The same six Pennsylvania law firms appear on The American Lawyer’s Am Law 200 ranking this year as did last year, but none fell into the magazine’s “super rich” category of firms showing top results in both revenue per lawyer and partner profits.
The Pennsylvania firms were outpaced by their national counterparts when it came to growing top-line revenue, but they far exceeded the national average when it came to increases in profits per equity partner. Some of that had to do with a few Pennsylvania outliers.
When it came to revenue increases, Fox Rothschild helped significantly bolster Pennsylvania’s overall revenue increase thanks to an 8.7 percent rise in gross revenue between 2012 and 2013 from $277 million to $301 million — by far the largest revenue increase of any of the Pennsylvania firms on the Am Law 200. That revenue growth was thanks in large part to a headcount increase of nearly the same percentage to 531 lawyers.
With Fox Rothschild included, the Pennsylvania Am Law 200 law firms saw an average increase in gross revenue of 1.5 percent between 2012 and 2013. When Fox Rothschild is removed from that equation, Pennsylvania’s average revenue increase falls to just 0.2 percent. Nationally, firms averaged a 2.6 percent increase in gross revenue, according to The American Lawyer’s analysis.
When it comes to revenue per lawyer, Pennsylvania firms again performed below the national average. The six Pennsylvania firms saw revenue per lawyer rise an average of 0.9 percent between 2012 and 2013. That is compared to a 2.5 percent average increase nationally.
Pennsylvania firms excelled, however, when it came to increasing profits per equity partner. And that is the case with or without inclusion of Stevens & Lee, which with a 10.7 percent increase in profits per equity partner between 2012 and 2013 to $1.14 million, was an outlier among its counterparts in the state.
When including Stevens & Lee, Pennsylvania firms saw an average increase in profits per equity partner of 3.9 percent year over year. When taking Stevens & Lee out of the equation, the state’s firms saw profits per equity partner rise on average by 1.6 percent. That is still well above the 0.7 percent increase seen nationally, according to the analysis by The American Lawyer, a Legal Intelligencer affiliate.
Cozen O’Connor fell two spots to 103rd on this year’s ranking of firms by gross revenue. The firm’s top-line revenue fell 1.3 percent to $306.5 million in 2013. Attorney headcount dropped from 509 lawyers to 495, and the equity tier remained the same at 153 equity partners. Revenue per lawyer increased 1.6 percent from $610,000 to $620,000, and profits per equity partner rose 1.4 percent from $710,000 to $720,000.
The firm moved the furthest up the Am Law 200 chart of any of the Pennsylvania firms, going from 111th to 105th. Along with the firm’s 8.7 percent increase in gross revenue, headcount rose about 8.3 percent. The equity partner tier increased by five lawyers to 158 equity partners. Fox Rothschild’s revenue per lawyer remained flat year over year at $565,000, and its profits per equity partner increased 5 percent to $630,000.
Ballard Spahr fell from 103rd to 107th on this year’s rankings. Gross revenue fell by 0.3 percent to $299 million. Headcount increased from 479 lawyers to 483. The firm only has one partner tier, which fell from 229 lawyers to 224 between 2012 and 2013. Revenue per lawyer dipped 0.8 percent from $625,000 to $620,000. Profits per equity partner dipped 0.9 percent from $555,000 to $550,000.
In the year leading up to its merger with Florida-based Fowler White Boggs, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney saw a 0.9 percent rise in gross revenue to $268 million. That caused the firm to fall two spots in the rankings to 119th. Lawyer headcount fell from 409 lawyers to 400, while the equity tier rose by five to 108 equity partners. The firm’s revenue per lawyer rose 3.1 percent from $650,000 to $670,000, and the profits per equity partner increased 0.8 percent from $665,000 to $670,000.
Saul Ewing moved up one spot in the rankings to 172nd place after a 5.3 percent increase in gross revenue from $132 million in 2012 to $139 million in 2013. The firm increased headcount from 226 lawyers to 240 attorneys and held the equity tier at 81 equity partners. Saul Ewing’s revenue per lawyer dipped 0.9 percent to $580,000, while the profits per equity partner rose 1.8 percent from $560,000 to $570,000.
STEVENS & LEE
Stevens & Lee fell from 186th to 192nd in the rankings with a 6.1 percent decrease in gross revenue from $114.5 million to $107.5 million. The firm’s headcount decreased by 7.8 percent from 167 lawyers in 2012 to 154 in 2013. The equity partner tier dropped from 54 equity partners to 49. Stevens & Lee’s revenue per lawyer rose 2.2 percent to $700,000 and its profits per equity partner increased 10.7 percent from about $1.03 million to about $1.14 million.
Gina Passarella can be contacted at 215-557-2494 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GPassarellaTLI. To read more articles like this, visit www.thelegalintelligencer.com.