Scan through the Am Law 100 rankings and you won’t be surprised to find that most firms at the top have large and well-established corporate practices. Deals and transactions are the lifeblood of many major firms. They provide consistent work, command high rates and often generate work in other practice areas, including tax, antitrust, regulatory and executive compensation.

There are, of course, those that have made their hay on bet-the-company litigation, building a business on disputes and spinning off work to practice areas like intellectual property or national security.