This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
Click on the name of a lawyer below to view their profile. Lawyers shaded in purple have professional biographies in one or more practice areas.
To view all Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz lawyers by practice area, click here.
Firm of the Year – Corporate Governance
A “legendary fixture of the New York bar”, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz commands international respect from clients and peers without the need of constituent offices outside of its native city, where all 243 of its full-time lawyers are based. Wachtell has emerged as the world’s leading corporate governance firm according to our research for the past four consecutive years, and name partner Martin Lipton earns our individual lawyer of the year award in the same discipline this year, having been named as our M&A lawyer of the year in previous editions. This latter honour falls to fellow name partner David Katz for the fourth consecutive year in our research. Alongside these achievements, Wachtell also fields strong contingents of lawyers in a range of further chapters, particularly in the competition and commercial litigation sections.
|WACHTELL LIPTON ROSEN & KATZ|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 39|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
In the past year Wachtell has represented clients from a variety of sectors in multi-billion dollar transactions, including acting for El Paso Corporation in its $38 billion negotiated sale to Kinder Morgan, United Technologies in its $18.4 billion acquisition of Goodrich Corporation, and Motorola Mobility Holdings in its $12.5 billion sale to Google. In the words of one source, “Wachtell is – in the quality of its service and the stature and influence of its clients – untouchable as the leading corporate law firm in New York and the wider United States.”
Lipton and Katz enjoy dual listings in the corporate governance and M&A chapters, which feature 12 and seven Wachtell lawyers respectively. Also featured in both sections is executive committee co-chair Edward Herlihy who focuses his practice on complex mergers, acquisitions and recapitalisations on behalf of banks and financial institutions, and he earns an additional listing alongside Richard Kim – a former attorney with the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System – in the banking chapter. Adam Emmerich is also recognised for his M&A and corporate governance work as well as his “first-rate” practice in real estate law, having acted for AMB Property Corporation in its $15 billion merger with ProLogis, to create a REIT with combined assets owned and under management of $46 billion. Robin Panovka joins him in the corresponding chapter.
Name partner Herbert Wachtell is the foremost name among the firm’s four representatives in the commercial litigation section, whose “incredible” career spans six decades and has seen him act extensively before the federal and state appellate courts. Marc Wolinsky supplements his listing in this section with an appearance in the corporate governance chapter, while white-collar and regulatory practice group head Lawrence Pedowitz earns an additional listing alongside John Savarese in the business crime defence chapter.
Four Wachtell lawyers rank highly in the competition chapter. A former staff attorney in the Competition Bureau of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Ilene Knable Gotts is a “very well-established” name in advising clients on the antitrust components of major mergers and acquisitions. Similarly well regarded for his work in relation to corporate transactions, David Neill has represented clients before the US Department of Justice, the FTC and the Federal Reserve Board, recently acting for JPMorgan Chase and BankAmerica in their proposed acquisition of Sallie Mae.
Wachtell’s corporate and financial acumen is further demonstrated by its performance in the corporate tax and insolvency and restructuring chapters, which feature three lawyers apiece. In the former section, of counsel and head of the firm’s tax department Peter Canellos is hailed as “world class” for his work in acquisitions, dispositions and financings. Chair of the restructuring and finance department Harold Novikoff leads the firm’s lawyers in the corresponding chapter, where his Chapter 11 and out-of-court debt restructuring work is held in high regard by peers.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz enjoys a global reputation as one of the world’s leading business law firms. Wachtell Lipton’s deep experience means it regularly handles many of the largest, most complex and demanding transactions, investigations and litigations in the United States and around the world. Since the beginning of 2003, the firm has been a legal adviser on seven of the 10 largest transactions in the United States and five of the 10 largest transactions globally, as well as numerous other acquisition and restructuring transactions across many industries and of every description.
M&A/Corporate/Transactions: Wachtell Lipton counsels both public and private acquirers and targets, advising on a wide range of corporate matters, including US, cross-border and international mergers and acquisitions; private equity and strategic investments; spin-offs and split-ups; securities offerings and other capital-raising transactions. In addition, the firm is recognised for its decades-long leadership in the areas of takeover defence; shareholder activism and corporate governance.
Litigation and Investigations: Wachtell Lipton handles a wide variety of high-profile, complex litigation for major corporations and leading financial institutions, including:
Restructuring and Finance: Wachtell Lipton has one of the leading restructuring practices in the nation, principally representing creditors in national and multinational bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings. In addition, attorneys in the firm’s restructuring and finance group regularly handle the financing of complicated acquisitions or divestitures of businesses in financial distress or bankruptcy, highly-leveraged transactions and other major transactions involving significant debtor/creditor issues.
Cross-Border and Global work: Wachtell Lipton has extensive experience leading major cross-border and international transactions, including many transactions in which US law is not the primary legal regime, and including many transactions requiring coordination among the legal regimes of multiple nations. The firm has strong relationships with leading law firms around the world, and has a long and successful track record of working closely with firms in many jurisdictions on cross-border and multinational transactions. In these transactions, the firm frequently plays a leadership or “team captain” role in which it brings to bear its deep experience with the strategic and transactional issues common to complex transactions everywhere, as well as its knowledge of the underlying legal regimes.
Creativity in Service of its Clients: Wachtell Lipton has repeatedly contributed to major evolutions in corporate law in order to advance the interests of its clients. Among other things, the firm originated the “poison pill”; structured the first cross-border “Morris Trust” transaction between SmithKline Beckman and Beecham; overturned in the US Supreme Court four decades of lower-court case law regarding the applicability of US securities law to transactions involving shares of foreign issuers on foreign exchanges; and has been involved in – and litigated – the transactions giving rise to most of the landmark takeover and corporate governance decisions in Delaware.
Distinctive Approach: Wachtell Lipton always approaches its clients’ legal issues within the larger framework of each client’s strategic, business and financial goals. The firm focuses on matters that require the attention, extensive experience, expertise and reputation of its partners. In order to provide this partner-intensive service, the firm generally does not handle routine matters; limits the number and type of matters it does undertake; and operates with a ratio of partners to associates far above that of its major competitors.
Co-Chairmen: Edward D Herlihy and Daniel A Neff
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication
Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.