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• HOGAN & HARTSON • After last year’s third-place finish, Washington’s Hogan & Hartson has claimed D.C. 20 gold, shutting out Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr for the top spot. A look at the list of multibillion-dollar mergers and acquisitions deals handled by Hogan in 2007 gives a strong clue about why the firm ranks No. 1. First, there was real estate investment trust Archstone-Smith’s acquisition by Tishman Speyer and Lehman Brothers. The Hogan team, led by firm Chairman J. Warren Gorrell Jr., and D.C. partners Bruce Gilchrist and David Slotkin, represented Archstone in the mammoth $22.2 billion deal. There was plenty of work to go around — at times, there were upwards of 40 lawyers working on the acquisition. There was also Hogan’s representation of Cytyc Corp. in its $6.2 billion merger with Hologic Inc., led by Washington partners Joseph Gilligan and Joseph Connolly Jr. Gorrell and Slotkin also represented General Electric in its $3 billion acquisition of Trustreet Properties Inc. Revenue in the D.C. office was up to $435 million in 2007, and profits per partner rocketed up nearly 20 percent to $1.3 million. Revenue per lawyer also jumped 11 percent to $940,000. The numbers, Gorrell says, reflect the fact that Hogan “had a strong increase in productivity overall.” Aside from the big corporate deals, he says the life sciences, white-collar, and IP litigation practices had a particularly strong 2007. On the litigation front, Washington partners Raymond Kurz and Celine Crowson, together with partners from the Miami office, handled a patent infringement case for Sun Microsystems. D.C. partner Corey Roush teamed with lawyers from Los Angeles in an antitrust victory for MySpace Inc. It was a good year for lateral hires in the D.C. office as well. Among the new recruits were three partners from King & Spalding for the corporate, M&A, and finance practices. And partner Reid Stuntz left the staff of Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) to serve as co-chairman of Hogan’s new oversight and investigations working group. — Marisa McQuilken
• WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR • In the annual struggle between Hogan & Hartson and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr for the top spot on the D.C. charts, Hogan pulled ahead this year. Wilmer showed a slight dip in revenue — coming in at $391.8 million — but Wilmer’s co-managing partner William Perlstein explains that a planned reduction in hiring along with several attorney departures for Capitol Hill caused the decrease in gross revenue. Because of the slowing economy in the middle of last year, “we were careful in terms of overall hiring,” Perlstein says. The firm’s revenue per lawyer was up 5.6 percent to $940,000 and profits per partner rose 8.6 percent to more than $1 million. “Our judgment is that we had an excellent year, and it was across the board,” Perlstein says. The firm’s intellectual property group had a string of wins for Broadcom Corp. in its epic patent dispute with Qualcomm Inc., and James Quarles III and James Dowd successfully defended STMicroelectronics Inc. in two cases before the International Trade Commission brought by SanDisk Corp. Seth Waxman, chairman of the firm’s appellate and Supreme Court practice, argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of 37 Guant�namo Bay detainees in Boumediene v. Bush. The decision from the Court is expected at any time. The corporate team conducted a major recapitalization for Dean Foods, which included a $2 billion dividend and $4.4 billion credit facility. On the regulatory side, the firm’s antitrust partners William Kolasky and Leon Greenfield took the lead for client BAE Systems on its $4.5 billion acquisition of Armor Holdings Inc., and the securities enforcement group is investigating (pro bono) the embezzlement of millions of dollars from the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue for a special committee of the D.C. Council. This year, Perlstein sees a tough environment for many of Wilmer’s clients, with increased pressure on financial services clients and a decrease in demand for many companies. “It’s a year where management will count,” he says. — Attila Berry
• ARNOLD & PORTER • Arnold & Porter has finally broken its stagnant revenue streak. The firm saw a 7 percent jump in gross revenue, vaulting the firm’s 2007 earnings to more than $336 million. Profits per partner also rose by nearly 7 percent, coming in at $910,000. “We made some changes that are working out well, and we feel we had a very good year,” Chairman Thomas Milch says. Milch says the firm worked hard to diversify its practice areas, after several of its largest matters, such as the fen-phen and Big Tobacco cases, wound down. The firm’s large antitrust practice continued representing Visa Inc. in antitrust litigation and class actions. David Gersch, the head of the firm’s business litigation practice, led the representation of Visa in an antitrust dispute with American Express that was settled last November, and the firm continues representing the credit card company in a similar piece of litigation against Discover. Also, attorneys at Arnold & Porter represent Visa in a series of class actions over interchange fees, which is the amount a merchant’s bank pays to a cardholder’s bank each time a customer swipes her credit card. The antitrust practice, led by William Baer, also represented General Electric Co. in its acquisition of Smiths Aerospace among other matters and was lead counsel to Zimmer Holdings Inc. in a Justice Department criminal antitrust investigation. The firm’s intellectual property team represented Dell Inc. in a $3 billion patent infringement suit, which resulted in the plaintiff Lucent Technologies receiving only $51,000 in damages. The bankruptcy, corporate, and environmental groups represented American Capital Strategies, a Bethesda, Md.