Revenue at US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld rose by 7% to $930m in 2015, with London contributing $91m following the acquisition of Bingham McCutchen’s London office at the end of 2014. The City revenue figure is up more than two and half times what the firm posted the year prior.
The increase in global revenue, up $62m on the $868m achieved in 2014, helped the firm to boost its net profit to $401m, up 13% on the previous year. However, a rise in costs meant that profits per partner only rose by 1.5%, or $29,000, to $1.913m.
Akin Gump has one of the biggest US firm offices in the City following the hire of 18 London partners, including a well-respected restructuring team led by James Roome (pictured), from Bingham McCutchen. Akin Gump’s London office’s revenue of $91m in 2015 was up from $35.8m in 2014. Two of the best performing areas have been energy and restructuring, with the huge fall in oil prices over the past 12 months resulting in a barrage of financial restructuring work. One highlight was the firm’s instruction in April 2015 by bondholders on the recapitalisation plan for troubled oil and gas company Afren, which later entered administration.
Akin Gump’s global partnership expanded at a much slower rate in 2015 than the previous year, given its ambitious City acquisition in 2014, adding 18 partners to the ranks to take the firm to a 322-strong partnership. The London office continued to grow, adding two partners during 2015 to take it to 36 partners. Across the network, Akin Gump generated $1.09m per lawyer in 2015, up 3% on last year.
Roome told Legal Business: ‘Just as we joined the price of oil took a big leg down so it’s been a busy time for us from the restructuring side. While you’re not seeing household names, we have been acting for large amounts of oil field service companies and exploratory companies that have been affected by the price drop.’
Co-head of the London office Sebastian Rice added: ‘We’re very pleased with the results. It’s been a fantastic first year. We didn’t set ourselves any financial targets but if we had done we would have surpassed what we would have expected to do. James and the team arrived at the tail end of 2014 so we still had a lot of investment, time and effort with integration. That explains the discrepancy in revenue and profit.’