Sullivan Earns Top Rankings in the 2022 Edition of The Legal 500 United States

Press Release
June 8, 2022

Boston, MA – Sullivan is pleased to announce that its practice groups and attorneys have been highly ranked and recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2022. Peers and more than 300,000 corporate counsel have been surveyed and interviewed globally in the past 12 months to assess law firms’ overall visibility and reputation, culminating in detailed rankings and editorial. The Legal 500 is an independent guide, and firms and individuals are recommended purely on merit.

Sullivan's lawyers received the following rankings in The Legal 500 United States 2022:

Leading Lawyers: The Legal 500’s Guide to Outstanding Lawyers Nationwide

Ameek Ashok Ponda - Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 
Joel Telpner - Fintech

Next Generation Partners: The Legal 500’s Guide to Up-and-Coming Lawyers Nationwide

Nicole Crum - Mutual/Registered/Exchange-Traded Funds
Jennifer Schultz - Land Use/Zoning

Practice Areas Ranked and Attorneys Recognized

Corporate Governance
Sullivan works with a wide client base on their most complex and significant corporate governance and compliance requirements, including public and private companies, real estate investment trusts and mutual funds. Its team is skilled in handling issues over board compositions and board-level decision-making, conflicts of interest, diversity and inclusion, shareholder communications, crisis management and internal and government investigations. It advises Service Properties Trust on a range of issues, such as disclosure requirements, stock exchange listing standards and compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Act. Key individuals at the firm include Washington DC-based trio David MahaffeyDavid Leahy and Nicole Crum (who are key contacts for investment advisers), as well as Domenick Pugliese in New York. Howard Berkenblit is also recommended.

Environment: Transactional
Chaired by Jeffrey Karp in Washington DC, the environment, energy and natural resources at Sullivan stands out in particular for its expertise in land use, zoning and environmental permitting work on real estate development projects and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) transactions. The well-established team has notable strength advising on pesticide and agricultural chemical transactions, and continues to expand its already extensive client base with new clients in the renewable energy sector, which is a growing area of focus for the department. Victor Baltera, who works out of Boston, is frequently engaged in permitting matters and environmental due diligence for acquisitions and financings of industrial and commercial properties throughout the United States.

Sullivan stands out for its pioneering work in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, where New York-based group co-chair Joel Telpner "understands seamlessly the business, technology and use-cases of cryptocurrencies and blockchain." Clients include start-ups, emerging companies and major listed entities, as well as governments and public sector bodies. The service offers support on the full spread of transactional and regulatory issues, such as product and currency launches (including sovereign currencies), financings and M&A. New York corporate partner Scott Kaufman is also highly active in this space, representing several entrepreneurs, fintech providers and venture capital firms. Other key individuals include Boston’s Douglas Stransky for related tax issues, and New York’s Natalie Lederman for M&A and corporate finance. Testimonials from clients include:

"Joel Telpner is really the number one lawyer in the world, hands down, that understands seamlessly the business, technology and use-cases of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Joel is the only lawyer I would recommend for the legal side hands down."
"The team has deep experience and knowledge in securities law and has developed an expertise around blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies."
"Joel Telpner is a smart, engaging professional who is easy to work with and delivers high quality work."

General Commercial Disputes
Sullivan & Worcester "is an amazing law firm which provides a prompt, practical and personal service." The team is regularly defending clients in commercial claims before federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings. Its scope covers class actions, securities, contract disputes, insurance coverage controversies, environmental issues, fraud claims, and bankruptcy and collections actions. The "dedicated, thorough attorney" Gerry Silver in New York and insolvency disputes-specialist Patrick Dinardo in Boston jointly lead the practice. Laura Steinberg, also in Boston, is well versed in regulatory and fiduciary issues. Other key lawyers include Nicholas O'Donnell. Clients say:

"Sullivan offers pragmatic, concise legal recommendations. They 'cut to the chase' and provide clear analysis of the benefits and risks of options available. Unlike many law firms, they are willing to share their own opinion of which option they recommend."
"Gerry Silver is a dedicated, thorough attorney. Not only does he provide excellent legal advice, he has shown over the years that he is committed to acting as a true partner. He knows our business and he is willing to stand strong in providing the legal advice that he believes is in the best interests of our company, even when he knows that this advice might be unpopular. With Gerry, we know we are getting legal support we can trust."
"Sullivan’s lawyers are extraordinary. When dealing with the firm, I never have the impression that my matter is unimportant, whatever the dollar amount in issue."

