Ensuring that last year’s striking financial performance was no fluke, White & 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.