Latham saw PEP rise but revenue fall in “tough” 2009

Latham’s turnover fell 5 per cent from $1.92bn (£1.22bn) to $1.821bn last year. Average PEP was up, from $1.8m to $1.9m.

Despite the improvement in profitability the firm’s chairman Bob Dell (pictured) admitted 2009 had been the toughest he had experienced.

“We’ve only had to lay off people twice in our history and at least from my perspective this was the most painful,” Dell said.

In March 2009 Latham laid off a total of 440 lawyers and staff.

Dell said it would have been impossible to predict 12 months ago that Latham’s end of year results would have been as positive as they were.

“We’re quite pleased we’ve been able to improve our performance given the economy,” Dell added.

The Latham chairman also said that the firm’s London office had been one of the strongest performers, with high yield, finance and restructuring proving to be stand-out practice groups.

Globally, Dell said the firm’s competition, government investigations and project finance groups had been particularly busy.