Financial Round Up: BigLaw Posts Small Declines

law scales

As more law firm fiscal year results filter out, it’s clear the trend is toward modest year over year declines. The losses (and occasional gains) do not bear sticker shock, but lawyer and staff layoffs, salary freezes, and associate deferrals were the real misery behind the mediocre numbers — and what allowed the losses to be modest.

The last week in biglaw results according to Am Law Daily, as well as 2009 layoffs via Law Shucks:

Silicon Valley’s Wilson Sonsini remained relatively stagnant through the year:

  • revenue: down 6% to $501 million
  • profits per equity partner: up 4% to $1.44 million
  • total layoffs: 45 attorneys, 68 staff

Morgan Lewis dropped in both profits and revenue thanks, in part, to a hiring trend. The firm hired 55 new lawyers, nearly double the lateral hires made in 2008.

  • revenue: down 5% to $1.07 billion
  • PPP: down 15%
  • total layoffs: 105 attorneys. 161 staff

Sheppard Mullin recorded small increases.

  • revenue: up 2.5% to $361 million
  • PPP: up 3.5% to $1.2 million
  • total layoffs: 25 attorneys

Schulte posted declines overall, but the firm’s litigation and restructuring practices were up.

  • revenue: down 5.5% to $397 million
  • PPP: down 7% to $2.1 million
  • total layoffs: 76 attorneys

Shearman & Sterling had it’s second-best year in terms of profitability.

  • revenue: down 8.6% to $801 million
  • PPP: up 4.2% to $1.7 million
  • total layoffs: 78 staff

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