Firm / Organisation

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

This content is provided by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Managing Partner: Thomas J Reid
Number of partners worldwide: 158
Number of other lawyers worldwide: 778
Languages: Collectively, Davis Polk lawyers speak more than 40 languages

Firm Overview:
Davis Polk is one of the world’s preeminent law firms, advising industry-leading companies and financial institutions on their most challenging legal and business matters. Its top-flight abilities are grounded in a distinguished history of more than 165 years, and its global, forward-looking orientation is supported by offices strategically located in the world’s key financial centres and political capitals. The firm delivers first-class counsel and service across the entire range of its practice, which spans such areas as capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, credit, antitrust and competition, litigation and enforcement, private equity, tax, financial regulation, investment management, restructuring, executive compensation, FinTech, intellectual property and technology, real estate, and trusts and estates.

The firm has a leading US law practice in each of its non-US offices and has top-rated local law capabilities in London, Hong Kong and Paris. More than 900 lawyers — including more than 70 in Europe and 100 in Asia — collaborate seamlessly across practice groups and geographies to provide clients with exceptional service, sophisticated advice and creative, practical solutions.

In London, the firm operates as Davis Polk & Wardwell London LLP; in Hong Kong, as Davis Polk & Wardwell, Hong Kong Solicitors; and in Brazil, as Davis Polk & Wardwell, Consultores em Direito Estrangeiro/Norte-Americano e Inglês.

Main Areas of Practice:

Corporate:
- Capital Markets
- Corporate Governance
- Credit - Derivatives & Structured Products
- Environmental
- Executive Compensation
- Financial Institutions
- FinTech
- Intellectual Property & Technology
- Investment Management
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Private Equity
- Real Estate
- Restructuring
- Trading & Markets

Litigation:

- Anti-Corruption & Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Antitrust & Competition
- Appellate Litigation
- Bankruptcy Litigation
- Commercial Dispute & Contract
- Compliance & Advisory
- Congressional Investigations
- Consumer Class Actions
- Consumer Protection & Advertising Law
- Crisis Management for Corporate Boards & Officers
- Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
- Economic Sanctions & National Security
- Energy Litigation
- Global Enforcement & Litigation
- Health Care & Life Sciences Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Internal Investigations
- International Arbitration
- Investment Funds Litigation & Investigations
- M&A-Related Litigation
- Mass Torts & Products Liability
- Professional Liability
- Regulatory Enforcement & Investigations
- Securities Enforcement
- Securities Litigation
- Sovereign & Banking Litigation
- Trial Practice
- White Collar Criminal Defence Banking Investigations & Compliance 

Tax:
- Tax: Controversy
- Tax: International & Cross-Border
- Tax: Offshore Client Banking Investigations & Compliance
- Tax: Transactional & Advisory

Transactional & Advisory Trusts & Estates

International:
- Asia Practice
- Brazil Practice
- China Practice
- Europe Practice
- India Practice
- Israel Practice
- Japan Practice
- Latin America & Spain Practice

Capital Markets:
The capital markets practice is ranked among the world’s best. Leading international corporations and the world’s largest financial institutions look to its lawyers for advice on securities offerings of all kinds around the world. The firm advises on the full range of capital markets transactions, including equity, investment-grade and high-yield debt and derivatives.

Davis Polk has substantial experience in the most complex securities offerings that require highly creative and sophisticated advice, such as novel equity derivative products and cross-border, multi-listed IPOs. The firm’s extensive experience with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provides clear insight into regulatory considerations in offerings of all types in the US.

Mergers & Acquisitions:
Davis Polk is regularly involved in the largest and most complex transactions of the day. Clients — longstanding and new, based in the US and around the globe — select Davis Polk for the global scope and cross-border capabilities of its practices and the strategic experience of its lawyers.

