Pepper Hamilton Reports Record Fee Income; Grows Revenue 5.4 Percent, PEP 3.3 Percent

AmLaw 100 Firm on Course With Strategic Plan, Says Firm CEO

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The AmLaw100 firm Pepper Hamilton LLP today announced record fee income in 2013 of $373 million, up 5.4 percent over the prior year. This marks the second consecutive year that Pepper has reported record fee income. The firm also reported an increase in profits per equity partner of 3.3 percent and added 17 attorneys to its ranks in 2013, growing its headcount by 3.4 percent to 510 lawyers.

Pepper Hamilton's CEO Scott Green said, "We are extremely proud of our performance, particularly in such a challenging legal landscape. We have been disciplined about aligning our growth with our strategic plan, and our financial performance underscores the wisdom of this approach."

Green said that the firm saw strong demand for its Health Effects, IP Litigation, and White Collar and Investigations practice groups in 2013.

"Pepper's highly regarded Health Effects group, which is led by Nina Gussack, continues to be a sought-after partner by many of the leaders in the healthcare and life sciences industries," he said.

The White Collar and Investigations practice group more than doubled its revenue from 2012, a confirmation, Green said, that Pepper's strategy in growing the group paid off. "We were one of the first firms to make a significant investment in building out our White Collar group, a step that many competitor firms have copied, in recognition that government and public board investigations will only continue."

Green noted that Pepper added two high-profile attorneys to the White Collar and Investigations practice group last year – Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie Gomez – who have built a thriving practice counseling educational institutions about sexual misconduct on campuses.

Closely tied to the growth of the White Collar and Investigations group has been Pepper's successful merger with Freeh Group International Solutions. "With the growing demand for due diligence and investigative work, our clients have clearly benefited by having access to the expertise that Louis Freeh and his team have brought to Pepper."

The IP Litigation group was also in high demand. It obtained another favorable patent ruling from the International Trade Commission. "There are few firms in the nation that have tried more cases in that venue than has Pepper," Green said.

One area that was sporadic throughout 2013 was Corporate Transactions, Green noted. But the year ended with a strong third and fourth quarter. Among the major transactions Pepper handled were:

  • TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Corporation's $43 million IPO
  • Representation of Managed Health Care Associates in its acquisition by Roper Industries, a deal valued at $1 billion
  • Representation of Semprae Laboratories in its acquisition by Innovus Pharmaceuticals
  • Representation of Fiberlink Communications in its acquisition by IBM
  • Representation of Penseco Financial Services Corp. in its acquisition by Peoples Financial Services Corp.

In July, Pepper announced that it had executed a long-term lease renewal with Brandywine Realty Trust for approximately 268,000 square feet in Two Logan Square, its corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. Pepper Hamilton is one of Brandywine's top three largest tenants. As a result of this early lease renewal, the firm will retain all of its existing space in Two Logan Square, ahead of its lease expiration in 2015.

Pepper's strategic plan also included an emphasis on geographical expansion and diversification, Green noted, with a significant portion of the firm's growth last year coming from new or growing offices.

In November, the firm opened a Silicon Valley office and hired three of the country's top IP litigators – Greg Bishop, Tom Fitzpatrick and Andy Chan.

"The opening of our Silicon Valley office served two strategic goals: We expanded our national intellectual property footprint, and we have grown our offerings in California, which now include IP, healthcare and financial services."

In August, Pepper relocated its Los Angeles office to accommodate recent and anticipated growth, following the hiring of Mark Kadzielski and his four-member healthcare team.

The two offices complement Pepper's original California office in Orange County, which opened in 2004.

Green said that Pepper's 2013 performance was particularly impressive, given a challenging economic and legal environment.

"Overall, legal demand remains weak, and the economic headwinds have not completely subsided. But our strategic plan has kept us focused on building a more efficient platform with low overhead.

"At the same time, we have maintained a focus on delivering outstanding legal service to our clients. We continue to embrace initiatives such as creative fee arrangements and the establishment of our new Discovery Services Group, using innovative ways of managing information, in order to help our clients manage their overall legal spend.

"We have laid a strong foundation, invested strategically in key practice groups, and are well positioned for 2014."

About Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a multi-practice law firm with more than 500 lawyers nationally. The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world. The firm was founded in 1890.