Mayer Brown turnover drops during ‘year of two parts’

Mayer Brown has entered the US financial reporting season with a drop in both partner profits and turnover, with the latter slipping from $1.13bn in 2011 to $1.09bn in 2012.

The results buck the trend for revenue growth among US firms this year, with those that have posted results so far showing at least marginal improvements on the previous year’s performance (25 February 2013).

Sean Connolly
Sean Connolly

Average profit per equity partner (PEP) also fell at Mayer Brown last year, from $1.18m to $1.15m. This is in contrast to the previous year, when PEP rose by 10 per cent while net profit stood at $323.79m, giving a margin of 27 per cent (3 February 2012).

The firm’s senior partner Sean Connolly described 2012 as a “year of two distinct parts” in a statement reflecting on the results. He added that, while litigation performed well, the firm’s transactions team had a slow first half.

“Although the economic environment remains challenging we’re optimistic about our outlook for the rest of the year,” he said. “We’re really seeing the benefit of our global client teams, with two thirds now exporting significant revenue across Asia, Europe and the US.”

In London the US firm launched a redundancy consultation among its support staff last year (21 September 2012), four months after announcing separate plans to cut lawyers and staff in the City. In May, the firm announced that it was planning to cut some 20 lawyers and staff from its London office (4 May 2012), with the redundancy process ultimately seeing the departure of 16 people.

In terms of hires during the year, the London office took on longstanding Ashurst partner Martin Wright to fill the new position of European real estate head in November (15 November 2012) months after poaching CMS Cameron McKenna real estate finance partner Chris Harvey in March (19 March 2012).