Allen & Overy

(A&O) is the first firm to publicly release its half-year figures, boasting a 16 per cent rise on its results this time last year.

If the firm continues at the same pace until the end of this financial year, it could reach its target of £1bn.

Managing partner David Morley said: “Since mid August we have seen a significant slowdown in some areas arising from the so-called ‘credit crunch’ which has affected financial markets. While this could reduce our rate of growth in the second half if it continues, we remain cautiously optimistic.”

The magic circle firm’s fee income at the halfway stage is standing at £456m, compared to £392m last November.

Last November’s turnover – which differs from fee income because it includes work in progress – had reached £422m after an 18 per cent increase. Turnover at the half-year stage will not be available for another week, said the firm.

At the end of the 2006-07 financial year, A&O’s turnover stood at £887m, which gave the firm a 20.5 per cent rise on the preceding year.

A&O said it had seen exceptional activity in the first three months of the 2007-08 financial year, which hedged any downturn in August and September.