Cravath, Swaine & Moore
|Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP|
New York City
|No. of offices||2|
|No. of attorneys||433 |
|Major practice areas||General Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities and Banking, Litigation, Tax, Executive Compensation, Trusts and Estates|
|Key people||C. Allen Parker
Evan R. Chesler
|Revenue||US$ $614 million |
|Founder||Richard M. Blatchford  and William H. Seward|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP (known as Cravath) is an American law firm based in New York City, with an additional office in London. Cravath was founded in 1819 and ranks among the most prestigious law firms in the United States.
The firm arose from two predecessor firms, led by Richard M. Blatchford in New York City, and William H. Seward in Auburn, New York, respectively. In 1854, these firms merged to form the firm of Blatchford, Seward & Griswold. Named partner Samuel Blatchford had been appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1822 by President Chester Arthur, and served for 11 years until his death. Named partner Seward later served as both Governor and then Senator from New York. As Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln, Seward kept Britain and France from intervening during the Civil War by threatening war, supported the 1865 passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, and in 1867, under Andrew Johnson, he negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia in a transaction contemporaries derisively called "Seward's Folly." Paul Drennan Cravath, who joined the firm in 1899, developed and instituted the "Cravath System", which combines a distinctive way of approaching the hiring, training and compensation of lawyers. In 1944, after a series of name changes, the name Cravath, Swaine & Moore was established and has not been altered since.
Cravath has represented some of America’s great inventors, from Samuel F.B. Morse in the late 1840s, Cyrus McCormick, Elias Howe, and Charles Goodyear in the 1850s, to Thomas Edison in the 1880s. Some current client relationships that began in the 1800s are with CBS, JPMorgan, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The firm has had a long record of clients in the US railroad industry beginning with the New York & Erie and Union Pacific railroads, and express delivery businesses such as Adams, Southern, and Wells Fargo. Its 19th century history includes the 1808 insanity defense of William Freeman for the murder of John G. Van Nest, the 1848 Jones v. Van Zandt challenge to the constitutionality of slavery, and the Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company tax case of 1895. Cases of mention before the Supreme, appellate and Chancery courts in more recent decades have been Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. and Westfed Holdings Inc. v. United States, and City of Providence v. First Citizens BancShares Inc. et al. Important litigation work with IBM has included two landmark antitrust cases, one of which was a 13-year battle dubbed by Time magazine as “the case of the century."
The firm has represented entities in the United Kingdom and Europe since the 1820s from the Bank of England, to landmark public offerings by EU predecessors since the 1950s. Entities such as HM Treasury, Grupo Modelo, and Santander are among the more recent international clients. Cravath drew attention to its bankruptcy practice on November 10, 2010, by offering free representation in advance of a likely Chapter 9 filing for Harrisburg, PA. The firm's restructuring work traces back to clients such as Goodyear in 1921. After their 1916 reorganization of corporations lectures before the Bar of the City of New York, Paul D. Cravath and William D. Guthrie were reviewed to be "men of wide experience in these matters," and several of their partners including Alexander I. Henderson and Robert T. Swaine "ranked among the leaders of the reorganization bar."
In November 2014, Cravath notably handled three M&A transactions in one day, spanning advertising, spirits, and pharmaceutical industries; and acted as legal advisor in a recently-announced deal backed by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that will create the third-largest food and beverage company in North America. Other significant representations have included legal work necessary to form NBC, United Airlines in its merger with Continental Airlines, the world's largest airline, to Unilever in its acquisition of Alberto Culver. In 2010, its litigation department won summary judgment for Morgan Stanley on its breach of contract claim against Discover Financial Services. In a subsequent settlement, Discover agreed to pay Morgan Stanley $775 million to resolve the litigation. In the same year they successfully represented Barnes & Noble in a landmark "poison pill" trial. In the past several decades Cravath has represented Netscape in its antitrust suit against Microsoft, resulting in a $750 million settlement; major merger and acquisition deals, such as the DuPont-Conoco merger, the Ford-Jaguar merger, the Bristol-Myers-Squibb merger, the Time-Warner merger, and the AOL-Time-Warner merger; and two famed libel suits: defending Time Inc. against Israeli General Ariel Sharon, and also defending CBS against U.S. Army General William Westmoreland.
