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 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, 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
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 former U.S.
and U.K. 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 more than 450 of the firm's
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: a class of mentally ill New York
City inmates; Texas doctors whose hospital admitting privileges
were revoked because they provide abortion services at other
facilities; continued representation of certain Mexican nationals
on death row in the United States; Yemeni and Sudanese detainees at
Guantánamo Bay, including a mentally ill detainee for whom the firm
secured release and repatriation back to Sudan (it was the first
habeas grant to a Guantanamo detainee since 2010); and
asylum-seekers from around the world who 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 associate reviews.
IN THE NEWS
Debevoise advised Standard General L.P. in an asset purchase
agreement between its affiliate General Wireless Inc. and
RadioShack, whereby General Wireless acquired 1,743 of RadioShack's
U.S. company-owned stores. General Wireless, the entity formed to
acquire the stores under the asset purchase agreement, agreed with
Sprint to establish a new dedicated mobility "store within a store"
retail presence in certain of the acquired stores.
A Big Sale
Debevoise advised Protective Life Corporation in its sale to
Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, for approximately $5.7
billion. This transaction created the 13th largest global insurer,
with total assets of $424 billion.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Debevoise represented Verizon Communications Inc. in the sale of
its local wireline operations serving customers in California,
Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications Corporation. Frontier
agreed to pay Verizon approximately $10.54 billion for the business
and related assets in these states.
International Arbitration Experts
Debevoise was named "International Arbitration Firm of the Year" at
the second annual U.S. Benchmark Litigation Awards, which are based
on extensive research and comprehensive interviews with litigators
and their clients to identify the leading litigation practices
across the country. In 2014, the firm's International Dispute
Resolution Group advised on nearly 200 matters worldwide, involving
clients from six continents and 42 different countries.
A Big Acquisition, Eh?
Debevoise advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its
acquisition of Wilton Re Holdings Limited for $1.8 billion from a
group of investors led by Stone Point Capital, Kelso & Company,
Vestar Capital Partners and FFL.
A Network TV Win
Debevoise & Plimpton represented ABC, CBS and NBC in the
litigation against Aereo, a case that The New York Times
said would "shape TV's future." The Supreme Court, in a 6-3
decision, held that Aereo, which retransmitted over-the-air
broadcast television programs via the Internet to its own
subscribers without the networks' authorization, violates the