This Year’s AmLaw 100: “Fundamental Recovery” for Some
April 25 (Bloomberg Law) — Revenues and profits on average rose in the low single digits at the nation’s 100 highest-grossing law firms in 2012, sparking a “fundamental recovery,” Robin Sparkman, editor-in-chief of American Lawyer magazine tells Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia.
The annual survey, released today, found that gross revenue rose last year by 3.4 percent, to $73 billion. Revenues per lawyer rose 2.6 percent, to an average of $844,000 at the 100 firms, and profits per partner rose by 4.2 percent to an average of $1.5 million. The number of partners at the 100 firms remained unchanged.
But firms on the top and bottom halves of the list saw very different results. Firms in the top 50 saw profits per partner grow at an average of 8% year over year, while the bottom half saw a decline of 3.3 percent. Sparkman says that this is the result of top 50 firms doing a much better job on keeping a lid on their expenses and obtaining a greater percentage of premium billing work. “Lower tier firms in the AMLAW 100 just don’t have a piece of that,” she says.
Sparkman also discusses firms that saw profits grow and decline the most, and gives her projection for growth in 2013.