Venable's revenue last year topped more than $355.5 million, marking a 5.3 percent increase over the previous year, our reporting shows.
Profits per partner were up nearly 4 percent, to $815,000. Net income rose to $130 million, up from $122.5 million in 2010. The number of equity partners at the firm inched up to 159 from 157. But overall headcount fell to 488 lawyers from 496. Revenue per lawyer was up 7.4 percent to $730,000.
Venable managing partner Karl Racine said the firm saw continued growth its top-rated bankruptcy and restructuring practice. The firm represented CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield in closing a $500 million internal reorganization.
Racine, who practices in corporate defense and white-collar litigation, said Venable has maintained a “strong focus” on recruiting laterals.
Venable last month picked up a five-member patent team, including three partners, from Patton Boggs. “We were chasing them throughout the fall and winter,” Racine said. “They have exceptional clients in the pharmaceutical world.”
Venable’s media and privacy practice, Racine said, is trying to capture more business from competitors. “There’s growth in the expanding world of Internet advertising,” he said.
This week, Venable landed two advertising and marketing partners, Randal Shaheen and Amy Mudge, from Arnold & Porter. The firm said Shaheen and Mudge represent leading brands in litigation and regulatory proceedings. Last October, longtime advertising attorney Greg Sater joined the firm’s Los Angeles office from Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff.
Racine said he expects Venable’s public policy and government relations practice to pick up this year amid tax reform discussion on Capitol Hill. Venable attorneys who specialize in tax matters anticipate robust debate on breaks for certain industries.
There was a slight uptick in litigation last year, Racine said, following what he described as a general slowdown in that area in 2009 and 2010.
Venable last October successfully defended the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. in a products liability suit in New York over the company’s osteoporosis medication Fosamax. A federal jury rejected claims against Merck.
The firm, Racine said, continues to pick up clients in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act arena. “We are aggressively seeking business in that area,” Racine said.
Venable partner Jan Handzlik was a lead attorney for Lindsey Manufacturing Co., charged with foreign bribery violations in Los Angeles federal district court. The trial judge, Howard Matz, in December overturned the conviction and dismissed the indictment, citing prosecutorial misconduct. Matz’s ruling grabbed significant attention among white-collar defense practitioners.
The Lindsey case, Racine said, “may change the dynamic with respect to how companies interact with the government over allegations of the FCPA.” Most companies charged with foreign bribery violations have settled. “Lindsey demonstrates that companies can be successful at trial,” he said.
Venable white-collar defense partner Seth Rosenthal was on the team that represented Harry Thomas, the D.C. Council member who resigned amid theft allegations. Thomas recently pleaded guilty to federal charges in Washington.
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.
View an interactive chart here for updated financial results as they are reported.