Reed Smith and Proskauer post 2011 results

Reed Smith saw its second straight year of revenue growth in 2011 while profits per equity partner (PEP) fell 3%, reports The Am Law Daily.

The firm’s revenue grew 3.7% from $958m (£609m) in 2010 to $993m (£632m) in 2011, while PEP fell 2.9% to $1.02m (£649,000).

Global managing partner Gregory Jordan (pictured) described 2011 as “a solid year in a tough environment.”

Although demand is still sluggish, Jordan added that the firm had looked to continue investing in growth, bringing 33 lateral partners across the equity and non-equity tiers in 2011, resulting in the PEP dip. “Clearly our focus is to continue to grow revenue and, if we do, our profitability will come along,” he said.

The bulk of the firm’s revenue in 2011 – 56% – came from its litigation practices. Corporate work contributed 21% of revenue, restructuring brought in 5% and real estate made up 6%. The firm also increased its pro bono hours by 20% in 2011.

The firm saw merger talks with Dallas-based Thompson & Knight called off in January last year. The firm has a busy energy practice that it is hoping would benefit from a presence in the region.

“We’re very seriously, seriously focused on getting into Texas,” Jordan said. The firm is open to not only large-scale mergers, but smaller groups of laterals as well, he said.

The firm’s large financial services practice kept it busy in 2011, mainly related to lawsuits involving the economic crisis, with clients including Bank of New York Mellon and Bank of America.

In July, Reed Smith opened a Shanghai office, its third in China, and in 2012 the firm will look to build further in Asia, with a particular focus on Singapore.

Elsewhere, Proskauer Rose saw revenues rise 6.4% to $686m (£436m) last year, with PEP up 9% to $1.7m (£1.08m)

“This is by far the strongest year we’ve ever had from every measure,” said Joseph Leccese, who started his three-year term as firm chair in January 2011.

The firm’s robust financial performance came amid a busy year for office moves, the most significant of which saw Proskauer move its New York headquarters to 11 Times Square last January.

Elsewhere, Proskauer finally realised its longstanding goal of opening a Beijing office, and moved its four-year-old Hong Kong office to what Leccese calls new “state-of-the-art space.”

During the year the firm brought on at least 11 senior lawyers, including four private equity partners in London – SJ Berwin duo Nigel van Zyl and Oliver Rochman, Berwin Leighton Paisner partner Peter McGowan and Kate Simpson from US rival Kirkland & Ellis.