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It looks like mergers were the only way local firms were going to make any significant moves up the AmLaw 100 chart this year. Aside from the re-emergence on the AmLaw 100 by Calif.-based Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner, which is the end result of a 2006 merger between Thelen Reid and New York’s Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner, two Pennsylvania firms had the most dramatic moves up the chart this year, thanks to large-scale combinations. According to data compiled by The Legal‘s sister publication, The American Lawyer, Drinker Biddle & Reath moved up 25 spots to 74th place in the gross revenue category. That was because of a 45 percent increase in revenues after a Jan. 1, 2007, merger with Chicago-based Gardner Carton & Douglas. Drinker Biddle’s fiscal year ends Jan. 31. K&L Gates, named so after a January 2007 merger between Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and Seattle-based Preston Gates & Ellis, jumped 22 spots up the AmLaw 100 chart to 28th in the gross revenue rankings. Merging does, however, have its costs. The two firms either remained stagnant or dropped a few spots in terms of their revenue per lawyer (RPL) rankings. K&L Gates is ranked 28th overall but has an RPL ranking of 86 and a profits per equity partner (PPP) ranking of 76. Drinker Biddle came in at 74th overall and is ranked 88th and 95th in RPL and PPP, respectively. In fact, Pennsylvania-based firms in general don’t fare all that well when it comes to RPL. While one of the state’s firms can be seen as soon as 12th place on the gross revenue chart, it isn’t until the 30th spot that another Pennsylvania law firm makes the RPL rankings. The next mention of a Keystone firm after that isn’t until 47th place and then local firms aren’t seen until 72nd or well below for RPL. It should be mentioned that those rankings see dramatic improvement when the firms’ headcounts are taken into consideration. In the overall rankings based on gross revenue, the same 10 firms that made the AmLaw 100 this year also made it last year. Pepper Hamilton and Reed Smith each moved up by seven spots, Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll edged up two spots and Morgan Lewis & Bockius held steady in 12th place. Dechert and Duane Morris each dropped one place, and Blank Rome fell three spots on the list. Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney saw the largest fall of Pennsylvania firms with a 10-spot dip to 96th place. Reed Smith’s seven spot jump to 23rd place in terms of gross revenue puts the firm above Dechert for the first time and makes it second only to Morgan Lewis in looking at Pennsylvania-based firms. Morgan Lewis had a benchmark year in terms of gross revenue, exceeding the $1 billion mark for the first time, and Reed Smith broke the $1 million barrier in terms of PPP. Bill Brennan of Altman Weil said gross revenue is an indicator of size, while RPL is an indicator of how lucrative a firm is. After taking Dechert and Morgan Lewis out of the mix, many Pennsylvania firms are relatively low in the important RPL indicator, particularly when compared to New York or California firms, he said. That is mainly just a function of rates, he said, as well as the departure of several large corporations from the Philadelphia region. Brennan said Philadelphia is still a successful market. In order to combat the issues making it difficult to grow RPL, firms across the state are becoming regional and national to find markets where large corporations are based and higher rates can be charged. Those firms are doing well, Brennan said. According to research compiled by The American Lawyer, the top grossing law firms in the United States finished a five-year growth spurt in both RPL and PPP that was better than any other time period tracked by the magazine. But the magazine also predicts the “law firm golden age” is coming to an end as the growth in headcount noticeably exceeded the growth in RPL for the first time since 2001. Headcount growth coupled with associate salary increases will be felt this year, according to sources who spoke to The American Lawyer. In looking at 2007′s numbers for Pennsylvania firms, it’s difficult to tell whether some of those economic pressures have already affected the financial performances of those firms. Morgan Lewis Morgan Lewis remained in 12th place on the AmLaw 100 chart, increasing its gross revenue by 12 percent to $1.03 billion. The firm’s RPL grew by 7.8 percent from $770,000 in 2006 to $830,000 in 2007 and the PPP increased by 15.3 percent from $1.24 million to $1.43 million. It finished out 2007 with 1,241 full-time equivalent lawyers including 251 equity partners. That totals three fewer equity partners than last year. Reed Smith Reed Smith jumped seven spots in the rankings to move to 23rd on the list. The firm was helped by two mergers that bumped its gross revenue 38.5 percent from $644 million in 2006 to $892 million in 2007. The firm’s PPP increased by 6.9 percent from $940,000 in 2006 to $1.005 million last year. The RPL jumped 6.2 percent between 2006 and 2007, moving from $650,000 to $690,000. Reed Smith had a total of 1,293 lawyers in 2007, of which 268 were equity partners. This edition of AmLaw 100 also marks the first time The American Lawyerclassified Reed Smith as a national firm, as opposed to Pittsburgh-based. Dechert Dechert fell one spot in the rankings to 25th place overall. The firm’s gross revenue increased by 14.7 percent from $729 million