They said rapid growth is hard if you are already big. Last year it hiked revenue 19% from $2.65bn. They said profitability is about focusing on quality over growth. As it became the highest grossing law firm in the world, fee-earner headcount surged 13.5% to over 2,000 and profit per equity partner (PEP) was up nearly 15% to $4.7m. They said a sprawling international footprint is essential if you want to secure high-end mandates. It has just 14 offices – only five outside the US – and generated $3.165bn in 2017. They said global law firms need bank clients. It is famously dismissive of banks and their onerous panels.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Kirkland & Ellis’ meteoric rise over the last decade is how it turned BigLaw’s playbook on its head. The Chicago-bred giant has not only outperformed the profession’s elites in London and New York but challenged the very assumptions underpinning the legal industry’s decades-spanning pecking order.