Legal Business Blogs

H1 2013/14: Ashurst sees combined half year figures rise by 6%

Newly-merged Ashurst has joined the growing numbers of top 50 LB100 firms to report an increase in turnover during the first half (H1) of 2013/14, with its combined revenues up by 5.8% to £298m, thanks to improved prevailing economic conditions and an uptick in transactional work.

The 1,800-lawyer firm, which achieved full financial integration with big six Australian firm Blake Dawson in September this year, has disclosed combined revenues for the two firms during the period 1 May to 31 October 2013. Its 5.8% increase is set against a pre-merger combined revenue of £281.7m this time last year.

The 419-partner firm said its corporate practice in Hong Kong has been especially busy in capital markets and disputes work, while client work across Continental Europe has also risen despite the economy remaining challenging.

Ashurst managing partner James Collis said: ‘The firm performed very strongly in the first half of the year, reflecting stronger economic conditions in many of the jurisdictions in which we operate and an uptick in transactional work. In particular, we have seen an impressive performance in the finance division, with disputes also performing robustly. In corporate, we have benefited from the notable increase in capital markets work.’

He added: ‘Activity in Continental Europe has been impressive and we have also seen a strong performance in the U.S, Middle East and Asia, in particular in Hong Kong.’

Over the last six months there has been an increase in restructuring work in the firm’s Madrid and Paris offices and a rise in real estate deals across the firm’s German offices, while Ashurst’s structured finance team in the US, London and Germany have also performed well.

The firm’s revenues in Asia were around £50m this year, while the U.S structured finance team brought in around £15m. The firm declined to give individual legacy firm revenue breakdowns in these sectors.

Collis said: ‘What we are about is the profitability of the combined firm and not the individual parts. There are huge synergy benefits across both legacy firms.’

The merger has re-positioned Ashurst in the Legal Business Global 100 list from number 72 into the top 35.