Cadwalader posts stagnant profits after year of investment

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has posted flat average profits for 2011 after a year of investment that saw three office launches and a series of hires.

Last year Cadwalader opened offices in Houston, Hong Kong and Brussels following the hire of Linklaters competition partner Alec Burnside. The firm also hired a nine-partner, 35-person team primarily composed of energy lawyers from McDermott Will & Emery.

Greg Petrick, the firm’s new London managing partner, who has been brought in to oversee a period of expansion in the City, said Cadwalader had “stabilised” in 2010 and invested in 2011 after a difficult period between 2007 and 2009.

“The goal last year was to continue diversifying the platform while increasing top line revenues,” said Petrick. “Every firm in this market is challenged in that regard with less work around and a squeeze on rates. But we successfully grew revenue by around 5 per cent and took the profit and reinvested it.”

Cadwalader’s turnover grew by 4.4 per cent to $448.5m last year.

Petrick said the additional income would allow the US firm to focus on growing its London office, adding that he anticipated “making significant investments here”.