Now more than 130 years old, Stroock &
Stroock & Lavan is best known for its corporate department,
which represents a wide array of financial institutions. The
department's coverage encompasses energy and project finance,
derivatives and commodities, and investment management.
Stroock began with a Platzek: New York
University Law graduate M. Warley Platzek opened a practice in New
York City in 1876. He was joined by Columbia Law grad Moses J.
Stroock and fellow NYU-er Paul M. Herzog. Much of the firm's early
success stemmed from Stroock's connections to New York's political
elite. A Tammany Hall insider, Stroock was eventually appointed to
the state's Supreme Court. The firm's second Stroock, Moses'
younger brother Sol M. Stroock, came on board in 1907. By that
point Platzek had left, so Stroock & Stroock it was.
The Stroock brothers' ties to Manhattan's
German-Jewish business community benefited their practice, but as
the 20th century continued, a variety of clients joined the fold.
Stroock represented some of New York's wealthiest families, as well
as clothing manufacturers and shipping companies. The firm also
advised Wholesale Liquor Dealers of New York and the Kentucky
Distillers and Warehouse Company (which lawyered up after
But it was cigars-not booze-that brought in
the bulk of Stroock's revenues in the 1920s. The firm's leading
client was the United Cigar Stores Company; the relationship
dissolved with UCSC's bankruptcy, but it helped gain Stroock
additional work with tobacco clients, including Lucky Strike.
Partner Peter Lavan joined the firm in the 1930s and helped grow
its corporate and financial practices. The name Stroock &
Stroock & Lavan was chosen in 1943.
In the 1980s, Stroock grew via a major merger
with Olnick Boxer Blumberg Lane & Troy, a New York real estate
firm that brought with it clients like Bear Stearns and Chemical
Bank. It also gained international attention after being chosen by
the government of Haiti to pursue national funds stolen by
Jean-Claude Duvalier during his reign as president (the money was,
of course, in a secret Swiss bank account).
With close to 300 attorneys, Stroock is based
stateside, with locations in NYC, LA, Miami, and Washington, DC. In
New York, Stroock attorneys mostly cater to financial institutions,
while the LA contingent has garnered publicity for representing
such Tinseltown engines as the money men behind recent works of
director M. Night Shyamalan. Other notable names on the firm's
client roster include SkyBridge Capital, American Express, the
United States Tennis Association, UBS, and JP Morgan.
While real estate, corporate finance, and
litigation are the firm's core strengths, recent years have brought
a new focus on international business, technology, financial
restructuring, and intellectual property practices.