As the first half of 2012 has come to a close, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP took home the top spot in Bloomberg’s Global Private Equity ranking based on the value of deals announced through June 2012. With over 21 percent of the market share for 2012, Weil easily took the first spot in the league tables.
Weil actively represents more than 50 sponsor clients globally, and the firm’s success in 2012 includes advising on a diverse array of deals, many of which have been the highest-profile and most innovative announced this year. These deals include Thomas H. Lee Partners’ $2.69 billion acquisition of Party City; Providence Equity Partners and an investor group’s C$1.1 billion acquisition of Q9 networks; Centerbridge Partners’ $1.1 billion take-private of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro; and AMC’s sale to Dalian Wanda Group from a group of private equity investors for $2.6 billion.
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A Weil team led by New York partner Morgan Bale advised Goldman Sachs as joint lead arranger, joint bookrunner and administrative agent for a $3.5 billion senior unsecured bridge facility in connection the $6.7 billion strategic investment by Walgreen Co. (Walgreens), the largest drug store chain in the United States, in Alliance Boots GmbH, a Switzerland-based international pharmacy-led health and beauty group from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The bridge facility and the investment closed on August 2, 2012.
The Weil team advising Goldman Sachs was led by Banking & Finance partner Morgan Bale, and included Capital Markets partner Matthew Bloch; M&A partner Michael Aiello; Banking & Finance partners Stephen Lucas (London) and Daniel Dokos; Tax partner William Horton; Regulatory partners Annemagaret Connolly (DC) and Thomas Frongillo (Boston); Capital Markets counsel Stuart Morrissy; Regulatory counsel John O’Loughlin (DC); Banking & Finance associates Heather Viets, Peter Puk and Amara Gossin; Capital Markets associates Andrew Woodworth, Jordan Fasbender, Aman Singh and Laura Salvatori; M&A associate Faraz Rana; Tax associate Michael Breidenbach; and Regulatory associates Jaclyn Essinger (Boston) and Matthew Morton (DC) (all in New York unless otherwise specified).
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Weil Gotshal was ranked among the top 20 U.S. law firms in The American Lawyer’s 2012 Pro Bono Survey.
In 2011, Weil’s U.S. offices averaged 82 pro bono hours per lawyer, and more than 73 percent of the firm’s U.S. lawyers performed more than 20 hours of pro bono work each. Weil has long been committed to providing pro bono service to the communities in which it resides The firm maintains the goal that all lawyers at the firm perform 50 hours of pro bono work each year. Toward that end, every partner is expected to work on a pro bono matter every year, and every new attorney – including lateral partners – is required to take on a pro bono matter within his or her first two years at the firm. Weil, Gotshal & Manges has been ranked by The American Lawyers A-List as one of the top 10 U.S. law firms. The prestigious A-List measures 200 of the major U.S. law firms according to revenue per lawyer, pro bono, associate satisfaction and diversity, to identify the top 20 all-around best firms. Weil was ranked ninth overall for 2012.
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Weil Gotshal has been recognized as one of the strongest brands in the legal industry, according to a recent report by BTI Consulting Group. The report, “The BTI Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms 2012,” ranked Weil among the top five law firms and was based on over 500 hundred interviews with in-house counsel and other company decision makers at the world’s largest organizations.
“These firms are setting the stage for what’s to come, creating new standards for client service, establishing solid, long-lasting reputations for handling the most highstakes issues and redefining what it means to be innovative in a world often criticized for its devotion to old school practices,” the report said.
The BTI Report identifies the law firms most likely to be recommended by other clients, that have a reputation as a go-to firm in times of crisis, and firms’ use of new and innovative technology and legal strategies.