Portrays the evolution of America's legal profession as reflected in one of its first international law firms
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Engrossing corporate history of the Manhattan-based Coudert Brothers--the prototype of today's far-flung international law firms. Coudert Brothers began as an anomaly: a New York law firm with an international practice founded at a time (1857) of American provincialism and isolation, and composed of devout Catholics in a predominantly Protestant country with widespread anti-Catholic sentiment. Still, Coudert Brothers thrived and even achieved prominence representing Spanish and French corporate and individual clients. The original Coudert brothers (Frederic Ren‚, Charles, and Louis Leonce) were sons of Charles Coudert, a Bonapartist who escaped a Bourbon prison to flee to New York in 1822. While thoroughly American in many ways--Frederic Ren‚ even became an important leader in the New York State Democratic party--the Coudert sons were also fluent in French and Spanish, and had a sensitivity to ‚migr‚ communities, traits leading to their quickly developing a successful practice in the New York and federal courts in admiralty, estates, and general civil litigation. Veenswijk describes Frederic Ren‚'s participation in several important international arbitrations, including an unsuccessful attempt by the US government to condemn British exploitation of Siberian seals, and its mediation of a border dispute between Britain and Venezuela. By the 1890's, Coudert Brothers was a ``giant among law firms'' and a family business with continuity; on the death of Charles Coudert, Jr., in 1897 and Frederic Ren‚ in 1903, foster brother Paul Fuller and Frederic Ren‚, Jr., assumed the mantle. Veenswijk describes the explosive growth of the firm under Frederic, Jr., and his son, Alexis Coudert. While law practice changed dramatically in the century that followed--by Alexis' death in 1980, the practice of law was a high-pressure, round-the-clock business--Veenswijk shows that the firm's humane, civilized character, excellence in international law practice, and devotion to quality survived. An absorbing history of one of America's great law firms. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Founded in 1857 by three sons of a French political refugee, Manhattan's Coudert Brothers law firm during three generations of family control handled litigation and estates reflecting American expansion and world influence. As seen in this partisan company history (written with the firm's cooperation), the partnership, always a gentlemen's enclave whose members were recruited from elite law schools, cultivated probity and good humor--and left the financial details to a "Miss Bainbridge," who alone for 60 years knew where the money was. Coudert partners dealt with presidents, ambassadors, financiers and business leaders while unraveling intricate cases of corporate ownership and private situations worldwide. Particularly interesting here is the confidential go-between role of Coudert family members in allied arms buying during World War I and their interventionist support for England and France in World War II. Today the Manhattan firm has branches in California at Los Angeles and San Jose and abroad in Sydney, Shanghai, Tokyo and Moscow. The Couderts became "pre-eminent" in international law, according to freelance witer Veenswijk "because they were gentlemen."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Dutton Adult, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110525935851