Corporate Board Member magazine and global business advisory firm FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN) today announced the results of the 13th annual America’s Best Corporate Law Firms study, a comprehensive ranking by U.S. corporate directors and general counsel of the top 25 corporate law firms.
According to the 2013 study, New York’s Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom receives top ranking among corporate directors, a position it has held since the first survey in 2001. Washington, D.C.-based Jones Day and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz placed second and third, respectively, followed by Weil, Gotshal & Manges in fourth place. The fifth- and sixth-place rankings are held by Baker & McKenzie of Chicago and Sullivan & Cromwell of New York, respectively.
Looking further down the list, many of the 2013 firms remain steadfast among the top firms in recent years. Palo Alto-based Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati rose to 10th place in 2013 from 15th in 2012. Four new firms were added to this year’s list: Houston-based Vinson & Elkins, Washington, D.C.-based Covington & Burling, Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner, and St. Louis firm Bryan Cave.
“FTI Consulting commends these first-class law firms, including Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, ranking first among corporate directors for a groundbreaking 13th year in a row,” said Basil Imburgia, senior managing director and North American Practice Leader Forensic and Litigation Consulting at FTI Consulting. “We are proud to once again partner with Corporate Board Member magazine to honor these firms with superior client service on a variety of corporate legal matters.”
In a separate survey of corporate general counsel, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz moved into the first-place position, with longtime leader Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom ranking second and Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins in third. In fourth place this year is Baker & McKenzie, which jumped seven places from its 2012 ranking; similarly, fifth-place holder Gibson Dunn & Crutcher rose eight places from last year. The 2013 list also features six firms that did not appear last year, including Miami-based Greenberg Traurig, Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith, Boston-based Goodwin Procter, San Francisco-based firms Morrison & Foerster and Littler Mendelson, and New York’s Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.
“Once again we congratulate all the organizations both returning faces and new ones selected as top corporate law firms by directors and their general counsel peers,” said TK Kerstetter, chairman of Corporate Board Member. “These rankings show that directors and general counsel consider them to be industry leaders, many of them year after year, by their exceptional contribution to the business community.”
The following are the top 25 national corporate law firms for 2013, according to the directors surveyed by Corporate Board Member/FTI Consulting (with their 2012 ranking in parentheses):
2013 Directors’ Rankings
1. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, New York (1)
2. Jones Day, Washington, D.C. (4)
3. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York (3)
4. Weil, Gotshal & Manges, New York (6)
5. Baker & McKenzie, Chicago (7)
6. Sullivan & Cromwell, New York (5)
7. Latham & Watkins, Los Angeles (8)
8. Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York (2)
9. Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago (9)
10. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto (15)
11. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles (10)
12. Fulbright & Jaworski, Houston (13)
13. Sidley Austin, New York (14)
14. Shearman & Sterling, New York (16)
15. Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York (12)
16. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, New York (17)
17. Baker Botts, Houston (20)
18. Vinson & Elkins, Houston (-)
19. Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. (-)
20. Foley & Lardner, Milwaukee (-)
21. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York (11)
22. Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco (21)
23. Arnold & Porter, Washington D.C. (18)
24. Bryan Cave, St. Louis (-)
25. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Washington, D.C. (19)
Source: Corporate Board Member/FTI Consulting, America’s Best Corporate Law Firms, 2013
The following are the top 25 national corporate law firms for 2013, ranked according to general counsel surveyed by Corporate Board Member/FTI Consulting (with their 2012 ranking in parentheses):
2013 General Counsel Rankings
1. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York (2)
2. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, New York (1)
3. Latham & Watkins, Los Angeles (4)
4. Baker & McKenzie, Chicago (11)
5. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles (13)
6. Sidley Austin, New York (9)
7. Jones Day, Washington, D.C. (5)
8. DLA Piper, Atlanta (14)
9. Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York (3)
10. Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York (7)
11. Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Philadelphia (18)
12. Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. (17)
13. Greenberg Traurig, Miami (-)
14. Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco (-)
15. Sullivan & Cromwell, New York (6)
16. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto (20)
17. Reed Smith, Pittsburgh (-)
18. Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago (10)
19. Shearman & Sterling, New York (15)
20. Hogan Lovells, Washington, D.C. (24)
21. Littler Mendelson, San Francisco (-)
22. Goodwin Procter, Boston (-)
23. Fulbright & Jaworski, Houston (19)
24. Weil, Gotshal & Manges, New York (8)
25. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, New York (-)
Source: Corporate Board Member/FTI Consulting, Americas Best Corporate Law Firms, 2013
The America’s Best Corporate Law Firms survey was conducted January-March 2013 as part of the annual Law in the Boardroom survey, which asked directors and general counsel of U.S. publicly traded companies to weigh in on current governance and legal matters. Among the list of top concerns for U.S. directors and general counsel are executive compensation, leadership succession, data and cyber security, M&A, regulatory compliance, and shareholder communications. The full analysis of the results of the Law in the Boardroom study are featured in the second-quarter 2013 issue of Corporate Board Member and are available for download at fticonsulting.com/.
On May 14, Corporate Board Member and FTI Consulting will host the fifth annual Legal Recognition Dinner at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, honoring distinguished general counsel and the top 25 national corporate law firms as identified by board members and general counsel in the 2013 survey.
About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. (fticonsulting.com) is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With over 3,900 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The Company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012.
About Corporate Board Member
Corporate Board Member (boardmember.com), an NYSE Euronext Company, is the leading information resource for senior officers and directors of publicly traded corporations, large private companies, and Global 1000 firms. The quarterly publication, Corporate Board Member magazine, provides readers with decision-making tools to deal with the strategic and corporate governance challenges confronting their boards. Corporate Board Member further extends its governance leadership through an online resource center, conferences, roundtables, and timely research. The magazine maintains the most comprehensive, up-to-date database of directors and officers serving on boards of publicly traded companies listed with NYSE Euronext and The NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. stock exchanges.
About NYSE Governance Services
NYSE Governance Services (nyse.com/governance) is an integrated suite of resources for public and privately held companies worldwide seeking to create a leadership advantage through corporate governance, risk, ethics, and compliance practices. NYSE Governance Services leverages the expertise of Corpedia®, a leader in risk assessment and e-learning for ethics and compliance, and Corporate Board Member®, a trusted source on governance matters for company directors and C-level executives both NYSE Euronext companies. NYSE Governance Services offers a range of training programs, advisory services, benchmarking analysis and scorecards, exclusive access to peer-to-peer events, and thought leadership on key governance topics for company directors and C-level executives.