On an average in the US, a lawyer earns about a net income of $133,470 which is more than what most people earn. However, there are some lawyers who tackle cases that aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. Whether it may be a criminal case or a fight for property worth millions of dollars, the best lawyers earn their reputation with their cut-throat and ruthless characteristics. Some of them have undoubtedly made the toughest decisions to be the best at what they do. These are the top ten richest lawyers in the world in 2018.
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- 10. John Branca- $50 million
- 9. Jane Wanjiru Michuki- $60 million
- 8. Roy Black- $100 million
- 7. Willie. E. Gary -$100 million
- 6. Judith Sheindlin- $250 million
- 5. Bill Neukom- $850 million
- 4. William Lerach- $900 million
- 3. Wichai Thongtang- $1.1 billion
- 2. Joe Jamail- $1.7 billion
- 1. Richard Scruggs- $1.7 billion
10. John Branca- $50 million
A well-known lawyer in the entertainment industry, John Branca has represented worldwide artists like Aerosmith. The Rolling Stones, Carlos Santana and Michael Jackson. His work extends from rock and roll acts in the entertainment industry to the sale of back catalogues and has made large investments in record labels. He is currently the legal co-executor of Michael Jackson’s estate and helped Jackson to purchase rights to songs. Branca is also one of the most well trusted lawyers in the world.
9. Jane Wanjiru Michuki- $60 million
Jane Wanjiru Michuki represents several large corporations in Kenya and is the largest stockholder in the Naomi stock exchange. Jane graduated from the Kenya School of Law and the Warwick University and is a managing partner of a corporate law firm.
8. Roy Black- $100 million
Roy Black is a civil and criminal defence attorney who has represented high profile clients for over 40 years. He is known to have “the best national reputation in Florida” and is a senior analyst on “Good Morning America” and “The Tonight Show”. He graduated from the University of Miami and teaches advance criminal evidence in the University of Miami. Roy Black is a senior partner at Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf that has soared his net worth to $100 million.
7. Willie. E. Gary -$100 million
Willie has fought major corporations like Anheuser-Busch and Disney through his career and was nicknamed “The Giant Killer” for his ability to defend the rights of his clients. He has won cases worth $30 billion in total throughout his career and is considered one of the most influential black Americans. Willie opened the first African-American law firm in Florida and has been actively involved in charity and has his own Boeing 737 named Wings of Justice the Second.
6. Judith Sheindlin- $250 million
Also known as Judge Judy, Sheindlin is a famous TV judge who passed the New York corporate bar exam and became a corporate lawyer in the cosmetic sector. She was also a prosecutor in a number of family cases like domestic violence and abuse. Popular for her sharp tongue and sense of humour and her show has been running on TV for twenty years. In 2006, Sheindlin was awarded a Hollywood walk of fame that made her very famous with a high net worth of $250 million.
5. Bill Neukom- $850 million
Microsoft’s former legal representative, Bill Neukom completed his law school from Stanford University in the year 1967. He was then hired as Bill Gates’s legal advisor in 1978. He continued to work as Microsoft’s legal advisor for 25 years and built Microsoft’s legal team of 600 people. Bill has defended Microsoft’s intellectual property in numerous cases and one of the biggest cases were against Microsoft’s biggest competitor, Apple. He retired in 2002 and invested his money in one of USA’s best baseball franchise, the San Francisco Giants and became their CEO on 2012.
4. William Lerach- $900 million
Lerach was formerly an attorney who represented fraud cases and worked as a corporate lawyer for over 30 years. Throughout his career, Lerach has recovered $45 billion for victims of fraud and was nicknamed the “King Of Pain” that made him one of the most feared lawyers in America. He holds the record for the highest amount ever recovered in a class action lawsuit in American history which $7.12 billion was a famous case against Enron.
3. Wichai Thongtang- $1.1 billion
Thongtang represented former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and earns a major fortune from Shinawatra’s stake in hospital operator Bangkok Dusit. Lawyer-turned investor, he became a distributor or mobile phones and peripheral services called TWZ founded in 1993 with its headquarters established in Thailand. He shut down CTH which was a pay-TV operating network and started Link Network which is a country wide network for retailers.
2. Joe Jamail- $1.7 billion
The late Joe Jamail who passed away in December 2015 at the age 90 makes this list as he was the wealthiest working lawyer even at the time of his death. He was nicknamed as “The King of Torts”. As a graduate from the University of Texas School of Law, he represented a good friend of his in a case against the oil giant Texaco in 1985 and won. This case alone made him $335 million. Known for being an aggressive and forthright litigator with an almost perfect record of wins that puts him on number 2 on the world’s richest lawyers.
1. Richard Scruggs- $1.7 billion
Richard Scruggs is known to be one of the biggest tobacco lawyers of America. He graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law in the year 1976 and won cases against many companies for over $1 billion. In 2003, he won the case against Lehman brothers that was a $51 million verdict but was also accused of bribery in the judiciary in 2007. Although he was charged guilty in 2008 and served six years in federal prison, he completed his sentence at the age 70 and regained his massive fortune worth $1.7 billion which puts him in the top of the list of the world’s richest lawyers.
It takes great dedication, responsibility and courage to stand up against the odds while fighting a case involving some of the most powerful and reputed companies or people in the world. Working their way up and building a fierce reputation is important in the career of a lawyer where their clients would trust them with a great deal of confidence.