The law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison had an excellent year in 2011 and some might say that 2011 was in fact a year that set records for the firm.
The law firm saw its gross revenue rise by 3.9 percent to $780 million in 2011. A couple of the reasons for the increase in revenue are litigation that involves clients in the industry of financial services and a record-setting fiscal year for the law firm’s practice in transactions. The law firm added five partners in 2011 but the profits per equity partner still increased. This number increased by 1.5 percent when it chit $3.1 million. The law firm also hired 28 new lawyers in 2011, bringing its total amount to 737. The revenue per lawyer stayed the same, at $1.06 million for 2011.
“We were very fortunate in 2011 to have the highest revenues and profits in our firm’s history, driven by record litigation and transactional activity,” the firm’s chairman, Brad Karp, said.
Karp goes on to say that the numbers, which he described as raw, describe a minor part of the story from the law firm’s 2011 success. Back in the year 2010, the firm made $97 million in a contingency fee from a pension agency’s $500 million negligence settlement. The settlement came between a pension agency from Alaska and a unit from Marsh & McClennan. If the law firm was to subtract the $97 million from its 2010 profit results, the law firm’s gross revenue for 2011 would show an increase of 19 percent.
According to Karp, the law firm dealt with the most multibillion-dollar litigations and transactions in the year 2011 than in any other year of the firm’s history. The law firm won five major trials involving juries in 2011 and arbitrations for its key clients. One of the victories for the law firm was in favor of Citigroup. The case included a reward of $7.5 billion in arbitration that was started by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
“We are fortunate to be counsel of choice to some of the world’s leading financial institutions in their most challenging litigations and regulatory matters,” Karp says.
Karp also informed the media that the law firm dealt with over a dozen multibillion-dollar merger and acquisition transactions for 2011. One of the more notable lateral moves for the law firm included the addition of Gregory Ezring, from O’Melveny & Myers. Ezring is the law firm’s former co-chair of its corporate and finance capital markets practice. Six other lawyers from O’Melveny joined Ezring at Paul, Weiss in 2011 too. Karp described the private equity practice of the law firm as “extremely active right now.”
Karp went onto explain that 2012 could also come with more record breaking for the law firm:
“Our inventory at year-end is more than 15 percent ahead of where we were entering 2011. We will continue to be opportunistic in adding exceptional lateral partners to enhance our practice strengths, and we’re fortunate that interest in Paul, Weiss is so high.”