Osborne Clarke (OC) has joined the slew of firms reporting robust financials, today (13 June) unveiling a 19% increase in overall turnover from €341m to €407m.
And in an endorsement of the UK market, domestic revenues jumped 20% from £166.4m to £199.1m. Profit per equity partner (PEP) also saw a notable increase, climbing 11% from £714,000 to £796,000.
The upturn in revenues outpaces last year’s showing, when the firm rallied after a tough Covid period to record a 7% international revenue increase, with an 8% rise in UK income.
Omar Al-Nuaimi (pictured), OC’s international chief executive, admitted he was ‘surprised’ by the level of growth. He attributed the growth to: ‘Investments paying off, which have enabled us to keep investing in lateral partners.’
The firm also conceded it was operating under ‘favourable’ market conditions, but nonetheless pointed to a new 30-strong team in Poland that boosted its European practice, increasing client relationships with its US platform and growing ‘aggressively through lateral hires’ globally.
In terms of lateral hiring highlights, OC welcomed energy partner Hugo Lidbetter from Fieldfisher and payments partner Paul Harris from Linklaters in January, and added three energy and utilities partners in John Deacon, Dominic O’Brien and Hannah Roscoe from Orrick in March. The firm also made eight partner promotions in the UK during the year, three of which were women.
Such concerted investment would explain the relative slowing of PEP increase – while this year’s 11% rise is immodest, it was bettered by last year’s 16% surge in PEP. Ray Berg, UK managing partner, told Legal Business: ‘PEP is a dark art! But the fact that we’ve managed a double-digit growth while making such investment is something we’re proud of.’
Berg reported that growth was across the board in terms of practice areas, which was backed up by the numbers. The firm’s ‘business transactions’ unit saw the highest rate of growth at 27%, underlining the general liveliness of transactional markets. Projects, real estate and finance grew at a similarly pacey 25%, the advisory practice increased 15% and disputes and risk was up by 8%.
In recognition of the strong performance, in June OC will be giving all its UK staff a 5% profit share bonus, based on annual salaries. The minimum payment will be £2,500, up from £1,500 last year. Performance bonus payments have also been increased to 25% of base salary.
Berg concluded: ‘Reward is closely tied to personal growth and well-being, so we’re looking at how we competitively reward our people. From transparent base pay and enhanced bonus payments, to recognition of long-serving employees and increased pensions contributions, we feel incentivising our top performers and valued employees is a big part of being a responsible business.’