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%.
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.