Legal Business

‘Reloaded, but not in time’: Dechert defends revenue and profit dip as Mayer Brown inches past $1.5bn turnover

‘Reloaded, but not in time’: Dechert defends revenue and profit dip as Mayer Brown inches past $1.5bn turnover

As the financial reporting season for Global 100 firms gathers pace, some less eye-catching financial results have emerged, with Dechert seeing a 6% revenue and profit reversal and Mayer Brown growing turnover only marginally to exceed $1.5bn.

Mayer Brown grew global revenue a sedate 2% to $1.52bn from just shy of $1.5bn last year when the firm recorded 7% revenue growth, while revenue per lawyer saw a slight 1% dip to $900,000 in 2020. Profit per equity partner (PEP) numbers were more heartening, climbing 11% to $2m from $1.8m in 2019 in the context of a 2% uptick in partners to 657 from 646 last year. Total lawyer headcount increased 3% to 1,685 from 1,632 in 2019.

Chairman Paul Theiss was bullish despite the slower pace of growth, commenting:  ‘For Mayer Brown, 2020 was first and foremost about taking care of our clients as their trusted adviser and business partner, and about taking care of one another and our families during a difficult year. Against that backdrop, from a financial standpoint 2020 marked our eighth consecutive year of revenue growth, with a 75% increase in PEP during that period.’

Mayer Brown does not divulge its City performance. However, London managing partner Sally Davies noted that the office held up well and made a ‘significant contribution to the firm’s global results’.

Speaking to Legal Business recently, Davies was bullish about the office’s strategy and lateral additions in a challenging year. ‘We are quite clear on strategy, it hasn’t changed as a result of the pandemic. We are focused on finance, private equity, complex, high-stakes disputes, white collar and investigations. The addition of Trevor Borthwick from Allen & Overy has added gravitas to our banking and finance team.’

She also pointed to the hire of transactional real estate partner Simon Price from Linklaters and restructuring partner Barry Cosgrave from K&L Gates, all of whom she says have hit the ground running.

Davies was characteristically upbeat and insisted there are upsides to the coronavirus crisis. ‘My personal ambition is to not lose the positives we’ve gained and not to drift back to where we were before. In terms of ESG, we didn’t really need to do so much travel. The compensation process was more efficient by doing it remotely. I’m hopeful it will change the way we do business development so that we are more focused on what clients want and not what we think they want.’

Elsewhere, Dechert experienced a tougher year, revealing a 5.7% revenue drop in 2020 to $1.07bn from $1.14bn as PEP declined in kind to $2.8m from $3m in 2019. RPL saw a 4% decrease to $1.12m from $1.17m last year, as the number of equity partners remained flat at 154 and total lawyer headcount stood at  960 compared with 974 in 2019.

Dechert CEO Henry Nassau nevertheless defended the firm’s position: ‘We have seen 10 years of steady growth at an average annual rate of 5%. 2019 stood out with 11% revenue growth. 2020 was the third year with revenue greater than $1bn. The second half of 2020 was spectacular and this continued through into early 2021, with year-to-date revenue up 12%, and billings are up 16%. The 2020 drag was caused for a couple of reasons in the first half of the year. Over 20 matters were postponed due to court closures and two huge litigation matters drew to a close at the same time. We reloaded, but not in time for the snapshot when these figures were taken.’

The firm globally has won a number of significant mandates, including advising Cerberus on its private equity strategy in the US, Europe and Asia, including the sale of Covis to Apollo. It also counts KKR as a key client across real estate finance, asset-backed and fund finance, private equity, permanent capital, tax and litigation.

Dechert has made a concerted effort to bolster its financial restructuring group of late, with heavyweight Weil, Gotshal & Manges partner Adam Plainer joining as global co-chair of the group on 1 March. The firm also added London Shearman & Sterling restructuring partners Solomon Noh and Alastair Goldrein in 2020.

Legal Business

Legal Business Awards 2020 – CSR Programme of the Year

Legal Business Awards 2020 – CSR Programme of the Year

After reviewing dozens of highly impressive entries, we are now delighted to reveal the winner of CSR Programme of the Year at the 2020 Legal Business Awards.

