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Something new this year. Our 2001 survey of law firms that represent America’s largest financial institutions involves two major changes. Last year’s survey consolidated “Who Represents Corporate America” and “Who Represents Financial America.” This year, The National Law Journal returns to the separate surveys conducted previously — but we asked a slightly different question. Financial institutions were asked which firms they use for litigation, rather than who their primary outside counsel are for whatever purpose — our traditional question. The survey also asked the companies to note which firms sue on their behalf, which defend them against suits, which handle intellectual property litigation, and which handle IP counseling or licensing. Previous surveys asked the institutions to list the outside firms they used most often without specifying the work involved. We hope readers will benefit from the sharpened focus and additional information that comes with separate reports (“Who Defends Corporate America” will appear in the fall in The NLJ; the IP material will surface in the July issue of IP Worldwide, a sister publication). The sample and methodology here are otherwise similar to those of past surveys. The companies contacted are the nation’s 100 largest commercial banks, the 50 largest diversified financial services companies and the 50 largest savings institutions. Each was asked to supply information about in-house as well as outside counsel. Surveys that weren’t returned or complete drew follow-up calls or a search of public records, making this one of the few surveys anywhere that can boast a near-100 percent return rate. The results were not without surprises. Washington, D.C.’s Elias, Matz, Tiernan & Herrick, which has often led The NLJ‘s Savings list in surveys past, did so again this year with four mentions. The surprise is that Elias Matz was identified by these institutions as their litigation shop of choice, even though in its 29-year history the firm has yet to litigate a single case. More predictable were the appearances of perennial chart-toppers such as New York’s Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, first overall with 13 mentions and runaway counsel of choice among Diversifieds with 10; and Sullivan & Cromwell, second overall with 10 mentions and leader of the Bank list with 7. It is difficult to track trends using this survey, as it can’t be compared with previous incarnations that asked different questions. But it is possible to discern at least one pattern that is underscored by a firm tied for third on the Banks list. Fiddler, Gonz�les & Rodr�guez is a Puerto Rico firm that garnered three mentions from local banks it represents. Many banks — nearly 60 percent of The NLJ‘s sample, it turns out — shop locally for their litigation needs. So, even in this era of global expansion, as the euro shatters financial borders, when trouble comes knocking, many U.S. banks still look for help from their neighborhood lawyers. Related Charts: Most Frequently Mentioned Firms The NLJ Client List: Who Defends Financial America

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