Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

4 Star Rating     3 reviews 
Main Office:

125 Broad Street, | New York City | NY | 10004

Phone: 212-558-4000 | Fax: 212-558-3588

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Year of establishment 1879 Number of partners 164
Number of offices 13 Partner to associate ratio 0.30
Biggest office New York City Percentage of women attorneys 36.20
Number of attorneys 826 Percentage of minority attorneys 15.60
Number of associates 573 Percentage of LGBT attorneys 5.20
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
   3 reviews

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Reviews

- Reviewed on December 16, 2017

Advice to law firm management: This firm needs to consider raising the pay for their employees. If employees aren't feeling appreciated for their position then they will leave.

Pros: Sullivan & Cromwell were a very good law firm to work for. They trained me very well when I started and I really felt like I had a strong grasp on my position. They also work with you to further your career and have a lot of upward availability.

Cons: The pay could be a little better. Isn't great but isn't horrible either. Other jobs nearby pay the same and sometimes I don't feel worth it to have this position.

Current or former employee?: Former Employee

- Reviewed on September 25, 2017

Advice to law firm management: Allow more opportunities for advancement at this firm. Let employees have a life outside of the firm.

Pros: The people here are wonderful, and the benefits are great. There is great support for pro bono projects.

Cons: There is no upward mobility or a career to be found here. The work/life balance is not very good here.

Current or former employee?: Current Employee


Sullivan & Cromwell LLP provides the highest quality legal advice and representation to clients around the world. The results the Firm achieves have set it apart for more than 130 years and have become a model for the modern practice of law. Today, S&C is a leader in each of its core practice areas and in each of its geographic markets. S&C’s success is the result of the quality of its lawyers, the most broadly and deeply trained collection of attorneys in the world. The Firm’s lawyers work as a single partnership without geographic division. S&C hires the very best law school graduates and trains them to be generalists within broad practice areas. The Firm promotes lawyers to partner almost entirely from among its own associates. The result is a partnership with a unique diversity of experience, exceptional professional judgment and a demonstrated history of innovation. Clients of the Firm are nearly evenly divided between U.S. and non-U.S. entities. They include industrial and commercial companies; financial institutions; private funds; governments; educational, charitable and cultural institutions; and individuals, estates and trusts. S&C’s client base is exceptionally diverse, a result of the Firm’s extraordinary capacity to tailor work to specific client needs. S&C comprises approximately 800 lawyers who serve clients around the world through a network of 12 offices, located in leading financial centers in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States. The Firm is headquartered in New York.

Practice Areas

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP practices law in the following areas and works with its clients to provide the best possible legal solutions.

  • Capital Markets
  • Leveraged Finance & Lending
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Commodities Futures & Derivatives
  • Executive Compensation & Benefits
  • Financial Services
  • Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Project Development & Finance
  • Restructuring
  • Tax
  • Tax Controversy
  • French Tax Practice
  • Uk Tax Practice
  • Estates & Personal
  • Consumer & Retail
  • Consumer Financial Services
  • Corporate Governance
  • Cybersecurity
  • Environmental
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Infrastructure
  • Natural Resources
  • Sports & Entertainment
  • Litigation
  • Antitrust
  • Appellate
  • Arbitration
  • Bankruptcy
  • Congressional Investigations
  • Criminal Defense & Investigations
  • Eu Competition
  • Fcpa & Anti Corruption
  • Financial Services Investigations & Litigation
  • Intellectual Property & Technology Litigation
  • International Trade & Investment
  • Cfius
  • Labor & Employment
  • M&A Litigation
  • Securities

Hiring Criteria

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP follows the set of hiring criteria outlined below.

The firm seeks people who meet their stringent adherence to their core values and whose intellect, character, motivation and other attributes show the candidate's potential to become a leading member of the bar in his or her home country and a valuable contributor to the firm's goals and objectives.

In keeping with the firm's policy of selecting only the best, the candidates must be ranked amongst top-of-their-class. These must be supplemented by several years of home country practice. If a candidate has practiced for one or more years, it is essential to produce a recommendation letter from the previous employer. If the candidate is enrolled in a U.S. LL.M. or similar program, the firm, normally, would want to inspect the student's first semester grades.

S&C encourages law firms around the world to propose candidates for the program, however, with the understanding that they may not be able to accommodate all proposals, given the small size of the program. Proposed candidates, apart from meeting the aforementioned eligibility criteria must corroborate that the candidate in choosing S&C, is interested in a permanent affiliation with the firm.

S&C generally does not hire visiting lawyers who do not have several years of home country practice or who do not expect to return to their home country following completion of the program.

Pro bono

Sullivan & Cromwell lawyers are committed to pro bono work and consider it imperative to their all-round growth and a significant contributor to their skills and proficiency. Last year, S&C devoted more than 68,500 hours to public service, achieving a wide range of results for legal, charitable, and government organizations. S&C's work included both individual pro bono initiatives and ongoing, long-term "signature projects."

There is no minimum pro bono hour's requirement and no limit on how many pro bono hours are counted toward billable hours. Approximately 63% of the associates at the firm do some form of pro bono work, averaging 65 pro bono hours annually each.

Notable cases

  • Eastman Kodak Company called upon S&C to act as lead counsel in its pending global reorganization and Chapter 11 case in the United States.
  • Earlier this year, in May 2012, S&C chairman Joe Shenker led a team advising Frank McCourt in the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers out of bankruptcy to Guggenheim Baseball Management for $2 billion.
  • In December 2011, after a nine-day trial in New York State Court, acting for plaintiffs, a jury issued a verdict in favor of S&C's client MPEG LA on a breach of contract claim brought against Audiovox. This verdict is the latest in a series of plaintiff's victories S&C has obtained over the course of this litigation, in which MPEG alleges underreporting of the manufacture and sale of royalty products, underpayment of royalties, and refusal to allow an audit.
  • S&C lawyers in Paris, London and New York, co-ordinated in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, to advise ING Group in the $3.8 billion sale of its Latin American pensions, life insurance and investment management operations to Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana-the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Colombian company.
  • In October 2011 S&C represented Skype-along with private equity firm Silver Lake-in the $8.5 billion sale of the Internet communication phenomenon to Microsoft. An interoffice team from Palo Alto, Los Angeles and London handled the deal, Microsoft's largest acquisition ever.
  • In March 2011 S&C obtained a victory for The Boeing Company in the dismissal with prejudice of a securities class action litigation brought by a putative class of Boeing shareholders related to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. The Wall Street Journal called the decision-"the biggest plaintiff smackdown of the year."

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Awards and Recognitions

In September 2011, S&C was named "Tax Firm of the Year" at the International Tax Review Americas Tax Awards. In June 2011, in the Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2011, it received the award for "Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Team of the Year".

In 2010, S&C received a Chambers USA Award for "Excellence for Energy Projects: Oil & Gas Team of the Year" and in 2009 and 2008, S&C received the award in the Corporate/M&A Team of the Year category.

S&C was among the top five firms with the most national tier 1 rankings in the introductory U.S. News & World Report - Best Lawyers Best Law Firms survey. The results ranked 8,782 firms across the United States, and were based on client and lawyer feedback.

The Firm also ranked highly in the survey's metropolitan rankings.

In July 2011, S&C was named the "New York Law Firm of the Year 2011" by Who's Who Legal, for the second consecutive year.

S&C ranked #3 on Vault's annual list of the nation's "Top 100 Most Prestigious Law Firms" in June 2011.

S&C was recognized on Directors & Boards' 2010 Top Corporate Governance Law Firms list, which was published in the fall 2010 issue of the magazine. It was ranked among the top 10 firms for general corporate governance issues and among the top 10 firms for board-level M&A issues.

In May 2010, Corporate Board Member magazine announced that S&C had been named one of America's Best Corporate Law Firms. S&C has been among the top five firms nationwide since the magazine first published this survey in 2001.

For the fourth year in a row, S&C and its lawyers received top honors in the 2011 edition of Euromoney's Benchmark: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, which notes, "S&C has experienced a year of high-level appointments and resounding victories that can only be described as extraordinary and the firm's profile has been kept aloft on a wave of headlines and unanimous peer accolades."

In the year 2010 the BTI Consulting Group recognized S&C for providing superior client service - outstanding in a field of more than 500 law firms serving the Fortune 1000. This recognition was based entirely on feedback from corporate counsel.


S&C is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion and these principles are firmly embedded in the firm's culture. It believes that diversity is vital to its ability to provide its clients with the highest level of service. Understanding that people are their greatest asset, the firm has taken several initiatives for the benefit of women and diverse lawyers to enrich their experiences at the firm. Through the Women's Initiative Committee it seeks to enhance the experience of women lawyers by supporting efforts to recruit, retain and advance their careers.

The firm's Diversity Management Department is charged with developing, implementing and coordinating the initiatives, events and programs. Realizing the importance of an integrated approach, the Diversity Committee and the DMD work closely with practice group leaders, firm committees and other internal departments to ensure the firm achieves its goals.

The firm has a non-discrimination policy that confirms its commitment towards hiring students in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or any other unlawful criterion or circumstance.

As of January 1, 2012, the Firm had elected forty-four partners worldwide in the preceding six years; of these forty-four partners, fifteen are women, twelve are minorities and two are openly gay. In addition, their lawyers have diverse backgrounds; they speak over 30 languages fluently and they come from approximately 40 different countries and 150 different law schools.

Rankings-wise S&C has consistently been graded amongst the best in Diversity and Inclusion. Recently Vault listed S&C as among the "20 Best Law Firms for LGBT Diversity."

Summer associate program

Surveys have shown a great degree of satisfaction amongst respondents who say that they are treated as a real associate and get to work with some very smart people. Moreover, they say that the work is very substantive, much of it high profile and in the news.

Attorney assignment coordinators in the firm's four departments, as well as a pro bono coordinator, make assignments according to summer associates' preferences, but summer associates can also find work through a free-market system. Summer associates are expected to complete 11 to 15 projects during the firm's 12-week summer program, and typically spend seven hours a day on billable work.

The programs are designed to provide associates with the support required to develop and pursue their career and professional development goals. Associates are paired with one partner advisor from their practice group or sub-group and they meet at least semi-annually to discuss the advisee's professional development plan, practice group milestones, current and past assignments, skills development and training, practice interests and any other relevant matters that may arise or that the associate advisee may wish to raise.

Subject to space and need, summer associates have the option of working in one of the firm's overseas offices for four to six weeks, or they can choose to split their summer between two of the firm's domestic offices. In 2010, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP had a class of 137 summer associates. 77 of those summer associates were considered for offers. 76 offers were made. All summer associates are paid $3,076 per week, regardless of class.

Working for the Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Working for Sullivan & Cromwell is an enriching and rewarding experience. The firm's personalized approach to learning and development provides associates with an all-round learning experience that includes on-the-job training, with specific training programs customized to each individual associate, office and practice area.

Employee satisfaction is high. Moreover it is prestigious to be part of the S&C team. If you are an attorney at Sullivan and Cromwell, you will be counted amongst the best and brightest, and gain insight into the complex, high end, innovative legal work, regardless of your practice area.

S&C is not all work and no time to relax. It is committed to being a leader in compensation and benefits around the world. The work environment is most supportive and includes state-of-the art exercise facilities to family-friendly leave policies.


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