Award Chambers & Partners

America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2007: Banking & Finance

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' 2007 review of national legal talent in the area of "Banking & Finance," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.

Chambers' comments:

Illinois Ranking: 3

The Firm: This firm has become renowned over the years as the first choice for borrowers. Unlike many of the other outfits in the table, Kirkland is frequently found acting for borrowers in acquisition and working capital transactions, revolving synthetic lease financings and equipment leasing. It was also involved recently in the financing of a tender offer in Europe for the stock of a foreign corporation. Other highlights include acting for BainCapital in its acquisition of Burlington Coat Factory, for which a $6 billion dollar facility was required, and negotiating first and second lien financing for Hanesbrands when it was spun off from Sara Lee. The group is also active in representing lenders such as banks, pension funds, mezzanine lenders, Small Business Investment Companies and other private equity funds.

The Lawyers: Andrew Kaufman heads the firm’s financing and secured transactions practice, representing private equity funds as both borrowers and lenders as well as a full range of investment banks and other lending institutions. This superbly thoughtful attorney is “a grizzled veteran of many negotiations” who clients can depend on to fight their corner and to “explain complicated things in a simplified manner.” Marked out by some sources as the smartest guy they know, Christopher Butler is active in both lending and borrowing but with an emphasis on the latter. A notable example of his work was the setting up of the $3.3 billion senior secured term and revolving credit facility for Windstream in connection with the spin out of ALLTEL. Maureen Sweeney acts for borrowers and lenders on the negotiation, structuring and documentation of secured and unsecured financing transactions.

Clients/Work Highlights: Bank One; Greenwich Capital; Madison Dearborn Partners and Great Lakes Capital.

New York Ranking: 4 (Banking & Finance: Acquisition Finance)

The Firm: As one of the premier addresses for private equity and LBO work, the firm has ideally positioned itself to act as borrowers and buyout sponsors counsel in acquisition financings. According to clients, the firm delivers “a very high standard of service.” Its experience includes the negotiation and documentation of acquisition loans, LBO and mezzanine financings and other bank facilities. Given the strength of its insolvency practice, the firm is also well versed in debt restructuring issues.

Clients/Work Highlights: Borrower clients range from Fortune 50 corporations to private equity houses and their portfolio companies as well as emerging growth companies. Lender clients include banks, pension funds, mezzanine lenders and private equity funds.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2007 -