Latham & Watkins
|No. of offices||28 |
|No. of attorneys||2,858 |
|No. of employees||~4,500|
|Major practice areas||General corporate, mergers & acquisitions, banking and finance, litigation|
|Key people||Richard Trobman, Chair and Managing Partner|
|Revenue||US$4.3 billion (April 2021) |
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Latham & Watkins LLP (known as Latham) is an international law firm. Founded in 1934 in Los Angeles, California, Latham is the second-largest law firm in the world by revenue. As of 2021, Latham is also one of the most profitable law firms in the world, with profits per partner exceeding US$4.5 million.
The firm was founded in January 1934 in Los Angeles, California by Dana Latham and Paul Watkins. Latham's practice focused on state and federal tax law and he eventually served as Commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service under President Dwight Eisenhower. Watkins's practice focused primarily on labor. At first, the firm grew slowly, with only 19 attorneys employed as of 1960. Beginning in the 1970s, the firm began growing rapidly, opening new offices in Orange County, Washington D.C., San Diego, Chicago, and New York. In the 1990, the firm opened its first international office in London. Since then, it has continued to expand internationally with 18 international offices spanning Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.
In 2009, the firm gained notoriety in the midst of the global recession when it laid off 190 lawyers and 250 paralegal and support staff, representing twelve percent of the firm's total associates and ten percent of the support staff. At a time when many firms were conducting layoffs, the term "Lathamed" became legal slang for being laid off.
Despite being founded in Los Angeles, Latham's largest office is now in New York City, with more than 450 lawyers as of February 2021. The firm claims it is the only fully integrated multinational law firm with no single headquarters. In 2007, Latham became the first American law firm to attain more than $2 billion in yearly revenue, and in 2018, it was the first law firm to report more than US$3 billion in gross revenue. It was briefly the highest-grossing law firm in the world, but has since lost the number one spot to Kirkland & Ellis.
Latham was ranked as the #1 firm in the Am Law 100 rankings for 2017. In 2021, the firm received the highest number of practice and lawyer rankings from Chambers and Partners.  Dubbed an "A-List All-Star" by The American Lawyer, the firm is one of three firms to appear on the A-List each year since its inception in 2003. Vault.com named Latham one of the top five most prestigious firms in the United States and the most prestigious firm in Southern California.
- Dana Latham - Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service
- Charles Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon
- Philip Perry – Former associate attorney general, former general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget, and former general counsel of Department of Homeland Security.
- Kathryn Ruemmler – Former White House Counsel to President Barack Obama and federal prosecutor in the trials of Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.
- Thomas J. Heiden - Partner and Former Global Chair of the firm.
- Sean Berkowitz – Federal prosecutor in the trials of Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. Also defended Lori Loughlin in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal.
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- "Charles Courtenay".
- "Homeland Security". Archived from the original on October 10, 2006. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
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- "Loughlin, Giannulli lawyer is prosecutors' 'worst nightmare'". AP NEWS. April 20, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.