2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The cases are fascinating, complex, challenging and high profile.”
“I have the best co-workers.”
“There is very little transparency into firm decision-making.”
“The BigLaw hours.”
“Lack of training and support combined with relatively enormous levels of responsibility.”
About Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Started in 1997, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP is a relative newcomer to the elite firm ranks but already boasts nearly 300 lawyers and has its principal offices in New York; Washington, DC; California; Florida; and the United Kingdom. As one of the nation’s premier litigation shops, Boies is no stranger to heavy-hitter clients—over the years, the firm’s clients have included American Express, Apple, Barclays, CBS, Delta Air Lines, DuPont, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, John Hancock, Merck, NASCAR, New York Yankees, Oracle, Philip Morris, SBC Communications (now AT&T), Sony, SpaceX, and Zurich Insurance Group.
A star litigator at Cravath for 30 years, David Boies knocked heads with the firm when he decided to represent Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in a lawsuit against Major League Baseball. Boies’ representation of Steinbrenner posed a conflict of interest for Cravath, whose longtime client Time Warner also owned the Atlanta Braves. In a story that made the front page of The New York Times, 48 hours after receiving an ultimatum to drop the Steinbrenner case, Boies hung up his Cravath hat. Within a matter of months he persuaded Jonathan Schiller, a litigation and international arbitration specialist and partner at Kaye Scholer, to join him. By the end of 1999, Donald Flexner, a partner from Crowell & Moring’s antitrust group, was also on board.
Litigation All Stars
While it also handles transactional matters, Boies Schiller Flexner is known for its litigation prowess—and most of its work revolves around high-stakes, complex litigation. Boies Schiller’s litigation practice is broad, including antitrust, appellate, constitutional law, cybersecurity and privacy, employment, energy, environmental law, first amendment, health care, intellectual property, family law, products liability, securities litigation, and sports law—and everything in between. The firm is in the top 25 of Vault’s Practice Area rankings for General Commercial Litigation, Appellate, Antitrust, Securities Litigation, Products Liability, and White Collar Defense & Internal Investigations. The firm was named to The National Law Journal’s Appellate Hot List in 2018, and for good reason—lawyers at Boies Schiller Flexner are regulars in the Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals. Some of the firm’s past matters include Bush v. Gore, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, and Pennzoil v. Texaco. Not to mention, the firm’s ranks include dozens of former state and federal appellate clerks and multiple former U.S. Supreme Court clerks.
Whistling to the Boies Tune
Boies Schiller is anything but conventional. Its New York office at Hudson Yards, for example, has done away with associate offices and instead has an open floor plan, which the firm describes as “a collaborative floor plan with both shared and private space.” And while many of its peers pay their associates lockstep bonuses, Boies Schiller Flexner takes a more unique approach, basing bonuses on a formula that tracks each hour billed toward and also accounts for work on contingency-based matters.
Boies Schiller Flexner was one of the first firms to reiterate its commitment to a full summer associate program during the COVID-19 pandemic. That decision was based on our belief that, despite the public health crisis, we could provide our summer associates the full experience of being an integral part of our firm, whether remotely or in the office. We have welcomed 25 summer associates into our program this summer, which runs May through August, and have virtually integrated each of them into our workflows and firm activities. In addition to providing summer associates with substantive work experiences, this year’s program has emphasized mentorship, training, “fireside chats,” and a series of virtual social activities to better connect with our summer associates under these unique circumstances.
News & Awards
Unlike many firms, which curtailed their summer associate programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Boies Schiller Flexner ran a full 2020 summer program. The summer associates worked from home, the same as the firm’s lawyers and staff, and benefited from enhanced training and mentoring, and creative learning and social events, all delivered remotely. In addition, the firm announced at the start of the pandemic, that there would be no reductions in staff, furloughs, or cuts in compensation related to COVID-19.
In June 2020, the firm launched a wide-ranging internal dialog on racial justice. The firm pledged to support racial justice with its pro bono work, including an agreement to support the ACLU of Louisiana’s litigation campaign against racist policing policies. And Managing Partner Natasha Harrison pledged to make diversity and inclusion a cornerstone of the firm’s strategic vision. The firm also for the first time celebrated June 19, or Juneteenth, as a holiday.
Nick Gravante and Natasha Harrison became Managing Partners of Boies Schiller Flexner in December 2019, a major step in the transition of leadership from the firm’s founders, David Boies and Jonathan Schiller. Building on the firm’s unique culture, Natasha and Nick have embarked on a restructuring plan aimed at creating the elite, market-leading, international litigation firm of the future.
In December 2019, one of the firm’s partners, Sigrid McCawley received a Litigator of the Year award from the American Lawyer for her work representing the survivors of Jeffrey Epstein. Sigrid’s work over the previous five years contributed greatly to a decision by prosecutors to arrest Epstein in July 2019 for sex trafficking of minors.
- As co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Perry v. Brown, the firm won the first judgment establishing the right to marry for gay and lesbian citizens under the U.S. Constitution.
- BSF represented children covered by Medicaid in Florida to get access to the medical and dental care they are legally entitled to, after years of civil rights litigation against the state.
- BSF is litigating against Backpage for facilitating the trafficking of children and young adults for sex, helping get the company shut down in 2018.
- BSF has been advocating for survivors of Jeffrey Epstein since 2015.
- Litigator of the Year 2020, 2018, 2016, and 2012—The American Lawyer
- Litigation Department of the Year Finalist 2016, 2012—The American Lawyer
- Washington Litigation Department of the Year Finalist 2015 – National Law JournaL
55 Hudson Yards
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 446-2300
Managing Partners: David Boies, Jonathan D. Schiller, Nicholas Gravante, and Natasha Harrison
Hiring Partners: George Carpinello (Albany), Ian Dumain (Armonk), Kyle Smith (DC), Sigrid McCawley (Fort Lauderdale), Richard Drubel (Hanover), Charles Miller (Hollywood, FL), James Lee (Miami), Christopher Belelieu (NY), Meredith Dearborn (SF)
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
150 - 250
Summer associate: $3,650/week
*Associate salary not disclosed.
Elizabeth A. Kuchta
Director, Legal Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 13
No. of International Offices: 1
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Sn Francisco, CA
Santa Monica, CA
Washington, DC I London
Constitutional Law & First Amendment/Mass Media
Financial Services Litigation
Matrimonial & Family Law
White Collar/Business Crimes
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.