Here’s what you may already know about Cravath: We are a premier U.S. law firm that has handled some of the country’s most groundbreaking and impactful legal matters and, in 2019, we celebrated our bicentennial—a proud moment for the Firm and all of those who have been part of our story.
Here’s what you may not know: The professional development of our lawyers is our most important long-term objective. Our continued success depends on our ability to attract and develop the best talent, and we are committed to providing our lawyers with a rewarding and well-rounded professional experience.
We are not, and do not strive to be, the largest law firm measured by number of offices or lawyers. Our goal is to be the firm of choice for clients facing their most challenging legal issues, most significant business transactions and most critical disputes. To that end, we recruit the most talented law students and focus on training and developing them into world-class lawyers through our hallmark Rotation System.
From offices strategically located in New York and London, we have represented many of the world’s most recognized companies in their most significant matters, including American Express, Avon, Bacardi, Casa Cuervo, Colgate-Palmolive, Credit Suisse, Disney/ESPN, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Lindsay Goldberg, Merck, Morgan Stanley, Mylan, Nestlé, Nomura, Northrop Grumman, Novartis, PG&E, Qualcomm, Unilever and WarnerMedia.
The caliber and high-profile nature of our work have gained us consistent recognition as a preeminent law firm by a wide range of publications, including The American Lawyer, Chambers, Financial Times, Law360, The Legal 500, Global Investigations Review and U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers, among others.
The Cravath Rotation System
The cornerstone of Cravath’s training is our Rotation System. We hire students from law schools across the nation, and train our associates through a “rotation system” that is unique to Cravath. From the start, each associate is assigned to work with a small team of lawyers, which fosters collaboration and allows for responsibility early on. After approximately 15-18 months, the associate will rotate to a new team within the associate’s chosen department and he or she will be overseen by different partners and will handle various types of work for clients.
The Cravath rotation system is designed to expose associates to a wide range of work over the course of their careers, while fostering direct partner mentoring and accelerated skill development within each rotation. Because we rarely hire laterally, partners come almost exclusively from the ranks of our own associates, and it is therefore a shared priority among the partnership to provide direct, hands-on training to the next generation of our Firm. Moreover, because partners rely on the specific associates assigned to their teams rather than a Firm-wide pool, partners have a strong incentive to work closely with their associates in order to ensure their development into talented lawyers and contributing team members.
Unlike a general assignment system, Cravath’s Rotation System removes the need for associates to compete for work, visibility or bonuses, producing an environment that, while demanding, is also uniquely cooperative. This ethos extends to the Firm’s partnership, where each partner has an equal vote, all major decisions are reached by consensus and partners are compensated in a lockstep system based on seniority throughout their careers.
Imagine playing a role in a high-stakes M&A transaction appearing on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. Consider what it’s like to work on a multijurisdictional, bet-the-company litigation for a Fortune 500 company. Experiences like these, combined with exposure to some of the world’s best legal training, define what it means to be an associate at Cravath.
Our Litigation Department is staffed by trial lawyers with broad courtroom experience in complex corporate litigation across all industries. We also handle white-collar criminal defense matters, regulatory enforcement actions and internal and government investigations. We have represented:
- American Express, in a U.S. Supreme Court victory in a lawsuit originally brought by the DOJ and 17 state attorneys general challenging certain provisions in AmEx’s merchant agreements—one of the most significant government antitrust enforcement actions in history. The ruling affirms a unanimous Second Circuit decision following a two-month bench trial and defines how antitrust law will be applied to two-sided markets.
- Qualcomm, in numerous high-stakes disputes and investigations around the world relating to its patent-licensing and modem chipset businesses, including the company’s massive technology battle with Apple—which involved conflicts on three continents, cross-practice claims and three trials—as well as antitrust suits filed by the Federal Trade Commission and consumers.
- PG&E, in its response to the unprecedented 2017 and 2018 California wildfires. Cravath served as lead trial counsel in hundreds of lawsuits – one of the largest and most complex sets of mass tort litigation in recent years – in addition to serving as corporate and financing counsel, helping to steer the company through the voluntary reorganization proceedings it initiated in 2019 in order to fairly and efficiently resolve liabilities in what became the largest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, BlueCross and BlueShield of Florida, Inc. (Florida Blue), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc., in consolidated multidistrict antitrust class action litigation—one of the largest class actions in the country—alleging that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its members have used the Association’s agreements to fix prices and limit competition.
- Telia Company, in connection with foreign corruption investigations by the SEC, DOJ and Swedish and Dutch authorities, resulting in one of the most significant coordinated FCPA resolutions among multiple international law enforcement authorities.
- The Boston Red Sox, in multiple litigations relating to Major League Baseball’s highly publicized electronic sign-stealing scandal, including securing the dismissal with prejudice of consolidated purported class action litigation filed by users of fantasy sport betting service DraftKings.
- Morgan Stanley, in antitrust litigation concerning alleged collusion regarding trading of credit default swaps, interest rate swaps and stock loans, as well as in related regulatory inquiries.
- Spirits International, in its dispute with the Russian Federation over the ownership of the famous Stolichnaya vodka trademarks in the United States.
Cravath’s broad-based corporate practice encompasses U.S. and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and all types of public and private financing transactions in the global capital and banking markets, as well as corporate governance and board advisory, financial restructuring and reorganization, environmental and intellectual property matters. We have recently represented:
- Disney in its $85 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, overcoming Comcast’s interloper bid; the $10.6 billion sale of the Fox Regional Sports Networks to Sinclair; and the $3.47 billion sale of its interest in the YES Network to an investor group including the Yankees and Sinclair.
- Occidental in its $57 billion acquisition of Anadarko, topping Anadarko’s original agreement with Chevron; the $8.8 billion sale of Anadarko’s African assets to Total; its $10 billion investment by Berkshire Hathaway; and its defense against Carl Icahn.
- Mylan in its pending $50 billion combination with Upjohn, a division of Pfizer.
- Viacom’s Board Committee in its $30 billion combination with CBS.
- Novartis in its $29.8 billion spin-off of Alcon, Switzerland’s biggest equity deal in a decade and Europe’s largest-ever corporate spin-off.
- The Ricketts family in connection with Charles Schwab’s pending $26 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade.
- The underwriters, led by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, in the $1.41 billion IPO of Reynolds.
- The lead banks in the arrangement of financing for DoorDash, DowDuPont, The Home Depot, Thomson Reuters, Tupperware and Walmart.