HOUSTON – Legal 500 USA has recognized 17 Bracewell LLP practices and recommended over 50 of the firm's attorneys in its 2013 rankings. The firm's capital markets, corporate restructuring, construction, employee benefits and executive compensation, energy, environment, financial services, intellectual property, investment fund formation and management, mergers and acquisitions, project finance, structured finance, tax, technology, and white-collar criminal defense practices were highlighted along with the following attorneys in the categories below.
Capital Markets: Debt Offerings – Advice to Issuers – William Anderson, Gregory Bopp and Charles Still Jr.
The practice “has a significant profile in the energy sector,” and is noted for its representation of such major clients as Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Phillips 66.
Capital Markets: Equity Offerings – Advice to Issuers – Gregory Bopp
Bracewell “continues to handle a number of high-profile equity deals, particularly in the energy sector.” Michael Telle is noted as being “respected” for his representation of Frac Tech Services in its $1.5 billion initial public offering (IPO).
Construction– Phillip Sampson and Stephen Benesh
Bracewell’s construction practice “represents a range of clients from the construction industry, including owners, architects, contractors, engineers and manufacturers in almost every type of construction and real estate related litigation.
Domestic Tax: Central– Lance Behnke, Gregory Bopp, and James Reardon
Bracewell “is recognized for its experience in tax matters related to the energy sector,” including representation of such clients as Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Kinder Morgan, Inc. “The team also has considerable expertise in the area of master limited partnerships and has witnessed an increase in this work.”
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation– Bruce Jocz and Scott Sanders
The firm “has a comprehensive EBEC practice, advising predominantly clients in the energy sector on employee benefits, retirement plans, welfare benefit plans, compensation arrangements, ERISA, and M&A and divestitures.” Practice head Bruce Jocz is “excellent” and “very good compared to most.”
Energy: Litigation– Stephen Crain, J. Clifford Gunter and Jason Hutt
Bracewell “has strong energy expertise, spanning oil and gas, electricity utilities and alternative energy providers.” The firm “also has strong regulatory expertise and is representing Powerex Corporation in ongoing litigation before FERC relating to the 2000-01 California energy crisis.” Major clients mentioned include Apache Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Tide Natural Gas Storage, and Halliburton.
Energy: Regulatory– J. Clifford Gunter, Shelby Kelley, Deanna King, Catherine McCarthy, David Perlman, David Poe and Jeffery Vaden
The practice “added some real talent” via ex-Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP lawyers Catherine McCarthy and David Poe, who “has done tremendous work in hydro energy.” The group is also “experienced in providing regulatory advice on major transactions.”
Energy: Transactions – Gregory Bopp, Ryan Holcomb, J.J. McAnelly and G. Alan Rafte (Leading Lawyer)
Bracewell’s Houston-based energy group is “particularly adept at handling high-value oil and gas M&A transactions.” The “highly regarded” G. Alan Rafte leads the department, which is noted for its “excellent response time, top-notch industry knowledge, and valuable advice.” Gregory Bopp is a “key figure in Houston,” J.J. McAnelly is “very organized and knowledgeable,” and Ryan Holcomb is “very responsive and able.”
Environment: Litigation– Jason Hutt and Tim Wilkins
The practice is noted for its representation of such clients as Halliburton, Apache Corporation, Cabot Oil & Gas, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Austin-based Tim Wilkins is “an expert in environmental law” and provides “immediately useful advice,” while D.C.-based Jason Hutt has “an outstanding knowledge of the relevant law.”
Intellectual Property (IP) – Patent Prosecution: Utility and Design Patents – Albert Kimball and Constance Gall Rhebergen
Bracewell “consistently performs at a very high professional level,” and “has a fantastic reputation within the oil and gas industry.” Constance Gall Rhebergen is “very attentive and able to work to address clients’ unique needs.”
Investment Fund Formation and Management – Alternative/Hedge Funds – Cheri Hoff
Bracewell “fields a youthful and extremely user-friendly team of alternative funds specialists” and is led by the “thoughtful and considerate” Cheri Hoff. The group also has “a broad capability spanning fund formation and regulatory compliance matters, but is particularly noted for its ability to advise on master-feeder hedge fund structures.”
Litigation – White-Collar Criminal Defense –Daniel Connolly
The practice’s clients cite the team’s “outstanding and superb performance” as pertaining to “knowledge of the law, contacts, responsiveness, and awareness of business issues.” Daniel Connolly is “excellent and client focused.”
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Buyouts (M&A): Large Deals ($1-5 Billion) – Gregory Bopp and G. Alan Rafte
In addition to its energy work, Bracewell represents “major players” in the banking and financial, construction, distribution, maritime, and hospitality industries. The firm’s national presence is “prominent with respect to corporate and M&A matters involving master limited partnerships.”
Project Finance: Advise to Sponsors– Robin Miles, G. Alan Rafte and Thomas Tomlinson
The practice “draws on the firm’s reputation in the oil and gas sector” and “acts predominantly on behalf of sponsors, but has been committed to growing its lender-side experience in recent years.” The “highly regarded” Robin Miles led a team advising joint venture Ruby Pipeline and its parent company, El Paso Corporation, on a project debt refinancing.
Structured Finance– Ryan Holcomb, Robin Miles and G. Alan Rafte
Bracewell “brings appropriate staffing to each deal and provides very high value for the money.” Meanwhile, the firm “is deservedly noted for expertise in the energy sector and this seam of excellence flows through into the structured finance group.”
Technology: Outsourcing – Jeffrey Andrews
The firm “recruited Houston-based Jeffrey Andrews from Thompson & Knight LLP.” Andrews “specializes in complex multi-process outsourcing transactions for energy, public utility/electric power, manufacturing and telecoms companies, retail businesses and banks, representing service providers and customers in large and mid-tier outsourcing transactions.”
Technology: Transactions – Jeffrey Andrews
The practice is noted by clients for its “responsive, business-oriented advice.” The group was recently “strengthened by the arrival of Jeffrey Andrews from Thompson & Knight LLP.”