Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Intelligent people”
  • “Focus on client service”
  • “Nice office environment overall”

Downers

  • “Bureaucracy”
  • “Working for nasty partners”
  • “Ad hoc decision making”

The Buzz

  • “Great place to work”
  • “Great for health law”
  • “Philly focused”
  • “Union busters”

About Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Drinker Biddle is a longstanding firm with a forward-thinking attitude.  Headquartered in Philadelphia, the firm has hubs in major U.S. cities including New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, where its 2007 merger with Gardner Carton was described as "model" by Chicago Lawyer.  Drinker Biddle combines a comprehensive range of traditional legal practices such as class action defense, corporate, investment management and bankruptcy with work in cutting-edge growth markets such as intellectual property, healthcare, education and life sciences. Major clients include AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Company, Urban Outfitters, Comcast, Travelers and Puerto Rico Telephone Company. Drinker Biddle has grown strategically and carefully, for example, in 2012 the firm added an insurance regulatory practice in the New York office and launched a dedicated information governance and eDiscovery subsidiary, Tritura.

Historical Footprint

Founder John Christian Bullitt arrived in Philadelphia on Inauguration Day of 1849 and opened the firm as Bullitt and Fairthorne, and although the moniker has changed, over the decades, the firm has been involved with numerous iconic and household names. Drinker has a long history with the University of Pennsylvania. In 1881, partner Samuel Dickson became a member of the University's board of trustees, a position he held until his death in 1915. He also served as counsel to the University, a role the firm held onto for several years after his death and then regained again in 1927 when Henry Drinker became the school's attorney.

In 1871, the firm presided over the creation of Drexel, Morgan and Co.-an investment bank that would later become JP Morgan. Drinker also assisted Georg von Trapp (of the legendary von Trapp Family) in 1939 in sorting out visa issues at Ellis Island and with other legal matters during World War II.

Also during World War II, the firm was called upon to negotiate a compromise on a tax lien and reorganize a shipping yard that would prove critical to the American war effort. In the post-war era, Henry Sawyer III, a veteran of the war who had helped develop the Marshall Plan, represented several clients called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The firm stood by the American Civil Liberties Union in defending those accused of having communist sympathies in spite of the firm's strongly conservative leadership.

The firm's contemporary practice is aimed at providing elite services on a national, and, increasingly, international scale. While the firm expands its horizons, it still stays true to its roots. William C. Bullitt, direct descendant of Founder John Christian Bullitt, is currently Of Counsel in the firm's Private Client Practice Group.

Leaders in Associate Training

In 2009, while some firms postponed associate start dates or rescinded offers, Drinker created a groundbreaking training program, now in its seventh year. For the first three months of their employment, incoming associates have no billable obligation-their only "job" is to learn. An interactive curriculum that addresses practical skills and practice-specific experience is followed by apprenticeship opportunities with experienced colleagues on client matters.

In addition to making sure its attorneys receive top-notch training, Drinker is a leader in employee health. The Philadelphia office has twice been recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of the healthiest employers, one of only 16 companies outside of the health care sector to receive the honor. The firm subsidizes personal trainer services and has on-site fitness classes. Use of these services is actively encouraged by management, which has implemented a "wellness challenge" to help keep its employees in top condition.

Pro Bono Focus

Pro bono work is a strong facet of the firm culture at Drinker Biddle. Pro bono hours are credited the same as billable hours up to 6 percent of the lawyer's actual billable hours for purposes of bonuses and other compensation.  The firm, however, has an express policy to grant liberal exceptions to this.

Associates can get involved in a number of existing programs, as well as bring their own matters of interest to the firm. There is partner supervision on all matters and associates' pro bono efforts are equally as valid as billable work when considering bonuses and advancement. The firm encourages its lawyers to fight for the causes that interest them and appeal to their sense of justice. It does not screen cases on ideological grounds and works for a variety of causes, such as individuals who cannot afford counsel, organizations fighting for justice in the community and inmates on death row.

IN THE NEWS

Ongoing

Not Your Mascots

Since 2006, Drinker Biddle has represented five Native American individuals in the landmark case of Blackhorse v. Pro -Football, Inc.   Drinker Biddle petitioned the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel six trademark registrations of the Washington NFL Football Team on grounds that the marks contain matter (the term "redskin") that may disparage Native Americans or bring them into contempt or disrepute.

In June 2014, the TTAB ruled in the petitioners' favor and ordered that the trademark registrations be canceled, finding that the trademarks should never have been registered.  In August 2014, the football team filed an action in the Eastern District of Virginia to overturn the TTAB's decision.  Trial is scheduled to begin in July 2015.  

