Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP at a Glance


  • “High-level work”
  • “Non-hierarchical”
  • “Work-life cannot be beat”


  • “No excellent exit opportunities for in house”
  • “Lack of diversity”
  • “Working remotely is not permitted”

The Buzz

  • “Best work-life balance”
  • “Very popular for clerks”
  • “Excellent litigation”
  • “Great smaller firm”

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 non-profits 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 Harry Truman's Secretary of War, serving until the war's end. President 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 handles litigation and transactions nationally and abroad, and 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.

More recently, the firm launched a cybersecurity practice. And the firm couldn't have chosen a better location for its well-established 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.

Committed To Doing Good

Patterson earned a perfect rating in the 2016 Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equity Index and proudly boasts that since 2004, 100% of the firm's attorneys have participated in pro bono projects each year, something that's earned them continuous top rankings in The American Lawyer.


May 2016
Monitoring the Police

Partner Peter C. Harvey has been appointed to serve as the Independent Monitor for the Newark Police Department, responsible for overseeing the NPD's compliance with a Consent Decree issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.

April 2016
An Energetic Win

Patterson Belknap secured a significant victory for the manufacturer of 5-Hour ENERGY in an ongoing lawsuit against a number of individuals and businesses accused of engaging in the manufacture and sale of millions of counterfeit bottles of the firm's client's energy supplement. On March 31, 2016, a New York federal judge granted in part the firm's motion for summary judgment, charging two groups of defendants with statutory damages totaling $20 million for infringing on our client's trademarks and violating copyright law.

March 2016
A Juicy Victory

The firm scored a major advertising win for The Coca-Cola Company when a California federal jury returned a verdict in the company's favor after a six-day trial and less than a day of deliberation. The case, brought by POM Wonderful, alleged that the name and label of Coca-Cola unit Minute Maid's "Enhanced Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices" would mislead customers. The U.S. Supreme Court had remanded the case for trial in 2014, holding that FDA regulations authorizing Minute Maid's label did not bar Pom's suit. The jury rejected POM's claims in full.

January 2016
A Firm for Foodies

Patterson Belknap has been named one of Law360's Food & Beverage Groups of the Year. This recognition is attributed in large part to the food and beverage litigation team's wins for Hershey Co., first in a proposed antioxidant benefit mislabeling class action and then again in an alleged chocolate price-fixing scheme.

RICO Not-So-Suave.

The firm secured a significant victory for McGraw Hill Financial, Inc. when the Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment decision in a long-running litigation brought in federal court in New York by Reed Elsevier. Reed brought the case in 2009, alleging violations of the RICO Act, the Sherman Act, the Lanham Act, and myriad state law claims as a result of McGraw Hill's construction division's alleged improper access to its competitor Reed's database for construction project information. In 2010, the district court dismissed Reed's RICO claims. On September 24, 2014, the district court dismissed all but one of Reed's remaining claims, leaving only a limited version of its unfair competition claim, which Reed agreed to abandon if it lost on appeal. Separately, following a two-day hearing, the court excluded Reed's damages expert. On January 7, 2016, The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's summary judgment decision resulting in a complete victory for the firm's client.

August 2015
Blue Buffalo IPO

Patterson Belknap's client, Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. ("Blue Buffalo"), completed an initial public offering ("IPO") of its common stock. Blue Buffalo is a natural pet products company that makes natural foods and treats for dogs and cats under the BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, and BLUE Freedom lines, and cat litter under the BLUE Naturally Fresh line. The shares began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on July 22, 2015, under the ticker symbol "BUFF." The firm's role in the IPO was representing certain of the existing stockholders who were selling shares.

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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; Sarah E. Zgliniec
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 212

  • Base Salary
    New York, NY
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000

  • Summer Associate Offers
    N/A – No summer program

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Alternate Dispute Resolution
    Art & Museum Law
    Business Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights
    Class Action Litigation
    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 & Sports
    Mergers & Acquisitions
    Patent Litigation
    Privacy & Data Security
    Private Equity
    Products Liability
    Real Estate
    Securities & Derivatives Litigation
    Structured Finance Litigation
    Tax-Exempt Organizations
    Trademark & Copyright Litigation
    Trusts & Estates
    White Collar Defense & Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY