The “Wow Factor”
Weil’s success centers on our business acumen and culture of practicing pragmatic law. We are strategic business partners with our clients and deal facilitators, rapidly coming up with solutions – rather than just pointing out legal issues. Our litigators take a 360-degree view of a client’s business needs, the risks and rewards, before recommending the best course of action – including whether or not to go to trial. Talented attorneys who want to tackle complex, challenging matters on behalf of world-class clients will find those opportunities at Weil in our uniquely entrepreneurial culture.
We train and mentor our associates so that they can achieve rewarding careers and, through our team-oriented approach, ultimately “wow” clients. We know that development of our associates to their full potential is essential for our future success and it is something we take seriously. Diversity is also important to the Firm and we are passionate about creating an environment where every lawyer, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, will be able to thrive.
With approximately 1100 lawyers spread across 20 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the Firm offers clients complex corporate megadeals expertise, strong trial readiness and unmatched bankruptcy experience. Weil advised on more than 50 transactions that were worth over $1 billion each in 2014 alone and has represented clients in five of the six largest U.S. bankruptcies in history. More than 18 Weil litigators have tried a case to judge, jury, or arbitration panel in last two years.
Weil attorneys are fortunate to be able to work with world class clients, including leading companies, private equity firms, and financial institutions, and partners at the Firm are excited to provide associates with the chance for hands-on involvement in highly significant client matters. In private equity, we advise many of the biggest players in the industry and regularly represent more than 200 sponsor clients in the United States on deal execution matters, including some of the most prestigious private equity funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and pension funds. Weil advises major banks across all four of our departments (Corporate, Litigation, Business Finance and Restructuring, and Tax, Executive Compensation & Benefits) and has worked for almost every bulge-bracket investment bank.
In the News
With a myriad of rankings by publications such as The American Lawyer, the Financial Times, and Chambers, Weil’s standing as one of the world’s most prestigious firms is unquestioned. In 2014, Weil won more than 50 awards in the United States alone, including:
- Top 8 Innovative Law Firm in the Financial Times’ North American Innovative Lawyers Report 2014
- Bankruptcy Team of the Year by Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2014
- Transaction Team of the Year for Media, Technology & Telecoms by Legal 500 as part of its inaugural US Awards for 2014
Major M&A Mojo
2014 was one of the best years for dealmaking since 2007. During this blockbuster year, Weil was on top, advising on more than $400 billion in announced transactions globally and ranking #1 in Global M&A completed deals, #3 in Global M&A announced deals, and #2 in U.S. M&A announced deals. The Firm’s stellar performance was recognized by the Financial Times when we received the highest score in the Corporate and Commercial Law category in its North American Innovative Lawyers Report’s, the most competitive of all sections within the report. Additionally, we were named The Recorder’s 2014 Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group of the Year for our involvement in numerous headline-grabbing deals. Examples of deals include representing:
- Facebook in its $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp.
- DIRECTV in its approximately $67.1 billion acquisition by AT&T, one of the largest global deals in recent history.
- Kinder Morgan in its approximately $76 billion acquisition of all the outstanding equity securities of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Kinder Morgan Management, and El Paso Pipeline Partners, ultimately creating the largest energy infrastructure company in North America.
The Wall Street Journal reported that 2014 was “the biggest for U.S.-listed IPOs, by both number and proceeds raised, since 2000.” Weil’s Capital Markets practice was at the forefront of the action, advising GE and Synchrony Financial in Synchrony’s $2.95 billion IPO, the largest U.S. consumer finance IPO since the financial crisis. Additionally, the Firm advised Dave & Buster’s Entertainment in its $100 million IPO and listing on the NASDAQ exchange. We capped off a strong year by advising Avolon Holdings Ltd. and Metaldyne Performance Group Inc. in their $273 million and $150 million IPOs respectively.
From patent to complex commercial litigation and from employment to environmental litigation, Weil’s global litigation practice provides clients with innovative legal advice in all major substantive areas of the law. Exciting recent representations include:
- Well known football coach Jim Harbaugh in contract negotiations with the University of Michigan and the San Francisco 49ers, his former team. The contract is one of the richest in the history of college football according to CBS Sports.
- Marsh & McLennan in securing a major victory in a dispute with two former executives, which provides important guidance for companies as to how they may conduct internal investigations against a backdrop of government regulatory and criminal investigations.
- Procter & Gamble in a significant victory in a long-running products liability multi-district litigation in which hundreds of plaintiffs alleged that their use of Fixodent denture cream caused neurologic injury.
Weil has an unparalleled track record of obtaining antitrust clearance in “bet-the-company” mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. We are representing Actavis in its proposed acquisition of Allergan; a transaction valued at $66 billion that will be the third-largest health care deal ever in the U.S. In another headline-grabbing deal, Weil is advising Staples Inc. on antitrust aspects, along with corporate & shareholder aspects, in its proposed $6.3 billion acquisition of Office Depot. And the team is versatile: for example, we advised Farmers Insurance in the lead case in an auto body shop antirust multidistrict litigation.
Weil’s preeminent Intellectual Property practice is regularly engaged in highly-sophisticated licensing, outsourcing, diligence and other projects for a roster of clients that reads like a Who’s Who of top life sciences, technology and media companies. The firm recently secured victories for:
- Adobe Systems when a California federal jury found that two digital-rights management patents asserted by plaintiff Digital Reg of Texas LLP were invalid because the technology was obvious.
- Intel in a patent infringement case brought by US Ethernet Innovations LLC when the Chief District Judge of the Northern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of Intel and many of its customers on all claims.
Bankruptcy and Restructuring
Weil continues to be involved in the largest ongoing bankruptcies. The Firm is currently counsel to Endeavour International Corporation in its chapter 11 filing. Additionally, we are involved in other current high-profile matters including the municipal bankruptcies in Detroit and in Stockton and San Bernardino in California.
Diversity & Inclusion
Weil has been consistently recognized as one of the global law firms most committed to diversity and inclusion, community, and pro bono work. We were named among the best places to work for LGBT individuals by the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index. In 2013, we won Best Gender Diversity Initiative from Chambers, and we currently have five very active affinity groups – for Asian, Black, Latino, LGBT, and Women attorneys.
This entrepreneurial and inclusive culture makes for a work experience that is professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling. Weil is a place where so many talented lawyers from many kinds of backgrounds want to stay.
Pro bono – “Our Finest Hours”
In our award-winning pro bono practice, Weil attorneys work on a range of cases – everything from asylum matters to death penalty cases to corporate advice for charitable organizations. Weil maintains the goal that all lawyers at the firm perform 50 hours of pro bono work each year. We were recognized in The American Lawyer’s pro bono special report for our ongoing commitment to pro bono, both in the U.S. and globally. The Firm was ranked 16th for national pro bono efforts and 11th for international pro bono efforts among AmLaw 200 firms. The Firm’s Boston office was honored in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s 2014 Excellence in the Law Awards for our dedication to pro bono service. Additionally, the Dallas office was awarded the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program’s Lisa Blue and Fred Baron Access to Justice Award for the Firm’s significant contribution of pro bono service to the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program
Weil’s commitment to our pro bono program is an ingrained part of our culture, and we are pleased that many of our institutional clients share our commitment and actively work with us on initiatives in a number of areas, including criminal justice reform, human rights, community and economic development, children’s welfare, civil and constitutional rights, health and environmental issues, and asylum and immigration. It is in this spirit that we refer to time spent on pro bono work as “our finest hours.”
Our Firm is particularly proud of its externship programs that allow full-time associates the opportunity to work exclusively on pro bono matters with leading public service and charitable organizations for a period of several months. Partner organizations include Lawyers Alliance for New York, The Legal Aid Society Criminal Practice Program, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.
Click here to find out more about Pro Bono at Weil.