IN-DEPTH RESEARCH REPORT
on Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
- - Financial Information
- - Compensation
- - Billing Rates
- - Lateral Partner Moves
- - Pro bono
- - Key Contacts
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
- Designation: New York
- Head Count: 435
- Gross Revenues: $466,500,000
- Revenue Per Lawyer: $1,075,000
- Profits Per Partner: $2,650,000
- Year Over Year Change: 1
It wasn’t what Dickens had in mind, but mortgage–backed securities work, it turned out, meant the best of times and the worst of times, too. For Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, the good times saw booming profits per partner; the bad times—and they were really bad—saw a credit crisis that rocked the firm. One of the first large firms to lay off lawyers during the downturn, Cadwalader cut its roster deeply, and repeatedly, as a dramatic lull in work decimated its structured finance department (in one layoff round in 2008, nearly 100 lawyers were let go). In fiscal year 2007 Cadwalader numbered 645 lawyers; by 2010, the firm was down to 481 (including just 58 equity partners). It ranked eighty–first of 84 firms on The American Lawyer’s Recession Performance Index, which looked at revenue, staffing, and profits between 2007 and 2009.
Yet even with all the recent turmoil, Cadwalader—the second–oldest continuously operated law firm in the country—remains a major force on our rankings. It continues to be a highly leveraged and highly profitable firm with a small partnership—although it has brought in more laterals in recent years.
The firm has also reappeared in the top five on the Am Law Profitability Index. And perhaps most promising of all, revenue in 2011 saw a slight uptick—4.4 percent—after years of steady decline. “The pickup was pretty much across the board, but litigation was particularly strong, ” says Cadwalader chairman W. Christopher White. In fact, White says, litigation represented approximately 40–42 percent of the firm’s revenue.
Meanwhile, Cadwalader has been looking to new practice areas—and regions—for growth. It opened a Hong Kong office in 2010 to assist financial institutions and companies doing business in Asia. In 2011 it launched an energy and commodities practice based in a new Houston office.
Still, Cadwalader 2.0 has had its glitches. The firm lost a major dealmaker when senior partner Dennis Block left for Greenberg Traurig in 2011. And in January 2012, it lost a trio of bankruptcy partners to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Junior lawyers have also had their gripes: Cadwalader ranked 102nd (out of 126 firms) on The American Lawyer’s 2011 Midlevel Associates Survey. The best of times may indeed come again—but to a very different–looking Cadwalader.
—Updated as of 1/2012
|Survey||Rank||Year Over Year Change||Description|
|Am Law 100||63||1||Gross revenue|
|Am Law 200||63||1||Gross revenue|
|NLJ 250||94||10||Lawyer head count|
|The A-List||NR||N/A||Overall excellence|
|Pro Bono Scorecard||120||no change||Pro-bono commitment|
|Diversity Scorecard||109||6||Minority head count|
|Midlevel Associates Survey||102||21||Job satisfaction|
|Summer Associates Survey||95||2||Summer programs|
In the News
Diane Jeantet : The Am Law Daily : May 21, 2013
K&L Gates hires two renewable energy partners in Portland; King & Spalding poaches from Bird & Bird to establish a London trade practice; and a fourth Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft lawyer leaves the firm for O'Melveny & Myers. The Churn is constant. Please send all announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Brennan : The Asian Lawyer : May 16, 2013
* Davis Polk on a $4 billion bond offering for China's CNOOC* Allen & Overy advising Sinopec Engineering on its $2.7 billion IPO* Four Wall Street firms take on AsiaInfo-Linkage's $890 million take-private deal
: New York Law Journal : May 15, 2013
Brent Lewis has joined the structured finance and securitization practice at Hunton & Williams as of counsel, while Robert Trainor has joined Covington & Burling as senior of counsel in the life sciences practice, and more.
Diane Jeantet : The Am Law Daily : May 14, 2013
Dickstein Shapiro loses a partner to Jones Day in Washington, D.C.; Bryan Cave poaches five attorneys from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan; and a former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner, most recently with Linklaters, joins KPMG. The Churn is constant. Please send all announcements to email@example.com.
Brian Baxter : The Am Law Daily : May 10, 2013
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Greenberg Traurig, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz have grabbed roles on private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners's $835 million purchase of struggling premium jeans maker True Religion Apparel.
Diane Jeantet : The Am Law Daily : May 10, 2013
Alston & Bird adds four partners to its capital markets department on the East Coast; the vice-chair of Greenberg Traurig's pharmaceutical, medical device, and health care litigation practice has left for Jones Day; and Locke Lord expands its Hong Kong office with five new attorneys. The Churn is constant. Please send all announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine Simmons : New York Law Journal : May 8, 2013
The chairs of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft's financial restructuring department are decamping to O'Melveny & Myers to lead that firm's practice.
Brian Baxter : The Am Law Daily : May 7, 2013
John Rapisardi and George Davis—who joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft six years ago in a high-profile lateral move from Weil, Gotshal & Manges—are leaving the firm to cohead the global financial restructuring practice at O'Melveny & Myers.
Bill Lienhard : New York Law Journal : May 3, 2013
John J. Rapisardi and Zachary H. Smith : New York Law Journal : May 2, 2013
In their Bankruptcy Practice column, John J. Rapisardi, a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, and Zachary H. Smith, special counsel at the firm, write that it remains to be seen whether influential bankruptcy courts in New York and Delaware will adopt the Fifth Circuit's bright-line approach to artificial impairment under section 1129(a)(10).
- Adams and Reese
- Akerman Senterfitt
- Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
- Allen & Overy
- Baker & McKenzie
- Brown Rudnick
- Buist Moore
- Cahill Gordon & Reindel
- Carlton Fields
- Clayton Utz
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
- Clifford Chance
- Davis Polk & Wardwell
- Dewey & LeBoeuf
- Diamond McCarthy
- DLA Piper
- Dorsey & Whitney
- Dreier LLP
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
- Herbert Smith
- Herrick, Feinstein
- Hogan Lovells
- Jones Day
- K&L Gates
- Kirkland & Ellis
- Latham & Watkins
- McKool Smith
- Minter Ellison
- Moore & Van Allen
- Morrison & Foerster
- Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
- Nexsen Pruet
- Nixon Peabody
- Norton Rose
- O?Melveny & Myers
- Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart,
- Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
- Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein
- Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pitman
- Potter Anderson & Corroon
- Proskauer Rose
- Reed Smith
- Richards, Layton & Finger
- Ropes & Gray
- Ruden McClosky
- Shea & Gould
- Shearman & Sterling
- Simmons & Simmons
- Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
- Sullivan & Cromwell
- Weil, Gotshal & Manges
- White & Case
- Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
- Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice