Ropes & Gray LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “The people are fantastic”
  • “Quality of training”
  • “Diversity”

Downers

  • “Unpredictable work flow”
  • “Firm decisions are not transparent”
  • “High client expectations”

About Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray has expanded in every measurable way in the 21st century, acquiring smaller boutique firms in the States while claiming new turf in Asia and Europe. Known for its corporate and asset management work, the firm has adapted to law's accelerated globalization by bolstering practice areas such as intellectual property, litigation, life sciences, and healthcare.

Branching Out from Beantown

John Codman Ropes and John Chipman Gray, a couple of Harvard Law School grads, founded the firm in 1865 shortly after the end of the Civil War. While building the firm into one of the largest and most powerful in Massachusetts, the "John Cs" simultaneously carved out continued independent success: Ropes served as an assistant U.S. Attorney and became a leading military historian, while Gray was a highly influential professor at Harvard Law School for four decades.

In the 21st-century global expansion has defined the firm as it serves a client base across industries including private equity, asset management, technology, health care and life sciences. Ropes & Gray has experienced particularly strong growth in the world's financial capitals of New York and London. The firm is now one of the 20 largest in New York, with more than 300 lawyers, and more than 130 in London.

Continuing to expand the firm's geographic reach, Ropes & Gray opened six offices between 2007 and 2013, in Chicago, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul. The latter four served to expand the private equity practice considerably, accommodating the needs of clients increasingly looking to invest in Asian markets. There was expansion on the home front as well, as the Boston office relocated to the top floors of Prudential Tower. Ropes' share of the "Pru" amounts to more than 400,000 square feet (about eight football fields) and is LEED certified.

From Microchips to Private Equity

In recent years, Ropes & Gray's litigation practices, including its intellectual property group, have tried seminal cases with far-reaching impact.

The firm's general litigation practice has been on a roll recently, helping win a big jury trial for Goldman Sachs in a case closely watched by the media, and representing a number of clients in several high-profile data breach cases, including The Home Depot, Target, Wyndham Hotels and Neiman Marcus. The firm's appellate group argued five recent cases before the Supreme Court, including a seminal case for the mutual funds industry and the landmark marriage equality case in 2015. The litigation practice has been bolstered in recent years by a strong government enforcement group, which has made a name for itself with high-profile anti-corruption work in China, including leading an internal investigation for GlaxoSmithKline. The firm also secured a favorable resolution in the prosecution of former BP engineer Kurt Mix relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, with the government dropping all obstruction of justice charges against him. Its IP matters range from touch-screens for video games to patents covering high-performance computer chips, and computer-driven annuities, and Ropes & Gray has been recognized by leading publications for its achievements. Recently the firm won high-stakes patent cases for Apple and Samsung at the appellate level.

As Ropes' litigation practices boom, its private equity practice continues to push forward. Led by partner and firm chairman Brad Malt-who founded the firm's private equity group-Ropes & Gray has built up a strong leveraged buyout practice, in addition to impressive financial services and asset management practices. The firm's private equity clients include many of the world's largest private equity firms, including Audax Group, Bain Capital, Berkshire Partners, KarpReilly, HIG Capital, TPG Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners, TSG Consumer Partners, Silver Lake Partners, and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. The firm is counsel for more than 1,000 mutual funds (or their directors). Ropes & Gray is also among the top firms in structuring IPOs, representing both issuers and many of the leading underwriters.

Pro Bono Pros

In addition to the impressive variety of its practices, Ropes & Gray is devoted to carrying on its tradition of pro bono work and community service. Associates and partners work in a range of areas-including child abduction cases, housing and homelessness, voting rights, nonprofit incorporation, immigration, and asylum-and for a variety of organizations-such as Immigration Equality, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Accion, Human Rights First and Veterans Consortium. High-impact opportunities from the past year included the firm's role arguing for marriage equality at the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, and the historic resolution of a multi-year class action litigation that sparked meaningful prison reform at New York City's Rikers Island jails. The firm recently engaged in a global effort to combat human trafficking, involving lawyers in Hong Kong, London, and the United States. Associates tempted by a life of public service can take a break from the corporate grind and diversify their skill set by participating in secondments such as through the District Attorney's Office Assistant DA Program, through which Ropes associates work as special assistant district attorneys for six months, or a six-month externship in the housing unit of a legal services agency.