to $836.5 million in 2007. The firm increased its rankings in both the RPL and PPP categories. Dechert grew the RPL by 11.7 percent from $810,000 in 2006 to $905,000 in 2007, giving it the highest RPL of any firm based in the state. The firm also has the highest PPP of any Pennsylvania firm, improving the metric 18.4 percent from $1.985 million to $2.35 million. Dechert finished out 2007 with 922 lawyers, including 163 equity partners, compared with 898 lawyers and 169 equity partners in 2006. K&L Gates Its merger with Preston Gates & Ellis pushed K&L Gates high up the AmLaw 100 chart to 28th place. The firm’s gross revenue hit $755 million compared to about $500 million prior to its merger. The American Lawyerdoesn’t give percentage increases for any of the financial metrics due to the merger. The RPL reached $610,000 in the combined firm and the PPP hit $800,000. That can be compared with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart’s 2006 RPL of $605,000 and PPP of $780,000. K&L Gates had a total of 1,235 lawyers in 2007, including 243 equity partners. Duane Morris An 11.4 percent jump in gross revenue wasn’t enough to move Duane Morris up the ranks. The firm moved down one spot on the chart to 71st with gross revenue of $375 million. That is compared to $336.5 million from the year before. Duane Morris’ RPL grew by 6.7 percent from $600,000 in 2006 to $640,000 in 2007 and the PPP increased by 9.6 percent from $730,000 to $800,000. The firm closed out 2007 with 584 lawyers and 123 equity partners compared to 561 attorneys and 128 equity partners in 2006. Drinker Biddle The American Lawyerdidn’t calculate percentage increases for any of Drinker Biddle’s metrics either, but in looking at its pre-merger numbers, the firm grew its gross revenue by 45 percent from $246 million in 2006 to $357 million in 2007. The RPL increased 2.5 percent from $580,000 to $595,000 and the PPP decreased 1.7 percent from $585,000 to $575,000. Drinker Biddle had a total of 599 lawyers in 2007, including 203 equity partners. That is compared to 423 attorneys and 143 equity partners in 2006. The firm moved from 99th to 74th overall. Managing partner Andrew C. Kassner said the firm’s move up the chart is a reflection of the success of a merger that advanced both the short-term and long-term goals of the firm. It is also due to the addition of several attorneys in Drinker Biddle’s driver practices, he said. Kassner said he’s pleased with the progress the firm has made and how it’s positioned itself to better serve its clients. Blank Rome Blank Rome fell three spots in the rankings to 84th on the list. Its gross revenue grew by 10.7 percent from $284 million in 2006 to $314.5 million in 2007. The RPL increased 8.5 percent to $640,000 in 2007 from $590,000 the prior year. The firm’s PPP jumped 14.7 percent from $580,000 in 2006 to $665,000 in 2007. Blank Rome finished out 2007 with 492 lawyers and 152 equity partners compared to 480 attorneys and 166 equity partners in 2006. Pepper Hamilton Despite drops in its RPL and PPP rank, Pepper Hamilton was able to move up the AmLaw 100 chart with a 14.7 percent increase in its gross revenue. The firm grew that metric from $259 million in 2006 to $297 million in 2007, putting it in 88th place for the year. The firm’s RPL grew by 3.1 percent from $640,000 to $660,000 and its PPP decreased by 3.1 percent from $645,000 in 2006 to $625,000 in 2007. Pepper Hamilton had a total of 451 lawyers, including 140 equity partners, in 2007. That is compared to 405 attorneys and 131 equity partners in 2006. Buchanan Ingersoll Buchanan Ingersoll fell the most spots of any other Pennsylvania-based firm, dropping 10 slots to 96th place. The firm had two large-scale mergers, one each in 2005 and 2006, but didn’t continue that trend in 2007. Its gross revenue increased 3.9 percent from $271.5 million to $282 million in 2007. The firm’s RPL grew 3.7 percent from $535,000 in 2006 to $555,000 in 2007 and the PPP jumped 9.6 percent from $520,000 to $570,000. Buchanan Ingersoll closed out 2007 with 509 attorneys, including 108 equity partners. In 2006, the firm had 505 attorneys and 117 equity partners. Ballard Spahr Ballard Spahr moved up from last place on the AmLaw 100 chart to 98th for its 2007 financial performance. The firm’s gross revenue grew 15.4 percent from $243 million in 2006 to $280.5 million in 2007. The RPL grew by 5.5 percent to $575,000 in 2007 from $545,000 in 2006. The firm’s PPP increased 5.8 percent from $515,000 in 2006 to $545,000 in 2007. Ballard Spahr had a total of 487 lawyers in 2007, including 169 equity partners. That is compared with 436 attorneys and 158 equity partners in 2006. Other Firms With Local Presence Greenberg Traurig moved up two spots on the AmLaw 100 to 8th place overall with a gross revenue of $1.2 billion. Its PPP grew 8.3 percent to $1.3 million and its RPL increased 6.6 percent to $725,000. The American Lawyeronly tracks DLA Piper’s U.S. numbers because the firm � the largest in the world � is set up as a series of alliances. The U.S. portion of the firm stayed at 11th place on the overall rankings with a gross revenue of $1.13 billion. The firm’s RPL increased 9.9 percent to $830,000 and its PPP grew 8.9 percent to $1.2 million. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld fell four spots on the rankings to 29th place. Its gross revenue grew 3.6 percent in 2007 to $752.5 million, its RPL grew by 1.8 percent to $855,000 and the PPP decreased by 6.9 percent to $1.2 million.

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