Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP at a Glance


  • “Realistic work/life balance”
  • “Pro bono opportunities”
  • “A lot of smart people, but not a lot of big egos”


  • “Dominated by Residential Mortgage-Backed Security matters”
  • “Not the most known outside of NY”
  • “Doesn't allow working from home except for people with children”

The Buzz

  • “Very intelligent”
  • “Helpful”
  • “Reputed to be the best midsize firm in New York”
  • “Emphasis on clerkships”

About Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

With around 200 attorneys working out of its single outpost in Manhattan, Patterson Belknap may seem like a modest operation relative to New York's megafirms, but the firm holds its own. Handling litigation and corporate matters on behalf of clients from such disparate fields as media, private equity and Big Pharma, the firm also represents nonprofits and foundations on a wide range of matters.

A Distinguished Career

Patterson Belknap was founded in 1919. Leading name partner Robert P. Patterson was a Harvard Law grad, who interrupted the early stages of his legal career to fight with the New York National Guard in Mexico in 1916. He then became a decorated soldier during World War I. Upon returning to the home front, he was tapped to sit on the U.S. District Court by President Herbert Hoover. His career toggled between law and war thereafter.

Patterson was elevated to the Second Circuit in 1939, but he then stepped down to join the infantry in World War II. From there he became Truman's Secretary of War, serving until the war's end. President Harry Truman tried to persuade him to stay on as Secretary of Defense, but another kind of duty called: Patterson went back to his office in New York City, joining partners (and Harvard Law classmates) Vanderbilt Webb and Chauncey Belknap. The firm promptly adopted all three men's names. Fourth and final name partner Harold R. Tyler was an eminent New York federal judge, Deputy U.S. Attorney General and a leader of the New York City Bar Association. He spent three decades with the firm until his death in 2005.

Big Apple Loyalty

Today Patterson Belknap is a full-service firm with commercial law and litigation strength across 20 practice groups. It hasn't made any efforts to grow beyond the city in which it began, but it has found other ways of keeping up with the times. In 2007, the firm established a dedicated team to tackle subprime lending and credit crisis matters. The group kept busy working on disputes related to residential mortgage backed securities, CDOs, credit default swaps and other complex financial instruments.

And the firm couldn't have chosen a better location for its art and museum practice. Patterson Belknap has worked with several of the city's largest museums, collectors and art estates (including the Jean-Michel Basquiat authentication committee).

Defending Law Firms

Patterson has carved out a key niche with its law firm defense practice, which represents individual attorneys as well as other law firms-from small local shops to large regional and national practices. In fact, Patterson has become one of the nation's heavy hitters in defending legal malpractice and fraud claims. In addition, Patterson helps other lawyers and practices settle disputes about partnership compensation, manage disciplinary proceedings and handle conflict disclosure claims.


May 2014

The Sky's the Limit
Litigation partner Adeel Mangi has been named a "2014 Rising Star" by the New York Law Journal. The publication recognizes the most promising lawyers under the age of 40 who have demonstrated that they are top contributors to the practice of law and their communities. In March 2014, Adeel was also named a "Rising Star" by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Diversity & the Bar magazine, which selected 12 up-and-coming minority and female attorneys for 2014.

March 2014

Victory Tastes Sweet
Patterson Belknap secured summary judgment on behalf of The Hershey Company as lead trial counsel in a multidistrict antitrust litigation in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs are direct purchasers (wholesalers and chain stores) that alleged that our client conspired with other major chocolate manufacturers to fix the price of chocolate singles and "kings" in the U.S. between 2002 and 2007. The district court concluded that the record evidence led to the conclusion that "plaintiffs have adduced no evidence tending to exclude the possibility that defendants acted independently."

Passing the Baton
Patterson Belknap elected Lisa E. Cleary as co-chair and managing partner. She succeeded Robert P. LoBue, who served as co-chair and managing partner, and joins William F. Cavanaugh, Jr. as co-chair. Mr. Cavanaugh said, "Lisa has been a longtime leader within the firm. Her deep understanding of our people and our practice will be a great asset as the firm moves forward providing the highest quality legal representation and service to our clients. We are grateful to Bob for his seven years of service as Co-Chair and Managing Partner, which was critical to the firm's continued success in a challenging economic environment."

Ms. Cleary is the third woman to serve as managing partner of Patterson Belknap. Antonia M. Grumbach served as managing partner from 1990 to 1996 and Rochelle Korman served as managing partner from 2002 to 2007.

January 2014

Home to Outstanding Lawyers
Associate Muhammad Usman Faridi received the New York State Bar Association's 2014 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award during its Annual Meeting on January 29, 2014. Each year the Young Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association honors a young lawyer who has rendered outstanding service to both the community and legal profession. The Outstanding Young Lawyer Award recognizes an attorney who has actively practiced less than 10 years and who has a distinguished record of commitment to the finest traditions of the Bar through public service and professional activities. Muhammad is a seventh-year associate in the firm's litigation department.

Perfect Pro Bono
For the tenth consecutive year, Patterson Belknap achieved 100 percent attorney participation in pro bono matters. The firm's attorneys' work has earned recognition from Legal Aid Society, MFY Legal Services, Inc., New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, New York Legal Assistance Group, Legal Services of New York and many other providers of free legal services to low income New Yorkers. The firm was also named one of 20 exceptional Pro Bono firms for 2013 by Law360.

Over the past year, the firm worked on a broad range of law reform and individual cases in the areas of, among others, death penalty, human rights, special education, housing preservation and homelessness, disability rights, foster care reform and civil rights.

December 2013

An Employer for Equality
For the second year in a row, Patterson Belknap has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a "Best Place to Work" for LGBT equality. The firm scored a 100 percent rating in HRC's newly released 2014 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) report. The CEI report, released each fall, provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. 

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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 336-2000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Director: Michael J. Greis
  • Managing Partner: Lisa E. Cleary
  • Hiring Partners: Robert W. Lehrburger and Sarah E. Zgliniec
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 212

  • Employment Contact
    Ms. Robin L. Klum
    Director of Professional Development
    Phone: (212) 336-2733
    Fax: (212) 336-2222

  • Base Salary
    New York, NY
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    Summer associate: $3,076.92/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    8 out of 8 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Alternate Dispute Resolution
    Art & Museum Law
    Business Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights
    Complex Commercial Actions
    Cross-Border Transactions
    Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    Employment Law
    False Advertising
    False Claims Act & Whistleblower Defense
    Insurance Coverage Practice
    Intellectual Property Litigation
    Intellectual Property Transactions
    Law Firm Defense
    Media & Entertainment
    Mergers & Acquisitions
    Mortgage & Credit Crisis Team
    Personal Planning
    Private Equity
    Products Liability
    Real Estate
    Securities & Derivatives Litigation
    Tax-Exempt Organizations
    White Collar Defense & Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY

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