US Law Firm of the Year
This award highlights the US firm that has made the greatest progress over the past year in advancing its strategy, improving financial performance and winning instructions, particularly in the City. A large international presence is not a prerequisite for consideration for this award, although the judges will be looking for strong evidence of success in those foreign markets where the firm has offices.
Kirkland & Ellis
Now the largest firm in the world by revenue, London has been one of Kirkland’s fastest-expanding offices, growing 61% since 2013 to 189 lawyers in 2017 and currently generates over $300m. The firm has certainly made its presence felt on both sides of the Atlantic in the past year, perhaps most strikingly when it in December hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer private equity veteran David Higgins.
Cooley - HIGHLY COMMENDED
Since its launch in 2015, Cooley has achieved sustained income growth in the City. While the Palo Alto-bred firm joined the $1bn club after growing its top line 10% to $1.07bn in 2017, its London arm grew by an eye-catching 22% to $57.5m. Although US-generated clients accounted for 25% of London revenue last year, the UK outpost has some significant client relationships of its own, including Tata Steel.
Boies Schiller Flexner
Harrison joined litigation firm Boies Schiller in 2013 with the simple brief to build a disputes practice from nothing and lead the firm’s London office. She has managed this with aplomb – client wins, financials and lateral hires have all been impressive. In 2017, the hire of Herbert Smith Freehills head of public international law Dominic Roughton stood out in particular.
Latham & Watkins
Standing alongside Kirkland as world’s most potent law firm, Latham's London office has managed to outstrip its credible performance globally in 2017 with double-digit growth. This has been largely achieved by mounting the most credible and sustained threat to the Magic Circle in the City and the hire of M&A respected partner Edward Barnett from Allen & Overy last year proved this.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
Richard East, Sue Prevezer QC
Disputes powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has seen London revenues rise by a startling 61%, with net profit increasing by the same margin. Turnover stands at £71.9m, up from last year’s figure of £44.8m. Net profit also rose from £32.6m to £52.6m. As a result, the firm’s margin is now a staggering 73%.
White & Case
Still the largest UK office in the US pack, a traditionally expansive White & Case saw headcount flat in London last year. But it was another successful year for the practice financially as it grew its top line 13% to $328m – meaning City revenue has effectively doubled in six years – outpacing the firm’s 10% global growth. With a string of high-profile laterals, the firm has unquestionable momentum.