Goodwin Procter hit a new high in 2016, boosting gross revenue by 5.4 percent to $912 million, after a year of strategic expansion and growth.
“It was a very exciting year for us,” said chairman David Hashmall, who said 2016 marked the firm’s fourth consecutive year of revenue increases.
There were also declines, however, which Hashmall attributed to the firm’s sizable growth in head count last year. After rising 5.3 percent in 2015, revenue per lawyer dropped 1.8 percent to $1.08 million. Profits per partner slipped 0.5 percent to $1.98 million, after growing 14 percent to $1.99 million the year prior.
Goodwin Procter brought on 57 new lawyers in 2016, bumping the firm’s head count by 7.2 percent to 847 lawyers. The firm expanded its number of equity partners 4.1 percent, to 203.
“Inevitably, when you bring on a number of attorneys during the course of the year there is a lag between bringing them in and the revenue coming in,” Hashmall said.
Goodwin Procter, a 105-year-old firm with Boston roots, doubled down over the past year on six core practice areas: private equity; IP litigation; financial institutions; securities and white-collar litigation and regulatory matters; technology and life sciences; and real estate capital markets. Hashmall said the firm grew its head count and expanded to new European markets last year in order to meet clients’ needs in those six areas.
Increased client demand in the core areas drove Goodwin Procter’s growth in revenue, said Michael Caplan, the firm’s chief operating officer. In 2016, demand growth at Goodwin Procter was 3.1 percent, Caplan said, compared to an industry average of 0.1 percent demand growth.
“Our increase in revenue and our growth as a firm isn’t only tied to a rate increase,” Caplan said. “We’re actually doing things a lot differently in pricing and organically to help grow our client base and our reputation and our brand in these industries.”
The firm’s private equity, real estate and technology and life sciences practices performed “exceedingly well” over the last year, Hashmall said. Goodwin Procter also represented Olifant Fund in Argentine bondholder litigation and picked up roles on several high-profile deals, including Mid-America Apartment Communities’ $3.9 billion acquisition of Post Properties Inc.
At the beginning of the year, Goodwin Procter moved to expand its real estate and private equity offerings in Europe by opening an office in Frankfurt, Germany, with a four-partner team it grabbed from Ashurst in late 2015 that included private equity specialist Lars Jessen.
In April the firm opened its 10th office in Paris with a six-partner hire from King & Wood Mallesons’ private equity department that reunited the group with Richard Lever, a private equity partner in Goodwin Procter’s London office who joined from KWM in 2015.
Goodwin Procter added five more London partners from KWM in November, including U.K. investments funds head Michael Halford. And the firm has already made several notable lateral hires this year. Last month, it picked up 26 attorneys in London from KWM. This week it brought on former Facebook counsel and star Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe IP partner Neel Chatterjee in Silicon Valley.
Goodwin Procter also gave itself a makeover in 2016. Last summer the firm rebranded itself as simply “Goodwin,” dropping the “Procter” in marketing materials, with a fresh new logo and redesigned website. It also debuted new office space in the seaport district along South Boston’s waterfront.
“We really feel great about all the hard work and investment we made during 2016, [which] we’re reaping the benefits of now and going forward,” Hashmall said.
Contact Meghan Tribe at email@example.com. On Twitter: @TribeMeghan.