14 July – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Allen & Overy today announ…

14 July – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Allen & Overy today announces its results for the year ended 30 April 2005. This is the first time that Allen & Overy has made a public announcement of its results and this change follows the transfer of most of the business of the general partnership of Allen & Overy to Allen & Overy LLP on 1 May 2004. Highlights are as follows:

· Turnover up 2% at £666 million
· Profit before tax up 8% to £244 million
· Profit per equity partner up 5% to £656,000

Guy Beringer, Senior Partner of Allen & Overy, said:

“Our performance in the year ended 30 April 2005 was stronger than last year. Total income at £666 million was up by 2%, whilst total costs were down by 1%. The combined effect was that our profit available for distribution to partners increased by 8% to £244 million. Profit per equity partner, at £656,000 was up by 5% on last year. This result reflects our growth, continuing tight control of costs and improvements in productivity.

“After a fairly slow start in the first six months of the year, the second half showed a strong improvement, reflecting an upturn in activity in several of the key markets where we operate. This increase in activity levels has continued in the first two months of the new financial year

“Across the practice we have spent much of the year concentrating on lawyer productivity. Average lawyer numbers were down slightly from the prior year but the average productivity of each lawyer increased. We have also continued to exercise tight cost control in all areas, resulting in a 1% reduction in total costs from last year.

“As a practice we continue to share our success with our staff and our results include a provision for a staff bonus pool of £19 million, up from £16 million in the prior year. This will give each employee in the firm an annual bonus payment equal to six weeks’ salary.

“We continue to invest in IT projects that will allow us to increase our efficiency and deliver an improved service to our clients. Omnia, our new virtual file system in which all documentation relevant to client matters is stored, was implemented during the year and is already showing significant benefits, particularly on multi-practice transactions.

“On 1 May 2004 the majority of the business previously carried on by the general partnership of Allen & Overy was transferred to a UK limited liability partnership (LLP). This was a major project which was managed entirely in-house by our lawyers and professional support staff. We have subsequently used the expertise that we gained during this project to advise several other professional services firms on their conversion to UK LLP status.”

Our people
“We recognise that Allen & Overy must provide opportunity for our people to develop their skills and fulfil their potential. We aim to develop staff who are not only academically excellent but also capable of being independently minded and comfortable working in a team. We continued to take our normal worldwide graduate intake of approximately 250 people who, we believe, will stand us in good stead in the future.”

Community/Pro Bono

“We continue to support community and pro bono projects in every territory in which we operate. Our people are involved in many different initiatives, including providing pro bono legal services, acting as trustees to local charities, primary school numeracy and literacy projects and mentoring secondary school pupils. Our lawyers recorded 50,000 hours of pro bono activity, the equivalent of £12 million of fee income.”

Looking forward

“We have made an encouraging start to the new financial year, but it is too early to predict whether this will be sustained throughout the year.

“In the well developed markets in which we operate we will continue to build deep relationships with clients. We will invest time in understanding their businesses so that we are well positioned to assist them as the economic landscape changes and their businesses develop. In our key growth markets of North America and China we will continue to develop our business in line with client demand.

“Overall we will concentrate on what makes Allen & Overy special – providing a quality service to our clients and bringing the best out of all of our people.”

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