2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The people are the best in the business.”
“The training opportunities.”
“The quality and complexity of the work we do is unparalleled.”
“The expectation of constant availability.”
“Lack of transparency about partnership and special counsel track.”
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 ten 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 regard to securities litigation and white collar defense—two other ranking areas where the firm sits among the top ten.
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 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 service 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 with the recent launch of 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. In 2019, the firm opened 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 management, client development, and self-advocacy.
News & Awards
Sullivan & Cromwell’s M&A practice is a world-renowned powerhouse that has dominated the transactional landscape for 140 years. The firm represents global corporations on their largest, most complex and noteworthy transactions. A perennial leader in M&A, S&C has acted in over $4.5 trillion in announced transactions worldwide over the past 10 years.
S&C’s innovative Career and Alumni Resource Center is available to all S&C lawyers—whether they pursue partnership or another path. The Center provides both current and former S&C associates with customized career counseling and job placements with a broad range of employers. The program also works to connect current S&C lawyers with the firm’s robust alumni network, a global community of more than 3,500 members that includes some of the most influential leaders in law, business, and public service.
S&C’s Criminal Defense and Investigations group has played a leading role in virtually every major law enforcement initiative in the past 20 years and includes former federal and state prosecutors who have collectively handled more than 100 criminal trials. In the last year, the firm has advised on twice as many corporate enforcement actions than any other law firm, including guiding Wells Fargo through government probes and civil actions.
Dedication to pro bono work is one of S&C’s core values. The firm devoted over 63,000 hours to more than 400 pro bono clients in 2018. Recently, S&C worked with the nonprofit Immigration Equality to win a hard-fought battle on behalf of a gay couple and their twin sons, one of whom was denied U.S. citizenship. S&C also worked with the women’s rights organization MADRE to produce a brochure that explained the legal rights and recourse available to Miskito women, part of an isolated and underserved indigenous population in Nicaragua.
- S&C represented Praxair, Inc. in its $80 billion merger of equals with Linde AG, creating the world’s largest industrial gas supplier.
- After two years of litigation, S&C steered Fiat Chrysler Automobiles through multiple interrelated settlements regarding its diesel vehicles with no admission of wrongdoing.
- S&C represents SunTrust Banks in their all-stock merger with BB&T Corporation, creating the sixth-largest bank holding company in the United States, valued at over $66 billion.
- S&C guided longtime client Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas through several multimillion dollar refinancings since advising them in their $20 billion project financing in 2012.
- “Dealmaker of the Year,” 2019 – Inosi Nyatta (The American Lawyer)
- “Litigation Department of the Year (Products Liability),” 2018 (New York Law Journal)
- Five “Practice Groups of the Year,” 2019 – M&A, White Collar, Bankruptcy, Antitrust, and Real Estate (Law360)
- Six “Women in Business Law Awards,” 2018 – Renata Hesse, Sharon Nelles, Camille Orme, Laura Oswell, Sarah Payne, and Alison Ressler (Euromoney)
- “Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40,” 2019 – Dustin Guzior (National LGBT Bar Association)
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
Phone: (212) 558-4000
Chairman: Joseph C. Shenker
Senior Chairman: H. Rodgin Cohen
Hiring Partner: Sergio J. Galvis
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
750 - 1K
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: $7,916.67 semi-monthly
Summer Associate Offers:
129 out of 129 (2Ls) (2018)
No. of Summer Associates:
152 total (129 2Ls; 5 1Ls; 15 Post 3Ls; 3 SEOs)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY (HQ)
Palo Alto, CA
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 Litigation/Transactions
Labor & Employment
Mergers & Acquisitions
Project Development & Finance
Whistleblower Litigation and Workplace Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.