The 12 richest practicing lawyers on the planet are miles away from the average annual salary of $82,726 according to a compilation by legal blog BigLaw Investor.
At the head of the pack is the Thai lawyer Wichai Thongtang. He has built a prestigious firm specializing in business law with branches throughout Asia. His US$1.8 billion fortune is also fueled by wise investments in real estate and healthcare.
He is followed by the Los Angeles lawyer Charlie Munger. Well known as the right arm of the exceptional investor warren buffet, he also has time to devote to his firm Munger, Tolles & Olson which specializes, of course, in the financial field. The bulk of his US$1.6 billion fortune is tied to a great decision made in 1962; make an investment of 100,000 US dollars in Berkshire Hathaway, the investment fund that Warren Buffet had just started.
bill neukom is not to be outdone with a heritage that exceeds 850 million US dollars. The man who was Microsoft’s chief legal officer for 25 years has accumulated his fortune through his stock options in the software firm in addition to his investment in the baseball club The San Francisco Giants.
Judy Sheindlin ranks fourth. Better known as “Judge Judy”, she created and hosted the eponymous television show. She has just signed a contract of 47 million US dollars for the next season and if we combine her fees with a strong real estate portfolio and stock market investments, we arrive at the tidy sum of 440 million US dollars according to BigLaw Investor.
In fifth place, we find Robert Shapiro, a figure well known to lawyers and the public. The criminologist defended OJ Simpson during his historic trial. What is less known is that it is also a savvy entrepreneur who is the founder of Legal Zoom. His fortune is estimated at 120 million US dollars.
William E. Gary follows closely with holdings that exceed US$100 million. The African American lawyer has amassed his fortune following a series of class action lawsuits against major corporations.
John Branca also appears on the list with a fortune of US$100 million. He aspired to a career as a musician but it was in entertainment law that he made his mark. He represents Rolling Stone, ZZ Top, Fleetwood and The Doors. He is also the executor of michael jackson.
The Miami Lawyer Roy Black ranks eighth. Over the years, he has built a firm specializing in criminal law considered one of the most prestigious in the United States. His clientele is diverse, from the Kennedy family to Justin Bieber. Mr. Black, who obtained the highest score ever granted on the Florida Bar Examination and can count on a net worth of 65 million US dollars.
In ninth position we find Jane Wanjiru Michuki. The Kenyan lawyer is the main partner of the country’s largest legal study. It is also known for its residential real estate investments and financial services. His fortune is valued at US$60 million.
Another figure well known to lawyers appears in the ranking: Alan Dershowitz. The Harvard University law professor who is also a renowned criminal lawyer can count on a personal fortune of at least 25 million US dollars. However, his reputation has been tarnished in recent years. First by his defense of the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, of whom he was also a close friend. And then by that of donald trump when he was last impeached by the US Congress.
Two lawyers who defended singer Michael Jackson during his child molestation trial close this platoon with a net worth of US$25 million according to BigLaw Investor.
Mark Geragos served as the singer’s first attorney in the trial, but he is best known for his class action lawsuits against US insurers. He’s his colleague Thomas Mesereau who took over and who secured Jackson’s acquittal. His hourly rate is said to be the highest in the United States, which didn’t stop the comedian Bill Cosby and the boxer mike tyson to retain his services.