Willkie Farr continues upward revenue trend

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has posted a 3 per cent rise in total revenue for the 2011 financial year with a similar increase in average profit per equity partner (PEP).

Total revenue at Willkie was $548m last year while PEP reached $2.145m. Revenue per lawyer rose 9.4 percent to $935,000.

“In this economic climate we were pleased to have had green arrows,” said managing partner Steve Gartner, referring to the increases in revenue and net income. “It’s not 2007 but given the climate and the economy it was a good result. And we saw good results across all of our key practices.”

Gartner pointed to Willkie’s private equity-focused transactional practice as having performed well both in the US and Europe, with headline matters including the representation of Fiat on its $1.27bn investment into Chrysler and deals for PAI Partners led out of the firm’s Paris office, including the sale of PAI’s 50 percent stake in Yoplait, the second largest yogurt maker in the world, to US-based food company General Mills.

Willkie also played a leading role in the $3bn merger of Level 3 Communications and Global Crossing last year, with New York corporate partners David Boston and Laura Delanoy advising the former.

“Competition work in Europe was also very strong,” added Gartner, who also pointed to several headline cases handled by Willkie’s litigation team including two major matters for Bloomberg, a $200m Rico case for French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent,and a $105m settlement of Lime Wire’s copyright dispute handled by partners Joseph Baio and Tariq Mundiya.

Gartner said he was positive though “cautious” about the prospects for 2012, but highlighted the imminent arrival of former Herbert Smith litigation partner Peter Burrell in the firm’s London office nearly a year after his hire. Burrell’s arrival will finally launch a cross-Atlantic compliance practice at Willkie (9 May 2011).