Dynamic Practice, Compelling Work
Fried Frank associates play an essential role in the Firm’s delivery of top-notch legal services to its clientbase, which comprises the world’s largest investment banks and financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies and other multinational industry leaders. Working at a global law firm with offices in the world’s principal financial centers, associates at Fried Frank are continually involved in complex, high-profile matters involving the sophisticated cross-border work for which the Firm is well known. As vital members of the firm, Fried Frank associates are given a high level of responsibility and immersed in significant matters from their first day, with ample opportunity to interact with clients and work closely with partners.
Our attorneys strive for excellence. Chambers USA named 50 Fried Frank lawyers and 18 practice areas to its 2016 ranking of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; Legal 500 2016 recognized 74 Fried Frank attorneys in 29 categories; the 2016 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” recognized Fried Frank as a first-tier law firm in 18 national practice areas as well as 24 practice areas in New York City and Washington, DC combined; and the Firm is consistently ranked in the Vault Law 100.
Fried Frank is one of the few firms that represent the full spectrum of M&A players, including leading corporations, private equity firms, investment banks and acquisitive hedge funds. Our team advises clients on their most challenging transactions, including joint ventures, restructurings, negotiated and hostile takeovers and mergers, and strategic investments.
Our litigators are some of the best in the field, and their expertise in general commercial litigation, enforcement and investigations, securities shareholder litigation, intellectual property, white-collar defense and corporate governance is widely recognized. The Firm’s award-winning real estate practice is unmatched in reputation and skill, and its lawyers consistently handle market-leading deals shaping the landscape of New York and Washington, DC real estate. Fried Frank is also highly regarded for its work on critical matters involving antitrust and competition, asset management, bankruptcy and restructuring, executive compensation and ERISA, insurance, international trade and investment, and tax, among other areas of law.
Some of the Firm’s recent headline-grabbing work, from across various practice areas, includes its counsel to:
- Brookfield Property Partners, as landlord, in a 160,000-square-foot lease to the National Hockey League (NHL) for its headquarters at One Manhattan West, as part of a project that will also include the installation of a seasonal skating rink with NHL branding.
- Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division (MBD) in an agreement among West Street Energy Partners (a fund managed by MBD), Baker Hughes and CSL Capital Management to create a pure-play North American land pressure pumping company.
- OpCapita on the raising of its second fund, the €350 million OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund II, which will focus on operational turnaround of underperforming businesses in the retail, consumer and leisure sectors in Europe.
- Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories in its US$1.4 billion acquisition of Interactive Intelligence Group, a global leader in providing cloud services for customer engagement, communications and collaboration.
- Coach, Inc., in the sale-leaseback of its global headquarters at 10 Hudson Yards in New York City in a transaction valuing the skyscraper at US$2.15 billion; Coach received a purchase price in excess of US$700 million and entered into a 20-year lease at 10 Hudson Yards for its global headquarters.
- At Home Group, the operator of a home décor superstore chain, in its US$130m IPO and listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
- Joe Gregory, the long-serving former President of Lehman Brothers, in all of the civil litigation arising out of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, including consolidated class actions and MDL litigation. Fried Frank also represents Mr. Gregory in the SEC, US Attorney’s Office and Attorney General investigations stemming from the collapse.
- Aerie Pharmaceuticals and its senior-most officers and directors in obtaining dismissal of a class action securities litigation in the U.S. District Court for the New Jersey arising from Aerie’s statements concerning the prospects of a clinical trial for Aerie’s lead product candidate and the resulting decrease in the company’s stock price.
- The management team of Mayborn Group, a global manufacturer and supplier of infant and toddler feeding products including the Tommee Tippee brand, in the sale of the company by 3i Group to Shanghai Jahwa.
- The special committee of NorthStar Asset Management Group in NSAM’s merger with Colony Capital and NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. to create a world-class, internally-managed, diversified real estate and investment management platform with $58 billion in assets under management.
- Under Armour, a leading athletic apparel company, and its board of directors in securing favorable settlement of shareholder litigation stemming from Under Armour’s recapitalization and issuance of a new class of non-voting shares.
- The special committee of the board of directors of Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. in connection with the company’s acquisition of Apollo Residential Mortgage, Inc. for approximately US$641 million.
- Media General in its definitive merger agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting Group, whereby Nexstar will acquire all outstanding shares of Media General for US$4.6 billion.
- Mercedes-Benz and Daimler in multiple patent matters, including infringement matters related to LED displays, radar and occupant sensing technologies, chemical coatings for engine parts and mobile WiFi networks.
Click here to review sampling of Fried Frank's recent major matters
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Reigning Over Real Estate
Fried Frank’s real estate practice is consistently at the forefront of the largest and most complicated transactions and is unrivaled in both the scope of its work and the talent of its attorneys. Our real estate practice consistently ranks number one in Vault, Chambers USA and Legal 500 US and has received the Chambers USA Award for Excellence.
