Networks of international law firms: 50,000 plus lawyers and 800 plus member firms

In my post of May 30, 2005 I referred to a dozen legal networks: Lex Mundi, AM LF Association, Interlaw, Interlex, Meritas, Pacific Rim Advisory, State Capital, Multilaw, TAGLaw, US LF Group, Terralex, and World Law Group (See my post of Nov. 11, 2005 and skepticism on whether departments rely on such groups.).

A recent article, Legal Week, Vol. 7, Nov. 24, 2005 at 24, assembled some data about the size of these referral groups. Terralex has 12,000 lawyers in its 150 member firms across almost 100 countries. Lex Mundi has 17,000 lawyers in 160 firms; World Services Group (WSG) has 19,000 “professionals” in over 150 firms and 135 jurisdictions (law firms make up 74% of its membership). Meritas has 5,000 lawyers in 170 firms covering more than 100 jurisdictions; TAGLaw has 5,600 lawyers at its 137 member firms, operating in 77 countries; and Interlex has 33 firms in 27 countries.

In broad strokes, the six networks appear to offer more than 50,000 lawyers in more than 800 law firms.

One UK lawyer, whose firm belongs to Meritas, was quoted as saying that “we have corporate clients who give all their work to Meritas. This gives them quality and centralized billing with the benefit of cheaper local rates.” I am surprised that a law department does that, but not that getting a single bill rather than multiple bills would be an advantage.

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