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Davis Polk & Wardwell posted global turnover of $910m in 2011 with $42.3m of that revenue coming from the firm’s UK operations placing it at 27 in The Lawyer’sInternational Top 30.
The firm’s election of a new managing partner, Tom Reid, in April 2012 heralded a change in strategic direction for the firm, which boasts a first-rate capital markets practice but which was viewed as behind its competitors when it came to international reach. The election of Reid was followed in short order by the hire of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer capital markets partner Simon Witty, giving Davis Polk English law capability in London for the first time.
The strategic change of direction seems to have paid dividends with the firm landing roles on a number of big deals, including acting for the target in the $28bn (£18bn) takeover of food giant Heinz by an investment consortium.
The Davis Polk corporate team advising Heinz included partners Arthur Holden, John Bick and Michael Davis, with associate Lee Hochbaum. Partner Kyoko Takahashi Lin advised on employee benefits and partner Kathleen Ferrell on tax. Also on the New York-based team was finance partners James Florack and Michael Kaplan with associate Sophia Hudson and antitrust and competition partner Ronan Harty.
The firm is also acting on the US aspects of the £50m Esure IPO announced in February 2013.