Lateral hiring at McDermott doubled in 2012 amid feeding frenzy at Dewey

McDermott Will & Emery made 54 lateral partner hires in 2012, more than double that of the previous year, according to the US firm’s annual global performance data.

The data also reveals a dip in profit but a rise in revenue, with global profit per equity partner dropping 2.7 per cent to $1.46m while gross revenue bumped up 3 per cent to $851m.

The increase in lateral hires was partly boosted by the collapse of Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2012 (29 May 2012), a breakdown which triggered a hiring frenzy among US firms.

In Europe, for example, McDermott hired Dewey & LeBoeuf private equity duo Mark Davis and Russell Van Praagh for its London office (19 April 2012) as well as a capital markets team, led by partners Philipp von Ilberg and Joseph Marx, from Dewey’s Frankfurt base (2 May 2012).

Other hires in Europe included senior KPMG tax partner Tom Scott to the head of its London tax department and Weil Gotshal & Manges public law specialist Sabine Naugès, Jones Day of counsel Jacob Grierson and a team of three senior lawyers from Orrick Rambaud Martel (6 June 2012) to bulk up the firm’s Paris office.

While McDermott does not break its financial results down by office, London managing partner Hugh Nineham said there was “a careful and deliberate growth initiative under way,” with private equity continuing to be a key area of focus.

Key mandates for the City office last year include advising the owner of Pom-Bear crisps, Intersnack Group, in its acquisition of Hula Hoops maker KP Snacks.

On a global scale the firm recorded 189 global equity partners in 2012, although of that total just 25 are female. Women made up 93 of the non-equity partner total in 2012, an increase from 80 although still a long way off the 250 non-equity partnership of men.