Law is a big service-based business. Business, finance, taxation, litigation, corporate affairs, conflicts, patents, copyrights, antitrust, property, labor, arbitration, as well as administration, political, and social matters all require law expertise.
While there are other criteria to rank law firms—such as revenue per partner/lawyer, the number of lawyers, or year-on-year percent growth—annual revenue remains the most accurate, consistent, and easy to follow.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP takes pride in having a niche set of corporate clients served across the corporate, taxation, litigation, intellectual property, and restructuring fields. With approximately 2,000 lawyers on board, the U.S.-based firm’s revenues stood at $3.16 billion, putting it at the top of the list.
Latham & Watkins LLP
Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in 14 countries and more than 2,400 lawyers on board, Latham & Watkins ranks second in terms of annual revenues, with a reported $3.06 billion.
The firm has a wide range of services from activism, to entertainment and media, to real estate, and white-collar defense.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Chicago, Baker & McKenzie employs more than 4,700 lawyers with 77 offices across 47 different countries. Its reported revenues were $2.67 billion, making it the third highest on the list.
One of the biggest global law firms with lawyers in more than 40 countries, DLA Piper came into existence after a mega-merger of multiple international law firms in 2005.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden—as the firm is commonly known—was founded in 1948. With headquarters in New York, Skadden has 22 offices across the globe with an employee roster of more than 1,700 lawyers, and more than 50 practice areas.
Its reported annual revenues were $2.58 billion. The firm advises businesses, financial institutions, and government agencies worldwide.
Dentons is the product of a flurry of mergers in the last half decade—the most recent being McKenna Long & Aldridge in April 2015. The firm boasts more than 8,600 lawyers and professionals in more than 125 locations in more than 50 countries.
Dentons ranked number six on the list with an annual revenue of $2.36 billion.
Clifford Chance LLP
Founded in 1987 through a merger, Clifford Chance is headquartered in London and has offices in 26 countries. Its roster includes approximately 2,100 lawyers.
According to the company’s website, primary sectors include banks, healthcare, private equity, and transport and logistics. Its reported revenues were $ 2.09 billion.
Founded in 1866, Sidley—as it’s more commonly known—is headquartered in Chicago. It reported revenues of $2.036 billion and over 1,800 lawyers in 20 offices around the world.