Law Firms

Latham Tops List of Most Innovative Law Firms

Latham & Watkins tops a list of 25 law firms recognized for “bringing fresh thinking and practices to solving business problems in America.”

Financial Times compiled the list (PDF) of innovative firms, as well as a separate list of the “top 10 agents for change.” The top 10 firms on the list are:

1) Latham & Watkins

2) Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

3) Paul Hastings

4) David Polk & Wardwell

5) Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

6) Weil, Gotshal & Manges

7) Seyfarth Shaw and White & Case (a tie)

9) Kirkland & Ellis and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (a tie)

According to Financial Times, most of the leaders of the top 25 law firms had the same observation: The market is so tough that the only way to grow is to win business from competitors or to create new markets. Most firms are focusing on retaining premium work, and they do so by proving that they are unique.

Among their efforts, also detailed in a separate article (reg. req.):

• Morrison & Foerster created a FrankNDodd tool to help navigate the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act.

• Paul Hastings created an associate coaching program that emphasizes the competencies most valued by clients.

• Crowell & Moring trained more than 400 lawyers in professional project management, helping it win pitches for business.

• Cleary Gottlieb created its own “mini-MBA” that will be mandatory for all associates.

The top 10 agents for change include several BigLaw partners, as well as Sullivan & Cromwell chairman Joseph Shenker; Mark Boling, general counsel of Southwestern Energy; and Mark Harris, chief executive of Axiom.

The complete package of articles is available in PDF form.

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