Cooley Godward to spark expansion with New York and DC

Cooley Godward is in the early stages of plans to open in Washington DC and New York and is hoping that London and Continental Europe will follow.

The West Coast technology-focused firm has slashed its partnership and the associate ranks following the dotcom crash and is now ready to grow again.

“We’ve solidified ourselves and now we’re aggressively expanding,” said one partner in senior management.

The firm’s turnover dropped by 4 per cent last year to $289m (£157m), but through slimming down from its 700-lawyer peak to 464 at the end of the last financial year, revenue per lawyer has risen 13.6 per cent to $625,000 (£340,000).

Revenue for this year is expected to be flat, while management is predicting a growth in profit per partner and revenue per partner. These figures have caused a bullishness tempered by caution after the firm’s last aggressive expansion.

The firm needs a Wash-ington DC office if it is to fulfil clients’ antitrust and regulatory needs. The firm is also keen to attract commercial litigators on the East Coast. As that client base expands abroad, Cooley is keen to follow, and when it does, it will do it by acquisition.