Osborne Clarke eyes European integration with financial year shift

Osborne Clarke will switch to a December financial year-end for internal purposes as part of a move to integrate its expanded European operations.

The firm is set to calculate results on a calendar-year basis from this December, bringing together the accounting systems for its UK, Italian, German and Spanish bases.

The UK partnership currently operates an April year-end, while Italy, German and Spain already run on a calendar-year basis.

The firm will continue to announce revenue and profit figures externally for the April year-end, and is holding on to the option of publishing its December results publicly too. It is not an LLP so is not required to file its accounts.

Head of markets Greg Leyshon commented: “We’re able to run the business in all operational senses on a calendar-year basis, which is important to get everyone in alignment, and for external purposes we will be able to deliver our numbers on a calendar-year basis as well as on a [May-to-April] basis.

“We’re increasingly becoming a much more internationally based business. The calendar year-end is more logical as you develop internationally. It seemed like the most logical way of doing it. We’re obviously operating as an international business and driving that through sector lines. What that means is we’re needing to produce information that’s international.”

The move did not require a specific vote as it is an operational change and not a structural one, but it was a core part of the merger with Spanish firm Osborne Clarke Spain and Italy’s SLA Studio Legale Associato, which partners voted on (29 March 2012).

It comes amid a push to integrate its new offices following the mergers, with the firm currently rolling out its sector-based approach to Italy and Spain.