2019 Vault Rankings
“The quality and sophistication of the work”
“Fantastic client base”
“People here are very kind and appreciative”
“Lack of flexibility with working remotely”
“Hours are high”
Proskauer Rose is practically synonymous with “sports law”—clients include Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and the National Basketball Association. Although flashy, this reputation shortchanges the firm’s incredibly diversified work, which features top-notch corporate, litigation, tax, private client services, entertainment, and labor and employment practices.
From Small Business to Big Business
Firm forefather William R. Rose opened up shop in downtown Manhattan in 1875 at the sprightly age of 21. Rose's first clients were local retailers, and his skill soon caught the attention of New York's burgeoning business class, who hired Rose's firm to represent them in corporate and personal estate matters. The firm's reputation (and headcount) continued to grow, and by 1907, name partner Benjamin Paskus joined the firm. The outfit founded a successful tax practice following the Sixteenth Amendment’s passage in 1913, and Paskus, a tax specialist, was so in demand that clients lurked outside his home in the hopes of getting extra advice.
The addition of former appellate judge—and crony of four-time New York Governor Alfred Smith—Joseph Proskauer in 1930 ushered in a new era for the firm, which was renamed Proskauer, Rose & Paskus. Proskauer's leadership helped define the firm in the modern era, and his passion for music forged connections with Carnegie Hall and some of America's most prominent musicians, including Leonard Bernstein, whose estate is still handled by the firm. Around the same time, an associate named Alfred Appel helped French design house Hermès establish a New York corporation. Hermès is represented by the firm to this day and is considered its longest continuing client.
Labor, Layups, and Lead Passes
One of Proskauer's cornerstone practices, labor law, was established in 1939 by partner Burton A. Zorn, who counted among his clients the insurance giant Metropolitan Life and the United Parcel Service. The firm’s sports law practice began in 1963, thanks to partner George Gallantz, who represented a young organization called the National Basketball Association. Three years later, an attorney named David Stern joined the firm—Stern went on to serve as the NBA's counsel, executive vice president, and, finally, commissioner (he retired in February 2014). The firm also counts Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, among its notable alumni. Beyond labor and sports, Proskauer boasts a nationally recognized Private Investment Funds Group as well as litigators who handle cutting-edge intellectual property matters and defend major white collar cases, including those arising out of the recent economic crisis.
Worldwide Expansion and a New York Move
By the turn of the century, Proskauer was well on its way to establishing itself as a global player, opening shop in Paris, London, São Paulo, Hong Kong, and Beijing. The firm’s Asia and UK offices focus on core practice areas that include private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and capital markets. International expansion has been a critical component of the firm’s strategy to provide a comprehensive platform of services to its corporate clients. The firm stayed busy on the home front as well, expanding into Chicago in April 2008 while continuing to aggressively recruit new lawyers in its Boston office, which opened in 2004. In a move that some said heralded the beginning of a post-financial crisis commercial real estate recovery, Proskauer moved its New York headquarters to a new 1.1-million-square foot tower in Times Square in early 2011, leasing 14 floors of the LEED Gold-certified building.
The firm’s client roster glitters, too: clients include Ares, AR Capital, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Tiffany, Neuberger Berman, all of the major sports leagues, Burberry, Barney’s, Creative Artists Agency, Sony Pictures, the Broadway League, Neiman Marcus, T-Mobile, MetLife, The New York Times, the New York Stock Exchange, Church & Dwight, Diageo, and Ardian.
IN THE NEWS
Proskauer’s latest M&A activity includes advising Celgene in boosting its cancer drug pipeline with the $9 billion acquisition of Juno; Singapore’s GIC in its €10.1 billion purchase with The Carlyle Group of AkzoNobel’s specialty chemicals unit; and BTG Pactual’s Timberland Investment Group in one of the largest timberland transactions in a decade. Among the most active law firms in private equity, Proskauer led transactions for Morgan Stanley as financial advisor to Starwood Waypoint in its $20 billion merger with Invitation Homes; and Discovery Communications in its joint venture with TEN, creating a company to reach car enthusiasts across all media.
Puerto Rico faces a historic restructuring as the largest ever U.S. local government to file for bankruptcy. Proskauer is lead outside counsel to the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has approximately $74 billion of bond debt and $50 billion of underfunded public pension liabilities. The Board’s mandate is to restore fiscal responsibility, access to capital markets, and pro-growth reforms to Puerto Rico. Most recently, the Board approved a plan to restructure $4.1 billion in debt held by the island’s Government Development Bank, an important step towards reducing the total debt load.
An established powerhouse in the entertainment industry, Proskauer represents the biggest names in Hollywood. U2 and Island Records won dismissal of a copyright suit with Proskauer as their defense. The firm secured a temporary restraining order for Madonna one day prior to an online auction of 22 intensely personal items and represented Madonna, WB Music and Warner Bros. Records in a lengthy copyright litigation concerning an alleged sample of a 1970s soul record in Madonna’s hit “Vogue.” For Lady Gaga, the firm won dismissal of a copyright suit concerning her hit single “Judas” from chart-topping album Born This Way.
Proskauer set an important precedent when labor partner Elise Bloom prevailed before the Second Circuit against a class action challenging unpaid internships, creating a standard since adopted by the Department of Labor. Achieving a trial win for FIFA, litigator Margaret Dale led her team to a unanimous jury verdict in a multi-million-dollar breach of contract suit. California-based litigators Bart Williams and Manuel Cachán had a stand-out performance in a widely-publicized bellwether trial in California alleging that Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products are linked to ovarian cancer.
Proskauer has been behind the biggest ownership transfers in the industry, including the recent $2.275 billion sale of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the $1.2 billion sale of the MLB’s Miami Marlins. The firm also helped the NBA’s Detroit Pistons relocate from their old arena in Auburn Hills, Mich. to the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. Emblematic of the firm’s long track record in sports law, Proskauer serves as primary outside counsel to Los Angeles 2028 in the city’s successful bid to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and to MLS in litigation, labor, and corporate matters.
Proskauer has a history of public service and is one of the few firms with a full-time pro bono partner, former federal prosecutor William Silverman. This year, the firm helped establish the new home for hip hop, The Universal Hip Hop Museum, an educational museum founded by hip hop pioneers Kurtis Blow, Ice-T, and Grand Wizard Theodore, among others. With archives, interactive and immersive displays, performances, and classes, visitors will be able to dive into hip hop culture and experience first-hand how and why hip hop became a worldwide cultural phenomenon. The museum breaks ground in 2019 in the Bronx.
The world’s leading organizations and global players rely on Proskauer to help achieve their most daring ambitions and to overcome their most daunting challenges. Business savvy and market driven, Proskauer’s intellectual capital drives success. We are proud of the firm’s many achievements and hard-earned recognitions across a full spectrum of transactional and contentious practices.
Eleven Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 969-3000
Employer Type: Private
Chairman: Joseph M. Leccesse
Recruiting Chairs: Ori Solomon (Boston), Matthew Triggs (Boca Raton), Marc Rosenthal (Chicago), Guy Brenner (DC), Pippa Bond and Lary Rappaport (LA), Stacey Cerrone (New Orleans), Michael Mervis (NY)
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 725
Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; New York; Washington, DC
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 Associate: $3,654/week Boca Raton:
1st year: 162,500 Newark:
1st year: 167,500 New Orleans:
1st year: 132,500
53 out of 54 (2Ls) (2018)
New York, NY (HQ)
Boca Raton, FL
Los Angeles, CA
New Orleans, LA
Mergers and Acquisitions
Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation
Labor & Employment
Private Client Services