The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Bryan Cave Sees Modest Growth
Bryan Cave enjoyed modest growth in 2013, with gross revenue increasing by 3 percent. Partner compensation climbed more dramatically, thanks in part to a slight reduction in the partnership ranks.
The St. Louis–based firm, which has 30 offices around the world, pulled in $643 million in gross revenue in 2013, up from the prior year's total of $624 million. Net income jumped by more than 6 percent, to $176 million in 2013 from $165 million in 2012.
Firm chairman Don Lents said it was a "pretty good" year, noting that with the economy still lagging, demand for legal services is flat and clients are focused on value. "Our take on the year is that our business model is well-suited for this economic environment," he said.
Bryan Cave's head count, as measured by full-time equivalents, was down slightly, with the number of total lawyers dipping to 985, compared with 990 a year ago. The number of equity partners fell to 219 from 222. The number of nonequity partners, on the other hand, increased to 193 from 187.
Lents said that while there haven't been layoffs, the firm has made a concerted effort not to take on too many new lawyers. "In this environment, you have to be careful about capacity," he said.
Profits per partner were up 8 percent, to $805,000. Total compensation for nonequity partners was up more than 13 percent, to $72.5 million, compared with $64 million in 2012. Revenue per lawyer came out to $655,000, a 4 percent increase from 2012.
Bryan Cave's transactional practice held its own in 2013, advising on 84 mergers and acquisitions involving U.S. targets, according to a Thomson Reuters survey. The survey ranked Bryan Cave in sixth place out of all law firms.
Bryan Cave annexed the 175-lawyer firm Holme Roberts & Owen in late 2011. Lents said that 2013's modest growth "reflects the ongoing benefits of that integration."
In December, Bryan Cave announced a leadership change, in which Lents, who has served as chairman for 10 years, will step aside in October 2014. His replacement is Washington D.C.–based securities litigation partner Therese Pritchard, the first partner outside of St. Louis to chair the firm.
This report is part of The Am Law Daily's early coverage of 2013 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer's May 2014 issue and on AmericanLawyer.com. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.