A&O beats budget with rises in turnover and profits

Allen & Overy (A&O) has posted a 7 per cent rise in revenue and an 8 per cent hike in net profit for the 2010-11 financial year.

Wim Dejonghe
Wim Dejonghe

Turnover at the firm rose from £1.05bn in 2009-10 to £1.12bn. Net profit was up 8.3 per cent from £388.1m in 2009-10 to £420.4m, giving the firm a profit margin of 38 per cent, one percentage point higher than in 2009-10.

Despite the rise in profits, average profit per equity partner (PEP) at the firm was flat at £1.1m while the sums paid to those at the top and bottom of equity fell slightly. In 2009-10 the firm’s equity spread was £661,000 to £1.65m and in 2010-11 it was £642,000 to £1.6m.

This reflects the fact that the average number of partners at the firm grew from 451 to 487 over the course of the financial year, with the number of equity partners increasing by 43, from 355 to 398.

In a year that also saw A&O expand into Jakarta through an exclusive association with Daniel Ginting Law Firm (1 July 2010), the percentage of the firm’s turnover generated by offices outside the UK rose from around 58 per cent to 60 per cent. Almost a quarter of the firm’s work now involves five or more of its offices.

That said, managing partner Wim  Dejonghe said that this was not because the London market was shrinking, but because the rest of the world was growing more rapidly.

“The markets being what they are, we think these are good results and they’re better than what we’d budgeted for,” Dejonghe. “The results are a consequence of the systematic investment in our strategy. We’ve reinvested the increase in profits back into the business, recruiting partners in Germany, France and the US, adding new offices in Jakarta and Washington DC, and investing in increasing business efficiency.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the market, but following the investments we’ve made in our global coverage, we’re well positioned to make the most of the opportunities that are there.”

On top of the firm’s £1.12bn revenue, the firm raked in £16.3m in ‘other income’, which relates to sublet spaces in the firm’s offices across the world that cannot be included with turnover.

Thirty three new partners came to the firm through lateral hires over the past 12 months, including six in Germany and 17 in Australia. Dejonghe said the large amount of growth at the firm over the past year was atypical, but that the firm would continue to hire partners and would look at new jurisdictions as client demand required.

A&O now has 37 offices across the world.

New partners hired in 2010-11:

Benjamin Bai, Shanghai (Litigation)
Daniel Busse, Frankfurt (Litigation)
Meredith Campion, Perth (Corporate)
Jean-Yves Charriau, Paris (Tax)
Marc Castagnede, Paris (Corporate)
Jason Denisenko, Sydney (Corporate)
Christian Eichner, Düsseldorf (Corporate)
Angela Flannery, Sydney (Banking)
John Geraghty, London (Corporate)
Sonia Goumenis, Sydney (Banking)
Paul Griffin, London (Corporate)
Frank Herring, Frankfurt (ICM)
Jason Huinink, Sydney (Banking)
Barry Irwin, Sydney (Corporate)
Angus Jones, Perth (Corporate)
Paul Keller, New York (Litigation)
Grant Koch, Sydney (Corporate)
Zeyad Koshaim, Riyadh (Corporate)
Pablo Mayor, Madrid (Corporate)
Tobias Neufeld, Düsseldorf (Employment)
Michael Parshall, Sydney (Corporate)
Dave Poddar, Sydney (Antitrust)
Karolina Popic, Sydney (Banking)
Michael Reede, Sydney (Corporate)
Harun Reksodiputro, Jakarta associated office (Corporate)
Kai Andreas Schaffelhuber, Frankfurt (ICM)
Edward De Sear, New York (ICM)
Geoffrey Simpson, Perth (Corporate)
Andrew Stals, Sydney (Tax)
Adam Stapledon, Sydney (Banking)
Thomas Ubber, Frankfurt (Employment)
David Wilkie, Sydney (Corporate)
Peter Wilkes, Perth (Corporate)