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February 2, 2009 7:14 PM

THE AM LAW 100: Profits, Revenues Dip at Willkie

Posted by Michael D. Goldhaber

Willkie Farr & Gallagher on Monday reported its first drop in revenue and profits since 1991, but managed to maintain profits per partner above $2 million and (just barely) held revenue per lawyer above $1 million.

The firm saw gross revenues fall 3.2 percent to $583.5 million in 2008, while profits per equity partner shrank by 5.4 percent to $2,113,000. Revenue per lawyer also decreased by 5 percent, to $1,001,000.

"We had 17 consecutive years of increasing revenue and net income before [last] year," says firm chairman Jack Nusbaum. "It's hard to characterize a decline as okay, but in this environment it's okay."

Nusbaum attributed the decline to a drop in corporate work generally, and private equity in particular, with M&A and capital markets also suffering. He noted that the 2008 numbers do not reflect the recent surge in bankruptcy representations at Willkie, which is playing a prominent role in the recent bankruptcy filings of both Polaroid and Landamerica, among others.

Nusbaum says that 2008 was not as bad a year for the firm as 1991. Of course, he says, 1991 was a one-year blip, and while he hopes that's true of 2008, it may not be.

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 AmericanLawyer.com. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.

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