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Most innovative North American law firms 2016: Managing complexity and scale

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Law firm
Total innovation score
StandoutWeil, Gotshal & Manges810826General Electric turned to the firm to design, co-ordinate and implement one of the largest ever corporate transformations, involving more than $100bn in disposals and restructuring $205bn in debt. Nearly 400 lawyers from 17 offices co-ordinated their resources, expertise and a deep knowledge of the client to make the complex reorganisation happen. Lawyers gave GE confidence during the process, helping the business take risks in order to reinvent itself as a digital industrial company.
Highly CommendedKirkland & Ellis88824Lawyers devised a litigation and bankruptcy strategy for Sabine Oil & Gas to resolve billions of dollars of creditor claims following a merger. The company completed its Chapter 11 restructuring with sufficient cash to expand its business.
Highly CommendedSullivan & Cromwell98724In just seven months, the firm co-ordinated a settlement for Volkswagen when it faced regulatory and class action claims relating to its emissions scandal. The complex process involved reaching agreements with multiple US regulators, 44 US states and a class of nearly 500,000 consumers.
CommendedDavies Ward Phillips & Vineberg88723Managed complex intellectual property and national security concerns to structure the first government-owned, contractor-operated model for Canada’s nuclear research facilities. Commended: Gillian Stacey
CommendedShearman & Sterling88723Helped Dow Chemical sell 52 chlor-alkali facilities from different businesses in 35 countries to Olin in a $5bn Reverse Morris Trust transaction, which improved the tax position.
CommendedSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom88723Created new tax and governance solutions to structure DuPont’s planned $130bn merger of equals with Dow Chemical and a follow-on plan to split the merged company into three new businesses. Commended: Peter Atkins and Brandon Van Dyke
CommendedWeil, Gotshal & Manges78823Advising Dow Chemical on its planned merger with DuPont, the firm helped create a unique governance structure that will combine 900 or so product lines. The structure has won approval for the deal from shareholders.
CommendedO'Melveny & Myers78722Created a reorganisation plan and dual governance structure that allowed the recently merged Verso to integrate and restructure its debt through a bankruptcy process in just six months.
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