The Secrets of the Billion-Dollar Biglaw Firms

The Secrets of the Billion-Dollar Biglaw Firms

Every year, Am Law 100 announces the rankings of big law firms in the US, and every year debates rage over which firm was ranked #1. But what do we know about these elite firms? Surprisingly little! What does it take to be on the list? Why were some firms left off? Which ones are on their way to the top? The Secrets of the Billion-Dollar Biglaw Firms answers all these questions and more. Read on to discover which firms are making their way up, down, or of this prestigious list in the coming year!

Cravath Swaine & Moore

One hundred years ago, in 1913, Cravath was founded by Henry W. Cravath. At first, it was a branch office for the Manhattan law firm but it grew rapidly to be one of New York’s premier law firms. Eventually, Cravath expanded to become one of America’s premier law firms.

The original entity merged with Swaine and Moore in 1922 to form what we now know as Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP (CSM). As a member of Am Law 100 – an index that ranks US law firms by billings – CSM has remained successful because they are active and aggressive litigators who create relationships with clients both large and small.

Skadden Arps

Wealthy clients come to Skadden Arps to capitalize on opportunities all around the world. Clients ask us to guide them through investment decisions and initiatives as diverse as managing their wealth, attracting the best talent, and identifying strategies for adapting their business.

Skadden has a long history of providing corporations, governments, and other organizations with top legal advice at a critical junctures. Clients rely on our skills in litigation, dispute resolution, and other essential disciplines, balanced with hands-on lawyering. All this is backed by an unparalleled commitment to client service by one of the most experienced teams in law.

Davis Polk

Founded in 1837, Davis Polk is one of the oldest law firms in the country. They have a broad range of international experience and take a transactional approach to lawyers. Davis Polk is known for being highly selective about who they hire, which makes for an engaging work environment full of ambition and ideas. They also host weekly lunches with guest speakers on varied topics, giving associates a chance to learn from top professionals in different fields.

Latham & Watkins

Latham and Watkins have been in the top five biggest law firms for decades, and their current status as a powerhouse is well deserved. They have more than 2,000 lawyers in 31 offices spanning six continents. The group serves clients from Fortune 500 corporations to individuals,

with robust international coverage and distinctive industry expertise. And that’s not all: Latham boasts one of the best International Tax practices and one of the largest White Collar practices around. Indeed, they can handle any litigation job you throw at them – no matter how big or small.

Sullivan & Cromwell

In addition to its standard practices, S&C is highly respected for its regulatory matters practice, which has a strong antitrust component and deals with regulatory matters on behalf of corporations and various associations, and nonprofit organizations.

Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland was founded in 1925 and is one of the oldest law firms in America. It currently employs more than 1,200 lawyers globally across ten offices worldwide. Kirkland is renowned for its broad service offering including litigation, corporate transactions, regulatory work, internal investigations, antitrust enforcement defense, insurance coverage, and investor protection.

The firm has expertise in US federal courts and cases around the world. It also regularly defends clients from federal investigations by giving advice to those under investigation and building a defense if they need to take it that far.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Founded in 1884, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has created a formidable intellectual property practice, including joint ventures in Japan and the European Union. The firm has international offices in Europe and China, attracting clients seeking solid foreign operations. They have recently started to expand their New York office. Some of their notable lawyers are Ralph Nader and Alan Dershowitz.

Shearman & Sterling

Headquartered in New York City, Shearman & Sterling was founded in 1873. It is one of the nation’s oldest law firms, and one of just six Am Law 100 firms that have been around since 1850. Of those six, only two are not headquartered on the East Coast (K&L Gates in Pittsburgh and King & Spalding in Atlanta).

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison

At Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP we pride ourselves on giving back to our communities and achieving excellence in everything we do. Our lawyers are dedicated and hardworking, striving for perfection with every brief and strategy they undertake. We practice a wide variety of disciplines within the law that allows us to meet the needs of our clients both here in America and overseas.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson

Today, we are going to be talking about one of the most prestigious and accomplished firms on The Am Law 100: Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. The firm was founded by six lawyers in 1946 and today employs an army of 1,500 highly-trained lawyers who offer a multitude of services.

Over the years they have expanded their law school to include Columbia University School of Law, UC Berkeley School Of Law, and UC Davis School Of Law as well as a publishing house that has been churning out some stellar titles for over 60 years. And all with only one office!

Fried Frank works tirelessly at staying on top of everything from historic preservation to taxation and more! They are truly one formidable force that we can’t wait to hear more from in future articles.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Located in Washington, D.C., Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is one of the largest and oldest law firms in the world. The firm was established in 1900 with just four members and has since grown to over 700 attorneys (including 60 partners) and continues to employ some of the brightest minds in law.

With offices on three continents, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s lawyers manage a broad range of corporate transactions including securities offerings, capital raisings, acquisition financing for both private and public companies, and M&A work involving diverse industries from food retail to telecommunications equipment manufacturing.

Additionally, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s commercial team includes specialized professionals that are specialists in e-commerce and information technology transactions as well as general business transactions.

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