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Foreign nationals who marry Americans are usually allowed to live in the United States. But if a foreign firm merges with an American counterpart, does it have a home on The Am Law 100 — a list of America’s highest-grossing firms? That was the question raised by last year’s merger of London’s Clifford Chance with Am Law 100 fixture Rogers & Wells. The answer: It depends. The postmerger Clifford Chance bills itself as a “truly integrated global law firm” with a major base in New York. Clifford Chance’s Web site says that as of February it had 3,580 lawyers in 29 offices around the world. But the plurality of its lawyers — 36 percent — is in the United Kingdom. The next largest concentration — 19 percent — is in its two U.S. offices (New York and Washington, D.C.). Thirteen percent of its lawyers are in Germany. For that reason, we decided to classify the postmerger Clifford Chance as a British firm for the purposes of The Am Law 100. So what about that other international behemoth, Baker & McKenzie? Its 2,771 lawyers are spread across 63 offices. According to The National Law Journal‘s NLJ 250, which ranks law firms by their lawyer head counts, that firm’s largest office is in London — 9 percent of its lawyers are there. But there are more Baker & McKenzie lawyers in the United States than in any other country: Nineteen percent of its lawyers are in its nine U.S. offices. For that reason, we classify Baker & McKenzie as a U.S. firm for the purposes of The Am Law 100. (Throughout The Am Law 200, we use NLJ 250 data to assign national or international status to firms. Because Clifford Chance is not on the NLJ 250, we used information from its Web site, rather than NLJ 250 data, to analyze that firm.) Had we included Clifford Chance in The Am Law 100, it would have ranked first in gross revenue, with $1.35 billion from its worldwide operations. Average revenue per lawyer was $515,000, meaning that among the 100 highest-grossing firms, it would have tied for 59th place with Foley & Lardner; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; and Winston & Strawn. Average profits per partner were $1.05 million, which would have put Clifford Chance in 16th place among the 100 highest-grossing firms by that measure, between Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen. As American law firms increase their global presence and foreign firms further infiltrate the U.S. market, we anticipate making more judgments like the one involving Clifford Chance and Baker & McKenzie. If you’d like to comment on our decision or suggest an alternative analysis, e-mail us at [email protected] To see how the new Clifford Chance stacks against the world’s other largest and highest-grossing law firms, watch for our Global 100 report in November.

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