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January 27, 2009 2:09 PM

THE AM LAW 100: Revenues Rise at Goodwin Procter as Profits Dip

Posted by Ross Todd

Gross revenue at Goodwin Procter was up 13 percent to $690 million in 2008. Average profits per equity partner fell 8.2 percent to $1.41 million. Revenue per lawyer also dipped to $860,000 from $880,000 in 2007.

According to firm chair Regina Pisa, practices were at or near last year's performance levels up until September. "It took a while for the pipeline to draw down, but I would say as soon as capital dried up, all practices were affected one way or another," Pisa says.

The leaner times have not completely grounded the expansion goals Pisa and her partners mapped out in a feature last May in The American Lawyer. Through lateral hiring and promotion, the firm saw a net gain of 19 equity partners in 2008, according to Pisa. (Total head count increased 16.2 percent to 805 lawyers.) Since the close of the fiscal year, Goodwin also has followed through on its goals to expand into Asia and Europe. The firm opened in London in October 2008 with a group of former Heller Ehrman partners; it set up shop in Hong Kong earlier this month by transferring homegrown talent from the firm's New York and Silicon Valley offices.

What's the outlook for next year?

"Oftentimes the economy sputters as it recovers....I don’t think we’re seeing the signs of it sputtering yet," Pisa says.

(Note: It's always tough to compare Goodwin Procter's financial returns with those of other Am Law 100 firms. While most of the others' fiscal years end in December, Goodwin closes its books on September 30. The task was even more complicated this year, given that the global economic meltdown hit just after Goodwin called it a year. So we ask that you keep this in mind when considering the various preliminary reports that we've posted so far.)


Click here
for The Am Law 100 -- A Work in Progress, a chart tracking the numbers. The final published results of last year's Am Law 100 ranking are available here.

This report is part of The Am Law Daily's ongoing Web coverage of The Am Law 100s 2008 financials, bringing you our own reports and those from our sibling publications at Incisive Media. Results are preliminary. In keeping with past practices, we do not reveal which firms cooperate in providing financial information and which do not.

Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer's May issue and on AmericanLawyer.com. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.


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