TrueLaw Litigation Index – 2020 Law Firm Ranking

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TrueLaw Litigation Index – 2020 Law Firm Ranking

UniCourt is a leader in making court data more accessible and useful with our Legal Data as a Service (LDaaS). Last year, we published our first edition of the TrueLaw Litigation Index because we wanted to create a law firm rankings report based solely on litigation data without any additives or subjectivity. We’re now excited to share the latest edition of the TrueLaw Litigation Index with our new 2020 Law Firm Ranking.

Download the TrueLaw Litigation Index – 2020 Law Firm Ranking

The TrueLaw Litigation Index 2020 Law Firm Ranking showcases the top 200 law firms for civil litigation across all federal U.S. District Courts. To make this report possible, UniCourt downloads every new civil case that is available in PACER for all U.S. District Courts, and our artificial intelligence and automation technologies organize, clean, and structure that data to identify the real-world law firms, attorneys, parties, and judges involved in litigation.    

As this report is solely focused on providing a ranking of private practice law firms, the TrueLaw Litigation Index does not include any state or federal agencies, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, state Attorneys General, or nonprofits, such as legal aid organizations and other non-law firm entities. 

In this blog, we’ll share which law firms made this year’s top ten list, we’ll look at the biggest declines and gains on the TrueLaw Litigation Index from 2019 to 2020, as well as some notable newcomers to the top 200 list, and we’ll also touch on how you can leverage LDaaS with our Legal Data APIs.

The Top Ten: A Who’s Who in Litigation

This year’s top ten law firms in the TrueLaw Litigation Index represent a diverse range of different types of firms, from large scale AmLaw firms like Vorys, Faegre Drinker, and Greenberg Traurig, to global labor and employment staples such as Littler and Ogletree Deakins, and small law firm powerhouses like the Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller with less than two dozen lawyers. 

Here are the top ten firms: 

  1. Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
  2. Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  3. Watts Guerra LLP
  4. Fears | Nachawati Law Firm
  5. Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
  6. Morgan & Morgan, P.A.
  7. Littler Mendelson, P.C.
  8. Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC
  9. Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  10. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Notably, five of the firms from the top ten list of the 2019 Law Firm Ranking also made it into this year’s top ten: 

  • Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP 
  • Fears | Nachawati Law Firm
  • Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

As a side note, both Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP made it into the top ten list last year, in 7th and 9th places respectively. They went on to merge into Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in 2020 and formed a sprawling litigation practice resulting in their rise in the rankings to 2nd place.

The Biggest Jumps and Drops in Law Firm Rankings

The biggest gains by far this year, compared to the 2019 Law Firm Ranking, go to Manning Law, APC, a personal injury firm based out of Newport Beach, CA. Moving from 179th to 19th place, this three lawyer operation (along with Charlotte the “Office Dog”) made impressive gains in the rankings. 

  • Manning Law, APC +160
  • Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. +119
  • Dentons US LLP +99
  • K&L Gates LLP +81
  • Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser, P.C. +78
  • Cohen & Mizrahi LLP +76
  • Litchfield Cavo LLP +74
  • Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP +72
  • FordHarrison LLP +70
  • Duane Morris LLP +65

The most precipitous drop from 2019 to 2020, goes to Liskow & Lewis. In a sizeable fall from 3rd place last year all the way down to ranking 172nd, Liskow & Lewis is also followed by two other top ten firms that had dramatic drops: Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP dropped from 4th to 88th place and Williams & Connolly LLP went all the way from 1st place to 73rd. 

What’s fascinating about this trio of top ten firms’ drop in the rankings, is that it’s all connected to a combined decrease in cases from a huge surge in litigation filed against BP in 2019. Each of these firms rode the wave of defending the BP litigation that was brought largely by the Nations Law Firm, which placed 2nd overall in the 2019 Law Firm Ranking, but fell completely off the top 200 list for 2020 due to a serious decline in new filings.  

  • Liskow & Lewis -169
  • Hollis Law Firm -122
  • Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP -84
  • Motley Rice LLC -83
  • Williams & Connolly LLP -72
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP -62
  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP -55
  • Baron & Budd, P.C. -53
  • Devlin Law Firm LLC -40
  • Winston & Strawn LLP -39

You can learn more about how Williams & Connolly topped the charts in 2019 and the litigation they handled for BP in the article we wrote in Above the Law

Notable Newcomers to the TrueLaw Litigation Index

As we saw a great disruption in the legal services industry throughout 2020 caused by the global pandemic, there was also significant movement in terms of which law firms handled the most civil litigation in U.S. District Courts.

In the 2020 Law Firm Ranking, we saw 70 new law firms move into the top 200 list, with several recognizable AmLaw firms making their first debut in the TrueLaw Litigation Index.

Here are some of the notable newcomers:

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP (123)
  • Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP (134)
  • Fish & Richardson P.C. (154)
  • Kutak Rock LLP (165)
  • Adams and Reese LLP (167)
  • Shutts & Bowen LLP (173)
  • Carlton Fields, P.A. (187)
  • Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC (194)
  • Mayer Brown LLP (195)
  • Quarles & Brady LLP (199)

Leveraging LDaaS with Legal Data APIs

The TrueLaw Litigation index contains a who’s who list of litigation firms and provides a unique snapshot of the overall federal litigation legal services market, but there’s no need to stop there. To really get the insights you need for business development, competitive intelligence, and knowledge management, you need bulk access to the underlying data behind the law firm rankings. 

As a leading provider of Legal Data as a Service, our APIs let you easily download structured litigation data for any of the firms listed in the TrueLaw Litigation Index, including data on who their clients are, which of their attorneys represent those clients, the types of cases they handle, and their presence across different jurisdictions. 

In addition to getting data on all of the firms listed in this year’s rankings, you can also pull the data you need on any of the other countless law firms, attorneys, parties, and judges in our database to power your own innovation and build your own analytics. And to help you keep tabs on what’s happening in litigation across state and federal courts, UniCourt’s APIs offer world-class litigation tracking solutions, so you can easily track cases involving your clients and your competitors, and stay up to date on the litigation trends impacting your bottom line. 

Whether you’re a law firm interested in a litigation snapshot of your clients and competitors, a legal operations professional looking to track your company’s litigation in real-time, or a litigation support company seeking competitive intelligence on your market share, LDaaS gets your innovation off the blocks and onto the track.

To learn more about LDaaS or demo our APIs, get in touch with us at TrueLaw@UniCourt.com.

Download the TrueLaw Litigation Index – 2020 Law Firm Ranking

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