K&L Gates

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K&L Gates LLP
No. of offices45
No. of attorneys1800 (approx.)[1]
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key peopleJames Segerdahl (global managing partner), Michael Caccese (chairman, management committee)
RevenueIncrease US$ 990M (2017)[1]
Date founded1883 (Seattle, U.S.A.)
Company typeLimited Liability Partnership

K&L Gates LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm based in the United States, with international offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.[2] Its namesake firms are Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, a Pittsburgh-based firm founded in 1946, and Preston Gates & Ellis, a Seattle firm founded in 1883 whose prominent partners included William H. Gates, Sr., the attorney, philanthropist, and father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Kirkpatrick & Lockhart merged with Preston Gates in 2007 to form K&L Gates, LLP.

Measured by headcount, it was the 12th largest law firm in the United States in 2018.[3][4] The firm delivers legal services at both an individual office level and through nine broad firmwide practice areas: Corporate and Transactional; Energy, Infrastructure and Resources; Finance; Financial Services; Intellectual Property; Labor, Employment and Workplace Safety; Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Real Estate; and Regulatory and Policy, each of which also include a number of subject matter and industry-based practice groups.[5]

Corporate governance[edit]

As of March 2017, the leaders of K&L Gates are James Segerdahl (global managing partner) and Michael Caccese (chairman, management committee).[6]


  • 1883: Preston Gates & Ellis is founded in Seattle,[7] emerging out of the private law offices of Harold Preston.
  • 1946: Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart is founded[8]
  • 2005: Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and Nicholson Graham & Jones (founded 1858)[citation needed] merge to become Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham[9]
  • 2007: On January 1, K&L Gates is formed in a merger between Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham and Preston Gates & Ellis to form Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis.[10] The name was later shortened to K&L Gates.
  • 2008: In January, K&L Gates combined with Hughes & Luce, a Dallas-based firm of 150 attorneys with offices in Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth
  • 2008: In July K&L Gates combined with Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman LLP, a North Carolina-based firm of 200 attorneys with offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Research Triangle Park.[11]
  • March 1, 2009: K&L Gates merged with Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, a Chicago-based firm with approximately 215 attorneys with offices in Chicago, San Diego and Washington, D.C.
  • 2013: K&L Gates combined with Australian national firm Middletons with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane[12]

Ratings and rankings[edit]

U.S. News has given the firm "Tier 1" national ratings in 42 different practice areas, placing it in the top 3 law firms with the most Tier 1 rankings.[13][14] The firm garnered 129 first-tier ratings at the regional/city level across 59 practice groups.[15] Chambers has given the firm a tier 1 national ranking for its Shipping & Maritime Transportation practice, as well as regional tier 1 rankings in: Corporate/Commercial (WA), Environmental (NJ), Bankruptcy and Healthcare (NC), Insurance, Litigation and Corporate (PA).[16]

The firm is ranked #34 in the Top 100 "most prestigious law firms in the country based on the assessments of lawyers at peer firms" by Vault.com.[17]

For three consecutive years (2017-2019) U.S. News has ranked K&L Gates as the top law firm in the U.S. for environmental litigation ("Law Firm of the Year - Environmental Litigation").[18][19] The firm has been named among the "Pacific Northwest Elite" by the website Above the Law, which noted the firm as the "Best Firm for Lobbying Congress in Your Favor".[20]

The firm ranks #41 in the American Lawyer "Global 200" rankings, which ranks firms worldwide by revenue.[21] The legal news site Above the Law ranked the firm number 71 in its 2018 "Power 100" law firm rankings.[22] The Financial Times labeled K&L among the "Most innovative North American law firms 2015: Compliance & technology".[23]

K&L Gates received a 100% rating in the 2018 Corporate Equality Index compiled by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, an LGBT advocacy group.[24] In 2016 the Yale Law Women organization included K&L Gates in the top ten family-friendly law firms.[25] Vault.com has described the firm's “great work-life balance” and "pleasant culture" while also noting a "lack of transparency" at the firm.[26]


In 2012 K&L Gates represented Carnegie Mellon University in a patent suit resulting in a jury verdict awarding $1.17B to the university, one of the largest such verdicts at the time.[27]

In September 2014, K&L Gates founded the "Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project". The project initially involves about fifty K&L lawyers working pro bono to assist about 100 victims of "revenge porn". According to the New York Times, the project is believed to be first of its kind at a major United States law firm.[28] By 2016, the project has aided hundreds of victims and has led to a handful of arrests.[29] In April 2017 the project secured an $8.9 million jury award for a King County couple, reportedly the largest award for non-celebrity targets of "revenge porn" to date.[30][31]

In 2016, K&L Gates awarded a $10 million grant to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to establish the "K&L Gates Endowment for Ethics and Computational Technologies". This new research center is to explore the ethics of artificial intelligence and establish a biennial conference. The firm has provided legal services to CMU for decades; K&L Gates Chairman Emeritus Charles J. Queenan Jr. once chaired CMU's Board of Trustees.[32][33]

In 2017, K&L Gates announced it would create its own blockchain.[34]

Political contributions[edit]

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, K&L Gates was one of the law firms contributing the most to federal candidates during the 2012 election cycle, donating $1.09 million, 52% to Democrats.[35][36] By comparison, during that same period Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld donated $2.56 million, 66% to Democrats,[35] while oil conglomerate ExxonMobil donated $2.66 million, 88% to Republicans.[37] Since the 1990 election cycle, K&L Gates contributed nearly $12.9 million to federal campaigns, and spent $1.25 million on lobbying since 1999.[38]

