The field of law is a vital service-based industry that caters to a diverse range of legal matters, from business and finance to taxation, litigation, corporate affairs, patents, copyrights, and more. Law firms play a pivotal role in providing specialized expertise to clients, addressing complex legal challenges in various sectors. Among the many criteria used to rank law firms, annual revenue stands out as the most accurate, consistent, and straightforward metric. This article presents the top ten law firms in the world, highlighting their expertise, global reach, and impressive annual revenues based on The 2021 Global 200, compiled by The International Lawyer.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP:
Kirkland & Ellis LLP holds the top spot with its niche expertise in corporate, taxation, litigation, intellectual property, and restructuring fields. With around 2,000 lawyers on its team, this U.S.-based firm reported a staggering revenue of $4.83 billion in 2020. Counting Boeing, Delta Airlines, General Motors, and Dow Chemical among its high-profile clients, Kirkland & Ellis has earned a reputation as a legal powerhouse.
Latham & Watkins LLP:
Headquartered in Los Angeles and with offices in 14 additional countries, Latham & Watkins ranks second in terms of annual revenues, boasting a reported $4.33 billion. The firm’s diverse services span activism, entertainment and media, real estate, and white-collar defense, making it a significant player in various industries worldwide.
DLA Piper, one of the largest global law firms, emerged after a mega-merger of international law firms in 2005. Operating in more than 40 countries, DLA Piper ranks third with annual revenues of $3.13 billion. Its nearly 4,000 lawyers provide services in sectors such as education, government contracting, insurance, and technology.
Dentons, a product of several mergers in the last half-decade, stands out as a global force with over 11,000 lawyers in more than 80 countries. The firm secured the fourth spot on the list with an impressive annual revenue of $2.9 billion, further solidifying its position in the legal landscape.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Chicago, Baker McKenzie employs over 13,000 professionals across 46 countries. With reported revenues of $2.9 billion, the firm ranks fifth, known for its expertise in a wide array of legal matters.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP:
Skadden, also known as the Skadden Arps, was founded in 1948 and boasts headquarters in New York. With over 1,500 lawyers and more than 50 practice areas across 20 global offices, the firm reported annual revenues of $2.66 billion, catering to businesses, financial institutions, and government agencies worldwide.
Sidley, founded in 1866, is headquartered in Chicago and reported revenues of $2.46 billion in 2020. With over 1,800 lawyers in 20 offices globally, the firm focuses on corporate finance, employment, regulatory and government affairs, and tax law.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius:
Founded in 1873 and employing 2,200 lawyers, Morgan Lewis secured the eighth spot with $2.45 billion in revenue. With its headquarters in Philadelphia and a presence in 30 offices worldwide, the firm provides comprehensive legal services to clients.
White & Case:
Established in 1901 and headquartered in Tampa, White & Case employs more than 2,200 lawyers across 47 additional locations worldwide. The firm reported revenues of $2.39 billion in 2020, showcasing its commitment to delivering top-notch legal services.
Founded in 1987 through a merger, Clifford Chance operates from its London headquarters and maintains offices in 23 other countries. With approximately 2,500 lawyers, the firm focuses on various primary sectors, including banks, healthcare, private equity, transport, and logistics, reporting revenues of $2.3 billion in 2020.
The world’s top law firms play a pivotal role in the global legal landscape, addressing a myriad of legal challenges across diverse industries. With expertise spanning multiple practice areas and an unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality legal services, these firms have consistently managed to achieve billion-dollar revenues. As the legal industry continues to evolve, these pioneering law firms remain at the forefront, shaping legal precedents, advocating for their clients, and navigating the complex legal terrain with finesse. Their impressive annual revenues serve as a testament to their unwavering dedication to excellence and their continued contributions to the ever-changing world of law.