Firms in this industry provide the services of lawyers and other legal practitioners to individuals, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Major firms include Baker & McKenzie, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, and Skadden Arps (all based in the US), as well as Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper International, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (all based in the UK).
The overall health of the global economy, and the corresponding volume of commercial transactions, heavily influences demand for legal services. Large firms achieve success by working on cross-border cases for multinational clients and constantly expanding their industry practice areas. Small firms rely on serving local clients and developing expertise in a few practice areas.
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Civil law practices account for about 90% of US industry revenue; criminal law practices account for about 5%. Of civil practices, services to businesses account for 44% of industry revenue; other civil law, 14%; civil negligence, 12%, real estate law, 8%; and labor and employment law, 5%.