Latham & Watkins has been named a finalist in five categories of the 2023 North America Financial Times Innovative Lawyers awards — including two cumulative awards for Most Innovative Law Firm in North America and for Most Digital Law Firm in North America, as well as three individual awards honoring creative transactional work and uses of technology in practice.
The three practice-facing awards include:
- Innovative Lawyers in Deals & Financing, for Latham’s representation of Endeavor Group Holdings on mixed martial arts promotion company Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) US$21 billion merger with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) into TKO Group Holdings — a landmark deal that captured headlines around the world and formed a new, publicly listed live sports and entertainment powerhouse, majority owned by publicly traded Endeavor Group Holdings, with a fanbase of more than a billion people, which ESPN called a “seismic shift” in the combat sports landscape. The transaction represents Latham’s relentless pursuit of innovation in the first-ever implementation of a double publicly traded umbrella partnership structure (double Up-C), an innovative structure devised by M&A Practice Global Chair Justin Hamill and the Latham tax team.
- Innovative Lawyers in Technology, for navigating complex antitrust and competition issues to achieve global regulatory approvals for Viasat’s US$7.3 billion acquisition of Inmarsat, a significant deal in the satellite communications sector. A cross-border antitrust team guided Viasat in obtaining antitrust and foreign investment approvals in more than a dozen jurisdictions around the world, including through an in-depth Second Request investigation in the United States, a Phase II investigation by the European Commission, and a Phase II process in the United Kingdom. Latham also represented Viasat in obtaining approval from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which consented to the transaction based on a detailed competitive analysis.
- Innovative Lawyers in Technology, for partnering with client a16z Crypto to develop the Decentralization Matrix, a resource to help innovators, investors, legal practitioners, and policy-makers better understand and define decentralization — a key innovation that blockchain technology enables, which can have significant technological, economic, and legal implications for web3 companies and protocols.
The two firm awards are based on a composite score earned across the FT’s nomination categories and related research into the digital, financial, personnel, and social responsibility policies and practices of law firms.
The 2023 North America Financial Times Innovative Lawyers awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on December 4.