Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins were the world’s largest law firms in 2020, according to data from the United States International Trade Commission.
The world’s top five law firms, including four from the United States and one from China, accounted for 14.1% of the gross revenues of the top 100 companies in the industry.
As an example of the globalization of large law firms, the top 10 firms have, on average, a presence in about 25 countries.
Overall, growth in the US legal services market was much faster in 2017-18, at 6.7% YoY, than during the entire 2014-18 period, which registered a CAGR of 3.0%.
Top five firms ranked by revenue, FY 2020
In fact, the 2017-18 growth was one of the highest of any year in the last decade. The Asia-Pacific and European markets grew 6.2 and 3.0%, respectively, between 2017 and 2018.
In particular, China’s industry appeared to grow the fastest compared to other reported countries, both globally and within the Asia-Pacific region, reaching a CAGR of 8.6% between 2014 and 2018.
Businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom accounted for 89 of the top 100 top-earning companies in the world.
Other of the largest law firms in the world were: DLA Pipera, Baker McKenzie and Dentonsa.
In 2018, according to the USITC, the global market for legal services was valued at $ 668.7 billion.
The market grew 5.4% from 2017 to 2018, faster than the 3.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) observed in 2014-18.
The United States accounted for 47.0% of global revenue in 2018, followed by Europe with 25.3% and Asia-Pacific with 15.4%.
Likewise, the UK provided the largest share in Europe (27.4%), while China comprised the largest share in Asia-Pacific (50.7%).
The size and development of regional and national legal service revenues appear to be correlated with cross-border trade.
In 2018, the European Union (which then contained 28 members, appeared to export the highest value of legal services to the world, with $ 21.8 billion, followed by the United States with $ 11.7 billion.