Mayer Brown’s sudden impact

The financial reporting season is in full flow, so the obsession in New York this week is with numbers. Actually, when is it not?


The results for US firms are now flying in, but some have been more keenly anticipated than others.

In sporting terms, last year Mayer Brown had a shocker. It removed 45 partners from the equity while sources suggest it asked at least another 15 to take early retirement.

Out the same door walked around 30 to 40 more partners during the course of the year. The net result was that Mayer Brown was close on 100 partners lighter by the end of 2007 than at the start.

Indeed, the firm’s global vice chairman, Paul Maher acknowledged to The Lawyer yesterday (14 February) that the restructuring had “some impact”.

Er, where exactly?

The firm has just posted global revenues of $1.183bn (£600m), up 9 per cent from $1.084bn (£550m), and average profit per equity partner (PEP) of $1.239m (£630,000), also up 9 per cent from $1.135m (£580,000) in 2006. See story.

The restructuring was aimed at improving profitability. According to these results, it’s achieved that. A 9 per cent rise is fairly decent in anyone’s book.

And with almost a 100 fewer partners, a 9 per cent growth in revenues ain’t bad either. Mayer Brown’s remaining partners must have been working damn hard to achieve that.

Can’t wait to see the revenue per lawyer figures.

The $5m dollar man

The financial reporting season is in full flow, so the obsession in New York this week is with numbers. Actually, when is it not?

As always, it’s the big ones that count, and they don’t come any bigger than this: $2bn.

Latham and Skadden‘s results grabbed everybody’s attention, with good reason. If ever there was a justification of the strategy to invest overseas, then this week provided it.
The growth in both firms’ revenue hasn’t even been that dilutive. Well, at least not last year. Average PEP of above $2m will do nicely.

Which brings me neatly to another number that’s doing the rounds in Manhattan this week. The one that everybody wants to know. Exactly what it took to entice Ron Hopkinson, Latham’s former co-head of private equity, over to Cadwalader?
Well, I’ve been quizzing a few people who should be in the know (Hopkinson, as you might imagine, is not saying). And the consensus is this: $5m guaranteed for at least two years.
Frankly, and this may come as a shock, I’d move for that.
(posted 13 February 2008)

To read more Byrne in the USA blogs, click here.