King & Spalding at a Glance

The Buzz

  • “Best in ATL”
  • “Very good FDA practice”
  • “Too southern and stiff”
  • “Midlevel that wants to act like the bigs”

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.

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King & Spalding

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Robert D. Hays Jr.
  • Hiring Partners: Robert K. Woo (Atlanta); Mike Stenglein (Austin) Brandt Leibe (Houston); Mark V. Thigpen (Charlotte); Andrew C. Hruska (New York); Donald F. Zimmer (San Francisco); Timothy T. Scott (Silicon Valley); Robert K. Hur (Washington, DC)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 1,022

  • Base Salary

    Firm did not disclose salary data.

  • Summer Associate Offers
    34 out of 41 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Climate Change
    Energy & Natural Resources
    Financial Institutions
    Global Islamic Finance & Investment
    Global Finance
    Government & Regulatory
    Intellectual Property
    Litigation & Disputes
    Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology/Medical Devices
    Real Estate

Major Office Locations

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