Presides over decade-plus growth in revenue, profitability and global expansion.
King & Spalding announced today that Robert Hays, has been re-elected by the partnership to serve his fifth term as firm chairman. His new three-year term begins on January 1. He is the fifth chairman in the firm’s 130-year history.
Hays has been at the helm of the firm since 2006, during which time he led a major growth strategy that saw the opening of 15 offices and creation of a global platform. Over the last 10-plus years, King & Spalding’s profitability growth has been among the highest in the AmLaw 25.
During Hays’ current term, the firm has launched three new offices in Tokyo, Los Angeles and Chicago and has broken a number of milestones, including the $1 billion revenue barrier and the 1,000 lawyer headcount threshold. Today, under Hays’ leadership, King & Spalding is a financially successful and disciplined global firm. (see Appendix below for additional detail.)
“It is a privilege to have been chosen again to lead K&S into its next chapter,” Hays said. “We have enjoyed strong growth and success thanks to the dedication and drive of our passionate team of lawyers and staff. One of our core qualities is our belief that we can do better, so I’m excited by the chance to continue working with everyone across the firm to help us evolve even further.”
During his tenure at K&S, Hays has held a variety of leadership positions, including 18 years as a member of the governing Policy Committee. A nationally recognized trial lawyer, he served for 12 years as leader of the K&S’s Tort and Environmental Practice Group, which today includes more than 200 lawyers and is among the largest such practices globally.
Hays is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead Scholar. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was selected to the Vanderbilt Law Review and was a Patrick Wilson Scholar.
Overview of Past Decade of K&S Growth
Under Robert Hays’ leadership, the firm has posted impressive financials and growth.
- Revenue increased from $582 million in 2006 to $1.06 billion in 2016.
- Revenue per Lawyer increased by 60% (when adjusted for inflation, increased by 40%).
- Profits per Partner grew from $1.3 million in 2006 to $2.5 million in 2016.
- Amongst law firms with top profits per partner, King & Spalding had the second largest increase in number of offices adding 15 offices from 2005-2017 to create a firm with a global footprint in ten countries. The firm currently has 20 offices.
- Substantial office expansion, lateral acquisitions, revenue increases and profitability all occurred while the firm operated with no debt.
- Growth of the firm client engagements is represented in the mix of work with more than 50% of the firm’s matter involving four or more offices. (2016)
The momentum in 2017 alone has seen –
- Opening of a Chicago office led by Zachary Fardon, former U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Illinois. The Chicago office immediately added Patrick Collins, former Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Jade Lambert, joining as partners from Perkins Coie.
- Gareth Rees QC, former Executive Director of Enforcement and the Executive Counsel at the Financial Reporting Council, the UK’s audit regulator and corporate governance authority, joined the firm’s London office.
- Richard Walker, former general counsel of Deutsche Bank and previously Head of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, joins in New York.
- James Woolery, former head of investment banking at J.P. Morgan, also joins as in New York to head the firm’s Global M&A and Corporate Governance practices.