Joseph P. Cotton, George S. Franklin, William G. McAdoo and Francis McAdoo join forces to establish the business law practice of McAdoo, Cotton & Franklin. The Firm’s early work was principally in the financial and corporate areas, including a substantial international practice, often for investment banker clients; soon thereafter, the Firm added an offshore corporate clientele.
Photo credits: Blackstone Studios
Prior to co-founding the Firm, William G. McAdoo served as President Wilson's Secretary of the Treasury until his resignation in December 1918. In that post, McAdoo played leading roles in establishing the Federal Reserve System (he was its first chairman) and in mobilizing the nation's economy during WWI.
Joseph P. Cotton, senior partner of the Firm throughout our first two decades, handled some of the largest reorganizations of the day. When the Federal Reserve System was organized in 1913, Cotton acted as counsel and established the constitutionality of the Federal Reserve Act in the case of First National Bank v. Union Trust Company (244 U.S. 416).
A founding partner of the Firm, George S. Franklin participated in the negotiations of many important reorganizations, including The Goodyear Tire Rubber Company, the merger of the Chrysler and Dodge Automobile Companies and the organization of the Republic Steel Corporation, as well as the railroad reorganizations of the day.
Led by McAdoo, the Firm served as the general counsel for the founders of United Artists, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith.
Thurlow Gordon was recruited by George Franklin to Cotton & Franklin in 1917 following his five years of government service as Special Assistant to Attorney General Wickersham and his subsequent work with the Federal Trade Commission. The United States antitrust laws were in the early stages of their development, and Gordon helped the Firm to define and establish its reputation as a leader for antitrust law.
William McAdoo leaves the Firm to pursue a political career in California, where voters elect him to a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Harold Reindel was recruited by George Franklin in 1919 and practiced at the Firm for 56 years. He also served on the executive committee for many years until his retirement in 1975.
At the conclusion of World War I, Harold Reindel represents the Firm in its association with prominent Berlin attorney Geheimart Kempner for the purpose of establishing public works projects to stimulate the shaky German economy. Reindel’s work in this area includes creation of a war reparations formula under the Dawes Plan of 1924.
Reindel was a prominent corporate lawyer who led the development of securities law following the enactment of the Securities Act of 1933, in part helping the Firm earn its reputation as a leading “Securities Act” firm.
John T. Cahill. Photo Credit: Studio The New York Times, Times Square
John T. Cahill joins the Firm, taking leave from 1939-41 to distinguish himself as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Over his four decades with the Firm, Cahill rises from junior associate to senior named partner. His legal philosophy, as a trial lawyer and appellate court advocate, drives the Firm’s litigation practice to this day.
Joseph P. Cotton led the Firm’s efforts in the representation of investment bank Dillon, Read & Co. in the merger of Chrysler and Dodge.
In response to post-war recovery opportunities in the wake of World War I, the Firm opens an office in Paris.
A friend and advisor to President Herbert Hoover, Joseph P. Cotton takes leave from the Firm to join the administration as Under Secretary of State. George S. Franklin succeeds him as the Firm's senior of its eleven partners.
Joseph P. Cotton dies at age 56. On March 10th, President Herbert Hoover issued a statement from the White House:
Mr. Cotton's passing is a great loss to the Government and to our country. He was my friend for over twenty years. He has given much of his life to public service, and has never refused a demand of the public interest. His abilities, his character, his devotion to the highest of purposes made him a great citizen."
- Herbert Hoover, March 10, 1931
George S. Franklin leads the Firm’s representation of Dillon, Read & Co., among other investment banking clients, in the 1932-1934 Senate Banking Committee’s aggressive investigation of Wall Street practices following the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Shortly after the hearings, which resulted in landmark regulatory legislation including The Securities Act of 1933 and The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Franklin dies at age 53.
The Firm opens an office in Washington, D.C., reflecting the impact of new federal regulations for Wall Street practice.
John T. Cahill takes leave from the Firm to become United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
John T. Cahill returns to the Firm after his tenure as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted notorious gangsters and a corrupt judge-respectively, Jack "Legs" Diamond and Martin T. Manton of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Cahill's conviction of Manton was upheld in a special Second Circuit panel that included Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone and retired Justice George Sutherland. Manton was the first federal judge sent to prison for accepting bribes from litigants.
Senior tax partner, John Ohl helps draft the wartime Excess Profits Tax Act and provisions to permit the five-year amortization of war facilities. Earlier, Ohl helped draft the Revenue Act of 1934.
John T. Cahill argues before the Supreme Court about issues concerning chain broadcasting regulations in National Broadcasting Co. v. United States, widely considered to be among the most significant cases ever decided concerning the influence and authority of the Federal Communications Commission.
