Award Chambers & Partners

The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2009: Bankruptcy/Restructuring

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' 2009 review of international legal talent in the area of Bankruptcy/Restructuring, our Firm is listed among the best in the world.

Chambers' comments:

Global Ranking: Tier 1

Referred to by rivals as "an outstanding team," there is little doubt that the US element of this firm's restructuring group is "at the top of its game; clearly the biggest and the best." The New York office has been bolstered by the arrival of Natasha Labovitz from Gibson Dunn. Described as "the busiest firm on the block," Kirkland & Ellis has clearly impressed its peers, many of whom see the team as "quite simply eclipsing the field on the debtor-work side." The US practice has a proven track record representing clients in concurrent and ancillary bankruptcy filings under the US Bankruptcy Code and the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act in Canada, acting for high-profile clients such as Calpine and Dura Automotive in cross-border matters. The group is also increasingly acting in restructurings with a South American and Caribbean element. Although not as fêted as its colleagues across the Channel, the European restructuring practice is steadily building up its market presence. These "bright, attentive lawyers" impress clients with the "speed with which they handle things" and their "ability to explain complex issues in layman's terms." Although the practice is run out of only two offices — London and Munich — the team has relationships with local counsel and regulators in several jurisdictions and has been involved in many of the larger European restructurings over the past few years. The European practice is generally recognised as being less debtor-focused than its US counterpart. A glance at three of the team's biggest matters of the past year provides a good indication of the versatility of the restructuring practice: the group acted as co-counsel to the bondholders of Schefenacker; it represented one of the principal creditors in the Eurotunnel restructuring; and it continues to act (on both sides of the Atlantic) for Sea Containers Group in its complex global restructuring. "Intellectual heavyweight" Richard Cieri is the key player in the New York office, and is best known for representing financially distressed companies, debtors and boards of directors.

USA Ranking: Tier 1

This prominent, 80-strong restructuring group "eclipses the rest of the field on the debtor-work side," and is considered to be "one of the biggest and the best" in the market. Operating across the firm's Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC offices, the team is "truly outstanding — right at the top of its game." New York is the epicentre of the team, with peers and industry figures alike crediting the inspired stewardship of Rick Cieri as being central to the group's high standing. Leading a team of 30 restructuring lawyers, this "intellectual heavyweight" is lauded for being "a master at bringing in the work," and for managing "to keep a finger on almost every deal." Although the Los Angeles and Chicago offices have seen some departures, the New York practice has grown steadily since Cieri took the helm in early 2005. The firm's reputation is anchored in its debtor representation; however, it also takes on some creditor work and represents hedge funds and other investors in distressed companies. Recent high-profile clients include Calpine, Solutia, Movie Gallery and SIRVA.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers Global, The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2009 -