2019 Vault Rankings
“The firm is laid back”
“The partners and management truly do want you to succeed”
“The people are the best”
“The compensation structure”
“Uncertainty with promotion regarding hours as a first year”
“The ebbs and flows in the work flow”
While Foley & Lardner handles a wide range of business matters, the majority of the firm’s major clients come from the automotive, energy, health care, life sciences, and technology fields. With an excellent healthcare practice and a client roster boasting such corporate staples as Harley-Davidson and Hewlett-Packard, Milwaukee’s best has grown into an international operation while maintaining local allegiances.
Milwaukee Couldn’t Hold ‘em
Foley & Lardner was founded in 1842 in Milwaukee, when Asahel Finch and William Pitt Lynde opened shop before the lakeside city had even paved its roads. More than a century passed before the firm established a presence outside Wisconsin, creating a DC branch as it became the first Badger State firm to establish an office in another state. This move would set the firm on a path to become Wisconsin’s largest law firm. The Beltway office merged with antitrust firm Hollabaugh & Jacobs in 1974 and by the Millennium’s turn had expanded to include a public affairs section that lobbies for an amalgam of interests. Foley next set its sights on the Sunshine State, opening a public finance practice in Jacksonville in 1981, followed soon after by offices in Tampa, Orlando, and Tallahassee.
Back in the Midwest, meanwhile, Foley cemented its status as a regional heavy hitter via a 2001 merger with storied firm Hopkins & Sutter. In 2007, Foley embraced even further expansion in Florida, opening its fifth office there in Miami, the latest phase of the firm’s strategic plan to increase its presence in key markets. Posts in Palo Alto (2003), New York (2004), and Boston (2005) signaled a push to bolster its life sciences and technology offerings, and today the firm offers international services aimed at clients in China, Japan, Israel, and Latin America. 2018 marked the firm’s latest expansion following a combination with a Texas-based firm Gardere Wynne Sewell, adding offices in Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, and Mexico City.
A Diamond-Shaped Goldmine
When Major League Baseball first came a knockin’ in the late 1980s, we doubt anyone at Foley knew just how serious the league’s legal concerns would come to be. Luckily for the firm and its bottom line, Foley attorneys have maintained good relations with the league since the days of the Bash Brothers. Notably, Foley helped former Sen. George Mitchell during his high-profile investigation into steroid use; the resultant report tied 89 current or former pros—including such headliners as Roger Clemens—to the use of banned performance-enhancing substances. Meanwhile, Foley’s Washington contingent remained particularly busy smoothing the former Montreal Expos’ move to DC and handling legalities surrounding their new ballpark. Foley represented Guggenheim Baseball Management in its acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise. The Dodgers transaction followed on the heels of Foley's representations of Wayne Weaver in his sale of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Rangers Baseball Express LLC in its acquisition of the Texas Rangers, and the Ricketts Family in its acquisition of the Chicago Cubs, which previously held the record price for an MLB franchise sale at $845 million. On the strength of such assignments, Foley’s sports practice is regarded as one of the best in the nation.
Foley offers trust and wealth administration services through its Foley Private Office division, and it has trademarked its KnowledgeGate Web resource that offers transaction templates, risk assessment tools, and online negotiation assistance for clients dealing with technology acquisition and implementation. A similar, more-generalized product called the Foley ClientSuite is billed as a "virtual office" that lets clients access customized packages of white papers, guidelines, and policy documents. In the anti-corruption arena, Foley launched a first-of-its-kind, innovative, web-based compliance solution, FOLEY Global Risk Solutions, which delivers risk assessment on FCPA issues that arise during the course of business operations.
IN THE NEWS
As a result of the April 1, 2018 combination between Foley & Lardner LLP and Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, the firm is among American Lawyer’s Top 50 U.S. law firms, with approximately 1,100 lawyers in 24 offices in the United States, Mexico, Asia, and Europe. Foley now has a presence in Texas, Denver, and Mexico City—a gateway into Latin America to the benefit of clients and attorneys in transactional and cross-border matters, as well as an energy practice that now boasts oil and gas expertise in addition to renewable sources.
Through the hard work of a team of Foley attorneys for client Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, the United States Supreme Court held that inter partes review proceedings at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office are constitutional. The decision impacts significantly the intellectual property rights of all patent holders, and garnered participatory interest from a spectrum of technology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, life sciences, and financial services industries. Innovators and businesses “can now rest assured this important facet of our system will be retained, and the burden imposed by non-practicing entities will be minimized,” said Foley partner Christopher Kise, who argued the case before SCOTUS.
Foley attorneys served as lead timeshare and exchange counsel for Marriott Vacations Worldwide in its $4.7-billion acquisition of timeshare operator Interval Leisure Group. The transaction created a company that now has 100+ vacation ownership properties internationally and ~650,000 owners. The combined company is also the global licensee of seven upper-upscale and luxury vacation brands, including Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, Sheraton Vacation Club, Westin Vacation Club, St. Regis Residence Club, and Hyatt Residence Club. It’s also a leading provider of premier exchange networks, which currently comprise nearly two million members and 3,200+ resorts worldwide.
Principally on a pro-bono basis, Foley attorneys have advised the Detroit Police Athletic League on the redevelopment of its headquarters and youth sports programming facility at the former site of Tiger Stadium, which opened March 24, 2018. The Foley attorneys became involved at the project’s inception five years ago and have since contributed many hundreds of hours of legal work—including 275 pro-bono hours in 2017 alone. The new facility includes a minor league stadium with 2,000 seats, a playing field and room for food vendors. It also serves as an event space and is available for community rentals.
A case Foley handled on behalf of Booking.com was listed as one of Law360’s “Top 10 Trademark Rulings of 2017,” an annual review of major rulings in trademark law. In August 2017, a federal court judge in Virginia reversed a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board holding that “Booking.com” could not be registered as a trademark, bucking precedent to rule that the addition of “.com” to a generic term makes it potentially protectable under the Lanham Act, according to Law360.
Foley achieved a 100 percent ranking on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC); just as it has for the last several years. Foley's top rating was based on several firm initiatives, including: implementing gender transition guidelines; benefits for domestic partners and transgender employees; retirement benefits for same-sex partners; comprehensive health care coverage for transgender employees; providing pro bono work specific to LGBT-related issues; and an engaged and inclusive LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies) affinity group.
777 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 271-2400
Employer Type: Private
Chairman & CEO: Jay O. Rothman
Managing Partner: Stanley S. Jaspan
National Recruiting Committee Chair: Robert A. Scher
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 1,052
Boston; California; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; NY; Washington DC
1st year: $180,000
Summer associate: $3,500/week
1st year: $165,000
Summer associate: $3,200/week
1st year: $160,000
Summer associate: $3,100/week
1st year: $155,000
Summer associate: $3,000/week
1st year: $145,000
Summer associate: $2,800/week
Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee
1st year: $140,000
Summer associate: $2,700/week
49 out of 49 (2Ls) (2017)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA