The American Lawyer has loosed its annual AmLaw 100 ranking of the world's biggest and richest law firms. The past year's most profitable law firm: D.C.'s own Wiley Rein, which scored the highest profits per partner figure in the history of the magazine's survey. With profits per partner of $4.4 million in 2006, the firm bested perenniel money machines Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Enriching Wiley Rein: a $245 million contingency fee windfall for representing patent-holder NTP in its half-decade legal battle with Research in Motion, the maker of Blackberry wireless devices. Such fee arrangements also boosted profits at D.C.-based Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner. For the first time, more than half of America's hundred highest grossing law firms hit $1 million in profits per partner.
Eleven U.S. firms generated more than a billion dollars in revenue, though the rankings of the five largest firms in the U.S. was unchanged over 2005: Skadden, Latham & Watkins, Baker & McKenzie, Jones Day, and Sidley Austin.
Additional data from this year's survey can be accessed here (free registration required).