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Latham, Skadden Most-Cited Experience for GCs

By Alexandra Garfinkle

Law firms including Latham & Watkins LLP,  Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC are responsible for helping mint the largest proportion of general counsels at U.S.-listed companies.

According to recent study, 76% of GCs, no surprise, come from law firms. Latham, Skadden and Wilson Sonsini are most frequently listed in company backgrounds of the approximately 2,900 general counsels identified in the study through Oct. 25.

CHART - BoardEx / General Counsels / Professions (U.S. / Nov 2019) 3

The only non-law firms that produce a high number of GCs — in this case, 30 or more — are the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and IBM Corp. (IBM).

Additionally, BoardEx data showed that 28% of corporate GCs are women, and that the average age of someone holding the position is 53.4 years old. It’s also not a position held by younger lawyers, as none of the companies surveyed had GCs under 35 and only 4% had GCs aged between 36 and 40.

CHART - BoardEx / General Counsels / Age + Gender (U.S. / Nov 2019)

However, it’s not necessarily a position dominated by individuals past retirement age, as only 1% of GCs are above the age of 71.

Further, there are two clear leaders in GC-producing educational institutions — the University of California followed by Harvard Law School, which each produced more than 200 GCs at the companies surveyed.

CHART - BoardEx / General Counsels / Universities (U.S. / Nov 2019)

Other schools that produced more than 100 currently working GCs include the University of Michigan, Georgetown Law School, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas.