Ropes & Gray
|Ropes & Gray|
|No. of offices||11|
|No. of attorneys||~1,000|
|Major practice areas||Private equity, M&A, Finance, Investment management, Hedge funds, Life sciences, Health care, Intellectual property, Litigation, Securities litigation, Government enforcement, Privacy & data security, Antitrust, Bankruptcy & restructuring, Tax, Real estate, Labor & employment, Executive compensation & benefits|
Bradford Malt, Chairman David Chapin, Managing PartnerHugh Simons, Chief Operating Officer
|Founder||John Codman Ropes, John Chipman Gray|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Ropes & Gray LLP is a global law firm with 11 offices located in the United States, Asia, and Europe. The firm has over 1,000 lawyers, and professionals worldwide, and its clients include corporations and financial institutions, government agencies, universities, and health care organizations. It was founded in 1865 in Boston, Massachusetts by John Codman Ropes and John Chipman Gray.
The firm's major practice areas include private equity, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, complex business litigation, securities litigation, health care, life sciences, bankruptcy and business restructuring, government enforcement and white collar crime, investment management, hedge funds, antitrust, employee benefits, tax, and real estate. The firm is a leader in intellectual property law; in 2010 the firm received the Chambers USA "Award for Excellence" recognizing it as the top IP firm in the country. In 2003, the firm acquired New York City-based private equity law firm Reboul, MacMurray, Hewitt & Maynard. In 2005, the firm acquired New York-based intellectual property law firm Fish & Neave.
Ropes & Gray is highly ranked in several publications, including The Financial Times, Vault, U.S. News / Best Lawyers, Chambers and Partners and The American Lawyer. In 2011, Ropes & Gray was named to The American Lawyer’s “A-List” ranking of 20 top law firms based on attorney diversity, pro bono work, associate satisfaction and firm performance and was 27th in the AmLaw 100, which ranks firms by gross revenue. In 2012, Ropes & Gray was ranked as the 25th most prestigious firm in the United States by Vault.
U.S. News / Best Lawyers named Ropes & Gray "Law Firm of the Year" for hedge funds for 2011-12. The firm also was among the 20 U.S. law firms with the most top-tier national rankings in the "Best Law Firms" survey. The firm was ranked in the first tier nationally in 27 areas, including banking and finance, biotechnology, corporate, general commercial litigation, health care, M&A, mutual funds, patent litigation, private equity, real estate, securities litigation, and tax, among others.
In 2012, Law360 named Ropes & Gray one of the five practice groups of the year for private equity, health law, securities litigation and white collar crime.
Directors & Boards magazine named Ropes & Gray one of the top 10 U.S. law firms in dealing with general corporate governance issues in its 2009 survey of "Top Corporate Governance Law Firms." Ropes & Gray was named one of the top five securities litigation firms in the United States by Law360 in 2011. The firm also was named one of 14 "standout" securities litigation firms in a BTI Consulting Group survey of 240 corporate counsel nationwide in 2010.
The Financial Times, in the first U.S. edition of its "Innovative Lawyers" report in December 2010, highly commended Ropes & Gray for work in automotive restructuring, citing the firm's role in representing the main credit holders in the Chapter 11 case of Plastech, the largest minority-owned auto supplier in Michigan. The firm also was commended in the litigation category for two cases: advising former senior officers of Freddie Mac in numerous securities fraud class actions and derivative actions, and its lawyers' successful arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Jones v. Harris, the seminal case on mutual funds advisor fees.
In the annual Chambers USA “Award for Excellence” honoring outstanding firms that demonstrate their pre-eminence in key practice areas, Ropes & Gray was recognized as the leading U.S. law firm for intellectual property (2010) and investment funds (2009).
In 2011, the Chambers USA guide recognized 99 Ropes & Gray attorneys as leaders in their fields in 127 separate rankings. The firm is also cited as among the country’s best in 38 categories with 16 practice areas ranked in the top band, including antitrust, banking & finance, bankruptcy/restructuring, corporate/M&A, employee benefits & executive compensation, health care, hedge & mutual funds, intellectual property, intellectual property: patent, investment funds: registered funds, labor & employment, life sciences, litigation: general commercial, private equity: buyouts, private equity: fund formation and tax.
