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This year for our 20th annual survey of the law firms representing America’s largest companies, we combed state and federal records to see which firms corporations actually used for commercial law and contracts litigation; corporate transactions; employment and labor litigation; and intellectual property litigation and patent prosecution. The result? Many of the leading firms from last year’s survey topped the list. Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis tops the commercial law and contracts litigation chart, and New York-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom leads the pack in corporate transactions again this year. EDITOR’S NOTE A departure from precedent By Anthony Paonita, Corporate Counsel Every spring we conduct a survey of the go-to law firms for America’s biggest corporations, feeling a bit like the characters in the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. For the past several years, the same marquee firms have topped the list with reassuring regularity. But there were a few problems. For one thing, we realized that our methodology needed a tune-up. METHODOLOGY Running the numbers Forming the NLJ Client List used to mean phoning the general counsel at the Fortune 250 to list the seven firms for each significant practice area: litigation, corporate transactions, labor and employment and intellectual property. In search of a more complete data set, we combed state and federal records this year to determine which outside counsel were used by America’s biggest companies in 2006. ANALYSIS New methodology relies on public records By Jill Nawrocki, Corporate Counsel We used a new methodology for the survey this year but still found familiar faces dominating the listings. There’s a good reason for this consistency though. When it comes to high-profile matters, it’s all about a firm’s track record and its relationship with the law department. THE NLJ CLIENT LIST: WHO REPRESENTS CORPORATE AMERICA Click image to view chart.

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