Allen & Overy posts revenue boost in first half

Allen & Overy (A&O) has announced a 7.5 per cent increase in revenue for the first half of the 2013/14 financial year, turning over £608m in the six months from 1 May.

Wim Dejonghe a&o allen & overy
Wim Dejonghe

The magic circle firm’s income figure compares with £566m for the same period in 2012/13 (20 November 2013), a 3 per cent drop compared to the previous year.

While recovery has been slow in continental Europe, managing partner Wim Dejonghe told The Lawyer that the firm has enjoyed strong performances in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in Hong Kong and China, as well as in London.

”We were pleasantly surprised by China’s performance – it’s a very competitive market and not as new as it once was,” he said. “There has [also] been very strong recovery in capital markets in London, while banking has continued to deliver well for us, as it’s traditionally done.”

Meanwhile Dejonghe said that “no action” was needed to speed work up in continental Europe. “It’s a market driven thing. When the market collapsed Europe carried on [performing well] for a year,” he said. “[Market] reactions are just slower, whether that’s up or down.”  

Dejonghe also pointed to the Belfast office as an area of growth for A&O. The firm beefed up the role played by its Support Services Centre in January, when staff across A&O’s US and European offices had their jobs moved to Belfast (24 January 2013). 

Going forward, the firm is looking to spread its US capability into other jurisdictions as American banks begin to recover. Dejonghe said both the firm’s Washington and New York offices had seen revenues rise slightly, responding that the firm remained “open minded” as to its future US strategy.

Revenues rose by just 0.8 per cent at the 2012/13 year-end, from £1.18bn to £1.19bn (4 July 2013). Before tax, profit for the year hit £496.7m, up 2.2 per cent from £486m (3 July 2012).

Dejonghe said he expects the strong start to the current financial year to continue into December.