Atlanta-based Sutherland, like a host of other biglaw firms, saw an increase in profits in 2009 despite a drop in gross revenue.
According to Atlanta’s Daily Report, Sutherland’s revenue checked in at around $269 million in ’09, which was a 7 percent decrease from the previous year. Despite that, profits increased 3.5 percent to $93.6 million. That equates to a per equity partner average of $910,000, which is up about $80,000 from the previous year.
Sutherland Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman said the firm’s profits were bouyed by a series of cost-cutting measures.
“We were looking very, very hard at the cost number, because we were projecting that we would not have a higher revenue number …,” Wasserman told Daily Report. “And we knew that to have the kind of year we wanted, we had to watch things on the cost side.”
One of the cost-saving measures cited in the report was the firm’s decision to reduce starting salaries in Atlanta by $20,000. Wasserman said no further measures are planned for 2010.
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan was founded in 1924 and focuses on seven major practice areas—corporate, financial services, energy & environmental, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax. It has 450 attorneys, and offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York and Washington DC.