Today, many law firms have expanded to a global audience, with offices all over the world and thousands of lawyers available.
With annual profits that reach billions of dollars, the biggest law firms in the world are winning awards, prestigious rankings and, most importantly, a great reputation.
The firms mentioned in this article are not only the highest-grossing ones in the world, but they are also the most powerful since they offer their services to the biggest corporations, such as Motorola, Samsung and General Motors.
Here are the top ten largest law firms in the world by revenue and reputation.
Founded more than 60 years ago, Baker & McKenzie has 6,000 plus lawyers in over 45 countries who offer legal services to some of the most prestigious companies in the world.
The firm emphasises its high values, integrity and responsibility while dealing with clients, and it has been named the world’s top law firm in the world for 12 consecutive years in 2022, according to the Reuters Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2022.
Baker McKenzie has also announced revenues of $3.3bn for 2022, which is an increase of 5.5% compared to 2021 and an 8.2% increase year-on-year.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Formed in 1948, Skadden is a global law firm with its headquarters in the US. It originated as a startup, but today is one of the largest law firms in the world. Its success is also due to the fact that in the 1950s and 1960s, it was one of the only firms to handle proxy fights.
Skadden also made it in Forbes’ America’s Top Trusted Corporate Law Firms, highlighting its impact and power in the legal field.
In 2022, it registered a revenue of $3bn, according to Forbes, making it one of the highest-earning law firms in the world.
The company has 4,200 lawyers working in more than 30 countries. In terms of revenue, it registered $3.68bn in 2022, signalling a growth of 6.2% compared to 2021.
Ranked second in the Reuters Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index, DLA Piper has also been recognised as one of the most powerful global legal brands.
The firm has bagged many awards, including the Financial Times Asia Pacific Innovative Lawyers Awards 2022 and tops the list for global M&A deal volume for the 13th straight year in 2023 according to Mergermarket’s league tables.
Clifford Chance is one of the most recognisable names in the legal business. With offices in 25 countries, this law firm has been recognized as one of the 10 largest law firms in the world by a wide array of publications.
From capital markets all the way to litigation and dispute resolution, it has been offering varied legal services and ensuring a long-term association with clients since it was founded via a major merger back in 1987.
According to the Reuters Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index, Clifford Chance is the third-best law firm in the world. In 2022, it registered revenue of almost $2.5bn.
Latham & Watkins
One of the ten largest law firms in the world, Latham & Watkins started its operations in 1934 in Los Angeles. Rising rapidly on a global level, the firm now successfully represents renowned companies across the globe.
In 2007, Latham & Watkins attained over $2 million in yearly revenue, making it the first American firm to record such a turnover. 2022 has also been a record year, since Latham & Watkins passed the $5bn revenue barrier for the first time, registering $5.8bn in revenue.
Latham & Watkins is also in the top ten global law firms according to the 2022 Reuters Index.
Kirkland & Ellis
International commercial law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP offers services including litigation, tax, corporate transactions and intellectual property rights.
One of the most highly regarded law firms in the world, Kirkland was awarded 28 national Tier 1 rankings and 74 regional Tier 1 rankings in US News and World Report and Best Lawyers’ 2022 Best Law Firms lists.
In 2022, it registered a revenue of over $6.5bn, which is 7.8% more than in 2021. High-profile clients include United Airlines, Intel, Samsung Electronics, Siemens, Motorola and General Motors.
Sidley Austin offers specialised litigation services and operates in 19 cities across the globe. The widow of former US President Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln was one of its first clients.
The Reuters Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2022 ranked Sidley Austin in 18th position, followed by Kirkland & Ellis. The year before, 2021, saw a total revenue of $2.7bn.
Ever since its establishment, Sidley Austin has been hogging the legal limelight with rewards and awards aplenty. In 2020, the US News Survey also named Sidley as the Law Firm of the Year in FDA Law and Securities Litigation
Dentons stands out among this list because it is polycentric, alas it has no single headquarters or national culture. Its offices are spread over 200 locations in 80 countries, hiring over 20,000 people.
In 2019, the US branch went through a double-merger with Cohen and Grigsby and Bingham Greenebaum Doll, and “This combination represents the first step in forming a truly national United States law firm.”
Dentons was recognised in the top 10 in PitchBook’s Q2 2022 Global League Tables, and it was ranked in seventh position for venture capital deals. Globally, it also ranked ninth for all deal types. In the Reuters Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2022, on the other hand, it was positioned in the fourth spot.
With over 2,200 lawyers, Morgan Lewis is also one of the largest law firms in the world. It operates in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and has been a staple of the legal field since 1873.
In 2022, Morgan Lewis ranked as the 13th highest-grossing law firm in the world on the 2022 Global 200 survey, after registering revenue of $2.5bn in 2021.
White & Case
White & Case is also a global law firm stationed in Tampa, US, and it was founded in 1901. Throughout its history, it has been one of the first US law firms to establish an office outside the United States, since it opened a site in Paris, France in 1926.
This law firm has been through a tumultuous couple of years, from its boom in 2021 with a revenue of $2.87bn to a drop in 2022, when it registered a revenue of $2.83.
According to the Reuters Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2022, White & Case is the 15th best law firm in the world.