Senior partner Boykin C. Wright attempts a merger with the firm Shearman & Sterling. Negotiations fail, after which Wright joins the newly named Shearman Sterling & Wright.
John T. Cahill argues before the Supreme Court in United States v. The Southeastern Underwriter Association, an antitrust case in which the Court holds that insurance is a type of interstate commerce that falls under the United States Commerce Clause and the Sherman Antitrust Act.
After leading the Claims Division and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department, John Sonnett returns to the Firm.
John T. Cahill argues before the Supreme Court in Graver Tank & Mfg. Co. v. Linde Air Products, a controversial case concerning patent infringement in which the Court establishes the propriety of the doctrine of equivalents and when they should be applied.
John T. Cahill prevails in defending three banking clients in U.S. v. Morgan, commonly known as the Investment Bankers Antitrust Case, brought by the Justice Department against seventeen of the most prominent Wall Street investment banking firms. The trial in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York lasts three years, concluding with Judge Harold Medina's dismissal of all government charges.
John T. Cahill represents ninety-eight newspapers, as amicus curiae, in Times-Picayune - a seminal antitrust "tying" case in which the Supreme Court holds that the publisher was not in violation of the Sherman Act for requiring its advertisers to purchase advertisements in both its morning and evening edition newspapers and not in either separately.
The Firm participates in the famous Oil Cartel Antitrust Case, in which federal prosecutors accuse the American and European energy corporations- Exxon, Gulf, Mobil, Standard Oil of California, and Texaco; along with British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell-of conspiring to restrain and monopolize U.S. domestic and foreign commerce in crude oil and petroleum products. (Although the case remained in the courts until 1968, the final outcome left cartel arrangements among the oil majors substantially intact.)
The burgeoning firm relocates from 63 Wall Street to 8o Pine Street.
image: John Sonnett
John T. Cahill dies at age 62 after a brief illness while in London. His passing marks the end of an era for the Firm. John Sonnett succeeds John Cahill as the firm's senior partner.
The Firm celebrates its 50th anniversary, with forty-five partners and seventy associates.
The Firm represents The New York Times Company in a landmark First Amendment matter New York Times Company v. United States, better known as the Pentagon Papers case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to permit the Nixon administration to halt publication of thousands of pages of secret government documents related to the war in Vietnam.
The Firm prevails on behalf of A&P in one of the first hostile tender offers litigated under the Williams Act amendments to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, when U.S. conglomerate Gulf & Western attempts to purchase 15% of the outstanding shares of A&P.
Landmark Communications and its newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot, were indicted by a grand jury and subsequently convicted (without a jury trial) for disclosing information concerning the Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission's investigation into a state judge. The Firm prevails in Landmark Communications Inc. v. Virginia, a seminal First Amendment case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the Supreme Court of Virginia's earlier ruling, finding The Virginian-Pilot's disclosure in fact served a public interest.
The Firm represents the federal government throughout the financial restructuring of the Chrysler Corporation. The Detroit automobile manufacturer avoids bankruptcy by winning $1 billion in government support through enactment of the Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel prevails on behalf of the Daily Mail Publishing Company in Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co., a landmark First Amendment case in which the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules it unconstitutional to restrict a newspaper from publishing a juvenile offender's name unless the restriction serves a substantial state interest.
The Firm begins a decade-long defense of Consolidated Edison of New York in the wake of litigation following the 1977 New York City blackout. Firm lawyers advocate before the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals. Ultimately, narrow parameters were established regarding an electric utility company's liability during service interruption.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel wins a case for The New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC and The Daily Herald Company (of Washington State) in the first challenge to state laws banning exit polling. Today, the Firm continues this important First Amendment work on behalf of ABC, The Associated Press, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC Universal and has prevailed in twelve other litigations across the country raising similar issues.
The Firm represents Drexel Burnham Lambert as underwriter in Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts's historic $24.6 billion takeover of RJR Nabisco, which was chronicled in the book, Barbarians at the Gate. For more than seventeen years, the transaction marked the largest leveraged buyout in history and today remains among the ten biggest buyouts completed in the United States.
Following two years of litigation through the federal courts, a team of twenty-nine Cahill lawyers and twenty-seven summer associates prevail in a pro bono capital punishment case on behalf of the Southern Prisoners' Defense Committee. In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the death sentence of Samuel Bice Johnson, an indigent man on Mississippi's death row.
