Chambers USA and Chambers Global Honor Duane Morris Attorneys
Duane Morris' practice groups received a total of 23 citations for excellence from Chambers USA: 2009, and Chambers Global: 2009 and Duane Morris attorneys received an additional 61. The following excerpts from Chambers can also be found at www.chambersandpartners.com.
The burgeoning antitrust team at this national firm has seen an increase in class action work in recent times, particularly in the healthcare industry. Clients confirm that the group "combines strong understanding of legal concepts with an appreciation of our business needs," in addition to being "good value for money."
Wayne Mack coheads the firm's commercial, securities and antitrust division, and has provided invaluable advice to hospitals and healthcare providers on antitrust issues arising from mergers and joint ventures. Clients describe him as "personable, knowledgeable, timely and efficient."
Banking and Finance
This midmarket practice advises on a significant amount of acquisition financing, asset-based lending, municipal finance deals and bond deals. Although slightly smaller than the teams in some of the firm's other offices, the group serves a high-level clientele, including Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank.
Kenneth Latimer has been busy on several debt facility workouts. Clients greatly value his experience: "He has seen so much, so his input and guidance are tremendously helpful," says one.
This Philadelphia-based group has a strong following in the local banking community for its combination of high-quality advice and reasonable billing. The group's work in the nonprofit healthcare sector also elicited praise from interviewees. Recent work includes representing four lenders in five separate letter of credit facilities aggregating over $220 million.
Providing a broad range of services to debtors, trustees, lenders and other creditors, this firm is recommended for its "forward thinking in ensuring that all its clients' goals are covered." The firm has also on occasion been appointed state receiver in charge of overseeing construction work and disposing of real estate.
Walter Greenhalgh is a key member of the team at Duane Morris LLP, where he has a broad practice encompassing issues of bankruptcy, litigation, insolvency and Chapter 11 reorganizations. Sources commend the depth of his experience and continued visibility in the marketplace.
Bolstered by the firm's national depth, this substantial Pennsylvania practice has a strong reputation for providing excellent advice, predominantly to creditors. It also regularly advises creditors' committees and debtors, and traditionally represents financial institutions and insurance companies as creditors in Chapter 11 cases and complex out-of-court restructurings. The firm successfully assisted Société Générale with obtaining full payment of its secured claim in the Adelphia bankruptcy case, and is now representing it in substantial claims brought by Adelphia Recovery Trust as successor in interest to Adelphia Communications. Following the recent increase in bankruptcies in Delaware and New York, the Pennsylvania team is supporting the firm's national client base in various states. For example, it is representing UBS as agent for syndicated credit facilities in the Delaware bankruptcy case of Leiner Health Products.
Margery Reed is a central figure at the practice, and an expert in bankruptcy and complex debt restructuring. She primarily represents banks and secured creditors and is particularly accomplished in advising insurance companies. Clients commend her "exceptional technical know-how" and her responsiveness and communication skills.
Bankruptcy litigator Skip Di Massa chairs the firm's business reorganization and financial restructuring group, and is praised as a practical solution-finder with excellent interpersonal skills.
Highly respected senior statesman David Sykes continues to act as counsel to the firm and has a "tremendous reputation."
Chair of the firm's corporate practice group John Horstmann often works on national and international corporate finance transactions. He has an excellent reputation for complex restructuring and bankruptcies, demonstrated by his involvement in several large and high-profile ongoing Chapter 11 cases.
Lawrence Kotler is an accomplished attorney for both out-of-court restructurings and bankruptcies, and has successfully represented a number of prominent clients.
Duane Morris is pouring effort into expanding its construction practice, and its hard work has certainly paid dividends. During 2008 the firm acquired the New York construction team of Thelen, substantially boosting its East Coast practice. The legacy Thelen team represents numerous developers in the rebuilding of the financial center in Lower Manhattan, and also acts for many institutional public entities, owners, contractors, sureties and subcontractors. Its client base ties in perfectly with Duane Morris' existing client roster of general contractors, owners and architects, and will broaden the firm's representation of clients in the academic and healthcare industries. Duane Morris' newly enlarged team will concentrate on contentious and noncontentious work. In the former field, breach of contract, delay, defective design, excessive change, site access and structural failure disputes feature in the practice, as well as claims concerning liens, stop notices and terminations. On the noncontentious side, the group handles construction and design-build agreements, joint ventures, surety bonds and mechanics' liens. Robert Prentice chairs the construction group.
