Debevoise & Plimpton LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “The culture fosters camaraderie and collaboration”
  • “The people are great”
  • “Lock-step”

Downers

  • “Lack of transparency”
  • “Very demanding hours”
  • “Passive-aggressiveness”

About Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton 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, fund formation, complex litigation, white collar/investigations, and international arbitration.

Good Genes

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 a gold medalist on the 1,600-meter relay team in the 1924 Olympics. 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 and 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 14 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 both 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 IP team also includes a highly regarded cybersecurity & data privacy practice that includes several former senior government cyber experts.

The first of the firm's seven 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 and recently opened an office in Tokyo. Still, the firm's midtown New York office handles the bulk of its activity and houses approximately 450 of the firm's lawyers.

"Do-gooder Ethos"

Debevoise has an established record 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, including public school students in Connecticut who are alleging that the state does not adequately fund their schools; New York State female prisoners allegedly sexually assaulted by prison guards; transgender women denied equal treatment by the West Virginia DMV; an international not-for-profit organization in a cross-border corporate transaction with another organization; more than 20 federal prisoners applying for clemency; and low-income New Yorkers seeking relief from overwhelming student debt.

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 associate reviews.

IN THE NEWS

April 2018

Debevoise partner Jeremy Feigelson was named "Litigator of the Week" by The American Lawyer's Litigation Daily for his work in the first New York case to address a right-of-publicity claim against video games. Debevoise secured the dismissal of two lawsuits against client Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the maker of the popular video game, Grand Theft Auto V-one suit brought on by actress Lindsay Lohan, the other by television personality Karen Gravano.

March 2018

In recognition of Debevoise's longstanding commitment to providing pro bono service for survivors of domestic violence, the firm received the 2018 Law Firm Award from Her Justice, an organization which provides free legal help to women living in poverty in New York City. Debevoise was also named Corporate Partner of the year by Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO), a non-profit helping formerly and currently incarcerated young men gain work experience, education and life skills. Members of the firm regularly volunteer at interview skills workshops and Debevoise has also provided pro bono legal representation to GOSO clients.

February 2018

Debevoise was recognized as the "White Collar Firm of the Year" and senior chair Mary Jo White was inducted into the "Hall of Fame" at the 2018 Benchmark Litigation U.S. Awards, following the recognition of eight Debevoise litigation partners in Benchmark Litigation's annual "Top 250 Women in Litigation" in the United States. The firm's litigation team boasts 15 former Department of Justice attorneys or Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including Ms. White, who served as Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission from April 2013 to January 2017 and as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

January 2018

Debevoise's Asset Management, Banking and Insurance Groups were recognized by Law360 as 2017 Practice Groups of the Year. It is the second time Debevoise's Banking and Insurance Groups have picked up the accolade, while the firm's Asset Management team was named to Law360's inaugural class of honored asset management practice groups.

August 2017

In 2017, thirteen Debevoise lawyers earned "Rising Star" recognitions from leading industry publications and associations. These awards honor select lawyers who have a proven record of accomplishment that belies their age. Debevoise is committed to recruiting and retaining exceptional, diverse talent. The firm ranks #1 in the 2017 Chambers Associate Law Firm Diversity Survey. 40% of Debevoise lawyers promoted to partner since 2008 have been women. The firm's five most recent U.S. summer classes are 43% diverse, including LGBTQ+.

July-December 2017
Debevoise's Corporate Department works with global organizations on their most significant matters, including advising Discovery Communications, Inc. on its $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, a transaction that brought together two powerhouses in the entertainment and media space. Debevoise also advised shopping mall giant Westfield in their $24.7 billion sale to Unibail-Rodamco, Europe's premier commercial property company. The deal represents the largest real estate sector transaction since 2013. Additionally, the firm advised International Paper, a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based paper products, on the combination of its North America Consumer Packaging business with Graphic Packaging Holding Company.

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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

919 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 909-6000

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Presiding Partner: Michael W. Blair
  • Hiring Partner: Nicole Levin Mesard
  • Total No. Attorneys 2018: 666

  • Base Salary
    U.S. offices
    1st year: $190,000
    2nd year: $200,000
    3rd year: $220,000
    4th year: $255,000
    5th year: $280,000
    6th year: $305,000
    7th year: $325,000
    8th year: $340,000
    Summer associates: $3,700/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    73 out of 73 (2Ls) (2017)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Corporate • Litigation • Tax

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ) • Washington, DC Frankfurt • Hong Kong • London • Moscow • Paris • Shanghai • Tokyo