After watching profits per partner sink 4.3 percent in 2008 and revive only 0.3 percent in 2009, Am Law 100 firms finally posted a healthy increase--8.4 percent--in 2010. But much of that gain is attributable to firms aggressive cost-control measures, especially in the area of headcount, which dropped 2.7 percent over 2009. As a result, growth in revenue per lawyer--the most reliable measure of the overall financial health of law firms--was more tepid, 4.4 percent.
Gross revenue rose 4 percent in 2010, in effect making up for the 3.4 percent loss The Am Law 100 posted in 2009, as firms benefited from the nascent recovery in capital markets and M&A. However, much of that growth came from two giants--DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells, a pair of vereins whose worldwide revenues were included in this years report for the first time, due to a change in our methodology. Leaving out those two anomalies, The AmLaw 100s average gross revenue increased a meager 1.4 percent in 2010.
Gross Revenue (Free)This year four more firms crossed over the $1 billion revenue threshold, including Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Sullivan & Cromwell; and the newly merged Hogan Lovells.
Revenue Per LawyerAfter two years of declines, revenue per lawyer for The Am Law 100 rose 4.4 percent in 2010.
The Firms A to ZFour firms from the Second Hundred made it into The Am Law 100 this year. New to the top 100 are Jackson Lewis and McKenna Long & Aldridge.
Most law firms provide their financials voluntarily for this report. Some choose not to cooperate, so we make estimates based on our reporting. But all data is investigated by our reporters. In the event that an error in reporting a previous year is discovered, we will correct the numbers and base the percentage changes in future years on restated numbers.