Sullivan & Worcester Ranked in the 2017 Edition of The Legal 500 United States

 
S&W Press Release
May 31, 2017

Boston, MA – May 31, 2017 The Legal 500 United States recommended Sullivan & Worcester in 12 of its practice areas and noted 28 of its lawyers in the 2017 edition, including Ameek Ashok Ponda who received a "Leading Lawyer" ranking:   

Practice Areas
Attorneys Mentioned

Dispute Resolution: General commercial disputes

Finance: Project finance - advice to lender

Industry focus - Energy transactions - conventional power

Investment Fund Formation and Management: Mutual/registered funds

Labor and Employment: Employee health and retirement plans

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Commercial deals and contracts

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Corporate governance

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: M&A-middle-market (sub-$500m)

Real Estate

Real Estate and Construction - Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Tax: International tax

Tax: U.S. taxes (non-contentious)


Editorial Comments from The Legal 500

Dispute Resolution: General commercial disputes
Sullivan & Worcester's 'knowledgeable and responsive team' acts for a plethora of financial services clients, though its client base extends into various other industries. Ongoing cases include representing Bank of Austria in multiple disputes surrounding clawback claims asserted by the Madoff Trustee, where Franklin Velie has a lead role. Laura Steinberg is representing Comcast subsidiaries in litigation brought by government units under the False Claims Act in multiple states. Harry Rimm and Clark Freeman are ‘super smart and very effective lawyers’.

Finance: Project finance - advice to sponsor
Sullivan & Worcester's department expanded with the arrival of Hayden Baker at the New York office. The team is particularly strong in renewable energy projects, and advised FLS Energy on an equity investment to finance 200MW-worth of solar projects. Other clients of the department include Grid Energy Services, Ogin Energy, Vision Fleet Capital and Ares Capital Management.

Industry focus - Energy transactions: conventional power
Corporate and commercial work are strengths of Sullivan & Worcester's practice, which also advises clients on securities matters. Hayden Baker assisted Cube Hydro Partners with its purchase and upgrade of four hydroelectric North Carolina power plants from Alcoa Power Generating.

Investment Fund Formation and Management: Mutual/registered funds
The team is noted for its 'on-point and practical advice' and for its 'superior knowledge of the law and industry'. Key figures in the practice, which has a particular strength acting for independent trustees, include David Mahaffey, who 'understands clients’ needs, skill levels and obligations’ and acts for the independent directors of the TIFF Investment Plan; and David Leahy, whose clients include the independent trustees of Legg Mason Partners’ fixed-income funds.

Labor and Employment: Employee health and retirement plans
Clients find David Guadagnoli 'top notch and always easy to work with' and 'can’t really say enough good things about' the team at Sullivan & Worcester, which Guadagnoli leads. The team works closely with the firm’s adjacent practices and advises on the full spectrum of employee benefits matters. Amy Sheridan is recognized for her expertise in compliance issues under IRS sections 409A and 457A, as well as healthcare law reforms.

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Commercial deals and contracts
The 'outstanding' Sullivan & Worcester 'provides sound legal advice and can always be counted on in a crisis'. Lewis Segall heads the corporate and M&A group and advised US Grid Company on funding and joint venture agreements. Steven Eichel acted for George Carney, Jr. and Sweeney Investments in the formation of a joint venture with Rush Street Gaming to create a casino resort in Brockton, MA.

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Corporate governance
The 'excellent’ Sullivan & Worcester delivers 'practical advice backed up by impressive legal and industry knowledge'. The practice group leader is Boston-based Howard Berkenblit and the practice group co-leaders, based in Washington DC, are David Leahy and David Mahaffey (who is 'a business lawyer with outstanding skills who finds appropriate and practical solutions’). Berkenblit advises Select Income REIT on securities offerings, disclosure, listing standards and Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Act compliance, while he and William Curry do the same for Senior Housing Properties Trust, Iron Mountain, Government Properties Income Trust and others. Leahy serves as independent counsel to the independent trustees of Legg Mason’s fixed income funds and Mahaffey does the same for the independent trustees of the Virtus Funds.

