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Since the early days of our Global 100 survey, which ranks the world’s largest law firms by revenue, it’s always seemed that global expansion is the key to greater profits. But when one reviews the performance of individual firms in 2010 or charts it over time, it’s unclear whether there is a causal relationship between the two. Star performers can be found among the most stubborn homebodies and the most persistent imperialists. As for last year’s biggest gainers, the group includes four Australian firms that benefited from a strong currency; Norton Rose, which linked up with an Australian firm; and the litigators at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, who actually won new business. Two vereins also cracked our top ten for the first time—one (Hogan Lovells) by virtue of a new law firm combination, the other (DLA Piper) by virtue of a methodological change on our part that recognizes a union that has by now been around for some time. Sometimes, global expansion does pay off.

Previous Global 100 coverage :: 2010

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