Disputes heavyweight Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has continued its impressive run of form in London as City revenues for 2018 shot up 16% to £83.6m.
The US-bred firm also saw profits rise 13% to £59.3m. As a result, Quinn’s London profit margin is consistent with the business globally at 70%. Quinn London co-managing partner Richard East told Legal Business: ‘We had a strong year last year after we added lateral partners and launched some key new practice areas, such as contentious tax and construction arbitration. To be up 16% with the same number of people was very pleasing.’ Continue reading “City revenues shoot up 16% after another bumper year for Quinn Emanuel”
Kirkland & Ellis has hiked revenues by more than $500m to overtake Latham & Watkins as the world’s highest-earning law firm, as revenues surged to $3.165bn.
The Chicago-bred giant today (22 March) announced its results for the 2017 financial year, confirmed a 19% hike in revenues against $2.65bn the previous year. Profit per equity partner (PEP) surged nearly 15%, to $4.7m from last year’s $4.1m, making it one of the world’s most profitable law firms. Headcount rose 13.5% to 1,997 lawyers, while revenues per lawyer increased 5.2% to $1.585m. Continue reading “Rampant Kirkland surges past Latham to become world’s top-billing law firm as PEP closes in on $5m”
At a recent drinks evening with a leading City law firm, Legal Business heard a familiar refrain from a veteran corporate partner about how the team he leads is doing very well but has had its reputation – and that of the firm as a whole – dragged down by the sniping of ex-partners.
Continue reading “Comment: The bottom line is, well, the bottom line – numbers always settle the score”
Momentum versus quality. That’s the question for the upper reaches of the legal industry that is never on the lips of managing partners but probably should be. The industry likes to focus on partnership models, strategies, practices, geographic spread and culture. These are all fine up to a point but as major determinants of success, they get too much air time.
Continue reading “Comment: Momentum – the little-discussed magic that can lead to big success”
Nearly a quarter of UK law firms with revenues over £50m derive more than half of their turnover from overseas, according to a recent survey by Barclays.
Three quarters of firms surveyed by the bank, of which 73% have a presence in more than five countries, pull in more than 10% of their revenues from outside the UK.
Continue reading “24% of large UK firms earn more than half of revenues overseas”
Debt levels at the top UK firms by revenue have increased to £185m compared to £138m last year.
Data taken from top UK firms’ annual LLP filings at Companies House reveals that Simmons & Simmons, Addleshaw Goddard, Bird & Bird and Herbert Smith are the most indebted of the leading firms.
Herbert Smith saw its debt level rise by £17m to just over £41m worth of net debt in 2010/11. It increased its overdraft facility by £11m to £18.6m with part of the new loan going to fund the fit out of the firm’s new Belfast office. The firm saw its turnover rise by 3% last year to £465.1m.
Continue reading “LLP filings show increase in net debt at leading UK firms”
It is no secret that legacy firm Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) has had a rough ride. During the 2010/11 financial year, the firm’s UK LLP (including the Middle East and Europe) posted an 8% decrease in revenue to £154.4m, while profits per equity partner (PEP) fell to an unimpressive £233,000. This represented a 34% drop (the second in a five-year period) on the previous year and saw the bottom of the equity take home just £156,000.
The EMEA side to the business sits at number 89 in LB’s profitability table, having performed better than just six firms in the entire top 100. But with profit per lawyer (PPL) at an all time low of £29,000 and a margin of just 13%, this firm has almost been run into the ground.
Continue reading “SNR Denton – Strained Relations”
With a few years of pain behind them, City 50 firms are feeling better. But is it still too early to bring out the champagne?
Previous concerns that London’s place on the global financial stage could be eroded seem to have been forgotten this year. While the UK economy is still in a state of flux, the capital has maintained its standing as one of the world’s leading financial centres, adding some confidence to the majority of the industry’s leading law firms. Average London revenue across the 50 largest firms in the capital fell by just 4% during 2009/10. Still feeling the aftershocks of the global financial crisis, the numbers made for tough reading. But after a more stable period, in part thanks to some canny management, an increase in litigation mandates, a recovering corporate market and a rise in financial work, the landscape doesn’tlook too bad. This year, City 50 firms saw revenues remain flat compared with last year. And while London offices continue to contribute less to international firms’ global turnover, there were still some impressive performances.
Continue reading “City 50 – City Break”
The struggle continues. While the North peer group maintains its position and outperforms other regions, average revenue has grown marginally with the departure of DWF and Hill Dickinson, which have joined the Major UK firms group (see page 94). In last year’s review, these firms were £15m and £21m respectively ahead of the rest of the pack, and this year sees the gulf between the haves and the have-nots widen even further.
Weightmans is now the largest firm in the North group by revenue, and this lead will increase in 2012 when its recent acquisitive spree is taken into account. This year the firm added 200 staff through the acquisition of Vizards Wyeth’s London insurance team and its 1 May merger with Liverpool firm Mace & Jones.
Continue reading “North – Northern Echo”
The absence of this peer group’s two leading performers, Mills & Reeve and Gateley, has seen averages for the Central region take on a distinctly ‘average’ hue. The region is now officially the worst performing peer group in the LB100 in revenue terms, a wooden spoon that it inherited last year from the South group and has secured once more in 2011.
The simple fact is that the majority of the firms that have Major UK status dominate this region of the market. Strip them away and what’s left behind are firms that are surviving on scraps.
Continue reading “Central – Stuck in the Middle”