Expansion of geographic reach
Profile: Bob Grondine
Widening range of opportunities
Profile: Eberhard Meincke
Building the client base
 Case in History
As the 20th century begins, Wall Street emerges as the center of the corporate legal profession in the United States as a result of the concentration of financial institutions in the Wall Street area and the move by major industrial corporations of their corporate offices to lower Manhattan to improve their access to capital.
  • Justin DuPratt White and George Bowen Case form White & Case on May 1, 1901, opening in a two-room office at 31 Nassau Street, three blocks north of New York Stock Exchange.
  • American Exchange National Bank becomes their first client.
  • DuPratt White continues in his role as one of the original commissioners of Palisades Interstate Park Commission established in 1900, and until his death in 1939 helps preserve the palisades on the Hudson River as a natural wonder.
  • Henry P. “Harry” Davison, one of the leading financiers of that time and a friend, plays a key role in the early success of White & Case by referring a number of bank clients.
  • U.S. President William McKinley is assassinated.
  • U.S. Steel Corporation is formed as world’s first corporation with assets of more than $1 billion.
  • Spindletop oil field in Texas is discovered, spawning four giants of the oil industry: Exxon, Gulf, Sun and Texaco.
  • Marconi has first transatlantic radio transmission between Newfoundland and England.
  • White & Case begins representing important corporate clients, including Swift & Company.
  • White & Case helps Harry Davison form Bankers Trust Company, which remains one of the Firm’s principal clients until and after its acquisition by Deutsche Bank in 1999.
  • Henry Ford forms Ford Motor Company.
  • Wright Brothers make first manned airplane flight.
  • Einstein publishes his theory of relativity.
  • More than one million immigrants pass through Ellis Island.
  • First successful oil well is drilled in Persia.
  • White & Case assists owners of potash mines in Germany to challenge German-based world potash cartel—the Firm’s first major international assignment.
Case Events
World Events
  • White & Case moves into new Bankers Trust building, giving the Firm its 14 Wall Street address.
  • Republic of China is established.
  • DuPratt White and George Case sign their first partnership agreement.
  • White & Case is retained by J.P. Morgan & Co. to help Great Britain and France purchase war materials in the United States; DuPratt White is made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor by the French government for the Firm’s work in this role.
  • George Case is appointed to the War Council within the Red Cross at request of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and helps transform the Red Cross into an international institution.
  • White & Case helps draft U.S. Revenue Act and related regulations.
  • 16th Amendment to U.S. Constitution introduces a graduated income tax system, and U.S. Congress adopts federal tax laws. U.S. Congress enacts Federal Reserve Act, establishing the Federal Reserve System.
  • World War I is triggered by assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and dominates world scene until it ends in 1918.
  • U.S. Congress enacts Clayton Act, which, together with Sherman Act (1890), becomes the main way the U.S. government challenges antitrust activities.
  • Alexander Graham Bell makes first transcontinental telephone call from New York to San Francisco.
  • October Revolution brings Bolsheviks to power in Russia.
  • League of Nations is formed.
  • 19th Amendment to U.S. Constitution is ratified, giving women the right to vote.
  • White & Case opens its first non-U.S. office in Paris on Place Vendôme, becoming one of first U.S. law firms to establish an office outside the United States.
  • Commercial radio broadcasting begins in the United States.
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is founded.
  • Ireland becomes a free state.
  • Charles Lindbergh makes his solo flight across the Atlantic.
  • Discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming.
  • Great Depression begins with stock market crash on Black Tuesday, October 29.
  • More than 5,000 banks fail. Bank of United States in New York City becomes largest bank failure in U.S. history.
  • White & Case becomes outside general counsel to U.S. Steel.
  • In response to the Great Depression and its perceived causes, U.S. Congress establishes in 1932 the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) to lend money to banks and other entities and enacts: Emergency Banking Act of 1933 (EBA), resulting in many closed banks being reopened; Glass-Steagall Act (1933) to separate commercial from investment banking and to create the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Securities Act of 1933; Securities Exchange Act of 1934; Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935; Trust Indenture Act of 1939; National Labor Relations Act and Social Security Act (1935); and Fair Labor Standards Act (1938), setting 25 cents as the minimum wage.