This group of five represents general contractors, owners and architects, primarily in litigation matters. It benefits from the additional support of the national group. Charles Lewis concentrates on representing large owners and general contractors, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of his key clients.
Duane Morris pulled off a real coup recently with the recruitment of Allen Ross, Frederick Cohen, Arthur Silverman and Richard Dyer from Thelen Reid. The new group will significantly bolster the firm's existing construction capability in New York, and also adds substantial expertise in litigation, alternative dispute resolution and mediation. The team's experience encompasses breach of contract disputes, defective design claims, payment and performance bonds, as well as construction delay claims. The group also handles claims concerning defective materials, site access, structural failures, safety violations and environmental hazards. On the transactional side, the team has considerable experience of construction contracts, design agreements and mechanics liens. Its client base features many of New York's notable developers, as well as numerous owners, contractors, subcontractors, designers and sureties.
Corporate/M&A/Private Equity/Venture Capital
Offering "excellent value for money," this ambitious midmarket firm has a national component to its corporate work and a presence in Asia. Recapitalizations and transnational acquisitions and divestitures of public and private companies make up the bulk of its corporate workload.
David Kaufman's practice encompasses M&A, public company matters and some private equity investments, and he recently advised Cornerstone Real Estate Funds on a $1.5 billion joint venture with Servant Investments. Clients praise him for being "a true corporate adviser who makes you think in new ways."
Brian Kerwin splits his practice equally between banking and finance and private equity work, and has made a name for himself assisting clients with midmarket company mergers. He has expertise in both the borrowing and acquisition aspects of any transaction.
The talented attorneys at this corporate, securities and M&A transactional practice are recommended by clients for their "flexible and deal-oriented approach." Best known for its work in the life sciences arena, the practice is predominantly East Coast-oriented, representing midmarket and emerging companies from a range of sectors—including technology, real estate and insurance.
Kathleen Shay recently led the company in its cash sale to Swiss drug maker Novartis, valued at up to $400 million. Shay climbs the rankings due to her sophisticated corporate transactional expertise, particularly in the life sciences venture capital market. Clients label her "a wonderfully effective lawyer and a terrific pragmatist."
David Toner is a corporate/M&A expert who is highlighted for his transactional skills.
Richard Silfen, having returned from a prominent in-house position, enters the ranks amid market praise for his expertise in complex M&A and venture capital transactions.
Energy and Natural Resources
Charles Whitney of Duane Morris LLP is acclaimed for his advice on nuclear issues, and focuses on representing large developers in connection with this area. Clients commend him as "an outstanding expert and a wonderful person to work with." He has recently advised companies on Nuclear Regulatory Commission enforcement matters and major new plant construction programs, including strategic concerns regarding reentry into nuclear construction.
Duane Morris LLP's Sheila Slocum Hollis "has a great intellect and is a prolific worker." Clients turn to her for regulatory and development matters. She worked for UIL Holdings on a new transmission development project to build an undersea cable to New England from the Canadian Maritimes.
With a practice stretching across a broad range of jurisdictions, Duane Morris has really made its mark on the environmental law arena. It has worked on many large-scale transactions, and is also complimented for the quality of its regulatory work, which frequently involves complex or high-profile litigation proceedings. The team is well versed in a range of practice areas, including solid and hazardous waste, Superfunds, air and water pollution, underground storage tanks and toxic torts.
Deemed "a sophisticated and thoughtful tactician with insight into how regulators behave," Lawrence Diamond has earned the widespread approval of his peers and clients. He is based in New Jersey but also oversees the firm's environmental activity in its Puerto Rico practice, giving him an international edge over his competitors.
