Legal Business Blogs

Reed Smith posts second year of declining revenue as firm manages down headcount

Reed Smith‘s global revenues fell for the second consecutive year in 2016, by 4% to $1.08bn from $1.12bn, which the firm said was the result of managing down headcount by 81 lawyers over the year.

Reed Smith global managing partner Sandy Thomas said: ‘We worked hard to manage out last year, which naturally results in less revenue. However this is consistent with our strategy, if you look at the other metrics they are all up.’

PEP was marginally up by $5m to $1.11m, as revenue per lawyer (RPL) rose by nearly 1% from $694,000 to $700,000.

Despite the drop in revenue, the firm also added 28 partners over the course of 2016 across natural resources, science and health and financial services as the firm’s key sectors.

Thomas (pictured) said: ‘Although it was in 2017, the addition of 50 King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) lawyers, including 17 partners, is a good example of that strategy, as it strengthens our financial regulatory offering in the UK.’

‘We’ve also invested heavily in New York and our offering there is stronger than ever, alongside the new alliance in Singapore which the firm launched in 2016. This was a heavy lift for us but is already paying off as a robust offering.’

Reed Smith’s lacklustre financial results follow stronger performances from Latham & Watkins which announced 7% growth yesterday (23 February) and broke the $3m PEP mark, while Shearman & Sterling has boosted its revenue by 6%.