With another year of across-the-board demand growth and unprecedented deal flow, Latham & Watkins saw it’s revenue and profits spike by more than a quarter in 2021.
The firm, ranked No. 2 in the Am Law 100 survey last year, increased revenue by 26.7%, up to almost $5.5 billion, while boosting profits per equity partner by roughly the same amount— 26.2%, to more than $5.7 million.
Latham also increased revenue per lawyer 17.7% to $1.78 million, and saw a 7.7% increase in headcount, to 3,078.
As mergers and acquisitions work soared to new heights in 2021, the firm did more than $900 billion in announced M&A transactions across the globe, advising on more than 850 public and private transactions. On the capital markets front, it helped take 110 companies public in the U.S. in 2021 through an IPO, direct listing, or deSPAC—the highest of any law firm, according to Deal Point.
Latham is looking for more of the same in 2022, recently bringing aboard M&A and private equity partners Jason Webber from White & Case, Caroline Blitzer Phillips from Vinson & Elkins, and former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom private equity co-head Stephanie Teicher in New York, among others. The firm also recently added corporate partner Barrie VanBrackle in D.C.
In a statement, the firm said it saw double-digit growth in both transactional and litigation practices, pointing not only to M&A and capital markets on the transactional side, but banking, where it advised lenders and borrowers on more than 410 syndicated loan transactions, valued at more than $33 billion, according to Refinitiv.
The firm also pointed to its public company representation and emerging companies work as well, where it advised on over 650 private financing deals around the globe in 2021, amounting to more than $73 billion.
On the litigation front, it also said it saw double-digit growth in complex commercial litigation, antitrust & competition, intellectual property and securities and professional liability litigation. The firm said it saw “strong” growth in sectors like technology, healthcare & life sciences, energy, financial institutions, retail & consumer products, and entertainment.
Latham chair Rich Trobman said last year that the firm’s big gains in 2020 were “all about increase in demand.” For 2021, as analysts found that demand for the top 50 Am Law firms increased by an average of about 8%, Trobman said the firm’s global footprint and mix of practices helped grow demand “across practices and markets.”
“I am particularly proud of the resilience and hard work of our people and how we have supported one another throughout the year, all the while staying focused on our clients and their evolving needs,” he said in a statement. “Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in our global platform, execute on our strategy, and deliver great client service.”
The firm’s chief operating officer, LeeAnn Black, also said in a statement that the firm’s culture—with a heavy emphasis on teamwork and innovation, stood out as “hallmarks” of the firm’s results from last year.
“We continue to see strong momentum across the platform as 2022 gets underway, and we remain focused on helping our clients with their most complex matters,” she said. “I also continue to be inspired by our broad and impactful pro bono program and our commitment to our communities which is—and always will be—integral to our success.”