Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America? Forum

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Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2024 2:53 pm

Was googling this and all that came up were people that started their own company or someone who was like 3rd or 4th person of a really successful company.

Practicing meaning still does legal work.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2024 4:09 pm

Probably Mark Lanier or someone similar.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2024 4:38 pm

The real answer is probably like JB Pritzker or some other billionaire heir who went to law school as a lark.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2024 9:17 pm

Would think that certain name partners have to be up there like John Quinn, David Boies, Marty Lipton, etc.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Wanderingdrock » Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:24 pm

Probably a toss-up between Paul C. Weiss and Paul Hastings.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2024 1:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2024 9:17 pm
Would think that certain name partners have to be up there like John Quinn, David Boies, Marty Lipton, etc.
Any of the three should probably be worth a billion+ by now by saving like 20% of his income over the years but I feel like people on that trajectory tend to give a ton of money away (whether to charity, estate-planning, vanity projects or mediocre investment managers)

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2024 1:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2024 4:09 pm
Probably Mark Lanier or someone similar.
This is the only halfway plausible guess in this thread. I don’t know if Mark Lanier is the richest lawyer or if there is some other plaintiff’s lawyer who struck gold, but no one in biglaw (or on the defense side) is even in the conversation.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2024 11:16 am

This question becomes a line-drawing problem about "who has made the most money practicing law" vs. "which lawyers are the richest." Some billionaires practiced law briefly but made their money in business like Charlie Munger and Peter Thiel. John Morgan is a career lawyer with net worth in the hundreds of millions, but his wealth is not only from the massive PI firm, but also owning a business empire.

Name partners like John Quinn and Marty Lipton have definitely made $100m plus over the years. But this is kind of from "owning a business" as much as practicing themselves. Something similar goes for some of the people getting massive PI judgments like Mark Lanier. He's got a huge equity stake in a firm he founded. But contingency fees on PI judgments is probably the most people make from practicing alone.

People probably saw the NY Times article about how rich the top transactional partners are getting from private equity deals. The top dogs at Kirkland like Andy Calder are making $25m a year.

Side note: I don't get why. If a litigator gets a contingency fee on a massive judgment, then they get that without anyone having to really agree to give it to them. It seems to me like no one would ever want to give a lawyer $20m, but if Lanier wins the $200m case, he gets $20m, end of story. But why is it worth it to these private equity clients to pay a lawyer $25m a year to do deals? Couldn't they still get the deal done by paying some other lawyer a little bit less?

No shade to transactional folks on this board, just saying.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by gregfootball2001 » Mon Jul 08, 2024 1:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2024 11:16 am
Side note: I don't get why. If a litigator gets a contingency fee on a massive judgment, then they get that without anyone having to really agree to give it to them. It seems to me like no one would ever want to give a lawyer $20m, but if Lanier wins the $200m case, he gets $20m, end of story. But why is it worth it to these private equity clients to pay a lawyer $25m a year to do deals? Couldn't they still get the deal done by paying some other lawyer a little bit less?

No shade to transactional folks on this board, just saying.
Not to derail the post, but:
(1) When the deals are for billions of dollars, $25M is a rounding error, so it matters less; and
(2) When the shit hits the fan later, the equity guy can say "It wasn't my fault, I hired [really expensive prestigious law firm]."

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 09, 2024 8:42 pm

It's very rare to see an invoice for 25MM for a single deal. But the top PE people are doing a ton of deals. They bill the same as everyone else, just generate a lot of work. The relationship partner isn't handling every detail, that's why firms like KE have armies of NEPs.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 09, 2024 9:40 pm

Going to be the lawyers on the Elon Musk pay lawsuit if they convince the judge that getting paid $7 billion somehow helps Tesla shareholders.

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Re: Who do you think is the richest practicing lawyer in America?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:26 am

Judge Judy likely up there

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