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Rankings: The Firms

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"Extending our geographic reach while expanding the range of our services in California are important steps in our firm's long-term growth." Don Lents, Bryan Cave chairman. File photo

Don Lents

Bryan Cave 

Revenue: $643 million

Revenue per lawyer: $652,600

Profit: $248.6 million

Profit per equity partner:  $803,300

Bryan Cave tops the MOney 20 yet again, with revenue growing every year since 2011. The firm made big news in 2013, naming its first chairwoman, Therese Pritchard, who takes over in October. Two partners moved the firm footprint south, opening an office in Miami in early 2014.

 

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russ-welsh

Russ Welsh

Polsinelli 

Revenue: $324.5 million

Revenue per lawyer: $526,000

Profit: $154 million

Profit per equity partner: $686,000

Polsinelli overtakes two firms to land in the No. 2 spot for the first time. The firm pairs attorney additions — 104 for fiscal 2013 — with a November move to a new headquarters in the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Revenue and profit rise by double-digit percentages.

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John Murphy (file photo by Karen Elshout)

John Murphy

Shook, Hardy & Bacon 

Revenue: $308.3 million

Revenue per lawyer: $699,400

Profit: $126 million

Profit per equity partner: $830,000

Revenue slides by not quite 3 percent, and Shook loses its No. 2 ranking for the first time since the MOney rankings launched in 2006. Revenue per lawyer also dips, but Shook still is second in that category. Looking ahead, the firm recently opened a Seattle office.

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Maurice Watson and Gregory Smith

Maurice Watson and Gregory Smith

Husch Blackwell 

Revenue: $302 million

Revenue per lawyer: $560,400

Profit: $138.6 million

Profit per equity partner: $570,200

Kansas City rivalries spark with the moves of 17 attorneys from Husch Blackwell to Polsinelli and Dentons in the first half of the year. Husch more than makes up the difference with a mid-year merger with 65-attorney Texas firm Brown McCarroll and keeps adding to a steadily increasing revenue per lawyer.

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Tom Minogue

Tom Minogue

Thompson Coburn 

Revenue: $180.1 million

Revenue per lawyer: $542,000

Profit: $100.7 million

Profit per equity partner: $549,000

Under the leadership of Tom Minogue, Thompson Coburn maintains its ranking with a jump in revenue from last year. In July, partner Jeffrey Masson’s work led to a U.S. Supreme Court victory for client Monsanto, and in the fall the firm opened a Los Angeles office.

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Stinson Morrison Hecker tamped down on expenses and headcount while increasing revenue per lawyer, says Mark Hinderks, managing partner. Photo by Susan McSpadden

Mark Hinderks

Stinson Leonard Street

Revenue: $155.4 million

Revenue per lawyer: $539,500

Profit: $80.6 million

Profit per equity partner: $539,000

The former Stinson Morrison Hecker holds steady in 2013, maintaining its No. 6 spot and growing revenue. Its new iteration formed by a tightly scheduled merger at the beginning of 2014 makes Stinson Leonard Street a firm to watch in 2014. The knitting of Kansas City’s Stinson and Minneapolis-based Leonard Street Deinard has more than 520 attorneys practicing in 14 cities.

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Joel Voran and Mark Bluhm

Joel Voran and Mark Bluhm

Lathrop & Gage

Revenue: $145.3 million

Revenue per lawyer: $513,300

Profit: $56.9 million

Profit per equity partner: $482,000

Lathrop & Gage maintains its No. 7 spot for another year. Revenue and profit are up overall and per lawyer. Last summer, former CEO Joel B. Voran stepped down to focus on his practice and serves as chairman, and Mark Bluhm, with 33 years at the firm, rose to CEO.

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Michael Chivell

Michael Chivell

Armstrong Teasdale 

Revenue: $116 million

Revenue per lawyer: $498,300

Profit: $63 million

Profit per equity partner: $587,300

Partners give Managing Partner Michael Chivell a vote of confidence, re-electing him to a third three-year term, as revenue rises just a smidge. The firm helps represent the plaintiff in a case that leads to the largest Missouri judgment of 2013: $162 million in a contracts case pitting a Kansas City health care foundation against a Nashville hospital operator.

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Thomas Erb

Thomas Erb

Lewis Rice & Fingersh

Revenue: $77.2 million

Revenue per lawyer: $525,200

Profit: $49.4 million

Profit per equity partner: $555,000

Under the guidance of Thomas Erb, Lewis Rice
has recovered from a slight fall in financial indicators that took place in 2012, after the death of longtime chairman Jack Pruellage. This year the firm plans to expand its office downtown.

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John Snyder and Jenny Marler

John Snyder and Jenny Marler

Dentons

Revenue: $64 million*

Revenue per lawyer: $789,000*

Profit: $24.4 million*

Profit per partner: $958,000

Hookup in 2013 with Canadian and European firms drives a lot of business to the firm’s U.S. offices and helps the firm exceed its budget, St. Louis Managing Partner Jenny Marler says. Real estate practice keeps St. Louis attorneys busy.

