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Financials 2017: Clydes breaks £500m barrier with another year of double-digit growth

Following another expansive year, led by a new global senior partner, Clyde & Co has again posted a double-digit rise in its global revenue, passing the half-billion-pound mark to reach £508.1m.

Turnover is up 14% on the £447.1m reported for 2015/16, although the firm said currency movements accounted for 5% of this year’s revenue growth.

Total profit grew by 9% to £127.6m, however profit per equity partner (PEP),  decreased by 2% to £650,000 down from the £665,000 reported last year. Partner numbers grew by 40, of which 31 were lateral hires – to nearly 400.

The latest revenue growth means that since 2011/12 – the year Clyde & Co merged with insurance rival Barlow Lyde & Gilbert – revenue at the firm has grown 77% from £287m.

This year’s results are the first to be overseen by senior partner Simon Konsta, who took up the lead job in November following James Burns’ decision in September to become head of Americas.

Global chief executive officer Peter Hasson told Legal Business that ‘outside the UK we grew by about 25%’, some of which related to new office openings, some of which was currency-related, he added. 

The firm has maintained sustained geographic expansion of recent years over the last 12 months, opening new offices in Düsseldorf, Chicago, Washington and Miami, with a new Mexico hub expected to launch this quarter pending regulatory approval.

‘We’re now back to a situation where our business is nearly split 50/50 between the UK and our international business, which is good for us,’ Hasson said.

‘We grew in all of our major regions, obviously not as much in the UK where conditions have been a bit tougher, and we’ve seen pretty balanced growth across sector areas.’

‘One of the factors that helps us deliver growth year after year is the fact that we have got a good balance geographically and we have a good balance in the practice areas that we’re offering,’ he added.

As part of its growth strategy, the firm merged with Miami-based litigation firm Thornton Davies Fein in May, adding five partners and 35 lawyers and staff. It also completed a tie-up with four-partner Mexican firm, Garza Tello & Asociados.

The firm hired a ten-partner team from Troutman Sanders to open its Chicago and Washington DC offices; recruited a two-partner team from Noerr to launch its Düsseldorf arm; and, most recently, acquired a two-partner marine team from Eversheds Sutherland in Newcastle.  

In terms of high-profile mandates, Clydes acted on two of the largest insurance deals in 2017 – the $1bn acquisition of AGR Capital Holdings, and Arch Capital Group’s $3.4bn purchase of AIG’s mortgage business.

Read more: Sideways – A lateral move in leadership and big US ambitions for Clyde & Co