Cooley Godward To Merge with Premier New York Firm, Kronish Lieb
Merger Will Create Preeminent National Firm with Powerful New York Presence
Palo Alto, Calif. and New York, New York — August 22, 2006 — Cooley Godward LLP, a national leader in representing technology and life sciences companies and litigating high-stakes commercial and intellectual property disputes, announced today that it will merge with Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman LLP, a premier 110-lawyer New York firm with highly ranked bankruptcy, tax and complex commercial and white collar litigation practices. The name of the combined 550-attorney firm will be Cooley Godward Kronish LLP.
The merger will create a firm with a coast-to-coast, high-caliber litigation practice, extensive corporate and transactional capabilities and a significant presence in New York. The combined 250-lawyer litigation practice will include nationally known trial lawyers and more than 10 former federal prosecutors and will offer clients deep experience and expertise representing major corporations in high-profile complex commercial, white collar crime, securities fraud and intellectual property cases. Cooley’s preeminent national business practice in venture capital, emerging and public companies, corporate finance, life sciences, technology transactions and mergers and acquisitions will gain a New York base enhanced by Kronish’s reputation and long-standing ties in the financial center of the world. In addition, Kronish’s leading bankruptcy and tax practices, combined with Cooley’s, will enable the merged firms to provide even deeper expertise in these business-critical practice areas.
“Cooley lawyers are advising clients in New York courtrooms and boardrooms every week,” said Stephen Neal, Cooley Godward’s chairman and chief executive officer. “This merger immediately establishes a formidable presence in New York with a partner that is a perfect complement for us. Kronish has successfully competed with New York’s largest and best firms for 50 years and it has a stellar reputation. We plan to grow aggressively in New York to better serve our clients’ needs.”
A native New York firm led by Managing Partner Alan Levine, Kronish represents leaders in the financial services, pharmaceutical, energy and technology sectors. Recent headline cases include the defense of St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. and Travelers Indemnity Company in a $1 billion Enron-related litigation and the representation of Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. in a $5 billion Chapter 11 case. Its white collar group boasts five former Assistant United States Attorneys and is currently representing the defendant in the largest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prosecution to date. The firm is ranked #1 in The Deal's Bankruptcy Insider league tables in 2006 for Top Unsecured Creditor Law Firms, and the chair of its tax group was named one of the five leading tax controversy lawyers in New York. Kronish's real estate practice spans both national and international matters with a particular focus on the Caribbean and Latin America.
Mr. Levine commented, “We have been courted for years by many firms. In Cooley’s case, the fit was so good in every way – strategically, culturally, right down to the individual level. We will be able to provide for our clients the advantages of a national firm with tremendous depth and expertise across industries and practice areas. Cooley is an established national leader with technology and life sciences companies, and its clients will benefit greatly by having a presence in the world’s financial capital. Our New York litigation practice will augment Cooley’s strengths, and together we will be well positioned to continue to grow in New York and beyond. All of us at Kronish are very excited to join our new colleagues.”
Cooley’s move to New York is a natural next step in the firm’s continued expansion and enhancement of its practices over recent years. Cooley has ranked #2 nationally in representing venture-backed companies in financings since 2002 (Source: VentureSource), ranked #1 in life sciences issuer-side IPOs from 2000 to 2005 (Source: IPO Vital Signs) and ranked 14th nationally in M&A transactions in 2005. On the litigation side, recent highlights include the firm’s successful defense of Siebel Systems (now part of Oracle Corp.) in the first-ever contested Regulation FD enforcement action and one of the most closely watched securities cases of 2005, its significant victory for PacifiCare in the multidistrict coordinated class action asserting broad challenges to the managed care industry including a successful argument by Cooley in the United States Supreme Court, and its successful representation of USG Corporation and its related entities in multi-billion dollar asbestos claims before federal district and bankruptcy courts.
The merger will bring together two firms that place a premium on culture. Cooley recently ranked in The Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms as the #5 law firm in the country as a “best firm to work for” in terms of quality of life. Kronish is also committed to maintaining a personal and collegial culture, and, over the years, Kronish lawyers have played significant leadership roles in a host of civic, educational and charitable institutions.
Both firms have also placed a premium on pro bono services in the communities in which they operate and beyond. Cooley recently spearheaded a comprehensive effort to provide legal services to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and is representing the survivors of human rights abuses in Somalia seeking redress from former leaders of that country’s government. In addition, Santillan, et al. v. Gonzales, et al., a major impact pro bono matter successfully handled by Cooley, was selected by The National Law Journal as one of the country's top pro bono cases of 2005.
Kronish Lieb has received Pro Bono Awards from The Legal Aid Society of New York in 2004 and 2005 for providing pro bono legal services to underprivileged New Yorkers. In a case widely followed by the media, Kronish represents two defendants accused of murder in the Palladium shootings, and a team of Kronish lawyers represented the Legal Services Corporation in the Supreme Court in a case involving the constitutional limits of Congress’ ability to define the scope of services provided by federally subsidized programs.
The merger, effective October 1, 2006, will create a firm with full-service offices in the major commercial and government centers of New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., as well as in the country’s most significant technology markets: Palo Alto and San Diego, Calif., Reston, Va. and Broomfield, Colo. Kronish’s Alan Levine will become a member of the firm's newly created executive committee and will lead the New York office. Stephen Neal will remain chairman and chief executive officer.
About Cooley Godward
Cooley Godward is a prominent national law firm and a recognized leader in representing technology companies and litigating complex, high-profile cases. The firm represents public and private companies around the world, with a longstanding leadership position in the private equity, technology and life sciences sectors. Its clients include both high-growth and mature companies across all major industries, as well as the venture capital firms and financial institutions that support them. Cooley's focus is to provide the highest quality legal services directed at enabling our clients to achieve their strategic business objectives. For additional information, please visit www.cooley.com.
About Kronish Lieb
Founded in 1958, Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman LLP is a premier full-service law firm based in Manhattan. Servicing clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, the firm is organized according to seven practice areas – Litigation, Bankruptcy & Restructuring, Corporate, Real Estate, Tax, Personal Representation and Structured Real Estate Investments. Kronish Lieb is known for its commitment to client service, as reflected in the recent Chambers USA Guide, which said: “Clients describe a troupe of dedicated and first-class attorneys renowned for ‘thoroughly marvelous work’.” For additional information, please visit www.kronishlieb.com.