Reed Smith tips 2008 to be bumper year

Reed Smith tips 2008 to be bumper year” />Reed Smith chairman and managing partner Greg Jordan predicted that the firm would break the $1bn (£510m) turnover barrier and add another 10 per cent to average profit per equity partner (PEP) in 2008.

The expansionist US firm boosted PEP by 6.3 per cent, from $941,000 (£480,200) to just more than $1m (£510,000) and smashed its revenue target in 2007. With the added income from two large mergers, turnover shot up by 39 per cent, from $644m (£328.65m) to $892m (£455.21m).

Jordan told The Lawyer: “So far the impact of the credit crunch has been fairly modest. Clearly it slows down the M&A market, which slows everyone, but we don’t have a big securitisation practice, for example. I think our model is about as recession-resistant as it can be.”

Jordan is focusing on integrating Richards Butler Hong Kong in 2008 and expanding in mainland China, London and New York.

“Our overall plan is to make New York and London the two largest offices of the firm and for them to be roughly the same size,” said Jordan. Reed Smith has around 100 lawyers in New York. It merged with Richards Butler in the UK on 1 January 2007 and merged with Chicago’s Sachnoff & Weaver in March. The firm has estimated that the Richards Butler combination has generated around $40m (£20.41m) of new business in or out of the UK.

Turnover for the firm’s operations in Europe and the Middle East was £103m, which compares favourably to the 2006 figure of approximately £84m for the pre-merger combined European and Middle East practices of Richards Butler and Reed Smith.

The firm beat its targeted $870m (£444m) in revenue for the year, so staff received a special bonus, which amounted to £400 in the UK.