For the world’s biggest law firms, success in 2020 was a matter of being in the right places—and, in some cases, not being in too many of them.

Just because COVID-19 emerged as a global pandemic last year doesn’t mean the legal industry in every region of the globe was equally affected. Law firms in the United States and China managed to post outstanding performances in spite of—or, perhaps, because of—the unprecedented disruptions the novel coronavirus has imposed on commerce and office work.