Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Headquarters425 Lexington Avenue
New York City
No. of offices11 total, 6 international
No. of attorneys835 (2013)
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key peopleWilliam R. Dougherty, Executive Committee Chairman[1]
RevenueIncrease US$1.13 billion (2013)[2]
Date founded1884
FounderJohn W. Simpson, Thomas Thacher and William M. Barnum
Company typeLimited liability partnership

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP[3] is an international law firm headquartered in New York City, employing over 900 attorneys in eleven offices worldwide.[4] The firm specializes in a variety of areas in both litigation and corporate practices, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions.


John W. Simpson, Thomas Thacher and William M. Barnum organized the firm as "Simpson, Thacher & Barnum" on January 1, 1884, with offices at 9 Pine Street.[5] The three were formerly law clerks at the old-line firm Alexander & Green. The first associate salary was ten dollars, and the first retainer fee was fifty dollars.[5] In 1889, the name was changed to "Reed Simpson Thacher & Barnum" when former U.S. House Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed joined the firm. Reed died in 1902, and the name was soon changed to Simpson Thacher Barnum & Bartlett. The final change came in 1904 when it was amended to its current name of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

From its original location at 9 Pine Street, the firm has operated at many offices throughout New York City until finally settling at its present location at 425 Lexington Avenue opposite Grand Central Terminal. The firm opened its Los Angeles office in 1996, Palo Alto in 1999 and in Washington, D.C. in 2005. Simpson Thacher began its international expansion in the late 70s, beginning with its London office in 1978. Since then, Simpson Thacher has expanded to Tokyo (1990), Hong Kong (1993), Beijing (2007), São Paulo (2009), and Seoul (2012).[6]

In 1988, Simpson Thacher, led by longtime chairman Richard Beattie, advised KKR's $25.1 billion acquisition of RJR Nabisco.[7][8] It was, at the time, the largest-ever private-equity purchase in history, the details of which are memorialized in the book "Barbarians at the Gate."[8]

Since opening in 1999,[9] the Palo Alto office has experienced remarkable growth in both size and prominence.[10] The Palo Alto branch is now the firm's second largest office and has come to represent some of Silicon Valley's most distinguished tech titans and private equity firms, playing a hand in a string of record breaking transactions.[11]

  • In 2004, Simpson Thacher represented the underwriters in Google's $2.7 billion IPO,[12] the largest technology IPO at the time.[13] More recently, the firm has represented Google in its $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube.[14]
  • In 2008, Simpson Thacher represented JPMorgan Chase in a loan repayment transaction that also unintentionally changed a different $1.5 billion secured loan into an unsecured loan, which caused JPMorgan Chase to suffer up to $1.5 billion of losses when the debtor General Motors declared bankruptcy in 2009. Although Simpson Thacher did not originate the error, it failed to catch the mistake — with one firm attorney praising debtor counsel Mayer Brown for a "nice job on the documents,” according to an opinion by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.[15]
  • In 2010, the firm represented Tesla Motors in its IPO, the first IPO of a new U.S. car company since Ford Motor Co. in 1956.[16]
  • In 2012, Simpson Thacher "helped launch Facebook, Inc."[17] in assisting the underwriters in Facebook's $16 billion IPO, at the time the largest technology offering ever and their third-largest IPO in U.S. history.[18]
  • In 2014, the firm set a new record in its representation of Alibaba Group Holding Limited in its initial public offering, the largest IPO ever to be conducted.[19] The record-breaking IPO raised $25 billion, ending its first day of trading with a market capitalization of $231 billion.[20] For this work, the firm was awarded "Global Final Deals of the Year" Award,[21] and Corporate Partners Leiming Chen (Hong Kong) and Bill Hinman (Palo Alto) were each recognized as "Deal Makers of the Year" by the American Lawyer.[22]
  • In 2016, the firm represented Microsoft in its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn.[23]
  • In 2018, the firm represented Microsoft in its $7.5 billion acquisition of Github.[24]

Notable alumni[edit]

Simpson Thacher lawyers have included U.S. Senators, Solicitors General, a Speaker of the House of Representatives, a Secretary of State, a Secretary of the Army, Ambassadors, Judges on U.S. Circuit and District Courts and the New York State Court of Appeals, presidents of the American Bar Association, and presidents of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.


