Paul Hastings’ revenue dips as firm targets more network expansion

Paul Hastings’ 2011 financial results, released today (28 February), show revenue dipped 2 per cent last year, from $902m to $884m, while revenue per lawyer (RPL) broke through the $1m barrier to $1.003m.

Average profit per equity partner (PEP) stayed effectively flat at $1.965m ($1.99m in 2010).

The chairman of Paul Hastings Seth Zachary said he regarded the results as “steady” in the current environment.

He added that the firm, which has a 31 January year end, was expecting a better 2012.

“Judging by the metrics such as revenue per lawyer, which improved every quarter last year, and the current inventory we think this year will be better,” said Zachary. “That is the trend line we’re seeing.”

Zachary said the firm’s start to the year was busier than last February, with litigation, IP, employment and securities all showing more activity.

“Finance is picking up while capital markets is still choppy, but there is some increase in M&A, including from Asia,” added Zachary.

Last year Paul Hastings announced it was expanding its overseas network to include a new office in South Korea (28 November 2011). Zachary today confirmed that the firm’s expansion would continue this year with an office in Houston, Texas but provided no more details. The firm is also continuing to examine opportunities in Singapore.

In Europe, Zachary said expansion of the firm’s London office, which hired Macfarlanes partner Garrett Hayes last year (16 June 2011) was a priority while in Germany, which had been seen as underweight, Paul Hastings recently added three partners (8 February 2012).

Highlight deals Paul Hastings’ London office worked on last year included advising Deutsche Bank on the first publicly offered CMBS in Europe since the credit crunch; Samsung in its landmark $1.4bn M&A transaction with Seagate; and Groupe du Louvre’s €1.2bn refinancing. 

The London office also successfully defenced the Telecom Systems International in a $400m Court of Appeal shareholder dispute.