Already the world’s highest-grossing law firm, Kirkland & Ellis has seen strong growth across all of its strongest areas.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is on track to achieve annual revenue of around $5 billion following an upsurge of demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Times first reported.
Insiders at the Chicago-based firm said that its turnover was approaching $5 billion for the twelve months to the end of January, up from $4.45 billion in the previous year. One partner described the firm’s performance as “eye-watering”.
Kirkland & Ellis is the largest law firm in the world by revenue and the seventh-largest by number of attorneys. It is also the first law firm to have made $4 billion in annual revenue, a record it is now poised to beat.
However, the firm will not publicly disclose its financial results. Partners reported that its leadership is concerned by how reports of its exceptionally strong performance will be received during a global health crisis.
“This crisis is a humanitarian issue so it doesn’t feel right to be talking about how well you’ve done,” one said.
The firm’s success was attributed to growth in its three main areas of focus: private equity, restructuring and litigation. Costs were also cut drastically by the elimination of legal conferences and the need to travel overseas, as well as expensive catering for clients.
Kirkland & Ellis also advised on nine high-profile M&A deals in the automotive sector during 2020, worth a total of %3.7 billion.
In a Wells Fargo survey of 125 big law firms, overall net income grew 25.6% annually in the first half of 2020, greatly surpassing analysts’ expectations of a profit downturn sparked by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.