NEW YORK, April 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Lawyer's Am Law 100 ranking of the nation's top-grossing law firms revealed only modest growth overall for key financial metrics, the slowest growth among top firms since the Great Recession. Total gross revenue rose 2.7 percent in 2015 as firms struggled with a leveling-off of legal demand and uncertain conditions in global markets, according to the annual report, available in the May 2016 print issue and at http://www.americanlawyer.com.
For the second year in a row, Latham & Watkins topped the Am Law 100, with gross revenue last year of $2.65 billion, an increase of 1.5 percent. Additionally, law firm mergers caused some firms' ranks to rise considerably, and three firms joined the list, which has been the definitive public ranking of financial performance for the nation's largest law firms for more than 30 years.
This year's ranking saw mediocre growth in financial performance, including average revenue per lawyer (RPL), which increased 2.6 percent to $894,253. Average profits per equity partner (PPP) rose 4 percent to $1,613,439—but that, in part, was because there were fewer equity partners at the ranked firms.
"Despite the so-so picture overall, several firms had a stunning year," said Kim Kleman, Editor-in-Chief of The American Lawyer. "For example, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz set a new record for profits per equity partner with $6.6 million. But our findings raise questions about the long-term growth prospects at Big Law firms."
Watch the free webinar, "The Insider's Guide to the Am Law 100," hosted by Kleman, for her list of the top five takeaways from the ranking.
The American Lawyer's Am Law 100 issue also provides a deeper look into this year's results, analyzing international and regional trends, profiling Am Law 100 law firms and offering data on many metrics integral to the business of Big Law.
About the Am Law 100
The American Lawyer's Am Law 100 has been recognized as the definitive public ranking of financial performance for the nation's largest law firms since its introduction in 1987. (The Am Law 50 was introduced in 1985 and the Am Law 75, in 1986.) Am Law 100/200 metrics are primary benchmarks for law firms seeking to assess their competitive position in the marketplace. Am Law 100 spreadsheet data is available for online purchase at www.almlegalintel.com. In June 2016, The American Lawyer will publish its rankings of the second hundred largest firms.
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