December 10, 2019
Weil ranked seventh overall among the Top 25 Most Innovative Law Firms in the 2019 Financial Times North America Innovative Lawyers report, released today. The Firm also ranked among the top five most innovative firms for legal expertise and top 10 for business of law, with several different client successes and Firm programs recognized.
The results demonstrate Weil’s consistent drive to provide novel and unique solutions to complex legal problems as well as its commitment to fostering a dynamic and forward-looking workplace and culture.
Details of the Firm’s recognitions in the various categories are as follows:
Diversity and Inclusion: Weil was “Highly Commended” for its Upstander@Weil program, which supports and educates employees in how to be allies to colleagues and has served as a blueprint for similar diversity and inclusion programs at other organizations.
Talent, Strategy and Changing Behaviors: Weil was “Highly Commended” for its TOWER initiative focused on increasing the involvement of women in business development and client relationships, leading to increased participation in client pitches by female partners by nearly 70% over four years. TOWER is the Firm’s Taskforce on Women’s Engagement & Retention.
Accessing New Markets and Capital: Weil was “Highly Commended” for creating a new structure for syncreon to restructure debt, which enabled the $1.1 billion restructuring to be effectuated through an English scheme of arrangement with parallel recognition proceedings in the U.S. and Canada.
Accessing New Markets and Capital: Weil was “Highly Commended” for advising NORDAM on its chapter 11 restructuring, which included the expedited sale of the company’s production line and a first-of-its-kind minority investment from The Carlyle Group that recapitalized the business and allowed it to remain family-owned.
Enabling Business Growth and Transformation: Weil was “Commended” for advising Brookfield Asset Management on its $4.8 billion acquisition of a 62% stake in Oaktree Capital Management. To ensure continued investor confidence, Brookfield worked closely with Oaktree’s executive team on a transaction that had a highly strategic, long-range management transition plan.
Managing Complexity and Scale: Weil was “Commended” for protecting Sears from liquidation and leading the company’s chapter 11 restructuring, which involved an innovative $240 million “wind-down account” and culminated in the sale of Sears to ESL Investments for $5.2 billion, saving 45,000 jobs.
Financial Times received submissions and nominations from approximately 90 law firms and 100 in-house legal teams, and conducted over 600 interviews with clients, senior lawyers, executives and experts to arrive at the final rankings.