Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Morgan Lewis
Headquarters 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 Increase US $2.00 billion (2017)[1]
Date founded 1873
Company type Limited liability partnership
Website www.morganlewis.com

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.[2] It is also the largest law firm chaired by a woman, and represents "three-quarters of the Fortune 100 companies."[3] 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.

History[edit]

Morgan Lewis was founded in Philadelphia on March 10, 1873, by Charles Eldridge Morgan, Jr. (1844 – 1917),[4] the eldest child of Charles Eldridge Morgan, a successful manufacturer, and his wife, Jane Bowen Morgan (née Buck),[5][6] and a Civil War veteran who became Vice-President of the Philadelphia Law Society;[7] and Francis Draper Lewis, son of a wholesale dry goods merchant, whose esteemed first cousin, William Draper Lewis,[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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."[11][12]

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.[13][14]

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),[15] 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.[16] 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,[17] 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.[18]

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,[19] which made "a business case for legalizing same-sex marriage across the country."[20] MLB is an affiliate firm of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA).[21]

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.[22]

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.[23] MLB's recommendations were noted as offering "broad guidance for companies that are taking fresh looks at their own practices."[24]

Mergers & Office Locations[edit]

Morgan Lewis was among the avant garde of multinational law firms when its first international office opened in London in 1981[25] and, today, includes more than 2000 legal professionals worldwide,[26] 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.[27]

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.[28][29]

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. [30][31]

As of 7 September 2017, 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.[32]

Client representation[edit]

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.[33]

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.[34] 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.[35] 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.[36][37][38]

US presidents and presidential candidates[edit]

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. [39] Critics have accused Morgan Lewis of aiding Trump in using his Presidential office for personal gain.[39] The Wallace Global Fund fired Morgan Lewis over its ties to Trump.[40] Morgan Lewis issued a letter in May 2017 stating they had examined Trump's tax returns and found no significant financial connection to Russia.[41]

Morgan Lewis partner James "Jim" Hamilton was one of three assistant chief counsellors of the United States Senate Watergate Committee during 1973 - 1974,[42] 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:[43]

Sale of web domain to Major League Baseball[edit]

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.[44] Elected in 2015, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is an alumnus of the Morgan, Lewis law firm.[45]

Awards and honors[edit]

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.[46]

In 2016 and 2017, Morgan Lewis was named among "America's Best Corporate Law Firms" by the NYSE Governance Service and FTI Consulting, Inc..[47][48]

