Davis Polk & Wardwell

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk logo.gif
Headquarters New York City
No. of offices 10 (2011)
No. of attorneys 853 (2009)
Major practice areas Full-service firm
Key people Thomas J. Reid Managing Partner
Revenue $846 million (2009)
Date founded 1849
Company type LLP
Website
davispolk.com

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is an international law firm that is consistently ranked one of the five most prestigious law firms in the world.[1] The firm employs more than 800 attorneys worldwide and is headquartered in New York City. The firm represents many of the world's largest companies and leading financial institutions, and is best known for its corporate and litigation practices, considered among the best in the world.[2] Davis Polk has been dubbed the "Tiffany of law firms" because of its genteel and aristocratic white shoe culture.[3]

Contents

History

The firm traces its origins to Gunthrie, Bangs & Van Sinderen, founded in 1849 by Francis S. Bangs, an opponent of Tammany Hall.[4] The firm changed its name several times to account for new partners, using names such as Bangs, Stetson, Tracy, and McVeigh and Stetson, Jennings & Russell. Among other high-profile lawyers, Grover Cleveland served as a member of the firm during the interval between his two non-consecutive presidential terms.[5] Davis Polk was located at 15 Broad Street from around 1889 until 1959.

The firm takes its current name from three 20th century partners: John W. Davis, Frank Polk, and Allen Wardwell. Davis, a former U.S. Solicitor General and the 1924 Democratic presidential nominee, made 139 oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court, most infamously in Brown v. Board of Education, in which he represented South Carolina in defense of racial segregation. With Polk and Wardwell, Davis developed close ties between the firm and the J.P. Morgan companies, as well as the Guaranty Trust Company, the Associated Press, and International Paper. (These ties were long standing, going back to Stetson himself.)

The firm has represented numerous clients in the ongoing financial crisis, with roles in the AIG, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, and Citigroup matters.[6] It has also served as lead counsel to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the U.S. Treasury’s $250 billion bank capital purchase program and the creation of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility.[7] To bolster its financial regulatory practice, the firm recently hired three former Securities and Exchange Commission officials—Commissioner Annette Nazareth, Director of Enforcement Linda Chatman Thomsen, and Deputy Director of Trading and Markets Robert Colby—as well as former White House Staff Secretary Raul Yanes and former FDIC General Counsel John Douglas.[8]

Davis Polk Alumni in Public Service

Judiciary

  • Ronnie Abrams - Nominee, U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York[9]
  • Thomas J. Aquilino, Jr. - Senior Judge, U.S Court of International Trade
  • Richard M. Berman - U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York
  • Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum - Senior U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York
  • Denny Chin - U.S. Circuit Court Judge, Second Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Warren Eginton - Senior U.S. District Court Judge, District of Connecticut
  • Thomas P. Griesa - Senior U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York
  • J. Michael Luttig - Former U.S. Circuit Court Judge, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Cheryl L. Pollak - U.S. Magistrate Court Judge, Eastern District of New York
  • Amy J. St. Eve - U.S. District Court Judge, Northern District of Illinois
  • Louis L. Stanton - Senior U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York
  • John M. Walker, Jr. - U.S. Circuit Court Judge, Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Elected Office

Law Enforcement & Financial Regulation

Other Government Service

Other Prominent Alumni

Business

Media & Entertainment

Academia

Recognitions

  • In 2010, Davis Polk was ranked third in "Revenue per Lawyer" by the American Lawyer's top 100 National Firms.[24]
  • Davis Polk ranked among the top three U.S. law firms in a survey in which Fortune 250 law departments were asked to name the firms they rely on most in corporate transactions.[25]
  • The firm had more #1 capital markets rankings than any other law firm in 2007,[26] and in 2008, the firm advised the underwriters in the Visa IPO, the largest IPO in U.S. history,[27] and the GE offering, the largest follow-on offering in U.S. history.[27]
  • The firm ranked 3rd among U.S. law firms in both worldwide announced and completed M&A transactions in 2007.[28]
  • Davis Polk was ranked among the top law firms in U.S. buyouts and venture capital investments by Chambers Global, which noted that the firm "is able to leverage off its outstanding M&A strength in covering the broad spectrum of private equity work.’”[29]
  • The firm was ranked among the top law firms in private equity fund formation by Chambers Global, which noted that Davis Polk's investment management group "has a strong presence in the private funds market and has leveraged off the firm’s impressive finance practice in forging strong relationships with a significant number of investment banks.”[29]
  • The firm's litigation practice ranks in the first tier among New York law firms, according to Chambers USA.[30]
  • Individual Davis Polk insolvency & restructuring lawyers were named “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer[31]
  • “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer” by Turnarounds & Workouts[32] and “Lawyer of the Year” by Law Business Research’s Who’s Who Legal–International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers.[33]
  • Davis Polk ranked in the first tier among New York law firms in U.S. tax matters by Chambers USA, which commented that “with a ‘terrific team of excellent tax lawyers,’ the group successfully mixes M&A and finance, establishing itself as one of the premier law firms in New York, and indeed across the USA.”[30]
  • At the 2008 ALB SE Asia Law Awards,[34] Davis Polk & Wardwell was crowned:
    • Deal of the Year - Debt Market Deal of the Year
    • Deal of the Year - Equity Market Deal of the Year
  • At the 2008 ALB China Law Awards,[34] Davis Polk & Wardwell was crowned:
    • Deal of the Year - M&A Deal of the Year
  • In 2008 was crowned by the 2008 ALB Japan Law Awards[34] as the:
    • Deal of the Year - M&A Deal of the Year
    • Deal of the Year - Japan Deal of the Year
  • In October 2008, a Davis Polk team working with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund won a $4.6 million judgment[35] on behalf of immigrant workers who were being paid below the statutory minimum wage by their employer, a popular Manhattan restaurant.[36]
  • In March 2007, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) awarded Davis Polk its Heroes Honors 25th Anniversary Award for the corporate pro bono work the firm has done on the organization’s behalf.
  • The New York State Bar Association presented senior counsel Jimmy Benkard with the 2007 President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the First Judicial District for his exemplary work on behalf of mentally ill prisoners incarcerated in the New York State prison system.[37]

