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Weil’s City revenue suffers exchange woes as PEP breaks $4m amid muted global gains

The London office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges has seen a near 2% dip in revenue to $185m on the back of currency fluctuations, while global revenue grew a steady 4%.

The muted showing comes after a pace-setting 2018 which saw City revenue spike 15% to $188m.

Weil’s global revenue grew to $1.52bn from $1.46bn the previous year, while profit per equity partner (PEP) saw the strongest uptick, just breaking the $4m barrier from $3.8m the previous year.  Total lawyer headcount stood at 1,126, compared with 1,117 in 2018, and the partnership decreased by one to 168.

Despite the dip, it has nevertheless been a year of concerted investment in Weil’s City arm as it recruited five new laterals, most notably Linklaters corporate partner David Avery-Gee in November 2019.

Other laterals helping build out the London platform include real estate partner Anthea Bamford joining from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in February 2018 and private equity lawyer Mark Thompson coming from Sidley Austin in February 2019. Ashurst banking partner Paul Stewart, restructuring partner Neil Devaney from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and tax lawyer Jenny Doak from Vinson & Elkins were, meanwhile, all hired in November 2019.

On the organic growth front, four City partner promotions in private equity, restructuring, tax and funds were an increase on the three promoted the previous year and meant Weil expanded its London partner ranks in the last year from 33 to 40 partners as of 1 January 2020.

Elsewhere, Weil also wound down its once-potent Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) operations, bringing to an end Weil’s presence in the country after 29 years. The move saw an 80-strong Polish team set up an independent firm, following in the footsteps of an 11-lawyer Prague team spinning off in 2018 and the firm’s 20-strong Hungarian office joining Bird & Bird in January 2018.

For more analysis on Weil’s planned London growth, see ‘Deal View: After years of missed opportunities Weil flirts with a broader City advance