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March 9, 2011 1:45 PM

The Am Law 100: Kirkland Profits Per Partner Top $3 Million

Posted by Susan Beck

The Kirkland & Ellis machine is running on all cylinders. The firm's revenue climbed 14 percent to $1.625 billion, and profits per equity partner jumped 23 percent to $3.075 million, according to our reporting. The profit figures put Kirkland in an elite group of firms with PPP above $3 million. (Kirkland declined to comment for our story.)

Surprisingly, the firm managed to boost its revenue with fewer lawyers. The number of lawyers at Kirkland fell nearly 6 percent, from 1,461 to 1,379, while revenue per lawyer climbed 21 percent, to $1.178 million. The number of equity partners increased from 270 to 280.

(Editor's note: Following a change in our methodology for the 2011 Am Law 200, the firm's 2009 numbers have been recalculated to reflect a full-year head count. All year-on-year percentage changes are based on those recalculated numbers.)

Last year's departure of two prominent partners--David Bernick and John Desmarais--doesn't appear to have hurt the firm, at least not yet. For one thing, Kirkland lawyers are busy representing BP in litigation arising from the Gulf Coast oil spill. The firm's private equity group, whose clients include Bain Capital, also remains strong.

Click here for all our ongoing coverage.

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 AmericanLawyer.com. 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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