Osborne Clarke posts revenue rise ahead of European mergers

Osborne Clarke has posted its financial results for the 2011-12 financial year, revealing an 8 per cent rise in revenue and a 1 per cent increase in average profit per equity partner (PEP).

Simon Beswick
Simon Beswick

The firm, which is set to roll out a merger with the Italian and Spanish members of its European alliance (29 March 2012), has announced firmwide revenue of £97.7m, representing an 8 per cent hike on the figure of just over £90m it turned over last year (6 May 2011). Osborne Clarke said this was the firm’s highest-ever turnover figure.

UK net profit for the firm, which operates separate profit pools in different jurisdictions, rose 6 per cent, while UK equity partners enjoyed a 1 per cent PEP hike to £406,000, from £403,000 in 2010-11.

The firm said this was despite its accelerated lateral hire programme last year, which saw it bring in 10 lawyers into the partnership, most of them into the equity.

Managing partner Simon Beswick said the firm was working towards a partnership vote in July to confirm the merger with Osborne Clarke Spain and SLA Studio Legale Associato, which is set to create a firm with an estimated annual turnover of €140m (£113m).

He said in a statement: “‪Our mergers with SLA and Osborne Clarke Spain will create a €140m, 145-partner firm with a pan-European presence. We’re working towards a date in July for the various partnership votes to take place and the merger to become effective.”

The firm is also looking to merge in other European jurisdictions, with Beswick currently working on securing a tie-up in France that it hopes will lead to a Paris launch by the end of the year.

On the firm’s financial results, he added: “Achieving 8 per cent revenue growth in a challenging economic environment is a good result. In the UK it reflects a strong performance by our corporate transaction teams and firmwide it reflects the successes we’re seeing in digital business, energy and financial services in particular and good growth in Germany.”

Meanwhile, Osborne Clarke has hired Walt Disney Corporation EMEA principal counsel Sue Gold as a partner in its privacy and data protection team.

The Bristol-based firm has also today announced the hire of Mark Brailsford as a tax and financial services consultant, with the former Allen & Overy UK tax head joining from collapsed US firm Dewey & LeBoeuf, where he was a consultant.