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1. WILEY REIN The first-generation D.C. firm is dominated by its senior leadership and just had its best year ever. But does that success mask trouble down the road? See the full story here.
2. WILMERHALE WilmerHale and Hogan & Hartson continued their mano a mano for the top of the D.C. charts for another year. This year, though, the winning duelist had to be happy with second place, as Wiley Rein shot up the ranks to the top spot on the heels of its BlackBerry settlement. WilmerHale’s gross revenues for its D.C. office grew a robust 10 percent to $395 million, narrowly edging out Hogan & Hartson. WilmerHale’s profits per equity partner were up 7 percent to $980,000. Co-managing partner William Perlstein says the firm beat its budget in 2006 “pretty comfortably.” The growing number of companies embroiled in investigations over allegations of backdating stock options kept WilmerHale’s prominent securities department buzzing. William McLucas, the securities department co-chairman and former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement chief, led a six-month internal probe into the alleged backdating of stock options at UnitedHealth on behalf of a special committee of the company’s board. The firm worked on more than 40 options backdating investigations and litigation matters, including one for Pixar Inc. But the securities department lost some big names in 2006, most notably co-chairman Stephen Cutler, also a former SEC enforcement division chief, who joined JPMorgan Chase & Co. as its chief counsel. WilmerHale’s litigation practice was extremely busy in 2006 as well, Perlstein says. Litigation co-chairman Howard Shapiro scored a victory for client Loral Space and Communications in a case involving a $51 million contract dispute the company had with Cablevision. Other major litigation clients in 2006 included Allied Capital, AT&T and STMicroelectronics. The antitrust group represented a European carrier in a worldwide investigation into cartel-like behavior in the international air cargo sector and secured clearance for some of the year’s major mergers, including Linde AG’s $14.9 billion acquisition of the BOC Group and Lucent Technologies’ $11.8 billion merger with Alcatel. Meanwhile, the firm’s international trade team remained firmly ensconced in the largest dispute settlement cases in World Trade Organization history, representing Boeing in the U.S.-European Union disputes over aircraft subsidies. Two years post-merger, the firm still faced some significant costs in marrying its two halves, including those related to moving from its five D.C. locations to its new Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest headquarters and continuing efforts to consolidate the information-technology systems. � Alexia Garamfalvi
3. HOGAN & HARTSON Last year was a whirlwind year for the deal-makers and the lawyers who advised them. Hogan & Hartson, one of the rare D.C.-based firms with a strong transactional practice, benefited from the bonanza of merger activity. The frequent chart-topper matched its nearly 8 percent growth rate from 2005 and posted $390 million in revenues. “We are hitting on all cylinders in all markets,” says Chairman J. Warren Gorrell Jr. “We are optimistic for continued growth at at least this year’s pace.” An interesting personnel fact: 2006 was the first year the firm advanced more female associates to the partnership ranks than male ones, with 11 women and eight men making partner. Gorrell says the mergers and acquisitions practice, which accounts for 40 percent of the firm’s revenues, played an important part in the D.C. office’s successes, especially its M&A work for real estate and hospitality industry clients. For 2006, the firm ranked sixth in Bloomberg’s M&A league tables based on the number of completed deals as counsel to targets and fifth as legal counsel to acquirers based on number of deals. The D.C. office worked on some of the largest M&A and buyout transactions in the real estate investment trust industry in 2006, including Trizec Properties Inc. in its $8.9 billion acquisition by the Brookfield Properties Corp. and the Blackstone Group, Host Hotels & Resorts in its $3.6 billion purchase of 35 hotels located in the United States, Chile and Europe from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and Carr-America Realty in its $5.6 billion acquisition by Blackstone. Gorrell predicts a high level of M&A activity will continue to keep the office busy well into 2007. Despite being a haven for the D.C. transactional lawyer, the D.C. office lost three partners in its private equity group in 2006. Christopher Hagan, J. Hovey Kemp, and James Hutchinson decamped to the D.C. office of Boston-based Goodwin Procter in June. As for the office’s other practice groups, Gorrell says the firm’s litigation, health and Food and Drug Administration, and energy practices also remained strong in 2006. � Alexia Garamfalvi
