White & Case: no loitering

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  • I am a little puzzled by the two comments above ("W&C has lost reputation in several markets" and "W&C losing out in terms of top-tier work to the higher ranked firms"). Sounds like typical law firm-bashing to me, which is all too common on websites like this one.
    I am an emerging markets' lawyer myself, and I see W&C all over in the Middle-East, Africa and Eastern Europe, doing the largest deals. I can't speak about Brazil, Russia, China and Latin America - where I don't practice - but my colleagues tell me that W&C is very much on top of the market in these jurisdictions as well.
    W&C is not huge on London/NY M&A work and, it seems to me, not even trying to compete with Cravath, Davis Polk and the likes. But the future is not all about NY and London, far from it...

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  • PS: this is also why I disagree with the George Clooney analogy above (although it's funny): yes, moving up the ranks in M&A in the US and Europe is exceedingly difficult, and saying that one could have a top M&A practice if only one had a top M&A practice is preposterous. However, moving up the M&A ranks wordlwide possible if one targets the key markets of tomorrow, and I think that's what W&C is doing. Seems like the right approach to me.
    Remember also that a few years back it was trendy to bash Shearman & Sterling, who was so stuck-up and who seemed to be missing out completely on the new markets. Now S&S is very much back in the game and has even managed to increase profitability to record highs. No one is bashing S&S anymore.
    I am an emerging markets lawyer by trade and hence I am probably biased, but if I had to bet on which firms will be dominant in 10-15 years, as far as US firms go I'd bet on Skadden, L&W, W&C and S&S. Would also probably bet on Cleay as well, but they don't have the same breadth of practice and coverage.

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