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How did we find out who represents America’s largest corporations? The short answer: We asked the companies. We sent surveys to the general counsel of the Fortune 250, asking them to name their primary law firms for litigation, corporate transactions, labor and employment, intellectual property and corporate governance; we added the last category to our survey this year. In the charts, “primary outside counsel” refers to the law firms that are on the company’s preferred list: the “go-to” firms for a specific practice area; firms that handled the most important cases in the previous year; firms used most often; and/or firms with the most billings from that company. The choice of which firms to name was up to the company. This year we asked corporations to limit their selections to seven firms per practice area. Businesses that named more than seven firms within a practice area were required to limit their selection. Also, law firm names have been shortened for space reasons. We heard from 226 companies, although 83 of those businesses refused to provide any information regarding their outside counsel. When companies declined to participate, we noted that with “Will not disclose” on the chart. There were also 24 cases where we did not receive a response or a refusal from the company. In those instances we noted “Company did not respond by press time.”

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