White & Case marked its 50th and 75th anniversaries with brief booklets about its history. This book,
White & Case: The First 100 Years & Beyond
, contains a longer history and is intended to commemorate the Firm’s first 100 years. In addition, and as its title suggests, this book continues the history through the first part of the 21st century.
Part I: The First 75 Years
covers a period beginning before the formation of the Firm on May 1, 1901 and ending in the mid-1970s. The five chapters in Part I tell how Justin DuPratt White and George Bowen Case met and formed their two-partner firm
(Chapter One)
; the role they played in the formation of Bankers Trust Company and how the Firm gained, during those first 75 years, its reputation as a leading banking law firm and built a strong financial institution client base
(Chapter Two)
; how the Firm developed its corporate practice and clientele
(Chapter Three)
; how the Firm built a robust litigation practice
(Chapter Four)
; and the story of the Firm’s early international activity
(Chapter Five)
. Part I speaks primarily of the past and contains references to later years only for the purpose of recording the subsequent history of matters discussed in Part I.


Part II: The Next 25 Years and Beyond
describes the events and developments that converged in the mid-1970s and resulted in the transformation of White & Case from a law firm of primarily U.S. lawyers and U.S. clients into a global law firm with offices around the world and lawyers of many nationalities serving global clients. These events and developments—including the return to New York of Jim Hurlock in 1975 after spending 10 of his first 15 years at the Firm abroad—are covered in the four chapters about the Firm’s sovereign practice
(Chapter Six)
; the passing of the mantle of leadership to a new generation
(Chapter Seven)
; the build-out of the Firm’s geographic reach
(Chapter Eight)
; and the evolution of many of the Firm’s practices into global practices
(Chapter Nine)
. These chapters carry the history forward through May 1, 2016, and often use the present tense, in order to record the Firm’s successful pursuit of its global strategy into the 21st century.


Part III: Keeping Faith With the Founders
speaks of the culture and core values
(Chapter Ten)
and civic-mindedness
(Chapter Eleven)
of DuPratt White and George Case, and the ways their attributes have been passed down from generation to generation. Part III spans the full history of the Firm through May 1, 2016, speaking of both past and present.


Part IV: Onward into the 21st Century
records the transition of the Firm to new leadership when Hurlock stepped down as Chair of the Firm in April 2000, the challenges the Firm faced during the early years of the 21st century and what the Firm did to meet those challenges
(Chapter Twelve)

This book describes the Firm’s extraordinary achievements in the context of developments in the 20th century and the early years of the 21st century. The timeline in the center of the book matches notable U.S. and global historical events with significant milestones within the Firm. It points out vividly how external events have influenced the Firm’s evolution and the leading role White & Case has often played in forging change in the world. Following the Afterword, various historical references provide additional information about the partners, offices, headcount and revenues, global partner meetings, senior leadership and historical archives of the Firm. The history of White & Case is a remarkable story of how a small, ambitious law firm serving a few financial institutions developed into a leading global law firm serving a broad range of clients, from sovereigns to business enterprises in many industries and sectors across the world. The early success of the partnership between DuPratt White and George Case served for the generations of lawyers who came after them as the foundation upon which to build a global powerhouse. The Firm, more than a century later, still bears only the names of the two founders and continues to have as a guiding principle their total dedication to client service. This book records notable deals and cases, focuses on a few of the Firm’s major clients, explains how the diversification of practices came about, notes the highs—and lows—that have happened over the first 100 years and beyond, and indulges in a few of the many “war stories” that could be told. At the core, however, are the people who have made White & Case the great firm that it is. And what personalities! Few, if any, other firms can claim to have had such an interesting, unusual and diverse group of people pass through their doors. This book celebrates those individuals, from the founders through to the present-day leaders. Inevitably, as with any firm the size of White & Case, not everyone could be mentioned by name. But the story of White & Case is the aggregation of the contributions of everyone at the Firm who helped make it a better place than when they arrived.
duane d. wall
looking down wall street from broadway
White & Case’s first office was at 31 Nassau Street, just north of the New York Stock Exchange. In 1912, the Firm moved to 14 Wall Street, renting space in the newly constructed 41-story headquarters building of its client, Bankers Trust Company.

Illustration by Hermann Heyer, 1876–1950 Appeared in Munsey’s Magazine, April 1, 1906 Published by Frank A. Munsey, New York
On May 1, 2001, White & Case celebrated its 100th anniversary. The Firm marked this milestone by hosting a series of events in cities where White & Case had offices, including a sumptuous party in New York at Christie’s. New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a one-time partner at White & Case, proclaimed May 1, 2001 as White & Case Day in New York City. The proclamation states in part: “For 100 years White & Case’s variety of legal expertise has made it one of the world’s most respected law firms. New York City honors White & Case for its professionalism and dedication and wishes this venerable law firm continued success well into the 21st century.”
The Firm had good reason to celebrate. From a two-partner office opened amid great optimism at the turn of the 20th century, without a hint of the wartime tumult that would follow within a few years and again toward the middle of the century, White & Case grew to become a leading global law firm. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Firm had 215 partners and more than 1,000 lawyers. It had offices on both coasts of the United States and in Latin America, Eastern and Western Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East, and Northeast and Southeast Asia.
From its earliest days, White & Case had played an important role in world events. It advised on the legal arrangements that enabled the Western powers to acquire urgently needed armaments in the United States for World War I, structured financial deals in the 1970s and 1980s that helped heavily indebted countries out of a black hole, assisted financial services clients in securing the abolition of unnecessarily restrictive laws governing the operation of banks, and advised on many of the groundbreaking commercial transactions by top U.S. and international companies that were part of the transformative growth of the global economy. Many of its practices were highly rated, including its banking, sovereign, project finance and international arbitration practices, and many of its lawyers could justifiably claim to be genuine leaders in their specialist areas of practice.
White & Case, particularly under the leadership of Jim Hurlock in the last 20 years of the 20th century, anticipated the globalization of business and grew an international network of offices to best serve the needs of its multinational clients. By the turn of the century, White & Case was both multicultural—having within its ranks some 60 nationalities—and multinational, embracing diversity and geographic expansion well before its competitors. At the Christie’s celebration, the Firm’s managing partner, Duane Wall, conjured up: “The sun never sets on White & Case.”
And to think it all started with a casual invitation to a young bachelor to come to a Sunday afternoon gathering of friends and family in a well-to-do banker’s home in New Jersey in 1897.
“The sun never sets on White