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: M&A-middle-market (sub-$500m)
The firm's client list includes large public companies with robust acquisition programs, buyout firms, foreign enterprises expanding into the US, technology companies and family owned businesses. It also acts for large public and private REITs in M&A deals; and the attorneys draw on the expertise of their colleagues specializing in tax planning. Key matters included acting for the Ocean Harbor Insurance Group in its sale of the Zephyr Insurance group of companies to Heritage Insurance Holdings; assisting Associates for International Research and its major shareholders with the sale of an equity majority to Relo Group; and acting for Pavilion Advisory Group in its recent acquisition of Jeffrey Slocum & Associates. Other examples of cross-border work included advising Equinix on its $280m acquisition of Japan-based internet data center provider Bit-Isle and acting for Spanish investment bank N+1 Group in its merger with Boston-based CW Downer & Co. In Boston, corporate and M&A practice group head Lewis Segall and Carol Wolff are recommended advisors. Significant growth in the practice included the recruitment of New York-based Joel Telpner, whose representative experience includes advising a global bank on the sale of its asset management business. Benjamin Armour was recognized as a 'next generation' lawyer.

Real Estate
The firm is well known in the REIT space, where it acts for the likes of Senior Housing Properties Trust and Government Properties Income Trust. In 2016, John Steiner completed Hospitality Properties Trust’s $400m sale-leaseback of 20 travel centers to TravelCenters of America. Private equity is another strength, with John Balboni and Eric Lemont handling a series of real estate private equity joint venture transactions for Hartford Life Insurance Company. On the dirt side, Adam Weisenberg represented The Cronin Group in developing a proposed 125-unit waterfront condominium project in Boston; and Weisenberg also assisted Divco West with its $150m development of an office building and lab in Kendall Square in Cambridge. Counsel Oded Har-Even represented Ackerman Management and Development in acquisitions totaling $1bn, including the $700m purchase of the Dime Savings Bank Building and adjoining parcels at 340 Flatbush Avenue and 9 DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn. An additional contacts is Boston-based co-chair Ashley Brooks, who leads on real estate matters in New York.

Real Estate and Construction: Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
The firm advises public and private REITs regarding their M&A transactions, financings and stock offerings. Louis Monti and Ameek Ashok Ponda lead a team of 14 partners. Ponda supported Equinix in its REIT conversion and subsequent global restructuring; the market capitalization of Equinix is $25.6bn. Alongside Nicole Rives, Susan Barnard and John Steiner, Ponda also advised new client Manulife Financial Corporation on its joint ventures with several offshore investors, as well as its IPO. Monti and Rives represented Senior Housing Properties Trust in a sale-leaseback transaction with Five Star Quality Care. Benjamin Armour and Eric Lemont were promoted to partner in January 2016.

Tax: International tax
The international tax practice provides 'an excellent service and responds very speedily to clients’ needs'. Team lead Douglas Stransky is recommended for his 'depth of knowledge, ability to explain things and understanding of transactions'. He provides ongoing advice to Broadstone Group and recently assisted the client in consultations with the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, including in relation to cross-border tax issues. Ameek Ashok Ponda and William Curry advise Iron Mountain and Equinix regarding their respective tax compliance and structuring issues. Another highlight for Stransky was advising on the $30m merger between Spanish client Alantra and CW Downer.

Tax: U.S. taxes (non-contentious)
Sullivan & Worcester's 'efficient tax group' is recognized for its work on REIT structuring for clients including data company Equinix, Iron Mountain and American Tower Corporation. It acted as special REIT adviser to the principal investors of Ovation Acquisition on its planned purchase of a utility transmission and distribution business from Energy Future Holdings. David Nagle jointly heads the practice with Ameek Ashok Ponda, who is praised for his technical knowledge.

About Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Sullivan & Worcester is a leading corporate law firm advising clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses. With more than 175 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, intellectual property, 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.

Contact:
Leah Schloss
+1 617.338.2448
lschloss@sandw.com