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.
Click on an Office to view Lawyers in that location.
Firm of the Year - Trade & Customs, Illinois, USA
Sidley Austin LLP has gone from strength to strength in the last year: in February 2012 the firm celebrated the opening of its Houston office, bringing the total number of Sidley offices to an impressive 18. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Sidley in Asia, making it one of the few US law firms to have maintained a continuous presence in the region for the last three decades. So far, 33 lawyers have been made partner this year and the firm’s overall number of listings in this publication has risen from 116 to 123 – a testament to the exceptional calibre of its practitioners.
|SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 123|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Business Crime||3||Oil & Gas||2|
|Corporate Governance||2||Product Liability||5|
Alongside the expansion of its business faculties, Sidley continues to be active in the pro bono field: in the last year staff and lawyers dedicated almost 100,000 hours to pro bono service, including the Capital Litigation Project, which provides legal assistance to prisoners on Alabama’s death row. In conjunction with Exelon, the firm’s Chicago office also hosts quarterly clinics to help asylum seekers and refugees obtain lawful permanent resident status and bring family members to the US.
Sidley Austin is a truly international and full-service firm – lawyers from 12 offices across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the US are listed across 23 practice areas. In the US alone the firm has 93 listings, earning it our award for US law firm of the year for the second consecutive year. The Chicago office is particularly renowned and Sidley also takes the award for Illinois Law Firm of the Year, an accolade it has won every year since the award’s inception.
The firm scoops an additional award for its trade and customs practice, which is described by peers and clients alike as “utterly brilliant”. Ten attorneys are listed for their proficiency in this sector. Six of these are based in the Washington, DC, office, including Richard Belanger, who has a particular expertise in customs, export controls, trade remedies, trade policy and related legislation. The “sharp-minded” Lisa Crosby draws on her experience as an import specialist for the US Customs Service to gain a detailed understanding of clients’ issues. Andrew Shoyer chairs the firm’s international trade and dispute resolution practice and is considered “a national authority” on the implementation and enforcement of international trade and investment agreements. Three names are listed from the Geneva office. Among them is Scott Andersen who has “a wealth of experience” on the use of WTO rules to resolve trade disputes. Sources admire his “clear, practical advice”. In Brussels the “excellent” Arnoud Willems frequently advises governments, industries and major corporations on trade and customs legislation as well as on the negotiation, conclusion and implementation of trade agreements and WTO rules.
Sidley’s life sciences team is “phenomenally strong” and this publication recognises 15 of its brightest stars. Six are based in the Chicago office, including the “terrifically skilled” Michael Davis who has served as national coordinating counsel in pharmaceutical, food products, and chemical litigation. Sara Gourley’s practice is concentrated in the areas of pharmaceutical and medical device defence, especially multi-jurisdictional coordination and defence of class actions. Sources commend her “unfailing good judgement”. Both Davis and Gourley are additionally listed for their product liability defence work. David Pritikin, who is also recognised in the patents chapter, has served as lead counsel in many high profile cases, including more than a dozen Hatch-Waxman cases involving important pharmaceutical products. Coleen Klasmeier is based in Washington, DC, and heads Sidley’s food, drug and medical device regulatory practice. She is “globally respected” for her work in this area. Fellow DC lawyer Paul Kalb is a global coordinator of Sidley’s life sciences practice and represents many of the world’s leading drug, biotech and device manufacturers as well as hospitals and other institutional health-care providers. His “first-class” work spans criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement actions and related civil litigation involving health-care fraud and abuse and off-label promotion. Brussels-based duo Maurits Lugard and Maarten Meulenbelt garnered votes for the “exceptional” breadth and depth of their knowledge in the life sciences sector, while New York partner Thomas Beck is considered “second to none” by peers and also earns a listing in the patents chapter.
Capital markets is another of Sidley’s top practice areas and 13 names feature in the corresponding chapter. The New York office performs particularly well in this chapter with six of its attorneys recognised for their work in the field. Edward Fine is co-head of the firm’s New York global finance practice and has nearly 30 years of experience representing issuers, underwriters and purchasers of mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities in the public and private markets. Renwick Martin focuses on mortgage- and asset-backed financings of all types and has “enviable experience and great client relationships”. Senior counsel Norman Slonaker is “a definite inclusion on anyone’s list” while James O’Connor’s “superb” work has an emphasis on real estate investment trusts, financial institutions and energy companies. Gerard Hekker and Matthew Sheridan in Singapore “make a fantastic team” and the representation of the firm’s Asia offices is further strengthened by the inclusion of Thomas Albrecht in Hong Kong. His “outstanding” practice has recently included a number of whole business securitisation transactions, cross-border finance transactions, distressed asset purchases involving a variety of purchasers and assets, and workouts and restructurings. Further listings in London and San Francisco attest to Sidley’s market-leading capital markets practice.
