Allen & Overy becomes first magic circle firm to unveil financials, posting 6 per cent growth

Allen & Overy (A&O) has revealed a near 6 per cent increase in turnover and 7 per cent rise in profit for the 2011-12 financial year.

Wim Dejonghe
Wim Dejonghe

Fee income at the firm was £1.182bn, up almost 6 per cent on 2010-11’s £1.119bn. Profit before tax was £486m, up almost 7 per cent on the £455.8m A&O posted in 2010-11.

A&O posted similar results in 2010-11, when turnover was up 7 per cent and profit was up 8 per cent (6 July 2011).

And, as in the previous year, in 2011-12 average profit per equity partner (PEP) at A&O stayed flat at £1.1m while the sums paid to partners at the top and bottom of equity fell slightly. In 2010-11 the firm’s equity spread was £642,000 to £1.604m, in 2011-12 it was £640,000 to £1.601m.

The fall comes as the average number of full partners at the firm increased from 398 to 427, while the average total number of partners (including salaried partners) increased from 487 to 512.

These increases come off the back of office launches in Washington DC (29 June 2011), Casablanca (20 July 2011), and Istanbul (5 December 2011), as well as the announcement of two newoffices in Vietnam (24 May 2012), which bring the firm’s total number of offices to 42 across 29 countries.

According to the firm, 60 per cent of fee income in 2011-12 came from non-UK offices – more than ever before.

“[The results are] slightly better than we budgeted for,” said global managing partner Wim Dejonghe. “We had a long-term strategy of global investment to bring stability into the business in growth and profits and I think that if you look at the figures, that’s what we’ve achieved.”

Dejonghe added that while most of the firm’s growth came from overseas offices, London revenue did increase, though at a rate below the firmwide 6 per cent.

Other figures released by the firm showed staff costs rose by just over 7 per cent, from £417m to £446.8m, while other income, such as from subletting office space, rose from from £16.3m to £20.2m.

The firm said that it had made 23 lateral partner hires throughout the 2011-12 financial year across 12 countries, as well as making up 23 lawyers to partner.

Some of A&O’s key instructions in 2011-12 included advising the streering committee of the private creditor investor committee for Greece on the country’s £110bn bailout (22 February 2012) and Virgin Money on its £747m acquisition of Northern Rock (17 November 2011).