Award Chambers & Partners

America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2010: Banking & Finance

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' 2010 review of national legal talent in the area of "Banking & Finance," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.

Chambers' comments:  

Illinois Ranking: Tier 2

The Firm: This practice is known for its impressive work representing borrowers, equity investors and buyout sponsors. In recent times, the team has seen an increase in restructuring work and DIP financings. It also has expertise in liquidity raising and acquisitions. Work highlights include representing affiliates of Bain Capital in a major investment in GOME Electrical Appliances Holding, the largest retailer in China. This deal is expected to raise around $418 million and become one of the largest private equity deals ever completed in China. Kirkland also served as special financing counsel to Circuit City Stores when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Sources Say: "The lawyers are bright, pragmatic and easy to work."

Key Individuals: Linda Myers heads up the financing and secured transactions group. She focuses on debt financing transactions. Christopher Butler recently represented Bain Capital and Unisource Worldwide in the refinancing of an asset-based lending credit facility worth $575 million. Maureen Sweeney acted for Polymer Group in obtaining an amend and extend of its $455 million senior secured financing. Louis Hernandez represents lenders and borrowers in secured and unsecured corporate financings. Michelle Kilkenney is described as "talented, bright, creative and incredibly hard-working."

Nationwide Ranking: Tier 3

The Firm: Widely known for its work for equity sponsors and borrowers, this excellent firm's national practice covers private equity and leveraged buyouts as well as workouts and restructurings. The firm has a number of offices supporting its national banking and finance practice, including the well-established Chicago office and an increasing presence in New York. Clients include Integra Telecom, Golden Gate Capital and packaging firm Bemis. The lawyers advised Warburg Pincus and Targa Resources on the latter's $700 million credit facility for, among other things, the refinancing of its existing credit agreement.

Sources Say: "An impressive group of specialists in their field."

Key Individuals: New York-based Jay Ptashek and Chicago-based Linda Myers are key contacts.

New York Ranking: Tier 3

The Firm: This respected practice continues to branch out from its strong private equity client base and restructuring focus, and advises on a wide variety of transactions in addition to leveraged buyouts and workouts. The team advised Integra Telecom in connection with the restructuring of its $300 million Holdco credit agreement, $300 million second lien credit agreement and $650 million first lien credit agreement. Its clients also include First Atlantic, Vestar Capital Partners and Warburg Pincus.

Sources Say: "A team with fantastic depth of knowledge and a client-friendly approach."

Key Individuals: Recent arrival Jay Ptashek's practice covers debt restructurings and syndicated debt and bridge loan financing, with a focus on leveraged acquisition. He is "a top-notch lawyer with an excellent reputation." Joshua Korff advises on private equity and leveraged acquisition transactions, as well as public and private financing, and is "a fantastic lawyer with impressive abilities."

Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2010 —