Debevoise’s European offices boost profit and revenue as private equity group excels

New York’s Debevoise & Plimpton has posted double-digit increases for both revenue and profit for 2005, with turnover crashing through the $500m (£282.6m) barrier.

Total fee income during 2005 rose 12 per cent to $536m (£306.8m), while average profit per equity partner was up 11 per cent, to $1.7m (£970,000). The growth comes off the back of a 17 per cent rise in revenue and a 20 per cent hike in profit in 2004.

The 2005 rises were led by Debevoise’s European offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Moscow.

“Those four offices produced the majority of our firm’s global revenue growth for the year,” said New York-based corporate department chair Michael Blair. “In 2005 in Europe, we achieved sizeable percentage increases in our M&A, private equity funds, insurance transactional, restructuring and leveraged finance practices, together with continued good performance in international arbitration and litigation, aircraft finance and securities.”

Although the firm’s performance was strong across the board, its private equity group’s stellar year was key to its impressive financial results.

Highlight deals included representing all three members of the buyer consortium – Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Carlyle and Merrill Lynch – on the $15bn (£8.6bn) Hertz buyout.

The firm also represented Providence Equity Partners on the $15.3bn (£8.8bn) takeover of Danish national telecoms carrier TDC.

“Our private funds practice has also been one of the main drivers of our growth in Europe,” added Blair. Among its most significant deals in this respect was advising Park Square Capital on raising E1bn (£689.6m), Europe’s largest independent mezzanine fund.

In London the firm also advised Russian steel manufacturer Novolipetsk on its $700m (£400.7m) London IPO.