The firm has opened offices since 2007 in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and London.
Chambers Global recognized Ropes & Gray in 15 practices, and the firm’s lawyers received 28 rankings in the 2011 edition of Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Chambers UK cited five Ropes & Gray practice areas, and Chambers Asia-Pacific recognized five Ropes & Gray practices in China and Japan.
The firm's work in Asia, which focuses on private equity, M&A, life sciences and intellectual property, has already received recognition. In 2010, for the second year in a row, Ropes & Gray received the Asian Legal Business “Technology, Media and Telecommunications Deal of the Year” award for Japan, for representing long-term client Bain Capital on its acquisition of Bellsystem24, the leading call center operator in Japan, in the largest buyout by a foreign private equity firm in Japan in nearly two years. Asian Legal Business also honored the firm's Hong Kong-based lawyers for their role in China's “M&A Deal of the Year,” GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd.’s $3.4 billion acquisition of Jiangsu Zhongneng. The firm also was recognized for having one of the leading patent firms in Japan by both Managing IP and Asia IP magazines.
Ropes & Gray has ranked among the top two law firms to work for three years in a row. In 2011, Vault ranked Ropes & Gray the #2 Best Law Firms to Work For, #3 Best Law Firms for Overall Diversity, #1 in Formal Training, #1 in Informal Training, #2 in Associate/Partner Relations, #2 in Satisfaction, #2 in Green (environmentally friendly), #2 in LGBT Diversity, #2 in Diversity for Women and #3 in Diversity for Minorities. The firm also earned the top rating of 100 percent in the 2012 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. It was the fourth year in a row the firm has received the honor in recognition for its benefits and protections for LGBT employees.
In contrast to its diversity rankings, as reported by The American Lawyer, John Ray, a former African-American associate of the firm's litigation department, filed suit against the firm in 2011, alleging racial discrimination among other claims. His discrimination claim at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was rejected, but the EEOC subsequently found that “evidence supports a finding that Respondent retaliated against [Ray] for filing his charge with the EEOC.” Also in contrast to Ropes and Gray's diversity rankings, Patricia Martone, a former intellectual property partner and co-head of Ropes and Gray’s international group, sued Ropes & Gray in 2011 for discrimination on the basis of age and sex, retaliation, and interference with protected retirement benefits in violation of ERISA.
The firm ranked #3 in The American Lawyer’s survey of midlevel associate satisfaction among AmLaw 100 firms in 2011 and was recognized by Asian Legal Business as an “Employer of Choice” in Japan for 2011.
The firm's lawyers argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, representing Harris Associates, in a seminal case for the mutual funds industry. In March 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Jones v. Harris Associates, which definitively established the standard governing claims of excessive mutual fund fees under § 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Ropes & Gray lawyers have advised on notable M&A transactions, including:
- The acquisition by private equity firms Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital of Clear Channel Communications, for $26 billion;
- Bain Capital's and The Blackstone Group's acquisition of The Weather Channel, in a multi-billion dollar deal;
- The sale of the Warner Music Group to Access Industries by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee, for $3.3 billion;
- Genzyme's acquisition by Sanofi-Aventis, for $20.1 billion;
- TPG Capital's acquisition of J.Crew, for $3 billion;
- A private equity group's acquisition of Dunkin' Donuts, for $2.4 billion;
- The Bare Escentuals merger with Shiseido of Japan, a $1.7 billion deal;
- Bain Capital's acquisition of MYOB, Australia's largest financial software developer.
In 2009, Ropes & Gray advised on three of the largest leveraged acquisitions of the year, on three continents. The firm advised long-term client Bain Capital on its acquisition of Bellsystem24 in the largest buyout by a foreign private equity firm in Japan in nearly two years. It also represented TPG Capital and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board in their $5.2 billion acquisition of IMS Health Inc., a leading provider of market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. And the firm worked on Liberty Global Inc.'s 2.6 billion Euro high yield offering to finance the acquisition of Unity Media, a German-based provider of broadband Internet, telephone, and digital TV.
