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‘Following a trend across the industry’: Dentons reveals deceleration in revenue growth against backdrop of high inflation

Dentons has released its financial results for its UK, Ireland and Middle East business, reporting a significant decrease in the rate of revenue growth from last year’s 14% spike to a modest 2% increase from £260.4m to £265.1m this year.

In an interview with Legal Business, chief executive for the UK and the Middle East, Paul Jarvis (pictured), spoke about the significant deceleration in the rate of revenue growth: ‘Our financials are following a trend that we are seeing across the industry. Last year was a record performance for us, but we are not disappointed with our results this year. We are in a high-inflation environment, and we are clear that our strategy is not about growing revenue for revenue’s sake, but to ensure that we continue to grow in a sustainable way.’

He elaborated: ‘Would we have liked the revenue to be higher? Of course. However, it has been our second-best year on record.’

Last year, Dentons unveiled its five-year strategy, which is designed to improve the firm’s relationships with its clients, global colleagues, and people.

Jarvis explained: ‘We are into the first year of the strategy, having had a soft launch towards the end of last year. Many of our latest lateral hires have joined us from firms that don’t have the kind of global presence that we do.’

The firm acquired 27 new partners over the past year, 13 of which were internal promotions with the rest being lateral hires, bolstering Dentons’ new practices in Dublin and the Middle East.

‘We have bolstered and continued to invest in Dublin through recruiting a number of excellent senior partners from law firms,’ Jarvis said. ‘Karyn Harty from McCann FitzGerald was the biggest hire of the year – she is Ireland’s most prominent litigator. She is spearheading the litigation practice over in Dublin.’

He added: ‘We are looking to expand in the Middle East and we promoted Paul Prescott who will move to Saudi to focus on construction and construction disputes’

Asked about the firm’s highest-performing practice areas and jurisdictions, Jarvis responded: ‘Dublin was the highest-performing jurisdiction this year, with Saudi continuing to perform in line with our strategy.  Our regulatory and investigations group has had an outstanding year, which is a key part of our overall disputes strategy.

‘Our corporate colleagues also had a good year, but we want to get stronger in corporate more generally, which is why we hired James Vernon in London from Eversheds.’

Dentons has historically opted not to disclose its overall profitability and PEP. ‘The approach taken by previous management is that those figures are not relevant to clients and can be easily manipulated,’ Jarvis clarified, noting: ‘We are comparing very well to our competitors.’