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In a year of modest growth in revenue and profits per partner, the D.C. office of McDermott, Will & Emery held its own in 2003, with a 7 percent increase in both local revenue and an 8 percent in profits per partner. But McDermott lawyers aren’t complaining. Equity partners at the Chicago-based firm still make, on average, more than $1 million each, with profits per partner up to $1.185 million from $1.1 million in 2002. Revenue for the D.C. office went from $153.8 million to $164.8 million in 2003. McDermott’s D.C. managing partner, Timothy Waters, says although the firm managed increases across the board, 2003 was up and down. The first quarter was booming, but the second and third were slow, while at other D.C. firms, the second and third quarters were strong. By the fourth quarter, however, work began to increase, Waters says. “Last year was a weird year, frankly,” he says. Even so, the office’s large intellectual property practice had a profitable 2003, says Waters. The practice’s patent prosecution lawyers had an especially busy year, he says, as companies fought to protect assets in the downturn. “It’s one of those practice areas that is countercyclical,” says Waters. “IP is increasingly becoming the lifeline of corporate assets.” McDermott’s Washington IP lawyers won partial summary judgment in January 2004 for Research Corporation Technologies Inc. of Tucson, Ariz., in a patent infringement case against the Microsoft Corp. RCT sued Microsoft in 2001, claiming the software giant was using RCT’s image-enhancing technologies in some of its Windows and Office products. The case is expected to go to a federal jury, which could award millions in damages to RCT, at the end of this year or early next year. Waters says corporate work wasn’t as busy as the firm hoped it would be last year, but McDermott started to see mergers and acquisitions activity pick up in the fourth quarter. Antitrust work was strong. McDermott antitrust lawyers represented Canton, Ohio-based Timken Co. in its $840 million acquisition of the Torrington Co., a division of the Ingersoll-Rand Co., creating the largest bearing manufacturer in North America. D.C. antitrust lawyers also helped Hillenbrand Industries Inc. gain antitrust clearance in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States for the sale of its global infant care business to Draeger Medical AG & Co. Litigation was strong in 2003, Waters says. A group of Occupational Health and Safety Act litigators defended West Pharmaceutical Services after an explosion last January in the company’s Kinston, N.C., plant killed six and injured dozens. The group got the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to drop 85 of the 86 allegations against the company.

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