Top Corporate Law Firms In The U.s.

In the U.S., a few top corporate law firms offer special legal help to businesses, companies, and entrepreneurs. These firms are experts in many areas, like mergers, securities, governance, and more.

Kirkland & Ellis is the biggest by how much money they make. In 2021, they made over $6 billion. They have a huge team of lawyers and are known for their success in big business deals and legal cases.

But, Kirkland & Ellis isn’t the only top firm. There are many others with their own strong points. From Latham & Watkins to Skadden, Arps, these firms help many types of clients, like global companies and small businesses.

Key Takeaways

  • Kirkland & Ellis is the largest corporate law firm in the U.S. by revenue, generating $6.042 billion in 2021.
  • The top corporate law firms specialize in practice areas such as mergers and acquisitions, securities and capital markets, and intellectual property.
  • These firms employ highly skilled lawyers who command premium rates, with Kirkland & Ellis reporting a revenue per lawyer of $1.997 million and profits per partner of $7.389 million.
  • In addition to Kirkland & Ellis, other prominent corporate law firms include Latham & Watkins, DLA Piper, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
  • The corporate legal industry is facing emerging trends and challenges, such as increased client demands, growing competition, and the need to adopt new technologies to remain competitive.

What are Corporate Law Firms?

Corporate law firms are expert legal teams helping businesses big and small. They guide companies and business people on many legal issues. These firms have corporate lawyers skilled in different areas. This includes mergers and acquisitions, securities and capital markets, and more.

Overview of Corporate Law Practice Areas

These firms give various legal services to their clients. This covers everything a business needs legally, from start to ongoing operations and beyond. They make sure their clients understand laws, legal issues and challenges and making smart choices to protect their business.

Role of Corporate Lawyers in Business Transactions

Corporate lawyers are key in business deals like mergers and acquisitions. They provide counsel and direction during these times. Their work includes ensuring laws are followed, managing risks, and structuring deals for the client’s benefit.

Kirkland & Ellis: The Largest Corporate Law Firm

Kirkland & Ellis is the top corporate law firm worldwide. It earned $6.042 billion in 2021. The firm has 3,025 lawyers who bring in $1.997 million each. Its partners make $7.389 million each, showing it’s a leader in the corporate law field.

Practice Areas and Specialties

The firm is famous for its work in corporate law. This includes private equity, mergers and acquisitions, corporate transactions, white-collar crimes, and intellectual property disputes. It also excels in litigation. This broad expertise makes it a top choice for many clients.

Notable Clients and Achievements

Kirkland & Ellis is known for its high-profile clients and big wins. It has worked with top companies and influential people on tough legal issues. Being among the most respected firms shows its strength in corporate law.

Latham & Watkins: A Prestigious Global Powerhouse

Latham & Watkins ranks second for highest corporate law firm revenue, making $5.488 billion in 2021. It’s a home to 3,078 skilled lawyers. Each earns the firm about $1.784 million. The partners make even more, about $5.705 million per partner. The firm covers a wide range of fields like banking, intellectual property, and real estate. Latham & Watkins is praised for its vast knowledge in many legal areas.

Latham & Watkins is known worldwide. It offers smart solutions and detailed understanding of various industries. This makes it a top choice for anyone looking for expert legal advice.

The team at Latham & Watkins is known for their outstanding work in banking, intellectual property, and technology deals. They aim to exceed client expectations. Their hard work has made Latham & Watkins a well-respected name in the corporate law field.

DLA Piper: A Multinational Leader in Corporate Law

global presence

DLA Piper ranks third in the world as a top corporate law firm based on its earnings. It made $3.471 billion in 2021. The firm works as a global unit in a Swiss Verein model, with a European division and a U.S. division. This allows DLA Piper to pull together its global presence and the knowledge from its huge network. This network includes over 80 offices in 40 countries.

Global Presence and Structure

DLA Piper helps clients in many areas because of its global reach. It offers services in mergers and acquisitions, arbitration, trade, corporate crime, and others. Its wide range of practice areas meets the changing legal needs of clients worldwide.

Key Practice Groups and Industries Served

DLA Piper is a major name in corporate law. It’s known for handling big transactions and giving smart advice in many industries. This has made DLA Piper a trusted choice for those seeking a worldwide corporate law firm.

Corporate Law Firms

Corporate law firms give expert advice to businesses and people starting companies. They help with big business choices, make sure rules are followed, and protect clients legally.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Helping with company deals is a major part of what these law firms do. They guide clients through buying, selling, or joining companies. This ensures everything is done the right way, following the law.

Securities and Capital Markets

These firms are key in helping companies get funding. They work on public offers, private sales, and other ways to get money for businesses. They also make sure their clients follow the rules in these trades.

Corporate Governance and Compliance

They make sure businesses have strong rules and follow them. Advice is given on setting up good rules that meet laws. They help with director duties, what owners can do, what should be public, and making sure everything stays legal.

Baker McKenzie: The World’s Largest Law Firm

Baker McKenzie industry expertise

Baker McKenzie takes fourth place globally for legal revenue at $3.126 billion in 2021. This giant firm has over 6,500 lawyers. It’s known for its work in consumer goods, energy, healthcare, and more.

Industry Expertise and Service Offerings

Baker McKenzie is recognized for its top-notch legal service. Their team knows many industries well. They can handle legal challenges with clever, individual solutions.

