Fueled by deals, revenue at law firms grew by 14% for the first nine months of 2021, continuing the pace set during the first half of the year, and far exceeding 6% growth during the same period in 2020, according to results of the Wells Fargo Legal Specialty Group Nine-Month 2021 Check-in Survey.

“Firms continue to benefit from this ‘best of all worlds’ environment with almost everything going right: growth in demand, rates, and productivity—each up 6% or more, against generally easy comparisons a year ago,” the private bank wrote in a Monday press release.

Big firms continue to lead the pack, as revenue for the Am Law 50 firms that participated in the survey grew by 17% for the three quarters, compared with 10% for the rest of the Am Law 100 and the Second Hundred. Significantly, 93% of firms reported an increase in revenue for the nine months when compared with the prior year, which was a time when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the legal industry.

Broken down, 68% of Am Law 50 firms reported more than 10% revenue growth, as did 45% of the rest of the Am Law 100, and 41% of the Second Hundred.

Joe Mendola, senior director of sales for Wells Fargo Private Bank Legal Specialty Group, wrote in emailed responses to questions that transactional activity, such as M&A, initial public offerings and private equity work, led to the strong results for the year so far. The technology and life sciences sectors were particularly busy, he wrote, as they also generate additional antitrust, regulatory and privacy work.

According to Mendola, Am Law 50 firms are faring better than the rest of the field because they have the “strongest transactional practices and the deepest bench within the faster-growing industries,” which has allowed those Big Law firms to continue to invest in growth segments, he wrote.

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