UK Top 200 position: 18
Global turnover for Taylor Wessing broke through the £200m barrier in 2011–12, with UK revenue pushing past the £100m marker too.
The 10 per cent increase across the board, the second successive year of rises, saw global turnover hit £212.5m and average UK profit per equity partner (PEP) top £600,000 — a rise of almost 12 per cent on 2010–11’s figures of £537,000.
Taylor Wessing has separate profit pools in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, but its estimated global PEP of £407,000 for 2011–12 is significantly below the UK-only figure, although it was up slightly from £402,000 in 2010–11.
Innovation is the buzzword at Taylor Wessing. UK managing partner Tim Eyles retains a close watching brief on the Hong Kong market. Indeed, Eyles has his eyes to the east generally, which he sees as a source of natural growth for clients who wish to move from saturated sectors and, consequentially, a major focus area for growth. To this end, Taylor Wessing made Singaporean firm RHT Law a network office, pushing fee-earner headcount to more than 900. This was swiftly followed by a merger with Austrian firm e/n/w/c. This merger added eight new offices in six jurisdictions, bringing the total number of the firm's offices to 22.
The Dubai and Singapore practices are growing and acting as hubs for hubs for the Middle East and South-East Asia. The firm will also hope to make further headway in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, where it has ultra-high-net-worth families as clients, as the result of its global key client initiative, which is aimed at improving cross-selling firmwide. The firm sees its private wealth clients as ‘mini-conglomerates’ that don’t need to rely on leverage from the banks to do deals.
Another 12 months of expansion was underlined by 19 lateral hires during the year, mainly in specialist areas such as pensions (evidenced by the hire of Jones Day partner Rosalind Connor), financial services regulatory (partner Alix Prentice from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft) and banking (partner Elisabeth Gaunt from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe). More recent lateral hires include: Mike Turner (TMT); James Goold and Edward Waldron (private equity); and Amanda Nelson (private client).
The new Tech City office in Shoreditch contributed towards the corporate practice bringing in £26m of UK turnover for 2011–12, slightly behind the £30m in litigation fees for 2011–12. Indeed, Taylor Wessing has positioned itself at the front of the queue for US technology companies establishing business in the UK.
The firm is instructed for the trustee of the Madoff estate and counts McLaren, Rutland, Canada Life, Panasonic, PwC and Grant Thornton as key clients.
Eyles said litigation was underscored by a strong performance in intellectual property (IP) technology, private wealth and commercial disputes. Its international profile and high-value client base means patent protection and trademark instructions were virtually recession-proof. And with many of its financial services clients operating in strict regulatory environments, the firm expects more work in this sector.
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