2024 Vault Rankings
- Real Estate#20
At a Glance
The people are genuinely fun to work with, and every matter is front page newsworthy.”
“Collegial atmosphere where partners and senior associates are respectful and friendly.
“Commitment to pro bono causes.”
“The stress and unpredictability of the day to day.”
“The culture is to be available 24/7 and that gets tiring.”
“Would like to be able to work from home more.”
About Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
For almost 150 years, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison—and its predecessor firms—has been a mainstay in the New York City legal market, initially as a general commercial practice. The firm began expanding its litigation practice in the 1950s and branched out into the international legal community more than 50 years ago. Paul, Weiss has defended some of the world’s largest companies, private equity firms, and financial institutions.
Paul, Weiss arose in pre-WWI New York, when Samuel William Weiss and partners opened a practice to handle commercial law matters for other members of the local Jewish business community. At the time, Jewish attorneys struggled to be accepted in non-Jewish firms. Weiss’ son Louis took a different approach and went into business with Columbia Law classmate John F. Wharton, who was a Protestant. The firm was the first major New York City firm to break down the barrier of Jews practicing with Gentiles. Eventually, Weiss & Wharton merged with the firm Samuel Weiss had helped start.
After World War II, Randolph Paul from the U.S. Treasury Department and Lloyd Garrison from the National War Labor Board joined the firm, making it a top-tier legal powerhouse. The last name partner to join the masthead was Judge Simon Rifkind, who came on board in 1950 after serving as a federal district court judge and working in the Roosevelt administration to craft New Deal legislation. He stayed with the firm until his death in 1995 and is credited with helping to establish the firm as a litigation heavyweight. The firm has seen alumni become a presidential nominee, an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and advisors and appointees in presidential cabinets and federal agencies,
One of the Greats
Paul, Weiss is home to a panoply of preeminent, highly-regarded practice groups. Its M&A team offers expertise on matters that have defined core principles in the field, and has experience working across industries and in a range of practice specializations and disciplines—including tax, ERISA, real estate, IP, and environmental law. The team has secured deals for companies like Amazon, Chevron, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, and Qualcomm. Since 2020, the firm has advised on over 140 billion-dollar-plus M&A transactions and close to a trillion in total M&A, including for public and privately held companies, private equity firms and their portfolio companies, and other investors. Recent awards include Law360 M&A Practice Group of the Year (2019, 2021, 2022), recognition year after year by The American Lawyer as “Dealmakers of the Year” (2019-2023), and IFLR Awards Americas M&A Team of the Year (2022).
Paul, Weiss’ private equity group is equally vaunted, and was a pioneer in the area of leveraged buyouts. The PE transactional team regularly represents buyout and investment firms, including general partners, limited partners, co-investors, portfolio companies, and financial sponsor groups. Its fund formation group leads the charge for all types of asset managers, which include private equity funds, credit funds, open-ended funds, growth equity funds, real asset funds, hybrid funds, and family offices. Since 2020, the firm has handled more than 400 PE/PE portfolio co-deals for clients like Apollo, Berkshire, Brighton Park, Brookfield, Clearlake, Crestview, D1 Capital, General Atlantic, Golden Gate Capital, KKR, Kohlberg, KPS, Oak Hill Capital, Roark, Wellspring, and 36 Capital, among others.
But that’s not all—Paul, Weiss leads the market in other practice areas as well. Its litigation department has recently won cases for Amazon, Blackstone, FIFA, Kraft Heinz, Morgan Stanley, PayPal, Pfizer, Uber, and the Goldman Sachs Group—this last one before the U.S. Supreme Court, no less. The litigation department was named the “Commercial Litigation Law Firm of the Year” by Chambers USA in 2022 and earned recognition as the 2022 “White Collar Group of the Year” and “Trials Group of the Year” by Law360. Attorneys in the firm’s white collar & regulatory defense practice represent Fortune 50 clients, boards, and key executives in major government investigations and enforcement actions, Congressional hearings, and internal investigations. Members of Paul, Weiss’ restructuring department have represented Revlon, Diamond Sports Group, and Party City, several of 2022’s largest chapter 11 cases, and the firm has been shortlisted for Chambers USA’s “Bankruptcy Law Firm of the Year” in 2022 and 2023.
Pro Bono in the Blood
Civil rights work is part of the DNA of Paul, Weiss, from its work on the “Scottsboro Boys” trials and Brown v. Board of Education to challenging the Defense of Marriage Act through United States v. Windsor. Throughout its history, Paul, Weiss has been progressive in ideology and in practice, embracing matters of social consequence. The firm was the first to hire a Black associate, the first to hire a Black female associate, and the first to make a woman a partner. Today, the firm is active in racial justice efforts, reproductive rights, voter protection efforts, and immigrant rights. Its pro bono efforts have not gone unrecognized—the firm was named as one of Bloomberg Law’s inaugural “Pro Bono Innovators” for 2022 and was among the top 20 firms in The American Lawyer’s 2022 Pro Bono Survey.
News & Awards
- Paul, Weiss advised IBM in its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, creating the world’s largest hybrid cloud provider.
- The firm represented iconic beauty company Revlon in its successful bankruptcy, the largest chapter 11 filing of 2022.
- Paul, Weiss led the defense of the NFL in lawsuits by 5,000-plus former NFL players over alleged concussion-related injuries, obtaining a landmark settlement in 2013.
- Paul, Weiss advised Apollo Global Management in its transformational merger with Athene, a $43 billion deal.
- The firm won a defense verdict for Citigroup in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit by failed Italian dairy giant Parmalat, and won a $1 billion counterclaim.
- Won nine “Dealmakers of the Year” recognitions over the past six years, more than any other firm during that period, 2018–2023—The American Lawyer
- Won seven “Practice Groups of the Year” awards (M&A, Trials, Appellate, White Collar, Sports & Betting, Banking, Fintech), 2022—Law360
- Named a Litigation Department of the Year Finalist, 2021—The American Lawyer
- Named a Bankruptcy Law Firm of the Year Finalist, 2023— Chambers USA
- Named most innovative in ESG practices, and finalist for “Most Innovative Law Firm in North America,” 2022—Financial Times Innovative Law Firms
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019-6064
Phone: (212) 373-3000
Firm Chair: Brad S. Karp
Deputy Chair: Valerie E. Radwaner
Hiring Partners: Jaren Janghorbani, Greg Laufer, Cullen Sinclair, Laura Turano
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2023:
1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
7th year: $400,000
8th year: $415,000
9th year: $415,000
Summer Associate: $4,135/week
Pamela N. Davidson
Chief Legal Personnel and Recruitment Officer
No. of U.S. Offices: 4
No. of International Offices: 5
New York, NY (HQ)
San Francisco, CA
Wilmington, DE |
Cryptocurrency & Blockchain
Cybersecurity & Data Protection
IP & Technology Transactions
Mergers & Acquisitions
Supreme Court & Appellate Litigation
Sustainability & ESG
White Collar & Regulatory Defense
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.