The firm has a long history of innovation and creative problem-solving. Its M&A lawyers bring sophisticated judgment, advice and client service to high-stakes transactions. These transactions include public and private deals, private equity transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, carveouts and divestitures, friendly and contested situations, and leveraged buyouts. Seamlessly integrated with Davis Polk’s transactional capabilities are unparalleled tax, executive compensation and regulatory practices, in areas including antitrust and competition, CFIUS, data privacy and cybersecurity, and FCPA.

Private Equity:
Davis Polk has long been a leading adviser in global private equity transactions, with a reputation not only for sound, quality advice but also for its pragmatic and decisive approach to address the intricate issues facing clients. The firm advises many of the most active independent private equity firms, as well as the private equity groups within major financial institutions.

Experience covers the entire private equity spectrum, including fund formation and marketing; structuring and making equity investments; negotiating bridge, high-yield and senior debt financing for portfolio companies; structuring management compensation programs; making follow-on investments; executing recapitalisation transactions; disposing of investments through private or public sales; making in-kind distributions; and negotiating workouts. This vast experience gives Davis Polk’s lawyers a deep understanding of evolving trends within the marketplace.

Credit:
Clients turn to Davis Polk for advice on their most significant, challenging and high-profile financing transactions. The credit group represents financial institutions and borrowers across a broad spectrum of corporate finance transactions, including leveraged and investment-grade acquisition financings, project and infrastructure financings, debt restructurings and recapitalisations, debtor-in-possession and exit financings, direct lending financings, and asset-based financings.

With the increasing convergence of worldwide financial markets, Davis Polk has filled a critical role in helping US and non-US clients understand the global legal landscape. That includes competing insolvency regimes and out-of-court restructuring practices, different market conventions, intercreditor concerns, issues relating to obtaining credit and collateral support, and other matters that make the difference in obtaining syndicated credit or high-yield financing for complex multinational enterprises.

Restructuring:
Davis Polk is widely recognised as one of the world’s premier law firms for restructuring. The firm represents companies, financial institutions, committees, hedge funds, investors, acquirers, trustees, administrators and receivers in connection with reorganisations and restructurings, exit financings, exchange offer and debt/equity conversions, DIP financings, distressed mergers and acquisitions, and recapitalisations. Davis Polk is also a firm of choice for cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters and regularly represents non-US companies in connection with their distressed US subsidiaries.

What further distinguishes Davis Polk is its market share of the most strategic and innovative advisory and transactional assignments. The firm has, for example, been one of the leading US-based global law firms working with regulators to solve the‘too big to fail’ problem and with financial institutions clients on ‘living wills’ required under the Dodd-Frank Act in the US.

Financial Institutions:
Davis Polk has one of the world’s preeminent financial institutions practices. The group represents many of the most important US and non-US banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, trading markets and investment managers. The firm advises them on a wide variety of matters, including issues in financial regulation, capital markets, M&A, compliance and enforcement, credit risk management and insolvency.

The firm has been at the forefront of advising financial institutions on how regulatory reform will impact their business. Davis Polk’s financial regulatory reform experience was cemented by a prominent role in advising clients, including the US and UK governments, during the 2008 financial crisis. The firm’s lawyers include former top regulators, former senior in-house counsel to major financial institutions and former Supreme Court law clerks, all of whom combine Washington regulatory experience with the practical insights of transactional lawyers. The financial institutions group posts frequent updates on regulatory trends to its FinReg blog (finregreform.com).

Investment Management:
Davis Polk is prominent in advising on the formation, operation and regulation of public and private funds. The firm regularly advises a broad range of funds, investors and advisers, including many of the largest and most active private equity funds, hedge funds, registered funds, venture capital funds and private funds of funds, as well as numerous registered investment vehicles.

The firm’s lawyers are known throughout the sector for the highly sophisticated advice they render in structuring and registration matters for US and non-US funds and advisers. In addition, the firm has exceptionally broad experience in dealing with the SEC to provide clients with creative solutions to their regulatory and compliance issues.

