BigLaw ‘Super Rich’ club expands; one firm had $8.4M in profits per equity partner
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Nine more BigLaw firms have joined the American Lawyer’s “Super Rich” list, released this week, along with the publication’s list of the 100 top-grossing law firms in 2021.
The swelling Super Rich list is just one sign of revenue growth in the Am Law 100.
“By virtually every financial metric imaginable, the Am Law 100 delivered its best collective performance in a generation,” the American Lawyer reports.
Gross revenue among the Am Law 100 increasd 14.8% in 2021, even as the firms’ head count increased by an average of only 2.1%. Revenue per lawyer increased by an average of 12.5%, while profits per equity partner and net income increased by 19.4%.
One law firm on the Super Rich list stands out. It’s Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which had $8.4 million in profits per equity partner last year, $3.86 million in revenue per lawyer and $2.66 million in profits per lawyer, according to American Lawyer stories here and here.
Wachtell is the first Am Law 100 firm to pass $8 million in profits per equity partner, and it’s the only firm with more than $3 million in revenue per lawyer. It is among 40 law firms on the Super Rich list, which includes law firms with at least $1.1 million in revenue per lawyer and at least $550,000 in revenue per lawyer.
Other high performers on the Super Rich list are Sullivan & Cromwell, with $1.318 million in profits per lawyer and $2.215 million revenue per lawyer; Kirkland & Ellis, with $1.197 million in profits per lawyer and $1.997 in revenue per lawyer; and Cahill Gordon & Reindel, with $1.266 million in profits per lawyer and $1.818 million in revenue per lawyer.
Kirkland & Ellis and Davis, Polk & Wardwell, meanwhile, were just behind Wachtell in profits per equity partner, with profits per equity partner at $7.388 million and $7.01 million, respectively, the American Lawyer reports in another story.
Wachtell didn’t fare as well in the Am Law 100, which ranks law firms by gross revenue in 2021. Wachtell came in at No. 45.
The top five on that list are:
• Kirkland & Ellis, which became the first law firm to exceed $6 billion in revenue, with $6.042 billion in gross revenue
• Latham & Watkins, with $5.488 billion in gross revenue
• DLA Piper, with $3.471 billion in gross revenue
• Baker McKenzie, with $3.126 billion in gross revenue
• Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, with $3.022 billion in gross revenue