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America’s Top Corporate Law Firms for 2014

By Business Wire,  May 14, 2014, 09:00:00 AM EDT

America's Top Corporate Law Firms for 2014


Directors and General Counsel Rank Top 25 U.S. Law Firms

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- NYSE Governance Services, publisher of Corporate Board Member magazine, and FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:FCN), the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, today announced the results of the 14th 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.

New York's Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom received the top ranking among corporate directors, a position it has held since the first survey in 2001. New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Cleveland-based Jones Day were ranked second and third, respectively, followed by New York-based Sullivan & Cromwell. The fifth and sixth place rankings are held by Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins and New York-based Cravath, Swaine & Moore, respectively.

Also comprising this year's list are many of the firms among the top 10 rankings in recent years. New York-based Davis Polk & Wardwell, Los Angeles-based Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Palo Alto-based Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati have traditionally fared in the top half of the national list each year. Six new firms were added to this year's list: Atlanta-based King & Spalding (15), New York-based White & Case (19), New York-based Cleary Gottlieb (24), Chicago-based Winston & Strawn (25-tie), Atlanta-based Alston & Bird (25-tie) and Palo Alto-based Cooley (25-tie).

"As an advisor to 95 of the world's top 100 law firms, FTI Consulting applauds this prestigious list of honorees," said Neal Hochberg, Global Leader of the Forensic and Litigation Consulting segment at FTI Consulting. "Each of these distinguished firms, many of which continue to top this list year after year, has been recognized for their strong corporate stewardship, geographic scope and reputation. We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with NYSE Governance Services to honor these firms for their unyielding commitment to their clients."

In a separate survey of corporate general counsel, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz held onto its first place position followed by longtime leader Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom ranking second and Cleveland-based Jones Day ranking third. In fourth and fifth place this year are two Los Angeles-based firms Latham & Watkins and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, respectively. New appearances on the general counsel rankings this year include Washington, D.C.-based WilmerHale, New York firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Cleary Gottlieb, and Atlanta's King & Spalding and Alston & Bird.

"We congratulate all of these leading organizations - both returning firms and new ones - selected as top corporate law firms by directors and their general counsel peers," said Jean-Marc Levy, New York Stock Exchange, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Issuer Services. "These rankings recognize their place among corporate directors and general counsel as trusted legal advisers with proven track records."

2014 National Law Firm Directors' Rankings (with 2013 rankings in parentheses)

1 SKADDEN, ARPS, SLATE, MEAGHER & FLOM, NEW YORK (1)

2 WACHTELL, LIPTON, ROSEN & KATZ, NEW YORK (3)

3 JONES DAY, CLEVELAND (2)

4 SULLIVAN & CROMWELL, NEW YORK (6)

5 LATHAM & WATKINS, LOS ANGELES (7)

6 CRAVATH, SWAINE & MOORE, NEW YORK (8)

7 DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL, NEW YORK (15)

8 BAKER & MCKENZIE, CHICAGO (5)

9 GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER, LOS ANGELES (11)

10 WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI, PALO ALTO (10)

11 SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT, NEW YORK (16)

12 SIDLEY AUSTIN, CHICAGO (13)

13 KIRKLAND & ELLIS, CHICAGO (9)

14 PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRISON, NEW YORK (21)

15 KING & SPALDING, ATLANTA (-)

16 WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES, NEW YORK (4)

17 AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD, WASHINGTON, D.C. (25)

18 SHEARMAN & STERLING, NEW YORK (14)

19 WHITE & CASE, NEW YORK (-)

20 ARNOLD & PORTER, WASHINGTON, D.C. (23)

21 MORRISON & FOERSTER, SAN FRANCISCO (22)

22 WINSTON & STRAWN, CHICAGO (-)

23 ALSTON & BIRD, ATLANTA (-)

24 CLEARY GOTTLIEB, NEW YORK (-)

25 (tie) COOLEY, PALO ALTO (-)

(tie) FOLEY & LARDNER, MILWAUKEE (20)

(tie) VINSON & ELKINS, HOUSTON (18)

Source: NYSE Governance Services/FTI Consulting, America's Best Corporate Law Firms, 2014

2014 National Law Firms General Counsel's Rankings (with 2013 rankings in parentheses)

1 WACHTELL, LIPTON, ROSEN & KATZ, NEW YORK (1)

2 SKADDEN, ARPS, SLATE, MEAGHER & FLOM, NEW YORK (2)

3 JONES DAY, CLEVELAND (7)

4 LATHAM & WATKINS, LOS ANGELES (3)

5 GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER, LOS ANGELES (5)

6 SULLIVAN & CROMWELL, NEW YORK (15)

7 SIDLEY AUSTIN, CHICAGO (6)

8 DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL, NEW YORK (10)

9 BAKER & MCKENZIE, CHICAGO (4)

10 REED SMITH, PITTSBURGH (17)

11 DLA PIPER, ATLANTA (8)

12 MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS, PHILADELPHIA (11)

13 WILMERHALE, WASHINGTON, D.C. (0)

14 KIRKLAND & ELLIS, CHICAGO (18)

15 SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT, NEW YORK (-)

16 MORRISON & FOERSTER, SAN FRANCISCO (14)

17 CRAVATH, SWAINE & MOORE, NEW YORK (9)

18 NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT, HOUSTON (23)

19 HOGAN LOVELLS, WASHINGTON, D.C. (20)

20 KING & SPALDING, ATLANTA (-)

21 GOODWIN PROCTER, BOSTON (22)

22 WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI, PALO ALTO (16)

23 CLEARY GOTTLIEB, NEW YORK (-)

24 LITTLER MENDELSON, SAN FRANCISCO (21)

25 (tie) ALSTON & BIRD, ATLANTA (-)

(tie) WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES, NEW YORK (24)

Source: NYSE Governance Services/FTI Consulting, America's Best Corporate Law Firms, 2014

NYSE Governance Service and FTI Consulting hosted the seventh annual Legal Recognition Dinner at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on May 13, 2014. The event, sponsored by Georgeson, a Computershare company, Second City Communications and RR Donnelley & Sons, honored distinguished general counsel and the top 25 national corporate law firms as identified by board members and general counsel in the 2014 survey.

Research Methodology

The America's Best Corporate Law Firms survey was conducted February-April 2014 as part of the annual Law in the Boardroom survey, which asks directors and general counsel of U.S. publicly traded companies to weigh in on current governance and legal matters. More than 500 directors and general counsel of publicly traded companies participated in this year's survey. Results from this year's survey are to be released the week of May 19, 2014.

About NYSE Governance Services

NYSE Governance Services 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. www.nyse.com/governance

About FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting, Inc. 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 more than 4,200 employees located in 26 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 $1.65 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2013. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

Source: NYSE



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