Andrew Baker, who became the managing partner of Houston’s Baker Botts in the spring of 2012, says he made "investments" in "future growth" during his first year in that role. The firm opened a new office in Brussels, almost opened one in Rio (with just "a drop of paperwork" remaining to finish that opening, Baker says) and increased its office space in its Palo Alto branch.
Those events help explain why profits per partner at the firm shrank by 2.2 percent to $1,360,000.
Revenue per lawyer at Baker Botts was $820,000 in 2012, down less than 1 percent when compared to $825,000 in 2011. Gross revenue, at $575.5 million, declined by 1 percent in 2012 down from $581.5 million in 2011, and net income came in at $249 million, a 3.3 percent drop compared to $257.500 million 2011.
Baker Botts’ lawyer count, however, declined by less than 1 percent to a full-time equivalent of 700 in 2012, compared to 703 in 2011.
Baker says the firm did well in practices areas where it has historically been strong: energy and high technology.
He says the firm will hire aggressively in the next year but will not necessarily be opening more offices. It has 14 worldwide now, not including the scheduled Rio addition: Houston, Austin, and Dallas in Texas, and also in Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, New York, Palo Alto, Riyadh, and Washington, D.C.
"We are not going to go anyplace you can plant a flag," Baker says, adding that the firm will expand based on its core areas of strength, including energy and high technology practices, and based on "where our clients want us to be."
This report is part of Texas Lawyer‘s coverage of the 2012 financial results of the 25 highest-grossing Texas-based firms as part of the AmLaw 100 and Second Hundred reports. The American Lawyer, a Texas Lawyer affiliate, will publish full results for the AmLaw 100 in May. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in June. An interactive chart of the financial results reported so far is available here. The chart will be updated as additional data is reported.