Lawyer Monthly - February 2022

43 FEB 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM FIVE OF THE MOST FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL LAWYERS IN THE WORLD CHARLIE MUNGER ROBERT SHAPIRO All images used within this article are used under Creative Commons license. Read the full list of image credits within the online version at WICHAI THONGTANG BILL NEUKOM JUDITH SHEINDLIN 3 4 5 Bill Neukom Stanford Law School graduate Bill Neukom served as the lead lawyer for Microsoft for close to 25 years. He joined the company in 1985 and thereafter built up its corporate law department from five employees to over 600 attorneys and support personnel. Neukom later became Microsoft’s Executive Vice President and spent 17 years as the company’s general counsel and chief legal officer. Among his noteworthy cases was the high-profile United States v. Microsoft Corp in 2001. Neukom now primarily works as the founder, president and CEO of theWorld Justice Project, which he co-founded in 2006. The foundation’s mission is “to advance the rule of law around the world.” Neukom is currently worth an estimated $850 million. Judith Sheindlin Judge Judith Sheindlin, best known as “Judge Judy”, has come a long way in her legal career. Sheindlin graduated from American University in Washington DC with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in government. She then finished her law school education at New York Law School, earning her Juris Doctor degree in 1965. After passing the New York state bar examination that same year, Sheindlin went on to work as a corporate lawyer for a cosmetics firm. In the 1970s, she became a prosecutor in the New York family court system, prosecuting child abuse cases, domestic violence, and juvenile crime. In 1996, Sheindlin’s syndicated court show Judge Judy debuted. Towards the end of Judge Judy’s 25-year run, Sheindlin was earning $47 million per year, with her estimated net worth currently sitting at $440 million. Wichai Thongtang Wichai Thongtang is a billionaire corporate lawyer identified by Lawyer Monthly as one of the top names in the profession. Though he came from a humble farming family, Thongtang’s father was keen to see his children have a steadier future and encouraged his son to pursue a career in law. Thongtang graduated from Thammasat University in 1970 and practised law throughout the decade, representing Thai executives and their companies. In 2001, Thongtang successfully represented former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in an asset concealment case, catapulting him to celebrity status. While Thongtang is still chairman of his eponymous international law firm, the majority of his wealth comes from strategic investment holdings acquired throughout his career. These include several hospital-related holdings and Thai cable company Cable Thai Holdings. Wichai Thongtang’s net worth currently stands at $1.8 billion.

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