A&O turnover down 7 per cent at half-year stage

For the six months to 31 October last year, the firm reported global turnover of £548m.

According to the firm’s managing partner Wim Dejonghe (pictured) A&O has been slightly insulated from the fall off in transactional activity because more than half its revenues are now generated overseas.

In terms of the performance of individual practice areas, he said: “Banking, restructuring and litigation have been very strong for us across the firm. M&A activity has been down by 50 per cent across the market and this is reflected in our practice.”

The firm’s restructuring practice has won a number of key mandates in recent months. Earlier this week The Lawyer reported that London restructuring partner Mark Sterling led a team from A&O advising PAI-owned French building company Monier on its debt for equity swap (2 November 2009).

A&O has also made moves to bulk up its finance department in recent months hiring  high-yield partner Kevin Muzilla from Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.

Dejonghe said: “Our investment into restructuring and high-yield was definitely very good timing for us. We’ve also moved some lawyers from corporate and real estate into litigation where we’re much busier across the firm.”

In the Middle East the magic circle firm won a lead role on the Abu Dhabi government’s AED16bn (£2.6bn) bailout of five local banks. A&O Dubai head Ibrahim Mubaydeen, Dubai capital markets head Anzal Mohammed and London Islamic finance partner Roger Wedderburn-Day led a team advising Abu Dhabi Commerical Bank, First Gulf Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Union National Bank.