Unlike others, Cravath has remained relatively small. Its approximately 500 lawyers are located primarily in the New York Office, with just a few dozen in the London office, which opened in 1973.
Cravath was ranked #2 in the 2013 Vault law firm "overall rankings." The firm consistently ranks within the top 3 on numerous Vault.com specialty rankings, including Antitrust, Corporate, Litigation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities and Tax. Chambers and Partners ranks Cravath in its top tier for Banking & Finance, Capital Markets (Debt & Equity), Corporate/M&A, Environmental, Media and Entertainment, Securities and General Commercial Litigation and Tax.
The firm is known for focusing its hiring on associates straight from law school; lateral hires are rare at any level. In 2005, Cravath hired Andrew W. Needham, formerly a tax partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, as the first lateral partner since Herbert L. Camp, also a tax partner, from the now-defunct Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine in 1987. Camp, however, had previously been a Cravath associate and is therefore not considered a true lateral because he started his career there. Before that, Roswell Magill, a former Treasury Department official, became a Cravath tax partner in 1943. In 2007, the firm brought in Richard Levin from Skadden, Arps to boost its new bankruptcy practice. In 2011, Cravath hired Christine A. Varney, a former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division for the Obama Administration. In 2013, the firm hired David Kappos, who served as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Notable current and former employees
- Deborah Batts, judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Samuel Blatchford, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
- William O. Douglas, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
- John T. Elfvin, federal judge nominated by President Ford
- Katherine B. Forrest, judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- John Gleeson, judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- James Clark McReynolds, United States Attorney General; Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, nominated by President Wilson
- Elijah Miller, judge in Auburn, New York; Auburn firm named partner with Seward from 1823
- Elizabeth S. Stong, bankruptcy judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York
- Carol Bellamy, Director of the Peace Corps; New York State Senator; President of New York City Council
- Richard M. Blatchford, Minister Resident to the States of the Church in Rome, Italy in the Lincoln administration; early Whig Party member
- Raynal C. Bolling, U.S. Army Colonel in World War I, first high-ranking officer killed in that war
- Richard C. Breeden, activist hedge fund manager and former United States Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman
- Valerie E. Caproni, Federal Bureau of Investigation General Counsel
- Joseph P. Cotton, Jr., 8th Under Secretary of State in Hoover administration
- Kenneth W. Dam, Deputy Secretary of Treasury, 2001–2003; Deputy Secretary of State, 1982–1985
- Patricia M. Geoghegan, Acting Special Master for Troubled Asset Relief Program Executive Compensation
- Seymour P. Gilbert, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in Wilson and Harding administrations
- Roswell Gilpatric, Deputy Secretary of Defense, 1961–1964; Chairman, Task Force on Nuclear Proliferation, 1964
- H. Struve Hensel, General Counsel in Departments of Navy and Defense 1941-1955; Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in Eisenhower administration
- David Kappos, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- Roswell Magill, Treasury Department official
- Timothy G. Massad, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; former Assistant Secretary of the of the Office of Financial Stability
- Carlyle E. Maw, Legal Adviser of the Department of State in Nixon administration
- John J. McCloy, former Assistant Secretary of War, former president of the World Bank, former adviser to several U.S. presidents
- Alfred McCormack, Director of Intelligence of the Military Intelligence Service and Special Assistant to the Secretary of State
- G. William Miller, Chair of the Federal Reserve 1978-1979; United States Secretary of the Treasury 1979-1981
- Christopher Morgan, U.S. Representative from New York
- Basil O'Connor, head of the March of Dimes
- John Porter, New York State Senator 1843-1846
- Howard C. Petersen, Assistant Secretary of War under President Truman; Special Assistant for International Trade Policy under President Kennedy
- Richard R. Rogers, Military Governor of Panama Canal Zone under President Theodore Roosevelt
- Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr., New York City Corporation Counsel
- Clarence A. Seward, briefly Assistant Secretary of State for Andrew Johnson administration; later Judge Advocate for New York State
- William Seward, former U.S. Senator and Governor of New York, and U.S. Secretary of State under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson
- Christine A. Varney, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division for the Obama Administration and Federal Trade Commissioner for the Clinton Administration
- John W. White, former SEC Director of Corporation Finance
- Dick Zimmer, former Representative for New Jersey's 12th congressional district and 2008 candidate for U.S. Senate
- Frederick S. Beebe, Chairman of The Washington Post Co. and Newsweek
- Kevin Buehler, Director at McKinsey & Company
- Maxwell Evarts, railroad executive for Southern Pacific et al
- John P. Fishwick, railroad executive for Norfolk & Western
- Walker D. Hines, railroad executive and second Director General of the United States Railroad Administration in Wilson administration
- Robert A. Kindler, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley
- Russell C. Leffingwell, Chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co.
