Legal Business Blogs

Financials 2016/17: OC posts double-digit growth in global revenue despite Brexit woes

Osborne Clarke (OC) has posted double-digit growth in global revenues, up 12% from €219.6m to €245.1m, while UK revenue rose 7% from £112.9m to £121m, accounting for 58% of the firm’s total turnover.

Although the LB100 firm has seen 12% global revenue growth, this is a drop in percentage terms from last year, when OC posted a 23% increase in global revenues, with a 17% UK revenue gain.

OC’s UK managing partner Ray Berg told Legal Business that the firm was pleased with the results, which he said demonstrated growth despite tough market conditions.

‘As we get bigger it becomes harder to maintain such a high level of growth but actually, looking back at the last twelve months, Brexit and all the uncertainty around that, we are really pleased with the overall performance of the business.’

In addition to UK revenue growth, OC saw net profit increase 5% from £49.8m to £52.5m, while profit per equity partner (PEP) grew from £635,000 to £652,000.

Berg added: ‘The growth in revenue is more to do with a degree of Brexit impact which was felt across the business for sure. It almost felt like you had a ten-and-a-half/eleven month year rather than a full twelve months in the sense that there was that slow down.

‘So that plus the fact that if you look at the firm in its totality some of the newer jurisdictions are well established they are going to have less growth overall.’

‘Last year UK revenue was circa 62-63% of overall revenue. Again what is really pleasing is to see that the international platform is really working for us now. The number of clients we are being instructed by on a multijurisdictional basis is increasing. It is a real flow of work across all the offices,’ Berg added.

During the last financial year, OC UK’s cash resources increased 29% to £33.4m, in contrast to £25.8m in 2015/16, which Berg said resulted from ‘better financial management’.

Deal highlights for the firm included closing two transactions for Grifols, the first a $1.85bn financing for the acquisition of a nucleic acid testing business owned by Hologic, while the second concerned a $6.3bn refinancing – the second-largest financing of a Spanish company.

New UK client wins for the firm last year include Yahoo! and Homebase/Bunnings.

The firm also targeted further growth in Asia, opening an office in Shanghai last month under the name Zhang Yu & Partners, which brought in two partners and six other lawyers.

The opening follows OC’s associations with OC Queen Street in Singapore last August and Hong Kong based Koh Vass & Co in 2015. The firm also has a relationship with BTG Legal, founded by former co-head of Osborne Clarke’s India Group, Prashant Mara.