International Law Firms
What is an “international law firm” as opposed to simply a “law firm”?
Most law firms serve their local region or county, serving a local population with local issues surrounding local laws. These businesses obviously serve a vital purpose – local laws and local people are at the heart of any business. But international law firms also tend to look a little further over the horizon.
International law firms, whilst having their headquarters rooted in the mother country, will have offices in cities throughout the world employing local lawyers for clients subject to local laws; and also allowing employees from the home office the opportunity to work in another jurisdiction and experience another country. But the main feature of the international law firm is offering clients a service with an international face, dealing with areas of law which transcend borders and require that international aspect.
Clients are anyone with international business requirements and often include: multinational corporations, Fortune 1000/FTSE 100 companies, foreign government entities, public officials, domestic/international banks/financial houses, as well as entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals.
The list of services offered is also virtually inexhaustible. Examples include: banking, capital markets, corporate re-organisation, aeronautics, corporation/international tax, data protection, dispute resolution, employment, energy/mining/infrastructure, environmental law, EU competition/trade, financial services, IT/communications, Intellectual Property, media, mergers & acquisitions, outsourcing, pensions, pharmaceuticals, private equities, project financing, real estate, restructuring & insolvency, telecommunications and wealth management….just to name a few!.
Who are the big players amongst international lawyers at the moment? The top 10 international law firms throughout the world (per American Lawyer in 2011) are: (location of headquarters in brackets)
1. Baker & McKenzie (Chicago)
2. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
3. DLA Piper (London)
4. Latham & Watkins (New York)
5. Clifford Chance (London)
6. Linklaters (London)
7. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
8. Allen & Overy (London)
9. Hogan Lovells (London)
11. Kirkland & Ellis (Chicago)
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