Akin Gump posts PEP of $1.6m on back of small revenue rise

Texas-headquarterd Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has posted a 2.5 per cent increase in total revenue for the 2010 financial year coupled with a significant hike in profit.

Total revenue was $736.48m last year, up from $718.8m in 2009.Average profit per equity partner (PEP) rose 10 per cent, from $1.45m to $1.6m, while the firm’s net profit was $273.12m, up 10.5 per cent from $247m.

The solid results were a reflection of cost-cutting measures taken during 2009 and 2010 and some strong performances from several of the firm’s core practice groups, the firm’s chair Bruce McLean said.

“We ended 2010 really strongly and in fact the fourth quarter was our best,” McLean said. “So far this year the pace has remained constant.”

McLean pointed to Akin’s financial restructuring, IP litigation and corporate groups in particular as having had a strong 2010.

“Bankruptcy had a spectacular year in 2009 and continued to grow in 2010, particularly in terms of the number of mandates we had representing creditors committees,” McLean said. “We also took a big step forward in IP litigation with the hire of the group from Woodcock Washburn.”

In corporate Akin handled several multi-billion dollar deals includingBridas Corporation’s $7bn acquisition of BP’s Pan American Energy stake and Russian telecoms operator VimpelCom on its $21.5bn acquisition of Weather Investments.

McLean admitted that real estate finance was “still recovering” and was smaller than in previous year but said the firm maintained it was an “important practice”.

“It’s a cyclical practice with great talent and we plan to hold on and wait for the recovery,” McLean said.

McLean added that the growth of Akin’s international network would continue to be a priority, with the UK a central part of that plan.

Last year Akin’s 12-partner London office generated a net profit of $10.07m off a $25.88m turnover. Akin’s London PEP was $1.26m last year.