4. ARNOLD & PORTER While other firms darted up the charts with revenues growing by 10 percent or more, Arnold & Porter’s revenues remained relatively flat for a fourth straight year. Revenues at this old-line Washington institution increased by about 2 percent to $314 million. “We recognize the fact that our revenue growth hasn’t been as high as some other firms,” Chairman Thomas Milch says. For years, fen-phen litigation for Wyeth, the diet drug’s manufacturer, and tobacco litigation for Philip Morris fueled countless billable hours. But, as those cases began to wind down over the last three years, the firm has struggled to deal with the natural decline in work from its biggest cash-cow clients. The firm is positioning itself for future growth by diversifying its practice mix, Milch says. The concentration of work done for its top three matters has already dropped by two-thirds over the last four years, he adds. The firm’s flagship antitrust practice was extremely busy in 2006. It provided antitrust and regulatory counsel to AT&T before the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission in its $89 billion merger with BellSouth and defended Visa USA in antitrust litigation filed by American Express and Discover and in about 50 antitrust class action and individual cases filed by merchants challenging Visa’s interchange fee. Other big litigation matters included winning judgments against the government for breach of contract claims arising out of the savings and loans crisis for Keystone Holding Partners and SunTrust Bank. Arnold & Porter’s sovereign debt practice remained strong. Last year, the firm represented Colombia, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, and Pakistan in more than $15 billion of debt issuances. The international arbitration team successfully defended the governments of Hungary and El Salvador in arbitrations before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Arbitration is one of the areas in which the firm is looking to expand its practice, Milch says. The firm doesn’t view lateral hiring as a “principal engine of growth,” he says, but has been more engaged in the lateral market than before. In early 2007, the firm scored a six-lawyer government contracts practice from Holland & Knight. � Alexia Garamfalvi
5. SKADDEN, ARPS, SLATE, MEAGHER & FLOM The revenues of the D.C. office of the New York M&A behemoth increased faster than any other firm on the chart except for Wiley. Revenues for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 2006 were up a whopping 19 percent to $290 million, outpacing firmwide revenue growth of about 15 percent. Skadden maintained its position as the highest-grossing out-of-town office in Washington and its partners were by far the best compensated in the city (again with the exception of Wiley) with profits per partner at $2.1 million. “We did very well,” says Michael Rogan, the D.C. office’s managing partner, “well better than budget.” Skadden attorneys in the D.C. office took the lead on several of the firm’s big deals. The office’s corporate practice was “extremely busy,” especially with energy deals, Rogan says. It advised the special committee of the board of directors of energy pipeline giant Kinder Morgan Inc. on its $22 billion management-led leveraged buyout, and former Enron subsidiary Prisma Energy International in its $2.9 billion sale to Ashmore Energy International, a unit of a U.K.-based private equity shop. The litigation practice, one of Skadden’s major moneymakers, bustled too, Rogan says. Ongoing matters included defending a number of corporate clients under investigation, like accounting firm KPMG, as part of the U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York’s tax shelter investigation, and HealthSouth Corp., in connection with an SEC probe into a $2.5 billion accounting misstatement and related securities fraud class action. The firm’s booming corporate practice kept the office’s antitrust and regulatory lawyers busy, too. Ivan Schlager shepherded France’s Alcatel through the national-security review process for its $11.8 billion merger with Lucent Technologies, while antitrust partners C. Benjamin Crisman and John Lyons counseled the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on its $8 billion acquisition of the Chicago Board of Trade. And the office should be handling a lot more antitrust work in 2007, having expanded significantly by bringing on antitrust guru Steven Sunshine in February. Sunshine, who had been the head of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft’s antitrust practice, brought most of his team to Skadden with him. Overall, Rogan predicts the office will be at least as busy in 2007 as it was in 2006. � Alexia Garamfalvi
