International law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP announced today that it has opened an office in Dallas, Texas, to bring on a team of Dallas-based lawyers who are pre-eminent practitioners in mezzanine finance, private equity and a broad range of other corporate finance, M&A and securities work. With more than 530 lawyers worldwide, Dorsey now has 14 offices strategically located across the United States, three in China, two in Canada and one in London.
The lawyers establishing Dorsey’s Dallas office include Larry Makel, Stan Mayo, Gina Betts, Jason DuVall and Jamie Whatley, all of whom most recently practiced in the Dallas office of the Schiff Hardin law firm. All of them join Dorsey as partners. There is an expectation that other lawyers from the Schiff Hardin Dallas office will also be joining Dorsey.
“This great team in Dallas presented a special opportunity for us,” noted Ken Cutler, Managing Partner of Dorsey & Whitney. “Building a strong presence in Texas has been a strategic goal for Dorsey. The Firm’s focus on key industries, including banking, energy, food and agribusiness, health care, mining and natural resources and public-private project development, makes Texas a natural fit. Opening this office is a great start, and we look forward to building and expanding our presence in the state to meet the needs of clients in Texas, nationally and globally.”
Larry Makel is a nationally recognized authority in the area of mezzanine finance and an experienced provider of legal and other business counsel to mezzanine and equity firms, as well as other financial institutions. Larry concentrates his practice in the structured finance, venture capital and financial services areas, as well as in the formation of small businesses, investment corporations and private investment funds. He is adept at planning and structuring all aspects of a financing, from preparing documentation and agreements to meeting the complex compliance challenges associated with raising capital to finance corporate expansion.
Stan Mayo is a nationally regarded authority in mezzanine finance and junior capital with almost 30 years of experience closing more than 100 such transactions, including mezzanine, second lien, unitranche, preferred stock, equity co-investments and warrants. His clients include institutional investment funds, SBICs, BDCs and bank subsidiaries. He also represents traditional senior lenders. He has extensive experience in intercreditor issues, secured creditor rights, restructurings, workouts and bankruptcies. Stan has particular experience in the energy, health care, services, manufacturing and technology industries. He represents fund sponsors, advising them on formation and structuring issues, tax and regulatory matters, and acquisition and disposition of investments.
Gina Betts has extensive experience in corporate and securities law. She represents issuers, underwriters and purchasers in public and private offerings of debt and equity securities, and assists public companies in the preparation of SEC periodic reports and proxy statements. Gina also represents parties in leveraged buyouts (LBOs) and management buyouts (MBOs); M&A, including stock and asset transactions, exchange offers and tender offers; roll-ups; portfolio company acquisitions and dispositions; and fund formations. She also represents companies in connection with the negotiation and structuring of joint ventures, partnerships, and other general business arrangements.
Jason DuVall advises a broad array of corporate finance clients on corporate and commercial financial transactions, including financial institutions, private equity funds, mezzanine funds, agent banks, and other institutional investors. His broad experience includes senior and subordinated debt, second lien financings, unitranche financings, acquisition financings, asset-based lending, equipment and project financings, secured and unsecured lending, structured financings, health care financings, and other forms of debt and equity financing. Jason also regularly advises borrowers on their financing transactions, and private equity funds on their acquisition financings of portfolio companies.
Jamie Grammer Whatley represents a variety of corporate finance clients, including financial institutions, private equity funds, mezzanine funds, agent banks, institutional investors, startup companies, Fortune 500 companies and individuals in connection with commercial lending, private equity investments, M&A, corporate formation, corporate governance and commercial contracts. Her experience includes both senior and subordinated debt transactions, acquisition, asset-based, equipment, project, structured, health care and real estate financings. Jamie has handled corporate transaction matters across a wide range of industries, including energy, service, financial, manufacturing, telecommunications, technology, health care, construction, restaurant and hospitality.
“The practices of these five fine attorneys dovetail perfectly with Dorsey’s global presence in M&A, its strong private equity and capital markets practices and its tremendous depth in the banking and financial services sectors,” noted Bob Rosenbaum, a Partner in Dorsey’s M&A Practice Group and Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s Corporate Group.
“Dorsey is a great firm with a tremendous reputation,” said new Dorsey Dallas Partner Larry Makel. “The Dorsey platform is not only ideal to serve the clients we have served in the past (including especially our Twin Cities-based client contacts), it also opens up the possibility of serving Dorsey clients with whom we are not currently working. Having on-the-ground coverage in the Texas business community will be a big plus to a number of existing Dorsey clients.”
New Dallas Partner Gina Betts added, “Dorsey provides a great fit for us. It has tier one national practices in corporate, securities and capital markets work, a vibrant M&A presence and a strong private equity practice across the United States and in Europe. We are proud to be part of Dorsey and look forward to helping grow the Firm’s practice and its reputation in Dallas and in Texas.”