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Best Law Firms by Practice Area
These firms were voted strongest in each practice area by associates working in that area at peer firms. Vault's 2022 Rankings are derived from Vault's Annual Associate Survey conducted from March 2021 through May 2021.
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2022 Best Law Firms for Project Finance
#1
Milbank
Leading the charge in compensation, Milbank is among the most elite law firms for corporate law. The firm prioritizes mentoring and training, including through its highly regarded Milbank@Harvard program. Hardworking-yet-easygoing candidates will fit well with the firm’s friendly culture. Milbank LLP is one of the nation’s leading firms for corporate finance and restructuring, litigation, and project finance and is known for its international work and focus on the energy sector.
30.82% of
2021 Ranking #1
Milbank
#2
Latham & Watkins
You know you’ve made it in the legal industry when you’ve landed a spot at Latham. The firm is a global leader across dozens of practice areas and recruits the best of the best. Those seeking autonomy to shape their practice plus extensive training and support will be pleased at this legal giant. Latham is one of the world’s largest law firms. With more than 3,000 attorneys in 30 offices around the world, Latham practices in all the major jurisdictions in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and regularly represents companies doing business in Latin America and Africa. The firm is a global leader in corporate transactions, environmental law, finance matters, litigations and trials, and tax services.
25.80% of
2021 Ranking #2
Latham & Watkins
#3
Skadden
From M&A to Tax, Skadden is a legal powerhouse and mainstay among the most prestigious firms in Vault’s Top 100 ranking. Skadden lawyers are a social bunch who value teamwork and mentorship, while also diving headfirst into complex matters. Skadden is one of the most profitable and well-known law firms in the world. It was the first law firm to report $1 billion in annual revenue—now an industry brass ring. While the firm may be best known for its M&A prowess, it is an all-star across practice areas, boasting an army of about 1,700 lawyers around the globe.
22.73% of
2021 Ranking #3
Skadden
#4
White & Case LLP
Look up “global law firm” in the thesaurus, and you’ll find White & Case. A leader in cross-border work, the firm works across two dozen practice areas. The firm is home to a truly diverse team of lawyers and boasts a top-down commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace. The firm works across two dozen practice areas, from antitrust/competition to white collar/investigations. Among the 17 industries it works in are consumer products, financial institutions, manufacturing and industrial, media, mining and metals, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and health care, power, private equity, real estate, technology, and more.
13.46% of
2021 Ranking #5
White & Case LLP
#5
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
A corporate law giant and securities litigation all-star, Davis Polk is among the most elite law firms. The firm is synonymous with professionalism and is home to lawyers with strong work ethics who are committed to supporting and mentoring each other. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP boasts one of the nation’s best and most comprehensive corporate departments, with impressive teams in capital markets, M&A, finance, restructuring, and tax. Its lauded litigation practice includes top-notch antitrust, civil litigation, intellectual property, and white collar criminal defense practices.
12.69% of
2021 Ranking #7
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
#6
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is a longtime Wall Street workhorse, housing elite teams in M&A, banking, capital markets and securities law.  The firm is a bit more versatile than many of its peers, however, boasting formidable prowess in private equity, litigation and intellectual property as well. The 1980s and 1990s saw the firm develop one of the world’s premier M&A practices, with a unique strength in private equity leveraged buyouts.  In recent years, Simpson Thacher has represented JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Wachovia, UBS and Travelers.  Private equity clients include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and The Blackstone Group, as well as First Reserve, Silver Lake Partners and Hellman & Friedman, among others.
11.86% of
2021 Ranking #6
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
#7
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
One of the most prestigious law firms, Sullivan & Cromwell subscribes to a generalist approach, allowing lawyers to work across industries and subgroups. With a strong focus on mentoring and career advising, S&C is committed to helping its lawyers pave their future paths. A BigLaw powerhouse, Sullivan & Cromwell has followed—if not created—the blueprint for legal success: It has grown internationally and in response to the increasing cross-border M&A, restructuring, and finance transactional demands of the biggest corporate clients in the world.
11.79% of
2021 Ranking #4
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
#8
Sidley Austin LLP
With an impressive global footprint and a roster of top-notch clients, Sidley is the cream of the crop when it comes to law firms. Come for the sophisticated work, and stay for the polite, amiable Midwestern vibe—as well as a sincere commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace. Sidley is a global powerhouse, with approximately 2,000 lawyers across 20 offices. The firm boasts a long list of marquee clients in a range of industries, including banking, energy, health care, insurance, life sciences, and technology. The firm’s work in complex transactional and litigation matters is bolstered by exceptional regulatory experience, and the firm features many former officials from governmental agencies in Europe, the U.S., and China.
