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Clyde & Co grows revenue for second decade running as profitability sees double-digit increase

After a year of major international expansion, Clyde & Co has recorded another robust round of revenue growth with the firm’s top line rising 9% to £551.3m year-on-year.

The 2017/18 result means the firm’s revenue has grown by nearly 200% on a ten-year track – Clyde’s turnover in 2008 stood at £185m.

Profitability also saw a significant boost, increasing 10% to £140.5m. Profit per equity partner (PEP) was also up, climbing 2%, a success in relative terms when considering the firm added 63 new partners through lateral hires and promotions during the last year.

Clyde’s chief financial officer Duncan Crowdy told Legal Business that only around 1% of the firm’s revenue growth was due to currency fluctuations, a significant reduction on last year when roughly 6% was linked to currency. For this reason, chief executive Peter Hasson considers this year’s result a stronger showing than last year’s, despite revenue increasing 14% in 2016/17.

Hasson commented: ‘It’s another set of good results in a challenging environment. Growth is getting pretty hard to achieve, it’s not an environment where it is easy to increase prices.

‘The insurance sector was extremely solid as always. But two of the other standout areas were construction, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and the energy sector in both disputes and transactional work.’

Half of Clyde’s business is now derived from outside the UK, while the Americas region accounted for 20% of the firm’s revenue, up 4% on last year’s share. This is a result of Clyde’s fervent expansion in the region, with the firm opening three offices in the Americas in the last year: Mexico City and Los Angeles in 2017 with the addition of Orange County at the beginning of this year.

Hasson also highlighted the firm’s Canadian operation, noting that the region has seen a 20% hike in revenue over the last year, due to a strong performance in the insurance sector.

Other office openings for Clyde in the last year included a Bristol hub, which was established in May. The firm also entered Hamburg in February after hiring a four-partner team from insurance and shipping rival Ince & Co.

A major factor in Clyde’s swelling partnership ranks was the 15-strong team it picked up from now-defunct US firm Sedgwick at the end of last year. In addition to 15 partners, 65 other lawyers and staff jumped ship to Clyde’s, joining the firm’s offices spanning San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, Chicago, New York and Miami.

Hasson told Legal Business that the firm has set a target to generate 5% of its revenue from ‘services or products that we weren’t able to offer at the end of last year’. The target ties into the firm’s new data analytics lab, launched in December 2017. The lab, which is overseen by insurance partner Mark Wing, is run in conjunction with University College London (UCL) to develop services for clients.