O’Melveny and Dechert report steep revenue and PEP rises

Los Angeles-based firm O’Melveny & Myers has unveiled a 23 per cent increase in profit per equity partner (PEP) for 2005.

The firm’s year-end figures, calculated at the end of January, showed an increase in PEP to $1.61m in 2005, up from $1.31m in 2004.

Gross revenue was also up 16 per cent to $808m compared to last year’s $697m, while revenue per lawyer increased to $827,000, up 8 per cent from $766,000 in 2004.

At the same time, Dechert reported a 30 per cent increase in revenues from $440.7m in 2004 to $576.8m last year. The firm also saw PEP increase 23 per cent from $1.2m in 2004 to $1.6m in 2005.

The improved results follow an aggressive expansion campaign by Dechert, which saw the firm take 65 litigation and corporate lawyers from the New York arm of Swidler Berlin, prior to the firm’s later merger with Bingham McCutchen.

O’Melveny underwent a similarly aggressive expansion campaign during 2005, which included boosting its M&A offering in San Francisco and New York with raids on Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and McDermott Will & Emery.

The firm also grew its London office, with hires including Ashurst corporate heavyweight Chris Ashworth and Norton Rose’s Brussels office managing partner John Cook.

High-profile deals included representing Stephen Spielberg’s Dreamworks SKG studio in its $1.6bn sale to Paramount Pictures in December and representing hair salon chain Regis Corporation, which owns brands including Vidal Sassoon and Supercuts, in its £1.5bn merger with beauty product retailer Sally Beauty last month.

O’Melveny also boosted first-year salaries to $135,000 (£77,000) from $125,000 (£71,000) late last year, following the lead of West Coast rivals Irell & Manella, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges and Munger Tolles & Olson.