Legal Business

‘We’re very pleased with the results’: double-digit revenue growth for Simmons as PEP holds steady

Simmons & Simmons has today (13 July) reported revenue growth of 12%, up to £521m from last year’s £465m, double the previous year’s growth rate of 6%. Meanwhile, profit growth was slower – 2% compared to last year’s 8%, for a total of £189m. PEP, meanwhile, was steady at £1m, as partner headcount increased by 12.

The firm saw the most significant revenue growth in its healthcare and life sciences sector group, up by 29%. It also reported strength in financial institutions – another of the key sectors highlighted in Simmons’ business plan for 2023-26, alongside technology, media and telecoms and asset management and investment funds, which each showed double-digit growth.

‘We’re very pleased with the results’, managing partner Jeremy Hoyland (pictured) told Legal Business. ‘It has been a tough year – there’s no doubt about that. We definitely saw some softening on the transactional side. That said, our corporate practice had a very good year. Disputes, too, had a really strong year, after a couple of years of lower revenue in litigation.

‘We’ve had a big investment focus on Europe. That was our best-performing region last year. It was especially good to see really good performance in our relatively new Dublin office. And the UK business continues to do very well.’

Simmons aims to adjust its regional focus in the years to 2026, pulling out of Qatar with the closure of its Doha office, and deepening its coverage in Asia.

‘We’re looking to build our China business in a way that’s appropriate to the macroeconomic situation’, said Hoyland. ‘I’m a huge believer in Asia. We’re not going to stop investing in Europe, but we certainly aim to build up in Asia.’

The firm reported steady work from its Silicon Valley office, though it does not intend to focus on the US market. Hoyland explained: ‘We’re only ever going to be small there. We’re not going to build a huge team. But Emily Jones is doing very well and having someone on the ground really makes a difference. We’re winning work from clients that we would not have come across were it not for the Silicon Valley office.’

Legal Business

‘London’s dominance is slightly dwindling’: Simmons appoints German head to new European client relations role

Simmons & Simmons has created a new head of European client relations role in an effort to support continental clients in the post-Brexit landscape.

The position will be filled by the firm’s current German country head and longstanding global disputes chief, Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff. Aldenhoff, who has run the firm’s disputes function for 13 years, will be winding down his fee-earning to focus on the new role.

Aldenhoff told Legal Business he will be encouraging the cross-selling of clients throughout Europe, as well as assisting clients with post-Brexit transitions. He said: ‘Half of our revenues are originated outside of the UK. We’re not trying to replace the UK of course, but the dominance of London is slightly dwindling. “Decline” would be too strong of a term for London, but it’s basically a consequence of Brexit. Our clients are on a dual track these days, rather than putting all their eggs into the UK basket.’

UK disputes chief Emily Monastiriotis has been named as Aldenhoff’s successor for the global role, and she told Legal Business: ‘The UK practice makes up roughly half of the firm’s global dispute resolution revenue, and I feel like I’ve guided the UK practice into a good position. Now is the time for me to focus on the other half – with Brexit and the horrible situation in Ukraine, our international practice is more important than ever.’

Monastiriotis outlined her three key priorities – first, she hopes to enhance Simmons’ brand awareness and profile across the continent. Secondly, Monastiriotis will encourage the global disputes team to ‘think as one team without borders’ in order to collaborate with the firm’s international clients. And finally, she will increasingly leverage Simmons’ legal tech arm, Wavelength, to better serve clients.

Last week, Simmons unveiled solid financial results, headlined by a 6% growth in global turnover. Managing partner Jeremy Hoyland outlined the importance of the firm’s European network, which was underpinned by the recently established Munich patent prosecution practice: in January, Simmons hired a group of attorneys from the Munich office of Isenbruck Bösl Hörschler.

Legal Business

Financials 2021/22: Simmons inches forward with 6% revenue increase

Simmons & Simmons today (13 July) unveiled a solid revenue increase of 6% to £465m for the past financial year, combined with an 8% rise in profit to £185m.

Profit per equity partner (PEP) also rose, topping the one £1m mark for the first time.

Unsurprisingly, the firm was not able to maintain the striking growth rate it achieved in 2021, where revenue grew 12% to £437m and profit leapt up by 35% to £171m.

Speaking to Legal Business, managing partner Jeremy Hoyland (pictured) said that Simmons’ European practice was a major factor behind the growth: ‘We’ve invested pretty heavily since the Brexit referendum in our Continental European practice, anticipating the shift that clients are going to have to make in their business from the UK to the EU. We’ve really been building strength and depth on the continent.

‘I’m feeling good about the investments we’ve made, they’re starting to pay off. We have a really strong continental practice across the key EU 27 jurisdictions.’

The headline development in this regard has been the recently established Munich patent prosecution practice, with the firm hiring a group of attorneys from the Munich office of Isenbruck Bösl Hörschler in January.

