The Attorney Intel Report is pleased to announce The Top 50 Law Firm Executives of 2023. We recognize the outstanding achievements of these remarkable individuals at the helm of their respective law firms, many of which operate globally and across many specializations within law. Whether it's offering expertise in litigation and dispute resolution, or providing clear strategies for transactional matters and regulatory compliance, these top legal minds not only advise their own clients but also guide their partnerships comprised of thousands of attorneys. Notably, this year’s list of leaders represents some of the most influential legal organizations in the world.
Among the talented pool of nominees, we have Paul Schmidt, Chairman of BakerHostetler, one of the nation’s largest law firms, who has experience as legislation counsel to the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation. Similarly impressive, the Chairman of Kelley Drye, Paul Rosenthal, has been involved in disputes concerning the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Then you have other heavy hitters like Kim Koopersmith, the Chairperson of the global firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, who spends her free time giving back to the community, including serving on the board of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
The awardees on this year’s list focus on a wide range of specialties, including high-stakes litigation, intellectual property, media and sports, sovereign-related issues, e-commerce, licensing, manufacturing, and supply distribution, among many others. What they have in common is their dedication to leading their firms to new heights, while impacting the broader global legal community. Please join us in recognizing the accomplishments of The Top 50 Law Firm Executives of 2023.
1. Milton Cheng
Global Chairman, Baker McKenzie
Milton Cheng is the Global Chair of Baker McKenzie, a law firm that maintains a vast network of offices spanning across 45+ countries. With a team of over 6,500 lawyers, the Chicago-based firm collaborates closely with clients to foster sustainable and inclusive growth. The firm specializes in various areas of law, including corporate law, finance, tax, dispute resolution, and intellectual property.
Previously, Cheng was the Managing Partner of the Hong Kong office and the Chief Executive, overseeing Baker McKenzie’s offices and businesses in the Asia Pacific region. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, real estate investment trusts, financial services regulation, corporate finance, and corporate restructurings. He advises clients including REIT and asset managers, financial institutions, multinationals, and Hong Kong-listed groups. Cheng graduated from King's College London with an undergraduate degree in law.
2. Frank Ryan
Global Co-Chairman and Global Co-CEO, DLA Piper
Frank Ryan is DLA Piper’s Global Co-Chair, Global Co-CEO, and Americas Chair. Ryan advises domestic and multinational clients in areas such as high-stakes litigation, intellectual property, media and sports, complex commercial matters, and sovereign-related issues. DLA Piper is a global law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. It is well-equipped to serve clients worldwide and meet their legal needs wherever they do business.
Before joining DLA Piper, Ryan was a Partner and Chair of Litigation Practice at Nixon Peabody LLP. He holds a JD in law from Syracuse University College of Law and an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University.
3. Gerard Pecht
Global Chief Executive, Norton Rose Fulbright
Gerry Pecht is Norton Rose Fulbright's Global Chief Executive. He specializes in complex business and commercial litigation, including securities litigation and enforcement, energy litigation, internal corporate investigations, and international litigation and arbitration. Prior to becoming Global Chief Executive, Pecht held the position of Global Head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation at the firm.
Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm that provides comprehensive legal services to leading corporations and financial institutions. With over 3,000 lawyers located in more than 50 offices worldwide – including major cities such as London, Houston, New York, Toronto, and Hong Kong – the firm serves clients across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East. Before joining Norton Rose Fulbright, Pecht served as a law clerk for the Honorable Carl Rubin, Chief Judge of the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio. He obtained his JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.
4. Cesar Alvarez
Senior Chairman, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Cesar L. Alvarez is a Senior Chairman of Greenberg Traurig, a global law firm with over 2,650 attorneys in 45 locations across the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Alvarez previously held the positions of Executive Chairman for over three years and Chief Executive Officer for 13 years at the firm.
Before joining Greenberg Traurig, Alvarez had a distinguished career practicing securities, corporate, and international law for more than 25 years. He has represented numerous public companies and served on the boards of directors of several publicly traded corporations and charitable organizations. Alvarez received his JD, with highest honors, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He also holds a master's degree and an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida.
5. Matthew Taylor
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Duane Morris
Matthew A. Taylor is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Duane Morris LLP, a global law firm with over 900 attorneys located in offices across around the world. From its origins with four Philadelphia attorneys in 1904, Duane Morris has grown to become one of the world's largest law firms, with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Taylor is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee.
He joined Duane Morris in 1998 and previously served as the manager of the firm's Litigation practice for ten years before being appointed as Chairman and CEO in 2018. Today, with a focus on commercial litigation, Taylor handles cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Under his leadership, Duane Morris has achieved consistent revenue growth over consecutive years, positioning it among the top firms in the AmLaw 100 rankings. Taylor earned his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his undergraduate degree from Boston College. He is recognized as a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.
Matthew Taylor's Insights
“We are focused on clients, who need their law firm to be there for them 24/7. Sometimes, recognizing what clients want is the challenge, but it is something to never lose sight of -- you have to listen to the problem, and develop a strategy – for instance, a thorough early case assessment; you can’t just be reactive lawyers – you need to be a strategic counselor for your clients. I have found that having a clear value proposition is essential. The mission of delivering value is why having a productive, collaborative and adaptive firm culture is so important. It applies instead internally as well as with clients. We are very proud of our deeply rooted culture of inclusion and collegiality at Duane Morris. We work hard at it, but the results are clear: clients recognize and appreciate our innovative and cost efficient legal services which are a direct result of the investments we make in our culture.”
