In what the firm is hailing as ‘its best financial year ever’, Paul Hastings has posted an eye-catching 41% growth in City turnover from $108.6m to $157.2m.
Globally, Paul Hastings did not fare much worse, with worldwide turnover jumping 20% from $1.31bn to $1.57bn. This was accompanied by a 21% hike in profit per partner (PPP), which grew from $3.9m to $4.7m.
The PPP rise was matched by modest increases in overall partner headcounts, emphasising the organic nature of growth: equity partner numbers dipped slightly from 179 to 177 while the number of non-equity partners grew from 90 to 96.
It is a return to form for the typically upwardly mobile Paul Hastings, after a more muted year in 2021 which saw both global and London revenues remain broadly flat.
However, the latest London result outpaces even growth at Latham & Watkins, which increased its City turnover by 30%.
London chair and tax partner Arun Birla (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘It’s been a great team effort, no one person can take all the credit! It’s down to our fantastic clients, business professionals and attorneys. Clients have trusted us while they’ve been on a rollercoaster ride for the last couple of years, and that’s thanks to our amazing client service.’
Paul Hastings has added some high-profile lateral partners in the last year, with the three-partner white-collar team of Jonathan Pickworth, Joanna Dimmock and Rebecca Copcutt arriving from White & Case being a highlight. The firm also picked up leveraged finance partner Adrian Chiodo from Latham, litigation partner Alex Leitch from Covington & Burling, private investment funds partner Ted Craig from Dentons and securities and capital markets partner Max Kirchner from Proskauer Rose.
The firm claims its collateralised loan obligations (CLO) team, headed by partner Cameron Saylor, currently enjoys a 50% share of the European market after tripling its revenues in the last three years. The firm said: ‘The team is innovating and leading in the area of ESG as it relates to the CLO market and our work advising responsAbility, the international sustainable investment house, in relation to an innovative and novel social bond is a great example of this.’
Birla highlighted the firm’s global finance practice as another key differentiator: ‘We’ve built up a very strong position on both sides of the Atlantic. We are unique in covering a range of areas, such as structured finance, structured credit, high-yield and capital markets in the key jurisdictions.’
There were also standout mandates in the core areas of M&A and litigation. On the transactional side, Paul Hastings represented Moody Corporation on its $2bn buyout of RMS, a global provider of climate and natural disaster risk modeling and analytics, from Daily Mail and General Trust plc.
On the contentious front, the firm represented Ziad Akle, the lead defendant in the high-profile Unaoil trial, the SFO’s largest bribery trial to date. Akle’s convictions were quashed before the Court of Appeal in December 2021.
On whether such growth was sustainable in the long run given the turbulent global situation, Birla concluded: ‘That’s the million-pound question! The thing about Paul Hastings is that we are a resilient law firm. Whether it’s boom or bust we will always strive to be up there amongst the best, providing excellent client service.’