Tag: financial results

Paul Weiss and Kirkland break revenue records amid London lateral shakeout

Paul Weiss has broken through the $2bn global revenue mark, posting a 10.8% hike on last year, as the firm’s bold London recruitment drive continues to make headlines.

The firm’s 178 equity partners took home an average of $6.5m in 2023, with profit per equity partner (PEP) up 14.8% from $5.73m the previous year.

Overall profit came in at $1.17bn, while revenue per lawyer was up 5.3% to $1.98m from last year’s $1.88m.

In recent months, Paul Weiss has recruited some of the City’s biggest hitters, among a total of 17 partner hires. Most have joined from Kirkland & Ellis, following the defections of debt finance superstar Neel Sachdev and big-name corporate partner Roger Johnson in August. The duo joined to lead the US firm’s London office, initiating a wave of hires aimed at building up a substantial English law practice.

Sachdev brought with him a Kirkland team including debt finance partner Kanesh Balasubramaniam and capital markets partners Matthew Merkle and Deirdre Jones, while Johnson has assembled an M&A practice with ex-Kirkland partner Andreas Philipson, as well as a tax practice featuring former Kirkland partners Timothy Lowe and Cian O’Connor.

Other names joining from Kirkland have included debt finance partner Stefan Arnold-Soulby and technology and intellectual property transactions specialist John Patten.

Paul Weiss has also targeted the Magic Circle, starting with the hire of Linklaters M&A partner Will Aitken-Davies in September. Notably, Lowe, O’Connor and Patten also had stints at Linklaters.

In December, it came as no surprise when Paul Weiss hired from Linklaters again, bringing on Nicole Kar, the former head of the Magic Circle firm’s antitrust and foreign investment practice. Adding to the Linklaters alumni, the following month the firm hired public M&A partner Dan Schuster-Woldan.

Clifford Chance has also been a target, with high-profile private equity partner Christopher Sullivan and acquisition finance partner Taner Hassan coming over in December, and just last week (18 March), junior private equity partner Oliver Marcuse followed suit.

Outside of the Magic Circle, Paul Weiss has also hired former Ropes & Gray competition partner Annie Herdman, who also served at Kirkland earlier in her career.

The recruitment drive has seen a complete changing-of-the guard for Paul Weiss in London, which has had a modest City presence without English law capability since 2001. Last May deputy London head Ramy Wahbeh and corporate partner Kaisa Kuusk both left to join Sidley, followed by the departure of London managing partner Alvaro Membrillera to Kirkland in early August, a move which was one of a number of factors which sparked the flurry of moves in the opposite direction.

On the back of the new additions, the firm announced in October it was set to move into Twitter’s former UK headquarters in Soho.

Recent London deal highlights for Paul Weiss have included advising General Atlantic on its acquisition of a majority stake in coffee shop Joe & the Juice from Valedo Partners, with Johnson and Balasubramaniam working alongside partners in the US.

The seven billion dollar law firm

Despite the departures in London, Kirkland has consolidated its position as the largest law firm in the world, with global revenue increasing by 10% last year to $7.2bn, according to The American Lawyer.

The firm’s 539 equity partners took home an average of $8m as PEP increased 5.8%, with overall profit standing at $4.3bn. RPL also increased by 7.5% from $1.9m last year, to $2.05m.

As well as highly regarded private equity partner Membrillera, the firm has made a number of other significant recent additions to its team, including debt finance partners Ian Barratt and Sinead O’Shea, who joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, while Herbert Smith Freehills ESG head Rebecca Perlman also recently came on board in London.

O’Shea, alongside London debt finance colleague Jerome Hoyle, were recently part of a global team advising KKR on financing for its voluntary public takeover offer to all shareholders of Encavis, a leading German wind and solar park operator.

The firm’s restructuring team has also handled a number of significant mandates of late, such as advising global engineering and construction business McDermott International on the cross-border restructuring of around $2.6bn of the group’s secured debt facilities.

In 2023 Kirkland also opened a new office in Riyadh, recruiting corporate partner Noor Al-Fawzan and capital markets Manal Al-Musharaf from Latham & Watkins and White & Case respectively, to join the 20th global office of the Chicago giant.


This story first appeared on Legal Business.

Hogan Lovells hails ‘record’ financial results as revenues and profits soar

In what it calls the ‘most successful year in the firm’s history’, Hogan Lovells has added $300m to its top line as revenue increased 13% from $2.3bn to $2.6bn.

It posted an even more striking profit result, with PEP shooting upwards 26% from $2m to $2.5m. Revenue per lawyer also saw a healthy 17% increase from $884,000 to just over $1m.

The 13% revenue hike far outstrips last year’s 3% increase in global fee income. Remarkably, the 26% jump in PEP is lower than last year’s startling 31% rate, although this was caveated by the introduction of a compensation floor for some partners in response to the pandemic.

Chief executive Miguel Zaldivar (pictured) hailed a stringent ‘financial discipline’ driving profitability: ‘There was no significant change to the partnership structure in the last year – we got invoices out early and converted WIP into revenues.’

Embodying the firm’s transatlantic focus, 47% of Hogan Lovells’ business originated from the Americas, with an equal 47% being generated from its EMEA business. The remaining 6% was derived from Asia. The UK specifically made up $534m of the firm’s overall revenue, representing 21% of the business.

