The “Wow Factor”
Weil’s success centers on our business acumen and culture of practicing pragmatic law. We are strategic business partners with our clients and deal facilitators, rapidly coming up with solutions – rather than just pointing out legal issues. Our litigators take a 360-degree view of a client’s business needs, the risks and rewards, before recommending the best course of action – including whether or not to go to trial. Talented attorneys who want to tackle complex, challenging matters on behalf of world-class clients will find those opportunities at Weil in our uniquely entrepreneurial culture.
We train and mentor our associates so that they can achieve rewarding careers and, through our team-oriented approach, ultimately “wow” clients. We know that development of our associates to their full potential is essential for our future success and it is something we take seriously. Diversity is also important to the Firm and we are passionate about creating an environment where every lawyer, regardless of gender, race, religion, veteran status or sexual orientation, will be able to thrive.
With approximately 1100 lawyers spread across 20 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the Firm offers clients complex corporate megadeals expertise, strong trial readiness and unmatched bankruptcy experience. Weil advised on more than 60 transactions that were worth over $1 billion each in 2015 alone and has represented clients in five of the six largest U.S. bankruptcies in history. More than 35 litigation partners have tried and won a case in the past two years.
Weil attorneys are fortunate to be able to work with world class clients, including leading companies, private equity firms, and financial institutions, and partners at the Firm are excited to provide associates with the chance for hands-on involvement in highly significant client matters. In private equity, we advise many of the biggest players in the industry and regularly represent more than 200 sponsor clients in the United States on deal execution matters, including some of the most prestigious private equity funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and pension funds. Weil advises major banks across all four of our departments (Corporate, Litigation, Business Finance and Restructuring, and Tax, Executive Compensation & Benefits) and has worked for almost every bulge-bracket investment bank.
In the News
With a myriad of rankings by publications such as The American Lawyer, the Financial Times, and Chambers, Weil’s standing as one of the world’s most prestigious firms is unquestioned. In 2015, Weil won more than 50 awards in the United States alone, including 33 partners across Weil’s U.S. offices receiving 44 awards for their exemplary achievements. Some highlights for 2015 include:
- Two Dealmakers of the Year by The American Lawyer
- Seven Lawyers recognized as MVPs by Law360
- Five National Law Journal Trailblazers
Major M&A Mojo
2015 was a blockbuster year for M&A deals. Weil ranked in the Top 10 in Global M&A with $673 billion in global deal volume. Heightening this achievement is the fact that Weil advised on more than 60 $1 billion+ deals, including 5 of the top 10—and 3 of the top 5—U.S. announced M&A transactions in 2015. The Firm’s stellar performance was recognized by the The Legal 500 U.S. when we were named Team of the Year for M&A: Corporate and Commercial: Large Deals ($1B+). Examples of recent deals include representing:
- Dow Chemical Co. in its $130 billion merger with DuPont
- JAB Holding Co. in its $13.9 billion acquisition of Keurig Green Mountain
- Verizon in its $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL Inc.
Weil advised on a number of high profile capital markets offerings in 2015, including several significant initial public offerings; including advising Black Knight Financial Services (an indirect subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial) on its $507 million initial public offering. We were ranked fifth by volume and deal count for advising issuers on U.S. Equity IPOs, and Weil was named a “Capital Markets Practice Group of the Year” for 2015 by Law360.
Weil litigation capabilities include everything from antitrust, securities and complex commercial litigation to employment and environmental litigation, and everything in between. Weil’s global litigation practice provides clients with innovative legal advice in all major substantive areas of the law. Our expertise was highlighted by Law360, which named us a “Class Action Practice Group of the Year” for 2015. Exciting recent representations include:
- Elite Rodeo Association and several of its owners who are the best athletes in the fast-growing sport of bull riding in an antitrust class action lawsuit challenging the unfair and illegal bylaws passed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), which is the dominating sanctioning body of the sport
- CBS Interactive Inc. in defeating certification in a landmark “right of publicity” case relating the use of NCAA student-athletes’ names, images, and likenesses, without their consent
- Procter & Gamble, makers of Fixodent denture cream, in multi-district litigation where plaintiffs alleged that their use of Fixodent denture cream caused neurologic injury
Weil has an unparalleled track record of obtaining antitrust clearance in “bet-the-company” mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. In the healthcare/life sciences sector alone, Weil is advising on more than $230 billion in deals, which includes four of the top ten megadeals for the sector in 2015: Pfizer/Allergan, Teva/Allergan, Abbvie/Pharmacyclics, and Walgreens/RiteAid. In another headline-grabbing deal, Weil is advising Staples Inc. on antitrust aspects, along with corporate & shareholder aspects, in its proposed $6.3 billion acquisition of Office Depot.
Weil’s preeminent Intellectual Property practice is regularly engaged in highly-sophisticated licensing, outsourcing, diligence and other projects for a roster of clients that reads like a Who’s Who of top life sciences, technology and media companies. The firm recently secured victories for:
- Pandora Media – the largest webcaster in the U.S. – in the Spring and Summer of 2015 in a six-week trial at the Copyright Royalty Board that will establish the rates payable to the owners of sound recordings for the performances of their works by webcasters for the five-year period 2016-2020.
- eBay in California federal court when a photographer brought a copyright infringement action against eBay alleging eBay infringed his copyright rights in various photos because copies remained on eBay’s servers after listings were taking down
Bankruptcy and Restructuring
Weil continues to be involved in the largest ongoing bankruptcies. The Firm is currently counsel to A&P in its chapter 11 case, which involved the auctioning of more than 100 properties in only three days. A&P was the nation’s first traditional supermarket and described as the beginning of discount retail. Additionally, we are involved in other current high-profile matters including municipal bankruptcies in Detroit, Puerto Rico, and Stockton and San Bernardino, California.
Diversity & Inclusion
Weil has been consistently recognized as one of the global law firms most committed to diversity and inclusion, community, and pro bono work. We currently have five very active affinity groups – for Asian, Black, Latino, LGBT, and Women attorneys, and we were the first firm to implement affinity groups. We engage all our people in our inclusion efforts through our Upstander@Weil effort, which encourages everyone to move from a well-meaning bystander for diversity to an active Upstander. Additionally, the Dallas office was awarded the Frontrunner Award from the Dallas Diversity Task Force in 2015 for Weil’s longstanding work advancing the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys. We were also named among the best places to work for LGBT individuals by the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index.
This entrepreneurial and inclusive culture makes for a work experience that is professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling. Weil is a place where so many talented lawyers from many kinds of backgrounds want to stay. We were the first New York firm to institute a firmwide diversity training program and a formal diversity policy (1984).
Pro bono – “Our Finest Hours”
In our award-winning pro bono practice, Weil attorneys work on a range of cases – everything from asylum matters to death penalty cases to corporate advice for charitable organizations. Weil maintains the goal that all lawyers at the firm perform 50 hours of pro bono work each year, and we are approaching 1 million pro bono hours since commencing our program. We were named “Best International Firm for Pro Bono Work” by Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards 2015, and were one of only ten law firms included in The National Law Journal’s “Pro Bono Hotlist,” for which we were honored for our work in achieving a settlement that will effectively put an end to solitary confinement in the state of California.
Weil’s commitment to our pro bono program is an ingrained part of our culture, and we are pleased that many of our institutional clients share our commitment and actively work with us on initiatives in a number of areas, including criminal justice reform, human rights, community and economic development, children’s welfare, civil and constitutional rights, health and environmental issues, and asylum and immigration. It is in this spirit that we refer to time spent on pro bono work as “our finest hours.”
Our Firm is particularly proud of its externship programs that allow full-time associates the opportunity to work exclusively on pro bono matters with leading public service and charitable organizations for a period of several months. Partner organizations include Lawyers Alliance for New York, The Legal Aid Society Criminal Practice Program, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.
Click here to find out more about Pro Bono at Weil.