Clifford Chance is celebrating a bumper year with record revenue growth and profits per equity partner up 16 per cent to £1.14m for the 2013-2014 year.
It is a return to double digit growth at the magic circle firm, the first since 2009/10 when PEP climbed 27 per cent from £733,000 to £933,000 (see table below) (7 July 2010), The Lawyer reports.
Net profit is also up 14 per cent, from £404m to £459m after a 6 per cent drop for the previous financial year. It is the highest jump in profit in six years.
Clifford Chance is the first of the magic circle to unveil year-end figures in an about-turn from the previous financial year. It was the last magic circle firm to announce its underwhelming results for 2012/13, when profit, PEP and revenue were all down.
At the end of 2012/13, turnover had declined by 2.5 per cent to £1.271bn. Taking into account the effect of exchange rate movements the turnover growth was flat but profit had decreased by 6 per cent, from £431m to £404m. Global PEP also fell for the first time since 2008/09, dropping 9 per cent from £1.1m to £1m (1 July 2009),
The most recent financial year marks a significant return to growth. The firm experienced growth across all jurisdictions and practice areas, with Asia Pacific the strongest performer. The region expanded revenue by 9 per cent from £179m to £195m following a 3 per cent downturn in 2012/13. When currency adjustments are taken into account growth was 14 per cent, bringing the figure to £204m.
Asia Pacific now contributes 14 per cent of the firm’s global revenue – short of targeted growth for the region, which was set at £250m by 2014 by former managing partner David Childs. The goal was shifted to 2015 by Childs last year.
Managing partner Matthew Layton, who took over the top job in May, said it was unlikely that the firm would achieve the aim within the next 12 months. “Will we get to £250m by next year? I don’t think so but targets are always going to be aspirational,” he said.