March 2015

A New House for Gingrey

Former United States Representative Phil Gingrey, MD, joined the firm's Government & Regulatory Affairs Practice Group as a senior advisor in Washington, DC. Congressman Gingrey works closely with the District Policy Group, the firm's boutique lobbying, public policy and advocacy practice.  

Dr. Gingrey was a Republican U.S. Representative who served Georgia's 11th congressional district for 12 years, following his time in the Georgia State Senate and on his local school board. He brought to the firm significant federal, state and local policymaking experience, particularly in the areas of health care, energy and environment, education, communications and life sciences. As a senior advisor, he provides clients with public policy and government relations counsel.  

Loosen Up

Drinker Biddle successfully defended a series of false advertising consumer class actions challenging the efficacy of glucosamine chondroitin, a popular dietary supplement for joint health, on behalf of Perrigo Company (the manufacturer) and Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Supervalu (the retailer defendants). The firm negotiated a global settlement for significantly less than other defendants agreed to pay and won final approval of the settlement, over objections, after the more expensive settlement of a leading competitor was rejected by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

February 2015

Under New Management

Andrew C. Kassner assumed the role of Drinker Biddle's chairman and chief executive officer, as elected by the firm's managing partners. Kassner succeeded Alfred W. Putnam, Jr., who had been the firm's chairman and CEO since 2005.

The firm's managing partners also appointed three new executive partners to join Kassner as part of the senior leadership team:  Mary Devlin Capizzi oversees the firm's regulatory services practice groups and client relations, marketing and business development functions; Robert C. Juelke oversees the firm's transactional practice groups and finance functions; and Michael W. McTigue Jr. oversees the firm's litigation services and talent management functions.

December 2014

Have a Drink

The firm advised Cott Corporation in the $1.25 billion acquisition of DSS Group, Inc., the parent company of coffee and bottled water distributor DS Services of America, Inc., from the private equity firm Crestview Partners. The deal team included lawyers from the corporate, tax, real estate, environmental, employee benefits, intellectual property, insurance and litigation groups.

In addition to structuring and negotiating the deal, the Drinker Biddle team handled a multifaceted financing package and conducted a full due diligence investigation of DSS. The acquisition extended Cott's beverage portfolio into new and growing markets and made Cott one of the world's largest producers of beverages on behalf of retailers, brand owners and distributors. 

July 2014

Defense Victory

After a six-month trial, a federal jury in Camden acquitted Drinker Biddle client David Adler on all counts brought against him by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey.  Defendants Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr., Salvatore Pelullo, William Maxwell and John Maxwell were convicted of all charges, however, the jury acquitted Mr. Adler of one count of RICO conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud.

Barry Gross, a partner in Drinker Biddle's white collar practice, served as lead trial counsel for Mr. Adler.  The trial team also included Drinker lawyers Gregory Miller, Stephen Stroup, Nicholas Feltham and Tracy Combs.

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Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

One Logan Square, Ste. 2000
Philadelphia, PA 19103-6996
Phone: (215) 988-2700
Fax: (215) 988-2757
www.drinkerbiddle.com

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Andrew C. Kassner
  • Hiring Partner: Joanne C. Lewers
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 620

  • Employment Contact
    Maryellen Altieri
    Director of Professional Recruitment
    Phone: (215) 988-2663
    E-mail: maryellen.altieri@dbr.com

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $160,000 (all offices, effective 9/1/15)
    Summer associate: $2,692 to $3,077/week (depending on location)

  • Summer Associate Offers
    19 out of 20 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust
    Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring
    Bondholders
    California HR
    Class Actions
    Construction
    Corporate & Securities
    Customs and International Trade
    Education
    Electronic Discovery & Data Management
    Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    Environment & Energy
    Government & Regulatory Affairs
    Health Care
    Information Governance and eDiscovery
    Insurance
    Intellectual Property
    International
    Investment Management
    Labor & Employment
    Life Sciences
    Litigation (commercial, communications, intellectual property, insurance)
    Pharmaceutical
    Privacy & Data Security
    Private Clients
    Products Liability & Mass Tort
    Real Estate
    Retail
    Sustainability
    Tax
    Telecommunications & Mass Media
    Unclaimed Property Services
    White Collar Criminal Defense & Corporate Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • Philadelphia, PA (HQ)
  • Albany, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Florham Park, NJ
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • New York, NY
  • Princeton, NJ
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
  • London (Drinker Biddle & Reath (U.K.) LLC)
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