“Developing and implementing a productive go-to-market strategy is essential and can represent a real growth opportunity for law firms of any size. Three years ago, we developed an industry focus structure that supplemented our practice groups and our clients reacted favorably. Not only does it bring us closer to clients; internally, this enables us to collaborate toward delivering multifaceted industry expertise that transcends practice groups.”
“Along with training and providing meaningful professional opportunities, young lawyers will advance through in-person mentoring and collaboration with their more experienced senior colleagues. We must continue to mentor, collaborate, build productive teams, and cultivate a sense of belonging in order to develop the next generation of legal thinkers and leaders.”
“As a leader, I strive to be accountable, straightforward and consistent. And, along with communicating frequently across our firm, I travel extensively to visit our offices to meet partners, attorneys and staff and understand their challenges and expectations. I’m honored to be an advocate for every lawyer and every staff member across our unbelievably great law firm. Every day, I go to work happy and energized.”
“When faced with a tough business decision, I: Try to listen as best I can. Then, I collaborate, make a decision and move on.”
6. Jon Ballis
Chairman, Kirkland & Ellis
Jon Ballis is the Chairman of the Executive Committee at Kirkland & Ellis, a leading global law firm with approximately 6,500 professionals, including 3,500 attorneys. In his role, Ballis is responsible for shaping and executing the firm's strategic priorities. He is also in charge of fostering a culture of collaboration, performance, and collegiality. He has been with Kirkland since 2005, holding various leadership positions before assuming the role of Chairman in 2020.
In addition to his responsibilities at Kirkland & Ellis, Ballis is actively involved in Chicago's civic community. He is a member of the Civic Committee, the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club. On top of that, he serves on the Boards of Directors of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Vision for Tomorrow Foundation – which he co-founded to address visual impairment in children. Ballis began his legal career as an associate and later became a Partner at Sidley Austin LLP. He holds a JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He also received an undergraduate degree in government and international relations with honors from Lehigh University.
7. Greg Shumaker
Managing Partner, Jones Day
Greg Shumaker assumed the role of Managing Partner at Jones Day in 2023. He specializes in complex commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on U.S. bankruptcy courts. He is also known for his expertise in handling criminal, regulatory, and congressional investigations involving fraud allegations and violations of acts, such as the: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and False Claims Act. Jones Day is a global law firm with a presence in 40 offices across five continents, employing over 2,400 lawyers. The firm is recognized for its exceptional client service and extensive legal talent in various jurisdictions.
Prior to joining Jones Day, Shumaker served as the Partner-in-Charge of the firm's Washington Office for four years. He has been actively involved with the Notre Dame Law Association since 2002, serving on its board of directors and acting as its president from 2008 to 2009. Shumaker is also a member of Notre Dame's Law School Advisory Council; and has contributed as an instructor in the law school's Interim Trial Advocacy Program. He obtained his JD from Notre Dame Law School and holds an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and economics from Brown University.
8. James Segerdahl
Global Managing Partner, K&L Gates
James Segerdahl serves as Global Managing Partner of K&L Gates. He has handled a variety of complex litigation and related counseling matters, representing and advising clients regarding a wide range of commercial issues. K&L Gates is a global law firm operating in over 45 offices across five continents. The firm fosters an inclusive and collaborative environment, utilizing a fully integrated platform to combine the collective knowledge and expertise of its lawyers and policy professionals. This approach enables K&L Gates to assemble teams that provide outstanding client solutions.
Segerdahl earned his JD, magna cum laude, at University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He also holds a bachelor’s from Grove City College.
9. Miguel Zaldivar
Chief Executive Officer, Hogan Lovells
Miguel Zaldivar is a Partner and CEO at Hogan Lovells, responsible for the firm's global direction and strategic leadership. He became CEO in July 2020, previously serving as Regional Chief Executive for the Asia, Pacific Middle East region. Zaldivar has been a member of the Global Board of Directors, Co-leader of the Infrastructure, Energy, Resources, and Projects practice area, and co-founder of the Latin American Practice. Hogan Lovells is a global law firm with 2,600+ lawyers collaborating with clients to tackle legal challenges in major industries worldwide. The firm offers innovative legal solutions aligned with clients' business strategies, whether expanding into new markets, navigating regulations, or resolving disputes.
Before joining Hogan Lovells, Zaldivar was a Partner at Steel Hector & Davis LLP and an Associate at Baker & McKenzie. He holds a JD from the University of Miami School of Law and a master's in law from the University of Illinois College of Law. He received his undergraduate degree in law from UCAB - Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.
10. Jami McKeon
Chairman, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Jami McKeon is the Chair of Morgan Lewis, providing strategic direction to one of the largest law firms in the world led by a woman. McKeon began her career with Morgan Lewis in 1981.
Morgan Lewis is a leading law firm providing high-quality litigation, corporate, labor and employment, and intellectual property services to clients worldwide. With offices across North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, their team of 2,200+ lawyers and legal professionals offers comprehensive services in major industries, including energy, financial services, healthcare, life sciences, retail, e-commerce, sports, technology, and transportation.
