Kirkland Is World’s Most Valuable Law Firm, According to New Calculation
Posted Dec 3, 2012 7:07 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Kirkland & Ellis has a valuation nearing $4 billion, putting it at the top of a new ranking of the world’s most valuable law firms.
The American Lawyer used a “classic investment banking technqiue of developing cash flow multiples” to determine each firm’s actual worth. The article details the formula.
The magazine found 33 firms have valuations above $1 billion. The top five on the list are:
1) Kirkland & Ellis ($3.953 billion)
2) Latham & Watkins ($3.796 billion)
3) Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (3.337 billion)
4) Allen & Overy ($2.714 billion)
5) Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher ($2.707 billion)
A new British law allowing outside investment in law firms has highlighted the need to determine law-firm worth, the story says.
Meanwhile, Crain’s Chicago Business has a profile of Kirkland & Ellis chairman Jeffrey Hammes, who was recently elected to a second term. The story describes Hammes as a “hard-nosed contractor's son from suburban Milwaukee” who “rode a private-equity boom to the top of Kirkland.”
Kirkland has grown by 20 percent since 2008. It now has 1,600 lawyers. According to Crain’s, the firm has a “take-no prisoners culture.”