  • Spanish Civil War begins, ending in 1939.
  • U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are adopted, making discovery virtually unlimited in actions filed in U.S. federal courts.
  • Toyota Motor Company is formed in Japan.
  • Japan invades China.
  • Germany invades Poland, beginning World War II in Europe.
  • First commercial transatlantic airplane flights.
  • Swiss Bank Corporation retains the Firm to open an agency in New York.
  • White & Case represents U.S. Steel in hearings of the U.S. Temporary National Economic Committee created by Roosevelt Administration and Congress to investigate alleged corporate monopolies, with no charges ever made against U.S. Steel.
  • Japan bombs Pearl Harbor on December 7; on December 8, the United States declares war on Japan.
  • White & Case closes its Paris office as German forces approach the city.
  • White & Case partner Irving Olds becomes chairman and CEO of U.S. Steel, serving until 1952.
  • German army surrenders to Allies on May 8, V-E Day; Potsdam Agreement is signed on August 2.
  • United States drops first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6; Japan surrenders to Allies on August 15, ending World War II hostilities with Japan.
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)/World Bank and United Nations are formed.
  • Winston Churchill coins the phrase “Iron Curtain” in a speech at Westminster College in Missouri; “Cold War” with Russia begins.
  • India becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
  • State of Israel is founded; its declaration of independence refers to the millions of Jews killed during the Holocaust in World War II.
  • White & Case partner Monty Hatch prepares model loan agreement for government-guaranteed loans made by banks under Regulation V to borrowers that contracted to supply war material to U.S. agencies.
  • Mao Zedong declares the creation of the People’s Republic of China.
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is created.
  • Korean War begins, ending in 1953.
  • George Case writes a memorandum describing how he invented the “squeeze play” in American baseball in a game in 1894 between Yale and Princeton.
  • Polio vaccine is developed and tested by Jonas Salk.
  • James Watson and Francis Crick discover double-helix structure of DNA.
  • U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation of public schools unconstitutional in
    Brown v. Board of Education
  • Vietnam War begins, ending in 1975.
  • White & Case represents the sellers in sale of the Empire State Building for $51 million, highest price paid at the time for a single structure.
  • White & Case celebrates its 50th anniversary on May 1, 1951 at a black-tie event at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.
  • Suez crisis.
  • First transatlantic telephone cables are laid.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) is formed.
  • Elvis Presley appears on
    The Milton Berle Show
    , gyrating his hips in a manner that causes some to believe him unfit for family television.
  • Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) becomes a client of White & Case.
  • White & Case represents Alleghany in its successful proxy contest to win control of New York Central Railroad.
  • Roger Blough, who joined U.S. Steel as a White & Case associate in 1942, becomes chairman and CEO, serving until 1969.
  • Russia launches Sputnik, setting off space race between Russia and the United States.
  • European Economic Community (Common Market) is formed under Treaty of Rome signed in 1957.
  • Bank of America issues first U.S. credit card.
  • Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba at end of Cuban Revolution.
  • Xerox introduces xerographic office photocopying.
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is created.
  • Birth control pill is introduced in the United States for first time.
  • White & Case reopens its Paris office.
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is formed.
  • Berlin Wall constructed by East Germany.
  • Yuri Gagarin, a Russian cosmonaut, becomes first person to orbit Earth in outer space.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • First communications satellite is launched.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech as part of “March on Washington” to protest racial injustice.
  • First Eurobonds are issued by Autostrade, the Italian motorway network operator.
  • U.S. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated on November 22.
  • U.S. Congress adopts Interest Equalization Tax (IET) to discourage U.S. investors from buying foreign securities, which has unintended effect of helping create Eurodollar market (IET repealed in 1974).
  • Civil Rights Act is enacted by U.S. Congress.
