2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Complexity of work.”
“The people here are outstanding.”
“Prospects for income partnership.”
“Lack of transparency.”
“The compensation is variable.”
“The unpredictability of the work calendar.”
About K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates is one of the largest law firms in the world, with close to 2,000 lawyers across five continents. Among the firm’s top-notch practices are corporate, energy and infrastructure, finance, financial services, intellectual property, labor employment and workplace safety, litigation and dispute resolution, and policy and regulatory.
The new Millennium saw a flurry of mergers, which formed what we now know as K&L Gates. In January 2007, Seattle’s Preston Gates & Ellis got hitched to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham (itself the product of one of the largest U.S.-U.K. mergers in legal history: the 2005 pairing of Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and London’s Nicholson Graham & Jones). A year later, the reshaped firm merged with Texas-based Hughes & Luce, increasing K&L Gates’ presence in the Lone Star State. In July 2008, the firm combined with Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, a household name in Carolina legal circles; the merger gave K&L Gates a significant presence throughout the Carolinas. The addition of Chicago firm Bell, Boyd & Lloyd’s 250 lawyers and lobbyists eight months thereafter (in March 2009) bolstered K&L Gates’ ranks in Chicago and DC. Finally, in 2016, K&L Gates merged with Australian firm Middletons, giving the firm a presence in the land down under.
K&L Gates takes a full-service approach to its work, with clients across many industries (don’t be fooled by the short list of core practice areas; each contains a slew of specialist and industry sub-groups). Unlike some big firms that rely on a few key clients for the bulk of their billings, K&L Gates’ policy of diversification means that its revenues are spread widely across many clients.
Among the top 20 in Vault’s Clean Tech/Renewable Energy ranking, K&L Gates boasts an impressive renewable energy practice. The firm’s clients work across solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, geothermal, and other sectors. And the firm pulls in its experience across industries to provide counsel on everything from acquisitions, financing, IP, licensing, regulatory matters, tax, and much more.
The firm is home to a large corporate practice—in fact, its M&A practice has 500 lawyers alone. Among the firm’s corporate clients are those from the Global 500, Fortune 100, and FTSE 100, as well as startups, investment funds, and individuals. The firm’s corporate lawyers work across myriad industries, such as energy, financial services, health care, infrastructure, life sciences, manufacturing, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.
The Best Place
Every year, K&L Gates hosts a Global Day of Service through which staff and attorneys from across the firm’s offices volunteer with local organizations. The firm selects a theme each year—for example, one year the firm partnered with organizations to battle hunger. And its efforts have been recognized by The American Lawyer which bestowed upon the firm the honor of “Global Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year.”
K&L Gates remains focused on recruiting top talent despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, we shifted our summer associate program to be held virtually for all 16 participating offices. We have also been conducting student events and engagement opportunities virtually, including hosting virtual coffee chats and informational interviews, conducting web-based educational programming with schools, and participating in online career fairs and interview programs.
During this time, we have conducted numerous lateral partner and associate interviews using video technology and shifted our new lawyer onboarding and orientation process to be entirely virtual.
News & Awards
K&L Gates is committed to the needs of its clients. When the 2019 novel coronavirus struck, the firm’s lawyers worked quickly to develop an online resource center to help its clients navigate the legal and operational issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic. They developed hundreds of resources and thought leadership pieces, including webinars, guides, and alerts.
K&L Gates fosters a culture of innovation. At the center of that effort is the firm’s newly formed Idea Group, a firmwide committee focused on leveraging innovation to allow it to deliver even greater value to its clients. The committee consists of partners, associates, and allied professionals across numerous departments, levels, and offices throughout the firm’s global platform. Its primary goal is to ensure that ideas that improve efficiency and client service are elevated to senior leadership for consideration and implementation. K&L Gates’ innovative approach was recently recognized when the firm was one of two law firm teams selected as finalists in Microsoft’s Trusted Advisor Forum on Innovation Volume II (“The Remix”), the second in the technology company’s series of legal business design challenges focused on legal services partnerships and delivery.
K&L Gates is also committed to creating a global culture that offers ongoing opportunities for growth and development. To support that, the firm has launched several professional development initiatives, such as an immersive mini-MBA program designed to assist junior lawyers in better understanding key business and financial concepts in order to better serve the goals and concerns of law firm clients.
The Human Rights Campaign awarded K&L Gates with a 10th consecutive rating as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” in 2020.
- Advised emerging esports organization CLT Esports LLC (Charlotte Phoenix) on a seed-round capital raise as well as a variety of intellectual property and employment law issues.
- Advised longstanding client Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) on its international collaboration with Hollywood actress Lili Reinhart, the face of its leading consumer beauty brand COVERGIRL.
- Advised Central Bank of Ecuador in an ongoing effort to recover hundreds of millions of dollars lost through the 1996 failure of one of Ecuador’s largest banks.
- Represented Carnegie Mellon University in its long-standing patent infringement suit against chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and Marvell Semiconductor Inc. that culminated in a $US750 million settlement for CMU.
- Global 20, 2019—Law 360
- America’s Top Corporate Law Firms, 2019—Forbes
- Corporate Law Firm of the Year, 2020—U.S. News Best Law Firms
- Chambers USA guide: 35 practice categories, eight nationwide rankings, 90 lawyers, 2020
- Gold Standard Certification for a ninth time for demonstrating high levels of women as firm partners and leaders, 2020—Women in Law Empowerment Forum
K&L Gates Center
210 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 355-6500
Chairman of Management Committee: Michael S. Caccese
Global Managing Partner: James R. Segerdahl
Co-United States Managing Partners: Pallavi Mehta Wahi and Thomas J. Smith
Total No. Attorneys 2021:
1.5K - 2K
No. of Partners Named 2020:
Starting salaries fall between $135,000 and $180,000, based on dynamics of the local market.
Summer Associate: Average is $3,270/week or $2,788 - $3,462 per week depending on the location
Amy J. Horn
Chief Officer of People and Projects
Please visit the careers section of klgates.com for office-specific hiring contacts
No. of U.S. Offices: 24
No. of International Offices: 21
Fort Worth, TX
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Research Triangle Park, NC
San Francisco, CA
Wilmington, DE I Beijing
Asset Management & Investment Funds
Consumer Financial Services
Infrastructure & Resources
Government Contracts and Procurement Policy
Heath Care and FDA
Labor, Employment and Workplace Safety
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Public Policy and Law
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.