Associates specializing in real estate law learn from, and work with, the best in the industry. We represent our clients on complex matters involving the acquisition and disposition of single assets and portfolios, mortgage, mezzanine and construction financing on behalf of borrowers and lenders, land use, development and construction, leasing on behalf of landlords and tenants, distressed real estate and workouts, joint ventures, real estate investment trusts and real estate litigation.
Among the noteworthy transactions recently handled by the Fried Frank real estate team are its counsel to:
- Brookfield Asset Management in its strategic alliance with Macy’s to develop and/or redevelop a portion of Macy’s portfolio. The alliance gives Brookfield the exclusive right for up to 24 months to create a “pre-development plan” for approximately 50 of Macy’s real estate assets, with an option for Macy’s to continue to identify and add assets into the alliance.
- Maefield Development in the acquisition of the DoubleTree Hotel of Times Square as part of a US$1.8 billion redevelopment. The Fried Frank team orchestrated numerous complex negotiations, transactional control and structural agreements and obtained approval for the elevation of the property thereby unlocking a lucrative source of revenue that was previously unrealized
- SL Green in the proposed development of One Vanderbilt, an iconic 1,401-foot tall, 1.7 million square foot office tower to be constructed on the full block to the west of Grand Central Terminal.
- Related Companies, Vornado Realty Trust and Skanska USA, the contracting team selected to work on the US$1.6 billion redevelopment of the James A. Farley post office building into Moynihan Train Hall. The project is a key part of new plans recently unveiled by Governor Cuomo for the expansion and transformation of Penn Station into a “world class, 21st-century transportation hub.”
- Children’s Investment Fund Management in a US$1.19 billion mortgage and mezzanine loan to a joint venture including Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group for the construction and development of 35 Hudson Yards, a mixed-use building which will include the first-ever Equinox Hotel, luxury residential condominium units, retail space and office space.
- JPMorgan Chase Bank in connection with providing redevelopment and construction financing of up to US$950 million relating to the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
- Chelsfield, a market leading European property group, and co-counsel to the Olayan Group, a Saudi Arabia based investment firm, in the US$1.4 billion acquisition of the former Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue from The Chetrit Group.
- RXR Realty and C&K Properties in their US$1.65 billion purchase of 1285 Avenue of the Americas from AXA Financial and JPMorgan. In connection with this transaction, the Firm also represented UBS in the renewal of its 900,000-square-foot lease at the building through 2033.
- Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in connection with the law firm’s letter of intent for a 12-year, 250,000-square-foot lease at 55 Hudson Yards.
- New Water Street Corp., the owner of 55 Water Street, in connection with a 1.1 million-square-foot lease extension with McGraw Hill Financial Inc., the parent of Standard & Poor’s.
- Citigroup in connection with the bank exercising its option to purchase its headquarters at 388-390 Greenwich Street in Tribeca from SL Green Realty for US$2 billion.
- Brookfield Property Partners in connection with its joint venture with an Asian sovereign wealth fund to acquire Potsdamer Platz, a mixed-use estate comprising 17 buildings, 10 streets, and two squares covering a gross area of more than 2,900,000 square feet in the center of Berlin.
Fried Frank has long held a commitment to pro bono work and a strong sense of philanthropic responsibility. Our attorneys work with a variety of pro bono clients including immigrants, veterans, microentrepreneurs, victims of domestic violence, artists seeking representation on intellectual property matters, indigent individuals accused of crimes and charter schools.
Fried Frank is widely acknowledged by both the legal and nonprofit communities for its pro bono efforts. Most recently, Fried Frank was recognized by The Legal Aid Society as a recipient of the 2016 Pro Bono Publico award for “Outstanding Service to The Legal Aid Society and its Clients.” Legal Aid honored the outstanding work of volunteer lawyers, law firms, corporations and other professionals who provide legal services on behalf of low-income New Yorkers. Additionally, special counsel Karen Grisez was named recipient of the 2016 Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for excellence in advancing the practice of immigration law. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will be recognizing Ms. Grisez. AILA is a national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. Fried Frank was also honored by the judges of the District of Columbia federal courts at the 13th annual “40 at 50 Judicial Pro Bono Recognition Breakfast,” held in April 2016. The event, organized by the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia Circuit, honors law firms which at least 40% of all attorneys dedicated 50 or more hours in 2015 to providing free legal representation to individuals with limited financial resources or to charitable organizations.
Fried Frank litigation associates have the opportunity to extern at Her Justice as staff attorneys in its New York headquarters. Her Justice is dedicated to providing legal services to low-income women and victims of domestic violence and other crimes in the areas of matrimonial, family and immigration law. Participants can expect to garner significant litigation experience, including motion practice and trial practice, during the externship.
