Crain’s reported their annual list of Chicago’s largest law firms. The report, consisting of the top 25 firms in the city ranked by attorney headcount, is accurate as of June 30, 2016. The list includes the firms’ revenues, number of attorneys worldwide within each firm, and a breakdown of the number of attorneys in each practice. Two new firms joined the top 25 this year and two surpass the rest in terms of attorney headcount and revenue growth.
For over a decade, Kirkland & Ellis has remained number one with 574 local attorneys and firm wide revenue growth of 7.2 percent. Sidley Austin and Mayer Brown also managed to hold their respective positions on the list, coming in at number two and three. Jenner & Block had the highest percentage change on the top 25 this year, a 14 percent increase in both number of attorneys and revenue growth. Jenner, coming in at No. 4, now has 307 local attorneys. Winston & Strawn LLP ranked as the fifth largest firm, despite a 1.4 percent decrease in number of attorneys from last year. New to the list this year were Swanson Martin & Bell and SmithAmundsen in spots 22 and 23.
Similar to last year, almost half of the firms on the list experienced a decrease in the number of local attorneys. Schiff Hardin faced the biggest loss, an 18.8 percent drop from last year. Another was Locke Lord, which concurrently had the largest increase in revenue, a 40 percent rise to $597.2 million.
See the full article and rankings on Crain’s Chicago Business.
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The National Law Journal released the 2016 Intellectual Property Hot List: a special report recognizing 15 law firms that performed exceptionally well in intellectual property. In no particular ranking, each of the 15 firms stood out for handling remarkable IP cases in 2015. Ranging in size, from Biglaw to small, IP boutiques, some firms lead victorious cases that impacted major industries.
Jenner & Block gained recognition for saving rapper, Jay-Z, who faced a copyright infringement battle for using a sample of an Egyptian composer’s song in one of his own in 2000. Andrew Bart, partner at Jenner, argued and won the case on the first day of trial. The Chicago-based firm also claimed big wins on the patent side for their clients: Hospira Inc., Dow Chemical Co., and Nissan North American Inc. Attorneys at Jenner are now working on new litigation cases over the innovative technology associated with gene editing.
According to the NLJ report, California-based Cooley faced a $500 million patent infringement case representing Qualcomm Technologies Inc. against ParkerVision Inc. involving converting electromagnetic signs from high to low frequency. Timothy Teter, a younger generation partner at Cooley, argued the case, resulting in the three-judge panel reversing the original verdict.
Biglaw Kirkland & Ellis made the IP Hot List, in large part, due to their extraordinary patent litigation team. Kirkland partners, Dale Cendali and Daniel Bond, handled a copyright case for Nike Inc. in 2015. Photographer Jacobus Rentmeester accused the Nike brand of copying a 1984 photo he took for Life magazine of Michael Jorden to use for its famous “Jumpman” logo—a $2 billion brand. New York partner Greg Arovas told NLJ, “There’s really substantial trial work done by some of the less senior people in the department.”
Los Angeles-based Sheppard Mullin, a firm less than half the size of Kirkland, won a unanimous case against the U.S. Supreme Court. Incredibly, the case in point, Hana Financial v. Hana Bank, was one that had not been brought to the high court in almost 100 years. Sheppard also gained a notable win in its six-year litigation fight in Intellect Wireless v. HTC, ultimately resulting in the court awarding HTC Corp. $4.1 million. According to the National Law Journal, the firm’s IP practice has grown three times in size since 2006.
Among the other dominating Intellectual Property firms that made the 2016 IP Hot List were: Covington & Burling, Debevoise & Plimpton, Fish & Richardson, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Goodwin Procter, Irell & Manella, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, Morrison & Foerster, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.
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The American Lawyer released the 14th annual A-List: an analysis and ranking of the 20 top Big Law firms. The firms that made the AmLaw A-List cut are the best-of-the-best and are rated according to performance in four key areas: financial success, pro bono commitment, diversity and associate satisfaction.
AmLaw Second Hundred firm, Irell & Manella, reigns in at Number 1 this year, proving that size isn’t everything, with only 126 lawyers. The Los Angeles-based firm made an impressive leap from the bottom of the list (No. 18 in 2015), due to a significant increase in associate satisfaction and pro bono scores. Kirkland & Ellis landed spot No. 8, slipping from fifth place last year, due to a decrease in the diversity category. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took 16th place, thanks to the double-weighted revenue per lawyer category. Skadden moved up one spot, despite low associate satisfaction and decreasing diversity scores.
New firms added to the AmLaw A-List this year are: Chicago-based Jenner & Block, Covington & Burling out of Washington, D.C., and New York-based Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Those three firms forced out the following: Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Williams & Connolly, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Additionally, the American Lawyer announced a list of the next 20 A-List firms (No. 21-40), the Ones to Watch. A few firms on the list made last year’s Top 20 but faced shortcomings in vital areas, forcing them out in 2016. Hughes Hubbard & Reed, previously a Top 20 A-List firm, faced a hit in the associate satisfaction category, knocking them down to Number 21. Chicago-based Winston & Strawn performed well, up from 57th to 34th place this year, thanks to a substantial increase in associate satisfaction.
Please contact Bill Sugarman for more information.