Sullivan Ranked in the 2018 Edition of The Legal 500 United States

Press Release
May 30, 2018

Boston, MA – May 30, 2018 The Legal 500 United States has recommended Sullivan in 11 of its practice areas and noted 31 of its lawyers in the 2018 edition, including Ameek Ashok Ponda who received a "Leading Lawyer" ranking. Two lawyers are listed in the "Next Generation Lawyers" list and included in The Legal 500 United States 2018 Guide to Up-and-Coming Lawyers Nationwide: Benjamin Armour (M&A/corporate and commercial-middle-market (sub-$500m)) and Nicole Crum (Investment Fund Formation and Management: Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds).

Practice Areas
Attorneys Mentioned

Dispute Resolution: General commercial disputes

Finance: Project finance - advice to sponsor

Industry Focus: Environment - transactional

Investment Fund Formation and Management: Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds

Labor and Employment: Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans - design

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

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

Real Estate

Real Estate: 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 provides ‘excellent’ service, particularly in cross-border litigation and investigations. Gerald Silver heads the department, which is equipped to handle a range of litigation concerning securities, real estate, art law, professional liability and other areas. Highlights include the ongoing representation of Comcast in approximately 15 False Claims Act cases; Laura Steinberg in Boston is the lead partner. The team is also active in the financial services space, where clients include Credit Suisse and American Financial Resources. 

Finance: Project finance - advice to sponsor
Jeffrey Karp, who heads the team, was active for a developer on an export credit agency-backed power project financing in East Africa. The practice is probably most notable for its sponsor side renewable work, with Truman BidwellBenjamin Armour and Nicole Rives being names to note in this space. Recent work includes advising on the acquisition and financing of landfill gas-to-energy facilities, waste-to-energy facilities and solar energy projects. BNRG Renewables, Cube District Energy and I Squared Capital are all clients.

Industry Focus: Environment: transactional
The team is ‘extremely responsive and professional.’ The practice’s scope of work includes negotiating tailored contractual protection, structuring transactions to minimize environmental exposure, obtaining customized environmental insurance, and environmental due diligence investigations. The recommended name in Washington DC is Jeffrey Karp; Victor Baltera in Boston is ‘very knowledgeable and provides reliable information to his clients.

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 benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design
Sullivan’s practice is based in Boston and led by David Guadagnoli who advised clients on prohibited transaction issues, fiduciary regulations and IRS filings with regards to tax-qualified status. Amy Sheridan continues to guide a number of clients through the regulatory landscape of the IRC’s rule 409A, and supported Guadagnoli in his work for a school pertaining to the correction of missed non-elective contributions in its 403(b) plan. 

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Commercial deals and contracts
The corporate and M&A group acts for public and private companies across a broad range of transactions. In Boston, practice head Lewis Segall primarily assists with financings and joint ventures, as well as domestic and international M&A.

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: M&A-middle-market (sub-$500m)
Recent work includes advising large public companies with active acquisition programs; assisting a nationally known buyout firm with M&A deals; acting for foreign enterprises expanding into the U.S.; and assisting technology companies and family-owned businesses. The practice stands out for its assistance to some of the U.S.’ largest public and private REITs on notable transactions. It acted for Iron Mountain, an American enterprise information management services company, in its $135m acquisition of MAG Datacenters, which operates Fortrust, a private data center business; and Carol Wolff led advice to Diversified Holding and two of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Community Broadcasting Service and Diversified Broadcasting, on the sale of two television stations. Other matters included acting for ChallengeME Esports, a provider of a sophisticated eSports matchmaking and tournament platform, in its acquisition of U.S.-based platform provider eSports Hero; and advising The Paciello Group on its sale to VFO, a portfolio company of tech-focused private equity firm Vector Capital. Boston-based corporate and M&A head Lewis Segall and Benjamin Armour are highly-rated attorneys.

Real Estate and Construction: Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Acclaimed as ‘the best in Boston for REIT work,’ the team finds favor for its ‘in-depth knowledge of the industry’ and its ‘strong tax team, which is an invaluable resource.’ The firm, which has strong experience in the public REIT market, advised on a string of debt and equity offerings over the past year. It is also active in M&A and corporate governance matters. Group co-chair Ameek Ashok Ponda is ‘exceptional for tax issues’ and advised Equinix on its $3.6bn acquisition of 29 data center buildings from Verizon Communications. Ponda also teamed up with the ‘excellentNicole Rives and newly-promoted partner Lindsey Getz to advise Government Properties Income Trust on its $1.4bn acquisition of First Potomac Realty Trust and its $516.5m equity offering and $300m debt offering. Louis Monti, a ‘go-to person for real estate work,' co-leads the Boston-based practice.

Tax: International tax
The team is well versed in tax-efficient cross-border M&A and reorganizations, foreign tax credit utilization, migration of intellectual property to tax-favored jurisdictions, capital structures and repatriation strategies, and transfer pricing, among other things. Douglas Stransky and his team assisted Spain-based publicly traded bank Alantra with its merger with CW Downer, an investment bank based in Boston with offices in Germany and France. Ameek Ashok Ponda has been advising Equinix, a public company operating data centers globally, on its REIT compliance from a tax and structuring perspective. Attorneys mentioned are based in Boston.

Tax: U.S. taxes (non-contentious)
An ‘extremely knowledgeable’ tax team ‘provides a very high level of service, including complete and timely responses to queries.’ Ameek Ashok Ponda, David Kaplan and Brian Hammell, the latter of whom made partner in January 2018, all have ‘very deep knowledge of REIT taxation rules,’ which is the practice’s core area of expertise and covers tax compliance, transactions, capital markets offerings and REIT conversion tax. Other focus areas include M&A and estate planning, for which Christopher Curtis is recommended. Transactional tax planner Richard Jones resolves issues in a very favorable manner.’ Recent highlights include the representation of Equinix in its $7.7bn acquisition of 29 data center buildings from Verizon Communications, which was financed through cash, debt, equity and at-the-market offerings. American Tower Corporation, Hospitality Properties Trust, Iron Mountain, Senior Housing Properties Trust and Select Income REIT are notable clients in the REIT space. All mentioned attorneys are based in Boston.

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, Sullivan guides 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’s reach extends beyond the United States. With international practices in the United Kingdom and Israel, Sullivan has represented clients around the world and has a deep bench for working on a variety of matters and issues affecting clients globally. 

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