Weil Gotshal & Manges
International Top 30 position: 15
Asia-Pacific International 50 rank: 44
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The Asia Pacific profile is an edited version of a full write-up that appears in The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, a comprehensive analysis of the legal market in the region that ranks the top 100 local firms and leading 50 international players by headcount. For more information and to purchase your copy please click here
Weil Gotshal & Manges' 2011 financial results revealed modest top-line growth, with all key metrics ahead of where they were in 2009.
Gross revenue rose 3.8 per cent in 2010 from $1.185bn to $1.229bn, while average profit per equity partner jumped eight per cent to $2.44m.
Weil’s executive partner Barry Wolf highlighted growth in the firm’s London office as one of the highlights of that year.
“We’ve taken on a number of talented lateral partners in London and we’re extremely optimistic about the future here,’’ Wolf said.
Weil strengthened its London finance practice earlier in 2012 with the hire of international finance partner Stephen Lucas. It also hired a brace of restructuring partners from Jones Day and a four-partner funds team from Clifford Chance in September and June respectively.
‘‘Issues stemming from the Eurozone crisis mean we’ve seen more restructuring work across Europe,’’ added Wolf. ‘‘While the Eurozone might impact figures in future our strategy is to be a balanced practice so that we can show steady results in good times and bad.’’
Highlight transactions during the year included Weil acting as counsel to Kinder Morgan in its $37.4bn purchase of El Paso, the second-biggest deal in the world last year, and to French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis in its $20.1bn takeover of Genzyme Corp.
Financial results for 2012 were yet to be announced at the time of writing.
No. of lawyers: 40
The New Yorkers are relative newcomers to Asia-Pacific — and so far the firm has stuck to having a greater China footprint only, having opened in Shanghai in 2004, then Hong Kong in 2007 and a year later in Beijing.
The strategy has worked well so far. Weil was the top legal advisor for Asia-Pacific private equity deals announced in 2012 (based on value) with a market share of 23 per cent and representing more than $20bn in value, according to Bloomberg data. Weil was also the top-ranked legal advisor for Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan) private equity buyouts in 2012 based on value, according to Mergermarket data.
Among its many instructions, Weil has advised AMC in its $2.6bn sale to the Dalian Wanda Group; Shanda’s Special Committee in Shanda’s $2.3bn going-private merger; Baring Private Equity Asia in its acquisition of a stake in Kyobo Life Insurance (part of Daewoo's $1.1bn sale of its Kyobo shares); Lion Capital in the £1.2bn sale of a controlling stake in Weetabix Food Company to Bright Food Company, one of China's largest food companies; and GE in its global transmission and distribution partnership with XD Electric.
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Imagine you’re the general counsel of London-based private equity investor BC Partners. You’re sipping on your coffee, hashing out the details of your imminent £382m investment into UK-based business publishing company Mergermarket.
Overview110 Fetter Lane
Firmwide revenue 2011 ($m): 1,229
Global lawyers 2011: 1,163
No. of lawyers (Asia Pacific): 40
Offices (Asia Pacific): 3
Headquarters (Asia Pacific): US