6. COVINGTON & BURLING Covington’s drop from the top five isn’t notable. That happened two years ago. What does merit attention, though, is the burgeoning revenue gap between the firm and the D.C. 20′s top five. For the third straight year, Covington has swapped places with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. But this time Skadden has rocketed ahead, while Covington’s solid, if unspectacular year, has it falling behind the pack. In 2005, Covington was $16 million ahead of Skadden in revenue, but this year the firm is about $12 million off the pace. Overall, the firm’s revenue growth in 2006 was below the regional average at 7 percent, with revenue jumping to $278 million. Other financial indicators were strong. Profits per partner rose 11 percent, breaching the coveted $1 million mark, to $1.1 million. Revenue per lawyer moved upward by 6.5 percent, settling in at $825,000. The growth, says Mitchell Dolin, a member of the firm’s executive committee, stemmed from a strong year from well-established clients. In fact, given the firm’s stagnant growth in head count, now at 338 after netting only three lawyers last year, the strong financial year is an indicator that firm business is very solid, says Dolin. The mergers and acquisitions group led the way, handling Kerr-McGee’s $18 billion merger with Anadarko, JL’s $3.2 billion merger with Oskosh, and Abbott Laboratories’ $3.7 billion acquisition of Kos Pharmaceuticals. On the complex litigation front, the firm won an age discrimination case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which overturned a trial court judgment and saved IBM $1.4 billion. The firm also continues to represent blue-chip clients such as Goodyear, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline. Covington partner Bruce Wilson also led the firm’s successful representation of the National Football League in securing passage of the Internet Gambling Act, an indication of the firm’s burgeoning sports practice. “By all of our internal measures, we had a terrific year, because we were busy on important matters, we promoted several lawyers to the partnership, and we increased our pro bono hours,” says Dolin. � Nathan Carlile
7. FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner shot up the D.C. 20 three spots, passing larger general practice firms, thanks to a booming 2006. After a mundane �05, this was the year Finnegan returned to double-digit growth. Two years ago, Finnegan registered an eye-popping showing in the D.C. 20 survey (then ranked seventh), propelled by a 17 percent growth in gross revenue, and now the firm is again reaching dizzying heights thanks to a 15 percent surge in revenue, coming in at $224.2 million. Last year, then-managing partner Chris Foley said that there was little difference in the firm’s revenue stream but that the D.C. 20′s timing kept several large contingency cases from being included in the bottom line. This year proved him right. Managing partner Richard Racine says the firm, which pulls in nearly 60 percent of its business from patent prosecutions and other intellectual property matters, can thank a steady diet of work in those practice areas for the increased revenue. Finnegan continues to be the local standard-bearer for intellectual property work, boasting a stable of blue-chip clients including Guidant, Aventis, Caterpillar Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., GlaxoSmithKline, cardiovascular medical products maker Guidant Corp., and Home Diagnostics Inc. The firm also boasts leading attorneys in the IP industry, including partners Charles Lipsey, Tom Irving, Basil Lewris, J. Michael Jakes, and name partner Donald Dunner. After profits per partner slipped in 2005, they rebounded strongly in 2006, jumping from $870,000 to $1.1 million, surpassing the coveted $1 million mark. For the year ahead, Racine says, the D.C. office is looking to add lawyers; last year the office’s head count increased by two, with at least 15 associates departing. “We’re trying to do strategic growing,” Racine says, “because we’ve been blessed with a lot of work.” � Nathan Carlile
8. LATHAM & WATKINS With double-digit growth for the third year in a row, Latham & Watkins shot up like a lanky teenager in 2006. The firm increased revenue by 14 percent, hitting $223 million. “I think we’re fortunate enough to have a very rich and robust diversity of practices that are all doing exceptionally well,” says Eric Bernthal, the D.C. office’s managing partner. Profits per partner leapt 16 percent to a staggering $1.9 million. The California-based firm added 22 lawyers in the D.C. office, bumping up the overall head count to 243. The firm also picked up a few big-name attorneys, including Lawrence West, a former associate director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, who has helped expand the securities litigation practice, and Donald Remy, formerly the deputy general counsel at Fannie Mae. But it wasn’t all rainbows and puppies in terms of attorney retention. Litigation powerhouse DeMaurice Smith left for Patton Boggs, and in the grand tradition of revolving doors, Beth Wilkinson, the former co-chairman of the white-collar crime practice, moved over to firm client Fannie Mae as general counsel. Among its biggest cases, the firm represented the Carlyle Group in a $22 billion acquisition deal with energy company Kinder Morgan Inc. and continued doing communications policy and regulatory work for Time Warner, representing the company before the Federal Communications Commission. In the corporate and securities areas, the firm did substantial work for Fannie Mae, and the communications practice represented XM Satellite Radio in the company’s proposed merger with Sirius Satellite Radio. Partner Maureen Mahoney, the firm’s Supreme Court rock star, also scored a major victory in the Rockwell International case. Early this year the Court ruled in favor of Rockwell, saying that individuals are limited in suits under the False Claims Act. According to Bernthal, 2007 looks particularly bright. “Based on the first quarter, I would say it’s going to be a terrific year,” he says. Attila Berry
