Top 50 US Firms in London Rank1

White & Case is one of the most global of all the US-headquartered firms, a position well-earned by decades of project finance and emerging markets-led investment in far-flung places well outside of its home jurisdiction. Indeed, less than a third of all of White & Case’s partners are based in the US while it has partners in more than 40 cities worldwide. The New York banking and corporate-focused firm has not tended to be bracketed (other than by its lawyers)

White & Case is one of the most global of all the US-headquartered firms, a position well-earned by decades of project finance and emerging markets-led investment in far-flung places well outside of its home jurisdiction. Indeed, less than a third of all of White & Case’s partners are based in the US while it has partners in more than 40 cities worldwide.

The New York banking and corporate-focused firm has not tended to be bracketed (other than by its lawyers) as being among the white shoe elite either in terms of client base or partner profitability. Notably, when The Lawyer published its Transatlantic Elite report a decade ago, highlighting the firms we believed were leading the provision of top-end legal services, White & Case didn’t feature. Yet in recent years it has moved up the international food chain, powered by some notable lateral hires particularly in its large, 97-partner, 361-lawyer London office.

Recent big-name hires in London (where White & Case has had an office since the early 1970s) include Clifford Chance banking co-head Patrick Sarch, three partners from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Lindsey Canning, Jeffrey Rubinoff and Richard Jones) and, in 2013, Linklaters private equity partners Richard Youle (whose clients include HG Capital, Montagu Private Equity and Hermes) and Ian Bagshaw (also a range of PE houses including Carlyle). The hire of the latter duo was seen by many in the market as confirmation that White & Case, at least in the City if not globally, had successfully morphed into a firm capable (and profitable) enough to compete with the likes of Kirkland and its more ‘elite’ rivals for both big-ticket mandates and magic circle talent. The exit of Youle in 2017 to Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has done little to dampen White & Case’s undeniably upbeat recent spirits.

The hires also underlined White & Case’s UK ambitions to be a top-tier player in public M&A, traditionally one of the toughest areas in which to make a mark.

White & Case’s 2016 financial results saw it take over from arch-rival Latham & Watkins (it once saw a mass resignation of 14 partners to the West Coast heritage firm) as the number one firm by revenue in The Lawyer’s US Top 50 Firms in London line-up with UK turnover of $290m. It remains in top spot despite a booming year for rival Kirkland & Ellis that saw it overtake Latham as the largest firm in the world by revenue.

Away from the UK, White & Case recently launched in Australia with a team hire from Herbert Smith Freehills. While its Melbourne and Sydney offices are up and running, a now-settled dispute between the firms means that its partnership in the jurisdiction remains small, for now.

The firm is also one of the most established in the Middle East and is particularly close to the Saudi market and some of its biggest clients, notably petrochemical giant Saudi Aramco.

TRAINING CONTRACTS

What is the trainee salary at White & Case?

1st year trainee: £46,000

2nd year trainee: £50,000

What is the NQ salary at White & Case?

NQ: £105,000

Number of trainees: 75

WHITE & CASE FACTS

Founded: 1901

Location: London Bank