Skadden, Latham punch through $2bn barrier

Revealed: New York giants pile on the revenues as global firms shrug off credit crunch

Skadden, Latham punch through $2bn barrier” />The US’s two largest firms Latham & Watkins and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom both generated total revenues for 2007 in excess of $2bn (£1.03bn), becoming the first US firms ever to do so.

Skadden’s provisional figures showed a 9 per cent increase in revenue and average profit per equity partner (PEP), taking the firm’s turnover to $2.02bn (£1.04bn) and PEP to $2.28m (£1.17m).

A Skadden insider commented: “Size isn’t our goal. It’s more important to be a meaningful player and to maintain a good profit margin.”

In 2007 Skadden’s revenue and PEP rose proportionately less than Latham’s, but the firm’s single-digit increases still saw it break through the $2bn mark on revenue.

Last Thursday (7 February) revealed that Latham had posted a 23 per cent hike in revenue from 2006’s $1.62bn (£880.43m), taking turnover to just in excess of $2bn.

The average PEP at Latham also grew by a double-digit margin, up by 22 per cent, from $1.85m (£1.01m) in 2006 to $2.27m (£1.13m) last year.

Latham closed the revenue gap on Skadden, from $226m (£122.83m) in 2006 to just $15m (£7.7m). The pair’s PEPs are now almost level. Latham London managing partner Andrew Moyle said: “Revenue is one measure of achievement, but it’s fairly meaningless without strong profits and a quality practice to support that strategy.”

White & Case also enjoyed a good year, with revenue rising by 15.9 per cent to $1.37bn (£704.89m), while PEP rose by 11.3 per cent to $1.67m (£859,000). The New York firm overtook Jones Day, where revenue is understood to have remained static at $1.3bn (£668.87m). White & Case lags slightly behind Baker & McKenzie, which has a July to June financial year. Last year its revenue stood at $1.82bn (£930m).