Award Chambers & Partners

The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2009: Private Equity

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 Private Equity, our Firm is listed among the best in the world.

Chambers' comments:

Global Ranking: Tier 2

This Chicago-based firm has drawn on the global reputation of its fund formation expertise to develop its growing transactional practice, and it is increasingly recognised on the transactional front for its "wealth of experience in mid-market deals." Clients praise the firm's "consistent quality in lots of key areas" and agree that it's "a great choice for doing transactions that cross a lot of disciplines." It is also valued for the seamless co-operation of its offices in different jurisdictions. The firm has a long history of specialisation in the field, with sources commenting: "It has been doing this work in an integrated fashion for over 20 years and that's a lot of experience to bring to the table." Kirk Radke and Kevin Evanich are the chief contacts in the USA, while Graham White is the main deal lawyer in the London office. In Germany, Volker Kullmann advises a range of clients on continental European transactions. David Eich spearheads the firm's growing presence in Hong Kong. Recent landmark deals include advising Oaktree Capital Management on its investments into China and acting for Bain Capital on its USD1.7 billion global LBO of American Standard Bath & Kitchen. It also represented a private equity consortium comprising Apax Partners, Barclays Capital and Tchenguiz Group in its GBP1.6 billion disposal of UK grocer Somerfield to Co-operative Group. Other major clients include Madison Dearborn Partners, Advantage Partners and Sun Capital Partners.

Private Equity: Buyouts
USA Ranking: Tier 2

This Midwest firm has been making consistent gains in the private equity legal market over the past few years. Clients speak of its "unrivalled expertise in transactions, particularly in the mid-market;" they also point favourably to the firm's "consistent quality and depth in many areas, which brings huge value when doing transactions that cross over disciplines." This is matched in many observers' minds by the "sheer creativity in problem solving demonstrated by these lawyers." Aggressive international expansion has helped facilitate the creativity even further and means the firm surpasses its Chicago roots in global reputation. On a different tack, the firm's "hard-nosed, bare-knuckled approach" in negotiations serves it well in dealing with some of the world's major corporates. Recent work includes representing Vestar Capital Partners on its acquisition of Radiation Therapy Services for USD1.1 billion. The firm's other key clients include Madison Dearborn Partners, Sun Capital Partners, Bain Capital and MidOcean Partners. "Impressive depth of experience across a range of deals" places Kevin Evanich at the top of many clients' list of private equity lawyers. Experienced in both transactions and fund formation, Evanich's funds work provides him with "exceptional perspective on transactions." Kirk Radke brings a similar breadth of experience on both sides of the table. Clients define Radke as "a terrific lawyer with an exhaustive practice." His recent highlights include CVC Capital Partners' EUR2.5 billion acquisition of Univar. Jeffrey Hammes is "a lawyer who grasps the big picture with every transaction." Hammes splits his time between the firm's Chicago and San Francisco offices. Recent highlights include his representation of Golden Gate Capital on its USD778 million acquisition of Limited Brands Express. "His work is truly excellent," declare clients of Douglas Gessner, who is one of the relationship partners for client Sun Capital Partners.

Europe-wide Ranking: Tier 3

K&E has firmly attached itself to the success of private equity in its heartland of the USA and is rightly regarded as being near the pinnacle of that marketplace. Europe has not figured quite as highly in its plans; at least, not until a couple of years ago. Now it can lay claim to be settled in both London and Germany (where it has offices in Frankfurt and Munich), and it is attracting local clients as well as serving the European needs of US-based operations. Notable mandates include acting for Bain Capital in its GBP1.4 billion acquisition of UK-based Brakes Group as well as on the acquisition of Bavaria Yachtbau, the sailing and motorboat manufacturer, for EUR1.3 billion. The German teams regularly act for Sun Capital Partners, Bridgepoint Capital and Summit Partners. James Learner heads the London group. 

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