Weil, Gotshal & Manges
|Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP|
|Headquarters||General Motors Building
New York City, New York, United States
|No. of offices||21|
|No. of attorneys||1,200|
|Major practice areas||International arbitration; bankruptcy; intellectual property; capital markets; finance; and mergers and acquisitions|
|Revenue||$1.185 billion (2011)|
|Date founded||1931 (New York City)|
|Company type||Limited-liability partnership|
Weil is consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious law firms in the world  and is best known for its corporate (including private equity and M&A) and restructuring practices. The firm employs 1,200 lawyers and has a gross annual revenue in excess of $1.1 billion.
The firm was founded in New York City in 1931 by Frank Weil, Sylvan Gotshal and Horace Manges. Since 1968, has been headquartered in the General Motors building, overlooking Central Park, in New York City's Manhattan borough.
After its founding in 1931, the firm grew steadily in the following decades, taking on clients including General Electric and General Motors, and becoming one of the largest law firms in the country. In 1975, the firm opened an office in Washington, D.C., its first outside New York City, followed in the 1980s by locations in Miami, Houston and Dallas. Later, the firm further spread its practice, notably in non-contentious finance and private equity practice.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent move by Central and Eastern European countries toward market-based economies prompted the firm to launch its international expansion. It established offices in Budapest, Prague and Warsaw in the early 1990s, followed by the establishment of offices in Frankfurt, London, Munich and Paris. In the 21st century, the firm established offices in Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. As of 2012[update] one-quarter of the firm's lawyers practiced outside the U.S.
The firm has been ranked as one of world's top law firms by Vault.com. Chambers and Partners gives the firm high marks in the following practice areas: bankruptcy, corporate, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, private equity: buyouts, investment funds: fund formation, financial services regulation, intellectual property, antitrust, patent litigation, labor and employment, securities litigation, entertainment litigation and tax.
The firm and its attorneys have been consistently top-ranked by the most authoritative legal and financial industry directories, including those published by Chambers & Partners, Euromoney, and The Lawyer Group. Most recently, the firm was named among the "Sweet Sixteen" of elite international law firms for the second consecutive year by The Lawyer magazine. In 2009, International Financial Law Review recognized the firm with four IFLR America awards, including its Law Firm of the Year, M&A Deal of the Year, M&A Team of the Year, and Private Equity Deal of the Year. Additionally, Chambers & Partners ranked 98 Weil attorneys in 47 practice categories.
- Stephen J. Dannhauser, Executive Partner of the firm since 1989, and Chairman since 2002.
- Michael Francies, managing partner of the firm's London office; has experience in public and private mergers and acquisitions, private-equity transactions and equity issues
- Harvey R. Miller has been described by The New York Times as "the most prominent bankruptcy lawyer in the nation"
Notable deals and cases
- Olympus Corporation's, Olympus scandal deal for British medical-equipment maker Gyrus earned Weil an undisclosed portion of the extraordinary $687 million fee; the $2 billion acquisition was the largest in Olympus's history; the fee was shared with the deal's financial advisor and its broker; auditor KPMG refused to issue an unqualified audit report due to issues with the Gyrus deal for which a 21-attorney Weil team was legal advisor
- General Electric's $11.6 billion sale of GE Plastics to Saudi Basic Industries
- DirecTV's $25 billion stock-for-stock merger with Liberty Entertainment
- Sanofi Aventis's $18 billion acquisition of Genzyme
- General Electric's $35 billion joint venture with Comcast for ownership of NBC Universal
- Apple Inc.'s favorable settlement of litigation with Burst.com
- CBS Corporation's successful defense against a lawsuit filed by former reporter and news anchorman Dan Rather
- ExxonMobil's successful breach of contract suit against Saudi Basic Industries resulting in a $400 million jury award, one of the largest in history
- eBay's successful defense in trademark litigation with Tiffany & Co.
- Enron bankruptcy
- Lehman Brothers bankruptcy
- Washington Mutual bankruptcy
- General Motors bankruptcy
The firm expects all its lawyers to undertake at least 50 hours of pro bono service a year, and was one of the first to appoint a full-time pro bono officer. In 2008–2009, it received both the American Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award and the Pro Bono Institute's Pickering Award, the first time that one law firm held both awards.
The Anti-Defamation League recognized the firm as a Community of Respect; it was the only organization recognized as such on a local and national level. Several of the firm's offices are ranked number one in their local markets for diversity, and overall, the firm continues to score highly on diversity scorecards, including a top-ten distinction from the Vault Guide, a "Best Place to Work" designation for the LGBT community from the Human Rights Campaign, and a "Best Law Firms for Women" designation by Working Mother magazine.
