Daily News: September 29, 2014

ALM Recognizes Smithfield Purchase as Global M&A Deal of Year

The American Lawyer’s 2014 Global Legal Awards recognized last year’s purchase of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. — the largest ever purchase of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm — among the most distinguished cross-border transactions of 2013. McGuireWoods played a substantial role in the deal.

The publication selected the $4.7 billion Smithfield acquisition as the Global Merger & Acquisition Deal of the Year China Outbound.

McGuireWoods, one of four firms involved in the sale, played key roles in the transaction, including helping Virginia-based Smithfield reassure restive U.S. lawmakers who had voiced concerns about the overseas sale of America’s largest pork producer.

It was one of 36 awards recognizing the most renowned recent cross-border work worldwide. L.F. Payne, president of McGuireWoods Consulting, represented the firm at ALM’s Global Legal Awards gala Monday night in New York.

The transaction illustrated the strengths McGuireWoods offers for clients by teaming the law firm alongside its consulting subsidiary.

Besides Payne, who directs federal public affairs for MWC, others who played pivotal roles in the deal included David Oakey, a mergers and acquisitions and securities partner in the law firm, Lee Lilley, a vice president for federal government relations at MWC, and Victoria Marchetti, a federal government relations research assistant at MWC.

“McGuireWoods was a key player in an excellent legal team that did superb work helping Smithfield complete this major transaction and we are pleased that this collaborative effort has received this recognition from ALM’s Global Legal Awards,” said Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield’s executive VP and chief sustainability officer.

The awards spotlight law offices, including corporate in-house counsel, that played substantial roles in the most distinguished cross-border work performed between Jan. 1, 2013, and April 14, 2014, across a wide range of disciplines. More than 270 nominations were received from 66 law firms reflecting work on more than 170 transactions.