Bruce MacEwen has an early look at the complete AmLaw 100 for 2005, the list of last year’s top-grossing firms. Five posted revenue in excess of $1 billion, the largest number ever.

I find it interesting that top-ranked Skadden earned $212 million more than number two Baker & McKenzie even though it has roughly half the number of lawyers — 1,554 at Skadden compared to 2,992 at Baker. That means that, on a per-lawyer basis, Skadden’s lawyers earned more than twice as much as Baker’s lawyers — $927,000 versus $410,000. The calculations for number three Latham & Watkins are more in line with Skadden — earning $234 million less than Skadden with 52 fewer lawyers, for revenues per lawyer of $803,000. There must be more to this story than these numbers reveal.