Some lawyers, like Joe Jamail, solely earned their worth through their profession, while other famous ones have chosen other means to become a billionaire. Check out and see how they got ranked as one of the ‘Top 25 Richest Lawyers’ of the world.
1. Joe Jamail
Net Worth: $1.5 billion
Joe Jamail is a Lebanese-American attorney. He is the wealthiest practicing lawyer of America with a net worth of $1.5 billion and is also known by the title ‘King of Torts’. Joe earned his fortune mostly through personal injury cases. One of his major works includes representing Pennzoil in a lawsuit against Texaco in 1985, where he received a contingency fee of $335 million. He took a degree of JD from The University of Texas School of Law. Joe resides in a luxurious house in Houston, Texas. He is an avid philanthropist and has founded the ‘Lee and Joseph D. Jamail Foundation’ along with his wife Lee, in 1986. Since its inception, it has funded around $200 million to support education, performing art and medical research. In 2008, he donated $15 million to the ‘University of Texas’ for the College of Undergraduate Studies, the Law School and the Nursing School. The University of Texas has also named their swimming center as ‘Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center’ in honour of the couple.
2. Wichai Thongthan
Net Worth: $1.9 billion
Wichai Thongthan is one of the wealthiest lawyers and a Thailand-based businessman. He earned riches of $1.9 billion through wise investments. Known for representing the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in asset concealment case, Wichai started his career as an attorney. Later, he turned to investing in companies, like Cable Thai Holdings, where he owns a stake of 25%. He and his wife also own 15% stake in Bangkok Dusit Medical.
3. William Lerach
Net Worth: $900 million
William Lerach is a former American lawyer and owner of $900 million. He possesses specialization in private securities class action lawsuits. In the lawsuit against Enron, he received an amount of $7.12 billion, which was the biggest amount ever received by an attorney in the history of the U.S. Lerach was involved in several cases of class action, such as Dynegy, WorldCom, Tyco, Merrill, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Hewlett-Packard and Apple, Inc. On behalf of defrauded shareholders, he recovered around $45 billion. In 2007, Lerach served a two-year imprisonment for pleading culpable of obstruction of justice. In 2009, in California, he was banished from practicing law.
4. Bill Neukom
Net Worth: $850 million
With a net worth of $850 million, Bill Neukom was formerly associated with the San Francisco Giants baseball team as the Managing General Partner. He graduated from the Stanford Law School in 1967. He served as an attorney at Microsoft for around 17 years and also became its Executive Vice President. At Microsoft, his work included the management of company’s legal and governmental issues, as well as its charitable activities. He acted as the chairman of the Gates law firm in Seattle. Bill served as the President of the American Bar Association. He is currently positioned as one of the Board members of the Pacific Council on International Policy. Bill founded World Justice Project that aims to reinforce the ‘Rule of Law’ for the sake of community development.
5. Judge Judy
Net Worth: $290 million
Judith Sheindlin, aka Judge Judy, is an American family court lawyer and a TV star, having a net worth of $290 million. She served as a family court lawyer for almost 17 years and later, became a judge at the criminal court. She also served as a supervising judge in the Manhattan family court. In 1996, she began appearing on her court show, called ‘Judge Judy’, which is one of the most prominent court shows till the date. Her annual salary is $45 million. She has written six books, such as ‘Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining’, ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid: You’re Smarter Than You Look’, and her latest book is ‘What Would Judy Say?: A Grown-Up Guide to Living Together with Benefits’. In 2012, she also launched “Whatwouldjudysay.com”, an advice-sharing website. She owns a collection of houses in New York, Connecticut, Florida, and Wyoming, while her latest property is in Beverly Hills, California, worth $10.7 million.