Below are the legal practice area definitions and regional
variations used by Chambers to rank lawyers and law firms in the USA Guide.
Transactional & Regulatory section covers corporate and other
transactional work involving advertising and marketing agencies, and other
clients in the advertising industry, as well as contractual and regulatory
compliance work related to marketing campaigns, such as sponsorship, licensing
and branding deals. This section also covers regulatory proceedings, but please
note that we have newly created an Advertising: NAD Proceedings section
which covers lawyers and firms who specialise in representing brands before the
National Advertising Division. The Advertising: Litigation
section covers disputes work related to the advertising industry. The core work
covered by this section is Lanham Act disputes and consumer class actions
involving false advertising. NAD proceedings are not on their own included in
the Advertising: Litigation section.
Antitrust covers the body of laws that prohibits
anti-competitive behaviour (monopoly) and unfair business practices - this
includes practices that hurt business, consumers, or both, and that generally
violate standards of ethical behavior. Antitrust litigation and M&A-related
competition work is included in the Chambers guides.
This chapter covers the preparation, drafting and delivery of
briefs before the appellate courts (state supreme courts, circuit courts and
the US Supreme Court). Also includes interlocutory appeals and writs. Chambers
USA features a Nationwide table of law firms who field teams of appellate
lawyers. It also ranks appellate lawyers in each state where there is a
prominent appellate bar.
Banking & Finance
This section covers lending transactions and recognizes those
working on behalf of lenders and borrowers. Both banks and alternative lenders,
such as credit funds, are recognized as lenders. Transactions may include
acquisition financings, refinancings and general lending. All structures and
methods of credit facility are relevant to this chapter.
In states where Project Finance is not recognized separately, such work may be
submitted to that state's Banking & Finance section. While the financing of
property transactions may be relevant as part of a broad practice, firms or
lawyers with a financing practice which revolves entirely around this should
submit to the relevant Real Estate section. Where a specific Real
Estate: Finance section exists covering the same geographical area,
property work should not be included in Banking & Finance submissions.
The focus is on corporate bankruptcy and restructuring and the legal processes
related to distressed businesses, which can either be reorganized or go into
Also, especially in the current economic environment, the chapter
includes lawyers who advise on acquisition opportunities that arise out of
distressed businesses. Lawyers in this chapter assist clients such as corporate
debtors, investors and asset purchasers, secured and unsecured creditors and
creditors` committees, bondholders, insurers, directors of distressed companies
and any other interested parties in corporate restructurings and bankruptcy
In addition to transactional work, bankruptcy also covers any related
litigation, such as disputes between such parties in connection with distressed
companies and Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 processes.
This section encompasses the full spectrum of work involving companies
in the cannabis industry. Ranked firms and lawyers will show strong ties to the
sector. Types of work may include, but are not restricted to; M&A and
financings; intellectual property for cannabis-based products and medicines;
and regulatory compliance and litigation, on either a state-wide or federal
Chambers guides cover key areas of capital markets either as distinct
tables or under the wider umbrella. The areas include: Debt & Equity;
Derivatives; Securitization; Structured finance (repackagings, other
Equity Capital Markets includes advice on equity
offerings transactions such as: Initial public offerings, follow-on offerings,
right offerings; capital increases; ADR/GDR offerings; accelerated bookbuilds;
Debt Capital Markets covers legal advice on the following
transactions: investment grade debt offerings (standalone bond issues; MTN
programs, Commercial Paper programmes); equity-linked offerings (regulatory
capital, convertibles and exchangeable offerings) and High Yield debt
Derivatives includes the regulatory and transactional legal advice regarding
derivatives products. These include: Exchange-traded derivatives; OTC
derivatives; Securitized derivatives; Interest rate, currency, equity, credit
and commodity-linked products. Law firms advise on product development and
regulation; market regulation; structuring and documentation of transactions,
related tax issues and derivatives litigation.
Securitization covers the entire range asset classes, including (among others):
Commercial loans; derivatives exposure; bonds and corporate debt; project cash
flows; trade receivables; credit card and trade receivables; commercial and
residential mortgages; life insurance and annuities; auto loans; CDOs (both
cash and synthetic) and CLOs.
Structured products also encompasses repackagings; and hybrid
synthetic and structured note products
This practice area covers a range of regulatory, transactional and
litigation work in a specific climate change context. Regulatory work such as compliance
program design and implementation, as well as operational and project-related
compliance advice is a central aspect of work in this area. This area also
covers representation of clients in proceedings before domestic and foreign
government panels, agencies and regulatory bodies, including handling
rulemaking challenges. Climate change-related government relations and policy
advice work is also covered here. Climate change litigation and carbon markets
transactions are also important in this practice area.
This area focuses on regulatory compliance, administrative proceedings
and other litigation arising from the communications sector.
Construction covers contractual advisor work within the construction industry
for both the suppliers (e.g., developers, contractors, engineers and
architects), and those clients employing these types of companies (e.g.,
corporates or state authorities) on their building plans. Our construction
sections cover both litigious and non-litigious matters.
Crime & Investigations
While Chambers recognizes that there
is some crossover with this nationwide section and state Litigation:
White-Collar Crime sections, there are some key differences. This area focuses
just on institutional representations rather than individual and considers both
civil and criminal investigations. It highlights practices demonstrating
strength in internal and external investigations, including those taking place
across a range of regulated industries such as healthcare.
