The Score

February 29, 2012 7:03 PM

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: White & Case Posts Modest Revenue Gain in a "Year of Investment"

Posted by Michael D. Goldhaber

White & Case saw its gross revenue rise about 4 percent to $1.33 billion in 2011, while the firm's profits per equity partner fell about 5 percent to $1.475 million, according to reporting by The American Lawyer. Revenue per lawyer, meanwhile, stayed roughly even at $700,000.

"Considering the investments we made in 2011, we are satisfied with our results," says White & Case chairman Hugh Verrier, who recently began his second four-year term in the firm's top leadership post. "We need to have the right people in the right places to deliver for our clients, and our investments in key markets and practices are just beginning to pay off."

Over the past two calendar years, White & Case has added 45 senior laterals and promoted a total of 75 lawyers to either equity or nonequity partner status, many of them in the M&A, capital markets, and litigation practices. Together, those two contingents of fresh faces account for more than a quarter of all the firm's partners.

Although White & Case does not disclose figures on departures, Verrier said that the firm has more than replaced the clutch of partners who left in early 2010, 13 of them to Latham & Watkins. With 278 equity partners, White & Case has returned exactly to its level of 2009. The nonequity partnership, meanwhile, has grown by nearly a third, to 146, since 2009.

Among the incoming 2011 laterals were Latham capital markets partners Michael Immordino and Ian Clark in Milan and London, Jones Day corporate partners Alex Zhang and Virginia Tam in China, Norton Rose corporate partner Campbell Steedman in Dubai, Linklaters project finance partner Caroline Miller-Smith in London, and Paul Hastings corporate partners Jun Usami and Ayako Kawano in Tokyo.

Verrier says White & Case's strongest practices in 2011 were international arbitration and restructuring. Among the firm's practice highlights were establishing jurisdiction in an arbitration being pursued against Argentina by 60,000 Italian bondholders, and advising Saudi Aramco on the launch of a joint venture with Dow Chemical to build a $20 billion petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia.

This report is part of The Am Law Daily's early coverage of 2011 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer's May 2012 issue and on The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue. An interactive chart of the financial results reported so far is available here. The chart will be updated as additional data is reported.


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