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Sullivan & Cromwell’s new co-chairs go for difficult stability

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  • Sullivan & Cromwell

As the brand new co-chairs of Sullivan & Cromwell, Robert Giuffra Jr. and Scott Miller provided an surprising resolution about their high precedence on the helm of the 900-lawyer agency. It ’ s not growing income, opening new workplaces or enhancing expertise. “ Our greatest asset is our tradition. It ’ mho been constructed up over generations, ” Giuffra instructed me. “ Our tradition is our high priority. ”

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I admit, I ’ megabyte disbelieving when tauten leaders extol their alone tradition. However at 143-year-old Sullivan & Cromwell, the place founder William Nelson Cromwell helped pioneer the model of a contemporary, exterior regulation agency ( he performed a key position getting the Panama Canal construct, for case ), the message feels real. With all that historical past to stay as much as, Giuffra and Miller ’ s Jan. 1 acme does symbolize a ( modest ) break in custom. Till instantly, the agency has been headed by a particular person company partner. That is the primary time it ’ mho being led by two co-chairs, and the primary time that considered one of them – Giuffra – is a litigant. The pair took over for Joe Shenker, who served as reasonable for the previous 12 years and continues as senior president on the agency ’ s administration committee. For Giuffra, 61, and Miller, 60, sharing the caper is essential. “ It permits us to keep up our practices, ” Miller stated. It ’ s a artful stability. Sullivan & Cromwell is just not slightly operation, with gross gross in 2020 pegged at $ 1.55 billion and income per fairness accomplice at just below $ 5.2 million, in keeping with ( The agency doesn ’ t publicly launch its tax revenue and income. ) The brand new co-chairs instructed me that 2021 represented new highs for tax revenue and income, although they declined to specify numbers. You may assume a enterprise of that dimension would command a full-time drawing card. However regulation companies are curious enterprises, notably one like Sullivan & Cromwell, the place constructing consensus and collaboration among the many 173 equity-only companions is essential. On the continuum of police companies ruled like companies at one finish {and professional} partnerships on the different, Sullivan & Cromwell is “ very so much ” on the partnership conclusion, Giuffra instructed me. Meaning it ’ s not headed by a CEO-style cope accomplice “ seat and spreadsheets all sidereal day lengthy, ” he stated, however fairly by practising attorneys — starting amongst equals. “ You possibly can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate disassociate your self from what the partnership is doing on a each day footing and silent efficaciously reasonable, ” Miller stated. Giuffra added, “ It generates respect from the companions in the event you ’ re within the trenches on essentially the most authoritative issues. ” They’re. Miller is a two-time winner of The American Lawyer ’ s Dealmaker of the Yr, acknowledged most lately in 2021 for his knead main a crew on behalf of Fiat Chrysler Vehicles in its $ 60 billion amalgamation with Peugeot S.A. Giuffra is a laud first-chair litigant, serving for instance as nationwide coordinate advocate for Volkswagen in its diesel-related issues and Goldman Sachs in a long-running securities imposter class motion. The hazard after all is that diverting the couple to administration can be akin to my favourite basketball crew, the Golden State Warriors, pulling Steph Curry and Draymond Inexperienced off the courtroom to educate. Wouldn ’ triiodothyronine you relatively have them within the recreation ?

That ’ s the place the co-chairmanship is available in. “ I like attempting instances. I plan to proceed to attempt them an extended as I apply regulation, ” Giuffra stated. However he moreover acknowledges that being in trial requires his consideration “ 24/7. ” If bid agency enterprise arises when he ‘s in motor resort, Miller is there to deal with it. Likewise, when Miller is within the blockheaded of a company transaction, he can move the truncheon to Giuffra. The pair in operating the agency moreover belief on the opposite 9 members of the administration committee, equally effectively as apply leaders reminiscent of litigation group managing accomplice Sharon Nelles ; tax co-leaders Isaac Wheeler and Davis Wang ; and normal drill co-leaders Audra Cohen and Robert Schlein. As well as, the New York-based agency ’ s 13 workplaces – 9 abroad plus Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Silicon Valley – are supervised by native managing companions. The co-chairs are moreover aided by what Miller calls “ rightfully excellent ” administrative workers, together with c-suite executives. “ We couldn ’ thyroxine do the occupation with out their help. The truth is, each males laughed after I requested if their duties as co-chairs would take up greater than half their clock time. not usually, they responded. not even shut. Which is moreover to not say they ’ re figureheads, tasked with giving welcome speeches to summer time associates and champagne toasts to purchasers. “ As chairs, we lead the group dialogue and assist generate consensus, ” Miller stated. Giuffra added, “ There are usually not plenty of establishments on the earth which have ( Sullivan & Cromwell ’ mho ) historical past and custom, ” he stated. “ However the acculturation handed gloomy to us is just not electrostatic – it ’ mho evolving. ” ( correction : column was modified to appropriate the primary title of the co-leader of Sullivan & Cromwell ‘s tax apply group. )

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Jenna Greene Thomson Reuters Jenna Greene writes about authorized clientele and tradition, taking a broad take a look at traits within the occupation, faces behind the instances, and far-out courtroom drama. A longtime chronicler of the authorized diligence and high-profile litigation, she lives in Northern California. Attain Greene at jenna.greene @

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