Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Sweetness
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:32 am

Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby Sweetness » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:59 am

Is there any way to see what law firms are frequently being used by banks? For example, say I wanted to know what law firm SAC Capital uses. Is there a way to find this information?

Note: I know how to find this out on Westlaw for litigated cases, but what about representing on transactions?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:17 pm

A good way to look is via C&P rankings.

Banking and Finance: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/42618
Capital Markets debt & equity: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/42620 (firms likely to represent issuers as well as underwriters)
Hedge Funds: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/42680
PE Fund Formation: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/42681
PE buyouts: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/42696

You can also look up league tables for things like capital markets transactions.

As a very rough proxy, the NYC based frims in the V15 or so tend to be the big names for banks.

From my informal and anecdotal understanding (not exhaustive or ordered)

Banking & Capital Markets: Cravath, Sullivan & Cromwell, Davis Polk, Simpson
PE: Simpson Thacher & Kirkland
Hedge Funds: Schulte, Sidley & Akin Gump

Wachtell is basically all M&A. Skadden is definitely good at a lot of these things but also more M&A and other kinds of transactions and less white shoe / financial. Cleary and Debevoise definitely make the list too but I couldn't tell you as easily off the cuff what their specialties are, other than cleary being synonymous with 'international.' Weil is THE firm for BK work but otherwise aren't topping the charts for financial work. PW is a terrific firm but has a much stronger reputation for litigation than for transactional work, but I bet if you want banking / financial lit that'd be a top of the list type place.

Note that the big banks - and even the big funds - all use a lot of different law firms. A lot of firms that aren't the best known for, say, hedge fund work, still have a lot of hedge fund work. Off the top of my head I know SAC Capital routinely uses at least one firm that's like band 3 ranked for hedge funds.

One obvious anecdote is that everybody knows Goldman and S&C have an extremely tight relationship. Having said that, S&C is hardly the only law firm Goldman uses for its transactions.

One big factor is that with transactions, it takes two to tango. Every security issued will have an issuer and an underwriter, every M&A transaction will have at least two corporations and other entities involved for finance, etc.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby seriouslyinformative » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:24 pm

I would say both Debevoise and Cleary have substantial private equity practices. Simpson dominates higher-end PE with their relationships with Blackstone and KKR; Kirkland dominates the mid-market and does higher-end stuff as well. Cleary and Debevoise have substantial relationships with a number of strong PE shops, and they both have worked on some marquee deals (Cleary on the J Crew one is a big example).

Paul Weiss just acquired a substantial private equity crew as well. And, in my opinion, they are building up quite a substantial public/private M&A practice. If my goal was to make partner at an NYC firm, I think Paul Weiss's corporate group would make a lot of sense. It's clearly a growth focus for the firm and is building up at a substantial rate. Just impressive.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:28 pm

Another place to look are financial league tables published by various outfits. It might not be that useful for a law student trying to pick a firm but it's an amazing and concrete data set. You can see exactly how many deals each of these firms did in various quarters and exactly how much money was on the line in each. Just google around for league tables and you'll find a lot of info.

Another thing to consider is size. It's been a while, but my memory is that while a lot of these firms are like 500-600 attorneys and about 60-70% corporate, there are some obvious exceptions. Paul Wise has way more litigators than corporate attorneys, for example (not a huge surprise given their relatively stronger reputation for litigation).

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:55 pm

Sweetness wrote:Is there any way to see what law firms are frequently being used by banks? For example, say I wanted to know what law firm SAC Capital uses. Is there a way to find this information?

Note: I know how to find this out on Westlaw for litigated cases, but what about representing on transactions?


All of the advice in this thread is good for identifying financial firms generally, but I'm not sure it's going to help you identify which specific firms are used most often by which specific financial entities.

Part of the reason is, as sealocust mentioned, a bank like UBS or Goldman might easily have existing, ongoing relationships with 30 law firms. The might (I'm making this up) call Skadden for M&A, then S&C for a bond issuance, and SRZ for a going-private bridge loan, Proskauer for litigation, and Cadwalader for a securitization, and Mayer Brown for cat bonds; then they'll have a list of firms that they'd call if any of those firms was conflicted, etc.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:00 pm

If your school provides access to ALM Intelligence, they have reports that come out every year titled Who Represents Who.

User avatar
Verity
Posts: 1253
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby Verity » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:25 pm

Tag.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:27 pm

What everyone above said, but generally speaking:

Goldman: S&C
Citi: Paul Weiss (at least for lit)
JP Morgan: DPW, Cravath
Morgan Stanley: DPW
BofA: Wachtell, Cleary

KKR: STB
Blackstone: STB
TPG: Cleary
Bain Capital: Kirkland, Ropes
CD&R: Debevoise
Providence Equity: Debevoise and Kirkland
Carlyle: Latham and Debevoise
Golden Gate: Kirkland
Hellman and Friedman: STB, Cleary
Apax: Kirkland, STB
Apollo: WLRK and Paul Weiss

As people above above though said, it really varies, particularly with banks but also for funds. For instance almost everyone uses Wachtell and S&C for M&A (i.e., when they themselves are merging), but DPW and Cleary represent a lot more banks on the cap markets side (i.e., when the banks are acting as underwriters). Latham does most of Carlyle's buyouts, but Debevoise does almost all its fund formation work. Bain Capital uses Ropes a lot domestically, but barely at all internationally.

There are some exceptions though. Debevoise almost exclusively does all of CD&R's work (except for conflict situations). Same with STB and KKR.

Edit to add in info from seriouslyinformative.
Last edited by imchuckbass58 on Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: Law Firms Used by Banks/Funds

Postby seriouslyinformative » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:36 pm

I would add Simpson for Apax as well. Providence also uses Kirkland. Add in Apollo, which uses Wachtell and Paul Weiss.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.