2000s to the Present
Into a New Century
We have embraced the new century, building on the efforts of the Firm's forebears. As our clients' businesses continue to evolve, we have expanded our capabilities into key areas and markets. The 2011 establishment of our Houston office was in direct response to our clients' interest in the energy and oil and gas sectors, particularly from financial institutions, corporate clients and private equity firms. We established our Hong Kong law practice in 2011 to provide clients with broader capabilities in their capital markets and M&A transactions. The following year, the opening of Korea to U.S. law firms enabled us to open our Seoul office and better serve our clients in Korea.
While Simpson Thacher now has 11 offices, at heart and in practice, we remain a single Firm, collaborating to achieve the best and most efficient results for our business clients. Our structure today reflects those objectives:
- The Corporate Practice now brings together peerless proficiency in banking and credit, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, private capital and real estate to advise on the most critical, complex transactions—both in the United States and around the world
- Our Litigation Practice takes on bet-the-company engagements of all kinds, resolving disputes when possible and going full bore in court when necessary
- Additional practices in Executive Compensation, Exempt Organizations, Personal Planning and Tax complement the work of other departments, as well as represent corporate and individual clients in separate matters
Highlights of our recent marquee matters include:
- Advising on the IPOs of Facebook, Hilton, Google, Blackstone, Carlyle, KKR, MasterCard, DreamWorks Animation, Japan Airlines, Tesla—and more than 300 other successful U.S. and global IPOs over the last decade
- Handling M&A deals such as Microsoft's $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype; Vodafone's $130 billion sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon; and Wyeth's $68 billion sale to Pfizer
- Advising the U.S. Department of the Treasury in structuring TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) after the financial crisis of 2008
- Representing various parties in record buyouts and offerings in China, Brazil, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Uruguay, Korea and the Netherlands
- Winning a unanimous jury verdict for Swiss Re, the largest participant in the $3.5 billion property insurance program covering the World Trade Center at the time of the terrorist attacks on 9/11
In the mold of Whitney North Seymour and Cy Vance, the Firm's commitment to public service has endured. We average tens of thousands of pro bono hours annually; our clients range across the spectrum of nonprofits, civic organizations, micro-entrepreneurs, criminal defendants and other individuals. In representing honorable causes and those without means, our lawyers bear out our credo that the Firm exists in a larger community.
Our signature pro bono representation has been on behalf of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE). Since 1995, the Firm has assisted CFE in attempting to remedy inadequacies in the New York City public schools. Devoting more than $20 million worth of lawyer time, the Firm represented CFE through a seven-month trial and then numerous appeals—ultimately obtaining a landmark ruling that the city had violated the state constitution's requirement that all students have the opportunity for basic education. As a result, billions of additional dollars are being made available to support the education of New York City school children.
Today, led by Bill Dougherty, the Firm preserves a culture that combines the highest professional standards with abiding individual respect among and between our lawyers and clients. While we have grown dramatically in scale and reach, we retain the ethos of a much smaller firm—just like the one that John Woodruff Simpson, Thomas Thacher and William Milo Barnum founded 130 years ago. Dedicated to client service, we look forward to practicing law with those same values for many more years.