Bakers rules, OK?

Baker & McKenzie has snatched back its crown as the world’s largest law firm by turnover, beginning a reign that will last… well, probably until December, when Skadden’s 2011 fiscal year ends.

Global turnover at Bakers rose 8 per cent over its 2010-11 financial year, which ends on 30 June, to a record $2.27bn (see story). Average profit per equity partner rose by 7 per cent, to $1.2m – a level not reached since 2007-08.

This is all by the by, however. As firm chairman Eduardo Leite says: “The most important metric is client recognition and that’s what we’re focusing on. Higher profits and revenue should be the consequence of better client service.”

This Buddist-like disdain for the hollow pursuit of cash resonates with the firm’s decision to freeze London associates’ pay at 2010 levels, which Leite brushes off as an “administrative” matter (see story).

We wonder if the associates see it that way, too.