Cutbacks Lead to Increased Profits

By April 28, 2011News Articles

The highly anticipated AmLaw 100 lists and reports show that large firm profits per partner increased by 8.4 percent in 2010 as attorney headcount, in the era of mass layoffs, dipped 2.7 percent. As in previous years, Wachtell topped the profit list at $4.3M per partner (essentially the same as 2009), while litigation boutique Quinn Emanuel came in second at $3.6M per partner – a nearly 16 percent jump. Alston & Bird‘s profits jumped 34 percent thanks to a 6.7 percent headcount reduction and a revenue gain from Toyota-acceleration defense work.

Gross revenue increased by 4 percent, but as the editors note, much of that increase comes from DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells, whose revenues were included for the first time (without those two anomalies, growth was just 1.4 percent). Revenue per lawyer, referred to as “the most reliable measure of the overall financial health of law firms,” grew 4.4 percent. Megafirm Baker & McKenzie led in gross revenues with Skadden just a tad behind, both at about $2.1B.

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