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Financial Services 2010

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Firm
Ranking
Innovation
Originality
Rationale
Impact
Total
Description
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & FlomStandoutRestructuring and initial public offering of Primerica, the subsidiary of Citigroup78823Representing both Citigroup and Primerica, the firm had to extract Primerica from Citigroup and then ensure its survival as a public company. The lawyers balanced different interests and created an unusual anchor investment by Warburg Pincus that ensured the success of the IPO
Mayer BrownStandoutSaving the student loans system after the financial crisis78722When investor sentiment turned against commercial paper, it unleashed a crisis in the student loans market. The firm acted for Straight-A Funding, a unique public-private solution, which effectively made student-loan securities equivalent to government securities, the only ones the market would accept at the time
Davis Polk & WardwellStandoutStrengthening Citi's capital ratios and liquidity after the crisis67821After the initial bailout, the firm advised Citigroup on the repayment of its Tarp preferred securities and the termination of its loss-sharing agreement with the US government. The firm acted as deal counsel on various transactions of systemic importance, including its realignment into two businesses, and its joint venture with Morgan Stanley
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & HamiltonStandoutCiti's capital raising and repayment under the troubled asset relief programme (Tarp)67821Focusing on the securities and disclosure elements, the firm helped Citigroup exchange $58bn in preferred securities into common stock, allowing the bank to develop a significant capital buffer. It helped make Citigroup one of the best-capitalised banks in the world
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & KatzHighly commendedFinancing Phillips-Van Heusen's $3bn takeover of Tommy Hilfiger77620Facing a bank financing market that offered onerous terms, the firm crafted a deal with Apax Partners, Tommy Hilfiger’s owner, where if it reached certain terms the buyer would be obliged to close the deal. The firm's approach to Apax enabled a far more attractive financing and allowed the deal to close successfully
Simpson Thacher & BartlettHighly commendedPost-Tarp government work67720Created the legal structures for new programmes under Tarp, including a targeted investment programme, warrant auctions and a public-private investment plan. The lawyers were especially creative on the securities law implications of the government selling its stakes in the banks
Quinn EmanuelHighly commendedSevering ties with leading financial institutions to pursue them in the courts67720Top firms rarely sue the main financial institutions, but in the past three years Quinn Emanuel lawyers have obtained judgments worth in excess of $10bn against accounting firms and the banks
Orrick, Herrington & SutcliffeHighly commendedState of California bond issues67720Represented California in two large bond issues worth $6.2bn and $6.5bn, respectively, which enabled the funding of 5,000 infrastructure projects. The lawyers devised ideas that broke the bottleneck preventing these projects from going ahead
Freshfields Bruckhaus DeringerHighly commendedCreating a benchmark for US rail projects76720Acting for the Denver Regional Transportation District, the firm successfully took a European public-private partnership model to the US when credit markets were constrained. The lawyers were praised for crafting a concession agreement that would last 30 years, and for counselling the bidder teams on how to make this work
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & HamiltonHighly commendedMaintaining creditor consensus in the $15bn refinancing of Cemex, the Mexican cement producer67720Acted as New York counsel to the creditors in Latin America’s largest private refinancing to date. Persuading creditors to balance a good commercial outcome with the need for speed was essential, given a narrow market window opening for the $5bn equity and high-yield offering. The deal also helped establish the use of collateral in Latin American refinancing
Allen & OveryHighly commendedCapturing the John Hancock Tower77620Using a loan-to-own strategy, the firm enabled its client, Normandy Real Estate Partners, to take control of Chicago’s Hancock Tower, worth $1.3bn. The key was locating the right tranche of the mezzanine debt to enable control of the underlying asset under the universal commercial code. It was the first big loan-to-own strategy on this scale for 10 years
White & CaseCommendedFinancing CF Industries Holdings' acquisition of Terra Industries67619In a high-stakes piece of advisory work, the firm advised Morgan Stanley and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi on a $4.7bn leveraged loan. It was one of the largest investment-grade acquisition financings since the crisis
Shearman & SterlingCommendedPanama Canal $5.25bn expansion financing66719Helped design and negotiate the agreement between multilateral export credit agencies, all of which agreed a single document. Interestingly, the canal was not used as collateral
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & GarrisonCommendedSpinning out Trilantic Partners from Lehman Brothers67619When Lehman’s merchant banking arm was being sold at auction, the firm acted as both lawyer and commercial adviser in helping the management team take control and introducing it to Evercore Partners, a strategic alliance partner. The deal included unique challenges with cancellation and consent issues across multiple jurisdictions
Paul HastingsCommendedDivesting operations in light of the so-called "Volcker rule" of the Dodd-Frank Act76619Represented Citigroup, the US bank, in the $12.5bn sale of its global property investment management platform. This was the first time this type of platform had been sold since Lehman Brothers disposals. The deal was complicated by consideration of global fiduciary duties and by the number of parties involved
Latham & WatkinsCommendedOncoMed-Bayer biotechnology strategic alliance67619With mergers and acquisitions activity slowing, biotech companies began entering strategic alliances to fund research and development. Representing OncoMed, the firm structured an alliance with Bayer as an option-based agreement, which involved an upfront payment of $40m to OncoMed and long-term flexibility for both sides
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & FeldCommendedRenewable energy project financing in Nicaragua67619Against a backdrop of perceived political risk, the firm closed a substantial project financing in Nicaragua, which has little history in project finance deals. The firm was involved in significant multilateral negotiations and played a key role in laying the groundwork to turn the country into a net exporter of energy
Debevoise & PlimptonCommendedPaying back AIG's debt to Federal Reserve Bank of New York56718To repay its debt, AIG, the insurance group, had to dispose of assets worldwide, which required running concurrent auctions and share offerings. In spite of considerable difficulties, the firm’s highly commercial advice was rewarded with success when the initial placement offer for the AIA subsidiary in Hong Kong in October 2010 raised $17bn
Paul HastingsCommendedFirst extension of term asset-backed securities loan facility (Talf) to cover commercial fleet leases65617Advising PHH, a large US mortgage and commercial fleet organisation, the firm worked to extend Talf to include asset-backed securities for commercial fleet leases. It required lobbying of government and devising a readily available solution
Latham & WatkinsCommendedLBJ Expressway project financing66517Valued at $2.8bn, the project entailed an unusual combination and integration of financing sources to succeed. The firm represented the underwriters in the $615m private activity bond of this transaction, which was part of a sequence of US-based project financings to re-establish the credibility of private-public partnerships
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