Fried Frank also offers two unique fellowship opportunities for select junior-level attorneys. Fellows spend two years working in Fried Frank’s litigation department followed by two years with either the NAACP Legal Defense or Education Fund, Inc. (LDF) or the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Many of our fellows choose to return to Fried Frank after their fellowships, and several of our prior fellows can be found in high-level positions at LDF and MALDEF.
Fried Frank regularly makes secondment arrangements with clients whereby associates are assigned to work in-house with a Firm client for a fixed period of time, usually 4 to 12 months. This arrangement offers lawyers an extraordinary platform through which they can improve their legal skills, enhance their relationships with clients and gain a new perspective on legal practice. Fried Frank associates have been seconded to a variety of institutions ranging from premier investment banks to Fortune 100 companies.
Fried Frank firmly believes that the individual success of our attorneys is directly correlated to the overall success of the Firm. To advance this effort, the Firm maintains an administrative department dedicated to assisting and promoting our attorneys’ continued professional development through substantive training programs, maintenance of a comprehensive evaluation system, and general day-to-day legal practice support.
The Attorney Development department develops, implements and monitors the professional training programs and continuing legal education needs of the Firm’s attorneys. Training at Fried Frank consists of both Firmwide cross-departmental training programs focused on improving our attorneys’ general professional skills and department-specific training programs focusing on individual practice needs. We offer approximately 200 internal and external training programs each year.
The Fried Frank Partner Advisor Program is designed to provide a formal mentoring structure whereby partners can further provide the support and guidance associates need to maximize their potential. Participation in the Partner Advisor Program is open to all associates at the Firm. Shortly after starting at the firm, first year associates participate in partner-led mentoring circles and meet monthly to discuss chapters of books assigned by practice area.The Firm also offers an Associate Advisor Program designed to personalize the Fried Frank experience for new associates and provide continuing support.
Each Fried Frank office has a dedicated Associates Committee committed to enhancing associate life at the Firm. Associate Committee meetings are generally open to all associates and provide an opportunity for the leadership of the Firm to seek input from associates on key issues ranging from Firm events and initiatives to work environment and transparency.
Fried Frank offers a variety of activities and programs to associates – many of which have been initiated by Fried Frank lawyers themselves. A sampling of activities includes: Fried Frank “Fit Club,” sports teams (softball, basketball, football, yoga, tennis), a monthly “Jeans for Charity” fundraiser and yearly participation in the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge, Lawyers Have Heart and AIDS Walk.
A Firm of Inclusion
With an independent department dedicated exclusively to Firm diversity initiatives, Fried Frank is committed to ensuring the Firm is a place of inclusion where all attorneys can thrive and reach their full potential. Our Director of Attorney Development and Diversity leads our efforts to recommend strategies to prevent discrimination and other barriers to meaningful inclusion and integration of all attorneys and staff. He meets regularly with diverse attorneys to discuss career development strategies, and oversees and assesses the effectiveness of all Firm mentoring programs, diligently seeking to be aware of and address issues of concern to individual attorneys.
Fried Frank’s Diversity Committee provides a forum for identifying, discussing and prioritizing diversity issues, as well as for developing and supporting related proposals and initiatives. Several areas of focus include:
- Recruitment and Retention of diverse attorneys
- Recruitment for our Fellowship Program with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Business Development and Marketing
- Professional Development, Mentoring and Sponsorships
- Work/Life Balance
Diversity is a standard principle at Fried Frank. Support comes from the top—minorities and women are valuable leaders and decision-makers at the Firm. We support initiatives and affinity groups focused on attorneys of color, women attorneys and LGBT attorneys, and working parents, including the Attorney of Color Affinity Group, the LGBT Affinity Group, the Women’s Forum, and the Working Parents Affinity Group. Fried Frank’s Washington, DC and New York offices also participate in the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) career program, which places diverse students in law firms for summer internships prior to the students’ first year of law school. Our New York office also participates in the New York City Bar Association Diversity Fellowship Program, which places first-year law students from groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession in first-year summer associate positions with participating law firms and corporations.
We are proud of the public recognition of our inclusive culture. Fried Frank has been recognized for seven consecutive years by the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, achieving a top rating of 100 percent in reflection of our policies and practices protecting LGBT employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, diversity training, and health care and domestic partnership benefits.
Our diversity efforts extend beyond the Firm to the pipeline necessary to foster meaningful diversity in the legal profession. Through the Fried Frank Pre-Law Scholars Program, we partner with Hunter College to prepare pre-law focused college students of diverse backgrounds for the LSAT and a successful legal education. We also work with Just the Beginning Foundation to expose DC-area middle and high school students to the legal profession, and sponsor the Minority Law Research Institute, a two-week immersive program held at The Law Center at Southern University and A&M College, designed to motivate and expose minority high school students to consider careers in the field of law.