Stroock & Stroock & Lavan saw its gross revenues dip slightly in 2012 to $264 million, revenue per lawyer hold flat at roughly $920,000, and profits per partner increase 1.7 percent to $1.2 million, according to reporting by The American Lawyer.
The news comes as Stroocka 287-lawyer firm known for its bankruptcy, entertainment, litigation, and real estate expertisemoved to let go of an undetermined number of secretaries in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, even as it also prepared to open a new office next month in Washington, D.C., according to sources familiar with the matter.
Stroock, which shuttered a previous outpost in the nations capital over a decade ago, was also forced late last year to vacate its downtown Manhattan headquarters in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The firm's office at 180 Maiden Lane overlooking New York Harbor was shuttered due to damage the building suffered during the flooding of New York's financial district during the storm. Stroock had renewed its lease for 225,000 square feet in the downtown office tower several years ago, according to our previous reports, and the firm, which also has space at another location in midtown Manhattan, found itself scouring the city for extra accommodations.
The Wall Street Journal reported in November that a relationship between Kirkland & Ellis restructuring partner Jonathan Henes and Stroock financial restructuring practice cochair Kristopher Hansenboth of whom frequently face off against one another in bankruptcy proceedings, with Hansen advising creditors and Henes representing debtorshelped Stroock reach a deal to sublease two floors from Kirkland at its offices in the Citigroup Center at 601 Lexington Avenue.
Stroock senior partner Leonard Boxer, chairman of the firms prominent real estate practice (Boxer is frequently touted as one of the top commercial real estate lawyers in New York), also played a key role in helping Stroock find the 60,000 square feet of new space with elevator service and phone lines down at its Maiden Lane base. (Other firms based in downtown Manhattan, such as Sullivan & Cromwell and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, were also displaced.)
Its unclear how much Stroock paid Kirkland for the subleaseHansen, one of the firms highest-paid partners, did not respond to a request for comment and a Stroock spokesman declined to commentbut the relocation was only temporary, as the firm returned to its downtown location in mid-December, according to a report at the time by sibling publication the New York Law Journal.
December was the same month that Stroock corporate partner Todd Lenson led a team from the firm advising Parsippany, New Jerseybased PBF Energythe fifth-largest oil refiner in the countryon a $533 million initial public offering. SEC filings related to that listing show that the IPO yielded $3.5 million in legal fees and expenses. (Cahill Gordon & Reindel represented underwriters on the offering led by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley.)
Stroocks bankruptcy group also grabbed a role on the Chapter 15 bankruptcy of Humpuss Sea Transport, a Singaporean unit of a large Indonesian shipping company, one of many large international shippers seeking a safe port of call in U.S. bankruptcy courts, as noted in an op-ed in the New York Law Journal this week by Stroock partners Andrew DeNatale and Curtis Mechling. Other potentially lucrative assignments loom on the horizon as bankrupt mortgage-lender Residential Capital won approval this week to appoint Stroock bankruptcy cochair Lewis Kruger as its new chief restructuring officer.
Stroocks litigation group in New York also helped two of the citys most prominent politicians navigate delicate situations. The New York Daily News reported in January that Assemblyman Sheldon Silver had paid $35,000 to Stroock as part of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations involving a fellow assemblyman. And Stroock senior partner Robert Abramsa former New York state attorney generalwas paid at least $128,450 for his work handling an internal campaign finance probe for city comptroller and one-time mayoral hopeful John Liu.
Nonetheless, Stroock has recently moved to trim some of its overhead. Above the Law first reported late last week news of the potential layoffs of secretaries by Stroock, whose 401(k) retirement plan did recently win accolades in a study of large firms.