The Legal 500 Recognizes 28 Arent Fox Attorneys and 11 Legal Areas in 2012

June 26, 2012

JUNE 26, 2012 -- Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce that the 2012 edition of Legal 500 US has recognized 28of the firm’s attorneys and 11 different legal areas, selecting them for inclusion among the prestigious legal guide’s top rankings.

The following Arent Fox legal groups are recognized in the 2012 Legal 500 US:

This year marks the debut of eight additional attorneys and two additional Arent Fox legal groups in Legal 500 US – Finance: Municipal Bankruptcy and Labor & Employment: ERISA Litigation.

Within those legal areas, 36 Arent Fox attorneys are identified as “Recommended Attorneys” by The Legal 500.

The Legal 500 rankings and commentary are based on independent research, and produced by a team of researchers and journalists who speak to clients and other purchasers of legal services, as well as lawyers in private practice. More than 180,000 in-house counsel and lawyers were surveyed and interviewed globally in 2011–12.

Listed below are the Arent Fox legal groups and individual attorneys recognized by The Legal 500, along with the commentary provided by the editors of the prestigious legal publication.

Finance: Municipal Bankruptcy

“On the creditor side, Arent Fox LLP’s ‘first-class’ restructuring team provides ‘excellent knowledge, an excellent response time and excellent advice’. David Dubrow specializes in municipal matters including the structuring of municipal bonds. Dubrow also acts to maximize recoveries for holders of defaulted bonds and represents creditors in municipal bankruptcy proceedings; he has represented parties in the Harrisburg, PA, and Central Falls, RI, Chapter 9 proceedings. The multidisciplinary restructuring team includes attorneys with knowledge in health care issues, municipal finance and litigation.” Andrew Silfen, also recognized, serves as chair of the Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Group.

Health Care

“Arent Fox LLP ‘performs very well on specific areas of deep knowledge like medical staff and health care provider operations’, and is praised for its ‘very in-depth knowledge’ of Medicaid,” as well as Medicare, and fraud and abuse issues. The firm’s main health care practice represents many different types of providers, including “Broward Health on regulatory matters ranging from Stark and anti-kickback compliance to False Claims Act investigations. In New York, Michael Blass has ‘a great grasp of transactional structures, as well as the details that support them’” and “is advising Maxim Healthcare Services on regulatory and licensing issues in relation to its nationwide restructuring.” Connie Raffa, notes a source quoted by Legal 500, is “knowledgeable and professional” in regulatory, reimbursement, compliance and fraud and abuse matters. In Los Angeles, Legal 500 reports attorneys Lowell Brown and Sarah Benator are “remarkable in both their substantive knowledge and their responsiveness to client needs.”

Intellectual Property: Trademark, Non-Contentious

“Arent Fox LLP has a ‘top-notch' reputation in the media and entertainment industry. The IP practice is co-chaired by the ‘fantastic' Anthony Lupo and litigator Michael Grow, both of whom are based in Washington DC. Lupo also serves as a strategic counselor to the firm's key clients from the entertainment, technology and fashion industries, such as Pixar, Apple and Lacoste.” Grow, vastly experienced in domestic and international IP litigation and licensing, represents clients in a variety of industries, including apparel, entertainment, food and beverages, insurance, publishing, real estate, and software. Cristina Carvalho, “who leads the trademarks group, manages a number of international portfolios and serves as primary counsel for clients such as Mars. Other clients of the team include The Oprah Winfrey Network, Choice Hotels International, Diesel and Benetton.” Warner Bros. and the Saul Zaentz Company are also represented.

Labor & Employment: ERISA Litigation

“The ‘excellent’ Arent Fox LLP impressed in 2011. ‘The firm’s knowledge of ERISA and client services is exceptional’. Practice head Carol Connor Cohen is ‘very smart, very responsive’ and ‘is among the foremost ERISA professionals in the country’, according to one client. Recent representative work highlights include a matter for Monsanto Company and its cash balance plan that involved four class actions involving seven corporate and plan defendants that were consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois. The Monsanto defendants prevailed on the largest claim in the case – age discrimination in the treatment of prior plan accrued benefits – on summary judgment. The decision in the District Court was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2010, and the United States Supreme Court then denied the plaintiffs’ petition for review in 2011. Nancy Heermans and Caroline Turner English are much admired; the former for her knowledge in the interplay between employee benefits and bankruptcy, and the latter for her experience in class action lawsuits and cash balance plan litigation.”

Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

“Arent Fox LLP’s ‘excellent’ Washington DC-based team has a well-regarded employee benefits and, in particular, ERISA practice. The firm is very active in the correction of ‘problem’ benefit plans for companies. The head of the practice is the ‘highly competent’ William Charyk, who specializes in benefits, compensation, and real estate investment vehicles. Quana Jew is ‘extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of ERISA law’ and has the ‘ability to work with people on all different experience levels and adjust her explanations’. The firm is also active in the representation of tax-exempt organizations, and has been retained by a large church organization to advise on a range of ERISA and employee benefits matters.”

Litigation: International Trade

“Arent Fox LLP has seen an increase in customs-related mandates in recent years. With 15 partners, the ‘smart, professional and very experienced’ team is heavily involved in Latin American-US trade issues. It continues to advise key client Coca-Cola in anti-dumping proceedings concerning the import of orange juice from Brazil, and lemon juice from Argentina and Mexico. Partners from the Washington office regularly collaborate with their Los Angeles counterparts on bilateral trade issues and WTO disputes for the Government of Mexico. Export Administration Regulations (EAR) professional Kay Georgi assists 3M with import and export control compliance. … John Gurley represent clients in trade litigation and investigations involving non-market economies, and the ‘very smart’ David Hamill continues to provide import and export compliance advice to Sara Lee. Matthew Clark has taken over from William Charyk as the firm’s new managing partner. Myles Getlan and Michael Burton are also recommended.”

