2022 Vault Rankings
- Real Estate#22
At a Glance
“The quality of work is unparalleled.”
“The quality of lawyers.”
“Expectation of constant availability.”
“Very difficult to make partner.”
About Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
A BigLaw powerhouse, Sullivan & Cromwell has followed—if not created—the blueprint for legal success: It has grown internationally and in response to the increasing cross-border M&A, restructuring, and finance transactional demands of the biggest corporate clients in the world.
Kind of a Big Deal
Sullivan & Cromwell has consistently steered the development of many of the world’s corporate titans over the past 130-plus years. The firm founders, Algernon Sydney Sullivan and William Nelson, advised J.P. Morgan—as in the man himself—during the creation of Edison General Electric in 1882 and later guided key players in the formation of U.S. Steel and the financing of the Panama Canal. These lucrative foreign ventures caused the firm to be one of the first to expand internationally.
Today, S&C boasts 13 offices across nine countries and handles some of the biggest deals and litigations in the world. It is consistently among the top 10 firms in Vault’s General Corporate, M&A, Project Finance, Securities/Capital Markets, and Banking and Financial Services rankings. And its litigation work is just as highly regarded, especially with respect to securities litigation and white collar defense—two other ranking areas where the firm sits among the top 10.
In a world of specialization, S&C is known for its unique “generalist approach.” S&C associates work across subgroups, industries, and geographic locations to get a well-rounded experience. The firm feels its generalist approach makes for better partners, and the vast majority of those partners begin their legal careers with S&C—either directly out of law school or after clerkships or government service—with a very limited number of lateral hires. S&C also sends plenty of its “generalist” lawyers to work in-house at clients or other companies, to government service, and to other careers.
Associates are also armed with a career plan through which they focus on their skills, gaps in experience, and goals. If associates need additional guidance, they can turn to the firm’s internal career and alumni services office, which offers confidential career counseling whether they intend to stay at the firm or pursue a different career path.
Hitting the Books
S&C attorneys can be sure of one thing: The firm’s training is robust. It offers extensive internal training programs, and through S&C University—an online, on-demand, in-house viewing platform—lawyers can access recordings of these trainings from their computers. But in-house presentations are only the tip of the training iceberg. The firm even has a Moot Courtroom in its New York City office that lawyers can use to prepare for upcoming trials or train. The courtroom can be modified to approximate a trial court, appellate court, or arbitration venue, and boasts technology such as an interactive markup display. Not all training at the firm is practice-based; the firm’s Women’s Leadership Lunch Series offers regular career development programming. Past lunch topics have included crisis management, resilience, strategies on responding to stress, client development, and self-advocacy.
News & Awards
- S&C has represented Goldman Sachs for more than a decade, including before the Supreme Court and the Second Circuit, in a high-profile securities class action concerning alleged misconduct related to the Abacus CDO.
- S&C serves as national coordinating counsel for Volkswagen AG in numerous federal and state actions, including multidistrict litigations in San Francisco, as well as regulatory investigations, regarding alleged excess emissions for diesel vehicles.
- AT&T (U.S.) in its spin-off of WarnerMedia (U.S.) into Discovery (U.S.), under which WarnerMedia will combine with Discovery to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company (2021).
- S&C dedicated more than 3,000 hours to the release of client Tanisha Davis, a survivor of extreme domestic abuse. Tanisha is one of the first women to be resentenced and released under the landmark Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, allowing domestic violence survivors to apply for reduced sentences that take into account the context of their abuse.
- “Pro Bono Heroes,” March 2021—Reuters
- “Litigation Department of the Year” in Finance, 2020—New York Law Journal
- “European Legal Adviser of the Year,” 2020—Mergermarket’s European M&A Awards
- Nicky Friedlander named to Cybersecurity Docket’s “Incident Response 40” for 2021
Why Work Here
Listen to our conversation with the managing partner of our Litigation Group, Sharon Nelles. Milana Hogan, Chief Legal Talent Officer, interviews Sharon about why she chose S&C, the Firm's approach to associate development and mentoring, her role as head of the Litigation Group, and her advice for students as they navigate their way through the recruiting process.
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
Phone: (212) 558-4000
Chair: Joseph C. Shenker
Senior Chair: H. Rodgin Cohen
Hiring Partner: Sergio J. Galvis
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Incoming 1st year: $202,500
1st year: $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
7th year: $350,000
8th year: $365,000
Summer associate: $8,437.50 semi-monthly
Milana L. Hogan
Chief Legal Talent Officer
No. of U.S. Offices: 4
No. of International Offices: 9
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY (HQ)
Palo Alto, CA
Washington, DC | Beijing
Bankruptcy & Restructuring
Capital Markets, Leveraged Finance & Lending
Commercial Real Estate
Commodities, Futures & Derivatives
Criminal Defense & Investigations
Estates & Personal
Executive Compensation & Benefits
FCPA & Anti-Corruption
Intellectual Property & Technology
Labor & Employment
Mergers & Acquisitions
Project Development & Finance
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.