An increasing number of Law360 400 firms are placing their flagship offices in Washington, D.C., but this is only the tip of the iceberg for the vibrant legal market in the capital, industry experts say, as firms seek to meet growing demand for regulatory guidance.
Nearly three dozen law firms with California headquarters landed on the Law360 400, with San Francisco’s Littler Mendelson PC once again topping the list, and experts say the intellectual property, employment and transactional needs of booming startups and technology businesses like Snapchat Inc. and Hulu LLC are creating opportunities for firms to reach new heights.
Bolstered by a strong statewide economy and a thriving legal market, Texas is home to nearly two dozen firms on the Law360 400, and even as those firms expand nationally and internationally, they continue to find great value in their Texas roots.
New York still reigns supreme as the city with the most flagship law firm offices in the Law360 400, but the Big Apple's total shrank by 14 percent as several firms grew their offices in other U.S. cities.
The hegemony of so-called Wall Street firms in New York is under threat from firms founded elsewhere in the U.S. that are using record-high compensation packages as a cudgel to steal elite lateral talent, clients and market share, according to Law360 data and industry insiders.
Law360's ranking of the 400 largest U.S. law firms confirms that top-billing Wall Street firms tend to keep partner concentrations extremely low, helping to boost the all-important profits-per-partner metric.
The country's biggest labor and employment boutiques are getting bigger, according to this year's Law360 400, a trend lawyers say is fueled by clients increasingly turning to firms that specialize in labor and employment work as opposed to their general practice brethren.
Law firms experienced minor attorney headcount growth in 2014, but growth-hungry, opportunistic firms saw their number of U.S. attorneys increase by more than 10 percent thanks to strategic attorney acquisitions and office expansions, according to the Law360 400.
The BigLaw mergers that made headlines in 2014 — 12 U.S. partnerships of at least 20 lawyers were scooped up by firms in the Law360 400 list — were driven more by answering corporate clients' legal needs than by short-term profit growth and client buying, industry leaders told Law360.
There's a new leader of the pack for BigLaw. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP leapfrogged eight competitors to become the largest law firm in America and now holds the top spot in the Law360 400, our annual ranking of the largest U.S. law firms. Morgan Lewis took over the top spot from Jones Day in November when it added more than 750 lawyers, including hundreds in the U.S., from Bingham McCutchen LLP.
The trend among U.S. companies to end litigation as quickly and cheaply as possible has left many litigation-focused firms with a work shortfall, and some have been forced to cut their associate ranks, according to industry watchers and Law360 data.
Boston-based Fish & Richardson PC has retained its top spot among the largest IP boutiques, and while IP specialty firms bring an army of top talent to the legal market, experts say they still need to define their mission and adapt to a changing market to keep up with general practice firms.
Globalization and the lure of lucrative cross-border transaction work are driving the emergence of a new class of international megafirms, but experts say the advantages of size may be offset by ballooning overhead costs and the inevitability of client conflicts.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP has leapfrogged eight competitors to become the largest law firm in America and now holds the top spot in the Law360 400, our annual ranking of the largest U.S. law firms.
Holland & Knight LLP is trimming its equity partner ranks by de-equitizing some partners and transitioning others to senior nonequity roles to clear a path for new rainmakers, according to the firm and Law360 data.
In the past year, White & Case LLP's U.S. attorney head count dropped by about 10 percent, marking at least four straight years of slimdowns by Law360's count. But rather than indicating a malignancy within the firm, former partners and industry experts say the dip is a symptom of a "get lean" strategy that is bringing in better revenues.
Morrison & Foerster LLP saw a nearly 8 percent drop in its U.S.-based attorney headcount in 2014, according to this year’s Law360 400 survey, as the firm's work on high-profile cases like the Residential Capital LLC bankruptcy and an Apple-Samsung smartphone patent war drew to a close.
With some types of intellectual property litigation slowing down, four major IP boutiques responded in the past year by reducing their attorney head counts by between 9 and 20 percent, according to figures compiled by Law360.
Litigation firm Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP ended last year with a 14 percent reduction in lawyer headcount, according to data from this year’s Law360 400 survey, and it lost more lawyers in a round of cuts Tuesday.
Law360's inaugural ranking of the largest 400 U.S. law firms reveals that several of the largest global firms, including Baker & McKenzie LLP, are placed on equal footing in the U.S. legal market with nationally or even regionally concentrated firms in terms of attorney head count.
Nearly two dozen of the firms on the Law360 400 are based in Texas, led by Norton Rose Fulbright, where the booming legal market is driving the state’s largest firms to expand beyond their roots to establish themselves as brand names nationwide.
The concentration of pharmaceutical, telecommunications other important industries combined with a dense population, government regulation and close proximity to major cities have made New Jersey a fertile place to grow the 14 firms on the Law360 400 that call the Garden State home.
Pittsburgh’s unique position in the thriving Marcellus Shale play has fueled growth for firms including K&L Gates LLP and Reed Smith LLP, identified by Law360 as among the 400 largest firms in the U.S., and helped to challenge Philadelphia’s traditional reputation as the state’s legal epicenter.
Thirty-four law firms with roots in California secured spots on the Law360 400, led by San Francisco-based Littler Mendelson PC, and sources say the Golden State will continue to be a key legal market as the needs of technology startups, life sciences firms and other cutting-edge companies on the West Coast grow.
Greenberg Traurig LLP has the highest number of partners of any firm in the U.S. and the highest concentration of partners among the top 15 firms in the Law360 400, and the firm says being able to put more partners in front of clients gives it a competitive advantage in today’s cutthroat marketplace.