Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP at a Glance


  • “Respect for my personal and weekend time”
  • “Working on small case teams”
  • “Quality of work”


  • “A little too much RMBS work”
  • “Inequitable distribution of billable work”
  • “A little secretive”

The Buzz

  • “Wicked-smart litigators”
  • “On their game”
  • “Quirky”
  • “IP Law”

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 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.


April 2015

How Sweet It Is

Patterson Belknap secured a win on behalf of The Hershey Company in a putative consumer class action regarding the labeling of its dark chocolate and cocoa products. The plaintiffs alleged that our client's products were "misbranded" in violation of California law and FDA regulations because the labels purportedly make false, misleading and unlawful statements regarding the products' ingredients and characteristics. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support this claim and dismissed the case. 

It Is Brain Surgery

Attorneys from Patterson Belknap's Real Estate group advised on two of the deals nominated for the Real Estate Board of New York's 2014 Sales Brokers Most Ingenious Deal of the Year award. In announcing the nominees, REBNY has listed both the "Leasehold Condominium Brain Surgery for Mount Sinai Medical Center" at 150 East 42nd Street and "Transformation of 501 Madison Avenue" among the most noteworthy and complex lease, sale and finance transactions of the past year.

March 2015

Maintain Your Sanity

Patterson Belknap's products liability attorneys secured a victory on behalf of a Fortune 50 pharmaceutical company in a Philadelphia court last week. The jury cleared the firm's client of liability in a case involving the effects of an antipsychotic drug. 

True Diversity

Savoy Magazine has named firm partner Peter C. Harvey among the "Most Influential Black Lawyers" of 2015. A former Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, Mr. Harvey advises corporate and individual clients in commercial litigation as well as sensitive internal and government investigations. Savoy states that its list "is comprised of the 'best of the best' of Black lawyers that are partners within leading national law firms and also corporate counsel from Fortune 1000 corporations."

Peter is a Co-Chair of the firm's Diversity Committee and a member of the firm's Patterson Attorneys of Color affinity group.

February 2015

Attorney at Blog will be among the few industry resources to explore the regulatory and legal framework for biosimilar and interchangeable biologic products created under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 ("BPCIA"). The BPCIA regulatory and litigation pathway is just beginning to take shape and the first biosimilars in U.S. history are likely to be approved this year. 

The blog is managed by Patterson Belknap's Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Litigation practice groups, whose members are deeply involved in the complex issues facing the biotechnology industry. The team represents biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in a broad range of litigation matters, including patent infringement cases, AIA trials, patent licensing and other contractual disputes.

The antitrust team also runs, which regularly produces timely content.

Let's Go Shopping

The firm is advising a client in its acquisition by a major department store that was recently publicly announced. The department store has reported that the $210 million acquisition will enable it to expand its selection of beauty products while increasing its nationwide presence. The firm's client, a luxury beauty product and spa service retailer, which currently operates over 60 specialty stores across the country as well as online, will continue operating its stand-alone specialty business under its current brand. 

November 2014

Honesty is the Best Policy

The firm secured a decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirming summary judgment for its client, a major medical device manufacturer, in a significant False Claims Act suit. The relator filed a qui tam action accusing our client of fraudulently omitting discounts that had been extended to other commercial customers in its bids to sell ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and other medical equipment to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The firm prevailed on all claims at summary judgment. The relator appealed the decision to the Third Circuit, which held that "the District Court correctly concluded that [the relator] could show none of the required elements" of his FCA claim, and specifically, that "no reasonable juror could conclude that [our client] made knowingly false statements to the VA."

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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 2015: 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 Offers
    7 out of 7 (2014)

  • 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
    Privacy & Data Security
    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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