A powerhouse in restructuring, M&A, private equity and
litigation, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has long been one of the
world's leading law firms. Buoyed by its role as the go-to
bankruptcy firm, Weil has been a fixture at the top of law firm
rankings, including The American Lawyer's "A-List" and
To New York and Beyond
Weil was founded in New York in 1931 and now overlooks the
City's playground, Central Park, from its Fifth Avenue office.
Recently, the firm signed a 15-year lease extension for the office
space in New York's iconic General Motors Building, which has been
Weil's home since the building opened in 1968. With approximately
1,100 lawyers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the
Middle East, the firm bases over half of its 20 offices overseas.
The firm was among the first to establish offices in Eastern Europe
after the fall of the Iron Curtain, and during the last
approximately 10 years added offices in Munich, Shanghai, Hong
Kong, Beijing and Dubai. The growth has only spurred the firm's
successes, as it continues to be one of the highest-grossing law
While raking in the restructuring dollars, Weil's M&A and
Private Equity teams have been on fire. Last year, Weil advised on
more than 50 $1 billion+ deals including advising on six of the top
15 global M&A deals announced. In fact, Weil worked on global
M&A transactions with a cumulative value of more than $400
billion! The firm's Silicon Valley office was especially busy,
leading several high-profile tech deals such as Facebook's $19
billion acquisition of WhatsApp, and Oracle's $5 billion
acquisition of MICROS. Weil's tech client roster is impressive and
includes Samsung, Adobe, Panasonic, Vonage, Yahoo!, eBay, Intel,
Verizon and Microsoft. Other major deals handled by the firm
include advising DIRECTV in its proposed $67.1 billion acquisition
by AT&T and Verizon in its proposed $4.4 billion acquisition of
In private equity, Weil has been busy advising longtime client
Advent International, including on its acquisition of Noosa
Yoghurt-the new, extra creamy Australian-style yogurt that hit the
shelves recently-and in its acquisition of a stake in lululemon
athletica from lululemon founder Dennis J. Wilson.
Weil fields one of the most respected and effective
restructuring departments in the world-the firm has played an
integral role in nearly every high-profile bankruptcy in history.
Examples include WorldCom, Enron (which earned the firm over $150
million in fees) General Motors, Washington Mutual, AIG and, the
linchpin of the financial meltdown and largest chapter 11 case in
the history of the United States: Lehman Brothers.
More recently, Weil advised American Airlines in its restructuring,
including its approximately $18 billion merger with US Airways,
which was one of the most successful chapter 11 cases in airline
history, enabling creditors to receive a full recovery on their
claims and providing a substantial distribution to
Weil has also played roles in municipal bankruptcy cases of
late, including those of Detroit and Stockton, California. The firm
is also advising a party in restructuring approximately $4.5
billion of bonds issued by Puerto Rico and its public
May it Please the Court
On the litigation side, the firm defended lululemon in the
famous "yoga pants" case. The Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of all claims against
lululemon in a securities class action brought against the company
after it pulled certain merchandise from stores due to an
unacceptable level of sheerness. The firm also secured a dismissal
by the New York Supreme Court for Fairway.
Weil secured a major victory for Marsh & McLennan in a
dispute with two former executives. The suit is important because
it provides guidance for companies as to how they may conduct
internal investigations against a backdrop of government regulatory
and criminal investigations.
In 2012, McRO, doing business as Planet Blue, filed more than a
dozen identical complaints against various video game companies
alleging they infringed its patents for animated lip
synchronization and facial expression of animated characters. Weil
led the industry's efforts, representing 13 video game companies
named in the suit as a united front, in invalidating the patents by
briefing and arguing the winning motion for judgement on the
pleadings that the patents do not meet the requirements for patent
eligibility. In September 2014, a California federal judge found
the two patents asserted by Planet Blue, for lip synchronization
and facial animation techniques, invalid for failure to claim
patentable subject matter.
Weil has a long history of guiding the media industry through
the changing landscape of a world that has become increasingly
high-tech, high-speed, digital, and social. Representations include
advising Yahoo! in its $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo!'s
largest acquisition in over a decade; Providence Equity Partners in
its sale of its stake in Hulu to joint venture co-owners News Corp,
Comcast, and The Walt Disney Company; Lenovo in its $2.9 billion
acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google; and GE in its $18.1
billion sale of its remaining 49 percent stake in NBC Universal,
NBC Universal's floors in 30 Rockefeller Center, and CNBC's
headquarters to Comcast. These are in addition to the
DIRECTV/AT&T, Verizon/AOL and Facebook/WhatsApp deals already
IN THE NEWS
Deals, deals and more deals
Weil advised on more than 50 $1 billion+ deals in 2014, and the
pace is continuing. The firm is representing Verizon in its $4.4
billion acquisition of AOL and General Electric in its strategic
plan to sell most of GE Capital's assets. Big representations from
2014 include Facebook in its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp
and DIRECTV on its $67.1 billion acquisition by AT&T, one of
the largest global deals in recent history.
The dealmaking boom has led to a flurry of antitrust activity.
Weil's antitrust team is advising Actavis on its proposed $66
billion acquisition of Allergan, Staples on its proposed $6.3
billion acquisition of Office Depot, and Johnson & Johnson on
its proposed sale of its Cordis unit to Cardinal Health.
BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Nissan are among the
world's leading car makers that rely on manufacturer Chassix
Holdings for chassis and other safety-critical components. When
Chassix and its subsidiaries entered into a prearranged chapter 11
restructuring of their $700 million capital structure, they tapped
Weil for the job.
Sticking With It
Following three significant victories over six years of litigation,
Weil obtained a resounding win for Procter & Gamble when a
Florida Federal Court dismissed the claims of 62 plaintiffs in a
products liability multi-district litigation in which hundreds of
plaintiffs alleged that their use of Fixodent denture cream caused
Are You Ready For Some Football?
Weil advised 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.
Weil was counsel to GE and Synchrony Financial in Synchrony's $2.95
billion initial public offering, the largest U.S. consumer finance
IPO since the financial crisis, and Dave & Buster's
Entertainment in its $100 million IPO.
Problems with Patents
Weil obtained a decisive victory 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. The jurors also ruled that
there was no infringement by Adobe on one of the patents, without
reaching infringement on the second asserted patent.