White & Case was ranked Number 3 among global law firms by legal publication Law360 in its annual Global 20 list of law firms with the greatest global reach and expertise. The Firm has been ranked in the top five for the last six years.
According to Law360, White & Case achieved its high ranking through "gains from investing early and strategically overseas. And as it pivots from a post-recession hold-back into a full-fledged growth mode, it's capitalizing on the solid foundation of its international network."
The Law360 profile called out the Firm's US$660 billion M&A success in 2015, and cited representation of Anthem Inc. in its proposed US$54.2 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp. and of China's Qingdao Haier Co. Ltd. in its pending US$5.4 billion acquisition of General Electric Co. among White & Case's big M&A wins for the year.
"That's one of the largest acquisitions by a Chinese company of a US company," said Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions John Reiss (New York) of the Qingdao Haier/GE matter, Law360's profile reported. "From my perspective, it's just so important because that's a large Chinese corporation doing a major transaction with an iconic US company."
As proof of White & Case's project finance success, Law360 cited the Firm's representation of Freeport LNH Expansion LP and its subsidiaries in the funding of US$4.2 billion of the world's largest natural gas liquefaction and export facilities in Texas, and its representation of Saudi Aramco in structuring and financing US$2.1 billion of a proposed industrial gas complex in Saudi Arabia, expected to be the world's largest.
Antitrust wins highlighted by Law360 included helping French company Saint-Gobain SA's CertainTeed subsidiary defeat a series of price-fixing class actions in Philadelphia in drywall litigation, and helping Zimmer Holdings Inc. obtain global merger clearances to acquire rival orthopedic implants producer Biomet Inc. in a US$14 billion deal. The Firm has since represented the combined Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. in its acquisition of medical device company LDR Holding Corp. for US$1 billion.
"The Zimmer Biomet transaction had significant issues in the European Union, United States and in Japan before the Japan Fair Trade Commission," said White & Case Global Antitrust/Competition Chair J. Mark Gidley (Washington, DC), the profile reported. "In Zimmer, we had a dedicated team on the ground for Japanese antitrust, and it's that global reach that really helps our clients have a one-stop shop for their merger needs."
Law360's profile reminded readers that White & Case caters to an international clientele, with nearly 70 percent of its 2,000 attorneys based abroad, handling matters reaching into 147 countries in 2015. The profile labeled the Firm as "distinct among its Global 20 peers for maintaining more than 350 lawyers in both the New York and London markets," and reported that the Firm intends to have 500 lawyers in both offices by 2020.
New offices in the expanding firm include Seoul and Dubai, and a new Boston office for white collar defense, health care, energy and financial services, Law360 reported.