June 06, 2012
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, one of the world’s most prominent law firms, has again been recognized for excellence in a broad range of practice areas both nationally and regionally by The Legal 500 U.S. 2012, publisher of a series of leading guides to the legal profession. More than 15 Cadwalader practices were recognized and 47 lawyers were singled out for their legal skills and experience.
The firm was recommended in the areas of Structured Finance, where it earned top tier status; Asset Finance and Leasing; Bank Lending; Corporate Restructuring; Financial Services; Energy Litigation; Energy Regulatory; Patent Litigation; Alternative/Hedge Funds; Securities Shareholder Litigation; White Collar Criminal Defense; Antitrust (M&A); Mergers & Acquisition Large Deals; Real Estate; Domestic Tax; and Financial Products Tax.
Eight attorneys were listed in the elite "Leading Lawyers" list: John Rapisardi (Corporate Restructuring); Ray Shirazi , Lary Stromfeld, and Neil Weidner (all Structured Finance); Gregory Markel (Securities Shareholder Litigation); Charles “Rick” Rule (Antitrust); Linda Swartz (Domestic Tax); and David Miller (Financial Products Tax).
Once again in the lead, the firm’s Structured Finance practice was listed in Tier 1 as a “top choice for structured finance” and “by far one of the best firms in the country.” The team was praised for delivering “outstanding responsiveness” and for having “the widest breadth of experts,” as well as for proficiency across the board in securitization, structured products and derivatives. Ray Shirazi, Lary Stromfeld and Neil Weidner were all recognized as “Leading Lawyers”. Co-leads Steven Lofchie and Richard Schetman were mentioned for their work on advising financial institutions on regulatory issues and derivatives, and securitization structures, respectively. The firm was also recognized for its derivatives work for both the “sell” and the “buy” side and niche expertise in energy derivatives. Ivan Loncar and Mark Ellenberg were also recommended, and noted as part of the team for which all are “incredibly thoughtful and knowledgeable; if there is a solution, they will find it,” and Ray Shirazi was further praised as “hands down the best in the business when it comes to being commercial and adding value to transactions; he is responsive, creative and extraordinarily well versed in a multitude of derivative, structured finance and distributive products.” Brian Foster was recognized as a “rising star.”
The firm’s Asset Finance and Leasing team was mentioned as “known for its expertise,” and group head Richard Aborn, tax practitioner Daniel Mulcahy, and Steven Lenkowsky were all recommended.
Noted as being “able and diverse,” the firm’s Bank Lending team secured recommendations for Christopher McDermott, Stewart Kagan, and Michael Niebruegge.
The Corporate Restructuring group’s “excellent practice” received special praise for its “vast restructuring experience,” “extremely intelligent lawyers” and “ability to get the right result,” as well as a place in Tier 3. Co-chair John Rapisardi was recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” and a “superb tactician.” Fellow co-chair George Davis was also noted for his “outstanding knowledge, timely delivery of work and quick response times.” Mark Ellenberg was also recognized.
The Financial Services Regulatory group was noted as “successfully integrating regulatory expertise with the derivatives and fund formation practices,” and providing “excellent service.” The group was recommended for its “expertise within the broker-dealer area.” Recognized as spearheading the team was the “very strong” Steven Lofchie. Jeffrey Robins and Maurine Bartlett were also recommended.
The arrival of the firm’s energy group, headed by Paul Pantano, did not go unnoticed in the rankings. Garnering a place in Tier 3 for each Energy Litigation and Energy Regulatory, the practice was touted as “very good” in FERC matters. Paul Pantano was recognized for his “invaluable assistance” in advising many potential swap-dealers and end-users in the energy space on reforms under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Joseph Williams was also recommended.
The “highly competent” Intellectual Property team was also noted, in addition to group head Christopher Hughes who received attention “for being an experienced trial and ITC attorney.” John Moehringer and Robert Pollaro were also recognized for their work on cases relating to computer software, electronics and telecoms, and Bartholomew Verdirame for his expertise in chemicals, pharmaceuticals and engineering.
Led by “big strategic thinker” Drew Chapman, the Alternative/ hedge funds team was praised by clients as a “dedicated, creative” team that delivers “exceptional service levels,” and has “an abundance of subject matter experience and expertise in the hedge fund and alternative investment world.” Again, the arrival of the energy team was noted in this space with special mention of Paul Pantano, Anthony Mansfield, Gregory Mocek and Athena Eastwood as contributed toward having advised some of the largest hedge funds in the market on a variety of funds, particularly credit-focused funds. The team was also credited for its strong foothold in emerging market funds, with Asia a strong focus.
Ranked in Tier 3, the Securities Shareholder Litigation practice distinguishes itself as “highly recognized for the caliber and sophistication of its work and the strong skills of its lawyers,” for its “… deft handling and management of complex matters,” and the “strong depth of knowledge and resources it can bring to bear in mortgage-backed securities litigation.” Litigation co-chair Gregory Markel was singled out as a “a key figure in securities law,” “one of the most intelligent, hardworking, strategic lawyers around,” and a peer stated “having him as an opponent is an exciting challenge that I look forward to.” Other high-profile members of this “top notch team” included “tenacious litigator” Jonathan Hoff.
Headed by Raymond Banoun, the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense practice received recognition for being “particularly accomplished at advising a range of financial entities and corporates across various allegations of financial wrongdoing.” It was also noted that while the team “lacks the preponderance of trial lawyers of some of its competitor firms,” it “excels at preventative measures through the provision of robust compliance programs, and also regularly handles internal investigations and audits of domestic and foreign businesses.” Gregory Markel was again mentioned as being “well regarded” for his work in securities litigation.
The firm’s Antitrust practice (M&A) was highly praised with service levels being “ten out of ten,” and where “dedicated” lawyers are recognized for their response times, industry knowledge and depth of resources. Practice head Charles Rule was listed as a “leading lawyer” with “good judgment, tireless in advancing a cause.” The group’s expansion was also noted with the addition of Peter Moll and Brian Wallach, both “extremely knowledgeable” litigators. The promotion of Joseph Bial and Andrew Forman to the partnership was also mentioned. Joe Bial received special praise for “his depth of expertise and passion for antitrust is unmatched,” Andy Forman was recommended for merger clearances, as well as the “very enthusiastic” Jonathan Kanter. The firm was also noted for bolstering its European presence by the recently established Brussels office.
Within Mergers & Acquisitions Large deals, the team ranked in Tier 1. Co-chair Louis Bevilacqua “deserves special recognition for his management of the client relationship and for being key in all transactions.” William Mills III and Stewart Kagan were also mentioned as “key contacts.” Clients say that “the knowledge and depth of the practice’s bench for multi-faceted transactions is superb.”
Led by practice head William McInerney, the Real Estate team sets itself apart as having “… been at the forefront of the development of innovative structures in this area.” Securitized lending is a mainstay of the “top-notch” practice. Recognitions also go to the “extremely seasoned and knowledgeable” Steven Herman, and Fredric Altschuler “who is widely respected by peers.”
The firm’s Tax practice gained recognition by mention of “Leading Lawyers” Linda Swartz (domestic tax), and David Miller (financial products tax). Domestic Tax was ranked in Tier 3, while Financial Products Tax was ranked in Tier 2. David Miller was listed as a “name to note.”
About The Legal 500
The Legal 500 Series provides independent information on the leading law firms and lawyers in the U.S. and the world.