Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP at a Glance


  • “Informal mentorships”
  • “Low-key culture”
  • “Consistent work”


  • “Not very strong bonuses”
  • “Offices and technology could use some upgrading”
  • “Billable hour requirement”

The Buzz

  • “Smartest people”
  • “Great Southern charm”
  • “Lifestyle firm”
  • “Pretentious”

About Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP started as an Atlanta tax firm and has grown to include offices in London, Geneva, Washington, DC, New York, Houston, Austin, and Sacramento. The firm has embraced a wide array of practice areas, covering corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and tax law.

Tax Men and Soldiers

In 1924, William Sutherland, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, launched a tax specialty firm in Atlanta with fellow attorney Elbert Tuttle. Later, Tuttle helmed the firm's pro bono counsel efforts in Johnston v. Zerbst, the U.S. Supreme Court case that helped establish the right to counsel for indigent criminal defendants. In his post-Sutherland days, Tuttle also served as an appellate court judge and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter.

Firm namesake Joseph Brennan, who joined the firm in 1928, expanded Sutherland's tax practice by navigating clients through New Deal legislation. The firm branched out early in its history, opening a Washington, DC office in 1937 and becoming one of the first national law firms. With the outbreak of World War II, only two partners remained behind as a large number of the firm's staff left to fight overseas, several returning as decorated soldiers. After the war, Sutherland branched into real estate, insurance, education litigation and corporate law with the help of Mac Asbill, who joined the firm in 1949.

In the next few decades, Sutherland built departments in financial services, technology and energy, notably representing Northwest Pipeline Corporation in its bid to build the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline in the 1970s.

Sutherland has continued its tax work, taking on wealthy textile mogul John D. Hollingsworth as a client. Former partner Margaret Richardson was tapped by President Bill Clinton to head the IRS, and the firm serves as tax counsel for the parent company to Philip Morris. The firm also has an active M&A department.

Looking into the Future

New associates are integrated during a two-day orientation program and are assigned a formal mentor during their first practicing year after joining the firm. The in-house training program named SABLE (Sutherland Asbill Brennan Legal Education) allows for lawyers and clients to take part in the substantive and skills-based programs that the firm offers year-round. Sutherland attorneys represent a diverse range of clients, including 61 Fortune 100 companies and 90 Fortune 200 companies. The firm's energy practice has grown internationally adding offices in London and Geneva.

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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

700 Sixth Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 383-0100


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Mark D. Wasserman
  • Hiring Partners: Atlanta: Olga Greenberg New York: Robert E. Copps Washington, DC: Robert S. Chase II
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 416

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $155,000   Houston; New York; DC
    1st year: $180,000

  • Summer Associate Offers
    11 out of 14 (2015) (2Ls)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Automotive • Capital Markets & Investments • Construction • Corporate • Crisis Management • Cybersecurity & Privacy • Digital Economy • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation • Energy, Environmental & Commodities • Finance • Financial Services • Hospitality • Insurance • Intellectual Property • Labor & Employment • Litigation • Natural Resources • Real Estate • Securities Enforcement & Litigation • Tax • Technology, Media, & Telecommunications Transactions • Timber & Forest Products


Major Office Locations

  • Atlanta, GA • Austin, TX • Houston, TX • New York, NY • Sacramento, CA • Washington, DC Geneva • London