Profits per equity partner at US firm Mayer Brown broke the $1.5m barrier for the first time in 2015 as revenue rose 3% to $1.26bn.
A strong performance from the firm in a year when many others have struggled to achieve meaningful growth after a slowdown in the finance markets, Mayer Brown’s PEP rose 8% to $1.56m last year while also adding to its partner ranks.
The number of equity partners rose 2% to 286 in 2015, with those partners taking home on average an extra $50,000. It is the first time that Mayer Brown’s PEP has broken the $1.5m barrier, up 8% on the $1.45m achieved last year. Profits have been on an upward trajectory at the firm, with PEP rising 32% over the past five years.
Revenue growth has been harder to achieve, with the firm’s return to form last year as it posted a 7% increase to reach $1.22bn, not sustained in 2015. Mayer Brown grew by 3% last year on the back of strong performances in its cornerstone litigation business, as well as its transactional group, to achieve $1.26bn. This is up around $40m on what it generated in 2014.
Revenue per lawyer at Mayer Brown rose 1% to $835,000 as each of the firm’s 1,507 lawyers generated an extra $11,000.
Mayer Brown, which was the 13th biggest law firm in the world a decade ago, has been surpassed by a number of rivals in the last 10 years as rivals either secured greater growth or pulled off high profile mergers. After a run of solid, but unremarkable results, Mayer Brown ranked as the world’s 24th largest law firm in 2014.
As US firms continue to report financials, yesterday Shearman & Sterling reported a 2% increase in revenue to $860m, off the back of strong M&A activity, while PEP at the firm dropped by more than $60,000, to $1.84m. Meanwhile Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher put in another strong performance, notching its 20th straight year of revenue growth in 2015, with revenue up by 5% to $1.54bn and PEP up 5% to $3.19m.