Top Ranked

Best Law Firms in Each Practice Area

Not every firm is created equal. Find out how top firms stack up when it comes to specific practice areas.

  • Survey Methodology

    In order to determine the Vault Practice Area Rankings, associates were able to vote for up to three firms in their own practice area, but were not permitted to vote for their own firm. Self-identified corporate associates were allowed to vote only in the corporate-related categories (securities, financial services, etc.); litigators were allowed to vote in the litigation categories, and so on. Our rankings indicate the top firms in each area, as well as the total percentage of votes.

  • Ranking History

2014 Best Law Firms for Private Equity

1
% OF VOTES
38.25

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is a Wall Street institution, housing elite teams in M&A, banking, capital markets and litigation. The firm is a bit...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
1
2
% OF VOTES
34.44

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Chicagoans are (famously and resolutely) loyal to their own, so within its hometown, Kirkland & Ellis ranks tops for prestige-but the firm's...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
2
3
% OF VOTES
23.63

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates

Giant among Mortals Kind of like Oprah or Prince, Skadden is a giant among mortals. Known by its one name, it sits atop its world, continuously...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
3
4
% OF VOTES
17.88

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Each year, a significant chunk of the world's dealmaking-major mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and shareholder litigation, big name restructurings...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
4
5
% OF VOTES
16.84

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has been known as one of the nation's pre-eminent law firms for nearly 200 years. With industry-leading practices on both...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
7
6
% OF VOTES
15.04

Latham & Watkins LLP

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...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
6
7
% OF VOTES
12.82

Ropes & Gray LLP

Founded in 1865, Ropes & Gray has expanded in every measurable way in the 21st century, acquiring smaller boutique firms in the States while claiming...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
8
8
% OF VOTES
11.99

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP ranks as one of New York's most powerful law firms, representing high-profile clients in transactions and disputes in...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
11
9
% OF VOTES
11.92

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

S&C has followed-if not created-the blueprint for legal success: it has grown internationally and in response to the increasing crossborder M&A,...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
5
10
% OF VOTES
11.23

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

A powerhouse in restructuring, M&A, private equity and litigation, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has long been one of the world's leading law firms....

TRENDING

2013 Rank
9
11
% OF VOTES
11.02

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, founded in New York City over 160 years ago, has finance in its DNA. The firm boasts one of the nation's best and most...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
10
12
% OF VOTES
7.35

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

With offices around the globe and a web site in over 10 languages, one cannot deny Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's international scope. But don't...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
12
13
% OF VOTES
6.24

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

For decades, Paul, Weiss has valiantly defended the coffers and reputations of some of the world's largest financial institutions and companies. Though...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
13
14
% OF VOTES
4.85

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has defined itself as the go-to firm for hedge funds and their ilk. While this practice focus translates into double-digit...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
14
15
% OF VOTES
4.02

Sidley Austin LLP

The firm's roots trace back to its formation in Chicago in 1866 and the firm is preparing for 150th anniversary. Historical clients included former first...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
15
16
% OF VOTES
3.53

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose is practically synonymous with "sports law"-clients include Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL and the NBA. Although flashy, this...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
22
17
% OF VOTES
3.19

Jones Day

A heavy-hitter with a hand in most major areas of law and an internationally-recognized prowess in litigation, Jones Day uses its size and reach-offices...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
19
18
% OF VOTES
2.98

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

With powerhouse practices ranging from M&A to appellate law, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher does its share of high-stakes work. Founded in Los Angeles...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
19
19
% OF VOTES
2.77

Cooley LLP

The firm that is now known as Cooley LLP was founded in 1920 in San Francisco by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley. The practice they started went on to...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
20
19
% OF VOTES
2.77

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling is one of the world's premier law firms, serving the domestic and cross-border needs of an impressive roster of clients. With...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
16
20
% OF VOTES
2.43

White & Case LLP

Founded 114 years ago, White & Case has grown from its New York beginnings to become a truly global law firm with a longstanding presence in the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
24
21
% OF VOTES
2.29

Clifford Chance US LLP

In many ways, the formation of Clifford Chance presaged the future of modern law practice, especially as it is carried out in its native city of London....

TRENDING

2013 Rank
23
22
% OF VOTES
2.22

DLA Piper

With approximately 4,200 lawyers in 88 offices around the globe, DLA Piper is one of the largest law firms-as in sheer size-in the world. Hunting and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
23
% OF VOTES
2.15

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

Editor's note:  In January 2015 Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and Locke Lord  merged under the Locke Lord name.  The...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
24
% OF VOTES
1.94

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

With approximately 450 attorneys, Fried Frank is hardly a behemoth, but the firm remains an international legal power that excels in corporate,...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
25
% OF VOTES
1.87

Goodwin Procter LLP

Founded in Boston in 1912, Goodwin Procter is known for its IP litigation, financial services, private equity, real estate capital markets, technology...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
18