- Adebayo Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner of Global Infrastructure Partners
- Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner
- Bruce Wasserstein, Chairman of Lazard
- Devin Wenig, CEO-designate of eBay
- Thomas D. Barr, litigator who represented IBM in a 13-year antitrust case
- David Boies, litigator who represented Al Gore in Bush v. Gore, founding partner of Boies, Schiller & Flexner
- Bruce Bromley, famous litigator in the 1950s and 1960s
- Paul D. Cravath, corporate lawyer, Cravath firm name partner, presiding partner 1906-1940, pioneer of the Cravath System
- Lloyd Cutler, founding partner of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering
- William D. Guthrie, business consolidation and reorganization lawyer, initiated and directed litigation and appeal in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.
- Robert D. Joffe, antitrust and corporate law expert, key figure behind the AOL-Time Warner merger
- Hoyt A. Moore, Cravath firm name partner, presiding partner 1949-1957
- Victor Morawetz, author of the first book on modern law, The Law of Private Corporations (1882)
- John H. Pickering, founding partner of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering
- John B. Quinn, founding partner of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
- Robert T. Swaine, Cravath firm name partner, presiding partner 1940-1949; author of The Cravath Firm and It’s Predecessors: 1819-1947, two volumes
- Anita L. Allen, Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Vice Provost for Faculty and professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, and member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Aditi Bagchi, professor at Fordham University School of Law
- Jack Balkin, professor at Yale Law School
- Royce de rohan Barondes, professor at University of Missouri School of Law
- John S. Beckerman, Associate Dean at Rutgers Law School-Camden
- Thomas J. Brennan, professor at Northwestern University School of Law
- Ronald Chen, Dean at Rutgers Law School, former Public Advocate of New Jersey
- Lawrence A. Cunningham, professor at George Washington University Law School, editor of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America
- John C. Coffee, professor at Columbia Law School, securities law expert
- Gary Francione, animal rights theorist and professor at Rutgers Law School
- Wulf A. Kaal, professor at University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minneapolis)
- John Leitner, the youngest professor in the history of Seoul National University
- Charles A. Reich, former Yale Law School professor
- Dana Remus, professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law
- Eugene V. Rostow, Dean of Yale Law School; Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under President Lyndon B. Johnson
- Catherine Struve, professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School, reporter to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules
- Suja A. Thomas, professor at the University of Illinois
- William H. Widen, professor at the University of Miami School of Law, contracts law
Publishing and cinema
- Thomas Hauser, author
- Carrie Kei Heim, writer, attorney and former child actress
- Alan J. Hruska, writer, director, and producer in film, theater, and fiction 
- Gerald Posner, journalist
- James B. Stewart, journalist and author
- "Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP - Company Overview". Retrieved 2015-04-06.
- "American Lawyer Profile". Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- Charles Lanman (1876). Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the United States: During Its First Century. From Original and Official Sources. J. Anglim. pp. 38–.
- "Rankings & Review - 2015 Vault.com Inc.". Vault. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- Chambers and Partners
- Robert T. Swaine (April 2012). The Cravath Firm and Its Predecessors, 1819-1947. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-1-58477-713-7.
