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 80-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 Chairman of the SEC; David Hayes,
former Deputy Secretary of the Interior; Michael Chertoff, former
U.S. Secretary 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 for the Civil Division of the U.S.
Department of Justice.
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
Topping the Charts
Latham received 24 top ten rankings across a range of corporate and
finance categories in The American Lawyer's 2014 Corporate
Scorecard. The firm's stellar results include four No. 1 rankings
in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and both U.S. and non-U.S.
IPOs. Many other practice areas also made strong showings,
including in the categories of high yield debt, private equity,
project finance and REITs. The firm also made its tenth appearance
on The American Lawyer's A-List, making it one of only four firms
to appear on the list for each of the past 10 years.
Supporting the Next Generation
Entering its tenth year, Latham's Diversity Scholars Program
awarded six $10,000 scholarships to eligible law school students in
the U.S. The program has awarded more than $420,000 in scholarship
funds since its inception, with no requirement that recipients work
at the firm. Latham also sponsors approximately 90 rising 1L
students as part of the Law Preview Diversity Scholars program, an
initiative designed to give students the best opportunity to
succeed during their first year of law school.
Project Finance Powerhouse
Latham advised on seven Project Finance Magazine 2013
"Deals of the Year" in North America, Europe and the Middle East,
and the firm also picked up five "Deal of the Year" awards from
Project Finance International. Both publications recognized Latham
for its work in connection with the Solar Star project, comprised
of two solar energy facilities near Los Angeles, California. Latham
represented the lenders in a $1 billion bond offering, the
largest-ever renewable energy bond issue.
Latham scored a significant victory as lead counsel for the online
translation service TransPerfect in a high-profile patent dispute
with its competitor MotionPoint. Working closely with the client,
the Latham litigation team won a decisive verdict, with the jury
finding that MotionPoint had infringed TransPerfect's patent and
was liable for damages. The case was named a "Top Plaintiffs'
Verdict by Impact" by the Daily Journal.
Combating Human Trafficking
In 2013, over 200 Latham attorneys across 20 offices logged more
than 12,000 hours to pro bono anti-trafficking efforts. These
matters ranged from providing direct representation to trafficking
victims to offering pro bono counsel to several organizations
working to end modern-day slavery, including Not For Sale and
Equality Now. Latham attorneys also worked on one of the largest
human-trafficking cases in U.S. history, representing 47 plaintiffs
asserting violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The
firm provided nearly 191,000 hours of pro bono legal services,
worth approximately $102.5 million, in 2013.
Citing the firm's burgeoning energy practice and its deft lateral
hiring strategy, The American Lawyer profiled Latham's
successful entry and growth in the Houston market, which had been
dominated for years by a handful of Texas-based firms. The coverage
noted Latham's success in competing with indigenous firms for
transactional work, particularly in connection with master limited
partnerships, which are publicly traded partnerships that play a
central role in the oil and gas industry.