Litigation & Enforcement:
Litigation has been a cornerstone of Davis Polk’s practice since the firm’s inception, and the firm’s litigators are recognised for their experience, creativity, integrity and strategic approach. Companies from around the world in every industry, as well as their executives and directors, retain Davis Polk lawyers for their most significant litigation matters. The firm’s 250-plus litigators routinely represent clients in trials, criminal and regulatory investigations, congressional inquiries, arbitrations, hearings, appeals and crisis-management situations.

The firm’s litigators lead the profession in such areas as securities litigation and enforcement, white collar criminal defence, antitrust and acquisition-related litigation, sovereign and banking litigation, bankruptcy litigation, anti-corruption and FCPA investigations and compliance, crisis management for corporate boards and officers, arbitration, professional liability, congressional investigations, tax controversy, mass torts and products liability, and intellectual property litigation.

Davis Polk’s global enforcement and litigation practice – anchored by teams in New York, Hong Kong, London, Northern California, Paris and Washington DC — offers clients a unique platform that combines our experience and reputation in cross-border regulatory enforcement and complex litigation with an integrated team to support clients around the globe. Davis Polk regularly represents non-US clients in US proceedings and both US and non-US clients in non-US jurisdictions. The firm has managed enforcement and litigation issues in more than 75 countries across North America, Asia, Europe, Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East.

Antitrust & Competition:
Davis Polk’s antitrust practice combines broad experience in complex corporate transactions with a sophisticated litigation practice. Many team members have substantial government experience. Companies from around the world, as well as their executives and directors, retain the firm for their most significant antitrust matters.

Davis Polk frequently acts as coordinating counsel for large defence groups where the firm has taken the lead in developing and advancing arguments, not only on behalf of its own clients, but also on behalf of large groups of firms. In M&A matters, the firm has successfully obtained antitrust agency approval in numerous significant recent mergers and joint venture transactions. Davis Polk consistently guides its clients through the biggest transactions, high-profile investigations and high-stakes litigations in a broad range of industries.

Tax:
Davis Polk’s tax department is at the helm of innovation, working closely with clients on sophisticated corporate transactions. The firm’s lawyers have far-reaching experience across the entire tax spectrum and a thorough understanding of evolving trends within the marketplace. Their highly collaborative network maximises coordination and efficiency for clients and their US, non-US and cross-border tax matters.

Davis Polk has long had a leading tax litigation practice. It has represented clients before federal courts (including the US Court of Claims, the US Tax Court and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) and state courts (including the New York Court of Appeals), as well as before federal and state agencies. The firm regularly negotiates settlements with the Internal Revenue Service involving billions of dollars of disputed taxes, and it pursues high-stakes administrative appeals in complex tax matters.

Members

Managing Partner:

Thomas J Reid

Number of partners worldwide:

161

Number of other lawyers worldwide:

804

USA Offices:

California, New York, Washington DC

International Offices:

Sao Paulo, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo

Languages:

Collectively, Davis Polk lawyers speak more than 40 languages

Firm Overview:

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (including its associated entities) is a global law firm with offices located in the world’s key financial centres. The firm advises industry-leading companies and global financial institutions on their most challenging legal and business matters involving mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, cross-border securities offerings, financings and a wide range of other corporate transactions, as well as a broad array of investigations and litigation-related issues. Approximately 50% of the firm’s principal clients are based outside of the United States.

Davis Polk has a leading US law practice in each of its offices worldwide and has top-rated local law capabilities in London, Hong Kong and Paris. The firm has one of the largest contingents of US-trained lawyers in Europe, with over 75 corporate and tax lawyers assigned to their London, Paris and Madrid offices. The Asia practice, among the largest of any US law firm, has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo, and is widely regarded as one of the leading practices for global matters in Asia. The São Paulo office practices US and English law, and serves companies seeking financing or strategic advice in a variety of industries as well as underwriters, lending institutions and financial advisers.

