Revenue grew by close to 5 percent in 2017 at McGuireWoods, which welcomed a pair of new leaders at the end of the year.
Gross revenue at the Richmond, Virginia-based firm climbed more than $30 million, to $715.4 million, with revenue per lawyer rising 2.5 percent to $707,000. Profits per partner increased 1.6 percent, to $1.02 million, as the size of the equity partnership remained static at 184 equity partners.
The total number of lawyers at the firm grew by little more than 2 percent, to 1,012.
The biggest personnel news of the year came in December, when McGuireWoods installed Jon Harmon as chairman and J. Tracy Walker as managing partner.
Harmon is the first minority ethnicity chairman of the firm and the latest addition to a small group of African-Americans leading Am Law 100 firms. He will likely become the sole African-American leader of a Am Law 100 firm in April, after Husch Blackwell’s Maurice Watson steps down.
Walker said Harmon’s minority status is “important” because diversity is highly valued by the firm, but he cited Harmon’s credentials as an outstanding leader and attorney above all.
Asked about the reasoning for the new leadership he and Harmon were bringing to McGuireWoods, Walker said, “It was just time for a change.”
“We don’t have contested elections, at least we haven’t to date,” Walker said of the consensus-building process that led to his and Harmon’s selection.
Cullen is representing Vice President Mike Pence in relation to the ongoing probes of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign’s connections with Russian officials. Walker said Cullen’s representation of Pence did not play a role in the firm’s leadership changes.
Walker and Harmon are in the process of developing a new three-year strategic plan, and Walker would not give any hints about how the firm expects to maneuver in the coming years.
Walker said the firm’s financial growth in the past year was triggered, in part, by its addition of new client Olympus, which manufactures gastrointestinal endoscopy products. He added that the firm’s transactional side had “a really great year” and pointed to its representation of Dominion Energy in its 2018 combination with SCANA, a merger valued at $14.6 billion.
McGuireWoods also touted the addition of three real estate finance partners in New York, four debt finance partners in San Francisco, and the addition of a fintech partner and data privacy and security partner in Charlotte, North Carolina. Walker said he had no specific details to offer about whether the firm would open new offices in the coming year—as it did in San Francisco in 2016—but that could change in six months or a year.
Walker was also mum on the firm’s upcoming hiring efforts. When asked whether the firm would look to bring back former FBI director James Comey, he said he was not aware of any attempt to do so, but called Comey a “great guy and a good friend of our firm.” Cullen, the former McGuireWoods chairman, recruited Comey to McGuireWoods in 1993 and is reportedly the godfather of one of Comey’s daughters.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misattributed some statements to Jon Harmon that were made by J. Tracy Walker. We regret the error.