The top 10 largest law firms in the world are contributing to a fast-growing global legal services industry in 2020. How big is the legal services industry? The global legal services industry is projected to reach USD 1,045.24 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 4.1% during that forecast period. Legal services include business, finance, taxation, litigation, corporate affairs, conflicts, patents, copyrights, antitrust, property, labor, arbitration, administration, political, and social matters. There are many ways to rank law firms, but this is BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest law firms in the world ranked by revenue in USD.
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Law is commonly understood as a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate conduct. The global legal services market size was valued at USD 794.50 billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR exceeding 4.1% from 2019 to 2025. In 2020, Kirkland & Ellis was the largest law firm in the world by revenue with revenues exceeding USD 4.15 billion. Dentons is the largest law firm in the world by headcount with over 10,000 attorneys practicing law at its firm. Economic growth has been the leading factor driving growth in the industry.
The top 10 largest law firms in the world have been dominating the market for generations and are expected to keep growing as economies prosper. The following companies are stapled names in the legal field and have paved the way for the industry. This is BizVibe’s list of the top law firms in the world today ranked by revenue in USD billions.
What is the largest law firm in the world by revenue? Ranking number one on this list of top 10 largest law firms in the world by revenue in 2020 is Kirkland & Ellis, an American law firm. The company was founded in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois. Generating USD 4.15 billion in revenue in 2019, Kirkland & Ellis is the largest in revenues generated among the top law firms in the world on this list. Kirkland & Ellis has clients across the corporate, taxation, litigation, intellectual property, and restructuring fields. Kirkland & Ellis as over 2,000 lawyers and the revenue generated per lawyer is USD 2,075,000 million — the highest rate on this list of biggest law firms in the world.
Kirkland & Ellis has many high profile clients including BP, General Motors, and Nike. Famous attorneys at the law firm include Neil Eggleston – former White House Counsel under President Barack Obama; Brett Kavanaugh – Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; Alex Azar – Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Ken Starr – Whitewater special prosecutor and former Solicitor General under President George H. W. Bush. Kirkland & Ellis is the largest law firms in the US.
Latham & Walkins ranks 2nd on our list of the top 10 largest law firms in the world by revenue, with revenues generated of USD 3.4 billion in 2019. Latham & Watkins LLP is an international law firm founded in 1934, and currently employs over 2,700 attorneys in the USA, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Latham & Walkins is a truly global law firm known for notable attorneys such as Bruce Babbitt —Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Bill Clinton and former governor of Arizona, and Gregory G. Garre – Former Solicitor General of the United States.
Latham & Watkins LLP has offices in over 14 countries and is known for a variety of legal services including activism, political contributions, entertainment, media, real estate, and white-collar defense. Latham & Wilkins specializes in legal services for various industries including Aerospace, Defense & Government Services, Automotive, Cleantech, Fintech, Oil & Gas, and Life Sciences.
Ranking 3rd on this law firm rankings list by revenue in 2020 is Baker McKenzie, an international law firm headquartered in Chicago and with 7 offices in 46 countries and over 4,600 lawyers worldwide. With revenues generated of USD 2.92 billion last year, Baker McKenzie is one of the largest law firms in the world by revenue and headcount. The law firm is primarily known for its critical acclaim with mergers and acquisitions and considered one of the best law firms in the world in that regard. Baker McKenzie also ranks 3rd among the largest law firms in the US.
DLA Piper ranks 4th on our list of the top 10 largest law firms in the world by revenue in 2020 with revenues generated of USD 2.48 billion last year. DLA Piper is a multinational law firm with offices in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. As a multinational law firm, the company’s primary headquarters are in London and Chicago and the firm currently employs over 3,600 lawyers in terms of headcount. DLA Piper’s main practice areas are in education, government contracting, insurance, and technology sectors. The parent company was founded in 1764, but the current organization dates back to 2005 with the merger between three law firms: San Diego-based Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP, Baltimore-based Piper Rudnick LLP, and United Kingdom-based DLA LLP.
Coming in 5th on this ranking of top 10 largest law firms in the world is Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, a leading international law firm based in New York City. Skadden brought in annual revenues last year of USD 2.41 billion, making it the 5th on the list of largest law firms by revenue in 2020. Skadden currently has 1,784 attorneys across its 22 offices worldwide. Skadden is a limited liability partnership notable for its main practice areas such as transactions, litigation/controversy, and regulatory legal services.
Clifford Chance ranks 6th on this list of the top 10 law firms in the world ranked by revenue. Clifford Chance is a multinational law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom, widely known to be a member of the “Magic Circle’. With revenues of USD 2.07 billion and over 3,300 lawyers in practice at the firm, Clifford Chance is one of the top 10 largest law firms in the world by revenue and headcount in 2020.
Clifford Chance Areas of Practice
Ranking 7th on this list of the top law firms in the world by revenue is Sidley Austin, a general practice law firm based in the United States, with a focus on expertise in transactional and litigation matters. In 2019, Sidley Austin brought in annual revenues of USD 2.04 billion in 2020 and has 2,000 lawyers practicing at its firm, making the company one of the biggest law firms in the world by revenue and headcount in 2020. Sidley Austin’s headquarters are in headquarters is at One South Dearborn in Chicago’s Loop and the company has gone through many changes during its lifetime.
Hogan Lovells is an American-British law firm co-headquartered in London and Washington, D.C., and ranks 8th on this list of the top 10 largest law firms in the world by revenue in 2020. The company was formed by a merger of the American law firm of Hogan & Hartson and the British law firm Lovells. The company employs 2,800 lawyers working in more than 40 offices in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Ranking 9th on this list of the top 10 largest law firms in the world by revenue is Dentons, a multinational law firm notable for having the highest headcount of lawyers in the world. Dentons operates in 75 countries, has 183 offices, and employs 10,000+ lawyers.
Rounding out BizVibe’s list of the largest law firms in the world by revenue in 2020 is Allen & Overy, an international law firm, and a member of the UK’s Magic Circle of leading law firms. Allen & Overy is notable for advising on more transactional deals than any other law firm in the world and was on the only firms to surpass the USD 1 trillion mark in terms of deal value. As of 2020, Allen & Overy is the 10th largest law firm in the world.
This is BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest law firms in the world by revenue in 2020 ranked by revenue and notoriety in the global legal services industry. The top law firms in the world have paved the way for increased transaction deals, excellent legal services, and the international practice of law.
Here is a complete list of the top 20 largest law firms in the world ranked by revenue.
Revenue (USD billions)
|1||Kirkland & Ellis||4.15||2,000||USA|
|2||Latham & Watkins||3.4||2,700||USA|
|4||DLA Piper||2.48||3,609||USA & UK|
|8||Hogan Lovells||2.03||2,800||USA & UK|
|9||Dentons||2.03||10,000||USA, UK, China, UK|
|10||Allen & Overy||2.01||5,500||UK|
|11||Morgan, Lewis & Bockius||2.01||1,943||USA|
|14||Norton Rose Fulbright (verein)||1.95||3,339||USA & UK|
|15||Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer||1.81||1,955||UK|
|16||White & Case||1.8||2,039||USA|
|17||Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher||1.64||1,275||USA|
|18||Ropes & Gray||1.59||1,162||USA|
As economies prospering continues to be the biggest factor driving growth in the global legal services industry expect the top 10 largest law firms in the world to continue innovating and pushing the envelope in legal services. Whether the practice of law is at a business or personal level, transactional deals are growing year-over-year and the top law firms are growing at stellar rates in 2020 and beyond.