Following the dissolution of banking giant Drexel Burnham Lambert, the Firm leverages its longstanding relationships with former Drexel investment bankers who had moved to other investment banks, including Bank of America, Citibank, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Subsequently, Cahill Gordon & Reindel refined its bank lending practice in representing lead arrangers of leveraged loans - an effort instrumental to attracting clients to a one-stop firm capable of handling both bank and bond components of leveraged buyouts and other acquisition financings.
The Firm begins a decade-long defense of Sony Music in a series of state and federal antitrust litigations that alleged price fixing among the other major music company distributers. The defense teams defeated a number of the individual state actions and settlements were ultimately negotiated on the remaining litigations.
On behalf of Burroughs Welcome, the Firm prevails in a highly publicized antitrust patent case involving issues of validity, infringement and misuse with respect to one of the early AZT AIDS/HIV drugs.
The Firm wins a libel case for Time Warner brought by The Church of Scientology International following the publication of Time magazine's May 1991 award-winning eight-page cover story titled "Scientology: The Cult of Greed", written by Richard Behar, an investigative journalist who is highly critical of scientology. In response, the Church alleges defamation and seeks $416 million in Church of Scientology International v. Time Warner, a lawsuit that generates its own sensational headlines. The U.S. District Court finds for the defendants, dismissing all claims against Time Warner in a ruling that is affirmed on appeal in 2001.
The Firm's European office relocates from Paris to London.
During the "Leveraged Buy-Out Boom", as it was known, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP advises the various underwriters in eight of the ten largest LBO transactions to date.
On behalf of 3M Company, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP prevails in an en banc hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, affirming dismissal of an antitrust case against the company in NicSand v. 3M. The case, brought under the Sherman Act, dealt with issues of antitrust injury and exclusive dealing in the do-it-yourself automotive sandpaper market.
The Firm prevails before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Senator Mitch McConnell as amicus curiae, defending the rights of corporations and labor unions to speak publicly about politics and elections in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP advises underwriters in the $4.35 billion "mega-offering" of shares by HCA, Inc., and in the $1.89 billion IPO of Nielsen Holdings, widely reported to be the two largest private equity-based initial public offerings in U.S. history.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP defends HSBC in the investigations by and negotiations of settlements with Department of Justice, United States Attorneys' Offices, Offices of Foreign Assets Control, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System of compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and OFAC-administered economic sanctions.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP represents NBCUniversal in its $7.75 billion acquisition of exclusive broadcast rights to the upcoming Olympic Games from 2022-2032. The Firm has represented NBC as a broadcast-rights holder to the Olympic Games since 1988, including the network’s $4.38 billion bid in 2011 and $2.2 billion bid in 2003.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel& LLP litigators prevail on behalf of drug-maker Amarin Pharma Inc. in a ground breaking challenge to the constitutionality of FDA restrictions of off-label promotion of approved prescription drugs. Cahill's high profile victory for Amarin in this closely watched case earned the firm several awards. Cahill Gordon & Reindel >LLP was named a "Standout" law firm by The Financial Times in its North American Innovative Lawyers Awards 2016 and the lead partners were named "Litigators of the Week" by The American Lawyer and to the "Litigation Trailblazers" list by The National Law Journal.
Cahill prevails on behalf of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Inc., Sheraton Operating Corporation, The Sheraton and Westin Hotel Management, in connection with a lawsuit brought by Cityfront Hotel Associates and Dream Team Hotel Associates (two Tishman Hotel Corporation affiliates), that sought to enjoin the then-pending $13.6 billion merger between Starwood and Marriott International, which created the world's largest hotel company.
A Cahill pro bono team represents Sanctuary for Families as amicus curiae in a trailblazing appeal that expanded the definition of "parent" in Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A. C.C. The decision was a groundbreaking departure from 25 years of precedent under which partners in same-sex couples who were not the biological or adoptive parent of a child lacked standing to seek custody or visitation after the couple's relationship ended.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP wins two dismissals of shareholder suits related to S&P's ratings of structured finance securities in New York Supreme Court. The Firm previously prevailed in litigation brought by liquidators of two former Bear Stearns hedge funds asserting that fraudulent ratings allegedly caused the funds' collapse in 2007. Since 2009, Cahill has won the dismissal of over 30 substantial lawsuits against McGraw Hill Financial, Inc. and Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC arising out of the recent financial crisis.
A Cahill capital markets team represents active book-runners BofA Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Securities and the other book-running managers and co-managers in the fourth largest bond sale to date. The offering of $27 billion in new debt was used to finance Comcast's multi-billion dollar acquisition of UK-based Sky plc.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP proudly celebrates its centennial.
Cahill continues its 100-year history in the Financial District by moving to 32 Old Slip.