Clydes knocks BLP out of UK200 top 15 corporate table as revenues leap by a third

Clyde & Co increased its corporate turnover by a third during 2012/13, with the group generating revenues of £70.7m over the financial year.

It is significant growth for the firm, which has traditionally placed emphasis on its disputes practice, which generated revenues of £238m. The rapid growth of the corporate group means that the insurance firm has replaced Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) as one of the top 15 corporate practices in The Lawyer UK 200.

Clydes increased its corporate turnover by £17.7m to £70.7m between 2011/12 and 2012/13. In comparison, corporate turnover at BLP fell by 14.2 per cent from £67.9m to £58.25m, meaning that the firm has dropped out of the rankings. 

Clydes’ UK corporate head Philip Rogers said: “We’ve been plugging away at it for a while, and these are the results of a long term plan to develop a leading corporate practice alongside our traditionally strong dispute resolution practice.”

Clydes’ M&A, equity capital markets and private equity teams generated 21 per cent of the firm’s total turnover last year, up from 18.5 per cent in 2011/12 and 16 per cent in 2010/11.

The practice has been focused on broadening its corporate offering in its core sectors, which include insurance, natural resources and transportation.

While Clydes has picked up new corporate clients over the past year, Rogers admitted that “a lot of revenue growth came from renewed work and bigger transactions from existing clients”.

The firm has also been increasingly focused on its Asia-Pacific corporate practice, building its presence in Singapore and placing corporate partner Lynia Lau at the head of the firm’s new Beijing office (7 March 2013). According to Rogers: “At this stage Beijing is very transactionally driven. In that office we’re particularly strong in projects and construction, natural resources and transport.”

Simmons & Simmons also fell out of the table after its corporate revenue dropped by 11.4 per cent from £59.4m in 2011/12 to £52.6m last year.

At the top end of the table, Linklaters held steady in prime position. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer upped its corporate revenue by about £40m last year to leapfrog Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance and take second position.

Moving along the same trajectory, DLA Piper jumped from seventh to fifth position, after merging with Parisian corporate boutique Frieh Bouhenic in October 2012 (27 August 2012), opening a new office in Mexico City (14 February 2012), and hiring corporate partners in Europe and Asia.

Herbert Smith Freehills also saw its corporate revenue blossom by an estimated £101.8m to £296m in total, as a result of its £800m merger with Freehills in October 2012 (28 June 2012).

Top 15 UK firms by corporate turnover 2012-13
Rank Firm Corporate turnover 2012/13 (£m) Corporate turnover 2011/12 (£m) Per cent change Per cent of total turnover Number of corporate partners Revenue per corporate partner (£m)
1 Linklaters 466.1* 464.6 0.3 39* 184* 2.53
2 Freshfields 415.1* 375.9 10.4 34* 159* 2.61
3 Clifford Chance 381.3* 365.7 4.3 30* 186 2.05
4 A&O 371.3* 378.6 -1.9 31.2* 165 2.25
5 DLA Piper 369.4 280 31.9 24 329.1 1.12
6 Norton Rose Fulbright 321.2 320.7 0.2 38 382.9 0.8
7 Hogan Lovells 267.8 280.5 -4.5 26 231 1.16
8 Herbert Smith 296* 194.2 52.5 44.1 172 1.72
9 CMS 243.9 258.1 -5.5 37.3 256.2 0.95
10 Slaughters 186.1* 213 -12.6 42* 43* 4.33
11 Eversheds 97.8 89.6 9.2 26 109.4 0.89
12 Ashurst 90.1 90.2 -0.1 28 61 1.48
13 Taylor Wessing 83.5 82 1.8 36.6 133 0.63
14 Clyde & Co 70.7 53 33.4 21 58* 1.22
15 SJ Berwin 64.6 61.2 5.6 35 40 1.62
               
* estimate