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B. Robbins Kiessling

Partner, Corporate

B. Robbins Kiessling is a partner in Cravath’s Corporate Department and serves as the Chair of its Financial Institutions practice. His practice encompasses a broad range of finance, banking, financial institution and related matters, including mergers and acquisitions, syndicated bank financings, leveraged finance, work‑outs and restructurings, and capital markets transactions. Mr. Kiessling’s clients have included JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, State Street Corporation and other commercial and investment banks.

Mr. Kiessling represented State Street Corporation in its acquisition of Investors Financial Services; D.E. Shaw, Perry Capital and other hedge funds in acquiring a majority equity interest in Doral Financial Corporation; Banco Santander in acquiring, as a member of a three‑bank consortium, ABN AMRO; JPMorgan and Bank of America in connection with their proposed and subsequently abandoned acquisition, together with J.C. Flowers, of SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae); and IBM in connection with its acquisition of a minority equity stake in Guangdong Development Bank.

Mr. Kiessling has also represented arrangers and lenders in many of the most notable leveraged bank financings, including acquisition financings for Allied Waste, Invista, Dex Media, SunGard Data Systems and Freeport‑McMoRan Copper & Gold, the financing for Verizon’s spin‑off of Idearc, an asset based restructuring facility for Rite Aid and numerous media and telecom credits. In addition, Mr. Kiessling has regularly represented lenders in acquisition and other financings for professional sports franchises, including facilities for the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Indians and the league‑wide credit facility for members of the National Basketball Association.

Mr. Kiessling has been repeatedly recognized as one of the country’s preeminent practitioners in banking and finance by, among others, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2007 through 2014; Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2007 through 2015; The Legal 500 from 2007 through 2014; IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms from 2005 through 2015; The Best Lawyers in America from 2007 through 2015; and Super Lawyers from 2011 through 2014. He was named Global Banking Lawyer of the Year by Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers in 2005, 2006 and 2009. Mr. Kiessling was also named in Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America from 2005 through 2010, recognized by Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers as one of 10 “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” in banking, and recognized by The Legal 500 for his transactional work in the telecom and broadcast industry.

Mr. Kiessling was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He received a B.A. cum laude from Yale University in 1973, and a J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1976, where he was an Articles Editor on the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After a clerkship with Hon. Edward Weinfeld of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, he joined Cravath in 1977. From 1979 through 1981, Mr. Kiessling worked in the Firm’s Paris office. He became a partner in 1983.

Mr. Kiessling may be reached by phone at +1‑212‑474‑1500 or by email at

+1 (212) 474-1500
+1 (212) 474-3700