It was another banner year for GrayRobinson, which boosted its gross revenue by 9 percent to $132 million.
The Florida law firm, which is based in Orlando and has South Florida offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, ended its fiscal year Aug. 31. The firm has been profitable every year since 1988, according to Byrd “Biff” Marshall, president and managing director.
“We had a record year,” he said. “The busier areas were banking, bankruptcy, health care and even real estate, which saw a significant pick-up. Corporate was flat.”
Additionally, the 275-lawyer firm distributed raises to associates averaging 9 percent and bonuses to all shareholders. Profits per partner figures were not available, Marshall said.
For the previous year, GrayRobinson ranked fifth on the Daily Business Review’s Review 100 list of the top 100 law firms in Florida and 182nd in The American Lawyer’s 2011 Am Law 200 rankings.
Eight associates were promoted to shareholder last month, including three in South Florida: Marbet Mier Lewis, who is part of the firm’s alcohol and beverage practice in Miami; Fernando J. Menendez Jr., a member of the firm’s bankruptcy and creditors’ rights group in Miami; and Cortney Kaiserman, a Fort Lauderdale litigator.
As he has for 21 years, Marshall again handed out gold coins to shareholders and of counsel as a token of his appreciation.
The firm reported a 7 percent jump in gross revenue in 2011 and 8 percent in 2010.
Joe Ankus, a longtime legal headhunter with Ankus Consulting in Weston, called the firm’s continued success “very impressive” and credited Marshall, managing partner since 1992, along with aggressive marketing efforts.
“They are proving that proper management yields big dividends,” he said. “Their numbers are up while other firms are down. Their sustained growth for so many years sets them apart and is nothing short of remarkable.”
Ankus said he had doubts about GrayRobinson when the firm entered the South Florida market in 2005, opening a Fort Lauderdale office and Miami office in 2007.
“I had doubts, but I’m a believer now,” he said.
The firm added a number of high-level laterals in 2011, including former Miami City Manager Tony E. Crapp Jr.; Neil Linden, former head of litigation at Yoss; Glenn Cooper from Fowler White Boggs; and Peter Quinter, formerly with Becker & Poliakoff who is now chairing the firm’s customs and international department.
Marshall said he has been blanketed with resumes since entering the South Florida market.
Quinter said he was attracted to GrayRobinson’s “corporate culture,” although he also got a raise. He said he has been enjoying the firm’s monthly office happy hours, monthly shareholder lunches with Marshall appearing by video conference and the firm’s kickball team. He also likes the open compensation system, in which “they push the information out, everything is open.”
“Yes, I wanted more money, but it was equally important for me to choose the right law firm that fit my personality,” he said.