French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel has confirmed a further drop in its turnover, with final figures for 2011 8.5 per cent below 2010’s at €192.2m (£154.1m).
Turnover for 2011 was also a slide on the previous year, following the firm’s strategic review which saw the closure of five offices in Eastern Europe and the Middle East (1 July 2011).
The 2011 revenues are 24 per cent lower than the 2007 high of €250m. Managing partner Stéphane Puel said many of Gide’s international offices had struggled last year, including its Paris headquarters which accounted for €133.8m of the total.
The firm’s London office performed better than most, recording turnover of £7.84m, up from £7.6m in 2010. It still made a loss of £528,000, but this was reduced from £1.8m in 2010. Puel said the reduction in loss in London was due to a reduction in the impact of an onerous lease provision.
Puel added that the firm’s Polish, Russian, Hong Kong and Vietnam offices had also grown.
However the impact of a sluggish French M&A market in 2011 had had the most significant impact on the firm’s results, according to Puel, with a knock-on effect on French investment overseas. This included investment in China, where Gide has offices in Beijing and Shanghai.
Puel said the number of large transactions which Gide had been involved in dropped sharply from 2010, accentuating the decrease in turnover. He added that due to the firm’s lower headcount compared to the previous year, revenue per partner was holding up.
He said the firm was now focusing on improving its client relationships and on its staff.
“The market is evolving rapidly and our competitors are evolving rapidly,” he said. “We have to evolve and we have to revamp our strategy.”
Puel commented: “We’re confident of the future. The two key pillars for our success are our people and our clients, both of which are at the forefront of Gide’s future strategy. The people are the firm’s key assets. I’m extremely impressed and proud of the calibre of talent of the lawyers at the firm, who continue to offer our clients a consistently high level of service across all practice groups. We’re also very fortunate with the quality of our clients, and of course our aim is to continue to improve those relationships.”
Gide is currently examining its overall strategic direction for the next three years, including its international strategy.