McGuireWoods is a strong, well-respected and expanding ﬁrm with a legacy reaching back more than 180 years. This legacy is a testament to our lawyers’ experience across business and industry, as well as our consistent ability to deliver an excellent legal product - efficiently and at a fair price.
Discover more below.
1834 Egbert R. Watson, private secretary to President James Monroe, launches a practice in Charlottesville, Virginia — the seed that will blossom into McGuireWoods.
1870 George Perkins joins Watson in what will become predecessor firm Perkins, Battle & Minor.
1898 Murray Mason McGuire starts a practice in Richmond that becomes the partnership of McGuire & Bryan.
1966 The modern firm is born when the Battle and McGuire firms join to form McGuire, Woods & Battle.
1987 A merger spawns McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe, adding Virginia offices in Alexandria, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Richmond and Tysons, plus Washington, D.C.
1991-94 Offices are added in Baltimore and Jacksonville.
1998 The firm launches a public affairs subsidiary, McGuireWoods Consulting.
1998-2000 Offices are added in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte and Pittsburgh.
2003 McGuireWoods merges with Ross and Hardies, adding 155 lawyers.
2005 The firm expands to California through a 40-lawyer merger in Los Angeles.
2006 Renowned IT firm Gordon & Glickson joins McGuireWoods in Chicago.
2008 The firm completes a major merger with 145-lawyer Helms Mulliss & Wicker, with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh.
2009 The firm opens a London office via a merger.
2011 The firm enters the Texas market with offices in Austin and Houston.
2014 The firm opens in Dallas, its third Texas office.
2015 Through a combination with innovative litigation boutique Integer Law, the firm adds a second California office in downtown Los Angeles.
2016 The firm opens an office in San Francisco.
2016 The firm enhances its service to clients with interests in Asia through a strategic alliance with FuJae Partners in Shanghai.
- FINANCIAL TIMES "NORTH AMERICA INNOVATIVE LAWYERS"
- BTI "CLIENT SERVICE A-TEAM"
- MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS "LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR"
- BTI "BRAND ELITE"
First things first: we get results. Our clients win their cases, close their deals, and safely navigate the regulatory risks they face.
But that is not all we are about. Our passion — what drives us above and beyond — is doing all of that and adding value every step of the way.
What does that mean?
Value is a slippery concept. The definition varies from client to client and industry to industry. Here’s how we see it.
There are no cookie-cutter solutions. Even with seemingly routine matters, you have to take time to listen to clients, to hear and understand what’s important to them, to craft solutions tailored to their businesses and aligned with their cultures, and to do it all in an efficient, cost-effective and transparent manner. Our goal is to leave clients wondering why all service providers don’t deliver more than they expected. More proactive thinking. More diverse views. More attentive service. More innovative approaches. More connections. More bang for the buck. More value.
Here’s why. Beating client expectations requires significant investment in our business and in our clients’ businesses. We have to assemble, nurture and deploy the talent, the tools, the technology, and the techniques to make it work.
We’ve made the necessary commitments. We invest in listening to our clients directly and through third-party interviews that deliver the unvarnished skinny on our performance and how we can continuously improve our service delivery. We invest in client and industry teams that help us understand your world as if we were in your shoes. We invest in new locations — most recently San Francisco, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Dallas — to better serve clients. We invest in systems and technologies such as ClientSync, our proprietary legal project management system, and our world-class Discovery Counsel Team, which reduces the costs, burdens and risks of e-discovery. We have mastered the art and data-driven science of customized fee arrangements with an array of proven alternatives to the billable hour across matters of all sizes and shapes. We invest in your team’s education with complimentary seminars from authorities such as Tom Spahn, who literally wrote the book — and much more — on corporate privilege. We invest in pro bono partnerships, programs to advance diversity and inclusion in the profession, secondments, and much more.
Most firms talk a good game when it comes to value. But there’s a reason we have been on BTI Consulting’s Client Service A-List — the gold standard — 12 times. And there’s a reason we are ranked the third most innovative law firm in North America by Financial Times. We walk the walk. We are grateful our clients take note.
If we believe something is right for our clients — whether that’s entering a new market, bringing in useful technology, hiring a talented lateral, or upgrading our associate training — we go for it. Our commitment to industry teams is a good example.
We are true believers in taking an industry-centric approach to serving clients. Not because it’s the latest Big Law fad. Because we decided, many years ago, that it makes sense. Clients don’t care about our business. They care about their own. That’s why our industry teams are central to how we serve them.
