Law360 named Latham & Watkins a 2021 Capital Markets Group of the year as part of their annual Practice Group of the Year awards that honor the law firms behind the major deals and litigation wins that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year. In a feature article covering Latham’s significant achievements, Law360 highlighted that Latham ranked first for US IPOs by deal count and value for 2021, according to Deal Point Data.
Among the firm’s many significant deals, Law360 recognized Latham for representing Swedish-based Oatly, the world’s largest oat-drink company, in its US$1.4 billion IPO. Ian Schuman, Global Chair of Latham’s Capital Markets Practice, told Law360 that Oatly’s successful IPO demonstrates Latham’s “expertise in taking foreign businesses public in the US,” adding that “we expect more foreign private issuers to continue to come into the US, and Latham continues to be particularly well-suited for those companies.”
In addition, Law360 highlighted Latham’s representation of Warby Parker in the eyewear company’s direct listing, the first direct listing of a public benefit corporation, which garnered a US$6.8 billion valuation at the end of the first day of trading. Latham pioneered the direct listing structure, representing Spotify in its groundbreaking direct listing in 2018, and continues to be at the forefront of the direct listing evolution.
Marc Jaffe, Managing Partner of Latham’s New York office, told Law360 that “direct listings are in our DNA, and we have a sizable market leadership position.” Jaffe noted that the Warby Parker direct listing showcases Latham’s strength in representing public benefit corporations that are direct-to-consumer, involve disruptive technology and have environmental, social and governance factors, or ESG, as a focus.
Law360 also underscored Latham’s leadership in special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transactions that exploded in popularity in recent years as an alternative to the traditional IPO, noting that Latham ranked first for SPAC mergers by deal count and value in 2021 (Deal Point Data). Law360 highlighted Latham’s representation of Ginkgo Bioworks in its US$15 billion business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp., one of the largest deSPAC transitions of 2021.
Schuman said that Latham is uniquely equipped to steer SPAC transactions, as firms need “best in class practice areas across M&A, capital markets, public company representation, and all the other supporting elements that go along with [those areas].”