Legal Business Blogs

US results season: Sidley posts a 7% increase in turnover as Mayer Brown sees a return to 2007 PEP levels

A year of expansion has seen top 15 Global100 firm Sidley Austin post solid 2013 results, with revenue up by around 7% to $1.6bn from $1.49bn and net profits up by around the same margin to $547m from $510.5m. The firm’s profit per equity partner (PEP) and revenue per lawyer both rose by approximately 4% to $1.87m and $954,000 respectively.

Highlights for the 1,636-lawyer firm include being awarded a coveted qualifying foreign law practice license in Singapore last February, since when it has built a 25 fee-earner office, focusing in part on energy work.

The firm also took a ten partner securities regulation group from Bingham McCutchen in New York in April last year and an eight partner team from Weil Gotshal & Manges in Dallas in September. Six of the Weil Gotshal partners joined the complex commercial litigation practice and two the private equity group.

Sidley’s clients include JP Morgan, which the firm represented in mortgage-backed securities litigation, Airbus SAS and the People’s Republic of China in World Trade Organisation disputes.

Meanwhile Mayer Brown has posted a PEP figure of $1.285m, an increase of 11.6% that takes it to above 2007 levels.

Turnover was up by around 5.5% to $1.15bn, from $1.09bn in 2012, which had seen a drop of 4% on 2011 numbers. Over a five year period from 2007-12, the firm’s overall revenue is down 8%.

The firm attributed its growth in revenues to a strong performance across the board in its Americas, Asia and European offices, with litigation and finance singled out for performing particularly well.

Revenue per lawyer was up 9.7% from $711,000 to $780,000 while overall lawyer and partner headcount remained relatively flat.

The firm said its City office revenues were up 12% in 2013, with its finance, litigation and real estate teams performing well. Growth came from winning new panel appointments as well as a number of panel re-appointments for clients including General Electric, Kiln Group, Deutsche Bank and Nomura.

Mayer Brown senior partner Sean Connolly said: ‘We are very pleased with our results. As the market continues to shrink, we gain more market share.’,