Law firms in Am Law Second Hundred saw gross revenue increase slightly; which virtual firm cracked the list?
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The law firms ranked 101 to 200 for gross revenue had a respectable year in 2020, but their numbers are still well below law firms in the top 100, according to results published this week by the American Lawyer.
Gross revenue for the Am Law Second Hundred increased 1.1% to $20.8 billion; revenue per lawyer increased 3% to $707,506; and profits per equity partner grew 8.8% to $863,449. Lawyer head count collectively declined 1.8% to 29,359.
In the Am Law 100, gross revenue increased 6.6% to $111 billion; revenue per lawyer increased nearly 5% to $1.05 million; while profits per equity partner increased 13.4% to $2.23 million. Lawyer head count increased 1.7% to 105,718.
The American Lawyer reported on the Second Hundred results here, while Original Jurisdiction had an analysis here.
Ranked by gross revenue, the top five law firms in the Second Hundred are:
Forty-four of the law firms in the Second Hundred took loans in the Paycheck Protection Program last year, Law.com reports in this story. The loans weren’t included in the American Lawyer’s calculation of gross revenue, but they could have figured into net income if they were used to pay equity partners.
Law.com compared firms that took the loans with those that didn’t and found that, on aggregate, taking a loan did not correlate with firm performance. But the publication reported that firms taking loans had significantly lower gross revenue and net income than the other law firms in the Second Hundred.
One firm that fell into the Second Hundred this year is Boies Schiller Flexner, which is No. 130, Original Jurisdiction points out. Last year, Boies Schiller was No. 93.
“This wasn’t a shock,” wrote Above the Law founder David Lat at Original Jurisdiction, given the firm’s loss of several equity partners last year. “But it’s interesting to note that Boies actually grew its revenue per lawyer during 2020 by a respectable 4.6%, to $1.412 million, and PPEP, while down significantly, was still $2.3 million.”
Another notable change: The virtual law FisherBroyles, ranked No. 198, made the Second Hundred, Law.com reported in a separate story. Its revenues increased 12.5%, reaching $105.2 million last year.
The ABA Journal spoke with FisherBroyles’ co-founder and managing partner, Kevin E. Broyles, for a Legal Rebels podcast in March. Broyles said cracking the Second Hundred will make it even easier to attract BigLaw partners.
“Becoming a member of the Am Law 200 is going to be probably the last credibility feather in our cap,” Broyles said.