  • Guido Calabresi (Summer Associate) - Senior Circuit Court Judge, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Thomas D. Thacher - Former District Court Judge, Southern District of New York.
  • Dennis G. Jacobs - Circuit Court Judge and Former Chief Judge, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Eric Vitaliano - District Court Judge, Eastern District of New York.
  • Mary Kay Vyskocil, District Court Judge, Southern District of New York.


  • Cyrus Vance - Former United States Secretary of State, Secretary of the Army and the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
  • Thomas D. Thacher - Former Solicitor General of the United States.
  • Dwight Morrow - Former United States Senator, New Jersey.
  • Thomas Brackett Reed - Former Speaker of the House, United States House of Representatives.
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter - Former Director of Policy Planning, United States State Department.
  • William Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance, Securities and Exchange Commission.[25]
  • Keith Noreika - Acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency[26]


  • Suzanne Nora Johnson - Former Vice Chairmen, Goldman Sachs.
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter - President and CEO, New America Foundation.
  • Lynn Forester de Rothschild - CEO of E.L. Rothschild.
  • Alan D. Schnitzer - Chairman and CEO, The Travelers Companies, Inc.
  • John Finley - Senior Managing Director & Chief Legal Officer, The Blackstone Group.[27]
  • Euwyn Poon - President and Founder, Spin
  • Karen King - Managing Director, Silver Lake
  • Robert L. Friedman - Former Senior Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer, The Blackstone Group.[28]
  • Jeffrey Schmidt - Senior Legal Counsel, Apple Inc.[29]
  • David Sorkin - General Counsel, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.[30]
  • Avrohom J. Kess - Vice Chairman & Chief Legal Officer, The Travelers Companies, Inc.[31]
  • Moiz Ali - CEO, Native Co. (acquired by P&G)
  • William Freiberg - CEO, D2iQ
  • Eric Berry, Founder and CEO, TripleLift


  • Guido Calabresi - Former Dean, Yale Law School
  • Karenna Gore Schiff - Author, journalist and Director of the Union Theological Seminary.
  • Eleanor M. Fox - Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Trade Regulation in the New York University School of Law


Associate compensation[edit]

In 2007, Simpson Thacher led the market[32] by raising the base salary for first-year associates to $160,000 per year.[33] In the process, it established the market salary for all of its peer firms in New York City.[34] Simpson Thacher again led the market in 2014 when it raised associate bonuses by as much as $40,000,[35] matched within hours by other New York elite firms Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.[36]

In 2016, law firm Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP beat the "Simpson salary scale" for the first time in nearly a decade with a 12.5% increase in associate base salary, a move that was promptly matched by Simpson Thacher and other large law firms. As of June 6, 2018, the base salary for first-year Simpson Thacher associates begin at $190,000.[37]

Rankings and awards[edit]

Simpson Thacher is consistently among the most profitable large law firms in the world on a per-partner basis according to the American Lawyer’s annual AmLaw 100 Survey. The firm is also recognized in various other surveys, including’s 2010 review of the 20 Best Law Firms to Work For.

It is among the most profitable large law firms in the world on a per-partner basis according to the American Lawyer’s annual AmLaw 100 Survey.[43] Simpson Thacher had a gross revenue of approximately $1.4 billion in 2017 with an estimated profits per partner of $3,485,000.[43]

The firm has relationships with private equity firms Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Hellman & Friedman and Silver Lake Partners, and it has longstanding ties to JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and the United States Department of the Treasury.[44] Other notable clients include the Alibaba Group,[45][46] Goldman Sachs,[47] Toronto-Dominion Bank,[48] Microsoft,[49] Tesla Motors,[50] Sirius Satellite Radio,[51] Google[52] and Facebook.[53] The firm has represented the buyer in the five largest completed buyouts in history.[54]