Previously, McKeon has held various management positions, including membership on the firm’s Advisory Board. Immediately prior to assuming the chair, she led Morgan Lewis’s litigation practice, the firm’s largest group. McKeon graduated from Pennsylvania State University with an undergraduate degree and from Villanova University School of Law with a JD.
11. Taylor Wilson
Managing Partner, Haynes and Boone
Taylor H. Wilson joined Haynes Boone in 1990 and currently serves as managing partner of the firm. Haynes Boone is an international corporate law firm with 19 offices, spanning Texas, New York, California, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Virginia, Washington, D.C., London, Mexico City, and Shanghai. The firm provides a full spectrum of legal services in energy, technology, financial services, and private equity. With about 650 lawyers, Haynes Boone is ranked among the largest U.S.-based firms by The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and The Lawyer.
Wilson focuses his practice on corporate/securities, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate matters. He regularly advises investment advisers on both domestic and offshore funds with respect to fund formation and investment management activities. He received his bachelor’s at Amherst College and his JD from Southern Methodist University.
12. Richard Trobman
Chairman & Managing Partner, Latham & Watkins
Richard Trobman is the Chair and Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins. He is also a member of its Executive Committee. Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with more than 3,000 lawyers in its offices located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. The firm has internationally recognized practices in a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate, and regulatory areas.
Trobman’s practice includes representing investment banking firms, private equity firms. He also focuses on companies in public and private offerings of securities, restructurings, bridge loans, and merger and acquisition transactions – with a particular emphasis on issuances of debt securities and leveraged transactions. Trobman earned a JD from Northwestern University School of Law and bachelor’s from Bucknell University.
13. Michael Schmidtberger
Chairman of Executive Committee, Sidley Austin
Michael Schmidtberger currently holds the position of Chair of the Executive Committee at Sidley Austin LLP. Prior to this role, he served as the global co-leader of the Investment Funds group; and was the managing partner of Sidley's New York office. With a focus on securities and futures-related funds, as well as corporate transactions and associated regulatory matters, Schmidtberger brings extensive expertise to his practice.
Sidley Austin LLP is a prominent American multinational law firm, boasting a global presence with over 2,000 lawyers spread across 20 offices worldwide. Established in 1866, the firm has earned a distinguished reputation in the legal industry, specializing in litigation and corporate practices. With its headquarters situated in Chicago's Loop, Sidley Austin is recognized as one of the largest law firms globally. Schmidtberger obtained his JD from Columbia University, where he also completed his undergraduate studies.
14. Jon Van Gorp
Chairman, Mayer Brown
Jon Van Gorp is the Chair of Mayer Brown and has been a member of the firm's Management Committee since 2017. Previously, he co-led the Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, and Structured Finance practices. With over 25 years of experience at Mayer Brown, Van Gorp's areas of expertise include securities offerings, investment funds, mergers and acquisitions, structured finance, derivatives, litigation, workouts, and government relations.
Mayer Brown is a global law firm advising leading companies and financial institutions on complex deals and disputes. With a strong presence across four continents, it is the only integrated law firm with approximately 200 lawyers in New York, London, and Hong Kong. The firm specializes in high-stakes litigation and transactions, with a focus on the financial services industry. Earlier in his career, Van Gorp worked as an Associate at Thompson & Knight LLP. He holds a JD from SMU Dedman School of Law and an undergraduate degree in finance from Calvin University.
15. Steve Baumer
Co-Chairman, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Steve Baumer is a Partner and Co-Chair of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Baumer regularly advises clients involved in complex business transactions. He counsels clients on corporate governance issues and advises on matters such as strategic mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, investments, and joint ventures; debt and equity restructurings; leveraged buyouts and mezzanine financings; SEC reporting requirements; and public and private sales of debt and equity securities.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is a fully integrated global law firm comprising over 1,275 lawyers spread across 30 offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The firm is dedicated to offering connected legal advice to clients, ensuring accessibility and support at any time and in any location it is needed. Baumer graduated from University of Michigan with a JD, cum laude, and University of Notre Dame with an undergraduate degree with high honors.
16. Ira Coleman
Chairman, McDermott Will & Emery
Ira Coleman, as Chairman of McDermott Will & Emery, has played a pivotal role in shaping the firm's strategic direction since 2017. Under his leadership, McDermott embraced a new vision focused on being indispensable to clients, enhancing performance, and fostering a positive and enjoyable culture. Prior to assuming the role of Chairman, Coleman led the Corporate & Transactional Practice Group and served as the managing partner for the firm's Miami office. With over 20 locations across the globe, McDermott’s more than 1,400 lawyers bring personal passion and legal expertise to every matter, serving clients and impacting communities.
In addition to his role as Chairman of McDermott, Coleman also serves as the general counsel for the Healthcare Private Equity Association (HCPEA). Prior to joining McDermott, he worked as a health law associate at Broad and Cassel. Coleman holds an LLM from the University of Miami School of Law, a JD from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, and an undergraduate degree from State University of New York - Albany.
17. Paul Rosenthal
Chairman, Kelley Drye & Warren
Paul Rosenthal is the Chair of Kelley Drye and previously served as managing partner of the Washington, D.C. office and Co-Chair of the Government Relations and Public Policy practice group. Kelley Drye is a law firm of over 300 lawyers and professionals practicing in New York and other parts of the U.S.
