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History

For nearly 200 years, our Firm has been handling the most challenging assignments for the most interesting clients.

Cravath has often been referred to as the quintessential U.S. law firm, and while our work is often international in nature, our roots have placed us alongside some of the most important events in American history.

In the nineteenth century, we organized many of our country’s railroads, handled the electric light bulb patent litigation for Thomas Edison and the telegraph patent litigation for Samuel Morse and represented Cyrus McCormick, the inventor of the McCormick Reaper.

In the first part of the twentieth century, we organized NBC for its three original shareholders—RCA, Westinghouse and GE, started representing a new magazine called Time and represented a relatively new pharmaceutical company called E.R. Squibb & Sons.

In the 1950s and again in the 1970s, we were called upon to defend IBM against suits by the Justice Department alleging violations of the antitrust laws. On the day that the breakup of AT&T was announced in 1982, the Justice Department announced that it was dismissing its 13-year-old suit against IBM because it had “no merit.”