Clifford Chance

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We advise domestic and international clients in the US, the Americas and across the globe. We help them make the most of markets and opportunities, and address the legal challenges that affect their businesses.

A strong US team backed by a global network

Clients rely on us for market-leading expertise and the capability to advise on complex matters. We've built our US teams to meet these demands domestically – our Tier One REITs practice and world-class Aircraft Finance practice are just two examples of this. On cross-border matters, our capabilities are unmatched in the US market. When clients have multinational operations or multijurisdictional needs, our US team of nearly 300 lawyers in New York and Washington, D.C. works closely with specialist colleagues in our firm's international network.

Our leading 17-partner US Litigation practice works as part of a much larger global team, providing high-level representations in litigation matters. We regularly represent many of the largest global financial institutions, leading companies, governments and international organisations, as well as individuals from the business community, in some of the market's largest and highest-profile US disputes.

Our collaborative approach, as well as our work on deals like Kraft's $19.5 billion acquisition of Cadbury; the bankruptcies of the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers; the US Department of Energy's multibillion dollar clean energy program, and AEI's sale of $4.8 billion in assets to 11 different buyers, have won us market-leading clients, headlines and awards.

We believe that delivering excellent, efficient legal advice begins with strong working relationships – both with clients and within our multidisciplinary, global teams. Our US Financial Services Regulatory Group is a good example of how this approach delivers real value for clients. This group brings together US and UKqualified partners from various transactional and litigation practices to give Clifford Chance clients a single access point for advice on their risks and regulatory obligations across international financial markets.

An established, powerful presence in Latin America

We have achieved several firsts in Latin America. For example, we were the first international law firm to open an office in São Paulo (1998). More recently, we advised on the IPO of the first Mexican REIT, Fibra Uno, and two follow-on offerings totaling nearly $2.5 billion – an enormous sum in any market for a new product offering. We have also advised on a number of important, highly visible deals in recent years, including the $5.25billion expansion of the Panama Canal; the LAN-TAM merger to create LATAM Airlines – one of the largest airlines in the world by market value; and Rodoanel Oeste, part of the 110-mile São Paulo metropolitan beltway project – one of the largest infrastructure projects Brazil has ever undertaken. All three were recognized with Deal of the Year awards.

Additionally, Chambers Latin America continues to rate us in Tier One for both Corporate/M&A - International and Capital Markets: International in Brazil , and for Latin America-wide – Projects.

Find out more about our work in the Americas region and Brazil.

Recent highlights

Awards and milestones

Capital Markets and Tax, Pensions and Employment

  • Mergers & Acquisitions Tax Deal of the Year – Finance Monthly Tax Awards 2017, Global Finance Deal of the Year: Acquisition Finance by 2016 Global Legal Awards 2016 [AbInBev/SAB Miller]

Insurance

  • Insurance Day 
    Harrington Re: Transaction of the Year (2016)

Asset Finance

  • AirFinance Journal Editor's Deal of the Year: Labrador (GECAS) ABS
  • The American Lawyer's Global Finance Deal of the Year: Aviation Finance: LATAM EETC
  • Chamber USA 2017: Transportation: Aviation: Finance – Band 1
  • Legal 500 US 2017: Finance: Asset Finance and Leasing – Tier 1

Project Finance

  • LatinFinance 2016 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards:

    • Best Road Financing and Best Infrastructure Financing – Andes Clifford Chance acted as advisor to Goldman Sachs in arranging a unique package to fund the Pacifico 3 highway, the first-ever 4G toll road project to be financed internationally and the first project bond ever in Colombia. The US$650 million (COP$2.17 trillion) financing involved an elaborate combination of bank loans and bonds, which LatinFinance confirms set the deal apart for double recognition this year.
    • Best Transport Financing and Best Bond In another transaction that earned multiple awards, Clifford Chance advised on Peru's first subway project, representing Metro de Lima Linea 2 S.A. and its sponsors in a US$1.15 billion bond financing – the largest-ever infrastructure securitization from Peru and the largest for a Peruvian public-private partnership executed in the global capital markets. The innovative multi-source financing structure also included US$800 million in a separately structured facility with an export credit agency, and multilateral and commercial institutions. With respect to the bond financing, LatinFinance reported that "investors flocked to the bond trade after a global marketing campaign."
    • Best Port Financing The Firm advised IDB, IFC and the China Co-Financing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean in the US$260 million financing of the Manzanillo port in Mexico. LatinFinance cited the transaction's far-reaching implications for Mexico's port city, which is now well placed to "corner foreign trade" in the country's growing automotive industry.
    • Best Infrastructure Financing – Brazil Clifford Chance advised Natixis and a syndicate of other lenders providing Seaborn Networks with funding for Seabras-1, the first-ever submarine fiber optic cable network directly linking New York and São Paulo. The Firm's work stands out for bringing a project finance structure to a traditionally difficult asset class, and for structuring the first such financing backed by an export credit agency – in this case, the French agency COFACE. Seaborn CEO Larry Schwartz remarked that the financing could serve as a "model for financing other subsea cable projects around the world."
  • Top Tier ranking, Chambers Global 2017: Latin America-wide: Energy & Natural Resources
  • Top Tier ranking, Chambers Global 2017: Latin America-wide: Projects
  • IFLR Project Finance Deal of the Year 2016: Lima Metro Line 2, Peru

