Here’s what you may already know about Cravath: We’re a premier U.S. law firm that has handled some of the country’s most ground-breaking and high-impact legal matters since opening our doors in 1819.

Here’s what you may not know: The professional development of our lawyers is our most important long-term objective.  We understand that our continued success depends on our ability to attract and develop the best talent, and we are committed to providing our lawyers with the most rewarding professional experience possible.

In our New York and London offices, we have represented some of the world’s most recognizable companies in their most significant matters, including just by way of example, American Express, Bank of America, CBS, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, DreamWorks Animation, DuPont, Goldman Sachs, HBO, H.J. Heinz, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Merck, Mylan, Novartis, Qualcomm, Royal Dutch Shell, Time Warner, Unilever, United Airlines, Viacom, Vivendi, Warner Bros. and Xerox.  The high caliber of our work has gained us consistent recognition as a preeminent law firm by a wide range of organizations, including The American Lawyer, U.S. News & World Report, Chambers USA, The Financial Times, The Legal 500 and others.

We are not, and do not strive to be, the largest law firm measured by number of offices or lawyers.  Our goal is to be the firm of choice for clients facing their most challenging legal issues, most significant business transactions and most critical disputes.  To that end, we recruit outstanding law students and develop them into world-class lawyers with our unique and successful training system.

The Cravath Rotation System

The cornerstone of Cravath’s training is our Rotation System.  Under that system, we select the most talented law students and have our partners directly train the next generation of associates in an atmosphere that is both challenging and collegial.  As a result, Cravath does not recruit associates laterally; instead, our partners come almost exclusively from the ranks of our own associates.

Our distinctive “rotation” system prepares associates as generalists, making them well-equipped to handle any type of complex deal or litigation.  Partners and associates work closely together in small teams in a wide variety of practice areas.  Corporate associates spend roughly 12 to 15 months developing an in-depth knowledge of a subject area—such as securities, M&A or commercial banking—and then transfer the skills that they have learned by moving to another partner team to practice in a different subject area.  In Litigation, associates are assigned directly to one partner during each of their 18-month rotations, receiving hands-on training from an experienced lawyer who serves as a mentor from the moment they join the team. 

When it comes time to rotate to a new partner team, our managing partners put great thought, time and care into ensuring that each associate’s next rotation will present him or her with new skills and challenges.  Through their rotations, our associates have the opportunity to work with many different partners on many matters, ensuring that they always have a mentor and ensuring that they never plateau in their professional development.

Every aspect of our rotation system is designed to promote development, collaboration and teamwork.  Because our partners do not cherry-pick associates for their team, they have a strong incentive to make the professional development of every associate a priority.  In order for teams to function at the highest possible level, partners—who themselves benefitted from the rotation system as associates—devote time and attention to their associates and help them hone exceptional legal skills.  The rotation system also ensures that associates do not need to compete for work, vie for the attention of partners or balance competing priorities from multiple partners.  As a result, there is no expectation of “face-time” and no billable-hours requirement or target.  Teams work together to achieve the best possible result for our clients.  In short, the rapid professional development of each associate is critical for the success of the entire team—and the Firm.

Our Work

Cravath’s Litigation Department is staffed by trial lawyers with broad courtroom experience in complex corporate litigation, including class action and derivative litigation, across all industries.  We have represented:

  • Credit Suisse as nationwide coordinating counsel in all its residential mortgage-backed securities litigation and as lead counsel in about 50 of those lawsuits, so far securing the dismissal of claims covering approximately $1 billion in securities.
  • Xerox in obtaining the summary judgment dismissal (affirmed on appeal) of a 15-year-old, $2 billion securities class action in Connecticut federal court.
  • American Express in several antitrust litigations in New York courts, including a civil lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice and 17 state attorneys general challenging AmEx’s nondiscrimination provision in merchant acceptance agreements, which was tried in July-August 2014.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers in various lawsuits relating to PwC’s audits of AIG’s financial statements, including securing the dismissal of a multibillion-dollar securities class action.
  • NCR Corporation in actions relating to the environmental remediation of Wisconsin’s Fox River and Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, including conducting four separate trials in the course of two years.

Cravath’s Corporate practice includes all types of public and private financing and financial transactions in global capital and banking markets and U.S. domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.  The corporate group has strong intellectual property and environmental groups that support all our practice areas.  We have recently represented:

  • H.J. Heinz in connection with its pending US$60 billion merger with Kraft Foods Group, which will form the third-largest food and beverage company in North America.
  • Time Warner in 22 M&A transactions since 2000, including the unsolicited proposal from 21st Century Fox to acquire Time Warner, which was rejected on July 16, 2014.
  • Royal Dutch Shell, as U.S. counsel, in connection with its pending US$70 billion acquisition of BG Group.
  • Mylan in connection with its US$5.6 billion “inversion” acquisition of Abbott Laboratories’s non-U.S. developed markets specialty and branded generics business and in connection with its US$35 billion proposed acquisition of Perrigo.
  • JPMorgan, Mizuho and Wells Fargo in connection with a US$36.4 billion bridge credit facility and new and replacement term and revolving credit facilities in excess of US$5 billion in the aggregate, provided to Actavis to finance its acquisition of Allergan.  This transaction was one of the largest acquisition financings ever announced.
  • Santander Holdings USA, as selling shareholder, in connection with the US$2 billion initial public offering of common stock of Santander Consumer USA Holdings.  The shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange.