Consistently ranked as a top money-maker, both
in terms of firm profits and PPP, Magic Circle-firm Linklaters has
achieved legal industry royalty by following the BigLaw formula
well: build the finance and M&A practices, and grow
internationally. The firm is one of the top brands among U.K.-based
law firms, and if you want to work in the United States, there are
two offices to choose from: New York and Washington, DC.
At the beginning of
the 1990s, Linklaters was predominantly a U.K. firm with local
operations in just a handful of cities across Europe and Asia. But
in 1996, the firm embarked on an expansion strategy and hasn't
looked back since. Through a string of global mergers, joint
ventures and organic growth, the firm built up a hefty
international practice. In 2005, following new legislation
permitting multinational partnerships, Linklaters was among the few
global firms in Japan to provide both international and domestic
services. And in 2006, Linklaters opened shop in Dubai, building on
its 30 years of Middle East experience. 2012 saw the opening of the
firm's office in Washington, DC. With 29 offices in 20 countries,
Linklaters is no longer an exclusively fish-and-chips firm.
Linklaters' New York team of U.S.-trained
lawyers has grown tremendously over the past few years. It provides
a full range of legal services to financial institutions and
corporations on their most high-profile domestic and cross-border
transactions, complex litigation and regulatory matters. The team
has the capacity and knowledge on the ground to handle assignments
of virtually any size or complexity in any of its practice areas:
antitrust, banking, capital markets, corporate/M&A, environment
& climate change, executive compensation, financial regulation,
investment management, litigation & arbitration, restructuring
& insolvency and tax.
Regulatory matters and complex litigation get
special attention in the New York office, as well. The firm
recently represented Air France in a Department of Justice
investigation into price-fixing in the multibillion-dollar market
for the air transport of cargo and related follow-on class action
Mainly known in the United States for its
M&A and banking practices, Linklaters' New York team has
represented clients in a number of significant transactions
including the cross-border representation of the Joint
Administrators of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and insolvency
proceedings and the Brazilian development bank, BNDES, on the
issuance of new SPV bonds to facilitate the refinancing of $1
billion outstanding bonds.
It takes a multinational to represent a
multinational: Linklaters' clients are some of the biggest, too.
Its M&A practice has represented DISH Network on its
acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Blockbuster,
Inc.; AIG on the sale of its consumer finance businesses in Hong
Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and Thailand; Citi on the sale of its
German retail banking operation to Credit Mutuel Group for $7.7
billion; and Sanofi-Aventis on its $8 billion acquisition of Merck
& Co.'s half of joint venture Merial Limited, an animal-health
company, and the option to acquire Schering-Plough's Intervet.
Promotions to Partner
Linklaters announced that 21 lawyers were elected to the
partnership, across 11 jurisdictions and eight practice areas.
Forty-three percent of the partners elected this year are women.
Three of those elected are U.S. lawyers based in New York (2) and
Singapore (1). In addition, 22 lawyers across the firm were
promoted to counsel, including three in the global U.S.
Linklaters' Latin America practice represented Marfrig Overseas
Limited, one of Brazil's largest food-processing companies, in its
issuance of US$275 million 9.50 percent senior notes due in 2020.
This bond was the first high yield debt issuance by a Brazilian
company in 2014, and it was the third bond issuance on which
Linklaters advised Marfrig in the past two years.
Linklaters' New York office participated in the Micro-Tyco
challenge. Micro-Tyco is the latest concept from WildHearts, a
charity that launches companies and uses their profits to tackle
developing world poverty while stimulating entrepreneurship. With
Micro-Tyco, teams from organizations, including leading corporates,
universities and even primary schools from around the world are
given $1/£1 seed capital and are challenged to grow it into as much
as they can in four weeks. Proceeds are then used to fund
microloans in 26 developing nations, helping thousands of people to
work their own way out of poverty. Four Linklaters teams comprising
24 members of business services raised US$19,500. Linklaters
matched that amount, bringing our donation to a grand total of
US$39,000 to WildHearts. The New York office was named the Overall
Winner of the February 2014 competition and placed first in the
Award Winning Deal
Linklaters captured a Deal of the Year award in the Structured
Finance and Securitization category for Trade MAPS 1 Limited,
Series 2013-1 at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR)
Americas Awards ceremony held in New York. The Linklaters team
comprised lawyers from 19 of the firm's offices. Linklaters was
recognized for its innovative design, structure and implementation
of the Trade MAPS Program, which allows participating banks to fund
their trade businesses through the issue of term securities. It
provides long-term funding for traditionally short-dated assets and
enhances the banks' liquidity position. The program also introduces
a new category of asset-backed securities to the ABS market.
Billion Dollar Steel Sale
Several offices of Linklaters represented ThyssenKrupp AG in the
US$1.55 billion sale of its U.S. steel plant to Luxembourg's
ArcelorMittal SA and Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal
Corp. Düsseldorf-based partner Ralph Wollburg and New York-based
partner Scott Sonnenblick led the team advising on this matter,
which included partners and associates in New York, Washington, DC,
Düsseldorf and Hong Kong.
Developing New Practice Groups
Linklaters launched its International Governance and Development
practice led by New York-based partner Lance Croffoot-Suede and
London-based partner Vanessa Havard-Williams to help clients
develop a tailored approach to social development issues,
governance structures and sectoral standards and codes of