Media, Technology & Telecoms: Telecoms & Broadcast: Regulatory

“Arent Fox LLP’s Stephanie Joyce represented membership organization Computer & Communications Industry Association with advocacy at the FCC supporting net neutrality rules and opposing the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA,” and counseled a leading provider of VoIP wholesale service on regulatory compliance matters and FCC policy proceedings. Jeffrey Rummel secured a FCC waiver on behalf of Thales Communications, providing greater flexibility for defense manufacturers relating to the manufacture of Guard Band-capable radios that will operate as part of 700 MHz public safety communication systems.”

Media, Technology & Telecoms: Telecoms & Broadcast: Transactional

“Arent Fox LLP’s 12-lawyer practice represents smaller carriers and start-ups in negotiations with content providers and disputes with the large telecoms operators and incumbents. Litigation accounts for around 60 percent of the practice and recent cases focused on mobile content and Internet access and net neutrality. In Washington DC, Ross Buntrock represented Northern Valley Communications in appealing an FCC decision regarding rules which allow local exchange carriers to be compensated for termination of traffic to conference bridges. Michael Hazzard, ‘a true leader who has a solid business sense and a deep passion for his work’, represented new client Twilio, a cloud communications company that allows software developers to make and receive calls and send and receive text messages using its web service.” Alan Fishel handles all types of telecommunications and technology-related agreements, including a large variety of cloud service agreements. He also successfully represents clients in a wide range of FCC proceedings, and greatly assisted a client in receiving a national infrastructure award with respect to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts: M&A – Middle Market (sub-$500m)

“With a client base that ranges from mid-market private businesses to Fortune 500 companies, the ‘extremely timely and pro-active’ firm Arent Fox LLP is well-versed in transactions with regional, national and international scope, the bulk of the group’s transactional work involving deals in the $25m-$500m range. Clients are drawn from industry sectors including technology, manufacturing, sports and entertainment, consumer products, lodging and hospitality, health care and government contracts. The practice represented Sunbridge Capital, a private investment-management firm, in its strategic alliance with Comstock Homebuilding, advised … on the acquisition of Calumet, an international manufacturer and retailer of professional photographic equipment, and acted for PHC in connection with its approximately $65m acquisition by Acadia Healthcare Company. The team also represented VSE Corporation in acquiring Wheeler Bros for approximately $220m. DC-based corporate head Jay Halpern, Richard Gale, Jeffrey Jordan and Carter Strong are key contacts. Jordan is ‘very responsive, pro-active and cares about the client.’”

Real Estate & Construction: Construction (including Construction Litigation)

“The core attorneys in Arent Fox LLP’s construction practice have worked together for over 15 years. The group provides a broad range of traditional services to the construction and design industries, including front-end project documentation, litigation and contract administration. The New York-based practice has particular knowledge in transactions, construction industry M&A, and green building. The practice’s Early Response Initiative is also worthy of note; it is designed to offer a pre-emptive, multi-disciplinary program to protect clients from market consequences and large losses as a result of manmade or natural disasters. The practice is led by James Frankel, who has 30 years of experience in a wide range of areas including risk transfer, dispute resolution, failure and collapse, and technological issues, and Eugene Scheiman, who specialises in litigation, ADR and business advisory services. The firm continues to represent the City of New York in various proceedings relating to the collapse of 7 World Trade Center on September 11 2001, and has had $1bn in claims dismissed.”

Real Estate & Construction: Real Estate

“Arent Fox LLP impresses with its ‘amazing’ industry knowledge and ‘ability to quickly and efficiently handle an extremely complicated transaction.’” Keith Styles chairs the 40-partner practice, divided between Washington DC and New York. Kimberly Wachen chairs the Hospitality practice. “Mark Katz in Washington DC chairs the firm, and handles joint ventures, transactional work and finance matters for Goldman Sachs and Marathon Asset Management. The firm’s longstanding relationship with Marriott International is indicative of its leisure and hospitality knowledge,” as Wachen and Joseph Fries advised Marriott on the development of some of Marriott’s largest US resorts including the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa, the Grande Lakes Resort & Spa in Orlando, Florida, and the recent acquisition of its Edition brand hotel in Manhattan (Clock Tower Building). “David Dubrow, in New York, continues to lead a team representing Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored Federal National Mortgage Association, in the Obama administration’s $25bn housing stabilization project. He also recently represented the client in the refinancing and restructuring of over $1bn of loans relating to senior living facilities. Jacqueline Weiss co-heads the leasing practice from the New York office; she is ‘smart and deal savvy, and understands her clients.’”

To review the complete Legal 500 results for Arent Fox LLP, please click here.

About The Legal 500:

The Legal 500 is now in its 26th year and is the flagship publication of UK-based publisher, Legalease. Founded in 1987, Legalease offers authoritative and in-depth analysis and commentary across a broad portfolio of publications, spanning directories, magazines, journals, textbooks and online. The Legal 500 series of guides reviews the strengths and strategies of law firms in over 90 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North and South America, and the Caribbean. It was the first legal referral site on the Internet and has become the largest.