This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR - PRO BONO
At the end of 2013 potential merger talks were called off between Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and East Coast firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Despite this, the firm has continued to move forward, strengthening the depth of its practices and has continued to go from strength to strength, with a new chairman formally taking over the reins in January this year.
|ORRICK HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE|
|Asset Recovery||1||Labour & Employment||7|
|Business Crime Defence||2||M&A||1|
|Competition||4||Product Liability Defence||2|
|Corporate Governance||1||Project Finance||2|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||1||Real Estate||2|
|Insurance & Reinsurance||1|
Silicon Valley-based partner Mitchell Zuklie replaced Ralph Baxter Jr as the global chairman and chief executive officer of Orrick in January. Baxter Jr was at the helm for over two decades and oversaw a period of exceptional growth and modernisation at the firm, moving it from a successful regional firm to a significant global player. The new chairman is set to build on his predecessor’s legacy, working closely with partners and clients around the world in order to maintain the firm’s leading position.
|Total Listings in WWL||38||Established||1863|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||1,100|
|Number of partners||345||Number of offices||25|
PEOPLE AND PLACES
Orrick boasts a globally renowned employment practice, with more than 60 lawyers worldwide focusing on this area of specialism. New York-based Michael Delikat chairs the firm’s global employment law practice group and is heralded as a “trailblazer” within the sector, notably when it comes to disputes. His “stellar” client list includes Citigroup, Facebook, Microsoft and TimeWarner. He is considered a “specialist” at representing corporations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and in other whistle-blower claims. At the firm’s Silicon Valley office, the “exceptionally talented” Lynne Hermle is hailed by peers as “one of the best litigators on the West Coast”. She has a “phenomenally strong” track record of trial jury wins, with notable cases including Maghribi v Advanced Micro Devices and Thrush v Inland Container. She has also represented several large employers, such as The Gap, Blockbuster and Burlington Coat Factory, in wage and hour class actions. New York-based practitioner Jill Rosenberg is “simply brilliant” as both litigator and counsellor, especially when it comes to discrimination and sexual harassment matters for employers in a broad range of industries. She is also the firm-wide partner in charge of pro bono programmes and serves on Orrick’s personal development, risk management and diversity committees. In Moscow, Olga Anisimova stands out for her dispute resolution skills in both the labour and employment, and product liability defence sectors. She is “extremely active” before all levels of the domestic courts and “frequently seen” on high-profile international arbitrations.
Individuals in Orrick’s “first-class” competition group are frequently called upon by businesses needing counsel in today’s increasingly complex regulatory environment. San Francisco-based Robert Rosenfeld leads the firm’s antitrust and competition team and is “undoubtedly one of the best competition lawyers in the country” according to his peers. He is a “firm favourite” with Silicon Valley companies, with Microsoft being a long-standing client. At the same office, Stephen Bomse is “the go-to guy” for cartel cases, notably those involving electronic products in Japan, Taiwan and China.
Also in San Francisco is the “formidable” Walter Brown Jr, managing director of the firm’s five business units and a member of the board. He is lauded for both his business crime defence and investigations expertise. He is “highly sought after” by public and private companies, and by audit and special committees of boards of directors to conduct internal investigations.
The Paris office boasts several prominent practitioners including the “legendary” Jean-Pierre Martel. The founder of French firm Rambaud Martel (which merged with Orrick in 2006), he is a “key figure” in the French Bar. He is renowned for his expertise in the fields of commercial litigation, corporate governance and M&A law, providing “unparalleled” advice and dispute resolution services to both French and international listed and non-listed companies. The “truly excellent” Laurent Jaeger is singled out in all three areas of dispute resolution: arbitration, mediation and commercial litigation. He co-heads the firm’s international arbitration group worldwide. He is noted for his “dedicated” approach and “top-notch negotiation skills”, with clients in the construction, oil and gas, and mining industries especially seeking out his services. His co-chair is Düsseldorf-based Siegfried Elsing, who is the firm’s lead partner for Germany. Elsing garners praise for his litigation abilities and boasts more than three decades of experience in both areas of dispute resolution and has represented private investors, international companies, sovereign states and state agencies in a wide range of significant and complex cross-border disputes.
Orrick is the inaugural winner of our Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award, reflecting the breath and depth of its commitment to projects in this field. The firm has a strong tradition of engaging in pro bono work which dates back to its foundation and today the firm has two full-time lawyers dedicated to its pro bono initiative: Rene Kathawala and Jill Rosenberg. The focus on developing opportunities in the area for all lawyers at the firm and coordinating and facilitating projects. Already this year a team assisted pro bono client the Public International Law & Policy Group, in working with the Syrian opposition’s technical team at peace negotiations in Geneva. A New York pro bono team also secured permanent residence for a client who arrived in the US as a young teen through Special Immigration Juvenile Status, while a Tokyo group has been providing corporate legal support to the US Japan Council, the US Embassy in Japan and the US government to support the Tomodachi programme (a joint US-Japanese effort to stimulate economic redevelopment in the Japanese capital after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami). These examples demonstrate the jurisdictional reach of Orrick’s programme and the impressively diverse types of projects it supports.
The firm’s key value of corporate and individual respect is reflected in its culture of diversity and inclusion. Orrick’s diversity and inclusion committee was launched in 1990 and has developed a broad range of initiatives to ensure the firm is successful at hiring, retaining and promoting diverse professionals. These include a women’s initiative and lean in circles, diversity liaisons to each practice group’s associate review committee, pipeline initiatives to support diverse youth and unconscious bias training for all partners and of counsel.
Orrick’s commitment to pro bono will remain a key initiative for the future, with its focus now being on ensuring as broad participation as possible, working efficiently and continuing to make a significant impact. The firm’s commercial practice also looks set to continue to go from strength to strength, with the firm already having been involved in several prominent deals of 2014 including advising high-tech product maker Nest as it courted a buyer, which resulted in its acquisition by Google for $3.2 billion. The firm has also continued to grow with some notable lateral hires as well as the creation of 15 new partners in January 2014, which bolstered several practice groups in its international network of offices.
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