Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
||This article reads like a press release or a news article or is entirely based on routine coverage. (February 2015)|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, CA|
|No. of offices||25+|
|No. of attorneys||1,000+|
|Major practice areas||Tech, Energy & Infrastructure, Finance|
|Key people||Mitch Zuklie (Chairman)|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is an international law firm founded in San Francisco, California. Orrick traces its roots back to 1863, making it the second-oldest continuously operating law firm in San Francisco after Tobin & Tobin (now Weintraub Tobin), and the second-oldest privately held company in San Francisco after Levi Strauss & Co.
Orrick is focused on serving companies in the technology, energy & infrastructure and financial sectors globally. The firm has over 1000 lawyers worldwide in more than 25 offices, with more than 200 attorneys in each of its two largest offices in San Francisco and New York City.
Orrick traces its roots to the year 1863, when the German Savings and Loan Society (which later became part of the First Interstate Bank of California) was organized, with John R. Jarboe as its general counsel. In 1885, Jarboe, along with colleagues Ralph J. Harrison and W.S. Goodfellow, founded the law firm Jarboe, Harrison & Goodfellow.
Jarboe, Harrison & Goodfellow dissolved in 1891 when Harrison was appointed justice to the California Supreme Court. In 1901, Goodfellow formed a new partnership with Charles Eells, creating the firm Goodfellow & Eells. William Horsley Orrick joined the firm in 1910, and after Stanley Moore joined the firm in 1914, the firm's name changed to Goodfellow, Eells, Moore & Orrick.
In 1927, Ralph Palmer, Tom Dahlquist, George Herrington, and Mitchell Neff became partners, and Eric Sutcliffe joined in 1932. During the 1930s the firm played a major role in helping to finance the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. It not only helped structure the bridge's financing, but also defended the bonds' validity when challenged by interests opposed to the bridge's construction.
Sutcliffe replaced Orrick as the firm's managing partner in 1947, a position he held for more than 30 years. In 1980, the firm's name was changed to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Orrick is one of the few California firms to have reached critical mass of over 200 attorneys in New York. Its East Coast ambitions were assisted when it acquired 40 lawyers and their litigation practices from Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine in 1998.
The firm expanded internationally in 2005 at the expense of the now-defunct law firm Coudert Brothers. Orrick doubled its London office with the addition of the Coudert team and opened offices in Moscow, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai with Coudert Brothers professionals. Also in 2005, the firm laid the foundation for its emerging companies practice with the addition of a team from the Venture Law Group (VLG). VLG’s founding partner Don Keller and Orrick’s current chairman Mitch Zuklie joined the firm’s Silicon Valley office.
In 2006, the firm engaged in protracted merger negotiations with legacy Wall Street firm Dewey Ballantine. The merger was unsuccessful and Dewey later combined in 2008 with fellow New York firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae to form Dewey & LeBoeuf. The same year, Orrick expanded its Paris office through a combination with Rambaud Martel, a preeminent M&A and dispute resolution firm in France.
In 2008, Orrick expanded into Germany by combining with Hölters & Elsing (Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten); today, the firm has offices in Düsseldorf and Munich. Orrick also welcomed a group of project finance attorneys in its San Francisco office from Thelen LLP and in its Paris office from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. In 2008, the firm admitted almost two dozen partners in its London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., offices from the San Francisco firm Heller Ehrman, including 27 hired after Heller's Sept. 26, 2008, announcement of dissolution. This move added Orrick’s Supreme Court & Appellate Litigation practice head, Josh Rosenkranz, who was named “Litigatorof the Year” by The American Lawyer in 2012 and successfully argued Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. before the U.S. Supreme Court. The move also added Annette Hurst, who has been named to the Daily Journal’s “Top 75 IP Litigators in California” list (2010-2012).
On Nov. 13, 2008, citing the severity of the global economic downturn, Orrick laid off 40 associates and 35 staffers in various offices, predominately in the United States, and said that because of the economy and the firm's recent capital investments, profits per partner would be down this year. In recent years, Orrick has outperformed other San Francisco-based firms in growth and profitability.
