Despite the recent relative economic revival in the US, the world’s largest legal market remains turbulent but early numbers from major US players do indicate many firms are now sustaining growth. Early out of the gate, White & Case has published its 2013 financial results reporting a steady 4.1% increase in global revenues with profits per equity partner (PEP) rising 10%.
Gross turnover at the top-15 global firm increased to $1.44bn in 2013 from $1.38bn in the previous year. The New York-based law firm’s revenue per lawyer grew at a similar level of 4.4% to $760,064 from $711,000, while its PEP rose to $1.87m from $1.7m, climbing 10%.
The firm’s financial progress is comparable with its 2012 year when gross turnover was up 4% over 2011. The performance over the last two financial years will be welcome at White & Case, which has struggled for sustained growth since the banking crisis of 2008-09.
Speaking to Legal Business, City executive partner Oliver Brettle (pictured) said the firm had made substantial investments in its capital markets, disputes and merger and acquisitions (M&A) practice areas in 2013 and focused on growing these teams across its European network.
The firm boosted its global capital markets capability in July last year when a debt capital markets team from Allen & Overy joined its Milan office, including partner Paola Leocani.
In March, the 2,000-lawyer firm also recruited Latham & Watkins’ local corporate head Juan Manuel de Remedios to launch its Spanish corporate practice, and added five capital markets partners in Paris – three of which were former Linklaters partners – in February.
More recently, the firm hired Linklaters private equity partners Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw, who resigned to join the firm’s City arm in October 2013.
Brettle added: ‘In recent years we’ve reinforced our commitment to clients with significant strategic investment across priority areas. We delivered another encouraging set of results in 2013 which continued to build on the success of recent years. I’m hopeful that further progress will be made during 2014 and beyond.’
Firm-wide chairman Hugh Verrier commented: ‘I am pleased with our investments over the last few years, and with the strides we’re taking for the longer term.’