Debevoise & Plimpton LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Attorneys are all wonderful to work with”
  • “Training”
  • “Strong commitment to diversity”

Downers

  • “Associates are generally introverted”
  • “Hours can be hard”
  • “Can be passive aggressive at times”

The Buzz

  • “International”
  • “Premier private equity group”
  • “Cool nerds”
  • “Passive aggressive”

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

Ongoing
FanDueling with Attorneys General

Debevoise represents FanDuel in defending actions by the New York State Attorney General and in tag-along actions by other states' attorneys general alleging that fantasy sports contests constitute gambling. According to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, "Give credit where credit is due: some good lawyering, particularly by a couple of the lawyers at Debevoise, who did some good work to figure out how to craft an agreement," he stated after FanDuel and the state of New York reached a temporary settlement while lawmakers consider legislation regulating the industry.

April 2016
Dealmaker of the Year

Debevoise partner M. Natasha Labovitz was named a "Dealmaker of the Year" by The American Lawyer for her role in advising Altegrity Inc. in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Ms. Labovitz, Co-Chair of the firm's Business Restructuring & Workouts Group, was one of only 12 lawyers honored in the annual list, which recognizes the leading corporate lawyers and transactions of the previous year.

March 2016
Debevoise Women's Review

Debevoise recently launched the Debevoise Women's Review, a website dedicated to spotlighting topics of interest to professional women, including the achievements, initiatives, and advocacy efforts of women and organizations around the world, through Q&A features with leading women in business; thoughtful coverage of conferences and pertinent books and articles; and reflective pieces tying in the personal experiences of Debevoise women.

December 2015
Practice Groups of the Year

Debevoise's Business Restructuring & Workouts, Healthcare, Intellectual Property, and Mergers & Acquisitions groups were named among Law360's "Practice Groups of the Year" for 2015. According to Law360, practices selected were chosen from over 700 submissions, and the publication honored those that "came through for clients by sealing the biggest deals and securing wins in high-stakes litigation."

November 2015
Candy Crushing It

Debevoise advised California-based Activision Blizzard in its $5.9 billion acquisition of King Digital Entertainment, based in Ireland. The acquisition was the largest-ever in the mobile gaming space, and the third-largest ever in the video game industry. The deal married the world's most successful console game franchise (Call of Duty) and personal computing franchise (World of Warcraft) with King's top-selling mobile social game (Candy Crush Saga), among other popular mobile games, making Activision the world's No. 2 interactive-entertainment company.

June 2015
Big Deal, eh?

Debevoise advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ("CPPIB") in the acquisition of GE Capital's sponsor lending business, including Antares Capital, for $12 billion. Antares Capital is the leading lender to middle market private equity sponsors in the U.S. The deal marked one of the largest financial takeovers since the financial crisis, and provided CPPIB with a business to serve as a major lender to private equity firms investing in midsize U.S. businesses. The transaction also earned the lead lawyers, Jeffrey J. Rosen and Kevin M. Schmidt, "Dealmaker of the Week" honors from The American Lawyer.

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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 2016: 630

  • Base Salary
    U.S. offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    9th year+: $325,000
    Summer associate: $3,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    70 out of 70 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Corporate
    Litigation
    Tax

Major Office Locations

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