Capital

Markets:

Davis Polk capital markets lawyers advise a broad range of corporate issuers as well as major underwriters with respect to capital raising, corporate finance, SEC regulatory and securities compliance, and general advisory matters. They have worked on some of the largest and most complex cross-border debt and equity offerings in history, involving a variety of legal, financial, regulatory and corporate governance issues. Davis Polk’s capital markets work includes having advised on five of the largest global IPOs in history, the largest-ever convertible securities offering, as well as several of the largest corporate and high-yield bond offerings in history.

Mergers & Acquisitions:

Davis Polk is regularly involved in the largest and most complex transactions of the day. Clients – longstanding and new, global and domestic – come to Davis Polk for the global scope and cross-border capabilities of its practices and the strategic experience of the firm’s lawyers. Lawyers combine top-tier US, English, French and Hong Kong law capabilities to provide their clients with consistently excellent advice and global service.

Davis Polk has a long history of innovation and creative problem-solving. M&A lawyers bring sophisticated judgment, advice and client service to high-stakes transactions, including public and private deals, private equity transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, carveouts and divestitures, friendly and contested situations, leveraged buyouts and other types of transactions. The firm’s regulatory capabilities are increasingly important to clients and complement its M&A transactional capability, including its antitrust and competition, FCPA, CFIUS, information privacy, and Asian investigations and enforcement practices.

Private Equity:

Davis Polk has long been a leading adviser in global private equity transactions, with a reputation not only for sound, quality advice but also for its pragmatic and decisive approach to address the intricate issues facing clients. The firm advises a diverse group of private equity firms and funds, large sponsors affiliated with financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, leading LP investors, secondary investors and venture capital firms.

The firm’s experience covers the entire private equity spectrum, including fund formation and marketing, structuring and making equity investments, negotiating bridge, high-yield and senior debt financing for portfolio companies, structuring management compensation programs, making follow-on investments, executing recapitalisation transactions, disposing of investments through private or public sales, making in-kind distributions and negotiating workouts. This vast experience gives Davis Polk’s lawyers a deep understanding of evolving trends within the marketplace.

Credit:

Clients turn to Davis Polk for advice on their most significant, challenging and high-profile financing transactions. The global finance practice is strategically positioned to advise major financial institutions and corporate borrowers on a broad range of matters, including leveraged and investment-grade acquisition financings, debtor-in-possession and exit financings, workouts and recapitalisations, as well as project finance and structured finance transactions. The teams for bank/bond transactions, including both leveraged bank and high-yield financings, operate seamlessly as part of a single leveraged finance group – maximising coordination and efficiency.

With the increasing convergence of the worldwide financial markets, Davis Polk has also filled a critical role in helping its US and international clients understand the global legal landscape, including competing insolvency regimes and out-of-court restructuring practices, different market conventions, intercreditor concerns, issues related to cross-border credit and collateral support and other matters relevant to syndicated credit or high-yield financing for complex multinational enterprises.

Davis Polk’s banking and financing practice ranks among the very best globally − a notable position that is supported by the principal practice in New York, the leading English and French law practices in Europe, the prominent presence among international firms in Asia, the highly regarded practice in Latin America and the firm’s tradition of productive collaboration among Davis Polk lawyers across their ten offices worldwide.

Restructuring:

Davis Polk is widely recognised as one of the world’s premier law firms for restructuring. The firm represents companies, financial institutions, committees, hedge funds, investors, acquirers, trustees, administrators and receivers in connection with reorganisations and restructurings, exit financings, exchange offer and debt/equity conversions, DIP financings, distressed mergers and acquisitions and recapitalisations. Davis Polk is also a firm of choice for cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters and regularly represents non-US companies in connection with their distressed US subsidiaries.

