McGuireWoods saw another year of steady growth, posting around a 5 percent increase in gross revenue and profits per partner in 2012, according to our reporting.
The firm's gross revenue grew 5.6 percent, from $567.5 million in 2011 to $599.5 million in 2012. Profits per partner increased by five percent, from $900,000 in 2011 to $945,000 last year. Managing partner Thomas Cabaniss said the growth was evenly distributed firm-wide.
"We've had a pretty good track record of increasing our revenue and we really do focus on that in all areas," Cabaniss said. "It's not one case, it's not one department, it's not one thing. It requires focus across the board."
The firm's net income grew by 8.3 percent, from $162.5 million in 2011 to $176 million last year. The average compensation for all partners grew by 8.5 percent, from $590,000 in 2011 to $640,000 in 2012.
Cabaniss said the firm didn't focus on expanding any particular practice last year, but did say that the corporate practice has generally grown over the past few years. He said that growth could be because there's more transaction work as the economy recovered. The firm's corporate lawyers saw an uptick in work at the end of 2012 because of a change in tax laws, he added.
Litigation work brought in the most revenue of any practice area, generating $268.7 million. The firm's clients have included DuPont, which the firm has continued to represent in trade secrets litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; in 2011, the firm secured a $920 million verdict for DuPont. Cabaniss declined to discuss any particular cases or clients.
The firm's total attorney headcount grew by 2.5 percent, from 918 in 2011 to 941 last year. Cabaniss said most of the new attorneys were lateral hires. He said the lateral market generally seemed to be picking up, and that they didn't make hires in any one particular practice area.
The firm saw a small decrease in the number of partners, from 431 in 2011 to 423 last year, although the number of equity partners grew slightly, from 181 in 2011 to 186. Cabaniss said the overall decrease was expected and not cause for concern.
Cabaniss attributed the firm's consistent growth to the quality of its attorneys and client loyalty, as well as the firm's geographical diversity. In 2013, Cabaniss said the firm wasn't planning to make any major changes, but added that he did expect to see some growth in the energy and healthcare arenas.
"Those seem to be important practice areas to move forward with," Cabaniss said. Most recently, the firm hired Bernadette Rappold, a former civil enforcement director at the Environmental Protection Agency, as a partner in the Washington office; she'll be part of the firm's energy and environmental practice.
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.
For an early look at the results of The Am Law 100 survey, please see this page.