10. Latham & Watkins

Global heads: Michael Egge, Al Pfeiffer, Christopher Yates, Javier Ruiz Calzado
Home jurisdiction: United States
Total size of firm: 2,000
No. of competition specialists: 145
Percentage of competition specialists: 7
Who’s Who Legal nominees: 12
Partners: 55
Percentage of partners in Who’s Who Legal: 22
Senior associates: 16
Associates: 70
Counsel and consultants: 4
Other: 0
No. of lateral partner hires: 0
No. of partner departures: 0
No. of internal promotions: 1

It has also been a year of some transition at the firm, after global practice group leader Michael Egge moved to Brussels in an effort to boost competition capabilities there and to help better integrate work between the US and Europe. Aside from that move, however, the firm has been extremely stable, with 55 partners and around 90 associates in both 2011 and 2012, prior to a round of partner promotions just as GCR was going to press.

While the firm is well known for its abilities in the courtroom, the past year has seen it handling numerous complex mergers too. The list is long, but the highlights include advising Lucasfilm on its purchase by the Walt Disney Company; Safran in its purchase of Goodrich’s aerospace electrical power system as part of its merger with United Technologies; and Medicis Pharmaceutical in its tie-up with rival Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. The Latham team also went to war for client Avery Dennison before suitor 3M eventually broke off the deal in the face of antitrust opposition, and the group is advising US Airways as it eyes a merger with rival American Airlines.

But the glut of merger work didn’t stop the firm from flexing its muscles in the courtroom. In one week alone, the firm secured litigation victories for clients Guitar Center, PhRMA and the United States Soccer Federation in three separate, complex antitrust lawsuits. The firm also won summary judgment for client Ford Motor Company in a US$1 billion class action alleging a price-fixing conspiracy for Canadian exports of cars and trucks. On the cartel front, the firm is involved in a number of investigations, including acting for two clients in the global auto parts investigation.