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Debevoise & Plimpton: A Look at One of the Largest Law Firms in the World

published March 05, 2023

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( 54 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
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Debevoise & Plimpton is an international law firm with a long history of providing top-level legal services to its clients. Founded in 1931, Debevoise & Plimpton has experienced steady growth ever since and today has more than 900 lawyers in offices across the globe.

At Debevoise & Plimpton, the firm's lawyers are highly trained in core areas such as corporate, litigation, and financial restructuring, in addition to specializing in areas such as investment funds, capital markets, tax, antitrust, and more. Through their extensive legal expertise, their attorneys are able to tackle a wide variety of legal issues and provide their clients with the best possible advice and guidance.

The firm's success has been bolstered by the ability of its lawyers to provide clients with creative and sophisticated legal solutions to their most complex legal problems. Their lawyers are skilled in negotiating and drafting a variety of agreements, and also handle litigation, compliance, and corporate governance matters.

Debevoise & Plimpton's global presence and top-notch legal service have enabled it to become one of the world's leading law firms. The firm strives to provide clients with the highest-quality legal service, and has consistently been ranked among the top law firms in the United States for their corporate, litigation, and financial restructuring practices.

The firm is guided by the principle that 'excellence in legal service' is the key to success and client satisfaction. The firm is committed to providing clients with the best legal advice, while keeping their costs as low as possible. Furthermore, Debevoise & Plimpton has developed a comprehensive system of client service, which includes training its lawyers to anticipate, assess, and respond to the needs of its clients in the most effective manner possible.

Overall, the attorneys at Debevoise & Plimpton are some of the best lawyers in the world and have established an international reputation for outstanding legal services. The firm offers a wide range of services, has developed an effective system of client service, and works diligently to provide its clients with the highest-quality legal advice. With its commitment to excellence, Debevoise & Plimpton is one of the preeminent law firms in the world.

Debevoise & Plimpton is an international law firm founded in 1931 with more than 900 lawyers in offices around the world. The firm offers core legal services in corporate, litigation and financial restructuring, as well as specialized services such as investment funds, capital markets, tax, antitrust and more. At Debevoise & Plimpton, lawyers provide clients with creative and sophisticated legal solutions to their most complex legal problems and develop an effective client service system. The firm is highly regarded for its commitment to quality and excellence and is consistently ranked among the top law firms in the United States. Debevoise founders also boast historical pertinence outside of the legal world. Harvard alumnus Eli Whitney Debevoise, a descendent of the cotton gin inventor, and Oxford-trained William Stevenson, an Olympic gold medallist in the 1924 Paris games, formed the initial partnership. They were eventually joined by Francis Plimpton, now best known as the father of humorist-writer George Plimpton, and another Harvard graduate, Robert Page.

Debevoise & Plimpton: A Leading International Law Firm

Established in 1931, Debevoise & Plimpton is a pre-eminent international law practice. They serve a diverse client base from their offices in New York, Washington D.C., London and Paris. Over the years, the firm has built a unique reputation for providing high caliber services to their clients, consistently delivering innovative solutions to complex legal problems. With decades of experience and expertise, Debevoise & Plimpton is one of the top international law firms in the world.

Expertise and Specializations

Debevoise & Plimpton offer a comprehensive range of legal services, ranging from transactional advice to litigation. They specialize in several areas, including: corporate, M&A and capital markets; finance and restructuring; investment management; private equity; fund formation; and international dispute resolution. Their expert lawyers have a wealth of experience and knowledge that enable them to provide tailor-made solutions to any legal query.

Global Presence

In their 80+ year history, Debevoise & Plimpton have grown to become a truly global law firm. They have offices in four of the world's most important financial centres, including New York, Washington D.C., London and Paris. This allows them to provide clients with a high standard of legal advice across multiple jurisdictions, while drawing on the strengths of the local markets.

Extensive Client List

Debevoise & Plimpton represent a variety of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to financial institutions, governments and individuals. They have a long-term relationship with many clients, and are adept at addressing the needs of clients in different industries. The firm continually employs innovative strategies to deliver the desired results, and have successfully represented some of the world's biggest names.

Comprehensive Service

At Debevoise & Plimpton, clients can receive comprehensive legal advice from a team of experienced professionals. The firm's teams are highly knowledgeable in the area of international law, and can provide legal guidance for any issue. They have a deep understanding of the complexities of cross-border transactions, and can provide innovative solutions in the areas of litigation, corporate, M&A and capital markets, finance and restructuring, investment management, private equity, and fund formation. The firm demonstrated its powerhouse potential early on by assuming a frontline role in the bankruptcy case of "Swedish Match King" Ivan Kreuger in 1934. Kreuger had achieved a worldwide dominance of the match industry and was one of wealthiest men in the world before the NYSE crash led to his demise. The firm still represents the North American division of Swedish Match, which emerged from Kreuger's empire, as well as such long-time clients as American Airlines, DaimlerChrysler, and Goldman Sachs.

Debevoise's history has been marked by a slow but steady expansion, as well as perseverance through tough times. During World War II, many of the firm's lawyers were recruited to government or military posts. Defying the pressure to downsize, Debevoise arranged a merger that allowed it to stay abreast of the market. Always ready to capitalize on new opportunities, Debevoise enlisted the help of several of American Airlines' past lawyers when it became the company's lead counsel in 1948.

Debevoise has established a stronghold in the areas of corporate law and litigation both in the United States and abroad. Its M&A work is particularly noteworthy, with recent highlights including Chrysler's $38 billion merger with Daimler-Benz and Goldman Sachs' $72-billion sale of an AT&T subsidiary to Comcast. The firm's excellence in litigation shines forth in Mary Jo White, the head of the department, who returned to the firm after an eight-year stint as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Under her leadership, Debevoise frequently steps up to the plate in high-stakes cases. Currently, the firm is representing Tyco's former CEO Dennis Koslowski in his white-collar defense case and a chemical manufacturer of the Agent Orange defoliant, used by the US military during the Vietnam War, in a toxic tort class action brought by Vietnamese citizens.

Approximately half of Debevoise's work has an international focus, either by subject matter or by client, and the firm possesses an expertise in cross-border transactions, capital markets, private equity funds, and large-scale restructurings. As an example of Debevoise's international stature, more than half of the lawyers in the London offices hold UK qualifications.

Perhaps one of the most attractive features of Debevoise is its pro bono practice, to which the firm reportedly devotes a tremendous five percent of all billable hours. In the Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, the firm once again ranked second in the "Pro Bono" category. Recently, the firm represented the Mexican Government in connection with Mexican nationals on death row in the United States. It also provided an amicus brief on behalf of gay-rights groups in the campaign against Texas' sodomy laws, which culminated in the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas.

As expected for such a high-caliber firm, getting hired at Debevoise is not easy. In addition to stellar grades from top law schools, successful candidates will also demonstrate a well-rounded background and the ability to effectively handle a sophisticated caseload. Those who make it through the selection process will not only have the opportunity to participate in comprehensive training in their field of choice, even overseas, but also to work in a rare firm culture, often hailed as one of the most collegial in the country, which cherishes the relations between associates and partners.

published March 05, 2023

( 54 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.