Ropes & Gray
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|No. of offices||11|
|No. of attorneys||~1,200|
|Major practice areas||Private equity, M&A, Finance, Investment management, Hedge funds, Life sciences, Health care, Intellectual property, Litigation, Securities litigation, Government enforcement, Privacy & data security, Antitrust, Bankruptcy & restructuring, Tax, Real estate, Labor & employment, Executive compensation & benefits|
|Key people||Bradford Malt, Chairman
David Chapin, Managing PartnerTerry Thompson, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director
|Revenue||$1.48 billion (2016/17)|
|Founder||John Codman Ropes, John Chipman Gray|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Ropes & Gray LLP is a global law firm with 11 offices located in the United States, Asia and Europe. The firm has more than 1,200 lawyers and professionals worldwide, and its clients include corporations and financial institutions, government agencies, universities, and health care organizations. It was founded in 1865 in Boston, Massachusetts by John Codman Ropes and John Chipman Gray.
The firm's major practice areas include private equity, mergers & acquisitions, intellectual property, complex business litigation, securities litigation, health care, life sciences, bankruptcy and business restructuring, government enforcement and white collar crime, privacy & data security, investment management, hedge funds, antitrust, employee benefits, tax, and real estate. Ropes & Gray also is active in several industries, including life sciences, health care, asset management, TMT (technology, media & telecommunications) and retail.
The firm was founded in 1865 by two Harvard Law School graduates, John Codman Ropes and John Chipman Gray. In 2003, the firm acquired New York City-based private equity law firm Reboul, MacMurray, Hewitt & Maynard. In 2005, the firm acquired New York-based intellectual property law firm Fish & Neave.
The firm has offices in Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.
The firm's lawyers argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, representing Harris Associates, in a seminal case for the mutual funds industry. In March 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Jones v. Harris Associates, which definitively established the standard governing claims of excessive mutual fund fees under § 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Ropes & Gray lawyers have advised on notable M&A transactions, including:
- The acquisition by private equity firms Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital of Clear Channel Communications, for $26 billion;
- Bain Capital's and The Blackstone Group's acquisition of The Weather Channel, in a multibillion-dollar deal;
- The sale of the Warner Music Group to Access Industries by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee, for $3.3 billion;
- Genzyme's acquisition by Sanofi-Aventis, for $20.1 billion;
- NSTAR's merger with Northeast Utilities, for $7.1 billion;
- China Everbright's acquisition of Focus Media, for $3.7 billion;
- TPG Capital's acquisition of J.Crew, for $3 billion;
- A private equity group's acquisition of Dunkin' Donuts, for $2.4 billion;
- Berkshire Partners acquisition of Lightower Fiber Networks and Sidera Networks, for $2 billion;
- The Bare Escentuals merger with Shiseido of Japan, a $1.7 billion deal;
- Bain Capital's acquisition of MYOB, Australia's largest financial software developer.
In 2009, Ropes & Gray advised on three of the largest leveraged acquisitions of the year, on three continents. The firm advised long-term client Bain Capital on its acquisition of Bellsystem24 in the largest buyout by a foreign private equity firm in Japan in nearly two years. It also represented TPG Capital and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board in their $5.2 billion acquisition of IMS Health Inc., a leading provider of market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
The firm also represented Genzyme Corporation on a transaction that was recognized as a "Deal of Distinction" by the Licensing Executives Society in September 2010. Ropes & Gray advised Genzyme Corporation on a complex $2.9 billion deal with Bayer Schering Pharma AG that expanded Genzyme's oncology portfolio by giving the company rights to marketed cancer drugs and control of a program in multiple sclerosis.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (then) co-chairman Gordon Caplan, JD, who was arrested in March 2019 as a parent participant in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal, is represented by firm partners Joshua Levy, co-chairman of global litigation and enforcement practice, and Michael McGovern, co-chairman of government enforcement practice. A guilty plea deal in United States v. Gordon Caplan was filed by United States Attorney Andrew Lelling on March 27, 2019. An Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting the case, Leslie Wright, is a Ropes & Gray alumna.
Notable current and former attorneys
- Eleanor D. Acheson (Associate 1974-1983, Partner, 1983-1993) – Vice president and general counsel of Amtrak. Former Assistant Attorney General of the United States.
- Mark Barnes (Partner) – Activist and academic, former Chief Research Compliance Officer, Harvard University.
- Marta Belcher (Attorney) - Pioneer in the area of blockchain law.
- Yochai Benkler (Associate, 1994-1995) – Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies, Harvard Law School.
- Janis M. Berry (Partner, 1986-1997) – Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
- Stephen L. Braga (former Partner) – Criminal defense attorney known for his successful pro bono representation of Martin Tankleff.
- Levin H. Campbell - Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- Robert C. Clark (Associate, 1972-1974) – Former Dean of the Faculty of Law (1989-2003), and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor (2003–present), Harvard University.
- Archibald Cox (Associate, 1938-1945) – U.S. Solicitor General under President John F. Kennedy; first special prosecutor for the Watergate scandal.
- George S. Hawkins, General Manager of the DC Water and Sewer Authority.
- Olin M. Jeffords – (Associate, 1919-1921) – Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, father of Senator Jim Jeffords.
- Henry Cabot Lodge – (Associate, 1875-1880) – American statesman and 1st U.S. Senate Majority Leader.
- George H. Lyman (Associate) – chairman of the Massachusetts Republican state committee and collector of customs for the port of Boston.
- Roger A. Moore (Partner, 1967-1990) – Former Chairman of the Board, National Review; Chief Legal Advisor, presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater; general counsel of the Republican National Committee.
- Ruth O'Brien (Partner, retired 1996) – Second female partner; mother of Conan O'Brien.
- Diane Bemus Patrick (Partner) – Former First Lady of Massachusetts.
- John Palfrey (Associate, 2001-2002) – Co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, vice dean for library and information resources, and a tenured professor at Harvard Law School.
- Elliot Richardson (Associate, 1949-1953, 1955-1957; Partner, 1961-1965) – Former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1970-1973); U.S. Secretary of Defense (1973); U.S. Attorney General (1973); United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1975-1976); and U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1976-1977).
- John Richardson (1911–1970s) – Specialized in corporate and trustee work and was responsible for hiring young lawyers to join the firm. Was also a political supporter of Herbert Hoover and served as the Republican National Committeeman from Massachusetts from 1932 to 1936.
- Clayton Spencer (Partner, 1986-1989) - president of Bates College
- Christopher Taylor (Associate) Mayor of Ann Arbor since 2014.
- James Vorenberg (Associate, 1954 – 1960; Partner, 1960-1962) – Former Dean of the Faculty of Law, Harvard University (1981-1989).
- Jane Willis (Partner) - Part of the MIT Blackjack Team later fictionalized in Bringing Down the House.
- Julie Jones (Partner) - Appointed chair-elect of Ropes & Gray in 2017, on assuming the chair in January 2020, she will be the first woman to hold that position.
- "Jones et. al. v. Harris Associates L.P." (PDF). Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "Nasdaq". Nasdaq. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "IP Watchdog, Sept. 30, 2010". Ipwatchdog.com. September 30, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- dal-probe/ "Caplan's Plea Deal With Prosecutors Calls for Prison Time", by Jack Newsham, The American Lawyer, April 8, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- Andrew E. Lelling , U.S. Department of Justice, District of Massachusetts,March 27, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- "Meet the Big Law Alums Prosecuting the College Admissions Scandal", by Mike Scarcella and Nate Robson, March 13, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2019.