9. STEPTOE & JOHNSON Steptoe & Johnson’s D.C. office revenue grew a healthy 11 percent to $221 million, but the firm nonetheless slipped a couple of rungs in the ranks behind Latham & Watkins and Finnegan. Profits per partner rose 9 percent to hit $1 million, while the firm’s head count remained stable in the D.C. office. Firm Chairman Roger Warin says “no one thing” accounts for the firm’s revenue growth, but he attributes the increase to several particularly busy practice areas, including litigation, insurance, and international trade. Litigation and regulatory work accounts for about 65 percent to 70 percent of the firm’s work, Warin says. The white-collar practice had another extremely strong year, Warin says. Significant victories in 2006 included white-collar star Reid Weingarten’s successful defenses of D.C. developer Douglas Jemal, who was acquitted of bribery and conspiracy charges in October, and of former Navy quarterback Lamar Owens, who was acquitted of rape charges in a court-martial proceeding. Weingarten and white-collar chairman Mark Hulkower also clocked significant hours on the four-month trial of former AOL executive John Tuli, who was indicted on conspiracy and securities fraud charges. Tuli was acquitted in February. And prior to the tentative truce the United States and Canada struck in July, the two countries’ lumber war kept the international trade group, led by Mark Moran and George Grandison, billing at a fast clip representing Canada and Canadian industry associations. The group also waged a successful constitutional challenge to the controversial Byrd Amendment, which since 2000 has enabled the U.S. government to funnel anti-dumping tariffs to U.S. companies that had complained about low-priced imports, on behalf of ball-bearing manufacturer SKF USA Inc. Along with opening offices in Chicago and Century City, Calif., the firm expanded its ranks in D.C. by acquiring the eight-member Scott Group, a local lobby shop. Warin says the firm is aiming for continued expansion of all of its offices in 2007. “We are trying to grow existing strong practices and, if we have gaps in our portfolio, we are trying to fill them,” he says, noting the firm is looking to broaden the range of corporate and transactional services it can offer. � Alexia Garamfalvi
10. DICKSTEIN SHAPIRO Last year, Dickstein Shapiro didn’t have a superhero to boost its bottom line as Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee’s case against Marvel Enterprises Inc. did in 2005. Without a big contingency matter, Dickstein reported $212 million in gross revenue, dropping the firm four slots to No. 10. “Each year . . . has some ups and downs to it. It’s just the nature of our practice,” says Michael Nannes, chairman of Dickstein. Still, Nannes says, the firm’s other practices continued to grow. Its government relations practice added a Federal Election Commission component with former FEC Chairman Scott Thomas; a government investigations department with the former chief counsel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Mark Paoletta, along with another subcommittee investigator, Andrew Snowdon; and a homeland security capability with lobbyist Brian Finch. “Our sense as a Washington-based firm is, it has to be able to help . . . clients who want to do business with the government do business effectively and properly,” says Nannes. The firm’s profits per partner were up slightly to almost $1.1 million. Still, the revenue per lawyer dropped from $825,000 to $807,000 in 2006. Nannes attributes that to the hires and the firm’s move to new office space midyear. In Washington, the firm handled one of the most contentious local issues of the year, with partners Daniel Morgan and Andrew Zausner representing the board of directors of Gallaudet University in its effort to end student and teacher protests at the school over the leadership of then-President Jane Fernandes. Dickstein continued to represent Pfizer. In Minnesota, the firm, led by Peter Kadzik, successfully argued against an antitrust and unfair competition suit, which would have allowed drug importation from Canada. Dickstein also picked up Northrop Grumman as a client in insurance coverage litigation related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. � Anna Palmer
11. AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld rebounded in a big way last year. After being the only firm in Legal Times‘ D.C. 20 survey facing declining returns in 2005, the firm saw its revenue jump almost 16 percent last year to $212 million � enough to raise Akin Gump up one notch to the No. 11 spot. “We had a high level of activity throughout the firm. We had a significant uptick in our litigation practice, and we did probably more mergers and acquisitions than we’ve ever done,” says R. Bruce McLean, firm chairman. The firm’s success was in part based on a victory in a South Carolina class action that accused Hillenbrand Industries Inc., a hospital equipment provider, and its subsidiaries of engaging in anti-competitive practices. D.C.-based litigation partner Richard Wyatt Jr. helped lead the plaintiffs’ team. The firm received $58.5 million of the $486 million settlement. That premium payout bumped up the firm’s profits per partner to almost $1.4 million from $1.2 million in 2005. Despite the jump in revenue, Akin Gump still struggled to raise overall lawyer pay. The firm’s average compensation per lawyer was up $17,000, hovering just above the $1 million mark in 2006. McLean attributes the flatness of average compensation to the number of laterals the firm brought on. After several years of declining head count, the firm added 19 lawyers, including Harvard Law School professor and veteran appellate advocate Laurence Tribe, who came on as a consultant. Despite losing two partners and 11 staff attorneys in the firm’s real estate and finance practice, including Keith Dunsmore in Washington, Akin Gump didn’t face much attrition. Its overall head count went from 227 to 246 lawyers in Washington. Akin made headlines last year when white-collar partner Michele Roberts took on area developer Douglas Jemal’s criminal case. In April, Jemal was found not guilty on bribery and conspiracy charges. He was found guilty on one count of wire fraud. Among the largest matters the firm’s D.C. lawyers handled were the initial public offerings of donut and coffee giant Tim Hortons on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. McLean says he expects more of the same in 2007, with the firm’s vaunted legislative practice doing more work. � Anna Palmer
12. HOWREY Howrey’s financial figures are soaring. Over the past two years the firm’s numbers have grown in every practice area and in every reported category for the D.C. 20 survey. The firm’s Washington revenue jumped almost 15 percent to $210 million, keeping Howrey at the No. 12 slot on the survey. But the big story was once again the firm’s profits-per-partner numbers, which shot up 27 percent to $1.2 million. In 2005 the firm’s profits per partner were nearly as eye-popping, having jumped 24 percent. “We had great demand everywhere,” says Robert Ruyak, the firm’s managing partner. “We did better than we projected.” That includes revenue per lawyer, which in prior years had been stagnant. But in 2006, after increasing only 2 percent in Washington the year before, revenue per lawyer shot up by 28 percent, from $712,000 to $913,000. The jump comes as the firm has put greater emphasis on hiring staff attorneys. Ruyak says staff attorneys have lower pay and a nonrevenue track, generating more revenue for the firm than associates, whose salaries more closely match their billing rates. One possible cause for concern for the firm is the comparatively low compensation nonequity partners receive. Those 42 lawyers, making up about 40 percent of the total partnership, earned an average of $409,523, which is nonetheless a substantial increase from 2005′s compensation of $330,952. In 2006, intellectual property remained the Washington office’s strongest practice, pulling in nearly a third of its revenue. Among the biggest clients was Qualcomm Inc., which Howrey defended in an IP dispute before both the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Global litigation also brought in about 33 percent of the office’s revenue. Howrey lawyers had plenty of work from Goodrich Corp., which is fighting off at least 30 insurance companies in an environment-related insurance dispute. They also defended Biovail in a securities class action currently pending in the Southern District of New York. Antitrust, while one of the smaller practices in the firm, kept busy with a number of second requests from government investigators handling regulatory review for mergers. One of the largest matters was the firm’s work for Whirlpool Corp. as regulatory counsel to the company in its $1.7 billion acquisition of Maytag Corp. Howrey also represented GE Healthcare in an arbitration involving a license agreement with Applera Corp., a biotechnology company, for royalties on certain enzymes. � Nathan Carlile
13. WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY Williams & Connolly remains in self-imposed isolation among Washington’s largest law firms, and it appears to like the solitude very much. The firm has never opened an office outside the District. It has also never broken into a tiered partnership as three-quarters of the firms in the AmLaw 200 have. The firm has also been hesitant to pull in lateral partners, despite a booming legal market and a general consensus that raiding talent is good business. And perhaps it’s because of these characteristics that the firm continues to be a litigation leader. The firm’s gross revenue jumped 12 percent to $209 million, while its profits per partner also grew to $945,000. The firm’s head count also jumped up by 10 percent, to 219 lawyers. Three were named partner, bringing the firm’s total to 93. Williams & Connolly continues to serve as coordinating counsel for Merck & Co. in the avalanche of product liability suits stemming from pain drug Vioxx. The firm is also the coordinating counsel for Bayer, which is defending against thousands of individual suits