-based private equity firm, in restructuring work, equity and debt offerings, and on environmental questions related to acquisitions and divestitures. The international arbitration practice is representing French and Argentine power companies in a $1.2 billion and $250 million claim against Argentina, and litigation, securities, and financial services work remained strong. The firm picked up several big lateral hires in 2007, including a six-lawyer government contracts group from Holland & Knight and a 10-lawyer international arbitration group from Winston & Strawn. The firm also hired James Cooper from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia. But Arnold & Porter did lose 14 partners in the D.C. office last year. Milch attributes this to normal attrition and to the fact that several partners chose to take early retirement. — Attila Berry
• LATHAM & WATKINS • Latham & Watkins bounded up two spots on the revenue chart this year, and now the California-born firm is breathing down Covington & Burling’s neck. The firm reported an increase in revenue of 25 percent for a 2007 gross revenue of $280 million. Profits per partner leapt over the $2 million mark, and revenue per lawyer glided past $1 million. “Across the board, Latham has had some stellar success over the last several years, and all of our practice areas enjoyed a very strong year last year,” says Eric Bernthal, the managing partner of the firm’s D.C. office. Bernthal attributed the rise in revenue and profits to tremendous deal flow along with very strong results in litigation, antitrust, securities enforcement, energy, project finance, and private equity. The firm continued its representation of the Carlyle Group, the D.C.-based private equity firm. D.C. partner Daniel Lennon helped advise Carlyle on its $1.5 billion sale of two aviation repair companies to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. Lennon, along with fellow Washington partners James Hanna and Joseph Sullivan, also advised Carlyle on its $6.3 billion acquisition of Manor Care Inc. Telecommunications partner Gary Epstein is representing XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. before the Federal Communications Commission to win approval for its high-profile merger with Sirius Satellite Radio, and he represented General Electric Capital Corp. in its $1.7 billion transaction with SES, a satellite operator. At the beginning of 2007, Supreme Court star and head of Latham’s appellate and constitutional practice groups Maureen Mahoney successfully defended Geico and Safeco before the high court, in Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al. v. Burr, et al. Latham had a quieter 2007 on the lateral front. The firm hired William McGlone, an export control attorney, from Miller & Chevalier, and Kathryn Ruemmler, a former Enron prosecutor at the Justice Department. Philip Perry, the former general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security, returned to the firm early last year. — Attila Berry
• MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY • For McDermott Will & Emery’s Washington office, 2007 was a year for the record books. The office raked in revenue of more than $236 million — a 26 percent jump from 2006, and the highest revenue growth of any D.C. 20 firm on the chart. As a result, the firm shot up seven spots to come in at No. 8. Profits per partner also got an 8.6 percent boost to about $1.5 million. High-profile lateral recruits played a big part in McDermott’s outstanding showing. The firm snagged several new practice heads for its Washington outpost last year, including Abbe Lowell from Chadbourne & Parke, to lead the white-collar criminal defense group. Real estate and tax partners Blake Rubin and Andrea Whiteway also came on board from Arnold & Porter. Stephen Ryan joined the office from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips to head the government strategies practice. McDermott’s Washington co-partner-in-charge Bobby Burchfield adds that laterals from previous years have begun to hit their stride. “The people who have joined us have really begun to have an impact on this office,” he says. The new recruits are also pulling their weight. Ryan, for example, made news last year for his representation of the CEO of security firm Blackwater in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee probe into the defense contractor’s conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rubin and Whiteway represented real estate mogul Sam Zell in the $8.2 billion buyout of the Chicago Tribune. Another highlight came from Washington intellectual property partner Brian Ferguson’s successful representation of the petitioner in In re Seagate Technology before the Federal Circuit, in which the court’s ruling raised the standard for proving willful infringement in patent cases. And D.C. partner Joseph Winterscheid served as antitrust counsel for Genlyte Group in its $2.7 billion merger with Philips Holding USA. — Marisa McQuilken
• WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY • Williams & Connolly doesn’t play the same global dominance game that many of the other firms play, but the firm still winds up with the most top-end cases and some of the most interesting work. The firm eschews the lateral market, promoting instead from within, and seemingly ignores the forces that have so transformed the legal market in Washington in the past decade. And yet, the 225-lawyer litigation boutique grew by 12 percent last year to $234.3 million in gross revenue. Both its revenue per lawyer and its profits per partner topped $1 million. “Thanks to the blessing of our clients and the hard work of our lawyers we’ve had a very good year and are looking forward to another one ahead,” says Robert Barnett, a member of Williams & Connolly’s executive committee. In 2007, Williams & Connolly engaged in the usual panoply of business deals and civil litigation. Douglas Marvin represented Merck & Co. in the landmark Vioxx settlement. The pharmaceutical company was facing $20 billion in liabilities after its painkiller Vioxx was suspected of causing heart problems. Merck agreed to pay $4.9 billion last November. Brendan Sullivan, along with fellow partners Robert Cary and Christopher Manning, filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of three Duke lacrosse players against the city of Durham, N.C., the police department, and a private DNA testing lab last October. The lacrosse players, who were indicted on charges of raping and sexual assault, were exonerated. Barnett continued brokering massive book deals for his clients, who last year included White House adviser Karl Rove, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. And John Villa was retained by Mayer Brown to represent the law firm against litigation stemming from the demise of Refco Inc. — Attila Berry
• DICKSTEIN SHAPIRO • There’s no getting around the fact that 2007 was just plain flat for Dickstein Shapiro’s Washington office. As a result, the firm fell two spots in the gross revenue rankings, placing 12th. Chairman Michael Nannes doesn’t dispute that the firm had a lackluster year. He blames extra costs, namely a new office at 1825 I St. N.W., the associate salary hike to $160,000, and the addition of staff to the marketing and technology departments. Though Dickstein moved to its new Washington digs in 2006, the firm didn’t pay a full year’s rent — $16.8 million — on the office until 2007. On top of the hefty overhead, Nannes says there were no big contingency payouts to boost revenues. “We did not have a case that rang the bell,” he admits. Gross revenue in the Washington office barely moved, reaching $214.4 million compared to $212.3 million in 2006. Profits per partner fell more than 8 percent to $1 million. The D.C. head count barely budged, up six lawyers to 269. However, it’s not unusual for a younger sibling to require more attention: Nannes says the stagnant Washington roster reflects the firm’s focus on adding lawyers to the much smaller Los Angeles office, which opened in 2005. There were, however, several bright spots for Dickstein’s D.C. outfit in 2007, including a huge patent infringement victory for client Dr. Bruce Saffran against Boston Scientific Corp. Damages in the matter could reach $1 billion by the time the case makes it through appeal. The firm had another patent infringement win in its defense of Arthrex Inc. against DePuy Mitek Inc. Dickstein also continues to represent Comverse Technology Inc. against allegations of stock option backdating and earnings manipulation. Nannes says the firm’s strongest areas continue to be antitrust, bankruptcy, insurance coverage, and intellectual property. So far, Nannes says 2008 looks promising. More laterals have joined this year than in all of 2007, and he says contingency opportunities seem to be on the horizon. — Marisa McQuilken
• VENABLE • Venable saw double-digit growth last year and a bump up to No. 19 on the D.C. 20, coming in just above the now earth-bound Wiley Rein whose BlackBerry windfall last year sent the firm soaring. “It was a strong year in 2007, no doubt about it,” says Karl Racine, Venable’s managing partner. The firm’s gross revenue grew by 16.5 percent to more than $186 million. Though still on the low side compared to the other top firms in Washington, profits per partner also enjoyed double-digit gains to $710,000 a jump of 12 percent. Despite the slowdown in all things real estate, Venable’s real estate group did well in the second half of 2007. Real estate partners Robert Gottlieb and Lawrence Gesner led the representation of Fannie Mae on its $7 billion piece of the $22.2 billion Archstone Smith deal. The firm’s labor and employment practice also had a strong year doing General Dynamics’ pension work. And the firm continued doing patent prosecution work for Sony Ericsson. It was a good year for lateral hires at Venable. Last spring, the firm picked up Claude Bailey, the former general counsel for the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission, for its state and local government practice, and Patricia McDermott, who was previously the former counsel for Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation. Douglas Green and William Weissman joined Venable’s environmental group from DLA Piper, and Tony Lee and James Troup rounded out the firm’s communications practice. Racine says that firm leadership remains cautious about the coming year, but so far in 2008 Venable has experienced “strong billings and strong hours.” — Attila Berry

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