Presiding Partner: Michael W Blair
Number of partners worldwide: 137
Number of other lawyers worldwide: 450
Firm Overview: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP was founded in 1931 with the goal of offering sophisticated legal services. The firm maintains this tradition of seeking excellence in a comprehensive, modern practice spanning eight offices around the world. Lawyers are responsive, thoughtful, ethical and vigorous advocates with a substantive understanding of clients’ business needs and the many marketplaces in which they compete. Debevoise has leading practices which often have a cross-border focus, reflecting the firm’s international approach. The firm places the highest value on collaboration and interdisciplinary cooperation in order to provide clients with seamless representation across practice areas and continents. The firm represents multinational, industrial and commercial companies, private equity sponsors, major financial institutions, investment companies, banks and broker-dealers, as well as individuals in a comprehensive range of assignments.
Main Areas of Practice:
Corporate: The corporate practice spans the full range of corporate, transactional and regulatory representations. The practice includes mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, leveraged finance, business restructuring and workouts, real estate, project finance, equipment finance, structured finance, asset management, intellectual property, and environmental law. The firm has an exceptionally strong track record advising private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, as well as clients in the media and telecommunications, banking, insurance and energy & natural resources industries.
Litigation: The litigation practice handles complex matters in courts around the world, as well as before arbitration tribunals, agencies and administrative bodies worldwide.
The practice is led by lawyers of prominence and skill, and includes Co-Chairs John S. Kiernan and Mary Beth Hogan; Michael B. Mukasey, former United States Attorney General and Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, PC, the European and Asian Chair of Litigation who served as the UK’s Attorney General; 8 former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including a former Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Enforcement and a former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; a former Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement; and a former New York State Superintendent of Insurance. Debevoise is the only law firm to include amongst its ranks former Attorneys General of both the U.S. and the UK, as well as a Queen’s Counsel.
Areas of concentration include commercial disputes, white-collar criminal defense, securities and derivative actions, securities regulation, products liability, international dispute resolution, intellectual property and media, antitrust, insurance regulation and coverage disputes, bankruptcy, environmental litigation, mergers and acquisitions, employment, tax disputes and professional liability cases.
Tax & Employee Benefits: With more than 40 tax lawyers located in key international centers, Debevoise provides cutting edge tax advice in domestic and cross-border transactions. The practice works closely with clients and investment banks to develop and implement solutions for complex mergers and acquisitions, international transactions, private equity and hedge fund formations, joint ventures, bankruptcies and restructurings, public and private financings (including equipment leasing and project finance) and real estate transactions. Debevoise has extensive experience in a variety of financial products, such as funding agreement-backed notes, Tiers 1 and 2 capital offerings and hybrid securities, and on insurance industry tax issues.
United States: New York is the largest of Debevoise’s eight offices, and is home to more than 450 lawyers concentrating in corporate, litigation and tax law – often teaming with colleagues from offices in Europe and Asia, and with local counsel in Latin America, India and the Middle East, on complex cross-border matters. The Washington, D.C. office has approximately 35 lawyers who concentrate on securities regulation and enforcement, white-collar crime and commercial litigation, regulatory and transactional work for industrial and financial institutions, and international telecommunications and intellectual property matters.
Europe: Debevoise’s London office has more than 90 lawyers, including 20 partners and 8 international counsel, with over half of the lawyers English-law qualified. It is home to a diversified corporate and financial practice, as well as an internationally focused tax practice and a prominent EU competition practice. The London dispute resolution team, led by Lord Goldsmith QC, also acts some of the world’s most prominent cases in the areas of international arbitration, white-collar crime and investigations, litigation, and public international law.
Debevoise’s Moscow office has more than 25 lawyers, working with domestic and international clients on market leading matters. The office has particular strength in mergers and acquisitions, securities, general corporate law, corporate and project finance, aircraft leasing, equipment leasing, natural resources, real estate, private equity fund formation, insurance, antitrust legislation, international arbitration and tax. Debevoise’s Paris office has approximately 25 lawyers, focussing on the firm’s core practice areas, representing French, US and other multinational companies and financial institutions. In particular, the office has a formidable reputation in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financings and private equity, general corporate and tax matters, international dispute resolution, and internal investigations and corporate crime.
Debevoise’s Frankfurt office focuses on mergers and acquisitions, financing, restructuring, investment management, tax, antitrust, and the investigation of improper business practices.
Asia: Debevoise’s Hong Kong and Shanghai offices are active on some of the highest profile matters throughout China and the Asia-Pacific region. These include work on corporate and transactional matters, including capital markets, private equity, M&A and foreign direct investment.
The practice also includes top-tier international litigation and arbitration services, handling international dispute resolution, litigation, and white collar and internal investigations matters. The lawyers in Asia represent multinational companies, private equity sponsors and other investment funds in a broad range of strategic and financial investments throughout Asia.
Latin America: Debevoise has been active in Latin America for nearly 50 years and over the past decade has worked on hundreds of completed transactions in the region, including some of the largest and most challenging projects.
The firm is a recognized leader among international law firms active in Latin America. Recent work in the Latin American private equity/fund formation, project finance, media and financial service sectors, as well as the litigation and arbitration practice in the region, has further solidified the firm’s reputation. The firm’s client base includes many of the most prominent companies and families in Latin America as well as multinational corporations and private equity funds investing in the region.
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