Award Chambers & Partners

The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2008: Tax

On an annual basis, Chambers & Partners conducts extensive research and thorough data analysis in compiling its objective list of 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' 2008 review of international legal talent in the area of Tax, our Firm is listed among the best in the world.

Chambers' comments:

Tax: Corporate
USA Ranking: 1

The Firm: This Chicago-based powerhouse maintains its dominance in the tax arena, providing “a seamless service” to clients, with lawyers from each of the firm’s offices contributing to the overall effectiveness of its tax advice. Always strong, it has benefited from the recent upsurge in market activity by private equity concerns, many of which have long had a relationship with the firm. The “remarkably talented lawyers” here service funds and venture capitalists, assisting them in investing in LBOs, start-up companies, workout transactions and real estate interests. Recently the tax team advised GM on its sale of a 51% interest in GMAC to an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management, for approximately USD14 billion. Other highlights include providing tax advice to Sara Lee in connection with its global restructuring, and advising Bain Capital on the global tax and structuring issues in its USD3 billion acquisition of the Sensors & Controls division of Texas Instruments. Peers and clients alike praised this “outstanding team” for its work in the corporate tax environment and admired the formidable lawyers it deploys on a variety of matters.

The Lawyers: Jeffrey Sheffield is a senior figure in the field, who conducts a range of acquisitions and dispositions for private equity clients such as Bain Capital, and public companies such as GM - for whom he worked on the divestiture of GMAC. Observers point to his “extraordinary talent for getting deals done.” His recent work includes representing AT&T in defence of a class action alleging the client over-collected sales taxes on telephone bills from millions of customers. Sheffield was successful in persuading the court to dismiss the suit.

Clients/Work Highlights: Sara Lee; AT&T; United Airlines; Providence Equity Partners and WR Grace.

Global Ranking: 3

The Firm: This rapidly expanding Chicago-based firm has a global practice of around 65 tax lawyers working out of offices across the USA and its international bases in London and Munich. A significant portion of the firm’s corporate work relates to private equity and restructurings, and consequently its specialist tax advice in this sector is widely respected. Of late, the firm has worked with Providence Equity Partners on its GBP1.46 billion acquisition of Caudwell Communications and Bain Capital’s USD3 billion acquisition of Sensata Technologies. It is also guiding Calpine and over 250 subsidiaries through the Chapter 11 restructuring process.

The Lawyers: In Chicago, Jeffrey Sheffield is held in high regard for the quality of his M&A-related advice, while New York’s Patrick Gallagher is prominent for his private equity-focused work. Across the Atlantic, John Baldry and Ian Taplin are both admired for their M&A and fund formation expertise, again reflective of the firm’s strength in private equity-related matters. In Munich, Roderic Pagel focuses on an array of transactional taxation.

Clients/Work Highlights: The firm has advised Collins & Aikman on its European operations following the entry of the US group into Chapter 11 proceedings, and Dura Automotive on the European restructuring issues stemming from the US Chapter 11 of its parent. In London, the firm has acted on behalf of a US company and an Asian fund on their respective AIM listings.

UK Ranking: 4

The Firm: This highly rated tax team handles an ever-increasing workload, following significant additions to the London office’s private equity and fund formation practice groups. A keystone of the firm’s European practice, two partners and two associates comprise a group that clients are “always happy to use,” and that they hope will “continue its great progress.” Private equity, fund formation, M&A and restructuring remain the bedrock of the practice, with recent successes including advising (for the first time) UK client Providence Equity Partners on its GBP1.46 billion acquisition of Caudwell Communications, and Bain Capital’s USD3 billion acquisition of Sensata Technologies.

The Lawyers: “Clever, meticulous and thorough,” John Baldry is called upon by clients for his expertise in M&A work with private equity components. He is also known for bringing his “creative and user-friendly” approach to restructuring matters. “Seasoned” Ian Taplin is lauded as an “insightful listener” by sources with experience of his work on international tax planning, fund formation and M&A.

Clients/Work Highlights: The team worked with car manufacturer Collins & Aikman in relation to its European operations following the entry of the US group into Chapter 11 proceedings. Other clients include BA Capital Partners; German Portfolio Holding; Goldman Sachs; Permira Advisers and The Blackstone Group.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers Global, The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2008 -