It doesn’t get better for litigators than Susman Godfrey. Junior associates are given immediate responsibility and are treated like future partners. And despite long hours, the firm is very social, and firm-hosted retreats are a notable favorite. Since its founding in 1980, Susman Godfrey has established itself as the nation’s premiere litigation firm. Susman Godfrey has more than 130 partners and associates across four offices—its original Houston location as well as offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. The firm handles huge cases across the country for both plaintiffs and defendants.
In just over a decade of existence and with fewer than 40 attorneys, MoloLamken has quickly made a name for itself among the heavy hitters of boutique litigation shops. With offices in three of the country’s major metropolises—New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC—MoloLamken’s attorneys focus on complex business litigation, white collar criminal defense, and intellectual property. MoloLamken only hires laterally, putting a premium on experience when it comes to handling the high-stakes, complicated cases the firm takes on.
A global litigation firm founded in 2003 by two former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors, Kobre & Kim is now home to more than 120 attorneys worldwide. It is a go-to firm for complex cross-border dispute resolution. Uniquely, the firm generally avoids repeat client relationships—and the associated conflicts of interest—and thus is often engaged by other law firms to act as special litigation counsel to handle trial work in complex disputes.
Smyser Kaplan is a small litigation boutique of less than 30 attorneys with a list of big-name clients that come to them for their expertise in litigating (and arbitrating) commercial disputes, white collar, energy, IP, healthcare and securities matters. Founded in 1995, the firm is home to a friendly yet focused culture that it has fostered since its inception. Headquartered in Houston, TX, with a second office in New Orleans, LA, the firm is highly engaged with its hometown.
Wilkinson Stekloff is a boutique litigation firm established in 2016 with offices in three key cities—Washington, DC; New York City; and Los Angeles. Small but mighty, the firm focuses on winning high-stakes trials while also actively encouraging its attorneys to take on bono matters. Wilkinson Stekloff also eschews the traditional billable model, both in client fee arrangements and for the attorneys at the firm, a move appreciated by all parties.
AZA is a top litigation boutique located in Houston, Texas, providing expertise to both plaintiffs and defendants. Though it tackles disputes of any kind, IP and energy are some of the most frequently occurring subject matters in its caseload.
Kellogg Hansen offers those with clerkship experience a place to quickly sharpen their litigation skills. Associates work on small teams, which means direct interaction with partners and the opportunity to dive into challenging work from day one. A relatively young firm, Kellogg Hansen was formed in 1993 when three BigLaw partners jumped ship to form their own small firm focused on trial and appellate litigation. Since then, the firm has grown to house more than 90 attorneys, all trial and appellate specialists. Nearly every partner and associate served as a law clerk for a federal judge and more than a dozen clerked for Justices of the United States Supreme Court.
Robinson Bradshaw is a presence in the Carolinas, where it has deep roots. The firm specializes in corporate and commercial law, particularly complex corporate transactions and litigation. Robinson Bradshaw prides itself on its collaborative work style—unlike many of its peers, it eschews a billable-hours requirement so that lawyers can focus on the work itself rather than the compensation generated from the work.
Farella Braun is a Northern California firm equipped to handle complex business transactions and disputes. The firm not only has a top-notch renewable energy practice, but it was also a law firm leader in becoming certified as a Green Business. As a regional firm with a national reach, Farella represents multinational corporations, privately owned entities, exempt organizations, and individuals in business transactions and complex litigation.
With its one and only location in Los Angeles, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP is a full-service firm with nearly 100 lawyers. Among the areas the firm covers include bankruptcy, corporate, entertainment, environmental law, and private wealth services. The firm is well known for its work in the entertainment sphere. You'll probably recognize a few of these client names: James Cameron, Vin Diesel and One Race, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Cruise, Riot Games, the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Marvel Entertainment, and the estate of Bob Marley.
The reach of Oregon-based firm Tonkon Torp extends far beyond its home state. The firm has represented some of the largest and most influential companies in the world, including Portland General Electric, sneaker giant Nike, and real estate mammoth Blackstone. Attorneys at Tonkon Torp cover a full range of practice areas, including bankruptcy, corporate, cannabis, employment, environmental, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax. Best Lawyers in America® named six Tonkon attorneys as 2019 Portland Lawyers of the Year.
Litigation boutique Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell is known for going to trial nationwide and winning on behalf of its Fortune 500 clientele. The high-profile clients who have received WTO's much sought-after litigation expertise come from a wide range of industries—such as manufacturing, telecommunications, energy, and services—and include Whirlpool, General Electric, Michelin, CenturyLink, USAA, FCA (formerly known as Chrysler Group), Ford, AT&T, Pfizer, Allstate, McKesson, Electrolux, Mercedes-Benz, and Vail Resorts, among others.
