Big bankruptcies earned five Texas law firms a spot on Texas Lawyer affiliate The American Lawyer‘s "Corporate Scorecard 2013," while energy work secured a place for six other large Texas law firms on rankings of the nation’s top dealmakers in 2012. [See related charts.]
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld had the most impressive appearance in the bankruptcy area, working on five of the largest U.S. bankruptcies filed in 2012 and five of the largest emergences for the year. And Vinson & Elkins had the biggest showing among the Texas firms in other areas of corporate work by ranking on eight separate deal-making charts.
Firms that join Akin Gump of Dallas on the bankruptcy-work charts are Diamond McCarthy and Locke Lord, both of Dallas, and Porter Hedges and Susman Godfrey, both of Houston.
Charles Gibbs, a partner in Akin Gump in Dallas who coordinates the firm’s restructuring practice in Texas, says the restructuring practice has been a "leading performer" at Akin Gump for the last 15 years, and the huge showing on the corporate scorecard bankruptcy charts in 2012 is not a fluke.
"We continue to reap the fruits of a decade of effort," he says of the firm’s expansion of its practice in New York City, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. He says the firm has about 20 restructuring lawyers in New York and another 25 in other offices.
"When opportunities present themselves and we make presentations to be engaged, we’ve been selected probably more than our fair share," he says.
In addition to Houston-based V&E, the other five BigTex firms on scorecard charts for other areas of corporate work are Andrews Kurth, Baker Botts, Bracewell & Giuliani, and Fulbright & Jaworski, all of Houston, and McCall, Parkhurst & Horton of Dallas. All appeared on the charts last year.
Last year, a total of eight Texas firms appeared on scorecard charts, including bankruptcy lists. Haynes and Boone was included on the charts last year but not this year. [See: "Eight Texas Firms Score Big on List of 2011 Deals," In-House Texas, May 14, 2012, page 1.]
"Corporate Scorecard 2013" includes firms that handled the most or highest value of deals or issues in eight areas of corporate transactions in 2012: IPOs and equities, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, project finance, corporate debt, securities, municipal bonds and REIT. The report also includes lists of the 10 largest bankruptcies filed in 2012 and the 10 largest bankruptcy emergences in 2012. The complete corporate scorecard is available on The American Lawyer‘s website. No Texas firms ranked for project finance, corporate debt, securities or REIT.
Keith Fullenweider, a Houston partner in V&E who heads the firm’s merger-and-acquisition and private-equity practice group, says energy work explains a lot of why the firm was one of the leading U.S. firms on the M&A and private-equity charts on the scorecard.
"Transaction levels are very healthy in the energy sector," Fullenweider says.
He says a number of private-equity clients made investments in the energy sector or sold them in 2012, and the firm did a lot of work for oil and gas, pipeline, midstream, refining and oil-field services companies in 2012. The firm was particularly busy during the fourth quarter as owners of private companies in the energy sector decided to sell assets because of pending changes in tax laws, and also because of activity in shale plays.
Here is some detail on information in the scorecard.
As in past year, Texas law firms did a considerable amount of the nation’s IPO work, with V&E ranked second on the scorecard chart for issuer’s counsel by volume with eight issues and second by value for $2.5 billion. The firm was fifth by value for representing underwriters.
Baker Botts also ranked on IPO charts, coming in fifth by value for representing issuers, and fourth by volume and value for representing underwriters.
Three Texas firms worked on the 10 largest Texas IPOs priced in 2012: Andrews Kurth, Baker Botts, and V&E.
In the U.S. in 2012, 128 IPOs were priced valued at $42.6 billion, according to Renaissance Capital of Greenwich, Conn.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The value of domestic mergers and acquisitions hit $768.9 billion in 2012, down 4.7 percent from 2011, according to an M&A roundup for 2012 compiled by mergermarket, an independent mergers and acquisition reporting company.
Mergermarket reports that the energy, mining and utilities sector was the "dominant" industry in the United States by deal value with 316 deals valued at $160.6 billion.
V&E and Bracewell & Giuliani are on scorecard charts for M&A work.
Texas firms continue to dominate the municipal bond charts. Four Texas firms — Andrews Kurth, Bracewell & Giuliani, Fulbright, and McCall, Parkhurst — are among the nation’s leading firms for bond work. Fulbright is ranked first by volume in representing underwriters with 318 issues.
Both Fulbright and McCall, Parkhurst, a bond, securities and tax firm, are ranked on all four municipal bond charts.