An international law firm, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliff is truly a firm offering blue chip services in the legal arena. Initially founded in San Francisco, California, it traces its roots back to 1863 and has the distinction of the oldest continuously operating firm in this area after Levi Strauss & Co. Chairman Ralph Baxter currently heads this firm, who is an employment lawyer from West Virginia. Today, the firm employs nearly 1,100 lawyers across the world in 24 offices in North America, Asia, and Europe.
Together, its operations span 8 countries worldwide. This large international legal conglomerate is handled from a centralized location at the Global Operations Center, which is located at Wheeling, West Virginia.
The firm is into a range of litigation practices such as securities, tax, energy regulation, public finance, real estate, white collar crime, intellectual property and other areas. The firm provides the highest quality advice on the most complex and novel matters in various legal areas. It believes in cultivating deep client relationships with the leading companies in the world, such as public companies, emerging growth companies, government utilities as well as global banks and other financial market participants.
Orrick is an international firm of high repute that traces its roots back to the year 1863. In this year the German Savings and Loan Society commenced operations. This later became a part of the First Interstate Bank of California. At this juncture in history, John R. Jarboe was general counsel. Jarboe and his colleagues founded the law firm Jarboe, Harrison and Goodfellow.
However, this firm was dissolved in 1891, when Harrison was appointed justice to the California Supreme Court. However, this paved way for a new partnership in 1901, when Charles Eells joined the firm, giving the firm the name of Goodfellow & Eells. The firm welcomed another partner William Orrick in 1910, and another partner Stanley Moore joined the firm in 1914. Thus, the firm's first name was changed to Goodfellow, Eells, Moore and Orrick.
Eric Sutcliffe joined the firm in 1932, replacing Orrick as the firm's managing partner in 1947. This incident led to the change in the name of the firm to Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe. The firm has expanded till date both on the west coast and east coast, and also has expanded internationally since then. Today, the firm has offices in New York, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and other strategically important cities globally.
Areas of practice
Banking and Debt Capital Markets
Compensation and Benefits
Mergers and Acquisitions
Outsourcing and Technology Transactions
Antitrust and Competition
Mass Torts and Product Liability Litigation
Public Policy and Government Affairs
Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement
White Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Investigations
In April 2012, Orrick took the credit for representing San Francisco based Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion. Due to this incidence, Instagram will be a subsidiary of Facebook. However, it will continue to develop the application independently. This acquisition is expected to bolster the mobile presence of Facebook and also boost its growth strategies.
In March 2012, Orrick represented the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa Energy USA, LLC, which is considered to be the largest renewable energy deals of the year. The transaction was a multifaceted one worth $ 888 million, which included the sale of four wind facilities to Algonquin Power and Utilities.
In February 2012, according to Corporate Counsel, two of Orrick's intellectual property matters were ranked amongst the 10 biggest wins of 2011. These matters involved Apple against S3 graphics, while the second involved MGA which emerged victorious against Mattel in the Bratz doll case.
Awards and recognitions
Orrick has received several awards and recognitions in tune with its performance as a legal blue chip on the global legal stage. Some of these are mentioned as below:
Other awards include:
Named to The American Lawyer's A-List for 2007-2010.
Ranked among the top five "U.S. Law Firms in Europe for Innovation in Expansion" at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards.
Ranked 28th in the 2008 Legal Business Global London, which measures the 50 largest non-U.K. origin firms by London office revenue figures. Additionally, Orrick is ranked fourth among firms with the largest trainee intake relative to their size in London.
Ranked in the following categories: European Headcounts: number 35, Global London Firm - in order of London turnover: number 28.
Named the recipient of the 2008 Redwood Vanguard Award given by Redwood Analytics.
Named the fourth most prestigious law firm in Northern California in 2008 by the Vault Guide. This is the fourth consecutive year Orrick has placed among the top five firms in the region.
Ranked in the top 10 on Dealogic's "Global Project Finance Review" list of PFI/PPP legal advisers for the first half of 2008.
Orrick ranked among the top 10 legal advisers to South Korea by deal volume and value for the first half of 2009, according to Mergermarket's "M&A League Tables of Legal Advisers H1 2009."
Orrick has an established set of hiring practices in place. It gives academics a very important factor in their hiring decisions. At the same time, it also consider other factors such as applicant's qualifications, law reviews, moot court experiences, work experience, student's activities, poise, maturity, leadership, and other factors.
Orrick considers itself as a law firm that embraces change. However, it still places a lot of importance on the fundamental core values so that it can attract and develop the very best legal talent. Rather than following the traditional law firm associate development model, Orrick has led the market in introducing a pioneering way of leading tomorrow's leaders.
This philosophy is based on the talent model, which is based on founding the principles that each associate is capable of developing at his or her own pace. This ultimately means that the associate's training and professional aspirations must be synchronized with his or her own potential and talent. The company visited around 18 law schools and 8 job fairs in 2011.
Orrick believes that diversity certainly plays an immensely positive role in the overall development of the firm in all dimensions. Besides minority job fairs, the firm includes directed mentoring efforts and participates in outreaches to various law student groups. It is Orrick's policy to recruit at schools that have a large minority population. In addition to bar-sponsored programs, a firm diversity committee ensures diversity firm wide.
It demonstrates its commitment to diversity by participating in recruitment fairs that have diverse backgrounds. One such fair that it participated in was the Seventh Annual Bay Area Diversity Career fair for second-year law students. The Bay area diversity career fair provides and is founded and underwritten by Orrick.
