Editor's Picks

Irell Partner Reflects on Sale of Klimt’s Gold Painting

By Nell Gluckman |

Irell & Manella partner Steven Thomas negotiated the sale of Gustav Klimt’s famous gold painting “Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” which drew headlines for fetching the highest price for any artwork in 2006. The painting, along with four others, was stolen by the Nazis and recovered by the Bloch-Bauer heirs after an eight-year legal battle with the Austrian government, and is now the subject of “Woman in Gold,” a film starring Helen Mirren that will be released Wednesday.

2015 Dealmakers of the Year

Our Dealmakers of the Year package is no rote examination of the 2014's biggest transactions. Instead, we spotlight creative thinking, novel approaches and innovative work. Here we present 20 transactions—some big, some small—where effective lawyering truly made the difference.

Joseph Gromacki of Jenner & Block

Gromacki represented Archer Daniels Midland in the carve-out of its global cocoa and chocolate businesses, in which Cargill Inc. paid $440 million for the chocolate business and Singapore-based Olam International paid $1.3 billion for the cocoa operations.

Marilyn French of Weil, Gotshal & Manges

French represented Advent International in its acquisition of privately held Noosa Yoghurt. But Noosa didn't own the recipe for the product, among other complexities of the transaction.

Bruce Bennett, David Heiman, Heather Lennox of Jones Day

The trio was front and center on the city of Detroit's bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy ever. Heiman was the overall strategist and troubleshooter while Bennett and Lennox worked on the bankruptcy plan and litigation on Detroit's behalf.

Marc Levinson of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Levinson managed the Stockton, California bankruptcy and the restructuring of hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term obligations. Levinson had reached new agreements in 2013 with the city's nine labor unions, as well as with monoline insurers who backed about $275 million in debt. The city has since exited Chapter 9.

Eduardo Gallardo of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Gallardo helped Corvex Management LP and Related Fund Management LLC win a long struggle to replace the management and board trustees of real estate investment trust CommonWealth REIT, a big office landlord.

Steven Seidman of Willkie, Paul Schnell and Jeremy London of Skadden

By MP McQueen |

Seidman used a Pac-Man defense to help Men's Wearhouse Inc. defeat a hostile bid by Jos. A. Bank Inc. and then turn around and gobble up the bidder itself. Bank, meanwhile, will get a 56 percent premium for its shares, thanks to Schnell and London, who negotiated on the company's behalf.

George Bason Jr. of Davis Polk and Rodd Schreiber of Skadden

Bason advised Tyson Foods Inc. on its $8.55 billion unsolicited bid for Hillshire Brands Co., edging out a competing bid from Pilgrim's Pride Corp. Schreiber, meanwhile, led the way for Hillshire.

Cadwalader Special Counsel Helps Author FBI Report

By Nell Gluckman |

Joseph Moreno, special counsel at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Washington, D.C., spent the better part of 2014 working on an external review of the FBI. The white-collar and criminal investigations lawyer was a staffer for the 9/11 Review Commission, which was directed by Congress to evaluate the changes made at the FBI since Sept. 11, 2001.

Norton Rose Fulbright Reclaims Top Spot in Canadian Brand Survey

By Jennifer Henderson |

Norton Rose Fulbright has landed the lead position on Acritas' Canadian Law Firm Brand Index, bumping Blake, Cassels & Graydon, which slipped to second place.

News and Gossip

By Vivia Chen |

Orrick's sad, funny ad; the anti-sodomite lawyer.

The Relevance of Howard University School of Law

By Vivia Chen |

One-fifth of its law school grads go into Big Law, despite its No. 110 rank.

The Global Lawyer: Seat Stays Vacant for State Department Legal Adviser

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

For 15 months, the Obama administration has gone without a confirmed candidate for this important post.

Leadership 'Don'ts' for Lawyers From 'House of Cards'

By David L. Brown |

POTUS Frank Underwood from the hit Netflix series illustrates how not to behave.

Dear PR Professional

By Kim Kleman, editor-in-chief |

How to work better with American Lawyer journalists.

Weil's $16 Million Class Counsel Fee

By Scott Flaherty |

When Weil, Gotshal & Manges litigators get tapped for an antitrust class action, they're usually playing defense. But role reversal has paid off for the firm in a case against performance rights organization SESAC.

2015 Corporate Scorecard

After a so-so 2013, European and Asian economies picked up last year while the United States continued its recovery, showering corporate and transactions practitioners with work. The number of mergers and acquisitions worldwide rose 6 percent, and their combined value jumped 47 percent, making 2014 the strongest year since 2007. Capital markets, especially equity offerings, also showed healthy gains.

Marty Lipton's War on Hedge Fund Activists

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

By focusing on quick profits, activist investors are ruining America, claims Wachtell's iconic cofounder. Is anybody listening?

Linda Myers of Kirkland & Ellis

Myers guided Energy Future Holdings Corp. through its Chapter 11 filing with more than $45 billion in liabilities, the year's largest corporate bankruptcy and the eighth-largest ever.

E. Whitney Debevoise of Arnold & Porter

Debevoise was part of a working group that helped the International Capital Markets Association to develop a new sovereign bond model.

Ethan Klingsberg of Cleary Gottlieb

Klingsberg helped Family Dollar Stores Inc. fend off a hostile takeover by Dollar General Stores in order to pursue a tie-up with Dollar Tree Stores instead.

Hogan Lovells Advocates for an Imprisoned Lawyer in Swaziland

By Nell Gluckman |

In a pro bono effort, the law firm is petitioning the United Nations on behalf of a Swazi attorney who was jailed after writing an article critical of the nation's judiciary.

Gregory Bopp of Bracewell and Michael Aiello of Weil Gotshal

Bopp and Aiello advised Kinder Morgan Inc. as the company merged two energy pipeline master limited partnerships and a limited liability corporation back into the conventional parent corporation.

Mehdi Khodadad of Cooley

Khodadad advised Boston-based Paratek Pharmaceuticals on its reverse IPO with Transcept Pharmaceuticals.

Big Suits

By David Bario, Rebekah Mintzer, and Scott Flaherty |

Moncrief Oil International v. Gazprom; Chesapeake Energy v. American Energy Partners; Beyond Systems v. Kraft; Franklin California Tax Free Trust v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Leiming Chen 
and William Hinman of Simpson Thacher

Chen 
and Hinman shepherded Alibaba's $25 billion IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, the largest initial public offering in history.

Andrea Nicolas of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Nicolas advised NextEra Energy Inc., the largest renewable energy generator in the U.S., on its yieldco IPO that raised $467 million.

Michael Ringler of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Ringler counseled online real estate service Trulia in its $3.5 billion merger with rival Zillow.

Tech Review: Microsoft's Outlook App

By Alan Cohen |

The mobile version of the ubiquitous email program strikes the right balance between features and usability.