White & Case to stake all on global shake-up

Management demands profit hike; Citibank deal off as Docklands move

White & Case is forging ahead with a huge global shake-up that will see a number of partners facing de-equitisation as the firm attempts to more than triple top clients' revenues to $160m (£99.8m).
The management team is due to reveal its ambitious plans to partners at a retreat within the next week, where it will spell out a strategy to help the firm reach $1bn (£624m) in turnover by 2005.
The management aims to double profits per equity partner by 2005 to $1.3m (£811,000) from $730,000 (£455,500) in 2001. It is also aiming to grow revenue to $550,000 (£343,000) from $427,000 (£266,500).
Part of this will mean that partners will face greater scrutiny in terms of billings and hours, although it is believed that the number of de-equitisations will be kept to a minimum.
A significant part of the revamp includes bumping up core client contribution, which currently stands at $50m (£31.2m), a large slice of which is made up by the firm's top three relationships, including its historical connection with Deutsche Bank.
However, in what could be a significant setback to the firm's shift on key clients – and to the London finance practice – White & Case has decided against a move into Citibank's building in Canary Wharf.
It is understood that Citibank is offering law firms increased legal work – potentially worth millions in fees – as an incentive to move into its one million sq ft of office space.
However, despite long negotiations, White & Case has opted to seek offices in the City and is believed to be in serious talks concerning 100,000sq ft of space at Lion Plaza, located between Threadneedle Street and Old Broad Street.
While White & Case already undertakes some work for Citibank, the decision to stay in the City will be a blow to building up serious billings with the bank.
The firm's management has been hoping to put in place a strategic review for some time, but its plans have been hampered by a number of factors, not least by the effects of 11 September.