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Skadden, Wachtell Top AmLaw 100

After earlier news reports of record-breaking revenue and massive profits per partner, two New York-based major-name law firms have now been crowned by American Lawyer as the nation’s most lucrative in 2007.

One of three U.S. law firms that reportedly broke the $2 billion barrier for the first time last year, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom topped the magazine’s annual AmLaw 100 list of the most profitable U.S. law firms, based on total revenue, according to Legal Week. Skadden’s take was reportedly $2.17 billion last year, and Latham & Watkins’ was $2.01 billion. Legal Week also reported in February that DLA Piper raked in $2.1 billion in gross revenues as well.

Meanwhile, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz earned by far the highest average profit per partner—$4.95 million.

“Wachtell’s performance came after a 23.6 percent rise on its 2006 PEP, putting it well ahead of its New York peers,” the British legal publication recounts, referring to profit per equity partner. “Three other firms achieved PEP in excess of $3 million (1.5 million pounds): Manhattan leaders Cravath Swaine & Moore and Sullivan & Cromwell and Los Angeles-based litigation specialist Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges.”

A decade ago, Quinn Emanuel wasn’t even listed among the AmLaw 100. However, most other law firms now ranked there were, and American Lawyer (reg. req.) provides online charts of how their average revenue per lawyer has risen or fallen since then.

The Legal Week provides charts of the top 10 AmLaw 100 firms in both the overall revenue and profit-per-partner categories.

Related coverage: “AmLaw 100 Profits Up, Partners Down” “Move Over AmLaw 100, Here’s the Lawyer’s Spin on the Top 50” (July 2007): “London Firms Earn #1 Billing in World”

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