Clyde & Co posts stellar growth thanks to BLG deal

Clyde & Co has unveiled revenue growth of 36 per cent for the 2011-12 financial year, with its tie-up with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) and growth outside the UK underpinning its performance.

Peter Hasson
Peter Hasson

According to the firm the revenue hike, which brings the firm’s total turnover to £287m, represents a like-for-like rise on Clydes’ 2010-11 turnover of £212m but includes revenues generated by BLG, which Clydes acquired in November 2011 (8 August 2011).

Chief executive Peter Hasson said that without the merger the firm’s revenues would have risen by 17 per cent to £248m. “If we’d had all year together [turnover] would have been around £320m,” he added.

The bulk of the growth came from outside the UK, despite the merger. In the Middle East the firm saw turnover rise by 10 per cent, with its Riyadh office, which launched in 2009 (6 April 2009), posting a 50 per cent jump. The firm’s Doha base saw a similar rise.

The bulk of the firm’s 2012 partnership promotions were in the Middle East with six made up as a result of strong revenue growth (1 May 2012).

Clydes’ Asia practice has also enjoyed rapid growth, with revenues up by 75 per cent, while in the US, where Clydes launched its first base in February 2010 (8 February 2010) turnover jumped by 39 per cent. Hasson said since the firm’s launch in the US turnover had grown to $60m.

Hasson commented that some of the firm’s core practices – aviation and insurance – had not been drivers of revenue growth. “This is a result that has been delivered without our core markets really booming,” he said.

In London, the firm has focused on building up a transactional practice with Clydes’ 2010 merger with Shadbolt (25 January 2010) beginning to have an impact. Revenues were up by 30 per cent in the group.

While the firm’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure has not yet been finalised, Hasson anticipated that it would be down on the 2010-11 figure of £605,000 as a result of the partnership growth. The firm is now home to 273 partners compared with 182 at Clydes a year ago and 98 at BLG. He predicted PEP of around £550,000.

The costs of the merger have been fully absorbed in the last financial year, Hasson added, as have the costs of the firm’s international expansion.

Clydes kicked off the current financial year by announcing the launch of an Australia base last week (2 July 2012). The firm plans to launch offices in Sydney and Perth in October after raiding Linklaters alliance firm Allens for a team of eight partners. It is also replenishing its Hong Kong base after a team of four former BLG partners quit for RPC in April (4 April 2010).

Further international expansion is anticipated in the next year with the firm promising to emulate its US model by hiring top level teams and ploughing investment into the new bases.

“We still want to expand,” Hasson said, “How quickly will we do it? I don’t know, but we’ll expand our footprint.”