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Financial results 2013/14: Clifford Chance unveils highest-ever results as turnover up to £1.36bn and PEP £1.14m

Clifford Chance (CC) has drawn a line under last year’s disappointing financials, unveiling its highest-ever financial results, with revenue up 7% to £1.36bn while profit per equity partner (PEP) leapt by 16% to £1.14m.

Announced today (1 July), partnership profit at the Magic Circle firm came in at £459m, an increase of 14% on the previous financial year, and all regions and practices experienced growth.

A regional breakdown of the results for the year end 30 April 2014 saw the UK and Continental Europe take the lion’s share of income at £469m and £503m respectively, while Asia Pacific generated £195m and the Americas £152m. The firm’s Middle East operations brought in the lowest income at £40, constituting just 3% of overall revenue.

Investment made by the 3000-lawyer firm in the last year saw it launch a joint Saudi and foreign-owned law firm in Saudi Arabia in January with a team of 30 permanently based Saudi and foreign lawyers, becoming the first international firm to do so. That same month the firm announced it had entered into an association with Indonesian boutique firm Linda Widyati & Partners (LWP) as part of its growth strategy for the Asia Pacific region.

Major advisory work included leading on the latest high profile listing to hit the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as bargain store chain B&M moved ahead with an initial public offering (IPO) valued at £2.7bn.

The firm also secured high profile investigatory work in which the Financial Conduct Authority appointed its senior commercial litigator Simon Davis to conduct an independent inquiry into the handling of the body’s botched announcement of an investigation into the insurance industry. The Royal Bank of Scotland in November also appointed CC to look into the treatment received by small business customers in financial distress.

The firm this year underwent a managment shake up with the election of new leader Matthew Layton, who took over the post as global managing partner from David Childs on 1 May.

The latest results mark a turnaround for the Canary Wharf-headquartered firm which last year underperformed its Magic Circle rivals in its 2012/13 results, after revenue declined 2.5% to £1,271m alongside a 9% drop in PEP to £1m.

Layton said: ‘These are a strong set of results. They reflect the definite uptick in transactional markets we saw starting in the US over a year ago, and which has since extended to Europe and Asia Pacific. Market and corporate confidence is just part of the picture; we are also benefiting from our long-term strategy of investment in the geographies and areas of expertise that are most important to our clients. These more recent additions to the firm’s offer are performing well, alongside our more established practices.’

‘We’re ambitious for what we want to achieve and we’re far from being complacent. The fundamental shifts in the global business environment have huge implications for many of our clients, for the global legal industry and for us. I’m absolutely determined that we are not only going to stay at the forefront of the leading international firms but that we will set the standard for the next phase of the industry’s development.’