Hastings decision

Hastings decisionThe Lawyer’s rolling Revenue Counter added several members today as more US firms reported their 2008 results.

Paul Hastings, which has a 31 January year end, is probably more pleased than most of its competitors that it managed to post respectable results despite having an extra month of pain.

The firm’s chairman Seth Zachary told The Lawyer that there had been some trepidation internally that the extra month would materially impact the figures as the business environment had become so much worse in the fourth quarter of last year.

“In fact it had very little impact,” Zachary revealed.

In the current market, Paul Hastings’ 1 per cent drop in PEP and a similar rise in revenue looks almost spectacularly good.

Contrast it with Simpson Thacher’s 14 per cent plummet in PEP, or indeed the 15 per cent fall in profit at fellow Wall St elite Davis Polk.

Mind you, partners at Simpson still took home an average of $2.48m last year. That is more or less where the firm was two years ago, before its finances swelled thanks to the phenomenal – and unlikely to be repeated – 2007 fiscal year.

Paul Hastings, helped by a broad practice and a solid international platfor, had a relatively strong year. But it will be the first to admit that in New York at least, it still has some ground to make up.