United States: Coudert Brothers LLP Celebrates 150-Year Anniversary With $2 Million Commitment to the World’s Children
Last Updated: July 24 2003

New York, NY, July 1, 2003 -- Coudert Brothers LLP is celebrating its 150th anniversary of continuous legal practice -- making it one of the most lasting and experienced law firms in the world – by committing up to $2 million in funds and legal services to children’s charities on a global basis. To implement the program, the Firm has established the Coudert Brothers Paul Fuller Memorial Children’s Service Program.

Since its founding 150 years ago, Coudert Brothers has taken an international approach to the law, advising clients in complex crossborder legal transactions and disputes long before they became commonplace. The Firm’s overseas expansion began in 1879 when it opened its first non-U.S. office in Paris. The pioneering continued as Coudert Brothers entered London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Moscow -- always ahead of the competition.

"Coudert Brothers effectively invented globalism in the legal profession," said Coudert Brothers Chairman David Huebner. "For 150 years, generations of Coudert lawyers have been at the center of extraordinarily interesting and influential legal, business and civic work. The Coudert legacy is one of firsts, and that entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to providing legal services around the world still define and drive the Firm."

Founded in New York in 1853 by Frederic Rene Coudert, who was later joined by his two brothers, Charles and Louis Leonce, the Firm was immediately included in world events. Although their father had barely escaped the guillotine and fled to America, the Coudert family retained close connections with France, which formed the core of the Firm’s early international work.

From fund raising efforts which helped to bring the Statue of Liberty from France to New York, to representing the British Government in World War I, to safeguarding client files during the fall of Paris in World War II, Coudert Brothers lawyers have been and remain at the center of international events. By assisting in the drafting of legislation in emerging markets such as Russia, China and Indonesia, Coudert Brothers has made important contributions to the development of legal systems and the rule of law in many countries.

"Coudert Brothers has a long tradition of public service. Our lawyers are motivated by a desire to promote the rule of law, open markets, improve corporate governance and facilitate economic development, as well as to serve clients," said Huebner.

One of the driving forces behind the Firm’s history of excellence in international law was Paul "Francisco" Fuller, one of the most eminent international lawyers of his time and a founder and the first Dean of Fordham University School of Law in New York City. Mr. Fuller’s childhood is particularly compelling and forms the centerpiece of the Firm’s children’s service initiatives.

Mr. Fuller was discovered at the age of 10 in a New York City alley by the Couderts’ father, educator Charles Coudert. Mr. Coudert learned that young Paul had made his way from California to New York alone. His mother had died, and his father, upon reaching San Francisco to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush, abandoned him. Mr. Coudert took him into his home making him an unofficial fourth "Coudert brother." With the guidance of Mr. Coudert, Mr. Fuller rose to the height of the legal profession, serving the public interest through such projects as his work with Fordham and the St. Vincent de Paul orphanage asylum. He married Mr. Coudert’s daughter, Leonie, in 1877, the same year he became a partner in Coudert Brothers.

Coudert Brothers today continues this spirit, honoring its founders through the Coudert Brothers Paul Fuller Memorial Children’s Service Program. The Firm will commit to join with local children’s charities and service organizations in its worldwide locations to provide support which will include pro bono legal services, scholarships, funding and other support.

"In looking back over the Firm’s history there are many attention-getting victories on the international stage we could emphasize, but the most poignant accomplishment may well be the commitment the Couderts made to one small child," said Huebner. "We seek to recognize the Firm’s early commitment to youth by making it the focal point of our anniversary efforts, honoring our own traditions through service to others. There can be no greater legacy for Coudert Brothers – and investment in the future – than to make a difference in the lives of children worldwide."

To mark this milestone in the history of Coudert Brothers, clients, staff and alumni will be invited to celebrate the Firm's sesquicentenary at a series of events planned by the Firm. These will include a celebration in New York’s Bryant Park, with a proclamation from the Mayor marking Coudert’s integral presence in the commercial and civic affairs of New York City, as well as formal festivities in Paris. The celebrations will culminate in a gala for clients in conjunction with its annual worldwide partners’ meeting in February 2004.

Coudert Brothers LLP is a leading international law Firm specializing in complex crossborder transactions and dispute resolution, with more than 650 lawyers in 30 offices in 18 countries. Practice areas include corporate, and commercial, customs and international trade, energy and natural resources, financial restructuring and insolvency, intellectual property, litigation and arbitration, life sciences and telecommunications, media/entertainment and technology.

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