Credit: Jon Valk

 

Five large Texas firms are among the nation’s highest-grossing firms in 2017, once again ranking among the Am Law 100 published Tuesday.

Three of the firms that held spots in the rankings were little changed from last year’s Am Law 100, which considered 2016 financials. However, Baker Botts, which in 2016 benefited from some large contingency fees and strategic investments, dropped this year to 50th place from 39th place, with the firm’s gross revenue dropping 13.5 percent in 2017 year-over-year. Also, Locke Lord slipped to 67th place in the rankings, compared with the 60th spot last year. The firm’s revenue declined by 9.8 percent in 2017.

Leading the Texas contingent on the Am Law 100 is Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, which posted gross revenue of $1.04 billion in 2017, up 6.1 percent from 2016, and claimed the 29th spot on this year’s rankings, the same as last year. Akin Gump is one of 31 firms to post gross revenue in excess of $1 billion.

Baker Botts was next in the 50th position, with gross revenue of $731.8 million, while Vinson & Elkins, which posted $727.5 million in 2017—its second consecutive year of record revenue— nipped at Baker Botts’ heels by taking the 51st spot, up from 53rd the year before.

Locke Lord was next on the rankings in the 67th position with $504.3 million in revenue, while Haynes and Boone took the 89th spot, up from 90th the year before. Its 2017 revenue was $397.5 million, up 6 percent from 2016.


Read More: The 2018 Am Law 100


Those firms will top the list of the 20 highest-grossing firms in Texas, which will be published in July in the Texas Lawyer’s annual report on firm finance.

Overall, gross revenue for the Am Law 100 firms improved by 5.5 percent to a record $91.4 billion, and net income grew by 6.1 percent for the group. Revenue per lawyer increased by 3.2 percent overall, rising to $936,655, and profits per equity partner increased by 6.3 percent, to $1.8 million.

Many consider RPL the most reliable measure of a firm’s financial performance. Akin Gump had the highest RPL in 2017 among the five Texas firms, ranking 23rd, with a 6 percent increase to $1.2 million. But RPL improved by 9.2 percent at V&E, declined at Baker Botts by 14.6 percent, improved by 1.6 percent at Locke Lord, and by 6.6 percent at Haynes and Boone.

Akin Gump reported the highest profits per partner (PPP)  among the BigTex firms on the Am Law 100, coming in the 25th position in the rankings with $2.4 million, up 13.5 percent from last year. V&E was close behind, with its PPP up 16.5 percent. PPP at Baker Botts declined by 25.4 percent. At Haynes and Boone, it improved by 3.1 percent and at Locke Lord, it slipped by 1.7 percent.