From Southern California beginnings in 1890, Gibson Dunn has grown to a global law firm providing comprehensive services across borders, jurisdictions and legal disciplines. Our more than 1,500 lawyers are located in 20 offices in major cities throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. We celebrated our 125th anniversary in 2015.
We are known for excellence in the practice of law and are committed to providing the very highest quality of legal services. Representing our clients with passion and a drive to succeed, we combine a respect for tradition with a forward-looking emphasis on innovation. We are sought out for the exceptional creativity and problem-solving ability of our lawyers, who continually look for visionary solutions to our clients’ legal issues. We never give up, we originate novel approaches, we make headlines and we change the law.
We represent the majority of the Fortune 100 and more than half of the Fortune 500 companies, invaluable experience from which all of our clients benefit. Found in all major industries, they range from some of the world’s largest multinationals to start-up ventures and emerging growth companies. We also represent private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds, commercial and investment banks, other financial institutions, government entities, partnerships and individuals.
Time, growth and achievements have not, however, diminished our culture and a concern for the legal and societal worlds in which we live and operate. Deeply held values of collegiality, integrity, mutual respect, and a balance of ideas across the political spectrum sustain our success in delivering exceptional work. So too does our longstanding and greatly valued tradition of service to the communities that have been such a part of our success. Our continuing commitments to pro bono, diversity and community service are and will remain integral parts of our firm. We have been privileged to work on many matters that profoundly affected our society and the civil rights of its citizens.
In May 1872, a tall, 34-year-old, red-bearded lawyer stepped down from the stagecoach at the Plaza of Los Angeles. Corporate attorney John Bicknell had his sights on building a law practice. What greeted him at the stage was a humble little pueblo with dusty unpaved streets, no industry and scant business.
The narrow streets and alleys ran between decrepit adobe buildings roofed with “brea” from tar pits west of the city. Bicknell had summed up his philosophy this way when counseling a younger lawyer: “The safe way is to select a business that you will be satisfied to follow and build up a business of your own.” He began to follow his own advice. By the 1880s, he had attracted one of the region’s most important clients, the Southern Pacific Railroad.
It took time to select a quality partner. But in 1890, Bicknell, a Republican, teamed with Walter Trask, a Democratic litigator, thus launching the unbroken chain of partnership that today is Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Also launched was a set of unique firm attributes. Those included selecting only quality lawyers; balancing ideas across the political spectrum; and providing powerful resources in both transactional and litigation-related legal services. More than a century later, these attributes still define today’s Gibson Dunn.
In 1897 Judge James Gibson joined the firm, thus instituting another Gibson Dunn tradition – hiring lawyers who make an impact in their communities. In 1903, in a move that created the largest firm in Los Angeles, Bicknell, Trask and Gibson merged their practice with that of former Los Angeles City Attorney William Dunn and former Assistant City Attorney Albert Crutcher. Carried out at the behest of a client in order to create a “full-service” firm, the combination was called an “experiment” in the local press. It has worked ever since. Nearly 100 years later, the press would dub the firm “The Rescue Squad” for its response and service to clients in legal need. Another article remarked that it remains easier to get into the CIA than to become a lawyer at Gibson Dunn.
The firm grew as the region grew, into both Northern and Southern California, and both nationally and internationally. By the 1970s, Gibson Dunn had offices in London and Paris. Shortly thereafter, the firm took the bold step of launching its practice in the nation’s capital and New York. Since 2000, the firm has further expanded in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia. As John Bicknell might say, the firm has “built up a business,” based on those attributes of quality, balance and impact and on an unrelenting mission of achieving success for clients – a mission shared today by more than 1,500 lawyers worldwide.
We pride ourselves both on our ability to provide excellent, seamless client service from each of our offices, and our success in maintaining our core values of collegiality, teamwork and mutual respect.
We are a diverse, personable group of professionals who believe in operating as a team, so that our collective energy and creativity contributes to the firm’s overall success.
We are always looking for the best and brightest to join our team. Whether they come straight from law school, lateral positions, or clerkships, we seek talented and dedicated individuals committed to providing the highest level of client service. Our ability to attract premier legal talent is unrivaled.
Gibson Dunn believes that diversity among lawyers is essential to our continued success as one of the preeminent law firms in the world. In an increasingly global world, we understand that it is crucial that we incorporate diverse competencies, experiences and viewpoints into our workforce. We are proud of our diverse partnership and look forward to developing a new and diverse generation of lawyers who will continue the long tradition of quality and excellence for which Gibson Dunn is known. We invite you to view our 2020 Diversity Report (PDF).