Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz at a Glance


  • “Good partnership prospects”
  • “Great administrative support”
  • “Incredibly inspiring associates”


  • “Extremely long hours”
  • “Unpredictability”
  • “Always being ‘on’”

The Buzz

  • “Legendary”
  • “M&A gurus”
  • “Genius oddballs”
  • “Grueling hours”

About Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Each year, a significant chunk of the world's dealmaking-major mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and shareholder litigation, big name restructurings and multi-billion-dollar real estate ventures-gets cranked through the well-greased machine that is Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Manning the apparatus are a gifted few, whose compensation far outstrips industry standards. While it may not be the biggest or the highest revenue-maker as a firm, it is the most profitable place in the world to practice law. Wachtell Lipton is one of the smallest firms in the AmLaw 100, but it is continually one of the top firms (and usually the top firm) when it comes to PPP, and it stands above the going market rate for first-year associate salaries.

The New York Four

Founded in 1965 by four princes of NYU's Law Review-Herbert Wachtell, Martin Lipton, Leonard Rosen and George Katz-this resolutely New York firm still operates from a single Manhattan office. Public interest law champion Katz died young, at 57, in 1989. Rosen remained at the firm as Of Counsel until he passed away on April 16, 2014 at the age of 83. Wachtell and Lipton remain at the firm as partners. In 1982, Lipton-who recently topped New York Magazine's list of the most influential lawyers in New York-actually created the "poison pill," one of the most famous and enduring ways to protect shareholders' rights.

History of Excellence

What sets the firm apart, even rivals concede, is that in a city of razor-sharp competitors, no other quite matches what Wachtell Lipton does. From its early days, the firm steered clear of run-of-the-mill corporate matters, choosing messier, riskier work. As such, Wachtell Lipton relies far less on bread-and-butter clients and politely declines more plebeian (if nonetheless profitable) engagements.  The firm was one of the first to link its fees to deal value, a model that became the aspiration of most major M&A houses.

Historic matters for the firm include the death's door resuscitation of Chrysler in the 1970s. The firm also played a key role in the much-publicized acquisition of Getty Oil Company, in which Texaco's "white knight" offer was heralded as one of the greatest acquisitions in history. In more recent history, the firm has seen great success with LBOs and IPOs, corporate restructurings and other finance matters. It took the lead on what some observers have called the most complex real estate deal in history: the successful negotiation of a master development agreement for the World Trade Center site following September 11th.

Hard Times = Cold Cash

Wachtell Lipton's more recent work reflects its dominance as a corporate finance powerhouse as well as the economic climate's provision of M&A and restructuring work. The firm represented Bank of America as it acquired Merrill Lynch, co-advised the U.S. Department of the Treasury when the government took over AIG, and advised the Feds during the takeover of mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.


April 2014

Hostile Takeover Heroes
The firm is representing Allergan's Board of Directors in its defense against a new breed of hostile takeover attempt by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist hedge fund Pershing Square, and in February 2014 represented Forest Laboratories in its $25 billion combination with Actavis plc following several years of successfully defending against activism by Carl Icahn .

Poison Pills Strike Again
When activist investor Third Point challenged Sotheby's use of a shareholder rights plan capping its stockholdings at 10 percent, a Wachtell Lipton team guided the 270-year-old auction house and its directors to legal victory in expedited proceedings in a Delaware court. The decision reaffirmed decades of prior law that Wachtell Lipton attorneys have helped forge on rights plans (or "poison pills") and confirmed the plans validity to situations involving activist attacks.

Dealmaker of the Year
Corporate Partner Steven Rosenblum was named 2014 Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer for his representation of Michael Dell in Dell's $24.4 billion buyout of Dell together with Silver Lake, which was contested by Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management.

Media Madness
The firm represented Charter Communications in its $38 billion cash-and-stock bid for Time Warner Cable and in subsequent transactions with Comcast Corporation, TWC's ultimate deal partner, including a $7.3 billion asset purchase, an asset swap valued at $8.3 billion and the acquisition of 33 percent of a $14.3 billion company to be spun-off from Comcast following its acquisition of TWC.

They've Got BofA's Back
In January 2014 Wachtell Lipton, as part of its continuing representation of Bank of America in mortgage-related issues, helped to obtain trial court approval of its $8.5 billion settlement with the Bank of New York Mellon following a nine-week hearing. Two months later, the firm also helped Bank of America to resolve additional crisis-era litigation by reaching complex multi-faceted settlements with the Federal Housing Finance Agency and, just a few weeks later in April 2014, the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company and the trustee for nine trusts it insured.

January 2014

eBay & PayPal-Better Together
The firm represented eBay in its defense against Carl Icahn's campaign to separate eBay's PayPal business and add Icahn's employees to the eBay Board.

December 2013

Pro Bono Victory
The firm represented Anthony Oddone, a young man who was wrongfully convicted of first degree manslaughter resulting from the death of an off duty correction officer moonlighting as a bouncer at a Southampton, New York bar. Through the firm's efforts, the New York Court of Appeals granted leave to appeal and, on December 12, 2013, reversed Mr. Oddone's conviction. The Court of Appeals decision addressed a number of important issues on New York law, including issues relating to New York's party witness rule and the admissibility of expert psychological testimony regarding the accuracy of witness estimates of duration in criminal cases.

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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6150
Phone: 212-403-1000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Committee Co-Chairs: Edward D. Herlihy, Daniel A. Neff
  • Executive Partner: Meyer G. Koplow
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 253

  • Employment Contact
    Elizabeth F. Breslow
    Director of Recruiting & Legal Personnel
    Phone: (212) 403-1334
    Fax: (212) 403-2000
    E-mail: efbreslow@wlrk.com

  • Base Salary
    New York, NY
    1st year: $165,000
    Summer associate: $3,100/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    26 out of 26 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Restructuring & Finance
    Executive Compensation & Benefits
    Real Estate M&A

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY

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