Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, founded in New York City more
than 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 more than 250
cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
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 John 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: thriving 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 governments.
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 the owners of the
New York Mets in connection with the highly publicized litigation
arising from the Madoff liquidation, Citibank in multi-billion
dollar litigation in the United States, and Argentina related to
Argentina's 2001 sovereign debt default, and Morgan Stanley in all
matters arising from the mortgage meltdown and financial
Credit Where Credit is Due
In Bloomberg's Year-End 2015 Capital Markets
league tables, Davis Polk had the most #1 rankings across all
categories and also ranked 1st in 17 Global and
U.S. categories-more than twice as many as the next firm. Davis
Polk's Credit Group advised on nearly 100 deals totaling over $217
billion in 2015, ranking the firm as the top legal advisor in
Overall Acquisition and Lender-Side
Acquisition loan volume for the year, according to Thomson
International Investigatory Ingenuity
Global Investigations Review named Davis Polk to
its inaugural "GIR 30," a guide to the world's best law firms for
international investigations work.
Bigger and Better
Law360 named Davis Polk to its annual "Global 20"
list, which recognizes firms with the biggest global presence and
those that handle the largest, most significant and groundbreaking
international and cross-border matters.
For the fourth consecutive year, Davis Polk was named a "Gold
Standard Firm" by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum, in
recognition of the firm's commitment to integrating women into
The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF)
honored longtime pro bono partner Davis Polk for the firm's
commitment to transgender advocacy at its annual Freedom Awards
benefit. Through TLDEF's Name Change Project, Davis Polk has
successfully assisted more than 300 transgender individuals with
their petitions to change their names to those more reflective of
their gender identity and gender expression.
Davis Polk was named "Corporate/M&A Team of the Year" and
"Investment Funds Client Service Team of the Year" at the
2015 Chambers USA Awards. The awards recognize
firms for their preeminence in key practice areas, as well as their
notable achievements over the past year, including outstanding
work, impressive strategic growth, and excellence in client