White-shoe Law Firms in United States

White-shoe law firms are prestigious, high-profile law firms known for their reputation, history, and clientele. The term "white-shoe" originally referred to the traditional attire of lawyers at these firms, who would wear formal business attire, including white buckskin shoes. Over time, the term came to symbolise the prestigious and established nature of these law firms. These firms are typically located in major financial and commercial centres and are synonymous with excellence in the legal profession. Here are the 18 well-known white-shoe law firms in the United States:

Arnold & Porter
Arnold & Porter is an international law firm founded in 1946 in Washington, DC. The firm has grown to become one of the largest law firms in the United States, with additional offices in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and London. They provide legal services across various practice areas, including litigation, corporate law, intellectual property, and regulatory matters. Arnold & Porter has a long-standing reputation for its commitment to pro bono work and public service.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
Cadwalader is one of the oldest law firms in the United States, with a history dating back to 1792. The firm was founded in New York City and has since expanded its presence with offices in Washington, D.C., London, and Charlotte. Cadwalader is recognised for its expertise in financial services and corporate law. They advise clients on matters such as banking, capital markets, restructuring, regulatory compliance, and complex transactions.

Covington & Burling
Covington & Burling was established in 1919 in Washington, DC. Since its founding, the firm has grown to become a global law firm with offices in major cities worldwide, including New York, London, Brussels, and Beijing. Covington & Burling serves clients across various industries, including life sciences, technology, media, and sports. They handle a wide range of legal matters, such as corporate transactions, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, and dispute resolution.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Cravath is a prestigious law firm with a rich history dating back to 1819. The firm is headquartered in New York City and is known for its corporate and litigation practices. Cravath has been involved in numerous landmark transactions and litigations throughout its history. They provide legal counsel to clients on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, antitrust matters, complex litigation cases, and general corporate advice.

Davis Polk & Wardwell
Davis Polk & Wardwell was founded in 1849 and is one of the oldest law firms in the United States. The firm is headquartered in New York City and has offices in major financial centres worldwide. Davis Polk is well-regarded for its expertise in corporate and financial services law. They represent major corporations, financial institutions, and governments in complex transactions, regulatory matters, and litigation. The firm has played a significant role in shaping the legal landscape and has a history of advising clients on significant deals and cases.

Debevoise & Plimpton
Debevoise & Plimpton was established in New York City in 1931. Over the years, the firm has gained recognition for its strong corporate, litigation, and regulatory practices. Debevoise & Plimpton serves clients in areas such as private equity, mergers and acquisitions, international disputes, white-collar defence, and investment management. The firm has a global footprint with offices in New York, Washington, DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

Goodwin Procter
Goodwin Procter is a full-service law firm that traces its roots back to 1912. The firm has grown steadily and now has offices in several major US cities, including Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, as well as international offices. Goodwin Procter provides legal services in a wide range of practice areas, including corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, real estate, financial services, and private equity. They serve clients across various industries, with a particular focus on technology, life sciences, and financial services sectors.

Hogan Lovells (previously Hogan & Hartson)
Hogan Lovells, founded in 1904 in Washington, DC, was a prominent US law firm known for its extensive experience in corporate law, litigation, and government affairs. Lovells LLP, a well-established UK-based law firm with a history dating back to 1899, specialised in various practice areas, including corporate law, finance, and international arbitration. In 2010, Hogan & Hartson and Lovells merged to create Hogan Lovells, an international law firm with a global presence. The merger brought together the strengths and expertise of both firms to provide clients with comprehensive legal services across a wide range of industries and jurisdictions. Hogan Lovells operates in numerous major cities worldwide, and its areas of focus include corporate law, finance, litigation, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, and government relations.

Mayer Brown
Mayer Brown is a global law firm with a history spanning over a century. It was founded in 1881 in Chicago and has grown into one of the largest law firms in the United States. Mayer Brown has expanded its operations internationally and now has offices in major financial centres around the world. The firm offers a wide range of legal services, including corporate law, finance, litigation, intellectual property, and employment law. They serve clients across various industries, including banking, finance, technology, real estate, and energy.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
Milbank is a prestigious law firm with a history dating back to 1866. The firm was founded in New York City and has since grown into an international law firm with offices in major financial centres worldwide. Milbank is known for its expertise in corporate transactions, financial services, project finance, restructuring, and complex commercial litigation. They serve a diverse client base, including multinational corporations, financial institutions, and governments.

Ropes & Gray
Ropes & Gray was established in 1865 in Boston and has evolved into a prominent global law firm. They have a strong reputation for their corporate and finance practices. Ropes & Gray serves clients in areas such as private equity, asset management, life sciences, intellectual property, and complex commercial litigation. They have a global presence with offices in major cities in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Sherman & Sterling
Sherman & Sterling was founded in New York City in 1930 and has become a leading international law firm. The firm is known for its expertise in a wide range of practice areas, including corporate law, finance, energy, infrastructure, international arbitration, and complex litigation. Sherman & Sterling serves clients across various industries, including banking, energy, telecommunications, technology, and healthcare.

Sidley Austin
Sidley Austin is a global law firm founded in 1866 in Chicago. The firm has expanded its presence with offices in major financial centres worldwide. Sidley Austin offers comprehensive legal services in areas such as corporate law, finance, intellectual property, litigation, and regulatory compliance. They serve a diverse client base, including multinational corporations, financial institutions, governments, and non-profit organisations.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett was founded in New York City in 1884. The firm has a longstanding reputation for its corporate and financial services practices. They specialise in advising clients on complex transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets offerings, private equity, and restructuring. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett represents major corporations, financial institutions, and private equity firms in their most significant and high-profile deals.

Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell is one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms in the United States, founded in 1879 in New York City. The firm has a rich history of representing major corporations and financial institutions in complex legal matters. Sullivan & Cromwell is renowned for its expertise in corporate law, securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and cross-border transactions. They have played a pivotal role in shaping the legal landscape and have been involved in landmark cases and transactions throughout history.

White & Case
White & Case is a global law firm founded in New York City in 1901. Over the years, the firm has grown into one of the largest and most prominent international law firms, with offices in major cities worldwide. White & Case offers a comprehensive range of legal services, including corporate law, finance, arbitration, litigation, and international trade. They serve clients across industries such as banking, energy, infrastructure, construction, and technology.

Wilkie Farr & Gallagher
Wilkie Farr & Gallagher was established in New York City in 1918. The firm has grown into a leading law firm with offices in major financial centres in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Wilkie Farr & Gallagher specialises in corporate law, litigation, and regulatory matters. They represent clients in diverse industries, including finance, technology, healthcare, and real estate.

Wilmer Hale
Wilmer Hale is a prominent law firm formed through the merger of Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP and Hale and Dorr LLP. Wilmer Cutler Pickering was founded in 1962 in Washington, D.C., and Hale and Dorr traces its roots back to 1918 in Boston. The merger in 2004 created a global law firm with offices in major cities across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Wilmer Hale offers a wide range of legal services, including corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, and government affairs. They serve clients in various sectors, such as technology, life sciences, financial services, and defence.

These law firms exemplify the prestigious nature and exceptional legal services associated with the white-shoe category. They have established themselves as leaders in the legal industry, serving prominent clients and handling complex legal matters on a global scale.
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