Another key reason behind the success is the continued prosperity of the firm’s Solutions business, with external income up 25% and expansion into Asia and Ireland. The firm also credited its legal tech division Wavelength, and flexible resourcing platform Adaptive as the key drivers of growth in this regard.

Other factors underpinning the growth this year have been a sizeable internal promotions round, with 13 partners made up; the opening of a TMT-focused Silicon Valley office; and the relocation of the Dubai office. The firm has also increased its pay to reflect the increased cost of living.

Of the market going forward, Hoyland said: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an increase in litigation, maybe not this financial year, maybe more next year. There is usually a lag effect, and it probably depends to some extent on how the how the global economy shakes out, what does happen with Ukraine and whether that does have an impact on clients’ appetite to invest.’

Legal Business

A&O opens in Boston as Simmons launches in Silicon Valley

UK firms have made significant moves stateside, with Allen & Overy and Simmons & Simmons announcing the opening of new US offices.

Allen & Overy’s US expansion project appears set to continue. With a new office in Boston set to open following the arrival of a five-partner group from Goodwin. The firm, which has been recruiting across numerous US practice areas since the collapse of the planned merger with O’Melveny & Myers, welcomed the new partners into its intellectual property litigation practice, significantly bolstering its offering in the life sciences industry. Elizabeth Holland will join the New York office and is set to become the head of the US life sciences practice, with Bill James joining the firm in Washington.

The new Boston office is set to be established by the additions of John Bennett, Nick Mitrokostas and Daniel Margolis, all of whom bring experience of litigation in life sciences.

Speaking to Legal Business, US senior partner Tim House explained the firm’s vision for the new office: ‘If you want to be playing in the life sciences sector, whether it’s litigation or anything else, there is tremendous advantage in being in Boston, which is a centre of excellence. It’s a replication actually of what we did on the tech side in relation to Silicon Valley. We brought in a tech team, specifically to infuse the firm with more tech capability. Where do we go from here in Boston? Elizabeth has been very influential already in saying the best way to approach your life sciences clients, as with any client sector, is holistically. It would make very good sense for us to be looking in the Boston market for that PE, M&A and life sciences transaction capability as well.’

The strengthening of the life science practice is redolent of moves made in other areas, and further signifies A&O ambitions in the US. House said: ‘It’s all got this underlying theme, which is:  we’ve got the ready-built network in the rest of the world. In areas of expertise and in sectors where the demand is global and efficiencies can be achieved for clients by global co-ordination in a single firm, let’s put the US piece in place and have it in scale and world-class quality. The next moves we expect are: M&A and private equity on the East Coast; M&A in northern California; and building out the depth in our wider litigation practice.’


Elsewhere, Simmons & Simmons announced the opening of its first US office, with the new Silicon Valley practice poised to open in May.

The new office, which will not practise US law, follows the introduction of a Shenzhen practice in 2019 and signifies the overarching strategy of the firm to establish itself as a significant presence on the international tech market.

Speaking to Legal Business, head of TMT Alex Brown said: ‘We put a lot of focus in in building up the Asia practice, especially China. China is close to rivalling the US now in terms of its global importance to the TMT market. We opened an office in Shenzhen in 2019 and were the first western law firm to do so, but we still had a gap in relation to the US.’

Situated in San Francisco, the office is to be headed by new recruit Emily Jones. Having spent the previous five years leading Osborne Clarke’s practice in the area, Jones specialises in technology and data privacy and will oversee a practice focused on serving US TMT clients.

Jones said: ‘Having spent the last five years building my client base and reputation in Silicon Valley, working closely with companies as they expand outside the US and gaining valuable experience and understanding of the issues and challenges that are most important to them, I am ideally placed to represent Simmons on the US West Coast. It’s a time of tremendous growth and innovation in the technology market and Silicon Valley remains the focal point of this activity.’

Though the office will be a ‘relatively small unit’ according to Brown, the firm’s ambition is clear. ‘We’ll be going after the full gamut of TMT clients, from the fast-growing, early-stage companies to the big technology companies, and Emily will certainly help with that. Actually, where I see really exciting stuff happening is with the smaller, faster growing US-based businesses that are exploding and looking to get into Europe, Asia and the Middle East.’

Legal Business

‘An element of the exceptional’: Simmons latest to post striking pandemic financials with double-digit revenue growth and soaring profits

Simmons & Simmons managing partner Jeremy Hoyland said there was ‘an element of the exceptional’ in the firm’s financial results announced today (16 July), with revenue growing 12% to £437m and profits shooting up 35% to £171m.

There was also a steep increase in profit per equity partner, growing 30% to reach £980k. Overall, this year’s results far outstrip the unremarkable 4% revenue growth and 6% profit increase from last year , as Hoyland explained that the firm benefited from a significant boom in instructions due to the pandemic.