In recognition of either a single law firm, in-house team or chambers, or even a wider association, this award is given to those in the industry that have made the strongest overall contribution to corporate social responsibility. Reference can be made to a range of areas, including pro bono and community activities, environmental and workplace initiatives and responsible client selection.




Sponsored by

Winner – Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown wins plaudits for working with Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, the anti-poverty charity, to deliver its Tribunal Project to combat the injustices in the disability welfare system. To date, the firm has taken 16 cases to tribunal; successfully accessing close to £200,000 in financial benefits for Z2K clients.

A narrowing in 2013 of access to legal aid, including in welfare benefits, together with changes to the welfare system in 2012, disproportionately affected the disabled and long-term sick. Inadequate access to legal advice for the vulnerable have been a growing concern for Z2K, which offers support and advice to those entitled to means-tested benefits affected by unfairness in social security or housing.

Hundreds of thousands of people with severe medical conditions and disabilities have had their benefits unjustly stopped by the Department for Work and Pensions since the reform and around 40% of claimants for Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been wrongly rejected, resulting in many being forced into poverty.

Since October 2018, a team of 30 Mayer Brown lawyers led by London head of CSR, Heidi Newbigging, have worked with Z2K to deliver its Tribunal Project on a pro bono basis. Lawyers receive training from Z2K on how to run a case at tribunal, with the project open to participants at all levels, from partner to legal apprentice. Lawyers meet with clients, prepare their submission and attend the tribunal hearing with them, providing much-needed support through a lengthy and complex process.

For example, Yousef (not his real name), a 49-year-old man living alone and receiving psychological treatment following his torture in prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has several medical conditions and takes medication that causes side effects. His case was referred to Z2K as he had been awarded no points during his assessment for daily living and mobility for PIP. With support from Mayer Brown, he won his appeal.

Yousef was awarded PIP daily living at the standard rate of £58.70 per week and received a backdated payment of just over £4,000.  In a testimonial, Yousef said: ‘Tribunals are so overwhelming it is great to have support of people who know what the system needs so you do not feel alone.’

Highly Commended – Dentons

The world’s largest firm by headcount contributes 15,900 CSR hours over multiple programmes. One highlight is its collaboration with NatWest for The National Centre for Domestic Violence, using a unique structure that allows clients to become Dentons consultants for the purposes of pro bono work.

Dentons has worked with client NatWest Legal over the last two years to provide pro bono support to the NCDV, a nationwide not-for-profit organisation which provides free advice to victims of domestic violence ineligible for legal aid. The unique structure helps victims without having to refer them to other organisations, expediting the legal service.

The programme has to date supported 94 applicants in need of urgent assistance by obtaining emergency protection from the court. One senior associate obtained a non-molestation order having attended court with his 16-year-old client. The court granted the order without the need for a return hearing, which is extremely rare, and a great result for a young, vulnerable person.

Other nominations

DAC Beachcroft

Achievements in the past year include a 50% increase in employee engagement in CSR initiatives that include the creation of the Helpforce volunteering programme in support of a major client and its first collaborative CSR programme launched with another key client, Aviva.

Latham & Watkins

An impressive showing with 93% of partners, counsel, and associates globally worked on pro bono matters in 2018. In the past year, Latham lawyers in London opened more than 95 new matters and donated 14,000 hours advocating for disadvantaged, marginalised and vulnerable people.

Paul Hastings

As sole legal counsel to Clearly Social Angels – the UK’s leading network of high-net-worth individuals and families dedicated to impact investment into businesses that create positive social and environmental change – the firm provides legal training to the individual angel investors, answering questions from CSA regarding structuring the investments, as well as ad hoc legal support.

Reed Smith

Achievements include collaborative work with Kids in Need of Defense UK, assisting vulnerable clients, children and their families by regularising their immigration status in the UK. The firm can point to a 100% success rate and over 4,000 pro bono hours committed in two years.




