2020 Vault Rankings
About Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP
Founded and headquartered on Wall Street since 1854, Carter Ledyard & Milburn is a New York City law firm through and through. Franklin D. Roosevelt was an associate at Carter Ledyard before he became Governor of New York and President of the United States. The firm prides itself on its self-described "can do," "get the deal done" philosophy.
Committed to the City
As a historically New York City firm, Carter Ledyard remains committed to its home base. The firm helped to refinance bonds as part of the World Trade Center Project to rebuild Ground Zero, counseled the Battery Park City Corporation in the renovation of one of the only historic piers left in Manhattan, and has done pro bono work for New Yorkers for Parks regarding land protection issues. Several partners and associates have been elected to and serve on city and environmental boards, including the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York State and Friends of Van Cortlandters for Parks.
Though the firm's New York roots run deep, it is committed to the U.S. on the global stage as well. Its Gateway to America program offers legal counsel to corporations in countries such as Israel, Canada, China, Russia, United Kingdom, and Ireland that want to conduct business in the U.S.
A Firm of Many Talents
Carter Ledyard has a range of expertise under its belt. Among the firm’s fortes is advising financial institutions regarding restrictive covenants and non-compete litigation. The firm advises clients in the medical device and biotech fields—such as CooperSurgical, Inc. and Trinity Biotech PLC—on transactional matters and litigation. Also among its work is handling bond litigation for BNY Mellon and representing Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC in trademark matters and litigation. Carter Ledyard also advised the Long Island Power Authority on the Long Island Solar Farm, the biggest solar energy project in the state of New York, and Spectra Energy Corp. in the creation of natural gas transportation infrastructure in the New York and New Jersey areas.
Getting to Know You
With approximately 90 attorneys and at least a 1:1 partner-to-associate ratio, Carter Ledyard emphasizes quality over quantity. All cases are handled by a partner and one or more associates. And for junior associates, this structure means getting direct experience with a variety of partners since first-year associates are not assigned to a practice area. With one main partner contact, first years can receive assignments across practice areas and get to know the firm’s work before concentrating on one specific area. The firm aims to guide juniors via on-the-job feedback and two evaluations each year.
News & Awards
In a 21-page opinion issued on July 15, 2019, Surrogate Nora Anderson rejected an attempt to dismiss the Petition of Carter Ledyard’s client Radio Drama Network to invalidate testamentary instruments that deprived it of a $100 million bequest from its founder, radio pioneer Himan Brown. The Petition claims that Richard Kay, Mr. Brown’s estate lawyer, defrauded Radio Drama Network out of this bequest when he deceived Mr. Brown into substituting a charitable trust that he controlled as the beneficiary of his estate. Radio Drama Network’s claims of fraud, fraudulent concealment, and undue influence will now proceed to discovery and trial. The opinion also determined that the Surrogate’s Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to decide Radio Drama Network’s claim that Kay had breached his fiduciary duty as a director of the foundation, and Radio Drama Network has the option of pursuing that claim in New York Supreme Court.
Carter Ledyard’s client Reversible Destiny foundation prevailed in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in a unanimous decision affirming the enforceability of the terms of a severance and settlement agreement between the foundation and a former employee and director. The court confirmed the rule that parties that receive the benefits of a severance agreement may not challenge the validity of that agreement. Of particular interest to nonprofits, the courts rejected plaintiffs’ arguments that state whistleblower statutes and the fact that defendants were assisting another nonprofit in litigation warranted a public policy exception.
Firm client Ultima Health Products, Inc. (“Ultima’) was acquired on July 1, 2019 by HPH II Investments Master Fund, LP., a private equity fund managed by WM Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. No financial advisor served on the transaction. Ultima is a provider of sugar-free electrolyte hydration products based in Cortland, Ohio. Ultima’s products are “on trend” with natural, no sugar, and nonGMO ingredients, appealing to serious athletes along with the general health-conscious consumer, including children and seniors, active lifestyle, yogis, and paleo and keto diet consumers. WM Partners is a Ft, Lauderdale-based private equity firm focused on investing in lower-middle market companies in the health and wellness sector.
A large iCourt delegation, consisting of more than 150 Chinese lawyers, most of whom are managing partners and executive committee members of Chinese law firms, visited Carter Ledyard’s offices in New York City in early May. Carter Ledyard partner Pang Zhang-Whitaker arranged the visit, and Executive Committee members Jeff Boxer and Bryan Hall, Managing Partner Judith Wallace, and IP partner Jack Griem presented to the delegation on U.S. law firm structure, governance, management, and technology, as well as providing an overview of U.S. intellectual property law. As part of the visit, the delegation toured the firm’s library, where Carter Ledyard partner Tom Davis highlighted the firm’s legacy and notable colleagues. The visiting Chinese lawyers and Carter Ledyard representatives also discussed U.S.-China cross-border opportunities and future collaboration possibilities.
Why Work Here
Carter Ledyard successfully combines a sophisticated, full-service Wall Street legal practice with a collaborative environment where friendliness and professionalism are compatible. We have a diverse and international clientele, with substantial portions of the firm’s matters coming from overseas-based clients and their U.S. affiliates, financial institutions and other financial services providers, governmental entities, industrial and technology companies and affluent individuals and families. Our international focus is exemplified by our commitment to provide a Gateway to America® for our foreign clients. Our association with the Meritas® and Legalink legal networks provides us with access to capable and knowledgeable colleagues in the U.S. and around the world and allows us to assist those colleagues with their New York based matters.
2 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005
Phone: (212) 732-3200
Managing Partner: Judith Wallace
Lateral Hiring Partner: Stephen Plotnick
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
50 - 100
1st year: $137,500
New York, NY (2 offices)
Banking and Commercial Lending
Capital Markets and Leveraged Finance Practice
Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Plan Investments Under ERISA
Energy Project Development and Finance
Environmental and Land Use
Financial Institutions Regulatory and Enforcement
Internal Investigations and White-Collar Defense
Litigation and Disputes
Mergers and Acquisitions
Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants
Trusts & Estates
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries