Top 10 Largest Law Firms in the World: Pioneers of Legal Excellence

In today’s globalised world, law is a critical service that intersects with various facets of life, including business, finance, taxation, litigation, corporate affairs, intellectual property, and more. As the demand for legal expertise continues to rise, law firms are growing in size, influence, and revenue. This article explores the top 10 largest law firms in the world based on their annual revenues in the fiscal year 2020, as compiled by The International Lawyer’s Global 200 ranking.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP: Leading the Pack

With an astounding annual revenue of $4.83 billion in 2020, Kirkland & Ellis LLP secured the top spot on our list. This U.S.-based powerhouse is known for its specialised services in corporate law, taxation, litigation, intellectual property, and restructuring. Boasting approximately 2,000 lawyers, Kirkland & Ellis serves a niche set of corporate clients, including industry giants like Boeing, Delta Airlines, General Motors, and Dow Chemical. Founded in 1909 in Chicago, the firm has a rich history of providing top-notch legal services.

Latham & Watkins LLP: A Global Force

Headquartered in Los Angeles and with offices in 14 additional countries, Latham & Watkins is a global legal force to be reckoned with. In 2020, the firm reported annual revenues of $4.33 billion, securing its place as the second-largest law firm in the world. Latham & Watkins offers a wide range of services, spanning activism, entertainment, media, real estate, and white-collar defense. With more than 3,000 lawyers on board, they are well-equipped to tackle complex legal challenges.

DLA Piper: A Global Network

DLA Piper, headquartered in London and Chicago, emerged as the third-largest law firm globally, with annual revenues reaching $3.13 billion in 2020. This legal giant has a presence in over 40 countries and employs nearly 4,000 lawyers across various practice areas, including education, government contracting, insurance, and technology. DLA Piper is known for its international reach and played a notable role in representing Paul Ceglia in a high-profile lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg.

Dentons: The Result of Strategic Mergers

Dentons, a product of numerous mergers in recent years, secured the fourth spot on our list with an annual revenue of $2.9 billion. Boasting more than 11,000 lawyers in over 80 countries, Dentons is a global legal powerhouse. While Dentons lacks a centralised headquarters, it has a significant presence in China, with numerous lawyers and offices. The firm’s strategic approach to growth through mergers has enabled it to become a major player in the legal industry.

Baker McKenzie: A Strong Global Presence

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Chicago, Baker McKenzie is the fifth-largest law firm in the world, reporting revenues of $2.9 billion in 2020. With over 13,000 employees across 46 countries, Baker McKenzie provides legal services across a broad spectrum of practice areas. The firm’s commitment to a global presence has made it a go-to choice for multinational corporations seeking legal expertise.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP: A New York Icon

Founded in 1948 and headquartered in New York, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, commonly known as Skadden, ranks sixth on our list with annual revenues of $2.66 billion. The firm boasts 20 offices worldwide, comprising more than 1,500 lawyers specialising in over 50 practice areas. Skadden’s clientele includes businesses, financial institutions, and government agencies from around the globe, reflecting its international reach and influence.

Sidley Austin: A Legacy of Excellence

Founded in 1866 and headquartered in Chicago, Sidley Austin, commonly known as Sidley, is the seventh-largest law firm in the world. In 2020, the firm reported revenues of $2.46 billion and employed over 1,800 lawyers across 20 offices worldwide. Sidley focuses on corporate finance, employment law, regulatory and government affairs, and tax law, providing comprehensive legal services to a diverse clientele.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius: A Philadelphia Powerhouse

With its headquarters in Philadelphia and 30 offices worldwide, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius ranks eighth on our list, reporting $2.45 billion in revenue in 2020. Founded in 1873, the firm has a rich history and employs 2,200 lawyers. Its broad spectrum of legal services attracts clients from various sectors, making it a key player in the legal industry.

White & Case: A Global Perspective

Founded in 1901 and headquartered in Tampa, White & Case stands as the ninth-largest law firm globally, with reported revenues of $2.39 billion in 2020. The firm employs more than 2,200 lawyers across 47 additional locations worldwide. White & Case’s international outlook positions it as a vital resource for clients seeking legal expertise on a global scale.

Clifford Chance: The International Perspective

Founded in 1987 through a merger, Clifford Chance is headquartered in London and has offices in 23 other countries. With approximately 2,500 lawyers, the firm reported revenues of $2.3 billion in 2020. Clifford Chance specialises in sectors such as banking, healthcare, private equity, and transport and logistics. Its international presence makes it a valuable resource for clients navigating complex legal challenges on a global scale.

Conclusion

The world’s largest law firms are essential pillars of the legal industry, providing specialised expertise across various practice areas and serving clients on a global scale. These firms, driven by their commitment to excellence and strategic growth, continue to shape the landscape of legal services, making them invaluable assets for clients worldwide. As they navigate the intricate and ever-evolving legal landscape, these top law firms remain steadfast in their pursuit of justice and the resolution of complex legal matters.

Go Remote And You Can Go Green, Too

Remote working has revolutionised the business world and it can transform your business, too. While there are challenges with managing a remote team that you need to ensure that you can meet, there are also opportunities to transform your business for the better. For instance, you can make it a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly place, all the better for customers, clients, and employees who share those values. Here are a few ways going remote can help you go green, too.

Say Goodbye to The Commute

Naturally, one of the ways that a remote team will make a big impact on the carbon use of your team is the sudden lack of commuters on the roads. Most remote workers do their jobs from their own home, and you can even use remote working to incentivise this. There are commute tracking tools that look at the emissions likely from each journey and you can incentivise staying at home to improve those stats. Whether or not this is tied to any rewards that you might offer is up to you, but it can definitely help not only make the business greener but also make the transition to remote working a little easier for those who might not be as enthusiastic to get on with it.

You Don’t Need That Big Office Anymore

The physical premises that your business takes up will have an impact on the environment, as well. It’s where most of your business’s waste is going to be generated, after all. By moving to a remote business setup, you can also move to a much smaller business or even start running your business remotely. This can be made all the easier with the ability to access business address remotely through the physical address that you set up separate from the actual headquarters of your business. You can maintain the brand integrity that a business address offers without as much cost, both to your budget and to the environment

Paperless is Much Easier, Nowadays

When you’re not sharing papers across an office, there’s a lot less need to get the printer involved in the first place. Purchasing and using paper is not only wasteful, but it can also be highly costly as well. Aside from the printing charges, you also have to think about storage for all of those files, too. It’s a lot easier and, in the vast majority of cases, more cost-effective to set up Cloud storage for all of the documents that you can share online. Going paperless can therefore save you a lot of money, but it can also make it easier to share resources when you don’t have to spend time locating physical pieces of paper to do it.

You have a real opportunity to transform how you run your business when you go remote, and the changes above are just examples of how you can do it. Think of the values that you want to bring your business closer to and what you can do to make it a reality.