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 Mergers and Acquisitions

1
% OF VOTES
62.32

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
1
2
% OF VOTES
54.84

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
2
3
% OF VOTES
37.22

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
3
4
% OF VOTES
27.59

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
4
5
% OF VOTES
15.07

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
5
6
% OF VOTES
10.88

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
7
7
% OF VOTES
9.80

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
6
8
% OF VOTES
9.01

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
8
9
% OF VOTES
7.93

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
10
% OF VOTES
5.78

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
10
11
% OF VOTES
3.57

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
11
12
% OF VOTES
3.00

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
12
13
% OF VOTES
2.44

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
18
14
% OF VOTES
2.38

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
16
15
% OF VOTES
2.32

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

For 250 years, Freshfields has remained a constant at the top of the U.K. legal market. Known as one of the "Magic Circle" firms, Freshfields has...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
14
16
% OF VOTES
2.21

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
15
17
% OF VOTES
1.93

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
21
18
% OF VOTES
1.87

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
20
19
% OF VOTES
1.81

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
20
% OF VOTES
1.70

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
20
20
% OF VOTES
1.70

Linklaters LLP (US)

Consistently ranked as a top money-maker, both in terms of firm profits and PPP, Magic Circle-firm Linklaters has achieved legal industry royalty by...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
17
21
% OF VOTES
1.53

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy stands as not only one of the U.K.'s most prestigious law firms-a pillar of the vaunted Magic Circle-but one of the largest firms in...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
23
21
% OF VOTES
1.53

Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown is a leading international law firm with offices in key business centers across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Serving a majority of the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
22
22
% OF VOTES
1.47

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
19
23
% OF VOTES
1.42

Morrison & Foerster LLP

In 1973 those cats in San Fran approved "MoFo" as Morrison & Foerster's official nickname, accentuating the firm's unconventional modus operandi....

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
24
% OF VOTES
1.36

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Wall Street institution Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy is one of the nation's leading firms for corporate restructuring, outsourcing and project...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
23
25
% OF VOTES
1.30

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established over 200 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Known especially for its capital...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
25
25
% OF VOTES
1.30

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati built its reputation advising some of the major tech and life sciences industries as well as the banks and venture...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
15