What further distinguishes Davis Polk is its market share of the most strategic and innovative advisory and transactional assignments. The firm has, for example, been one of the leading US-based global law firms working, both domestically and internationally, with regulators to solve the ‘too big to fail’ problem and with their financial institutions clients on ‘living wills’ required under the Dodd-Frank Act. Davis Polk lawyers have also testified before Congress in recent years on the bankruptcies of financial firms.

Financial Institutions:

Davis Polk’s financial institutions group is widely regarded as one of the most influential and innovative legal teams on the front lines of US domestic and cross-border financial regulatory reform, and one of the leaders in providing a full range of advice on bank regulatory matters. Davis Polk’s financial institutions group is regularly engaged by all ten of the largest US banking groups, as well as a large number of broker-dealers, derivatives dealers, futures commission merchants, commodity pool operators, hedge funds, asset managers, clearing organisations and trading markets on their most difficult and important Volcker Rule compliance issues.

Davis Polk has been recognised as a thought leader and go-to firm during both the legislative reform and regulatory implementation phases of the Dodd-Frank Act (‘Dodd-Frank’), and the firm’s analyses and progress reports about Dodd-Frank have received wide recognition. The firm has been referred to as the ‘scorekeeper of record’ on Dodd-Frank rulemaking and ‘one of the leading law firms on all matters Dodd-Frank,’ and data from its monthly Dodd-Frank Progress Report was used by the US Government Accountability Office to conduct a detailed study of agency implementation of Dodd-Frank.

Investment Management:

Davis Polk’s investment management lawyers help structure and document retail, institutional and international pooled investment vehicles for sale in the United States and abroad. Davis Polk provides advice on structuring and registration matters for US and non-US funds and advisers, in addition to advice on a wide range of compliance and exemptive issues. The firm’s frequent discussions with the SEC provide its clients with creative solutions to their investment management problems. Other: The firm also has a number of specialty practice areas, including antitrust, intellectual property and technology, environmental, real estate, executive compensation and FinTech.

Litigation:

Companies from around the world in every industry, as well as their executives and directors, retain Davis Polk lawyers for their most significant litigation matters. The firm’s 230-plus litigators routinely represent clients in trials, criminal and regulatory investigations, congressional inquiries, arbitrations, hearings, appeals and crisis-management situations. The firm’s litigators lead the profession in such areas as securities litigation and enforcement, white collar criminal defence, antitrust and acquisition-related litigation, sovereign and banking litigation, bankruptcy litigation, anti-corruption and FCPA investigations and compliance, crisis management for corporate boards and officers, arbitration, professional liability, congressional investigations, tax controversy, mass torts and products liability, and intellectual property litigation.

Tax:

Davis Polk tax lawyers have played determinative roles in many US and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, spinoffs, leveraged and acquisition financings, real estate and capital markets transactions. They also advise clients on complex Up-C IPOs as well as hedging and other over-the-counter transactions, including equity monetisation strategies, tax-efficient share repurchase programs and cross-border hybrid transactions. In addition, lawyers often partner with their clients in group structuring and planning matters, including cross-border repatriation strategies, tax inversion transactions and planning for the efficient ownership of intellectual property.

As a result of the firm’s extensive international and cross-border experience in M&A, capital markets and finance transactions, and knowledge of legal and market practices in Europe, Asia and Latin America, Davis Polk tax lawyers excel at providing practical advice on complex matters involving cross-border acquisitions, reorganisations and joint ventures, group planning for multinationals, post-acquisition integration planning and inbound and outbound investments.

The firm’s tax controversy group represents clients in a wide range of industries in connection with internal risk assessments and investigations, settlements involving billions of dollars and litigation at the federal and state levels. Davis Polk is widely recognised for deep experience, innovative planning and understanding of business needs and objectives, particularly with respect to tax litigation involving partnership taxation, debt-equity issues, intercompany pricing, interest capitalisation and allocation, accounting for bad debts, amortisation of intangibles and deductibility of takeover expenses.