A survey conducted by a market research firm and reported in Texas Lawyer affiliate The American Lawyer asked 1,000 in-house counsel to rank the world’s law firms. The factors on which the respondents — all with companies of $1 billion or more gross revenue — were supposed to base their rankings included awareness, favorability, multijurisdictional litigation and multijurisdictional transactional capabilities.
No Texas firms showed up among the top 20 of the firms ranked by that method, despite the fact that many have international offices.
Law firm consultant William Cobb of Houston says he is not surprised by Texas firms’ absence. Most of the firms on that roster began building an international presence decades before Texas firms started down that path in the ’70s, says Cobb.
He also believes Lone Star State firms, with a big in-state market, have less motivation to pour the resources and investment required to establish international offices.
Instead, Cobb says, Texas firms, particularly those serving the oil and gas industry, tend to open and close offices overseas based on what’s happening with their clients.
“There is so much business in Texas, what do they need to go outside the state for?” asks Cobb.
-- Miriam Rozen