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April 3, 2012 6:08 PM

Dewey & LeBoeuf's 2010, 2011 Profits, Revenues Revised

Posted by Julie Triedman

The American Lawyer is revising the 2010 and 2011 financial results reported for Dewey & LeBoeuf in our annual Am Law 100 ranking. The revision is based on a review prompted by a March 27 Bloomberg story. In that article, Dewey’s management reported earnings of $250 million for 2011, far less than the amount reported by The American Lawyer for its Am Law 100 database three weeks earlier. 

On March 7, Dewey management told The American Lawyer that the firm collected $935 million last year, up from $909.9 million in 2010. According to the Bloomberg story, which was corroborated by a current and a former partner, however, the revenue figure for 2011 is actually $782 million, up 3 percent from the previous year. According to the new information, equity and nonequity partners shared a profit pool of $254 million. Equity partners, viewed apart from the nonequity tier, shared a net of $197.5 million, not the $340.5 million first reported by The American Lawyer.

According to the new information, profits per partner last year were $1.04 million, not the $1.8 million The American Lawyer initially reported. Additionally, our new reporting shows that the firm's revenue per lawyer was $750,000 last year, not $900,000.

In 2010 the newly obtained information indicates, the gross revenue figure for Dewey was $759.5 million, not $910 million. Combined earnings distributable to equity and nonequity partners should have been $255.1 million, not the $401 million Dewey reported, according to what appears to be a 2010 audited financial statement from the firm. 2010 average profits per equity partner should have been $980,000, not $1,605,000 as reported by the firm last year.

Dewey says that the former numbers were and are accurate and can be explained by methodological differences. Janis Meyer, Dewey's general counsel, wrote in an e-mail that "the methodology used for internal and financial accounting purposes is different from that used in submitting our numbers to you, which we assume is the case for every law firm that participates in your survey."

Starting in January, The Am Law Daily publishes reports on law firms' prior year financial results. However, these numbers are preliminary and we continue to report and refine them after the initial information is obtained. [See our methodology here.] The final results for The Am Law 100 are published in our May issue.

—with Robin Sparkman

 

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