9.90% of
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Sidley Austin LLP
#9
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Known especially for its cross-border work, including representation of national governments, Cleary is among the most prestigious firms around. Intellectual curiosity and an amiable personality will go far in fitting in with the firm’s unique “Cleary Culture.” Cleary is a leading global law firm, with offices on four continents and an unparalleled reputation for groundbreaking work. While long known as a dominant player in the international and corporate business world, Cleary has built out both corporate and litigation capabilities that have strengthened and expanded the full suite of resources it offers clients.
9.41% of
2021 Ranking #8
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
#10
Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright hires attorneys who mesh with its kind, social culture. New leadership has made some recent, well-received changes, including expanded diversity and wellness initiatives, a new training platform, and heightened transparency. Norton Rose Fulbright serves major corporations, financial institutions, and innovative startups across the globe, with particular expertise in financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and health care.
8.79% of
2021 Ranking #9
#11
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Shearman & Sterling offers high-level legal work coupled with supportive teammates and strong mentorship. For those seeking international experience, the firm’s global presence means exciting cross-border work and travel opportunities. Shearman & Sterling is one of the world’s leading law firms, serving the domestic and cross-border needs of an impressive roster of clients. With approximately 850 lawyers in 25 offices across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, the firm has an enviable blend of prestige, prowess, and reach.
8.30% of
2021 Ranking #10
Shearman & Sterling LLP
#12
Orrick
Innovation is the name of the game at Orrick—from the energy and tech clients the firm counsels to its impactful wellbeing initiatives to its modern technology tools. Associates who are down to earth, collaborative, and forward thinking will fit right in at this progressive firm. Orrick is a global firm of more than 1,100 attorneys that is fiercely committed to teamwork and innovation. The firm has dozens of offices across the globe, including domestic locations in California, New York, Oregon, and Texas.
7.04% of
2021 Ranking #13
Orrick
#13
Allen & Overy LLP
Magic Circle-firm Allen & Overy handles significant international matters as it continues to grow in the U.S. Associates are treated to a collegial culture, and they appreciate the firm’s Compass program that allows them to receive ongoing feedback. As one would expect from a megafirm, A&O counsels in a wide variety of areas, from asset management and litigation to corporate and M&A to financial services regulation and regulatory compliance to securitization and tax—and everything in between.
6.49% of
2021 Ranking #15
Allen & Overy LLP
#14
DLA Piper
Get your passport ready—DLA Piper has more than 90 offices around the world and is home to more than 4,000 lawyers. These lawyers work across dozens of practices, and the firm is lauded for its Data Protection, Privacy, and Security. Collaboration and professionalism are key to this firm’s collegial culture. DLA Piper advises clients across more than a dozen industries and eight major practice areas (with a host of sub-practices).
6.42% of
2021 Ranking #14
DLA Piper
#15
Clifford Chance US LLP
As a global force, it’s no surprise Clifford Chance seeks candidates with international aspirations and foreign language skills. This Magic Circle firm offers a welcoming culture and interesting work, and it genuinely supports pro bono and diversity. Today, Clifford Chance has 32 offices spanning key markets across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with a particularly strong reputation in the financial sector. The firm offers substantive experience in a wide array of practice areas and industry sectors, including banking and finance, capital markets, corporate, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate, and tax pensions, and employment.
5.86% of
2021 Ranking #12
Clifford Chance US LLP
#16
Vinson & Elkins
V&E’s lean-team model means great training for associates, with hands-on experience, strong partner mentorship, and opportunities to tackle new challenges. Overall, associates agree that V&E offers a great culture, great compensation, and great work. Today, Vinson & Elkins is a trusted adviser to clients in the most important industrial and digital industries, such as renewable energy, technology, banking/finance, M&A/private equity, real estate, media, complex litigation, and tax.
5.72% of
2021 Ranking #11
Vinson & Elkins
#17
Mayer Brown LLP
Among the largest law firms in the world, Mayer Brown does it all. Among its stand-out practice is appellate litigation—through which the firm has argued more than 250 cases before SCOTUS. The firm has a professional atmosphere where lawyers take control of their workload via the free-market system. Mayer Brown is an international law firm with offices across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East that employs more than 1,600 lawyers—among the 25 largest law firm workforces in the world. Known for its top-flight corporate, finance, and appellate work, Mayer Brown serves many of the world’s largest companies, including a significant proportion of the Fortune 100, FTSE 100, CAC 40, DAX, Hang Seng, and Nikkei index companies, and more than half of the world’s largest banks.
