It was a solid if unspectacular year for Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, with gross revenue of $994 million in 2011 and profits per partner of $1.375 million, a 3 percent rise in both categories.
Our reporting shows that the firm's net income rose 3.8 percent last year to $409 million, with revenue per lawyer of $1.125 million. In 2010, revenue per lawyer was $1.08 million. The number of equity partners remained constant at 297, but total headcount dipped slightly from 890 to 884.
“The increases in revenue and profits per partner were modest, but given the continued difficulties in the economy, we’re pleased,” said co-managing partner Robert Novick, who along with Susan Murley took over leadership of the firm on Jan. 1, replacing William Perlstein and William Lee.
Of the firm’s 12 offices, Novick said the 50-lawyer Palo Alto outpost was particularly busy, though he added, “All our offices were pretty active.”
Among practice groups, intellectual property had a banner year in 2011, he said. Firm IP (and appellate) lawyers won two patent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and scored a major win for Apple Inc. at the International Trade Commission in a patent infringement case brought by Nokia Corp.
The firm’s regulatory practices also had “very significant work” in 2011, Novick said, including representing BP in connection with the April 2010 oil spill at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. Firm lawyers also represented AT&T in its (failed) acquisition of T-Mobile USA and JP Morgan Chase in settling charges related to municipal derivatives.
Novick also touted the firm’s e-discovery and business services center in Dayton, Ohio, which opened in 2010. He called the center a “source of revenue and a competitive advantage,” offering a dedicated group of staff lawyers focused on document review and other litigation matters.
Looking forward, Novick flagged potential growth in the firm’s health care and energy practices, and expansion of Wilmer’s international footprint.
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.