Chambers & Partners has compiled its 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' 2008 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: Tier 1
The Firm: One of the largest and most respected firms in Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis is recognized for its impressive expertise in tax. A "powerful and creative tax practice" works to "an extremely high standard," with a multifaceted team providing expert advice on fund formations, M&A and tax litigation. However, the group wins particular praise for its excellent expertise in the transactional arena. A strong litigation team means the group is also active on some prominent litigation cases, and it recently represented Qwest in litigation against the IRS.
The Lawyers: Clients "think the world of Jeff Sheffield." One source explained: "He is extraordinarily bright and imaginative, and great at problem solving." Todd Maynes receives "a great deal of respect" for his experience in tax controversy work. He was part of the team defending WR Grace against an IRS claim seeking more than $150 million. The firm has "an excellent tax authority" in Donald Rocap, report sources. He handles the tax issues that arise from complex business transactions. William Welke also focuses on the transactional aspects of tax law, and is highly recommended for his work. During his long and successful corporate career, Jack Levin has accrued a vast amount of experience advising on the tax aspects of complex business transactions, and market authorities are in awe as to the extent of his knowledge in this area.
Tax: Corporate & Finance
National Ranking: Tier 2
The Firm: This "incredibly good tax practice" is known for housing an "intellectually strong" group of lawyers, who work diligently to defend their clients' interests. Its tax group earns Chambers rankings in New York and its native Illinois, where it is well established as a leading light. The firm has become renowned for its private equity practice, which assists with fund formation and subsequent operation. Jeffrey Sheffield, Todd Maynes and Donald Rocap are all familiar faces at the Illinois tax Bar, and Patrick Gallagher is highly rated in New York.
New York Ranking: Tier 3
The Firm: This private equity-focused practice is singled out as a "highly significant player" thanks to the quality of its work in fund formation and transactions. The lawyers are acclaimed by interviewees as "business-oriented, practical and innovative, with a great understanding of all the issues." The New York office is acknowledged to be strong, but the firm's Chicago headquarters is seen as the true nerve center.
The Lawyers: "Superb tax lawyer" Patrick Gallagher's broad expertise encompasses corporate and private equity-led transactions, various types of fund formation, bankruptcy and capital markets deals. Both clients and peers rely on his "judgment calls in difficult situations." Greer Phillips has recently advised private equity clients on a number of large acquisitions and spin-outs. He impresses interviewees with his commercial sense and formidable intellect. Frequently seen working alongside Phillips, Steven Clemens also advises private equity clients on acquisitions and is similarly known as a "highly effective problem solver." He has also worked on restructurings. Kevin Treesh has handled the tax aspects of both domestic and international M&A transactions; he is considered "extremely good to work with."
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2008 — www.chambersandpartners.com.