The firm is also consistently deemed by a number of rankings and surveys as one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation, including AboveTheLaw,[55] Vault 100,[56] and Forbes.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Doughtery's firm bio
  2. ^ "Inside View, Simpson Thacher Bartlett". Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  3. ^ "Our People".
  4. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "About Us". Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  5. ^ a b Firm Website, History
  6. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "Our History". Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  7. ^ Kolz, Amy (November 2006). "The American Lawyer" (PDF). Market Makers.
  8. ^ a b "The Blackstone-Simpson Thacher Connection". WSJ Blogs - Law Blog. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  9. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "Our History". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  10. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "Palo Alto". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  11. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "Palo Alto". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  12. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "William H. Hinman". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  13. ^ "Google IPO Central - Unofficial Site for Latest Investing and Stock Offering News". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  14. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "Kirsten J. Jensen". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  15. ^ Broady, Gavin. "Simpson Thacher May Be Haunted By $1.5B Loan Gaffe - Law360". Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  16. ^ "Simpson Thacher Palo Alto Office" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Fenwick, Simpson Thacher Teams Help Launch Facebook IPO - Law360". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  18. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "William H. Hinman". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  19. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "Details". Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  20. ^ "Dealmakers of the Year: Leiming Chen and William Hinman of Simpson Thacher". Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  21. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "Details". Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  22. ^ LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. "Details". Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  23. ^ Merced, Michael J. De La (2016-06-13). "Handful of Advisers Behind Microsoft's Deal for LinkedIn". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  24. ^ "Microsoft to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion". Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  25. ^ " | William Hinman Named Director of Division of Corporation Finance". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  26. ^ "Thomas J. Curry to Step Down May 5, Keith A. Noreika to Serve as Acting Comptroller of the Currency". Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  27. ^ "John Finley - Senior Managing Director & Chief Legal Officer, The Blackstone Group".
  28. ^ "Blackstone Our People".
  29. ^ "Jeffrey Schmidt | LinkedIn". Retrieved 2015-10-25.
  30. ^ "KKR Leadership".
  31. ^ "Management and Directors | Travelers Insurance". Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  32. ^ Chambers Firm Profile
  33. ^ Anthony Lin, Simpson Hikes Pay; First Years Go to $160,000, New York Law Journal, January 23, 2007
  34. ^ Chambers-Associate Firm Profile
  35. ^ Gorman, Nathalie (November 21, 2014). "Associates, Rejoice: Simpson Thacher Kicks Off Bonus Season Early". ALM,
  36. ^ Jones, Ashby (November 21, 2014). "Elite Law Firms Lift Year-End Bonuses". Wall Street Journal.
  37. ^ Randazzo, Sara (2016-06-06). "Biglaw Giant Matches Associate Raises, PLUS Special Summer Bonuses!". Above the Law. ISSN 0099-9660.
  38. ^ "|Best Law companies to work for|Vault Law 100". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  39. ^ "Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP|Company Rankings|". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  40. ^ "U.S. News - Best Lawyers". Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  41. ^ "U.S. News - Best Lawyers". Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  42. ^ "Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP honored by Department of Defense for patriotic support > Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  43. ^ a b "Simpson Thacher %26 Bartlett | The American Lawyer". Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  44. ^ Chambers-Associate Firm Profile
  45. ^ "Alibaba IPO a Magic Elixir for Simpson Thacher, S&C". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  46. ^ "Simpson Thacher Leads Alibaba's New $4.6B Deal". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  47. ^ "Simpson Thacher Advises on Apple's $3.5 Billion Reopening of Bond Offering". The Cali Chronicles. 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  48. ^ "Simpson Thacher Represents TD Bank in Acquisition of Epoch". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  49. ^ Amon, Elizabeth. "WilmerHale, Simpson Thacher, Skadden: Business of Law". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  50. ^ "Simpson Thacher Represents Underwriters in Securities Offerings by Tesla Motors, Inc. Expected to Raise Combined Gross Proceeds of Approximately $968 Million". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  51. ^ "Sirius XM Hires Simpson Thacher As It Eyes Ch. 11 - Law360". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  52. ^ "Simpson Thacher buffs up dotcom credentials with Google-YouTube lead role". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  53. ^ McDonough, Molly. "Fenwick and Simpson Thacher Leading Facebook IPO Charge". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  54. ^ "Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  55. ^ "The ATL Power 100 Law Firms (2015)". Above the Law. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  56. ^ "|Best Law companies to work for|Vault Law 100". Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  57. ^ "Annual Ranking Highlights The Most Prestigious Law Firms In The U.S." Forbes. Retrieved 2016-02-19.

External links[edit]