2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
"The flexibility of our schedule.”
“The people are great."
“Lack of transparency.”
“The bonus/compensation structure.”
“Long hours and sometimes an overwhelming workload.”
About K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates is one of the largest law firms in the world, with close to 2,000 lawyers across five continents. Among the firm’s top-notch practices are corporate, energy and infrastructure, finance, financial services, intellectual property, labor employment and workplace safety, litigation and dispute resolution, and policy and regulatory.
The new Millennium saw a flurry of mergers, which formed what we now know as K&L Gates. In January 2007, Seattle’s Preston Gates & Ellis got hitched to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham (itself the product of one of the largest U.S.-UK mergers in legal history: the 2005 pairing of Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and London’s Nicholson Graham & Jones). A year later, the reshaped firm merged with Texas-based Hughes & Luce, increasing K&L Gates’ presence in the Lone Star State. In July 2008, the firm combined with Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, a household name in Carolina legal circles; the merger gave K&L Gates a significant presence throughout the Carolinas. The addition of Chicago firm Bell, Boyd & Lloyd’s 250 lawyers and lobbyists eight months thereafter (in March 2009) bolstered K&L Gates’ ranks in Chicago and DC.
K&L Gates takes a full-service approach to its work, with clients across many industries (don’t be fooled by the short list of core practice areas; each contains a slew of specialist and industry sub-groups). Unlike some big firms that rely on a few key clients for the bulk of their billings, K&L Gates’ policy of diversification means that its revenues are spread widely across many clients.
Among the top 20 in Vault’s Cleantech/Renewable Energy ranking, K&L Gates boasts an impressive renewable energy practice. The firm’s clients work across solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, geothermal, and other sectors. And the firm pulls in its experience across industries to provide counsel on everything from acquisitions, financing, IP, licensing, regulatory matters, tax, and much more.
The firm is home to a large corporate practice—in fact its M&A practice has 500 lawyers alone. Among the firm’s corporate clients are those from the Global 500, Fortune 100, and FTSE 100, as well as startups, investment funds, and individuals. The firm’s corporate lawyers work across myriad industries, such as energy, financial services, health care, infrastructure, life sciences, manufacturing, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.
Making the Most of 24 Hours
Every year, K&L Gates hosts a Global Day of Service through which staff and attorneys from across the firm’s offices volunteer with local organizations. The firm selects a theme each year—for example, one year the firm partnered with organizations to battle hunger. And its efforts have been recognized by The American Lawyer which bestowed upon the firm the honor of “Global Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year.”
News & Awards
The Singapore office of K&L Gates LLP combined with Singapore law firm Straits Law Practice LLC. The combined firm provides K&L Gates’ clients expanded capabilities in Singapore law, including a highly regarded litigation practice, and Straits Law’s clients direct access to a global platform with broad geographic coverage and deep experience in a wide array of services.
K&L Gates launched a Brexit Audit Tool to help clients better understand their risk exposure to Brexit by examining a roadmap of key risk areas that warrant assessment prior to the date the UK plans to leave the EU. The tool consists of a short, confidential, online evaluation form that collects basic information about a client’s business and the way it operates in Europe, including key risk areas such as regulated activities and sectors, commercial contracts, IP and data protection, employment and immigration, tax, cross-border trade, and public procurement. A legal evaluation will follow, both provided free for clients.
The firm was recognized by longtime client Chevron U.S.A. for the firm’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. The honor was announced during Chevron’s 2018 annual law firm diversity awards program, recognizing Chevron law firm partners that have distinguished themselves through their commitment to diversity in the legal profession and by fostering an inclusive work environment.
The firm launched a cross-disciplinary Opportunity Zones (OZ) offering to assist clients with the logistical, legal, and regulatory hurdles stemming from the new Opportunity Zones program created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The firm’s initiative—which includes lawyers from the tax, policy, investment management, private equity, real estate, renewable energy, and tax-exempt organizations/nonprofit institutions practices—will help clients to manage and navigate the full range of OZ-related issues.
- K&L Gates advised telecommunications company T-Mobile in the merger with Sprint Corp., valued at approximately $26.5 billion.
- K&L Gates represented Carnegie Mellon University in its long-standing patent infringement suit against chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and Marvell Semiconductor Inc. The case culminated in a $US750 million settlement for CMU.
- K&L Gates continues the fight against “revenge porn” via the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project (CCRLP), providing pro bono legal help to victims of nonconsensual pornography or cyber exploitation. Notable results include securing two of the highest monetary awards in non-celebrity “revenge porn” cases.
- 2019 U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” —42 national first-tier rankings and nearly 130 first-tier marks across 16 states and metropolitan areas in 59 different practice groups
- The Legal 500 United States 2019—three Tier 1 recognitions
and 28 nationwide practice rankings
- Acritas’ U.S. Law Firm Brand Index 2019
- BTI Consulting Group 2018 Most Recommended Law Firms
- In 2019, the firm received Gold Standard Certification from Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for the eighth year.
K&L Gates Center
210 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 355-6500
Chairman of Management Committee: Michael S. Caccese
Global Managing Partner: James R. Segerdahl
Co-United States Managing Partners: Pallavi Mehta Wahi and Thomas J. Smith
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
1.5K - 2K
Starting salaries fall between $125,000 and $180,000, based on dynamics of the local market.
No. of Summer Associates:
49 total (37 2Ls; 12 1Ls) (2019)
Amy J. Horn
Chief Officer of People and Projects
See firm website for more information.
Fort Worth, TX
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Research Triangle Park, NC
San Francisco, CA
Energy, Infrastructure & Resources
Labor, Employment and Workplace Safety
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Policy & Regulatory
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.