In March 2009, Orrick laid off an additional 100 attorneys and 200 staff, citing again the recession that began in December 2007 as the reason.
In September 2010, Orrick announced it had entered preliminary merger talks with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld But just six days later, the two firms announced the talks had been aborted, making the proposed union the latest in a series of failed merger attempts by Orrick, including dalliances with Coudert Brothers, Cooley, Venture Law Group, Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, Dewey Ballantine and SJ Berwin.
In 2011, Orrick opened an office in Munich and in 2012 expanded again with the addition of Brussels.The firm has also made a number of recent hires out of government: McGregor Scott, former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, joined the firm’s Sacramento office in 2009; Rob McKenna, two-term Attorney General for the State of Washington, joined the firm’s Seattle office in 2013; and Bob Loeb, former Acting Deputy Director of the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 2013.
In Spring 2013, Silicon Valley-based corporate partner Mitch Zuklie succeeded Ralph Baxter as chairman. Mr. Baxter served as Chairman of Orrick for 22 years and was widely praised as an innovator in the legal profession.
In October 2014, Orrick established an affiliated office in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, operating as Orrick RCI, to provide on the ground support for the firm’s African and international clients in connection with investments in Western and Central Africa.
In May 2015, Orrick announced a new parental leave program that offered its U.S. lawyers paid primary caregiver leave of 22 weeks, with the option of taking a total leave of up to 9 months before returning to work.
In June 2015, Orrick expanded its international arbitration practice with the opening of an office in Geneva, Switzerland. In April 2017, Charles Adams, former U.S. ambassador to Finland, joined the Geneva office to lead Orrick's global international arbitration practice and to establish a practice designed to advise Finnish and Nordic companies on their business strategies in North America.
In January 2016. Orrick launched an office in Houston, Texas with a founding team of 20 partners. The office focuses on energy & infrastructure, including electric power, oil and gas, and renewable energy; litigation and intellectual property; and public finance, and also includes a team of lawyers focused on serving clients in Latin America.
In March 2016, former Orrick partner Melinda Haag rejoined the firm as leader of its Global Litigation Business Unit after serving a five-year term as United States Attorney for the Northern District of California.
In July 2016, Orrick became the first major law firm to offer new associates student loan repayment assistance through a collaboration with SoFi. The firm pledged to help all U.S. first-year associates pay down student loans more quickly by supplementing the firm’s loan refinancing program offered through SoFi with a monthly contribution.
In June 2017, Orrick was announced as one of thirty law firms piloting the Mansfield Rule. Modeled after the NFL’s Rooney Rule and named for Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice in the United States, the Mansfield Rule challenges firms to ensure a diverse candidate pool.
Recognition and rankings
- Law360 named Orrick to its Global 20 list for the fifth time in 2016, citing the firm's global strategy focused on the finance, energy and infrastructure and technology sectors. The list rates leading international law firms on the size and scope of their geographic platform and the complexity of their cross-border work.
- Financial Times named Orrick North America’s most innovative law firm in its 2016 report, “North America Innovative Lawyers.” The report commended Orrick’s innovative client work in the tech, infrastructure and finance sectors, including appellate, regulatory and transactional matters.
- The American Lawyer chose Orrick corporate partner Stephen Venuto as "Dealmaker of the Year" for advising Instagram on its $1 billion acquisition by Facebook. (April 2013).
- The American Lawyer included Orrick on its 2016 A-List, which ranks the 200 largest law firms in the United States in four categories: financial performance, pro bono contribution, associate satisfaction and diversity.
- The American Lawyer named Orrick as Intellectual Property Litigation Department of the Year for 2015, citing the firm's "ability to jump into a case and successfully dig its clients out of a hole, even with little time to prepare." In addition, the firm was one of six finalists for Litigation Department of the Year.
