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The founders of Latham & Watkins instilled an ethic of hard work, commitment and quality that flourishes today and has nurtured the firm's dramatic growth into one of the world's premier business law firms.
Over the years, Latham opened offices in the United States in Chicago, Houston, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, San Diego and San Francisco. In 1990, Latham's global push began. That year the firm opened its first office outside of the United States, in London. Since that time, Latham has built one of the largest and deepest European practices of any US-legacy firm, with more than 400 lawyers based in Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris and Rome.
In 1994, the firm launched a practice in Asia by opening an office in Hong Kong. That practice has expanded into Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai in subsequent years. Over the past 15 years, Latham has built a strong presence in Asia, representing US, European and Asian companies conducting business throughout the Asia Pacific region. The firm has been involved in some of the largest transactions in the history of the region, including a number in emerging Asian markets, such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.
After years of representing client interests in the region, Latham & Watkins opened offices in the Middle East for the first time in 2008 with locations in Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi. The firm's primary focus in this region is on transactional work, especially in the energy and construction industries, and also in capital markets.
The firm has built internationally recognized practices in a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate and regulatory areas. Latham has also received praise for its innovative approach to law firm management and for its pro bono work both on a local and global scale.
Part of what has made Latham & Watkins' global expansion so successful is that the firm does not have a headquarters. Members of the firm management are spread out throughout the firm and attorneys regularly work across offices and practice groups in support of the firm's clients.
Additionally, the firm’s success is grounded in its devotion to the collaborative process, which reaches across global offices and practices and draws upon its attorneys’ deep subject matter expertise, an abiding commitment to teamwork and a powerful tradition of creative lawyering.
Latham's dedication to excellence extends to pro bono and public service. As a Signator to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, the firm has a longstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services, financial support and volunteer time to charitable organizations and to individuals most in need throughout the world. In addition, Latham’s attorneys, paralegals and staff devote significant time to a diverse array of worthy causes. From firm wide projects that comprise multiple offices to the individual contributions of members of the Latham family, these deeds impact the firm’s communities in enduring ways.
Latham consistently ranks among the best transactional and finance practices in leading legal publications such as The American Lawyer, Merger Market, Chambers and Asia Legal Business and earns praise worldwide for work on high-profile and groundbreaking deals.
Latham is one of the few firms to have been named in The American Lawyer's Litigation Department of the Year survey in 2004, 2006 and 2008. The firm’s environmental practice has been at the forefront of this rapidly changing area for the last two decades and was named as the top firm in the world for environmental expertise by The International Who's Who in 2007. The firm has a long and rich history in tax matters, dating back to founding partner Dana Latham, former Commissioner of the US Internal Revenue Service.
Additionally, Latham & Watkins has been consistently recognized by The American Lawyer as one of the top US law firms through its inclusion in the Top 10 of The American Lawyer's prestigious A-List ranking, which was created in 2003 to determine, as objectively as possible, ''the nation's elite — the law firms that are best at balancing a thriving business with their obligations to the profession.''