For more than 85 years, Sutherland has built on the high standards of its founders with a commitment to integrity and to the highest quality of service for its clients. We were founded in 1924 by William Sutherland, formerly a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brandeis, and Elbert Tuttle, who later became the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Interestingly enough, the men’s history together was further cemented when Elbert married Bill’s sister Sara. The firm of Sutherland & Tuttle first established a national reputation in the tax field. In the ensuing years, we became known as Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and today we have prominent practices in the corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, insurance intellectual property, litigation, real estate and tax areas.
Sutherland is known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies. We serve our clients from eight offices: Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Sacramento,Washington, London and Geneva.
Our recent successes reach all of our offices. More than 80 Sutherland attorneys were named to The Best Lawyers in America in 2014. Additionally, U.S. News-Best Lawyers nationally recognized 26 of our practice areas its 2014 Best Law Firms rankings, and we were awarded “Law Firm of the Year” in timber law. We are also proud that 21 of our practice areas and 56 attorneys were named among the nation’s best in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA.
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Professional Development at Sutherland
For eight consecutive years, Sutherland has ranked among the top ten law firms in the country for associate training and professional development (Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms). We offer practical work experience, constructive feedback, a career planning program and more than 100 substantive training programs each year, as well as individualized professional development assistance through mentoring and career-related courses.
Sutherland has a nationally-recognized, structured approach to career planning through career guidelines, individualized career plans and partner plan advisors. The guidelines outline the firm's expectations of associates, specific to each practice group and the career plans allow each associate to identify specific annual goals and action items for reaching those goals. Associates give their preference for a partner plan advisor, and meet quarterly with that partner to discuss the associate's plan and overall development. Our Career Planning Program, which is administered by our Professional Development Department to ensure regular communication and follow up with the partner/associate pairings, allows for regular feedback and interaction prior to and as part of the mid-year and annual associate review processes.
Pro Bono and Public Service at Sutherland.
Sutherland has a long and distinguished history of public service, beginning with the work of our founding partners, Sutherland and Tuttle, on habeas corpus cases, including Johnson v. Zerbst, in the 1930's. The tradition of public service that they began continues today through the efforts of our lawyers and staff who provide civic leadership and pro bono legal representation to individuals and institutions within our communities.
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Sutherland continues to be recognized for its efforts to promote diversity in the workplace and in the legal profession. In 2013, we made significant efforts to ensure the success of our diverse attorneys, and we continue to partner with a number of clients and other organizations on specific initiatives. We received a Programming Excellence Award for our innovative diversity programs from The Coca-Cola Company. Also in 2013, the firm was a finalist for Nationwide’s ACP Diversity Award and received recognition from Morgan Stanley for its diversity efforts. For the fifth consecutive year, Sutherland was named a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” by the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. Sutherland once again earned a perfect 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. The survey rates businesses on a scale from zero to 100% on their treatment of LGBT employees, consumers and investors. We were also ranked a Top 25 Firm for Diversity for Minorities by Vault. In addition, for the third year in a row, the firm was given the “Gold Standard” recognition by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF).
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Sutherland's Practice Groups
Sutherland helps clients understand the full range of business law, enabling them to grow and thrive. We consistently monitor the economic, regulatory and legislative environment so we can guide clients to new opportunities while minimizing risk. We represent both public and private companies in virtually every type of transaction, and in a wide variety of industries. We serve clients of all sizes, from entrepreneurs to Fortune 200 companies. Our attorneys address practically every corporate legal need, including general corporate advice, finance, mergers, acquisitions and other transformative transactions, corporate governance and compliance in an evolving regulatory environment. We work seamlessly with attorneys in the firm’s other practice areas to meet our clients’ business objectives, allowing clients to benefit from attorneys knowledgeable in each industry's opportunities, hurdles and pitfalls. We oversee complex transactions and matters, and we bring a collaborative, integrated approach to solving problems.
Sutherland’s comprehensive, nationally recognized financial services practice offers decades of experience across complex global financial markets. More than 150 of our attorneys are devoted to achieving business objectives and solving complex problems for clients in the financial services industry. Our team, which includes many attorneys who formerly worked with one or more of a wide spectrum of regulatory agencies, possesses thorough knowledge and a keen understanding that, coupled with our deeply held commitment of staffing cases with the right number of lawyers, emphasizes responsiveness and accessibility. Our diverse client base includes leading insurance companies, broker-dealers, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other types of investment companies, business development companies, small business investment companies, banking and financial institutions, employee benefits plans and products, and real estate investment trusts. Our services span the full spectrum of legal, business and compliance issues, including new products, regulatory compliance advice, distribution of financial products and services, tax, securities enforcement, litigation, arbitration, mergers and acquisitions, finance and structured finance, outsourcing and systems integration and international and offshore work.
Energy and Environmental
Sutherland’s Energy and Environmental Group has more than 65 lawyers representing every major sector of the energy industry. Our 40-year history of excellence in serving the regulatory, compliance and policy needs of our clients is matched by the commercial and operational experience we bring to increasingly complex transactions. Complemented with our team of well-regarded, high-profile litigators, Sutherland’s energy practice is well positioned to provide the full range of legal services to our energy clients. Our clients include crude oil and natural gas refiners and producers, domestic and multinational traders, energy lenders and marketers, hedge funds and financial institutions, independent power producers and electric cooperatives, international oilfield service providers, and renewable energy developers.
Sutherland offers all of the services that companies need to establish and enforce their valuable IP portfolios in the United States and throughout the world. Many prominent global companies as well as entrepreneurs and small companies entrust us with their IP work. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to maximize IP portfolio value. We protect IP rights from filing patent and trademark applications to defending those rights in court and before government agencies. The exceptional technical knowledge of our attorneys is one advantage Sutherland brings to clients. The majority of our IP attorneys are registered patent attorneys who provide counseling and representation in all aspects of U.S. and international patent law. A significant number of our IP lawyers also hold specialized or advanced degrees in technical fields.
Sutherland's Litigation Practice has grown steadily for more than eight decades through an unwavering commitment to understanding each client's unique business objectives and delivering exceptional client service. Sutherland's Litigation Practice has tried and argued cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, all 13 circuits of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the Court of Federal Claims, the Tax Court and hundreds of federal district and state trial and appellate courts.
Sutherland’s Real Estate practice handles real estate matters in virtually every state and major real estate market in the United States and our international deals span the globe. Sutherland has the depth to manage many different types of deals, including niche areas such as timber acquisition, hospitality, complex real estate finance including multi-tranche mezzanine debt and data center development and leasing.
Sutherland serves as tax counsel to many of the world’s most prominent corporations—including more than 35 of the Fortune 100—in every area of federal, international, state and local tax law. Our prominence in legal tax services dates back to the firm’s founding nearly a century ago. More than 100 tax lawyers represent taxpayers in federal, international, employee benefits, insurance, tax exempt, and state and local tax matters. By virtue of the size of our tax practice and our varied client base, we are active in every area of taxation—from planning the most complex corporate tax transactions to representing taxpayers in administrative and judicial tax controversies.