Despite cutting its ranks by close to 10 percent in 2012, the law firm of Winston & Strawn still experienced gross revenue growth of 0.1 percent to $755 million. The firm’s profits per partner numbers also increased by 3.5 percent to $1.49 million. The revenue per lawyer grew by 10 percent to $895,000, according to The American Lawyer and The Am Law Daily.
“It was both a rewarding and challenging year,” says Winston managing partner Thomas Fitzgerald. “Rewarding because we completed a number of great acquisitions, and we are more efficient. We asked people to do more with less,” he says. “We improved productivity on a per attorney basis, for both partners and for associates.”
The attorney numbers dropped to 842 in 2012 from 928, with most of the cuts coming in the associate rank. The number of non-equity partners also dropped to 182 from 195, a decrease of 6.7 percent. Equity partnership stayed steady at 178 attorneys.
In 2012, the firm hired 37 lateral partners, 23 of them coming from Dewey & LeBoeuf. In the same breath, Winston lost 39 partners to lateral moves from November 1, 2011 to October 31, 2012.
“Like many law firms, our clients did not use first- and second-year associates to the extent they have in the past,” Fitzgerald says.
The firm offered fewer 2011 summer associates full-time association positions in 2012 compared to previous years. Fitzgerald said that the firm usually offered 90 percent of its summer associates positions. “We used to take on 130 or so before the recession,” Fitzgerald says. “This year, we’ll have approximately 55 joining us.”