Mark Britton heads Avvo, the lawyer directory, while John McDougall publishes The Lead Review, an internet marketing resource.
Archives for July 2013
Law360 has ranked 20 law firms that it believes have the largest global presence and were involved in the biggest, most complex cross-border matters over the past year.
The Global 20 survey is now in its third year, and there have been some interesting developments.
Freshfields takes top spot, up from third last year.
Among the big risers, Shearman & Sterling jumps from 16th to fourth, and Latham & Watkins climbs from 12th to fifth.
Squire Sanders, Norton Rose Fulbright, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Allen & Overy, and Dechert all entered the list.
The top 20 in full:
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- White & Case
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
- Shearman & Sterling
- Latham & Watkins
- Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
- DLA Piper
- Hogan Lovells
- Baker & McKenzie
- Squire Sanders
- King & Spalding
- K&L Gates
- Sidley Austin
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
- Davis Polk & Wardwell
- Gibson Dunn
- Allen & Overy
- Jones Day
- Mayer Brown
How did Law360 select the firms?
A mixture of quantitative and qualitative factors, they say, such as the percentage of attorneys located outside the firm’s home country, the number of offices outside the firm’s home country, and the number of countries in which the firm has offices.
Law360’s staff also reviewed the cross-border matters handled by each firm.
Interestingly, the listed firms have an average of 49.5 percent of their attorneys located abroad.
Law360 operates a daily subscription news service covering the full range of practice areas.
The site was founded in 2005 by Magnus Hoglund and Marius Meland, and famously began life in a Starbucks café.
In 2012, Law360’s parent company, Portfolio Media, was acquired by the legal publishing giant, LexisNexis.
The top 10:
- Paul Hastings
- Ropes & Gray
- Williams & Connolly
- Irell & Manella
- Gibson Dunn
- Foley Hoag
- Patton Boggs
- Patterson Belknap
- Fish & Richardson
- Baker Donelson
Paul Hastings did well, jumping from ninth in the same survey last year to take top spot this time.
17,000 associate lawyers took part in this year’s survey, and rated their firms for satisfaction, compensation, associate/partner relations, training, career outlook, and several other factors.
Like the main Vault Law 100 rankings, the quality of life rankings reflect the subjective opinions of associates, with Vault noting that the rankings are based on perceptions of insiders – some of whom may be biased in favor (or against) their firms.
Released last month, the Vault 100 ranks the most renowned American law firms based on the perceptions of currently practicing lawyers.
Associates scored law firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how prestigious it is to work for the firm.
There were no great surprises this year: the crown remains firmly with elite New York-based law firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore is close behind in second place.
A number of secondary rankings spin out of the main Vault list like Best in Practice, Best in Region, Best to Work For, and Diversity.
They are released in the weeks following the publication of the headline survey.
Vault’s associate satisfaction surveys sit in the same space as the American Lawyer A-List, which factors in diversity and pro bono work and goes beyond traditional measures of law firm performance such as revenue and partner profits.
1.4 million people are arrested each year in the US for drunk driving
The Avvo marketplace takes the concept of a legal directory but goes one step further: once you have found lawyers of interest, the site enables you to contact them and receive multiple costs proposals for free.
For their part, attorneys evaluate the consumer’s case and then decide whether to provide a personalized proposal.
The attorneys have three days to respond with a personal message.
Mark Britton, founder and CEO of Avvo commented:
“The Avvo Legal Marketplace solves the primary issue that causes consumers stress about hiring an attorney – cost – by giving them information about cost and process, up front.
We’re providing consumers with legal needs the confidence that they can afford an attorney, and empowering them to hire the best one for their needs.
This drives more business to lawyers instead of do-it-yourself legal services whose prices, not necessarily their value, are attracting consumers in an otherwise cost-cloudy legal world.”
Avvo has adopted a staggered approach to the legal marketplace by introducing new practice areas on a progressive basis.
Divorce and traffic offenses were the first ones to be rolled out.
To date, Avvo says that than 10,000 divorce and traffic ticket cases have been submitted.
More areas will be added in late 2013.
Avvo launched in June 2007 and is now one of the most heavily used legal websites in the US.
Originally a lawyer directory, the company soon evolved into a “question and answer” forum – where consumers leave questions for attorneys to respond online.
The company’s growth has been staggering: avvo.com now receives six million visits per month.
Avvo answers a consumer legal question every 8.3 seconds, while Avvo-listed attorneys have provided more than 2.5 million answers to legal questions.
Avvo’s growth reflects the trend of consumers moving online to access legal services.
In an announcement last month, Avvo claimed that 58 million consumers in the US sought an attorney in 2010 and 76 percent of them used an online resource for that search – the first time that more people went online to search for an attorney versus consulted with family or friends.
As well as the legal marketplace, Avvo recently introduced Avvo Ignite, a client conversion service for attorneys.
Avvo is privately owned but has received investment over the years from Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners and DAG Ventures.
The company employs 85 people and recently moved to a new office in Seattle’s International District – in a space formerly occupied by Amazon.
Firms can nominate themselves for consideration, and so can third parties.
The entry process is straightforward: you have to say in 250 words why you think your firm should win.
Deadline for entries is July 31 2013.
City A.M will then combine the entry information with its own knowledge of the market to draw up a shortlist – published in September 2013.
A panel of judges then selects the winners, which are announced at a bash at the Grange St Pauls’ Hotel in London on November 13 2013.
Nigel Boardman, a corporate partner at City law firm Slaughter and May, is among the lawyers on the judging panel.
Norton Rose won last year’s City A.M Law Firm of The Year award, with Herbert Smith, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters making up the shortlist.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer won in 2011, and Slaughter and May in 2010.
Beyond law firms, there are awards categories in a broad range of other sectors, including banking, accounting, fund management, and trading.
As the magazine’s editor, Allister Heath, says:
“At a time when everyone else is bashing capitalism, City A.M. identifies and celebrates those businesses and individuals who are re-inventing the City and, in doing so, helping to take the economy out of recession and back to growth.”
City A.M is available at 250 commuter hubs across London and at 1,600 offices throughout the City, Canary Wharf and other business districts.