Revenue and PEP up at Reed Smith

Reed Smith has posted a slight rise in both total revenue and average profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2010 financial year.

Total revenue was up 2 per cent from $940m to $958m while PEP rose 5 per cent from $1m to $1.05m. The latter figure is a record for Reed Smith.

Greg Jordan, Reed Smith’s global chairman, described the results as “solid”, saying the firm was pleased with the financials while admitting 2010 had been “hard work”.

“In a climate where demand’s still flat and there’s a lot of price pressure it’s a challenge,” said Jordan. “We did most of our major cost cuts in 2009, but there was continued belt tightening in 2010. But we’re 3.5 per cent bigger on headcount than we were a year ago, which I think positions us well for more growth this year.”

Jordan said the firm’s Asia practice had been the best performer in terms of deal activity followed by the US and then Europe.

Reed Smith’s counter-cyclical practices in restructuring, class action litigation and mortgage-related insurance coverage were among the strongest groups, he added.

Jordan added that the firm continued to be interested in the Texas legal market despite the ending of its merger talks with local firmThompson & Knight (7 January 2011).

“We’ve added a lot of energy lawyers recently even without the merger,’ Jordan added.

Revenue per lawyer at Reed Smith stayed static at $661,000 last year.