Sonnenschein: revenue up, profits down

Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal posted a slight increase in gross revenue last year but saw its average profits tumble more than 12 per cent.

The Chicago-headquartered firm’s turnover rose to $492m last year, an increase of 2.9 per cent. Average profit per equity partner fell just over 12 per cent to $804,000.

Last summer, Sonnenschein was among the first group of firms to announce major layoffs, with a redundancy round that saw a total of 124 staff lose their jobs including 37 lawyers.

At the end of its fiscal year, however, Sonnenschein bulked up its lawyer numbers with a 100-lawyer acquisition from collapsed firm Thacher Proffitt & Wood (22 December 2008).

“We begin 2009 with substantial momentum from our addition of 100 lawyers from Thacher Proffitt on 1 January, the addition of 17 new partners and counsel in the last 30 days, and the economic dividends of having made a set of difficult decisions in 2008,” said Sonnenschein chairman Elliott Portnoy. “While challenging, we moved swiftly in 2008 to address underproductivity and costs, and 2009 is shaping up to be a strong year for Sonnenschein.”

To receive our free twice-weekly Lawyer in New York US legal news and comment email, click here. Or get the latest news, features and comment as it’s published with our free RSS feed.