After a blow-out 2011 that saw the firm hit new highs on every key financial metric, Latham & Watkins posted solid, if not quite so spectacular, gains in 2012, according to The American Lawyer‘s reporting.
The global firm with Los Angeles roots increased its gross revenues by 3.4 percent, to $2.26 billion, its revenue per lawyer by 2.3 percent, to $1,095,000, and its profits per partner by 7.5 percent, to $2,440,000.
In Latham global chair Robert Dell’s view, the firm’s ability to achieve such results even as the global economy continued to struggle makes last year’s performance particularly sweet. "With the economy sputtering away all around the world, it was gratifying to see increased demand for our services," says Dell, now in his 18th year in Latham’s top leadership post.
Dell cites eight practices as keeping consistently busy throughout 2012: the capital markets group working in the United States and Europe; the M&A team handling both public and private transactions from Germany to China; the project finance group that handled assignments from Russia to Australia; the firm’s Houston-based energy group; the Southern California–based real estate finance group; the mass torts group anchored in Northern California; the IP litigation group from Silicon Valley to Washington, D.C., to London; and the firm’s global anticartel investigation team.
The year’s other highlights included HSBC adding Latham to its panel of preferred providers, as U.K. publication Legal Week reported, and the addition of three litigators from Goodwin & Proctor to the Boston office the firm opened in 2011. All told, Latham hired 21 lateral partners last year, and Dell says there were no significant departures. The firm’s total lawyer head count inched up about 1 percent, to 2,033. The equity partnership ticked down about 1 percent, to 441, and the nonequity ranks increased nearly 10 percent to 160.
As for the firm’s prospects going forward, Dell hopes for more of the same. "All we have to do is keep it up at this nice and steady pace," he says, "and things look quite good 20 years out."
This report is part of The Am Law Daily‘s early coverage of 2012 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. See our interactive chart. 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.