Offices

North America

South America

  • São Paolo - Opened in 2011 and is the firm's latest office opening headed by Maurice Blanco.

Europe

  • London - Opened in 1973 as the firm's second overseas office. The firm only practices New York law in London.
  • Paris - Opened in 1962 as the firm's first overseas office. The firm practices New York and French law in Paris.
  • Madrid - Opened in 2001, building on its relationship with leading Spanish bank Banco Santander Central Hispano.

Asia

  • Hong Kong (Hong Kong Club Building). In addition to its well-established New York-law practice in Hong Kong, the firm recently launched a Hong Kong-law practice after recruiting the former managing partner of the Beijing office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and another partner from the legal department of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Tokyo (Izumi Garden Tower)
  • Beijing

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/rankings/individual?rankingId1=2&rankingId2=-1&rankings=1&regionId=0&rankingYear=2012
  2. ^ http://www.chambers-associate.com/FirmFeature/3833
  3. ^ http://www.chambers-associate.com/FirmFeature/3833
  4. ^ "Francis S. Bangs, Leading Lawyer, Dies". New York Times. March 3, 1920. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E07E3DA103BEE32A25750C0A9659C946195D6CF. 
  5. ^ Allan Nevins, Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage, p.450.
  6. ^ http://abovethelaw.com/2008/09/davis_polk_making_bank.php
  7. ^ http://www.dpw.com/news/financialcrisis.htm
  8. ^ Scannell, Kara (April 13, 2009). "Davis Polk Recruits Ex-SEC Aide". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123958616552412509.html. 
  9. ^ Peter Lattman, Davis Polk Lawyer Nominated for Federal Bench, New York Times, July 29, 2011
  10. ^ Derek Jensen, Utah's Newest Senator - He's LDS, Liberal, and Rising Rapidly, Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 23, 2010
  11. ^ Peter Lattman, Davis Polk Lawyer Nominated for Federal Bench, New York Times, July 29, 2011
  12. ^ Ben Protess, Davis Polk Hires Former Antitrust Regulator, New York Times, August 18, 2011
  13. ^ William F. Kroener III Appointed FDIC General Counsel, Press Release, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  14. ^ Amir Efrati, Davis Polk ‘Rock Star’ To Lead DOJ’s Fraud Section, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2009
  15. ^ Finra's Susan Merrill to Exit as Enforcement Chief, Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2010
  16. ^ Ben Protess, Davis Polk Hires Former Antitrust Regulator, New York Times, August 18, 2011
  17. ^ Ben Protess, Davis Polk Hires Former Antitrust Regulator, New York Times, August 18, 2011
  18. ^ White House Counsel Brings in New Staff, Legal Times, August 17, 2011
  19. ^ CGI Leadership
  20. ^ New HKEx Chief Touts China Ties, Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2009
  21. ^ Abercrombie & Fitch Names Ronald Robins General Counsel, Corporate Counsel, November 22, 2010
  22. ^ Francis L. Steton, Lawyer, Dies at 74,' The New York Times, December 6, 1920
  23. ^ Amory Bradford, 85, Times General Manager, New York Times, September 6, 1998
  24. ^ http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTAL.jsp?id=1202448485080
  25. ^ Corporate Counsel, September 2007.
  26. ^ Bloomberg.
  27. ^ a b http://www.dpw.com/news/
  28. ^ Thomson Financial.
  29. ^ a b Chambers Global (2007).
  30. ^ a b Chambers USA (2007).
  31. ^ The American Lawyer.
  32. ^ Turnarounds & Workouts.
  33. ^ Who’s Who Legal–International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers (2007).
  34. ^ a b c www.legalbusinessonline.com.au
  35. ^ http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/files/saigon_grill_decision.pdf
  36. ^ http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202425494328&rss=newswire
  37. ^ https://readme.readmedia.com/news/show/2007_President_s_Pro_Bono_Service_Award_Winners_Announced/608

External links


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