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Despite solid numbers—increases of 10 percent in gross revenue, 5.3 percent in revenue per lawyer, and 6 percent in profits per equity partner—Second Hundred firms continued to lose ground to their larger counterparts in 2006. Growth at the Second Hundred—firms 101–200 on The American’s Lawyer’s list of the nation’s 200 highest-grossing law firms—was eclipsed by gains at The Am Law 100, the top hundred firms on the list. Am Law 100 firms posted increases of 11.4 percent in gross revenue, 7.3 percent in revenue per lawyer, and 13.4 percent in profits per equity partner. The Second Hundred’s results are in the June issue of The American Lawyer, available June 1. The gap between the two groups was especially pronounced in compensation–all partners, the average payout to both equity and nonequity partners. At Am Law 100 firms, average compensation–all partners grew 10.7 percent in 2006, compared to 3.8 percent at Second Hundred firms. There already is a sizeable financial gap between Second Hundred firms and their larger counterparts, especially in pay. Profits per equity partner at the top 100 firms averaged $1.21 million, nearly double that of the Second Hundred’s $624,000. Average compensation–all partners at Am Law 100 firms was $941,000, compared to $509,000 at Second Hundred firms. The top 200 firms—known collectively as The Am Law 200—had combined gross revenue of $72.5 billion in 2006; they employed a total of 100,523 lawyers. But Am Law 100 firms are more leveraged than Second Hundred firms. Top-100 firms employ almost three-fourths of The Am Law 200′s lawyers, but only two-thirds of its equity partners. In fact, the 50 highest-grossing firms brought in 55 percent of The Am Law 200′s total gross revenues in 2006. Average profits per equity partner at the top 50 firms was $1.379 million, compared to $926,000 at firms 51–100, $672,000 at firms 101–150, and $566,000 at firms 151–200. Nonetheless, a handful of Second Hundred firms gave top-100 firms a run for their money. Many of these standout Second Hundred firms are high-end specialty shops; this gives them access to the premium, nondiscounted work that Am Law 100 firms seek. Four Second Hundred firms were among the top 10 percent of Am Law 200 firms ranked by revenue per lawyer, the best measure of a firm’s overall financial health. They are: McKee Nelson (number seven); Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy (number 11); Irell & Manella (number 12); and Munger, Tolles & Olson (number 16). Profits per equity partner was a tougher hurdle to clear, however. Just one Second Hundred firm—litigation shop Boies, Schiller & Flexner—posted top-20 profits per partner. It ranked number three, with average profits per equity partner of $3.05 million. The Charts

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