Cadwalader Practices Commended by US Legal 500

June 16, 2010

A Dozen Practices and Nearly 40 Cadwalader Attorneys Highly Ranked

A dozen practices and nearly 40 Cadwalader attorneys were highly ranked in the 2010 U.S. Legal 500 Guide, which was released this week. The firm was noted for leading practices in the areas of asset finance and leasing, bank lending, corporate restructuring, structured finance, patent litigation, securities litigation, white collar criminal defense, antitrust, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and tax.

In Asset Finance and Leasing, a “responsive and competent” team, including the “experienced and competent” Richard Aborn was noted for representing Northwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways.

Cadwalader received kudos for a “deep bench of transactional and regulatory experts” in Bank Lending both New York and Charlotte. With “expertise to advise on a wide variety of leveraged financing and asset-based lending transactions,” the firm’s developing private equity capability and swift reaction to the “marked slowdown in acquisition finance work,” the practice “reacted swiftly by leveraging its expertise in distressed finance, restructuring, and DIP and exit financings. Julian Chung was mentioned for broad-based expertise.

With a group described as “awesome in quality”, commentary regarding the Corporate Restructuring team focused on high-profile assignments and leading practitioners. Clients commented on the firm’s dedication of “enormous resources from numerous departments,” attorneys who “knew and understood their area of law,” and who were “quick to understand the industry we were working to save.” Also receiving marks were case management capabilities, with “prudent staffing.” Co-chair John Rapisardi was described as “a first rate restructuring lawyer,” who “combines knowledge of the law with the correct demeanor necessary to press his client’s agenda without allowing his ego to interfere with success.” Cochair Deryck Palmer was lauded for his ‘unique gift of being a fierce advocate who is also a compassionate human being.”’ George Davis strikes “an excellent balance between legal process and overall business sense” while Andrew Troop “is at the top of [the] list when I need to go to battle.” Peter Friedman “is terrific – although he’s young, he had no trouble keeping up with the big boys.“

The firm’s “excellent” 40-lawyer Intellectual Property practice, equally active on the plaintiff and defendant side, is described as in “growth mode” Among the partners, Bartholomew Verdirame is considered one of “the best.”

In Securities Litigation, Cadwalader’s practice “uniformly impresses clients with the high quality of knowledge and service, providing beneficial results.” With an “impressive client list,” Litigation department chair Gregory Markel is “highly regarded for his expertise in securities litigation, including class action defense, derivative actions, and private securities litigation” as is the “highly knowledgeable and capable” Jason Halper.

Driven out of Washington DC, the White-collar Criminal Defense team has an “excellent reputation for advising blue-chip corporates across a broad range of matters,” the firm was described as representing clients engaged in proceedings on several fronts. The practice excels at “compliance and internal investigations” and regularly works in conjunction with its London office. As head of the business fraud team, Raymond Banoun was noted for a “broad-ranging practice.”

“Despite being smaller than many of its rivals”, Cadwalader provides “high-calibre [Antitrust] advice” to corporates from a diverse spread of industries. Featuring a number of former high-ranking government officials among its ranks, the team has “strong credibility before the agencies and excels in high-stakes mergers, often involving close scrutiny before the regulators”. “A zen master of antitrust”, Charles Rule ‘has unusually strong skills in economic analysis” and is “relentless in pursuing points that he believes are critical to a positive outcome”. He leads a department “known for his capacity to advise clients on bet-the-company merger clearance matters”. Special counsel Andrew Forman is a “really strong writer and a good advocate”, while Jonathan Kanter is “very strong in economic analysis applied to antitrust concepts, providing ‘practical and high-quality advice to clients engaged in domestic and multi-jurisdictional merger clearance matters.”

Noting that the despite the downturn, the Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts team had several highprofile matters, the editors noted that the “practice’s reputation has also been notably growing in Europe.” Louis Bevilacqua’s practice was described as “having an international flavour.”

In Structured Finance, Cadwalader’s “large group of expert partners” was commended for concentrating on their “forte – highly complex work” and for “staffing assignments with highly experienced attorneys and providing efficient billing.” With “quick and high-quality answers” for client’s “most urgent requirements,” clients stated that the team has “no material weaknesses.” While the editors noted that the “greater part of the department’s work during 2009 was on the restructuring of existing transactions rather than new business although, by the end of the year” the firm worked on two major deals which helped “revive the ailing CMBS market.” Legal 500 noted that the market for other types of securitization was “comparatively robust” and the department remained busy with insurance-linked financing and student loan issues and an “established” leading position in the stressed municipal bond market. In addition to high marks for co-chairs Michael Gambro and Pat Quinn and Stuart Goldstein, Neil Weidner was described as “top-notch, always up to speed on market insight”; Richard Schetman as “a leader in derivatives and swaps”; Steven Lofchie as “an expert in regulatory issues as well as derivatives and other financial instruments”; Lary Stromfeld as “top of the class in munis”; Ray Shirazi for “total expertise in derivatives;” Ivan Loncar as “expert “in fixed income and credit derivatives and structured financial products; and Jeffrey Robins as “remarkably strong.”

Cadwalader’s Real Estate team is noted for its “expertise advising clients engaged in major finance-related transactions” and offers “great sophistication in securitization matters”. Complementing its transactional restructuring work, the firm was recognized for “broad capabilities in the litigation aspects of real estate workouts and bankruptcy” Susan Neuberg’s arrival “expanded its real estate workout practice.” Frederic Altschuler was recommended for his “good judgement and practical solutions.”

Cadwalader’s Tax partners “have all the necessary expertise to support the firm’s corporate and financial departments, and particular expertise in securitization and structured finance” while the team “also deals with advisory work independently”. The group had an “impressive and busy 2009” attracting high-profile transactional and restructuring work. Linda Swartz, co-chair of the practice, is “energetic and knowledgeable, she negotiates brilliantly, and has never let us down,” while David Miller is “a very good, sharp tax lawyer – particularly good in assessing legislative developments through his extensive contacts”.

As one of the “notable teams in a very specialist area”, members of the Tax team concentrating in financial products were called on to provide tax advice in several of the high profile instructions and works closely with London on transatlantic instructions. With “a reputation for the development of sophisticated bespoke and innovative financial structures,” consistently acclaimed David Miller is “a fabulous lawyer with a tremendous depth of knowledge in derivatives and financial products,” Gary Silverstein is “building an excellent reputation for his work in securitization,” and Mark Howe “always understands the financial nuances”.

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