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Seward & Kissel LLP

2021 Vault Rankings

At a Glance


“Quality of work is very high-end”

“Great work-life balance”


“Steep learning curve”

“Lack of recognition”

About Seward & Kissel LLP

Founded in 1890, Seward & Kissel has grown into a major player in the financial world, serving clients ranging from investment funds to big banks. The firm maintains offices in New York City and Washington, DC.

Hedge Fund Head Honchos

Seward & Kissel's deep ties to the financial industry are no accident. According to Hedge Funds Review, the firm was involved in the foundation of the world's very first hedge fund, AW Jones & Co., in 1949, which the firm maintains as a client today. About half of the firm's 180 attorneys work with hedge funds in some way, whether in the investment management, regulatory or employment law practice group.

Today, Seward & Kissel remains focused on the corporate and litigation needs of clients in the arenas of financial services, corporate finance and capital markets. The firm has a national reputation for its work on behalf of large commercial banks, investment banking firms, investment advisers and related investment funds (hedge funds in particular), broker-dealers, institutional investors and shipping companies.

Seward & Kissel is frequently cited as a leader in the field – it is ranked as #1 in Onshore Hedge Funds Serviced according to the 2017 Preqin Global Hedge Fund Report, ranked “Best Hedge Fund Law Firm—USA, 2016” by the AI Hedge Funds Awards, “Investment Funds Law Firm of the Year—USA” by the 2016 Worldwide Financial Advisor Awards and is ranked in Tier 1 for Hedge Fund Law Firms (both USA and NYC rankings) in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report “Best Law Firms” survey. The firm was ranked the Maritime & Transportation Finance Law Firm of the Year by the 2016 Worldwide Financial Advisor Magazine Continental Awards, and is ranked Band 1 for Transportation: Shipping: Finance in Chambers USA 2016.

Seward's Stewardship

Much of Seward & Kissel's present success is owed to late name partner George Seward. In 1953, Seward, a distant relative of President Lincoln's Secretary of State of the same name, joined the firm, then called Meyer, Kidder, Matz & Kissel. Originally a specialist in business litigation, Seward helped build the organization's network in the hedge fund, banking and investment industries. Seward's legacy also includes transforming the International Bar Association from a coalition of bar associations to a "world organization of business lawyers," in the words of The Wall Street Journal. Seward worked at the firm as senior counsel past his own centennial (he told the New York Times that retirement would be "pretty dull,") before passing away at the age of 101 in 2012.

Seward & Kissel LLP

One Battery Park Plaza
New York, NY 10004
Phone: (212) 574-1200

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Jim Cofer
Recruiting Chairs: Christopher Riccardi, Sharan Calay, and Jack Yoskowitz

Base Salary

1st year: $180,000
2nd year: $190,000
3rd year: $210,00
Summer associate: $3,461/week

Employment Contact

Ms. Royce Akiva
Director of Recruiting and Marketing
(212) 574-1684

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
Washington, DC

Major Departments

Activist Investing
Bankruptcy & Reorganization
Broker-Dealers and Other Regulated Entities
Brokered Deposits
Business Transactions (M&A/Private Equity)
Capital Markets and Securities
Commercial Litigation
Corporate Finance
Cross Border Regulatory Practice
Derivatives and Other Counterparty Arrangements
Distressed Debt and Secondary Market Trading
Employee Benefits
Employment Law
Employment Litigation
Energy Finance Restructuring
Executive Compensation
Global Bank and Institutional Finance (Global Corporate Trust & Restructuring/Municipal and Global Project Finance)
Government Enforcement and Internal Investigations
Insurance Litigation
Intellectual Property & Technology
Investment Advisers
Investment Management
Maritime and Transportation Finance
Maritime Litigation
Private Funds
Pro Bono
Real Estate
Registered Investment Adviser Compliance Services
Registered Investment Companies
Regulatory Investigations and Enforcement
Securities Litigation
Structured Finance & Asset Securitization
Trusts & Estates