Stroock is multi-disciplinary law firm
known for 140 years as an advisor to the financial services and
investment communities and for its special focus in financial
restructuring, real estate, investment management/funds and
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
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.