The typical lawyer’s career is actually quite mundane. The vast majority of their time is spent on research and paperwork rather than in the courtroom. However, there are some individuals exempted from this fact, and they’ve built a massive fortune for themselves as a result. These are the richest law practitioners in the world.
Top 20 Wealthiest Lawyers:
1. Richard Scruggs – $1.7 Billion
The now disbarred trial lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs is noted for his passion for tobacco and asbestos lawsuits. He won more than $1 billion in judgments against numerous corporations.
He went to the University of Mississippi for college, and he joined the military after graduating. After his service, he studied for his law degree at the University of Mississippi Law School.
Richard’s professional career was disrupted in 2007 when he was charged with a judge bribery plot. He was imprisoned for six years, but now that he’s back, he recollected his net worth of $1.7 billion.
2. Wichai Thongthan – $1.1 Billion
Wichai Thongtang is a Thai business lawyer who became known for effectively defending former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a 2001 asset concealment case.
Thongtang received his law degree from Thammasat University and started practicing in the 1970s. He built a reputation for successfully representing corporate executives and enterprises.
Apart from being a legal expert, Wichai made money through investments. He derives a sizable portion of his money from minority ownership in Bangkok Dusit Medical Services. He has a net worth of $1.1 billion.
3. William Lerach – $900 Million
Another disbarred attorney, William Lerach, is one of the most feared legal professionals in the United States. He’s been dubbed the “King of Pain,” and he specializes in private security cases.
He attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and targeted major companies after completing his studies. He once sued the former Vice President of the USA, Dick Cheney, and his company, Halliburton.
Lerach has the record for the biggest sum ever recovered in a collection of securities class action cases, with a $7.12 billion judgment against energy firm Enron. Though he got disbarred in 2009, he still owns a fortune of $900 million.
4. Bill Neukom – $850 Million
Bill Neukom, the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization World Justice Project, is a practicing lawyer who rose to popularity because of his charitable efforts.
After getting his degree from Stanford Law School, he worked at a modest office until he was approached to undertake work for Microsoft. He became the legal counsel for the tech company for 25 years.
Later on, he became the general partner of the San Francisco Giants in Major League Baseball. He left his position in 2012 and focused on philanthropy. He currently owns an $850 million net worth.
5. Allan Myers – $588 Million
Allan Myers is a barrister, professor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is from Australia, and he is also currently working as the University of Melbourne’s chancellor.
He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne. Myers also studied civil law at the University of Oxford. Then, he practiced law while being an educator at Melbourne Law School.
Allan eventually became a businessman, initially joining the board of directors of the brewery Grupa Żywiec. He went on to pursue other business and philanthropy projects, which put his wealth at $588 million.
6. Judy Sheindlin – $440 Million
Popularly known as the beloved Judge Judy on CBS, Judy Sheindlin is a reality TV star and professional family court judge who made a massive impact on courtroom programming.
Sheindlin started her legal education at Washington College of Law, where she was the sole woman in her class. She went on to receive her degree at New York Law School.
She started out as a corporate lawyer, but she soon became weary of it and decided to work as a family court prosecutor. Judy was chosen as a criminal court judge in 1982. Now, she sits on a fortune worth $440 million.
7. Steuart Walton – $310 Million
Steuart built much of his wealth as a member of Walmart’s affluent Walton family. However, he also works as a lawyer and an entrepreneur, who’s done a lot for the family business.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado Boulder and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He started practicing law in Chile.
Later on, Steuart worked in the mergers and acquisitions division at Walmart. He founded the aircraft enterprise Game Composites. This, and his other business pursuits, have helped Walton reach a $310 million net worth.
8. Felipe Gozon – $200 Million
Though Felipe Gozon is an attorney by profession, he made most of his money as head of the television network GMA Network, Inc. It’s one of the biggest media companies in the Philippines.
Gozon was a law student at the University of the Philippines. He worked for his master’s degree at Yale University. Then, he became a senior partner in a law firm called Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila.
Felipe has been in charge of GMA Network, Inc. since 2000. He’s also been involved in other business projects in his country. Because of this, his fortune grew to over $200 million.
9. Willie E. Gary – $200 Million
Willie E. Gary has been given the nickname “The Giant Slayer” because he has a habit of challenging and winning against major enterprises, such as Disney and Anheuser-Busch.
He initially studied business administration at Shaw University. He later earned his degree in law from North Carolina Central University. His educational background helped him to become the lawyer he is today.
Gary was recognized for winning over 150 lawsuits that ended in multi-million dollar settlements, one of which culminated in a $500 million verdict. He currently has a net worth of $200 million.
10. Jerry Falwell Jr. – $100 Million
The former president and chancellor of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr. played a big part in making the institution a powerhouse. He also works as a lawyer and real estate developer.
Jerry himself graduated from Liberty University. He got his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia. From 1987 to 2007, Falwell worked in private practice.
In the year 2000, he was appointed to the Liberty University board of trustees. He rose to higher ranks but ultimately stepped down due to sexual scandals. Even so, he is still left with over $100 million in wealth.
11. Robert Shapiro – $100 Million
Before moving away from criminal defense, Robert Shapiro was a practicing attorney who rose to prominence as a member of the group responsible for exonerating former football player O.J. Simpson in his murder case.
Shapiro was a finance student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He went to Loyola Marymount University’s Loyola Law School to earn his Juris Doctor degree.
In his long career, he became a prominent criminal defense lawyer. He is also the co-founder of Shoedazzle.com and LegalZoom, as well as the author of a children’s book. His net worth is estimated to be $100 million.
12. Roy Black – $85 Million
Roy Black is best known for his work as the lawyer for William Kennedy Smith and Rush Limbaugh in two high-profile instances. With this, he became a famous civil and criminal defense attorney.
After he graduated from the University of Miami, Roy helped create the law firm Black, Srebnick, Kornspan, & Stumpf. He grew to have the best national reputation in Florida.
His notable cases and a clean record made him the legal analyst for NBC’s The Today Show and ABC’s Good Mornings. He was also hired to teach in his alma mater. This is why his wealth is $85 million.
13. John Branca – $75 Million
One of the pioneers of entertainment law cases is John Branca, and he is one of the richest in the same category today. He is largely responsible for Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video’s breakthrough.
He is a music enthusiast who studied law at UCLA. Since the start of his career, Branca mostly represented rock and roll performers as well as independent record labels.
John has worked with Hall of Famers, such as Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and The Doors. His help with artists has allowed him to get a $75 million net worth.
14. Amal Clooney – $50 Million
Amal Clooney is an attorney, author, and activist based in London, United Kingdom. She has previously served in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the United Nations.
She is a graduate of New York University School of Law. She interned with Judge Sonia Sotomayor while studying law. Then, she handled cases both in the US and the UK.
Throughout the years, Clooney has also represented the distinguished activist Julian Assange and the state of Cambodia. She accumulated a fortune worth more than $50 million.
15. William Barr – $50 Million
The 77th and 85th United States Attorney General, William Barr, started his professional career as a lawyer. However, his name is more known to the public as a government official in the Bush and Trump administrations.
Barr went to Columbia University for his bachelor’s degree. While studying for his master’s degree in the same school, he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
He held his position as he studied law at George Washington University Law School. After graduating, he practiced law before focusing on government roles. His wealth is estimated to be $50 million.
16. George Conway – $39 Million
Aside from working as a lawyer, George Conway is a conservative political activist. He was considered for several government positions during the Trump administration, but he didn’t accept as he is a critic of the former president.
Conway received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his doctor’s degree from Yale University. His practice concentrated on mergers, stocks, acquisitions, contracts, and antitrust lawsuits.
He was initially considered a Republican, but he went independent in 2018 when he criticized Donald Trump. As an attorney, George has an estimated net worth of $39 million.
17. Thomas Mesereau – $25 Million
Thomas Mesereau is a noteworthy trial lawyer in America, having won an unprecedented three federal criminal jury trials in a row. He is famed for taking cases with seemingly impossible odds.
After graduating from Harvard, he went on to study at the Hastings College of the Law and the London School of Economics. He then worked with celebrities like Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson, and Bill Cosby.
Every year, he defends a capital murder defendant who cannot afford legal counsel. In his other cases, he is paid a high but undisclosed amount hourly. This has helped him get a $25 million net worth.
18. Mark Geragos – $25 Million
Mark Geragos was one of the attorneys in command of a class-action lawsuit against New York Life and AXA. Geragos was also a regular legal consultant on Larry King Live and CNN.
Geragos graduated from Haverford College with a bachelor’s degree. He then attended Loyola Law School to study law. After this, he became one of the most influential lawyers in California.
Furthermore, he has one of the top ten verdicts in California history for a 2008 lawsuit in which he got a jury verdict paying more than $38 million. His net worth is around $25 million today.
19. David Boies – $20 Million
Former Chief Counsel for the US Senate David Boies is a lawyer who earned recognition in three momentous cases: United States v. Microsoft, Hollingsworth v. Perry, and Bush v. Gore.
He studied law at Yale University and almost immediately built an outstanding reputation after graduating. He represented illustrious brands like Napster, IBM, and CBS.
David once worked for Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Now, he has his own law firm called Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. His legal endeavors have awarded him a net worth of over $20 million.
20. Alan Dershowitz – $20 Million
Alan Dershowitz was the youngest full professor to be recruited by Harvard Law School when he joined the institution’s faculty at 28 years old. He had this honor because he was a very effective lawyer.
He is a graduate of Yale University. Specializing in constitutional and criminal law, Alan mostly represented disfavored clients in the cases he had throughout his career.
Dershowitz worked with people like O.J. Simpson, Donald Trump, Julian Assange, and Mike Tyson. He’s retired from his professor job, but he is still an active lawyer with a fortune of $20 million.