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Honigman ranked number one in the U.S. as legal advisor for banks and thrifts for number of deals

January 18, 2011

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP (Honigman) is number one in the United States as the legal advisor for banks and thrifts ranked by number of deals in 2010, according to SNL Financial, a leading source for banking data and news. The ranking places Honigman at the top of the list with many of the nation’s most prominent law firms, including Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Hunton & Williams LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates; and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

In earning this top ranking, Honigman represented banks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

“Since the financial crisis in 2008, maintaining sufficient regulatory capital ratios has challenged financial institutions of all sizes,” said Phillip D. Torrence, Chair of Honigman’s Financial Institutions Practice Group and Managing Partner of the firm’s Kalamazoo office. “This has resulted in financial institutions recapitalizing, merging operations or selling assets at a greater pace than in the past. We have been pleased to guide clients through this process, particularly since it has helped many banks stay in business.”

According to Honigman, community and regional banks have generally benefited from real estate development and small business loans in the past, but these cash resources have diminished since the economic downturn beginning in late 2008. More than 150 small banks closed in the U.S. in 2010. Indicators show that consumer and small business loans began to rise at the end of 2010 and the upward trend is expected to continue in 2011. In addition, Congress recently passed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which allows the Treasury Department to boost the capital levels of community banks to facilitate small-business lending.

“Honigman has provided Capitol Bancorp with outstanding representation in divesting some of our banking subsidiaries’ assets and recapitalizing others for the purpose of reallocating capital to enhance the regulatory capital of our retained banking subsidiaries,” said Brian English, General Counsel, Capitol Bancorp Ltd. “The banking industry has had many serious challenges and the Honigman team has helped us successfully navigate those waters. The Honigman Financial Institutions team has served as a literal extension of our internal team. The value we received for the price we paid was amazing. Whenever we have had complex legal issues, particularly those involving our holding company or regulatory issues involving our banks, we rely on Honigman. This firm is the class of the field and has always delivered positive results. In my opinion, there is no other choice.”

In addition to the SNL ranking, Honigman’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice recently was recognized by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers as one of the top-rated practices nationally. Honigman was the only Michigan law firm to be ranked in the top tiers of this national ranking along with some of the largest money-center law firms in the country, including Goodwin Procter LLP, Jones Day and Winston & Strawn LLP.