Ever wonder which firms GCs think of and use most often? To follow up on our recent article “Corporate America: Who Represents Who?“, a corresponding NLJ report sheds some additional light by providing an overall ranking of firms among Fortune 100 GCs when surveyed about the firms they use most often. The rankings are certainly not perfect nor are they exhaustive. For example, they do not include metrics such as the number of cases handled, amount of legal spend, length of relationship, etc. However, they do provide a good idea of which firms have strong brand recognition among GCs and corporate execs at some of the world’s strongest companies.
The chart below lists the top 10 firms as ranked in the report, and the rankings were compiled based on how often firms were mentioned by GCs in the areas of contracts, torts, labor, IP, and patents. Not surprisingly, L&E shops did very well, accounting for the top 3 in the overall rankings:
|RANK FIRM MENTIONS PPP AMLAW RANK
|1 Ogletree Deakins 170 $535,000 97|
|2 Littler Mendelson 162 $500,000 64|
|3 Jackson Lewis 118 $605,000 82|
|4 Morgan Lewis 110 $1,550,000 12|
|5 Seyfarth Shaw 86 $910,000 60|
|6 Baker Donelson 64 $490,000 114|
|7 Morris Nichols 61 — —|
|T-8 Bryan Cave 53 $745,000 55|
|T-8 McGuireWoods 53 $945,000 51|
|T-8 Greenberg Traurig 53 $1,360,000 11|
The only non-AmLaw 200 firm making the top 10 is Delaware-based Morris Nichols, an 83 lawyer shop mentioned in 50 of its 61 instances in the area of patents.
It is also interesting to note the somewhat wide distribution of firms in terms of profits per partner and AmLaw rankings. In fact, 8 of the top 10 boast a PPP below $1,000,000 and an average AmLaw rank of 65. This seems to suggest something almost counterintuitive, though it makes sense considered in light of the post-recession economy—just because a firm is ranked highly or is highly profitable, that does not necessarily translate into recognition or use among Fortune 500 GCs. Accordingly, what it does confirm is the importance of perception in today’s economy—not necessarily in terms of profits or ranking, but in having a reputation of strength in certain areas.