About Latham & Watkins LLP
Latham is one of the world’s largest law firms, a bona fide member of the clique that includes the Magic Circle and the elite U.S. heritage firms. With more than 2,800 attorneys in 29 offices around the world, Latham practices in all the major jurisdictions in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and regularly represents companies doing business in Latin America and Africa. The firm is a global leader in corporate transactions, environmental law, finance matters, litigations and trials, and tax services.
Small Shop Gets Super Sized
Dana Latham—former commissioner of the IRS—and Paul Watkins founded the firm in 1934 to focus on tax and employment law. In the latter part of the 20th century, the firm began aggressively and steadily expanding around the globe. The firm’s largest office is its New York location—the firm is preparing to move into an iconic new space on Sixth Avenue. Despite its sprawling footprint, Latham has long disavowed the notions of headquarters and “satellite” offices, with the firm proudly touting its “one-firm” culture. Latham extends this cultural ideal in a truly unique way: by including an equal number of partners and associates on its Associates Committee, which plays a central role in the firm’s evaluation and promotion process as well as in determining associate compensation and other policy issues.
Junior associates at Latham are part of the firm’s “Unassigned Program” and can experience assignments across areas—which at Latham includes multiple top-ranked practices. In Vault’s recent practice area rankings, the firm placed in a whopping 25 areas. The firm’s recognized practices are wide-ranging and include everything from environmental law and project finance to health care and securities to intellectual property and white-collar defense—plus so much more.
But just because juniors are unassigned doesn’t mean they have no direction; the firm offers extensive training at all levels. First years are trained through the firm’s core curriculum, which focuses on practical lawyering skills like legal research, persuasive writing, contract drafting, practice management, document review, due diligence, and more. The firm also offers training academies that take place over several days and are based on specific skill levels from summer associates all the way through new partners.
Perks for Parents
In addition to the firm’s generous parental leave policies (we’re talking up to 26 weeks of paid leave for birth mothers, 22 weeks of paid leave for adoptive parents, and 14 weeks of paid leave for other parents), Latham also helps new parents transition into and out of parental leave through its PRO-RATA program, which is a “pace reduction” program that provides an automatic option to work at reduced hours for six months prior to and after returning from leave. Nursing mothers who travel for business can take advantage of breastmilk shipping, and this resource is also available to the spouses and domestic partners of Latham attorneys who don’t have access to a similar program through their employers. And benefit-wise, the firm offers both surrogacy reimbursement and financial assistance for adoptions and fertility treatments. No wonder the firm has been recognized as one of Working Mother’s “Best Law Firms for Women” for more than 10 years.
Latham held a substantive and rewarding summer associate program that took place virtually. We used advanced digital tools and technologies to ensure a successful program filled with meaningful substantive experiences and virtual exposure to the firm’s people, work, and culture. Summer program highlights include exclusive panels with speakers from Nasdaq and RBC Capital Markets, as well as workshops with world-renowned law professors on legal writing, negotiations, and authenticity in the workplace.
Latham is committed to hiring the best and brightest talent, and we continue to engage with recruits remotely.
News & Awards
Latham has an extensive relationship advising Facebook on matters ranging from M&A to litigation. Recent work includes representing Facebook in the acquisition of Giphy, an online database and search engine that provides a library of animated GIFs and stickers. Latham is also defending Facebook against a consolidated consumer class action regarding a criminal attack on Facebook’s web platform affecting approximately 29 million users globally. Through successful dispositive motions, the firm narrowed the case to a single named plaintiff pursuing a single cause of action and defeated class certification on a $6 billion damages claim for alleged identity theft.
Latham was hired by the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) to replace its former counsel in a high-profile dispute with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (WNT) regarding equal pay. Latham filed its first brief within a week of being hired, dropping prior counsel’s offensive arguments and reframing USSF’s legitimate defenses. The Court granted summary judgment for USSF on all of the WNT’s pay claims, acknowledging that USSF did right by the women players on everything it controls.
Alongside the firm’s commercial work, Latham’s pro bono practice has developed into one of the world’s largest. In 2019, 98 percent of Latham’s U.S. lawyers participated; its lawyers around the globe opened nearly 900 matters and provided more than 224,000 hours of free legal services, valued at more than $172 million. Latham lawyers and staff pursue pro bono engagements in nearly every area of public interest law.
Latham represented Daiichi Sankyo, a Japanese-based pharmaceutical company, in a groundbreaking $6.9 billion global agreement with AstraZeneca to co-develop and commercialize a clinical-stage novel antibody-drug product for cancer treatment, which was announced in April 2019. This has been a major development for the treatment of HER2 expressing diseases, including breast and gastric cancer. NOTABLE CASES
- Latham advised Virgin Galactic on its merger with Social Capital Hedosophia, to create the world’s first publicly traded commercial human spaceflight company.
- Latham represented Spotify in its groundbreaking direct listing in 2018, the largest innovation in becoming public since the Google Dutch auction model in 2004.
- Latham obtained a company-saving result for Puma Biotechnology in the only private federal securities class action to reach a jury verdict in nearly 10 years.
- The firm’s many appearances before the Supreme Court include the successful defense of the University of Texas’s use of race as a factor in admissions.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- Latham named most innovative law firm in North America, 2019—Financial Times
- Latham Among “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and received the top score in Corporate Equality Index, 2020—Human Rights Campaign
- Latham received Mansfield Certification Plus status for the second consecutive year, 2019—Diversity Lab
- For the 17th consecutive year, Latham named to Am Law’s exclusive A-List, 2019—The American Lawyer
- Latham received the Extraordinary Achievement Award for their pro bono work, 2019—The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty