2019 Vault Rankings
“Highly sophisticated but down-to-earth colleagues”
“The compensation is not where it should be”
“Variability of workloads”
“Very difficult to make partner”
Employing a combination of expansion, foreign alliances, and domestic mergers, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has established itself in the 21st century as an ambitious upstart on the global scene while retaining its historic ties to the Show Me State. Today, the firm has more than 1,400 attorneys and other professionals across three continents.
Founded in 1873 in St. Louis as King, Phillips and Stewart, the firm became Stewart, Bryan, Christie and Williams through a merger in 1911. It is that Bryan who would take top billing in the firm name in 1916, a place of honor the name holds nearly a century later. When Rhodes Cave joined in 1917, the firm took on the name Bryan, Williams and Cave.
With a focus on corporate and litigation work, Bryan Cave boasted a roster listing some of the nation’s top corporations by the dawn of the 1930s. In 1939, the firm took on client James McDonnell and his aviation company: McDonnell Aircraft. That company would later become McDonnell Douglas before merging with Boeing, with each successor company looking to Bryan Cave for counsel.
The firm launched a concerted effort at national expansion in the 1970s and turned its attention to overseas growth a decade later. It wasn’t long before Bryan Cave solidified its reputation abroad. In 1993, the firm was selected by the government of Kuwait to prosecute its $100 billion in claims against Iraq following the Gulf War.
Bryan Cave has branched out on all fronts over the years, adding an office in San Francisco and hopping the pond to say bonjour, buongiorno, and gutentag to Paris, Milan, and Hamburg and Frankfurt. Overseas deal making aside, the closing days of 2008 brought a coup-and-a-half back in the homeland: the firm swallowed up Atlanta-based Powell Goldstein, gaining 200-plus lawyers and new outposts in Charlotte and Dallas while doubling its DC contingent. PoGo's capital markets and real estate finance groups lent star power to the deal, which officially took effect on the first day of 2009.
In 2012, the shape of the firm changed again with another big merger. Bryan Cave combined with Holme Roberts & Owen, a Denver-based firm with specialties in energy, natural resources and sports law. The move extended Bryan Cave's reach into the Rocky Mountain region and deepened the firm's California presence, adding approximately 150 lawyers in offices in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In addition, the firm opened its Frankfurt, Germany office. Bryan Cave has a long history of practicing in the German market. In 2014, Bryan Cave established its Miami office, serving the growing needs of clients in Latin America as well as in Florida.
Bryan Cave merged with Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in April 2018. The new firm, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, has combined revenues of over $900 million and provides clients with access to international practice and sector teams in 32 offices across 11 countries.
IN THE NEWS
Citing constitutional violations, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction of pro bono client David Robinson and ordered his release from prison after 17 years of wrongful imprisonment. Robinson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the August 2000 killing of Sheila Box in Sikeston, Mo. No physical evidence linked Robinson to the crime, and the two witnesses who initially placed Robinson at the scene later recanted their testimony. In June, Robinson married his longtime girlfriend in BCLP’s St. Louis office.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP officially launched. The partnerships of both Bryan Cave LLP and Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP overwhelmingly approved the combination. The new global, fully integrated law firm has 32 offices in 11 countries and a platform of more than 1,400 lawyers, placing it among the largest in the world and enabling it to significantly enhance the scope of services provided to its clients. The new firm is led by Co-chairs Therese Pritchard and Lisa Mayhew.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner was named to the Yale Law Women’s 2018 Top Ten Female and Family Friendly Firms Lists. BCLP also was recognized with a category-specific award for gender equity, with at least 50 percent of associates being women. The Yale Law Women’s Top Ten Family Friendly Firms Report is an annual benchmark of trends in family friendliness among law firms ranked in the Vault 100. It aims to raise awareness of gender disparities within the legal profession, highlight progress being made in the industry, and identify areas for improvement.
A firm team represented the owners of FAO Schwarz, the iconic toy store brand, in a cross-border transaction with PRC retailer Kidsland to open flagship stores in Shanghai and Beijing, as well as additional stores across China in the next five years. The team also advised FAO Schwarz in connection with its return to New York City via the opening of its flagship store at 30 Rockefeller Center. BCLP’s role focused on negotiating and documenting retail partnerships and "store-within-store" arrangements.
The firm was noted by Law.com as one of seven law firms that “moved the needle on Innovation in 2017.” Of particular note was the firm’s Business Academy, an event that aims to get associates thinking about how technology is reshaping the business of law and how they can propose new technology applications to help clients and the firm.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner represented Ixia, a publicly traded provider of network testing, visibility, and security solutions, in the company’s $1.6 billion sale to publicly traded Keysight Technologies. The firm served as Ixia’s primary outside counsel for 20 years, from inception through growth to exit.
One Metropolitan Square
211 North Broadway, Suite 3600
St. Louis, MO 63102
Phone: (314) 259-2000
Employer Type: Private
Co-Chairs: Therese D. Pritchard and Lisa Mayhew
Hiring Attorneys: Robert J. Lystad (Atlanta); Leslie A. Bayles (Chicago); Sean R. Odendahl (Denver); Brett J. Souza (Irvine); Steven B. Becker (Kansas City); James M. Attonito (New York) Meridyth M. Andresen (Phoenix); Tracy M. Talbot (San Francisco); Jennifer A. Jackson & Rosario L. Vizzie (Santa Monica); Vyas Suresh (St. Louis); Philip D. Bartz (Washington)
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 1,551
Colorado, Kansas City, Phoenix: 1st year: $130,000; Summer associate: $2,500/week
St. Louis: 1st year: $135,000; Summer associate: $2,596/week
Atlanta: 1st year: $150,000; Summer associate: $2,885/week
California; Chicago; New York; Washington, DC: 1st year: $160,000; Summer associate: $3,077/week
32 out of 33 (2Ls) (2017)
St. Louis, MO (HQ)
Colorado Springs, CO
Jefferson City, MO
Kansas City, MO
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Agribusiness and Food
Aviation, Aerospace & Defense
Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights
Class & Derivative Actions
Corporate Finance & Securities
Data Privacy and Security
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Energy & Natural Resources
Entertainment & Media
Franchise & Distribution Law
Labor & Employment
Life Sciences & Health Care
Public Policy & Government Affairs
Securities Litigation & Enforcement
Sports and Entertainment
Sustainable Energy & Climate Change
Tax Advice & Controversy
Technology, Entrepreneurial & Commercial Practice
White Collar Defense & Investigations