The firm also represented Genzyme Corporation on a transaction that was recognized as a "Deal of Distinction" by the Licensing Executives Society in September 2010. Ropes & Gray advised Genzyme Corporation on a complex $2.9 billion deal with Bayer Schering Pharma AG that expanded Genzyme’s oncology portfolio by giving the company rights to marketed cancer drugs and control of a program in multiple sclerosis.
In 2009, Ropes & Gray lawyers devoted 90,000 hours to pro bono clients, ranging from transactional work for nonprofits to cases for individuals referred by not-for-profit legal service providers. That commitment in hours represented over a 500 percent increase over the last five years. The firm and its lawyers were recognized in 2010 for pro bono work in the areas of political asylum (in 2009, the firm committed over 12,500 hours to 71 indigent asylum-seekers) and an innovative partnership between legal and medical advocates.
Ropes & Gray partner Stephen Braga represented Arkansas death row inmate Damien Echols on a pro bono basis in the high-profile "West Memphis Three" case. Echols and two other teenagers, who have maintained their innocence, were convicted of murder in 1993, and Echols was sentenced to death. In 2010, the Arkansas Supreme Court granted them a new hearing because of new DNA evidence that suggested the three men were not at the scene of the crime. Before the hearing, scheduled for December 2011, however, Braga and other attorneys negotiated a deal between the defendants and prosecutors, allowing the men to go free using what is known as an Alford plea, in which the men maintained their innocence but acknowledged that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them. On August 19, 2011, the three men were released from prison. The case, and Ropes & Gray's Braga, were featured on a segment of the CBS news show "48 Hours." The National Law Journal named Ropes & Gray to its 2012 "Pro Bono Hot List" in recognition of Braga's work on the West Memphis Three case.
In 2011, Ropes & Gray, led by partners Bruce Manheim and Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, represented national medical organizations in a lawsuit challenging a new Florida law that restricts doctors from asking patients about guns in their homes. In the lawsuit, nicknamed "Docs v. Glocks," the physicians' groups argued that the law restricted their free-speech rights, and on September 14, 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke granted their motion to block the law.
The Medical Legal Partnership in Boston honored Ropes & Gray in recognition of work at Dorchester House. In collaboration with Dorchester House, Ropes & Gray established a national model for promoting health through preventative legal services in community-based health and social services centers. Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR), which works to secure safety and freedom for asylum-seekers who have fled from persecution throughout the world, recognized a Ropes & Gray lawyer for her work for Iraqi asylum-seekers. The Lawyers’ Committee, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan legal organization that provides pro bono legal representation to victims of discrimination based on race or national origin, honored Ropes & Gray for providing workshops and clinics for emerging businesses in an economically disadvantaged area of Massachusetts.
In 2012, Ropes & Gray received the Law Firm Pro Bono Award from the D.C. Bar in recognition of pro bono work completed by Washington, D.C. attorneys and staff.
In 2010, Immigration Equality, a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals, presented Ropes & Gray with a 2010 Safe Haven Award for winning asylum for 10 Immigration Equality clients in 2009 – more than any other firm.
Notable current and former attorneys
- Mark Barnes (Partner 2001-2006) - Activist and academic, currently Chief Research Compliance Officer, Harvard University.
- Yochai Benkler (Associate, 1994-1995) - Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies, Harvard Law School.
- Stephen L. Braga (Partner) - Criminal defense attorney known for his successful pro bono representation of Martin Tankleff.
- Robert C. Clark (Associate, 1972-1974) - Former Dean of the Faculty of Law (1989-2003), and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor (2003–present), Harvard University.
- Archibald Cox (Associate, 1938-1945) - U.S. Solicitor General under President John F. Kennedy; first special prosecutor for the Watergate scandal.
- Henry Cabot Lodge - (Associate, 1875-1880) - American statesman and 1st U.S. Senate Majority Leader.
- Roger A. Moore (Partner, 1967-1990) - Former Chairman of the Board, National Review; Chief Legal Advisor, presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater; general counsel of the Republican National Committee.
- Ruth O'Brien (Partner, retired 1996) - Mother of Conan O'Brien; second female partner.
- Diane Bemus Patrick (Partner) - First Lady of Massachusetts.
- John Palfrey (Associate, 2001-2002) - Co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, vice dean for library and information resources, and a tenured professor at Harvard Law School.
- Elliot Richardson (Associate, 1949-1953, 1955-1957; Partner, 1961-1965) - Former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1970-1973); U.S. Secretary of Defense (1973); U.S. Attorney General (1973); United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1975-1976); and U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1976-1977).
- James Vorenberg (Associate, 1954-1960; Partner, 1960-1962) - Former Dean of the Faculty of Law, Harvard University (1981-1989).
- Jane Willis (Partner) - Part of the MIT Blackjack Team later fictionalized in Bringing Down the House.
Matthew Vincent, a former partner at Ropes & Gray, resigned from the practice of law after disclosing to the Board of Bar Overseers that he had an ownership interest in a research company, The IP Resource Company, that billed firm clients for services without explaining his link to the company to those clients.
Ropes & Gray was criticized for "stockpiling" Tamiflu, an antiviral medicine, in October 2009.
Arthur Cutillo and Brien Santarlas, formerly employed as lawyers at Ropes & Gray, were sentenced in 2011 for violation of insider trading laws, for giving information on pending mergers to stock traders in exchange for cash.
- "A-List 2011". The American Lawyer. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
- "The AmLaw 100". Retrieved March 10, 2011.
- "Law Firm Rankings 2013: Vault Law 100". Vault.com. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- "U.S. News - Best Lawyers - Ropes & Gray LLP". Bestlawfirms.usnews.com. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "Ropes & Gray LLP: News & Publications: Ropes & Gray Cited as "Firm of the Year" for Health Law (including Life Sciences), Private Equity, Securities Litigation, White Collar Crime". Ropesgray.com. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
- Law360, January 7, 2011.
- "Ropes & Gray Named a 'Standout' Firm for Securities Litigation Nationally", September 2010. Ropes & Gray website.
- "Financial Times". Ft.com. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "Chambers Award for Excellence 2010". Chambers and Partners. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Chambers Award for Excellence 2009". Chambers and Partners.
- "Chambers USA, Ropes & Gray profile". Chambers and Partners. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Chambers Global 2011". Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Chambers Asia-Pacific 2011". Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "2011 Vault Survey". Vault Guide. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Alleging Racial Bias, Former Ropes & Gray Associate Sues Firm", August 3, 2011. The American Lawyer.
- "(Potential) Lawsuit of the Day: Another Discrimination Claim Against Ropes & Gray". Abovethelaw.com. May 13, 2011.
- "Ropes & Gray Sued for Age and Sex Discrimination By Former Partner", March 25, 2011. Above the Law.
- "AmLaw Midlevel Associates Survey". The American Lawyer. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "ALB Employer of Choice Japan 2011". Asian Legal Business. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Jones et. al. v. Harris Associates L.P." (PDF). Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "Nasdaq". Nasdaq. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Tirrell, Meg; Kelly, Jason; Saitto, Serena, "IMS to Sell Itself to TPG and CPP for $5.2 Billion", Bloomberg, November 5, 2009
- Smith, Claire Coe, "Recession sentences law firms to a period of change", Financial News, Jan 25, 2010
- "IP Watchdog, Sept. 30, 2010". Ipwatchdog.com. September 30, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Randazzo, Sara (August 23, 2011). "The American Lawyer, Aug. 22, 2011". Law.com. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "CBS "48 Hours"". Cbsnews.com. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
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- Caputo, Marc (September 14, 2011). "Miami Herald, Sept. 14, 2011". Miamiherald.com. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "Boston Globe, May 10, 2010". Boston.com. May 10, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- 2010 Safe Haven Awards[dead link]
- "Former selectman Vincent resigns right to practice law". The Georgetown Record. Wickedlocal.com. October 1, 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- "Firms’ deals for flu drug draw fire", October 30, 2009. The Boston Globe.
- "Ex-Ropes & Gray Lawyer Gets 6 Months in Goffer Tipping Case", Dec 1, 2011. Bloomberg