Kent Gardiner of Crowell & Moring (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ NLJ)
Modest growth lifted Crowell & Moring’s net profit and its profits per partner in 2013 compared with 2012, according to our reporting. Net income rose almost 4 percent, to $96.5 million. Profits per partner grew by less than 1 percent, or $5,000 per partner, to $930,000. Gross revenue climbed about 3 percent, to $359 million.
The firm focused on investing in certain areas by adding people rather than pushing up profits, Crowell chairman Kent Gardiner said.
Overall, the firm brought in 13 lateral partners and added three equity partner positions for a total of 104 equity partners in 2013. The lawyer headcount rose from 459 in 2012 to 464.
“When you’re bringing new people in, you’re going to go slowly. We’re an investment-oriented firm,” Gardiner said. “If you look at us in a macro basis, we’re up.”
In the firm’s environment, energy and resources practice areas, Crowell hired nine lawyers from Dickstein Shapiro. That included partner Larry Eisenstat, who led Dickstein’s energy group and chairs Crowell’s now, and three other partners. Cybersecurity and intellectual property practices added names as well, Gardiner said. The firm grew its New York office from 56 lawyers in 2012 to about 65 lawyers.
Although some, like the Dickstein group, “hit the ground running” with clients, Gardiner said, others will take time to build their work.
“We almost never are buying so-called books of business. It’s not our methodology here,” he said. “We’ve been blessed with a terrific client base, and our firm’s approach is to build that base.”
A few of Crowell & Moring’s clients in antitrust issues made national headlines in 2013, including the bakery breakup that prompted Americans to fear the end of Twinkies.
The firm represented Flowers Foods in its $355 million acquisition of Hostess Brands, one of the largest transactions ever in the U.S. bread industry and one which required six months of federal scrutiny. (Crowell did not work on the sale of Hostess assets that included the Twinkie brand.) The firm also represented Coventry Health Care Inc. when insurance giant Aetna Inc. acquired it for $5.7 billion.
In 2014, Gardiner said he expects more business in intellectual property and IP litigation, especially from universities. In 2013, the firm won cases for the University of California and a professor in a dispute over the licensing of a prostate cancer treatment drug called A52.
This report is part of The National Law Journal’s coverage of 2013 financial results of The Am Law 100. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in the spring in The American Lawyer and on AmericanLawyer.com.
Contact reporter Katelyn Polantz at email@example.com.