It was a difficult year at McKee Nelson.
The firm has reported a drop in revenue of nearly 16 percent, for gross revenue of $160 million in 2008. Profits per partner plunged 15 percent, or nearly $200,000, to $1.02 million.
The down numbers were foreshadowed in November when the firm laid off 17 lawyers – 13 in its New York office and four in Washington. The layoffs were focused in the mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities, and collateralized debt obligation areas of the firm's capital markets practice. William Nelson, the firm's co-chief executive officer, said in a statement in November that the practice was heavily impacted by the "unprecedented” crisis in the credit markets.
Wendy Bernero, the chief marketing officer of the firm, confirmed to the BLT that McKee Nelson was particularly exposed in the capital markets area. She says, in 2007, the practice accounted for about 45 percent of the firm’s revenue. In 2008, however, that number was cut down to about 33 percent.