Top 10 Influential Lawyers Shaping 2023’s Eastern US Capital Markets Scene

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The Eastern United States legal landscape is home to a formidable roster of Capital Markets lawyers who specialize in both Debt and Equity. This sector features complex financial mechanisms that play a significant role in stimulating and supporting the national and global economies. Expert legal counsel is crucial for businesses to navigate the intricate world of initial public offerings (IPOs), high-value investments, and high-yield debt offerings. The following is a look at some of the top lawyers in the United States that specialize in Capital Markets: Debt & Equity and are based primarily in the Eastern United States but serve clients nationwide.

All the attorneys listed here have been acknowledged by their peers and clients for their skill, experience, and knowledge in this field. Each has a unique approach and offers their expertise to a diverse array of clients, from start-ups to global corporations. They advise on a multitude of transactions and counsel clients on the legal ramifications and best practices in handling debt and equity financing within the scope of capital markets. This ensures client compliance with laws and regulations while also safeguarding their financial interests.

From IPOs, investment grade debt issuances, high-yield debt offerings, equity practices to securities law matters, these lawyers have left indelible marks in their field, earning them recognition and accolades within the national and international business community. In no particular order, here are their profiles:

Valerie Ford Jacob

Leading the charge is Valerie Ford Jacob of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US. Renowned for her superb communication skills and relentless work ethic, Jacob is co-chair of the firm’s global capital markets group. Her practice focuses on debt and equity financings, regularly advising issuers and underwriters on high-value IPOs and investment grade debt issuances. “She is just brilliant. Valerie was relentless and scalpel-sharp; a joy to work with.”

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Ian Schuman

Working for Latham & Watkins LLP, Ian Schuman is another top-ranked lawyer in the capital markets arena. Schuman has stellar experience in debt matters, including high-yield debt offerings. He also maintains a busy equity practice and regularly counsels clients on IPOs. Clients commend his excellent commercial judgment and commend him as a great presence with boards and executive teams.

Andrew Fabens

Andrew Fabens of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is known for his diverse skill set in securities law matters. He adeptly advises issuers and underwriters on various debt and equity transactions. “Andrew’s advice in our various debt offerings is always clear and he takes into account commercial pressures very well.”

Jeffrey D Karpf

Another exceptional practitioner, Jeffrey Karpf of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is known for his excellent reputation in high-yield and investment grade debt transactions. Representing both investment banks and issuing companies, Karpf balances his leading role in debt capital markets with an active equity practice.

Eric W Blanchard

At Cooley LLP, Eric Blanchard is highly commended for his extensive experience advising issuing companies and underwriters on investment grade debt and equity offerings, especially within the life sciences industry. Clients vouch for Blanchard’s quick responsiveness, practical knowledge, and solutions-oriented approach.

Catherine M Clarkin

Catherine Clarkin of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP brings a wealth of transactional expertise to the table. As co-head of the practice, she has a strong reputation for her adroitness in capital markets and her ability to navigate complex situations with composure.

Byron Rooney

Byron Rooney of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has earned his reputation as a superstar for his proficiency in handling a broad spectrum of debt and equity securities offerings. His adeptness at advising on unique transactional structures has consistently drawn client praise.

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Michael E. Mariani

Another seasoned expert, Michael Mariani of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a track record of providing astute advice on both debt and equity transactions. His solution-oriented approach and deep knowledge of market trends make him an invaluable asset to his clients.

Ilir Mujalovic

Ilir Mujalovic of Shearman & Sterling LLP has established himself as a top-tier capital market lawyer through his representation of both issuers and underwriters. Clients laud his commitment, attention to detail, and impressive work ethic.

Merritt Johnson

Known for his excellent problem-solving abilities and commercial sense, Merritt Johnson of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP deals with a wide range of capital markets-related issues. His portfolio is characterized by successful handling of both debt and equity offerings, making him an outstanding counsel in the field.



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