Legal Business

‘No crown jewels’ but firms rally with coronavirus advice to steer clients through crisis

‘No crown jewels’ but firms rally with coronavirus advice to steer clients through crisis

As cases of the coronavirus accelerate, law firms including Mayer Brown, Eversheds Sutherland, Allen & Overy (A&O), Mishcon de Reya, Hogan Lovells and Fieldfisher have established COVID-19 working groups to help clients.

The moves come after swathes of firms ordered employees to work from home in the City and around the world in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease, which has so far racked up 244,553 confirmed cases globally and claimed 10,031 lives. Cases in the UK have ratcheted up at an alarming rate, with 2,716 cases and 137 deaths reported at the time of writing, with the UK government poised imminently to impose a lockdown to stem the spread.

Mayer Brown has set up a global response team spearheaded by the management committee and office managing partners and launched a COVID-19 web portal and blog to provide answers to frequently emerging questions from clients. Tools include a global travel navigator facility with a heat map of regions affected and various restrictions there.

Speaking to Legal Business, Sally Davies (pictured), Mayer Brown’s London managing partner, said: ‘There has been so much information coming out on coronavirus and we have been sending multiple alerts out to clients. We wanted to consolidate everything in one place and make it easy to navigate.’

Davies said the response was largely crisis management and advisory at this stage, and expects further down the line client questions will turn to recovering money from the government as well as restructurings. The management committee and office managing partners are having daily calls on the coronavirus and have established and email group and WhatsApp group to quickly share knowledge and information.

‘There are questions over what a complete lockdown might mean. Can buildings and businesses be accessed at all? Can contracts be terminated or put on hold? What do the provisions which deal with force majeure and epidemics mean? Who pays for the delays and losses? As well as advice on business rates for large empty offices and employment issues around home working.

Eversheds has augmented its existing firm-wide working group with a global working group to deal with any litigation-related client requests around the coronavirus.

The group includes 13 partners: Jessica Neuberger (UK), Greg Falkof (Paris), Matthew Taylor (UK), Simon Brooks (UK), Paul Taylor (UAE), Michael Bahar (Washington DC), Meghana Shah (New York), Matt Gatewood (Washington DC), Tim Hill (UK), Mark Yeadon (Hong Kong), Joos Hellert (Germany), Yuri Wehrmeijer (Netherlands) and Remi Kleiman (Paris).

Paul Worth, co-head of global litigation, told Legal Business: ‘The global working party was set up to ensure a consistent approach. Just in the UK we have 600 people and 500 lawyers in my group so we wanted to make sure there weren’t hundreds of slightly nuanced responses to, for example, questions around force majeure. We wanted to ensure a joined up approach to make sure we had a clear understanding of client needs.’

Worth says that the firm is using webinars to tackle questions on M&A, real estate litigation, contract termination and force majeure: ‘We are not giving away the crown jewels but are offering high-level advice to clients.’

Worth added that that the firm was producing a global guide to force majeure across 40 jurisdictions to respond to the single biggest issue lawyers are being asked about, taking just a fortnight to produce where it normally can take months.

Worth draws parallels with the foot and mouth disease crisis of 2001 in terms of the types of issues that will likely emerge. ‘We advised the government on many millions of pounds of contract disputes connected with foot and mouth. I expect the coronavirus could lead to disputes around the allocation of government funds and resources. What clients need now is different from what they will need in six months’ time when the impact on global economies will automatically create opportunities for disputes.’

Elsewhere, Fieldfisher has responded with a one-stop-shop to offer commercial, employment, corporate and disputes advice in one place.

Ranjit Dhindsa, head of employment at Fieldfisher, told Legal Business: ‘The hub has expanded into having all the different advice you may need in one place. It has employment lawyers, commercial contract advice, litigation advice, insolvency lawyers, if your business can’t survive. What we have done is forget about expertise in isolation. When a board is in crisis you want the whole picture.’

Latham & Watkins has similarly established a task force, A&O a working group, Mischcon a cross-firm COVID-19 team, Hogan Lovells a hub to assess the potential impacts as well as multiple tools covering areas such as supply chain disruption, and Cooley a coronavirus resource hub to provide clients with advice on the pandemic.

