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Industry Overview


For over 100 years, Cravath has worked with America’s leading transportation companies, from handling the earliest railroad litigation involving Commodore Vanderbilt in the Erie Railway matter to advising Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation in its acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway. Our corporate transportation experience includes mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and banking and credit matters, equipment leasing and other complex financings, financial restructuring and reorganizations, corporate governance, executive compensation and board advisory work. Cravath litigators routinely work with transportation clients on antitrust, bankruptcy, general commercial, securities and shareholder matters.

The Firm has been at the forefront of advising leading transportation companies and their financial advisors in the airline, automotive, shipping and railroad sectors. Our clients have included Atlas Air, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Conrail, Costamare, CSX, Delphi Automotive, Delta Air Lines, Hertz, PSA Peugeot, Spirit AeroSystems, Thai Airways and United Airlines.

Our lawyers have represented airlines in numerous transactions, including United Airlines in its $7 billion merger of equals with Continental Airlines and Delta in its investment in and joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. We have handled significant litigation for clients in the airline industry, representing Thai Airways in putative class‑action antitrust lawsuits alleging price fixing; United Airlines in stockholder and antitrust suits concerning its merger with Continental Airlines; and Spirit AeroSystems and Atlas Air in various contract disputes. In the automotive sector, we have handled many of the recent high‑profile deals, such as Hertz in its $2.6 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty; PSA Peugeot in its strategic alliance with General Motors; certain investors in Delphi Automotive in connection with its buyback of General Motors’ and PBGC’s equity interest for $4.4 billion; and Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup in the refinancing by Chrysler LLC of the debt provided by the U.S. Treasury and the Canadian Government. In addition, we have extensive experience representing shipping companies, including Overseas Shipholding Group in its $1.3 billion acquisition of Stelmar Shipping and its $454 million acquisition of Maritrans, as well as issuers such as Costmare, DHT Holdings and Double Hull Tankers in various securities offerings. Our work in the railroad business is also well regarded. We represented Burlington Northern Santa Fe in its $44 billion acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway and Conrail in its acquisition by Norfolk Southern and CSX. We also successfully represented CSX in its lawsuit against two prominent activist hedge funds that sought five seats on CSX’s Board of Directors, The Children’s Investment Fund and 3G Capital Partners. Cravath lawyers routinely represent underwriters in securities offerings for major transportation companies including, among others, Air Canada, CMA CGM, Gennessee & Wyoming, Knightsbridge Tankers, Navistar International, Safe Bulkers, Seaspan, Teekay Tankers, Tsakos Energy Navigation and Union Pacific.