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Steptoe & Johnson turned in a strong financial performance in 2003 with firmwide revenue of $198 million — a 12 percent climb from the previous year’s $177.5 million. The D.C. office — Steptoe’s headquarters — accounted for 78 percent of the revenue, grossing $154 million. D.C.’s equity partners took home an average of $745,000 in profits in 2003, $125,000 more than the year before. Roger Warin, who succeeded J.A. “Lon” Bouknight Jr. as the managing partner earlier this year, attributes the firm’s growth to the ongoing success of its litigation and regulatory practices, which make up roughly two-thirds of the work at the firm. In 2003, Steptoe was one of the go-to firms for defense of white collar crime. Partner Reid Weingarten continued to represent Mark Belnick, the former general counsel of Tyco International Ltd., whom the government accused of committing larceny, among other crimes. Partners Stewart Baker and Stephen Fennell represented former prisoners of war who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The ex-POWs sued to collect millions of dollars from Iraq’s assets. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia awarded $959 million. But after the U.S. government intervened in the lawsuit and objected to the distribution of Iraqi funds, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals squashed the former prisoners’ efforts to obtain payment. In another closely watched case, Steptoe lawyers, led by partner David Roll, won the first round in a battle against the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of the American Bar Association. The organization objected to the FTC’s efforts to regulate lawyers’ conduct under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The government sought to dismiss the lawsuit last year, but the trial court refused. Other than the busy litigation practice, Warin says the corporate work is showing promise. “We have seen an uptick in the last quarter of last year and this year,” Warin says. At Steptoe, the productivity of the D.C. lawyers exceeded expectations last year, Warin says. “Both partners and associates were working harder than we projected,” he says. And head count has increased as well. Steptoe hired between 25 and 30 associates last year, Warin says.

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