Sullivan & Cromwell LLP at a Glance


  • “Highly intelligent and respectful colleagues”
  • “Associates get good work early”
  • “Many exit options”


  • “Opaque partnership process”
  • “Follow-the-leader bonuses”
  • “People love work so much”

The Buzz

  • “Stellar work”
  • “Flawless M&A practice”
  • “Bank-focused”
  • “Haughty”

About Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

S&C has followed-if not created-the blueprint for legal success: it has grown internationally and in response to the increasing crossborder M&A, restructuring and finance transactional demands of the biggest corporate clients in the world.

The Picture of Consistency

Sullivan & Cromwell has consistently steered the development of many of the world's corporate titans over the past 130-plus years. Founding fathers Algernon Sydney Sullivan and William Nelson Cromwell wasted no time in elevating the firm to elite status, advising J.P. Morgan-as in the man himself-during the creation of Edison General Electric in 1882 and later guiding key players in the formation of U.S. Steel and the financing of the Panama Canal.

During the 1950s, S&C's litigation group successfully defended five of the largest investment banking firms in the nation against antitrust charges filed by the federal government. Meanwhile, the general practice group dealt with the complexities of increasingly large public stock offerings, handling Ford Motor Co.'s $643 million IPO in 1956, the largest ever at that time. S&C reopened its Paris office-closed during World War II-in 1962 and opened a London office in 1972. The firm picked up its international pursuits again in the 1980s and hasn't slowed since, opening offices in Asia, Australia and Europe, and becoming one of the preeminent M&A shops on the planet along the way.

More recently, the firm drew on its financial services and restructuring prowess when it played a central role in dealing with the subprime and financial implosions in 2007 and 2008. Throughout the crisis, S&C maintained its compensation levels for associates and did not engage in a program of layoffs, defer incoming associate classes or shorten its summer program. S&C seized upon the transactional wreckage of 2008 to build its reputation as, in the words of The American Lawyer, "the go-to firm for the financial services industry." After the storm cleared, its global reach served the firm well as it continued to build on its trans-Atlantic finance, restructuring and M&A work.

The Best at Doing… Everything

S&C is known for its "generalist approach" to both professional development and client service. In contrast to the rotation systems found at many firms, S&C associates are exposed to a broad range of matters across subgroups, industries and geographic location (a substantial number of S&C's clients are non-U.S. commercial enterprises and government entities). Associate development partners in each group ensure that junior lawyers and summer associates receive a balanced level of work as well as a mix of assignments that is customized to each individual's interests and goals.

This generalist training is a large part of why clients turn to S&C with their most complex problems-the firm's lawyers bring a broader perspective to cutting-edge legal issues than would more narrowly-trained practitioners. At the same time, the generalist approach prepares associates for success in any career objective they pursue, whether that be an S&C partner who can nimbly adapt his or her practice in response to changes in the market, a general counsel who is able to advise on a broad range of transactions and disputes, a government lawyer with experience in all types and stages of litigation, or a leadership position in one of the many industries in which the firm has expertise.

And while discussing associates' aspirations outside of partnership might still be taboo at some firms, S&C recently rolled out its innovative Career Development Plan, a written, customizable tool that allows associates to take charge of their careers and pursue their individual career goals-whether they include becoming an S&C partner or putting S&C's training to use as a foundation for their next move forward. Open communication between junior and senior lawyers is a key part of the Career Plan, and each associate is paired with a partner advisor who works with the associate to develop, review and revise his or her goals. (The firm has also had an upward reviews program in place for more than a decade, further demonstrating its commitment to open communication.)

The Career Plan is a key component of the "S&C Passport"-the idea that the fundamental qualities of the firm's working environment-commitment to clients, leadership, professional development, broad experience, teamwork and commitment to community-foster the development of lawyers that go on to succeed as S&C partners, in-house counsel, prosecutors or in any other field they may choose. In fact, a key component of the firm's business plan is to develop not only the next class of S&C partners, but also future legal, business and government leaders worldwide, who-in a testament to the loyalty of lawyers who spend time at S&C-often go on to become clients of the firm.


