This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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On 1 January 2013, Evan Chesler became Cravath Swaine & Moore’s chairman as Allen Parker took on his former role of presiding partner. Chesler will continue to try cases and will be responsible for leading many of the firm’s most important client relationships.
|CRAVATH SWAINE & MOORE|
|Capital Markets||5||Insolvency & Restructuring||1|
|Corporate Governance||6||Real Estate||1|
Cravath Swaine & Moore’s goal is to be the “firm of choice” for clients with respect to their most critical transactions and disputes and unlike many of its competitors, the firm does not strive to be the largest by number of lawyers or offices. With just two offices, in New York and London, the firm is committed to training and promoting internally and prides itself on the excellence of its lawyers.
|Total Listings in WWL||33||Established||1819|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||434|
|Number of partners||87||Number of offices||2|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Cravath’s corporate practice has a “prestigious reputation” in the market and attracts clients of the highest calibre. Scott Barshay was recently part of the team representing AerCap in connection with its $5.4 billion acquisition of International Lease Finance Corporation. Head of Cravath’s corporate department, he specialises in advising public companies, board of directors and special committees in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other significant corporate matters. He is “highly knowledgeable” on corporate governance and fiduciary duty matters. Cravath is currently representing Time Warner Inc in the proposed spin-off of Time Inc. Richard Hall is a lead partner on the deal. Philip Gelston is chair of the firm’s M&A practice; he specialises in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and general corporate counselling. Mark Greene is the leader of the firm’s international practice and chair of the firm’s business development group. He specialises in corporate governance and securities matters as well as M&A transactions. Faiza Saeed is co-head of the M&A group. She advises on consensual and hostile transactions, leverages buyouts, strategic investments, takeover defence, proxy contests and hedge fund activism. Robert Townsend is also co-head of the M&A group and his clients have included Avon, Brunswick, Johnson & Johnson, Sprint and Olin. John White is co-chair of the corporate governance and board advisory practice and is in “high demand” due to his knowledge gained while director of the division of corporate finance at the US Securities and Exchange Commission where he oversaw disclosure and reporting by public companies in the US.
Capital markets “expert” William Rogers Jr was recently part of the team advising Shell International Finance BV in connection with its US$2.5 billion registered debt offering, guaranteed by Royal Dutch Shell plc. The notes were listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Michael Goldman is the leader of the commercial banking practice and focuses on complex syndicated loan transactions, acquisition and leveraged finance, asset-based lending and securities offerings.
Head of the tax department Stephen Gordon is a “high-profile figure” in the sector advising on the tax aspects of transactions and issues relating to corporate finance and domestic and international taxation. He recently advised Bristol Myers-Squibb in connection with its pending $4.1 billion disposition of its diabetes business to AstraZeneca.
In the litigation department, the aforementioned Evan Chesler is singled out for his expertise in complex litigation and patent disputes. He recently represented Mylan in its successful appeal to reinstate validity of COPD drug patents in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Cravath has a long-standing history of representing those unable to afford legal counsel. Representative clients and alliances include the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Covenant House, Friend’s of the High Line, Lawyers Alliance for New York and UNICEF. The firm recently won a landmark settlement on behalf of homeless families with children. In the settlement, New York City acknowledged after 25 years of litigation that homeless families have a state constitutional right to shelter and has agreed to an enforceable judgement that sets the legal parameters for emergency shelter for homeless people. Lawyers at Cravath worked alongside the Legal Aid Society.
According to the firm, there is no Cravath “type”. The firm’s lawyers come from a wide variety of different backgrounds but share the common qualities of “intelligence, creativity, work ethic and a desire to excel”. Internally the firm has created affinity groups including networks for women, Hispanic/Latino, LGBT, African-American/black and Asian/Pacific-Islander employees, to enable associates to seek informal mentoring.
Cravath lawyers have a common goal of serving clients in an efficient and effective manner. Its long-held view of recruiting and retaining the very best will ensure that the firm continues to be acknowledged as a leader in its respective areas of expertise.
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