Kirkland tops ranking for law firm value

December 12, 2012 American Lawyer has created a ranking of 100 top valued firms - a difficult task without having access to the financial records of the firms.

The results are somewhat surprising, since the firms at the top of the list are not those that record the highest revenues (Baker McKenzie or DLA Piper), nor the most prestigious (Cravath, Swaine & Moore, or Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz).  

The top spot was taken by Chicago-based firm Kirkland & Ellis, followed by Latham & Watkins and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

American Lawyer used the profit and revenue figures of each firm to assess their value, laying out a complex methodology that for assessing real profit, projecting growth and determining the value of a brand. The Economist points out a major flaw in the assessment, however, in that the study does not assess the firms’ liabilities.

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