and scores of class actions filed in connection with Baycol, a cholesterol-reducing heart drug that was recalled in 2001. Partner Kevin Downey is handling the defense of Franklin Raines, the former Fannie Mae chairman and Clinton budget director, who is being investigated in connection with Fannie Mae’s multibillion-dollar accounting snafus. And partner Robert Barnett continues to represent government officials and others in negotiations of their book deals, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Jenna Bush, and Alan Greenspan. On a sour note, partners Brendan Sullivan and Barry Simon lost the fraud and conspiracy trial of former Cendant Chairman Walter Forbes. It was the third time Forbes had been prosecuted since 2001, with the other two trials ending in deadlocked juries. Forbes was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison (though Williams & Connolly filed notice of an appeal in January). � Nathan Carlile
14. SIDLEY AUSTIN Sidley Austin continued in its recent stretch of strong revenue years, following up a year of solid growth with a very similar 2006. In fact, Carter Phillips, the D.C. office’s managing partner, considers the year an even greater success because of the business it didn’t lose. “With AT&T being acquired, we were afraid we’d lose some work,” Phillips says. “But that didn’t happen. I was quite concerned going into 2006 that it could be a big loss for us.” AT&T continued to be one of the firm’s most profitable clients. After last year’s merger with SBC Communications Inc., the firm continued on through its merger with BellSouth. Beyond AT&T, practice areas continued to grow. That’s particularly true in intellectual property, where the firm brought in three Arnold & Porter partners � Stan Lawrence, Paul Zegger, and Todd Wagner � along with about 10 associates. Overall, revenue in the firm’s D.C. office was up 8 percent, with the gross coming in at $198 million, a nearly identical growth from 2005, when the firm’s revenue stood at $182 million. Local profits per partner also shot up, coming in at $1.3 million, a rise of roughly 6 percent, which was about the same percentage the firm raised its rates in 2006. The firm’s environmental group also had a strong year, with managing partner Phillips and Stephen Nickelsburg handling the Duke Energy case before the Supreme Court. The practice also represented American Electric and General Electric. Sidley’s health care practice is also getting plenty of business, with much of the firm’s work focusing on Hatch-Waxman Act litigation. And, of course, there’s the success of the firm’s litigation practice, which in 2006 argued six cases before the Supreme Court. One red flag could be the firm’s relatively low profit margin. Roughly 31 percent of the firm’s revenue was a net gain, a number Phillips says he’d like to see closer to 40 percent in coming years. � Nathan Carlile
15. MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY After its slump two years ago, McDermott Will & Emery is slowly rising back to the surface, with a 4 percent increase in gross revenue in 2006. But Bobby Burchfield, co-partner in charge of the D.C. office, doesn’t see the growth as snail-paced. “We, like maybe a lot of other law firms, are frankly growing at a rate that is quite healthy, and that’s requiring us to expand the extent of our resources and in part the number of our lawyers at all levels,” Burchfield says. Most of McDermott’s growth last year stemmed from an increase in work with existing clients. The firm landed a major victory for Amgen Inc. in an antitrust lawsuit filed against the company by Ortho Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. The firm has also been representing Tyco International during its metamorphosis into three separate companies, a massive restructuring project led by D.C. partner Karen Dewis. The firm’s intellectual property practice continued to thrive with major cases before the International Trade Commission and a steady supply of work from Panasonic. McDermott also represented Merrill Lynch Global Commodities Inc. in a natural gas hedge with East Cameron Partners. Last year, McDermott had a slight gain in head count as well, bumping up to 201 lawyers in the D.C. office from 198. The D.C. office enticed a few heavy hitters to defect from their previous firms, most notably Arnold & Porter’s Joel Freed in IP litigation, Michael Socarras from Greenberg Traurig in the trial group, and David Noren from the Joint Committee on Taxation in Congress, plumping up the tax practice. And though gross revenue might have only crept up by 4 percent, profits per equity partner jumped 9 percent to $1.4 million. Despite a less than eye-popping 2006, Burchfield says there’s steady growth in all practice areas, with trial, tax, IP, and corporate doing exceptionally well into this year. “So far, we are very optimistic about where the year’s going to take us both in terms of current business and in matters we see in the pipeline.” Attila Berry
16. PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN Two years after its merger, the firm is still bleeding lawyers and has seen its revenue tumble as it sorts through structural issues. See the full story here.
17. MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS After a rebound of 7 percent growth in 2005, Morgan, Lewis is dancing the flat-line waltz again with negligible gains last year. The firm’s gross revenue inched up to $181 million from $180 million, but it dropped another rung on the D.C. 20 ladder to No. 17. “Our gross revenue was constant during the time period.” says Steven Stone, the D.C. office’s managing partner. “The numbers stayed high despite a slight decrease in our numbers [of lawyers].” The Washington office saw a dip in lawyers last year from 248 to 236 overall, according to Stone. The firm did, however, entice Mark Matthews, the former deputy commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, to the tax and litigation groups, and profits per partner rose to $1.1 million, up from $915,000 in 2005. The firm also reeled in some big cases last year. In the labor and employment practice, Morgan, Lewis won a major race discrimination case for BellSouth with Grace Speights as lead on the case and represented US Airways in an ERISA class action, the first post-Enron “stock-drop” case to make it to judgment. Always a powerhouse in the energy sector, the firm continued its representation of the most of the U.S. nuclear power industry in breach-of-contract suits led by partner Brad Fagg against the Department of Energy. The energy group is also representing Exelon and Entergy in new licensing proceedings before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. And despite major personnel loses to the IP group in 2005, the firm scored a huge victory for LG Phillips in a patent litigation case, resulting in $53.5 million in damages awarded to the company. “The year was a great year for us,” Stone says. “Everything was busy, particularly in our larger practices.” Attila Berry
18. PATTON BOGGS With the midterm elections taking center stage in Washington, no one would expect a stellar year from a firm that counts about a third of its revenue from lobbying. Still, after a relatively flat 2005, Patton Boggs rebounded, with its revenues growing 10 percent in 2006. “It was a very good year overall in the Washington office. We had a number of really exciting lateral hires, and overall we’re about as busy as you can expect to be in an election year,” says Stuart Pape, managing partner of the firm. Yet despite the bump in bottom-line growth to $175 million in gross revenue, the firm stayed put at No. 18 on the chart. Its head count dropped, from 272 to 267 lawyers in Washington. The number of equity partners remained at 86. Patton Boggs lost a couple of key groups, including litigation deputy chairman Eric Kuwana and two other partners to Katten Muchin Rosenman and an eight-lawyer lobbying group that included Florence Prioleau and former Rep. Gregory Laughlin (R-Texas) to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. The drop in head count buoyed the firm’s revenue per lawyer from $585,000 in 2005 to $659,000 in 2006, and its profits per partner went from $635,000 to $678,000. Still, the firm’s average compensation per partner dipped � going from $550,000 to $546,000 in 2006. Pape brushes aside that financial picture, citing the increased number of matters the firm is working on and the fact that everybody “made more money” in 2006. The firm also underwent a management reorganization, pulling in new blood to lead practice groups and adding a layer of management below Pape. And the firm was able to attract high-profile laterals, including white-collar partner DeMaurice Smith from Latham & Watkins (following a 30-lawyer toxic tort defense group in New Jersey from Latham & Watkins that defected to Patton Boggs last April). Although the D.C. office’s size dropped, Pape says the firm focused on growing other offices. “I think overall we absorbed a lot of growth firmwide. We had very strong client and revenue work,” says Pape. The firm continued its prominence in Washington, with white-collar partner Robert Luskin staying in the news with his representation of White House strategist Karl Rove. And, in a political environment where earmarks are tougher to get, Patton Boggs, led by partner John Jonas, secured $1 billion, the second-largest dollar amount among health care providers seeking increased funding, on behalf of its client Kidney Care Partners, a coalition representing the dialysis community. � Anna Palmer
