Turnover and PEP both up at Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins has posted an 11.6 per cent rise in total turnover along with a 14.1 per cent increase in average profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2011 financial year.

Turnover reached $2.152bn last year while PEP hit $2.274m. Revenue per lawyer also rose, by 7 per cent, to $1.069m.

Figures for Latham’s London office are not yet available, but executive committee member Andrew Moyle said the European and Middle East network’s performance had been characterised by the enhanced performance of the firm’s leveraged finance team following a spate of hires over the past two years, notably from White & Case (29 January 2010).

“Previously clients might be more inclined to split the bank and bond work, but now we’re seeing them prepared to use us for both,” added Moyle. “Seeing that investment in leveraged finance pay off and having that deep bench has been a real feature of the year.”

Highlight deals on which Latham’s finance team advised last year includethe £3.6bn debt financing for the acquisition of Polish mobile telephone operator Polkomtel by Spartan Capital, the largest leverage buyout in Europe since 2008.

Elsewhere, Moyle pointed to equity capital markets, M&A and litigation as areas that had performed well last year.

In particular, he highlighted the firm’s strategic targeting of English corporate, an area that received a boost this year with the hire of Hogan Lovells’ equity capital markets head Richard Brown (1 February 2012).

Latham’s Paris office, which recently recruited two senior lawyers from Debevoise & Plimpton (16 January 2012), also had “a very strong year”, added Moyle.

In the US, Latham opened an office in Boston last year, hired six partners from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in California for a patent litigation push and added further lawyers to the Houston office it launched in 2010.