Lots of firms lay claim to an industry approach. But very few make the investments — in leadership, knowledge, support — needed to succeed. Clients have long made it clear that, other than price-of-admission factors such as expertise and responsiveness, nothing is more important to them than outside counsel knowing their business. And, believe it or not, their business is not M&A or class actions or e-discovery. They are in the energy business, the banking and finance business, the health care business. Our industry teams pave the way for more efficient and effective service by viewing the world through our clients’ eyes. With more than a dozen teams, we are one of the few — and first — firms to look at the law from a business perspective.
There’s another reason industry focus matters. We are a uniquely collaborative law firm. Our lawyers and consultants like and respect one another. It is second nature to them to share insights across sectors. This enables us to “see around corners” and let clients know that important changes afoot in one sector may soon find their way to another. Our clients tell us such insights are invaluable. We agree. That’s why we have taken purposeful steps, through our industry team program, to assure that our legal counsel is informed by a commercial mind-set.
Where do we work? The short answer is where our clients need us. Our roots are in the southeast — specifically Charlottesville, where we were born, and Richmond and Charlotte, where today we have our biggest offices. But our clients are everywhere, as are their interests. That’s why we also have built substantial offices in commercial hubs such as London, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Shanghai.
Nevertheless, we are not a sprawling, global verein struggling to maintain minimum service levels in every corner of the globe. Some clients value that, but that is not McGuireWoods — a national powerhouse with significant international reach and experience.
Our lawyers and consultants reside in 25 offices, speak more than 35 languages, and serve clients in 128 countries in the U.S., Europe and Asia. We also have an uncommon geographic advantage by virtue of the size and shape of McGuireWoods Consulting. Unlike most public affairs teams, which tend to focus on Washington alone, we have world-class government affairs resources and connections in the nation’s capital and, importantly, in key state capitals across the country. At a time when the federal government is struggling to get things done — and when states are filling the breach and asserting themselves in important areas such as infrastructure, privacy, consumer protection, connected and autonomous vehicles, technology, competition, unmanned aerial vehicles and many others — our unique blend of federal, state-based and subject matter experience can spell the difference between futility and success.
Yes, where a firm works can be important. It can also be overrated. What we do and how we do it — how we add value — is how clients judge us. So that’s how we judge ourselves. Not on whether we have an outpost in Machu Picchu.
Call us old fashioned, but we believe it is a privilege to help clients advance their objectives. With that privilege comes responsibility: to our profession, to our communities, to our environment.
That includes our responsibility to those without the means to secure high-level representation — or any representation at all. Every legal, government affairs and advocacy professional at McGuireWoods and McGuireWoods Consulting specializes in helping those who cannot help themselves. To give just a few examples:
● We won nearly $8 million in damages for a pro bono client who is a human trafficking survivor in a federal suit against a “regimented cult” and its leader — the largest single-plaintiff civil trafficking award in U.S. history.
● We partnered with clients and bar groups to launch the Triage Project, a first-of-its-kind pro bono initiative that expands legal aid in Virginia and North Carolina and serves as a model nationwide.
● Along with AOL, we were named “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year” for creating a novel working relationship between a corporate legal department and a law firm solely to perform pro bono work.
We give back beyond our pro bono work. The thousands of professionals and staff of McGuireWoods and McGuireWoods Consulting are engaged in their communities in too many ways to count. Volunteers from every firm office participate in local, community-based philanthropic events, organizations and activities such as the following:
● We donated work space to the staff of Lone Star Legal Aid after its Houston headquarters was severely damaged by an explosion and fire during Hurricane Harvey.
● We helped secure passage of the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018, continuing a decades-long effort to combat the financing and support of foreign terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens.
● We received United Way’s Spirit of North Carolina Award for our longstanding commitment to community engagement and pro bono service.
Our commitment to a diverse community and inclusive culture is very real. This commitment enriches our firm and our client relationships in significant ways. Through actions, not just words, we are working together to ensure a more diverse future for the legal profession. We support diversity recruiting through:
● Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Scholars
● McGuireWoods/NAPABA Law Foundation Internships
We also are champions of the natural world — our environment — through sustainability programs aligned with our values and the business objectives of our clients.
● Our sustainable operations team, created jointly by McGuireWoods and McGuireWoods Consulting, implements an environmental sustainability program.
● We collaborate with the American Bar Association and EPA to reduce paper and energy waste, and to identify and implement ways to run a more sustainable business.
● We participate in the Law Firm Sustainability Network to share ideas on high-performance programs.