Debevoise & Plimpton
|Headquarters||919 Third Avenue
New York City
|No. of offices||9 Total|
|No. of attorneys||615 (2015)|
|Major practice areas||Mergers and acquisitions, litigation and arbitration, corporate finance, corporate restructuring, securities law, banking, project finance, energy and infrastructure, antitrust, tax and intellectual property, among others|
|Key people||Michael W. Blair Presiding Partner|
|Revenue||$757 million (2015)|
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (often shortened to Debevoise) is an international law firm based in New York City. Founded in 1931 by Harvard Law School alumnus Eli Whitney Debevoise and Oxford-trained William Stevenson, Debevoise has long been an established leader in strategic and private equity, M&A, insurance and financial services transactions, private funds, complex litigation, investigations and international arbitration.
Debevoise is consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious law firms in the world, one of New York's most powerful law firms and has been described as very much the "Gentleman of the world of Big Law".
Debevoise & Plimpton currently employs approximately 615 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 a network of nine offices spanning three continents. This includes offices in New York City, Washington D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong and Shanghai. In 2016, Debevoise opened a new office in Tokyo.
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.
The firm has been regarded in branche-internal polls as one of the most prestigious firms to work for (in New York and globally), and ranks among the most elite and successful firms globally.
The firm and its lawyers have also been recognized in various other surveys, including Vault.com’s 2011 review of the 20 Best Law Firms to Work For.
- ALM's The American Lawyer named Debevoise & Plimpton as 2014 Litigation Department of the Year. As profiled in the January issue and online at www.americanlawyer.com, “the Debevoise litigators are like the Army Rangers—a small but elite group that works seamlessly and handles the most challenging cases,” racking up two $25 billion results, two major trial defense wins worth $3.5 billion each, and the largest investor-state award in arbitration history during the August 2011 to July 2013 period on which firms were evaluated.
- Four of Debevoise's practice groups were recognized by Law360 as "Practice Groups of the Year" (2015).
- Debevoise was named one of best places to work for LGBT equality by Human Rights Campaign (2015).
- Debevoise was ranked third in the 2015 A-List. In 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, Debevoise & Plimpton was named as America's Best Law Firm by the American Lawyer in its A-List rankings.
- For 2015, Debevoise & Plimpton was ranked #16 on The Vault’s Top 100 Most Prestigious Law Firm Rankings.
- Ranked as a leading firm in multiple ratings categories by the Avery Index.
More information about the firm's recent representations, announcements and accolades may be found here.
- 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
- 1964: Firm opens in Paris
- 1976: Barbara Robinson becomes first female partner
- 1981: Firm renames as Debevoise & Plimpton for 50th anniversary
- 1982: Firm opens in Washington
- 1989: Firm opens in London
- 1994: Firm opens in Hong Kong
- 1997: Firm opens in Moscow
- 2001: Firm opens in Frankfurt
In the 2000s, Debevoise & Plimpton was mentioned several times on the TV show The West Wing. In the show, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman's father was a partner at Debevoise. Additionally, an assistant attorney general in the show was a summer associate at Debevoise, and a prospective White House counsel candidate was interviewing for a position as an associate at Debevoise.
The controversial Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili spent six hours of his final day at the offices of Debevoise & Plimpton, meeting his lawyer Lord Goldsmith QC, shortly before being driven to Boris Berezovsky's office in Mayfair and then to his country mansion in Leatherhead, Surrey, where he collapsed and died of a heart attack at the age of 52.
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.
- Activision Blizzard in its $5.9 billion acquisition of King Digital Entertainment.
- Anbang Insurance Group in its $1.57 billion acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life.
- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its $12 billion acquisition of GE Capital’s sponsor lending business, including Antares Capital, the leading lender to middle market private equity sponsors in the United States.
- The Dolan family, controlling stockholders of Cablevision Systems Corporation, in Cablevision’s $17.7 billion sale to Altice.
- Evercore Group as financial advisor to EMC Corporation in its $67 billion sale to Dell, and as financial advisor to DuPont in its $130 billion merger with the Dow Chemical Company.
- Exor S.p.A. as insurance M&A counsel in its contested $6.9 billion acquisition of PartnerRe, a Bermuda-based reinsurance company.
- Guggenheim Securities, Centerview Partners and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors to Pfizer in its $160 billion acquisition of Allergan.
- Hussmann, a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice portfolio company, in its $1.5 billion sale to Panasonic.
- Lannett in its acquisition for $1.23 billion in cash, plus additional contingent consideration, of Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. specialty generic pharmaceuticals subsidiary of global biopharmaceuticals company UCB.
- P2 Capital, with Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, in its $1.6 billion sale of Interline Brands to Home Depot.
- PharMEDium, a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice portfolio company and the leading national provider of outsourced compounded sterile preparations to acute care hospitals in the United States, in its $2.6 billion sale to AmerisourceBergen.
- StanCorp Financial Group in its $5 billion sale to Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company.
- Westfield Corporation in its $1.1 billion divestiture of five shopping centers in the United States to an investor group led by Centennial Real Estate Company of Dallas, Texas.
Debevoise & Plimpton has the lead role in defending Take-Two Interactive Software against a lawsuit filed by actress Lindsay Lohan. In the lawsuit Lohan claims that Take-Two Interactive Software is in breach of her image rights after it based a character in Grand Theft Auto V without her consent. Claiming unspecified damages on privacy grounds, citing an "unequivocal" similarity between herself and the game's character "Lacey Jonas", alleging that her voice and items from her clothing label were lifted by the Take-Two Interactive. In response Take-Two Interactive has accused Lohan of suing in order to gain publicity, and characterizes her claim as "legally meritless."
- White shoe firms
- The Magic Circle
- Francis T.P. Plimpton
- Mary Jo White
- Peter Goldsmith, Baron Goldsmith, former Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and current head of European litigation practice at Debevoise & Plimpton.
- Michael Mukasey
- Edward Cochrane McLean
- Louis Begley
- Allison Christians
- "Practices - Debevoise & Plimpton".
- http://www.americanlawyer.com/law-firm-profiles-result?firmname=Debevoise+%26+Plimpton&slreturn=20160512112626. Missing or empty
- "Debevoise & Plimpton LLP|Company Profile|Vault.com". Vault. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
- "Debevoise Opens in Tokyo". Debevoise. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
- "London". Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "Debevoise Plimpton History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- "Frankfurt". Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Shayana Kadidal (May 16, 2007). "Getting Rid of Lawyers at Guantanamo: An Update". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- "The Pro Bono Tradition at Debevoise". Debevoise & Plimpton. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Emma Schwartz (May 15, 2007). "The Latest Guantanamo Debate". Legal Times. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Lewis, Neil (2007-01-13). "Official attacks top law firms over detainees". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-17.
- Cash, Justin. "Debevoise takes on Lindsay Lohan in Grand Theft Auto court battle". Legal Week. Incisive Financial Publishing. Retrieved 16 September 2014.