The 2012 Global 100: A World of Change

New giants emerge to dominate the latest edition of our annual report.

The American Lawyer

The legal sector used to be such a nice, calm place to do business. Partners and clients would occasionally come and go. The odd practice would falter, while a few firms made slightly more money than everyone else. But the market historically lived up to its reputation as a bastion of sleepy conservatism and resilience. Then came the financial crisis, which forced the legal elite to adapt to the most turbulent market conditions for a generation. As firms tussle for position in this new world order, the pronounced uptick in law firm merger activity has transformed our Global 100 rankings. New giants are emerging to dominate our charts, thanks in part to the increasing use of looser organizational structures that have facilitated these combinations. The net result of all this change is that The Global 100 has become more top-heavy. The upper echelons of the international legal market, as measured by revenue, are becoming increasingly dominated by a smaller number of larger firms. And the gap is widening.

Previous Global 100 coverage :: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007


The Hustlers Law firm mergers and the rise of vereins create new players in the Global 100. More change is afoot.
Nouveau Riche As emerging market companies go on a buying spree, which law firms are doing the deals?
Hot Spot As Africa's economy takes off, independent firms prosper, and global firms refine their strategy.
Looking North When a top Brazilian firm needed to reinvent itself, it turned to a handful of Am Law 100 firms.
Methodology How we produce the charts.
The 2011 Global 100 Last year's results.

Think Globally, Act Locally

Which firms handled the most deals by value and volume over the past two years in 10 emerging markets around the world?


Most Revenue Gross revenue for The Global 100 grew by its highest rate since 2007, with a 7 percent increase in 2011.
Most Profits Per Partner Profits per partner among Global 100 firms averaged slightly over $1.5 million in 2011.
Most Attorneys The average head count for Global 100 firms was just over 1,100 lawyers in 2011.
Most Revenue Per Lawyer Revenue per lawyer among the highest-grossing Global 100 firms averaged $830,000 in 2011.
Global 100 Master Chart (Subscription required.) The world's largest law firms ranked according to gross revenue, profits per partner, attorney head count, and several other metrics.