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As the morning grows late, the crowd begins shifting and fidgeting and eyeing the steel gate that blocks the Pamplona, Spain, street that is narrow and whitewashed and packed with men wearing white. The only splash of color comes from the red bandannas around their necks. It’s July 2003, and a herd of bulls is about to run by on their way to La Plaza de Toros. David Lefkowitz is in Pamplona. Showing the good judgment for which Weil, Gotshal & Manges lawyers are known, Lefkowitz is on a balcony, safe from the stampede. Soon the clatter of hooves on the stone street will be deafening, but Lefkowitz can still hear the phone when it rings. Pamela Daley, who is in charge of transactions for General Electric Co.’s in-house legal team, is on the line. We’re thinking of spinning off our insurance businesses, she tells him. Give me a call when you get back to New York. Then a herd of bulls comes charging down the street, but Lefkowitz doesn’t see them. He’s already thinking about the deal to come. A few weeks later, Lefkowitz is in Richmond, Va., where many of GE’s insurance businesses are located. Dozens of lawyers and investment bankers fill an auditorium. They are discussing the initial public offering of Genworth Financial Inc., a provider of life, mortgage and long-term care insurance. It will become the biggest IPO of a U.S. company since 2002. When the deal closed in May 2004, Genworth issued $2.8 billion in stock. GE also issued a variety of other securities related to its insurance businesses, bringing the total to more than $6 billion. That deal alone would have kept most companies busy, but last year GE also made several acquisitions, pushing the company to the top of The American Lawyer‘s most acquisitive list. Weil captured the lion’s share of that M&A work, adding chapters to the long and lucrative relationship between Weil and GE. Lawyers at Weil refused to speculate on why they were chosen to handle certain deals and not others, but a review of last year’s deal list shows that when the biggest dollars were at stake, Weil was on the scene. That was the case with the Genworth IPO. Several days before the bulls ran, Daley, who has since been promoted to vice president of business development, called Thomas Roberts, GE’s primary contact for mergers and acquisitions at Weil. “We talked about what they wanted to do, how it was going to be run, how it was going to be staffed,” says Roberts. Since Daley was envisioning an IPO, getting Lefkowitz involved was an easy staffing decision. Lefkowitz, 44, has handled over $20 billion in securities offerings in his career, including more than 10 IPOs. As an associate, he spent three years as prot�g� to Ira Millstein, Weil’s elder statesman. Lefkowitz went on to help Weil open its London office in 1996. In 2000, Roberts asked him to return to New York to beef up the firm’s capital markets practice. He has been handling matters for GE since the early ’90s, and is accustomed to the company’s controlling, demanding nature. “There is a particular group of people who get along with GE in-house lawyers, who meet their expectations,” says Roberts. “David Lefkowitz is one.” Read the full dealmaker profile and the complete corporate scorecard by subscribing to The American Lawyer.

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