Thacher Proffitt & Wood

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Thacher Proffitt & Wood
Thacher Proffitt & Wood
Headquarters New York City
No. of offices 5 at peak
No. of attorneys 365 at peak
Major practice areas General practice, Structured finance
Date founded 1848
Company type Limited liability partnership
Dissolved December 23, 2008, due to declining revenue and partner defections

Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP was an American law firm headquartered in New York City. At its peak, the firm was made up of approximately 365 attorneys with offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Mexico City; White Plains, New York; and Summit, New Jersey.

The firm traces its founding back to 1848, when Benjamin Franklin Butler opened a legal practice with his son, William Allen Butler, at 29 Wall Street in New York City. The firm was headquartered in downtown Manhattan from 1848 until 2001, eventually occupying floors 38 through 40 of the 2 World Trade Center building prior to the building's destruction in the September 11 attacks. All of the firm's employees survived the attacks, and the firm temporarily relocated to midtown Manhattan before moving to 2 World Financial Center in September 2003.[1]

Thacher Proffitt was a market leader in the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market, and in fact was instrumental in the creation of the residential MBS and commercial MBS markets. The firm so controlled the market that the standard documentation used by mortgage traders was known as "Thacher docs" and "TP&W forms."[2] The firm grew from 177 lawyers in 2003 to 350 lawyers in 2007, mostly due to the strength of its structured finance practice, which came to constitute 70% of the firm's revenue.[3] The firm also had highly regarded real estate, litigation, corporate, tax and derivatives practices. In 2006, the firm was ranked among the top 200 by The American Lawyer.[4] It was also ranked among the top 80 most prestigious law firms in the nation by Vault.

The financial crisis of 2007-2008, and in particular the collapse of Bear Stearns (which had been the firm's largest client), significantly impacted the firm, leading to a breach of the firm's financing covenants and giving its lender, Citigroup, substantial control. The firm's offices in Mexico City and White Plains, New York decamped to Chadbourne & Parke and Greenberg Traurig respectively.[5][6] The firm had merger talks at one point with King & Spalding, but these talks collapsed in December 2008.[3] On December 21, 2008, approximately 100 lawyers (including 40 partners) left Thacher Proffitt & Wood to work for Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal.[7][8] Two days later, on December 23, the firm's management officially announced dissolution of the firm.[9]

Notable representations[edit]


  1. ^ Jones, Ashby. "Law Blog Lawyer of the Day: Paul Tvetenstrand". WSJ. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  2. ^ David Bario (2009-03-17). "The American Lawyer". 
  3. ^ a b Koppel, Nathan. "The Rise and Fall of Thacher Proffitt". WSJ. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  4. ^ "?". 
  5. ^ Lat, David. "Nationwide Layoff Watch: Thacher Proffitt Follow-Up". Above the Law. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  6. ^ "Greenberg Traurig Responds to Market Changes and Client Needs With Key Additions and New Office - Greenberg Traurig LLP". Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  7. ^ Patrick McGeehan (2008-12-22). "The New York Times". Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  8. ^ Mystal, Elie (2008-12-21). "Breaking: Sonnenschein Saves 100 Thacher Proffitt Lawyers". Above the Law. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  9. ^ Fortado, Lindsay (2008-12-23). "Thacher Proffitt, 160-Year-Old Law Firm, to Close". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  10. ^ Lat, David. "Treasury Hires Thacher To Help Out With TARP". Above the Law. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 

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