Land Use/Zoning
Jennifer Schultz now leads the Boston-based land use and zoning practice, a rapidly growing department based in Boston that permits large-scale, complex projects through local, state and federal approval processes. The team’s attorneys draw on professional experience at city planning agencies and architects, as well as recent representation of developers in the Greater Boston area, with a focus on life science, office, mixed-use, and housing. Ashley Brooks leads alongside Schultz and has a practice that covers more general real estate issues, as well as zoning and permitting. Victor Baltera is the name to note for environmental regulatory issues, while counsel Jordan Smith supports on complex mixed-use development work in and around the Boston area. Other key lawyers include Karen Kepler and Adam Weisenberg. Clients commented:

"Fantastic group of people that work hard to meet their client’s goals."
"They think like owners and become an extension of your team."
"A firm with great resources for all aspects of the real estate development business. The firm has very experience personnel able to help with all arising issues."

M&A: Middle-Market (sub-$500m) 
The firm handles a wealth of M&A transactions with distinct expertise in REIT, fintech and cryptocurrency-related transactions. The practice, which is closely integrated with the firm’s Israel and London offices, is co-chaired by Lewis Segall, an M&A, joint venture and general corporate specialist with particular accomplishment in the energy, advertising, healthcare, communications, manufacturing and software industries. Benjamin Armour, a lawyer who guides clients through all stages of the corporate lifecycle, heads the practice from Boston alongside Segall and also serves as lead of the firm’s Opportunity Zone practice group. Other key lawyers include Angela Gomes and Avi Rao.

Mutual/Registered/Exchange-Traded Funds
At Sullivan, fund mergers and lift-outs – including fund adoptions and consolidations within fund groups, as well as mergers of unaffiliated funds – are a particular stalwart of the practice. Away from this core area of expertise, the team is also well versed in establishing and registering new funds, including ETFs; providing compliance advice; preparing and reviewing annual prospectus updates, proxy statements and shareholder reports; and advising on federal securities law and state law issues. In Washington, DC, the group is under the joint leadership of David Leahy and David Mahaffey, who work alongside recommended practitioners Nicole Crum and John Chilton. The offering also has a concerted presence in Boston – where John Hunt is the name to note – and New York – where Domenick Pugliese is a key contact. Another key lawyers included Matthew Van Wormer. Client testimonials include:

"Their knowledge is very deep and they are so quick to respond."
"Their practical insights into the regulatory environment. They do not try to usurp the board’s fundamental role and provide advice when asked or needed in as succinct a way as possible."

Private Equity Funds (including Venture Capital)
The attorneys at Sullivan counsel a range of alternative investment funds, including real estate funds, unregistered commodity pools, private equity funds, offshore funds, and bank-related common and collective investment funds on all areas of fund formation. The team also assists regional, national and international venture capital firms that invest in early-stage companies across a range of industries, most notably software, telecoms, therapeutics and energy. Institutional investors representation is another stalwart of the practice. Nicole Rives and John Hunt are the core contacts. Other key lawyers include Susan Barnard, William Hanson and Lewis Segall. Clients commented:

"Strong team for secondaries work."
"William Hanson is simply outstanding. Great attitude, savvy negotiator and very diligent and hard working."