May 2015

Government Gurus
S&C's Criminal Defense & Investigations Group, which was awarded a Tier 1 New York ranking for the eleventh consecutive year in 2015 by Chambers USA, includes eight former federal and state prosecutors. S&C lawyers have worked on the seven largest sanctions settlements ever. More than 20 S&C alumni currently serve as Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

April 2015

Committee Credentials
In 2015, four partners were added to S&C's executive committee: Jay Clayton, formerly co-head of the Firm's General Practice Group; Sergio Galvis, who heads both the Latin America Group and Global Recruiting for the Firm; Sharon Nelles, a partner in the Litigation Group who also chairs the managing partners committee; and Karen Seymour, formerly co-head of the Firm's Litigation Group. Five of the 13 members of S&C's executive committee are women or of a diverse background.


Trial and (Lack of) Error
S&C obtained several important victories at trial in the past year on behalf of prominent U.S. and non-U.S. clients. The Firm obtained a complete and unanimous victory for Canadian energy giant Enbridge, which was facing conspiracy charges brought by a significant competitor, in a five-week jury trial in state court in Dallas, Texas; obtained a ruling in favor of satellite television provider DISH Network following a two-week trial in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in an adversary proceeding commenced in connection with wireless venture LightSquared's chapter 11 cases; and successfully defended global technology company Philips Electronics at trial before the Delaware Court of Chancery against a $500 million fraud claim brought under Italian and Delaware law.

We're Kind of a Big Deal
Named "M&A Group of the Year" by Law360 in 2015, S&C advised on multiple landmark transactions this year including Kraft Foods Group in its definitive merger agreement with H.J. Heinz Company to create The Kraft Heinz Company (the largest merger of the year as of April 2015). The Firm's healthcare and life sciences group has been involved in seven out of the 10 largest health industry deals of all time and, in the last 24 months alone, they worked on deals amounting to more than $265 billion. Group co-head Matt Hurd was named 2015 "Dealmaker of the Year" by The American Lawyer.

We Feel Pretty Secure (About Securities)
S&C has long been at the forefront of innovation in securities law; the Firm's lawyers were instrumental in the drafting and development of the '33 and '34 Acts. S&C continues to be involved in some of the most groundbreaking securities transactions across industries in every corner of the globe. Since last year, S&C has advised a consortium of approximately 34 underwriters in Alibaba Group's $25 billion SEC-registered initial public offering (the largest ever IPO); Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in its $3 billion debt offering; and the underwriters in AT&T's $17.5 billion bond sale (the third-biggest corporate debt offering ever).

Commitment to Community
In 2014, S&C devoted more than 65,000 hours to a range of pro bono activities and won The American Lawyer's Global Pro Bono Dispute of the Year award for its work on Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder, in which the firm represents a class of mentally ill immigration detainees in immigration proceedings. Recent matters include successful representation of a Brooklyn charter school in forming a not-for-profit corporation, obtaining tax-exempt status, and securing rental assistance for an expansion; drafting model legislation for the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC); and obtaining a final order of protection for a survivor of domestic violence against her estranged boyfriend, following a four-day trial.

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Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
Phone: (212) 558-4000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Joseph C. Shenker
  • Senior Chairman: H. Rodgin Cohen
  • Hiring Partner: Sergio J. Galvis
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 805

  • Employment Contact

    Milana L. Hogan
    Chief Legal Recruiting & Professional Development Officer
    Phone: (212) 558-7944

  • Base Salary
    All U.S. offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $270,000
    8th year: $290,000
    Summer associate: $3,077/week* *Paid at the annual rate of $160,000 prorated according to the time spent at the firm and the days worked during the month, on a semi-monthly basis.

  • Summer Associate Offers
    121 out of 121 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    General Practice/Corporate Law:
    Capital Markets, Leveraged Finance & Lending
    Commercial Real Estate
    Commodities, Futures & Derivatives
    Executive Compensation & Benefits
    Financial Services
    Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions
    Mergers & Acquisitions
    Project Development & Finance
    Congressional Investigations
    Criminal Defense & Investigations
    FCPA & Anti-Corruption
    Financial Services Investigations & Litigation
    EU Competition
    Intellectual Property & Technology Litigation
    International Trade & Investment/CFIUS
    Labor & Employment
    M&A Litigation
    Securities Litigation
    Tax and Tax Controversy
    Estates & Personal
    Industry Sectors, Areas of Focus:
    Commercial Real Estate
    Consumer Financial Services
    Consumer & Retail
    Corporate Governance
    Financial Services
    Healthcare and Life Sciences
    Natural Resources
    Sports & Entertainment
    Australia/New Zealand
    Latin America
    Middle East
    United States

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ)
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Frankfurt
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Melbourne
  • Paris
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
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