Country: US (Lebanon)
Known as ‘the King of Torts’, Joe Jamail is believed to be the wealthiest practising lawyer in the US. Two years ago, Forbes put his net worth at $1.5bn.
Jamail started out small by starting up a personal injury firm; he also replaced his local district attorney after the latter was impeached for running a series of brothels.
The Lebanese American has commanded vast fees for his services; on one occasion he took a fee of $335m for winning an $11bn lawsuit against oil giant Texaco.
Now in his 80s, Jamail is renowned for his occasionally feisty turn of phrase. He was once reprimanded by the Delaware Supreme Court for telling an opposing lawyer that he could “gag a maggot off a meat wagon”.
A Texan through and through, Jamail was a graduate of St Thomas High School in Houston, before graduating from both the University of Texas and the University of Texas School of Law. He is a well-established philanthropist; roughly 30 percent of the students at the University of Texas’ nursing school are on Jamail scholarships.