Legal Business

Milbank’s City revenue outstrips global growth as Mayer Brown nears $1.5bn global turnover

Milbank’s City revenue outstrips global growth as Mayer Brown nears $1.5bn global turnover

London outpaced global growth at Milbank following a quieter year for standout laterals, as US outfits continue to post impressive results in the City.

Milbank’s London revenue reached $171.2m in the last financial year, an increase of 10% on $156m in 2018.

Globally, turnover was up a more subdued 3.4% to $1.069bn while firmwide profit per equity partner (PEP) increased 1.3% to $3.9m.

The figures show a comparative slowdown for the firm following a strong spell. Last year Milbank passed the $1bn mark following 13% growth globally as City revenue hiked an eye-catching 25%, driven in part by the arrival of new teams in London. Over the last five years, Milbank has upped City revenue an impressive 55%.

‘In terms of revenue, being up 10% is an exceptionally strong showing from our team,’ Milbank’s co-managing partner of London Julian Stait (pictured) told Legal Business. ‘The previous year we grew 25% and part of that was us adding a restructuring team from Cadwalader and a capital markets team from Shearman & Sterling, both of which significantly impacted headcount and revenue.’

Over the last two years at Milbank, headcount has grown 37%, with leveraged finance, capital markets, financial restructuring and litigation being the primary beneficiaries. During 2019/20, the firm has added five partners with Lisa O’Neill, Mona Vaswani, Sarbajeet Nag, William Charles and Miko Bradford all joining the firm’s City bench.

Looking ahead, the firm is sanguine about 2020: ‘From a transactional perspective we remain very bullish,’ Suhrud Mehta, Milbank’s co-managing partner in London told Legal Business. ‘The practice is very European and international and the reach of the firm in terms of clients we have access to is still hugely under-exploited.’

‘We’ve had a number of years of exceptional performance,’ Stait added. ‘The London office is a key driver of success at the firm and the firm will continue to invest in the London office.’

Meanwhile, US counterpart Mayer Brown also revealed its financial results, with global revenue increasing 7%, bringing it just shy of the $1.5bn mark. The Chicago-based outfit saw similar growth in its PEP figure, which was up 6% to $1.8m. The firm also started the year strongly in the City lateral market, luring energy partner Kirsti Massie from White & Case following a decade at the firm.

Legal Business

Dealwatch: Weil and Mayer Brown scoop leads on Nestlé’s $4bn US ice cream business sale

Dealwatch: Weil and Mayer Brown scoop leads on Nestlé’s $4bn US ice cream business sale

Weil Gotshal & Manges and Mayer Brown have advised on the sale of Nestlé’s US ice cream business to Froneri for $4bn.

Froneri is an ice cream focused joint venture by Nestlé and PAI Partners created in 2016. The deal means that brands such as Häagen-Dazs, Edy’s, Drumstick and Dreyer’s will join its portfolio which already includes Movenpick, Green & Blacks and Cadbury’s ice cream.

Weil advised Froneri with a team led by London private equity partner Jonathan Wood and Boston private equity partner Matthew Goulding. The team also included London managing partner Michael Francis, head of the firm’s London technology and IP transactions practice Barry Fishley and London banking partner Tom Richards.

Mayer Brown advised Nestle with a team led out of the US by partners David Carpenter, John Boelter and Michelle Gross.

Carpenter told Legal Business: ‘Nestlé has already contributed to the ice cream business in different parts of the world through this joint venture. The buyer is actually 50% owned by Nestlé and so it’s moving the ice cream business into a company that has a private equity partner. It will be focused on ice cream rather than being part of a big conglomerate.’

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised private equity firm CVC Capital Partners on the acquisition of a stake in WebPros Group by CVC Fund VII from Oakley Capital Private Equity and other investors.

WebPros is a web hosting automation software provider for server management and includes web hosting platforms cPanel and Plesk and web hosting management and billing software WHMCS.

The Freshfields team was led by global co-head of financial sponsors Charles Hayes, co-head of European leveraged finance Alex Mitchell and corporate and M&A lawyer Vincent Bergin.

