Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner's managing partner has some key words for describing the Washington firm’s $348 million gross revenues in 2012, a 1.8 percent increase from the previous year. Steady. Comfortable. Maybe even boring.
"We're very comfortable with where we are, we're very comfortable with the financial situation at the firm," Finnegan Managing Partner Barbara McCurdy said. "We're kind of boring, I guess."
Finnegan, which had a disappointing 2010 because of the economy, appreciates the return to stability. A fixture in the Am Law 100, the firm in 2012 raised its profits per partner 2.7 percent, to $1.16 million, according to our reporting.
That was expected and fits the firm strategy just right, McCurdy said. Finnegan focuses only on intellectual property issues and doesn't have trust and estate groups or corporate groups. It isn't making a lot of lateral hires or moves for groups of attorneys, McCurdy said.
"We're homegrown, that's really our model," McCurdy said. "We're not really a law firm that jumps up and jumps down from year to year. We're sort of very steady in our revenue growth and [headcount] growth."
The firm's 369 lawyers – 104 of whom are equity partners – brought in about 65 percent of the revenue from high-stakes litigation related to the pharmaceutical industry, medical device manufacturers and smartphone makers such as HTC, McCurdy said.
The firm also has a sweet spot for where litigation and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office intersects or overlaps, with most of the firm's lawyers registered to practice before the patent office, McCurdy said. The America Invents Act has helped make those skills more important, while the Supreme Court is taking more intellectual property cases.
That makes McCurdy believe her firm is poised to keep steadily climbing in the years ahead. "We're riding that wave of interest" in the importance of Intellectual property, she said.
This report is part of The National Law Journal‘s coverage of 2012 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer's May 2013 issue and on AmericanLawyer.com. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.