Sullivan Ranked in the 2013 Edition of The Legal 500 United States

Press Release
June 4, 2013

Boston, MA – June 4, 2013 The Legal 500 United States recommended Sullivan in seven practice areas and sixteen lawyers in its 2013 edition, including:  

Practice Areas


Finance - Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy)

Finance - Structured finance

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

Editorial Comments from The Legal 500

The seven-partner Mutual Funds team was ranked in the Investment Fund Formation and Management area. It represents a client base consisting of over 20 different fund complexes, encompassing closed-end funds, money-market funds and funds of funds, which collectively have $1.2 trillion in assets under management. It is particularly noted for its work for independent directors, which covers a wide variety of fund governance, investment advisory and disclosure matters for the independent directors John Hancock Variable Insurance Trust and Virtus Mutual Funds, among others. It is also noted for its strength in the variable annuity insurance fund space, as illustrated by its work for MetLife Funds. David Mahaffey, head of the practice, David Leahy and John Chilton were all highlighted in the ranking.

S&W’s REIT practice stands out for its “excellent tax lawyers and detail-oriented service,” which makes it “one of the best tax firms in the country.” It represents six of the nation’s largest and most active public REITs in their public and private offerings, and provides REIT tax opinions to approximately 7.5% of the public REIT market. It has been particularly active in the REIT conversion space. Ameek Ashok Ponda and David McLaughlin come highly recommended. The team was joined by real estate expert Adam Weisenberg in 2012.

“With offices in Boston and New York, Sullivan stands out for its counsel to public and private companies in stock-based M&A and is a leading REITs law firm.” The Legal 500 ranking recognized the role of the firm’s tax law attorneys in many of the group’s corporate transactions and M&A deals. Susan Barnard, co-director of the corporate department, and Carol Wolff, head of the M&A practice group, were noted in the ranking.

Ranked for the first time in Finance: Corporate Restructuring (including bankruptcy), the Group is considered a “great partner” because it “knows the client’s business, its risk factors and how much it wants to invest in a matter.” Practice head Patrick Dinardo is highlighted for providing “practical and very personable counsel.”

In the Structured Finance category, S&W’s competitive advantage was noted as being “the most consistent firm in ensuring that deals are covered primarily at partner level.” Practice chair George Lindsay along with partners Duncan O’Brien and Alexander Notopoulos were highlighted in the ranking.

The S&W Tax group was acknowledged as being particularly strong in real estate investment fund (REIT) conversions. It was praised for providing “excellent response times and quality work.” The tax team is headed by Ameek Ashok Ponda. Recent highlights include advising EQIZ, a public company that operates data centres globally, in connection with its REIT conversion and the associated global restructuring. David Kaplan was promoted to partner in January 2012 and has considerable experience in tax structures for transactions and general tax planning for businesses. Other work highlights included representing Equity Resource Investments in a $450m joint venture to acquire fractional interests of multifamily properties; Christopher Curtis was the tax partner involved.

The “small but very effective” Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team provides ongoing benefits advice to its clients and transactional support to the firm’s corporate and tax lawyers. Clients praised the group saying, “Although I know it has many clients, I am made to feel that my projects are important and will be a top priority. Its advice is appropriate, accurate and helpful. We get incredible value for the cost we pay.” David Guadagnoli “often makes me feel that I am his only client.”

For information about the 2013 rankings, visit The Legal 500.

About Sullivan

Sullivan is a leading corporate law firm providing counsel to domestic and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses. With more than 185 lawyers in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., the firm offers services in a wide range of areas, including corporate finance, securities, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, tax, real estate, private equity and venture capital, bankruptcy, environment and natural resources, climate change, renewable energy and water resources, regulatory law, and employment and benefits. Sullivan is also recognized for its representation of REITs and its deep expertise in mutual fund law. For more information please visit

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