The Legal 500 U.S. Recommends Cadwalader in 13 Areas of Practice and Highly Ranks More Than 50 Attorneys

June 01, 2011

Thirteen practices and more than 50 attorneys from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, one of the world’s most prominent law firms, were highly ranked in the 2011 edition of The Legal 500 United States. The firm was recommended in the areas of Structured Finance, where it earned top tier status; Asset Finance and Leasing; Bank Lending; Corporate Restructuring; Patent Litigation; Alternative/Hedge Funds; Securities Shareholder Litigation; White Collar Criminal Defense; Antitrust (M&A); Mergers & Acquisition Mega 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 (Structured Finance); Charles “Rick” Rule (Antitrust); Dennis Block (M&A Mega-Deals); Linda Swartz (Domestic Tax); and David Miller (Financial Products Tax).

In the area of Asset Finance and Leasing, Richard Aborn was recognized as the head of a team “ably supported” by Steven Lenkowsky and tax specialist Daniel Mulcahy.

The Bank Lending team was noted for “superior business acumen” and a practice that “runs the gamut of sectors.” Julian Chung received high marks for “a strong lending background” and “amazing skills in managing teams.” Christopher McDermott attracted high praise for his “highly efficient” style and “ability to see issues from 360 degrees.”

Within Corporate Restructuring, Cadwalader’s “exceptionally capable team continues to go from strength-to-strength” with “high-profile mandates in 2010.” The firm’s position as a “perennial favourite of the U.S. Department of Treasury” was credited for “a vast flow of work relating to the various investments it made into the private sector,” while a “robust banking client base” also led to high-profile matters. Notable partners included “superb and fantastic” co-chair John Rapisardi and George Davis. Co-chair Deryck Palmer was described as “a very effective litigator especially when he is required to argue a difficult issue” while the “extremely capable, effective and creative” Andrew Troop’s broad practice includes the representation of both creditors and debtors from a raft of industries as well as a niche representing non-profit making organizations.

The Structured Finance group, led by Steven Lofchie and Richard Schetman, was credited with “industryleading knowledge and experience” and an approach that is “responsive” and “because of its breadth of experience . . . is able to provide valuable advice early.” With a practice offering “top class in all categories: knowledge, experience, client service and thoroughness,” the firm continues to be recognized as “the industry leader in CMBS, with strong expertise in critical ancillary areas,” and for an “instrumental” role in developing alternative insurance products. Plaudits for individual lawyers abounded. Michael Gambro was called “the dean of structured finance lawyers,” “securitization guru” Neil Weidner was “well-supported” and “. . . with wide experience of both US and European markets,” and Malcolm Wattman was named “an excellent choice” for insurance-linked securitization. Clients also nominated Patrick Quinn, Melissa Hinkle, Lisa Pauquette and Frank Polverino for their expertise in mortgage and asset securitization and Stuart Goldstein for CMBS work. Ray Shirazi was named a “leader in equity derivatives,” as was Jeffrey Robins, “who also has a strong regulatory practice.” Ivan Loncar was called “simply outstanding,” and Lary Stromfeld described as “first class, a true expert’” in the municipal derivatives field. The arrival of Paul Pantano “brings impressive expertise in energy derivatives and futures to the firm.”

The Patent Litigation team “distinguishes itself principally in the efficiency and intelligence with which it tackles daily issues.” Well regarded for its overall IP capabilities, the practice “continues to develop in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, hi-tech and telecoms, providing specialist sector advice.” Practice leader Christopher Hughes was called “a veteran attorney whose advice on all aspects of IP law is indispensable.” Bartholomew Verdirame was credited for “competency, tenacity, and loyalty.” Tony Pezzano, Michael Dougherty, and Kent Stevens were also noted for their client work.

The Investment Fund Formation and Management practice received “a substantial boost following the arrival of big-picture strategic thinker” Drew Chapman, “bringing with him a reputation for fantastic client service, great depth of knowledge in the alternative investment field, and a dedicated, creative and smart team.” Despite the group’s relatively small size, the practice “attracts some of the largest hedge funds and asset management firms, as well as financial institutions and insurers, and on down to mid-size firms and emerging managers with growth potential” and “is routinely called on to advise on complex high-end transactions.”

Praised for “excellent results,” the Securities Shareholder Litigation practice “offers its clients [a] highly effective, smart legal team,” noted for the “depth of resources it can bring to bear on a CMBS litigation matter, including top senior litigators and highly competent and well-trained associates.” Group head Gregory Markel and Jason Halper “make a formidable team . . . [they are] thoughtful, knowledgeable and insightful.” Markel is “highly effective at leading large litigation efforts and in providing wise counsel to clients,” while Halper is “extremely good in the court room.”

Led by Raymond Banoun, the firm’s White-Collar Criminal Defense group provides “outstanding” advice to clients across a range of issues” and “excels at preventative measures through corporate compliance programmes, as well as handling internal investigations and audits.” Jeannine D’Amico and Michael Horowitz, who “provides wise counsel,” were singled out for recognition.

The firm also “fields a world-class, super, results-oriented” Antitrust practice. Rick Rule was lauded as “fabulously experienced, enormously brilliant, one of a handful of people everyone respects and at the very top of his game.” Anthony Nanni was recommended as was Jonathan Kanter, who “demonstrates a deep understanding” of the technology and internet markets.

Within M&A Mega-Deals, the firm in 2010 “focused on complex restructuring transactions” with Louis Bevilacqua and Dennis Block both recommended.

In Real Estate and Construction, William McInerney leads a team that “is particularly strong on the securitized lending front” with James Hassan recognized as a “terrific, excellent transactional attorney” while John Zizzo “demonstrates strong industry knowledge and an ability to evaluate – and provide a strategic perspective – even in the most complex of situations.”

The Tax team, led by Linda Swartz, “has all the expertise necessary to support the firm’s corporate and financial departments, and has particular expertise in securitization and structured finance.” David Miller was also highly recommended.

Within Financial Products Tax, the firm provides “by far the fastest response time for partners from a top firm” with advice that is “near perfect from a technical perspective but also practical and considers reputational and other soft risks – outstanding value for the money.” Earning kudos again, David Miller was described as “an impressive lawyer, and a true tax expert in the financial products space;” Gary Silverstein was noted for his “complex and innovative securitization instructions;” and Charlie Adelman ranked as “one of the key securitization tax experts in the industry.” Mark Howe was termed “extremely experienced, extremely analytical, and [with] a terrific internal risk compass” in financial and derivative products and transactions.

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