11 Times Square|
New York City
|No. of offices||13|
|No. of attorneys||700+|
|Major practice areas||Full service law firm|
|Key people||Joseph M. Leccese, Firm Chairman|
|Revenue||$822.5 million USD (2015)|
|Founder||William R. Rose|
|Company type||Limited Liability Partnership|
Proskauer Rose LLP (formerly known as Proskauer, Rose, Goetz & Mendelsohn, LLP) is an international law firm headquartered in New York City. The firm was founded in 1875 and currently has thirteen offices worldwide.
Proskauer is known for its labor and employment, litigation, corporate, private equity, private investment funds, finance, and intellectual property law departments. However, the firm is often in the headlines for its sports law group and celebrity clientele.
Proskauer represents almost every major US sports organization, including the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLS, MLB, Pac-12, Big East, Association of Tennis Professionals, and Premier League, as well as entertainment players and organizations, including Madonna, U2, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, RCA Records, Creative Artists Agency, Sony Music Entertainment, The Recording Academy, and MGM.
Proskauer Rose is a full-service law firm, practicing in areas including corporate finance, private investment funds, mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, bankruptcy and reorganizations, taxation, litigation, trusts and estates, intellectual property, and labor and employment law. Its clients include participants in many industries, including chemicals, entertainment, financial services, health care, hospitality, information technology, insurance, internet, manufacturing, media and communications, pharmaceuticals, real estate investment, sports, and transportation.
Proskauer Rose is known for its sports law department, with clients including all four of the major sports leagues in the USA and Canada (MLB, the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA). In December 2006, The Legal U.S. 500's annual ranking of the top law firms for corporate work singled Proskauer out for excellence in private equity, international M&A, high-yield debt and hedge fund formation.
Proskauer's New York City office, located in Times Square, is its headquarters. In 2012, the firm was given Tier 1 rankings for its advertising law, appellate, arbitration, bankruptcy, litigation, corporate, criminal, ERISA, entertainment law, environmental, healthcare, insurance, labor and employment, patent, real estate, sports law, trademark, and trusts and estates practice groups.
Proskauer's second largest office is in Boston, where the firm has been referred to as "a powerhouse in the private equity world," for having one of the world's leading private investment fund law practices. The Boston office received Tier 1 rankings for its private investment fund, labor law, intellectual property, corporate finance, tax, and ERISA practice groups. Additionally, the firm's pro bono and government work is led by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger. The firm's Boston office was also noted for representing Facebook, Inc. and Mark Zuckerberg during his company's legal fight with ConnectU.
The firm's Los Angeles office is known for its high-profile litigation, corporate, and private equity work, which included the representation of Ares Management and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan in their $1.65 billion acquisition of General Nutrition Centers. The firm's Washington DC office is known for its employee benefits and executive compensation, securities regulation and enforcement, healthcare, and labor groups. The firm's Chicago office is known primarily for its bankruptcy, healthcare, and insurance law practices. The New Orleans and Newark offices have strong niche practices of nationwide ERISA litigation and labor and employment law practices. The firm's Boca Raton office has a prominent wealth management and planning group for high-net-worth clients, along with significant labor and employment, tax, and corporate law groups.
Proskauer's London office is the firm's largest location outside of the United States. In 2013, Chambers UK ranked its private equity group as one of the "best in the UK." The office also has highly rated tax, finance, and corporate practice groups. The firm's Paris office is known internationally for its labor and employment law practice, along with its competition and antitrust, merger control, EU common market law, and corporate law groups.
The firm's offices in China, located in Beijing and Hong Kong, are known for their work in sports law (e.g., NBA China), financing, mergers & acquisitions, reorganizations, going-private transactions, and structured finance, which often include cross border elements.
