White & Case was ranked first among top global law firms by legal publication Law360 in its annual "Global 20" list of law firms with the greatest global reach and expertise. The Firm has been ranked in the top five for the last four years, having been ranked second in 2013 and first in 2012 .
According to Law360's profile, "With a focus on offering consistent service to international companies across the globe, White & Case LLP recently helped Toshiba Corp. fend off price-fixing claims in the U.S. and guided Saudi Aramco in a joint venture with Dow Chemical Co. to build a $20 billion chemical complex, landing the firm at the top of Law360's Global 20."
Noting that White & Case has long focused on international work and being truly global, Law360 remarked that more than two-thirds of the Firm's lawyers are based in offices outside the United States, and that in 2013 the Firm advised clients based in 115 countries on matters that reached into 187 countries.
The profile quoted Firm partner and Executive Committee member David Koschik as saying, "Part of what we think makes us unique, and is inherent to our makeup, is the ability to provide clients with the same seamless service across our global network. We are all comfortable working for multinational clients on complex cross-border matters no matter where they originate."
"The Firm's international reach touches virtually all of White & Case's practice areas," according to Law360, "particularly in international arbitration, project finance, banking and antitrust." This requires the Firm to be "in constant touch with colleagues across the globe" says Koschik, since "almost everything we advise on touches a multitude of geographical locations."
White & Case's antitrust practice has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Firm's focus on building and maintaining a strong global presence, according to Global Antitrust Practice Head J. Mark Gidley, with the Firm representing international companies in courts and in front of regulators across the world. Gidley is quoted as saying, "Our work is often based overseas, even when the final audience might be in Washington, D.C. or in a federal courthouse in San Francisco," and he pointed to the Firm's recent success in representing Japan's Toshiba Corporation in US federal lawsuits alleging a price-fixing conspiracy among LCD manufacturers.
Law360 also recognized White & Case's work for international companies in merger reviews by competition regulators in the United States, the EU, Mexico and China, and it highlighted the Firm's recent work helping Aegean Airlines gain the European Commission's approval of its merger with rival Olympic Air, two years after the competition watchdog had rejected a similar bid.
Being "uniquely collaborative across offices," with practice groups organized globally, and with top lawyers stationed across the globe, confers benefits, according to Gidley. It allows the Firm to more effectively represent its clients, which tend to have a large global presence of their own and consequently may have legal questions in multiple countries. At the same time, it enables the sharing of new ideas, allowing the Firm's lawyers to craft creative arguments to advance the client and clients' interests.
In concluding its profile, Law360 noted the Firm's continued expansion, with new offices in Astana and Madrid in 2013, the addition of new partners in such locations as Frankfurt, Milan, London, New York and Paris, and the expansion of the Firm's office in Johannesburg this year.
More expansion may be in the works, according to Koschik, either through new offices or by bringing on more lawyers, as the Firm recently did in Johannesburg. Regardless of the form of expansion, the profile quotes Koschik as saying that White & Case will stick with the approach that has taken it this far: "Anticipating where the clients are going to need our services" and striving to "get ahead of that situation and be where the work and when the need is there. Where we go from here will really depend on where our clients are going from here."
Law360's rankings were based on ranking each firm in six categories: the number of countries in which the firm has offices; the number of offices outside the firm's home country; the percentage of attorneys located outside the firm's home country; the breadth of the firm's recent international work; the size and complexity of the firm's recent cross-border work; the firm's pioneering efforts to expand internationally and develop international expertise.