Providing a much needed event for diverse law students across the country, it is a much welcome event for all who had to travel great distances to attend minority fairs. Additionally, Orrick provides networking as well as educational responsibilities. Furthermore, the firm organizes and participates in a range of job fairs in the United States such as the Lavender Law's Annual Conference and Career Fair.
Orrick also pursues a non-discrimination policy whereby it strives to provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants. It covers all aspects of employment from recruitment to termination and also does not discriminate on basis of race, color, religion, nationality, ancestry, medical status, or other similar factors. In fact, the firm received the following awards for diversity and inclusion:
American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard: Ranked in the top 12 percent for diversity among 200 large firms in the American Lawyer's 2009, 2010 and 2011 annual survey.
Human Rights Campaign: For the fifth consecutive year, Orrick earned the top rating of 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's annual Corporate Equality Index survey.
Intel: Intel honored Orrick with its 2009 Diversity Success Award.
Minority Corporate Counsel Association: Named the winner of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Thomas L. Sager Award, Western Region in 2006, 2008 and 2011.
Minority Law Journal:
Orrick ranked seventh in the "highest percentage of minority lawyers (partners/nonpartners)" category in 2009.
Ranked 16th out of 202 firms for overall diversity in the Minority Law Journal's annual Diversity Scorecard.
Morgan Stanley: Named the winner of Morgan Stanley's "Large Law Firm of the Year for Diversity" award in 2007 and 2008.
Multicultural Law Magazine: Named as one of Multicultural Law Magazine's top 100 Law Firms for Diversity 2006-2011 and Top 100 Law Firms for Women 2007-2011.
Summer associate program
Orrick has a 10 week summer associate program in which summer associates are not assigned a specific department. However they are encouraged to work with various practice groups. Once assigned to a summer coordinator they are expected to complete around 10 assignments during the summer period. Summer associates typically report that they work around 6 hours a day on billable work. However, they are not supposed to work on weekends. While, there is a lot of formal training, mentors guide their associates with even social as well as professional interactions and work.
The firm typically holds many attorney lunches and there are rooftop cocktail parties and other social events such as a Supreme Court field trip, sailing trip and cup cake tasting every Tuesday in the D.C office. Many summer associates are given a job at the firm itself after the completion of the summer associate program.
In 2009, 70% of the firm's 64 associates received full-time offers. However, the firm reduced its class size to 11 summer associates in 2010 but all of them received offers. In 2011, the class size was again doubled in comparison to the 2010 summer class size. In recent times, the start dates for some of the classes have been deferred.
Salary & benefits
Orrick compensates its employees according to the Talent Model rather than the older lockstep compensation model. This Talent model is a three tier compensation system for associates who are grouped as 'associates', 'managing associates' and 'senior associates'.
In the year 2009, year-end bonuses ranged from less than $ 5,000 to more than $ 75,000 for the highest performing senior associates. In that year, over 82% of the employees received their bonuses.
At this firm, bonuses are discretionary and are primarily merit based. The firm now uses the Cravath Bonus scale to determining bonuses. Although the firm requires billable hours of 1,900 hours or more to factor into bonus amounts, there are no minimum hours required for receiving a bonus. Pro bono work and working for the company as a client are also considered for bonus payouts. Benefits are generous at Orrick and comprise of the following:
401(k)/IRA/Other Retirement Plan
529 College Savings Plan
Bar Association Fees
Business Casual Dress Code
Child Care Subsidy
Domestic Partner Benefits
Employee Assistance Program
Family/Dependent Care Leave
Flexible Spending Account/Pre-Tax Option
Health Club Membership
Long-term Care Insurance
Long-term Disability Insurance
Medical Spending Account
On-site Child Care - Emergency
Short-term Disability Insurance
Technology (Laptop, PDA, etc.)
Benefits Package: Medical, dental, vision (available for registered domestic partners), tax offset benefit for registered domestic partners, life, short and long-term disability; long-term care; medical/dependent care pre-tax benefit plan; commuter benefits; financial planning seminars; flexible time off (FTO); maternity/family care leave; adoption leave; paternity/non-primary caregiver leave; back-up daycare; employee assistance program; 401(k); CLE & Bar fees.
Working for the Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe L.L.P.
Working for Orrick is considered to be a truly professional achievement. For the year 2012, the compensation for entry level lawyers was $160,000. The average annual associate hours worked in 2011 was 2,123.48 hours.
However, there is no minimum billable hour expectation required by the firm. Billable hour credits are given for pro bono work and a pro bono work is considered equivalent to a required hour. Usually, the firm considers requests for alternative work schedules from associates who have two or more attributed years within the firm and whose performance is deemed to be at an exceedingly high level. Part-time work is allowed at the firm. Orrick also pays non-medical parental leave in the necessary circumstances.
Orrick attaches very high significance to its pro bono work as these services provide the disadvantaged people the necessary needed legal services. Orrick values work for pro bono clients just like any other client. The pro bono program is managed with the help of a full-time pro bono counsel. Its blue chip services are offered in areas where the firm feels it can make maximum impact. The firm's pro bono services are available in a variety of service areas such as:
Arts and Entertainment
Asylum and Immigration
Community Economic Development
Criminal Defense and Death Penalty Cases
Education and Children's Rights
International Human Rights
Prisoners' Rights and Reentry
Social Sector Finance
Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation
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