2020 Vault Rankings
- Firm Culture#21
- Pro Bono#30
- New York#9
At a Glance
“It is great to work at a place where I am respected and valued and that is full of kind people.”
“The firm's culture really does benefit from its full lockstep compensation model.”
“Quality of clients and work.”
“Lack of transparency.”
“The technology could use an upgrade.”
About Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton ranks as one of New York’s most powerful law firms, representing high-profile clients in transactions and disputes in established and emerging markets around the world. The firm’s core franchise practices include strategic and private equity, M&A, insurance, and financial services transactions, fund formation, complex litigation, white collar/investigations, and international arbitration.
Eli Whitney Debevoise—a direct descendent of the inventor of the cotton gin—and William E. Stevenson founded their firm in New York in 1931. Debevoise wasn’t the only one with an interesting background; Stevenson was a gold medalist on the 1,600-meter relay team in the 1924 Olympics. Francis T.P. Plimpton, whose name graced the masthead starting in 1933, was the father of famed journalist and writer George Plimpton.
A+ All Around
Debevoise’s corporate department remains its largest, with M&A and private equity leading the charge. Its lawyers consistently lead transactions for some of the world’s most prominent corporations, financial services institutions, and private equity firms. The firm has particularly strong experience with complex leveraged acquisitions and cross-border transactions across a wide range of industries. Debevoise is a leader in the representation of private equity firms and in fundraisings and deal activity for those firms and their portfolio companies, providing “one stop shopping” for private equity and financial sponsor clients. The firm’s Financial Institutions group possesses deep knowledge of the financial services industry and experience counseling financial services clients on complex banking, insurance, securities broker-dealer, and investment management matters.
On the litigation side, the firm boasts one of the premier and most active white collar practices in the country, representing clients in the U.S. and abroad involved in criminal and SEC investigations and litigation, as well as in parallel civil and administrative proceedings. The firm also has a strong international arbitration practice through which it handles a large number of significant international arbitrations, including treaty and other public law arbitrations. And the firm’s intellectual property team is stellar, covering trademark, trade dress, false advertising, anti-counterfeiting, unfair competition, copyright, trade secret, patent, first amendment, information technology, domain names, and right of publicity. The IP team also includes a highly regarded cybersecurity & data privacy practice.
Debevoise lawyers have a chance to get back to business during their first few weeks at the firm—business school that is. The firm offers a three-week Mini-MBA program focusing on business and finance education. Faculty directors are sourced from Columbia Business School and Training the Street—an organization that provides training programs to Wall Street analysts—and Debevoise lawyers serve as faculty.
Of course, the firm doesn’t only focus on getting associates on their feet practice-wise. It also offers resources for associates to develop their career goals, including an internal full-time career counselor and a Professional Development group that provides informal mentoring.
News & Awards
Debevoise added three funds lawyers from Linklaters, including the head of the U.K. firm’s investments fund group in New York. Lorna Bowen, Justin Storms, and Andrew Ford joined Debevoise on April 15.
June 2018/March 2019
At the 2018 Deal Awards, Debevoise was honored twice: Entertainment/Media Lawyer of the Year and Private Equity Deal of the Year. Separately, at the 2019 Benchmark Litigation U.S. Awards, Debevoise was honored with three awards: Antitrust Litigator of the Year, International Arbitration Firm of the Year and White Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations Firm of the Year.
Debevoise launched a new informal feedback program designed to give evaluations and training to young associates in the U.S. on an ongoing basis outside of the context of a more traditional annual review.
For the second consecutive year, Debevoise claimed the top spot on the Chambers Associate “Best Firms for Diversity” list.
- Advised AXA and AXA Equitable Holdings on its $11.2 billion IPO, the largest insurance IPO in over 15 years.
- Advised HCA Healthcare in its $1.5 billion acquisition of Mission Health—the largest acquisition by HCA of a not-for-profit health system.
- Advised Take-Two Interactive as The New York Court of Appeals upheld its grant of motions to dismiss in Lindsay Lohan v. Take-Two. It was the first New York decision to protect video games against right of publicity claims.
- Successfully represented the Qatar against the United Arab Emirates before the International Court of Justice in relation to continuing human rights violations.
- The International Bar Association Group Member Award for outstanding pro bono contributions, 2018
- Best Law Firms for Women, 2018 (Working Mother)
- 2018 Practice Groups of the Year – Private Equity and Capital Markets, 2018 (Law360)
- Award for Excellence – Securities & Financial Services Regulation, 2018 (Chambers USA)
- M&A Deal of the Year, 2018 (Latin Lawyer)
919 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 909-6000
Presiding Partner: Michael W. Blair
Hiring Partner: Nicole Levin Mesard
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
750 - 1K
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
Summer associates: $3,700/week
Summer Associate Offers:
89 out of 89 (2Ls) (2019)
No. of Summer Associates:
95 total (89 2Ls; 6 1Ls) (2019)
Sandra E. Herbst
Director of Legal Recruiting
New York, NY (HQ)