Continuing the strong showing from US firms in London recently, Sidley Austin and Morrison & Foerster (MoFo)’s City offices recorded a convincing performance in 2017, each posting double-digit percentage growth in their top line.
Expansive global giant Sidley posted a 14% City revenue hike to £85.7m in a year marked by five headline lateral hires for the firm’s M&A, restructuring and capital markets teams.
London managing partner Matthew Dening told Legal Business of his satisfaction at seeing the firm’s investment paying off.
Sidley grew London headcount 5% to 141, bringing in partners including restructuring rising star Yen Sum from Linklaters ], M&A partner James Wood from Ashurst and private equity specialists Wim De Vlieger and Till Lefranc from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
‘All groups were very busy,’ said Dening. ‘There was broad demand for our services.’ Along with private equity and restructuring, he described the firm’s regulatory team as ‘incredibly busy’ throughout the year.
Sidley acted on Apollo Global Management’s acquisition of a majority stake in insurance specialist Catalina, the restructuring of fashion retailer New Look and the liquidation of offshore driller Ocean Rig. The firm also won a spot on private equity house TPG’s first European panel.
The London office performance came as Sidley also grew both its global top line and PEP 6%, to $2.04bn and $2.26m respectively.
Meanwhile, MoFo’s UK revenue grew 29% to £24.72m in what Europe managing partner Paul Friedman described as a ‘transformational year’ for the London office.
‘We have increased our connectivity with our global and UK-based clients, and with our colleagues throughout the MoFo network,’ said Friedman, pointing to the particularly ‘robust’ performance of the corporate, disputes and investigations teams.
Deals the firm acted on included advising SoftBank Group in its SoftBank Vision Fund’s $4.4bn investment into WeWork Companies. MoFo also acted for Toshiba and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan on their $2.4bn sale of Landis+GYR Group AG.
Globally the firm posted a 12% revenue hike to $1.06bn as its headcount remained virtually unchanged at 960 compared to last year’s 956. PEP surged 23% to a record $1.75m with the firm reducing its equity headcount 4% to 224 partners.