Recently, Vault.com eliminated its rankings for international firms because, its editors said, the staff couldn’t agree on what an “international law firm” really was. The American Lawyer has similarly struggled with the definition in its rankings. Frankly, we can understand the confusion — these days, nearly every major firm says it’s “international.” But establishing an overseas office or two, or having a few multinational clients, is far from being truly global.

What, then, makes for a successful global law firm model? From our perspective, it’s: providing clients with local, U.S. and English law capabilities in the jurisdictions where we work; maintaining a strong presence in the world’s major financial centers; moving into emerging markets early; and ensuring constant collaboration and a steady work flow among offices. It’s not only regularly helping clients negotiate cross-border rules but utilizing such laws to find better solutions.

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