Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP

  • Overview
The Scoop

Thacher Proffitt & Wood positions itself as the world's biggest financial services boutique. The firm is also equallyand rightfullyproud of its historic roots. Founded on Wall Street in 1848 by the father and son team of Benjamin and William Butler, the firm had early associations with Presidents Lincoln and Van Buren. These days, Thacher Proffitt handles complex financial transactions and litigation for many of the world's top financial institutions. In 2008, Thacher Proffitt is representing one of the nation's largest appraisal management companies and its affiliates in various regulatory and state attorney general investigations, as well as tag-along civil lawsuits addressing the independence of the appraisal process. Additional litigation matters include representing several large financial institutions in loan repurchase litigation.

Insiders says

Thacher Proffitt's associates describe their firm as a good place going through a bad patch. The firm is "overexposed to the structured finance world," which has resulted in a fear of layoffs, a lack of work and attorneys seeking greener pastures. Another Thacher source adds, "The people at Thacher are wonderful, but the market downturn has reduced the number of deals, and consequently the number of opportunities to learn the trade of being a lawyer."

On the other hand, one insider paints an upbeat picture of the firm culture: "Partners and associates have excellent open relationships. The firm fosters an open-door policy. While the transactional practice can be demanding, all attorneys, including partners, remain even-keeled. I have no difficulty reaching a partner at 1 a.m. if I need to; in fact, it is encouraged to reach out for assistance." A litigator agrees that Thacher's culture remains "very relaxed despite the upheaval in capital markets." Another concedes that Thacher may be "changing, but is still clinging to its low-key roots." Alas, though, as one corporate specialist laments, "The firm culture has declined significantly over the past year. People do their work, if any, and then go home as quickly as possible."

The firm's compensation is about average, associates saymarket salaries, but below-market bonuses. As one New Yorker reports, "The firm pays market, which I am of course satisfied with. However, we do not offer the special bonus, which some of the other firms were able to offer." Many of Thacher's departments and offices have had far too little work in recent months, associates say, which can be a double-edged sword. As one insider puts it, "It was a nice vacation for a while to be a Thacher attorney." One thing that Thacher associates do rave about is their office space. One New Yorker gushes, "I love my office; it's spacious and has an amazing view of the river. I have visited a number of law firm offices, and this is by far the most impressive I have seen." A peer seconds that emotion: "We have beautiful offices and gorgeous views. I can see the river, the Statue of Liberty and New Jersey from my office. I get so much more sunlight sitting at my desk than in most of the rooms in my East Village apartment."

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Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP


Two World Financial Center
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 789-1200
Fax: (212) 912-7751
www.tpwlaw.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Paul D. Tvetenstrand
  • Total No. Attorneys 2008: 216

Major Office Locations

  • Washington, DC
  • Summit, NJ
  • New York, NY
  • White Plains, NY
  • Mexico City, Mexico

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