Mark Sloan. (Courtesy photo)
Building on a strong 2015, Thompson & Knight posted positive financial results for 2016, with gross revenue up 2.9 percent and net income up 3.5 percent when compared with the previous year.
Mark Sloan, managing partner of the Dallas-based firm since February 2016, said the firm’s corporate securities, private equity, trial, real estate and bankruptcy practices were very busy and the primary drivers of the firm’s success in 2016. Also, he said, the oil and gas practice picked up during the fourth quarter, and intellectual property gained strength throughout the year.
“We had a big jump in ’15, compared to 2014, so the nice thing is we continue to build off of that.” Sloan said. “All financial metrics were up last year, as far as revenue per lawyer and profits per partner and utilization of our lawyers.”
Revenue per lawyer at Thompson & Knight improved to $780,000 in 2016, up 2.6 percent when compared with $760,000 in 2015, and profits per partner came in at $985,000, up 3.7 percent from 2015′s $950,000. Gross revenue was $213.5 million, compared with $207.5 million the prior year, and net income was $89.5 million, compared with $86.5 million in 2015.
The firm had a full-time-equivalent of 273 lawyers in 2016, up one from the year before. It had 91 equity partners, the same as in 2015.
Sloan said the firm was larger a few years ago, before it closed its Mexico City office in 2012. But it has been rebuilding in Mexico City because of international and energy work, and now has eight lawyers in that office, including partner Luis Moreno Trevino and associate Roxana Burciaga Contreras, who recently joined Thompson & Knight from Haynes and Boone.
Sloan said the firm had a little contingent-fee revenue in 2016, but “not enough to move the needle.” He said the firm’s revenue and profits are the result of “recurring work for existing clients.”
Like many other large firms in Texas, Thompson & Knight gave big raises to associates on July 1, 2016, increasing the base salary for first-year U.S. associates to $180,000 and also increasing the base for all other U.S.-based associates. While the salary expense was not budgeted, Sloan said the firm far exceeded its budgeted revenue.
In addition, Sloan said that even though the firm is based in Texas, only about 30 percent of revenue comes from the energy sector. He said the firm developed a few practices in 2016, including cybersecurity as a part of the IP and corporate practice, increased emphasis in Mexico, and an advertising and social media practice.