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Dentons UK and Middle East revenue nears £230m in first post-Scotland results

Dentons’ UK and Middle East revenue rose 13% to £229.8m in 2018/19 but growth in profit per equity partner (PEP) slowed, rising 4% to £676,000 compared to a 36% spike the previous year.

The firm announced today (5 June) the first financial results for its UKME LLP covering a full financial year of operations since the merger with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, which went live in November 2017  and added three offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow to the firm’s network.

The 2017/18 financials – which incorporated six months of trading as a combined firm – showed revenue up 22% to £203.1m. Without the merger, that figure would have been 9% higher than the previous year.

The latest results mean the 14 offices in the UK and the Middle East have grown the top line 48% since 2014/15, while PEP has risen by 36% over the same period.

Deal highlights during the last financial year include acting for KKR on its €6.8bn acquisition of Unilever’s spreads business; Deutsche Post DHL Group on the sale of Williams Lea Tag to Advent International; and Centerbridge Partners on the purchase of IBM’s marketing and commerce assets.

Regional chief executive Jeremy Cohen also pointed to appointments to the global panels of BASF, BP, Société Générale and Standard Chartered Bank. He added that the legacy Maclays team contributed to matters including the KKR spreads business deal, the Carillion liquidation and appointment to the government and Network Rail panels.

Speaking to Legal Business, Cohen said it was a ‘good year of progress’ for the 704-lawyer business. ‘We are starting to get much more cross-border work. The merger [with Maclays] has also helped with some of the larger domestic clients. A lot of focus for us now is on what the large multinational clients want.’

The UK LLP hired 12 partners in the year to 30 April, including derivatives specialist Luke Whitmore from Fieldfisher. The year also saw Dentons’ chair Joe Andrew and chief executive Elliott Portnoy re-elected for their third and fourth terms respectively at the helm of the firm after an uncontested election.