This chapter includes company acquisitions, dispositions and related
financing arrangements, mergers, joint ventures capitalizations, entity
selection and formation, operating and partnership agreements and governance
Also covers those transactions designed to help restructuring within
companies and their subsidiaries by change of ownership. Priority is placed on
primary representatives, those acting for buyers and sellers, whilst those
acting for financial advisors, underwriters and the banks financing such
transactions are also considered.
This table consists of leading private practice lawyers who play a key
role in mobilising firm resources and managing multidisciplinary teams to
advise corporate and individual clients following catastrophic events,
regulatory actions, compliance failures and broader corporate crises. This
research will aim to highlight lawyers who are considered a first choice to
quarterback a corporate response to a crisis, without necessarily fronting the
client’s criminal defence legal team.
Benefits & Executive Compensation
This section covers the full range of matters involving employee
benefits and compensation plans including advising on the design and
implementation thereof, as well as related taxation issues. It also includes
advice on executive compensation agreements and benefits matters pertaining to
corporate transactions. Moreover, it includes contentious matters
pertaining to the implementation of benefit plans. Please also see ERISA
litigation for disputes brought under the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974.
Although Chambers is aware of the overlap with Projects and
project financing, the energy chapters focus on corporate / commercial,
regulatory and capital markets issues arising from the energy sector. These
include the regulatory components of M&A and other transactional work, pure
regulatory work related to the application for licenses and compliance and
enforcement with regulatory bodies. Our Energy section is divided into the
Energy: Electricity (Finance)
This practice area covers capital markets-related financing
in the electricity space. The type of work considered here includes electricity
bond structuring, private equity financing in the electricity space and utility
rate securitizations. Clients in this area are exclusively electric utilities
and the financing parties on the other side. We also consider capital
markets-derived financings in support of power portfolio transactions and
electricity M&A relevant here. This practice area does not include project
financing structures, which are covered in the separate relevant Projects
Energy: Electricity (Regulatory &
This section covers all regulatory work and associated
regulatory litigation concerning the power sector, including compliance work,
and FERC and other government investigation and enforcement actions as well as
related appellate proceedings.
Energy: Electricity (Transactional)
This section covers M&A, A&D, joint ventures
strategic alliances and corporate financing work as well as wholesale and retail
energy trading and market transactions in the traditional power and renewable
energy sectors. Clients typically include generation and transmission owners,
utilities, yield cos and energy majors.
Energy: Mining & Metals (Transactional)
Work covered in this practice area includes exploration,
development and production agreements as well as transactions pertaining to
royalties, sales structures and taxation. Engineering, processing and refining
contract work is also included in this subsection.
Energy: Nuclear (Regulatory & Litigation)
This practice area concerns all regulatory and litigation
issues pertaining to the nuclear industry with particular focus on proceedings
before the NRC. Work includes licensing and operation, reactor oversight,
enforcement and compliance, whistleblower statutes and non-retaliation policy,
as well as nuclear waste and fuel procurement issues.
Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory &
This practice area covers regulatory work in the oil &
gas industry at a federal level as well as regulatory litigation. Work can
include regulatory compliance advice, approval proceedings, and regulatory
litigation before FERC and the DOE as well as any related appellate work
including pipeline emission matters and rate disputes. Clients typically
include pipeline and LNG facility operators but also include any company
interacting with the regulated side of the oil & gas industry.
Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional)
This subsection covers oil & gas industry-specific
transactions as well as large corporate transactions for oil & gas industry
clients. Types of work typically include M&A between large oil majors,
joint venture agreements, service contacts and A&D including portfolio
transactions. Clients include oil & gas majors, producers, pipeline companies,
services operators and petrochemical companies. This subsection also includes
Energy & Natural Resources – State Level
As with the Nationwide
chapter, state-level Energy sections cover the corporate, commercial, and
regulatory issues arising from the energy sector. This includes the regulatory
components of M&A and other transactional work as well as pure regulatory
work related to the application for licenses and compliance. Contentious
matters are also considered here, including enforcement actions, government
investigations and rate disputes. These chapters focus on state-level
representation, federal-level work is mostly considered in the nationwide
This practice area looks to recognize firms and individuals
assisting companies with energy
transition, i.e., the move away from traditional reliance on oil and gas and a
move towards “clean” and renewable energy. This may include the reshaping
of asset portfolios and energy consumption across both the operational and
supply chain sides. The work covered in this section includes the financing of
low-carbon and de-carbonization projects, capital markets work and associated
regulatory/compliance advice. This section does not consider associated
environmental work as this is covered in our Climate Change chapter.
The environment chapter features both litigation and
advisory/transactional support to clients. This includes general corporate
issues, (e.g., due diligence on mergers), the development of brownfield sites,
and pollution issues.
Traditional environment work includes regulatory compliance, litigation
and enforcement actions related to air, water, wetlands, waste and endangered
We also feature advice to corporate and financial clients on the
environmental aspects of M&A, financings, securities offerings and other
transactions, which involve due diligence and environmental insurance issues.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is the
federal statutory framework that governs the administration of employee benefit
plans and the rights of the beneficiaries under the plan. The interpretation
and enforcement of the Ac tis handled by the US Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.
