Seward & Kissel LLP at a Glance


  • “Smart, talented, capable co-workers who you can get along with”
  • “Early client contact”
  • “The learning experience”


  • “Doesn't have the prestige of the better-known firms”
  • “Bonuses and perks are lacking”
  • “Stress”

About Seward & Kissel LLP

Founded in 1890, Seward & Kissel has grown into a major player in the financial world, serving clients ranging from investment funds to big banks. The firm maintains offices in New York City and Washington, DC.

Hedge Fund Head Honchos

Seward & Kissel's deep ties to the financial industry are no accident. According to Hedge Funds Review, the firm was involved in the foundation of the world's very first hedge fund, AW Jones & Co., in 1949, which the firm maintains as a client today. About half of the firm's 170 attorneys work with hedge funds in some way, whether in the investment management, regulatory or employment law practice group.

Today, Seward & Kissel remains focused on the corporate and litigation needs of clients in the arenas of financial services, corporate finance and capital markets. The firm has a national reputation for its work on behalf of large commercial banks, investment banking firms, investment advisers and related investment funds (hedge funds in particular), broker-dealers, institutional investors and shipping companies.

Seward & Kissel is frequently cited as a leader in the field--it was named Best Onshore Hedge Fund Law Firm in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Hedge Fund Review surveys; Private Funds Law Firm of the year in 2011 by Lawyers World magazine; and the No. 1 law firm in world market share in 2013 by In 2012, Seward & Kissel's Business Transactions Group had its day in the spotlight when a deal handled by the group--the merger of hybris AG and iCongo Inc--was named both the Information Technology Deal of the Year and Corporate Merger of the Year by the ACG New York Champion's Awards.  Similarly, in 2013, two transactions handled by the Business Transactions group were winners of M&A Deal of the Year in their respective categories: Cross Border Deal of the Year (up to 500 mm) and Industrial Goods and Basic Resources Deal of the Year.

Seward's Stewardship

Much of Seward & Kissel's present success is owed to late name partner George Seward. In 1953, Seward, a distant relative of President Lincoln's Secretary of State of the same name, joined the firm, then called Meyer, Kidder, Matz & Kissel. Originally a specialist in business litigation, Seward helped build the organization's network in the hedge fund, banking and investment industries. Seward's legacy also includes transforming the International Bar Association from a coalition of bar associations to a "world organization of business lawyers," in the words of The Wall Street Journal. Seward worked at the firm as senior counsel past his own centennial (he told the New York Times that retirement would be "pretty dull,") before passing at the age of 101 in 2012. 

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Seward & Kissel LLP

One Battery Park Plaza
New York, NY 10004
Phone: (212) 574-1200
Fax: (212) 574-8421


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: John E. Tavss
  • Total No. Attorneys 2013: 170

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,00
    Summer associate: $3,076/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    11 out of 11 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Bankruptcy & Reorganization
    Corporate Finance
    Employee Benefits
    Employment Law
    Executive Compensation
    Intellectual Property & Technology
    Investment Management
    Pro Bono
    Real Estate
    Trusts & Estates

Major Office Locations

  • Washington, DC
  • New York, NY