Top City firms set to post revenue hikes for 2003

The Lawyer can reveal that Lovells’ turnover has rocketed by 20 per cent to £390m over the last financial year as part of our initial findings on City firms’ revenues for 2002-03.

Lovells’ amazing revenue hike cannot be attributed to its mergers in Paris and Amsterdam, which were concluded at the end of the 2001-02 financial year.

The Lawyer understands that fees generated by Lovells’ corporate department grew by 25 per cent.

Allen & Overy‘s (A&O) turnover figure translates to exactly $1bn (£622.2m).

A&O’s figures represent an overall growth of 7 per cent and the firm is understood to have had a strong year across the board. The firm billed a reported £55m for its work on the Marconi restructuring.

Herbert Smith, which saw its turnover rise by 7.5 per cent on 2001-02, has made at least £7m in fees acting for TXU joint administrator Ernst & Young, and has also billed millions this year for its work on the Carnival-P&O Princess deal.

Mirroring the stale economy, Clifford Chance, the world’s largest law firm, achieved gross fees in 2002-03 that were around the same as they were the year before, as did CMS Cameron McKenna.

However, both firms managed to increase in revenue per lawyer: CC to £339,000 and Camerons to an impresive £313,000. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer‘s turn-over grew by some 8 per cent on the previous year’s, but revenue per partner remained flat at £1.5m.

Just as these revenue figures are preliminary, it is also too early for the majority of the City firms to have finalised their profit figures. It is generally expected that most City firms will release disappointing profits this year, with a large number showing a downward trend on 2001-02.

Law firm turnover 2002-03
Firm Turnover (£m) No of partners Revenue per partner (£m) Total lawyers* Revenue per lawyer (£K)
Clifford Chance 1,000 653 1.5 2,946 339
Allen & Overy 621 408 1.5 1,858 334
Freshfields 800 501 1.6 2,250 355
Lovells 390 328 1.2 1,235 316
Herbert Smith 242 188 1.3 840 288
CMS Cameron McKenna 175.5 137 1.3 560 313
*This figure includes all partners but excludes trainees, paralegals and professional support lawyers. Some firms include legal consultants in this figure, depending on their roles.
Source: The Lawyer