Cads, Orrick get profit wake-up calls

PEPs take a hit, but revenue picture is mixed.

Cads, Orrick get profit wake-up callsOrrick, Cadwalader PEPs take a hit, but revenue picture is mixed

Early indications show that profits at US firms plummeted during the 2008 calendar year, with Orrick Herrington & ;Sutcliffe ;and ;Cadwalader ­Wickersham & Taft both reporting significant drops in average profit per equity partner (PEP).

At Orrick, while global revenue rose by 8 per cent, from $772m (£530.15m) in 2008 up to $835m (£573.42m) last year, PEP saw a 20.8 per cent drop, from $1.66m (£1.14m) to $1.32m (£900,000).

In terms of revenue, the ­London office fared slightly better than the firm as a whole, reporting a 14.3 per cent revenue hike for the 2008 financial year.

Revenue in the ­capital increased from $35m (£24.04m) in 2007 up to $40m (£27.47m) for the last financial year. London’s revenue represented 4.8 per cent of the firm’s total turnover of $835m (£573.42m).

Orrick London managing partner Martin Bartlam said: “Given the extremely difficult market ­conditions in 2008, we’re pleased that the London office managed to significantly improve on our revenues, particularly given that 2008 had itself seen significant growth in revenues from prior years.”

At Cadwalader PEP dropped by 30 per cent, down from $2.72m (£1.87m) in 2007 to $1.88m (£1.29m) during the last financial year. At the same time its revenue fell by 13.8 per cent, from $587m (£403.11m) to $506m (£347.48m).

The figures come at the end of a turbulent year for Cadwalader, ­during which managing partner Bob Link was ousted from the management committee. Link was removed from the firm’s management after capital markets and real estate finance, which he had steered the firm to focus on, declined sharply. The firm had no hedge against that happening.

As reported on page 5, Link has now relocated to the firm’s London office after nine partners walked out last week (, 14 January).

Meanwhile, over at Morrison & Foerster, PEP dropped by 13 per cent during 2008, from $1.27m (£872,144) in 2007 to $1.1m (£755,400). ;Revenue ;grew
by 2 per cent, from $894m (£613.93m) in 2007 up to $911m (£625.61m) last year.

Clifford Chance

CC flies out NY M&A partner to boost Abu Dhabi

Clifford Chance New York-based M&A partner John Graham has moved to the firm’s Abu Dhabi office to help build up the firm’s corporate ­presence in the Middle East.

Graham will take a lead role in developing corporate capabilities in Abu Dhabi alongside the firm’s existing real estate and project finance practice groups.

Clifford Chance New York head of corporate Brian Hoffmann said: “Abu Dhabi is a very active market. Clients like to be able to pick up the phone and be able to meet with you very quickly. The firm didn’t have partner-level M&A ­capabilities in the office, so ­Graham’s move is significant.”

Graham joined the New York office of the magic circle firm in 2006 from US firm King & Spalding, where he was co-head of corporate.

Last year he worked alongside Steve Gatti in Washington DC and a UK team led by partner Patrick Sarch advising on the e739m (£583m) merger between UK clearing house LCH.Clearnet and US group Depository Trust ;and ;­Clearing ­Corporation.

Hoffmann said: “We pride ourselves on ­having a great deal of lawyer mobility at ­Clifford ;Chance, which means we move our lawyers to where there’s the most demand for them.”

Thacher proffitt litigator secures clydes post
By Matt Byrne

Clyde & Co has hired a former partner from dissolved firm Thacher Proffitt & Wood for its New York office.

Litigator and maritime insurance specialist John Woods started officially at Clydes last week, joining the firm as a partner.

One former Thacher Proffitt associate started at Clydes alongside Woods, while a further two are also likely to join.

“When it became clear that Thacher Proffitt wasn’t going to survive, I reached out to a few friends in the industry,” commented Woods. “I was very happy that the response was so positive.”

Woods is a former chair of the litigation and dispute resolution practice at Thacher Proffitt. He was originally included as one of the 40 partners who joined Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal on 1 January, but stepped out of the deal as the result of a conflict.

Last summer The Lawyer reported (14 July 2008) that Clydes was targeting New York for growth two years after it opened in the US with a raid on Condon & Forsyth for a four-partner team of aviation litigators.