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February 8, 2012 2:41 PM

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: DLA Piper Breaks $2 Billion Barrier to Post Record Revenue

Posted by Chris Johnson

DLA Piper saw its global gross revenue soar past the $2 billion mark in the last fiscal year to set a new firm record, according to reporting by The American Lawyer.

The firm's total revenue jumped 14.6 percent to an all-time high of roughly $2.25 billion in 2011. Average profits per partner, meanwhile, rose almost 8 percent to $1.225 million—just $70,000 below the peak profit figure the firm achieved in 2008. DLA's profit margin inched up from 24 to 25 percent last year.

Part of the revenue gains came from the financial integration of DLA's Australian ally, Phillips Fox, which took place last May. Speaking after the firm announced its 2010 figures, global cochair Frank Burch told The Am Law Daily that the merger would add around $300 million to the firm's topline. The tie-up also made DLA the world's largest firm by attorney head count. (Burch did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on the firm's 2011 financial results Wednesday.)

The formal union with Phillips Fox came amid a sustained lateral hiring binge that continued to swell the firm's attorney and partner ranks. DLA brought in 87 new partners last year—more than any other Am Law 100 firm, according to The American Lawyer's most recent Lateral Report—and promoted a further 53. Total lawyer head count grew by almost 400 lawyers to 3,745, meaning that DLA's revenue per lawyer rose by a more modest 2.6 percent to $600,000.

Last March, the firm opened a new Delaware office following the hire of a five-partner team from Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge (now Edwards Wildman). In June, DLA announced that former Senate majority leader and onetime firm chair George Mitchell, Jr., was returning to the business after two years in the Obama administration. DLA also recently appointed former Linklaters managing partner Tony Angel as its new global cochair.

This report is part of The Am Law Daily's early coverage of 2011 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer's May 2012 issue and on AmericanLawyer.com. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.

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