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New report: Four firms lead country's legal market

DLA Piper, Foley & Lardner, Jones Day, and Skadden have emerged as pioneers of the legal market. This is according to a research conducted by BTI Consulting Group of 240 corporate counsels at Fortune 1000 companies. The research showed 6 primary innovative strategies that make law firms rise above all others in their quest to change what they do which include client-focused delivery, innovative insights and approach, market-driven growth strategy, technological savvy, flexible billing arrangements, and high value.

The report, published in "BTI market movers: Law firms shaping the legal market", identifies the top-40 law firms who have dominated the legal market of the country and are perceived as true market innovators. The research has based the findings on direct market feedback from the clients regarding each law firm. In this broad research, corporate decision makers talk about more than 300 law firms in different capacities. Only 40 law firms register with clients as truly making innovative changes in their approach to delivering legal services. These strategic leaders are positioned to shape the market to their advantage.

The report also mentioned four firms Alston & Bird; Clifford Chance ; Mayer, Brown, Row & Maw; and Reed Smith who are shaping the legal market by virtue of their client focus and client service initiatives.

Paul Hastings' recipe for success
Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is anticipating a growth of 20 percent in its UK operations in the current financial year. It is expected to touch $15 million as against the previous year's $12 million. The firm has registered an overall growth of 15 percent across its offices. It is also working towards launching its full service operations in Chicago and Germany where it will focus on private equity, finance, and litigation. The firm plans to enter these markets individually and has not finalized any deadlines for the expansion.

Coupled with strong financial performance over the last couple of years, Paul Hastings has been aggressively looking to enter new markets and expand its service areas. After successfully launching operations in Milan and Palo Alto last year, it is for the second time that the firm has announced expansions to new geographical regions. The law firm enjoys the reputation of being the first U.S.-based firm to expand its presence in Asia. With more than 1000 attorneys across 17 offices globally, the firm has established partnerships with top financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies, and leading corporations.

Littler Mendelson expands immigration practice
As part of its growth strategy, Littler Mendelson has strengthened its global migration practice by acquiring San Jose-based Baker Law Corp. With the addition of two attorneys and 10 employees of Baker Law, Littler Mendelson has increased its staff strength to 16 lawyers and 120 employees in the region which include immigrations specialists, paralegals, and legal professionals. The corporate migration group deals with migration in and out of the United States as well as between other countries.

Littler Mendelson considers global migration as a key strategy for law firms involved in immigration services areas that will allow them to look beyond geographical boundaries. Currently, with more than 485 attorneys and 36 offices in major metropolitan areas nationwide, Littler Mendelson is the largest law firm in the country exclusively devoted to representing management in employment, employee benefits, and labor law matters.

Littler Mendelson would leverage Baker Law's current practice areas which include bankruptcy and creditor rights, corporate governance, debt finance, M&A, private equity & venture capital, and real estate. This will allow Littler Mendelson to consolidate its operations and grow in the region.

McElroy Deutsch merge with Monteverde McAlee
North Jersey-based law firm McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter has merged its operations with Philadelphia-based Monteverde McAlee & Hurd. The move makes logical sense since the two firms have common practice areas like construction litigation and banking. The merger will include closure of Monteverde McAlee's Doylestown operations and two lawyers will relocate to Philadelphia from McElroy Duetsch's North Jersey offices.

This is the second merger deal in the region this year after Newark-based Gibbons Del Deo Dolan Griffinger & Vecchione merged its operations with Hecker Brown Sherry & Johnson, seven months back.

Although Philadelphia is not considered in the same league as New York; Washington, DC; and San Francisco, off late, North Jersey firms are looking to expand operations in the area to capitalize on the city's litigation practice and leverage the corporate base in the region.

American Bar Association (ABA)


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