Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, founded in New York City over 160
years ago, has finance in its DNA. The firm boasts one of the
nation's best and most comprehensive corporate departments, with
impressive teams in capital markets, M&A, bankruptcy and tax.
Its highly regarded litigation practice-which includes a top-notch
white-collar criminal defense team-also has deep roots: in his long
career, name partner John Davis argued over 250 cases before the
U.S. Supreme Court.
On the Coattails of the Robber Barons
Davis Polk dates back to 1849, making it one of the oldest law
firms in the United States. Original founder Francis Bangs made his
name opposing the legendary Boss Tweed and his Tammany Hall
cronies. Bangs' successor, Francis Stetson, was quick to recognize
the growing importance of corporate work. In 1887, banker and
industrialist J. Pierpont Morgan selected Stetson for his chief
counsel-the firm helped Morgan restructure the Pennsylvania
Railroad and create General Electric. Morgan's businesses, in their
modern day incarnations-JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley-have
remained firm clients. Over the course of many decades, the firm
has built relationships with a host of other financial institutions
and corporations across the country and around the world.
Davis Polk's flair for the international is well-established.
The firm has expanded across Europe, opening its Paris office in
1962, its London office in 1973 and its Madrid office in 2001. In
2007, Davis Polk opened an office in Beijing, its third Asian
office after Hong Kong and Tokyo. The firm's seventh international
office, in São Paulo, opened in 2011.
Under managing partner Tom Reid, expect the firm to continue doing
what it does best: expanding overseas and representing financial
institutions. Reid, who hails from Scotland himself, took a hiatus
from law to join the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley
in London before returning to the firm in 2003, bringing back loads
of capital markets, M&A and corporate governance business with
European blue-chip companies and financiers. Approximately 50
percent of the firm's principal clients are non-U.S. companies or
Staying on Top
Davis Polk emerged swinging from the 2008 economic downturn,
gobbling up resulting M&A and restructuring work while its PPP
continued to rise-all without dumping or driving away loads of
associates. From advising on unprecedented transactions in the
banking industry (such as counseling Citi on its $306 billion
loss-protection agreement with the U.S. government) to the
largest-ever IPO by a U.S. issuer-counseling the underwriters on
the $23.1 billion IPO of GM-Davis Polk knows how to successfully
weather the storm.
Davis Polk's litigators are no slouches either. Known for their
elite trial work in general commercial, white-collar and antitrust,
they've taken the bull by the horns in litigation stemming from the
financial crisis, representing PricewaterhouseCoopers US in all
civil litigation and investigations relating to Bernard Madoff, the
Audit Committee of Bear Stearns in its investigation into the
collapse of two hedge funds, and Morgan Stanley in all matters
arising from the mortgage meltdown and financial crisis.
IN THE NEWS
The American Lawyer named Gar Bason among its 2015
"Dealmakers of the Year." Bason, the global chairman of Davis
Polk's mergers and acquisitions practice, was recognized for his
role advising Tyson Foods on its $8.55 billion acquisition of
First Place Finishers
In the final 2014 Bloomberg capital markets league table rankings,
Davis Polk once again had the most No. 1 rankings across all
categories and also ranked 1st in 14 Global and U.S.
categories-more than any other firm.
Award Winning Practices
Law360 named Davis Polk a "Practice Group of the Year" in
four areas: Banking, Capital Markets, Competition and M&A.
Commercial Litigation Experts
The 2015 U.S. News-Best Lawyers' "Best Law Firms" report
named Davis Polk as "Commercial Litigation Law Firm of the
Former Chief of the Fraud Section and Deputy Assistant Attorney
General of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice
Denis McInerney returned to the firm as a partner in the white
collar criminal defense and investigations practice in New
At the 2014 Euromoney LMG Americas Women in Business Law Awards,
Davis Polk received the award for "Best Gender Diversity Initiative
by an International Firm" for the second consecutive year.