Industry Expertise Key Service Offerings
  • Consumer Goods
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Tourism
  • Telecommunications
  • Private Equity
  • Corporate Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity Transactions
  • Capital Markets
  • Employment and Labor
  • Intellectual Property
  • Regulatory Compliance

As experts in many fields, Baker McKenzie offers a complete legal service. They’re ready to solve any legal issue. This includes big business deals, rules to follow, and protecting creative rights.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom: A Litigation Powerhouse

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, known as Skadden, is a leading firm. It ranks fifth worldwide in revenue, bringing in $3.022 billion in 2021. The firm shines in corporate deals but also excels in areas like artificial intelligence and employment law.

Transactional Practice Areas

Skadden thrives in merger deals, investments, and stock offerings. Their lawyers are known for their complex, international work. They handle big deals with ease, pulling off cross-border transactions smoothly.

Prominent Cases and Clients

Skadden is big in legal disputes too, like employment or antitrust cases. They’ve built a solid reputation winning tough battles. In tech cases, they stand out for helping clients navigate new challenges.

The firm’s clients are top global businesses, equity firms, and even governments. Skadden’s top-notch work and solid reputation put it high on the law firm charts. It sits at the third spot in Vault’s latest survey.

Also Read: Legal Lifeline: How An Accident Lawyer Can Support You

The Top Corporate Law Firms by Practice Area

corporate law firms practice areas

Corporate law firms focus on specific areas to best help their clients. They excel in key practice areas such as:

Private Equity and Venture Capital

In the U.S., leading corporate law firms excel in private equity and venture capital deals. They guide clients like investors and their companies through issues like forming funds, buying and selling companies, and following laws.

Banking and Finance

Top corporate law firms also offer strong banking and finance support. They help finance clients with big deals like loans, project funding, and guiding through complex rules.

Intellectual Property and Technology

Many firms stand out in intellectual property and technology. They help keep client innovations safe, understand changing laws, and launch new products. They are experts in patents, trademarks, copyrights, and more.

Practice Area Key Specialties Notable Firms
Private Equity and Venture Capital Fund formation, M&A, divestitures, regulatory compliance Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Banking and Finance Syndicated loans, structured finance, project finance, capital markets Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Mayer Brown
Intellectual Property and Technology Patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, data privacy Cooley LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Fenwick & West LLP

These firms have a wealth of experience in their areas. They give detailed and smart advice to their corporate clients.

The Future of Corporate Law Firms

As the legal industry changes, corporate law firms meet new challenges. They must adapt to client demands and technological innovation. This pushes them to find more efficient, cost-effective ways to serve clients.

Emerging Trends and Challenges

Clients today want more for less. They pressure firms for better efficiency and transparency. This forces firms to find new ways to manage their work and use technology. The goal is to stand out from the competition.

Firms also face big challenges due to changing laws and industry shifts. They must be ready to deal with new legal issues, like data privacy and cybersecurity. Staying alert is key in a dynamic business world.

Innovation and Technology Adoption

To keep up with their clients’ changing needs, corporate law firms are getting more innovative. They are adopting new technologies like cloud-based platforms and data analytics. These tools help them run more smoothly and offer better service.

top firms are working with legal technology providers and startups. Together, they create solutions tailored to their clients’ needs. This push for innovation helps firms stay at the forefront of the industry.


The business law scene is changing fast. This change is due to many reasons. These include what clients want from legal services, more competition from new rivals, and the push to use the latest technologies.

Corporate law firms have to change to stay ahead. They must use innovation and technology better for their clients. This might mean working more efficiently, using tech like AI and automation, and offering new services to meet clients’ changing needs.

Firms that don’t keep up might fall behind. This is because competition gets stronger from traditional and new legal providers.

Corporate law firms need to be quick, smart, and focused on what their clients need. This is how they can do well in the future. They can stay as trusted legal advisors for all kinds of businesses.


Q: What are corporate law firms?

A: Corporate law firms specialize in advising businesses on legal matters such as mergers, acquisitions, compliance, and other corporate-related issues.

Q: How can corporate law attorneys help businesses?

A: Corporate law attorneys provide valuable legal advice and guidance to businesses on a wide range of issues, including compliance, transactions, and legal disputes.

Q: What is the role of a corporate attorney?

A: A corporate attorney is responsible for representing businesses in legal matters, such as drafting contracts, handling mergers and acquisitions, and advising on corporate governance.

Q: What services do top corporate law firms offer?

A: Top corporate law firms offer a range of services including advice on mergers and acquisitions, securities law compliance, corporate governance, and other legal issues impacting businesses.

Q: What is the significance of having in-house counsel in a corporation?

A: Having in-house counsel allows a corporation to have immediate access to legal advice and representation, enabling them to navigate legal issues more effectively.

Q: How do corporate law firms assist in negotiating agreements and joint ventures?

A: Corporate law firms help businesses negotiate and draft agreements for partnerships, joint ventures, and other business transactions to ensure legal compliance and protect their interests.

Q: Why is it important for businesses to work with experienced corporate law attorneys?

A: Working with experienced corporate law attorneys is crucial for businesses to navigate complex legal issues, ensure compliance with regulations, and protect their interests in various business transactions.

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