Debevoise & Plimpton
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a prominent international law firm
Law firm
A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. The primary service rendered by a law firm is to advise clients about their legal rights and responsibilities, and to represent clients in civil or criminal cases, business transactions, and other...

 based in New York City. Founded in 1931 by Eli Whitney Debevoise
Eli Whitney Debevoise
Eli Whitney Debevoise was a prominent New York lawyer who co-founded the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton and periodically served in a variety of high profile government positions.- Early life :...

 and William Stevenson
William Stevenson (athlete)
William Edwards Stevenson was an American track and field athlete, lawyer and diplomat, who won the gold medal in 4x400 m relay at the 1924 Summer Olympics and later served as president of Oberlin College....

, Debevoise has been a long established leader in corporate litigation and large financial transactions. In recent years, its practice has taken on an increasingly international component. The firm currently employs about 680 lawyers in eight offices throughout the world.


In 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, Debevoise & Plimpton was named as America's Best Law Firm by the American Lawyer in its A-List rankings. Debevoise & Plimpton is also ranked in the top 20 on various Avery Index rankings, including No. 20 Most Family Friendly Firms, No. 11 Happiest Associates, No. 16 Highest Paid Associates, No. 4 Most Dedicated to Pro Bono Work, and No. 5 on the Perfect Law Firm.
Debevoise & Plimpton is a sponsor of the Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 Museum in Paris and a founding member of the Cercle Louvre Entreprises.

Other Mentions

Debevoise & Plimpton is mentioned several times in the TV show The West Wing. In the show, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman's father was a partner at Debevoise. Additionally, an assistant attorney general in the show was a Summer Associate at Debevoise and a prospective White House counsel candidate was interviewing for a position as an Associate at Debevoise.

Controversial Georgian
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 businessman, Badri Patarkatsishvili
Badri Patarkatsishvili
Arkady "Badri" Patarkatsishvili was a wealthy Georgian businessman, who was also extensively involved in politics. He contested the 2008 Georgian presidential election and came third with 7.1% of the votes...

 spent the six hours of his final day at the offices of Debevoise & Plimpton, meeting his lawyer Lord Goldsmith QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

, shortly before being driven to Boris Berezovsky's office in Mayfair
Mayfair is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster.-History:Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market today...

 and then to his country mansion
A mansion is a very large dwelling house. U.S. real estate brokers define a mansion as a dwelling of over . A traditional European mansion was defined as a house which contained a ballroom and tens of bedrooms...

 in Leatherhead
Leatherhead is a town in the County of Surrey, England, on the River Mole, part of Mole Valley district. It is thought to be of Saxon origin...

, Surrey where he collapsed and died with heart attack at the age of 52.

Key Clients

Some of Debevoise's clients include: American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

AXA S.A. is a French global insurance group headquartered in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. AXA is a conglomerate of independently run businesses, operated according to the laws and regulations of many different countries. The AXA group of companies engage in life, health and other forms of...

, BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas S.A. is a global banking group, headquartered in Paris, with its second global headquarters in London. In October 2010 BNP Paribas was ranked by Bloomberg and Forbes as the largest bank and largest company in the world by assets with over $3.1 trillion. It was formed through the merger...

Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

, The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia...

, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank AG is a global financial service company with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. It employs more than 100,000 people in over 70 countries, and has a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the emerging markets...

, Gap, MetLife, JPMorgan Chase, NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

, The New York Times Company
The New York Times Company
The New York Times Company is an American media company best known as the publisher of its namesake, The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. has served as Chairman of the Board since 1997. It is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City....

, Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

, National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

, National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

, Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial
The Prudential Insurance Company of America , also known as Prudential Financial, Inc., is a Fortune Global 500 and Fortune 500 company whose subsidiaries provide insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services to both retail and institutional customers throughout the...

, Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is the United States-based subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, a multinational oil company of Anglo Dutch origins, which is amongst the largest oil companies in the world. Approximately 22,000 Shell employees are based in the U.S. The head office in the U.S. is in Houston, Texas...

, Siemens
Siemens AG
Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company....

, Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is an American music group, the largest of the "big four" record companies by its commanding market share and its multitude of global operations...

, Verizon, Yahoo!
Yahoo! Inc. is an American multinational internet corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine , Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Answers, advertising, online mapping ,...

, and Hasbro
Hasbro is a multinational toy and boardgame company from the United States of America. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States...