Recent assignments

Capital Markets

  • Advised Yes! Communities in a recapitalization that involved the formation of a joint venture between Stockbridge Capital Group LLC, GIC, PSERS and a sovereign wealth fund with respect to a US$2 billion portfolio of manufactured home assets.
  • Advised on the formation and US$250 million groundbreaking initial public offering and concurrent private placement of Safety, Income and Growth, Inc. (SAFE). Formed and wholly owned by real estate investment firm iStar Inc., SAFE is the first public REIT to own, manage, finance and capitalize ground net leases.
  • Represented the underwriters in connection with the US$241.6 million initial public offering and NYSE listing of KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc., a commercial mortgage REIT sponsored by KKR.
  • Advised Peru's largest state-owned company, Petróleos del Perú – Petroperú S.A., as issuer, in its first-ever international bond offering. Petroperú raised nearly US$2 billion in net proceeds to finance a modernization project related to its Talara Refinery (Refinería de Talara).
  • Represented Chimera Investment Corporation in their inaugural purchase and subsequent securitization of seasoned residential mortgage loans acquired from Freddie Mac.
  • Represented National Storage Affiliates Trust, an NYSE-listed self-storage REIT, and certain of their subsidiaries in connection with the formation of a programmatic joint venture with a major state pension fund for the purpose of acquiring a 66 property portfolio of self-storage properties operated by iStorage as well as subsequent acquisitions within designated exclusive territories.

Tax Pensions & Employment

  • Advised Fannie Mae on a potential new structure for its benchmark Connecticut Avenue SecuritiesTM (CAS) credit risk transfer program, which is expected to expand the investor base for CAS securities by addressing certain tax constraints that currently exist for REITs and foreign investors
  • Served as U.S. tax counsel to ESRT in connection with Qatar Investment Authority's (QIA) $622 million investment in ESRT, representing a 9.9% fully diluted interest in the company
  • Represented the two anchor investors in SoftBank Vision Fund's US$100 billion technology focused investment fund, currently the world's biggest private equity fund

Corporate and M&A

  • Advised Mondelēz International Inc. on the combination of its global coffee business with D.E. Master Blenders 1753 B.V. to form Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) and the subsequent acquisition by the shareholders of JDE of Keurig Green Mountain for $13.9 billion
  • Advised The Coca-Cola Company and its largest bottler, Coca-Cola FEMSA, on their $575 million acquisition of AdeS, a soy-based beverage maker that was owned by Unilever
  • Advised Actis on the establishment of a Pan-Latin American renewable energy platform, Atlas Renewable Energy, and the acquisition of over 1,500 MW of solar PV assets from SunEdison in Latin America
  • Advised Informa in its US$1.56 billion acquisition of Penton Business Media from Wasserstein & Co. and MidOcean Partners LLP

Real Estate

  • Yes! Communities in restructuring its business that involved the formation of a joint venture with a group of investors, including an Asian sovereign wealth fund and an Asian pension fund, with respect to a US$2 billion portfolio of manufactured home assets
  • National Storage Affiliates Trust on its self-storage REIT IPO and roll-up that included a novel ownership structure, and on its formation of a joint venture with a state pension fund to acquire a US$650 million property
  • J. Safra Real Estate (Safra) on its acquisitions of a number of U.S. properties in excess of US$800 million
  • Madison International Realty on its recapitalization of Madison's 49% joint venture interest in a 15 property portfolio of retail assets in the New York City metropolitan area at a value of more than US$1.282 billion

