Shearman & Sterling reports a 4.9% drop in revenues to $876 million for 2008, and a 9.6% fall in profits per equity partner, to $1.665 million. Revenue per lawyer remained above the million-dollar mark.
The declines posted by Shearman were similar to those reported by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and pretty average when compared to major New York firms that have posted their results.
Shearman is more global than some of its peers, with 45 percent of its lawyers overseas, but less diversified in its practice mix, with only 22 percent of its revenues deriving from disputes.
One bright spot is the Abu Dhabi office, which is doubling in size. Another is Latin American project finance. A third bright spot is the arbitration group whose top clients are among the world’s most litigious.
Shearman represented Merrill Lynch in its acquisition by Bank of America; and the firm is helping BofA to unwind its derivative contracts with Lehman Brothers.