This just in: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is the standard-bearer among corporate law firms. The unsurprising news was confirmed in a recent survey of corporate in-house counsel by BTI Consulting Group, which asked, among other things, what firms were getting the most work.
“There isn’t a category where Skadden isn’t a lead player,” says Michael Rynowecer, president of Wellesley, Mass.-based BTI. “They are the only firm where they stand out in every part of the survey.”
BTI’s research identified eight other firms as power players in the transactions market: Baker & McKenzie; Jones Day; Mayer Brown; McDermott Will & Emery; Sidley Austin; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; and Vinson & Elkins.
As for Washington-based firms, let’s just say they aren’t leading the pack. Only five locals cracked the top 100, and all were relegated to the survey’s bottom tier. But according to Rynowecer, Covington & Burling and WilmerHale are making headway.
“Washington firms aren’t a player yet in this market,” says Rynowecer. “Covington [& Burling] and WilmerHale are getting to the table. But they’re not getting the deals yet.”
Covington’s managing partner, Stuart Stock, says his firm is coming along in this area. “We are growing our M&A and transaction practices quite nicely, especially in life sciences and sports-related deals,” says Stock. “Transaction work is very important to us. It’s one of the three legs of our stool: litigation, regulatory, and transactions.”
The other Washington firms to make the top 100 were Hogan & Hartson, Crowell & Moring, and Venable.
The BTI study is based on 150 interviews with transactional corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and companies with more than $1 billion in revenue.