Debevoise & Plimpton LLP at a Glance


  • “Family-friendly work environment”
  • “People here really behave respectfully and compassionately towards one another”
  • “True dedication to pro bono”


  • “Uneven distribution of work”
  • “Somewhat outdated technology”
  • “The workload can be bad”

The Buzz

  • “Great international practice”
  • “Highly qualified team”
  • “Nerdy”
  • “Too New York”

About Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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.

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 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 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 lawyers.

"Do-gooder Ethos"

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 junior associate reviews.


March 2014

Negotiating Settlements
Debevoise represented former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis in his settlement with the New York Attorney General, which arose over the bank's consolidation with Merrill Lynch & Co in 2009. Under terms of the agreement, Mr. Lewis agreed to a $10 million fine, which will be paid by Bank of America.

January 2014

Litigation Department of the Year
The American Lawyer named Debevoise the winner of its seventh biennial "Litigation Department of the Year" competition, identifying the firm as having demonstrated the most impressive litigation accomplishments of any U.S.-based law firm over the previous two years.

October 2013

Dude, You're Getting Acquired
Debevoise advised the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Dell Inc. in its acquisition by Michael Dell, Dell's Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Silver Lake Partners, a leading global technology investment firm, in a transaction valued at approximately $24.9 billion.‬ ‬‬‬

September 2013

A $2.5 Billion Joint Acquisition
Debevoise advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in its deal with Harsco Corporation to acquire Harsco's Infrastructure division and then form a joint venture with Harsco to acquire Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services, Inc. from private equity firm First Reserve in a separately negotiated transaction. The joint acquisition was valued at $2.5 billion.

June 2013

Partnering with Providence Equity Partners
Debevoise represented Providence Equity Partners in the formation of Providence Equity Partners VII, a $5.1 billion global buyout fund. Debevoise has represented Providence in connection with all of its investment vehicles raised over the past decade, including its predecessor buyout fund, Providence Equity Partners VI, a $12.1 billion fund that closed in 2007.

10-Year A-List Winner
Debevoise placed No. 1 overall in The American Lawyer's "10-Year A-List," a ranking of the law firms who have earned the highest cumulative score on the A-List since its inception in 2003. The annual A-List ranks firms according to their performance in four categories: revenue per lawyer, pro bono service, associate satisfaction and diversity. In addition to the firm's overall top score over the 10-year period, Debevoise placed first in pro bono, second in associate satisfaction, third in revenue per lawyer and fourth in diversity.

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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Presiding Partner: Michael W. Blair
  • Hiring Partners: Maurizio Levi-Minzi and Nicole Mesard
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 652

  • Employment Contact
    Sandra E. Herbst
    Director of Legal Recruiting
    Phone: (212) 909-6657
    Fax: (212) 909-6836

  • Base Salary
    U.S. offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $265,000
    Summer associate: $3,077/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    69 out of 69 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices

Major Office Locations

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