Stephen Fraidin in New York retains an international reputation as a leading figure in the field. As relationship partner for marquee client BainCapital, amongst others, Jeffrey Hammes has a significant following, and divides his time between Chicago and the West Coast. New York-based Kirk Radke impresses clients with his specialist LBOs and fund formation expertise. Following his arrival from Sidley Austin in 2005, Jon Ballis has already made a major contribution to the practice according to sources who describe him as "an all-around great guy." Sandy Perl is a "hard-working younger partner" who is rapidly emerging as arising star in the sector. Clients are also impressed by the army of strong associates supporting the group's key partners.

Clients/Work Highlights: Clients include Madison Dearborn; BainCapital; Forstmann Little; Citadel Broadcasting; CVC Capital Partners; Golden Gate Capital; Infor Global Solutions; Wills Stein & Partners; Sun Capital Partners and Silverpoint Capital LP.

Private Equity: Fund Formation
USA Ranking: 2

The Firm: A mainstay in the market, this Chicago-based powerhouse has not only made a substantial impact on New York but also on the international private equity market. Its seven offices include bases in the key markets of London and Munich. This cross-border capability has enabled the firm to represent UK buyout house CVC Equity Partners on its formation of CVC Capital Partners IV, a fund worth USD7.3 billion.

The Lawyers: Bruce Ettelson is at the forefront of this "terrific private funds team." His considerable expertise extends to investment management and corporate counseling, making him a valuable resource for private equity clients.

Clients/Work Highlights: AIG Private Equity; Merrill Lynch Private Equity; Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Warburg Pincus.

Private Equity
Germany Ranking: 3

The Firm: Market sources identified the group as "among Germany's leading players in private equity." A modestly-sized but highly influential team, it has made a major impact since entering the German legal market two years ago. "Superb in the funds arena," it is also singled out for the quality of its work in distressed debt deals. Lawyers regularly advise the large US private houses and as such, commentators noted the group's "impressive capacity to handle prominent international mandates."

The Lawyers: "One of the best in the market ," Volker Kullmann is held in high esteem by peers and clients alike. His "formidable technical abilities and market know-how" make him a hugely valuable figure for the firm.

Clients/Work Highlights: Renowned US private equity outfit BainCapital is among the companies represented by the firm.

Private Equity: International Buyouts
United Kingdom Ranking: 3

The Firm: Private equity has always been a focus for this outstanding US practice, from its Chicago heartland to a burgeoning team in New York. The firm is now successfully applying the same formula to its European operations, with one client observing: "They have started small and looked at what clients are doing, it's a smart move." The opening of an office in Munich rather than Frankfurt was also said to be an astute move by the firm. Investing heavily in its London office, the much-publicised recruitment of Linklaters' Graham White and Raymond McKeeve demonstrates a real commitment to the firm's City operation and is felt by peers to have brought the team the experience of the local marketplace that it needed. US lawyer James Learner enters the tables after strong client commendation as a "classy operator." Key clients include Madison Dearborn and Bain Capital inter alia.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers Global, The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2007 -