Legal Business Blogs

US financial results 2013: Latham sees moderate growth in PEP and revenue

Still basking in London in the news that it has hired leading Clifford Chance (CC) private equity partner Kem Ihenacho, Latham & Watkins yesterday (19 February) released moderate US growth figures for 2013, with revenue up by 2.7% to $2.29bn.

Profit per partner has increased by almost 2% to $2,490,000, up from $2,443,000 the previous financial year. Revenue per lawyer has also increased by a modest 1.4% to $1,110,000 from a 2012 figure of $1,095,000.

While the firm continues to make significant inroads in its key markets, speaking to Legal Business yesterday, outgoing managing partner Bob Dell said that the global economy continues to be a challenge. ‘We’ve been dealing with an anaemic economy around the globe for 6 years now,’ he said.

‘We keep waiting for the recovery to kick in fully. For a very large firm with offices around the world, the global economy makes a difference.’

However, over a five-year period, the Los Angeles-originated firm’s revenue has increased by 14%, and in a statement yesterday the firm attributed its sustained growth to its industry focus, integrated practice and culture.

In London, Ihenacho is the firm’s third private equity lateral hire from CC after David Walker and Tom Evans, and Nick Cline, London managing partner, said: ‘The significant investments we made last year have helped generate strong momentum in the London market and give us good reason to be optimistic about the year ahead. There is renewed confidence in Europe, capital markets are performing strongly and our ability to switch debt financing work across different product areas and between top-tier practices in London and New York continues to stand us apart.’

Ihenacho’s hire is the sixth London lateral since May last year, with the others being Dean Naumowicz from Norton Rose Fulbright; Simon Bushell from Herbert Smith Freehills; and Nick Benson from Weil Gotshal & Manges. The office now has 250 fee-earners including over 60 partners.

In the past year, Latham has opened an office in Dusseldorf with three top-ranked partners from Shearman & Sterling. A fourth partner in the group joined Latham in Munich and the firm has also made senior hires to its office in Brussels.

Dell told Legal Business: ‘Our culture is to keep innovative and entreprenurial but at the same time collegiate; that balance is an important one to strike and I think we’ll continue in that way.’

Latham’s results come after other early 2013 results from Dechert and Sidley Austin revealed a growth in turnover of 6.6% and 7% respectively.

For further in depth analysis of the US market see Taking Manhattan – can the Wall Street elite hold out in the age of the $5bn law firm?