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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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