Founded 113 years ago, White & Case has grown from its New
York beginnings to become a truly global law firm with a
longstanding presence in the markets that matter today, helping
clients work with confidence in any one market or many. White &
Case's recent history has seen fundamental changes-from expansion
in emerging markets to its leadership-remaking the firm's identity
while remaining a go-to firm for international matters with strong
institutional ties to America's corporate elite.
Break the Piggy Bank
Using their own savings accounts, Justin DuPratt White and George
B. Case opened their eponymous firm in downtown Manhattan in 1901,
profiting quickly thanks to their relationship with Henry P.
Davison, a prominent financier who became a senior partner at JP
Morgan & Company. Thus, White & Case's first clients were
entities that had been formed or financed by JP Morgan. White &
Case also advised White's alma mater, Cornell University.
During World War I the firm advised JP Morgan on its deal with
war materials manufacturers and suppliers to the French and British
militaries. The firm's growing connection to European companies
prompted it to open its first foreign office in Paris-the beginning
of the firm's international expansion that continues today.
Collecting Passport Stamps
This international bent has given the firm a reputation as one of
BigLaw's big boppers in global M&A, finance, antitrust,
arbitration and financial restructuring and insolvency. White &
Case had its gaze fixed on emerging markets long before most of its
peers could even find Almaty on a map.
In modern times, White & Case has established itself in 39
offices in over two dozen countries, developing serious expertise
in cross-border and multijurisdictional cases and transactions. Jim
Hurlock, who led the firm from 1980 to 2000, succeeded in his vow
to make White & Case a truly global firm, building a network of
offices that were locally staffed and well-connected to both local
and multinational clients including foreign investors, sovereign
wealth funds and foreign governments and government agencies.
After the Iron Curtain fell, White & Case attorneys began to
serve as advisors to several newly-independent governments as they
ushered in an era of privatization in Eastern Europe.
Partner Duane Wall led the firm through much of the 2000s,
supervising growth worldwide, particularly in Asia. Hugh Verrier
was elected Chair of the firm in 2007 after serving on the
management board and leading the Moscow office. Reelected in 2011,
he leads a new system of governance: a nine-member partnership
committee with members elected by partners to four-year terms and a
four-member executive committee. The firm also organized its global
office network into regional sections.
With 34 of its 39 offices overseas, White & Case is a
pioneer of the international law firm model. Its cross border
expertise and diverse team of local, U.S. and English qualified
lawyers enables it to continue its growth in work for some of the
world's most respected and well-established banks and businesses,
as well as start-up visionaries. And the recent establishment of a
global pro bono practice, one of the few in the world, underscores
its commitment to human rights and social justice worldwide.
IN THE NEWS
Wowing the City of Lights
White & Case advised the syndicate of banks led by Deutsche
Bank and J.P. Morgan on the €750 million initial public offering of
the Numericable Group, which provides cable and broadband services
in France, on the NYSE Euronext in Paris. This transaction, which
was heavily oversubscribed, has reopened the IPO market in France
and was the largest IPO in Paris since 2009.
In the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, White
& Case obtained the dismissal with prejudice of almost all
antitrust claims asserted against Pfizer by class and individual
direct purchaser plaintiffs-including Rite Aid, Walgreen and
Safeway-in a complex, multidistrict litigation concerning Lipitor®,
the most successful and widely prescribed drug in history. The
dismissal drastically reduced the plaintiffs' potential damages
claim by more than $8 billion.
Global Citizenship Champions
White & Case's Fighting Human Trafficking Initiative won
The American Lawyer's inaugural Global Citizenship Grand
Prize. The Initiative is designed not only to provide access to
justice for human trafficking victims and support to leading
anti-trafficking NGOs, but to bring about systemic change in the
ways in which human trafficking cases are prosecuted and how
countries offer protections to their domestic workers.
Record-Breaking International Offering
In a deal demonstrating the growing engagement of Mexican
corporates with international investors, White & Case
represented Grupo Financiero Banorte, Mexico's third-largest
financial services group, in its record-breaking US$2.56 billion
follow-on offering of common shares. The international offering was
3.4 times oversubscribed and was the second-largest ever in
Financing a Groundbreaking Chemical
White & Case represented Saudi Aramco in its joint venture with
The Dow Chemical Company to build and operate a US$20 billion
world-scale integrated chemicals complex in Saudi Arabia, which
will be one of the world's largest integrated chemicals complexes,
the largest ever built in a single phase and largest-ever project
financing in the chemicals sector.
Syndicated Loan Success
White & Case advised the nine mandated lead arrangers of the
US$8 billion syndicated loan to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., by far
the biggest competitor in China's growing e-commerce market. This
was the largest U.S. dollar syndicated loan out of Asia in recent
years, and it set new benchmarks in terms of what can be raised in
Asia's loan markets.