Arnold & Porter, Biglaw, Fabulosity, Money, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, Rankings

The 2012 Am Law 100: Revenue and Profits Continue To Climb

1. The Am Law 100 (2012) — Gross Revenue

Even though people tend to fixate on the profit-per-partner numbers — which are, admittedly, juicier and less abstract — the Am Law 100 is a list of firms ranked by gross revenue. This year, the top 10 firms are the same as last year, but with some switching of places in the ranks.

Baker & McKenzie kept its #1 spot, but the ever-expanding DLA Piper leapfrogged over Skadden to take #2. Four firms earned over $2 billion in revenue, and an additional 13 firms broke the billion-dollar mark.

Here are the top 15 (click to enlarge; full chart here):

2. The Am Law 100 (2012) — Revenue Per Lawyer

Am Law refers to RPL as “the most reliable indicator of a firm’s overall financial health.” The firms that top the RPL chart tend to be some of the most elite and most prestigious (in contrast to the firms that top the gross revenue chart, in which sheer size or lawyer headcount plays a big role). Growth in the RPL metric was not robust in 2011, at just 1.9 percent (down from 4.4 percent last year), but at least it was widespread, with 74 of the 100 firms reporting gains. Twenty-four firms had revenue per lawyer over $1 million.

Here are the top 15 (click to enlarge; full chart here):

3. The Am Law 100 (2012) — Profits Per Partner

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the profit-per-partner rankings. Perennial chart-topper Wachtell maintained its #1 spot, but the M&A powerhouse is being gained on by litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel, at #2. Both firms had PPP over $4 million.

Another five firms surpassed the $3 million mark, including Sullivan & Cromwell at #3 and Cravath at #5 — two firms that play major roles in setting associate compensation, as market leaders for spring bonuses and year-end bonuses, respectively. (When we say “market leader,” we’re referring to how other firms tend to follow CSM and S&C; we’re not saying they pay the biggest bonuses, because they don’t.)

Here are the top 15 (click to enlarge; full chart here):

How did your firm fare in this year’s AmLaw 100 rankings? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

The Am Law 100 2012 [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]
The Haves and the Haves Less [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]
Debuts And Departures [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]
Race to the Top [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]
Probing and Profiting [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]
Dewey & LeBoeuf: A Note [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]
The Am Law 2012: Gross Revenue [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]
The Am Law 2012: Revenue Per Lawyer [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]
The Am Law 2012: Profit Per Partner [American Lawyer (sub. req.)]

Earlier: The Am Law 100 for 2010: ‘It Could Have Been Worse’

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