Sullivan & Cromwell
International Top 30 position: 9
Asia-Pacific International 50 rank: =39
To read about this firm’s Asia Pacific practice, please click here
The Asia Pacific profile is an edited version of a full write-up that appears in The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, a comprehensive analysis of the legal market in the region that ranks the top 100 local firms and leading 50 international players by headcount. For more information and to purchase your copy please click here
Sullivan & Cromwell posted $1.1bn in global turnover in 2011 with the firm's London office contributing revenues of $123.3m. All the more impressive though was the London office's revenue per lawyer figure, which stood at $1.98m in 2011.
The firm has a strong global presence with offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington DC.
In 2011 Sullivan & Cromwell acted on two of the world's top-three deals: AT&T's $39bn acquisition of T-mobile from Germany's Deutsche Telekom; and Johnson & Johnson's $21bn bid for Synthes.
The firm also acts for key clients such as Microsoft and in 2012 it successfully brought to a close seven years of litigation as a US District Court judge dismissed Novell’s anti-trust case against the software company.
Although, like many other firms in the UK, Sullivan's M&A deal count was hit hard by the recession, the firm's London office has handled an impressive string of high-value deals in recent years, including acting as lead counsel on US private equity group Apollo’s $1.3bn offer for Brit Insurance in 2010 and on Microsoft’s $8.5bn (£5.2bn) acquisition of Skype Global in 2011.
No. of lawyers: 51
Sullivan & Cromwell boasts significant history in the region — it claims Asia-Pacific has been an “important part of our practice since 1920s” — but nonetheless has taken a relatively conservative approach to flag planting. According to Michael Wiseman, a partner on the firm's global management committee, that conservationism shouldn't be misconstrued as a lack of enthusiasm.
“There is no geographic sector that we consider to be more important to us in the long term than Asia,” Wiseman told The Lawyer in 2011. “We continue to see a lot of opportunity there.”
It claims to be one of the first major global players to get a green light to open in Beijing, receiving the nod from the authorities in 1999. It has also been on the ground in Tokyo for the best part of 25 years. And back in November 2011, the firm's Hong Kong office (which opened in 1992) was granted a licence to practice local law.
News from The Lawyer
Overview1 New Fetter Lane
Firmwide revenue 2011 ($m): 1,100
Global lawyers 2011: 764
No. of lawyers (Asia Pacific): 51
Offices (Asia Pacific): 5