Document Type


Publication Date



Large law firms, Corporate law firms, Accouting firms, Investment banking firms, Firm growth, Project industries, Multidisciplinary Practice firms, MDPs, Syndication, Securities fraud litigation


Labor and Employment Law | Law and Economics | Legal Profession | Litigation


This Article documents and explains the amazing growth of the largest firms in law, accounting, and investment banking. Scholars to date have used various supply-side theories to explain this growth, and have generally examined only one industry at a time. This Article emphasizes a demand-side explanation of firm growth and shows how the explanation is similar for firms in all "project" industries. Legal regulation also plays an important role in determining industry structure. Among the areas covered in this Article are the growth of Multidisciplinary Practice firms (MDPs). MDP growth can best be understood by looking more broadly at the demand forces driving project industries. This Article also applies its framework to the breakup of the Big Five accounting firms, to the consolidation trend in the investment banking industry, and to the divergent growth patterns of the law firms in the plaintiffs' securities litigation field.

Publication Citation

Published in: North Carolina Law Review, vol. 80, no. 1 (December 2001).