Wake Up Call: Law Firm Revenues ‘Solid’ in 2019, Citi Report Says

Feb. 11, 2020, 12:55 PM

In today’s column, DLA Piper grabbed a team of litigators with crypto and blockchain expertise from Squire Patton Boggs in Northern California. U.K. elite firm Allen & Overy became the latest Big Law firm to offer a 12-week parental leave policy; and Orrick announced double-digit revenue and PEP growth.

  • Leading off, legal industry revenues grew 5.3% in 2019, which was slower than in 2018 but still “solid,” according to a new report based on a survey by Citi Private Bank. The report, citing Citi’s sample of 201 firms, including 76 Am Law 100 firms and others, says last year’s expansion was fueled mainly by billing rate growth that was the strongest since 2018. Demand growth was 1.1%, about half its 2018 level, but it accelerated in the last part of the year. (American Lawyer)

  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s gross revenues grew nearly 11% to reach $1.16 billion in its fiscal 2019, according to preliminary data.. The firm’s profits per equity partner surged 14% to $2.27 million. (American Lawyer)

  • DLA Piper grabbed a team of three litigators from Squire Patton Boggs for its San Francisco office. According to his LinkedIn profile, Matthew Miller was Northern California litigation practice chair at his old firm and he has experience in cryptocurrency and blockchain matters, and complex business litigation. He joins DLA Piper as a partner, as does Robert Nolan, whose practice focuses on unfair competition, trade secret misappropriation and intellectual property disputes. Michael Fluhr, who joins as of counsel, focuses his practice on various types of complex commercial litigation, including in the fields of securities, blockchain and digital assets, and product liability. (DLAPiper.com)

  • Goodwin Procter’s London office grabbed real estate investment funds partner Justin Cornelius, who was the head of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s funds and investment management practice, as a partner. Goodwin said Cornelius will join his new firm after completing his notice period. (GoodwinLaw.com)

  • Big Four accounting firms Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers hired 17 partners across Asia in 2019, and six of those were from big U.S. firms. Chinese firms were also actively poaching laterals, and U.S. firms better watch out, as they are likely to continue, this report says. (Law.com)

  • U.K. elite firm Allen & Overy announced a new policy allowing 12 weeks of parental leave, matching the level set by its Magic Circle rival Linklaters, and by London-based Ashurst, and Paul Hastings. (The Lawyer)

  • Bayer AG’s legal team told a judge in a brief that a $2 billion verdict in a Roundup weed-killer case should be thrown out because of “egregious and pervasive misconduct” by plaintiffs attorneys. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Horvitz & Levy wrote the court brief for Bayer’s Monsanto. (The Recorder)

  • Texas Southern’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law was hit by a pay-to-play admissions scandal that resulted in the ouster of the university’s president, Above The Law reported. (Above The Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • A report says that in reaction to an increase in enforcement actions against individual chief compliance officers, in-house compliance counsel are pushing for more guidance from regulators. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Translation company TransPerfect Global escalated its fees fight with Skadden Arps and a court-appointed custodian in Delaware. (DelawareBusinessNow.com)

  • Fraying partnerships, mandatory retirement, and other factors are pushing an increasing number of lifer partners to become “late-career laterals.” (American Lawyer)

  • Philadelphia intellectual property firm Volpe and Koenig, P.C., said it elected electrical practice group vice chair John C. Donch, Jr. to be president of the firm, effective today. (VKLaw.com)

  • The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law announced new board co-chairs. (BLAW)


  • Cooley advised cloud data platform Snowflake on its latest funding round, which raised $479 million and increased the company’s valuation to $12.4 billion. The company also announced a strategic partnership with Salesforce.com Inc. (BN)

  • Covington & Burling represented China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Limited and its affiliate Sirtex Medical US Holdings, Inc. on their $30 million investment in OncoSec, which develops cancer immuno therapies. (Yahoo! Finance)

  • Davis Polk & Wardwell advised Reynolds Consumer Products Inc. on its $1.4 billion initial public offering on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. (DavisPolk.com)

Laterals, Moves

  • Holland & Knight hired two insurance defense partners from Greenberg Traurig for its Miami and Fort Lauderdale offices. Alaine Greenberg joined the firm in Miami and Brian Koch joined in Fort Lauderdale. (HKLaw.com)

  • Carlton Fields hired experienced immigration attorney Federico “Fred” M. Maciá in Miami as a member of the firm’s labor & employment practice and head of its immigration planning and compliance practice. (CarltonFields.com)

  • Cozen O’Connor added veteran tax litigator Jennifer Karpchuk as a member in its Philadelphia office. She arrives from Chamberlain Hrdlicka, where she was senior counsel. (Cozen.com)


  • Michael Best said it promoted nine lawyers (five women) to partner in the firm’s Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Salt Lake City offices, across six different practice groups. (MichaelBest.com)

Legal Actions, Decisions

  • A Williams & Connolly lawyer for Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes told a judge that prosecutors’ fraud case against Holmes is “skimpy” and “paltry” and should be dismissed. (BN via BLAW)

  • A California federal judge ordered DoorDash Inc.to individually arbitrate claims filed by more than 5,000 delivery drivers fighting for overtime pay and minimum wages. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher represents. (BLAW)

  • A landmark tax case watched by Google, Apple, Facebook, and other tech giants reached the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. (Bloomberg Tax)


  • With Treasury’s new rules on security reviews of foreign investments set to take effect, a White & Case tool aims to help users evaluate whether a planned transaction could be subject to filing requirements and CFIUS review. (WhiteCase.com)

Legal Education

  • K&L Gates is launching a “mini-MBA” program for associates to add to their business skills. (BLAW)

  • Fordham Law School plans to offer a $55,000, scholarship for a full-time student in the school’s Master of Studies in Law in corporate compliance program, aimed at non-lawyers. (Fordham.edu)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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