Skip to main content

Our Roots

This is the section where you’d expect to find an inspiring story about a young man who ventured out on his own more than a hundred years ago and started a law firm that, over time, evolved into a well-established  legal powerhouse.

 

You will not be disappointed.

 

In 1875, 21-year old William Rose, newly admitted to the New York bar, opened up his practice in lower Manhattan. He started out with a small, general practice, as many young lawyers do, and before long he was handling matters for many of the city’s small businesses. Over the years he brought in a number of partners as his reputation for working diligently and delivering stellar work for his clients led to assignments on behalf of many of New York’s retail giants. Soon he was handling personal matters and estate work for the families of those retail giants.

 

As the firm grew, Rose was joined by others in the 1920s whose names should sound familiar -- Norman Goetz, Walter Mendelsohn, and, most notably, Judge Joseph Proskauer. Proskauer was a well-respected jurist with an even more well-respected legal mind. He was a confidant of New York Governor Al Smith and an advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Years later he would serve as a consultant to the founding conference of the United Nations and was instrumental in its adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights.)  His association with the firm starting in 1930 accelerated our growth and success.

In 1939, we started what would become one of our signature practices - Labor. For more than 70 years, the firm has been synonymous with labor law, representing some of New York’s -- and the nation’s -- largest employers.

In 1963, we started representing the National Basketball Association. And we still do -- along with the National Football League, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and frankly too many other leagues and teams to mention.

You can guess where the story goes from here -- more offices opened: Boca Raton soon followed by Washington, DC and Los Angeles. Later Paris, London and more across the U.S. and most recently Hong Kong and Beijing. We now have 13 around the globe.

The scope of our work has grown as well, propelling us from a “New York labor firm” to a firm that has made an impact in a wide array of industries -- financial services, health care, entertainment and media, advertising, insurance, life sciences.

It would be clichéd to say we’ve come a long way from that small firm William Rose started more than a century ago. It also would not be accurate. For as much as we have changed in terms of growth and scope, in many ways we operate guided by the same principles that started our founder on the road to success - working diligently and turning in superior work on behalf of every single client that walks through our doors.

For additional details of our history a timeline is available.

Videos Right Arrow

Daniel Ornstein on International Labor & Employment Law

Robin Painter on Private Investment Funds