When will Hogan Lovell’s investment pay off?

It’s time to finally start showing some financial growth

The buzzword was resilience when Hogan Lovells co-CEO David Harris was last asked about the firm’s lack of growth three years into the Lovells and Hogan & Hartson merger. It was no terrible thing, he argued, to have static results in a tough market. But something tells us that after this year’s results, due out next week, the focus may be on a new word: growth. 

Ed Harris

What makes us think that? Well, here’s a gentle reminder of the firm’s London lateral hires in recent months: Herbert Smith Freehills environmental partner Louise Moore; Field Fisher Waterhouse information group head Eduardo Ustaran; Allen & Overy corporate partner Don McGown; King & Wood Malleson SJ Berwin’s (KWMSJB) private equity (PE) partner Ed Harris; KWMSJB senior PE associate Leanne Moezi, Norton Rose Fulbright competition partner Mark Jones; and Alvarez & Marsal economic specialist Fabrizio Lolliri.

One recruiter says the spree is aimed at relieving pressure on the junior partner ranks.

An expensive set of investments, especially if only 25 per cent of the firm’s revenue comes from London. Even its latest investment, a low-cost support base in Johannesburg, is being managed from the City, with COO Nick Cray and London managing partner Susan Bright at the controls. 

“We’re focused on corporate and finance hires in London and New York,” Harris admits, although he insists the rampant London hiring does not suggest a change in strategy (laterals are like buses, he reminds us). 

London’s calling.