2022 Vault Rankings
- Firm Culture#16
At a Glance
“The culture and people are amazing.”
“Market-leading compensation without an hours minimum.”
“Excellent opportunities for professional growth.”
“Always having to be ‘on call.’”
“BigLaw hours are BigLaw hours.”
About Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
One of the New York elites, Willkie is home to more than 750 attorneys. In addition to its home in the Big Apple, the firm has offices in Chicago, DC, Houston, Palo Alto, and San Francisco, 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.
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 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 counsel 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 famous 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.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Willkie adopted a virtual summer program in 2020.The program was substantively similar to our in-person program. The summer associates were paid for the originally scheduled 10-week program, but the firm truncated the summer program to 6 weeks. The summer associates gained valuable hands-on experience working directly for, and with, our clients. The summer associates participated in a robust orientation, interactive trainings, and department overviews.
News & Awards
- Willkie represented longtime client Insight Partners in its $6 billion acquisition (with Stone Point Capital) of Corelogic (NYSE: CLGX), a global property information, analytics, and data-enabled solutions provider.
- After an eight-day trial and three years of litigation, Willkie obtained a significant defense victory for Aon Hewitt in a high-profile ERISA action.
- In the largest FinTech deal ever, Willkie represented FIS in its $42 billion merger with Worldpay—negotiating the deal, an $8 billion bridge commitment, and handling all due diligence in under ten days.
- Willkie is co-counsel with Disability Rights Advocates and others in a nationwide federal class action against ICE and DHS seeking proper medical and mental health care for the approximately 55,000 immigrants in U.S. detention facilities, particularly those with physical and mental disabilities.
- 142 lawyer and 58 practice area rankings, 2021—Chambers USA, Chambers Europe, Chambers FinTech, and Chambers UK
- Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year and Most Important Case of the Year, 2020—Global Investigations Review (GIR) Awards
- Ranked among top global legal advisors for private equity and venture capital transactions across eight categories, 2020—Refinitiv Global Private Equity Legal Advisor Review
- Thought Leadership Award, 2020—Corporate Counsel Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards
- Environment/Sustainability Program of the Year, 2021—Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America
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 & Matt Feldman
Recruiting Chairs: Sameer Advani (Chair); Amanda Amert (Chicago); Jeffrey Clark (DC); Jared Fertman, Brad Friedman, Matthew Haddad, Shaimaa Hussein, Claire James, Andrew Mordkoff, Jeffrey Pawlitz, Jason Pearl, Mark Proctor, Danielle Scalzo, Kim Walker (NY); Tiffany Lee (Palo Alto); Ben Hur (SF); Robert Jacobson (TX)
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
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: $3,942/week
New York; Palo Alto; San Francisco:
Christie M. Bonasera
Director of Legal Recruiting
Senior Manager, Legal Personnel & Recruiting
Senior Manager, Legal Personnel & Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 6
No. of International Offices: 6
New York, NY (HQ)
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC I Brussels
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.