Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP at a Glance


  • “Compensation”
  • “Partners are very accessible to young associates”
  • “Substantive work early in career”


  • “Very opaque management”
  • “One practice dominates”
  • “Job security is questionable”

The Buzz

  • “Prestigious”
  • “Great history”
  • “Grueling”
  • “Staid and stodgy”

About Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established over 200 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Known especially for its capital markets, bankruptcy, and real estate expertise, the firm is a well-established presence in the New York legal market and has expanded around the globe in recent years. 

Dating Back to the Days of Washington . . . As in George

Cadwalader was founded in 1792, when folks were still sealing letters with wax and writing with quills. But we just might have Cadwalader to thank for all the bells and whistles that constitute a modern law firm. In the late 19th century, the firm introduced such new-fangled technology as typewriters and telephones to its offices. Cadwalader was similarly revolutionary in its approach to training and staffing: to replace the old system of unpaid law clerkships, the firm established the role of the associate.

The present-day Cadwalader forged a niche in the early New York legal field by working on commercial claims, litigation, maritime law, and real estate for banks, insurance companies and members of New York society. The real catalyst for the firm's growth and increased financial stability throughout the 20th century, however, came when former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John L. Cadwalader joined the firm in 1878, bringing big-time corporate connections with him. The 1889 addition of name partner Henry W. Taft-whose older brother would later succeed Teddy Roosevelt in the White House-brought more political clout and cemented the firm's status as a fixture in American law. In 1942, the firm elevated a woman, Catherine Noyes Lee, to partner: the first woman partner of a major Wall Street firm. Now, Cadwalader runs offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and China, with an eye that's generally focused on corporate and financial work. 

Historically Strong but Ever Evolving

During the recent economic crisis, Cadwalader's highly-leveraged model-which had been lucrative in the boom years-became a liability once real estate and structured finance work began to slow. Cadwalader responded with layoffs and a shift in leadership, but the firm-traditionally a finance powerhouse-has also increasingly relied on other areas of strength in tough times, including its antitrust, IP, and white-collar litigation practices, as well as its restructuring and regulatory groups. This diversified practice has allowed the firm to more ably weather economic storms, which are inevitable when one's history spans over 200 years. The firm has placed itself where its clients' needs dictate-including financial, energy, and political centers-and continues to position itself for growth. 

Keeping Up with the Present

While respecting its remarkable history, Cadwalader also tries to stay on the cutting edge and is committed to new and innovative solutions. The firm launched the Shareholder-Director Exchange (SDX) initiative and a new blog, Quorum, to provide guidance on the growing trend toward shareholder-director engagement and to flag the key challenges and opportunities shaping the boardroom. In addition, the Cadwalader Cabinet, an award-winning, web-based financial regulatory knowledge and intelligence platform, now features Knowledge Driven Systems (KDS), which allows financial service practitioners to perform legal, compliance, and transactional tasks through an interactive online solution. The firm's international practice launched a blog, an eBook, and an online International Law and Litigation Center, providing insight on news and trends in international law. The firm's energy team also provides an online resource center. In addition to its online presence, the firm tries to set itself apart from the competition by offering benefits such as sabbaticals to attorneys after five years of practice. 


May 2016

Cadwalader co-hosted an event in Charlotte to discuss the legal challenges that threaten to reshape college sports.

April 2016
Cadwalader ISDA Best

Cadwalader served as counsel to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) in publishing the first in a series of documents to help market participants comply with new margining requirements for non-cleared derivatives.

Catch A Rising Star

Law360 recognized partner Bonnie A. Neuman as a 2016 Real Estate Rising Star on its annual list of top attorneys under 40 years old.

March 2016
Justice Served

Cadwalader is pleased to partner with Food Bank For New York City, the city's major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs, to launch the "Justice Served" campaign. "Justice Served" is a six-week, citywide challenge to the legal community to help families in need throughout the year.

January 2016
Risk-y Business

Cadwalader was named "Law Firm of the Year" by Risk magazine for the work of lawyers in the Financial Services practice. The 2016 Risk Awards were presented on January 27th in London and recognize the exemplary work of firms and individuals in the derivatives markets and risk management.

Cadwalader Cabinet Restocked

Cadwalader announced the launch of a new version of its legal technology platform, the Cadwalader Cabinet, at

- Show Less + Show Full Description

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

One World Financial Center
New York, NY 10281
Phone: (212) 504-6000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Pat Quinn
  • Hiring Partners: Paul W. Mourning (NY); Henry A. LaBrun (Charlotte); Jonathan S. Kanter (DC)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 442

  • Base Salary
    New York, Washington, DC and North Carolina offices                  
    1st year:  $180,000                
    2nd year:  $190,000               
    3rd year:  $210,000                
    4th year:  $235,000               
    5th year:  $260,000              
    6th year:  $280,000                
    7th year:  $300,000                
    8th year:  $315,000                
    Summer associate:  $3,461/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    36 out of 36 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Business Fraud
    Capital Markets
    Energy & Commodities
    Financial Restructuring
    Health Care
    Intellectual Property
    Mergers & Acquisitions/Securities
    Private Client
    Private Equity
    Real Estate
    Regulated Industries

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ)
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Houston, TX
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Brussels
- Show Less + Show More