Latham & Watkins received one of the very top overall scores for innovation from the Financial Times and RSG Consulting in the 2014 North America Innovative Lawyers report. The firm was recognized for a total of six matters in the Corporate & Commercial, Litigation and Finance categories; and two initiatives in the Business of Law category.
In addition, Global Chair and Managing Partner Bob Dell — who is retiring at the end of the month — received the report’s first-ever Special Achievement Award for North America. The Financial Times called Dell “a master of the art of running a partnership” who “grew a global colossus” during his nearly 20 years in Latham’s top leadership role.
The report added, “It is hard to overstate the impact that Bob Dell has had on Latham & Watkins, where he has been chairman for the past 20 years. . . . In the past two decades he has orchestrated a strategy that has seen Latham grow . . . [into the] international behemoth it is today. … Latham has taken on the competition in two of the most cut-throat legal markets in the world — New York, and more recently, London — and is doing so successfully.”
Highlights of Latham’s legal expertise accomplishments include:
In Corporate & Commercial:
- “Highly Commended” for representing Georgia-Pacific in its buyout of Buckeye Technologies. Latham earned recognition for having “breathed new life into the ‘Burger King’ dual-track structure by applying it to antitrust risk.”
- “Highly Commended” for representing Royal DSM in the creation of the DPx joint venture. The firm was noted for having “introduced an indemnity offset mechanism to protect Dutch group Royal DSM during the spin-off of its pharmaceuticals arm into a joint venture majority-owned by private equity firm JLL Partners.”
- “Commended” for its work representing Authentic Brands Group that helped the client “complete the high-profile acquisition of intellectual property rights associated with Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali.”
- “Highly Commended” for advising on the IPO of Terraform Power through its pioneering use of yieldcos as an investment vehicle. As a result, Latham helped “develop the market for ‘yield companies’ in the renewable energy industry.”
- “Highly Commended” for representing the National Environmental Development Association Clean Air Project in appealing a directive issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. Notably, Latham “resurrected the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘regional consistency’ requirement, in a ruling that benefits the energy industry.”
- “Commended” for having “protected foreign audit firms from exposure to sanctions and criminal penalties abroad when meeting US Securities and Exchange Commission obligations.”
The firm also earned accolades in the Business of Law category:
- “Highly Commended” for a “unique succession process to choose a new leader embodying the firm’s cultural values” preceding Dell’s retirement at the end of the year.
- “Commended” for developing “a technology-based tool for internal budgeting and project management that has also codified the firm’s knowledge.”