  • Xerox introduces long-distance xerography (LDX), considered to be first commercialization of fax machine.
  • Beatlemania invades the United States with The Beatles’ live performance on
    The Ed Sullivan Show
  • White & Case resolves through plea negotiations federal criminal charges by U.S. Department of Justice against General Electric and several of its officers for allegedly conspiring with others to fix prices on major parts of power plants; represents General Electric by defending or coordinating defense of numerous civil actions by customers seeking treble damages, with most cases settled out of court.
  • Neil Armstrong leads Apollo 11 mission and becomes first man to walk on the moon.
  • Concorde makes its first supersonic flight.
  • White & Case banking, and trusts and estates, lawyers in New York relocate from 14 Wall Street to Bankers Trust building at 280 Park Avenue.
  • White & Case begins negotiation of settlement of infamous “Salad Oil Scandal.”
  • White & Case represents Texas Gulf Sulphur and several of its officers and employees against charges by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to insider trading.
  • White & Case represents U.S. Steel in suit against U.S. Internal Revenue Service to recover “federal excess profits” taxes paid by U.S. Steel relating to its profits during the Korean War.
  • Martha Wood (NY) becomes first woman lawyer at White & Case.
  • White & Case opens an office in Brussels.
  • White & Case successfully defends Federal Paper Board (1967) and B.F. Goodrich Company (1969) against hostile takeovers.
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is formed.
  • Christiaan Barnard performs first human heart transplant in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated on April 4; Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated on June 5.
  • ENEL, the Italian state-owned electric company, issues first floating rate notes.
  • White & Case opens an office in London to take advantage of opportunities arising from expanding Eurodollar market.
  • United States terminates convertibility of U.S. dollar into gold.
  • Motorola produces a handheld mobile phone.
  • Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is founded.
  • U.S. Supreme Court legalizes abortion in
    Roe v. Wade
  • Watergate scandal leads to U.S. President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
  • SEC files a complaint against the Firm and others alleging they aided and abetted a securities fraud in connection with a merger by the Firm’s client, National Student Marketing, a matter that was settled out of court in 1977.
  • White & Case opens an office in Washington, D.C.
  • White & Case begins to develop its sovereign practice by representing Indonesia in resolving its debt crisis arising from the financial difficulty of Pertamina, the state-owned oil company.
  • White & Case advises underwriters on the issue of bonds by The Municipal Acceptance Corporation to replace near-worthless New York City bonds, which helped the city avert financial crisis.

  • Deutsche Bank becomes a client of the Firm.
  • Apple II computer is introduced.
  • Margaret Thatcher becomes first woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • The American Lawyer
    is founded.
  • Sony introduces the Walkman.
  • White & Case opens an office in Hong Kong.
  • White & Case begins representing Bankers Trust Company in its battle with the securities industry to market commercial paper, the first attack by commercial banks against the Glass-Steagall Act.
  • CNN is founded by Ted Turner.
  • Jim Hurlock becomes first partner to be elected Chair of the Firm by the partners of the Firm.
  • Microsoft creates the MS-DOS operating system for IBM.
  • Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo isolate HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
  • On Black Monday (October 19), stock market crashes with the Dow losing 22.6% in one day.
  • Tiananmen Square uprising.
  • Fall of Berlin Wall.
  • The Firm moves from a lockstep seniority-based compensation system to a performance-based one.
  • Jean-Luc Boussard in Paris becomes first non-U.S. national partner of the Firm.
  • White & Case opens an office in Stockholm, its first non-U.S. office under Hurlock’s leadership and the first of many that followed as part of the Firm’s journey toward globalization.
  • White & Case moves its offices from 14 Wall Street and 280 Park Avenue to 1155 Avenue of the Americas, the first major New York firm to have an office that far north and west in midtown area.
  • When U.S. federal district courts begin enforcing U.S. patents, White & Case begins building an intellectual property practice.
  • White & Case plays a major role in LBO market in the 1980s, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’s $24.5 billion takeover of RJR Nabisco.
  • Reunification of Germany.