Insurance

  • Advising on the formation and capital raise of several large reinsurance vehicles including Watford Re (initial capital raise of US$1.1 billion), Harrington Re Ltd. (initial capital raise of US$600 million), KaylaRe Ltd. (initial capital raise of US$620 million), Premia Holdings Ltd. (initial capital raise of US$510 million), and Fidelis Insurance Holdings Limited (initial capital raise of US$1.5 billion); we are regarded as the leading industry experts in forming alternative capital insurance and reinsurance companies
  • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group in its acquisition of Towers Watson’s reinsurance brokerage unit
  • China Minsheng Investment Corp., Ltd. in the acquisition of its US$2.6 billion Sirius International Insurance Group Ltd from White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd
  • MasterCard International in the restructuring of its worldwide (100+ countries) insurance operations

Asset Finance

  • Advised Avolon Holdings Limited in its US$10.38 billion acquisition of the aircraft leasing business of CIT Group
  • Advised LATAM Airlines Group S.A. in its inaugural issuance of US$1 billion Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETCs)
  • Advised GECAS and its affiliates in the sale of 20 aircraft, with an appraised value of approximately US$1 million, to Labrador Aviation Finance Limited, in an aircraft ABS transaction involving Korean equity investors
  • Advised Milestone Aviation Group in connection with its US$1.775 billion sale to GECAS
  • Advised Global Jet Capital in the financing of a large portfolio of business jets, a deal that is valued at approximately US$2.5 billion of net assets and includes more than 300 aircraft across the US, Canada, Mexico and Latin America

Project Finance

  • Advised Goldman Sachs (as initial purchaser) and Bancolombia, Corpbanca and the Compartimento de Deuda Privada Infraestructura Debt Fund (as senior lenders) in the approximately US$877 million multi-source and multi-currency financing for the Conexión Pacífico 3 toll road project in Colombia, which included a combination of Rule 144A/Reg S US$ bonds and COP bonds, COP and UVR commercial bank and debt fund loans, a subordinated revolving liquidity facility and currency hedges
  • Advised Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse Securities and Export Development Canada as lenders in the structuring of a project financing for the Tucumán and Loma Campana II thermal power plants being developed by Argentina's state-run energy company YPF Energía Eléctrica and GE Energy Financial Services – the first international project finance loan to close in Argentina in more than a decade
  • Advised the consortium that was awarded a US$5 billion long-term concession to design, build, finance and operate the future Line 2 of the Lima and Callao Metro in connection with its multi-tranche financing
  • Advised the IDB and IIC in connection with the financing of the Campo Palomas wind project Uruguay, and with the subsequent B Bond refinancing in August 2017 (this is the second B bond financing to be done by IDB, and the first for IIC)

Directory listings and client comments

  • "Clifford Chance's New York-based REITs practice attracts clients through its excellent subject matter expertise, responsiveness and business acumen."
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – REITs
  • "One source states: 'Clifford Chance has put together a really first-rate team that is highly regarded in the city… Clients praise the team as 'very globally joined up' and 'meticulous in terms of thoroughness and rigor of advice and analysis,' adding that it does an 'excellent job.'"
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – White Collar Crime & Government
  • "Clifford Chance’s clients value the firm’s ‘deep industry knowledge, prompt turnarounds, market-driven commercial advice and practical legal guidance.’"
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – Private Equity Funds
  • "Clifford Chance is recommended for ‘larger and international M&A deals’ and is praised for its ‘extraordinary level of service.’ The team is ‘very loyal and engaged’ and demonstrates real familiarity with clients’ businesses."
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – M&A/Corporate and Commercial
  • "Capital Markets team members noted for being "incredibly commercial [with] an incredible ability to boil down complex issues into more easily understandable concepts," and for offering" ideas that are new and innovative."
    Chambers: USA, 2017 – Capital Markets: Derivatives, Capital Markets: Securitisations
  • "Clifford Chance's asset finance group "specializes in acting for investment banks, operating lessors and export credit agencies (ECAs) in matters ranging from aircraft securitisations to fleet acquisitions."
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – Asset Finance and Leasing
  • "Insurance team noted for its "'very creative, entrepreneurial and commercial ' approach to deals, as well as 'encyclopedic knowledge of even the finest points and pragmatic solutions to seemingly complex problems.'"
    Chambers: USA, 2017 – Insurance: Transactional & Regulatory
  • "The team at Clifford Chance is noted for its "depth of knowledge" and for being "extremely good at problem solving" and "tireless and unflappable during difficult assignments."
    Legal 500: United States 2017 – Tax: Financial Products