UK Top 200 position: 6
Asia-Pacific International 50 rank: 11
To read about this firm’s Asia Pacific practice, please click here
The Asia Pacific profile is an edited version of a full write-up that appears in The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, a comprehensive analysis of the legal market in the region that ranks the top 100 local firms and leading 50 international players by headcount. For more information and to purchase your copy please click here
If 2010 was regarded as year zero for post-merger Hogan Lovells, which this year has its global revenue listed for the first time, then the financial year of 2011–12 will be seen internally and externally as the benchmark measurement of future success.
With turnover broadly flat, co-chief executive David Harris welcomed a 'pleasingly resilient' performance in unpredictable market conditions.
At the same time, there has been an improvement in profitability, Harris said. This is backed up by the figures, with an identical global net profit of £379m and an increased profit margin of 36 per cent.
Integrating the merger and expanding the firm’s breadth and depth has undeniably placed Hogan Lovells at an advantage in the global legal services market, but Harris accepted that the firm has felt the effects of a tough global market alongside the rest.
The regional breakdown was a similar picture last year to the previous year, with a slight rise in London’s contribution to global turnover of 26 per cent (£270m), up from 24 per cent, again reflecting the litigation strength.
The US contribution was two per cent lower at 44 per cent of turnover, with Europe (24 per cent) and Asia and the Middle East (6 per cent) staying the same.
In terms of practice areas, intellectual property (IP) continues to hold strong thanks to the firm’s largely recession-proof major corporate clients, while finance business restructuring, insolvency and related banking work — where clients include Barclays, Prudential and Bank of America Merrill Lynch — remain busy.
There were more than 70 promotions to the partnership and 50 lateral hires last year, while the firm continues to develop its West Coast and New York presence in the US. Harris sees further opportunities in Latin America, where it has an office in Caracas, and the launch of an office in Rio de Janeiro is planned with an eye on major project finance work ahead of the World Cup and Olympics in the city in the next four years.
No. of lawyers: 204
Patrick Sherrington, the recently installed Asia and Middle East managing partner at transatlantic law firm Hogan Lovells, argues that his firm's global practice has intrinsic balance: “For a global law firm, we are very well hedged,” he says, pointing to internal figures showing that about 45 per cent of the practice's revenue derives from the US, 45 per cent from Europe (split evenly between London and the continent) and the remaining 10 per cent from elsewhere.
That leaves plenty of opportunity for the firm in the Asia Pacific and Sherrington is not reluctant to set out his stall. “Asia is a major growth area, and we're currently getting less than 10 per cent of our income from the region. We've got a lot of lawyers there and I think a firm such as ours should be deriving a greater percentage of its business from Asia. So it will be a focus in the future.”
The firm describes China as being an “obviously a critical market”, and one that has been successful for the practice historically, but even more so since Lovells and Hogan & Hartson merged
Elsewhere in the region, the firm cites Japan and Singapore as the other two main pieces of its Asia-Pacific network. But now the practice is turning its attentions to developing areas in the region, not least with ambitious aspirations in Ulaanbaatar.
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