This firm has offices worldwide, so the two-strong Florida healthcare team is able to draw on a deep pool of expertise.
Joanne Erde "has a well-established and high-quality practice," and is one of the state's leaders in reimbursement issues. She advises hospitals and other healthcare providers on Medicare and Medicaid repayment, coverage and compliance.
Nanette O'Donnell's main area of expertise is in managed care and compliance, but she is well qualified to advise on the full range of regulatory and transactional matters.
This Chicago healthcare team is part of a wider national practice that combines a wide range of expertise with an understanding of regional issues. Alongside the trial practice, the healthcare team is increasingly active in the pharmaceutical sector, handling high-profile litigation involving drug pricing. In the regulatory arena, the team has expertise in state and federal investigations, while the transactional side of the practice is concentrated on the sale and acquisition of retirement homes and hospitals. The team also has particular strength in certificate of need-related work.
Nicholas Lynn's primary focus is on the long-term care and pharmaceutical industry. "He really impresses with his broad expertise, commitment and thorough representation of the client," according to sources. Lynn has recently acted for SavaSeniorCare in several matters involving its skilled nursing facilities.
The breadth of Denyse Sabagh's expertise merits many favourable comments from sources, who consider her "a well-rounded, versatile lawyer who can do anything." As head of the practice, she is noted for her "well-deserved reputation" and involvement in cutting-edge issues.
Its recent representation of American Centennial Insurance in a case with Thorpe Insulation involving asbestos liability coverage with alleged claims of more than $2 billion cemented this firm's long-standing reputation for excellence in insurance work. The case, in which the client achieved the most favorable settlement of any of the defendant insurers, is one of a number of notable successes obtained by the team. With close to 80 lawyers concentrating on insurance and reinsurance concerns, the group covers a great range of issues, from long-tail claims and asbestos cases to D&O and professional liability matters. Though the solutions-focused group, which is praised for its strong interpersonal skills, is primarily known as a West Coast presence, it also fields considerable expertise in New York and Chicago, ensuring a nationwide profile.
Philip Matthews is part of the team in the San Francisco office, where he has established himself as an expert in the field of complex asbestos coverage litigation, in addition to his strength in insurance litigation.
Working alongside him is litigator Andrew Gordon, who recently represented RJ Kiln in litigation with the San Francisco Hotel group relating to property insurance.
Colleague Richard Seabolt comes recommended for his work in complex insurance litigation and arbitration.
Clients say Duane Morris is "unmatched for insurance work in California," and the firm maintains its reputation for top-quality advice on a range of insurance coverage matters. The group of 20 partners across three California offices is applauded for consistently producing excellent results in the most complex of cases. One such mandate involved representing American Centennial Insurance in a case with Thorp Insulation involving asbestos liability coverage with alleged claims of more than $2 billion; the case was resolved with the most favorable settlement of any of the defendant insurers due to the expertise of Max Stern and Philip Matthews, who took leading roles on the matter.
Max Stern makes his debut in the rankings this year, and has displayed excellent litigation and negotiation skills in professional liability and construction matters. Sources are particularly impressed that he "looks at the practicalities of doing business as opposed to sticking to a set way of doing things."
Philip Matthews is a long-regarded, first-rate attorney with expertise in complex asbestos coverage litigation. Clients note his terrific trial skills, saying "he covers all the bases - he's intuitive and perceptive, has a unique ability to read people and knows the best way to prepare and try a case."
Richard Seabolt brings over 30 years of experience to bear in his complex insurance work for clients such as Equitas, Yahoo! and Liberty Mutual.
Andrew Gordon has strong interpersonal skills and a workload which incorporates property and D&O coverage disputes. He recently represented RJ Kiln in litigation with the San Francisco Hotel group over property insurance.
Ray Wong comes recommended for his handling of general liability matters involving asbestos and pollution claims.
This national firm has been making its presence felt in Atlanta of late, and its IP department - in particular, the IP litigation practice - is no exception. It represents a number of high-profile clients such as Earthlink and Cisco Systems and is rated as "smart, responsive and a pleasure to work with."
