"Spectacular" is how Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Chief Executive Officer John A. "Jack" Barbour described the firm's 2010 performance in the front page article of the March 16 edition of The Legal Intelligencer. Excerpts of the article were also published on law.com, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Tribune Review.

The article reported the firm's revenue increased from $249.4 million in 2009 to $250 million last year. The incremental increase didn't dampen Barbour's outlook on the year; he said the firm "far exceeded expectations."

Most notably, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's profits per equity partner (PPP) jumped 12 percent to $661,000 in 2010. It was the firm's commitment to client value that prompted an emphasis on managing expenses and keeping only "what was essential to clients," Barbour said.

In addition to the improved PPP, revenue per lawyer (RPL) increased 5.5 percent to $616,000 thanks to attorneys being "fully engaged" in client matters.

Buchanan's litigation, bankruptcy, labor and employment, intellectual property and government relations practices were particularly busy in 2010, including "double-digit hires" in the firm's energy practice. "We think we've become the go-to firm for Marcellus Shale and other energy work," Barbour said.

The firm also boasted growing lending and real estate practices, thanks to banks' loan activity and workouts.

Barbour said the firm is committed to growth, though with a heavier emphasis on lateral hires. "We're busy enough that we find ourselves in constant need of associates," he said. "But I don't think we're ever going back to the days of bringing on a large class from law school."

In the coming year, Buchanan is looking to engage in targeted growth in the firm's Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. offices and aggressive hiring to its Florida offices.

"We had a spectacular year last year and we're poised to have an even better year in 2011," Barbour concluded.