Move Over AmLaw 100, Here’s the Lawyer’s Spin on the Top 50
Posted Mar 25, 2008 2:45 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
In a reinvention of the AmLaw 100, a United Kingdom legal publication has compiled a list of the top 50 U.S. law firms based on revenue. Atop the list is DLA Piper, followed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Latham & Watkins; Baker & McKenzie; and Sidley Austin.
Together, the top 50 U.S. firms had the best financial year ever in 2007, earning total gross revenue of roughly $47 billion, reports the Lawyer, in an article that also provides mini-lists of the most—and least—successful American law firms last year, in three categories. (The full top 50 list is at the end of another article in the Lawyer.)
But even the law firms at the pinnacle of U.S. success still have a further goal for which to strive—pre-eminence in both the U.S. and U.K. legal markets. And this is a goal that has so far eluded top firms in both countries, the Lawyer points out in yet another article discussing its financial findings. "No single firm has scaled both twin peaks of London and New York. But the ultimate prize is clear: to be a top-tier firm in corporate, finance or litigation in both jurisdictions—and indeed regulatory work, in the case of Clifford Chance," the Lawyer writes—referring, of course, to a major U.K. firm.
To get to the ultimate acme will require not only a stronger U.S.-U.K. interconnection than in prior years, but a significant global presence beyond both countries, the Lawyer predicts. And, on this front, it says, a number of United Kingdom firms have a clear advantage of having focused first on this issue.
As discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz soared beyond all U.S. competitors last year as far as average profits per equity partner are concerned.
The AmLaw 100 traditionally comes out next month. Last year's findings are synopsized briefly in this Wall Street Journal Law Blog post from April 2007.