Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild saw its gross revenue increase by about 8.7 percent in 2013, a year in which the firm grew by more than 40 attorneys across the country, including a 16-attorney merger in Denver.
The firm’s revenue rose from about $277 million in 2012 to about $301 million in 2013.
Firmwide managing partner Mark L. Silow said 2013 was the eighth consecutive year in which the firm “was better than the year before in virtually every financial metric we track.”
Silow, who began a new three-year term as managing partner this past April, said the revenue increase was the result of a combination of organic growth in several practice areas and the addition of a number of productive laterals that came aboard in late 2012 and early 2013.
Silow said the firm’s gaming practice, led by Nicholas Casiello Jr. in the firm’s Atlantic City, N.J., office, had a particularly busy year, as did the firm’s litigation practice across the country.
Silow said the firm’s real estate practice also had a very strong year, which he called “pleasantly surprising” given how slow real estate work was in the immediate wake of the recession.
“I think the degree of the strength was surprising,” Silow said, adding, “There was definitely an uptick in real estate transactions but also the land use work became very active, especially in New York and in the Philadelphia area.”
Silow added that the firm hired several “instantly productive” laterals that helped the bottom line in 2013.
In July, the firm merged with Denver-based Lottner Rubin Fishman Saul, bringing aboard 10 partners, five associates and one counsel.
The same month, the firm added a five-lawyer land use group to its New York City office from Wachtel Masyr & Missry.
Silow said the firm, whose fiscal year ends March 31, also reaped the benefits of a full year’s production from the eight real estate attorneys it brought on from Day Pitney to open its Morristown, N.J., office in February 2013.
“I think we were pretty fortunate in that the people who joined us were instantly productive and therefore the revenues matched or exceeded expenses in every instance,” Silow said.
More recently, in January, the firm merged with San Francisco-based MBV Law, bringing on six partners and one associate in its Northern California office. The group focuses on corporate, employment, real estate, intellectual property and commercial litigation matters.
In total, Fox Rothschild grew its overall headcount by 41 lawyers, or 8.4 percent, from 490 attorneys in 2012 to 531 attorneys in 2013.
That influx of attorneys led to a 3.3 percent increase in the firm’s equity partnership tier, from 153 lawyers to 158 lawyers, and a 20 percent increase in the firm’s nonequity partnership tier, from 60 attorneys to 72 attorneys.
While the firm’s revenue per lawyer (RPL) remained flat at $565,000 in 2013, its profits per equity partner grew by about 5 percent, from $600,000 in 2012 to $630,000 in 2013.
According to Silow, despite the significant costs associated with adding so many new lawyers, the firm was still able to remain profitable by staying committed to structuring its mergers to be “as close to revenue-neutral as possible” and to keeping costs down elsewhere.
“We do a really good job of managing our overhead,” Silow said. “We like to spend our money wisely and not extravagantly.”
Silow said the firm also raised its rates by about 5 percent across the board.
“We still think our rates are super-competitive and still below peer group averages,” Silow said.
Silow said the firm remains in growth mode going forward and is looking to bring several of its offices up to their “critical mass threshold” of 25 attorneys.
Silow said the firm will also seek to diversify the practices in a number of its locations, noting that it plans to grow its newly-formed energy and natural resources group in Denver.
The firm added partner Jack R. Luellen as chair of that practice in March and partner Brent D. Chicken in April.
Silow also said the firm is keeping its eye out for opportunities in several markets it has yet to enter.
As was the case at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year, Silow said the firm remains interested in opening offices in one of the major cities in Texas, as well as in the upper Midwest, the Pacific Northwest and New England.
“We think those areas would pretty much complete our national footprint,” Silow said.
The firm also kicked off the new fiscal year with several key leadership changes.
Michael G. Menkowitz, most recently the chair of the firm’s financial restructuring and bankruptcy department, stepped down from that role to take over as Philadelphia office managing partner, replacing Mark Morris, who ran the Philadelphia office since 2010.
New York-based Yann Geron and Las Vegas-based Brett A. Axelrod now share leadership of the financial restructuring and bankruptcy department.
Jeffrey H. Nicholas took over as chairman of the firm’s corporate department from partner Michael Harrington. Pittsburgh-based Jim M. Singer stepped in to lead the intellectual property department, taking over from Gerard P. Norton in Princeton, N.J.
Princeton-based Ian D. Meklinsky and New York-based Carolyn D. Richmond are sharing in the leadership of the labor and employment department, taking over from Stanley L. Goodman and James A. Matthews III.
Stephanie Resnick handed over the reins of the litigation department to Philadelphia-based Jacqueline M. Carolan and Warrington, Pa.-based John J. Haggerty.
In addition, Neal S. Cohen, who has been managing the Denver office since it opened in September 2012, now shares those duties with Rick J. Rubin.