After seeing a slight decline in revenue in 2013, Ballard Spahr posted healthy gains in revenue and profits per equity partner in 2014.

The firm hired four managers dedicated to improving its finances, pricing, collections and marketing. It focused more closely on managing matters in a year that saw a less than 1 percent average rate increase. And it saw revenue per lawyer rise in every practice despite demand for legal services continuing to require firms to "scratch and claw" for every dollar, firm Chairman Mark Stewart said.

As result, gross revenue rose 4.3 percent to $312 million in 2014. Revenue per lawyer (RPL) grew 1.6 percent to $630,000 and profits per equity partner (PPP) rose 3.6 percent to $570,000. Firm head count grew to 497 attorney. Net income increased nearly 7 percent, resulting in a profit margin for the firm of 42 percent.

"I think in some ways it was a spectacular year, but no one will look at these numbers and say that," Stewart said of what he considered relatively modest increases.

The firm's numbers still do not reflect the revenue from its June 2013 merger with New York litigation boutique Stillman & Friedman. Ballard Spahr also brought in a number of strong laterals in 2014, including antitrust partners Jay N. Fastow and Denise L. Plunkett in New York, litigator Peter Haviland in Los Angeles and government and regulatory affairs partner Adrian King Jr., who returned to the firm in June from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office. On the management side,  Neeraj K. Aggarwal was brought in from Fish & Richardson as the new chief financial officer. Robert Rhatigan was hired from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to serve as director of pricing and project management and Timothy J.H. Delaney was hired from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to serve in the newly expanded role of chief marketing and business development officer.