19. CROWELL & MORING If Crowell & Moring’s Chairman Kent Gardiner could use one word to describe 2006, it would be “investment.” The firm, which saw significant growth in 2005, rose nearly $4 million in overall gross revenue to $169 million but dropped to the 19th slot. Still, 2006 wasn’t a bad year for the firm, insists Gardiner. Instead, it was a year he focused on building out the firm’s capabilities, adding 15 laterals in Washington and opening a New York office. “It was a big investment year for us,” says Gardiner. “Not only was it a big investment generally bringing in laterals, [it was] also [a] big investment in opening up in New York.” The firm added strength to its environment practice, scoring ex-Environmental Protection Agency general counsel Ann Klee and former EPA deputy general counsel Chet Thompson. In New York, Crowell added 20 lawyers from health care and labor litigation boutique King Pagano Harrison. Overall, Crowell’s head count grew to 249 lawyers in Washington. The firm saw limited growth in profits per partner, which increased from $835,000 to $864,000. Crowell’s average compensation dropped from $745,000 to $741,000, and its revenue per lawyer went from $710,000 to $683,000. Gardiner attributes the drop in lawyer compensation to the lag it takes for incoming laterals to get their practice up and running, as well as the costs of opening a New York office, which were almost entirely borne in 2006. Gardiner says the firm saw an increase in antitrust and intellectual property litigation. Crowell, led by partner Jeffrey Blumenfeld, continued defending SAS Air Cargo in a global antitrust investigation including the large number of class actions that were consolidated in New York. The firm’s government contracts practice also defeated a long-running $299 million defective pricing claim by the government against United Technologies. Crowell put to bed a 15-year legal battle between the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the construction contractors who built the Metro’s Green Line. Led by partner George Ruttinger, who, along with partner Stanfield Johnson, represents WMATA, the firm successfully saw the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia uphold the termination of the subway contracts and recover $40 million for WMATA in its counterclaim. � Anna Palmer
20. VENABLE Venable has a tight grip on its D.C. 20 spot, coming in at No. 20 for the second year in a row. The firm’s revenues rose 9 percent, pushing the gross up to $160 million. “We had solid growth across the board in D.C.,” says Karl Racine, the firm’s new managing partner. The firm has seen an increase in several practice areas. The life science group is doing substantial work with UCLA and other universities in patent portfolio development, and the corporate investigations practice and general civil litigation also saw an upswing in business. The intellectual property practice had a major victory for client Acambis in a smallpox vaccine patent dispute with competitor Bavarian Nordic, and D.C. office managing partner William Coston led the litigation team. Venable’s real estate group had another banner year. The group, led by M. Jay Yurow, continued work with Marriott International and brokered a record deal representing White Lodging Services Corp. in a $1.7 billion sale. Other firm clients that brought in major work for Venable include Fannie Mae, Merck, and on the lobbying side, the government of India. The firm also successfully managed a privacy rights case for golfer Tiger Woods. “The practice groups were hitting on all cylinders,” says Coston. In addition to opening an office in New York in 2005, the firm has now branched into California after merging with two Los Angeles-based firms in 2006, and the D.C. office saw a 10 percent rise in profits per partner. Continuing the race for talented laterals, the firm snagged Raymond Shepherd, a prominent white-collar litigator and congressional insider, real estate attorney Deborah Rochkind, and Catherine Bennett, former vice president of government relations at Pfizer. Returning to the firm is former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), who will be practicing in the litigation group after a brief and unsuccessful foray into the Arkansas gubernatorial race. “We are poised to have a very strong 2007,” Racine says. “We are focusing our efforts on the lateral market, and we’re going to work very hard to attract top talent.” � Attila Berry

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