Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (often shortened to Debevoise) is an international law firm based in New York City. Founded in 1931 by Harvard Law School alumnus Eli Whitney Debevoise and Oxford-trained William Stevenson, Debevoise has long been an established leader in strategic and private equity, M&A, insurance and financial services transactions, private funds, complex litigation, investigations and international arbitration. Debevoise is consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious law firms in the world, one of New Yorks most powerful law firms and has been described as very much the "Gentleman of the world of Big Law". Debevoise & Plimpton currently employs approximately 615 lawyers in nine offices throughout the world. The firm divides its practices into three major areas: Corporate, Litigation and Tax. In recent years, the firms practice has taken on an increasingly international component.