Law Practice

Mega-Firm's Mega-Profit: $1 M-Plus PPP

Impressive profits for the 2007 fiscal year have been announced by one of the world’s largest law firms, Chicago-based Baker & McKenzie. Its gross was $1.83 billion, up from $1.52 billion the previous fiscal year.

A 22 percent gain for the first time boosted profits per partner into seven figures, with each earning an average $1.06 million, reports New York Lawyer (reg. req.), in a reprint of an article from the New York Law Journal. Baker & McKenzie is one of the world’s largest law firms, with some 3,600 attorneys in 70 offices in 38 countries. Its 2007 fiscal year ended on June 30.

It has historically had a modest New York City presence, but made a major march into Manhattan in 2005 by hiring much of the Coudert Brothers attorney roster there. Since then, Baker & McKenzie has further expanded its New York office through lateral hiring, according to Chairman John Conroy.

“We always knew if we had more critical mass in New York, we could take it to another level,” he says. “This is the year we kicked it into gear.”

But Baker & McKenzie still has a ways to go if it seeks to climb to the absolute acme of law firm profitability. Profits per partner at London-based mega-firms are in the $2 million range, the article notes.

They, too, had a banner year, plus they are at relative advantage compared to American law firms, due in part to the relative weakness of the dollar and strength of the pound, as discussed in an post last month.

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