Shearman & Sterling
|Headquarters||599 Lexington Avenue,
New York City, United States
|No. of offices||20|
|No. of attorneys||850|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Key people||Creighton Condon (Senior Partner)|
|Revenue||US$912.5 million (2016)|
|Profit per equity partner||US$2.165 million (2016)|
|Date founded||1873 (New York City)|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Shearman & Sterling LLP is a multinational law firm headquartered in New York City, United States. The firm's lawyers come from some 80 countries, speak more than 60 languages and practice US, English, EU, French, German, Italian, Hong Kong, OHADA and Saudi law, as well as Dubai International Financial Centre law and Abu Dhabi Global Market law. Nearly one-half of the firm's lawyers practice outside the United States.
Wall Street origins
Shearman & Sterling was founded in 1873 by Thomas Shearman and John William Sterling, who concentrated on litigation and transactional matters respectively. The young firm represented financier Jay Gould and industrialist Henry Ford, and cultivated a number of important business ties that would evolve into long-standing client relationships, such as with the Rockefeller family and the predecessor banks to Citigroup and Deutsche Bank.
Postwar global expansion
The firm experienced international expansion in the post-World War II era under the direction of Boykin C. Wright, a senior partner who joined the firm from Cahill Gordon & Reindel with a group of lawyers, briefly leading the firm to add his name to the letterhead. The firm's first international office was established in Paris in 1963.
In postwar Germany, Shearman & Sterling helped German companies such as Siemens and BASF restructure their debts and re-emerge as credible exporters to the United States. The firm's lawyers assisted Daimler in its listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 1993, the first such listing by a German company, prompting other major companies to follow suit. The firm then represented the German automaker in its purchase and subsequent sale of Chrysler.
The firm is well known for its ability to compete in key legal markets, particularly in Germany where its mergers and acquisitions practice is preeminent and in the United Kingdom, where it fields one of the largest London offices of a non-UK law firm.
Elsewhere, the firm played an important role in the establishment of state-owned oil and gas companies, including Sonatrach in Algeria and throughout the Middle East. In 1979, Shearman & Sterling lawyers represented Citibank during the intense negotiations that ensued during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, after the US government froze all Iranian assets in US banks.
Shearman & Sterling has been involved in Latin America for decades. The firm's lawyers helped restructure the debts of many Latin American nations in the 1980s in the Brady transactions. It also won mandates in the privatization of numerous state-owned entities. In 2004, the firm launched an office in São Paulo, Brazil and has since represented Brazilian companies in a number of important transactions.
In East Asia, Shearman & Sterling was one of the first firms to grasp the future strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region, establishing offices in Hong Kong in 1978, followed by Beijing, Singapore and Shanghai.
Shearman & Sterling has attained recognition in a number of legal publications and industry rankings for its work in the United States and internationally across a range of practices areas, including: dispute resolution/litigation, international arbitration, project finance, public international law, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions.
Shearman & Sterling has an active pro bono practice. Globally, the firm is pro bono counsel to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania. Shearman routinely assists the ICTR through seconding one lawyer there per month to work on particular projects. The firm also assists FINCA International, the pioneering microcredit and village banking non-profit organization. Other pro bono initiatives include asylum cases, Violence Against Women Act petitions, criminal appeals and art law representations.
Recent notable mandates
- Advised OneLNG in connection with the agreement to establish a joint venture with a wholly owned subsidiary of Ophir Energy plc to facilitate the development, financing and operation of the Fortuna FLNG Project in offshore Equatorial Guinea.
- Advised long-time client Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited in its proposal to acquire BlackBerry Limited for $9 per share in cash, for an aggregate transaction value of approximately $4.7 billion.
- Advised the Dow Chemical Company in its $18 billion acquisition of specialty chemicals manufacturer Rohm & Haas, the subsequent restructuring of that deal and then the sale of Morton Salt.
- Advised Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Santander as global coordinators and BBVA, Citi and UBS as joint bookrunners on Argentina’s $16.5 billion historic bond offering, the largest-ever bond issuance by an emerging market country.
- Advised J.P. Morgan, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in connection with a $1.25 billion Rule 144A offering of high yield senior notes by Teck Resources, Canada’s largest diversified resource company.
- Advised BBVA Banco Continental, BBVA Securities Inc., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated on the Republic of Peru's offer to purchase for cash various series of its global bonds and bonos soberanos, including in the form of global depositary notes.
- Advised Golar Power in connection with the development of the Porto de Sergipe LNG-to-Power Project in Brazil.
- Advised Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte (TEN), a subsidiary of E.CL S.A. of Chile, Red Eléctrica of Spain, in connection with the proposed financing of the construction of a double circuit 600 km 500 kV transmission line connecting the two major electrical grids in Chile.
- Advised Carso Gasoducto Norte, S.A. de C.V. as borrower, and affiliates Grupo Carso, S.A.B. de C.V. Carso Electric, S.A. de C.V. and Promotora del Desarrollo de América Latina, S.A. de C.V. in connection with an 18-year nonrecourse $535 million project financing for the development of an approximately 630 km natural gas pipeline running from Samalayuca, Chihuahua, to Sásabe, Sonora, in Mexico.
- Advised PT Cikarang Listrindo Tbk, an Indonesian power plant, on its approximately $275 million initial public offering on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, which represented the first power plant to go public in the Indonesian market.
- Advised Bhimasena Power Indonesia on the development and financing of the approximately $4.3 billion 2,000MW Central Java greenfield coal-fired power project in Indonesia. The project, located in Batang Regency in Central Java, will be Indonesia’s first ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant and one of the largest coal-fired power plants in Asia.
- Advised Greenko Energy Holdings and Greenko Investment Company on the $500 million senior notes by Greenko Investment Company, which marked India’s first high-yield green bond.
