Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: World’s 100 Biggest Firms Top $100B in Revenue in 2017

Sept. 25, 2018, 11:39 AM

• Revenue across the world’s top 100 law firms “vaulted” 6.4 percent in 2017 to $105.7 billion, topping $100 billion for the first time, according to new data from the American Lawyer. The top three firms ranked by revenue were Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, and Baker McKenzie, in that order. Baker McKenzie is structured as a verein. ( American Lawyer )

• Reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has offered to resign cast the latest clouds over special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. ( Bloomberg )

• Baker Botts and Simpson Thacher advised satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc. on its $3.5 billion deal to acquire Pandora Media Inc., a combination said to create the world’s largest audio entertainment company. Sidley Austin represented Pandora. ( Bloomberg )

• Willkie-client Victory Capital said it will acquire Harvest Volatility Management, LLC, a derivative asset management specialist, for $300 million. Volatility Management was advised by Seward & Kissel LLP. ( Pensions & Investments ) ( PE Hub )

• Microsoft, Google, Ford, and GE are among big investors intently watching a fierce trade secrets dispute between two Massachusetts 3D printer companies in a Massachusetts federal court. The case, which pits Latham & Watkins against Quinn Emanuel, highlights a struggle for early footholds in a newly developing multibillion dollar industry. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Deborah Ramirez, the former Yale classmate of Brett Kavanaugh who is accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexually inappropriate behavior in college, has a new lawyer after the first one bowed out. ( National Law Journal )

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

• The top lawyer at the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, Alun Milford, is leaving early next year to become a London-based partner at Kingsley Napley LLP. He’s the latest of several top officials at the regulator who are leaving or have left for law firms. ( Wall Street Journal )

• U.S.-based legal recruiter Mlegal Group said it poached Melinda Wallman, a 20-year veteran of Major, Lindsey & Africa and founder of its London office, to expand its own London and transatlantic footprint. Wallman is a leading advocate for women lawyers in the U.K., Mlegal said. ( Mlegal )

• Barnes & Thornburg said it moved its Dallas office from uptown to a new PwC Tower in the Park District, as part of the Indianapolis-headquartered firm’s expansion in the Texas city. ( BTlaw.com )

• The value of offshore M&A deals in 2018’s first half nearly equaled the total recorded for all of 2017, according to a report from offshore law firm Appleby. ( Private Equity Wire )

Laterals, Moves

• Buchalter hired four litigators from bankrupt San Francisco firm Archer Norris. Former Archer Norris managing partner Douglas C. Straus joined as a shareholder; Peter W. McGaw joined as of counsel; and Benjamin C. Ellis and Zachary B. Young joined as attorneys. ( Buchalter )

• Fox Rothschild said corporate and transaction attorney Benjamin C. Burkhart joined as a partner in its corporate and emerging companies & venture capital practice groups in New York. According to hisLinkedin, Burkhart was most recently a partner at Lowenstein Sandler, and before that at Morgan Lewis. ( FoxRothschild.com )

• New York financial services firm Otterbourg P.C. said it expanded its litigation department, with the arrival of William M. Moran as a member, arriving from Gibbons LLP, where he was a partner. ( Otterbourg.com )

• Mayer Brown said technology transactions partner Michelle Gross joined the firm in Northern California, coming from Davis Polk. ( MayerBrown.com )

• Seyfarth Shaw said transactional attorney Daniel E. Larkin joined as partner in the firm’s corporate department in Chicago, coming from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, where he was a partner in its Chicago and London offices. ( Seyfarth.com )

• Littler said it hired a new chief financial officer, Thomas Burns, who is based in Kansas City and previously had similar roles at large companies in that city. ( Littler )

• McGuireWoods said it expanded its regulatory and compliance practice by adding veteran K&L Gates environmental attorney Dave Franchina as a partner in Charlotte, North Carolina. ( McGuireWoods.com )

• Steptoe & Johnson LLP said former Paul Weiss partner Jim Brochin joined the firm’s white-collar criminal defense practice in New York as a partner. He most recently was principal at Brochin law. ( Steptoe.com )

Legal Actions

• Big Four accounting firm EY faces a new gender discrimination complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, filed by a woman represented by Wigdor. EY hired Latham & Watkins to investigate her allegations. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Financial institutions doing business with pot companies have been operating in a regulatory twilight zone, as marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law. That could change if Democrats take control of Congress in November. ( Bloomberg Law )


• The founders of Instagram are leaving Facebook after growing tensions with CEO Mark Zuckerberg. ( Bloomberg )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.

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