Robert Pennoyer came to the firm as an associate in 1958 after serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, followed by four years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (as Assistant to the General Counsel and as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs). There were 22 lawyers in the firm. Robert W. Morgenthau, who went on to serve as District Attorney of New York County, was the youngest partner. As a firm partner from 1962 to 1995 Mr. Pennoyer helped to guide the firm’s growth, and for a number of years served as chairman of the firm’s management committee. Since 1995, he has continued an active practice as of counsel to the firm.

When Mr. Pennoyer joined the firm it was already known for its commitment to public service, following the example of Robert P. Patterson, who had served as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals and as Assistant Secretary of War during World War II. Over the years Mr. Pennoyer worked with his partners to maintain the firm’s commitment to the full professional life, which combines exemplary service to firm clients with a commitment to public service and pro bono service.

In recent years Mr. Pennoyer has concentrated his practice on tax-exempt organizations and trusts and estates. He serves as fiduciary for a number of high net worth individuals and as trustee of their family trusts, and throughout his career has served as trustee of a number of charitable organizations. In the 1960’s he was a founder and trustee of Exodus House, a halfway house for addict rehabilitation in East Harlem. At various times he has served as a trustee of Union Theological Seminary, Carnegie Institution in Washington, Columbia University and is currently serving as trustee of the William C. Bullitt Foundation and trustee emeritus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library and Museum.


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • New York


  • French

Professional Activities

MEMBERSHIPS: American Bar Association; New York State Bar Association; Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Current Trusteeships: the William C. Bullitt Foundation; Past Trusteeships include: the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Morgan Library and Museum; the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Inc. (At Cornell); the Carnegie Institution of Washington; Columbia University; Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation; Exodus House (East Harlem addict rehabilitation, Co-Founder and President); elected Director of Associated Harvard Alumni