Notable lawyers and alumni[edit]

The following attorneys were affiliated with K&L Gates and its immediate predecessor firms, including, e.g., Preston Gates & Ellis; Nicholson Graham & Jones; Kennedy Covington; Hughes & Luce; Bell, Boyd & Lloyd; and Middletons:


  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ http://www.klgates.com/places/
  3. ^ "K". Law.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  4. ^ "Law360 Reveals the 400 Largest US Firms". Law360. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  5. ^ http://www.klgates.com/aboutus/xpqGC.aspx?xpST=AboutUsGeneral&key=ec9cb923-6322-4cc9-838c-bda359f6626e&activeEntry=7cc28745-1d6a-44fc-8d41-33be565591ac
  6. ^ "As K&L grows, it takes two to fill Kalis' shoes," Pittsburgh Business Times, Sept. 23, 2016, http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2016/09/23/as-k-l-grows-it-takes-two-to-fill-kalis-shoes.html
  7. ^ Riggio, Jim (3 November 2005). "Former Congressman, Judge James Rogan Joins Orange County Firm". Metropolitan News Enterprise. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  8. ^ "K&L Gates". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  9. ^ "Kalis to step down as chairman of K&L Gates". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  10. ^ James, Andrea (14 December 2006). "Preston Gates & Ellis OKs merger". Seattle Pi. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Press release from K&L Gates". Archived from the original on 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  12. ^ Journal, A. B. A. "The Rise of the Megafirm". ABA Journal. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  13. ^ "K&L Gates - Rankings". bestlawfirms.usnews.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  14. ^ "Firm Overview | About | K&L Gates". www.klgates.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  15. ^ "K&L Gates - Firm Overview". bestlawfirms.usnews.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  16. ^ Square, No 3 Waterhouse; Holborn, 138; London; Kingdom, United; Www.chambers-Associate.com, Partners co uk. "K&L Gates - The Inside View". www.chambers-associate.com. Retrieved 2019-03-14.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ "Most Prestigious Law Firms|Vault.com". Vault. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  18. ^ "K&L Gates - Rankings". U.S. News. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  19. ^ "K&L Gates - Firm Overview". bestlawfirms.usnews.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  20. ^ Dalton, Brian. "The Pacific Northwest Elite: The Go-To Cascadia Law Firms". Above the Law. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  21. ^ "K". Law.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  22. ^ "2018 Power 100 Law Firm Rankings". Above the Law. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  23. ^ "Innovative Lawyers - Financial Times". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Local companies earn perfect score on LGBTQ index". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  25. ^ "These 10 law firms are ranked the most family-friendly". ABA Journal. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  26. ^ "K&L Gates LLP|Company Profile|Vault.com". Vault. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  27. ^ Mouawad, Jad (2012-12-26). "Marvell Ordered to Pay $1.17 Billion in Patent Case". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  28. ^ Goldstein, Matthew (29 January 2015). "Law Firm Founds Project to Fight 'Revenge Porn'". New York Times. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Miami lawyers' project helps online victims of revenge porn". Miami Herald. 28 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  30. ^ "King County couple awarded $8.9M revenge porn verdict". seattlepi.com. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  31. ^ "How One Woman's Digital Life Was Weaponized Against Her". Wired. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  32. ^ Markoff, John (1 November 2016). "New Research Center to Explore Ethics of Artificial Intelligence". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  33. ^ Aupperlee, Aaron (2 November 2016). "K&L Gates gives $10M to CMU to study ethics of AI". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  34. ^ "K&L Gates to implement private blockchain". ABA Journal. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  35. ^ a b "Lawyers & Lobbyists: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics.
  36. ^ "K&L Gates Recipients Among Federal Candidates, 2012 Cycle Total: $1,093,069". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  37. ^ "Energy/Natural Resources: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  38. ^ "Organizations: K&L Gates". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  39. ^ ABA Journal ABA President to Replace Magowan as Managing Partner of San Francisco Giants
  40. ^ Thornburgh Shares Lessons From Three Mile Island Crisis
  41. ^ "K&L Gates - People - Dick Thornburgh". Archived from the original on 2014-04-05. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  42. ^ "Testimony of Dick Thornburgh, Former Attorney General of the United States, Counsel, K&L Gates LLP" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  43. ^ Eric Schneiderman
  44. ^ Nelson, Robert T. (January 27, 1995). "Democratic Firm Learns To Do Business With New Congress". The Seattle Times.
  45. ^ Postman, David; Bernton, Hal (2006-02-07). "How scheming lobbyist operated in Seattle firm". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  46. ^ The Hill, Lobbying World ("Jim Walsh has joined K&L Gates as a government affairs counselor")
  47. ^ K&L Gates - People - Michael S. Greco
  48. ^ Neal Brendel
  49. ^ 10 Things You Didn't Know About Rick Santorum
  50. ^ 9 Things You Need to Know About Rick Santorum
  51. ^ Congress is on a health-reform path that will raise premiums
  52. ^ K&L Gates - People - K&L Gates
  53. ^ http://support.wilsoncenter.org/page.aspx?pid=429

External links[edit]