Fox Rothschild Grows Revenue 7.8 Percent

May 16, 2013 – In The News
The Legal Intelligencer

Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild grew its revenue by nearly 8 percent in its 2012-13 fiscal year as a result of a combination of strong practices and productive lateral hires, managing partner Mark L. Silow said.

The firm, whose fiscal year ends March 31, saw its revenue grow from about $257 million in 2011 to $277 million in 2012, a 7.8 percent increase.

Silow said the firm is "proud" of its performance over the past year.

"We think we had a really solid year in a market and economy that still continues to be challenging," Silow said.

Silow attributed part of the firm's revenue growth to the contributions made by recent lateral hires, specifically mentioning the group of intellectual property attorneys the firm brought aboard to open a Denver office this past fall.

In September 2012, the firm hired partner Neal S. Cohen from Bryan Cave's Denver office.

Cohen focuses his practice on patent litigation and prosecution, along with IP litigation and regulatory guidance.

Silow said Fox Rothschild was in a growth mode last year and the numbers reflect this statement.

The firm's overall headcount grew by 4 percent, from 471 lawyers in 2011 to 490 lawyers in 2012.

Its equity partner tier expanded by 2 percent, from 150 partners in 2011 to 153 partners in 2012, and its nonequity partner tier grew by 3.4 percent, from 58 partners in 2011 to 60 partners in 2012.

Silow said the firm is always looking to increase its ranks by bringing on productive partners.

"We think the way to maintain and eventually increase our profitability is to grow and we think the most effective way to grow the top line is to attract productive laterals who fit within our business model," Silow said.

According to Silow, the firm also brought aboard a class of 14 summer associates. In addition to the new Denver location, the firm also took steps to open two other new offices toward the end of its fiscal year.

In January and February, eight attorneys — including five partners — who had formed the core of Day Pitney's New Jersey transactional real estate practice, joined Fox Rothschild's Roseland, N.J., location in anticipation of opening a new office in Morristown, N.J., in June.

In March, the firm opened an office in Coral Gables, Fla., near Miami, with banking lawyer Raul Valdes-Fauli and associate Thomas Oppenheimer, both formerly of Fowler Rodriguez Valdes-Fauli, now Fowler Rodriguez, in Coral Gables.

Silow said those two offices were opened too late in Fox Rothschild's fiscal year to contribute to its 2012 revenue, however.

Still, even with across-the-board headcount growth and the expense that comes with opening three new locations, the firm's revenue per lawyer (RPL) increased by about 3.7 percent, from $545,000 in 2011 to $565,000 in 2012, and its profits per equity partner (PPP) increased by about 2.6 percent, from $585,000 in 2011 to $600,000 in 2012.

The latter was the result of a 5 percent increase in the firm's net income, from $87.5 million in 2011 to $92 million in 2012.

Silow said the firm's revenue was strong enough to fully absorb the costs of the Denver, Coral Gables and Morristown offices and still turn a profit.

In addition to the revenue growth spurred by lateral hires, Silow said all of the firm's practice areas had busy years, including a few that had previously experienced slowdowns.

"We were pretty strong across the board but the practice areas that showed the biggest increases were tax and estates and real estate," Silow said. "They clearly rebounded the most compared to any other department."

Silow said the firm's real estate practice was "uniformly strong" throughout the firm, but particularly so in Philadelphia and Central and Southern New Jersey.

"We're seeing more access to capital and credit, more loans being made available and more buying, selling and refinancing," Silow said. "Also, the incredibly low interest rate environment is just making purchases, sales and refinancings more attractive."

Silow added that the firm also handled a wide variety of litigation last year and that bankruptcy attorneys in its Las Vegas, Wilmington, Del., and Philadelphia offices were involved in several significant matters, including representing Downey Financial's bankruptcy trustee.

Looking forward, Silow said the firm will now turn its attention to growing its existing presence in the Denver, Miami and New York markets.

Silow said the firm's goal is to increase the bench depth of each one of its offices until they can all be characterized as "full service."

But Silow said Fox Rothschild also has its eye on several regions of the country where it has yet to put down roots.

"We'd like to be in a major city in Texas, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and New England," Silow said.

Reprinted with permission from the May 16 issue of The Legal Intelligencer. (c) 2013 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.