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An ABA Journal article on the “fearsome four” law firms has drawn criticism from readers because of its characterisation of the law firms as if other lawyers cowered at the very mention of their name. So who are the so-called ‘fearsome four’ anyway?

An ABA Journal article on the "fearsome four" law firms has drawn criticism from readers because of its characterisation of the law firms as if other lawyers cowered at the very mention of their name.  So who are the so-called 'fearsome four' anyway? 4

The article said the four firms most feared by 240 general counsel and in-house litigation officers were Boies, Schiller & Flexner; Jones Day; Kirkland & Ellis; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, according to a survey by the BTI Consulting Group.

The article said that most of the respondents named members of the Fearsome Foursome without prompting before listing 15 “awesome opponents” selected by the in-house lawyers, as well as more than three dozen “honor roll” firms.

Among the other findings in the report were that:

• The world’s largest companies spend nearly $21 billion a year on litigation in the United States.

• The largest piece of the litigation pie is made up of commercial litigation, accounting for nearly 31 percent of total litigation spending, followed by employment litigation, accounting for 21.5 percent of the spending.

• Corporate counsel are committed to getting litigation “off the books,” resulting in a 19.4 percent increase in resolution rates in the last three years. Higher resolution rates are part of the reason that most organizations have fewer active matters today than a year ago.

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