Paul Hastings posted its sixth year of continuous growth, reaching new financial heights in 2017.
Propelled by strong performances coming from its investigations and white-collar, intellectual property, financial services, and private equity practices, gross revenue grew 4.1 percent to $1.12 billion.
And while head count at the firm remained unchanged from 2016, revenue per lawyer increased 4 percent to $1.21 million, and profits per partner jumped 11.5 percent from $2.61 million to $2.91 million.
“That’s a reflection, we think, of the success of the firm,” said Paul Hastings chairman Seth Zachary, who was recently elected to his seventh term. “We’re very proud of that result, especially as we believe it augurs for a much stronger year ahead.”
The double-digit increase in profits, Zachary said, is a reflection of the work ethic of the firm and achieving a greater market share of high-value work with the same number of lawyers.
Client demand at the firm was up 3.2 percent in 2017, an increase that Zachary attributes to the firm’s strategy of adding value for clients by investing in fast-growing practices and industries.
“I think that adding value for clients increases the level of their trust and accelerates our practices,” Zachary said.
The firm’s white-collar and investigations group had roles on several global investigations last year, including advising Galena Biopharma Inc. on its $7.5 million deal to settle an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into the biopharmaceutical company’s marketing and promotional practices for an opioid-based pain medication.
Its intellectual property group worked with client Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, a German pharmaceutical company, on its patent case against AbbVie, which invalidated the North Chicago-based company’s key patent for its top-selling drug Humira.
And following its work advising China’s COSCO Shipping on its $20 billion restructuring in 2015, the firm advised COSCO on its $6.3 billion acquisition of Hong Kong-based shipping company Orient Overseas International Ltd. The firm also represented Goldman Sachs, financial adviser to Amazon.com Inc., in connection to the online behemoth’s $13.7 billion mega-merger with Whole Foods Market Inc.
Paul Hastings also represented Houston-based oil and gas explorer Vanguard Natural Resources LLC on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Texas.
And while its head count and total number of equity partners remained steady at 921 and 190, respectively, the firm did make some key lateral additions in 2017.
Early last year, Paul Hastings picked up the bulk of Boies Schiller Flexner’s corporate practice in its New York office. In London, the firm added DLA Piper corporate crime and investigations partner Simon Airey as well as Linklaters restructuring partner David Manson. In Washington, D.C., the firm added Robert Silvers, the former assistant secretary for cyber policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to its white-collar defense and privacy and cybersecurity practices. And in late January, Paul Hastings added DLA Piper finance partner Rich Davis in Washington, D.C.
The firm did also see some notable departures. In Washington, D.C., a three-partner finance and securities team led by leveraged finance head Bill Schwitter decamped for Allen & Overy. And longtime partner and Atlanta office chairman Rey Pascual left the firm to start his solo endeavor, becoming outside general counsel for several longtime clients.