Paul Weiss satisfied with modest growth

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison’s chairman Alfred Youngwood claimed yesterday (6 February) that his firm was “very happy” with the modest 4 per cent growth in profits per equity partner (PEP) his firm posted for the 2007 financial year.

PEP rose to $2.6m (£1.32m) last year from $2.5m (£1.27m) in 2006 while revenue per lawyer showed an even smaller increase, up just 3 per cent $1.04m (£529,000) to $1.07m (£545,000).

Total revenue at the New York firm did show a double digit improvement on 2006, however, rising 10 per cent from $594m (£302m) to $651m (£331m).

Youngwood told The Lawyer that Paul Weiss looked to have moderate growth and that it achieved that last year. During 2007, Paul Weiss’ partnership grew from 109 to 111 while total lawyers increased from 573 to 610, a rise of 6.5 per cent.

“We don’t do many lateral hires or mergers so most of our growth is organic,” Youngwood added. “We are very happy with the results, it was a great year.”
Youngwood said all of his firm’s core practice groups including transactional, bankruptcy and litigation had had successful years. He added that the transactional group had not been seriously hit by the downturn “to date”, while though the bankruptcy group was starting to see signs of an increase in instructions, it had not yet seen a major increase.

Highlight matters for Paul Weiss last year included acting for Citigroup on its $14.6bn acquisition of Nikko Cordial, for Mastercard on its antitrust battle against American Express and for AIG on securities and derivatives-related lawsuits.