Following a rollercoaster ride over the past few years, Shearman & Sterling has unveiled financial results showing moderate but steady growth in 2014 as profit per equity partner (PEP) rose 5.8% on 3% turnover growth. Meanwhile, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher had its 19th year of consecutive revenue increases with a 6% lift to $1.47bn.
Shearman’s PEP came in at $1.9m, up from $1.8m in 2013 and consolidating that year’s substantial 19% growth. Similarly, the firm’s gross revenues currently stand at $845m, after growing 9% to $820m in 2013, while revenue per lawyer stood at $1.03m, up 1.5% from $1.01m the previous year. The firm’s overall lawyer headcount grew from 809 to 821, of which 172 sit in London.
The firm’s London office put in a particularly strong performance bringing in $145m, a 7% increase on the year before and the office’s fifth straight year of revenue growth. ‘We enjoyed another strong year, with continued strong growth over what was an exceptional year in 2013,’ says David Beveridge, global managing partner at Shearman & Sterling. ‘[We have] expanded client relationships and a healthy roster of new clients worldwide, many working with us across multiple practice areas. We continue also to focus on our business mix, with targeted growth in our disputes, M&A and private equity, finance and regulatory practices, consistent with where we see the best opportunities in the marketplace.’
Beveridge added that the evolving regulatory guidance and increased enforcement are likely to drive significant activity this year. ‘The US is a much improved but highly competitive legal market. We expect to see continued opportunities to serve clients on both domestic and complex, cross-border transactions and matters,’ he added.
Another firm to continue the trend of steady but modest financial growth was Gibson Dunn with revenues rising 6% to $1.47bn from $1.39bn – its 19th consecutive record year for revenue – while partner profits also broke the three-million-dollar barrier rising 3% to $3.05m from $2.9m the previous year. The firm’s litigation practice saw an active 2014, especially in white-collar, compliance and investigations which combined with the firm’s litigation and appellate offering contributed accounts for 60% of the overall revenue.