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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

USA

Clifford Chance US is a full-service law firm advising domestic and multinational clients in the US and around the world.

Our clients include many of the world’s leading businesses. They rely on us for superior service, market-leading expertise and commercial counsel on their most important and challenging matters. We've built our US practice to meet these demands domestically and internationally– in fact, nearly two in three US partners were recommended in 2020 by The Legal 500 United States.

On cross-border matters, and for clients with a full range of multijurisdictional needs, our capabilities are unmatched. Our team of 300+ lawyers in New York and Washington, DC works closely with the firm's network of international lawyers. Uniquely, that network includes a team of US-qualified attorneys who practice on the ground in Asia Pacific, Europe and South America.

Similarly, our US Tech Group – part of the firm's 400-lawyer-strong Global Tech Group – provides a new model in blending our technology expertise to deliver advice across transactional and litigation practices addressing both opportunity and risk.

Collaboration is a core value within our culture. It means that we work as a team to look at our clients' needs from their perspective and offer innovative solutions that are not tied to a particular office, practice area or attorney. It also means that when catastrophic events occur, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, or cyber breaches, our partners can quickly mobilize a first-rate global team to work with regulators across all jurisdictions and help with the incident response.

Read on to learn about our US practices and why our lawyers are trusted by companies around the world on a broad range of corporate and financial transactions and high-level investigations.

Main areas of practice

Banking & Finance

Our US Banking & Finance group represents financial institutions and corporates in connection with all manner of financial products, including complex national and multinational insolvency and restructuring proceedings, acquisition finance, project finance, bank lending, asset finance, equipment leasing and debt trading.

Our asset finance team includes five ranked partners in New York by Chambers USA and Legal 500 United States – more than any other law firm – and is among the best and most active in the world in advising on large aircraft finance transactions.

In project finance and agency financings, we have several recognized partners in the US and Latin America guides of Chambers and Legal 500. Our projects attorneys regularly represent lenders, development finance institutions, export credit agencies, sponsors and developers on financings for projects in the US and across Latin America. Our team was named Project Finance Team of the Year, Chambers Latin America Awards 2020.

Our US financial restructuring group is fully integrated with one of the world’s leading bankruptcy and insolvency teams and is uniquely positioned to advise on complex multinational restructuring matters. We also have a full-service global debt and claims trading practice, providing the world’s largest financial institutions with the platform to access the global marketplace successfully. Our team is devoted to the secondary market trading of par and distressed bank loans, bankruptcy claims, equity interests, trade receivables and sovereign-backed obligations.

Finally, our US Financial Services Regulatory Group comprises attorneys from transactional and litigation practices to create a single access point for advice on risks and regulatory obligations across international markets.

Contact: Zarrar Sehgal

Capital Markets

Our US Capital Markets practice advises on the full range of capital-raising transactions in the US, representing issuers, underwriters, sponsors and selling stockholders. Product coverage includes IPOs (for both US and non-US companies listing on US exchanges), secondary equity, private placements, preferred equity, equity-linked products, debt and high-yield offerings. We provide advice on all aspects of securities laws and regulations, and in relation to US registrations with the SEC and listings on all US exchanges.

The team has an outstanding reputation for developing innovative solutions in the area of specialty finance, especially in relation to permanent capital vehicles and alternative REIT structures. Our US REIT practice has been ranked Tier 1 for more than a decade and includes four REITs partners ranked by Chambers USA. We are recognized leaders in equity and mortgage REITs, listed and non-listed REITs, US and non-US REITs and innovative REITs.

Our registered funds practice advises on a significant proportion of closed-end fund IPOs in the US market. Our representation on closed-end funds includes advising fund sponsors and underwriters on the launch of US closed-end funds.

