Non-for-Profit Institutions

For more than 200 years, Cadwalader has represented some of the nation’s most prestigious not-for-profit organizations as well as organizations and individuals that contribute to not-for-profit institutions or initiatives. Today, we advise major foundations and philanthropies, as well as hospitals and health care institutions, universities, churches and social welfare organizations in every facet of their operations.  We also are proud of the important role our attorneys have played in developing legislation and public policy that is supportive of the not-for-profit sector. As an industry leader, Cadwalader’s not-for-profit team is committed to providing its clients with the most current advice and most effective representation in every matter.

Governance: Recent scandals in both the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds have forced the governing boards of not-for-profits to focus more closely on their duties and responsibilities towards their institutions. Cadwalader attorneys regularly counsel clients on their corporate structure, assist in the periodic review and revision of corporate bylaws, policies and procedures, and help with specific board committee functions such as audit and internal compliance. The governing board of not-for-profits must be alert to issues ranging from conflicts of interest, misuse of charitable assets, excessive executive compensation, and compliance with the conditions of restrictive gifts from donors.

Tax-Exempt Status: The charitable and tax-exempt status of many organizations have come under scrutiny by both the IRS, state attorneys general, and even local taxing authorities. Areas of concern include: whether they are fulfilling their charitable purpose; what benefits they are providing to their communities and constituencies; the actual amount of charity care provided by non-profit providers such as hospitals; private inurement and self-dealing; obtaining and retaining IRS and state tax-exemptions and local property tax exemptions. Our attorneys also advise our clients regarding unrelated business taxes, excise taxes, structuring of for-profit subsidiaries, and participation in general and limited partnerships and joint ventures.

Financings: Our extensive work in capital financing in the not-for-profit sector has afforded our not-for-profit clients a variety of vehicles for obtaining capital funding. These include tax-exempt loans and traditional real estate mortgage financings.

Corporate Transactions: The combined expertise of our corporate and not-for-profit practices makes Cadwalader one of the country’s most innovative firms in mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures by charities and other philanthropies. These transactions range from asset and stock purchases to complex arrangements involving the transfer of control of not-for-profit organizations. In each transaction, we guide clients through extensive federal and state approval processes as well as the complex tax considerations applicable to not-for-profit and tax-exempt entities.

Pension and Employee Benefits: Cadwalader’s lawyers advise charities and other philanthropic organizations on a wide range of benefit and compensation matters, including qualified plans, non-qualified plans, executive and employee compensation, welfare plans, and employment taxes. We structure these plans and guide our clients in their administration, compliance matters, and related disputes. Our team is proactive in assessing the implications of new laws and regulations affecting our clients’ plans and businesses and is especially skilled at tailoring plans to fit with each client’s particular situation.

Real Estate and Real Estate Financing: Our renowned financing attorneys work with our not-for-profit team to serve the specialized needs of philanthropic and charitable organizations in the real estate markets. We regularly counsel clients in the acquisition, development, leasing, and disposition of their facilities, as well as in loan restructurings and workouts. We have extensive experience with real estate foreclosures of large mortgages on various types of properties, including medical office complexes and mixed-use buildings. Our team is also proficient with other forms of structured finance.

Wills, Trusts & Estates:  Not-for-profit organizations such as foundations, hospitals, universities and other organizations are frequently the recipients of charitable gifts, bequests, income from charitable trusts, and other sources. Our attorneys not only protect the interests of our clients in these gifts, but assess the tax and other implications so as to maximize their value.

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We believe that our continued strength lies in ensuring that we attract, retain, and nurture the very best talent from all backgrounds, and we expect the future complexion of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP will, with each passing year, more closely reflect the global community that we serve. 

Cadwalader has worked diligently to promote an inclusive work environment and, over the years, has developed many initiatives to fit our unique goals and challenges on issues of diversity and inclusion.  With the creation of the Cadwalader Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CCDI), a central resource for the firm’s diversity programs, initiatives and policies, we aim to improve upon our successes and follow through on our promise to weave diversity and inclusion principles into the fabric of our culture. 

The mission of the CCDI is to enhance gender, racial/ethnic, and LGBT diversity and inclusion within the firm to create an unrivalled environment that attracts, retains and promotes the best and brightest talent available to serve our clients. Governed by the Global Diversity Committee, chaired by Patrick T. Quinn, Managing Partner, the CCDI is a vehicle to support the work we currently perform, to reinforce our dedication to that work, to recognize outstanding effort and to communicate - to each other and to the clients we serve - our longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Recent Programs & Events

The Cadwalader Center for Diversity and Inclusion hosts programs and events throughout the year that are designed to increase cultural competence, celebrate history and heritage and educate attorneys on how to work effectively on diverse teams.

From Megan’s Law to Bernie Madoff: A Conversation with Judge Chin

- July 23, 2015

The Cadwalader Asian Pacific American Attorney Resource Group hosted a conversation with the Honorable Denny Chin, United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit.  During the interactive conversation, Judge Chin discussed his experiences as a federal judge and his path to the bench. Attendees had the opportunity to network and speak with Judge Chin during the cocktail reception that followed.

The Fight for Marriage Equality in the Supreme Court

- June 9, 2015

The Cadwalader LGBT Network and the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) hosted a Pride Month event, The Fight for Marriage Equality in the Supreme Court, featuring Mary Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director and Janson Wu, GLAD’s Executive Director. During the presentation Mary discussed her experience arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court for marriage equality and Janson discussed the future of the LGBT rights movement.

Justice Denied: Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio

- May 12, 2015

Members of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, including Cadwalader attorneys and the Honorable Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit presented a case reenactment of Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio, a landmark employment discrimination case. The presentation told the story of the Wards Cove workers through narration, reenactment of court proceedings, and historic photographs. To view the performance, click here.

The Partner Track

- May 5, 2015

The Cadwalader Asian Pacific American Attorney Resource Group and the Women’s Leadership Initiative co-hosted a panel discussion with Cadwalader Partners, Ingrid Bagby, Kathy Chin and Athena Eastwood, focusing on their career experiences and paths to partnership. The panel was moderated by Helen Wan, author of The Partner Track, a fictional story about a young Asian-American corporate associate up for partner at her New York law firm.

“From Selma to Ferguson to Today: Why Civil Rights Matter,” featuring Professor Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School

- April 29, 2015

The Cadwalader Black and Latino Association hosted a conversation with Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.  The conversation was followed by a cocktail reception where attorneys had the opportunity to network  and speak with Professor Ogletree.

The Art of Building Business Relationships and Executive Presence

- March 25, 2015

The Women’s Leadership Initiative and Diane Darling, Founder of the Darling Institute, hosted a workshop on building business relationships and executive presence.  This interactive presentation explored how professionals at all stages of their career can integrate networking and relationship-building into their everyday lives. 

WLI London Client Event: “Walking the Nile” by Levison Wood

– March 12, 2015

The Women’s Leadership Initiative hosted a special evening at our London office with Levison Wood, explorer, writer, and photographer. Formerly an officer in the British Parachute Regiment, Wood has led pioneering journeys into undiscovered regions, travelling to more than 80 countries. His nine-month walk along the length of the Nile, from source to sea, is chronicled in a recent Channel 4 documentary. During the presentation Wood described the amazing people, breathtaking places and shocking sights he encountered on his ground-breaking expedition.


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