He insisted that the revenue came purely from client work, with costs actually up on the previous year. This was thanks to increased salaries and growing headcount, despite savings on travel and entertainment due to enforced home working. Hoyland (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘We advised clients pro-actively, but they also came to us for solutions and significant mandates at a time of crisis. All of our offices grew in revenue, with the UK having a particularly strong year.’

He accepted that the firm ‘would not grow by 12% again’ next year, recognising the one-off nature of the current results: ‘One of the benefits of being a lawyer is that people come to you in the bad times as well as the good – it has always had that countercyclical nature. There’s an element of the exceptional in the results, but if you look back at our last four or five years of results there is something of a trajectory.’

There was a significant increase of work in the firm’s ESG, asset management and TMT practices in the past year. But there was also considerable growth from Simmons’ flexible resourcing platform, Adaptive, which increased income by 30% during the year. Hoyland added: ‘It’s partner-led, in a way some competitors aren’t. We will certainly be looking to internationalise the business soon.’

Other highlights include the firm making 23 lateral partner appointments, and promoting 13 lawyers to the partnership. Six of the newly-promoted partners were women, exceeding the firm’s target of 40% female partner promotions per year.

In other results announced this week, there were mixed fortunes at Stephenson Harwood as the firm unveiled a 2% slump in revenue, slipping from £213m to £209m. However chief executive Eifion Morris was optimistic, reporting that the firm had actually finished 8% higher than budgeted, and profitability increased 13%.

However Taylor Wessing joined Simmons and Herbert Smith Freehills  in posting impressive figures this week, announcing a 12% uptick in UK revenue to £175.5m and a 23% increase in UK profits to £71m.

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: Implications of the FCA test case for contractual interpretation and broker claims

The Supreme Court judgment in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) test case was a resounding victory for policyholders. Two potential unintended consequences of that judgment are considered here

Contractual interpretation

So-called ‘disease clauses’ provide cover for business interruption caused by the occurrence of a notifiable disease within (say) 25 miles of the insured premises. To many, the Supreme Court’s conclusion that such clauses cover losses from the Covid-19 pandemic is obviously correct.

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: Post-Brexit cross-border disputes – what next?

Simmons & Simmons examine the existing European framework, the legal changes introduced by Brexit and practical points that parties will need to consider in the future when contemplating, or participating in, cross-border disputes between the UK and EU

Prior to Brexit, a robust legal framework existed which governed cross-border disputes between the UK and the EU. It provided for reciprocal enforcement of judgments, choice of governing law and jurisdiction clauses. However, following Brexit, this framework has fallen away and has not yet been replaced by any similar legislative arrangement such that many civil justice matters will now be governed by member states’ local law. As a result, and in the absence of any further agreement, Brexit may have significant practical implications
for how litigants conduct cross-border litigation.

Legal Business

‘Strong foundation’: Another year of steady growth as Simmons prepares for challenges ahead 

Simmons & Simmons has recorded another year of steady growth, its latest financial results reveal, with all key financial metrics up as the firm readies itself for more difficult times ahead.

The firm’s financial results published today (24 July) show firmwide revenue rose 4% to £390m, a slow rate on last year’s 6% increase and a considerable drop from the firm’s 12% hike in 2018. Meanwhile, the firm’s overall profit stood at £126m, up 6% on last year and profit per equity partner growth surpassed last year’s figure, hiking 7% to £756,000.

While revenue growth has slowed for a second successive year, the five-year growth track is impressive: Simmons has added £100m to its top line since 2015, a 34% increase.

‘We have seen another year of growth and our financial and market performance continues to be strong,’ commented managing partner Jeremy Hoyland (pictured). ‘All our regions have achieved good increases in both profit and revenue as we continue to invest in the future of the firm, with continental Europe and Asia having particularly pleasing years. These results give us a strong foundation to weather the crisis and will help us navigate through the difficult times that no doubt lie ahead.’

The firm’s modest decrease in revenue growth was matched by fewer partner hires and promotions across the year. 2020 saw six partners made up at the firm, compared to a bumper round of 15 receiving the nod last year. Likewise, lateral hires were down, with 14 new partners brought into the firm compared to 16 the previous year.

However, in the New Law space Simmons has made significant gains. The firm’s flexible lawyering platform – Adaptive – has seen revenue jump 25% over the last two years, while last summer the firm made a surprising move in acquiring legal engineering start-up Wavelength .

‘The firm has maintained the focus on its four key sectors, which put us in a strong competitive position to develop our relationships with clients in these industries throughout the pandemic and as business recovers,’ Hoyland concluded.

Legal Business

Sponsored firm profile:
Simmons & Simmons

You cannot control the outcome of tax litigation and, in the current political environment, judgments can be hard to predict. We focus on the elements we can control.

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Legal Business

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