- Michael Burlingame (September 14, 2012). "The Patriot-Statesman". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
- "MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections, Historical Patent Records from the Blatchford, Seward & Griswold Collection (1841-1910)". libraries.mit.edu. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- Lawrence M. Friedman (1 June 2005). A History of American Law: Third Edition. Simon and Schuster. pp. 486–. ISBN 978-0-7432-8258-1.
- Quentin R. Skrabec (2007). George Westinghouse: Gentle Genius. Algora Publishing. pp. 190–. ISBN 978-0-87586-507-2.
- Gharnow, Ron (2001). The House of Morgan. New York, New York: Grove Press.
- David Grayson Allen; Kathleen McDermott (1 January 1993). Accounting for Success: A History of Price Waterhouse in America, 1890-1990. Harvard Business Press. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-0-87584-328-5.
- George Martin (1 January 1997). Causes and Conflicts: The Centennial History of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 1870-1970. Fordham Univ Press. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-0-8232-1735-9.
- Austin Abbott; Benjamin Vaughan Abbott (1872). Abbott's Practice Cases. J.S. Voorhies. pp. 458–.
- "Cayuga County Courthouse and the Case that Helped Establish the Insanity Defense in New York". www.nycourts.gov/publications/benchmarks. Spring 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- Hall, Benjamin F. (1848). The trial of William Freeman for the murder of John G. Van Nest. Auburn: Derby, Miller & Co. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- Junius P. Rodriguez (1 January 1997). The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery. ABC-CLIO. pp. 383–. ISBN 978-0-87436-885-7.
- Harvard Law Review. Harvard Law Review Pub. Association. 1911. pp. 36–.
- Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. (Supreme Court of the United States April 17, 2013). Text
- Westfed Holdings Inc. v. United States (United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit May 12, 2005). Text,
- City of Providence v. First Citizens BancShares Inc. et al. (The Delaware Court of Chancery September 8, 2014). Text
- "Business: The Case of the Century", Time, May 21, 1979, retrieved April 10, 2015
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- Kermit L. Hall; David S. Clark (2 May 2002). The Oxford Companion to American Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 408–. ISBN 978-0-19-508878-6.
- D. Grier Stephenson (2003). The Waite Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy. ABC-CLIO. pp. 133–. ISBN 978-1-57607-829-7.
- Rasmussen, Morten (December 2010). "Constructing and Deconstructing Constitutional European Law: Some reflections on how to study the history of European law" (PDF). Europe. The New Legal Realism, (Europe. The New Legal Realism, DJØF Publishing: Århus, 2010). Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- "Legal Newswire – Cravath Represents HM Treasury In Recapitalization Plan For Three UK Banks". LawFuel.com. October 17, 2008. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- Scott, Mark (June 29, 2012). "Brewer to Buy Remaining Stake in Grupo Modelo". DealBook (The New York Times). Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- "Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (SC) IPO". http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/ipos. January 23, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- Poor's Cumulative Service. Poor's Publishing House. 1921. pp. 131–.
- Robert C. Perez; Edward F. Willett (6 June 1995). Clarence Dillon: A Wall Street Enigma. Madison Books. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-1-4617-1383-8.
- The Nation. J.H. Richards. 1917. pp. 641–.
- James Byrne; Paul Drennan Cravath; George Woodward Wickersham; Gilbert Holland Montague, William Dameron Guthrie (1917). Some Legal Phases of Corporate Financing, Reorganization and Regulation. Macmillan. pp. 153–.
- David A. Skeel Jr. (24 April 2014). Debt's Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America. Princeton University Press. pp. 102–. ISBN 978-1-4008-2850-0.
- "Cravath Handles Trio of Big-Ticket Deals", Lawdragon, November 6, 2014, retrieved April 20, 2015
- Giammona, Craig; Boyle, Matthew (March 25, 2015), "Kraft Will Merge With Heinz in Deal Backed by 3G and Buffett", BloombergBusiness, retrieved April 20, 2015
- Vault.com Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP profile
- "The Am Law 100, Firms Ranked by Profits Per Partner". The American Lawyer. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- Cravath Hires Tax Partner, Its First Lateral in Decades
- Cravath starts a bankruptcy practice
- Lattman, Peter (February 6, 2013). "Cravath Hires a 2nd Official From Obama Administration". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
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