Sullivan & Worcester Ranked in the 2014 Edition of The Legal 500 United States

S&W Press Release
June 27, 2014

Boston, MA – June 27, 2014 The Legal 500 United States recommended Sullivan & Worcester in seven of its practice areas and noted 19 of its lawyers in the 2014 edition, including:   

Practice Areas


Finance - Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy)

Investment fund formation and management - Mutual/registered funds

Investment fund formation and management - Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Labor and employment - Employee benefits and executive compensation

Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts - M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)

Tax - Domestic tax: East Coast

Tax – International Tax

Editorial Comments from The Legal 500

Investment fund formation and management - Mutual/registered funds Sullivan & Worcester’s service levels ‘rate with the best of the firms in the space’, and its team ‘clearly understands the business and role of independent trustees on a mutual fund board’. It advises the trustees of John Hancock Funds’ group of open and closed-end retail and variable insurance funds, Virtus Funds group, VALIC Company and the Huntington Funds group. It is particularly experienced in annuity products, where it advises clients such as MetLife Funds on fund registrations, restructurings and disclosure matters. Co-head David Leahy (‘an outstanding lawyer with years of experience and extensive knowledge of SEC regulations’) is particularly singled out for his experience advising clients such as Legg Mason Partners Funds on fixed-income and money market products. Fellow co-head David Mahaffey is also recommended.  

Investment fund formation and management - Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
S&W is noted for its tax expertise and is a leading presence in the conversion of C-Corporations to REITs. The firm is currently acting for Iron Mountain Incorporated and Equinix, both currently in the process of conversion, and completed the process for American Tower Corporation. It is also advising the same company on its post-conversion $1 billion offering of senior unsecured notes. In M&A, Ameek Ashok Ponda was part of a team which advised American Tower Corporation on its $4.8 billion acquisition of MIP Tower Holdings. Howard Berkenblit and Louis Monti are the other key contacts.

Labor and employment - Employee benefits and executive compensation Boston-based S&W advises on all forms of retirement, welfare, fringe benefit, deferred compensation, and equity compensation plans. In addition, the team works on compensation packages, severance agreements, and retirement planning. It also negotiates investment management agreements, structures pension plan investments to avoid ERISA where possible, and helps clients navigate fiduciary and prohibited transaction issues under ERISA when not. Department head David Guadagnoli is ‘excellent both for his depth of knowledge and his communication skills’. The ‘impressive’ Amy Sheridan has been promoted to partner.  

Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts - M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) S&W’s team advises public and private companies on stock-based M&A, and represents some of the nation’s largest public and private REITs in transactions, collaborating extensively with colleagues in the firm’s tax department. It advised Selway on its acquisition of Healthcare Corporation of America, a rapidly growing pharmacy benefit manager. It also acted for Iron Mountain, a records management company, on its $191 million acquisition via a stock purchase and merger of Cornerstone Records Management, Sterling Cornerstone Holdings and related entities. Boston-based corporate department co-director Susan Barnard, M&A head Carol Wolff and Lewis Segall are the key contacts.  

Tax - Domestic tax: East Coast
S&W’s broad tax practice works from the firm’s Boston and Washington DC offices, and encompasses all elements of tax work, with significant experience in REIT conversions; recent work for practice head Ameek Ashok Ponda includes assisting American Tower, Iron Mountain and Equinix in this area. The ‘very creative’ Michael Davis is a key partner and focuses on income tax and estate planning. Joseph Darby joined the Boston office in May 2013 from Greenberg Traurig LLP, and energy and tax lawyer Elias Hinckley joined the Washington DC team in May 2013 from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. John Graham is also recommended, and recently advised American Friends of CMI in relation to its tax treatment as a charitable organization.  

Tax – International Tax
S&W has a solid international tax offering, led by the highly regarded Douglas Stransky, and has developed considerable experience in tax matters relating to real estate and REIT conversions. Recent work includes advising Equinix, a public company operating data centers globally, in connection with its REIT conversion and associated global restructuring. Other names to note include Ameek Ashok Ponda, David Kaplan and Christopher Curtis.  

For information about the 2014 rankings, visit The Legal 500.

About Sullivan & Worcester
Sullivan & Worcester is a leading corporate law firm advising clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses. With more than 185 lawyers in Boston, London, New York and Washington, D.C., the firm offers services in a wide range of areas, including corporate finance, banking, trade finance, securities and mutual funds, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, tax, real estate and REITs, private equity and venture capital, bankruptcy, environment and natural resources, climate change, renewable energy and water resources, regulatory law, and employment and benefits. For more information please visit

Leah Schloss