The American Lawyer Picks Top Dealmakers of 2012 As Wobbly Recovery Put a Premium on Good Lawyering

NEW YORK – March 29, 2013 – The wobbly recovery of 2012 put a premium on high-level corporate lawyering.  Now ALM's The American Lawyer has highlighted the best of the best in its coveted Dealmaker of the Year awards, announced in the April issue and online today at

“If Norma Desmond had been an M&A lawyer, 2012 might have been the year that she said, ‘I’m still big. It’s the companies that got small’,” wrote senior editor Jim Schroeder. “Conglomerates fell out of favor, driving spin-off and divestiture activity to historic levels, and emphasizing the work of lawyers. In capital markets, the uneven recovery created enough opportunity to be alluring and enough risk to be off-putting – good news for lawyers, who make their living mitigating risk.”

Among the outstanding dealmaking performances were:

  • Stacy Kanter of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, issuer’s counsel to Realogy Holding Corp., for helping transform a troubled real estate business into the biggest private equity–backed IPO of the year with patience, creativity, and perseverance.
  • Jerry Marlatt of Morrison & Foerster, issuer’s counsel to Royal Bank of Canada, for getting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s blessing for a new type of securities offering by a Canadian bank.
  • Paul Shim of Cleary Gottleib Steen & Hamilton LLP, target’s counsel in Dollar Thrifty’s hotly contested $2.3 billion sale to Hertz, for a seven-year engagement that became one of the longest-running takeovers of the modern corporate age.

Also named Dealmakers of the Year were Bruce Gilchrist of Hogan Lovells; Susheel Kirpalani of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP; Nicholas Kronfeld of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; David Lam of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Nancy Lieberman of Skadden; Mark Menting and William Torchiana of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; Charles Ruck of Latham & Watkins LLP; William Sorabella and Stephen Fraidin of Kirkland & Ellis LLP; and Stephen Venuto of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

The American Lawyer annually honors dealmakers who demonstrate outstanding innovation and creativity, playing pivotal roles in notable mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, project finance, and bankruptcy work. Deal value is not a major consideration, but complexity is.

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