Kirkland & Ellis advised Oakley Capital on the sale led by London corporate partners Rory Mullarkey and Jacob Traff as well as Ben Leyendeckerin Munich.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Elsewhere, White & Case advised on the $25.6bn IPO of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), making it the world’s largest IPO. The company began trading on the Saudi Arabian Tadawul Stock Exchange on Wednesday 11 December under TADAWUL: ARAMCO.

The offering included subscriptions from institutions and individuals, comprising of SAR 446bn ($119bn). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sold 3bn shares of Saudi Aramco which accounted for 1.5% Saudi Aramco’s share capital.

The White & Case team was led by Dubai partner Sami Al-Louzi and included London partners Inigo Esteve, capital markets partner Alexander Underwood, Ronan O’Reilly and employment compensation and benefits lawyer Jack Gardener. The Law Office of Megren Al-Shaalan also advised Aramco with a team led by Megren Al-Shaalan and Doug Peel and included London capital markets partner Ibrahim Soumrany.

The $1.7trn valuation makes Saudi Aramco the largest company by market capitalisation. Over 400 White & Case lawyers from around 20 offices advised Saudi Aramco on the transaction.

Latham & Watkins advised the underwriters of Saudi Aramco on non-Saudi law matters. The team was led by New York partners Marc Jaffe and Ian Schuman and included London partner Craig Nethercott. London partners James Inness and Jeremy Green offered advice on corporate matters, Chirag Sanghrajka advised on finance, Rob Moulton advised on regulatory matters while Karl Mah advised on tax.

Prior to the listing, the largest IPO spot was held by Alibaba Group Holding Limited which listed in September 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for $21.8bn.

Finally, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) on the $450m acquisition of a 25.1% stake in Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) from Adani Transmission Limited as well as a shareholder subordinated debt investment by QIA in AEML.

AEML is part of Adani Group, an integrated business conglomerate based in India which includes six publicly traded companies, focusing on resources, logistics, energy and agriculture.

The Cleary team was led by London partners Tihir Sarkar and Nallini Puri.

Puri told Legal Business: ‘QIA is a very big investor to be partnering with. The Adani Group is a big group with lots of diversified interests and historically they’ve engaged in a lot of acquisitions, particularly within India. India’s done less with foreign investors. In some ways this is a very significant partnership for them because they’ve tied up with a very high profile investor.’

AEMl was advised by Indian firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas led by partners from the Mumbai office.

The deal is expected to close in early 2020 subject to customary conditions and regulatory approval.

Legal Business

Mayer Brown makes up three in the City in 27-strong global partner promotion round

Mayer Brown makes up three in the City in 27-strong global partner promotion round

Mayer Brown has promoted three lawyers to partner in London in a scaled back round that saw 27 partners minted globally.

The firm has been more conservative in its promotions across the board than last year, when it promoted four in London as part of a round that saw 34 made partner globally. As with last year’s round, Mayer Brown managed only one female partner promotion in the City.

Effective from 1 January 2020, the new London partners are Miriam Bruce (employment and benefits), Tim Shepherd (litigation and dispute resolution) and Charles Thain (banking and finance).

Mayer Brown London managing partner Sally Davies told Legal Business: ‘A lot of firms seem to be contracting in London but that is certainly not our intention. The difference between three and four partners in London was more of a timing thing. It was not as big a cohort as last year, however, three was the right number for us. We are still looking to expand our London office as part of the firm’s focus on London, New York and Hong Kong. We have hired several laterals and there are more in the pipeline.’

Davies is also hopeful of a higher percentage of women in next year’s promotions: ‘We expect to see more female partners next year. There is a great crop of female lawyers in the pipeline. Globally our percentages are healthy but we could still do better.’

The lion’s share of the promotions were in the US, with four new partners in Chicago, three in New York and three full-time partners in Washington DC, with a further DC partner splitting their time with Beijing.

Others were promoted in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, California, Charlotte and Los Angeles. In Europe, London again outstripped Paris, where only two lawyers were promoted to partner, matching last year’s investment.

