Debevoise & Plimpton
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|Headquarters||919 Third Avenue|
New York City
|No. of offices||10 Total|
|No. of attorneys||769 (2020)|
|Major practice areas||Arbitration & International Disputes, Capital Markets, Commercial Litigation, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy, Finance, Funds, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity, Restructuring, Tax, White Collar & Regulatory Defense|
|Key people||Michael W. Blair (Presiding Partner), Mary Jo White (Senior Chair)|
|Revenue||$1.2 billion (2020)|
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (often shortened to Debevoise) is an international law firm headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1931 by Harvard Law School alumnus Eli Whitney Debevoise and Oxford-trained William Stevenson, the firm was originally named Debevoise, Plimpton & McLean. Debevoise specializes in private equity, M&A, insurance and financial services transactions, private funds, complex litigation, investigations, and international arbitration. In 2021, the firm assisted the Democratic Party in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
Debevoise & Plimpton currently employs approximately 769 lawyers in nine offices throughout the world. The firm divides its practices into three major areas: Corporate, Litigation, and Tax. In recent years, the firm's practice has taken on an increasingly international component.
Debevoise & Plimpton has offices across three continents, including in New York City, Washington D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. In 2016, Debevoise opened a new office in Tokyo. On June 1, 2020, Debevoise & Plimpton announced the opening of an office in Luxembourg.
Reputation and rankings
Debevoise & Plimpton is consistently among the most profitable large law firms in the world on a per-partner and per-lawyer basis according to American Lawyer magazine's annual AmLaw 100 Survey. Debevoise placed No. 1 overall in The American Lawyer's "10-Year A-List," a ranking of the law firms who have earned the highest cumulative score on the A-List since its inception in 2003. The annual A-List ranks firms according to their performance in four categories: revenue per lawyer, pro bono service, associate satisfaction, and diversity.
- 1931: Debevoise and Stevenson from Davis Polk & Wardwell form partnership
- 1933: Francis T. P. Plimpton joins to form Debevoise, Stevenson & Plimpton
- 1936: Robert G. Page joins to form Debevoise, Stevenson, Plimpton & Page
- 1943: Firm merges with Hatch, McLean, Root & Hinch
- 1947: Firm renames as Debevoise, Plimpton & McLean
- 1949: Firm loses Hiss Case
- 1981: Firm renames as Debevoise & Plimpton for 50th anniversary
- 2017: Former Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Mary Jo White rejoins the firm's New York office as a partner and senior chair
Assistance to Guantanamo prisoners
Attorneys from Debevoise & Plimpton worked on behalf of prisoners held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. Jeff Lang, of Debevoise & Plimpton, was one of the first Guantanamo Bay attorneys to file an appeal in the Federal appeal court in Washington DC of prisoners' Combatant Status Review Tribunal proceedings. The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 included provision for prisoners to challenge whether the Tribunals' decisions complied with the Tribunal's mandate. Charles "Cully" Stimson, then Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, stirred controversy when he went on record criticizing the patriotism of law firms that allowed employees to assist Guantanamo prisoners: "corporate CEOs seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists." Stimson's views were widely criticized. The Pentagon disavowed them, and Stimson resigned shortly thereafter.
- Take-Two Interactive Software, in defense of lawsuit filed by actress Lindsay Lohan, which claimed that Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar Games was in breach of her image rights, as basing its Grand Theft Auto V "Lacey Jonas" character on Lohan without her consent, citing similarities. The case was dismissed on September 1, 2016, then dismissed on Appeal, on March 29, 2018.
Notable attorneys and alumni
- Louis Begley
- Terrence Berg, Federal District Court Judge, Eastern District of Michigan
- Anita Bernstein, law professor
- Allison Christians
- Andrew Ceresney, former head of enforcement at U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Neil Eggleston, former White House Counsel
- Peter Goldsmith, Baron Goldsmith, former Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and current head of European litigation practice at Debevoise & Plimpton.
- John Gleeson, former judge
- Tali Farhadian, former federal prosecutor and candidate for New York County District Attorney
- Harold H. Healy Jr.
- Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General for the United States Department of Justice
- Ethan Leib, law professor
- Edward Cochrane McLean
- Barry Mills, former president of Bowdoin College
- Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States
- Jed S. Rakoff, judge
- Stanley Rogers Resor
- Lorna G. Schofield, judge
- Joan Wexler (born 1946), Dean and President of Brooklyn Law School
- Gregory Howard Woods, judge
- Édouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France from May 2017 to July 2020.
- Mary Jo White
- February 17, Dylan Jackson; PM, 2021 at 04:55. "'Surprising And Fascinating': Debevoise Saw Partner Profits Jump 23% in 2020". The American Lawyer.
- "Debevoise". Debevoise.
- DeBonis, Mike; Hamburger, Tom; Gardner, Amy (January 30, 2021). "House Democrats building elaborate, emotionally charged case against Trump". www.msn.com. Washington Post. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
- "Debevoise Opens in Tokyo". Debevoise. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- "Debevoise Opens Luxembourg Office, Strengthening the Firm's Private Funds Offering".
- "Debevoise & Plimpton LLP - the Inside View".
- "Debevoise & Plimpton LLP | Company Profile | Vault.com". Vault.
- Olson, Elizabeth (February 15, 2017). "Mary Jo White to Rejoin Debevoise & Plimpton". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
- Shayana Kadidal (May 16, 2007). "Getting Rid of Lawyers at Guantanamo: An Update". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- "The Pro Bono Tradition at Debevoise". Debevoise & Plimpton. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- Schwartz, Emma (May 15, 2007). "The Latest Guantanamo Debate". Legal Times. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- Lewis, Neil (January 13, 2007). "Official attacks top law firms over detainees". New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2007.
- Cash, Justin. "Debevoise takes on Lindsay Lohan in Grand Theft Auto court battle". Legal Week. Incisive Financial Publishing. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
- "Lindsay Lohan’s two-year battle against GTA5 finally ends in Take-Two’s favor", Polygon, VOX Media, September 1, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
- "Lindsay Lohan loses Grand Theft Auto V lawsuit on appeal" by Leslie Katz, CNET, March 30, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
- Valérie Peiffer; Pierre Simon; Pascal Mateo (December 16, 2010). "Edouard Philippe de A à Z". Le Point. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
- Jules Pecnard (May 10, 2017). "Trois choses à savoir sur Edouard Philippe, le potentiel futur Premier ministre". L'Express. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
- Stewart, James (1983). The Partners: Inside America's Most Powerful Law Firms. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-42023-2.