Legal Business Blogs

Financial results 2014: double-digit growth in UK as Osborne Clarke unveils 26% turnover rise

Following a year of further international expansion and lateral hires, Osborne Clarke (OC) today (12 May) announced that its global revenue for 2013/14 has jumped by 26% to €169m, thanks to a ‘more confident’ market and its targeted sector focus.

Revenue in the UK itself was up by 16% to £88.4m. This is marked improvement on 2012/13, where despite an overall turnover increase of 14% on the back of new offices in Italy and Spain, like-for-like revenues in the UK were down by 1%.

While the firm is not yet in a position to disclose its profits, OC has hit a revenue target that will trigger a firm-wide profit share, with all fee-earners and support staff set to receive 2% of their salary as a bonus, payable at the end of this month. This is on top of any other performance-related bonus and managing partner Simon Beswick told Legal Business: ‘Our philosophy is that when the business does well we like to share to share the profit with the business.’

The 519-lawyer firm had a strong second half of the year – its H1 2013/14 year revenue was up by 12% – with a standout performance from the financial services sector, where global revenue shot up by 43%.

Beswick said: ‘The result is really a reflection of two things. Firstly the fact that market has changed and is much more confident. There is a better volume of transactions. Secondly, our sector focus [put in place around four years ago] has given us focus and alignment so rather than 150 partners doing their own thing, we have 150 partners collectively trying to make a success of a few areas.’

Osborne Clarke focuses on four sectors globally: digital business; financial services; energy; and real estate and infrastructure. In the UK there are six sectors, also including life sciences and healthcare and transport and automotive.

According to Beswick, all sectors had a good year, with double-digit revenue growth across the board. Internationally, Beswick declined to single out any the performance of any office.

Highlights for the firm include a Paris launch last July, with the hire of rated IT lawyer and former Microsoft associate general counsel Béatrice Delmas-Linel from De Gaulle Flaurence. Last June, it also opened in Brussels with a two-partner, five-lawyer team from leading Belgian firm De Wolf & Partners, led by De Wolf’s head of employment Thierry Viérin and commercial partner Stefan Deswert.

The top-40 LB100 firm has also built its presence elsewhere on the Continent, including hiring in Italy and the US, where it launched a new base in San Francisco to build on its presence in New York and the Silicon Valley, which target TMT-related work to feed work back to Europe.