A&O’s £1bn revenues buoyed by strong growth overseas

Allen & Overy has seen revenue break the £1bn barrier for the first time with average profit per equity partner (PEP) rising 9.5 per cent to £1.12m.

A&O’s £1bn revenues buoyed by strong growth overseasAllen & Overy (A&O) has seen revenue break the £1bn barrier for the first time with average profit per equity partner (PEP) rising 9.5 per cent to £1.12m.

During the 2007-08 financial year fee-income at the firm increased by 14.5 per cent to £1.02m, up from £887,100 last year.

Senior partner David Morley (pictured) said: “We saw a growth in revenue in every practice area in every location across the world, with faster growth coming from outside London than inside.”

He added that, as well as overseas offices seeing a faster rate of growth than London, non-London revenues had exceeded the fees generated in London for the first time. Growth had been particularly concentrated in the emerging markets, the Middle East, China, Russia and Asia, although Morley said that the UK is still by far the largest office, having made up around £500m of total revenues.

“Around two thirds of work involves two or more countries now,” said Morley. “We think globalisation is irreversible.”

After London, the firm’s German offices – including new bases in Dusseldorf and Mannheim – the Netherlands and the US are the next largest in terms of numbers of partners. Belgium, China, France and Italy follow some way behind.

According to Morley the firm’s United Arab Emirates (UAE) offices were the strongest relative performers. He said turnover in the UAE has more than doubled in the last year, adding that the Abu Dhabi office, which opened in June last year, has contributed to this.

Including Saudi Arabia, a total of 65 lawyers now work in the Middle East and A&O is looking to recruit more, both externally and through internal moves.

In terms of profitability, the total profits distributable to full equity partners increased by 12 per cent to £405.7m. By contrast, the average size of the equity partnership increased by only 2 per cent this year to 362.

While PEP came in at £1.12m, those at the bottom of the firm’s 15-year lockstep will pocket £658,000 while plateau partners will receive £1.65m.

The number of fixed-share partners grew by 18 per cent to 112. They drew a total of £41.5m out of profits – an average of around £371,000 each, which is 10 per cent more than last year. This figure accounts for the bulk of these partners’ remuneration.

When A&O partners are made up they usually remain at the fixed share level for two years before entering the lockstep.

The number of qualified lawyers at the firm increased by 8 per cent over the year to 2,027 while revenues per lawyer rose 17 per cent to £501,000.