- Advised The Minacs Group Inc. in its acquisition by Concentrix Global Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Synnex Corporation, from CX Partners and Capital Square Partners. The completion marked the second-largest deal that the US-headquartered information technology supply chain services company has made in India.
- Advised Bank of Communications (BoCom), one of the five largest banks in China, in the closing of its acquisition of approximately 80% of the total outstanding shares of Brazil’s Banco BBM S.A. This was BoCom’s first overseas acquisition.
- Advised The Xander Group Inc. on the establishment of a joint venture with APG Strategic Real Estate Pool N.V. (APG) for investment in retail developments in India and the related $300 million acquisition by the joint venture company Virtuous Retail South Asia Pte. Ltd. of an initial portfolio of three retail assets from a Xander sponsored fund. This deal marks the single-largest in retail real estate in India.
- Advised a consortium of Everstone Capital Partners III, L.P. (Everstone) and Sunrise BPO Pte. Ltd., on the acquisition of C3/CustomerContactChannels Holdings Inc (C3). This was the first acquisition in the US by India and South Asia-focused Everstone.
- Advised The Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank, Silk Road Fund and International Finance Corporation in connection with the development and financing of the US$1.69 billion (approved total investment) 720 MW Karot hydropower plant in Pakistan, the largest hydropower plant in Pakistan to be financed on a limited-recourse basis.
- Advised Ardagh on the US$3.4 billion acquisition of certain metal beverage can manufacturing assets and support locations in Europe, Brazil and the United States from Ball Corporation and Rexam. The transaction was complex because of an allocation involving multiple jurisdictions.
- Advised Liberty Global plc on its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) in a transaction with an enterprise value of approximately $8.2 billion (£5.5 billion).
- Advised the underwriters, led by UBS and Goldman Sachs, in connection with Banco Popular Español's capital increase of approximately €2.4 billion through a rights offering.
- Advised the underwriters, led by RBS Securities Inc., in connection with The Royal Bank of Scotland Group's offering of $2.65 billion aggregate principal amount of capital notes.
- Advised Albemarle Corporation on its definitive agreement to sell its Chemetall Surface Treatment business to BASF in a cash transaction valued at approximately $3.2 billion. This transaction is interesting from a tax standpoint because it required complex restructuring of German operations prior to sale.
- Acted as US, English and French counsel to the initial purchasers in connection with Autodis' €520 million senior secured notes offering.
- Seeking US court confirmation and enforcement of arbitration awards issued in favor of our clients ordering the Russian Federation to pay more US$50 billion in damages (as well as over US$60 million in legal fees and costs), which makes this the largest arbitral award ever rendered by an arbitral tribunal.
Middle East and Africa
- Advised EFG Hermes Promoting and Underwriting, as sole global coordinator and bookrunner, in connection with the EGP360 million IPO and listing on the Egyptian Stock Exchange of Cleopatra Hospital Company, the largest hospital in Egypt.
- Achieved a significant victory for Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) when an arbitral tribunal issued an award rejecting claims for alleged contractual penalties totaling more than $270 million plus interest, finding that the claimant had assigned to a third party all of its rights under the relevant contract.
- Secured a major arbitration victory for Sonatrach after an ICC Tribunal rejected the claims by three oil companies regarding the performance of a production-sharing agreement and the implementation of a windfall profits tax.
- Achieved an appellate victory for the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and the Libyan Foreign Investment Company (LFICO), which are sovereign wealth funds of Libya. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the claims against LIA, vacated the district court's holding that it had jurisdiction over the claims against LFICO under the FSIA and remanded the case to the district court.
- Advised the lenders in connection with the development and financing of the 2,400MW Hassyan coal-fired Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Dubai.
- Rohan S. Weerasinghe, former Senior Partner and presently General Counsel of Citigroup.
- Markus U. Diethelm, former international associate (1989–1992), and current general counsel of UBS AG.
- Philippe Dauman, former associate (1978–1987) and partner (1987–1993), and current CEO of Viacom.
- Clark T. Randt, Jr., formerly Shearman & Sterling's China Managing Partner, served as U.S. Ambassador to China from 2001-2009.
- Mario Mancuso, former Under Secretary of Commerce, senior Pentagon official and senior member of the administration of George W. Bush.
- Melody Barnes, former associate and former senior domestic policy adviser to former President Barack Obama.
- Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, Dutch politician, minister and member of the European Parliament.
- Mitch Caplan, former associate (1984–1990) and current CEO of E-Trade.
- Joseph A. Doyle, former associate (1947–1956) and partner (1956–1979), Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) in the Carter Administration.
- John McCarthy, former associate (1966–1967), and former Australian ambassador to various countries including Vietnam, Mexico, the United States and Japan.
- Bob Woodruff, former associate and ABC News journalist.
- Nina Zagat, co-founder and co-chair of the Zagat Survey, was associated with the firm from 1966-1990.
- James Donato, former Partner (2009–2014), Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
- Tim Bezbatchenko, current general manager of Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.
- "Shearman & Sterling LLP". Chambers Associate. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Hoffman, Paul (1973) Lions of the Eighties: The Inside Story of the Powerhouse Law Firms, New York: Doubleday.
- Stewart, James (1983) The Partners: Inside America's Most Powerful Law Firms, New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Miriam Wildman, 'Daimler's NYSE Listing Piques German Interest,' New York Times November 19, 1994.
- Berris, Julia (2007) The Lawyer, "Shearman & Sterling: Empire State." http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=129772
- Bruce van Voorst et al., 'Iran Hostages: How the Bankers Did it,' Time Magazine, February 2, 1981.
- Chambers & Partners (2010) Chambers Global Rankings, http://www.chambersandpartners.com/Global/Firms/3654-34953