IN THE NEWS

March 2017
Canada Goose on the Loose

With winter on its way out, Ropes & Gray represented leading outerwear maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc. in its initial public offering. Canada Goose is dually listed on the TSX in Canada and the NYSE in the United States, and closed its first day of trading up more than 25 percent on the NYSE.

February 2017
Human Trafficking in Tanzania

Although Tanzania passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in 2008, forced labor and sex trafficking continue to be a serious problem. As part of Ropes & Gray's global pro bono partnership with Lawyers Without Borders, a team of attorneys spent a week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania providing training to local justice officials in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes. This marked Ropes & Gray's second collaboration with Lawyers Without Borders since 2015; the first was in Kenya.

Docs v. Glocks

In a highly anticipated decision in Wollschlaeger v. Florida (known as the "Docs v. Glocks" case), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the bulk of the Florida "gun gag" law that had curbed doctors from asking patients about firearm ownership. Representing doctors and medical groups that had challenged the law on First Amendment grounds, Ropes & Gray successfully argued that the law impermissibly restricted physician speech. The decision will have direct impact on the health and safety of Florida families.

August 2016
Guiding Gawker

In a case that had all of New York media talking, Ropes & Gray represented Gawker Media Group in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, as well as in the divestiture of its assets to Univision for $135 million.

Oncology Acquisition

Ropes & Gray represented Pfizer Inc. in its proposed acquisition of Medivation, Inc.-a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing small molecules for oncology-for a total enterprise value of approximately $14 billion. Ropes & Gray previously represented Pfizer on its agreement to acquire Hospira in 2015.

July 2016
Coffee Case Canned

Ropes & Gray litigators secured dismissal of a securities class action suit against Keurig Green Mountain. Relying heavily on statements from six confidential witnesses, plaintiffs asserted that the company had made false statements to investors about the technological success of the Keurig 2.0 product. When interviewed by Ropes & Gray, four of these witnesses stated that the pleadings were not accurate and that they had never made the statements attributed to them. After oral argument on motions for dismissal and for sanctions filed by Ropes & Gray, the plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss the complaint, with prejudice.

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Ropes & Gray LLP

Prudential Tower
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199-3600
Phone: (617) 951-7000

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: R. Bradford Malt
  • Managing Partner: David C. Chapin
  • Hiring Partner: Peter Erichsen
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 1,307

  • Base Salary
    All U.S. offices
    1st year: $180,000
    Summer associate: $3,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    144out of 144 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Anti-Corruption • Antitrust • Appellate Litigation • Asset Management • Banking • Business Restructuring • Biotechnology • Business & Securities Litigation • Capital Markets • Colleges & Universities • Corporate • Cybersecurity • Debt Financing • Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits • Financial Services • Government Enforcement • Government Relations & Regulatory • Health Care • Hedge Funds • Insurance & Risk Management • Intellectual Property Rights Management • Intellectual Property Litigation • Intellectual Property Transactions • International • Investment Management • Labor & Employment • Life Sciences • Litigation • Mergers & Acquisitions • Privacy & Data Security • Private Client Group • Private Equity • Private Investment Funds • Public Finance • Real Estate Investments & Transactions • Securities & Futures Enforcement • Securities & Public Companies • Social Media • Sovereign Investment Group • Special Situations • Sports • Tax & Benefits • Technology, Media & Telecommunications

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA • Chicago, IL • New York, NY • San Francisco, CA • Silicon Valley, CA • Washington, DC Hong Kong • London • Seoul • Shanghai • Tokyo