Our US Structured Finance Group is at the forefront in structured finance, securitization, real estate and structured funds, and is one of the most active counsel to CLO managers and among the most active issuer's counsel for residential and small-balance commercial mortgage-backed securities. The team is a leader representing borrowers in repos and warehouses for all mortgage products. We represent investors in consumer debt including marketplace loans, student loans and credit card receivables, and in agency, private, cash and synthetic CRT transactions, winning North American law firm of the year at SCI's Capital Relief Trades Awards 2020. The team has an active and innovative trade finance practice, is experienced in aviation capital markets transactions, and highly respected for its US swaps and derivatives expertise, including assisting clients in the review and negotiation of ISDA Master Agreements and associated credit support documentation. In Latin America, we hold uncontested leadership on the securitization of milestone-based Governmental payments and hybrid multi-source, multi-currency solutions. 

Our team is frequently instructed on cross-border capital markets matters, with a principal focus on debt and equity transactions for sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns and corporates in Latin America. 

Contacts: Kathleen Werner and Jonathan Zonis

Corporate

We have long advised clients on high-end, business-critical mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures in the US. We represent a diverse client base consisting of both private and public companies as well as private equity houses, banks, asset managers, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds and others. Our lawyers advise on the full spectrum of M&A products and services, and we regularly handle US inbound foreign direct investments for non-US clients leveraging the firm's global footprint. In Latin America we are regarded as one of the leading international law firms and are ranked Tier 1 by Legal 500 Latin America for Corporate/M&A.

Our award-winning US Insurance team is a leader in complex M&A transactions, innovative risk-transfer and capital-raising transactions, representations and warranties insurance, insurtech and strategic regulatory matters, and our lawyers have done pioneering work in the non-payment insurance space. We are the leader in forming alternative capital insurance and reinsurance companies, having advised on deals with an aggregate value of more than US$14 billion in the life insurance and P&C insurance space.

Our Funds & Investment Management team advises on an especially broad range of mandates, with notable strength in the US real estate and asset/structured finance sectors. We have extensive experience with private equity, real estate and debt funds, as well as large limited partner investments and secondaries transactions.

Our US Antitrust team advises on civil and criminal investigations, merger control and joint venture matters, federal court class action litigation, competition compliance and broader complex antitrust and regulatory matters. The team is ranked in The Legal 500 US and is also recommended in Global Competition Review 100 for the US.

Contact: David Brinton

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our US Litigation & Dispute Resolution team represents many of the largest global financial institutions, leading companies, governments and international organizations, as well as individuals from the business community, in some of the market's largest and highest-profile US disputes.

We help clients resolve complex disputes in a manner that reflects their global business objectives, and we are frequently called upon to conduct critical domestic and cross-border investigations. Our team defends multifaceted and high-risk securities class actions and boasts a highly regarded white collar and enforcement capability.

Our trial expertise includes all types of civil and criminal cases before juries and judges in multiple jurisdictions, as well as appellate matters before national and international courts and tribunals. In addition to helping clients through the challenges of a trial, our US litigators offer in-depth guidance regarding the development of compliance programs to assist in minimizing future risks.

Contact: David DiBari

Real Estate

Our US Real Estate group focuses on the legal issues and commercial challenges involved in dealing with acquisitions and sales, preferred equity structures, joint ventures, limited partnerships, REITs and other co-investment arrangements, leasing, mortgage loans and credit facilities and mezzanine loans. Our REIT practice has been consistently ranked Tier 1 by The Legal 500 USA for more than seven years.

The group advises on the full suite of real estate asset classes in the US, including office, retail, industrial, manufactured housing, senior housing, hotels and hospitality, land for development, multifamily and residential and medical office.  We are also a market leader for cross-border transactions and regularly represent investors, including foreign investors, in the acquisition of trophy-type properties and large portfolios in the US that often require complex structuring and significant tax planning.

In 2020, our group was named the fourth leading firm in terms of property sales in New York by The Real Deal

Contact: Ness Cohen

Tax, Pensions & Employment

Our Tax team is routinely sought out by clients to help them move transactions forward, regularly advising on US and international taxation, covering corporate and commercial transactions, equity and debt offerings, real estate and private equity funds and investments, financing and securitization transactions, tax-efficient structured transactions, insurance taxation, charitable organizations and the resolution of tax disputes.

