Our Pittsburgh office, one of the largest in both Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania as a whole, has been renowned for more than six decades for developing innovative corporate and litigation solutions for a wide spectrum of leading enterprises based in our region or elsewhere in the world. Our office maintains a balance between litigation and corporate law (including related practice areas) and we serve our clients, ranging from some of the world’s largest corporations to mid-size and emerging companies, in a manner that exemplifies the global, integrated approach of K&L Gates.
The office has been named as the top corporate law firm in Pittsburgh for four of the last six years by Corporate Board Member magazine. The Pittsburgh office’s corporate and business practice serves virtually every industry segment including manufacturing, chemicals, metals and mining, financial services, life sciences, oil and gas, alternative energy, media, telecommunications and technology, health care, private equity, distribution, consumer goods and retail. The corporate and business practice embraces mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, private equity, finance, corporate governance and counseling, real estate, IP and technology, bankruptcy and restructurings, employee benefits and executive compensation, taxation, labor and employment, health care, tax exempt organizations and trusts and estates.
A substantial percentage of the office’s lawyers devote a significant portion of their time to private and public mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and other corporate transactions. As an illustration of the reach of that practice, we serve as preferred M&A counsel for Fortune 100 corporations based in Hartford and Houston as well as for a number of Pittsburgh’s largest corporations. Lawyers in our office recently acted as counsel to the independent fiduciary to the General Motors Pension Plan in connection with the transfer of $28 billion in pension obligations to The Prudential Insurance Company of America. This was the largest transaction of its kind to date. Additionally, lawyers in our office served as lead counsel to a $3.4 billion sale of a company to private equity firms, the largest LBO in Pittsburgh history. We are active in the development of Pittsburgh’s robotics industry. We recently counseled one of Pittsburgh’s largest corporations in a complex, three-continent transaction, involving lawyers from our firm in the U.S., China and Europe. Our Pittsburgh corporate lawyers represent a number of leading middle-market private equity firms in our region and in New York on M&A transactions, and we regularly represent middle-market companies in bet-the-company transactions. Our Pittsburgh corporate group is a national leader in M&A transactions involving ESOPs, having completed over 200 leveraged transactions.
Our Pittsburgh-based capital markets practice is also recognized as a market leader. We recently completed a $414 million IPO transaction, as well as numerous equity, debt and hybrid securities offerings for leading corporations located in our region as well as other parts of the United States. Our lawyers are active in providing securities and corporate governance counseling for our clients in a wide range of areas, including on a multi-disciplinary basis in such areas as FCPA (as well as the U.K. Bribery Act) and executive compensation, as well as drawing upon firmwide resources including our leading Global Government Solutions practice (for instance, application of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act).
The Pittsburgh-based tax practice provides a full-range of federal and state tax planning, counseling, transaction structuring and tax controversy services to public and private businesses, tax-exempt organizations, partnerships and individuals. We are experienced in the specific tax issues that apply to cross-border transactions. We also work closely with our corporate, private equity, real estate and finance groups to restructure existing equity and financial arrangements and we are at the forefront of using innovative tax strategies for the settlement of litigation matters. We recognize that tax considerations often determine the form and the viability of contemplated transactions but often are not the sole driving force. We thus work in tandem with lawyers in all practice areas throughout the firm.
The Pittsburgh office litigation lawyers are active in courts and in ADR forums in a wide variety of disciplines: securities, insurance coverage, construction, business torts, oil and gas, bankruptcy, banking, intellectual property, antitrust, white-collar crime, product liability, toxic tort, environmental, class actions and employment litigation, among other areas. Our clients are drawn from around the nation and the world, and the venues in which they use our litigators are equally far-flung. The Pittsburgh office is the fulcrum for a nationally recognized insurance coverage practice, which has litigated cases on behalf of policyholders in over 30 states across the nation, as well as nationally recognized litigation practices focused on toxic tort defense, construction and complex commercial litigation. In addition, the Pittsburgh office maintains one of the most active commercial litigation practices in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and throughout the region. As a result, our trial lawyers have been recognized by the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, American Law Institute, Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, The National Law Journal and other prestigious trial groups and publications for their trial work and litigation accomplishments.
Our intellectual property practice in the Pittsburgh office began over 25 years ago. Our lawyers, many of whom have advanced technical degrees, provide the complete range of intellectual property services from patent, trademark and copyright application preparation and prosecution, to providing advice, counseling and opinions relating to IP. In addition, our lawyers have extensive experience in transactions involving intellectual property, including IP due diligence and negotiating and drafting complex intellectual property acquisition agreements. Our lawyers also handle licensing and portfolio development in a wide variety of fields such as software, e-commerce, biotechnology and mechanical products. Some of our areas of special technical expertise include medical devices, advanced materials, agricultural products, financial services and chemical products. Further, our sizable trademark practice is privileged to handle many significant global brands. Our intellectual property litigators handle complex litigation nationwide in all aspects of intellectual property, have substantial jury and appellate experience and, working with our Seattle office colleagues, recently secured a $1.536 billion judgment for Carnegie Mellon University in a patent infringement case tried in late 2012. This judgment was based on the largest jury verdict in the U.S. in 2012 which was also the third largest verdict ever secured from a jury in a U.S. court.
The Pittsburgh office has been at the forefront of the development of the Marcellus, Utica and Huron shales representing the interests of the oil and gas industry in all facets. Our oil and gas team includes lawyers licensed to practice in the active areas of the Appalachian region, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York and who are experienced in all areas of law associated with the development of the Marcellus shale and associated infrastructure, including: regulatory/tax issues; mineral rights/leases; access to public lands; siting and land use; permitting; water resource challenges; wastewater treatment/management; surface use agreements; mediation and arbitration; public policy; and litigation. Our oil and gas litigators are involved in cases across the Commonwealth and have won four landmark cases for the oil and gas industry before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The Pittsburgh office offers a comprehensive and sophisticated real estate practice representing clients in projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania and across the country. We represent many of the leading developers in our region in the development, management, financing and sale of retail, office and industrial properties; we counsel many of Pittsburgh’s largest corporations regarding their space needs, including leases, acquisitions and dispositions; and we represent civic and non-profit organizations in connection with many of the significant redevelopment projects that have transformed the face of Pittsburgh. Our real estate lawyers draw on our deep strengths in construction law and litigation, environmental, tax assessment appeals, entity structuring, public policy and creditors’ rights to offer a full array of legal services to our real estate clients. We have significant experience in energy-related matters, including power plant development, financing and sales, wind power development and matters relating to the Marcellus shale formation.
As is the case throughout the firm, the Pittsburgh office places high value on its lawyers giving back to the community by providing pro bono services. In 2017, the Pittsburgh office received the Law Firm of the Year Pro Bono Award from the Allegheny County Bar Foundation. Collectively, our lawyers contributed more than 10,000 pro bono hours in 2017. Our pro bono service includes (i) our Protection from Abuse (“PFA”) team, a program we formed 25 years ago with Neighborhood Legal Services; (ii) re-sentencing cases for juvenile criminal defendants; (iii) immigration law cases; (iv) prisoner civil rights cases, and (v) pro bono CLE training sessions. Our associates are particularly involved in these pro bono activities, and have answered needs in the community for other programs. One example is a Wills for Heroes event that we co-sponsored with the Allegheny County Bar Association at a local public safety center to provide estate planning documents to first responders (police, fire, and EMS).