Over the coming weeks, Law360 will profile the winners of its 2011 MVP awards honoring attorneys whose accomplishments in major litigation or transactions have raised the bar in corporate law this year.
After reviewing hundreds of nominations, a team of Law360 editors chose 92 lawyers who stood out from the pack for their accomplishments in litigation and transactions between October 2010 and October 2011.
Law360's 2011 MVPs come from 16 practice areas and roughly 40 firms, including Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, which had the most MVPs on their payroll.
Having legal stars such as Law360's MVPs on board can help firms with marketing, recruitment and mentoring, legal experts said.
"I think the value, the visibility and the brand-name recognition of stand-out lawyers has never been greater," said Bruce MacEwen, a consultant who founded Adam Smith Esq., an online publication about law firm economics. Current culture recognizes every kind of superstar, from Lady Gaga to ex-Solicitor General Paul Clement, he said.
Legal superstars are often successful at attracting business because many clients seek out individual lawyers and not necessarily law firms, law firm marketing consultant Larry Bodine said.
"Most law firms make the mistake of just marketing the firm as a whole, when instead they should be marketing individual lawyers," Bodine said. "People identify with people."
For clients seeking a litigator, lawyers who achieved court victories can be particularly eye-catching because most cases settle, according to Michael Rynowecer, president and founder of the BTI Consulting Group, which surveys in-house counsel.
Appeals court lawyers — 10 of whom made the inaugural Law360 MVP list — can attract even more attention from prospective clients, Rynowecer said.
"Appellate [cases] will usually be bigger or more important. Usually there is some kind of much-larger-than-average risk exposure," he said. "That will speak well for the firm that they have the resources to deal with these higher-profile issues."
Intellectual property lawyers with significant court wins under their belts will also appeal to prospective clients, according to Rynowecer.
"IP litigation is growing in importance," he said. "Firms with high-profile wins are likely to get the interest of clients with big risk and uncertainty."
MVPs with high-profile wins can also capture the attention of lateral partners who want to work with top legal talent, according to Jon Lindsey, co-founder and managing partner of the New York office of legal search firm Major Lindsey & Africa LLC.
"From a recruiting standpoint, it can be very helpful. Sometimes someone who has a big reputation is not a nice person, and that wouldn't help," he said. "But if they're a major force in their field ... that can be very appealing for potential laterals who say, 'I want to step up. Eventually I could be doing that myself'.'"
Law360's 2011 MVPs are:
Theodore Boutrous, Gibson Dunn
G. Eric Brunstad Jr., Dechert
Ted Cruz, Morgan Lewis
Mark Fleming, WilmerHale
Jay Lefkowitz, Kirkland & Ellis
Mark A. Perry, Gibson Dunn
Carter Phillips, Sidley Austin
Josh Rosenkranz, Orrick
Paul Smith, Jenner & Block
Kathleen Sullivan, Quinn Emanuel
Andy Dietderich, Sullivan & Cromwell
Jay Goffman, Skadden
Anup Sathy, Kirkland & Ellis
Lisa Schweitzer, Cleary Gottlieb
John D. Harkrider, Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider
Robert Milne & Jack Pace, White & Case
Al Pfeiffer, Latham & Watkins
Joel Sanders, Gibson Dunn
Ian Simmons, O'Melveny & Myers
Steven Sunshine, Skadden
Robert Davis, Mayer Brown
Douglas R. Hart, Sidley Austin
Lynne Hermle, Orrick
Mark Kemple, Greenberg Traurig
Bill Kilberg, Gibson Dunn
Richard Simmons, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
Larry Eisenstat, Dickstein Shapiro
Mark Haskell, Morgan Lewis
Mitchell Hertz, Kirkland & Ellis
Peter Keisler, Sidley Austin
Jason Kerr, White & Case
Mark Weitzel, Orrick
David Elkind, Dickstein Shapiro
Walter Lohmann, Kirkland & Ellis
Mark Norman, Vorys Sater
Janice Schneider, Latham & Watkins
David Goodwin, Covington & Burling
Jim Murray, Dickstein Shapiro
William Skinner, Covington & Burling
Gregory Arovas, Kirkland & Ellis
Juanita Brooks, Fish & Richardson
Luke Dauchot, Kirkland & Ellis
Jim Hurst, Winston & Strawn
Dan Johnson, Morgan Lewis
Bill Lee, WilmerHale
Jeff Randall, Paul Hastings
Rohit Singla, Munger Tolles
Michael J. Songer, Crowell & Moring
Charlie Verhoeven, Quinn Emanuel
Mergers & Acquisitions
Dennis Friedman, Gibson Dunn
Tom Greenberg, Skadden
Alan Kaden, Fried Frank
Mike King, Morgan Lewis
David Kirkland, Baker Botts
Ethan Klingsberg, Cleary Gottlieb
James Morphy, Sullivan & Cromwell
William Sorabella, Kirkland & Ellis
Scott Smith, Covington & Burling
Mary Ann Todd, Munger Tolles
Media & Entertainment
Dale Cendali, Kirkland & Ellis
Eric Dodson Greenberg, Paul Hastings
Orin Snyder, Gibson Dunn
Privacy & Consumer Protection
Jennifer Archie, Latham & Watkins
Eric Bosset, Covington & Burling
Mark S. Melodia, Reed Smith
Mike Rhodes, Cooley LLP
Rocky Lee, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft
Rick Madden, Skadden
Howard Sobel, Latham & Watkins
John H. Beisner, Skadden
Patrick E. Bradley, Reed Smith
Andrew McGaan, Kirkland & Ellis
Diane Sullivan, Dechert
Chilton Varner, King & Spalding LLP
Richard Fries, Bingham McCutchen
Rick Jones, Dechert
Jonathan Mechanic, Fried Frank
Robert Sorin, Fried Frank
Stephen Tomlinson, Kirkland & Ellis
Harvey Uris, Skadden
Steven Wilner, Cleary Gottlieb
David Elsberg, Quinn Emanuel
Robert J. Giuffra Jr., Sullivan & Cromwell
Jay B. Kasner, Skadden
Thomas Moloney, Cleary Gottlieb
Adam Offenhartz, Gibson Dunn
Jonathan Rosenberg, O'Melveny & Myers
Jim Rouhandeh, Davis Polk & Wardwell
Barry Berke, Kramer Levin
Alan Vinegrad, Covington & Burling
F. Joseph Warin & Jim Walden, Gibson Dunn
David M. Zornow, Skadden
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