Which last 16 World Cup team is your law firm?

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By Alex Aldridge on

Brazil 2014 legal geekery: striking parallels revealed.


Holland = Slaughter and May


Slaughter and May’s brand of obsessively attentive client service and exhausting commitment to excellence is clearly law’s version of the “total football” pioneered by the Dutch.

Greece = Halliwells


OK, so there is a difference in that Greece still exists. But the financial mismanagement parallels are too striking to ignore. And they both are/were middle of the road football nations/law firms.

Switzerland = Sackers


Small, rich, boring (editorial note to the uninitiated: Sackers is one of the most profitable law firms in the UK and specialises entirely in pensions law).

Costa Rica = Riverview Law

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Plucky underdogs who have surprised the establishment.

France = Gide Loyrette Nouel


Il ya un seul cabinet français de droit international, si cela doit aller à Gide.

Uruguay = Herbert Smith Freehills


Lawyers at top litigation shop Herbert Smith Freehills may appear suave and sophisticated, but make no mistake, beneath the corporate suits beat hearts as, er, determined, as Luis Suarez’s.

Chile = Burges Salmon


Stuck out on the remote western edge of South America/England, both tend to be overlooked — but they are surprisingly good when witnessed in action.

Nigeria = PwC Legal


People have been banging on about their potential for years. Could this finally be their moment?

Brazil = Clifford Chance


‘Samba Law’ may be overstating it, but the Copacabana-evoking swimming pool high up in the firm’s Canary Wharf headquarters seals it.

Colombia = DAC Beachcroft


Not only does DAC Beachcroft have an office in insurance law hub Bogota, but…but…actually only that. Using lazy stereotypes about the nation of Colombia to make potentially libellous law firm quips probably isn’t a good idea.

Mexico = Baker & McKenzie

The World Countries Flags

Big in the Americas, but — in the language of Harry Redknapp — merely “top”, rather than “top, top, top”, on the world stage.

Argentina = Shoe Lane Chambers


OK, so Shoe Lane Chambers isn’t strictly a law firm, or indeed real, but its star silk, Martha Costello QC, is the nearest thing the legal profession has to the implausibly brilliant Lionel Messi.

Germany = Freshfields

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Unimpressive first impressions — Germany’s players aren’t great individually, Freshfields sounds like a small-time supermarket chain — belie consistent excellence.

Belgium = RPC


After years of relative anonymity, suddenly — after Belgium’s 100% record in the group stages and Reynolds Porter Chamberlain’s winning of ‘Law Firm of the Year’ — everyone is talking about them.

Algeria = Stobart Barristers


No one expected them to make it this far. But the end of the road may be close.

USA = DLA Piper


The biggest but not the best.