(312) 781-9000
31 Aug

Law Firms Post Best Revenue Performance Since Recession, Report Finds

by: Astor Professional Search

Law firms had their best revenue growth in the first half of the year since the recession, with 5.5 percent growth in the first six months of 2018. That’s up from 4.9 percent in the first half of 2017, and the outlook continues to look good for rest of the year, according to a new report released by Citi Private Bank’s law firm group. In addition to revenue growth, law firm demand increased by 2 percent and lawyer billing rates increased by 4.5 percent. According to the report, improved demand (total timekeeper hours) and lawyer billing rate increases were the main drivers of growth.

City buildings with clouds in the sky

The Citi Private Bank’s report found that among the Am Law segments, size mattered, with Am Law 50 firms outperforming the other market segments in the first half of the year. Smaller, niche firms had slightly stronger revenue growth, at 6.9 percent, than at those in the top group. Their demand was up 1.6 percent, and billing rates up 3.6 percent. Firms that have a dispersed geographic reach saw the strongest revenue performance, reaching 8.1 percent. Firms that had fewer lawyers outside the United States did less well, underscoring the strategy of the largest multinational firms which have numerous offices and a phalanx of lawyers spread around the globe, (as quoted in The American Lawyer).

The analysis also adds, however, that upward pressure on expenses–particularly from recent salary increases–could drag down profits. “Looking ahead, the revenue outlook for the rest of 2018 is very positive, with a solid buildup in inventory heading into the third quarter. The industry will need this, given the upward pressure on expenses we expect to see in the second half of the year as firms absorb the recently announced salary increases, ” notes research co-author Gretta Rusanow, the group’s head of advisory services.

See highlights from the full article on The American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

author-bio-image author-bio-image
William Sugarman

William Sugarman is the president and founder of Astor Professional Search. He engages in the successful placement of attorneys with local, regional, and international law firms and corporations. Bill’s extensive legal and business development experience give Astor an edge over other legal recruiters nationwide. At the cornerstone of Bill’s strategic philosophy is providing the highest level of personalized attention to his clients and attorney candidates. This is also a key factor that separates Astor from other legal search firms, and it consistently delivers legal placements year after year.

Years of Experience: More than 20 years

Share it here
Related Posts
09 Jan Law Firm Merger Market Remains Robust in 2020
Law Firm Merger Market Remains Robust in 2020

The American Lawyer reports that 2019 was a record-breaking year for law firm merger announcements and represented a “solid yea...

21 Jan Fortune 500’s Go-To Law Firms for IP Litigation
Fortune 500’s Go-To Law Firms for IP Liti...

Who do the Fortune 500 corporations turn to when they need intellectual property litigators?  According to a recent survey by T...

12 May Law360’s Top U.S. Firms for Women
Law360’s Top U.S. Firms for Women

Law360 recently released their annual Glass Ceiling report, ranking ten firms above their peers based on the percentage of...