Mergers boost firms’ rankings

Virtually all the biggest rises in turnover within the The Lawyer Global 100 2006 are attributable to mergers. DLA Piper leads the way with the biggest percentage rise of 53.4 per cent, thanks to the merger between Chicago’s Piper Rudnick with San Francisco’s Gray Cary Ware & Friedrich.

Pillsbury Winthrop’s merger with Washington DC’s Shaw Pittman saw combined revenues increase by 32.7 per cent; this is despite a significant amount of collateral damage at Shaw Pittman, which saw a number of conflicting groups leaving to join other firms.

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart’s rise in revenue by 25.9 per cent can be attributed partially to its merger with London’s Nicholson Graham & Jones, and it is looking to repeat the trick this year with Preston Gates & Ellis.

Ropes & Gray can thank its merger with IP boutique Fish & Neave for its 37.9 per cent rise in revenue, meaning it jumped six places to 58th in The Lawyer Global 100 2006. Meanwhile, its local rival Goodwin Procter merged with DC’s Shea & Gardner, jumping 37.2 per cent in revenue.

Ropes & Gray boosted headcount by a third to 664 lawyers and Goodwin saw its lawyer numbers rise by 28 per cent to 554.

Other firms in The global 100 have been on aggressive hiring sprees. US aristocrats Latham & Watkins and Kirkland & Ellis continue to rise, with turnover growths of 17 and 16 per cent respectively, while LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae is more of a surprise package. Its total revenue rise of 23.4 per cent was helped in no small part by London’s storming performance, which saw revenue rise to 42.5 per cent.