The city's top lawyer for three terms under Mayor Michael Bloomberg will step down and return to the private sector.
Michael Cardozo, the city's longest-serving Corporation Counsel, will return to the global law firm of Proskauer, the Law Department announced Tuesday.
Cardozo's office argued on behalf of the city during some of Bloomberg's biggest legal battles, including a lawsuit against the large soda ban and the federal stop-and-frisk trial.
Cardozo said his years as Corporation Counsel were "rewarding" but he looks forward to returning to Proskauer, where he began as an associate in 1967.
"Drawing on my years of government service, particularly dealing with the courts in extensive and significant litigations, I plan to advise and litigate on behalf of clients, to serve as an arbitrator, to continue my commitment to pro bono work, and to participate in ongoing efforts to improve the functioning of the New York courts," Cardozo said in a statement .
Bloomberg said in a statement that city settlement payouts were reduced by 14 percent and the tort case backlog was reduced by 50 percent under Cardozo.
"Michael Cardozo is someone who made our City a better place and no Corporation Counsel has served the City longer -- or better," the mayor said.