False Claims Act
This section includes the full spectrum of litigation,
investigation and disclosure work as it relates to the False Claims Act,
covering both intervened and non-intervened qui tam actions. Clients will
include government contractors, pharmaceutical companies, medical device
manufacturers and healthcare systems.
This section covers regulatory compliance work and advisory
matters on behalf of banks, bank holding companies and other systemically
important financial institutions. Areas include Dodd Frank compliance,
including Volcker, resolution planning, enhanced prudential standards and
anti-money laundering. Also covered are other regulatory frameworks such as
Basel III. The section also covers engagement with the rulemaking process,
including comment letters, lobbying, etc.
Banking Enforcement & Investigations
This section covers the handling of regulatory investigations
and enforcement actions on behalf of banks, bank holding companies and other
systemically important financial institutions. Actions may originate from all
parts of the US regulatory apparatus. This includes, but is not limited to,
actions brought by the Federal Reserve, SEC, OCC, CFPB and OFAC, and may also
include matters with a parallel DOJ investigation. Internal investigations into
banking operations and regulatory procedures are also covered here.
[*Note: Broker-dealer enforcement matters are NOT included in
Broker Dealer (Compliance & Enforcement)
This section covers the full range of regulatory matters
specific to the broker dealer industry. Firms are ranked according to their
ability to handle both compliance and enforcement matters; individual attorneys
may be ranked either for their compliance work, or for their enforcement work,
or both. Compliance covers areas such as Dodd Frank and Volcker compliance for
broker dealers, including SEC compliance for traders and investment banks. It
also covers matters under SROs such as FINRA. Enforcement covers investigations
and enforcement actions brought by the full range of regulatory bodies
overseeing the broker dealer industry, as well as internal investigations.
In all Consumer Finance sections, a significant focus on
consumer lending and its regulation should be demonstrated. Relevant clients
include both dedicated consumer finance providers and the consumer finance arms
of larger financial institutions; work which revolves solely around banking-focused
regulations such as Volcker and Dodd Frank is not considered relevant here.
Compliance covers all aspects of compliance with CFPB and state
regulations regarding consumer lending, including matters pertaining to
mortgage lending, credit cards, autofinance and other forms of consumer credit.
Enforcement and Investigations covers enforcement actions
and investigations by regulatory bodies, such as the CFPB and the FTC’s
Consumer Protection Bureau, into consumer lending.
Litigation covers the defense of class actions or significant single
plaintiff suits on behalf of mortgage lenders and servicers, credit card
issuers and other providers of consumer credit. Issues often featured include
fair lending cases, False Claims Act litigation and cases concerning unfair and
The Financial Institutions M&A table covers all M&A (including
proprietary deals, joint ventures, IPOs, etc) involving financial institutions.
This can include M&A involving banks, credit card companies, insurance
companies and other types of financial institution. Lawyers and firms who are
ranked in this section are assessed both in terms of their deal making strength
and in terms of their handling of the regulatory aspects of such transactions.
This chapter focuses on legal advice surrounding FDA matters, concerning
all food, including dietary supplements as well as meat and poultry, which the
USDA scrutinizes. Issues relating to the FTC also feature, such as consumer
protection and advertising and point of sale concerns.
Regulatory concerns such as health claims, IP issues are key areas in
this sector, and the chapter also features commercial issues such as taxation,
franchise arrangements and antitrust. Legal issues surrounding so-called
functional foods (also known as nutraceuticals), foods marketed as having
specific health benefits or effects and blurring the lines between foods and
medicines are also covered.
The chapter also covers significant litigation and legislation in the
beverage alcohol sector, relating to the ability of wineries and other vendors
to make interstate sales of wine to both consumers and retail customers.
This section includes those acting for Franchisees and Franchisors and
covers both transactional and contentious work. On the non-contentious side,
this includes setting up a franchise arrangement, expanding a system and
closing-down arrangements. Disputes arising from the sector such as disputed
closing down of a system or contractual obligations.
This chapter has three main
components: Government Contracts, Government Relations and Political Law.
The Government Contracts section refers to supply contract arrangements (with, for example,
Army, Navy, Airforce, Department of Homeland Security) and bid protests before
the agency forum, General Accountability Office (GAO) or Court of Federal
Claims (CFC). Litigation arising from the sector includes costs disputes,
matters relating to the False Claims Act and other contractual
disputes (such as late completion and overrun costs). Other non-contentious
issues include services contracting, scheduling issues and organisational conflicts
The primary focus of Government
Relations is legislative lobbying conducted by qualified lawyers for a
range of corporate and nonprofit clients, including hospitals and universities.
This is usually either regarding a specific proposal for legislation (e.g.,
Asbestos reform) or ongoing appropriations work. This work crosses industries
from defence to education.
Political Law features advice on the organisation
and financing of election campaigns (McCain-Feingold Act) as well as advice to corporations
and independent advocacy groups on their election activities. Contentious
matters include challenging decisions by election authorities such as the
Federal Election Commission.
Healthcare covers a wide range of work, including transactional,
advisory and contentious matters. Transactional work is primarily the sale and
purchase, of some or all of a health system or health insurance company. Law
firms advise on antitrust issues and assorted regulatory matters for clients
such as hospitals, health systems and insurance companies.
