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Since 1988, The National Law Journalhas surveyed the law departments of the Fortune250 companies, tracking which outside law firms they primarily use and noting any changes among the chief legal officers. This year we return to our long-time practice of reporting on who represents corporate America in several areas: litigation, corporate transactions, labor and employment and intellectual property, rather than focusing narrowly on litigation as in the two previous years. How did we find out who represents America’s largest corporations? We asked the companies. Surveys were sent to the general counsel of each Fortune250 corporation inviting them to tell us who their “go-to” law firms are for specific practice areas, meaning the firms that handled their most important cases in the previous year or the ones they used most often. We heard from 219 companies, although 26 refused to provide any information. Where companies declined to participate in the survey, we indicated “Would not disclose” on the chart. In cases where we could not reach the general counsel, we recorded it as “Company did not respond by press time.” The companies are listed according to 2002 revenue based on figures reported in Fortune. The top five
Most-mentioned firms in survey
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom 44
Jones Day 35
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood 35
Kirkland & Ellis 31
Littler Mendelson 28
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius 25
Howrey Simon Arnold & White 22
Baker Botts 21
Davis Polk & Wardwell 21
O’Melveny & Myers 21

Though nearly 10% of the companies are new to the Fortune250 roster this year and almost half of the companies surveyed last year made some changes to their law firm lineups, the firms with the most mentions appear to have remained constant. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is the across-the-board leader in the combined areas of litigation, corporate transactions and intellectual property. Grouped with Skadden in the top five are Jones Day; Sidley Austin Brown & Wood; Kirkland & Ellis; and Littler Mendelson. Kirkland & Ellis holds a slim lead over Skadden as the most sought-after firm for litigation with its 15 mentions, compared to Skadden’s 13. Jones Day and Sidley Austin are both tied at 12 mentions apiece in this category, followed by O’Melveny & Myers with 11 citings. As for the top intellectual property firms, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner and Kirkland & Ellis scored equally with 12 references each. Jones Day, Howrey Simon Arnold & White and Baker Botts round off the top five firms in this practice area. Littler Mendelson climbed to the top of the labor and employment list by gathering 22 mentions, followed by Seyfarth Shaw; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. When it comes to corporate transaction work, Skadden is still the number- one firm. Sidley Austin edged out Davis Polk & Wardell for second place followed by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Companies that participated in the survey last year and have since appointed new general counsel are Citigroup Inc.; Reliant Resources Inc.; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Kmart Corp.; ConocoPhillips; MetLife Inc.; International Paper Co.; Sprint Corp.; The Walt Disney Co.; Bank One Corp.; Supervalu Inc.; UAL Corp.; 3M Co.; Farmland Industries Inc.; Eli Lilly & Co.; Waste Management Inc.; Comcast Holdings Corp.; Consolidated Edison; and Toys “R” Us Inc. These new chief legal officers may still be mulling over the law firms they have inherited and changes may be forthcoming. Beyond not wanting to disclose information, or not getting back to us in a timely manner, there are a few other reasons why we don’t have data on certain companies. Several mergers among health care companies is one reason. Pharmacia was bought by Pfizer Inc. and no longer exists as a separate entity. Advance PCS Inc. is being acquired by Caremark Rx Inc. and is unwilling to reveal any news at this time. Finally, supermarket wholesaler Fleming Cos. filed for bankruptcy in April 2003 and is not participating in the survey. Cacoulidis’ e-mail address is [email protected] .

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