This year's Global 20 law firms have expanded into the far-flung and once-unthinkable locales of Myanmar and Kazakhstan in a race to beat out their legal competitors.
Law360's Global 20 firms take different approaches to how they handle their money, growth and culture. But they agree on one thing: location, location, location. Here, we reveal the 25 places around the world you need to be in if you want to be a global big dog.
Global law firms aren’t letting prohibitions on practicing local law stop them from opening offices in countries like China and Brazil, rushing to meet the needs of their international clients while betting that the markets will eventually become big money generators.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP flaunted its cross-border prowess through a series of high-stakes competition reviews for some of Europe's showpiece transactions in the last year, including guiding the $4.3 billion sale of Avio SpA to General Electric Co., to land the firm at the top of Law360's Global 20.
The reach of international business is inspiring more international law firms to reject home office headquarters in favor of a “world citizen” mentality they hope will promote cohesion among far-flung partners and better mirror their globalized clients.
A number of Law360's Global 20 firms have recently closed outposts in European cities because they are unwilling to wait for the recovery in the transactional market seen in London and elsewhere to reach smaller legal markets on the continent, legal consultants said.
Combining multiple law firms into a Swiss verein structure has become the preferred way for big law firms to become global giants, and industry experts say more firms will go the verein route because it offers a faster, less complex way to grow internationally.
U.K.-based law firms have kept a tight grip on the global market as evidenced by their prominence on Law360's Global 20 list, but U.S. firms continue to make inroads as the mounting legal needs of their global corporate clients push them to expand abroad.
For the fourth straight year, Law360 has selected and ranked the 20 law firms that had the biggest global presence and handled the most large, significant and groundbreaking international and cross-border matters over the past year.
Mayer Brown LLP continued to flex its international muscle in 2012 by advising Swiss food giant Nestle SA on its $11.85 billion acquisition of Pfizer Inc.'s infant nutrition business, helping the firm land on Law360's annual Global 20 list for the third consecutive year.
Dechert LLP long ago established its strategic international presence by focusing on its financial clients' needs, but it has expanded its reach once again with a $3 billion telecommunications deal in the Middle East and by opening new offices geared toward servicing the global energy industry, earning it a place on Law360's Global 20.
Growing its footprint in Asia, Europe and Latin America, guiding clients through cross-border disputes and representing one of the world's largest oil companies in litigation stemming from an environmental catastrophe in Brazil has landed Jones Day on Law360's Global 20 list for the third consecutive year.
Allen & Overy LLP led the largest ever public financing for a gas project in Australia, advised on the creation of the landmark free financial market in Abu Dhabi and built on its longtime track record as a powerhouse innovator for financial deals, landing it among Law360's Global 20.
By helping Chinese companies and others make unprecedented overseas acquisitions, fending off multiple investigations of alleged sanctions violations for an Italian bank and beefing up its Hong Kong and London offices, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has earned a spot among Law360's Global 20 law firms.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP has represented clients in high-risk, billion-dollar litigation in some of the thorniest jurisdictions in the world, while continuing to expand its litigating and deal-making prowess from London and Dubai to Singapore and Beijing, earning it a spot on Law360’s annual Global 20 list of groundbreaking international law firms.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has laid the groundwork for continuing growth in the burgeoning African market — where it's advising on an $80 billion hydroelectric power project — in addition to launching a Brussels office and helping Europe's biggest regulated gas company land an $11 billion credit line, landing itself on Law360's Global 20 list for the third straight year.
Strained by demands from clients who expect diverse offerings and deep expertise around the globe, Norton Rose and Fulbright & Jaworski LLP this year sealed a blockbuster combination that substantially broadened their international reach, landing them a spot among Law360's Global 20.
Sidley Austin LLP has had a global presence for decades and it continued its carefully plotted growth around the world last year, especially in Asia, where it invested heavily in its Singapore office and helped Chinese clients navigate the U.S. legal and regulatory system, earning the firm a spot on Law360's Global 20 list for the second year in a row.
The past year has seen K&L Gates LLP make a major push into the Asia-Pacific region by establishing new footholds in Australia and South Korea while further developing its formidable stateside practice as the firm continues to climb the ranks in its third straight appearance on Law360's Global 20.
King & Spalding LLP's strict adherence to a strategic growth plan centered around building up its strongest practice areas in select markets has spurred its recent expansions in London, Paris, Singapore and the Middle East, securing the firm a spot on Law360's Global 20 for the second time.
For Squire Sanders, expansion into the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East wasn't an incidental strategy, but part of a long-standing mission that helped land the firm its inaugural spot among Law360's Global 20.
The philosophy behind the ever-expanding international practice of Baker & McKenzie LLP — whose complex cross-border work and path-breaking forays in Peru and Southeast Asia have landed it among Law360's Global 20 for the third consecutive year — may boil down to the marketing truism "think global, act local."
Hogan Lovells has surged ahead with its plan to grow in the world's key legal markets following the huge merger that created the firm three years ago, opening a Brazil location and advising on a string of major deals around the world that helped land the firm a place among Law360's Global 20 for the third consecutive year.
DLA Piper thrives on sealing highly complex deals that have multiple countries at the table, but when it comes to its global expansion strategy, the firm, which is enjoying its third consecutive year on Law360's Global 20 list, keeps it simple — closely watching the world's G-20 economies and emerging markets like Latin America and Africa.
With a host of recent, high-profile transactional work across the globe and a continued focus on expanding its international presence to meet the needs of clients, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP has landed itself on Law360's Global 20 for the third straight year.