Litigation includes matters like qui tam (whistleblower) suits and the
defence of parties involved in federal investigations. Advisory and regulatory
compliance matters include Medicare Part D, the subsidizing of drugs through
the federally-run Medicare program. Also covers Stark Law, which governs
referrals of physicians accepting Medicare and Medicaid funds, and the False
This chapter also features advice on pharmaceutical and medical products
regulatory issues covering the drugs and devices approved by the FDA. Please
also see Product Liability for litigation arising from pharmaceutical
and medical devices defects. The regulation of these areas also features in our
Life Sciences chapter.
This section covers hedge fund formation and launches, spinouts,
strategic acquisitions, distressed debt investments and restructurings.
The immigration section predominantly
focuses on corporate matters in the area, including compliance and auditing
work. Firms will advise clients on issues such as immigration programs, visa
petitions, mobility strategies, immigration aspects of M&A, as well as in
investigations and enforcement defense.
Insurance includes both contentious and non-contentious insurance and
reinsurance matters. On the contentious side, we feature coverage claims
litigation, broker`s negligence and both 'facultative' and 'treaty' reinsurance
disputes. There is also an element of professional negligence issues arising
from insurance disputes.
On the non-contentious side, we include all forms of M&A, capital
raisings, demutualisations and other regulatory issues.
Intellectual Property covers disputes
related to patent, copyright and trademark infringement.
Litigation concerning trade secrets also features. We also cover related
non-contentious issues such as licensing and IP commercialization (US patent
A number of key markets
are divided into specialized subsections, with distinct rankings for Patent and
Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets work.
Our Patent coverage encompasses
all aspects of patent work, including infringement disputes and other
litigation, related appellate proceedings, and non-contentious patent work such
as prosecution and portfolio commercialization.
The Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets
tables focus on work including prosecution and portfolio
management, anticounterfeiting, complex infringement disputes and appellate
proceedings before bodies such as the TTAB. Trade Secrets matters are also
included in this section.
Related sections include International
Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337), which covers International
Trade Commission proceedings involving intellectual property rights, and Nationwide
Life Sciences, which includes IP-specific rankings for firms with significant
expertise in areas including medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
recognizes firms and individuals for their practice as both counsel and
arbitrators in our International Arbitration section. Individuals are ranked in
the International Arbitration: Counsel and International Arbitration:
Arbitrators tables, depending on whether we are recognising them for their work
serving as counsel or sitting as arbitrators. They may be included in both tables,
if appropriate. Firms are ranked for their overall International Arbitration
offering in either International Arbitration: Elite or International
Arbitration: Highly Regarded. Chambers USA International Arbitration also
includes a spotlight table highlighting those firms and individuals
particularly noted for their arbitral enforcement expertise. This is designed
to complement the core rankings. There is no Public International Law coverage
in the Chambers USA guide, and so investment treaty arbitration mandates are
included within Nationwide International Arbitration.
International Arbitration rankings recognise firms and individuals for their
handling of both commercial and investor-state international arbitrations.
These include disputes seated across the globe and held under a wide range of
institutional rules, as well as ad-hoc proceedings. Examples of these disputes
include ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, ICSID and LCIA proceedings. These may be held
before either a sole arbitrator or a panel. Chambers USA does not recognise
domestic arbitrations; these would instead usually appear in state commercial
litigation tables. Chambers USA also includes separate coverage of insurance
and international trade disputes, and so would not prioritise this work within
The Customs section covers a range of issues including customs
planning, compliance and enforcement. Typical highlights will include customs
valuations, voluntary disclosures and representation before the CPB. Common
clients will include domestic importers.
The Export Controls and Economic Sanctions area of research revolves
around trade controls affecting multinational clients, many of whom operate in
the financial, oil and gas, defense and technology sectors. Matters that we
take into consideration include compliance programs in connection to US trade
controls and economic sanctions restrictions, export licensing issues, internal
investigations and enforcement issues. Work highlights often relate to key
regulations such as EAR and ITAR, in addition to OFAC-related matters.
Trade Policy and Trade Remedy includes issues such as WTO and other
treaty-based trade and investment disputes, bilateral and multilateral trade
negotiations, and market access issues. Clients will include large corporations
and national governments. In terms of trade remedies, we primarily focus on
cases before bodies such as the ITC, DOC and Court of Appeals. This includes
antidumping and countervailing duty cases, and we welcome both petitioner and
respondent-led highlights. Common clients include domestic and international
manufacturers, industry associations and national governments.
CFIUS is a niche area that focuses on national security as it relates to
transactions and investments. Typical highlights include obtaining CFIUS
approval on behalf of foreign companies buying and investing into the US. We
also consider FOCI mitigation work and SSA’s.
sections which make up Chambers’ investment funds coverage are listed below,
with some differences in the categorisation on a state-wide level.
In California, all venture capital work, including both transactions and
fund formation, is covered by the Venture Capital section.
In Massachusetts, formation of both venture capital and other private
equity funds, for both sponsors and investors, qualifies for Private
Equity: Fund Formation. Hedge and registered funds, including related
regulatory compliance, are covered in Hedge & Mutual Funds.
Investment Funds: Venture Capital
The nationwide section covers venture capital fund formation work for sponsors;
it does not cover investments made by funds (see Startups &
Emerging Companies) or Limited Partners (see Investor
Investment Funds: Private Equity:
The entirety of private equity sponsor-side fund formation work, with the
exception of venture capital funds, is covered in this section. Funds covered
include, but are not limited to; buyout, secondaries, hybrid and debt funds.
