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Big Law Firm ‘Pandemic Profits’ Continue With Strong Growth

Big Law Firm 'Pandemic Profits' Continue With Strong Growth 4

The Pandemic does not appear to have harmed too many Big Law Firms

Big Law continues to report large ‘pandemic profit’ growth, as Cooleys and White & Case report double digit growth in 2020, while Hogan Lovells reports profits per partner (PPP) jumping 30 per cent from 2019 to 2020.

The pandemic has seen revenues remain steady while expenses have been reduced and more firms are investing in technology and legal talent.

Global turnover for White & Case managed to grow 6.6 [per cent to $2.18bn, while profit per equity partner (PEP) was up over eight per cent to $2.59m, albeit against a drop of 10 equity partners to 332 worldwide.

In 2018, global revenues hiked 13.7 per cent to break the $2bn mark as PEP grew 6% to $2.40m.

‘There was general political and economic uncertainty which affected the market,’ White & Case London executive partner Melissa Butler told Legal Business. ‘The M&A market and IPO market was down, but most of those challenges were predominantly in the first half of the year.’

Hogan Lovells CEO Miguel Zaldivar said in email that “a significant amount will be reinvested into the business, e.g. for major technology projects,” like remote work support and process automation.

Meanwhile Cooley has posted its 11th straight year of revenue growth. The firm showed an increase in 2020 of almost 17 per cent, showing total earnings of $1.55 bn which is three times the firm’s earnings just 10 years’ ago.

Debevoise & Plimpton also saw an almost 17 per cent gross revenue increase and an increase in net income of over 27 per cent, which continues the Big Law firms’ march towards greater profits, pandemic or no pandemic.

Indeed, it is clear that fixed costs, increased tech usage, lower over heads and continued work flow has seen the pandemic increase Big Law profits.

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