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North America Innovative Lawyers 2017: Enabling Business Growth - Law firms and legal service providers

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Law firms and legal service providers
Total innovation score
StandoutKirkland & Ellis99725Sanchez Energy wanted to buy shale acreage worth $2.3bn, but its chances looked slim as its market capitalisation was only $300m and shale energy is a stressed market. The law firm devised a financing structure that allowed private equity firms Blackstone and GSO Capital to bid on an operatorship premium basis while allowing Sanchez to retain control of its business operations.
Highly CommendedCrowell & Moring78823Advised R3, a fintech start-up, in negotiating and securing $107m of investment from global banks, the world’s largest investment in blockchain technology to date. Commended: Mitch Rabinowitz.
Highly CommendedMorrison & Foerster88723Providing certainty for autonomous driving technology company Mobileye in its $15.3bn sale to Intel, lawyers helped negotiate a deal with strong protections, including no break-up or reverse break-up fee. Commended: Jim Tanenbaum.
Highly CommendedSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom88723Advised Yahoo on the transfer of its operating business into a subsidiary that was sold to Verizon for $4.5bn, while turning it into a registered investment company so it could retain its stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan without incurring major tax liabilities.
Highly CommendedHogan Lovells88622Created a buyer power ratio metric with the potential to smooth negotiations between a buyer with a large market capitalisation and a private target, and make them more realistic. Commended: Rick Climan.
Highly CommendedMcGuireWoods78722Helped US power generation group Exelon’s renewable energy subsidiaries in the drafting and passage of Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act. The act has halted scheduled nuclear plant closures and could result in $4bn in consumer savings. Commended: Mark Johnson.
CommendedCravath, Swaine & Moore77721Advised US-listed oil tanker company DHT Holdings on completing the $538m acquisition of BW’s very large crude carrier fleet. The law firm successfully defended DHT against lawsuits from Oslo-listed tanker company Frontline, which had offered to buy the combined fleet. Commended: Erik Tavzel.
CommendedPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison77721When chipmakers Qualcomm and NXP wanted to merge, they faced onerous Dutch M&A laws. The law firm reduced the stock required for the $47bn deal from 95 per cent to 80 per cent, and ensured Qualcomm would be able to own NXP’s assets from the deal closing. Commended: Scott Barshay.
CommendedPillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman77721When its consortium partner filed for bankruptcy, L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering of India turned to the law firm to develop a new framework agreement to help it preserve a $3bn oil pipeline contract with consortium client Saudi Aramco.
CommendedWeil, Gotshal & Manges78621Advised SoftBank, a Japanese telecoms company, on its $3.3bn acquisition of US alternative asset manager Fortress Investment Group. To achieve this Fortress had to return to private ownership, the first such instance for a diversified alternative asset manager.
CommendedWhite & Case77721Created a blueprint for borrowers in bankruptcy through its advice to Deutsche Bank on the closing of $4.25bn of senior secured debtor-in-possession ‘roll to exit’ credit facilities used to refinance Texas Competitive Electric Holdings.
CommendedCadwalader, Wickersham & Taft77620Developed the regulatory and compliance frameworks for the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, a self-regulatory organisation for the US. The law firm applied laws and regulations from other industries. Commended: Jodi Avergun and Ira Schacter.
CommendedCravath, Swaine & Moore77620Advised US pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson in its Swiss subsidiary’s $30bn acquisition of Swiss biotech company Actelion, navigating its acquisition of Actelion’s commercial business and an equity stake in the spin-off of Actelion’s early-stage R&D business.
CommendedDentons77620Helped set up a formal patent programme for MassMutual, the US insurance company, to allow employees to submit ideas to be patented. So far, it has obtained several patents distinct to its core business of life insurance. Commended: Eric Sophir.
CommendedHogan Lovells67720Lawyers from the firm’s Dutch and Mexican offices worked with the International Finance Corporation and China-Mexico Fund, using a public-private partnership structure for the first time in Mexico’s telecoms sector on a large-scale project.
CommendedAllen & Overy67619Advised the International Finance Corporation on the design and implementation of a new investment vehicle that enables third parties to invest passively in the IFC’s senior loan portfolio and benefit from the IFC’s expertise in loan management.
CommendedCovington & Burling67619Advised Chinese internet company Tencent in its acquisition of a $8.6bn majority stake in Supercell, the Finnish gaming company, while maintaining Supercell’s creative culture and retaining its employees by introducing incentive schemes. Commended: Scott Anthony.
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