Revenue at Goodwin Procter increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2018, reaching a new all-time high for the 107-year-old firm.
Gross revenue jumped 16.1 percent to $1.198 billion, with revenue per lawyer increasing 10.5 percent to $1.25 million, according to preliminary ALM reporting. Profits per equity partner rose 14.5 percent to $2.46 million.
Goodwin chairman David Hashmall, who has led the Am Law 100 firm since 2014, said the strong financial growth can be attributed to a strategic focus on six core practice areas.
Over the past several years, Goodwin has focused on expanding in its technology and life sciences practice, as well as its securities, white-collar litigation and regulatory, real estate, private equity, intellectual property litigation and financial institutions groups.
“We’ve been really focusing on the convergence of capital and innovation,” he said.
The firm stands apart for the intersection between its technology and life sciences practices and its private equity work, Hashmall said.
“We feel that we are somewhat unique, and one of the very few firms that developed real dominance and expertise in technology and life sciences on the one hand and private equity on the other,” he said. “I think that’s what has really been driving our revenue growth.”
Goodwin’s private equity and life sciences practices each grew their revenue by 31 percent from the prior year, while the technology practice grew revenue by 20 percent, the firm said.
The firm last year advised Belgian biotech company Ablynx in its $4.8 billion sale to French drugmaker Sanofi. It also advised longtime client GTT Communications Inc. in its $2.3 billion acquisition of Interoute Communications Ltd, Europe’s largest cloud services platform.
Goodwin also worked with Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. in its $1.3 billion merger with Akebia Therapeutics Inc. Its life sciences team also advised on a series of initial public offerings of pharmaceutical companies totaling more than $653 million last summer.
“A lot of the work that we do in private equity and life sciences is related to technology practices because of how innovative these industries are becoming,” said Michael Caplan, Goodwin Procter’s chief operating officer.
“We’re really driving a connectivity strategy across all of our business units,” he said, adding that the strategy not only helps the firm when it comes to working with clients but also helps Goodwin attract laterals.
Head count at the firm grew 5 percent in 2018 to 955 lawyers across its 10 offices worldwide. Its equity partner ranks increased 3.8 percent to 220 partners, and its nonequity tier grew 5.6 percent to 133 partners.
Among notable lateral additions last year, Goodwin added a team of lawyers from Dechert to bulk up its life sciences group in Europe. In the U.S., the firm added four partners from Greenberg Traurig, including the former chair of Greenberg’s U.S. international trade commission practice, Mark Davis, to its intellectual property and ITC practices in Washington, D.C.
On the West Coast, the firm brought on Vinson & Elkins’ intellectual property co-chair Darryl Woo in San Francisco, as well as a trio of partners from Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, including Joshua Cook, who had led Gunderson Dettmer’s San Francisco office since 2013.
In Silicon Valley, where Goodwin unveiled new office space last spring, the firm made several high-profile hires, including the former chairman of Fenwick & West’s private equity group, Scott Joachim, and Fenwick private equity partner David Johanson.
The firm also bulked up its global professional staff, adding Linklaters’ chief operating officer for the emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, Uli Kleinsteuber, as its first-ever managing director of international operations. Caplan said the firm also brought on a new director of international finance and new human resource leader.
“It’s helped with bringing in new laterals, integrating technology, collecting money, billing our clients, and setting up new offices much faster,” Caplan said of adding Kleinsteuber and others.
Along with traditional legal work, the firm is continuing to work with clients on their operational needs, whether that’s implementing and testing new technology or counseling on diversity and inclusion strategies, without charging for those services, Hashmall said.
It’s just not sufficient these days to just be prepared to answer the legal questions, said Hashmall, who will step down as head of the firm in September.
“You want to be the best outside counsel you can be, and I think by understanding and getting to know your clients business really well you can do a better job for the client and more efficiently,” he said.