WilmerHale records 3 per cent profit and revenue rise

WilmerHale has posted increases on its key financial metrics for 2011 in a year characterised by new co-managing partner Bob Novick as “solid”.

Total revenue grew by 3.3 per cent to $994m from $962m in 2010 while average profit per equity partner was up 3.5 per cent from $1.33m to $1.376m last year. Revenue per lawyer at Wilmer also rose, by 4 per cent, to $1.124m.

Bob Novick, who along with Susan Murley took over from Bill Lee and Bill Perlstein as one of Wilmer’s two leaders last month, said the relatively small level of growth was a good performance in difficult economic environment.

“Most of our core practice areas were firing at the same time,” said Novick.

The regulatory practice, the hallmark of legacy firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in Washington, was “very busy”, said Novick, with several high-profile mandates including representing BP in the Deepwater Horizon investigations, JPMorgan Chase in the settlement of high-profile parallel investigations and AT&T on the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.

Wilmer’s controversy practice, including its highly rated IP litigation group, was also busy, handling 40 US Supreme Court briefs in 2011 whlle a team drawn from the firm’s litigation, regulatory and IP practices secured a significant patent litigation win for Apple in an ITC action against Nokia.

Novick added that the firm’s transactional groups, which tend to focus particularly on mid-market deals in the technology and life sciences sectors, were shielded from the worst effects of the downturn.

Novick also said that Wilmer’s business services centre in Dayton, Ohio, which includes an e-discovery platform and 50 lawyers handling discovery, had become a “meaningful contributor” to 2011 revenue.

Internationally the performance of Wilmer’s German offices in Berlin and Frankfurt particularly stood out, Novick added.