Rosenthal has successfully appeared before U.S. trade agencies and reviewing courts, handling numerous agency and court proceedings. Previously he was involved in disputes concerning the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well as multilateral and bilateral negotiations. Earlier in his career, he worked as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Rosenthal holds a JD from the University of California, Davis School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
18. Hugh Verrier
Chairman, White & Case
Hugh Verrier is the Chair of White & Case LLP and directs the firm's strategy and operations around the world. A New York-qualified lawyer, Verrier spent most of his career with White & Case overseas in Indonesia, Türkiye, and Russia, where his practice was focused on the development of natural resources. He became a partner in 1994. He was elected to the law firm's global management in 2004 and has been Chair of the Firm since 2007.
White & Case LLP, headquartered in New York City, is a global law firm with a presence in 46 offices across 31 countries. Leveraging its extensive on-the-ground experience and cross-border integration, the firm empowers clients to navigate markets with confidence, be it in a single jurisdiction or across multiple regions. Verrier graduated from Harvard Law School with an LLM. He also graduated from University of Ottawa and from Université de Montréal with an undergraduate degree.
19. William Malley
Managing Partner, Perkins Coie
Bill Malley is the Managing Partner of Perkins Coie since 2019. With extensive law firm leadership experience, he focuses on furthering Perkins Coie’s position as a trusted advisor to clients and achieving strategic goals. Previously, Malley managed the firm’s Washington, D.C. office for nine years. His 25-year legal career has centered on environmental law and transportation – advising public agencies and private-sector clients on major infrastructure projects.
Perkins Coie is an international law firm with 1,200+ lawyers in offices across the United States and Asia. The firm offers corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property, and regulatory legal advice to a wide range of clients. Malley earned a JD from Yale Law School and holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He received a bachelor’s, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.
20. Jonathan Harmon
Jonathan Harmon, Chairman of McGuireWoods LLP., is a prominent trial lawyer
who has represented Fortune 500 companies across the country. Harmon formerly led McGuireWoods’ Business & Securities Litigation Department. His business litigation practice spans complex commercial, fraud, class action, insurance fraud, complex business/civil tort, environmental, product liability, employment, construction, toxic tort, and federal or state protected whistle-blower cases.
McGuireWoods, a world-leading law firm, has earned client loyalty with its extensive legal experience, deep understanding of businesses and markets, innovative solutions, and exceptional service. With 1,100 lawyers in 21 offices worldwide, McGuireWoods is committed to delivering exceptional legal counsel. Harmon is a 1987 graduate of United States Military Academy at West Point, and he received a JD from the University of Texas School of Law in 1995.
21. Clarence Wilbon
Partner and Chair, Executive Committee, Adams and Reese
Clarence Wilbon is a Partner and the Executive Committee Chair at Adams and Reese, a multidisciplinary AmLaw 200 and NLJ 500 law firm with nearly 300 attorneys and advisors across 20 U.S. offices. Wilbon, the first African American to be elected in the firm's leadership role, has enjoyed a successful 23-year litigation practice with a focus on financial services and products liability.
Wilbon is the former co-chair of the ABA Banking and Lender Liability Litigation Subcommittee. He previously served as the Adams and Reese DEI Chair, leading the charge for the firm to achieve Mansfield Certification, MCCA Silver Accreditation, and implementing several career pipeline, advancement, and mentorship programs for minority attorneys and law students. Wilbon earned his JD from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and received his Bachelor of Arts from Arkansas State University.
22. Robert Hays
Chairman, King & Spalding
Prior to becoming Chairman of King & Spalding in 2005, Robert Hays served in various leadership roles within the firm, including six years as a member of its governing Policy Committee, which he now chairs. Previously, he also led the firm’s Tort and Environmental Litigation group for 12 years. With more than 20 years of courtroom experience, Hays has represented Fortune 100 companies as lead counsel in high-exposure product liability and mass tort litigation. He has also led numerous trials to successful verdicts in state and federal courts.
King & Spalding helps leading companies advance complex business interests in more than 160 countries. Working across a highly integrated platform of more than 1,300 lawyers in 23 offices globally, the firm delivers tailored commercial solutions to its clientele. Hays is actively involved in Bar Association work. He has served as Vice Chairman of the American Bar Association TIPS Product Liability Section, and is a member of the ABA Litigation Section and Product Liability Section. Hays earned a JD from Vanderbilt University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina, summa cum laude.
23. Michael Aldana
Managing Partner and Chair of Executive Committee, Quarles & Brady
Mike Aldana is the Chair and Managing Partner of Quarles & Brady, where he leads the firm's strategic planning and oversees its daily operations. He is responsible for setting and implementing the firm's short- and long-term goals and strategies. Quarles & Brady is a respected multidisciplinary legal services provider, ranked in the AmLaw 200, with a roster of approximately 520 highly skilled attorneys who excel in their respective fields. With a national presence, Quarles & Brady is well-positioned to tap into its diverse pool of talented attorneys from different regions, enabling the firm to provide tailored and effective legal counsel to meet the unique needs of its clients.
Aldana earned his JD from the University of Michigan Law School and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
24. Scott Meyers
Chairman and CEO, Akerman
Scott Meyers, as Chairman and CEO of Akerman LLP, spearheads the firm's strategic direction and growth. With a commitment to fostering a collaborative, inclusive, and high-trust culture, Meyers empowers Akerman's lawyers and professionals to provide effective, creative, and sound legal solutions to clients.