The firm's Latin American presence is centered in São Paulo, Brazil. The firm's Latin America practice is highly regarded, representing clients, such as Banco Itaú-BBA, Banco Votorantim, WestLB, Banco Santander, Votorantim Group, CSN, the Abril Group, and TV Band. The Latin American team notably represented Banco BTG Pactual US Capital Corp. (and other underwriters) in the establishment by Banco BTG Pactual S.A. of a $3 billion Global Medium Term Note Program and issue of $500 million senior notes with BTG Pactual US Capital Corp. as arranger and BTG Pactual US Capital Corp., JP Morgan and Bradesco BBI as underwriters, as well as Iochpe-Maxion, a publicly traded Brazilian auto parts and railway equipment manufacturer, in the acquisition of Michigan-based Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. for approximately $725 million.
Proskauer's pro bono efforts in Iraq serves as an example of the firm's international efforts to assist Iraqi and other families, who are threatened as a result of their association with American and coalition forces, to find safety in the United States.
Throughout its history, the firm's headquarters has been located in the area of Times Square, in midtown Manhattan, where it grew from fewer than a dozen lawyers originally to nearly 800. A full-service practice, it is currently among the ten largest law firms in New York City.
William R. Rose started the firm that is now Proskauer Rose when, at 21 years of age, he opened a law firm on Broadway in Downtown Manhattan in 1875. In 1907, Rose promoted associate Benjamin Paskus to partner and renamed the firm Rose & Paskus. Rose & Paskus was one of the first firms to develop a specialized tax practice after the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1913. In 1930, Judge Joseph M. Proskauer resigned his position on New York's Appellate Division to join the firm, which was then renamed Proskauer, Rose & Paskus. The firm shortened its name to Proskauer Rose in 1997.
Proskauer Rose is historically known as a "Jewish law firm" for its willingness to cross traditional historic and cultural hiring norms that other major New York City law firms were unwilling to do at the time. Because of its willingness to employ Jewish lawyers, Proskauer is not known as a traditional "white shoe" law firm, though over the past quarter-century[when?] it has gained the reputation as one of the "new white shoe" law firms. Thus it cannot rely on long-standing ties to old money or big investment banks. Rather, the firm has historically focused its practice on labor and employment law, as well as building up significant litigation, health care, sports and entertainment, bankruptcy, and taxation practices.
In December 2004, a large group of lawyers from the Boston-based law firm of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault joined the Boston office of Proskauer Rose.
Revenue and profitability
In February 2012, Proskauer Rose increased its gross revenue by 6.4 percent to $686 million and its average profits per partner 9 percent to $1.7 million, according to The American Lawyer's reporting. In 2013, Proskauer Rose again increased its revenue by more than 7%, to over $700 million. These figures place Proskauer Rose as one of the fastest growing law firms in the United States. The firm's robust financial performance came amid a busy year for office moves. The most significant shuffle saw Proskauer move its New York headquarters to 11 Times Square last January.[when?] With more than 400,000 square feet of space spread across 14 floors, the firm is the new building's anchor tenant—with its name splashed across the facade in a 40-foot-by-10-foot backlit sign.
Proskauer's pro bono clients include community groups, Iraqi and other refugees seeking asylum, domestic violence victims, artists and musicians, Holocaust survivors, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and the MINDS Foundation, among many others. The firm claims that their attorneys typically spend between 35,000 and 40,000 hours a year working on pro bono matters.
In 2012, Proskauer won an important victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in a ruling that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA), which reduced the disparity in federal sentencing between crack and powder cocaine offenses, applies to defendants who were sentenced after its passage even though their offenses pre-dated the law. The firm was also noted for having an Election Protection call center during the 2012 Presidential election.
In 2010, Proskauer received the Law Firm Pro Bono Award at the William O. Douglas Award Dinner in Los Angeles, sponsored by Public Counsel, the United States' largest pro bono public interest law firm.
In April 2006 Proskauer Rose launched the "National Pro Bono Initiative." This program included bringing together representatives from all of the firm's major practice groups and offices, asking certain lawyers to do pro bono endeavors full-time, and also appointing a "Pro Bono Coordinator." The purpose of the program is to inject discipline and focus into pro bono work, so that it will be approached on a national as opposed to an office-by-office basis.
Ranking and awards
According to a study by Yale Law Women (co-sponsored by women's law groups at Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Chicago, Boalt, Northwestern, and Virginia), Proskauer Rose ranked second in their list of top ten family-friendly firms of 2007.
