Latham is one of the world's largest law firms, a bona fide
member of the clique that includes the Magic Circle and the elite
U.S. heritage firms. With more than 2,000 attorneys in over 30
offices around the world, Latham practices in all the major
jurisdictions in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and
Asia and regularly represents companies doing business in Latin
America and Africa. The firm is a global leader in corporate
transactions, environmental law, finance matters, litigation and
tax services―founding partner Dana Latham was a former commissioner
of the IRS.
Hollywood Goes Global
Over its more than 75-year history, Latham has determinedly grown
beyond its SoCal roots and evolved into a global player. As a small
Los Angeles outfit in 1934, the firm was well-positioned to take
advantage of Southern California's swiftly-escalating postwar
industrialization and population growth. By 1969, Latham employed
42 lawyers-a healthy practice, but still undeniably local. Over the
ensuing three decades, Latham aggressively and steadily expanded
around the globe. So successful was the expansion that the New York
office is now the firm's largest. Latham has long disavowed the
notions of headquarters and "satellite" offices, with the firm
proudly touting its "one firm" culture and insisting that it has no
dominant practice or power base.
As might be expected of a firm of Latham's stature, firm alumni
have held weighty titles and responsibilities: Bruce Babbitt,
former governor of Arizona and former U.S. Secretary of the
Interior; Christopher Cox, former SEC chair; Kathryn Ruemmler,
White House Counsel, who also formerly served as the Deputy
Director of the DOJ's Enron Task Force; David Hayes, former Deputy
Secretary of the Interior; Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; DeMaurice Smith, the
Executive Director of the National Football League Players'
Association (NFLPA); and Donald Remy, General Counsel of the
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and a former Deputy
Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S.
Department of Justice. Quite the impressive roster.
Despite having its hand in nearly every cookie jar around the
globe, Latham's guiding management principle is the idea of "One
Firm." Not only does the firm eschew the notion of a headquarters,
but it also actively works to emphasize the team effort of legal
work, rather than elevating individual star attorneys. Latham
extends this cultural ideal in a truly unique way: by including an
equal number of partners and associates on its Associates
Committee, which plays a central role in the firm's evaluation and
promotion process as well as in determining associate compensation
and other policy issues.
Perks for Parents
In addition to the firm's generous parental leave policies (we're
talking at least 18 weeks leave for "birth mothers" and adoptive
parents who are primary caregivers), Latham also helps attorneys
successfully reintegrate into practice, offering a "pace reduction"
program that automatically gives new parents the option of
returning at a reduced schedule for six months, with no prior
approval necessary. The firm hopes that the program will help new
parents transition back to work without the immediate pressures of
a full-time billable hours requirement. No wonder the firm has been
recognized as one of Working Mother Magazine's "Best Law Firms for
Women" and a Gold Standard Firm by the Women in Law Empowerment
IN THE NEWS
Protecting the Due Process of Those Who
Latham successfully challenged a Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) regulation, arguing that it made it more difficult for
veterans to establish their entitlement to VA benefits. In a pro
bono case full of twists and turns, after the VA initially admitted
that the rule was invalid, a whistleblower inside the agency
informed the lead Latham associate on the case that the regulation
was still being enforced. Eventually the regulation was formally
repealed, and the Federal Circuit ordered the VA to submit a plan
to address all instances in which the regulation was wrongfully
Topping the Charts
Latham received 29 top ten rankings and improved its placements
across a range of corporate and finance categories in The American
Lawyer's 2013 Corporate Scorecard. The firm's stellar results
included four #1 rankings in the areas of mergers and acquisitions,
private equity, IPOs outside the U.S. and REIT debt offerings.
Law360 also recently named Latham as M&A Practice Group of the
Year, praising it as one of the largest and most prolific M&A
teams in the world.
Talking the Talk
In the latest installment of its popular "Book of Jargon" apps,
Latham launched a Global Mergers & Acquisitions application for
the iPhone, iPad and iPod, which provides an interactive glossary
of business, legal and regulatory terminology used in M&A
transactions around the world. The series of apps provides a
comprehensive library covering U.S. and European capital markets
and bank finance, global restructuring, master limited partnerships
and project finance terms and acronyms.
Project Finance Powerhouse
Latham advised on six Project Finance Magazine 2012 "Deals of the
Year," and the firm picked up four "Deals of the Year" awards from
Project Finance International for its work in the Americas and
Asia. The firm was also recognized as the "Most Innovative US Firm"
in Asia by the International Financial Law Review on the strength
of its project finance and restructuring work in the region.
Supporting the Next Generation
Entering its ninth year, the firm's Diversity Scholars Program
awarded six $10,000 scholarships to eligible law school students in
the U.S. The program has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarship
funds since its inception, with no requirement that recipients work
at the firm.
IP Litigation Innovation
Latham scored a significant victory as lead counsel for Freddie Mac
in a trilogy of patent cases involving electric bond auctions. The
Latham team employed an innovative strategy by filing a motion to
dismiss, before discovery opened, the three cases for the failure
to claim patent eligible subject matter. The result: a record 616
patent claims across the three cases were invalidated.