Cooley posts 9% revenue rise for third year running

California firm Cooley has posted record financial results for the 2013 year, reporting a 9 per cent rise in revenue to its highest-ever total of $674m.

Joe Conroy
Joe Conroy

It is the third year in a row that Cooley has achieved revenue growth of at least 9 per cent. In 2012 it posted a similar uptick, with revenue rising by 9 per cent to $617m (4 February 2013) while it also achieved a 9 per cent rise in 2011 (8 February 2012). The 2013 results do not include revenues added by it merger with Washington DC-based regulatory specialist Dow Lohnes, a deal that went live on 1 January this year.

Average profit per equity partner at Cooley in 2013 rose to above $1.5m for the first time, a rise of almost 5 per cent, while revenue per lawyer at the west coast firm rose by around 3 per cent to just over $1m, also for the first time.

Cooley CEO Joe Conroy said the strong performance in 2013 was the result of the firm “continuing on the same path we’ve been on, continuing to sharpen our market focus on high tech and innovative companies plus adding synergistic practices”.

Most notably last year the latter included Cooley the hire of 54 lawyers from Washington DC-based regulatory specialist Dow Lohnes. The deal takes Cooley’s total number of lawyers in Washington to around 130.

The firm also added 11 lateral partners in 2013 and grow headcount by more than 40 attorneys in 2013 in addition to the Dow Lohnes deal.

The previous period saw Cooley also expand its network, opening an office in Los Angeles in July 2012 (24 July 2012) and in Shanghai in December 2011 (2 January 2012).

Despite ongoing rumours about a launch in London, Cooley still has no office in the UK. Conroy however made it clear that a UK launch remained very much a probability.

“Our ambition is to be elite and global, and you’ll never achieve that unless you’re in London and western Europe,” said Conroy. “Our partners crossed that philosophical rubicon a few years ago but we’re at least as interested in not doing the wrong deal as doing the right deal.”

Cooley is best known for venture capital, technology and emerging company work, all of which Conroy said had strong years as did the contentious side the firm, which scored a number trial wins and several successes in the area of patent litigation.

Cooley’s 2013 revenue was split approximately split 50:50 last year between business services advice and litigation. In corporate Cooley advised on 58 completed equity public offerings (22 IPOs, 36 follow-ons) in 2013, raising more than $8.3bn. These deals included representing the lead underwriters in IPOs for tech and biotech companies LinkedIn, RingCentral, FireEye and FivePrime.