In 2007, Proskauer Rose was named among the top United States firms practicing corporate and finance law in The Legal 500 US Volume I: Corporate & Finance, a ranking of the "best of the best" U.S. law firms. Proskauer was named a leader in the following categories: Private Equity; International Mergers and Acquisitions; Capital Markets; Investment Funds - Alternative/Hedge Fund Formation.
In 2008, Proskauer was named the fastest-growing law firm for the third consecutive year in Boston Business Journal's annual ranking of the area's 100 largest law firms. With the addition of 25 lawyers since January 2007 - a 30-percent growth rate - the firm is ranked 17th in this year' survey.
Fifteen lawyers from Proskauer Rose were named in Southern California Super Lawyers 2008, an annual guide to the top lawyers in the region (the firm was represented in 10 different practice areas). Selections for Southern California Super Lawyers are based on peer nominations and independent research by the editors of Law & Politics magazine.
The culture and work environment at Proskauer is usually referred to as, "laid back," "down to earth" and "informal." The firm also establishes affinity groups, such as the Asian Lawyer Affinity Group, Black Lawyer Affinity Group, Flex-Time Lawyer Affinity Group, Hispanic/Latino Lawyer Affinity Group, LGBT Affinity Group, Religious Observers Affinity Group, and the Women's Alliance. The firm's aim is to, "bring together lawyers who have shared experiences or backgrounds, creating support networks that benefit members and help the firm create an environment of inclusion, education and advocacy."
Notable clients and cases
- Proskauer Rose is well known for its union avoidance practice, being hired to engage in what many have called "union-busting."  In addition to serving in this union-busting role for the four major U.S. sports leagues, they have been retained by union employers including Columbia University, Yale University, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.
- In 2015, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver employed the firm to purchase a $9.5million Manhattan penthouse using several shell companies set up on his behalf by the firm, taking advantage of a tax loophole called 421-a to reduce his property tax bill by as much as $300,000.
- While known for representing professional sporting organizations such as the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and the National Football League, Proskauer also represents BP America, ChevronTexaco, Exxon Mobil, Metlife, Ares Management, National Maritime Union Trust Funds, Strachan Shipping, RCN Corporation, and United Parcel Service. Notable New York City clients include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the New York City Ballet, and the New York City Opera.
- Proskauer Rose represented Silverstein Properties, owner of the World Trade Center towers in New York that were destroyed by the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, in a dispute with its insurers.
- The firm has represented BDO Seidman, Deloitte & Touche, and Ernst & Young before the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Proskauer represented Major League Soccer in the deal to bring David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
- The firm represented the League of American Theatres and Producers during the stagehands strike in the fall of 2007.
- The firm won a significant copyright case in 2006 when they represented the rock band The White Stripes against a former producer regarding the ownership rights in the band's first two albums.
- Proskauer represented the NBA against the Oscar Robertson antitrust suit, which established free agency in basketball (the lead litigator, David Stern, lost the case, but the league hired him as its in-house counsel in 1978 and later promoted him to NBA commissioner).
- The firm's New York offices served as the negotiation site surrounding the six-month 1998 lockout of the NBA players.
- Proskauer represented Robert Wood Johnson IV when he purchased the New York Jets for $635 million in 2000.
- The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) hired Proskauer in 2009 to conduct an investigation into its operations and write a report regarding the undercover video controversy.
