Goodwin Procter

Goodwin Procter LLP (known as Goodwin) is a Global 50[2] law firm consisting of more than 1,200 lawyers with offices in Boston, Cambridge, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, New York City, Paris, Santa Monica, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Goodwin focuses on complex transactional work, high-stakes litigation and advisory services in matters involving financial institutions, intellectual property, private equity, real estate capital markets, securities litigation, white collar defense, technology and life sciences.

Goodwin Procter LLP
Goodwin Procter (logo).png
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts
No. of offices13
No. of attorneysapproximately 1200
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key peopleRobert S. Insolia
Chairman
Mark Bettencourt
Managing Partner
RevenueIncrease$1.33 billion USD (2019)[1]
Date founded1912
FounderRobert Goodwin and Joseph Procter
Company typeLimited liability partnership
Websitegoodwinlaw.com

Goodwin is particularly known for advising high-growth businesses in the technology, life sciences and real estate sectors, as well as the private equity and venture capital investors that finance them. The firm sits “at the top in the tech and capital arena,”[3] and is “a known entity, and frequent adviser, to Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurs.”[4] Goodwin’s transactional lawyers represent public and private companies across their entire lifecycles, including financings, capital market transactions, mergers and acquisitions, collaborations and licensing, intellectual property and regulatory matters.[5] The firm’s litigation lawyers assist clients in a wide range of industries, with particular expertise in consumer financial services, intellectual property, white collar defense, securities, commercial and business litigation, appellate litigation, products litigation and counseling, labor and employment, ERISA litigation and antitrust.[6]

In 2018, Goodwin became one of the first major law firms to launch a dedicated proptech practice to serve the growing real estate technology industry.[7][8] The firm also has practices dedicated to the fintech industry[9] as well as digital currency and blockchain,[10] and claims it represents about 40 percent of the companies on the Forbes Fintech 50 list.[11]

Goodwin has been named “Biotech Firm of the Year” by U.S. News and World Report - Best Lawyers five times,[12] “M&A Mid-Market Law Firm of the Year” by Mergers and Acquisitions magazine,[13] Life Sciences and Intellectual Property “Practice Groups of the Year” by Law360,[14][15] and “IP Law Firm of the Year”[16] and “US Life Cycle Firm of the Year” by LMG Life Sciences.[17] The firm has also been recognized as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign[18] and one of the “Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother magazine[19] for nine consecutive years.[20]

Goodwin's New York offices at New York Times Building

HistoryEdit

In 1912, lawyers and former Harvard classmates Robert Eliot Goodwin and Joseph Osborne Procter, Jr. ran into each other on the street and decided to start their own law firm, Goodwin & Procter, which opened its offices on July 1 that year at 84 State Street in Boston. That winter, Robert Goodwin and Amos Taylor represented Mary Newell against the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company for the sum of $110,400 resulting from the April 15, 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic.[21] Another case taken on in the firm's early days stemmed from the infamous pyramid scheme orchestrated in Boston by Charles Ponzi. After the scheme was exposed as fraud, Robert Goodwin served as the bankruptcy referee for Middlesex County amid thousands of recovery claims in the bankruptcy courts.[22][citation needed] When the United States joined the allied cause in World War I in 1917, Robert Goodwin joined the country's vanguard deployment in France, eventually rising to the rank of colonel and assuming command of the 101st Field Artillery. After the campaign, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.[23][citation needed] Not long after, Samuel Hoar V, a litigator, was hired, followed by Fred Tarbell Field, a well-respected tax lawyer who was a friend of Procter's, and the firm became known as Goodwin, Procter, Field & Hoar. In early 1929, Field was appointed a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (and would later become its Chief Justice), and the firm was renamed Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, a name it would retain for the next 72 years.

The Depression years proved pivotal for the firm's future diversification and growth. Liquidation cases, including the unwinding of the Boston Continental Bank, provided a surge of business,[24] as did the proliferation of federal agencies and regulations brought on by the New Deal.[25] Around the same time, Greater Boston's manufacturing and maritime industries faded and the financial management industry expanded, presenting new opportunities for work on highly complex financial transactions.

Goodwin Procter also undertook matters involving public service and public policy, including public investigations of corruption and malfeasance, as well as cases with constitutional overtones. When the Massachusetts governor pardoned New England Mafia boss Raymond Patriarca in 1938, the resulting public furor led the Legislature to establish a commission to investigate the state's pardon and parole procedures. Sam Hoar, with Don Hurley as his lieutenant, headed the commission, whose resulting investigation led to reform of the pardon laws and impeachment of a member of the Governor's Council.[26] More than 70 years later, the Commonwealth would once again call on Goodwin Procter lawyers to examine alleged corruption in the state's parole office.[27]

After World War II, partners Leonard Wheeler and Frank Wallis played instrumental roles in the historic Nuremberg Trials, presenting much of the Americans' case against the Nazis.[28][29] "It was a most amazing and thrilling experience," recalled Wallis. "I was speaking to the world - not only the world of today but the world of future generations."[30] Post-war practice would not be business as usual as the firm reached a generational turning point, with Robert Goodwin entering semi-retirement and Sam Hoar's passing in 1952.[31] (Joe Procter had died earlier in 1932.)[32] Goodwin formally retired in 1963, ending a 60-year legal career; he died in 1971.[33]

