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At a Glance


“Flexibility, professionalism, work-life balance.”

“Smaller firm where there's high standards and camaraderie.”


“Salary, lack of formal mentorship/training.”

“Compensation is lower than it would be elsewhere.”


Founded and headquartered on Wall Street since 1854, Carter Ledyard & Milburn is a New York City law firm through and through. Franklin D. Roosevelt was an associate at Carter Ledyard before he became Governor of New York and President of the United States. The firm prides itself on its self-described "can do," "get the deal done" philosophy.

Committed to the City

 As a historically New York City firm, Carter Ledyard remains committed to its home base. The firm helped to refinance bonds as part of the World Trade Center Project to rebuild Ground Zero, counseled the Battery Park City Corporation in the renovation of one of the only historic piers left in Manhattan, and has done pro bono work for New Yorkers for Parks regarding land protection issues. Several partners and associates have been elected to and serve on city and environmental boards, including the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York State and Friends of Van Cortlandters for Parks.

Though the firm's New York roots run deep, it is committed to the U.S. on the global stage as well. Its cross-border practice group offers legal counsel to corporations in countries such as Israel, Canada, China, Turkey , United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland that want to conduct business in the U.S.

A Firm of Many Talents

Carter Ledyard has a range of expertise under its belt. Among the firm’s fortes is advising financial institutions regarding restrictive covenants and non-compete litigation. The firm advises clients in the medical device and biotech fields—such as CooperSurgical, Inc. and Trinity Biotech PLC—on transactional matters and litigation. Also among its work is handling bond litigation for BNY Mellon and representing Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC in trademark matters and litigation. Carter Ledyard also advised the Long Island Power Authority on the Long Island Solar Farm, the biggest solar energy project in the state of New York, and Spectra Energy Corp. in the creation of natural gas transportation infrastructure in the New York and New Jersey areas. The firm also has a long-standing tradition of servicing the needs of U.S. and foreign high-net-worth individuals and families as well as various tax-exempt organizations.

Getting to Know You

With approximately 90 attorneys and at least a 1.1 partner-to-associate ratio, Carter Ledyard emphasizes quality over quantity.  Most cases are handled by a partner and one or more associates. And for junior associates, this structure means getting direct experience with a variety of partners. The firm aims to guide juniors via on-the-job feedback and two evaluations each year.

News & Awards

  • Carter Ledyard assisted Word Gold Trust Services, LLC (WGTS), a subsidiary of the World Gold Council, with the development and regulatory approval of the first exchange traded fund to track a commodity. Launched in 2004, the SPDR ® Gold Trust (NYSE Arca: GLD) holds, as of January 2023, approximately $56 billion in gold bullion. The firm continues to represent WGTS as the sponsor of the trust.
    Carter Ledyard represented the taxpayer in the important tax planning case of Walton v.
  • Commissioner, 115 T.C. No. 41 (December 22, 2000), whereby the Tax Court agreed that, where annuities payable under two-year Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) were payable to the grantor and, if applicable, the grantor’s estate, the retained annuities should be valued as term annuities that would be payable in all events. This court found the contrary IRS regulation in question invalid, thus allowing taxpayers to be able to use GRATs to transfer future appreciation to their descendants with no gift tax cost. “Walton” GRATs have since become highly popular tools in estate planning.
  • Carter Ledyard represented the only shareholder to object to the settlement of a shareholders’ derivative suit which included indemnification of the former CEO for his liability under Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). SOX 304 required the CEO to pay back any bonus compensation received during a period for which the public company was required to correct its financial statements as a result of misconduct. In a case of first impression, the firm persuaded the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to invalidate the indemnity and thereby preserved a $186 million claim for the public company. Cohen v. Viray, 622 F.3d 188 (2d Cir. 2010).

28 Liberty Street
41st Floor
New York, NY 10005
Phone: (212) 732-3200

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Judith Wallace
Lateral Hiring Partner: Stephen Plotnick
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
50 - 100
No. of Partners Named 2022:

Base Salary

1st year: $150,000

Employment Contact

June Chotoo
Director of Recruitment and Attorney Development
(212) 238-8744
General Recruiting Email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 2

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (2 offices)

Major Departments

Banking and Commercial Lending
Capital Markets and Leveraged Finance Practice
Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Plan Investments Under ERISA
Employment Law
Energy Project Development and Finance
Environmental and Land Use
Financial Institutions Regulatory and Enforcement
Intellectual Property
Internal Investigations and White Collar Defense
International Business
Litigation and Disputes
Mergers and Acquisitions
Real Estate
Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants
Trusts & Estates
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.