X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The past year posed new and unusual challenges for U.S. law firms, rattled by economic uncertainty, remote work, stay-home orders and social distancing. Despite the turmoil, profits at the Am Law 100 leapt to new heights. Eight firms posted net income in excess of $1 billion in 2020, profits per equity partner spiked 13.4%, and the average profit margin bumped from 40% to 43%.


What data are you leveraging to sell strategy internally? Get the Am Law 100 data exclusively with Legal Compass.

Kirkland & Ellis led the Am Law 100 in profits with $2.95 billion, with Latham & Watkins next at $2.37 billion. They were joined in an expanded billion-dollar club by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Jones Day; White & Case; and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Profit increases were widespread, hitting nearly all of the Am Law 100. Profits per equity partner improved at 92 firms in the group, up from 86 the previous year, and only six posted lower PEP in 2020 than in 2019, compared with 14 the previous year. PEP averaged $2.231 million across the Am Law 100.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz set a new record with PEP of $7.5 million, on the back of 18.5% growth, while Littler Mendelson ranked last among the Am Law 100 at $570,000. The difference between the two was $6.93 million.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Brenda Sapino Jeffreys

Senior reporter Brenda Sapino Jeffreys covers the business of law in Texas. Contact her at [email protected] On Twitter: @BrendaSJeffreys

More from this author

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

You Can't Manage It If You Don't Measure It

How are you illustrating differentiation to clients and potential lateral targets? How are you measuring performance against peers? Use Legal Compass to benchmark a firm against its competitors, unearthing unique insights about performance, partner retention, market penetration and more. Click to log in, or begin your free trial.

Get More Information
 

The American Lawyer Industry Awards 2021Event

Honoring outstanding legal achievements focused at the national level, largely around Big Law and in-house departments.

Get More Information
 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.