Business of Law

Which BigLaw firms had the biggest changes in gross revenues?

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Latham & Watkins remains the top U.S. law firm by gross revenue, with $2.65 billion in revenues last year.

Though it tops the list in gross revenues, the top 100 firm with the biggest gain in gross revenues (apart from firms that merged) was Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the American Lawyer (sub. req.) reports.

Wachtell Lipton’s gross revenues jumped 18 percent. Second among firms that didn’t merge was Jenner & Block, with a 14 percent growth in gross revenue.

Wachtell Lipton also increased its net income, revenue per lawyer and profits per partner by at least 20 percent each. Yet is has only 261 lawyers. It tops the list for profits per partner (sub. req.), with 6.6 million average profits per partner.

Firms with the highest revenue growth that did merge were Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Locke Lord. They each boosted revenues by 40 percent.

The firm with the biggest drop in gross revenue was Hughes Hubbard & Reed, which had a drop of 8.2 percent, according to an American Lawyer chart. It is one of two firms among the top 100—the other is Arnold & Porter—that had double-digit falls in both net income and profits per partner, along with drops in gross revenue of more than 5 percent, according to the publication.

Arnold & Porter attributes its 6.41 percent drop in gross revenue to an end of two major matters, and notes that it paid $15 million to relocate its headquarters.

Other firms with drops in gross revenue are Hunton & Williams (down 7.04 percent), K&L Gates (down 7.03 percent), Littler (down 6.8 percent), and Quinn Emanuel (down 5.53 percent).

K&L Gates attributes depressed revenues to investments designed to help the firm cross-sell its practices, according to a separate American Lawyer story (sub. req.) on the law firm. The story notes the law firm lost 28 partners in February and March.

Latham is one of five law firms with gross revenues above $2 billion. The American Lawyer’s top 10 for gross revenues are:

  1. Latham & Watkins, with $2.65B in revenue and 2,177 lawyers

  2. DLA Piper, with $2.543B in revenue and 3,756 lawyers

  3. Baker & McKenzie, with $2.43B in revenue and 4,363 lawyers

  4. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, with $2.41B in revenue and 1,677 lawyers

  5. Kirkland & Ellis, with $2.305B in revenue and 1,619 lawyers

  6. Jones Day, with $1.941B in revenue and 2,562 lawyers

  7. Sidley Austin, with $1.867B in revenue and 1,779 lawyers

  8. Morgan Lewis, with $1.844B in revenue and 1,880 lawyers

  9. Hogan Lovells, with $1.821B in revenue and 2,516 lawyers

  10. Norton Rose Fulbright, with $1.737B in revenue and 3,372 lawyers

The largest law firms in terms of lawyers, according to another chart (sub. req.) from the American Lawyer, are Baker & McKenzie (4,363 lawyers), DLA Piper (3,756 lawyers), Norton Rose Fulbright (3,372 lawyers), Jones Day (2,562 lawyers), Hogan Lovells (2,516 lawyers) and Latham (2,177 lawyers).

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