Legal Business Blogs

Osborne Clarke breaks through €500m revenue target with double-digit financial surge

As UK financial reporting season kicks off, Osborne Clarke (OC) has today (2 July) posted a robust 19% revenue boost, passing the firm’s target of €500m to reach €525m.

The increase in international revenues – up from €442m last year – comes after the firm last September launched its third US office in Miami, marking its 26th international location.

Meanwhile, UK revenues jumped 11% from £217.3m to £240.5m, while net profit of £84.8m marks a 14% increase on last years’ £74.7m figure. Profit per equity partner (PEP) saw a parallel 11% increase, climbing from £687,000 to £771,000.

This revenue growth surpasses last year’s performance when the firm navigated weaker global economic conditions and a stagnant deals market to achieve a 9% increase in both international and UK revenues. However, the current PEP still falls short of the 2021-22 figure of £796,000.

Speaking with Legal Business, UK managing partner Conrad Davies expressed satisfaction with the strong results. ‘Given the market conditions we’ve experienced over the past 12 months, I believe we have maximised our top line and overall business performance,’ adding that the 2021-22 results should be viewed as ‘exceptional’ due to post-Covid market conditions.

Reflecting on this year’s growth, international chief executive Omar Al-Nuaimi (pictured) said: ‘We’re really pleased with the outcome; it’s been great across the board. A feature of the previous year was a flat transactional market. However, the past 12 months have been more consistent for us on the transactional side. Coupled with strong growth in advisory areas like ESG and energy, it’s meant that all parts of the business are firing at the same time.’

Davies added: ‘The service line growth in the UK mirrors our international performance. We observed modest growth in transactions compared to the previous year, which was relatively flat, but saw double-digit growth across all other practice groups.’

OC’s priority UK sectors – life sciences & healthcare, retail and consumer, and mobility and infrastructure – saw growth rates of 60%, 33%, and 26% respectively, while energy & utilities grew by 15%.

‘We have focused on areas with potential for profitable growth, investing in and concentrating our efforts on these sectors, which has paid off this year,’ Davies explained.

The year also saw a record promotion round, with 11 partners made up in May, complemented by the addition of 13 partner hires over the year. Notable laterals included Charles Russell Speechlys construction disputes partner Rupa Lakha and Stephenson Harwood restructuring specialist Nick Axup.

‘We’ve been identifying areas where we need to promote internal partners or bring in lateral hires to ensure we fill all gaps in our network,’ Al-Nuaimi noted.

In recognition of the firm’s strong performance, all UK staff this June received a 5% profit share bonus based on annual salaries. Additionally, August will mark the launch of a long-term incentive plan, with the firm set to reward high performers with bonuses of up to 40%, paid over three years.

‘This is the largest distribution we’ve provided to our people to date,’ Conrad commented. ‘Our philosophy is that when we succeed as a business and enhance profitability, we must reinvest in the business, while also rewarding our people.’

Looking ahead, after achieving the firm’s €500m target a year ahead of schedule, Al-Nuaimi characterised 2024-25 as a ‘free hit’, without specific new targets.

‘While I would be surprised if we achieve the same level of growth as last year, which was exceptional, we remain ambitious. The transactional market, in particular, feels very healthy compared to the past two years, and there are promising signs across all levels. I would be disappointed if this isn’t another successful year,’ he explained.