The formation of sector-focused funds, such as those investing in real estate
and infrastructure, is also covered here.
Investment Funds: Investor
All work for Limited Partners, including institutional investors and
secondaries funds, is covered here. Typical examples of work involve
contributing capital to funds in their formation and the acquisition and sale
of secondary interests.
Investment Funds: Regulatory &
This section covers regulatory and compliance work for non-registered funds,
including SEC and CFTC matters.
Please note: Regulatory compliance issues under the 1940 Act
related to registered funds are covered in the Investment Funds: Registered
Investment Funds: Hedge Funds
This section covers hedge fund formation and launches, spinouts, strategic
acquisitions, distressed debt investments and restructurings. SEC and other
regulatory compliance is not covered here, but rather in Investment
Funds: Regulatory & Compliance.
Investment Funds: Registered Funds
This section covers a broad range of registered funds, including mutual funds.
It encompasses fund formation and transactional work, as well as regulatory
compliance issues under the 1940 Act. Work for business development companies
and both open and closed-ended and exchange traded funds (ETFs) is also
Chambers USA, Labor - as distinct from employment – refers to the
representation of corporates in their dealings with labor unions, including
collective bargaining negotiations, strike avoidance and NLRB (National Labor
Relations Board) proceedings. The section also covers wage and hour class and
collective actions, as well as OSHA (Occupational health and safety act) and other
workplace safety issues, which are also recognised in the Nationwide Occupational
Safety and Health section.
covers litigation related to sex, race, age and national origin discrimination,
harassment, wrongful termination and employment-related restrictive covenants.
This section also covers non-contentious matters relating to day-to-day
business issues as well as workforce restructuring, and employment issues
related to mergers and takeovers. Lawyers also advise on the writing of policy
handbooks for major corporates and HR training.
This is an industry section covering all strands of legal services
carried out for clients involved in the Leisure industry, ranging from ranging
from hotels and amusement parks to casinos. The key strands of legal advice
related to real estate, employment and OSHA, corporate/commercial matters and
Life sciences focuses on the commercialisation of life sciences
products (pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biotechnology programs etc). IP
issues dominate as large pharmaceuticals seek to obtain innovative, impending
blockbuster drugs from biotechs and other pharmaceutical companies. Also
includes the licensing and acquisition of new products from other sources
(often smaller biotechs to larger suppliers).
This chapter includes advice on FDA issues and the increased
focus on drug and device safety, which also appears in Healthcare. Litigation
centring on claims of product liability can be seen in the Nationwide
Products Liability chapter of Chambers USA.
Chambers USA litigation chapters focus on commercial proceedings before state
and federal court, circuit courts and US Supreme Court. The work covers the
full course of a dispute such as pre-trial negotiations, documentation and
preparation for trial, summary judgement motions, trial, appeals and
enforcement proceedings. Chambers USA focuses on two main types of litigation:
commercial disputes before civil courts and white-collar crime, including
government investigations. Alternative dispute resolution, involving non-court
mediation is also featured. Many commercial contracts contain arbitration
clauses, which are handled by commercial litigators. Chambers USA has also
identified those firms which field arbitration specialists. Please refer to the
Nationwide: International Arbitration table for further information. In
the USA, the Bar is sufficiently specialised for Chambers USA to identify
litigators by the sector in which they practice. Areas such as Insurance,
Construction, Environment, IP and Media all contain litigators who are experts
in their field.
Litigation: White-Collar Crime &
Our White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations research
will cover both individual representations and company representations. Work
typically undertaken in this section will include external and internal
investigations, enforcement proceedings, white-collar criminal trials and
appeals. Attorneys will generally represent individuals or companies involved
in matters investigated by bodies such as the DOJ, US Attorneys' Offices, state
AGs and Congress committees. These investigations and enforcement proceedings
may involve a range of issues, including insider trading, healthcare fraud,
antitrust issues, corruption allegations and FCPA breaches.
We also have a standalone
FCPA section, as well as a Corporate Crime section
- FCPA work should be prioritized in the FCPA rather than the state
White-Collar tables, and Corporate Crime focuses on institutional
representations (excluding individual-only mandates). There are also sections
like, False Claims Act, Healthcare and Antitrust that will cover some of the
work that comes up in White-Collar.
Our definition of
general commercial litigation will always take into consideration the other
practice areas that we cover in a given state. It is therefore a fairly broad
interpretation of commercial litigation, perhaps more easily defined by what is
not included within it. If, for example, we are looking at a state where we
have coverage of IP, antitrust and bankruptcy litigation in standalone tables,
we would not expect too much of this work to be included in a commercial
litigation table and would be looking more for business disputes such as breach
of contract claims. The work should be civil and should involve disputes
between business entities.
