The Wall Street Journal article describes the scene at the closing of the ?largest corporate acquisition ever? as such: ?Bankers phoned in their reports to some 150 to 200 lawyers and deal makers in a 30th floor conference room at the offices of KKR's main New York law firm, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.?
In fact, the article was published in the February 10, 1989, edition of the WSJ and concerned the $31 billion leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Fast forward to July 24, 2006, and Simpson Thacher is again advising the sponsors of the largest LBO in history – this time the $33 billion buyout of HCA, a for-profit hospital operator that is being taken private by KKR alongside Bain Capital, Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity and Dr. Thomas Frist, a co-founder of the hospital business.
The Simpson Thacher team includes 17 lawyers, four summer associates and a paralegal, according to the firm.
According to Henry Kravis himself, Simpson Thacher's partners, especially now-chairman Richard Beattie, were instrumental in helping KKR through the RJR Nabisco battle. In a 1989 interview with Fortune magazine, Kravis described a moment just prior to being informed of his firm's win. ?[W]e were sitting alone with Dick Beattie, and the frustration got to me. I thought I'd had it. Good adviser that he is, Dick said, ?Let's just wait it out, Henry.? So we did.? (In fact, the interview was conducted at the offices of Simpson Thacher.)
This time around, the HCA deal was led for KKR by David Sorkin, a Simpson Thacher partner and long-time advisor to KKR deals. His resume includes work on KKR deals DPL, Duracell and Regal Cinemas.
Shearman & Sterling represented the HCA board of directors, Dewey Ballantine was M&A and tax counsel to HCA, Bass Berry & Sims was HCA's regular counsel while Sullivan & Cromwell represented the members of HCA management who structured agreements with the private equity buyers. Cahill Gordon & Reindel is representing the lenders.
It is unknown how many lawyers will be crowded into a single room for the close of the HCA transaction, but even if the hospital group doesn't end up improving the health of its customers, it has already immeasurably brought financial health to the attorneys who worked on its most recent acquisition.
Fish & Richardson names corporate group co-chairs
One of the US' largest law firms in the fields of intellectual property, litigation and corporate law, Fish & Richardson, announced that two of its principals in its New York office, Lori Hoberman and Roger Feldman, have been named co-chairs of its corporate and securities group. The group was created to provide services specific to corporate and technology law, and to complement its intellectual property practice. Hoberman was already the chair of Fish's venture and technology group. Feldman has more than 35 years of experience in high-level mergers and acquisitions, as well as general corporate transactions. In its Austin, Texas, office, meanwhile, Fish announced that it has added seven attorneys to its corporate and securities group there, making it one of the city's top practices in corporate transactions.
White & Case meets demand with two new partners
London law firm White & Case has taken on two new partners to meet its high demand: Alan Rockwell in its London office, and Tom Schorling in its Frankfurt, Germany, office. Rockwell is joining the firm's banking and capital markets practice in London, while Schorling joins the German office's finance practice. ?We've taken market share by responding to client needs and our new arrivals are the latest example of this,? said Maurice Allen, co-head of the firm's global bank finance group and its London banking and capital markets practice, in a statement. ?Demand continues to grow in both leveraged and acquisition finance across Europe, as has been the case for the last 18 months.? White & Case currently employs nearly 2,000 lawyers in 25 countries.
Five PE partners elected at Fried Frank
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson has named five new partners with private equity-related experience. David Shaw of the firm's New York corporate department represents public and private firms in private equity, financing and M&A transactions. Brian Mangino of the Washington, DC, corporate department also has the same focus. Brian Kniesly of the firm's New York tax department focuses on taxation issues facing private equity funds, hedge funds, real-estate transactions and other vehicles. Craig Arnott heads the firm's European antitrust team based in London and deals with European and multinational private equity transactions. Michael Alter of Fried Frank's Washington tax department deals with federal income taxation issues of structuring and negotiating taxable and tax-free corporate acquisitions, reorganizations, and spin-offs.
Paul Hastings draws Dedyo
David Dedyo, formerly a partner at White & Case, is moving to the Palo Alto, California, office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, to join the firm's corporate department. Dedyo brings 12 years of expertise in equity and debt financing, M&A, joint ventures, commercial transactions, corporate governance and compliance. Silicon Valley, where Dedyo will be based, ?is home to many venture capital firms and other sources of capital,? said corporate department chair Robert Miller in a statement. ?The addition of David to our Palo Alto office enhances our existing practice offerings and broadens the services and capabilities we provide to our clients in the region.? Paul Hastings is an international law firm with more than 1,000 attorneys in 17 offices.
Proskauer Rose adds Antoszyk, hires Harrington
Proskauer Rose has announced that it has hired Peter Antoszyk and Michael Harrington. Antoszyk, a former partner in the bankruptcy and finance practices at Brown Rudnick, has joined the corporate finance group as a partner at the Boston office. He has worked with national and international clients on a wide range of financial matters, including various types of loans and other distressed investing transactions, including restructurings, workouts and insolvency proceedings. Antoszyk is the national director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and is a past member of the nation board of the Turnaround Management Association. Harrington has joined Proskauer's Boston office as a senior counsel in its corporate department there, to strengthen its private equity transactional practice. He had formerly worked as a partner in Goodwin Procter's private equity group and business law department, where he worked on buyout and venture capital financings as well as mergers and acquisitions.
Bucher signs on at DLA Piper
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has hired Frédéric Bucher as a partner in its corporate group in its Paris office, to beef up its M&A and private equity strength. Bucher comes from the French law firm De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, where he advised many investment funds on the structuring of investment vehicles, buyouts, alliances and exits, including IPOs. He also advises corporations on cross-border acquisitions and restructuring. He also speaks frequently at private equity conferences and has published many articles in his fields. Before De Pardieu, he worked in the corporate and M&A office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer in Paris. DLA employs 3,100 lawyers in 59 offices in 22 countries, throughout Europe, the United States, Asia and the Middle East.
Kirkland & Ellis welcomes back Pakbaz
Sam Pakbaz has rejoined Kirkland & Ellis after a stint as general counsel and managing director at US hedge fund Shumway Capital, preceded by four years as vice president of equity capital markets at Deutsche Bank in London. Before that, he was an associate at Kirkland's Chicago and London offices. In his new position, he will advise clients on leveraged buyout transactions, fund formations, mergers and acquisitions, and disposals. Pakbaz will work alongside Graham White, the former global head of private equity at Linklaters, a firm White left last March.
Greenough to leave for Lovells
Alan Greenough, a partner at White & Case, is expected to join Lovells' London office later this year, replacing that firm's head of private equity, Marco Compagnoni, who left to join Weil Gotshal & Manges in London along with associate Jonathan Wood in February. Greenough advises private equity houses on acquisitions, exits, portfolio company transactions and refinancing. He advises management teams, entrepreneurs and substantial private companies. His private equity clients at White & Case include 3i, Actis, EMP, ABN Amro Capital and Barclays Private Equity. Greenough accepted an offer from Lovells in July. Lovells employs 3,000 lawyers in 26 offices in Europe, Asia and the United States.
Clifford Chance punches up practice with Peltz
Brynn Peltz has been hired as a partner in the funds group of Clifford Chance's corporate finance practice in New York. Peltz has 18 years of experience in the investment management sector, and was senior counsel at Simpson Thatcher where she handled investment matters for large financial institutions, private equity and hedge fund sponsors and high-net-worth individuals. She'd previously been assistant general counsel and vice president in the investment unit of Kidder, Peabody. Clifford Chance has 29 offices in 20 countries, and employs 3,300 legal advisers, including 55 lawyers in its US corporate finance department alone.