The Score

February 23, 2011 5:34 PM

The Am Law 100: Munger Revenue and Profits Slip

Posted by Susan Beck

For a second year in a row, Munger, Tolles & Olson saw a 4 percent drop in revenue and a decrease in profits per partner. The litigation-focused firm received $189.5 million in revenue last year, and average profits per equity partner slipped 2 percent to $1.219 million. Revenue per lawyer also fell roughly 2 percent to $1.047. Roughly 76 percent of the firm's revenue comes from litigation work.

Total lawyer head count at the firm dipped from from 186 to 181, while the number of equity partners increased from 91 to 93. (The firm does not have a nonequity partner tier.) It continues to maintain low leverage, with a less than 1:1 associate-to-partner ratio.

Managing partner Sandra Seville-Jones said in a statement that Munger's financial results have been relatively stable over the last several years. "Our relative size, lack of leverage and fiscal conservatism has led to steady results and buffered the firm from significant swings," she said. "We are well positioned for 2011 as the economy continues to improve." (In 2008 the firm's gross revenue and profits were mostly flat compared to the previous year.)

Munger does significant litigation work for Rambus Inc., Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. It also handles corporate work for Bershire Hathaway, including its $44 billion acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. last year, and is representing Hugh Hefner in a deal to take Playboy Enterprises, Inc., private.


Click here for all our ongoing coverage of The Am Law 100.

This report is part of The Am Law Daily's ongoing Web coverage of 2010 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Results are preliminary. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer's May 2011 issue and on The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.

Results for the 2010 fiscal year reflect a change in the survey methodology. Per-lawyer and per-partner results for 2010 are based on a full calendar year average FTE head count, while published results for previous years were, in most cases, based on an August 31 FTE head count. When possible, we have recalculated fiscal year 2009 numbers to reflect the change in head count and based percentages on those adjusted numbers.

The final published results of last year's Am Law 100 rankings are available here; Second Hundred results are available here.

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