With more than 75 lawyers in Southern California, Hueston Hennigan is a litigation boutique that has made a name for itself as one of the go-to trial firms in the country. The firm prides itself in handling high-stakes litigation with an eye toward trial from the start. Its litigators work across nearly 20 practice areas, including antitrust, appellate, commercial litigation, consumer fraud, class actions, health care, securities, trade secrets, and white collar, to name a handful.
Irell & Manella associates are lucky to work with friendly colleagues and partners who provide great mentorship and training. They also appreciate that they are given early responsibility and experience—and they are well compensated for it. A Southern California powerhouse for 80 years, Irell & Manella matches or exceeds its multinational peers in salary, prestige, and high-stakes cases, serving clients worldwide from just three locations in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Washington, DC.
As one of the largest firms in Oklahoma, with 100 attorneys divided among two offices, GableGotwals has made its mark on the state’s legal market in more ways than one. The firm has grown above and beyond its humble beginnings in 1944, now touting clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations and well-known foundations to entrepreneurs and privately owned companies. Although GableGotwals’ primary practice is in litigation and business transactions, the firm’s attorneys focus on dozens of practice areas.
Since opening its doors, Durie Tangri has had a hand in a number IP cases establishing new precedent and other high-profile cases beyond the IP world. At just under 40 lawyers, it represents some big names, including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, Fitbit, Zynga, Netflix, Microsoft, and Facebook. Durie Tangri is not only a top IP and litigation boutique, it’s also a firm where associates report a high satisfaction. They give the firm high marks in such discrete areas as associate/partner relations, technology, culture, training, and more.
The beginnings of Pryor Cashman are consistent with its strongest practice today: The firm was founded as an entertainment law boutique firm. With locations in New York, LA, and Miami, the firm has brushed legal shoulders with some of the biggest icons in pop culture, including Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and others, though the firm has morphed into a full-service firm that serves mid-market clients in nearly every way.
Buckley focuses on financial services, government enforcement, and litigation. The firm’s client roster includes 26 of the largest consumer banks in the U.S., yet associates enjoy work-life balance with a relatively low billable-hour requirement.
With more than 125 lawyers across three New England offices, Bernstein Shur focuses on 28 key areas across a variety of industries. The firm has stayed true to its New England roots, but over the years, it has expanded beyond its Portland beginnings, with the addition of two additional offices. The firm is Maine’s exclusive member of Lex Mundi.
Sterne Kessler is an IP powerhouse and over the years has had its hand in multiple cases that shaped the landscape of IP law. The DC-based firm represents clients like Google, Adidas, Apple, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Teva, Pepsico, and the University of California. Associates take pride in the firm's Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice—the first of its kind—that focuses on the interplay of intellectual property principles and human rights
Operating out of two offices in Massachusetts, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP is a northeast staple. A full-service, midsize firm, Nutter has around 150 lawyers working across a dozen industries. Lawyers at Nutter bring a host of experience in such areas as corporate, IP, labor and employment, litigation, privacy and data security, private client, public policy, real estate, and tax. The firm’s catch phrase is enough to set it apart from the competition: “uncommon law.”
Just over a decade since its founding, Desmarais is an IP-focused trial firm with offices in New York; San Francisco; and Washington, DC. The firm represents technology powerhouses such as Apple, Cisco, and IBM, as well as major life sciences and medical-device clients such as Acelity, Boston Scientific, Enzo Biochem, and GSK. A popular aspect of working here is the lack of billable hours—instead, the firm uses tailored alternative fee arrangements.
Headquartered in Chicago, Marshall, Gerstein & Borun is an intellectual property firm that works with clients on six continents. The firm has participated in numerous Supreme Court cases related to IP law since its founding in 1955 and has been recognized as a leader in its field by major publications. Firm attorneys hold degrees in science or engineering—in addition to their juris doctorates—to ensure the best possible representation for their clients.
Neal Gerber serves clients from a single office in Chicago, with practices in intlellectual property, litigation, business, and private wealth. The firm has a diverse client base, with a few notable examples including AOL, Beats Electronics, Citigroup, Hyatt, Illinois Tool Works, Match.com, Northern Trust, Polaroid, and United HealthCare. When they aren't working on billable matters, the firm's attorneys are proud to dedicate time to pro bono and community service throughout the Second City.
With just under 100 attorneys, Wolf Greenfield has made a name for itself as an IP powerhouse. The firm is known for its work in patent litigation on technology matters and is no stranger to making history, having had had its hand in some of the most important IP developments over the years. In 1961, the firm successfully argued Aro Manufacturing Co. v. Convertible Top, now known as the seminal Supreme Court case covering the doctrine of permissible repair.