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The Mad Clientist

The 4 Most Feared Litigation Firms and 6 Firms They Fear

By October 7, 2014April 16th, 2020No Comments

We have nothing to fear, except the Fearsome Foursome. 4 law firms have the striking ability to make opponents take pause; wondering if moving forward is worth the fight. Clients change their litigation strategies before a case starts when they know they will face any one of the Fearsome Foursome. These firms strike fear in clients—and law firms alike—when seen on the other side.

There are more differences than similarities between each of the 4 firms bestowed this honor by corporate counsel, but 3 characteristics are present throughout:

  1. Execution. Much is made of the innovative, no-holds-barred litigation strategies law firms discuss, but client say few firms are effective at turning a strategy into reality. Each of the Fearsome Foursome instills fear by having the wits to formulate strategies and the will to make them happen.
  2. Commitment. These firms are all in. The Fearsome Foursome firms demonstrate an unbridled commitment to act in their clients’ interest. Opponents know the other side is ready to bring down the entire firm on this one case—in fact, a Fearsome Foursome firm is eager to do so.
  3. AGGRESSIVE. Assertive, dogmatic or domineering. Word choice typically depends on which side of the table a Fearsome Foursome firm is sitting. The outcome is the same: these firms will take risks other firms don’t.


The 2015 Fearsome Foursome firms are: 

Jones Day
Kirkland & Ellis
Quinn Emanuel


The Awesome Opponents are made up of 6 firms—all recognized by corporate counsel as worthy adversaries in prior years. These firms have built up their fear factor and are dreaded almost as much as the Fearsome Foursome themselves.


The 2015 Awesome Opponents are: 

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Greenberg Traurig
Jenner & Block
Morrison & Foerster
Paul, Weiss
Vinson & Elkins


You can see the full list of law firms named by clients as the Most Feared in the new BTI Litigation Outlook 2015


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