Firm / Organisation

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

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Presiding Partner: Faiza J Saeed
Number of partners worldwide: 88
Number of other lawyers worldwide: 491

Firm Overview:
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is widely recognised as one of the preeminent law firms in the world. Each of the firm’s practices is highly regarded and its lawyers are recognised for their commitment to the representation of their clients’ interests in the US and throughout the world. Cravath was founded in 1819 and maintains offices in New York and London.

Main Areas of Practice:


Cravath’s work with many of the world’s most significant companies has enabled it to develop a broad-based corporate practice. Clients repeatedly choose Cravath for their largest and most complex matters. The firm’s corporate lawyers advise companies in a diverse range of M&A transactions, including public company mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs and joint ventures, as well as hostile takeovers and the defence of companies and boards of directors against activist hedge funds. Cravath has a preeminent capital markets practice, representing issuers and investment banks in all types of US and non-US offerings. The firm’s commercial banking lawyers regularly represent major financial institutions and borrowers on acquisition financings and lending transactions ranging from simple credit agreements to complex multicurrency, multijurisdictional financings. Cravath provides corporate governance advice to clients facing difficult choices and evaluates complex and often unprecedented transactions under the most demanding circumstances. The firm’s restructuring practice addresses a wide range of financial distress situations involving both Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court workouts in domestic and cross-border matters. Cravath’s highly regarded environmental lawyers work with the firm’s clients on matters related to acquisition and disposition strategies, financings and regulatory compliance with respect to a broad range of environmental issues. The firm’s IP lawyers advise clients in a wide variety of industries, including information technology, biotechnology, life sciences, pharmaceuticals and blockchain and financial technology (FinTech). Cravath’s IP practice provides strategic advice in corporate contexts such as acquisitions and divestitures, multi-party joint ventures and strategic investments, licensing agreements and portfolio development and exploitation.

Cravath’s tax department designs tax-efficient structures for US and cross-border mergers, spin-offs, joint ventures, private equity deals and internal restructurings. In addition, its lawyers advise issuers and underwriters on the tax aspects of all types of capital markets offerings and credit facilities. Clients rely on Cravath’s tax lawyers for their extensive legal knowledge, practical and sound business judgment and ability to explain esoteric issues in a clear and understandable way.

Executive Compensation & Benefits:
Cravath’s ECB department brings experience and judgment to its clients’ employee benefits and compensation matters, which are often central concerns in acquisitions, dispositions and other transactions. The firm’s ECB lawyers advise companies, boards of directors, compensation committees and members of senior management in a variety of compensation and benefit arrangements as well as legal compliance concerns.

Cravath’s litigation department is staffed by trial lawyers with broad courtroom experience in complex corporate litigation, including class action and derivative litigation, across all industries. The firm’s litigators are routinely called upon to represent clients in trials and appeals in federal and state courts, domestic and inter-national arbitrations, before administrative agencies and regulatory authorities and in many other types of proceedings, including internal investigations. The firm has extensive experience in such diverse areas of the law as antitrust, bankruptcy, corporate governance, employment, general commercial, IP, M&A, securities, tax and white collar criminal defence. Companies, boards and board committees regularly rely on the firm to handle contested transactions and guide them through the intricacies of shareholder litigation and investigations. In addition to handling antitrust litigation, the firm advises on business conduct or potential investments to ensure compliance with antitrust laws and represents clients in securing regulatory approvals. With respect to IP, the firm handles critical litigation involving trade secrets, patents, copyright and trademarks in industries as wide-ranging as technology, pharmaceuticals and financial services. Cravath also frequently advises clients on national and worldwide IP strategy and the identification of IP assets that can be used effectively for offensive or defensive purposes. In the area of securities litigation, the firm is widely recognised for handling complex and often precedent-setting cases on behalf of issuers, financial institutions and audit firms.

Trusts & Estates:
The firm’s trusts and estates lawyers have served as legal counsel, advisors and trustees to several generations of families who built many of the world’s most important businesses. The firm’s lawyers work closely with US and non US private clients to realise their business, estate planning and philanthropic goals by advising them on the creation and administration of trusts, estates and charitable foundations.

International Work:
For the past 100 years, Cravath has had an international practice representing its clients both in the US and global markets. The firm’s lawyers work on a diverse range of matters and regularly advise corporate and financial institution clients on a variety of capital markets, M&A, general corporate, commercial banking and SEC compliance matters. Cravath lawyers often work closely with leading law firms in Europe and elsewhere, providing advice on complex transactions that require extensive knowledge of and experience in the laws of multiple jurisdictions. The firm represents clients in litigation in US courts and in arbitrations and investigations conducted throughout the world.

Along with governments and multinational corporations, the firm’s client base has included some of the world’s best known companies and financial institutions, including: AerCap, Akorn,, American Express, Amgen, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Ashland, Avon, AXA, Bacardi, Banco Santander, Barrick Gold, British American Tobacco, Brookfield Asset Management, Casa Cuervo, Citigroup, Colgate-Palmolive, Credit Suisse, Deloitte & Touche, Deutsche Börse, Disney/ESPN, European Investment Bank, GE, Genpact, Goldman Sachs, Grupo Villar Mir, HDFC, Hertz, Honeywell, IBM, INEOS, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Linde, Lindsay Goldberg, Merck, Morgan Stanley, Mylan, Naspers, NCR, Nestlé, Nomura, Northrop Grumman, Novartis, Occidental, PG&E, PricewaterhouseCoopers, QUALCOMM, RELX, Republic of Argentina, Royal Dutch Shell, Sappi, Spirits International, Starbucks, Telia, UBS, Unilever, Viacom, Vivendi, The Weinstein Company, Wells Fargo, Westpac, WestRock, Weyerhaeuser, The Williams Companies and YPF.


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Acquisition Finance 2019 Law and Practice in USA

Nicholas A. Dorsey

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