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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

At a Glance


“The level of responsibility”

“Great colleagues and working culture”


“The unpredictability of the hours”

“Diversity efforts do not carry through to the partnership”

“There is no clear career trajectory”

About Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established 225 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Known especially for its capital markets, corporate, financial restructuring, and real estate expertise, the firm is a well-established presence in the New York legal market and has expanded around the globe in recent years.

Dating Back to the Days of Washington . . . As in George

Cadwalader was founded in 1792, when folks were still sealing letters with wax and writing with quills. But we just might have Cadwalader to thank for all the bells and whistles that constitute a modern law firm. In the late 19th century, the firm introduced such new-fangled technology as typewriters and telephones to its offices. Cadwalader was similarly revolutionary in its approach to training and staffing: to replace the old system of unpaid law clerkships, the firm established the role of the associate.

The present-day Cadwalader forged a niche in the early New York legal field by working on commercial claims, litigation, maritime law, and real estate for banks, and representing insurance companies and members of New York society. The real catalyst for the firm’s growth and increased financial stability throughout the 20th century, however, came when former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John L. Cadwalader joined the firm in 1878, bringing big-time corporate connections with him. The 1889 addition of name partner Henry W. Taft—whose older brother would later succeed Teddy Roosevelt in the White House—brought more political clout and cemented the firm’s status as a fixture in American law. In 1942, the firm elevated a woman, Catherine Noyes Lee, to partner: the first woman partner of a major Wall Street firm. Now, Cadwalader runs offices in the United States and Europe with an eye that’s generally focused on corporate and financial work.

Keeping Up with the Present

While respecting its remarkable history, Cadwalader also tries to stay on the cutting edge and is committed to new and innovative solutions. The firm’s health care practice launched the Health Care Fraud Focus blog, which offers insight on the latest developments in False Claims Act (FCA) and other civil and criminal health care fraud. The Cadwalader Cabinet, an award-winning, web-based financial regulatory knowledge and intelligence platform utilizes powerful expert systems to allow financial service practitioners to perform legal, compliance, and transactional tasks through an interactive online solution. In addition to its online presence, the firm tries to set itself apart from the competition by offering benefits such as sabbaticals to attorneys after five years of practice.


May 2018

The firm advised investors holding approximately 9% of Destination Maternity Corporation in their groundbreaking victory in a proxy contest with Destination Maternity. The investors’ victory marked a rare achievement: replacing the entire board of directors at a company’s annual meeting. The proxy contest also marks the first time that a majority-female control slate nominated by a dissident shareholder was elected to a company’s board.

April 2018

Cadwalader represented Inglot Cosmetics in its collaboration with Jennifer Lopez to launch a limited-edition, 70-piece collection that ranges from powders to lipsticks, shadows to eyelashes, and cosmetic palettes.

January 2018

Cadwalader was once again ranked as the number one law firm advising issuers and underwriters on commercial MBS offerings, topping the 2017 rankings released by Commercial Mortgage Alert. The firm has now been ranked first in the issuer counsel category for 18 years running.

November 2017

Cadwalader advised The Medicines Company (Medco) in its agreement to sell its infectious disease business unit to Melinta Therapeutics, Inc. for $270 million in upfront consideration and guaranteed payments, as well as rights to receive royalty payments on net sales of the pharmaceutical products sold to Melinta in the transaction.

November 2017

Cadwalader was named "Law Firm of the Year" by Risk Magazine. The firm’s innovative work with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) was noted by the publication.  

September 2017

The American Lawyer Summer Associates Survey ranked the firm's summer associate program among its top 10. The survey reviews firms on a number of factors, including type of work, diversity, and partner interaction.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
Phone: (212) 504-6000


Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner: Patrick Quinn
Hiring Partners: Anne M. Tompkins (Firmwide); Henry A. LaBrun (Charlotte); Jodi L. Avergun (DC)

Total No. Attorneys 2018: 398

Base Salary

U.S. offices
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
9th year: $350,000
10th year: $360,000
Summer associate: $3,653/week

Summer Associate Offers

33 out of 35 (2Ls) (2018)

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
Charlotte, NC
Washington, DC

Major Departments & Practices

Corporate Governance
Executive Compensation
Financial Restructuring
Fund Finance
Health Care
Intellectual Property
Mergers & Acquisitions
Private Equity
Private Wealth
Real Estate
Structured Finance
White Collar Defense