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Paul Hastings Ranked Second Most Innovative Law Firm in Financial Times U.S. Innovative Lawyers 2013 Report

November 21, 2013

New York, NY (November 21, 2013)- Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that the firm was ranked second overall in a list of the top 40 most innovative law firms in the Financial Times U.S. Innovative Lawyers 2013 report. This annual report distinguishes innovative lawyers and law firms, which according to the publication, “have brought original thinking and practices to business issues in the U.S."

Paul Hastings has consistently been recognized as one of the most innovative law firms in the four years the report has been published, placing third in the 2012 report and in the top five and top ten in prior years. The firm has also topped the Business of Law category two years in a row. In addition, two of the firm’s lawyers were recognized as leading innovative individuals in “the top 10 agents for change” category in both the 2013 and 2012 report.

Highlights from the 2013 report include:   

  • The top cumulative score and top number of ranked innovations in the Business of Law category, which the report states, recognizes firms for streamlining their own processes to create “value for clients”
  • The top ranked innovation in the Talent category
  • A Top Innovative Lawyer – Latin America practice head Michael Fitzgerald was selected for his transformative work related to the FIBRA, as well as his innovative work on numerous complex Latin American deals
  • The top cumulative score in the Finance-Latin America category
  • Nine ranked submissions, across all categories of the report
  • Three “Standout” rankings, the most prestigious in each category

Paul Hastings was commended for innovative work in the following areas:

Corporate Law

Largest Acquisition of US Company by a Chinese Firm

Paul Hastings represented China’s largest pork producer, Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, in a $7.1 billion deal to acquire the largest US publicly-traded pork processor and hog producer, Smithfield Foods, Inc.; the largest acquisition ever of a US company by a Chinese firm.

Finance

One of the First Uses of Capital Markets in Mexican Debt Restructuring

The firm advised Citigroup and Credit Suisse, who were acting as dealer managers and structuring agents to a leading Mexican telecommunication company Axtel, S.A.B de C.V., in a $350 million exchange offer. This was one of the first instances where a capital markets alternative was successfully used to restructure a Mexican company.

Innovative Financing for Takeover of Mexican Telecommunications Company

Paul Hastings represented private equity firm Ventura Capital Privado, S.A. de C.V in its successful takeover of Maxcom Telecomunicaciones, S.A.B. de C.V., a facilities-based telecommunications provider. The takeover, led by Ventura on behalf of a group of investors, was accomplished through a simultaneous public tender offer for the shares of Maxcom in Mexico and an SEC registered tender offer in the U.S. It was conditioned on a complete reorganization of Maxcom’s capital structure, which was accomplished by filing a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan in Delaware.

Litigation

Unprecedented Pre-Merger Labor Agreement for American Airlines-US Airways Merger

Paul Hastings helped American Airlines negotiate with the Unsecured Creditors Committee, the president and other leadership of US Airways, and labor leaders from unions at the two companies to achieve an unprecedented memorandum of understanding. That agreement not only provided for labor certainty by solidifying most of the improvements American had previously negotiated in the six-year labor agreements with its own unions before a merger was explored, but it established firm timelines and detailed procedures for resolving the issues that could not be addressed before a merger was effectuated.

Precedent-Setting Case Confirms Electronic Transmission of Data Protected by ITC
Paul Hastings represented Align Technology, Inc., the developer of Invisalign clear dental aligners, in a precedent-setting IP case that recognized that cross-border electronic transmissions are importations protected by the International Trade Commission. The case has opened a conduit for hundreds of US companies seeking to defend patents.

Business of Law

Developed Test to Establish Best Practice for Using Predictive Coding

Paul Hastings conducted an innovative, first-of-its-kind project to compare human review of legal documents with computer review of documents. The firm found that for optimal efficiency, it is when man and machine are combined that the best value can be extracted. As a result, the firm has begun establishing best practices for using predictive coding for its lawyers and clients.

Created First-Of-Its Kind Program to Cultivate Superior Performance

Paul Hastings developed a first-of-its kind initiative for a law firm, the Partner Profile. This program clearly defines what the firm considers superior performance for partners and outlines expectations, creating a cohesive corporate culture.

Launched Performance Tracking Tool to Align Performance and Client Service

Paul Hastings launched a unique initiative to drive performance and change, and ensure lawyers were focused on delivering superior results. This innovative tracking tool, the “Scorecard,” helps the firm cultivate a culture of action and accountability, and facilitates client service excellence.

Lawyers to Innovators

Created New Payment Technology for PayPal

Paul Hastings helped PayPal forge a partnership with Discover that represented a huge leap forward for the payments industry and created a new technology-bringing the digital wallet to traditional stores, restaurants, gas pumps, and more.  It is considered a milestone in the development of the electronic payments market.

Innovative Individual

Michael Fitzgerald, Latin America practice head, was recognized as one of “the top 10 agents for change.” The report states, “Mr. Fitzgerald was instrumental in the creation of Mexico’s Fibra, the first investment vehicle on the Latin American market comparable to a US real estate investment trust.” The report noted he was, “an innovator from his early days” and explained that, “While he identified the potential of Mexico before it became ‘the place to invest’, he has retained a commitment to innovation. Clients praise his deep understanding of Mexican law and ability to offer advice.”

Click here to read the full report.

Paul Hastings LLP is a leading global law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States. We provide innovative legal solutions to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. Please visit www.paulhastings.com for more information.