Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has posted a double digit drop in average profit per equity partner (PEP) along with a 3 per cent fall in total revenue for the 2008 financial year.

The New York-headquartered firm’s PEP fell from $2.53m in 2007 to $2.1m, at 16 per cent one of the most significant reductions in average profit among the US top 50. Total revenue fell from $643m to $621.4m.

Milbank has a strong financial services practice, a sector which took a battering during the latter part of 2008. The firm did land a key role on one of the biggest mandates of the period, advising the creditors’ committee on the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

Two months later the firm lost one of the two partners leading the matter when financial restructuring specialist Luc Despins joined Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker as chair of its global restructuring practice.

The firm was also among those in the US that cut associate bonuses late last year ( 4 Dec 2008) Milbank chairman Mel Immergut told The Lawyer: “2008 was clearly a challenging year not only for the global economy but also for most parts of the US-based law firm community. We felt very fortunate in this environment to achieve our 2008 results. We were particularly pleased with the strong last third of the year our large restructuring and litigation practices had which continues now.”

Meanwhile, Cravath Swaine & Moore has also reported a significant drop in profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2008 financial year.

The New York elite firm’s PEP plummeted 24 per cent from $3.3m in 2007 down to $2.5m during the last financial year. Cravath’s revenue dropped by 13 per cent from $616m to $532.5m in 2008.