"Great legal strategist" Matthew Gaudet is also highly regarded by sources.
Making its debut in the rankings, this firm has a highly skilled group of IP litigators who are praised for their exceptional, proactive representation of clients. The firm's involvement in biotech disputes includes acting for Amgen and E8 Pharmaceuticals in patent litigation. Michael Gottfried led the team on both these matters.
This Philadelphia firm handles a combination of patent prosecution, business advice and enforcement work and is particularly lauded for its large trademark practice. With expertise in biosciences, chemicals and electronics, the group is renowned for its comprehensive service. Peter Cronk is highlighted for his work in procuring and litigating patents, copyrights and trademarks.
This leading business immigration practice offers comprehensive expertise to a diverse array of clients that includes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit entities and individuals. As one competitor put it: "Within immigration there are so many subspecialties - these attorneys can handle them all." Clients appreciate the firm's down-to-earth style, emphasizing that the lawyers communicate in a clear manner, no matter how complex the issues.
With the 2008 lateral hire of Andres Benach from immigration boutique Maggio & Kattar, the firm continues to go from strength to strength. He adds his excellent contentious capabilities to the firm's well-rounded practice, and is regarded as a rising star in immigration litigation, asylum and deportation work. Peers note his "brightness and productively aggressive approach that sets him apart."
With terrific judgment and exhaustive knowledge, group head Denyse Sabagh is "a real dynamo who's not afraid to take on challenging cases that require real advocacy." She draws unanimous praise as one of the most well-versed and highly respected attorneys in the immigration Bar. Areas of prowess include handling corporate business immigration matters for think tanks, healthcare providers, universities and embassies, among others. She also does deportation defense work and compliance inspections for companies.
Labor and Employment
Although the Atlanta office at this international firm is comparatively new, it is already gaining recognition for the strengths of its labor and employment lawyers, especially in restrictive covenant and traditional labor matters. "The lawyers make us feel that we are their only client," said one interviewee.
Joseph Ciucci is admitted to practice in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. He is well liked for being "aggressive, up-to-date with the latest developments and easy to communicate with."
Terry Finnerty's traditional labor work includes advising management on union avoidance.
Chair of the employment and immigration practice group at Duane Morris LLP, Thomas Servodidio is a highly respected and versatile labor and employment lawyer whose practice includes complex litigation for corporate clients.
Mr. Servodidio has recently been joined by Jonathan Segal, who was previously at WolfBlock. With clients who "can't speak highly enough of him," Segal has an excellent reputation for handling the full range of contentious and noncontentious labor and employment matters.
Gregory Haworth brings a dedicated attitude and sound strategic skills to the litigation practice at Duane Morris LLP, where he regularly acts in disputes related to banking and finance and real estate.
The litigation practice at this national outfit is expanding on multiple fronts: recent years have seen growth in its geographical, legal and industry coverage. It is particularly active in IP litigation, and has a flourishing reputation in the area of trademark work. The Philadelphia-based group combines the firm's increasing national presence with local industry knowledge to great effect, making it "a force to be reckoned with."
Sources praise John Soroko's "calming demeanor and accessibility." He is recognized for his securities and general commercial practice and commended for his "patience with clients, and tough approach in court." His recent work includes leading a significant securities class action for Erie Insurance Group.
Matthew Taylor is praised for his practical business sense, "mastery of the law and great advocacy skills."
Fellow partner Scott Kramer is also highly prized by clients, who appreciate his versatility.
Dana Klinges, formerly of WolfBlock, is commended by clients for being "incredibly practical, and assertive when required." She has been representing a securities broker in the defense of allegations brought by the trustee of a bankrupt institutional investor.
This firm has a flourishing real estate practice and impresses sources with its work in condemnation matters and land value litigation. A strong national network contributes to its successful servicing of a client base that includes multinational companies.
Drew Kapur has garnered praise from observers for his eminent domain work.
George Kroculick has impressed with his knowledge and experience of condemnation issues. With an "encyclopedic knowledge of the court process," he is also a valuable asset in real estate litigation.