King & Spalding at a Glance


  • “Work is sophisticated and complex”
  • “Collaboration among offices”
  • “Prestige”


  • “Long hours”
  • “Lack of transparency about compensation or firm direction”
  • “High billable hour expectation”

About King & Spalding

Over its 130-year history, King & Spalding has branched far from its Southern roots to open offices across the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, giving Left Coast and Yankee firms a run for their money. With stellar corporate and litigation practices, the firm counts among its longtime clients Atlanta-based Coca-Cola-a history of partnership evidenced by the old-fashioned soda fountains found in K&S offices.

A King Rises

Momentous events of 1885: the roller coaster was patented, Pasteur discovered the rabies vaccine, Lady Liberty swanned into New York harbor, and Alex C. King and Jack J. Spalding founded what eventually became Atlanta's largest law firm. Among the firm's early matters was extensive service for the railroad industry-a crucial factor in Atlanta's post-Civil War rebuilding. And like true royalty, the firm was rich in connections-in 1918, King's former colleague Woodrow Wilson appointed him U.S. Solicitor General, and in the 1940s, Spalding's son Hughes forged many of the firm's key alliances, including those with Coca-Cola and Trust Company Bank. Expansion in the latter half of the 20th century included development of a client base outside the Southeast in areas like the auto and pharmaceutical industries. Defending General Motors against the spate of lawsuits brought on by Ralph Nader's activism in the 1960s helped to make the firm its name.

From FDA to WTO

The firm's first expansion came in 1979 when it opened a Washington, DC office to help clients with FDA matters. Offices in New York and Houston followed. The 21st century saw more expansion-fueled by client demand in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, energy and high-technology sectors-and several offices in California as well as overseas were established. King & Spalding's most recent office openings include Paris, where it boasts an international arbitration practice specializing in civil engineering, construction, oil, gas and energy, telecommunications and information and technology; Geneva, where the firm mainly represents clients in World Trade Organization matters; Singapore, furthering the firm's international arbitration practice; an office in Moscow that works closely with the firm's Paris and London offices and further expands its international energy practice; and its latest addition in 2015: Tokyo.

From Peach Trees to Big Apples

With its real estate capital markets practice now based in New York City, the aspirations of the firm's capital transactions and real estate group-which encompasses practices in Atlanta, Houston, London, New York, Charlotte, and Frankfurt-are clear. The Frankfurt base is also driven by the firm's real estate capital markets, finance, corporate and tax practices and complements its longstanding German practice based in New York City. But that's not all the New York office is known for-lawyers in M&A, finance, financial restructuring, business litigation, and professional services liability practices, as well as a large portion of the firm's intellectual property group, work out of New York.

From the Deep South to the Middle East

K&S was one of the first U.S. firms to grasp the potential of Middle Eastern markets. The firm has determinedly built up its Islamic finance capabilities and continues to establish offices in the region. In January 2007, the firm opened shop in Dubai, staffing the new venture with lawyers from its Atlanta, London, New York and Houston offices, as well as associates gleaned from the Dubai arm of rival Baker Botts. Primarily concentrating on Islamic finance, private equity, real estate and energy law, the Dubai office has already grown into one of the largest offices of any U.S. firm in the Middle East. In April 2007, King & Spalding opened in Riyadh and in June 2008, the firm launched in Abu Dhabi.

Healthy Prospects

King & Spalding has one of the largest health care law practices in the United States and is a perennial on the Chambers USA listing of top firms serving the industry. It counts as partners three past presidents of the American Health Lawyers Association, and the firm sponsors an annual forum on health law and policy.


March 2017
Trans Name Change Win

A King & Spalding pro bono team has obtained a significant civil rights victory on behalf of a Georgia transgender client whose name-change petition had been denied by a lower court, which said it would cause "confusion." The Georgia Court of Appeals recently reversed that decision, and ordered the lower court to grant the name-change request.

February 2017
Love That Chicken

King & Spalding advised leading restaurant chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. on its $1.8 billion sale to Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the company that owns brands including Burger King and Tim Horton's.

Islamic Finance Advice

King & Spalding advised the joint lead managers on a debut US$150 million sukuk issuance by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)-the first sukuk issuance by an African supranational entity.

October 2016
Bonne Chance

King & Spalding has represented La Française des Jeux in the successful defense of a breach-of-contract claim.

June 2016

King & Spalding was a key player in the successful effort to bring Super Bowl LIII to Atlanta in 2019. The firm represented Atlanta's Super Bowl host committee on a pro bono basis. The host committee included representatives from the Atlanta Sports Council, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the Atlanta Falcons.

September 2015

King & Spalding opened its office in Tokyo, the firm's 18th office overall and 10th office outside the United States.  Along with the firm's Singapore office, the Tokyo office will anchor King & Spalding's energy practice throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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King & Spalding

1180 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (404) 572-4600


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Robert D. Hays Jr.
  • Recruiting Chairs: Robert K. Woo (Atlanta); Brad Thompson (Austin); Brandt Leibe (Houston); Mark V. Thigpen (Charlotte); Peter Strotz (Los Angeles); Andrew C. Hruska (New York); Donald F. Zimmer (San Francisco); Timothy T. Scott (Silicon Valley); John Fontham (Washington, DC)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 1,005

  • Base Salary

    Starting salary for 1st year associates: $155,000 - $180,000 (depending on location)

  • Summer Associate Offers
    43 out of 44 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Climate Change • Corporate/Transactional • Energy & Natural Resources • Financial Institutions • Global Islamic Finance & Investment • Global Finance • Government & Regulatory • Healthcare • Intellectual Property • International • Litigation & Disputes • Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology/Medical Devices • Real Estate • Telecommunications

Major Office Locations

  • Atlanta, GA • Austin, TX • Charlotte, NC • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • San Francisco, CA • Palo Alto, CA • Washington, DC Abu Dhabi • Dubai • Frankfurt • Geneva • London • Moscow • Paris • Riyadh (affiliate) • Singapore • Tokyo