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Legal 500 Ranks 13 Bracewell Practices as U.S. Leaders

June 2, 2011

Houston Legal 500 USA has recognized 13 Bracewell & Giuliani LLP practices and recommended 35 of the firm's attorneys in its 2011 rankings. The firm's financial services, construction litigation, corporate restructuring, tax, employee benefits and executive compensation, energy (both litigation and transaction/regulatory), environmental litigation, intellectual property (IP), mergers and acquisitions (M&A), project finance, structured finance, and technology practices were highlighted along with the following attorneys in those categories:

Financial Services: Regulation – Sanford Brown, Julian Rainero, William Luedke, and Charlotte Rasche

The firm's "top notch" practice offers clients a "knowledgeable, responsive and practical service" across a range of regulatory matters, including M&A, litigation and compliance. Sanford Brown is a "pivotal" team member who has "the unique ability to translate complex issues into actionable business language," while partner Julian Rainero is a "clear superstar" in this practice area.

Construction – Phillip Sampson

Clients noted the firm's ability to "always keep the clients' best interests foremost in its action" as it represents a range of participants in the construction industry. Phillip Sampson is recognized for his "great trial preparation and presentation."

Corporate Restructuring – Evan Flaschen (Leading Lawyer), Renèe Dailey, Samuel Stricklin, and Kurt Mayr

Evan Flaschen, the firm's financial restructuring group chair, leads this 13-partner team that provides a "strong service" to a broad of array of stakeholders, both in and out-of-court restructurings, particularly in the mid-market. Kurt Mayr is a "rising star" in the field, and Samuel Stricklin is recognized for his "excellent reputation for bankruptcy litigation."

Domestic Tax: Central – Gregory Bopp and Elizabeth McGinley

This geographically diverse practice (three partners in Texas, one in Seattle, and another in New York) were recommended for their "responsiveness and reasonable fees." New York-based Elizabeth McGinley, head of the firm's tax practice, is an "energetic and reliable" corporate tax expert, while Houston-based Gregory Bopp garners praise for "his substantive skills and easy-to-understand communications."

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation – Bruce Jocz, Michael Tomberg and Scott Sanders

This Texas-based practice features "excellent, responsive service and very experienced and knowledgeable attorneys" with thorough "industry knowledge and business acumen." Practice chair Bruce Jocz and partner Michael Tomberg are "both highly competent attorneys," and Scott Sanders is "knowledgeable and practical – his work is thorough and well communicated."

Energy: Litigation – Glenn Ballard, Paul Fox, Deanna King, J. Clifford Gunter, Shelby Kelley, and Sandra Rizzo

Glenn Ballard leads this team of "highly regarded" attorneys that are heavily oriented to the oil and gas space, as well as LNG. The firm's energy group "benefits strategically from the firm's locations in London and Dubai, in addition to its Washington, D.C. and Texas offices."

Energy: Transaction and Regulatory – G. Alan Rafte, Sandra Rizzo and Daniel Witschey

Regarded as "top notch and timely" by its clients, this team "blends its knowledge of the law with an understanding of the commercial transaction being considered." Houston-based practice head G. Alan Rafte "represents vigorously," D.C.-based Sandra Rizzo is "extremely effective," and Houston-based Daniel Witschey is a "big-picture thinker in terms of developing strategy."

Environment: Litigation – Timothy Wilkins

This "highly active and notable" practice focuses on climate change, energy policy, air quality, upstream energy development, and numerous other environmental areas. Austin-based Timothy Wilkins heads the firm's environmental and natural resources practice area.

Intellectual Property (IP) Patent Prosecution Utility and Design – Constance Gall Rhebergen, Jeffrey Whittle and Albert Kimball

Billed as a "world-class, top-notch" team, the firm's practice group offers "a consistent level of professionalism and commitment to excellence." Constance Gall Rhebergen, Jeffrey Whittle and Albert Kimball, are Houston-based and are highly recommended.

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Middle Market ($500-$999 million) – Sanford Brown (Leading Lawyer) and Gregory Bopp

In addition to transactional attorneys with capital markets and M&A experience, the firm's tax, environmental, finance and energy regulation attorneys are recognized as "an integral part to its M&A team." Houston-based Gregory Bopp is recognized as a key contact, while Dallas-based Sanford Brown (a Leading Lawyer) is "good to have on your side."

Project Finance: Advise to Sponsors – G. Alan Rafte, Robin Miles, Thomas Tomlinson, David Domansky, Catherine Ozdogan, and Gary Orloff

This practice "provides excellent legal counsel" thanks to its "top-notch legal professionals." Led by practice head G. Alan Rafte, this group delivers "very high value for money" and is "very attentive to the needs of a complex project." Seattle-based David Domansky is a recommended lawyer, as are Houston-based Catherine Ozdogan and Gary Orloff.

Structured Finance – G. Alan Rafte, Robin Miles and Christopher Olive

G. Alan Rafte heads an energy group that "staffs appropriately and presents a very high value for money." This is a group "whose structured finance lawyers are recommended for the design of complex structured and secured financing and hedging facilities, not only in the demanding energy sector, but also for securitization of cash flows from hi-tech contracts such as software and cell tower leases."

Technology: Transactions – Edward Cavazos, Andrew Gajkowski, and Michael Samardzija

This "excellent" practice group was bolstered by the addition of 10 attorneys, including Austin-based Edward Cavazos and Andrew Gajkowski, the latter of which is recognized for his "strong practical business sense, excellent drafting skills, attention to detail and responsiveness." Michael Samardzija in the firm's Houston office has a "thriving life science and biotechnology practice."