Top aligned labels. The biggest advantage to top-aligned labels — they make it easier for different sized labels and localized versions to fit easier within the UI (this is especially good for mobile screens with a limited estate).
Building a design organization is hard — it’s really hard. Corporations know that, and they are taking the opportunity to bring expertise in-house. They can’t just hire 1,000 UX people and become experts in design as a company. It takes leadership and a company-level emphasis on design to make things really work — and that’s what corporations are gaining by purchasing design firms. The fact that design firms are being acquired and brought in-house by large corporations is not a sign of a faltering industry; rather, it validates how incredibly difficult it is to foster design culture within a large organization.