US firm revenues continue to come through with Kirkland & Ellis posting a 6.6% increase in global revenues to $2.15bn in 2014, an increase from the previous year when turnover rose 4% to $2.02bn. Meanwhile, Squire Patton Boggs posted its first post-merger global revenues, coming in at $870.5m with $163m of this generated in the UK.
Kirkland’s partner profits were equally strong, surpassing the $3.5m mark, and rising 7% to $3.51m – this comes after an only 1% increase in 2013 to $3.28m. Revenue per lawyer increased 5.4% to $1.37m from $1.3m, while net income rose 8% to $1.18bn.
These increases come as the firm’s lawyer headcount grew only slightly with total number of lawyers increasing by 22 to 1,576. Equity partner heads rose from 334 to 337 at the firm while non-equity partner numbers remained at 395 for the second year running.
The Chicago-based firm has shaken up the lateral hiring market with a series of big hires this last year, including recruiting Linklaters’ head of real estate M&A Matthew Elliott, who left Magic Circle firm in the City after 17 years; Stephen Lucas from Weil, Gotshal & Manges where he was the head of the London banking group; and Chicago litigator James Hurst who left Winston & Strawn for Kirkland in December 2014.
The firm did however, lose its de facto City head Graham White who quit to join Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, and debt finance expert Stephen Gillespie who joined Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, both in London.
After its merger last year and off of $870.5m in revenues, Squire Patton Boggs posted net profits of $129.5m, with average profit per equity partner standing at $841,000 in 2014. Squire Sanders and Washington-headquartered firm Patton Boggs officially merged in June 2014, to create a firm with 1,600 lawyers – of which 1,223 were legacy Squires Sanders and 334 came from Patton Boggs – based across 44 offices.
However, the legacy Squire Sanders practice in the Middle East which consisted of a team of 23 lawyers that included five partners, did exit Squire Patton Boggs following the firm’s merger, leaving it with Patton Boggs’ legacy affiliate The Khalid Al-Thebity Law Firm, in August.