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Milbank’s City revenue outstrips global growth as Mayer Brown nears $1.5bn global turnover

London outpaced global growth at Milbank following a quieter year for standout laterals, as US outfits continue to post impressive results in the City.

Milbank’s London revenue reached $171.2m in the last financial year, an increase of 10% on $156m in 2018.

Globally, turnover was up a more subdued 3.4% to $1.069bn while firmwide profit per equity partner (PEP) increased 1.3% to $3.9m.

The figures show a comparative slowdown for the firm following a strong spell. Last year Milbank passed the $1bn mark following 13% growth globally as City revenue hiked an eye-catching 25%, driven in part by the arrival of new teams in London. Over the last five years, Milbank has upped City revenue an impressive 55%.

‘In terms of revenue, being up 10% is an exceptionally strong showing from our team,’ Milbank’s co-managing partner of London Julian Stait (pictured) told Legal Business. ‘The previous year we grew 25% and part of that was us adding a restructuring team from Cadwalader and a capital markets team from Shearman & Sterling, both of which significantly impacted headcount and revenue.’

Over the last two years at Milbank, headcount has grown 37%, with leveraged finance, capital markets, financial restructuring and litigation being the primary beneficiaries. During 2019/20, the firm has added five partners with Lisa O’Neill, Mona Vaswani, Sarbajeet Nag, William Charles and Miko Bradford all joining the firm’s City bench.

Looking ahead, the firm is sanguine about 2020: ‘From a transactional perspective we remain very bullish,’ Suhrud Mehta, Milbank’s co-managing partner in London told Legal Business. ‘The practice is very European and international and the reach of the firm in terms of clients we have access to is still hugely under-exploited.’

‘We’ve had a number of years of exceptional performance,’ Stait added. ‘The London office is a key driver of success at the firm and the firm will continue to invest in the London office.’

Meanwhile, US counterpart Mayer Brown also revealed its financial results, with global revenue increasing 7%, bringing it just shy of the $1.5bn mark. The Chicago-based outfit saw similar growth in its PEP figure, which was up 6% to $1.8m. The firm also started the year strongly in the City lateral market, luring energy partner Kirsti Massie from White & Case following a decade at the firm.