Updated at 3:42 p.m.
Despite a less than 1 percent increase in gross revenues and a drop in many key financial indicators for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in 2012, outgoing firm chairman R. Bruce McLean isn't concerned.
McLean said Akin felt "pretty good" about last year even with declines in net income, revenue per lawyer, profits per partner and average compensation for all partners. He said the firm, which posted $775 million in gross revenues for 2012, had an aggressive investment plan last year, opening outposts in Hong Kong and Singapore and moving to new offices in Abu Dhabi and Moscow. Highlights in 2012 for Akin also included obtaining a favorable decision for a client in an employment case that made it to the California Supreme Court, adding television manufacturer Vizio Inc. as a client in its intellectual property practice and securing "substantial" work in Foreign Corrupt Practice Act investigations, McLean said.
"Given what we accomplished this year, I think we're very pleased about how those numbers came out," said McLean, whom Akin U.S. managing partner Kim Koopersmith will succeed as chairman on April 1.
Akin also posted drops of 3.3 percent for the average compensation for all partners and 1.5 percent for revenue per lawyer.
Besides the 0.6 percent rise in gross revenues, the 11.7 percent increase in nonequity partner compensation was the only uptick in Akin's 2012 financial report. The firm posted $100 million in nonequity partner compensation.
While Akin's financial numbers showed many decreases, the firm's number of full-time equivalent attorneys grew to 806 lawyers. Of the firm's 15 additional full-time equivalent attorneys, nine were equity partners and one was a nonequity partner.
Akin has momentum going into 2013, McLean said. He said the firm's corporate practice picked up activity in the fourth quarter and its government affairs group is bustling again after the 2012 election.
"We'll not only get back to our 2011 level, but we hope to exceed it," McLean said.