Law.com recently published its latest edition of the Global 100, a ranking of the world’s 100 largest law firms by total revenue. How did these firms do in the year that was? As we learned from the most recent Am Law 100 rankings, despite the pandemic, 2020 was a banner year for Biglaw firms, with some of the planet’s top-grossing firms setting financial records. What are we looking at in terms of the big picture?
Overall, the Global 100’s gross revenue grew by 6.7 percent (up 2 percentage points from fiscal year 2019), bringing the collective earnings of these firms up to nearly $128 billion. During a time when some thought the coronavirus crisis would bring about all sorts of financial negatives, Biglaw was absolutely booming in some areas of the world, up by more than $8 billion year over year. Making up over three-quarters of the Global 100, the United States continues to dominate the list. This time around, 51 firms had more than $1 billion in revenue — and the vast majority of those firms are based in America.
Here are the top 10 firms of the 2021 Global 200 (i.e., the top 10 firms ranked by 2020 revenue). Almost all of these firms have most of their lawyers in the U.S.:
- Kirkland & Ellis: $4,830,000,000
- Latham & Watkins: $4,333,763,000
- DLA Piper: $3,133,829,000
- Dentons: $2,910,300,000
- Baker McKenzie: $2,899,834,000
- Skadden Arps: $2,662,890,000
- Sidley Austin: $2,462,935,000
- Morgan Lewis: $2,446,000,000
- White & Case: $2,387,800,000
- Clifford Chance: $2,345,141,000
Here’s some commentary on how the top firms on the planet fared so incredibly well in these unprecedented times:
“The latest figures demonstrate how the world’s largest commercial law firms are able to thrive in almost any market environment,” said Paul Hodkinson, London-based Editor-In-Chief of Law.com International. “In particular, U.S.-based firms, which make up the bulk of the list, have performed well on the back of a strong domestic economy, and it is a similar story with China-based firms.”
Lisa Shuchman, New York-based Executive Editor of Law.com International, added: “The 2021 Global 200 data shows that steady demand is allowing the world’s largest firms to keep on growing. Most regions — notably the Asia Pacific and Latin America — have demonstrated they have great growth potential for global and domestic firms that have positioned themselves well in those markets.”
Check out the full list of the Global 200 firms here.
Congrats to all the firms that have set out to prove that bigger really is better — even during a global health crisis.
The 2021 Global 200: Ranked by Gross Revenue [Law.com International]
Ranking of World’s 200 Largest Law Firms Shows Strong Performance Despite Pandemic [Law.com International]
In a Stellar Year for the Global 200, Geography Was Paramount [Law.com International]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.