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Accounts revealed: Clifford Chance sees Asia turnover rise fastest at 8.9%

Clifford Chance’s turnover picked up 7% in the financial year 2013/14, as Asia Pacific led the way with a 8.9% boost, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Firm-wide revenue picked up from £1.27bn to £1.36bn in the year to 30 April 2014 with continental Europe generating the most at £503m, up 7.7% from £467m. The fastest growing region was Asia Pacific which grew 8.9% from £179m to 195m while the Middle East was slowest at 5.3%, increasing from £38m to £40m. UK revenues recorded growth of 5.9% from £443m to £469m while the Americas contributed £152m, up 5.6% from £144m.

The rise in revenues saw operating profit pick-up from £393m to £412m while profit before remuneration and profit shares increased 5% from £381m to £400m.

Staff costs rose 5.4% from £558m to £588m on the back of a bigger wage bill which increased by £19m from £443m to £462m. This was despite a drop in headcount from 6,102 staff to 6,072, which encompassed falls in partner numbers from 577 to 573, associates from 2,324 to 2,319 and trainees from 492 to 466. CC’s 16-member management committee saw an 11% bump in its remuneration package from £18m to £20m.

The firm stated it had no borrowings outstanding as of 30 April 2014, though it did possess undrawn committed borrowing facilities of £200m.

CC managing partner Matthew Layton unveiled a new strategy at the start of this year which would introduce fresh key performance indicators and increase investment in the Continuous Investment Programme. He also revealed aspirations to have US and Asia turnover rise to make-up 20% and 25% respectively of total revenues in the next five years.

The firm also recently started a review of its remuneration system at management level, a move which could see the firm deploy a more flexible lockstep to retain star partners.