Pillsbury posts drops in revenue and profit for 2009

The firm’s gross revenue was $533m, down 7.5 per cent from last year’s $576m. 

Average profit per equity partner was $950,000, down 2.6 per cent from last year’s $975,000. Revenue per lawyer at Pillsbury remained flat at $805,000.

Chairman Jim Rishwain admitted 2009 had been “a very tough year on so many levels”, adding that Pillsbury had spent time during the past 12 months focusing on connecting with clients.

“We felt that all companies would all be examining their mission in light of the changing economy and we wanted to be aligned with them and understand how their priorities were changed,” Rishwain said. “And like all responsible companies, we have had to take steps to make sure we are cost efficient.”

Cost savings aside, Rishwain added the firm had not dipped into its borrowing facilities last year.

“During the crisis we had a strong balance sheet and did not draw on our line of credit,” Rishwain said.

Rishwain reiterated Pillsbury’s commitment to its international footprint, stating that now, more than ever, US companies are looking abroad for business opportunities.

In line with this strategy, Pillsbury began a non-exclusive alliance withAgha & Shamsi in Abu Dhabi, in January last year. Rishwain added that the firm’sLondon office continued to grow, particularly in the energy sector.

However, last week the firm lost the head of its European and Middle East practice, Denis Petkovic, who joined Withers as head of its international finance and projects practice (http://www.thelawyer.com/withers-to-create-global-network/1003067.article).