Cooley reports turnover and profit rise

California-headquartered Cooley has posted positive financial results for turnover, average profit and revenue per lawyer for the 2011 year.

Total revenue grew by 9.2 per cent to $564.5m (£355.5m) at the technology-focused firm, which handled the IPOs of LinkedIn, Zynga and Epocrates among others last year.

Average profit per equity partner rose by 5.4 per cent to $1.365m although the compensation for all partners metric beat that increase, rising by 8.5 per cent. The firm’s profit margin was 47 per cent in 2011.

Revenue per lawyer also grew, by 7.6 per cent to $920,000 despite overall headcount at Cooley growing.

“We’re happy with the results,” said the firm’s CEO Joe Conroy. “We set out an ambitious plan at the start of the year and achieved it.”

The 2011 financial saw Cooley hit several milestones. Last year was the first in which it became debt-free for the first time. The firm’s overall practice was also evenly balanced between non-contentious and litigation, where clients included Joseph Collins, the former Mayer Brown partner convicted of fraud who had his conviction overturned last month.

“Bankruptcy litigation has been very active,” added Conroy, who also pointed to IP litigation and white collar fraud and investigations as busy areas.

Cooley’s traditional core areas of advising venture capital, technology, life sciences and emerging companies performed well, Conroy said.

The latter was an area that Conroy said was particularly active last year, with the firm adding 826 new emerging company clients out of a total base of around 3,000.

Last year also saw Cooley break with its US-only strategy by launching its first overseas office, in Shanghai (16 December 2011).