- Orrick was named one of the “50 Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers in 2016 for the eighth time. This annual survey recognizes law firms for their family-friendly policies and business development and career development initiatives that are aimed at advancing women lawyers. The firm was also recertified as a Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Gold Standard Firm in 2016 for the fourth time. WILEF Certification emphasizes the leadership roles achieved by women partners at the nation’s largest firms.
- Orrick earned a perfect score of 100 percent for the eleventh consecutive year in the 2017 Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and Best Places to Work survey. The CEI evaluates LGBT-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBT community.
- Fortune recognized Orrick as one of its 100 Best Companies to Work For for the second consecutive year in 2017.
Orrick is focused on serving companies in the technology, energy & infrastructure and financial sectors globally.
- In 2016, Orrick closed more than 330 venture-backed deals, valued at more than $5.0 billion. The firm acts for more than 1,600 technology companies globally, ranging from early-stage start-ups to international corporations.
- In June 2017, an Orrick team led by employment partner Lynne Hermle secured a defense verdict for client SpaceX in a $6 million whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former employee. In October 2016, Hermle's team secured a defense verdict for SpaceX in a sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation trial.
- In July 2016, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Microsoft and its Orrick appellate team in a fight to prevent the U.S. government from unilaterally searching private emails stored in foreign countries, without notice to or the cooperation of the country where the emails are stored.
- Orrick secured a victory for DISH Network in California federal court and the Ninth Circuit in a copyright case against all of the major networks involving the commercial-skipping and block-recording features that DISH added to its Hopper DVR. The firm obtained a summary judgment ruling in favor of DISH in January 2015.
- In March 2015, an Orrick trial team led by Lynne Hermle secured a defense verdict on behalf of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in a gender discrimination case brought by former junior partner Ellen Pao.
- In March 2014, Orrick advised Nest Labs, a developer of self-learning home appliances, in its sale to Google for $3.2 billion.
- Orrick represented Supap Kirtsaeng in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. On March 19, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Kirtsaeng and held that the “first-sale doctrine,” which allows owners of lawfully acquired copyrighted works to resell them without first getting the copyright holder’s permission, applies to all works, including works made overseas.
- Orrick defended Apple in its smartphone battle with S3 Graphics before the ITC—a result that Corporate Counsel selected as the No. 1 IP win of 2011.
- The firm litigated for EMC Corporation in a high-stakes patent infringement dispute that was highlighted on National Public Radio’s This American Life in a segment called “When Patents Attack.”
- The firm has worked with international law enforcement to help Microsoft dismantle four of the world’s largest botnets, introducing new tactics for combating cybercrime. They provide legal notices to these botnets through their botnetlegalnotice.com domain.
- Orrick put an end to the multi-year battle between its client Facebook and the Winklevoss twins, whose lawsuit was featured in the film The Social Network.
- Orrick advised U-Shin, one of Asia’s largest producers of automotive access mechanisms, in its multijurisdiction acquisition of Valeo’s Access Mechanism Business. The acquisition involved 12 plants in eight jurisdictions including Asia, Europe and South America.
Energy & Infrastructure
- The firm has advised on major U.S. transport PPP projects, including the $1.68 billion financing of Denver FasTracks—the first U.S. PPP for passenger rail—and the $1.5 billion financing of the Midtown Tunnel in Virginia. The firm also has one of the most active European PPP practices.
- Orrick represented the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in LaGuardia Airport’s New Terminal B Redevelopment Project. Orrick also assisted the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the successful issuance of its $1 billion bond financing for the World Trade Center site redevelopment.
- The firm advised the Purple Line Transit Partners consortium as sponsors’ counsel on the financing of the Purple Line light rail transit, an 11 mile line in Maryland with 21 stations extending from Bethesda to New Carrollton. It is the second transit PPP ever to close in the U.S. and the first rail PPP for Maryland.
- Orrick represented KentuckyWired Operations Company, LLC as bond counsel in the $300 million financing of a high-speed, open access, middle-mile fiber optic network with excess capacity with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
- Orrick's Paris team advised international industrial group Bouygues in connection with a sea urbanization project that will increase the size of Monaco.
