Nominations for the Chambers Global Online Awards were based on research for the 2012 guide. The selections were made by our editors in consultation with the research team. Winners are selected after an appraisal of the firms' overall performance. We look at their involvement in the highest profile and most cutting-edge deals and cases across the world.
Chambers Global : International Law Firm Of The Year
Allen & Overy are one of the most expansionist among the world's leading law firms. They have opened offices in new, emerging jurisdictions and made significant lateral hires in the UK and abroad, particularly in the Middle East and Africa and the Asia-Pacific region – Australia, Singapore and India. Allen & Overy have worked hard to develop their depth of resources and international reach. Clients praise their investment in overseas operations during an economic downturn.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Africa
This powerhouse has built a strong network in Africa. From its extensive South African offices to its highly successful Tanzanian affiliate firm, CRB Africa Legal, Norton Rose has excellent assets across the continent.
This global giant has built a first-class profile on African work over several years. Allen & Overy's recent launch in Morocco has given it greatly enhanced access to the North African market.
Africa is an important part of this firm's emerging markets offering. The natural resources sector has created much work for the Paris and London teams throughout Africa. Notable clients include BP International and Rio Tinto.
Chambers Global : Law Firm Of The Year : Asia-Pacific
This firm offers excellent coverage in the Asia-Pacific region and is best known for its pre-eminent corporate practice. Clifford Chance has a long standing presence in China, with three offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The China offices regularly advises domestic and international clients on financial services, dispute resolution and projects matters. In the past year, it has bolstered its offering through a merger with boutique firms Chang, Pistilli & Simmons in Sydney and Cochrane Lishman Carson Luscombe in Perth.
With offices in China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand, Linklaters is well equipped to meet regional and international clients' needs across the region. In addition, the firm offers clients the benefit of dedicated India desks throughout the Linklaters network and a Hong Kong team dedicated to South Korea related work. It continues to be particularly active in the emerging markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, especially on the transactional side.
This firm is experienced in the corporate, finance and projects areas, and acts for domestic and international clients across the Asia-Pacific region from its offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Thailand, Singapore and Japan. Allen & Overy has strengthened its presence in Asia by opening offices in Sydney and Perth and entering into an association with Ginting & Reksodiputro in Indonesia. The firm also advises clients in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, Mongolia and the Philippines.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Banking & Finance
This firm’s hard work in the finance sector has paid tremendous dividends; it is taking centre stage in the global market. Its drive in the Middle East has resulted in widespread recognition in this increasingly important market. In addition, Latham & Watkins' capital markets strengths, in the high-yield sector, are also bearing fruit.
Allen & Overy has significantly expanded its global footprint in recent years, with Australia and Morocco examples of its new reach. From its London base to emerging markets, such as Africa and the Middle East, the firm’s abilities are rated as consistently excellent.
This firm’s premier banking practice leads the market in many parts of the world. From Europe, through the Middle East to Asia, it has maintained its long-standing reputation for handling some of the largest, and most cutting-edge transactions.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Canada
Blakes is undoubtedly one of Canada’s leaders, achieving top rankings in many of the key areas. Its transactional record is especially superb, with M&A in the resources sector generating some of the firm’s (and Canada’s) biggest deals.
The mining and energy sectors are key to this firm’s success. Its strengths go beyond Canada’s borders, with Latin American mining deals cementing its international reputation.
Stikeman Elliott has featured on many top corporate mandates. Beyond the booming resources sector the firm also has successes in industries as diverse as broadcasting and automotive manufacturing.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Competition/Antitrust
A consistent competition and antitrust leader, this firm’s significant US and European abilities enable it to take lead roles in both these markets. From telecoms, through natural resources to pharmaceuticals, the firm has excelled across industries.
Excellent geographical breadth, combined with some of the most popular competition lawyers in the world, makes Freshfields one of the most important firms in this area. From airlines to elevators, the firm handles a broad range of markets, and holds a top position on merger clearance, regulatory and litigious issues
Combining the best of US and European assets, Arnold & Porter is a top choice for a broad variety of work. It is especially popular for litigious matters.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Corporate/M&A
This magic circle giant proves its worth comprehensively, especially in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It acts for many of the leading companies in each of these markets, and its equally well-regarded banking and capital markets teams make the firm a very attractive package. Popular clients include financial institutions, oil companies and telecoms multinationals.
One of the undisputed US leaders, Sullivan & Cromwell has worked hard to broaden its global footprint, with the European and Asian teams increasingly active. Even excluding AT&T’s abandoned purchase of T-Mobile, Sullivan & Cromwell still ended up with the best deal total by value of 2011.
A breadth of ability and geographical reach verifies this firm’s position in the very upper echelons of the market. It has leading roles on headline transactions throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. New offices in Morocco, Turkey, Qatar and Australia show its laurels are not being rested on.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Dispute Resolution
A superb profile in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, coupled with a market-leading reputation in the allied fields of international arbitration and public international law, give this firm the edge when it comes to high-level disputes.
This firm is in an elite class for dispute resolution across Europe. Herbert Smith is also a huge success in India and China, making it a go to firm for any disputes involving two of the most dynamic economies in the world.
This excellent global firm is best known for its tremendous US strengths, especially its superb trial lawyers. Beyond the USA, its London and Hong Kong teams are also strong, notably working on international arbitration.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Europe
This international heavyweight has outstanding teams in key European markets, notably France, Spain, Germany, Russia and the UK. It enjoys a remarkable track record in banking and corporate transactions, and has been active in cutting edge finance-related mandates of late.
White & Case was one of the first international firms to enter the CEE markets and continues to enjoy a tremendous reputation in these regions. It is also experiencing growth in much of western Europe, recently re-opening its Milan office after withdrawing in 2008. The firm has considerable strength in corporate/M&A transactions and was involved in a number of important deals in the energy sector and emerging markets in recent months.
This firm has extensive European coverage, with over 40 offices across the continent. It offers a fully integrated service, and often handles complex multi-jurisdictional transactions. As well as enjoying a market-leading position in the CEE and CIS regions, it also fields prominent teams in France and Germany, and recently added a new member firm in Portugal. Notable areas of expertise include energy, technology and life sciences.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Latin America
This firm is well-established in Latin America with a long history of involvement in large M&A transactions. Much of the work is co-ordinated from New York, although the firm has offices in Buenos Aires and São Paulo. Its highly-regarded practice spans M&A, equity work and restructurings. The team advised Petrobras in its global bond offering that, according to media reports, was the first pounds sterling denominated bond issue for a Brazilian company in the last 10 years.
Since 1942, this full-service heavyweight has become a domestic favourite. The firm splits its full-service practice into four key areas: corporate, tax, litigation and employment. For transactional or projects work, teams are then assembled drawing upon members of each group. The firm is a member of the Club de Abogados - Iberoamerica, an informal association of 21 leading independent law firms spread across Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.
This international player is a major presence in the region with offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. The corporate and finance teams have extensive experience of cross-border operations, and clients value the firm's overall international and practical approach. Tax, intellectual property, dispute resolution, and energy and natural resources are other key practice groups attracting the attention of foreign clients.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Middle East
The gravitas of Allen & Overy's Middle East presence is reflected by the nature of the work the firm undertakes. It regularly acts for the Middle East's most revered clients on the highest profile matters. For example, the firm acted for Emirates Airlines on the disposal of its 43.6% interest in Sri Lankan Airlines to the government of Sri Lanka.
Al Tamimi and Company's regional reach is unsurpassed. With full service offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan, the firm can claim to be one of the leaders in the Middle East.
In 2011, Clifford Chance added an office in Qatar to its well-established UAE and Saudi offerings. This continuing commitment to the region, matched with broad industry expertise, means the team advises on the biggest ticket mandates.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : Projects/Energy
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has a long history of providing world-class advice in the projects and energy sphere. Its established relationships with banks and export credit agencies make it a go-to firm for complex project financings all over the world across a variety of sectors.
White & Case couples significant worldwide resources with an institutional client base to act on the highest profile mandates. As a result, its projects and energy practice is globally renowned for its work of outstanding quality.
A busy year of international expansion in 2011 means Clifford Chance offers a genuine global reach. By combining outstanding industry knowledge with almost unparalleled strength in depth, the firm operates a market leading projects and energy practice.
Chambers Global : Law Firm of the Year : USA
While bankruptcy, litigation, M&A, securities and tax are key pillars of the firm, there is arguably no field, no industry or client in the United States – and beyond – to which Skadden cannot extend its enviable capabilities and resources. The firm is involved in some of the largest, most complex and novel deals and cases across the globe.
From its base on the West Coast, Gibson has established a nationwide reputation for excellence in M&A, antitrust, securities and, especially, litigation. The firm has led the way in some of the nation's most significant, precedent-setting cases in recent years. Among the most headline-grabbing of the group's accomplishments has been its recent success in the landmark Perry v Brown case relating to the unconstitutionality of California's Proposition 8.
Based in Chicago, Kirkland is noted for its focused, dedicated efforts and its superlative national and international capabilities in the areas of bankruptcy, intellectual property, private equity and tax matters, among others. The firm has gained particular acclaim for its recent successes in the IP arena.