5.09% of
2021 Ranking #16
Mayer Brown LLP
#18
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
One of the New York elites, Debevoise is a leader in the private equity and M&A spaces and is also a go-to firm for white collar matters. The firm has a reputation of being intellectual and respectful and provides ample support to its associates—from extensive mentoring to career coaching. The firm’s core franchise practices include strategic and private equity, M&A, insurance, financial services transactions, fund formation, complex litigation, white collar/investigations, and international arbitration.
4.95% of
2021 Ranking #17
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
#19
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Morgan Lewis has branched out from its Philadelphia roots to build a global network of lawyers in 31 offices, reaching from Boston to Singapore and San Francisco to Dubai. Practicing across the energy, financial services, health care, life sciences, retail, sports, technology, and transportation sectors, Morgan Lewis has a diverse range of experience. The firm has four core practices: corporate, finance, and investment management; IP; labor, employment, and benefits; and litigation, regulation, and investigations.
4.32% of
2021 Ranking #21
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#20
Baker McKenzie
With 69 international offices, Baker McKenzie is known for its cross-border work, and the firm often recruits candidates with global experience—or at least a genuine interest in international matters. The firm’s social environment makes it a good fit for those who value teamwork and camaraderie. While the firm wears many hats, it is most known for its cross-border work and its tax practice. The firm advises on an array of practice areas, including antitrust, capital markets, employment, intellectual property, international commercial and trade, M&A, private equity, real estate, restructuring, tax, and the list goes on.
4.25% of
2021 Ranking #19
Baker McKenzie
#21
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Long rooted in California, O’Melveny & Myers has branched out in all directions with offices in seven countries on three continents, including newly launched offices in Texas. The firm is known for its work in antitrust, appellate litigation, entertainment law, labor and employment, patent litigation, products liability, project finance, securities litigation, venture capital, and more. The firm works in a range of industries, including banking and financial services, consumer products, energy and natural resources, entertainment and media, health care, hospitality, industrials and manufacturing, life sciences, real estate, sports, technology, and transportation.
4.11% of
2021 Ranking #22
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#22
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Nine-hundred lawyers strong with a long list of lauded practice areas, there isn’t much that Akin Gump doesn’t excel at. Transparent? Check. Making strides in diversity? You bet. Walking the wellness walk? For sure. Social types who are down to earth will fit well at the firm. Founded in Texas in 1945, Akin Gump has grown to become one of the world’s largest law firms, with more than 900 lawyers across 20 offices around the globe, operating at the intersection of public policy, business, and the law.
3.84% of
2021 Ranking #25
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
#23
Hogan Lovells
Truly a megafirm, Hogan Lovells is home to close to 3,000 lawyers working across more than 50 offices. The firm is particularly well known for its privacy work as well as its high-profile pro bono matters. Lawyers who are down to earth and have a strong desire to give back through pro bono will fit well. Hogan Lovells focuses on five major practices: corporate; finance; global regulatory; IP; and litigation, arbitration, and employment. Industries the firm focuses on run the gamut from aerospace and automotive to energy and financial institutions to life sciences and technology, plus many more.
3.77% of
2021 Ranking #22
Hogan Lovells
#24
Baker Botts L.L.P.
As the oldest BigLaw firm in Texas, Baker Botts gives attorneys exposure to a variety of high-caliber legal work—the icing on the cake is that it all happens in a collegial environment that fosters genuine friendships and organic mentorship. Baker Botts is perhaps best known for its Energy and Natural Resources practice. The firm holds a top spot in Vault’s Energy, Oil, & Gas ranking—and for good reason. The firm has handled more than 3,700 such matters across the globe in the past decade and advises on matters relating to oil, natural gas, liquified natural gas, coal, and renewables.
3.63% of
2021 Ranking #24
Baker Botts L.L.P.
#25
K&L Gates LLP
At K&L Gates, attorneys tackle sophisticated work for high-caliber clients in a supportive environment. A free-market assignment system allows associates to exercise control over their workload, and more-senior attorneys act as willing mentors. K&L Gates is one of the largest law firms in the world, with close to 2,000 lawyers across five continents. Among the firm’s top-notch practices are corporate; energy and infrastructure; finance; intellectual property; labor, employment, and workplace safety; litigation and dispute resolution; policy and regulatory; real estate; and asset management and investment funds.
3.42% of
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
K&L Gates LLP