Mayer Brown’s London partner promotions:

Miriam Bruce, employment and benefits
Tim Shepherd, litigation and dispute resolution
Charles Thain, banking and finance

Legal Business

Dealwatch: US and UK outfits line up on Jack Wills sale, BT fleet group buy-out and Majestic Wine

Dealwatch: US and UK outfits line up on Jack Wills sale, BT fleet group buy-out and Majestic Wine

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, RPC, Mayer Brown and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner were among the firms to enjoy a pre-summer deal rush this week as Sports Direct bought Jack Wills and private equity player Aurelius acquired BT’s fleet business.

Fried Frank advised high street clothing retailer Jack Wills on the buy-out of its UK businesses with a team led by restructuring and insolvency partner Ashley Katz and including corporate partner Dan Oates, finance partner Neil Caddy, real estate partner Patrick Williams and restructuring and insolvency partner Gary Kaplan.

The deal was the result of a restructuring and pre-packaged administration after Jack Wills fell into administration on Monday (August 5) and a team of KPMG administrators led by partners Will Wright and Chris Pole was appointed.

The £12.75m acquisition by Sports Direct includes acquiring stock, a distribution centre and 100 stores across the UK and Ireland. Owner Mike Ashley agreed to the takeover after winning the bid against Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group owner Philip Day. Last year House of Fraser was acquired in a similar pre-packaged administration deal by Sports Direct for £90m when it out-bid Philip Day.

Sports Direct is a long-standing client of RPC which advised on the takeover.

A Mayer Brown team led by Perry Yam advised Aurelius Equity Opportunities, the equity investment entity of Aurelius Group, on the acquisition of commercial fleet management operator BT Fleet Solutions from BT Group Plc.

Mayer Brown and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner worked on the transitional arrangements which will ensure that the carve-out from BT is successful, as well as the long-term outsourcing agreement between BT Group and BT Fleet Solutions. BT Fleet Solutions will continue to manage BT’s vehicle fleet nationally after the acquisition.

Co-leader of the global corporate & securities practice and private equity partner Perry Yam told Legal Business, ‘It’s an exciting opportunity for Auerelius to take on a non-core asset from BT and to retain BT as a customer.’

The BCLP team led by BT relationship partner Marcus Pearl and M&A partner Ben Lee advised BT Group.

Pearl, told Legal Business: ‘BT is seeking to focus more and more on investing in the best fixed and mobile networks in the UK and therefore the divestment of this non-core part of BT Group is very much part of its ongoing commitment to the core of its strategy.’

BCLP is a prominent member of BT’s panel and advises both BT and Openreach on strategic M&A, outsourcing, regulatory investigations and litigation and competition matters.

Meanwhile Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells advised as Majestic Wine Plc agreed to sell its retail and commercial businesses to investment manager Fortress Investment Group.

The deal will see Fortress, which is owned by SoftBank, pay £95m for the businesses, which will continue to trade under the Majestic name.  The deal is subject to European Commission antitrust clearance and Majestic shareholder approval. It is part of Majestic’s plan to focus on driving growth in its Naked Wines business.

The A&O team was led by corporate M&A partner Seth Jones with partners Alasdair Balfour and Nigel Parker advising on antitrust and commercial matters respectively. Tom Whelan, Hogan Lovells’ global head of private equity, advised Fortress on the deal.

Corporate partner Seth Jones told Legal Business ‘It’s a sector that is seeing rapidly changing consumer behaviour which is driving some of the deal activity we are seeing. 2019 has also seen an increase in private equity capital being deployed both in private M&A but also public takeovers.  We’ve really seen private equity go after UK listed companies and deploy the capital that they’ve raised over the last few years and that’s really the stand-out trend for the first half of the year in the UK.’

Finally, Shoomiths is advising Malvern Group administrators KPMG following the announcement of the Group’s collapse last week (July 31). The corporate restructuring and advisory team is led by partner Sarah Teal and headed up nationally by James Keates. Malvern Group owns holiday brands Late Rooms and Super Break.

