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How did we find out which law firms represent America’s largest corporations? We did the research. In prior years, we asked the general counsel at the Fortune 250 to list up to seven primary law firms for each significant practice area: litigation, corporate transactions, labor and employment, and intellectual property work. But this year, seeking more complete data, we turned to public records to determine which outside counsel were used by America’s biggest companies in 2006. We looked at the areas of commercial law and contracts litigation; corporate transactions; labor and employment litigation; and intellectual property. To find the most widely used firms for litigation involving commercial law and contracts, employment and labor, and intellectual property (which also included firms involved in trademark and copyright suits), we turned to Thomson West’s Litigation Monitor, which compiles information about lawyers, law firms, roles, representation and parties from Westlaw documents. Cases and opinions include federal circuit court dockets filed in the U.S. courts of appeals; federal district court dockets on active and inactive civil and criminal cases; and federal case law decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, courts of appeals, former circuit courts, district courts, bankruptcy courts, former Court of Claims, Court of Federal Claims, Tax Court, related federal courts and military courts. At the time of our research, primarily last April and May, the database also contained information on 24 state dockets, although law firms are identified in only 14 of those states. Of those, nine did not cover all counties in the state. We searched patent filings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to arrive at the list of patent prosecution firms. We looked up patents filed in 2006 and included only representation for patents approved or published by May 2007. (Firms used for IP litigation and patent prosecution are combined in the IP column.) For corporate transactions, we turned to Thomson West’s Deal Monitor, which contains legal representation data for registrations, mergers and acquisitions. Thomson West compiles information about securities transactions, issuers, underwriters, lawyers, law firms and their respective roles. Firms had to pass a minimum threshold to earn a spot on our chart. They had to be mentioned in at least two suits in 2006 to get a spot in commercial law and contracts, employment and labor, and intellectual property litigation. For corporate transactions or intellectual property patent prosecution, we included every firm named in the records we searched. When a company had one or more subsidiaries, we included the law firms named only for the parent/holding company. We collected data for 220 companies in at least one practice area. Where we do not have data, we noted “N/A” to explain that the data were not available or not applicable. Law firm names have been shortened for space. – Christopher Birkett, Jesse Rothman and Britney Sommer

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