While there has been great focus lately on the Austin legal market, Dallas and Houston still dominate the corporate law world in Texas. But figuring out which market is doing better depends on the measuring stick. One city has more lawyers at corporate law offices. The other generates more revenues from business clients. Find out which city is the unofficial kingpin of Texas corporate law – Dallas or Houston? Or is it a feud running on fumes? This is part four in The Texas Lawbook series on Texas-based law firms.Note: The chart in this story has been updated to correct revenue figures for Locke Lord.
They bear storied names in Texas corporate law: Vinson & Elkins, Baker Botts, Haynes and Boone, Akin Gump, Locke Lord and Bracewell. National firms continue to expand their Texas market share, but the big legacy firms still carry considerable weight in Texas corporate law. They’re not giving in without a fight and busy growing revenues and hiring lawyers in 2021. Editor’s note: The Lawbook article has been updated to show that Baker Botts’ 2020 revenue in Texas was $361.9M in Texas – not $336M as originally reported.
Don’t write the obituary for Texas-based corporate law firms just yet. There are fewer than a decade ago, but most are doing quite well financially. In fact, 10 scored record Texas revenues in 2020 despite the pandemic and economic slowdown. Even more of the Texas-based firms say they’re doing better in 2021 than last year. And all of them are hiring more lawyers to handle the increased legal work clients are sending them.
The Texas Lawbook has long documented the battle between Texas corporate law firms and those that invaded the Lone Star state from across the country. The Lawbook has now conducted an analysis of the 11 out-of-state cities with multiple firms operating in Texas. It’s New York v. Chicago v. Los Angeles v. Atlanta v. Kansas City. While bigger may be better for many corporate law firms, roots are significant, too.
Out-of-state law firms generated nearly $4 billion in revenue from their Texas operations last year, which is more than the Texas headquartered firms made, according to new numbers from “The Texas Lawbook 50.” The exclusive data finds that 40 non-Texas firms are still increasing market share, as lawyer headcounts and revenue-per-lawyer rising at above-average rates in 2020. The Texas Lawbook has an in-depth analysis.
There’s a new king of revenues per lawyer in Texas. For the first time ever, two law firms operating in Texas had RPLs of $1.8 million or more in 2020.
The Texas Lawbook 50 ranking of corporate law firms in Texas shows 21 firms achieved an RPL of $1 million or more last year, but only three of them have Texas roots.
The Texas Lawbook has the exclusive data and the details.
One year ago, corporate law firms in Texas feared financial disaster as they faced the Covid-19 shutdowns. Instead, three-fourths of The Texas Lawbook 50 largest law firms operating in Texas had higher revenues in 2020 than in 2019. Two-thirds posted record revenues, including several based in Texas. Six law firms grew their Texas revenues by 30% or more. The new data shows Texas businesses facing crises relied on their lawyers more in 2020 than ever before.
For the first time in decades Baker, Botts, Fulbright, Vinson and Elkins are not in the name of the top revenue generating corporate law firm in Texas. Vilified and envied for their aggressive recruiting practices and phenomenal growth, a non-Texas-based law firm increased revenues by 35% and headcount by 22% in 2020, conquering the top spot in The Texas Lawbook 50, our annual ranking of corporate law’s Texas revenues. How did they do it? It is all in the numbers. The Texas Lawbook has the in-depth report.
The top 50 corporate law firms operating in Texas added an average of one lawyer per firm in 2020. Firms now flush with business are worried about overworking their lawyers and are keen to hire new lawyers in 2021, but the talent just isn’t available. Of course, even one new face is more than most industry insiders anticipated a year ago as the Covid-19 pandemic and sinking oil prices plunged the economy into recession. The Texas Lawbook has the data and an in-depth report.
Exclusive new data shows that the pandemic put a deep chill on the overheated Texas lateral market last year. Not only did firms stop recruiting, but lawyers stopped answering. But analysis shows it didn’t solve the long-term core problem: too much demand for too little talent in Texas. The result: $250,000 signing bonuses. The game of musical chairs is back.