In 1960, tax partners Allan Higgins and Charlie Post helped draft and secure passage of the Real Estate Investment Trust Act,[34] which was hailed as a significant catalyst for real estate development across the country.[35] In 1963, partner Don Hurley played a role in conceiving, drafting and securing passage of an amendment to the Bank Holding Company Act exempting parent companies of single banks and non-banking subsidiaries from federal restrictions on commercial banks.[36]

In 1969, after more than a half-century in the India Building at 84 State Street, the firm moved to a new office tower at 28 State, where it would remain for 16 years before moving to Exchange Place at 53 State Street in 1985.[37] To celebrate its 75th anniversary in 1987, the firm made a donation of $1 million to the City of Boston to fund initiatives in public education. The donation, called SEED (Support for Early Educational Development), was made up entirely of individual contributions by the firm's partners.[38][39]

With 280 lawyers, Goodwin Procter entered the 1990s as the “largest law firm under one roof in the country,” according to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.[40] The firm made its first foray outside Boston in 1994 with an office in Washington, D.C., followed by one in New York in 1997. The acquisition of 27 lawyers from a northern New Jersey firm and 13 litigators from a New York products liability shop bolstered the firm's IP and litigation practices in New York.[41]

In 1998, Regina Pisa became the first woman to be named Chairman and Managing Partner of an AmLaw 100 firm.[42] Under Pisa's leadership, Goodwin grew from 300 lawyers primarily in Boston to more than 900 lawyers serving clients from eight locations in the United States, Europe and Asia. In 2004, the firm merged with the Washington, D.C.-based litigation and regulatory mid-sized firm Shea & Gardner.[43] The following year over 60 attorneys from Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault joined Goodwin Procter as Testa Hurwitz dissolved,[44] a move the Boston Globe called possibly "the biggest coup in Boston legal history."[45] Goodwin first established its West Coast presence in 2006, opening offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.[46] It launched its Silicon Valley presence in 2007.[47] The firm went global in 2008 with offices in London and Hong Kong.

At its century mark in 2012, Goodwin had 850 lawyers and another 720 professional staff serving clients from offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. As part of its centennial celebrations, the firm started its Annual Days of Service tradition, during which employees in each office give back to their communities. In 2015, Goodwin announced the opening of an office in Frankfurt, Germany.[48] In April 2016, Goodwin opened its third European office in Paris, France.[49] Later that year, the firm moved its Boston home to 100 Northern Avenue in the city's Seaport District after more than 100 years at the corner of State and Congress Streets. Two years later, Goodwin announced a significant expansion of its European Private Equity and Private Investment Funds practices with a group comprising the bulk of the market-leading and former SJ Berwin investment funds team.[50] In 2019, Goodwin opened new offices in Santa Monica, Luxembourg and Cambridge.[51][52][53]

Rankings and ReputationEdit

Goodwin has been consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious law firms in the United States.[54] The firm ranks 26th on the American Lawyer’s annual ranking of U.S. law firms by gross revenue,[55] and its lawyers and practice groups are consistently recognized by Chambers,[56] U.S. News and World Report,[57] and Legal 500.[58] Legal Business named Goodwin to its list of top 30 global firms.[59] U.S. News and World Report has named Goodwin Biotechnology Law Firm of the Year five times.[60]

Among others, recent recognition includes:

2019

  • Forbes named Goodwin one of America’s Top Trusted Corporate Law Firms, recommending the firm’s Private Equity and Venture Capital practice areas[61]
  • Goodwin ranked sixth among the world's best law firms to work for, according to an American Lawyer survey of 2019 summer associates[62]
  • The Legal 500 UK Awards selected Goodwin as the Investment Fund Formation and Management Firm of the Year[63]
  • Goodwin was named “Law Firm of the Year” for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants by U.S. News – Best Lawyers[64]
  • Human Rights Campaign recognized Goodwin as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality[65]
  • Mergers & Acquisitions magazine named Goodwin M&A Mid-Market Law Firm of the Year[66]
  • India Business Law Journal named Goodwin a Key Player in India for the 11th consecutive year[67]

2018

  • BTI Consulting Group ranked Goodwin among 30 best law firms for client service[68]
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers named Goodwin Real Estate Law Firm of the Year[69]
  • Working Mother magazine named Goodwin one of Best Law Firms for Women for the ninth consecutive year[70]

2017

  • M&A Atlas Awards named Goodwin Outstanding U.S. Private Equity Law Firm of the Year[71]
  • Goodwin was named IP Firm of the Year at LMG Life Sciences Awards[72]
  • Law360 named Goodwin's Life Sciences and Intellectual Property practices Practice Groups of the Year, with the latter practice earning that recognition for the third consecutive year[73][74]

Founders WorkbenchEdit

In 2010, Goodwin launched Founders Workbench, a first-of-its-kind open source legal advisory resource[75] designed to help entrepreneurs navigate the legal and organizational challenges faced by startups and emerging businesses, with free start-up document creation capability.[76] In March 2013, Goodwin launched an updated version of Founders Workbench, which now included legal documents for establishing Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and introduced new web mobile apps for managing finances and understanding relevant legal and business terms.[77] The site has been recognized by the Legal Marketing Association,[78] InformationWeek,[79] and CIO.[80]

Notable peopleEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit