Ropes & Gray

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Ropes & Gray LLP
Ropes & Gray logo
HeadquartersPrudential Tower
Boston, Massachusetts
United States
No. of offices11
No. of attorneys~1,200
Major practice areasPrivate 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 peopleBradford Malt, Chairman

David Chapin, Managing Partner

Terry Thompson, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director
Revenue$1.48 billion (2016/17)
Date founded1865
FounderJohn Codman Ropes, John Chipman Gray
Company typeLimited 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.

Prominent cases[edit]

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.[1]

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.[citation needed]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] A guilty plea deal in United States v. Gordon Caplan was filed by United States Attorney Andrew Lelling on March 27, 2019.[5][6] An Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting the case, Leslie Wright, is a Ropes & Gray alumna.[7]


In late 2010, the firm's Boston office moved to the top office floors of the Prudential Tower in the Back Bay neighborhood.

Notable current and former attorneys[edit]


  1. ^ "Jones et. al. v. Harris Associates L.P." (PDF). Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "Nasdaq". Nasdaq. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "IP Watchdog, Sept. 30, 2010". September 30, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Andrew E. Lelling , U.S. Department of Justice, District of Massachusetts,March 27, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  7. ^ "Meet the Big Law Alums Prosecuting the College Admissions Scandal", by Mike Scarcella and Nate Robson, March 13, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2019.

External links[edit]