Show me the money

This week’s publication of The Lawyer US Top 50 ruffled a few feathers in New York.

There were the firms that didn’t make it. There were the firms that didn’t do too well (let’s face it, no-one likes to be reminded that they’re having a tough time).

And then there were the market watchers who argued that ranking firms by revenue is simply not the way to go. What we should look at is profit. That’s what counts over here.

DLA Piper is one of a number of firms that have grown very big, not understanding the difference between revenue and profit,” says one New York recruiter, who then throws Greenberg Traurig and Reed Smith into the mix for good measure.

Something tells me Nigel Knowles, or for that matter Cesar Alvarez and Greg Jordan do understand the difference.

The recruiter’s point is that these firms have a lot of lawyers and a lot of revenue but don’t quite get what makes New York firms tick.

One word: profit. And to get it means staying up all night, busting a gut for the client. Culturally, argues the recruiter, this is still a style more akin to Wall St than St Paul’s (or Leeds).

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