2020 Vault Rankings
- Firm Culture#24
- New York#24
At a Glance
"The culture here is hard to beat.”
“No billable requirement.”
“The work is sophisticated and interesting.”
“Unpredictable ebb and flow of work can be frustrating at times.”
“Technology can be improved.”
“Law is inherently stressful at any firm!”
About Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
One of the New York elites, Willkie is home to more than 700 attorneys. In addition to its home in the Big Apple, the firm has offices in DC, Houston, and Palo Alto, plus six locations across Europe. The firm is known for its work in antitrust, insurance, M&A, private equity, restructuring, and securities litigation, among other areas.
In 1888, four lawyers planted roots on a little street called Broadway in New York City, naming the firm Hornblower & Byrne. Toward the end of the 19th century, the firm picked up a new name-partner who would shape the next 40 years: William W. Miller. During the Miller years, the firm added attorneys of influence to its ranks (including future Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter), worked on landmark cases, and merged with Miller, Otis & Farr—another major New York firm. A young Iowan named Harold Gallagher joined as an associate in 1917, made partner in 1925, and continued as a member of the firm for 51 years. In 1941, former presidential candidate Wendell Willkie came along, and while he was only at the firm for three years, he made his mark. The firm became Willkie Farr & Gallagher in 1968.
All Around Excellence
With an expansive list of practices, Willkie lawyers work across more than 20 industries, including energy, financial services, health care, infrastructure, insurance, manufacturing, REITs, and transportation, to name a few.
Willkie boasts a strong Corporate & Financial Services department. The firm’s M&A team handles contested takeovers, leveraged re-caps, management buyouts, and strategic alliances, and also works hand in hand with the firm’s restructuring attorneys to work on acquisitions stemming from reorganization proceedings. The firm is also highly regarded for its private equity practice, which boasts more than 250 lawyers around the world. Its lawyers have deal experience in acquisition finance, growth capital, LBOs, MBOs, PIPEs, Public M&A, and venture capital and also counsels on fund formation, compliance, corporate governance, and restructuring.
Another bustling area for the firm is its Insurance and Reinsurance practice, which takes a multi-disciplinary approach, advising clients on everything from capital markets, M&A, litigation, regulatory issues, tax, and more. Willkie also boasts a top-notch litigation practice and is particularly well regarded for its securities litigation work. The firm has built a reputation for its experience in financial reporting issues, regularly handling audit committee investigations into fraudulent financial reporting.
Getting to Know You
Willkie is known for its social, amiable culture, and the firm helps boost camaraderie from the start. When first years arrive at the firm, they share an office with second-year associates, providing them with built-in mentors just one desk away. Attorneys at the firm will find plenty of opportunities to socialize with the firm’s infamous daily cookie break at 3 p.m., its monthly informal gatherings (known around the firm as “IG”), and regular wellness programming that includes in-house yoga.
News & Awards
Four Willkie attorneys were honored with individual awards at the Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: USA 2019. Two partners and two associates received the following honors: LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year, Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year, Future Leader – LGBT+ Equality Award, and Future Leader – Gender Diversity Award. In total, the firm was shortlisted for eight awards.
In February 2019, Willkie launched a first-of-its-kind web-based application for multinational companies, attorneys, and compliance professionals. The Willkie Compliance Concourse offers free, on-demand access to comprehensive practice guides, real-time news and analysis, and CLEs covering anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, cybersecurity, data privacy, insider trading and sanctions legal regimes. It includes topics related to compliance programs, internal investigations and enforcement, and U.S. and U.K. regulatory matters.
Willkie’s private equity team was named “Private Equity Team of the Year” at the 2018 IFLR Americas Awards, and honored as “Private Equity Law Firm of the Year” at The Deal Awards Europe 2018. Willkie continues to represent more than 150 U.S. and international private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies and management teams.
In December 2018, Willkie launched a new office in Palo Alto, California. The move furthers the firm’s commitment to providing comprehensive services, including notably in the areas of private equity and M&A, to its broad roster of clients in the global technology and FinTech sectors. The firm has a longstanding and extensive client base in Palo Alto and California generally.
- Brookfield Business Partners L.P. in its $4.6 billion acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company from Toshiba Corp.
- Hudson’s Bay Company in its global, multifaceted strategic relationship with WeWork, including its $850 million sale of the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building.
- Relativity Media Inc. as litigation counsel in connection with the company’s litigation with Netflix Inc. in its chapter 11 cases.
- Steering Committee of CGG’s high-yield bondholders in CGG’s successful restructuring, one of the largest restructurings in French history, and the first-ever successful coordination of a French sauvegarde proceeding with a U.S. chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
- Chambers 2019 editions recognize Willkie with 100 Attorney and 39 Practice Area rankings
- IFLR Americas Awards 2018 – “Private Equity Team of the Year”
- Immigration Equality Safe Haven Award 2019
- Law360 White Collar Practice Groups of the Year 2018
- The Deal Awards – Healthcare Law Firm of the Year 2018
Why Work Here
At Willkie, people are our most valued asset. From the day you start at the Firm as a young lawyer, you are an integral part of the Willkie community and, whether you choose to remain here for the rest of your career or decide to move on to other endeavors, you will always be a part of the Willkie family.
There are many reasons to work at Willkie. At its simplest, our fundamental goal is to provide our attorneys with the highest-quality training, early responsibility and the opportunity to work on challenging and cutting-edge matters in a collaborative environment where people genuinely get along with each other.
787 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 728-8000
Chairmen: Tom Cerabino & Steve Gartner
Recruiting Chairs: Carly Saviano (Chair): Jeffrey Clark (DC); Sameer Advani, Alexander Cheney, Amelia A. Cottrell, Jared Fertman, Brad Friedman, Matthew Haddad, Shaimaa Hussein, Clare James, Jeffrey Pawlitz, Jason Pearl, Mark Proctor, Danielle Scalzo, Kim Walker (NY); Tiffany Lee (Palo Alto); Ben Hur (SF); Robert Jacobsen (TX)
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
500 - 750
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
Summer Associate Offers:
70 out of 70 (2Ls) (2019)
No. of Summer Associates:
77 total (70 2Ls; 7 1Ls) (2019)
Christie M. Bonasera
Associate Director of Legal Recruiting
Legal Personnel & Recruiting Manager
Legal Personnel & Recruiting Manager
New York, NY (HQ)
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Antitrust & Competition
Business Reorganization & Restructuring
Communications, Media & Privacy (DC office)
Corporate & Financial Services
Energy & Commodities
Environmental, Health & Safety (DC office)
Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
Government Relations (DC office)
Insurance & Reinsurance
Mergers & Acquisitions
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.