Known for its forward-thinking approach, Akerman is a distinguished top 100 U.S. law firm and has been recognized by Financial Times. With a robust team of over 700 lawyers and business professionals, Akerman collaborates with successful enterprises and entrepreneurs worldwide. The firm’s expertise enables clients to navigate change, seize opportunities, and foster innovation and growth. Meyers holds a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, graduating cum laude, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, also with cum laude honors.
25. John Polson
Chairman & Managing Partner, Fisher & Phillips
John Polson is the Chairman and Managing Partner of Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm with over 500 lawyers and 37 offices across the United States. He also leads the firm's Management Committee, which functions as the board of directors. Within the firm, Polson holds the position of Co-Chair of the PEO and Staffing Industry Team and is a Co-leader of the Gig Economy Industry Team. His practice primarily focuses on representing professional employer organizations (PEO) and staffing clients in a wide range of litigation and appellate matters. He has handled various labor and employment-related cases, including those involving unemployment insurance, workers' compensation insurance, contractual disputes, and third-party claims related to employment. Polson possesses extensive experience providing guidance on joint employer, co-employer, and other employer status issues.
Polson is an active member and past Chair of the Legal Advisory Council of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). Additionally, he has served as a Professional Advisory Director for the Employer Services Assurance Corporation; and as an instructor in the University of California Irvine Human Resources Certificate Program. Polson obtained his JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. He also holds an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of South Florida.
John Polson's Insight
“Under Roger’s [Chairman Emeritus] leadership, we have evolved as a firm in so many ways, from growing our national footprint to making DE&I a strategic priority to investing in innovations that have improved the way we practice law and serve clients. This has put Fisher Phillips on the leading edge of the future of workplace law,”
26. Randall Parks
Partner, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Randall Parks is the Chairman of the Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Executive Committee. Previously he served as the co-head of the firm’s Corporate Team, its Retail and Consumer Products Industry Sector Group, and its Global Technology, Outsourcing and Privacy Practice Group. His practice focuses on complex commercial transactions, particularly business process and information technology outsourcing, e-commerce, licensing, systems acquisition, development and integration agreements, manufacturing, supply distribution, and complex services agreements and multicountry joint ventures.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is a global law firm in the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. With a team of over 900 lawyers, the firm assists clients in navigating complex transactional, litigation, and regulatory issues. Hunton Andrews Kurth is renowned for its expertise in industries such as energy, financial services, real estate, and retail and consumer products. Parks earned a JD at University of Virginia School of Law and an undergraduate degree in chemistry and English literature from University of Virginia, with distinction.
27. Paul Schmidt
Paul Schmidt is Chairman of BakerHostetler, serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Policy Committee. He directs client service, practice delivery, and operations – overseeing practice leaders and functional department heads. BakerHostetler is one of the nation’s largest law firms. With offices nationwide, the firm's 1,000+ attorneys litigate cases, navigate laws, navigate regulations, and facilitate strategic growth deals for domestic and international clients.
Prior to his current role, Schmidt led BakerHostetler’s national Tax Practice Group for 10 years; and the International Tax team for 16 years. He has experience as legislation counsel to the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation. Previously he also served as a partner at a Big Four accounting firm. Away from the office, Schmidt is involved in the community, serving on the Boys & Girls Club of America’s National Board of Governors; and co-chairing its Government Relations Committee. He holds an LL.M. in taxation with distinction and a JD, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center. He also holds an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Miami University.
28. Barbara Becker
Chairman and Managing Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Barbara L. Becker is Chair and Managing Partner of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She is the seventh Chair and Managing Partner in the firm’s 133-year history. Previously, Becker served as Co-Chair of Gibson Dunn’s Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group for over a decade, and also created and led the firmwide Diversity Committee. Gibson Dunn is a global law firm with over 1,800 lawyers across 20 offices and various practice areas. The firm provides comprehensive legal advice to clients, handling significant transactions and disputes.
Becker earned her JD in 1988 from New York University School of Law. She received her undergraduate degree in 1985 from Wesleyan University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Becker is a member of the Board of Trustees of New York University School of Law. Becker is also Chair of the New York City Bar’s Mergers, Acquisitions & Corporate Control Contests Committee.
29. Mark Bettencourt
Managing Partner, Goodwin Procter
Mark Bettencourt is a Managing Partner at Goodwin Procter, where he chairs the firm's Management and Allocations Committees; and serves on its Executive Committee. His areas of expertise include mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements of debt and equity securities, securities law compliance, and technology transfer and licensing. Goodwin is a global law firm with over 1,800 corporate and litigation lawyers focused on building authentic relationships with clients in the life sciences, private equity, real estate, technology, and financial industries.
Before joining Goodwin in 2005, Bettencourt was a partner at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault in Boston, where he co-chaired the Corporate Finance and Securities Group within the Business Practice Group. He obtained his JD from New York University School of Law, graduating cum laude. He also earned his undergraduate degree with high honors from the University of Notre Dame.
30. Eric Friedman
Executive Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Eric J. Friedman has been an Executive Partner at Skadden since 2009, where he is dedicated to advancing the firm's mission of providing exceptional legal services to clients. With a diverse team of attorneys collaborating seamlessly across 21 offices on four continents, Skadden serves clients in major financial centers around the world.
