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The Fearsome Foursome: The Most Feared Law Firms

By Andrew Lu on September 17, 2012 6:49 AM

The four most feared law firms as reported by corporate in house counsel should not come as a surprise to anyone.

They also happen to be four of the largest law firms in the country and among the most well respected as well.

According to a survey by the BTI Consulting Group, the "fearsome foursome," in no particular order, include:

Boies, Schiller & Flexner

Jones Day 

Kirkland & Ellis 

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

So what does it mean to be the most feared? The answer could depend on who's asking.

For the firms, cracking this list of the most feared law firms can be taken as a compliment. These firms can go home knowing that their opponents don't want to see them. This can mean that these firms are the best, the most prepared, the smartest, and the hardest to win a judgment against.

However, for others, being the most feared can mean something totally different. These large firms may be feared because they are bullies, throw resources and money around, or act like entitled snobs in the courtroom.

Regardless of the reason for the fear, it's probably a good idea to hire an attorney that is the "most feared" rather than the "most liked."

And law students gunning for the top jobs that will give them litigation experience may want to place these four firms a little higher on their wish list.

Along with the survey of the most feared law firms, it's also interesting to note that the BTI Litigation Outlook report also found that the world's largest companies spend nearly $21 billion a year on litigation in the United States, reports the ABA Journal. Commercial litigation accounted for nearly 31 percent of total litigation spending, followed by employment litigation, accounting for 21.5 percent of the spending.

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