Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP Company Profile

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, health care, education and life sciences. Major clients include AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Company, Urban Outfitters, Comcast, Travelers, Puerto Rico Telephone Company and Wells Fargo.  Drinker Biddle has grown strategically and carefully, for example, the firm added an insurance regulatory practice in the New York office, and it launched a dedicated information governance and eDiscovery subsidiary, Tritura, in 2012.

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, his 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 sixth 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 both general business skills and practice-specific experience is followed by active 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 been twice 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. Moreover, the firm also recently adjusted starting salaries for associates in three competitive markets, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.

Pro Bono Focus

Pro bono work is a strong facet of the firm culture at Drinker Biddle. 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

IP Powerhouse
The firm grew its Intellectual Property Practice in 2014, adding lawyers in its Wilmington, Deleware office.  Highly regarded IP lawyer Ashley Pezzner joined in April; he is known for his experience in patent counseling, opinions, interferences, prosecution and reexaminations in the chemical, biotech, biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. He was joined by a team of six other experienced patent lawyers: Counsel Hui-Ju Wu, Ph.D. and Geoffrey Zelley; Of Counsel Hal Pezzner; and Associates Daniel Rube, Ph.D., Claudia Schultze, Ph.D. and Larry Williams, Ph.D.  In May, Frank DiGiovanni, Jeff Eichen, Zhun Lu and Keith Walter joined the firm as partners with Counsel M. Curt Lambert.  Their practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and other contentious matters, including reexaminations, the newly enacted post grant procedures and International Trade Commission (ITC) proceedings.  Gregory Stanton, partner in the Intellectual Property Practice, joined Drinker Biddle's Chicago office, focusing on electronics and software technologies.

March 2014

Leaders in Information Governance
Drinker Biddle announced that it will serve as a charter sponsor of the newly formed Information Governance Initiative (IGI), a cross-disciplinary consortium and think tank focused on advancing the adoption of information governance practices and technologies. The IGI will focus on publishing research, benchmarking surveys and providing guidance for practitioners. In addition to the firm's role as charter sponsor, Bennett B. Borden will serve as the IGI founder and chair, Jason R. Baron will serve as co-chair and Jay Brudz will serve as its general counsel. All three lawyers are recent additions to the firm's Information Governance and eDiscovery Practice Group.  Jason R. Baron is this year's recipient of the Justice Tom C. Clark Award for Outstanding Government Lawyer. The prestigious award given by the Washington, DC Chapter of the Federal Bar Association recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of career service lawyers employed by the United States Government in the District of Columbia.

January 2014

New Name, Same Great Service
Drinker Biddle announced a new identity for its Lobbying & Advocacy Team-the District Policy Group. The new name reinforces its boutique government relations brand while allowing it to maintain and build on its growing network of clients and relationships in Washington, DC and throughout the United States. The group counsels business clients in a range of industries, including health, insurance, social sciences and biodefense. It will continue to offer a full range of government relations services and other Washington, DC-based issues such as events planning, legislative and regulatory monitoring, coalition building and government relations strategic planning.

Commercial Litigation Win

After a two-month trial, a federal jury of nine women and three men acquitted Dr. Dorothy June Brown of six felony counts brought against her by the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, while deadlocking on the remaining 54 counts.  The jury acquitted Dr. Brown of four counts of wire fraud, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of witness tampering. Gregory P. Miller and William M. McSwain, partners in the firm's white collar practice, served as co-lead trial counsel for Dr. Brown.

July 2013

A Deep Bench
A team of Drinker Biddle lawyers represented Enstar in its definitive agreement to acquire global specialty insurer Torus Insurance Holdings Limited. Torus is the holding company of six wholly owned insurance vehicles, including one Lloyd's syndicate. The total consideration for the transaction is $692 million. Partners Bob Juelke, Dan Krane and Joe Seiler and associates Pete Lively, Jennifer Card, James McMeen, Amanda Murray, Yevgeniy Markov, Dennis O'Reilly and Eric Marr worked on the deal. Tax support was provided by John Weber and Brian DeVirgilio. Robin Sampson advised on Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act requirements.

2013

Seven Wonders
In 2013, Drinker welcomed seven new lateral partners: family counselor on a broad range of legal and personal issues, Frederick K. Schoenbrodt, II; bankruptcy lawyer, James H. Millar; litigator Leslie D. Davis; ERISA litigator Theodore Becker; Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation counsel, Julie Govreau; former senior advisor for compliance and enforcement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights, David Mayer; and former in-house counsel, Frances LaFleur.

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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: Alfred W. Putnam Jr.
  • Hiring Partner: Barry Gross
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 604

  • Employment Contact

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


  • Base Salary

    1st year: $140,000 to $160,000 (depending on location)
    Summer associate: $2,692 to $3,077/week (depending on location)


  • Summer Associate Offers

    23 out of 24 (2013)


  • Major Departments & Practices

    Commercial Litigation
    Communications Litigation
    Corporate & Securities
    Corporate Restructuring
    Electronic Discovery & Data Management
    Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    Energy
    Environmental
    Government & Regulatory Affairs
    Health
    Labor & Employment
    Insurance
    Intellectual Property
    Intellectual Property Litigation
    Investment Management
    Private Client Group
    Products Liability & Mass Tort
    Real Estate
    Sustainability
    Tax
    Telecommunications & Mass Media

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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