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‘Investing in strength’: Akin Gump’s City turnover spikes 28% amid restructuring bonanza

The London office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has recorded a 28% revenue hike to $123.5m.

The City results, with revenue up from $96.2m, mark a blistering year on the back of a swathe of big-ticket transactions in the financial restructuring space and stand out against the more muted firm-wide revenue uptick of 3% from $1.04bn to $1.07bn.

Profit per partner (PEP) was flat at £2.4m compared with $2.38m the previous year and revenue per lawyer was unchanged at $1.21m.

The City office, which is made up of 26 equity partners and 110 lawyers, is now responsible for generating 12% of firm-wide revenue. The resurgence for London is something of a fillip after last year’s 9% revenue rise, which came on the back of a 4% dip in turnover to $87.9m in 2016.

Financial restructuring partner James Roome told Legal Business that standout matters for the firm included roles on the $3.5bn restructuring of bond and bank debt underpinning Noble Group and the ongoing work in relation to the restructuring of UK construction plc Interserve.

Sebastian Rice, corporate partner in charge of the London office, points to the lateral hires of energy partner Julian Nichol from Bracewell in March 2018 and that of financial restructuring partner Thomas O’Connor from Morgan Lewis in October 2018.

He commented: ‘They are good examples of adding people in core areas of strength, and it is proving a success.’

Akin Gump’s City results follow strong performances in London from other US firms. White & Case’s London revenue rose 7% to $350m as firm-wide revenue broke $2bn and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy recorded a 25% increase in London revenue, to $156m. Elsewhere, revenue for Goodwin Procter’s London office grew 58%, while King & Spalding was up 12%.