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 "Tax," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
Illinois Ranking: Tier 1
The Firm: This Chicago practice consists of 45 tax, employee benefit and trust attorneys. It has been heavily involved in distressed situations: the acquisition of troubled companies, the purchasing of distressed debt and the selling of subsidiaries gives a flavor of its recent work. More specifically, it represented Charter Communications in its plan to reduce debt by $8 billion. The group benefits from a distinguished private equity practice, which has given rise to tax work in the REIT area. Complementing its principal strength in corporate tax is a controversy practice that has significant experience of IRS audits, appeals and litigation, completing the picture of a full-service firm that is unanimously regarded as the market leader.
Sources Say: "Kirkland continues to stand out as a powerhouse tax practice; the quality is superlative."
Key Individuals: The "bright, creative and results-oriented" Jeffrey Sheffield is highly recommended for tax planning and M&A advice. Early in 2009, he represented Teradyne on the tax aspects of its $150 million public convertible debt offering - one of only a few successful debt issuances during the economic downturn. Donald Rocap has a similar focus, with specific strength in the private equity arena, where he advises on the tax aspects of fund formation. Todd Maynes has achieved prominence with his expertise in bankruptcy and restructuring. Clients value his clear communication: "He is responsive to all my requests and provides timely updates," shares one. William Welke has a broad corporate tax practice. He has been handling acquisitions on behalf of GTCR Golder Rauner and its portfolio companies.
Nationwide Ranking: Tier 2
The Firm: This sophisticated and well-integrated tax practice has 54 fee earners nationwide and handles a workload focused primarily on private equity and bankruptcies. The team recently acted on high-value fund formations for CVC Capital Partners, Energy Capital Partners and Sun Capital Partners.
Sources Say: "Definitely a go-to firm for anyone looking for high-quality tax advice."
Key Individuals: Headquartered in Chicago, Don Rocop and Todd Maynes are key contacts, while the New York office is home to the talents of Patrick Gallagher and Greer Phillips.
New York Ranking: Tier 3
The Firm: Core strengths of this 14-strong New York group include private equity and asset management, cross-border deals and bankruptcies. Distressed debt and restructurings have also been a pivotal area of growth during the economic downturn. The team has been representing Clearwire Corporation on its $14.5 billion WiMax joint venture with Sprint Nextel and related equity financings.
Sources Say: "Kirkland & Ellis is, culturally, very focused on what's important from a business perspective in addition to being responsive, knowledgeable and proactive."
Key Individuals: Patrick Gallagher is an "astute attorney" who is frequently to be found advising private equity clients on cross-border transactions, restructurings and fund formation matters. He represented Apax Partners on the $1.4 billion going-private acquisition of TriZetto Group. Greer Phillips is best known for his tax-free spin-off work, in addition to advising on complex domestic and cross-border private equity transactions. He advised Metavante on its sale to Fidelity National Information Services. Steven Clemens provides "incredibly practical and commercially sensitive tax advice" on domestic and cross-border M&A, bankruptcies, and fund formation.
Nationwide: Other Notable Practitioners
Todd Maynes of Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a "skilled technician and creative negotiator," who is frequently found advising clients on diverse tax litigation matters. His work highlights include representing a major air carrier in obtaining a favorable ruling from the IRS on the tax treatment of service fees.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2010 — www.chambersandpartners.com.