Latham & Watkins Biography, History, Revenue, Offices and administration

Latham & Watkins Biography

Latham & Watkins LLP is an American law firm founded in 1934. As of 2019, it is the world’s second highest-grossing law firm, with US$ 3,4 billion in annual revenue. It is considered one of the most prestigious law firms in the world.

Latham currently employs approximately 2,600 attorneys in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Latham & Watkins Age

Latham & Watkins was founded in January 1934 in Los Angeles, California, by Dana Latham, As of 2019, it is the world’s second highest-grossing law firm, with US

About Latham & Watkins History

Ana Latham and Paul Watkins founded Latham & Watkins in January 1934 in Los Angeles, California. Latham’s practice focused on US state and federal tax law and he eventually served as Commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service under President Dwight Eisenhower. Watkins’ practice focused primarily on labor. Although Latham & Watkins began with a focus on labor and tax law, the firm has grown into an international, full-service law practice with highly regarded practices in transactional, disputes and regulatory areas.

When Latham & Watkins was founded, the firm consisted of three attorneys. The firm grew slowly, and, in 1960, there were 19 attorneys. The firm grew significantly in the 1960s, increasing the attorney headcount to 46 in 1970.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Latham & Watkins utilized a system of internal committees to run the firm and allowed associates to participate in the majority of these committees. The Associates Committee was founded in 1971 and governs the career development of the firm’s associates. The Associates Committee includes both associates and partners. Through this committee, Latham & Watkins includes associates in the promotion process. Associates are also involved in the Diversity Committee, Recruiting Committee, Pro Bono Committee and TACE (Training and Career Enhancement) Committee.


Jack Walker became the firm’s managing partner in 1988 and set out to grow the firm. Latham & Watkins expanded into San Francisco, London, Moscow, Hong Kong and New Jersey. Robert Dell took over as managing partner in 1994. Dell’s tenure has been marked by the firm’s international growth. In 2009, the firm gained unpleasant notoriety in the midst of the global recession when they laid off 190 lawyers and 250 paralegal and support staff, representing twelve percent of the firm’s total associates and ten percent of the support staff. At a time when many firms were conducting layoffs, the term ‘Lathamed’ became legal slang for being ‘laid off’. Dell retired at the end of 2014, and was succeeded by William Voge, a long time project finance partner at the firm.

Latham & Watkins Managers

In 2018, chairman & firm managing partner William Voge announced that he would step down after engaging in a pattern of reckless behavior beginning with sexually explicit communications with a woman he had never met.After the pair consensually exchanged explicit sexual text messages, the relationship spiraled into mutual accusations of harassment and intimidation, threats of legal action and unsuccessful attempts at a truce, spread out across scores of correspondence with Voge’s attorney, his colleagues and friends, the woman’s husband, and several others.Voge’s departure came in the midst of the Me Too movement; however, legal experts have been quick to point out that while distasteful, Voge’s personal conduct was neither unlawful nor employment related.Critics have emphasized that his actions serve more as a warning on how personal misbehavior can derail an attorney’s career rather than a turning point for how BigLaw tackles sexual harassment. Following the news, Latham announced that current vice-chairs Ora Fisher and Richard Trobman would take over as interim co-chairs of the firm. On June 29, 2018, the firm announced that Rich Trobman was elected Chair and Managing Partner.

The firm was founded in Los Angeles and has extensive Californian roots, with Latham’s largest office now in New York City, with nearly 400 lawyers. The firm claims it is the only fully integrated multinational law firm with no single headquarters.In 2007, Latham & Watkins became the first American law firm to attain more than $2 billion in yearly revenue, and in 2015, the firm surpassed the likes of DLA Piper, Baker & McKenzie and Skadden to become the highest-grossing law firm in the world for the first time. Since then, Latham was the first law firm to report surpassing US$3 billion in gross revenue in 2018 but lost the spot as the world’s top-grossing law firm that same year to Kirkland & Ellis.

Latham & Watkins
Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins Revenue

Latham pulled in nearly $3.4 billion in its 10th straight year of revenue growth

Latham & Watkins Offices and administration

Latham’s first office was in Los Angeles. The New York office is currently the largest. Latham is the only global law firm with no corporate headquarters, and no Latham office reports or is subordinate to another. Only personnel designated as “partners” have ownership interest or control of the firm. Those with the title of “officer” or “director” do not have authority to control the firm. Latham currently has over 2,200 attorneys located in 31 offices in 13 countries, covering 9 other regions.

Latham & Watkins Notable alumni

  • Bruce Babbitt, former Governor of Arizona and U.S. Secretary of the Interior
  • Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Christopher Cox, former United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair
  • Richard Danzig, former Secretary of the Navy and Chair, Center for a New American Security
  • Mark S. Fowler, former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair
  • Ivan Gazidis – CEO at Arsenal FC.
  • Fred T. Goldberg, Jr. former Partner and Commissioner of Internal Revenue at the Internal Revenue Service
  • David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Carla Anderson Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary
  • Roderick M. Hills, former SEC Chair
  • Reed Hundt, former FCC Chair
  • Garth Lagerwey, general manager of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC.
  • DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA
  • Arne Sorenson, CEO, Marriott International
  • James J. White, Robert A. Sullivan Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and author of a treatise on the Uniform Commercial Code (with Robert S. Summers)
  • Lance Wickman – General counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Beth Wilkinson – Prosecutor in the Oklahoma City bombing case, former General Counsel of Fannie Mae.

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