Zaldivar said the results were a reflection of his ‘balance, balance, balance’ mantra: ‘We’ve had record years in every market. The economy in the US is booming, and we saw record performances in London, Germany and France. In our business, that geographical balance used to be a hedge, but it has now become a driver of success.’

In terms of practice groups, Hogan Lovells’ corporate and finance group represented 42% of turnover, with global regulatory and intellectual property, media and technology at 30%, and litigation, arbitration and employment at 28%.

Headline mandates for the period included the firm’s US practice, led by Silicon Valley M&A partner Keith Flaum, advising Oracle Corporation on its $28.3bn acquisition of Cerner Corporation. And in a notable disputes matter, Hogan Lovells is representing ENRC in its high-profile claims against the UK Serious Fraud Office following the conclusion of a long-running fraud and bribery probe.

Deputy chief executive Michael Davison told Legal Business: ‘Usually when there’s an M&A boom, there’s a slowdown in contentious work, but we’ve had both. It’s been a record year for our litigators.’

Hogan Lovells also announced this week plans to relocate to a new London headquarters in 2026, swapping Atlantic House for soon-to-be built premises at Holborn Viaduct. The firm will occupy all 12 floors of the building, which will comprise 266,000 square feet.

For an in-depth look at Hogan Lovells’ track record since its 2010 transatlantic merger, see ‘Winning Hartson minds’.


This article first appeared on Legal Business.

Rocketing revenues at White & Case as London sees another double-digit boost

Ensuring that last year’s striking financial performance was no flukeWhite & Case has unveiled another set of enviable results as 2021 global revenue jumped 20% from $2.4bn to $2.87bn.

London partner and executive committee member Oliver Brettle (pictured) told Legal Business that the firm’s global revenues had grown by 76% in five years, and that the latest increase marked White & Case’s largest annual jump in 25 years.

In London, the firm has maintained a similarly electric pace with turnover increasing 12% from $397m to $445m, although this is slower than the 18% growth rate recorded in the City last year. Brettle pointed to an impressive 53% boost in London turnover since 2016, and a strong recent track record of City recruitment. Last year, White & Case hired Allen & Overy litigation veteran Lawson Caisley, and in December added M&A heavyweight David Lewis from Clifford Chance.

And in terms of London work highlights, White & Case has joined many firms in riding an M&A wave in the past year, acting for Avast on its $9.2bn merger with NortonLifeLock in August. In another standout mandate, the firm assisted Hertz Global Holdings on a successful financial restructuring, providing a full $19bn payout in debt and claims while returning more than $1bn in value to shareholders.

The results made for good reading all round for White & Case, as the firm’s profit per equity partner (PEP) grew 17% from $3m to $3.5m, marginally bettering last year’s 16% increase and was coupled by a modest 6% swell in equity partner numbers from 342 to 363. Overall lawyer numbers grew by a larger margin, 9% from 2257 to 2464, meaning revenue per lawyer climbed by 10% from just over $1m to $1.165m.

It was a bumper year for White & Case in Asia, with revenues climbing by an impressive 30%. The Americas was similarly successful at 23%, while EMEA grew 15%. Brettle hailed this global influence on the firm’s results: ‘Each region has been incredibly strong; we are a truly global firm. In our last set of partner promotions, 64% were non-US-based, which really underlines the point.’

And on the people front, the firm also boasted an impressive record from its last set of global partner promotions, with 50% of those elevated in London being women, and 24% of those from the US and UK self-identifying as from an ethnic minority.


This story first appeared on Legal Business.

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.

MoFo ups City revenue an impressive 25% as US reporting season begins

Morrison & Foerster (MoFo)’s City revenue has lifted 25% for a third consecutive year, outpacing a strong global showing and kicking off US reporting season with a showing of expansive City growth.

The firm’s revenue increase to £38.6m comes amid a 10% global increase in the last fiscal year, from $1.04bn to $1.15bn. Meanwhile, revenue per lawyer grew 4% and profit per partner grew 5% to the highest levels in the firm’s history at just over $2m.

The firm’s City showing follows a strong performance last year, when MoFo’s London office, spearheaded by managing partner Paul Friedman, grossed over £30m, up from the £24m the firm reached in 2017.

A series of strong mandates over the last year propelled London’s performance, with MoFo representing SoftBank and SoftBank Vision Fund in numerous transactions, as well as continuing to act for the liquidators in connection with the $9.2bn liquidation and cross-border insolvency of Saad Investments Company.

MoFo has also engaged in a robust recruitment strategy in the City. In February 2019, high-profile finance partner Chris Kandel joined from US giant Latham & Watkins, where he served as co-chair of the firm’s global banking practice. The reboot of MoFo’s London office began earlier in 2018, when the firm hired finance lawyers Caroline Jury and Benoit Lavigne, as well as Kirkland & Ellis arbitration partner Chiraag Shah.

The results mark something of a turnaround for MoFo, with financials in 2014 showing London revenue down 22% to $26m while in 2015 the firm suffered an exodus of corporate and technology partners to Cooley. According to Friedman, the firm’s strategy for 2020 will now focus on integrating new hires and further building its core practices in the City. MoFo has already secured one hire since the start of the year, with equity derivatives partner Polly Ehrman joining the firm from Latham.


This article first appeared on Legal Business.