Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
1701 Market Street|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|No. of offices||30|
|No. of attorneys||2000|
|No. of employees||1700|
|Major practice areas||General Practice, Corporate Law|
|Key people||Jami Wintz McKeon, Firm Chair|
|Revenue||US $2.00 billion (2017)|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (MLB) is a global law firm with approximately 2000 attorneys in 30 offices across North America, Europe and Asia. Mergers with other law firms stimulated global growth and led to a ranking of eighth on American Lawyer's 2018 top 100 firms by gross revenue list. It is also the largest law firm chaired by a woman, and represents "three-quarters of the Fortune 100 companies." The firm has served as tax Counsel to US President Donald Trump, and the Trump Organization, since 2005. Morgan Lewis is known for high-profile pro bono representations and for filing a historic amicus brief in the US Supreme Court in 2015 on behalf of 379 companies, stating a business case for legalizing same-sex marriage across the country.
Morgan Lewis was founded in Philadelphia on March 10, 1873, by Charles Eldridge Morgan, Jr. (1844 – 1917), the eldest child of Charles Eldridge Morgan, a successful manufacturer, and his wife, Jane Bowen Morgan (née Buck), and a Civil War veteran who became Vice-President of the Philadelphia Law Society; and Francis Draper Lewis, son of a wholesale dry goods merchant, whose esteemed first cousin, William Draper Lewis, in 1896, became Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Lewis was a descendant of James Draper, an early settler of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and of Puritan pioneer George Lewes (1600 - 1663), an early settler at Plymouth Colony.
In 1883, Morgan & Lewis hired Morris Rex Bockius, who had graduated in June of that year with Master of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He became a partner fifteen years after he joined the firm, which he then led until his death in 1939. The firm became Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in 1908, though is still commonly referred to by its sobriquet, "Morgan Lewis."
The firm began representing the United Gas Improvement Company, later UGI, in 1882, which became the largest gas and electric utility company in the United States and which, well over a century later, remains a distinguishing client of the firm. From the early 20th century, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius represented many other leading and national companies, including Philadelphia’s largest daily newspaper, Philadelphia Bulletin; Pennsylvania’s largest railroad, Baldwin Locomotive Works; Scott Paper; and several major banks and trust companies.
In 1963, MLB hired its first female law associate, Dr. Gail McKnight Beckman (daughter of Deputy Secretary of Banking of Pennsylvania Irland McKnight Beckman and family psychology author Dr. Elizabeth B. Hurlock), and, in 1980, Stephanie Abramson, became its first female law parter; she is now Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law and Director of Law and Business Experiential Classes, at New York University School of Law. In 2014, Jami Wintz McKeon– who had started with the firm in 1981 –was elected to Chair MLB, distinguishing her as leading the largest female-chaired law firm in the world. She is a proponent of work flexibility, such as telecommuting, and has received numerous professional awards, including, in 2017, being named a "Client Service All-Star" by BTT Consulting Group and a "Business Hall of Fame Icon" by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
In 2015, Morgan Lewis filed an historic amicus brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of 379 companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, and the New England Patriots, which made "a business case for legalizing same-sex marriage across the country." MLB is an affiliate firm of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA).
In 2018, former Morgan Lewis partner John Ring was confirmed by the National Labor Relations Board, one of several MLB partners who have served on its board, including Harry Johnson and senior counsel Charles Cohen.
In 2018, Morgan Lewis published findings of its landmark investigation into sexual harassment at NPR, led by partner Grace Speights, with partner Margaret Rodgers Schmidt and associate Jocelyn Cuttino; which precipitated the apologetic resignation of NPR's senior vice-president of News, Michael Oreskes. MLB's recommendations were noted as offering "broad guidance for companies that are taking fresh looks at their own practices."
Mergers & Office Locations
Morgan Lewis was among the avant garde of multinational law firms when its first international office opened in London in 1981 and, today, includes more than 2000 legal professionals worldwide, with offices in Beijing; Boston; Brussels; Century City, California; Chicago; Costa Mesa, California; Dallas; Dubai; Frankfurt; Hartford, Connecticut; Hong Kong; Houston; Almaty and Astana, Kazakhstan; London, Los Angeles, Miami; Moscow; New York; Palo Alto (Silicon Valley), California; Paris; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Princeton, New Jersey; San Francisco; Shanghai; Singapore; Tokyo; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, Deleware.
On November 14, 2014, Morgan Lewis's partnership voted to admit 227 partners from Bingham McCutchen LLP into the firm as partners, scaling Morgan Lewis into one of the largest law firms in the world, with the addition of 750 partners, attorneys, and staff joining Morgan Lewis on November 24, 2014.
On March 15, 2015, Morgan Lewis and Singapore’s Stamford Law Corporation announced a combination that created a fully integrated law firm in Singapore. The combination established a business transactions, litigation, and arbitration practice to serve clients with interests in Singapore and across the expanding Asian marketplace. 
As of 7 September 2017[update], Morgan Lewis has 30 offices in the United States, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius clients include 75 per cent of all Fortune 100 companies, nearly 300 Fortune 500 companies, 65 Fortune Global 100 companies, and nearly half of all Fortune Global 500 companies. MLB has also been named among the top 10 BigLaw firm ranked by pro bono hours.
Notable pro bono clients include John Thompson (1963 – 2017), represented by Michael L. Banks and J. Gordon Cooney Jr., whose execution was stayed in 1999 based on forensic evidence which had been "deliberately hidden" by a former assistant prosecutor; Thompson was finally freed in 2003. A book based on Thompson's legal misfortunes, Killing Time: An 18-year Odyssey from Death Row to Freedom, by John Hollway and Ronald M. Gauthier, was optioned for a film by Touchstone Pictures in 2009. Morgan Lewis attorneys Christina K. Harper and George Cumming successful 11-year pro bono legal battle also gained freedom for Kelly Savage, whose sentence for a 1995 murder conviction was commuted in 2017 by California Governor Jerry Brown.
Morgan Lewis has represented several prominent politicians in various venues, including:
- Donald Trump — Morgan, Lewis & Bockius represents United States President Donald Trump, advising him and the Trump Organization since 2005.  Critics have accused Morgan Lewis of aiding Trump in using his Presidential office for personal gain. The Wallace Global Fund fired Morgan Lewis over its ties to Trump. Morgan Lewis issued a letter in May 2017 stating they had examined Trump's tax returns and found no significant financial connection to Russia.
Morgan Lewis partner James "Jim" Hamilton was one of three assistant chief counsellors of the United States Senate Watergate Committee during 1973 - 1974, the findings of which prompted the impeachment process against Richard Nixon that led to Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974. Hamilton was reported by the Washingtonian, in 2016, as the "go-to guy for Democratic nominees in search of a vice-presidential pick;" he has vetted running mates for:
- Hillary Clinton, in 2016
- John Kerry, in 2004
- Al Gore, in 2000.
Sale of web domain to Major League Baseball
The law firm was the original holder of the web domain name MLB.com. In September 2000 they made an agreement to transfer the domain name to Major League Baseball. Elected in 2015, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is an alumnus of the Morgan, Lewis law firm.
Awards and honors
The firm's Moscow office was recognized by Chambers & Partners’ 2016 Chambers Europe guide as the "Russia Law Firm of the Year" for excellence in client service, preeminence in the Russian relevant market, notable achievements and wins during 2016, outstanding work, and strategic growth.
In 2018, the Justice and Diversity Center (JDC) awarded MLB its "Outstanding Law Firm in Public Service Award" for exceptional pro bono of JDC Legal Services and Diversity programs.
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