Here’s what you may already know about Cravath: We’re a premier U.S. law firm that has handled some of the country’s most groundbreaking and impactful legal matters and, in 2019, we celebrate our bicentennial—a proud moment for the Firm and for 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 nation’s most outstanding 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, Amgen, Anheuser Busch InBev, Ashland, Avon, Banco Santander, Barrick Gold, British American Tobacco, Casa Cuervo, Colgate-Palmolive, Credit Suisse, Disney/ESPN, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Linde, Lindsay Goldberg, Merck, Morgan Stanley, Mylan, Naspers, Nestlé, Northrop Grumman, PG&E, Qualcomm, Royal Dutch Shell, WarnerMedia and WestRock.
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 USA, Financial Times, 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 the top students from the nation’s finest law schools, and we train associates through a “rotation” system that is unique to Cravath. From the start, each associate is assigned to work on a small team of lawyers, which fosters collaboration and allows for responsibility early on. Then, after a period of time that typically ranges from 12-18 months, an associate will rotate to a new team, overseen by different partners and handling various types of work for clients within the associate’s chosen department.
Our 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 skills 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 June 2018 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 the company’s patent licensing and modem chipset businesses, including antitrust suits filed by Apple, the Federal Trade Commission and consumers, and patent infringement actions against Apple before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
- PG&E, as lead trial counsel in over 145 lawsuits (and counting) filed against the company arising out of the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires. We are also advising on Chapter 11 strategy in connection with the fires.
- Time Warner, winning a six-week trial against the DOJ in an antitrust lawsuit seeking to block Time Warner’s $109 billion acquisition by AT&T, the government’s first challenge to a vertical merger in decades.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, BlueCross and BlueShield of Florida, Inc. (Florida Blue) 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.
- Amgen, obtaining a jury verdict for the company as plaintiff in the retrial of a patent infringement case against Sanofi and Regeneron. We previously represented Amgen in one of the first cases to proceed under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, enabling Amgen to market the first approved biosimilar of Humira®, the world’s largest-selling drug.
- Takata, withCravath partner John Buretta appointed by two U.S. government agencies, the NHTSA (in 2015) and DOJ (in 2017), to serve as compliance monitor overseeing both the recall of Takata airbags in tens of millions of U.S. vehicles—the largest and most complex recall in U.S. history—and Takata’s worldwide operations.
- 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.
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:
- Time Warner in its $109 billion acquisition by AT&T.
- Disney in its $85 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, overcoming an interloper bid by Comcast to its original $66 billion agreement.
- Linde in its $70 billion merger of equals with Praxair.
- Barrick Gold in its proposed $42 billion merger and subsequent pending joint venture with Newmont Mining and its $18.3 billion merger with Randgold Resources.
- Disney in a $35.7 billion bridge credit facility to finance its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
- AXA in its $15.3 billion acquisition of XL Group.
- The underwriters in DowDuPont’s $12.7 billion registered fixed and floating rate notes offering and concurrent $6.2 billion debt tender offer, related to the separation of DowDuPont into three independently traded public companies.
- Pinnacle Foods in its $10.9 billion acquisition by Conagra Brands.
- Northrop Grumman in its $9.2 billion acquisition of Orbital ATK.
- AveXis in its $8.7 billion acquisition by Novartis.
- The board committee of Viacom in exploring a combination with CBS.
- IBM in its collaboration agreement with Maersk to jointly develop TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled shipping solution.
- Aerion in its partnership with Boeing to bring Aerion’s next-generation supersonic business jet to market.