The world keeps getting smaller, but the law firms keep getting bigger. The American Lawyer magazine just announced its Global 100, the world’s 100 largest law firms in terms of total revenue, and Biglaw seems bigger than ever.

Despite the challenging economic climate, law firms continue to grow. In three key categories — revenue, profits per partner, and attorney headcount — the top firm for 2012 boasts a bigger number than last year’s #1 firm….

Let’s start with the revenue figures. The Global 100, like the Am Law 100, is a ranking based on revenue.

On the whole, the news was good, according to Am Law:

Gross revenue for The Global 100 grew by its highest rate since 2007, with a 7 percent increase in 2011. Seventy-six of the world’s top-grossing firms are American and 14 are British, though seven of them are structured as vereins or as European Economic Interest Groups (EEIGs). Rounding out this year’s list are six Australian firms; and one firm each from Canada, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Here are the top ten of the Global 100 (click to enlarge):

Check out the full list over at Am Law.

For the third year in a row, Baker & McKenzie took the top spot, with $2.313 billion in gross revenue (up from last year’s figure of $2.265 billion). Meanwhile, DLA Piper and Skadden Arps switched places, with DLA coming in second this year and Skadden coming in third. Both firms posted higher revenues than last year.

The rest of the top ten remained largely unchanged. There were a few switches here and there, but all of 2011′s top ten firms wound up in the top ten again for 2012. (Think of this as the Biglaw version of the T14 — the order might change, but the participants remain the same.)

Now, on to everyone’s favorite metric: profits per partner. And attorney headcount, too….


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