January 22, 2018
Law360 has selected Latham & Watkins as a Capital Markets Practice Group of the Year for 2017, highlighting the Practice’s execution of landmark, high-stakes deals and regulatory prowess. The annual awards program honors “the law firms behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year.”
Latham is a global powerhouse in capital markets and the “go-to” firm for both issuers and managers when they need counsel on highly complex, multi-jurisdictional and innovative transactions. In the last year, the firm was at the center of some of the largest, most high-profile transactions across a diverse range of products, with Law360 citing that “Latham served as counsel on more initial public offerings than any of its peers, according to data from Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.”
Notably, a Latham team led by partner Shayne Kennedy represented data center company Switch Inc. on its US$531.3 million IPO, which became the largest technology IPO in 2017 since Snap Inc.’s US$3.9 billion IPO in March 2017, according to IPO researcher Renaissance Capital. Law360 also touted Latham’s representation of Mexico’s first IPO of a special purpose acquisition company — a US$650 million IPO by Vista Oil & Gas, an energy-focused SPAC.
The firm also represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its inaugural US$17.5 billion bond offering, the largest syndicated emerging markets sovereign bond issuance in history. Alex Cohen, Latham partner and Co-chair of the firm’s national office, told Law360 that the deal was a truly global effort that drew upon the tremendous skills and experience of a very large team of Latham attorneys working out of locales like Riyadh, Dubai, London, and Washington, D.C.
In what is widely considered one of the most high-profile, transformative regulatory initiatives, a Latham team led by partner and Wall Street veteran Vivian Maese is serving as legal counsel to Thesys CAT LLC, a subsidiary of Thesys Technologies, in the development and implementation of the SEC's Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT). CAT, one of the largest databases ever created, is designed to track the entire life cycle of orders and transactions in the US equity and options markets. Law360 described the massive project as a “potential game-changer for securities regulators who have sought better market surveillance tools.” Latham is advising Thesys CAT on legal, cybersecurity, transactional, governance and regulatory compliance-related matters, which “highlights Latham’s cross-disciplinary strengths by drawing on the resources of its financial technology industry and financial regulatory groups,” Law360 said.
Overall, the Capital Markets Practice advised major banks, sovereign governments and high-profile companies across the globe on some of the most innovative and talked about transactions of 2017.
Ian Schuman, Global Co-chair of Latham’s Capital Markets Practice, expects the group to build on this momentum, telling Law360, “I’m excited for 2018. I’m reasonably bullish that we’ll be busy once again.”