Legal Business Blogs

H1 2015/16: ‘Well balanced’ – Clyde & Co turnover rises 8% as firm praises sector focus

Clyde & Co has posted an 8% rise in turnover totalling £192m for the first half of the 2015/16 financial year, improving on last year’s 5.3% increase over the same period to £178m.

According to the firm, the first-half fee income would have been closer to 10% on a currency constant basis, which is typically what it aims to achieve on an annual basis. Although an increase on last year, the firm is yet to achieve turnover levels in the first-half of 2013/14 when revenues shot up 16.5% to £169m. At that time, the firm attributed the increase to a combination of underlying growth and improvements in working capital management.

The first-half turnover figure does not include revenues from Scottish insurance firm Simpson & Marwick, which ‎merged with Clydes on 1 October this year adding 45 partners and six additional UK offices. While the firm does expect to see between £25-28m added top its top line over the second-half, this is still materially small in comparison to the firm’s international revenues.

During the period, some 57% of firm-wide revenues are generated in the firm’s home offices in UK, with the remainder spread more or less evenly between the APAC (11%), MENA (13%) and North America (12%), while 6% is generated in other jurisdictions.

Clydes chief executive officer Peter Hasson said the firm saw ‘steady performance’ in most mature markets, such as the UK and MENA and faster growth internationally, with the APAC and the US performing especially strong. In addition, the firm’s international arbitration practice and transactional groups in MENA and APAC were also strong.

‘Firms that have our geographic spread struggle to get our numbers because they don’t have our core sector balance,’ Hasson told Legal Business. ‘A number of marine firms in the UK are struggling but we have our international marine business which makes us more resilient,’ he said. 

Clydes senior partner James Burns added: ‘Having a focus on core global sectors and a broad global platform, across both developed and emerging markets, means that our business is well-balanced.’

The rise this year comes alongside a recruitment drive at Clydes which has made 21 lateral hires this year including six partners in South Africa; real estate partners Liam Buckley and Stelios Coutsavlis from Squire Patton Boggs in Manchester; international arbitration partner Richard Power from BLP; and Richard Devine, an energy focused corporate partner who joined from Baker Botts in Dubai.

The firm did lose several corporate partners from its City practice after what was described as a ‘shoulder tapping exercise’ took place as the practice came under management scrutiny for under performance.