Legal Business Blogs

Reed Smith blames poor energy prices as global revenues dip 2.5%

Reed Smith has reported global revenues fell 2.5% in 2015 to $1.12bn from $1.15bn, while profits per partner were lower by 8.1%, which the firm has said is due to poor commodity prices and early resolution of some litigation matters.  

Profits per partner at the US firm were down to $1.1m from $1.2m, as the firm pointed out the slump in commodity prices impacted the firm’s bottom line. Reed Smith global managing partner Sandy Thomas also said resolving litigation matters early affected the firm’s revenue.

He added: ‘We have a large, sophisticated energy and natural resources practice, so when our energy clients have a tough year, we are affected as well.’

Despite a decline in revenue, the firm had a busy year with lateral growth, hiring 47 laterals globally compared with 34 in 2014. The firm also expanded by opening in Frankfurt, where it now has eight partners.

Thomas said 2016 was already off to a good start, and highlighted its IP practice as one which was already busy.

‘We remain committed to our strategy of delivering the highest quality legal services in our key industries – financial services, life sciences and health, energy and natural resources, shipping, and entertainment and media – and we are laser-focused on ensuring that we assemble the best teams for our clients to deliver the best possible legal advice.’

Reed Smith’s lacklustre financials results follow stronger performances from Mayer Brown which broke the $1.5m barrier for the first time in 2015 as revenue rose 3% to $1.26bn, while Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has been one of the fastest revenue risers. It notched a 20th straight year of revenue growth in 2015, with revenue up 5% to $1.54bn.