The AmLaw Daily reported that Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson declined across the board in the The Am Law 100 on key financial metrics in 2012.
The law firm, which has offices all over the world’s financial centers in the United States, Asia, and Europe, slid on gross revenue by 6.3 percent from 2011 to $444 million. Fried Frank represents Fortune 500 companies, recognized financial institutions, entrepreneurs, and investment firms. The firm’s revenue per attorney slipped 2.6 percent from 2011 to $935,000 in 2012.
The New York office is Fried Frank’s oldest office. The law firm practices in many areas, including antitrust, finance, asset management, intellectual property, bankruptcy, capital markets, commercial litigation, real estate, and executive compensation. In 2012, profits per partner dipped by 16.8 percent from 2011, to $1.315 million.
The law firm handles business transactions and litigation. In litigation, the firm took on insider trading cases in 2011, and represented in 2012 The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company in a case involving the U.S. subsidiary of Banco Santander SA and convertible securities.
The highlights of the firm’s transactional work in 2012 included representing Houghton International Inc. in its acquisition by a Gulf Oil Corp. subsidiary. Houghton International provides industrial fluids, and was acquired for $1.045 billion. The firm took on work from private equity firm Permira, based in London. The representation related to the acquisition of Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com is a publicly traded company, which runs a website relating to genealogy. The transaction valued at $1.6 billion. Fried Frank represented Deutsche Bank when Deutsche Bank acted as a financial adviser to Dole Food Company. Dole Food Company was selling its packaged foods and Asia fresh produce business to Itochu Corp. The deal went for $1.6 billion. The firm is counsel for Virgin Media Inc. in an acquisition agreement with Liberty Global Inc., a cable company, for $23.3 billion.
Fried Fried chair Valerie Ford Jacob explained the declines on finances to The AmLaw Daily: “We had great momentum in the second half of the year, but a slower period in the first half, so that we ended up essentially flat on time value and billings year-over-year.” Jacob noted some litigation matters handled in 2011 settled or were shelved in early 2012. The litigation business became busy when the firm picked up a case with Wells Fargo Bank N.A. involving the False Claims Act and related claims on home mortgage abuses.
Fried Frank’s head count plummeted 3.8 percent from 2011, to 476 lawyers. At 134 attorneys by the end of 2012, the equity partner ranks were not changed. The nonequity partnership ranks stayed the same at seven.
Jacob told The AmLaw Daily early 2013 is mirroring the last half of 2012.