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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

At a Glance


“The people I work with are friendly and emotionally intelligent.”

“Lockstep compensation model.”

“Firm's commitment to diversity and adjusting to new circumstances in light of the pandemic.”


“The mediocre tech.”

“The hours.”


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, financial services transactions, fund formation, complex litigation, white collar/investigations, and international arbitration.

Good Genes

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 has 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. 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.

Career Resources

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 as well.

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.

COVID-19 Update

During the current pandemic, virtually all of our lawyers have been working remotely, and the firm is operating smoothly. We continue to focus on meeting the needs of our clients while building a strong and diverse community of lawyers, which includes supporting law school students seeking a rewarding and purpose-driven career in the legal profession. We are currently planning to host a range of recruiting events this coming year, online or in person (in line with guidance from health authorities) and look forward to introducing Debevoise to the next generation of lawyers.

News & Awards

  • Led Discovery in the acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T in a Reverse Morris Trust transaction that values the combined entity at approximately $130 billion.
  • Advised Warner Music Group in its $1.9 billion IPO, valuing Warner Music at over $12.7 billion. Warner Music is the third-largest recording label globally and is now the only stand-alone public major recording label.
  • Secured a landmark human rights victory in the International Court of Justice, protecting Qatari citizens against a punishing embargo brought by the United Arab Emirates.
  • Advised Global Infrastructure Partners in the formation of a record-smashing $22 billion infrastructure fund, attracting a global roster of investors.
  • Dealmaker of the Year, 2020 (Sue Meng)—The American Lawyer
  • PEI Hall of Fame—Private Equity International
  • International Arbitration Law Firm of the Year, 2021—Chambers USA Awards
  • 2021 Beacon of Justice Award for The Holloway Project, National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
  • Ranked #4 on the A-List and the only firm to appear on the list every year since its inception—The American Lawyer
  • 60 Best Law Firms for Women, Hall of Fame Honoree—Working Mother

Why Work Here

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. Our clients look to us to bring a distinctively high degree of quality, intensity and creativity to resolve legal challenges effectively and cost efficiently.

Deep partner commitment, industry experience and a strategic approach enable us to bring clear commercial judgment to every matter. We draw on the strength of our culture and structure to deliver the best of our firm to every client through true collaboration.

Approximately 800 lawyers work in ten offices across three continents, within integrated global practices, serving clients around the world. Our lawyers prioritize developing a deep understanding of the business of our clients. We then pursue each matter with both intensity and creativity to achieve optimal results.

We are committed to serving our clients through excellence in lawyering. We receive numerous accolades and awards recognizing this commitment and the firm’s market prominence worldwide.

Debevoise is also recognized as one of the leading firms for diversity. We believe that a diverse workforce, where all of our colleagues feel respected, builds a stronger firm, and benefits clients and the wider community.

The firm’s culture fosters a collaborative approach across disciplines and regions, and, as a result, clients benefit from the dedication, cohesiveness and superior quality that we bring to all of our work worldwide.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

919 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 909-6000

Firm Stats

Presiding Partner: Michael W. Blair
Hiring Partner: Nicole Levin Mesard
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2021:

Base Salary

U.S. offices
1st year (class of 2021): $202,500
2nd year: $205,000
3rd year: $215,000
4th year: $240,000
5th year: $275,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $330,000
8th year: $350,000
9th year: $365,000
10th year: $375,000
Summer Associates: $3900/week

Employment Contact

Sandra E. Herbst
Director of Legal Recruiting
(212) 909-6657

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 7

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
Washington, DC I San Francisco | Frankfurt
Hong Kong

Major Departments

*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.