Top-Rated 11 Law Firms in London (Address and Official Website Mentioned)
The new ranking in The Lawyer proves that the 2020 fiscal year was another banner year for American law firms in the UK. Twenty-three businesses experienced double-digit revenue growth; seven witnessed an expansion of 20 percent or more. However, only some companies had a year like that in 2017.
1. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
This year, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has done much pro bono work. The company’s pro bono work hours have climbed by almost 50% in the past year, reaching 46,341. There is no other business that comes close to this.
Importantly, its pro bono rate is higher than any other significant British firm (53.9 hours per lawyer). The company has kept its stellar reputation in the United Kingdom (UK) because of its market-leading mandates and its efforts to elevate pro bono work inside the company.
- Defending the interests of British clients is the firm’s specialty.
- One of the year’s most important pro bono cases involved activist Kate Wilson, who fell for an undercover police officer’s scheme and had him pose as her boyfriend. Representing Wilson in a high-profile September tribunal hearing for human rights abuses was a team from Freshfields led by Matthew Bruce, co-head of the firm’s London global investigations practice.
- Address– 100 Bishopsgate, London EC2P 2SR, United Kingdom
- Website– freshfields.com
Regarding pro bono work, Orrick’s dedication isn’t limited to only its projects; instead, it’s aimed at expanding the idea throughout the UK. Numerous coworkers have praised London-based Amy Grunske, the firm’s head of international pro bono, for being a true leader in the pro bono scene and motivating other firms to join the Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono’s extensive, far-reaching programs.
She has been in charge of organizing the Collaborative Plan’s response to the Afghan refugee crisis, which has resulted in several diverse groups pooling their resources to aid the cause of the Afghan people.
- The London office has a perfect record of pro bono involvement, at 100%, and the organization gives back an average of 68 hours per fee earner per year.
- On top of that, Orrick was the first global law firm to create a dedicated practice in “Impact Finance and Investment,” which serves as a resource for business owners and investors looking to generate financial and social returns.
- For this reason, and in light of the rising interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues across global markets, a program is crucial to satisfy the increasing need for reasonably priced legal guidance in this field.
- Address– 107 Cheapside, London EC2V 6DN, United Kingdom
The London office of Shearman & Sterling, which has 155 employees, has the highest rate of pro bono work hours per fee earner this year, at 94.
- It’s impressive and indicative of the office’s dedication to the field as a whole that so many lawyers have put in so many pro bono hours, even though they don’t count against targets.
- While the United Kingdom was in its first lockdown in April 2020, the company joined forces with three other companies to aid the National Centre for Domestic Violence in its fight against increased domestic violence. During that period, the victims of domestic violence could not flee due to the lockdown’s restrictions on their mobility.
- The company incurred 765 billable work hours aiding people in filing injunction requests during the previous fiscal year.
- Address– 9 Appold Street. London
- Website– shearman.com
When asked about Yasmin Waljee, a newly promoted pro bono partner at Hogan Lovells, and employee at a rival firm, praised her “exceptional” market insight.
- The firm’s well-executed plans to encourage lawyers in transactional practices to take on pro bono work despite the competing demands of billable hours have reportedly won over the lawyers’ support.
- The firm has nearly the full-time equivalent of six lawyers working on pro bono matters, making them the second-highest in the United Kingdom in terms of total pro bono hours for the previous year.
- Address– Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG, United Kingdom
- Website– hoganlovells.com
Reed Smith’s commitment to the UK market is apparent. The firm’s pro bono work stands out for two reasons: first, the number of hours spent on pro bono issues by each fee earner (at 82, it is much greater than many of its US rivals in London), and second, the presence of two dedicated pro bono experts managing UK matters.
Recent management approval, demonstrated by including pro gratis work in calculating utilization goals, is more evidence of this commitment.
- It’s a fair compromise that recognizes the worth of both volunteers and paid work.
- Children who need protection in the United Kingdom have recruited high-profile London attorneys to legalize the immigration status of unauthorized children.
- The business won six lawsuits in 2020, resulting in reduced fees, legal status, or British citizenship for fifteen clients.
