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Bingham Practices, Lawyers Noted in 2011 Legal 500

Firm Continues to Rise in Legal 500 Rankings

July 14, 2011 — The Legal 500: United States recognized 46 Bingham lawyers and 14 practices in its 2011 edition, up from 43 lawyers and 11 practices in 2010.

Legal 500 recognized Bingham for its corporate restructuring; structured finance; environment: litigation; environment: transaction and regulatory; alternative/hedge funds; mutual/registered funds; telecoms and broadcast, regulatory; telecoms and broadcast, transactional; antitrust; M&A: middle-market ($500 million-$999 million); land use/zoning; real estate; international tax; and tax controversy practices.

Legal 500 described Bingham’s global Financial Restructuring Group as a “great team” recognized for its ability “to work on a myriad complicated situations.” “Easy to work with, responsive and knowledgeable,” the team was also praised for its ability to “know when and how to draw expertise from others when necessary.”

Partner Michael Reilly was noted for his representation of the bondholders of Mexico’s third largest retail group, Controladora Comercial Mexicana, as well as his representation of the private noteholder group in the out-of-court restructuring of one of the country’s largest radio sports content networks, Westwood One. Partner Jonathan Alter was noted for his representation of Laurence Group on the acquisition in bankruptcy of substantially all of the operating business of Ultimate Escapes, a destination travel company. Partner Ed Smith, who “probably knows more than anyone in the country about matters at the interface between the UCC and bankruptcy,” was noted for handling a slew of work on creditors’ rights issues arising out of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and for participating in drafting a number of recent revisions to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Partner Jeff Sabin was also recognized.

The Structured Transactions Group was highlighted for being one of the busiest securitization practices in the United States. According to Legal 500, the group’s “collective experience of securitization transactions and issuers has established a ‘brains trust’ which is invaluable.” Partner Reed Auerbach was recognized as “truly a titan in the field” who offers “a superb client interface and bedside manner, he is great at big-picture explanations and understanding.” Partner John Arnholz was noted for serving as underwriters counsel on innovative offerings of asset-backed securities for virtually every key investment bank. Partner Larry Isaacson was also highlighted.

The Environmental Litigation Group was described as “bright-thinking, well-versed in case law and strategies” and “excellently responsive.” The group was noted for its significant strength in water issues, as demonstrated by two appellate victories that defined the ground rules for water supply planning required under state law for development projects in California. Partners Rick RothmanJim Dragna and Chris Berka were also recognized.

The Environmental, Land Use and Natural Resources Group was noted for providing “practical, solution-oriented advice based upon a deep understanding of the relevant legal requirements and the client’s unique needs. ”Legal 500 said the group is highly regarded by its clients for land use work and “its land use attorneys are among the best.” Partners Rick Rothman and Edward Strohbehn were highlighted.

The Investment Management Practice Group, called “one of the best in the industry…exhibits strong knowledge of the federal securities laws and how mutual funds and their securities should view those laws, rules and regulations,” making it a key outfit in the registered funds space, according to Legal 500. Even though the group’s strengths have traditionally been geared toward the registered funds market, Legal 500 noted that it has steadily developed a reputation as a “quiet market leader” for hedge and alternative funds. The group was recognized for providing “an excellent level of performance across all key service criteria,” with “a level of responsiveness that outdoes the top law firms.” Partner Roger Joseph, chair of the group, was noted for being “thorough and presents his views in a very constructive way,” and is “one of the leaders in the legal community.” Partner John Holton was recognized as “a gifted lawyer who dependably combines high-quality advice, a depth of practical legal knowledge and experience with superlative client service.” Partners Lea Anne Copenhefer and Rich Goldman were also highlighted.

The Tax and Employee Benefits Group has five partners who specialize in international tax and provide comprehensive transactional support and advisory services to leading corporations, financial institutions and investment funds, according to Legal 500. Partner Scott Farmer was recognized for his inward and outward investment work as well as his proficiency in the life sciences sector. Partner John Magee, co-chair of the Transfer Pricing Group, was recognized for his representation of GlaxoSmithKline in the largest-ever transfer pricing dispute, which settled at $3.1 billion.

The Tax Controversy Group was recognized for attracting numerous high-value and complex instructions from major corporate clients such as Dow Chemical, HIT Entertainment, GlaxoSmithKline and Pernod Ricard. Partner John Magee was recognized. Partners Will Nelson and Don Abrams, group co-chairs, were also highlighted, along with partners Sanford Stark and David Curtin.

The Telecommunications, Media and Technology Group, called “responsive, insightful and thorough” by Legal 500, was praised by clients for being “‘instrumental in securing policy outcomes pivotal to our industry’s future.” Partners Andy Lipman and Catherine Wang, group co-chairs, were highlighted. Partner William Wilhelm was also recognized.

According to Legal 500, Bingham’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group provides “sound, practical and savvy” advice, while the group’s “depth of talent” is such that its “associates are capable of handling matters in the absence of partners.” The team’s class action litigators were described as “smart-as-a-whip gentleman lawyers; practical and commercial but real bulldogs.” Partner Richard Taffet was recognized for his “excellent strategic view and is capable of noticing changes in a situation and formulating appropriate counter-arguments very promptly.” Partner Donn Pickett was noted as an “exceedingly knowledgeable, experienced, hardworking and excellent trial lawyer,” whose recent successes include settling a class action for companies owned by international luxury group, LVMH.

The Corporate, M&A and Securities Group was noted for being “very responsive and pragmatic” as well as “easy to do business with and substantively sound. Its broad experience and good brainstorming partners enable the practice to develop creative approaches to complex issues. The team also has a good sense of market trends and current developments.” Partners Steve Browne and David Robbins, group co-chairs, were recognized. Legal 500 singled out Robbins as “a valued adviser who works with clients to ensure the full vetting of issues, combining technical expertise with practical perspective. Robbins understands client objectives, both from a transactional and operating model perspective.” The recent addition of partner Steven Frank was noted as well. Partners Andrew RayJohn UtzschneiderCarl Valenstein and Rick Welch were also highlighted.

The Land Use and Development Group was recognized for its “deep bench in the land use field of California, providing thorough advice on the most complicated matters” and for assisting clients across the whole spectrum of development issues. The firm also has a highly regarded environmental and natural resources practice, which works closely with the land use team on a number of project developments and CEQA issues, according to Legal 500.

The Real Estate Group, described as “very creative and results-orientated” by Legal 500, was recognized for its “excellent technical expertise.” Partner Frank Appicelli, group co-chair, was recognized for his representation of The Hartford on a number of dispositions involving $1 billion of structured loans secured by office, retail, resort and hospitality properties located throughout the United States. Partners Carol Dillon and Jeff Smith (Hartford).

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