Updated at 12:29 p.m.
Arnold & Porter saw a big jump in business in 2011, posting a 15.2% growth in gross revenue and a 25.4% rise in profits per partner, according to our reporting.
The Washington-based firm took in $639.5 million in gross revenue, up from $555 million the previous year. Profits per partner jumped in 2011 from $1.12 million to more than $1.4 million. The firm's net income went up by 27.4%, from $239 million to $304.5 million.
Chairman Thomas Milch said government investigations work made up a "significant part of our growth" in 2011, especially in health care, banking and the oil industry. Managing Partner Richard Alexander said that the firm's "robust" growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 carried over "across a wide range of matters that have a regulatory component."
"We’ve tried very hard to raise the bar for what we expect from our partners," Milch said.
Milch said the firm also saw growth in its patent litigation practice, notably with its representation of Boston Scientific Corp. Antitrust work was also big in 2011. Milch said that being a part of the legal team defending AT&T against the Justice Department’s efforts to stop a merger with T-Mobile USA “was definitely a component of our strength this year.”
Other strong practice areas included bank regulatory work, especially surrounding the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy, and work relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Alexander said. The firm's FCPA work has included representing Avon Products Inc. in an internal investigation.
The firm’s total headcount grew by 4%, from 650 to 676 attorneys. The number of equity partners grew by 1.4%, from 214 to 217. The firm took in two new associate classes, but Milch said they didn’t do as much lateral hiring. “Some of the growth we did in previous years has turned out to be choices that have worked out well,” he said.
The numbers don’t account for the firm’s recent merger with San Francisco firm Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, which was announced in December but didn’t go into effect until Jan. 1; the firm’s fiscal year ended Dec. 31. Alexander said the merger has brought the total number of attorneys up to about 825.
“The challenges for 2012 are to successfully integrate what is a very talented group of lawyers,” Alexander said. “Our west coast presence now rivals our east coast presence…in terms of size.” Milch added that Howard Rice will “complement us in the appellate and litigation practice, where they’re very strong.”
This report is part of The National Law Journal‘s coverage of 2011 financial results for local Am Law 200 firms. Full results for The Am Law 200 will be published in the May and June print and online editions of The American Lawyer. Readers can also view an interactive chart for updated financial results as they are reported.