February 21st, 2008 by Jim Cotterman
This was the title of an interesting piece on The Lawyer.com (2/18/08). It speaks of the the possible emergence of a global elite — two firms who have surpassed the $2 billion dollar annual revenue threshold. While this is a major milestone and could very well be the early signs of a permanent realignment; it may not be what all firms aspire to. What if a firm wanted to consistently out-earn its competitors?
Using the 2007 AmLaw 200 and NLJ 250 (both based on 2006 results) we see that Latham & Watkins and Skadden Arps were both approaching the $2 billion annual revenue threshold. But they were neither the largest by number of lawyers or the most profitable by profits per equity partner. The largest was Baker & McKenzie and the consistently most profitable firm is Wachtel Lipton (although they came in at # 2 in 2006).
View the Comparison Table to see these four firms and their rankings in revenue, revenue per lawyer, profits per equity partner and total number of lawyers.
View the Correlation Graph to see how the AmLaw 200 look when you graph the relationship between profits per equity partner and the total number of lawyers.