At $2.8 Billion, Latham Breaks Revenue Record

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on February 28, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last year was good to Latham and Watkins. One of the biggest BigLaw firms, Latham recorded the highest law firm revenue ever last fiscal year, bringing in $2.823 billion.

That puts Latham's revenue per lawyer at $1.238 million and continues the firm's growth streak, which has seen its revenue grow by 55 percent since the peak of the recession in 2009, according to Am Law Daily.

Latham Keeps Growing

Latham's $2.823 billion in revenue marks an increase of 6.5 percent over last year and the firm's seventh year of revenue growth. The firm's net profit grew even more, jumping to 9 percent, or $1.424 billion. Profits per equity partner surpassed $3 million, increasing 5.3 percent to $3.06 million.

The record breaking revenue came after a cautious start to the year. From Am Law:

Latham chairman Bill Voge said that the firm went into 2016 cautious about how issues such as the U.S. presidential election, Brexit and the depression in oil prices would affect the firm and its clients, but any fears of a slowdown proved unfounded. "At the beginning of 2016, we were cautious because of the macroeconomic issues. By the second quarter [of the year], that caution had turned to staffing concerns because mandates were coming in quicker than we could deal with them," he said.

The firm says it experienced growth across all its practice areas, with particularly good performance in its litigation, M&A, banking, project finance and insolvency practices.

What Recession?

If Latham's rise to the biggest-firm-by-revenue comes after the firm was particularly hard hit during the Great Recession. The firm's 2008 revenue dropped 21 percent, to $2 billion. In February 2009, the firm laid off 440 people: 190 associates and 250 support staff.

Things have certainly turned around. Those lucky enough to work at Latham as associates today got a sizable slice of the firm's profits in January, in the form of an annual bonus. The firm's average bonus for first year associates was $16,500. For the class of 2009, those who survived the culling, the median bonus was $105,000.

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