The securities practice group is a diverse team that advises public and private companies on various securities issues and proactively helps them navigate the regulatory and other issues they face. We provide practical advice focused on assisting our clients in reaching their business objectives in a timely and efficient manner.
The highest quality lawyers. A proven track record. Problem solvers. Unparalleled client service. These are just some of the reasons that Alston & Bird is consistently recognized as a preeminent adviser on capital markets transactions. Having completed more than 300 registered or Rule 144A securities offerings with an aggregate deal value of $180 billion over the past decade, we are known for our significant technical knowledge, combined with practical advice that is focused on helping our clients reach their business objectives efficiently and on time. Chambers USA reports that clients find us to be “very much in tune with their business needs, which translates into what needs to be accomplished on the legal front.” Based on number of deals as issuer’s counsel in 2019, Bloomberg ranked our team in the top 20 for “U.S. Equity Offerings” and #10 for “EMEA Corporate Investment Grade Bonds.”
Our lawyers represent companies in a wide range of capital markets transactions, including:
Initial and follow-on public offerings
Shelf registrations and takedowns
Rule 144A/Regulation S offerings
Venture capital and other private placements
Trust preferred offerings
Convertible, hybrid, and equity-linked securities
At-the-market (ATM) offerings
Registered direct offerings
Investment-grade note offerings
High-yield debt offerings
Tender offers and consent solicitations
Liability management transactions and debt restructurings
Medium-term note programs
American depositary share offerings
Spin-off, split off, and carve-out transactions
We also serve as underwriters’ counsel and dealer-managers’ counsel for major investment banking firms, including Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, RBC, UBS, and Wells Fargo. In addition, we act as designated underwriters’ counsel in the equity and debt offerings of numerous companies.
SEC Reporting and Compliance
Our SEC reporting and compliance practice handles the full range of securities disclosure, compliance, and corporate governance matters under the Securities Act of 1933, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Sarbanes–Oxley Act, Dodd–Frank Act, and Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, as well as the related SEC rules and the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market, and other stock markets.
We bring practical judgment and a broad perspective to counseling senior management, boards, board committees, and internal legal and compliance departments. We assist clients in meeting their day-to-day challenges such as public reporting, compliance programs, fulfillment of board and committee responsibilities, and shareholder engagement. It has been our experience that working together with our corporate clients on their periodic SEC filings and compliance matters has contributed greatly to our understanding of their business, which has in turn considerably enhanced our level of service.
We also respond quickly and effectively to special challenges such as the discovery of financial statement errors, shareholder activism, unplanned-for CEO succession, and government investigations. In these circumstances, we quickly assemble a team with the knowledge and background the situation demands, often working closely and collaboratively with our executive compensation and securities litigation colleagues across the firm.
A number of our lawyers have served as staff members of the SEC, holding senior management positions such as deputy director of the Division of Corporation Finance and chief of the SEC’s Office of Mergers and Acquisitions. Our lawyers maintain strong relationships with members of the SEC staff, and when the need arises, will help our clients resolve potential reporting and compliance issues. We also provide our clients early warning of new regulatory developments and emerging trends to help them prepare for change in a considered way tailored to their business and circumstances.
Securities compliance services we provide to our clients include:
Advising on the legal impacts of sweeping regulatory reforms, including the Dodd–Frank Act and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.
Preparing and reviewing Securities Act registration statements.
Preparing and reviewing annual and special meeting proxy statements.
Reviewing and advising on Forms 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K, 20-F, and 6-K.
Developing and complying with insider trading policies.
Reviewing drafts of quarterly earnings releases and investor presentations.
Assisting with disclosure judgments and analysis.
Developing corporate governance guidelines and board committee charters and assisting with board and committee compliance matters.
Preparing and reviewing Regulation Fair Disclosure policies and assisting with related compliance.
Advising on beneficial ownership (Schedule 13D/G) and short-swing profits (Forms 3, 4, and 5) reporting and compliance.
Drafting no-action and exemptive letter requests to the SEC staff, including requests related to shareholder proposals.
Assisting with auditor independence issues and other accounting-related disclosure questions.
The following transactions illustrate the range of our experience:
Represented Starwood Real Estate Income Trust Inc. in its $5 billion initial public offering.
Represented Essex Property Trust Inc., an S&P 500 West Coast apartment development company, in its $1.25 billion at-the-market common stock program.
Represented XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., an Israeli company listed on Nasdaq, in its registered direct offering of 100 million ordinary shares represented by 1 million American depositary shares.
Represented Advaxis Inc., a Nasdaq-listed, clinical stage biotechnology company, on multiple public offerings of common stock aggregating more than $200 million.
Represented Kabbage Inc., an online company lending to small businesses and consumers, in a $250 million Series F private placement of common stock.
Represented Fortress Biotech Inc., a Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company, in a public offering of Series A cumulative redeemable perpetual preferred stock.
Represented FIG Partners as placement agent in MainStreet Bancshares Inc.’s $45 million private placement of common stock.
Represented the underwriters in 20 public and Rule 144 offerings of notes by The Coca-Cola Company with a value of more than $50 billion.
Represented The Home Depot Inc. in 11 public offerings of notes aggregating $25 billion.
Represented Mohawk Capital Finance S.A., a wholly owned Luxembourg finance subsidiary of global flooring manufacturer Mohawk Industries Inc., in a €300 million public offering of notes guaranteed by Mohawk Industries Inc.
Represented Halyard Health Inc., a global health care company, in a $250 million exchange offer of registered notes for unregistered notes.
Represented the dealer-managers in a $300 million debt tender offer by AGCO Corporation.
Represented TMX Finance LLC and TitleMax Finance Corporation in a $450 million Rule 144A notes offering.
Represented Invesco Finance PLC, a wholly owned finance subsidiary of global investment manager Invesco Ltd., in a $500 million public offering of notes guaranteed by Invesco Ltd.
Represented Sally Beauty Holdings Inc., the leading distributor of beauty supplies in North America, in five public debt offerings by the company totaling $2.6 billion.
Represented the dealer-managers in three debt tender offers totaling $7.15 billion by The Coca-Cola Company.
Represented NYSE-listed FirstCash Inc., the world’s largest operator of pawn stores, in a $200 million debt tender offer and in a $180 million debt tender offer and consent solicitation.
Represented Equifax Inc. in the $500 million public spinoff of its ChoicePoint Inc. identification verification business.
Represented the U.S. Department of the Treasury in a public auction of common stock warrants received by Treasury from Webster Financial Corporation as consideration for Treasury’s investment of TARP funds in Webster Financial Corporation.
Represented WorldCom Inc. in a $48 billion tracking stock offering.
Represented Georgia-Pacific Corporation in a $7.8 billion tracking stock offering.