Global Policy Forum

Globalization of Law Firms

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In response to the globalization of business law and in order to serve giant, transnational companies, law firms are globalizing their practice. The biggest firms are merging across borders, creating mega practices with several thousand professionals in dozens of countries.



Articles and Documents

2009 |  2002 | 2000 | 1999



Two International Law Firms May Merge (October 28, 2009)

Two giant law firms, Lovells based in London and Hogan & Hartson in Washington are having high-level merger talks. If the merger succeeds, as seems likely, the new firm will have 2500 lawyers in dozens of offices worldwide. It will be one of the top 10 law firms in the world. (The New York Times)

Joining the Alliance (July 31, 2009)

Markets for legal services across the Asia Pacific region are among the fastest growing in the world. Now, international legal associations seek to attract Asian law firms. With large networks of clients, the associations can help the local firms to expand and attract new customers. However, a membership in an association requires a big investment and can be too costly for the emerging Asian firms. (Asia Legal Business)


Law Firms, Clients Should Gain from Globalization (November 3, 2002)

The past decade has seen a period of mergers for law firms, corporations and banks. Highlighting the transformation of legal services from local to global and the increased demand for such practices, this article describes the need for these firms to become internationally competitive. (Boston Globe)


Watch Out World (January 6, 2000)

An article from the American Lawyer details how three prominent firms, hoping to enlarge their client base, have merged and created a global firm which will boast 3,000 lawyers and has an estimated revenue of 1.2 billion in its first year.



Vive La McDomination! (December 2, 1999)

This article from the American Lawyer claims that many French lawyers fear the American legal system is being imposed on the rest of the world.

U.S. Firms Leading in Eurodeals (November 19, 1999)

An article from the New York Law Journal discusses how an American-style approach, especially in the area of mergers and acquisitions, is changing the way law is being conducted in foreign transactions.

Globalization and Its Discontents (November 3, 1999)

An article from the National Law Journal describes how the World Trade Organization wants to write the rules of a single global economy which would override the authority of traditional American political institutions.

For Firms, There's No Place That's Home (August 2, 1999)

Reflecting a nationwide trend, lawfirms are attempting to redefine their identities to reflect expanded national and global sensibilities. (The Recorder/Cal Law)

A Nip Here, a Tuck There and, Voila! A Global Firm (June 21, 1999)

Many California firms are insisting upon buzzwords that reflect their reinvented global identity. (California Law Week/Cal Law)




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