Kirkland & Ellis posted healthy increases to both its top and bottom lines in 2012, with the firm’s gross revenue jumping 11 percent, to $1.937 billion, and its profits per partner rising 6.5 percent, to $3.25 million, according to The American Lawyer‘s reporting. Revenue per lawyer increased 5 percent, to $1.275 million.
Last year’s solid financial performance suggests the aggressive lateral hiring strategy Kirkland has pursued in recent years is paying off. Those coming aboard amid that push include M&A partners David Fox and Daniel Wolf, who joined Kirkland from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 2009; an eight-partner group of lateral hires in Hong Kong that included Nicholas Norris and Dominic Tsun from Skadden and David Zhang from Latham & Watkins; and prominent intellectual property litigator Leora Ben-Ami, who arrived from Kaye Scholer last year with three other partners. The past few months have seen the firm continue to bolster its corporate ranks with the additions of former Cravath, Swaine & Moore M&A partner Sarkis Jebejian and West Coast–based M&A partners Michael Ringler and Rick Madden from, respectively, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Skadden.
Wolf and Fox were particularly busy last year, taking roles on a series of large M&A deals that included advising Swedish company ABB in its $4 billion buyout of Thomas & Betts, and representing Bristol-Myers Squibb in connection with its $7 billion acquisition of Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Other notable M&A deals in which Kirkland had a hand included Baxter International’s $4 billion purchase of Gambro. (The firm represented Baxter in that transaction.)
On the litigation front, the firm, which declined The Am Law Daily‘s request for comment for this story, continued its representation of BP in cases arising from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Kirkland’s overall head count rose 5 percent, to 1,517, while the number of equity partners increased 7 percent to 325. The firm also has roughly 385 nonequity partners.
This report is part of The Am Law Daily’s early coverage of 2012 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Click here to see an interactive chart comparing this firm’s 2012 finances to those of other Am Law 100 and Second Hundred firms that The Am Law Daily and its sibling publications have reported on to date. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer’s 2013 issue and on AmericanLawyer.com. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.