Which former BigLaw attorneys made the Forbes 400?
Posted Sep 26, 2013 8:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Joe Jamail is the world’s richest practicing lawyer, with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes’ list of America’s 400 richest people.
In fact, he’s the only practicing lawyer on the Forbes 400 list, report Above the Law and the Am Law Daily. The others on the list did not acquire their wealth through law practice, though some once practiced in BigLaw or in other legal settings.
Thirty-three lawyers are on the list, two fewer than last year, Above the Law says. The schools that produced the most Forbes 400 lawyers are the University of Virginia, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern and Southern Methodist University. They each have three law grads on the list, according to ATL.
The Am Law Daily lists several former practicing lawyers on the list, including:
• S. Robson Walton (No. 9), chairman of Wal-Mart’s board and its former general counsel.
• Randa Williams (No. 77), who worked at two law firms in Houston and inherited wealth.
• Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone (No. 71), who once tried tax cases.
• Trevor Rees-Jones (No. 103), who began his career as a bankruptcy lawyer at Thompson & Knight before making his fortune in oil and gas.
• Riley Bechtel (No. 143), the grandson of a construction company founder, who began his career at Thelen.
• Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Randal Kirk (also No. 143), once the only lawyer in Bland County, Va.
• David Bonderman (No. 209) a former Arnold & Porter partner who co-founded TPG Capital.
• Neil Bluhm (No. 222), a former Mayer Brown partner who founded Walton Street Capital.
• Real estate tycoon and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (No. 296), a former divorce and personal injury lawyer.
• Bruce Karsh (also No. 296), a former O’Melveny & Myers associate who co-founded Oaktree Capital Management.
• Peter Thiel (No. 314), a former Sullivan & Cromwell associate who quit to set up a hedge fund.