Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP at a Glance


  • “Helpful, funny, and kind people”
  • “Responsibilities beyond your year level”
  • “Commitment to diversity and pro bono”


  • “Lack of transparency regarding decision-making”
  • “Associate turnover”
  • “Low chance of partnership”

About Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established 225 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 and Europe with an eye that's generally focused on corporate and financial work.

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 is building a strong corporate governance practice that advises participants in contests for corporate control and includes the launch of the Shareholder-Director Exchange (SDX) initiative to provide guidance on the growing trend toward shareholder-director engagement and to flag the key challenges and opportunities shaping the boardroom. The firm's health care practice launched the Health Care Fraud Focus blog, which offers insight on the latest developments in False Claims Act (FCA) and other civil and criminal health care fraud. The Cadwalader Cabinet, an award-winning, web-based financial regulatory knowledge and intelligence platform, was redesigned and expanded with three times more content, a new user interface, dynamic search capabilities and powerful expert systems,allowing financial service practitioners to perform legal, compliance, and transactional tasks through an interactive online solution. 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 2017
¡Hola Puerto Rico!

Cadwalader is representing Assured Guaranty in connection with Puerto Rico's restructuring of approximately $73 billion of outstanding bond debt, the largest-ever U.S. municipal debt restructuring and the first bankruptcy of any U.S. territory. Assured is the largest creditor of Puerto Rico.

April 2017
Not So Taxing

The firm was named Foreign Tax Planning Firm of the Year-USA as part of the 2017 Finance Monthly Law Awards. The awards recognize and celebrate excellence across the increasingly diverse and dynamic tax industry, highlighting its impact and importance.

February 2017
Clean Sweep

Cadwalader is ranked at the top of all three-Global, US, and European-Creditflux CLO Arranger Counsel tables for 2016. The firm is also ranked among the leading Manager Counsel in all three geographic categories, reflecting its market-leading transatlantic position.

January 2017
A Dynastic Run

Cadwalader is again ranked as the number one law firm advising issuers and underwriters on commercial MBS offerings, topping the 2016 rankings released by Commercial Mortgage Alert. The firm has now been ranked first in the issuer counsel category for 17 consecutive years.

Presidential Clemency

In his final full day in office, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of a client Cadwalader represented pro bono. The representation was conducted under the auspices of the Department of Justice Clemency Initiative.

The TOP for CLO

Cadwalader was recognized as the "Top Underwriter Counsel for U.S. CLOs," topping the 2016 Asset-Backed Alert rankings. The firm's capital markets lawyers closed 54 CLO transactions as underwriter counsel, valued at $25.8 billion.

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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
Phone: (212) 504-6000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Pat Quinn
  • Hiring Partners: Anne M. Tompkins (Firmwide); Paul W. Mourning (NY); Henry A. LaBrun (Charlotte); Jodi L. Avergun (DC)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 372

  • Base Salary
    U.S. 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
    43 out of 43 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust • Banking • Corporate Finance • Corporate Governance • Energy • Environmental • Executive Compensation • Financial Restructuring • Health Care • Intellectual Property • Litigation • Mergers & Acquisitions • Private Equity • Private Wealth • Real Estate • Regulation • Securitization • Structured Finance •Tax • White Collar Defense

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ) • Charlotte, NC • Washington, DC London • Brussels