The Score

January 15, 2009 2:42 PM

THE AM LAW 100: Cleary Revenue, Profits Up

Posted by Susan Beck

It's not all doom and gloom on Wall Street.  Based on our reporting, it appears that Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton last year saw both revenue and profits per partner rise. Gross revenue is up roughly 8 percent to $965 million; profits per partner increased about 12 percent to $2.4 million. Revenue per lawyer, however, was basically flat, down less than 1 percent. (NOTE: Profits per partner and the percentage increase in PPP from 2007 to 2008 have been adjusted since this report was first posted.)

Cleary has benefited from its global diversification. Nearly half the firm's lawyers are overseas, helping to cushion the blow from the dramatic slowdown in the United States. In France, the firm represented BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole in the French bank recapitalization program. In Germany, it is representing the German Savings Bank Association in connection with a €50 billion rescue package for the Hypo Real Estate Group. (For more on the firm's global diversification, see The New Ice Age from the Winter 2009 issue of Focus Europe.)

Closer to home, Cleary advised the SEC and Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It then advised Barclays in its acquisition of Lehman Brothers' North American investment banking and capital markets businesses.

As reported yesterday in The Am Law Daily, Cleary recently landed two major bankruptcy projects: Nortel Networks and  Apex Silver Mines Limited.

Click here
for The Am Law 100 -- A Work in Progress, a chart tracking the numbers. The final published results of last year's Am Law 100 ranking are available here.

This report is part of The Am Law Daily's ongoing Web coverage of The Am Law 100s 2008 financials, bringing you our own reports and those from our sibling publications at Incisive Media. Results are preliminary. In keeping with past practices, we do not reveal which firms cooperate in providing financial information and which do not.

Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer's May issue and on The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.

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Well it's easier to break records for profits when you also cut associate bonuses in half and you're a highly-leveraged firm. I am surprised there was no mention of this in the article. In the economic environment, it is disappointing about the state of law firm dynamics to see partners earn 2.4 million and associates cut out of the measely ~20,000 or so, which would make a huge difference in their lives relatively speaking.

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