Frontline

Seward & Kissel look to 125 more years

Seward & Kissel LLP partners are confident enough that their 125-year-old firm will be around for another century-and-a-quarter to throw an anniversary party that includes the burial of a time capsule to be opened logically in 2140.

The investment management specialist has remained independent since its founding in 1890, a rarity for a midsize law firm these days, said Steven B. Nadel, a Seward & Kissel partner, based in the firm's New York headquarters.

The eclectic contents of the time capsule commemorate the firm's history and include the 1949 Articles of Agreement of the world's first hedge fund, A.W. Jones & Co., which Seward & Kissel prepared; a flash drive with copies of the firm's current brochures; names and photos of all current employees; a batteryless Blackberry; and pictures of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. S&K's Battery Park Plaza location in lower Manhattan was damaged by the storm.

The time capsule was buried in the courtyard of S&K's office during a lavish fete on Sept. 29 for more than 400 employees, family and guests.

Just in case S&K moves or folds within the next 125 years, the firm has given $1,000 to the New York Bar Association to manage in passive funds in a trust, Mr. Nadel said. Assuming a 3% annualized return over the century-plus time period, Mr. Nadel said the NYC Bar will have $40,000 and a directive to throw a party to celebrate the unearthing of the law firm's time capsule from 2015.

This article originally appeared in the October 5, 2015 print issue as, "Seward & Kissel look to 125 more years".