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B. Robbins Kiessling

Retired Partner, Corporate

B. Robbins Kiessling retired from Cravath’s Corporate Department in December 2015. He most recently served as the Chair of its Financial Institutions practice. His practice encompassed 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 included JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, State Street Corporation and other commercial and investment banks.

Mr. Kiessling represented Chemical Banking Corporation in its merger with Manufacturers Hanover Corporation and its acquisition of Texas Commerce Bancshares, Salomon Brothers in its acquisition by Travelers Group, 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, IBM in connection with its acquisition of a minority equity stake in Guangdong Development Bank, and General Motors in connection with the conversion of GMAC into a bank holding company.

Mr. Kiessling represented principals, advisors and financing sources in connection with many of the most significant recapitalizations, restructurings, acquisitions and receiverships of troubled financial institutions, including the FDIC‑assisted rescue of Continental Illinois, the Federal Reserve‑supervised bailout of Long‑Term Capital Management, the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan and the attempted sale and subsequent liquidation of Lehman Brothers Holdings.

Mr. Kiessling 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, Skype, NCR and Freeport‑McMoRan, the financings for Verizon’s spin‑off of Idearc and Hewlett‑Packard’s spin‑off of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, an asset‑based restructuring facility for Rite Aid and numerous media, technology and telecom credits. In addition, Mr. Kiessling 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, St. Louis Spirits, and the league‑wide credit facility for members of the National Basketball Association.

Mr. Kiessling was 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; Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business; The Legal 500; IFLR1000; The Best Lawyers in America; and Super Lawyers. 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, 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