Real Estate
2021 saw
Sullivan & Worcester continue to expand its bench strength and capabilities in mixed-used development with the addition of Jennifer Schultz from Goodwin to the Boston-based team in February. Schultz advises on all aspects of zoning and permitting, abutter and reciprocal easement agreements. The firm outlined the greater Boston area as its target market and focuses on developments involving life science/lab, office, mixed-use, market rate housing, student and affordable housing. Karen Kepler acts for for-profit and non-profit organizations, financial institutions and quasi-public agencies in HUD and Fannie Mae-financed developments. Ashley Brooks, who leads the firm's Real Estate Group, is an integral partner with a nationally recognized commercial real estate development practice.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Sullivan's Boston-based team has a large transactional offering for its public and private REIT clients, including equity and debt offerings, financings and joint ventures. The team has strength advising across the infrastructure, agriculture and property sectors and can leverage its firm-wide capabilities across tax and corporate to give the full-service, particularly to clients converting to REIT status. Angela Gomes jointly manages the group alongside Brian Hammell, who focus on corporate finance and securities offerings, respectively. The tax department is led by Ameek Ashok Ponda, who is recommended for structuring REIT transactions and cross-border financings, and John Steiner is a key real estate contact. Clients commented:

"The team’s strength lies in its responsiveness to and speed within which the respective counsels revert to us with advice and solutions to complex legal and commercial issues."
"Compared to other US law firms, Sullivan has demonstrated a deep understanding of internal billing processes and payment requirements and their conduct is evidenced of the firm being interested in building a business partnership with our organization for a long time."

Tax - International Tax
Based in Boston, Sullivan provides international tax advice on foreign investment, tax planning and implementation. Its offering includes M&A, dispositions and reorganizations, cross-border financing, foreign tax credits, and US tax deferrals on foreign earnings. Niche expertise includes advising sovereign wealth funds, high-net-worth individuals, and foreign governmental pension plans. Practice head Douglas Stransky focuses on international tax planning for US-based clients investing in foreign jurisdictions. Ameek Ponda handles tax-related matters arising from corporate M&A and public and private REIT activity. Client testimonials include:

"We have worked directly with Douglas Stransky and consider his team very professional and helpful. They have certainly added value to our common client’s situation."
"Douglas Stransky has been clear and concise in his analysis and conclusions, always thinking outside the box and giving us some asset structure alternatives which the client always appreciates."
"Highly skilled individuals with broad understanding of a broad range of issues that impact multinational companies. Network of international contacts who have always met the challenges we have presented them."

Tax - U.S. Taxes (contentious)
The team at Sullivan represents clients in the manufacturing, software and tech, R&D, and security sectors on tax audits, administrative appeals, and litigation. Practice head David Nagle specializes in tax disputes with the IRS and Massachusetts Department of Revenue, but is experienced in a broad range of SALT-related controversy work; Richard Jones leads the tax group and covers corporate nexus, domicile, and other SALT controversy matters; and Daniel Ryan is a strong federal and state tax litigator. Counsel Judith Edington is an expert in domicile planning and defense of tax-exempt organizations. International tax controversy counsel Lewis Greenwald joined from Alvarez and Marsal in November 2021, while tax counsel Natasha Varyani joined from the faculty of New England Law.

Tax - U.S. Taxes (non-contentious)
The firm is routinely engaged by a number of high-profile public and private REITs seeking advice on big-ticket transactions, joint ventures, and other advisory issues. Working in close collaboration with the firm’s corporate, real estate, and affordable housing groups, the team also possesses expertise in opportunity zones and multi-jurisdictional taxation rules. Tax department head Ameek Ponda‘s broad REIT practice sees him advising on a diverse mix of commercial ventures, ranging from retail sites to power plants. Practice head Richard Jones is experienced in both state tax litigation and transactional tax planning involving corporate, franchise, and personal income matters. Christopher Curtis is also recommended.

About Sullivan
Sullivan & Worcester (Sullivan) is a leading AmLaw 200 law firm. With over 200 attorneys in Boston, London, New York, Tel Aviv and Washington, DC, they guide organizations that are rewriting the rules. Sullivan’s clients, including Fortune 500 companies and emerging businesses, rely on Sullivan’s strategic vision, comfort with complexity and intense focus on results. As a global law firm, Sullivan represents clients around the world and has a deep bench for working on a variety of matters and issues affecting clients.

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