US firm Bryan Cave’s 2004 revenues have dropped slightly on its record 2003 but firm chairman Don Lents has claimed the year was still a success as 2003’s figures included a massive success fee.

Gross revenue for 2004 was $374m (£196m) down 2.6 per cent from $384m (£201.2m) in 2003. Profit per equity partner (PEP) fell from $600,000 (£314,000) in 2003 to $524,000 (£275,000) in 2004.

“Last year we expanded with a steady rise in revenues – recognising that in 2003 we had the contingency fees,” Lents told The Lawyer.

Profitability rocketed 35 per cent the previous year due to the $23m (£12.1m) success fee the firm received from Biomedical Systems after the firm won a contract dispute against GE Medical Systems. That alone accounted for around $100,000 (£52,000) extra on the firm’s PEP figure.

The firm recently re-recruited senator Jack Danforth to the partnership after a spell as the US ambassador to the UN. His practice will focus on corporate compliance and defence, public policy, regulation and legislation.

Danforth’s return follows a string of lateral partner hires across the globe. David Liu joined the firm in Shanghai from Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. Robert Rawn moved to the firm’s New York office from Pillsbury Winthrop and Donald Figliulo joined the firm’s Chicago office from Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon.