Morgan Lewis publishes strong profits despite Brobeck intake

US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius has returned strong figures for 2003, with revenues and profits rising by around 13 per cent.

The figures are astonishing considering the downward drag that the 150 lawyers recruited from Brobeck Phleger & Harrison would have had on profits.

Turnover has risen by 13.2 per cent, from $557.5m (£299.9m) to $631.2m (£339.6m). Average profits per partner are up by 12.6 per cent, from $720,000 (£387,350) per partner to $811,000 (£436,300).

The Brobeck lawyers were recruited in February 2003. They did not bring any receivables or work-in-progress. For the first couple of months, the 150 lawyers and support staff were being paid while bringing in very little revenues.

Morgan Lewis’s financial year ended on 30 September 2003. The firm has since recruited another 20 lawyers from Pennie & Edmonds and 27 from insurance recovery boutique Zevnik Horton.

The firm will expect to sustain this growth in 2004, when all these teams are integrated. Of course, these hopes could be severely dented if it has to pay $20m (£10.8m) to former Brobeck lawyers and employees, who are claiming severance pay in a suit against Morgan Lewis.