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' 2009 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
This leading player in the Chicago market is acclaimed as "one of the most innovative tax groups in the nation." According to commentators, the 42-strong team "sits at the cutting edge of deal structuring and provides a clear competitive advantage in pursuing transactions." It has handled an increasing amount of workouts and mergers, and notably represented Calpine during its emergence from bankruptcy after two years of Chapter 11 protection. Todd Maynes led the team in this work with his comprehensive knowledge of corporate income tax and the tax implications of bankruptcies. Clients particularly value his ability "to boil down complex problems to simple solutions." Jack Levin advises on the tax aspects of complex business transactions, and while he is no longer active on day-to-day deals, he has accrued marketwide respect for his expert legal capabilities. Jeffrey Sheffield puts his experience of tax planning for public and closely-held entities to good use in a mix of M&A and venture capital transactions, as does William Welke, who has risen in the rankings with his "encyclopedic knowledge of tax structuring strategies." He has had a successful year carrying out extensive corporate-based work on behalf of Madison Dearborn Partners. Donald Rocap has a busy practice assisting hedge funds with the tax aspects of fund formation. This much-admired and envied outfit has always made tax a focal point, and clients value the extent of its expertise as most of its corporate lawyers are also extremely conversant in sophisticated tax issues.
Tax: Corporate & Finance
Nationwide Ranking: Tier 2
This national tax group of 54 fee earners is renowned for its expertise in private equity and bankruptcies. "If you have a complicated problem you go to them because you can rely on getting a brilliant answer," report clients. The practice continues to secure work in numerous acquisitions, high-end fund formations and bankruptcies, where it acts as tax counsel in developing innovative tax structures. The Chicago office has traditionally been the hub of its national practice and is also home to the notable talents of Don Rocap and Todd Maynes. The smaller New York office adds support, with Patrick Gallagher and Greer Phillips the key contacts here. Regardless of location, "all the attorneys are extremely conversant in complex transactional tax issues," sources agree. Major clients include Madison Dearborn and CVC Capital Partners.
New York Ranking: Tier 3
This firm has three offices in the USA undertaking tax work, including a 14-strong New York team that is renowned for its skills in private equity and asset management. Recent work includes a mix of tax accounting, transaction structuring, deal negotiation and cross-border deal consultation in the tax, alternative fund and real estate fields. The team is particularly good at "the most complicated tax-driven transactions," including deals with precedent-setting, cutting-edge aspects. It acted for Apax Partners on the $1.4 billion go-private acquisition of TriZetto Group, which was one of only a handful of such transactions of that value to close in the USA in 2008. Pat Gallagher worked on this deal. He advises private equity companies on the tax structuring of complex domestic and cross-border transactions and is praised by clients for "paying scrupulous attention to all the details." Greer Phillips can be relied on to provide an "accurate answer to any question without making you feel ignorant for asking." Tax-free spin-outs are one of his areas of focus, and he was recently instructed by Clearwire to advise on its $14.5 billion WiMax joint venture with Sprint Nextel. Steven Clemens advises on domestic and cross-border M&A and major bankruptcies. Kevin Treesh focuses on structuring strategic and private equity acquisitions and dispositions.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2009 — www.chambersandpartners.com.