In a wildly competitive market, Latham & Watkins clearly stands out both for its rapid growth in the capital and also for its ongoing commitment to pro bono work, as well as the numerous career development initiatives it has introduced recently.
In London last year, Latham lawyers opened more than 100 new matters and donated approximately 14,000 hours advocating for disadvantaged, marginalised, and vulnerable people. In City revenue terms, it has risen to become the ninth-largest law firm – UK or US – in London off the back of a 21 per cent increase in UK turnover last year from £279.1m to £336.9m.
Latham, which won City firm of the year at The Lawyer Awards, sponsored by Travelers, won a lot of praise from the judges both for its incredibly impressive roster of clients and recent high-profile, ultra big-ticket deals, not least the IPO of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). On that deal, Latham advised the underwriters on non-Saudi law matters with a capital markets team led by partners in London, the US, and Dubai. Lawyers in the firm’s London office also advised on corporate law, finance, regulatory, and tax matters of what was the largest IPO in history. Latham had previously advised on Saudi Aramco’s debut international $12bn bond issuance.
But it’s not just on the transactional side that Latham has been scoring of late. Earlier this year the firm’s global vice chair of litigation Martin Davies underlined the extent to which Latham is also looking to build out its disputes practice in London.
“They are fulfilling their vision of London as a strategic opportunity with market-leading transactions and rapid growth,” one judge noted.
All in all, a tremendous year for the City Law Firm of the Year 2020, Latham & Watkins.
Message from the sponsor, Travelers
Law firms have experienced their fair share of workspace reinvention in recent decades – from traditional set-ups with senior partners in corner offices and heavy legal volumes stacked on shelves, to more agile, open, paperless workspaces. Now Covid-19 has thrust the legal community into yet another new structure: remote work.
If employees of law firms – among many other businesses – continue this phase of significantly reduced time spent together with colleagues and clients alike, what will it mean for team collaboration and client service? How can a firm instill cultural values and maintain its identity in the long term when employees work apart from their office and team? Can trainees effectively hone their skills when they aren’t physically in an office setting observing how legal work is conducted and asking questions on the spot? How can managers monitor employee productivity and wellbeing, as well as manage the additional risks of supervising a remote workforce? When the technology that enables remote work allows employees to log in to work at any hour, how can burnout be prevented? Some of these challenges may take time and effort for businesses to see – but studying them may provide a competitive advantage.
Solicitors are expected to think ahead – to provide sound counsel and reliably anticipate risks. The same could be said of law firms themselves. A firm’s success and good name depend on its ability to confidently prepare for the future.
Travelers can help in that effort. As one of the UK’s leading solicitors’ professional indemnity insurers, we have an expert team of underwriters, claims handlers and risk managers with experience in many areas of the legal sector. We help clients understand and manage their risks so they can deliver superior service and embrace new opportunities that will enrich their business.