We understand the rapidly changing US tax rules, and we combine that with easy access to the firm's global network of tax attorneys with extensive knowledge of international tax systems and how they interlink. Our team is trusted by clients to ensure that deal structures fit with their broader business goals and risk tolerance. The team has been ranked Tier 1 in the US for Tax: Financial Products for over seven years by The Legal 500 USA and has a particularly strong reputation for its tax work in supporting REIT and insurance structures.

Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation lawyers regularly advise domestic and multinational companies on critical employment matters in the context of M&A transactions, including the treatment of equity compensation, negotiating employment agreements and pension plan terminations. Our ERISA team advises on all aspects of Title I of ERISA, including fiduciary issues in connection with the investment of employee benefit plan assets as well as the fiduciary responsibility requirements that pension plan investment committees must comply with.

Contact: David Moldenhauer

 

More information

Recent highlights

  • Clifford Chance advises on Global Jet Capital's issuance of US$521,800,000 Secured Notes in an asset backed securitization. The securitization (BJETS 2020-1), is the fourth ABS offering that Global Jet Capital has closed.
  • Clifford Chance is advising Watford Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ:WTRE) on its pending approximately US$700 million acquisition by Bermuda-based insurance, reinsurance and mortgage insurance company Arch Capital Group Ltd.
  • Clifford Chance advised private real estate finance and investment company Greystone on the innovative reopening of its inaugural real estate debt fund, Greystone Senior Debt Opportunity Fund (B), for new commitments. The new commitments by existing and new investors increase the fund size to approximately US$1 billion in equity.
  • Clifford Chance is advising private equity firm Ardian on the strategic acquisition by its investee company, The Dedalus Group, of DXC Technology's (DXC: NYSE) healthcare software provider business for US$525 million.
  • Clifford Chance has advised the underwriters led by Credit Suisse and China International Capital Corporation on Genetron Holdings' US$256 million SEC-registered IPO of American Depositary Shares (ADS) and listing on Nasdaq.

Directory and client comments

  • "It [Clifford Chance] has an excellent understanding of the sector and the space, its lawyers have a very good balance of moving the deal forward and making sure the legal protections are in place."
    Chambers USA 2020: Transportation: Aviation: Finance (USA Nationwide) – Band 1
  • "They have a really deep bench and experience in international project finance across different asset classes."
    Chambers USA 2020: Project: Agency Finance (USA Nationwide) – Band 1
  • "The team has always been close the REIT, understanding our needs, the situation in the market (Mexico, Hotels) and have always guided the company towards a good outcome. On top of finance and real estate advice, we have also used the firm to assist in items such as tax, regulation, among others."
    Legal 500 USA 2020: Real Estate REITs – Tier 1
  • "Clifford Chance's 'one-stop shop' tax practice acts for a number of banks and elite asset managers covering real estate and debt, and routinely handles cross-border mandates in conjunction with its London office."
    Legal 500 USA 2020: Tax Financial Products – Tier 1
  • "Business-like, knowledgeable, practical, good market color, sophisticated, user-friendly, good service orientation, nice people to deal with."
    Legal 500 USA 2020: Structured Finance – Securitization – Tier 2
  • "The Clifford Chance team is tireless in providing exceptional client service and a high-quality work product," and "They have deep industry and regulatory knowledge and very practical experience in transactional, tax, and regulatory matters for insurance and reinsurance."
    Legal 500 USA 2020: Insurance: non contentious – Tier 2
  • "The firm is very dedicated to client service and quality work. I have not seen a transaction yet that is beyond its abilities or boundaries."
    Chambers USA 2020: Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded – Band 2

The growth of ESG in Latin America

"As a member of the firm's global ESG Board, I'm seeing first-hand the increasing appetite for ESG-related investment opportunities worldwide. Latin America is no exception to the rule. We've been helping our clients to not only comply with ESG-related obligations, but develop best practices in the field, and capitalise on ESG value creation opportunities. It's a fascinating time for the Latin America region, with some really exciting projects and new policies around ESG emerging."

Thais Garcia, Partner, New York

Our ESG expertise

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