Akin Gump’s Leadership, Financial Restructuring Team, Recognized in Financial Times North America Innovative Lawyers Report

(New York) –In its 2020 North American Innovative Lawyers report, Financial Times ranked Akin Gump among the top 20 “Most rounded performers.” It also recognized the firm’s work in the PG&E bankruptcy as a standout matter in the “Practice of Law” category and selected firm chair Kim Koopersmith as one of its innovative Law Firm Leaders.

The “Most rounded” ranking recognized firms that “presented the most robust, resilient and responsible approach to their businesses in 2020.”

Ms. Koopersmith’s recognition places her among five law firm leaders who “made an impact through their capacity to innovate in the past months.” In her profile, FT outlines Ms. Koopersmith’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and employee wellbeing, and highlights her leadership in the firm’s growth during her tenure as chair. This includes doubling the number of lawyers outside the United States, driven by the 2014 acquisition of Bingham McCutchen’s London office, including its top-shelf financial restructuring team. The result is that Akin Gump’s London office is now the firm’s third largest.

The firm’s work on the PG&E bankruptcy, the largest restructuring filed in California and the sixth largest in the country, is also spotlighted in the report. California’s Pacific Gas & Electric filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2019 as it faced an estimated $30 billion in damages caused by the wildfires triggered by its transmission equipment.

Akin Gump financial restructuring partner Michael Stamer and practice co-head Abid Qureshi are both quoted in the article. Mr. Stamer noted that the restructuring team quickly realized that the matter called for more multidisciplinary approach than a conventional bankruptcy: “When we first got involved in the case, everybody we talked to—in the governor’s office, the California Public Utilities Commission, the fire victims, investors or contractor —had a consistent sentiment. They were unhappy and wanted to find an economic solution. The company needed to emerge from bankruptcy. Quickly.” He adds that the utility had so many problems, it might have remained in bankruptcy for years.

The article notes that the Akin Gump team “[worked] in an innovative collaboration with both its own clients and the tort victims’ lawyers to find a solution,” which contributed to the firm’s recognition by FT.

To read more about how the firm eventually succeeded in the PG&E matter, click here to access the full article.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers and advisors in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1945, the firm is proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020. #AkinGump75

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