Biglaw, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, Rankings

The Biggest of Biglaw: Greet the Global 100

The American Lawyer Global 100 is out. It’s the list that ranks law firms around the world by gross revenue.

And this year, there’s a new name at the top. Baker & McKenzie leapfrogged a number of firms to become the top-grossing law firm in the world (based on 2009 revenue numbers). Baker narrowly edged out Skadden for this honor.

Of course, Skadden people shouldn’t be ashamed of their second-place finish. Baker & McKenzie is huge: it leads the Am Law list of most lawyers by more than a thousand over its nearest rival, Clifford Chance. Skadden ranks #9 on the “most lawyers” list, with an attorney headcount that is almost doubled by Baker & McKenzie. Skadden gets to #2 in the revenue rankings by having a much higher revenue-per-lawyer figure.

Let’s take a look at the top ten in terms of revenue, and drool over these billion-dollar businesses…

According to Am Law, here are the top ten grossing law firms:

1) Baker & McKenzie
2) Skadden
3) Clifford Chance
4) Linklaters
5) Latham & Watkins
6) Freshfields
7) Allen & Overy
8) Jones Day
9) Kirkland & Ellis
10) Sidley Austin

The full list is available here.

The biggest gainers on this year’s list (in terms of rank, not absolute dollar amount) are Wachtell (#51, up from #67 in 2009); Covington & Burling (#52, up from #66 in 2009); and Bryan Cave (#57, up from #70 in 2009).

The biggest losers: Slaughter & May (#48, down from #36 in 2009); McDermott (#33, down from #23 in 2009); and DLA Piper (#24, down from #17 in 2009). (Lovells also dropped ten spots, but since it has now merged with Hogan & Hartson, we’re not sure of the relevance of that stat.)

Considering that the last firm on the Global 100, Dorsey & Whitney, grossed $342 million, I’m thinking that even the firms that dropped down in the rankings are still doing pretty okay.

The Global 100 2010: Sound as a Pound [American Lawyer]
List of Top Firms Has ‘an American Accent’; Baker & McKenzie Is No. 1 [ABA Journal]
And the Largest Law Firm in the World is . . . [WSJ Law Blog]

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