Award Chambers & Partners

America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2011: Tax

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' 2011 review of national legal talent in the area of "Tax," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.

Chambers' comments:

Illinois Ranking: Tier 1

The Firm: This 42-strong team attracts clients at a state, national and international level, offering capabilities in a range of tax, employee benefit and trust matters. Its prowess in tax controversy and transactional work earns praise from peers and clients alike, and it maintains a thriving practice in bankruptcy and buyout work, two of its historical strengths. Highlights include the firm's representation of Energy Capital Partners in the formation of a $3.5 billion energy infrastructure fund, and of Aryzta in the $1 billion purchase of Fresh Start Bakeries and Great Kitchens.

Sources Say: "Consistently excellent in every area of tax."

Key Individuals:The "truly outstanding" Jeffrey Sheffield has a wide-ranging practice encompassing M&A matters, venture capital, and business and tax planning for public and private entities. He represented Advisory Research, a portfolio company of TA Associates, in its $218 million sale to Piper Jaffray & Co. Donald Rocap has a long-standing reputation for his skills in fund formation, and has a broad practice in private equity matters. Clients describe him as "extremely smart, highly commercial and a pleasure to deal with." Todd Maynes is praised for his responsiveness, and has extensive expertise in bankruptcy and restructuring with a particular focus on large private companies. William Welke has been involved in bankruptcy and joint venture matters, in addition to handling significant mandates for Madison Dearborn Partners, GTCR Golder Rauner and their portfolio companies. Clients laud his "encyclopedic knowledge of the tax code." Natalie Keller handles all aspects of tax controversy, including a variety of litigation and IRS audits and appeals, and is "a shrewd negotiator."

Tax: Corporate and Finance

Nationwide Ranking: Tier 2

The Firm: Kirkland & Ellis is known for its impressive work on private equity, bankruptcy, restructurings and M&A matters. Recently the team has been busy with high-profile restructurings, advising Charter Communications, Station Oilfield Services and the Reader's Digest Association. The 50-strong group also handled substantial transactions for Bristol-Myers Squibb, The Carlyle Group and Apax Partners in the last year.

Commercial Awareness: "Creative, effective and business-oriented - it gets deals done."

Key Individuals: Greer Phillips and Patrick Gallagher are two key contacts in New York, while Chicago is home to esteemed practitioners Todd Maynes and Donald Rocap.

New York Ranking: Tier 3

The Firm: In addition to complex private equity work, this 14-strong practice also has strength in M&A, international restructurings, bankruptcies and executive compensation. In the last year it advised ABRY Partners on its $1.85 billion sale of Executive Health Resources to Ingenix, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, and counseled Clearwire on a complex $4.7 billion capital-raising transaction. Notable clients include Bain Capital, Oaktree Capital Management and Apax Partners.

Sources Say: "Top-notch tax attorneys who are creative, thoughtful and very commercial."

Key Individuals: Patrick Gallagher is renowned as a strong performer on domestic and cross-border transactions, covering fund formation, restructurings and financings for private equity and other clients. Interviewees agree that he is "high-quality, extremely thorough and business-oriented." Of note was his recent representation of Apax Partners in its definitive agreement to acquire Qualitest Pharmaceuticals for approximately $1.2 billion. Clients reveal that Greer Phillips has an excellent reputation for "his intellect, his institutional knowledge about our deals, his ability to distill complicated issues down to understandable levels, and his likable personality." He focuses on cross-border transactions, recently advising Clearwire on its capital-raising transaction. Steven Clemens is recommended for his expertise in complex M&A and the formation of investment funds for private equity and financial clients, recently advising Bain Capital and Citadel Broadcasting.

Tax: Controversy
Nationwide: Other Notable Practitioners

Chicago-based Todd Maynes of Kirkland & Ellis LLP is hailed as a "tremendous lawyer" by interviewees. He focuses on tax litigation, debt restructurings and bankruptcy, recently advising a multinational automaker on a high-profile tax refund litigation matter. 

Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2011—