If we have states with separate securities litigation rankings for
firms, you should be able to see on the research schedule that you can submit
to these separately. If we have smaller states with just a commercial
litigation table, you can include securities litigation in the commercial
litigation submission. For the full definition, please refer to Securities:
Litigation: Medical Malpractice Defense
This section covers the representation of medical professionals facing
claims of medical malpractice. Lawyers ranked in this section may act for
doctors, physicians and nurse practitioners, as well as hospitals and other
healthcare providers. Clients may also include insurers, delivery systems and
long-term care facilities. This section covers all stages of litigation,
including trials, administrative proceedings and appeals on both a state and
Media & Broadcasting
section covers all aspects of work related to the broader media and
entertainment sector, encompassing film & television, music, publishing,
theatre and art as well as social and other digital media.
these sectors, we spotlight those firms and lawyers who concentrate on either
contentious or non-contentious matters. Litigation includes intellectual
property, contractual and antitrust disputes as well as First Amendment
litigation (which encompasses defamation and access disputes on behalf of news
organisation, journalists and other publishers). On the non-contentious side,
Chambers recognises lawyers who advise on all aspects of the creation and
distribution of content, including production, financing and distribution
Native American Law
Firms operating in this area represent tribes or private companies or
state governments in their dealings with tribes. Gaming law and regulatory work
and casino development have traditionally been key areas of this market. There
is also a growing emphasis on land, energy, water rights and environmental
The Natural Resources sections focus on mining and minerals exploration,
development and production agreements, including royalty issues, project
finance, taxation and other financing arrangements. Engineering, processing and
refining contracts, sales structures and environmental issues are also covered.
Occupational Health and Safety
Safety and Health sections covers the full gamut of work involving health and
safety in the workplace, including assisting employers with federal and
state-level regulatory compliance and proceedings such as OSHA and MSHA
inspections and audits. This section also recognises firms and lawyers
representing plaintiffs and employers in litigation pertaining to workplace
injuries and workers’ compensation.
This section covers
transactional and contentious work in a specific offshore energy context. This
includes oil rigs, terminal facilities, renewable energy infrastructure and
maritime offshore services. Clients may include energy companies and financial
institutions. We do not consider environmental permitting or other
environmental regulatory work in this chapter.
Oil & Gas Litigation
This practice area covers contentious matters, principally
in the up-stream oil and gas industry, particularly pertaining to issues
arising in shale plays across the USA. Work covered in this section includes
subsurface and surface rights disputes; lease interpretations and litigation
concerning traditional and novel lease forms; nuisance claims; royalty class
actions; contentious work concerning the rule of capture; and further disputes
stemming from horizontal drilling and other industry developments. Regulatory
litigation is covered in Nationwide: Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory &
Litigation) and Texas: Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation (Oil
& Gas) while large scale commercial litigation affecting energy
companies and energy industry participants is covered in Texas: Litigation:
Energy & Natural Resources and other state litigation sections.
Outsourcing covers legal aspects of the transfer of business
administration and services to external providers, both domestically and internationally.
The section includes every variation of this process, including IT outsourcing,
business process outsourcing, and legal process outsourcing. Occasionally
unsuccessful outsourcing contracts can result in disputes and this type of work
is also covered in the section.
Privacy & Data Security
The US Privacy and Data Security section covers compliance with
a vast array of US federal and state privacy and information management laws.
At the federal level, such laws are predominantly sector-specific and include
the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Controlling the
Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act and the
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
At the state level, a particularly notable area is advice on
data security breaches and on the ramifications and requirements of various
state data breach notification laws. Such data security breaches can also
attract the attention of various state Attorneys General and federal bodies
such as the FTC, which can lead to firms being required to represent clients in
investigations, enforcement actions or litigation.
Work of an international nature can include advising clients
with multinational operations on data security issues relating to cross-border
transfers of data, such as in large-scale outsourcing transactions involving several
countries, and on global or multi-jurisdictional privacy compliance programmes.
The AdTech subsection covers a wide spectrum of matters
in the AdTech space, including regulatory and compliance issues, notably those
related to the California Consumer Privacy Act, and litigation. The clients
relevant to this section include burgeoning AdTech organizations, as well as
companies stemming from a range of sectors, such as retail and media.
Private Equity: Buyouts
This section focuses on the transactional aspect of private equity funds
work. It takes into account LBOs, M&A, recapitalization and
restructuring-related matters at both the high-end and mid-market level.
Private Equity: Fund Formation
This section covers the formation of private equity funds, ranging from
LBOs, secondaries and infrastructure funds, to hybrid funds, mezzanine and
distressed debt. Particular attention is paid to the sponsor side, because this
incorporates the actual structuring of the fund.
This chapter encompasses legal claims that allow an injured party to
recover financial compensation from the manufacturer or seller of a product.
This can include faulty brakes, contaminated food and medicine lacking
appropriate label warnings.
Law firms advise manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers and
others who make the product available to the public. It also covers toxic tort,
relating to the exposure to chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs or occupational
hazards. Most pharmaceutical claims are mass tort cases because drugs are
consumed by thousands of people. Occupational toxic tort cases occur where
industrial and other works have been exposed to toxic chemicals.
Most of the law in this area has traditionally arisen from asbestos
The chapter also recognizes firms who represent plaintiffs in
products liability litigation.
Projects: Power, Projects:
Oil & Gas and Projects: Mining & Metals are firm only tables.
Individual lawyers who practice across these three areas are recognized in the
overall projects table. This section may include projects practitioners with
broad-based projects expertise who are also ranked in Projects: LNG, Projects:
PPP, Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy or Projects: Agency
Financing. Please see the sub-section definitions below for the type of work
covered by practitioners ranked in this section.
Projects: Agency Financing
Firms and attorneys highlighted in this section are
exclusively those with significant capabilities in the agency financing space.
This practice area covers energy and infrastructure project financings with
involvement from US based and international agency lenders, including
development finance institutions (DFIs), export credit agencies (ECAs) and
multilateral agencies (MLAs).
