IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of White & Case International Law Firm

August 29, 2018

The membership of the Illinois Venture Capital Association keeps expanding with each new addition, adding to the roster of Venture Capital, Private Equity and the support industries. Members have opportunities in IVCA networking, lobbying support and participation in the development of new ideas within the association. The latest new member is White & Case international law firm, serving companies, governments and financial institutions.
The following is a Q&A profile with White & Case, which explores the firm’s background and their expectations for interacting with the IVCA.
New Member: White & Case International Law Firm
IVCA: What is a brief history and background of White & Case?
White & Case: White & Case was founded in New York in 1901 by two lawyers, J. DuPratt White and George B. Case, who joined forces and focused their energies on a small handful of clients who had entrusted them with their business. They advised Henry P. Davison, the J.P. Morgan & Co. financier, on the formation of Bankers Trust Company, and soon White & Case was representing leading banks and advising some of the greatest business leaders of the 20th Century. Our international expansion began in Paris in 1926 – and has continued – so that today White & Case is a leading global law firm with lawyers in 44 offices across 30 countries.
Among the first U.S.-based law firms to establish a truly global presence, we provide counsel and representation in virtually every area of law that affects cross-border business. Our clients value both the breadth of our global network and the depth of our U.S., English and local law capabilities in each of our regions, and rely on us for their complex cross-border transactions, as well as their representation in arbitration and litigation proceedings. 
In 2018, White & Case was ranked the Number One global law firm in Law360’s annual ‘Global 20’ list. Law360 also praised the particular success of White & Case’s Mergers & Acquisitions [M&A] practice, its success representing clients in multi-jurisdictional disputes, and the firm’s exceptional ability to handle cross-border matters. Our M&A practice is ranked among the ‘Elite’ law firms in the U.S. and New York in Chambers USA in 2016, and we received ‘Tier 1’ rankings for M&A in the U.S. by Best Lawyers in 2017. White & Case was also named ‘Cross-Border M&A Law Firm of the Year’ by The M&A Advisor in 2016. We were ranked first in The American Lawyer magazine’s ‘Diversity Scorecard 2018,’ a survey of the largest and highest-grossing law firms in the U.S. to determine their percentage of full-time minority lawyers and partners. We have topped this ranking for five years in a row.

IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?
White & Case: The Midwest is an important market and headquarters to a number of White & Case’s existing clients. Illinois and the Midwest is also home to a broad combination of mature and emerging businesses, funds, investment professionals and professional firms that will benefit from White & Case’s global experience and capabilities, and the quality of legal services that we have provided to clients for more than a century. 
The IVCA, a leading advocate for the Venture Capital and Private Equity industries in Illinois, throughout the United States and globally, is a perfect match for White & Case’s international reach. Our vision aligns with that of the IVCA, in that a strong investment community is beneficial on a local, national and international level... given the increasingly global scope of the marketplace. White & Case welcomes the opportunity to be a significant participant in the efforts of the IVCA’s members to expand the impact of their organizations and investments in the global marketplace

IVCA: You represent banks, businesses and – of interest to the IVCA – start-up companies. What is your service philosophy when it comes to unraveling the complexities that come with those organizations? 
White & Case: At White & Case, we guide our clients through difficult issues, bringing our insight and judgment to each situation. We take an innovative approach to create original solutions to our clients’ most complex domestic and multi-jurisdictional deals and disputes. We put our clients first, taking the time to understand their immediate and long-term needs and closely collaborating with them to solve their toughest problems.
Our innovative approaches to creating original solutions for our clients’ most complex domestic and multi-jurisdictional deals. By thinking on behalf of our clients every day, we anticipate what they want, provide what they need and build lasting relationships.
IVCA: You are an international firm, and we live in a global economy. When new countries need to be approached on behalf of a client, what type of key research do you find makes a transition in those regions smoother?
White & Case: As a global law firm with lawyers in over two dozen countries, we are increasingly where our clients are. But we are also accustomed to representing our clients in jurisdictions where we do not have an office. We have the breadth to field substantial teams and bring in the specialists the problem demands, irrespective of the jurisdictions it may straddle. Our on-the-ground experience, cross-border integration and depth of local, U.S. and English-qualified lawyers help our clients work with confidence in any one market or across many.
Our global presence and decades of experience with multi-jurisdictional issues in numerous legal systems, as well as in transitional economic and political systems, means we have deep experience acting both as quarterback and local counsel on matters of every size and complexity. Having built good relationships both nationally and internationally with countless law and other professional services firms, we are adept at using a client’s pre-existing legal and other professional service advisers on matters with international implications to deliver consistent service quality and value.
IVCA: You list over 25 categories of practices on your website, from Antitrust/Competition to Mergers & Acquisitions to Cybersecurity and more. How do these menu items interact when you are advising a new client?
White & Case: Our firm is structured to provide fully-integrated legal services, enabling us to advise clients whenever and wherever the objective is to transact business. White & Case operates as a single and fully-integrated partnership, setting us apart from other firms. We have built a network of the very best lawyers with deep knowledge of the markets in the key locations in which we operate, as opposed to a series of alliances or separate law firms housed under a single name. With decades of experience and effort put forth to build our global firm framework, White & Case has been a truly global, unified firm much longer than most firms.
Our ‘one firm’ framework allows our lawyers to collaborate more efficiently on cross-border work than many other firms that function as fragmented or siloed associations. Our global mindset is reflected in our decentralized approach, which is highly relevant in today’s flattening economy. Sharing this ‘one firm’ culture, we leverage our insights and judgment across the firm,  we think strategically, and we work together to navigate our clients through their most complex domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions and disputes.
IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?
White & Case: We envision partnering with the VC/PC communities within the IVCA in  presenting relevant and timely webinars, in-person CLEs and other live events that will be of interest and benefit to the association membership. White & Case is looking forward to building and fostering a relationship with IVCA and its members, and connecting with the VC/PE communities in Chicago.
For more information on the White & Case, go to www.WhiteCase.com