- US Law Firm of the Year, Legal Business Awards 2010
- Private Equity Team of the Year, Legal Business Awards 2008 and 2010
- Middle East Team of the Year, The Lawyer Awards 2010
- Mid-Market Law Firm of the Year, Acquisitions Monthly 2009
- Award for innovation amongst US law firms in Europe, FT Innovative Lawyers Report 2009
- Mike Francies has been shortlisted as one of the top-ten innovative lawyers in the U.K., FT Innovative Lawyer Awards (to be announced October 2010)[dated info]
- Legal Business 2009 – shortlisted for US Law firm of the Year and PE Team of the Year
- Acquisitions Monthly – 2009 Mid-Market Law Firm of the Year
- Legal Week 2009 – the firm has received the top ranking in magazine's annual Employee Satisfaction Survey of firms in the U.K. The firm was ranked first in the management section, with the highest results for each of co-operation and teamwork, recognition and praise and quality of work. The firm was also identified as the leading international firm by the magazine.
- Financial Times – ranked number two for FT Innovative Lawyers Report – "Top 10 US Law Firms In Europe For Innovation In Expansion"
- LawCareers.Net – Training and Recruitment Awards, Commendation for Diversity
- Staff (n.d.). "The 2011 Global 100: Most Profits Per Partner". The American Lawyer. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- [dead link] "2005 The National Law Journal 250". The National Law Journal. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Staff (July 1, 2005). "The Am Law 100: The Billion-Dollar Club Expands" (ABSTRACT; (SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED) FOR FULL ARTICLE). The American Lawyer (via Law.com). Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- (subscription required) . Vault.com.
- Staff (n.d.). "Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP". Chambers and Partners. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- (registration required) Rosen, Ellen (March 9, 2007). "A Lawyer Finds He Can Go Home Again". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2007.
- Staff (October 27, 2011). "Additional Information on Our Previous Acquisition Deals" (PDF FORMAT; REQUIRES ADOBE READER). Olympus Corporation. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Layne, Rachel; Cronin, Sean (May 21, 2007). "Saudi Basic to Buy GE Plastics Unit for $11.6 Billion (Update 5)". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Nolter, Chris (May 15, 2009). "Malone's Fancy Turns to Tax-Free Spinoffs". The Deal. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Nicholson, Chris V. (February 16, 2011). "Sanofi Agrees to Buy Genzyme for $20.1 Billion". DealBook (blog of The New York Times). Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Shields, Todd; Bliss, Jeff (January 18, 2011). "Comcast Wins U.S. Approval to Buy NBC Universal From GE for $13.8 Billion". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Reagan, Gillian (January 12, 2010). "Dan Rather's $70 Million Lawsuit Against CBS Finally Dies". Business Insider. Retrieved October 2012.
- Jones, Ashby (April 1, 2010). "Second Circuit Rules for eBay in Counterfeit Goods Case". Law Blog (blog of The Wall Street Journal). Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Glater, Jonathan D. (December 4, 2001). "Enron's Collapse: The Lawyers; And the Winners in the Case Are". The New York Times.
- Glater, Jonathan D. (December 13, 2008). "The Man Who Is Unwinding Lehman Brothers". The New York Times.
- Chasan, Emily (September 28, 2008). "WaMu Files Bankruptcy Petition in Delaware". Forbes.
- Sandler, Lisa (June 1, 2009). "GM Files Bankruptcy to Spin Off More Competitive Firm". Bloomberg.
- "ABA Pro Bono Publico Award - Past Recipients". American Bar Association. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- "Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Receives Pro Bono Institute's Pickeri". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Staff (2010). "Weil Gotshal Wins "US Law Firm of the Year"". Weil, Gotschal & Manges. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- "News/Publications - Private Equity - Industries - Weil, Gotshal & Manges". Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- "Weil Wins Middle East Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards - News/Publications - Weil, Gotshal & Manges". Weil, Gotshal & Manges. June 23, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- "London office receives "Mid-market Law Firm of the Year" Award - News/Publications - Weil, Gotshal & Manges". Weil, Gotshal & Manges. December 12, 2008. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- "Weil Gotshal Wins US Law Firm in Europe Award at FT Innovative Lawyer Awards 2009 - News/Publications - Weil, Gotshal & Manges". Weil, Gotshal & Manges. October 27, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2012.