2014 was a solid year for most large law firms in Philadelphia, with much of that being attributed to transactional and corporate work.

Ballard Spahr saw a 4.3 percent rise in gross revenue, from $299 million in 2013 to $312 million in 2014.

Revenue per lawyer grew 1.6 percent from $620,000 to $630,000 and profits per equity partner rose 3.6 percent from $550,000 to $570,000. Firm head count grew 2.9 percent from 483 attorneys to 497. Net income increased nearly 7 percent, resulting in a profit margin for the firm of 42 percent.

After it saw slight declines in 2013, 2014 was a year of discipline for Ballard Spahr, which hired four managers dedicated to improving its finances, pricing, collections and marketing.

Chairman Mark Stewart said the increases were relatively modest, but spectacular in light of the difficulty in growing revenue in 2014. The numbers do not reflect revenue from the firm's June 2013 merger with New York litigation boutique Stillman & Friedman.

The firm also brought in a number of strong laterals in 2014, Stewart said, highlighting 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.