Friedman holds board memberships in various organizations, including the Mount Sinai Health System, the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Additionally, he chairs the board of trustees of the Skadden Fellowship Foundation. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Partner, Friedman worked on significant M&A and corporate transactions, advising notable clients such as Citigroup, Inc., Nasdaq, Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, and Mars, Incorporated, among others. Friedman received his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and obtained his undergraduate degree with high distinction from University of Michigan.
31. Gina Kastel
Chairman, Faegre Baker Daniels
Gina Kastel serves as Chairman of Faegre Drinker Daniels, where she is responsible for overseeing the firm's strategic direction and growth. With a history of leadership within the firm, Kastel has held various positions, including serving on the firm's board and executive team since 2015. She also previously served as the chief operating partner of Faegre Baker Daniels.
Faegre Drinker is a client-focused law firm that boasts a team of 1,200 experienced attorneys and consulting professionals. With licenses in nearly every U.S. state and strategic offices in London and Shanghai, the firm is equipped to tackle complex transactional, litigation, and regulatory challenges for clients across various industries. Kastel achieved academic excellence, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School with a JD. Before that, she earned an undergraduate degree with highest honors from University of Notre Dame.
32. Mitch Zuklie
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Mitch Zuklie is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orrick, a global law firm. He is also a partner in the firm's Technology Companies Group, providing counsel to innovative companies, founders, boards, advisors, and investors. Previously, he was a Partner at Heller Ehrman and Venture Law Group.
In addition to his duties at Orrick, Zuklie serves on the Boards of Fisker Inc., the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity, the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, the Silicon Valley Law Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Stanford Law School Center on the Legal Profession, and the Advisory Board of the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession. He is also a Trustee of Bowdoin College, Chairman of the Board of the Wild Salmon Center, and a Director of CalTrout. Zuklie earned his JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and holds an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College.
33. Mark Morris
Chairman, Fox Rothschild
Mark Morris, as Chair of Fox Rothschild, is responsible for overseeing all firm operations and collaborating closely with senior leadership, staff, and managing partners of each office. With six years of experience as Firmwide Managing Partner, Morris successfully managed Fox Rothschild's day-to-day operations and led the firm through significant lateral acquisitions and office openings. In the past, he also served as the Managing Partner of the Philadelphia office, Chair of the Real Estate Department, and Chair of the Hospitality Practice.
Fox Rothschild LLP is an AmLaw 100 full-service law firm that provides comprehensive legal services to businesses and individuals. With a team of 1,000 attorneys and 29 offices across the nation, the firm offers expertise in various areas. Morris holds a JD with honors from Boston University School of Law. On top of that, he completed his undergraduate studies, magna cum laude, at the State University of New York at Albany.
34. Kim Koopersmith
Partner & Chairperson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Kim Koopersmith is the Chairperson of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. In her role, she guides the firm's strategic direction, leads the management committee, and ensures a continued focus on client service, diversity, pro bono work, and attorney excellence. Prior to her management position, Koopersmith worked as a partner in the firm's litigation practice, where she handled complex commercial litigation and served as a relationship partner for several of the firm's largest clients. Akin is a global law firm with over 900 lawyers and advisors. With 19 offices worldwide, the firm is known for its dedication to clients and communities.
Away from the office, Koopersmith actively participates in various community activities. She serves on the board of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, co-chairs the Pro Bono Institute Law Firm Committee, and sits on the board of Her Justice. Additionally, she has chaired the board of Equal Justice Works. Koopersmith earned her JD from Fordham University School of Law. She also holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating cum laude.
35. Joe Conroy
Chairman and CEO, Cooley
Joe Conroy serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cooley, where he leads the firm's board of directors and is responsible for setting and executing the overall strategy. With a background as a partner, chairman, and CEO, Conroy brings valuable expertise to his role. Cooley is a law firm that collaborates with clients on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation at the intersection of innovation and the law. With 1,400 lawyers in 18 offices across the United States, Asia, and Europe, Cooley has a total workforce of 3,300.
Before joining Cooley, Conroy was a partner in the business practice group of Hunton & Williams. Additionally, he founded and served as the president of CGC Software, a software development and consulting company. Conroy holds a JD from Boston University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in commerce, with distinction, from the University of Virginia.
36. Eric McCrath
Chairman, Morrison & Foerster
Eric T. McCrath is the Chair of Morrison Foerster. Over his career, McCrath has been a trusted advisor on hundreds of public and private M&A, private equity, and financing transactions. He joined Morrison Foerster as a partner in 2007. He has held multiple leadership roles at the firm prior to being elected chair in June 2022. In addition, McCrath is a member of Morrison Foerster’s Executive Committee, the Compensation Committee; and serves as Global Co-Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department. McCrath obtained his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and his JD from Columbia Law School.
Morrison Foerster transforms complexity into advantage. With its collective intelligence, the firm shapes powerful legal strategies that move businesses forward.
37. Stuart Ingis
Stuart Ingis is Chairman of Venable and Co-Chair of the eCommerce, Privacy, and Cybersecurity Group. He is a nationally recognized attorney, known for his expertise in crisis management, privacy, marketing, advertising, consumer protection, eCommerce, and Internet law. His firm, Venable, provides comprehensive services to businesses, organizations, and individuals. With a team of over 850 professionals worldwide, Venable helps clients connect quickly and effectively to the experience, insights, and advice necessary to achieve objectives.
