Top-20 Legal Business 100 firm Simmons & Simmons has reported an 8% increase in revenues for the half year (H1) 2013/14, rising from £121m at this point last year to £130.7m.
The firm has reported improved performance across all practice groups. This represents a reversal in fortunes for the firm, who last year reported a 3% dip in revenues at the half-year stage, attributed at the time to problems in the Eurozone.
The revenues posted are also much stronger than the firm’s full 2012-13 results, which were broadly flat with a 1% dip to £250.3m, with profit per equity partner also staying more or less flat at £525,000.
Simmons’ managing partner, Jeremy Hoyland, told Legal Business: ‘We’ve seen more growth in northern Europe, the UK, Germany and Netherlands where market conditions have definitely improved. For us, the Middle East has done better.’
In terms of practice areas, Hoyland said that the corporate group – including both its equity capital markets team and its general M&A practice – had seen the most growth, while the finance team had also performed well.
‘Overall we are well placed to build on this good progress in the second half of the financial year,’ he added. Although the firm does not release a half-year profit figure, Hoyland noted: ‘the profits should be well up on this time last year because so much of the cost base is fixed,’ he added.
Simmons has been in expansive mode in 2013, opening in Munich in March and Singapore in May which may go some way to explaining the rise in revenues. The Munich launch was based on an intellectual property platform, which given that the European Patent Court is based in the city and the strength of the firm’s IP practice, seemed a prudent move. Meanwhile Singapore launched with five partners, relocating Norton Rose lateral hire Dan Marjanovic, a banking and finance partner, to the office from Hong Kong.
However, Hoyland said that although the new offices are producing revenues, they had not yet made a material difference to the firmwide increase in turnover.
On the basis of H1 results released so far the UK legal market appears to be in rude health going into 2014. Allen & Overy today (20 November) posted a 7.5% increase, while Olswang’s H1 revenue grew by 15%. DWF has been the standout performer so far with a 54.5% increase due largely to the firm’s rapid expansion through mergers in the last 18 months.