Norton Rose’s mergers with Deacons, Ogilvy Renault and Deneys Reitz have produced a global firm that effectively consists of four entities.
Turnover (£m): 488
Average PEP: 445
Equity spread (£k): 250-900
Profit margin (%):25
RPL (£k): 323
Vision – Execution – Governance –
In addition to the UK LLP there is Norton Rose Australia, Norton Rose OR LLP and Norton Rose South Africa. All three are separate partnerships with separate profit pools operating under a ‘group’ management team.
Group CEO Peter Martyr sees the Swiss Verein structure as the only way of merging firms with different equity structures and profitability levels under different currencies, but it is also widely seen as a method of shielding the UK outfit against any under-par performances from its new bedfellows. Nevertheless, Martyr feels that financial integration is not off the agenda and the system is under constant review.
Norton Rose’s structure makes it difficult to pin down global financial figures, but it announced a turnover figure of £488m, excluding Canada and South Africa, for the 2010-11 financial year (those deals went live on I June this year). This is up from £307m in 2009-10, a figure that excludes the Deacons merger, which went live in January 2010, halfway through the financial year. If you include the Australian firm’s turnover for 2009-10 up until the merger, the figure for comparison is £437m.
This means like-for-like turnover jumped by £47m during 2010-11, or some 12 per cent. Global average profit per equity partner is estimated at £445,000, down from £486,000, but the separate profit pools and changes to the firm’s global reach make this an unfair comparison.
As the firm spreads its wings, international housekeeping becomes crucial. To that end Norton Rose hired IT industry specialist Sheila Doyle, who previously held senior roles at Royal Mail, BP and IBM, as its chief information officer and Sam Dimond from Clifford Chance as director of knowledge management. Both are new positions created to help keep control of IT and knowledge on a global basis.
International projects are overseen by deputy managing partner Tim Marsden, who holds the most clout after the CEO and who is a likely candidate to take over should Martyr decide to stand down when his term comes to an end this year.
Under Martyr and Marsden, banking head Jeremy Edwards and disputes head Deirdre Walker are also seen as influential, alongside corporate head David Stannard, the firm’s first non-London-based practice group leader, who is based in Asia.