Davis Polk & Wardwell, 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
IPO in history-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 industry's meltdown, representing Bank
of America's board in the Merrill Lynch acquisition litigation,
Bear Stearns' audit committee in hedge fund collapse
investigations, and Citigroup and other banks in litigation
relating to one of the largest-ever leveraged buyouts.
IN THE NEWS
Former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil
MacBride joined Davis Polk as a litigation partner in the
Washington, D.C. office's White Collar Criminal Defense and
Government Investigations groups. MacBride is part of a
wide-ranging group of former senior government officials advising
Davis Polk's clients on their most challenging criminal,
congressional and regulatory problems.
Ranking First Across the Board
In the final 2013 Bloomberg league tables, Davis Polk had the most
No. 1 capital markets rankings across all categories ranking 1st in
16 Global and U.S. categories-more than three times as many as the
next firm. In the final 2013 Thomson Reuters capital markets league
table rankings, Davis Polk ranked 1st in 27 Global and U.S.
categories-almost twice as many as the next firm.
Davis Polk ranked 1st in announced global M&A, 1st in
announced U.K. M&A and 1st in completed Asia-Pacific Emerging
Markets M&A for 2013 in the Thomson Reuters league tables.
The American Lawyer named Davis Polk one of the top four
securities litigation and enforcement firms in the United States.
Davis Polk's "elite securities team" was specifically recognized
for having "consistently scored outright dismissals in many key
cases" as well as for having "deftly handled a range of high-stakes
Volcker Rule Resource
The final Volcker Rule regulations represent some of the most
sweeping changes to financial regulation in decades. Davis Polk's
Financial Institutions Group analyzed the final rule and created a
collection of reference materials as part of Davis Polk's Volcker
Rule resource site, www.volckerrule.com, which included the firm's
proprietary trading and hedge/private equity fund visual memoranda
on the final rule, information on compliance tools and other
Award-Winning Pro Bono
Davis Polk and several individual Davis Polk lawyers were honored
by the Legal Aid Society with 2013 Pro Bono Publico Awards for
outstanding contributions to the Legal Aid Society and its
assistance with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
Lifetime Achieving Lawyers
Davis Polk senior counsel Bob Fiske recognized as New York Law
Journal Lifetime Achiever and named to The American
Lawyer's list of "The Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Last 50
Years," for popularizing white collar defense as a large firm
practice area. Fiske joined as an associate in 1955, was elected
partner in 1964 and served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern
District of New York from 1976 to 1980. He has been involved in
many of the most high-profile cases.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joins
Former Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz,
joined the firm as a partner in Washington, DC focusing on the
complex antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions, government
and private antitrust investigations and litigation and providing
counsel in the developing area of privacy law.
Davis Polk advised CNOOC Ltd. on its $15.1 billion acquisition of
Canadian energy company, Nexen, Inc., the largest foreign
acquisition by any Chinese company.
Davis Polk advised H. J. Heinz Company on its $28 billion
acquisition by an investment consortium consisting of Berkshire
Hathaway and 3G Capital, the largest transaction ever in the food