Hunton doubles turnover in London

The London office of Hunton & Williams has doubled its turnover in a year, breaking the $10m (£5.3m) barrier and outstripping the firmwide performance of 9 per cent growth.

Firm chairman Thurston Moore described London’s performance as “extraordinary growth” as it posted $10.35m (£5.5m) for the 2005-06 year.

London’s fee income for 2004-05 was $5.35m (£2.8m), a 93 per cent increase.

Revenue per lawyer (RPL) for the office grew by 56 per cent to $406,000 (£215,600).

London managing partner Martin Thomas pointed to the firm’s ability to cycle clients through its niche practices as a major driver behind the result.

He said: “A lot of these practice areas that we’re getting a foothold in overlap, so we regularly have situations where we are doing the IPO for a company that is using our energy practice for advice or trading and also using the firm for regulatory advice.

“We’ve done 27 AIM flotations in the past 18 months, and we’ve been able to ride the wave of huge interest from US investment funds into London. “We’re still a tiny office, but we’re running at full capacity at the moment.”

The Richmond, Virginia-based firm, which operates on a 30 April year-end, had firmwide fee income of $479m (£254.3m), up from $440m (£233.6m). RPL was $595,000 (£315,900), up 5.3 per cent, while profit per partner was $670,000 (£355,800), up 4.7 per cent. “The firm is ahead of the budget it set and is very much in line with its very solid and regular performance efforts over a period of years,” Thomas said.

The London office boasts 29 lawyers, including 12 partners, but Thomas said taxation, real estate and insurance were priority areas to grow, along with expanding the banking and finance practice.

“The firm’s very highly regarded in the US for its work with real estate investment trusts, so we’d like to be able to capitalise on that reputation in this market,” he said.