- The Recording Academy (the Grammy® Award organization) in its strategic transaction with the Beijing Music Festival- represented by the head of Hong Kong office, Yuval Tal
- Major League Baseball in connection with the $2.15 billion bankruptcy of the Los Angeles Dodgers
- Accor on the sale of the Motel 6 chain to Blackstone Group for $1.9 billion
- The New York Times in its contract negotiations with the Newspaper Guild of New York
- Leucadia board of directors in its $2.8 billion purchase of Jefferies Group
- Jimmy Haslam in connection with his $1 billion purchase of the National Football League's Cleveland Browns
- Represented the WTA Tour in issues arising from the denial of a visa to an Israeli player by the UAE for the Dubai tournament
- Dallas Cowboys and the Jones Family in the formation of Legends Hospitality LLC, a new concessions venture founded by the owners of the Cowboys and New York Yankees and investors that included Goldman Sachs
- Various Major League Baseball clubs in player salary arbitration proceedings
- The ATP Tour in multiple antitrust suits brought by tournaments and players alleging conspiracies and monopolization of the market for top tier men's professional tennis tournaments, including a precedent-setting jury verdict against the Hamburg tournament sustaining the overall structure of the Tour, which was unanimously affirmed on appeal
- Sports facilities across the U.S., including playing the primary role in spearheading the accessibility compliance work and disability policy issues for the New York Yankees relating to the development, construction and operation of the new Yankee Stadium
- League expansions including National Basketball Association teams to Charlotte, Miami, Minnesota, Orlando, Toronto and Vancouver; National Hockey League expansion teams to Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus and Minnesota; and Major League Soccer teams to Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and other markets
- Iochpe-Maxion, a publicly traded Brazilian auto parts and railway equipment manufacturer, in its $725 million acquisition of Michigan-based Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc.
- Philadelphia Newspapers, publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, in its Chapter 11 case
- Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. in its $580 million acquisition of Cost Plus, Inc. and $105 million acquisition of Linen Holdings, LLC
- Grifols, S.A., a global health care company in one of the most intense antitrust investigations in recent FTC history, resulting in the approval of its $4 billion acquisition of Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp., creating the world's third-largest plasma-products manufacturer
- Guinness N.A. in successfully obtaining a preliminary injunction (affirmed by the Second Circuit) against Anheuser Busch's use of "R RED LABEL from Budweiser" in view of Johnnie Walker Red Label® whiskey
- Pepsi against Coca-Cola Company in the Southern District of New York concerning the comparative ad campaign by Coke claiming that Gatorade sports drinks are "incomplete" because they do not contain calcium or magnesium
- Wachovia Bank in mortgage and mezzanine financings including numerous loans having an original principal balance in excess of $1 billion
- Empire American Holdings, LLC, one of the largest private owners of apartments, in a $1 billion non-traded publicly offered REIT to invest in residential real estate
- Janet Jackson in a suit brought by a patron of a New York City nightclub who alleged Jackson's bodyguard had injured him
- The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in its negotiation and execution of a complex group of agreements with Anschutz Entertainment Group for the development, financing, construction and operation of The GRAMMY® Museum
- U2, the world famous Irish rock band, in a copyright infringement litigation regarding the hit single "Vertigo" from its album entitled "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb"
- Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League
- Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs
- Michael A. Cardozo, former President of the New York City Bar Association
- Sylvan Gotshal, co-founder of Weil, Gotshal & Manges
- David Kahn, President of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves
- Steven C. Krane, late partner and general counsel
- Doug Perlman, founder of Sports Media Advisors
- Moose Scheib, founder and CEO of LoanMod.com
- David Stern, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association
- Frank Weil, co-founder of Weil, Gotshal & Manges
- "Proskauer and Lady Gaga".
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- "Election Protection".
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- "ACORN and the Ethics of Leadership". Correspondents.theatlantic.com. December 8, 2009.
- "An Independent Governance Assessment of ACORN: The Path To Meaningful Reform" (PDF). Proskauer.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-09-08. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- "Yuval Tal | Professionals". Proskauer. Retrieved 2014-08-07.
- Proskauer Rose law firm website.
- Proskauer Rose organizational profile at the National Law Review.
- Privacy Law Blog Proskauer Privacy Law Blog.
- Labor Relations Update Proskauer Labor Relations Update Blog.
- Proskauer on Class & Collective Actions Proskauer Class & Collective Actions Blog.
- California Employment Law Update Proskauer California Employment Law Blog.
- Not-For-Profit/Exempt Organizations Blog Proskauer Not-For-Profit/Exempt Organizations Blog.
- New Media & Technology Law Blog Proskauer New Media & Technology Law Blog.
- International Litigation and Arbitration Guide Proskauer on International Litigation and Arbitration Guide.
- Alumni Network Proskauer alumni website.