Davis Polk Posts Leading Revenue, Profits; Cleary And Sullivan Flat

law scales

Financial results of three big bellwethers — Davis Polk, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Cleary — was released earlier by Am Law Daily. The quick takeaway: things were great at Davis Polk, flat at Sullivan and Cleary, and better than last year across the board.

Davis Polk increased revenue and profit, a rare accomplishment last year, with the highest percentage growth in both factors among most other New York firms. Revenue increased 7% to and profit per partner (PPP) grew 10% to $2.1 million.

Sullivan’s PPP increased less than a per cent to $3 million and revenue increased 1% to “just shy” of $1 billion,

Cleary’s PPP decreased 8% to $2.2 million and revenue remained flat at $965 million.

In terms of attrition and head count, Cleary is the only one of the three that instituted layoffs. The firm gave the pink slip to 30 associates last May according to Law Shucks, and overall head count stayed about the same. Head count at Davis Polk and Sullivan increased 5%, with most of the growth in associates.

The results indicate that the Great Recession wore in different ways on the firms. Davis Polk scored some of the year’s biggest M&A deals, despite the overall industry constriction of M&A work, and increased work in its restructuring practice. Sullivan continued to lead major banking clients and also reported strength in its restructuring work. Though Senior Chairman Rodge Cohen was everywhere from the backrooms of the Treasury to CNBC, PR is not always a revenue driver. 

Read more at Am Law Daily.

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