Biglaw, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, Rankings

All Hail the Global 100, the Highest-Grossing Law Firms in the World

Here is Am Law’s top-line commentary on profitability:

Profits per partner among Global 100 firms averaged slightly over $1.5 million in 2011. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is at the top of this chart with a PPP of almost $4.5 million. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan was the only other firm over $4 million. Seventy-four firms topped $1 million. American firms represent nine of the top 10, and 19 of the top 20 firms. Slaughter and May is the highest-ranking non-American firm, coming in at number seven.

And here are the top ten of the Global 100 for 2012, ranked by profit per partner (click to enlarge):

The order of the top four stayed the same: Wachtell Lipton, Quinn Emanuel, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Cravath. But note that Wachtell and Cravath lost equity partners — Wachtell dropped from 84 to 78, and Cravath dropped from 87 to 80 — while Quinn and S&C gained equity partners — Quinn grew from 94 to 111, and S&C grew from 166 to 171.

In the rest of the top ten, Paul Weiss bumped Kirkland & Ellis from the top five. As was the case with the revenue rankings, the top ten stayed the top ten, but just with some internal movement. Check out the complete listing at the American Lawyer.

Finally, let’s turn to headcount. Per Am Law:

The average head count for Global 100 firms was just over 1,100 lawyers in 2011. One-third (34) of the firms have over 1,000 lawyers. U.S. and U.K. firms dominate the chart: Sixty-seven are American and 16 are British, though seven of those are structured as vereins or EEIGs. Rounding out this year’s list are six Australian, five Chinese, three French, two Canadian, two Spanish, and one Dutch firm. The number of lawyers listed here is the average full-time-equivalent for the 2011 calendar year.

Behold the top ten firms in terms of attorney headcount (click to enlarge):

Baker & McKenzie, which took first place in this category last year, broke the 4,000-lawyer mark this year. DLA Piper, which stayed in second, grew too, from about 3,300 lawyers to 3,700 lawyers. Jones Day shed 100 attorneys, going from 2,500 to 2,400 attorneys, and got overtaken by Clifford Chance, which grew slightly.

You can access additional commentary and charts via this portal page. We welcome your insights and observations in the comments.

The 2012 Global 100: A World of Change [American Lawyer]
Baker, DLA Are Highest Grossing Firms; Wachtell Has Top PPP at $4.46M [ABA Journal]

Earlier: Who Is the Biggest Biglaw Behemoth?
The Biggest Law Firms in the World: Meet the Global 100
The Biggest of Biglaw: Greet the Global 100

ATL Law Firm Directory
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