HSF’s accounts show revenue hit £447m amid a 23% profit hike and a sharp fall in debt

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has increased profit and turnover, its latest LLP accounts reveal, while also bolstering its borrowing capacity and significantly reducing debt.

HSF increased revenue 6% to £447m in 2018/19 as operating profit at the Anglo-Australian giant increased 23% to £127.5m. The firm has also bolstered its borrowing capacity following the implementation of a new Revolving Credit Facility put in place in April 2019.

The new facility – which is funded by a syndicate of eight banks – allows HSF to borrow a maximum of £300m, an increase of £25m on the previous facility. Its implementation coincided with debt falling 55% at the firm from £146m to £65m.

The accounts also revealed partners were required to provide extra capital, with overall partner capital increasing by £13.4m over the last financial year. The LLPs state the firm has ‘historically operated with lower levels of direct partner capital than our competitors’ with the increase intending to place HSF more in line with its peers.

Revenue growth in its non-Australian business surpasses the firm’s global performance of a 4% increase to £966m. Moreover, the profit growth comes as the firm reported an 11% increase in profits globally to £307m in July 2019, while profit per equity partner likewise grew 11%.

In a change to it LLP structure, in January HSF finalised its plans to bring its German offices into the UK LLP as a means of mitigating Brexit concerns. The move was implemented last December as City firms in Germany faced a complex regulatory environment in light of the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union.


This article first appeared on Legal Business.