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US financials: White & Case in growth mode while revenues up 1%

US firm White & Case has reported flat revenues for 2015, ticking up 1%, while the firm improved partnership and fee earner headcounts.

The firm posted revenues of $1.524bn for 2015, which followed a 4% rise from 2013 to 2014. Profits per partner came in at $2.02m, up a fraction from $2.007m. Revenue per lawyer was down from $800,000 to $795,000, after rising 5% last year.

The results come as the firm boosted its partnership ranks by 6% and expanded total lawyer headcount by about 2% to 1,194.

While the firm would not detail the figures for its City office, London executive partner Oliver Brettle (pictured) said they were ‘strong, and reflect, as you would expect, continued investment.’

Growth areas for the office included disputes generally, and the firm has seen strong improvement in the private equity field. The firm recently appointed Caroline Sherrell from Clifford Chance and Kenneth Barry from Debevoise & Plimpton to invest in its City practice. White & Case also established a white collar practice with the hire of Jonathan Pickworth from Dechert in September last year. 

Brettle added: ‘In the future I see the firm fulfilling its desire to be strong in the US and stronger in London, I see us continually investing in our network which is the envy of our competitors.’

The firm, which has added more than 100 lawyers in its London office in the past three years, is aiming to hit 500 lawyers in the City by 2020 as part of a five year plan established last year. 

‘Our business is focused on navigating our clients through their complex cross border activities. We’re a truly global firm, built around collaboration, which is why it’s our global results that truly matter,’ Brettle added.

White & Case’s most recent limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts filed at Companies House show turnover at its UK and Africa offices increased 12% in the financial year ending December 2014.

Overall turnover at the offices grew from £137m to £154m – a significant rise from last year when revenues dropped 2% at the end of 2013. Operating profit at the offices also improved from a 7% decline last year (from £56.4m in 2012 down to £52.5m in 2013), rising a robust 14% to just under £60m.