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.[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ AMLAW "The 2018 Am Law 100 Ranked by: Gross Revenue." Retrieved on 2018-04-25.
  2. ^ McLellan, Lizzy "How Morgan Lewis Grew Into a Powerhouse on Its Own Terms", April 24, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  3. ^ [Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP Firm Profile Chambers] "Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP Firm Profile", Chambers and Partners. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Philomathean Society "Charles Eldridge Morgan (1844 - 1917)," PENN BIOGRAPHIES, PENN University Libraries and Records Center, Philomathean Society, University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Warwick, C. F. Warwick's Keystone Commonwealth: A Review of the History of the Great State of Pennsylvania, and a Brief Record of the Growth of Its Chief City, Philadelphia, by Charles Franklin Warwick, Pennsylvania, USA, 1913, page 407. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Eldridge, Susan B. "Morgan Clan, circa 1900)", BADENHAUSEN & MORGAN FAMILY GENEALOGY, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  7. ^ Philomathean Society History of the Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania, 1913, page 174. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Draper, Thomas Waln-Morgan The Drapers in America, J. Polhemus Printing Company, New York, USA, 1892. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Swift, C. F. reprint of Amos Otis Papers, in Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, Volume 2, F. B. & F. P. Goss Publishers and Printers, Barnstable, Mass., USA, 1890, page 118. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  10. ^ U of Pennsylvania "Catalogue and Announcements 1883 - 1884", University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Penn., USA, 1884, page 104. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  11. ^ International Directory of Company Histories, Volume 29, by Thomas Derdak and Tina Grant, St. James Press, 1999, page 332. 978-1558623880.
  12. ^ St. John, G. J. sinjinlands, by Gerard J. St. John, lulu.com, USA, 2011, pages 193 and 202. ISBN 978-1105559938.
  13. ^ Company-Histories.com "Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP", 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  14. ^ Vault "Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP", Vault.com Inc., 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  15. ^ Obituary "Gail Beckman Obituary" reprinted from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 22, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  16. ^ PLI "Faculty/Author Profile — Stephanie Abramson — New York University — Dean, Graduate Professional and Executive Education Programs, NYU Shanghai, New York, NY, USA, Practicing Law Institute. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  17. ^ Lat, David "Another Biglaw Firm Jumps On The Telecommuting Bandwagon", Above The Law, March 8, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  18. ^ Morgan Lewis "Jami Wintz McKeon Partner, Chair of the Firm", Morgan Lewis & Bockius company profiles. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  19. ^ Cadei, Emily "HOW CORPORATE AMERICA PROPELLED SAME-SEX MARRIAGE", Newsweek, June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  20. ^ Ingraham, Nathan "Apple, Facebook, Comcast, and hundreds of others ask Supreme Court for nationwide marriage equality", The Verge, March 5, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  21. ^ MCCA "Morgan Lewis", MINORITY CORPORATE COUNSEL ASSOCIATION, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  22. ^ Morath, Eric "Trump Shakes Up NLRB Leadership", The Wall Street Journal. April 13, 2018 . Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  23. ^ Ember, Sydney "NPR C.E.O. Jarl Mohn Apologizes to Staff, Goes on Leave", New York Times, November 7, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  24. ^ Mulvaney, Erin "Inside the Morgan Lewis Investigation of Alleged Misconduct at NPR", National Law Journal,| February 21, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  25. ^ "Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP History", Funding Universe. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  26. ^ "Organizational Profile of Morgan Lewis". The National Law Review. 14 December 2017. ISSN 2161-3362. 
  27. ^ "About Us" https://www.morganlewis.com/our-firm/about-us
  28. ^ "Morgan Lewis Partnership Votes to Admit 227 Partners From Bingham McCutchen" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  29. ^ Smith, Jennifer "Done Deal: Most of Bingham McCutchen Now Officially Part of Morgan Lewis," Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  30. ^ "Law firm Morgan Lewis opens Singapore office through Stamford deal" https://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/15/us-morganlewis-m-a-singapore-idUSKBN0MB12L20150315
  31. ^ "Morgan Lewis to Combine with Stamford Law in Singapore to Establish Major Asian Hub" https://www.morganlewis.com/news/morgan-lewis-to-combine-with-stamford-law-in-singapore-to-establish-major-asian-hubnews/
  32. ^ "Morgan Lewis: Locations" https://www.morganlewis.com/our-firm/locations (last accessed Sept. 7, 2017).
  33. ^ Rubino, Kathryn Which Biglaw Firm Is Best For Pro Bono? (2017) The pro bono all stars!", Above the Law, August 8, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  34. ^ Roberts, Sam "John Thompson, Cleared After 14 Years on Death Row, Dies at 55, The New York Times, October 4, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  35. ^ Weiss, D.C. "Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to Portray Morgan Lewis Lawyers", by Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal, American Bar Association, August 25, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  36. ^ Pishko, Jessica "Serving Life for Surviving Abuse", The Atlantic, January 26, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  37. ^ MLB "Morgan Lewis Secures Victory for Domestic Abuse Survivor After Decade-Long Fight", MorganLewis.com, December 27, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  38. ^ Law, Victoria "Why Is California Keeping Kelly Savage in Prison for a Crime She Didn’t Commit?", Truthout, November 29, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  39. ^ a b Chris Mondics (April 4, 2017). "Investment fund, irked over Trump representation, fires Morgan Lewis". Philly.com. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  40. ^ Dahlia Lithwick (April 1, 2017). "With Stunning Moral Clarity, Wallace Global Fund Fires Firm That Endorsed Donald Trump's Kleptocracy". Slate. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Trump lawyers push back against Russia ties in letter". Associated Press. LA Times. May 12, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  42. ^ Bloomberg Professional Services Company Overview of BMC PARTNERS LLP", Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  43. ^ Freed, Benjamin. "Meet the DC Lawyer Helping Hillary Clinton Pick a Running Mate", Washingtonian, June 20, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  44. ^ "Morgan Lewis Pitches Web Address To Major League Baseball" "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  45. ^ Morgan Lewis "Morgan Lewis Alumni Spotlight — Robert Manfred", Morgan Lewis & Bockius, 2015.
  46. ^ Mahita Gajanan (January 11, 2017). "Donald Trump's Legal Team Won a 'Russia Law Firm of The Year' Award". Fortune. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  47. ^ FTI "NYSE Governance Services & FTI Consulting Announce 16th Annual Corporate Law Firms Rankings", FTI Consulting, May 25, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  48. ^ FTI "NYSE Governance Services and FTI Consulting Announce 17th Annual Corporate Law Firms Rankings", FTI Consulting, May 16, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  49. ^ SF Bar Assoc. "Justice & Diversity Center Honors Outstanding Volunteers" The Bar Association of San Francisco, April 11, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.

External links[edit]