  • Provided American, English and German law advice to Air Liquide
    Air Liquide
    L'Air Liquide S.A., or Air Liquide , is a major French company supplying industrial gases and services to various industries including medical, chemical and electronic manufacturers. Founded in 1902, it is first in the world market in its field, now operating in over 80 countries. It is...

     in a number of acquisitions in Germany totaling €2.68 billion.
  • Represented Chrysler
    Chrysler Group LLC is a multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925....

     in 1980, serving as a lead counsel to get governamental financing.
  • Represented
    Alibaba Group is a privately owned Hangzhou, China-based family of Internet-based businesses that includes online marketplaces that facilitate business-to-business international and domestic China trade, retail and payment platforms, a shopping search engine, and data-centric cloud computing...

     in sale of 40% stake to Yahoo for $1 billion.
  • Represented American Airlines after the September 11 terrorist attacks
  • Counseled The Hartford
    The Hartford
    The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. , usually known as The Hartford, is a Fortune 500 company and one of America’s largest investment and insurance companies...

     in a $1.95 billion capital offering of common stock and debt.
  • Legal adviser to the Phelps Dodge
    Phelps Dodge
    Phelps Dodge Corporation was an American mining company founded in 1834 by Anson Greene Phelps and William Earle Dodge, Sr.. On March 19, 2007, it was acquired by Freeport-McMoRan and now operates under the name Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.-History:...

     mining corporation in its $25.9 billion merger with Freeport-McMoRan
    Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., often called simply Freeport, is the world's lowest-cost copper producer and one of the world's largest producers of gold...

  • Legal service provider to French company Pernod Ricard
    Pernod Ricard
    Pernod Ricard is a French company that produces distilled beverages. The company's eponymous products, Pernod Anise and Ricard Pastis, are both anise-flavoured liqueurs and are often referred to simply as Pernod or Ricard...

     in its €5.6 billion purchase of the Absolut Vodka
    Absolut Vodka
    Absolut Vodka is a brand of vodka, produced near Åhus, Skåne, in southern Sweden. Since July 2008 the company has been owned by the French firm Pernod Ricard who bought V&S Group from the Swedish government....

     brand from the Government of Sweden
    Government of Sweden
    The Government of the Kingdom of Sweden is the supreme executive authority of Sweden. It consists of the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers appointed by the Prime Minister. The Government is responsible for their actions to the Riksdag, which is the legislative assembly...

    's holding company, the V&S Group
    V&S Group
    V&S Group , founded in 1917, is an international producer and distributor of alcoholic beverages. The group is currently owned by Pernod Ricard...


Assistance to Guantanamo Captives

Attorneys from Debevoise & Plimpton worked on behalf of captives held in extrajudicial detention
Extrajudicial detention
Arbitrary or extrajudicial detention is the detention of individuals by a state, without ever laying formal charges against them.Although it has a long history of legitimate use in wartime , detention without charge, sometimes in secret, has been one of the hallmarks of totalitarian states...

 in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

Jeff Lang, of Debevoise & Plimpton, was one of the first Guantanamo Bay attorneys
Guantanamo Bay attorneys
The Center for Constitutional Rights has coordinated efforts by American lawyers to handle the habeas corpus, and other legal appeals, of several hundred of the Guantanamo detainees....

 to file an appeal in the Federal appeal court in Washington DC of captives' Combatant Status Review Tribunal
Combatant Status Review Tribunal
The Combatant Status Review Tribunals were a set of tribunals for confirming whether detainees held by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp had been correctly designated as "enemy combatants". The CSRTs were established July 7, 2004 by order of U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense...

 proceedings. The
Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 included provision for captives to challenge whether the Tribunals' decisions complied with the Tribunal's mandate.

Charles "Cully" Stimson
Charles Stimson
Charles Douglas "Cully" Stimson is a former American political appointee at the Pentagon. Stimson was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs...

, then
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, stirred controversy when he went on record criticizing the patriotism of law firms that allowed employees to assist Guantanamo captives:
"corporate CEOs seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists."

Stimson's views were widely criticized. The Pentagon disavowed them and Stimson resigned shortly thereafter.


New York (1931)
  • Paris (1964) Washington, D.C. (1982)
  • London (1989)
  • Hong Kong (1994)
  • Moscow (1997)
  • Frankfurt (2001)
  • Shanghai (2002)

See also

  • White shoe firms
  • The Magic Circle
    Magic Circle (law)
    The "Magic Circle" is an informal term used to collectively describe what are generally regarded to be the five leading UK-headquartered law firms and the four or five leading London-based commercial barristers' chambers.-Law firms:...

  • Mary Jo White
    Mary Jo White
    Mary Jo White was the first woman to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, serving from 1993 to 2002.White was born in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in McLean, Virginia. She received her B.S...

  • Peter Goldsmith, Baron Goldsmith
    Peter Goldsmith, Baron Goldsmith
    Peter Henry Goldsmith, Baron Goldsmith, PC, QC , is a former Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland. On 22 June 2007, Goldsmith announced his resignation which took effect on 27 June 2007, the same day that prime minister, Tony Blair, stepped down. Goldsmith was the longest...

  • Michael Mukasey

External links

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