Revenue per lawyer and profits per equity partner were approximately $555,000 and $625,000 respectively.
These figures were achieved against a backdrop of change at the firm. Bryan Cave ended 2008 with 945 lawyers, but the number rose to 1,165 in January 2009, when it merged with Atlanta law firm Powell Goldstein.
In February the firm was forced to shed 58 lawyers and 76 members of staff due to the downturn (12 February 2009).
The firm’s chairman Don Lents said: “We went into 2009 expecting that, in light of the global recession which began in 2008, it would be a difficult year – it was indeed. The recession had the broadest and most substantial impact on the legal profession of any economic downturn during the 35-plus years I’ve been in practice.
“Analysts and other commentators suggest that the economic outlook for 2010 remains uncertain. As a result, we continue to be cautious in our predictions.
“We’re confident, however, that with the investments we have and continue to make, we’re well positioned to continue to build upon our over 135-year history of success in serving our clients.”
Anthony Fiducia, managing partner of Bryan Cave’s London office, said in April last year that the firm was expecting to secure a merger with a UK firm within 12 months, to cement its position in the European market (6 April 2009).