This practice area covers Public Private Partnership
(PPP/P3/PFI) financing structures for infrastructure projects, principally in
the transportation sector such as bridges, roads and airports as well as social
and service infrastructure projects including military housing, hospitals and
parking garages when financed as a PPP. This section also includes the growing
area of sale and purchase of PPP contracts. We do not consider PPP work outside
of the Projects context in this section.
Projects: Oil & Gas
This practice area includes all Oil and Gas project
financing and development work in the Upstream, Midstream and Downstream
sectors. We also consider DrillCo structures applicable here. Typical projects
include petrochemical facilities, pipelines and shale gas extraction assets.
LNG-specific projects are considered separately in Projects: LNG.
This practice area covers traditional power generation
projects; coal, gas and combination fired power plants; electricity
transmission projects and energy storage solutions. This practice area does not
include renewables work. Only project financing work is considered in this
Projects: Power & Renewables: Transactional
This practice area covers transactional work pertaining to
traditional power and renewable energy projects. Specific matters highlighted
here include the acquisition and divestiture of existing projects and stakes in
project companies as well as project portfolio transactions. This practice area
does not include project financing structures or development work, which are
covered in the relevant Projects: Power and Projects: Renewables
& Alternative Energy subsections. PPP projects work is covered
separately in Projects: PPP and all other transactional matters in the
Energy Industry are covered in Energy: Electricity (Transactional) and
Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional).
Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy
This practice area covers renewable energy projects
including solar, wind, hydro-electric, biomass and other sources of power
generation. Projects covered typically range from utility scale solar and wind
facilities to community level generation. This section is focused on generation
asset projects also includes related transmission and energy storage projects.
We also recognize expertise in renewable project-specific tax credit financing.
This practice area does
not include A&D transactions, which are covered in the separate Project:
Power & Renewable - Transactional subsection.
Projects: Mining & Metals
This table focuses on mining and metals projects including
the financing of new projects and the refinancing of existing projects. This
table recognizes US-based mining project expertise in international
This practice area includes all LNG-specific project
financing and development work for new LNG facilities as well as expansion of
existing LNG facilities. Typical projects include USA-based LNG export
terminals, LNG pipelines and other midstream assets and FSRUs. We also
recognize work concerning international LNG facilities.
The practice area
covers the financing of transport and social infrastructure through the use of
public funding, not including through PPP/P3/PFI structures which is considered
specifically in our Projects: PPP chapter. Firms may represent the
public entity or the relevant financial counterparty.
This section covers corporate matters related
to real estate, including M&A of large real estate holding companies,
complex fund and REIT transactions, private equity and public securities. These
real estate lawyers are distinct from pure corporate lawyers in that they
typically come from a real estate background, have an understanding of the
underlying asset and do aspects of `dirt law` real estate for their clients.
In the USA, zoning and land use specialists often form an
identifiable category. They perform an important role in major developments,
advising on zoning regulations and municipal restrictions used by some cities
to control development within their borders. Easement and eminent domain (or
condemnation) is also covered.
Real estate finance matters are also included. Lawyers do not need
to act exclusively for lenders but should have a healthy lender client base
which gives them the volume of work in this field. Some of these lawyers will
also handle aspects of complex debt capital markets - such as securitization -
but the decision to include them in a real estate table will be based on their
understanding of the underlying asset.
The structuring and transactional advice provided
to REITs (real estate investment trusts) impacts on our real estate
tables. For attorneys who practice exclusively in the field of REITs, please
also consider the Chambers USA Nationwide REITs table. However, Chambers
real estate chapters will always cover this part of the market.
This section covers a broad range of registered funds, including mutual
funds. It encompasses fund formation and transactional work, as well as
regulatory compliance issues under the 1940 Act. Work for open and closed-ended
and exchange traded funds (ETFs) is also covered.
This chapter features structuring and transactional advice
related to specialist real estate investment trusts. The work involved
includes: IPOs, going private transactions, joint ventures, M&A, REIT
formation and investment work, restructurings, REIT tax issues, litigation,
144As that involve REITs, financings, Special Committee representations and
UPREIT and DOWNREIT structure implementation.
The REITs: Maryland Counsel table is targeted at the
counsel who specialise on REITs formed under specific Maryland law.
Retail is an industry table covering law firms which have developed a
track record in serving the needs of large national retailers. Naturally, real
estate, planning and land use matters will feature prominently, but the firm
must also advise on franchise, IP, trademark and e-commerce matters.
Furthermore, firms should ideally demonstrate aptitude in employment
matters and be able to respond to the majority of tax, advertising and
regulatory and consumer protection issues, as well as disputes both nationally
Securities Litigation includes: insider trading; shareholder
disputes; contested M&A bids; reorganisations and restructurings; corporate
governance disputes; director, officer, issuer and investment dealer disclosure
and; liability matters and other non-compliance matters.
Corporate governance disputes arise where it is alleged that
management has breached the rights and responsibilities agreed with
Securities Regulation covers advisory and enforcement matters,
internal audits and investigations before the SEC. These include SEC
investigations into accounting irregularities, mortgage and credit market
matters, short selling, auction rate securities and matters related to
financial fraud. Clients include accounting firms, corporates, investment funds
Focuses on the legal advice required for taking a Special
Purpose Acquisition Company public. Firms often act for issuers and
underwriters, as well as other interested parties, in this alternative to a
traditional IPO and assist in taking these shell companies public, ensuring
that the SPAC is able to complete this equity capital markets transaction while
securing enough capital to target a separate company for acquisition. Also
includes de-SPACs, often known as a back-door M&A, where a blank-check
company and the target complete the purpose of the SPAC so that it is no longer
an empty shell but a functioning company, in essence, elevating the target to a
public and functioning company with the advantages of the financing and
structure of the initial SPAC. Practitioners frequently act for the SPAC or the
target in the transaction. Lawyers often stem from the capital markets and
M&A sectors but will be specialists in this particular product.
Startups & Emerging
Nationwide Startups & Emerging Companies covers work on behalf of
emerging growth companies, startups, individual investors and VC funds. It does
not include VC fund formation (See Investment Funds: Venture Capital Fund
Formation). Work might include early and late-stage venture financings,
venture capital partnerships, regulatory compliance issues, other advisory
work, and IPOs. Emerging markets of focus include technology, life sciences and
Tax covers transactional and controversy-related work (the latter area
is reviewed at a national level). Tax on the transactional side covers
corporate partnerships structures, tax planning, spin-offs and negotiating
Tax controversy encompasses any contentious tax issue, predominantly at
the federal court stage. This includes tax-based litigation, IRS examinations
(usually concerning federal income tax issues) and tax shelter investigations.
This section also takes into account transfer pricing.
Technology focuses on contractual agreements in the technology field and
includes transactional matters such as M&A and financing. Law firms often
work with clients such as investors or startup enterprises on a range of
business issues including employment law, strategic alliances and joint
ventures, stock exchange listings, mergers, acquisitions and corporate
governance issues. E-commerce arrangements, licensing agreements, strategic
alliances and blockchain/cryptocurrency-related work will also be considered,
in addition to cybersecurity matters. IP mandates are also included in this
section, although shouldn’t represent the majority of the submission as we
include separate IP categories in most states. Along with
technology companies, typical clients will also include blue-chip corporations
from all industries, investors, financial services institutions and fintech
The telecommunications section concentrates on a range of legal issues
arising from the heavily regulated areas of telecommunications and
Work includes transactional and litigation advice to telecoms companies,
wireless operators, TV and/or radio broadcasters and the regulatory issues that
such companies face. These issues might be government-sponsored inquires, investigations
or compliance proceedings. Other matters include interconnection and resales
laws, multimedia agreements and licensing activity.
This table concentrates on matters such as financings, leasings,
capital markets transactions, M&A, loan restructurings, workouts and
bankruptcies. Clients include airlines, banks, operating lessors, lenders,
governments authorities, private equity firms and corporate jet operators.
This area covers traditional accident defense litigation, including
advising aviation insurers on coverage and other issues, as well as product
liability claims, wrongful death disputes, putative class actions and general
commercial disputes affecting the aviation industry. Clients will include manufacturers,
domestic and international carriers, helicopter companies and insurers.
This table spans representation before the Department of Transportation
(DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Surface Transportation
Board (STB) and other federal administrative agencies. Key issues include the
reauthorization of air traffic control systems and their funding, issues of
congestion, global alliances, market entry, licensing matters, UAS-related matters,
regulatory proceedings and regulatory elements of transactions. Firms will
represent clients such as manufacturers, commercial and cargo carriers,
airports, financial institutions and trade associations.
This section includes advice to both railroads and the shippers. Key
issues include rail rates litigation, fuel supply/surcharges, access rights,
M&A, contract litigation, regulatory issues and proceedings before the
Surface Transportation Board.
Transportation: Road (Automotive)
This practice area covers a range of transactional and contentious work
pertaining to the automotive industry. Matters highlighted here often include
vehicle and product safety, franchising, environmental and labor and employment
issues in the automotive sector. This section also covers autonomous vehicle
issues and other matters at the intersection of technology and automotive work.
Clients typically include automotive parts and vehicle manufacturers,
transportation companies, technology companies and industry associations.
Transportation: Road (Carriage/Logistics)
Firms and attorneys highlighted in this area are those offering
significant capabilities in transactional, regulatory and contentious issues
affecting road carriage and logistics operations. Work typically includes the
acting for trucking companies, logistics providers, customer groups and
industry associations in regulatory compliance; government investigations and
enforcement actions; major accident litigation; freight-related contracts and
disputes; and other logistics and transportation agreements
This tables focuses on transactional matters such as acquisitions,
financings, leasings, restructurings, IPOs, private placements and joint
venture agreements. Clients will include underwriters, ship owners and
operators, banks, private equity funds, lenders, borrowers and institutional
These tables concentrate on shipping disputes often arising from
casualty events, cargo damage, contracts, environmental events and federal
investigations. The section also includes charter party disputes,
bankruptcy-related litigation, salvage claims, liability defense, indemnity
claims and shipping arbitrations. Typical clients will include P&I clubs,
underwriters, terminal operators, ship owners and operators, charterers and
Work pertaining to this area includes, but is not limited to, Jones Act
compliance, antitrust matters, regulatory issues arising from M&A, environmental
compliance, international treaties, cybersecurity-related work, sanctions
concerns and trade compliance. Firms will often advise ship owners and
operators, cargo interests, insurers, ports, trade associations and terminal