My Herrick Story: Jonathan P. Cramer
Jonathan P. Cramer | [email protected] | 212-592-1414
What was it about Herrick that enticed you to join the firm?
I joined Herrick last May in the earlier days of the pandemic. Having spent much of my nearly 40-year career at large New York firms or the New York offices of large out-of-town firms, I thought that it was time to move back to a mid-sized firm with the caliber of lawyers I had worked with at some of the largest firms in the country. Twice in my career I chose to work at boutique firms similar to Herrick, but both firms ended up merging with large out-of-town firms. I missed the camaraderie, flexibility and entrepreneurial approach of the smaller firm.
I have had a diverse transactional practice. I started out working on regulatory, securities and M&A matters for banks and bank holding companies at Shearman & Sterling before moving to Shearman’s M&A group, where I focused on public and private middle market M&A and private equity fund formation. At my next stop (one of the boutique firms), I represented primarily a number of Australian companies in their US securities and M&A activities before that firm merged with a Houston firm. At the Houston firm, I became heavily involved with their Master Limited Partnership practice and worked on a significant number of MLP IPOs and M&A transactions. After 10 years at that combined firm, I moved to another mid-sized firm, which had some similar characteristics to Herrick, including streamlined sophisticated deals and a roster of top private equity and general corporate clients. When the firm merged with a larger multinational firm, I spent 10 years doing PE acquisitions/dispositions and more general M&A and securities work. In 2009, I moved to the NY office of Baker Hostetler, which is based in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. After 11 years, in the spring of 2020, I decided to move to Herrick for its top transactional practice and its extension of highly lauded complimentary services.
How has working at a mid-sized firm helped you to serve your clients?
It was while I was at a former firm that I began working with French companies in their US investment and securities activities. It started with a referral from a former colleague for representation of an emerging public company software developer, Dassault Systemes (“DS”). What was, at the time, a $5B company has grown to a market cap of more than $60B. A lot of the growth came from its acquisitions of US companies and for many years I was their primary US M&A lawyer. Through the DS relationship I met a number of other French companies, investment funds and law firms that have referred me work. I spent a good deal of my time cultivating these French relationships while also continuing to represent PE funds in their investment activities. As a result, I developed strong relationships with a diverse roster of French companies advising on a multitude of transactional matters.
One of the issues that French and other European companies are most concerned with are US law firm billing rates and fees. The steady upward march of US law firm billing rates has become a major concern. Herrick is much more flexible than most large firms in its willingness to work with clients to develop mutually attractive billing arrangements. My clients’ ability to receive the same high level of legal counsel as at larger firms, Herrick’s deep experience in multinational matters paired with flexible billing arrangements has become a major attraction to foreign clients when pitching for work.
What is next for you and your practice?
In my short time with the firm, I have been impressed with the skills and team-first approach of the lawyers with whom I have worked. I am confident that as the cross-border M&A environment continues to loosen the steady growth of my practice will continue. Despite the obstacles of joining a new firm in a pandemic, the collegial atmosphere and the firm’s top level technology has provided for a smooth transition into the Herrick family.
For more information on Jonathan P. Cramer or corporate law at Herrick, please contact:
Jonathan P. Cramer at +1 212 592 1414 or [email protected]
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