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Bingham Practices, Lawyers Noted in 2010 Legal 500

June 9, 2010 — The Legal 500: United States has recognized more than 40 Bingham lawyers and 11 practices in its 2010 edition.

Legal 500 recognized Bingham for its financial restructuring; structured transactions; mutual funds; environmental; telecommunications, media and technology; antitrust; M&A; real estate; and tax practices. The rankings were an increase over the nine practices and 20 lawyers noted in 2009.

Legal 500 described Bingham’s global Financial Restructuring Group as one of the leading bondholder-representing firms in the United States, and its global co-chairs — Michael Reilly and Jeffrey Sabin in New York — were both noted. Partners Chip Fisher and Tim DeSieno were highlighted for their work with the worldwide bondholder group in connection with the nationalization and financial restructuring of three major Icelandic banks. DeSieno also was noted for establishing a niche in sovereign debt issues and advising the Dominican Republic Bondholders Committee in a sovereign bond debt restructuring, among other matters. Partner Ed Smith, who one client called “the firm’s star partner and the reason we use the firm,” was noted for his representation of secured lenders and derivative counterparties.

The Structured Transactions Group was described as one of the leading securitization practices with a high level of experience in handling “high-value, complex and significant instructions,” Legal 500 noted. The practice joined the firm in August 2009 as part of the combination with legacy McKee Nelson. Partners Reed Auerbach and John Arnholz were highlighted.

Bingham’s Investment Management Group was noted as a “practice to watch,” especially with the recent hire of Michael Glazer in Los Angeles, who added depth to that office, according to Legal 500. Clients described practice leader Roger Joseph as “very knowledgeable,” and partner Lea Anne Copenhefer was singled out for having “an impressive practice.”

Clients described Bingham’s environmental practice as “resourceful and extremely creative.” The firm was noted for handling criminal cases as well as related civil proceedings conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency and various federal agencies. Partner Jim Dragna is an authority on water-law issues and was described as “very articulate, very experienced and very thorough.” Practice leader Rick Rothman was also noted.

The telecommunications, media and technology practice was recommended for both its regulatory and transactional capabilities. The regulatory team, led by partner Andy Lipman, was noted for its depth of regulatory knowledge and “extensive experience of (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) mergers.” Partner Catherine Wang, who co-leads the practice and advices clients on regulatory compliance issues regarding wireless, long distance, and local, international and enhanced services, was singled out for praise, according to Legal 500.

Lipman was noted as a “top telecommunications lawyer” in the telecommunications transactional category. The practice has an “impressive track record” of representing local carriers in regulatory and transactional matters. It also receives support from Bingham’s “expanding corporate practice,” according to Legal 500, noting the recent arrival of Dan Cooperman, former Apple general counsel, in Silicon Valley.

Bingham’s global team of more than 70 antitrust lawyers provides “attentive and effective advice to clients engaged in all aspects of antitrust matters,” according to Legal 500. The two-partner team of Leiv Blad and Jon Roellke, who joined Bingham from Clifford Chance, and the arrival of former Justice Department chief of staff Hill Wellford in Washington add additional weight to a team that is strong in California and Boston, noted Legal 500. The firm is “best-known for its excellent class-action prowess.” Partner Donn Pickett was noted for his “excellent reputation for high-stakes antitrust litigation.”

Bingham’s international tax practice was highlighted for its strong reputation in the field, especially after its combination with McKee Nelson. Partner John Magee was called “experienced” and was noted for leading the transfer pricing group. Scott Farmer was recommended for inward and outward investment and was called a leader in the life sciences sector. Robert Katcher is a leader in the taxation of foreign currency transactions and cross-border financial products.

Tax controversy partners Will Nelson and David Curtin were noted for recording a litigation victory in the Castle Harbor case (TIFD III-E v. United States), an IRS challenge to partnership structures on the basis that the partnership was a tax shelter with no legitimate business purpose. Donald-Bruce Abrams, Sanford Stark and Magee were described as key partners in the continued development of Bingham’s tax controversy practice.

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