- The firm's Africa-focused team is advising on many projects on the continent, including the financing of the Grand Inga, a planned hydroelectric dam on the Congo River that is expected to increase Africa's energy output by 50 percent. The firm also advised on the negotiation and signing of a gas convention with the Republic of Cameroon in connection with the installation and operation of a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility located off the coast of Kribi.
- Orrick advised IFM Investors Pty Ltd in its $5.72 billion acquisition of the ITR Concession Company, the holder of a concession for the Indiana Toll Road.
- The firm has been ranked No. 1 U.S. municipal bond counsel for the past two decades.
- Orrick advised on the Chapter 9 filings of the cities of Vallejo and Stockton, California, two of the largest municipal bankruptcies.
- The firm's Italian lawyers played a key role in the establishment of the Italian minibond market, designed to make it easier for small and medium-size enterprises to tap into the debt capital markets. The firm collaborated with issuers, investors, regulators, banking industry groups and the Borsa Italiana to create the market and its regulatory framework. Orrick's Italian lawyers are also working with Quaestio, the asset manager for Atlante, the Italian private equity fund focused on recapitalizing struggling Italian banks and purchasing Non-Performing Loans (NPLs).
- Orrick advised the U.S. real estate subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Tokyu Land Corporation on its significant equity investment in the 425 Park Avenue development project in New York.
- In partnership with San Diego Unified School District, Orrick drafted and assisted in the enactment of Senate Bill 222, which established a statutory lien for the benefit of bondholders on the property taxes levied to pay general obligation bonds.
- An Orrick team persuaded the Second Circuit to overturn a liability finding against a former Countrywide executive, the only individual targeted in connection with the "Hustle" mortgage program, who had been ordered to pay a $1 million civil penalty.
- Orrick successfully represented Consortium de Réalisation, the French government entity tasked with liquidating the assets of Crédit Lyonnais, in litigation filed against CDR by French businessman Bernard Tapie in connection with the sale of sporting goods company Adidas AG.
- Orrick successfully defended Greg Godsey against the Department of Justice in a case that became known as the “Africa Sting.” After six months of trial in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Mr. Godsey was acquitted by the jury on all counts of alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Orrick was ranked #9 for both U.S. and international pro bono impact by The American Lawyer in its 2016 pro bono rankings. In 2015, Orrick was named to Law360’s list of Pro Bono All Stars for its "exceptionally stalwart commitment to pro bono work year after year and its dedicating substantial resources over the past half-decade to impactful cases crucial to the public good."
Orrick represents more than 550 individual and nonprofit clients on a pro bono basis and partners with more than 225 legal services organizations to serve these clients. Orrick assisted national advocacy organization, Appleseed, a nonprofit organization dedicated to uncovering and removing barriers to justice, in advocating for an unprecedented admissions plan for PS 133, an elementary school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. In response to a proposal from a community task force that included New York City Council members, the New York City Department of Education agreed to the admissions policy, which for the first time under the Bloomberg administration makes diversity a primary goal.
Orrick lawyers provided legal and technical assistance to the Public International Law & Policy Group on public international law issues facing countries in the Middle East aspiring to become democracies, including Egypt, Libya, Syria and Tunisia.
In 2014, the firm launched the Orrick Cares program in celebration of Orrick’s 150th anniversary. The program engages lawyers, staff, clients and friends in activities that give back to communities worldwide, including partnering with the California Coastal Commission for a beach clean-up. Orrick Cares was awarded “Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year” by Chambers & Partners at the 2015 Chambers USA Women in Law Awards.
On Veterans Day in 2014, the firm announced the launch of the Veterans' Legal Career Fair. The event matches legal employers with lawyers who are veterans, active-duty service members or military spouses. In addition to Orrick, founding sponsors of the Veterans' Legal Career Fair include The American Legion, American Lawyer Media, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Shearman & Sterling and the D.C. Diverse Partners Network.
Orrick was the first global law firm to establish an Impact Finance & Social Enterprise practice, and the firm’s Impact Finance Fellow is the only full-time lawyer position at a major law firm dedicated to this space.
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