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Last week offered one of those postcard-perfect days in Washington that draws in the tourists and reminds the natives why they endure the summers. It was (fortunately for us) an ideal day for a photo shoot. We invited J. Warren Gorrell Jr., chairman of Hogan & Hartson, and William Perlstein, co-managing partner of WilmerHale, to Dupont Circle, where the two engaged in a mock game of chess for our photographer. The sun was bright, and spirits were high. And why not? Both Hogan and WilmerHale stand atop our rankings of the 20 highest-grossing law offices in the Washington region. The two firms finished in almost a statistical dead heat in terms of revenue in 2005, although they took different paths to the summit. Our piece on how the top four firms on our chart (Arnold & Porter and Covington & Burling are the others) adapted to an evolving Washington market kicks off this special section. But those four aren’t the only ones doing well. For the first time, combined gross revenue for the D.C. 20 hit the $4 billion mark. That makes every day a good one for these firms, regardless of the weather. — James Oliphant

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