Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson

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Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
Headquarters 1 New York Plaza
New York City
No. of offices 5
No. of attorneys 468[1]
Major practice areas General practice
Key people David Greenwald, co-chair; Valerie Ford Jacob, co-chair[2]
Revenue Decrease US$ 471.5 Million (2010)[3]
Date founded 1890s
Company type Limited liability partnership

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is a law firm founded in New York City in the early 20th century that has grown into an international law firm with offices in New York City, Washington, DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The firm has 468 attorneys worldwide. Its headquarters is in 1 New York Plaza.[4]


Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson traces its origins back nearly a century to the predecessor firms Riegelman & Bach, Riegelman Hess & Strasser and Strasser Spiegelberg Fried and Frank. These firms were founded by German Jewish attorneys at a time when such attorneys had few career opportunities.[5] In 1971, the firm took its current form with name partners Walter Fried, Hans Frank, Sam Harris, Sargent Shriver and Leslie Jacobson.

Fried Frank has seven offices today. Domestically, it opened a Washington, D.C. office in 1949. Fried Frank also opened a Los Angeles office in 1985, but closed it in 2005. In 1970, Fried Frank opened a London office becoming one of the first U.S. law firms to establish a European presence. A Paris office followed in 1993. It opened in Frankfurt in 2004. The three European offices tend to focus on international corporate transactions. The firm officially launched an office in Shanghai in October 2007.

Efforts to merge with an established UK law firm have been unsuccessful. In 2002, Fried Frank engaged in extenstive talks with UK giant Ashurst Morris Crisp,[6] but talks fell apart. Fried Frank in 2004 hired Ashurst's former managing partner, Justin Spendlove.[6]

In December 2006, the firm opened its Hong Kong office, raiding the Hong Kong and Shanghai offices of the London based international firm Simmons & Simmons, and recruiting from their Hong Kong office their greater China managing partner, Huen Wong and a number of other key partners. In order to fulfill the Law Society of Hong Kong requirements where a foreign law firm must associate itself with a local firm for at least 3 years before it can use its own name independently, Huen Wong founded a local firm under the name of Huen Wong & Co., and associated itself with Fried Frank.

The credit crisis hurt Fried Frank as it was forced to lay off lawyers and reduce its staffing. In March 2009, Fried Frank publicly said it was laying off 41 associates and 58 staff members.[7] By September 2009, its attorney head count had shrunk 26.4 percent, the largest percentage decrease of any of the 250 largest law firms in the country.[1]

In January 2015, Fried Frank announced it was closing its offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, effectively pulling the plug on its Asia practice.


The New York office has practices in public M&A and private equity; domestic and international capital markets and complex financings; asset management; corporate governance; securities regulation, compliance and enforcement; corporate reorganization, bankruptcy and debt restructuring; antitrust; intellectual property and technology; securities and shareholder litigation; white-collar crime; commercial litigation; real estate; benefits and compensation; tax; and trusts and estates.

The Washington office has practices in corporate transactions, in addition to securities regulation and enforcement, antitrust, tax, intellectual property and technology, commercial litigation, government contracts, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, and white-collar crime and internal investigations.

As a whole, the firm has a major corporate practice, and from January 1, 2002 through the second quarter of 2006, represented clients in over 410 public merger and acquisition and private equity transactions with a combined value of over $1 trillion.

Fried Frank is well known for its securities and shareholder litigation practices in the United States, and has served as defense counsel in major class actions and securities litigation. The firm has an established white-collar practice, representing clients in many of the major internal investigations and securities enforcement matters in recent years.

Fried Frank's real estate practice is predominant in New York City, and the firm handles many of the largest transactions involving commercial office space.

Representative clients[edit]

Pro bono[edit]

Fried Frank was listed as one of the top twenty firms in the United States for pro bono by The American Lawyer. The firm has worked on behalf of such organizations as the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Children’s Defense Fund, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, the Legal Aid Society, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the MINDS Foundation and the Veterans Pro Bono Consortium.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jones, Leigh (November 9, 2009). "2009 Worst Year for Lawyer Headcount in 3 Decades, Says NLJ 250 Survey" (PUBLISHED AT LAW.COM). The National Law Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ Smith, Jennifer (July 24, 2013). "Fried Frank Picks Goldman Sachs Lawyer To Lead Firm". The Wall Street Journal Law Blog. 
  3. ^ "The 2011 Global 100: Most Profits Per Partner". Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Burst Pipes Halt Goldman's Nasdaq Trading". Fox August 13, 2001. 
  5. ^ Anthony Lin, 'Can the 'Jewish Law Firm' Success Story Be Duplicated?,' New York Law Journal, May 16, 2006.
  6. ^ a b Tromans, Richard (May 16, 2002). "Ashursts and Fried Frank in transatlantic merger bid" (PUBLISHED ONLINE). Legal Week. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  7. ^ Lowe, Zach (March 30, 2009). "Fried, Frank Lays Off 41 Associates, 58 Staffers" (PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN LAWYER). The Am Law Daily. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 

External links[edit]