The Score

February 22, 2010 4:20 PM

THE AM LAW 100: Howrey's PPP Plunges 35 Percent

Posted by Ed Shanahan

Howrey reported weak 2009 financials Monday. The firm's gross revenue fell from $573.2 million to $480 million, marking a decline of 16.3 percent. Revenue per lawyer dropped by 19.2 percent to $702,782. Net compensation to equity partners slid 28.3 percent to $128.6 million. And profits per partner sank from $1.299 million to $846,053--a 34.9 percent drop, according to The National Law Journal, an Am Law Daily sibling publication.

Howrey chairman Robert Ruyak said the firm warned partners at the beginning of 2009 that PPP would probably be closer to $900,000 than the nearly $1.3 million they received in 2008. "We didn't quite make that," he said.

In 2008, Howrey had what Ruyak said at the time was the firm's best year ever, based largely upon several large contingent payments. Last year, the firm didn't have that bounce. Ruyak said that while the declines were dramatic they were "not entirely unexpected."

Ruyak said that as the firm enters into more alternative billing arrangements, there will continue to be fluctuations in year-to-year revenue. A Howrey spokeswoman said that in 2009, the percentage of the firm's business that was billed through alternate arrangements grew from 3 percent to 7 percent.

This report is part of The Am Law Daily's ongoing Web coverage of 2009 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Results are preliminary. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer's May 2010 issue and on The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.

The final published results of last year's Am Law 100 rankings are available here; the Second Hundred results are available here.

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