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Vincent Garozzo

Vincent Garozzo

Greensfelder Hemker & Gale 

Revenue: $58.6 million

Revenue per lawyer: $370,886

Profit: $24.3 million

Profit per equity partner: $433,000

Revenue, profit and profit per equity partner have all been on a steady upswing at Greensfelder for years. This year, though, the firm saw a dip in revenue per lawyer.

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Patrick Whalen

Patrick Whalen

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne 

Revenue: $54 million

Revenue per lawyer: $451,000

Profit: $23.8 million

Profit per equity partner: $389,000

In the first year that the MOney 20 rankings reflect Spencer Fane’s 2012 expansion to Denver, the move looks to have been good for the firm. Profit and revenue are up, and the Kansas City office has announced a complete renovation and 12-year lease expansion.

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John Sandberg

John Sandberg

Sandberg Phoenix & von gontard 

Revenue: $36.5 million

Revenue per lawyer: $388,200

Profit: $14 million

Profit per equity partner: $465,700

Two new offices, the addition of nearly 25 attorneys and a $2 million contingency fee equaled increased revenue and profits for Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard — and won Managing Partner John Sandberg a Missouri Lawyers Weekly award for leadership.

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James Scott Kreamer

James Scott Kreamer

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice 

Revenue: $34 million

Revenue per lawyer: $566,700

Profit: $19.3 million

Profit per equity partner:
$1.2 million

We’re not saying Baker Sterchi made your federal taxes go up, but the firm lightened the U.S. government’s wallet to the tune of $33 million — including nearly $11 million in contingency fees — in a rails-to-trails easement case brought on behalf of South Carolina landowners. The firm’s revenue and profits per partner soared as a result. A few attorneys exited the firm anyway, bringing headcount down by three attorneys to 40.

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Mike Ward (submitted photo)

T. Michael Ward

Brown & James 

Revenue: $31 million

Revenue per lawyer: $279,279

Profit: $14 million

Profit per equity partner: $360,000

This frequent presence in Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s lists of top defense verdicts fell two spots in the MOney 20 rankings this year. Observers say the volume of personal injury cases filed is slowing, which means less work to go around.

 

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Joe Norton

Joe Norton

Gilmore & Bell 

Revenue: $25.4 million

Revenue per lawyer: $498,400

Profit: $10.2 million

Profit per partner: $367,300

Municipal bond returns decline, Detroit bankruptcy and Puerto Rico credit rating woes scare investors and Gilmore & Bell pays the price in its bread-and-butter business. The firm advises on 495 municipal long-term issues, 35 fewer than in 2012 as risk-averse cities defer borrowing.

 

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Timothy M. Tierney

Timothy M. Tierney

Evans & Dixon 

Revenue: $19.3 million

Revenue per lawyer: $241,250

Profit: $7.9 million

Profit per partner: $238,000

Revenue and revenue per lawyer go up as Evans & Dixon expands to Columbia and adds eight attorneys in 2013, including expanding into bankruptcy practice with the addition of an attorney from closed St. Louis firm The Stolar Partnership. The firm has 85 attorneys as MOney 20 goes to press, which is at least a 10-year high, says Greg Godfrey, executive director and chief financial officer.

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Kim F. Ebert, Eric A. Todd and Trina Le Riche

Kim F. Ebert, Eric A. Todd and Trina Le Riche

Ogletree Deakins 

Revenue: $18.7 million*

Revenue per lawyer: $519,000

Profit: $7.3 million*

Profit per equity partner:  $530,000

In its second year on the MOney 20 list, South Carolina’s labor powerhouse Ogletree Deakins keeps its No. 19 spot. Revenue at the firm, with offices in Kansas City and St. Louis, is up over last year.

 

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Donald R. Carmody

Donald R. Carmody

Carmody MacDonald  

Revenue: $16.2 million

Revenue per lawyer: $385,700

Profit: $7.7 million

Profit per equity partner: $482,000

Revenue stayed flat at Carmody MacDonald this year and profit took a small tumble. The firm remains in the top 20 for another year, though. It took over representing the Archdiocese of
St. Louis from longtime counsel Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale two years into a closely watched sex abuse case that’s set for trial this summer.

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R. Pete Smith

R. Pete Smith

McDowell, Rice, Smith & Buchanan 

Revenue: $15.4 million

Revenue per lawyer: $467,200

Profit: $8.5 million

Profit per partner: $331,928

Revenue ticks up 6 percent and profit grows by double that percentage as McDowell Rice brings health care law and malpractice group into headquarters from its Overland Park, Kan., office. While the Overland office closes, a Springfield office opens.