Legal Business

Life during law: Dominic Griffiths

Life during law: Dominic Griffiths

I didn’t plan a career in law. At school I did those career survey things twice and on both occasions it said I should become a fashion designer.

I have been a bar manager in a country house hotel and then a golf club bar. Great fun. Taught me the concept of keeping people in the line happy. I always say to junior lawyers: ‘Make sure you respond quickly to clients.’ It doesn’t mean you produce all the work in half an hour, as long as they know someone is looking after them.

Legal Business

Mayer Brown’s global revenue nears $1.4bn as PEP spikes 8.2% amid expansive year

Mayer Brown’s global revenue nears $1.4bn as PEP spikes 8.2% amid expansive year

Chicago-bred Mayer Brown saw its global revenue rise 5.8% to $1.38bn as profit per equity partner (PEP) hiked 8.2% to hit $1.7m in 2018.

The growth rate is up from last year, when the firm increased its top line 4.2% to $1.31bn globally. However PEP growth slowed slightly, having grown 8.8% in 2017. Revenue per lawyer saw a 5.9% uptick to $885,000, an improvement on last year’s 5.3% figure.

The results make for a welcome long term picture for Mayer Brown, with the firm enjoying 50% growth in net income since 2012. In 2018, net income hit $466.5m, up 7.3% from 2017. The favourable revenue comes off the back of expansion for the firm, having doubled its size in New York during the reporting period.

Meanwhile Mayer Brown made 50 partner hires globally throughout the year, including moves in London. In the City the firm managed to lure former Norton Rose Fulbright partners Sam Eastwood and Jason Hungerford to the firm in 2018, while last week Mayer Brown secured the hires of DLA Piper duo Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks.

The City office plans to hire more people throughout 2019 with a focus on building out the private equity practice to rival its historically strong pedigree in finance.

In November, the firm matched its 2017 commitment to the City with its last promotion round, minting four partners.

Overall, American firms performed well throughout 2018 in the City, with Latham & Watkins, Paul Hastings, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCoy and Reed Smith among those scoring standout financial results for the year.

Legal Business

‘Great synergies’: Mayer Brown adds long-awaited restructuring hires with DLA duo

‘Great synergies’: Mayer Brown adds long-awaited restructuring hires with DLA duo

Chicago-bred Mayer Brown has bolstered its restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency (RBI) practice with a double hire from DLA Piper in London.

DLA veterans Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks join Mayer Brown as co-head of the firm’s global RBI practice and co-head of the firm’s UK RBI practice respectively. Fiddy will lead the global group alongside New York partner Brian Trust and Hong Kong-based partner John Marsden, while Jacks takes on her leadership role alongside partner Devi Shah.

‘We have been looking to strengthen our RBI capability for a long time,’ Mayer Brown London senior partner Sally Davies told Legal Business. ‘Team hires are more successful than individual hires and Michael and Amy have great synergies between them.’

Fiddy built his reputation at DLA Piper as global co-chair of the restructuring group while acting for a number of financial institutions, funds, debtors and creditors. He also served as managing director of Fulham Football Club between 2000 and 2002. Jacks, meanwhile, has advised funds, investment and clearing banks, corporates and insolvency practitioners, while also spearheading DLA Piper’s UK restructuring practice.

Fiddy and Jacks are reunited with former DLA partner Alex Dell, who joined Mayer Brown in 2015 in a bid to enhance the firm’s cross border asset-based lending offering. Dell was one of the pull factors for the pair, while Mayer Brown was familiar with Fiddy and Jacks after being on the other side of the table to the two on various mandates.

‘We have been aware of the reputation of these two in the market for a while and we share a number of clients with them,’ Davies added. ‘We’re continuing to look at strengthening our RBI practice to ensure we’re fully joined up globally.’

It is yet to be confirmed when the pair will start at Mayer Brown.

DLA UK managing partner Liam Cowell commented: ‘Both Michael and Amy have made a significant contribution to our team over the years, and we wish them well for the future. We continue to have a very strong Restructuring practice and are regularly involved in some of the UK’s most high profile and complex restructuring matters reflecting the breadth and quality of our practice.’