Legal Business Blogs

Financials 2016/17: Baker McKenzie resilient in face of full year of global headwinds

Baker McKenzie has unveiled stable revenue and profits for the year end 30 June, the first global firm to unveil its financial performance covering a full 12 months after the UK referendum on exiting the EU and the US presidential election.

The firm increased its global revenues by 2% to $2.67bn. On a constant currency basis, gross income was up 5% on last year’s $2.65bn.

In the year in which the firm elected Paul Rawlinson (pictured) as first British global chair, profits per equity partner (PEP) also held steady at $1.3 million, a 1.2% or 0.2% growth in constant currency terms. .

Asia Pacific accounted for 26% of the firm’s global revenue, EMEA and Americas for 37% each.

Rawlinson, who took over as global chair in October 2016, told Legal Business the firm had shown resilience in ‘a troubled global economic market and increasingly competitive legal market’.

‘Brexit and the US election were the two key events, but in lots of markets where we operate – Turkey, Brazil, and Venezuela – we can point to a number of challenging events.’

‘Uncertainty in US and UK markets is unusual and impacts the other regions too: the EU, North America and Mexico.’

‘Any growth in that situation would have been positive, but actually achieving 5% growth globally with each region growing by at least 4% indicates a strong performance.’

He pointed to the firm’s work in cross-border deals as a factor in its resilient performance.

Growing practices included tax, dispute resolution, banking and finance, M&A and capital markets.

The firm’s technology, media and telecoms (TMT) group was the highest growth industry sector.

Rawlinson highlighted the firm’s work on Emerson Electric $4bn sale of its Network Power business to Platinum Equity as an example of the firm’s cross-border work over the past year.

‘It involved over 60 countries and required expertise on a cross-practice level.’ The firm’s corporate, tax, real estate, IT, employment, pensions and cash repatriation teams worked on the deal.

The firm also advised Yum! Brands on the corporate implementation of the $9.7bn global restructuring relating to the spin-off of its Chinese restaurant operations, as well as digital technology company Konica Minolta on its acquisition of diagnostic solutions provider Ambry Genetics Corporation for $1bn.