This is not fully accurate. Skadden does fine on PPP. The PPP tables are heavily skewed towards Wall Street firms (think the big NYC only shops) and plaintiff's firms (Quinn, Boies).
Whoa, PPP tables are skewed toward firms with higher profits? Holy shit, I had no idea. Also, K&E is in the top 10 for PPP. When you punch enough holes in your rule, it becomes less rule-like and more excuse-like.
Skadden is not at the top of the PPP tables because they have a bunch of shitty satellite offices that generate a ton of overhead and a ton of associates, all of whom are not billing 2000+ hours.
Latham, Sidley, Mayer Brown, GDC, OMM have definitely benefited from having an expanded market.
Whoa, really? Are we talking about the same OMM that acquired that NY Private Equity shop... only to lose them to Paul Weiss? What about... Mayer Brown... aren't they a step a way from imploding? I got it man... this year things will be different. FOR SURE!!
(and since when did GDC and Latham merge with other firms? I guess I'm missing your point here... that international expansion is good? I never said it was bad. International expansion is good when the offices are generating enough revenue to counterbalance their overhead. In other words, the offices are good when they're generating a... profit!)
Sidley stated that a big reason for their move was Sidley's Asia footprint.
They can state all they want. The real "big reason" for their move was that Dewey wasn't paying them/Dewey is falling apart.
If done right, mergers can really help a firm. If done wrong, they can be disastrous. Once again, this all comes down to firm management.
Problem is: 9 times out of 10... a merger is done wrong. There's a reason why those Wall Street firms above turned down merger offers from the likes of Freshfields, Linklaters, and Clifford Chance (and there's a reason why Slaughter & May will never merge with a New York firm): It doesn't work.