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Twenty $1 billion law firms on American Lawyer list

The American Lawyer's annual list of law firm and lawyer earnings shows 20 firms which it says had gross revenue over US$1 billion in 2012.

This was up from 17 firms in 2011. The top firm in terms of gross revenue was DLA Piper, with US$2.44 billion, and also the world's largest law firm in terms of head count. This was DLA Piper's first time at the top of the table. The firm had 462 equity partners and 4,036 lawyers. Its 2012 revenue was up 8.6% from 2011.

Second, down from top in 2011, was Baker and McKenzie, with gross revenue of US$2.313 billion and up 2.1% on 2011. Latham (US$2.226 billion, up 3.4%), Skadden (US$2.21 billion, up 2.1%) and Kirkland (US$1.938 billion, up 10.7%) made up the top five firms by gross revenue.

The top firm when it came to revenue per lawyer, was Wachtell, with US$2,465,000 per lawyer in 2012, followed by Sullivan & Cromwell (US$1,525,000) and Cravath (US$1,330,000).

In the Profits per Partner table, Wachtell gain led in 2012, with profits per partner of US$4,975,000, followed by Quinn Emanuel (US$4,435,000) and Cahill (US$3,555,000).

Average profits per partner for the AmLaw 100 (the top 100 law firms in the world according to American Lawyer's rankings) went up 4.2% in 2012 from 2011, but the magazine says the growth was uneven, with 66 firms reporting increases in profits per partner in 2012, compared to 72 in 2011. There were 19 firms with growth rates over 10%, compared to 15 in 2011.

The table showing Average Compensation - All Partners showed a rise of 3% over the AmLaw 100 in 2012, compared to 1.9% in 2011. 

New Zealand's highest earning law firm in terms of gross revenue is believed to be Chapman Tripp, with revenue estimated over NZ$100 million by The Business of Law in 2009. 


Last updated on the 29th April 2013