Previously, Ingis has held several key positions. This includes serving as marketing, government affairs, and privacy counsel for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Washington advertising and privacy counsel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and counsel for the Digital Advertising Alliance. These roles highlight his involvement in the regulation and self-regulation of advertising and online privacy. Ingis earned his JD from Villanova University School of Law and a bachelor's from Hamilton College.
38. Douglas Gibson
Chairman, Covington & Burling
Doug Gibson is Chair of Covington's Management Committee, responsible for the firm's strategy and operations. He also maintains an active corporate practice, representing sports clients such as Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the PGA of America, the Portland Trailblazers, the United States Tennis Association, the UFC, and the Chicago Cubs. Additionally, Gibson has extensive experience representing clients in the consumer products industry, including Bacardi Ltd. and Giorgio Armani, S.P.A.
Covington & Burling is a global law firm with offices in various cities worldwide, including Beijing, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington. The firm prioritizes client service and delivering high-quality work, fostering teamwork among its 1,300+ lawyers, advisors, and professionals.
Gibson graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School with a JD. He holds an undergraduate degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University.
39. Barry Wolf
Executive Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Barry Wolf is the Executive Partner and Chair of the Management Committee at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. He specializes in representing private investment funds and their sponsors in matters related to their organization and operation. Wolf has a wealth of experience assisting institutional investors with investing in private equity funds, offering valuable commercial and tax advice. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is a leading provider of legal services with a rich history spanning 90 years. With around 1,100 lawyers and offices located on three continents, Weil has been at the forefront of establishing a global presence, enabling the firm to collaborate with clients wherever they operate.
Beyond his legal work, Wolf is actively involved in various philanthropic activities. He holds board positions with organizations such as Weill Cornell Medicine, the Central Park Conservancy, and the Global Foundation for Eating Disorders. Wolf obtained his undergraduate degree from SUNY Albany, his JD from the University of Michigan Law School, and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law.
40. Susan Murley
Co-Managing Partner, WilmerHale
Susan Murley serves as the Co-Managing Partner of WilmerHale and is a partner in the Corporate Practice Group. She is a member of the firm's Management Committee and has previously held leadership positions such as chair of the Transactional Department, chair of the Corporate Practice Group, and chair of the firm's Hiring Committee. Murley is also a former member of the Executive Committee, having joined the firm in 1986. WilmerHale is a full-service international law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers located throughout 13 offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
With more than 25 years of experience, Murley has represented private and public companies in various sectors, including technology, life sciences, and finance. Her practice focuses on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and general corporate counseling. Murley earned her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and graduated summa cum laude with an undergraduate degree from Tufts University.
41. David Djaha
Managing Partner, Ropes & Gray
David Djaha serves as the Managing Partner of Ropes & Gray and is a member of the firm's management committee. He most recently led the firm's global real estate investments and transactions group. Djaha specializes in complex core and distressed acquisitions and dispositions, as well as asset- and mortgage-backed finance. Ropes & Gray LLP is a global law firm with 13 offices located in the United States, Asia, and Europe. The firm has more than 1,500 lawyers and professionals worldwide.
With nearly 30 years of experience, Djaha has represented clients in a wide range of U.S. and international transactions. He is highly skilled in advising investment banks, private equity funds, and domestic and international developers and investors on various real estate transactional matters. Djaha earned his JD from Brooklyn Law School and graduated cum laude with an undergraduate degree in communication from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
42. Douglas Clark
Managing Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Douglas J. Clark is the Managing Partner of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR). He joined the firm in May 1993 and initially focused on securities litigation as a litigator. Throughout his career, Clark has specialized primarily in securities litigation, representing defendants in over 70 class and derivative actions. WSGR is a highly regarded legal advisor that specializes in providing services to technology, life sciences, and other rapidly growing industries on a global scale. The firm has a widespread presence with offices in Austin, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington, DE, enabling it to effectively meet the needs of its clients.
Apart from his role as Managing Partner, Clark has also served as the leader of WSGR's litigation department for a period of seven years. He has chaired the firm's Compensation Committee and contributed as a member of various other key committees, including the Policy Committee. Clark obtained his JD from the University of Chicago and graduated magna cum laude with an undergraduate degree in political science from Allegheny College.
43. Michael Lechner
Chief Operating Officer, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Michael Lechner is Cleary Gottlieb’s Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for the firm’s global operations, including finance, technology, business development, human resources, practice development, facilities, and other direct legal support. Lechner is a member of several management committees and works closely with the partnership in advancing the firm’s strategic goals.
Lechner previously served as both Chief Information Officer and Chief Finance Officer for the firm. As Chief Information Officer, his responsibilities included all IT systems, support, information security, and innovation. As Chief Finance Officer, his responsibilities included general accounting, budgeting, reporting, and taxation. Lechner joined Cleary in 2012 from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was a member of their global information technology team. During his tenure at PwC, he held a variety of roles in the IT department, including Chief Enterprise Architect and Managing Director for U.S. IT infrastructure. Lechner received a Bachelor of Science in computer science/physics from the State University of New York at Albany.
