For a generation, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager & Flom stood alone among law firms in combining mammoth size with regal wealth. Well, move over, Joe Flom. With revenue of more than $2 billion and profits per equity partner approaching $2.4 million, Linklaters has surpassed Skadden on both measures. As managing partner Tony Angel’s nine-year tenure draws to a close, Linklaters is both big and rich. How big and rich? Chew on this: You could put together a three-way merger among Davis Polk & Wardwell; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; and Debevoise & Plimpton, and, on a pro forma basis, Linklaters would outstrip it in both revenue and profits per equity partner.
“The elite New York firms used to say that the big U.K. firms are so big that they can’t get their profits up,” says Tony Williams of the consultancy Jomati, who is a former managing partner of Clifford Chance. “Well, they can and they have. The last couple of years have shown that size is not an impediment to profitability.”
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