Law Firms

Cost-Cutting Helps Cadwalader Post 28% Hike in Partner Profits

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft is reporting a 28 percent jump in partner profits after losing 21 percent of its equity partners.

Profits per partner were $2.41 million in 2009, the Am Law Daily reports. The increase is the first hike since 2007. In 2008, profits per partner dropped 30 percent.

Net income at the firm increased by 1.38 percent, while gross revenue was down 9.78 percent.

Cadwalader chairman W. Christopher White credits the results to work on large corporate and restructuring deals last year, along with cost-cutting measures, the story says. After layoffs, the law firm had 12.6 percent fewer lawyers.

Other firms reporting increased profits per partner are Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell and K&L Gates. Those results apparently beat the average; a survey of large law firms by Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group concludes that cost-cutting averaging 7 percent kept profits per partner at flat levels for 2009.

White told the Am Law Daily he is “cautiously optimistic” for 2010. He cites increased demand in litigation and transactional work and “very strong demand” in restructuring.

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