44. Robert Giuffra
Co-Chairman, Sullivan & Cromwell
Robert Giuffra is a Partner in the Litigation Group and Co-Chair of Sullivan & Cromwell. He joined the firm in 1989 and has been a member of the Management Committee since 2007. Giuffra focuses on high-stakes litigation in areas such as securities, white-collar criminal defense, product liability, commercial disputes, insurance, banking, and tax. Headquartered in New York, Sullivan & Cromwell is a global law firm with over 875 lawyers operating through 13 offices across Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States.
Giuffra's career includes a clerkship with Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court; and a clerkship with Judge Ralph Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He has also served in various public service roles, including Chief Counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Within Sullivan & Cromwell, he has held the position of Special Assistant District Attorney in the County of New York. Giuffra earned his JD from Yale Law School and completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University.
45. Neil Barr
Managing Partner and Chairman, Davis Polk & Wardwell
Neil Barr is the Chair and Managing Partner of Davis Polk. He advises companies, senior executives, and boards on: transactions, corporate governance, and risk mitigation. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is an international law firm based in New York City. With 980 attorneys worldwide and offices in Washington, D.C., Northern California, London, Madrid, Brussels, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, and São Paulo, Davis Polk offers legal experience, industry knowledge, and collaboration to assist clients.
Among his pro bono and community activities, Barr serves on the Executive Committee of the Partnership for New York City; and the advisory boards of the Mount Sinai Department of Medicine and the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of New York. Barr earned his JD from Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Virginia.
46. Matthew Feldman
Chairman, Willkie Farr & Gallagher
Matthew A. Feldman is Chairman of Willkie Farr & Gallagher and a member of the Executive Committee. He is also a partner in the Business Reorganization & Restructuring Department. Willkie is an international law firm with approximately 1,200 lawyers located in 13 offices across six countries. With over 130 years of experience, the firm has represented companies in various industries.
In 2009, Feldman was appointed as Chief Legal Advisor to the Obama administration’s Task Force on the Auto Industry. This task force, part of the Treasury Department, was responsible for developing the strategy to restructure and recapitalize General Motors Corporation and Chrysler LLC. The resulting legal proceedings implemented a comprehensive financial solution for both companies. Feldman obtained his JD from New York University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Tufts University.
47. Brad Karp
Chairman, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Brad Karp has been the Chairman of Paul, Weiss since 2008. As a trusted legal advisor, he has successfully guided numerous Fortune 100 companies, global financial institutions, and individuals through high-stakes litigations, regulatory matters, internal investigations, and corporate crises. Prior to becoming Chairman, Karp was the head of the firm's Litigation Department. He began his career at Paul, Weiss as a summer associate.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is a law firm consisting of approximately 1,000 lawyers with diverse backgrounds, ideas, and interests. The firm represents a wide range of clients, including major public and private corporations, asset managers, financial institutions, and those in need of pro bono assistance. Karp obtained his JD from Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude. He also holds an undergraduate degree from Union College, where he graduated summa cum laude.
48. David Greenwald
Chairman, Fried Frank
David Greenwald, the Chairman of Fried Frank, has been with the firm since 1983. He initially served as a corporate partner from 1990 to 1994, primarily representing private equity clients and those involved in mergers and other business combination transactions. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is renowned for providing critical legal advice and seizing business opportunities for the world's leading corporations, investment funds, and financial institutions. The firm's impressive team of over 650 lawyers is strategically located in North America, the UK, and Europe.
Before returning to Fried Frank in 2013, Greenwald spent two decades in the legal department of Goldman Sachs. During his tenure, he achieved the positions of managing director in 1998 and partner in 2000. His roles at Goldman Sachs included serving as international general counsel and deputy general counsel. Greenwald holds a JD from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He also received an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude.
49. Gary Wingens
Chairman & Managing Partner, Lowenstein Sandler
Gary Wingens is the Chair and Managing Partner of Lowenstein Sandler. His legal practice focuses on structured finance, mortgage finance, and commercial real estate. He oversees acquisitions, dispositions, and financings of properties, mortgage loans, and servicing rights valued in the billions of dollars. Lowenstein Sandler is a reputable national law firm with a team of over 350 lawyers operating from offices in New York, Palo Alto, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington, D.C. The firm serves clients across various industries in the global economy, with notable expertise in sectors such as: technology, life sciences, financial management, and fund industries.
Wingens is actively involved in public interest and pro bono activities. He holds positions on the Executive Committee of the Victoria Foundation, the Board of Directors of Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), the Board of Directors of The Jewish Education Project, and the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Wingens earned his JD from Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude, and his undergraduate degree, graduating cum laude, from Brandeis University.
50. Faiza Saeed
Presiding Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Faiza J. Saeed is the Presiding Partner of Cravath. Her practice focuses on advising public companies, boards of directors, and special committees in areas such as: mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, crisis management, takeover defense, and proxy contests. Saeed joined Cravath in 1991 and became a partner in 1998. She served as Co-Head of the Mergers and Acquisitions Practice before being elected to her current Presiding Partner role. Cravath is a renowned law firm with offices in New York, London, and Washington, D.C. The firm offers comprehensive legal counsel in handling complex issues, significant transactions, and critical disputes.
In addition to her role at Cravath, Saeed serves as a Trustee of The Paley Center, NewYork‑Presbyterian, and the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation. She is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the Partnership for New York City and The Paley Foundation. Saeed is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and The Economic Club of New York. She graduated with highest distinction from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987, holding a Bachelor of Arts in economics and molecular biology. She earned her JD, graduating magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1991.