C. Wade Cooper.
C. Wade Cooper. (Photo: Angela Morris)

Strong performance in litigation, corporate and real estate led to an extraordinary year for Dallas-based Jackson Walker, with gross revenue up 11.3 percent, and net income improving by 26.2 percent compared with 2015.

“It was just a good solid year in growth in each of our largest three practice areas,” said Wade Cooper, the firm’s managing partner, who is based in Austin. Litigation improved by about 9 percent in 2016 because of a few large litigation matters and the corporate practice was “up nicely” Cooper said. In addition, he noted that real estate posted double-digit increases for the third year in a row.

For 2016, gross revenue came in at $246.5 million, compared with $221.5 million the year before, and net income was $106 million—up 26.2 percent from $84 million in 2015. Revenue per lawyer was $710,000, which was 7.6 percent higher than $660,000 the prior year, and profits per partner topped the seven-figure mark at $1.09 million—20.4 percent more than $905,000 in 2015.

Cooper said the results show that the firm’s regional strategy is working. “We are in a very good posture,” Cooper said, noting that the firm has a cost advantage over many larger firms. The firm has offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo, San Antonio and Texarkana.

“We are where everybody wants to be with a lower cost structure,” he said. “We feel very solid in terms of what our niche in the market is.”

Litigation, corporate and real estate comprise about 70 percent of the firm’s lawyers, Cooper said, so the strong performance in those areas led to the robust financials. He said the firm also watches expenses, and had the good fortune to win some rent concessions when negotiating a lease.

He said the firm also did a little better than normal in collections in 2016, although that’s something the firm always pays attention to by sending out timely bills

“We have good clients who pay timely, so our collections cycle is shorter and our realization is historically better than most firms. Those 1 and 2 percents add up,” he said.

Cooper said energy was “off a little bit” during 2016, and the legislative practice was as well, but 2016 was an off year for the Texas Legislature. He said the labor and employment practice was also down a little, but mostly because some lawyers left the firm to go in-house.

The firm is slightly larger in 2016, with a full-time-equivalent of 347 lawyers in 2016­—up 3 percent from 337 the year before. The firm had 97 equity partners in 2016, compared with 93 in 2015.

Strong performance in litigation, corporate and real estate led to an extraordinary year for Dallas-based Jackson Walker , with gross revenue up 11.3 percent, and net income improving by 26.2 percent compared with 2015.

“It was just a good solid year in growth in each of our largest three practice areas,” said Wade Cooper, the firm’s managing partner, who is based in Austin. Litigation improved by about 9 percent in 2016 because of a few large litigation matters and the corporate practice was “up nicely” Cooper said. In addition, he noted that real estate posted double-digit increases for the third year in a row.

For 2016, gross revenue came in at $246.5 million, compared with $221.5 million the year before, and net income was $106 million—up 26.2 percent from $84 million in 2015. Revenue per lawyer was $710,000, which was 7.6 percent higher than $660,000 the prior year, and profits per partner topped the seven-figure mark at $1.09 million—20.4 percent more than $905,000 in 2015.

Cooper said the results show that the firm’s regional strategy is working. “We are in a very good posture,” Cooper said, noting that the firm has a cost advantage over many larger firms. The firm has offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo, San Antonio and Texarkana.

“We are where everybody wants to be with a lower cost structure,” he said. “We feel very solid in terms of what our niche in the market is.”

Litigation, corporate and real estate comprise about 70 percent of the firm’s lawyers, Cooper said, so the strong performance in those areas led to the robust financials. He said the firm also watches expenses, and had the good fortune to win some rent concessions when negotiating a lease.

He said the firm also did a little better than normal in collections in 2016, although that’s something the firm always pays attention to by sending out timely bills

“We have good clients who pay timely, so our collections cycle is shorter and our realization is historically better than most firms. Those 1 and 2 percents add up,” he said.

Cooper said energy was “off a little bit” during 2016, and the legislative practice was as well, but 2016 was an off year for the Texas Legislature. He said the labor and employment practice was also down a little, but mostly because some lawyers left the firm to go in-house.

The firm is slightly larger in 2016, with a full-time-equivalent of 347 lawyers in 2016­—up 3 percent from 337 the year before. The firm had 97 equity partners in 2016, compared with 93 in 2015.