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There’s A New Biggest Law Firm (By Gross Revenue) In Town Kirkland & Ellis had a helluva 2017. Their gross revenue shot up an impressive 19 percent — to $3.165 billion. This now makes them the world’s largest law firm by gross revenue, taking the top spot away from Latham & Watkins (just what the firm needs, more bad news ), beating them out by over $100 million. K&E’s profits per equity partner also rose in 2017 — up 15 percent to $4.7 million. As Law.com reports , the number increases were largely driven by growing its headcount to almost two thousand lawyers last year: A main driver of Kirkland’s growth was its significant increase in head count, which rose 13.5 percent, to 1,997 lawyers. Even still, the firm’s premium practice groups, including litigation, private equity, public M&A and restructuring were able to keep those bodies busier than in years past, as revenue per lawyer rose 5.2 percent, to $1.585 million. It wasn’t that long ago — 2013, to be exact — that K&E crossed over into the $2 billion revenue club. For the math-phobic out there, that’s a 57 percent increase in gross revenue in just four years — and without a major merger to account for the sharp uptick. Instead, K&E offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and Houston have all been steadily growing, largely on the backs of their transactional practice: Kirkland’s fastest-growing offices include London, which has grown 61 percent since 2013, to 189 lawyers last year; New York, where head count is up 42 percent over the past five years, to 503 lawyers; San Francisco, up 36 percent since 2013, to 126 lawyers; and Houston, where the firm now has 107 lawyers since setting up shop in 2014.
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