Debevoise & Plimpton LLP ranks as one of New York's most
powerful law firms, representing high-profile clients in
transactions and disputes in established and emerging markets
around the world. The firm's core franchise practices include
strategic and private equity, M&A, insurance and financial
services transactions, private funds, complex
litigation/investigations and international arbitration.
Eli Whitney Debevoise - a direct descendent of the
inventor of the cotton gin - and William E. Stevenson founded their
firm in New York in 1931. Debevoise wasn't the only one with an
interesting background; Stevenson was an Olympic gold medalist on
the 1924 1,600 meter relay team. Francis T.P. Plimpton, whose name
graced the masthead starting in 1933, was the father of famed
journalist and writer George Plimpton.
Sophisticated Practice across the Globe
Debevoise's corporate department remains its largest, with M&A
and private equity leading the charge. Its lawyers consistently
lead transactions for some of the world's most prominent
corporations, financial services institutions and private equity
firms. The firm has particularly strong experience with complex
leveraged acquisitions and cross-border transactions across a wide
range of industries. Debevoise is a leader in the representation of
private equity firms, in fundraisings and deal activity for those
firms and their portfolio companies, providing "one stop shopping"
for private equity and financial sponsor clients. The firm's
Financial Institutions Group possesses deep knowledge of the
financial services industry and long experience counseling
financial services clients on complex banking, insurance,
securities broker-dealer and investment management matters.
On the litigation side, the firm boasts one of the premier and
most active white collar practices in the country, representing
clients in the U.S. and abroad involved in criminal and SEC
investigations and litigation, and in parallel civil and
administrative proceedings. The international arbitration practice
includes two of the top seven leading international arbitration
lawyers in the world and handles a large number of significant
international arbitrations, including treaty and other public law
arbitrations. Debevoise is the only law firm to have former U.S.
and UK Attorneys General. The firm also has a stellar intellectual
property team, covering trademark, trade dress, false advertising,
anti-counterfeiting, unfair competition, copyright, trade secret,
patent, first amendment, information technology, domain names and
right of publicity.
The first of the firm's six international offices was opened in
Paris in 1964 to provide French, U.S. and English law advice. A
London bureau was established in 1989. Eastern Europe came in 1992,
with the creation of a Moscow office, and in 2001, the firm opened
a Frankfurt location. Debevoise has also had a presence in Asia
since the 1980s and continues to maintain offices in Shanghai and
Hong Kong. Still, the firm's midtown New York office handles the
bulk of its activity and houses some 500 of the firm's lawyers.
Debevoise has an established paper trail of pro bono achievement.
Indeed, The American Lawyer has made special note of the firm's
"do-gooder ethos." Recent pro bono representations have served a
diverse range of clients: black and Hispanic sheet metal workers
who were subject to illegal and discriminatory practices by their
labor union won a long-awaited settlement; 51 Mexican nationals on
death row in the United States had their rights advanced in
successful litigation before the International Court of Justice and
in U.S. proceedings that have twice resulted in arguments to the
U.S. Supreme Court; Yemeni and Sudanese detainees at Guantánamo Bay
received advocacy regarding their detainee status and conditions of
detention; and asylum-seekers from around the world have benefited
from Debevoise lawyers' work on their bids to obtain refugee status
and settle permanently in the United States.
Dedication to Feedback
Debevoise has an associate review system designed to improve the
quality, frequency and timeliness of the practical feedback it
provides associates. The firm conducts training sessions for
lawyers on writing effective evaluations, for partners on giving
effective review talks, and for associates on making the most of
feedback opportunities. It created an Associate Development Model
to make explicit the competencies to be evaluated, and revised the
evaluation form to track the model in order to provide more
targeted feedback for junior associate reviews.
IN THE NEWS
Debevoise advised the Special Committee of the Board of Directors
of Dell in the $24.9 billion sale of Dell to an investor group
including Michael Dell and Silver Lake. The deal was the biggest
buyout since the Blackstone Group's $26 billion takeover of Hilton
Hotels in the summer of 2007. It also ranks as one of the 15
largest LBOs of all time.
Hogan Named Co-Chair
Mary Beth Hogan was named co-chair of the Litigation Department,
joining John S. Kiernan as co-chair and succeeding Mary Jo White,
who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Chair of the SEC. Ms.
Hogan's practice focuses on white collar, regulatory and employment
actions as well as internal investigations and commercial
Pharma Trial Win
Debevoise won a nine-day jury trial in Florida state court on March
13, 2013, obtaining a favorable verdict on behalf of Bristol-Myers
Squibb. At issue was an alleged breach of contract in which a
generic drug manufacturer, Apotex Inc., was seeking damages of $3.4
billion. The case stemmed from an attempt to settle patent
litigation over BMS' drug, Plavix.
Debevoise advised AIG in its agreement with an investor group led
by Mr. Weng Xianding, the Chairman of New China Trust Co. Ltd.,
under which AIG agreed to sell up to a 90% stake in International
Lease Finance Corporation in a transaction that valued ILFC at
approximately $5.28 billion.
Landmark Arbitration in Ecuador
Debevoise represented Occidental Petroleum Corporation in a BIT
Arbitration with Ecuador, which resulted in a landmark arbitral
award of approximately $1.8 billion (plus interest) to Occidental
for its claims against the Government of Ecuador.
Mining the Deal
Debevoise advised Mitsui & Co. Ltd. in its joint venture with
Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) to acquire 29.5%
of the mining company Anglo American Sur S.A. for approximately
$2.8 billion, including the arrangement of financing facilities for