- It took an average of six months, a team of eight lawyers, and 300 hours per case. Thirty-five of the firm’s attorneys have signed up to participate in emergency injunctions work.
- The firm has taken up 39 recommendations from the National Centre, totaling more than 1,000 hours of pro bono work.
- Address– Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose St, London EC2A 2RS, United Kingdom
- Website– www.reedsmith.com
Dechert’s London office employs 147 people and has the second-highest pro bono hours per fee earner in the firm’s most recent fiscal year. The sheer variety of the firm’s pro bono work during that period is noteworthy.
- Together with the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and five other law firms, the company advised those seeking asylum from Afghanistan and those pursuing compensation through the Windrush Compensation Scheme.
- The business helped low-cost artist studios in London during the COVID-19 pandemic by volunteering to work with the Mayor of London’s “Culture At Risk” team and Studio Makers.
- Address– 160 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 4QQ, United Kingdom
- Website– dechert.com
A vital pro bono mandate was taken on by Weil Gotshal in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm agreed to advise UK charity Social Investment Business on the execution of £30 million in emergency loans to charities and social enterprises across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland via the “Resilience and Recovery Fund.”
- The number of pro bono hours per fee earner (76) and percentage of lawyers participating in pro bono work (90) are all very high at this firm.”
- Address– 110 Fetter Ln, London EC4A 1AY, UK
- Website– weil.com
DLA Piper is in second place for pro bono work. The size of its pro bono team in the United Kingdom has grown by two-thirds over the past year. The company’s dedication to pro bono innovation, deep bench strength, and widespread presence of law clinics in key cities, including London, Edinburgh, and Leeds, have helped establish the firm as a leader in the UK pro bono realm.
- In addition to its own ten complete casework clinics, the firm organizes four clinics in conjunction with Kids in Need of Defense UK.
- The organization wants to use Justice Connect Portal, a data management platform established by an Australian NGO, to incorporate cutting-edge technology into its international pro bono work, notably in the United Kingdom.
- Every pro bono request that comes into the organization is tracked using AI, allowing the platform to provide vital information and statistics to clients and stakeholders.
- Address– 160 Aldersgate St, Barbican, London EC1A 4HT, UK
- Website– dlapiper.com
The Mermaids Transgender Name Change Clinic in London is one of the many organizations that benefit from Latham & Watkins’ pro bono efforts in the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, this clinic is the first of its type to help transgender persons with questions regarding changing their legal names. It is being led by members of Latham’s LGBTQ+ Lawyers Group.
- A long-time client, Save the Children, selected the company for a total of twelve new projects, one of which was a great response to the deadly port blast in Beirut in 2017.
- The company raised its pro bono hours by over 8,000 from the previous year, and over 80% of its 483 London lawyers participated in pro bono work during the year, placing it among the top companies for the statistic relative to its size in the city.
- Address– 99 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3XF, United Kingdom
- Website– lw.com
Arnold & Porter’s London office may only have 57 attorneys, but they’ve all put in some pro bono hours in the past year. The firm took on a high-profile pro bono case in 2017, helping with the inquest into the death of newborn Harry Richford at a London hospital in November of that year. Arnold & Porter London partner Jackie Mulryne revealed the NHS Trust’s failure to prevent Harry’s death, and a coroner in early 2020 ruled that Harry’s end was “wholly avoidable.”
- Address– International Financial Centre, 25 Old Broad St, London EC2N 1HQ, UK
- Website– arnoldporter.com
Skadden is consistently ranked among Vault’s Top 100 law firms, so it’s your best bet if you’re in the market for a top firm. The lawyers at Skadden are a collaborative and intelligent group who enjoy taking on challenging cases together.
- From New York to Shanghai, Skadden’s name is well-known. It has eight offices in the United States and thirteen offices abroad, where its 1,700 lawyers are located.
- Skadden lawyers have practically limitless employment options thanks to the firm’s prestigious reputation and extensive network of former attorneys.
- Over the past decade, the firm has put in an unprecedented two million hours of pro bono work.
- Address– 40 Bank St, London E14 5DS, UK
- Website– skadden.com
The list above is a compilation of the top law firms in London. It also contains a description of its pro bono work. It is a well enough indication of the firm’s excellence.