Having verified the safety of all Thacher Proffitt's employees, the Firm began to rebuild. The process began with support from Thacher Proffitt's four other offices located in White Plains, NY, Washington, D.C., Summit, New Jersey, and Mexico City, Mexico and the leadership of, now former chairman, Jack Williams. Immediate temporary space was found in the White Plains office to work from to develop a plan to resume business. From there, new office space was quickly found at 11 West 42nd Street in midtown and the new address was announced in a press release. While the space was being fitted for the Firm, management set out to organize Thacher Proffitt employees for resuming legal work for the firm’s clients. First, the partners organized, then the associates and eventually all Thacher Proffitt employees, creating a uniform voice of the Firm and uniting everyone for the work ahead of reestablishing a Manhattan office. It was a tremendous undertaking requiring help from all of the firm’s lawyers and staff, which was given in many ways. Once in the new office in midtown, clients and friends were reassured. Before the end of the year Thacher Proffitt was giving back to the community and those that reached out the help them in their moment of crisis.
One of the major stories is the rebuilding of the firm’s technology, an effort that was combined with an upgrade of several systems. Lennie Nuara prepared an account of this effort that was published in Law Technology News on September 6, 2002 (below).
Rudy Giuliani said in a speech later that year about New York City, \"The city is more vital, the city is rebuilding,\" and statement rang true for Thacher Proffitt as well.
Thacher Proffitt received praise for its incredible resilience and Jack Williams gave a speech, \"Leading your Firm in a Time of Crisis: The View from Ground Zero,\" at the Law Firm Leadership Institute conference in New York in March 2002.
Although Thacher Proffitt showed great strength, it recognizes that its ability to succeed then, now, and in the future depends on the support of friends. Included are letters from some vendors that provided services or offered them during this time of rebuilding.
9/06/2002 - Lennie Nuara\'s account of Thacher Proffitt\'s rebuilding process was published in Law Technology News
Law Technology News Article
9/17/2001 -- Winston & Strawn assisted Thacher Proffitt with its immediate need for temporary office space.
Winston & Strawn Letter to TPW
9/18/2001 -- Thacher Proffitt bought ad space in the American Banker, American Lawyer, Asset-Backed Alert, Corporate Counsel, Corporate Legal Times, Financial Times, Gazeta Mercantil, Insurance Day, Legal Times, Lloyd\'s List, National Law Journal, New York Law Journal, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal to thank the those that helped in the rescue of people from the towers and to announce the location of the new office.
New Address Ad
9/18/2001 -- Thacher Proffitt wrote to thank Pace University for use of their auditorium to meet to develop a plan to resume business.
Letter to Pace University
9/18/2001 -- Press release announcing Thacher Proffitt\'s office relocation.
Thacher Proffitt & Wood Relocates New York City Office
Thacher Proffitt & Wood announced today that it is relocating its New York City office, formerly at Two World Trade Center, to 11 West 42nd Street. The law firm said that the first of its approximately 300 New York City employees will be moving in tomorrow, with the remainder moving in over the next few days. All of the Firm’s employees survived the attack on the World Trade Center last week.
Omer S.J. “Jack” Williams, Managing Partner, said, “On behalf of the Firm, I want to thank all the brave men and women who risked or lost their lives in the rescue efforts following last week’s terrorist attacks. Our gratitude is immeasurable for their many acts of assistance to members of our staff.”
“Now that all of our employees are accounted for and safe, our first priority is continuing to serve our clients. We have been working quickly to have all systems in New York City up and running in as short an amount of time as possible to serve our clients without interruption.” Mr. Williams said that the firm’s White Plains, N.Y., Jersey City, N.J., Washington, D.C., and Mexico City offices provided seamless backup services to clients during the past week.
“Despite the logistical challenges of relocation and the emotional challenges of survival and loss, our client work continues in full force,” Mr. Williams continued. “We have received tremendous support from other law firms, clients and friends, allowing us to continue our practice during this difficult time. We have ten structured finance transactions on schedule to close by the end of the month, several complex real estate transactions moving forward, and a variety of litigation matters underway. Last week, we also provided our publicly traded clients with guidance on SEC regulations with regard to share repurchase programs as a hedge against market volatility. It is certainly true that work is a great healer, and we embrace these ongoing projects.”
Mr. Williams concluded, “While our new office space is the foundation of our rebuilding effort and very reassuring news, we are very much aware that others have suffered grievous loss. All of us at Thacher Proffitt & Wood want to express our heartfelt condolences to friends, colleagues, and individuals everywhere who have lost a loved one.”
About Thacher Proffitt & Wood:
For the last century and a half, Thacher Proffitt & Wood has distinguished itself as a leader among law firms, offering practical legal and business counsel to meet their clients\' challenges head-on. With approximately 200 lawyers in New York (including White Plains), New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and in its Mexican affiliate office, Thacher Proffitt & Wood, S.C., Thacher Proffitt advises domestic and global clients in the areas of corporate and financial institutions law, structured finance, cross-border transactions, global finance, real estate, insurance, admiralty and ship finance, litigation and dispute resolution, e-Business, intellectual property, taxation, trusts and estates, bankruptcy, reorganizations and restructurings.
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9/20/2001 -- Script draft for a partner conference call.
9/24/2001 -- Thacher Proffitt resumes work; welcome back memo.
Welcome Back to New York Staff
10/02/2001 -- To All Our Clients and Friends:
Letter to All Clients and Friends
10/02/2001 -- Letter posted to the website.
Letter Posted on TPW Website
10/03/2001 -- Morrison Cohen Singer & Weinstein praises Thacher Proffitt and Joe Forte for securing the new office space.
Memo and Letter of Praise
11/02/2001 -- Thacher Proffitt Newsletter
November 2001 TPW Newsletter
12/28/2001 -- By the end of the year Thacher Proffitt successfully resumed business for themselves as well as made contributions to help others.
Thacher Proffitt & Wood contributions to September 11 related charitable organizations include:
Community Service Society of New York $20,000
Citigroup Relief Fund $20,000
Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund $20,000
Sandler O’Neill Assistance Foundation $20,000
Fireman and Policeman Widows and Orphans Fund $10,000
Cat MacRae Fund $10,000
Keefe Bruyette Family Fund $10,000
In addition, many of our lawyers and staff made contributions of their own - both of their time and dollars - to aid in the relief efforts.
3/11/2002 -- Thacher Proffitt Newsletter.
March 2002 Newsletter
3/11/2002 -- The Firm\'s chairman, Jack Williams, spoke at the Law Firm Leadership Institute Conference in New York City.
Leading your Firm in time of Crisis
3/11/2001 -- Jack Williams\' speech at the 2002 Law Firm Leadership Conference, New York City.
Speech at the 2002 Law Firm Leadership Conference
9/24/2001 - 10/16/2001 -- Vendors offered their services to Thacher Proffitt.
Letters from Vendors