Twelve Sidley lawyers appear in the Environment chapter. Judith Praitis, a partner in the Los Angeles office, is head of the West Coast environmental practice group and a global co-chair of the firm’s environmental group. She is “fiercely intelligent as well as being a joy to work with” according to one source. In DC Christopher Bell is “hugely admired” for his expertise in climate change, product regulation and stewardship and supply chain management, while Angus Macbeth’s practice benefits from his experience as chief of the pollution control section and as deputy assistant Attorney General in the land and natural resources division of the US Department of Justice. In Chicago Laura Leonard is considered “an insightful, reliable adviser” and Robert Olian gives “clear, reasoned and responsive counsel”. Kristina Nordlander practises from the Brussels office and earned plaudits not only for her “stellar” environment practice, but also for her competition work.
Eight lawyers are listed for their private funds work. Susan Lewis is a partner in the New York office and has worked on a variety of domestic and offshore public and private investment funds, including private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, and mezzanine funds. Sources describe her practice as “first-rate”. Chicago-based partner William Kerr is co-head of Sidley’s investment funds, advisers and derivatives group and is “renowned for his excellent client service and detailed legal knowledge”. In London Bruce Gardner is commended as a “very clever lawyer who is dedicated to his clients” while Scott Peterman is one source’s “first port of call” for hedge fund formation matters in Hong Kong.
Sidley’s extensive capabilities earn it multiple listings in a further 18 practice areas. Seven partners are listed in the insurance chapter, with London’s Nigel Montgomery and Chicago’s William Sneed earning particular praise for their “exceptional” work in this sector. Charles Douglas is one of six attorneys featured for their litigation practices. He recently tried a major price-fixing class action for AT&T Corporation and has extensive litigation experience in major antitrust, trade regulation, securities, product liability and commercial litigation. Sharp Sorensen is one of five listed in the tax chapter and is widely praised for his “commercial, sensible advice”.
Sidley Austin’s outstanding performance across the full spectrum of practice areas confirms its reputation as a leader amongst international full-service law firms.
Sidley Austin is one of the world’s premier law firms, with a practice highly attuned to the ever-changing international landscape. The firm has built a reputation for being a powerful adviser for global businesses, with approximately 1,700 lawyers in 18 offices worldwide. Sidley maintains a commitment to providing quality legal services and to offering advice in litigation, transactional and regulatory matters spanning virtually every area of law. The firm’s lawyers have wide-reaching legal backgrounds and are dedicated to teamwork, collaboration and superior client service.
Beijing, Brussels, Chicago,
Dallas, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong,
Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York,
Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai,
Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, DC
In 2012, Sidley is celebrating 30 years in Asia as one of the few US law firms to have maintained a continuous presence in the region for three decades. The firm has six offices in Asia-Pacific alone: Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney, with a total of 26 partners and more than 130 other legal staff professionals. Also in 2012, Sidley opened its 18th office in Houston, Texas with the addition of seven partners coming from seven different firms in Houston. This represents a significant expansion of the firm’s service to energy-based clients.
Sidley values the recognition it has received in response to its leadership in its wide cross-section of legal services around the globe. Among these accolades, which come from professional peers, publications and industry journals and clients in numerous industries, are:
• Received the most first-tier national rankings of any US law firm in the 2011/12 US News: Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey, repeating its performance in the inaugural 2010 survey
• One of just three firms to have been in the top 10 of the BTI Client Service rankings every year since the inception of those rankings in 2001
• Consistently ranks among the top global capital markets firms in the Thomson Reuters league tables
• Recognised in six categories of the Law360 Practice Groups of 2011 award series: Appellate, Bankruptcy, Class Action, Employment, Environmental and International Trade
• Named USA Law Firm of the Year and Global Trade & Customs Law Firm of the Year at the 2012 Who’s Who Legal Awards
• Named as one of the top 25 national corporate law firms in Corporate Board Member magazine’s 2011 survey of corporate directors and general counsel
• Named Competition/Regulatory Team of the Year at the 2011 The Lawyer Awards
• Named “Best North American Law Firm” in the 2011 Hedgeweek Awards
• Named as one of the top five firms in the ‘Life Sciences Super Leagues 2011” by PLC Which lawyer?
• Named by International Financial Law Review as “Most Innovative US Law Firm 2010” in its Asia Awards
• Named the US Law Firm of the Year at the ILO Client Choice Awards 2010
Main Areas of Practice
Complex Commercial Litigation
Corporate Governance & Compliance
Corporate Reorganisation & Bankruptcy
Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
Financial Institutions Regulatory
Financial Services/Consumer Class Actions
Food, Drug & Medical Device
Compliance & Enforcement
Food, Drug & Medical Device Regulatory
Intellectual Property Litigation
(Commercial & Treaty)
Investment Funds, Advisers & Derivatives
Labour, Employment & Immigration
M&A and D&O Litigation
M&A & Private Equity
Privacy, Data Security & Information Law
Project Finance & Infrastructure
Securities & Futures Regulatory
Trusts, Estates & Not-for-Profits
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.