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Legal Marketplace Analysis

This year, we single out 440 lawyers and 117 private client trust and advisory professionals across 50 countries. Several firms perform particuarly well in our research, with Withers once again achieving the highest number of listings. Baker & McKenzie performs strongly with practitioners from its offices across Asia, Europe, the US and Latin America selected, as does Macfarlanes. Several offshore firms also stand out with Mourant Ozannes, Ogier and Conyers Dill & Pearman all earning an impressive number of inclusions. On the advisory and trust services side RBC Trust Company, Rawlinson & Hunter and Rothschild Trust all perform exceptionally well. We also select the most highly regarded individuals in the world, including the top five lawyers in the London market and the five leading offshore practitioners.

Research: Trends & Conclusions

“Internationalisation” is the word of the moment in private client circles, but what does it mean in practice for the legal industry? According to those we spoke to, the global spread of families’ members and fortunes, the emergence of new wealth in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and increased inter-governmental cooperation and extraterritorial legislation have generated new challenges and demands as well as establishing a “new norm” in which an integrated, global approach to succession or estate planning has become essential for law firms in order to remain competitive. 

Expert Witnesses Marketplace Analysis

Our expert witness section is now in its third edition, reflecting the sophisticated use of expert witnesses in arbitration hearings and the growing number of such experts globally recognised for their abilities. This year we list 123 practitioners, nearly 20 per cent more than last year, as an ever-greater number of individuals are recognised internationally for the quality of their testimony in arbitration proceedings.

Legal Marketplace Analysis

In this section we analyse the findings of our research in greater depth to recognise the firms and lawyers who stand out for their arbitration expertise on a global level. This year, we identify 733 practitioners from 441 firms and 86 countries as the leading practitioners in the field, following votes from clients and peers.

Legal Marketplace Analysis

This year, we recognise 720 practitioners from 428 firms in 69 countries as leading individuals. Several firms in particular stand out in our research due to the high number of listings they achieve - notably Hogan Lovells, with lawyers from its offices across Europe, the Americas and Asia recognised. Following closely behind are Herbert Smith Freehills and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, whose London offices are both especially well represented. Global heavyweight Clifford Chance and disputes boutique Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan both also achieve a significant number of inclusions. We also single out the most highly regarded lawyers in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, and at the UK Bar.

Research: Trends & Conclusions

The sharp uptick in contentious work in the financial industry that we highlighted last year has been gaining increasing momentum. The deluge of regulation that has fallen on the sector has in turn led to a huge amount of work for litigation practitioners and this is showing no signs of diminishing in the near future. The increase in corporate activity is slowly feeding through into disputes. Litigation is said to be counter cyclical, and so with many jurisdictions just coming out of the effects of the crisis, there is a “very buoyant” litigation market. Many are now seeing the tail end of the 2008 crisis work. As we noted in our previous edition, the wave of litigation predicted following the crisis did not appear immediately, but there has been a sharp increase in contentious work over the past two or three years. This sentiment is reiterated this year, with practitioners noting that those clients who did not want to spend money in the direct aftermath of the crisis now have steadily increasing litigation budgets. Practitioners also suggest that this increase in corporate activity will have an effect on the legal marketplace. The afore-mentioned rise in regulatory investigations work has led to renewed focus on the investigations arena by the larger firms. As one lawyer stated, “the real money for the magic circle is in investigations. Litigation becomes the poor relation, and that is why we are starting to see the breakaways.” 

Legal Marketplace Analysis

This year, we recognise 388 practitioners from 241 firms in 65 countries as leading lawyers for franchise law. Several firms stand out, most notably DLA Piper which has individuals from seven of its offices across the US, Europe and Asia singled out. Dentons, Bird & Bird and Gray Plant Mooty all perform strongly, as does specialist franchise outfit Plave Koch, which is home to our top practitioner in North America: Lee Plave. We also list the most highly regarded lawyers in North America, Europe and the rest of the world.

Research: Trends & Conclusions

With the benefit of over 17 years of research, encompassing tens of thousands of votes from clients and private practitioners, as well as hundreds of hours of interviews with legal professionals around the world, Who’s Who Legal offers an overview of the recent trends and developments in the global franchise legal market.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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