Aggressive cost-cutting delivered level profits for NYC’s Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in 2008, despite a slight drop in revenue.
Revenue dipped 2% to $576 million. While other firms with relatively flat revenue reported double-digit profit drops, Pillsbury’s profits per partner declined a mere 1% to $975,000. Revenue per lawyer was also flat at $805,000. The number of lawyers at the firm dropped 1.5% to 716.
The firm preserved its profit margin by slicing expenses 3.6% in 2008. That’s a result of a smaller summer associate class, adjustments to timekeeper and staff ranks, and trimming spending. The firm reduced its hiring of replacement associates beginning in 2007, and made reductions in 2008.
Established during the Califiornia Gold Rush, Pillsbury as it is known today is the product of a 2005 merger between Pillsbury Winthrop and DC-based Shaw Pittman.