Note: This post has been updated from its previous version in order to correct the percentages associated with law firm market share.
Over the past two years, approximately 2,300 current and former SEC registered companies have disclosed material, federal civil litigation.1 With over 1,800 different law firms representing these companies, competition is tight in terms of litigation market share. Let’s take a look.
With 22 offices around the globe, it comes as no surprise that Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP has provided litigation services2 to the most companies. Since April 2015, Skadden has represented 102 companies, or 4.3% of the total market share. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, a close second, represented 4.2% of the market, with 99 companies.
Rounding out the top ten, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Morrison & Foerster LLP had 2.8 % and 2.7% of the market share, respectively. Together, the top ten firms represented 34.1% of the market share.
Looking more closely within the litigation taxonomies of the top 10 firms, most lawsuits are securities class actions. Second to securities class actions, intellectual property cases play a prominent role in the mix. Cases concerned with mergers & acquisitions, financial reporting, IPO’s and derivative stockholder suits have higher prevalence.
The competition for clients will continue according to the recent New York Times article, With Competition Fierce, Even Elite Law Firms Resort to the Unusual.
America’s law firms, even the most prominent, are mired in an era of noticeably modest growth and volatility in the industry, and 2017 promises to be no better… Beyond that, the top-drawer firms are increasingly jostling with one another to win lucrative legal work.
We look forward to continuing to track the trends and movements within the legal industry, and are interested to see if law firm market share stays wide spread.
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1. This population includes companies that are, or were at one time, registered with the SEC and had open litigation in the past two years.↑
2. Federal securities class action claims, SEC actions and material federal civil litigation.↑