  • Nelson Mandela is released from prison.
  • In response to fall of the Berlin Wall, White & Case opens offices in Budapest, Moscow, Prague and Warsaw and represents the four countries in the privatization programs that help them transition from communism to a free market economy.
  • Gulf War (“Operation Desert Storm”) begins.
  • Soviet Union disintegrates.
  • Use of the Internet for commercial and personal purposes increases dramatically.
  • First credit default swaps are issued by, among others, Bankers Trust.
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is opened for signature (1992) and enters into force (1994).
  • The World Wide Web is opened to the public, allowing for “surfing.”
  • Cell phones are used for first time to transmit text messages.
  • UK Law Society adopts rules implementing provisions of UK Courts and Legal Services Act (1990) that permit UK solicitors to become partners with non-UK lawyers.
  • Treaty of Maastricht (Treaty of European Unity) comes into force after being signed in 1992.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among Canada, Mexico and the United States enters into force.
  • White & Case acquires Forrester Norall & Sutton, a boutique Brussels law firm specializing in EU law.
  • White & Case acquires McClure, Trotter & Mentz, a boutique tax firm in Washington, D.C.
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) is formed.
  • Microsoft issues first version of Internet Explorer.
  • Dolly is born in Scotland, first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell.
  • UK transfers to China sovereignty over Hong Kong.
  • Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car accident in Paris.
  • Google is incorporated.
  • BlackBerry 850 Wireless Handheld is introduced.
  • U.S. tech bubble bursts.
  • Duane Wall is nominated and elected managing partner, effective April 1, 2000.
  • White & Case merges with the German firm Feddersen Laule.
  • Terrorist attacks on September 11 cause collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center and damage to the Pentagon.
  • Enron, largest seller of natural gas in North America, files for chapter 11 reorganization.
  • First euro banknotes and coins are issued.
  • Human Genome Project, the international, collaborative research program to map and understand all genes of human beings, is declared to be completed.
  • First Facebook page is posted.
  • On May 1, the 100th anniversary of the Firm is celebrated at an event held at Christie’s in New York City.
  • New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a partner of the Firm for a brief period before becoming mayor, issues a proclamation making May 1, 2001 “White & Case Day” in New York City.
  • The Firm’s revenues exceed $1 billion for the first time.
  • Hugh Verrier is elected Chair, becoming first non-U.S. national to be head of the Firm.
  • The Firm responds to the downturn in business generated by financial crisis of 2008–2009 and subsequent economic recession by focusing on integrating its global resources, creating regional sections and strengthening global practice groups and global client teams. These actions lead to increased business and restoration of the Firm’s high levels of profitability.
  • The Firm acts as co-counsel to steering committee of private bondholder creditors of Greece to restructure €206 billion of Greek debt, the first Eurozone sovereign debt restructuring and the largest-ever sovereign debt restructuring.
  • First-ever “tweet” in 140 characters is made in response to question, “What are you doing now?”
  • Apple introduces first generation of the iPhone.
  • Most severe worldwide financial collapse since the Great Depression begins.
  • U.S. President George W. Bush announces decision to provide up to $700 billion to strengthen the U.S. financial markets; several European governments begin taking similar actions.
  • Tsunami hits northeast Japan.
  • Standard & Poor’s downgrades rating of the United States from its highest AAA rating to AA+.
  • NASA’s rover Curiosity lands on Mars.
  • CERN confirms existence of the “God particle,” discovered in 2012 by a test in the Large Hadron Collider in a tunnel underneath Switzerland.
  • One World Trade Center is officially declared tallest building in Western Hemisphere.
  • United States and Cuba restore diplomatic relations severed in 1961.
  • Historic Paris climate change agreement is approved by almost 200 countries.
  • White & Case celebrates its 115th anniversary on May 1.
More than a decade into the 21st century, White & Case continues its evolution as a truly global law firm. Represented by a cohesive network of offices around the world, it operates major legal practices for the benefit of clients worldwide, and constantly promotes the diversity of its people, its multiculturalism and its commitment to society.