Legal Business Blogs

Taylor Wessing breaks £150m UK revenue barrier as PEP rises 13%

Taylor Wessing has kicked off the financial reporting season for the UK top-25 with another year of double-digit growth in profit per equity partner (PEP).

In the first financial results since Shane Gleghorn took over as managing partner, the tech-focused firm increased UK turnover by 8% to £156.6m in 2018/19.

Profits at the 366-lawyer business rose 10% to £62.6m off the back of what Gleghorn described as a surge in corporate technology deals, particularly around digital platforms. PEP at the 96-strong UK partnership grew 13% to £655,230, following a 20% increase the previous year: one of the strongest performances in the UK top-25. The results give the firm some momentum after two years of slower revenue growth and a 6% drop in PEP in 2016/17.

Meanwhile, Taylor Wessing’s global verein, which includes 1,150 lawyers and 344 partners in 18 countries, hiked turnover 13% to £339.7m, after breaking the £300m barrier last year.

Gleghorn told Legal Business: ‘We have had a strong performance in all our sectors and practice areas, but there have been some standouts: corporate technology has had a very strong year, and patents had an extraordinarily successful year, with some ground-breaking litigation. Our private wealth and real estate teams had a very strong year as well in a context where a lot of people predicted that the real estate market would be very difficult.’

Recent mandates included the sale of 80% of cryptocurrency exchange platform Bitstamp to Brussels-based investment firm NXMH, the £178m acquisition of Audio Network by Entertainment One UK, and the £85m funding of digital bank Monzo from General Catalyst and Accel.

The year was marked by a number of significant strategic moves for the firm, with former litigation co-head Gleghorn replacing long-time managing partner Tim Eyles last October.

In a bid to increase profitability, Taylor Wessing launched a low-cost centre in Liverpool in the autumn which it plans to staff with 150 people by the end of 2020, including business services roles, paralegals and lawyers.

In January, it put 34 of its 270 City business services staff under consultation with a view to relocate some of their roles to the Northshore office. The consultation is still ongoing.

In a boost to its tech credentials, the firm entered an alliance with Silicon Valley leader Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in February, which will see the two firms co-operate on transactional work in tech and life sciences.

Gleghorn added: ‘We have seen a very successful drive of revenue from the US, both through Wilson Sonsini but also our Palo Alto office.’

For more on Shane Gleghorn’s background and approach to leadership, see our latest Life During Law (£)