Seward & Kissel Celebrates 125
Last night, we joined Seward & Kissel in NY in celebrating its 125th anniversary. Known for its work with financial institutions, the firm has an office on K Street in DC and at NY's One Battery Park Plaza. We snapped Seward & Kissel managing partner John Tavss, second from left, with S&K partner Steve Nadel, Rudin Management Co CEO and Vice-Chairman Bill Rudin and VP Michael Rudin, and Battery Park Conservancy President Warrie Price. (In honor of the firm's 125th anniversary, it's donating $125k for 125 chairs in the nearby Battery Park. Warrie tells us the design—in which she's sitting—was chosen through a competition with 1,500 entrants from 15 countries.)
In honor of the anniversary, S&K is also burying a time capsule that will be opened in another 125 years. A stone marker will commemorate the spot outside of the office. What's inside? Various mementos describing the state of today's legal market, including a 2015 billing rate sheet, starting associate salaries, law school tuition rates, a BlackBerry, and documents outlining a $1k equity-indexed account that's been allocated to fund an event when the capsule’s opened in 2140. (With interest, that could be quite a bash.) We snapped John Tavss with Hellerman Baretz Communications partner Spencer Baretz. John joined the firm in '79, but as we walked around we found lawyers who'd come on board even earlier.
Catching up inside were Aniko Pasztory, Zaitzeff Law's Roger Zaitzeff (who spent the first 25 years of his career at S&K), Blaise Pasztory (who joined S&K in '62 and later founded and headed its Budapest office in the '90s), and Peter Pront (a current S&K tax counsel who joined in '79 and later headed the Tax Practice Group for nearly 20 years).
Nearby, we snapped S&K real estate lawyers Jonathan Berger and Ian Silver. Jonathan has practiced law since '66 and joined the firm in '89. He pointed out that firm name partner and legal legend George Seward was 101 when he passed away in '12, and came into the office nearly every day until he was 100 years old.
Firm alums reunited with current partners. S&K litigation partner Mark Kotwick and NYC Department of Investigation GC Michael Siller tell us they were first-year classmates at S&K 25 years ago. Guests enjoyed beef tartare with quail egg, roasted beet tartines, lobster mac & cheese bites, yellowfin tuna rolls, and beef, pork and vegetable dumplings.