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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
HeadquartersCBS Building
New York City, New York, U.S.
No. of offices1
No. of attorneys278[1]
Major practice areasGeneral practice
RevenueUS$984 million (2022)[1]
Profit per equity partnerUS$7.29 million (2022)[1]
Date founded1965; 59 years ago (1965)
Company typeGeneral partnership

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is an American white-shoe law firm in New York City.[2] While many peer law firms have grown and become international brands, Wachtell has only a single, Manhattan office. It is one of the smallest firms in the AmLaw 100, but has the highest per partner profits of any law firm and pays significantly above the "Cravath scale" market rate for associates.[3]


The firm was founded in 1965 by Herbert Wachtell and Jerry Kern, who were shortly afterwards joined by Martin Lipton, Leonard Rosen, and George Katz.[4] The four named partners met at New York University School of Law where they were editors on the New York University Law Review together.[5] The firm rose to prominence on Wall Street when many brokers and investment bankers were launching small firms, but received little attention from established white-shoe law firms, such as Sullivan & Cromwell, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore.[4]

One of the founding partners, Martin Lipton, invented the so-called "poison pill defense" during the 1980s, to foil hostile takeovers.[4] Working both sides of mergers and acquisitions, Wachtell Lipton has represented blue-chip clients such as AT&T, Pfizer, and JP Morgan Chase.[6] It has had key roles in the resurrection of Chrysler in the 1970s, the acquisition of Getty Oil by Texaco, and the negotiation of the master development agreement for the World Trade Center after the September 11, 2001 attacks.[2] The firm is also known for its business litigation, and has represented clients in many of the precedent-setting Delaware corporate governance cases.[7]

The firm placed #41 on The American Lawyer's 2021 AmLaw 200 ranking. In the 2021 Global 200 survey, Wachtell Lipton Rosen Katz ranked as the 50th highest grossing law firm in the world.[1]

In November 2023, amid a wave of alleged antisemitic incidents at elite U.S. law schools, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz was among a group of major law firms who sent a letter to top law school deans warning them that an escalation in incidents targeting Jewish students would have corporate hiring consequences. The letter said "We look to you to ensure your students who hope to join our firms after graduation are prepared to be an active part of workplace communities that have zero tolerance policies for any form of discrimination or harassment, much less the kind that has been taking place on some law school campuses."[8]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Wachtell Lipton Rosen Katz". Law.com.
  2. ^ a b "Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz | Company Profile | Vault.com". Vault. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  3. ^ "The 2018 Am Law 100 Ranked by: Profits Per Equity Partner". Law.com. The American Lawyer. April 24, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Cole, Brett (2008). "Godfathers—Flom and Lipton". M&A Titans: The Pioneers Who Shaped Wall Street's Mergers and Acquisitions Industry. Wiley. ISBN 9780470126899.
  5. ^ "Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz | NYU School of Law". www.law.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  6. ^ Summary of corporate practice.
  7. ^ See, e.g., Moran v. Household Int'l, Inc., 500 A.2d 1346 (Del. 1985); Paramount Commc'ns, Inc. v. Time Inc., 571 A.2d 1140 (Del. 1989); Air Prods. & Chemicals, Inc. v. Airgas, Inc., 16 A.3d 48 (Del. Ch. 2011).
  8. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross; Mattu, Ravi; Warner, Bernhard; Kessler, Sarah; Merced, Michael J. de la; Hirsch, Lauren; Livni, Ephrat (2 November 2023). "Law Firms Warn Universities About Antisemitism on Campus". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  9. ^ NPR (2014). [1]. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  10. ^ American Lawyer (2016). The Wachtell Way of EDiscovery. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Lee, Kenneth K. (2019). "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees" (PDF).
  12. ^ Matt Levine (2021-03-08). "Libor Is Going Away for Real". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2021-03-08. I worked at one of the last remaining unlimited-liability partnerships in the biglaw business.
  13. ^ New York Times (2010). Dealbook - Wachtell’s Newest Hire: 90-Year-Old Morgenthau. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  14. ^ Chen, Vivia (July 9, 2007). "Shhh! Pro Bono's Not Just for Liberals Anymore". The American Lawyer. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Richard J. (2018). "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees" (PDF).