Simmons’ turnover up 8 per cent to £140m at half year

Simmons & Simmons has boosted revenue by 8 per cent over the first half of the 2014/15 financial year compared to the same period in 2013/14, bringing in revenues of over £140m. 

The figure brings the firm in ahead of its targeted 4-5 per cent growth at the half-year point and was due to stronger UK and German market performance and a tight grip on costs, said managing partner Jeremy Hoyland. 

Simmons does not disclose half-year profits but Hoyland said profit was up by “double digits” for the first half of 2014/15.

Both the regulatory and transactional finance practices performed well due to new streams of work over the summer. Hoyland said the lauch of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) earned the firm a swathe of new regulatory clients while the firm continued to take on lending and capital raising mandates for banks.

The UK consistently brings in around half of the firm’s turnover and a considerable uptick in deal flow has been a positive boost to the firm’s bottom line.

Hoyland said there was “no doubt that it gets more difficult as you head further East” but cited the firm’s alliance with Saudi Arabia firm Hammad & Al Mehda as an area of growth (28 July 2014). In the summer the Jeddah-based firm announced a new office in Riyadh, which opened in October.

Hoyland cited a strong grip on costs as one of the reasons behind the firm’s increased revenue, linked to the firm’s strategy in Bristol, where it launched a low-cost base in 2012 (3 April 2012). 

The office has expanded from three partners and 15 lawyers when it launched to a total of nine partners and 42 lawyers, having taken on five partners in two years. Those include corporate partners Jocelyn Ormond, who joined in May from DAC Beachcroft, and Patrick Graves, who joined in July from Osborne Clarke.

Simmons launched its first South East Asia office in Singapore last year, adding to its Asian offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo (8 May 2013). 

Hoyland said: “You can’t expect to be late entrants and catapult to the top. We’re in growth phrase and still going through that. Six months ago we’d only been here [Singapore] for six months and the numbers weren’t stellar. They’re still not stellar but things are improving.”

The Singapore launch kicked off a spate of international developments. Just months later, the firm entered South Africa with an alliance with Canadian firm Fasken Martineau (20 November 2013). In the past few days it also announced a move in Luxembourg, with the launch of a five-partner office (24 November 2014).

The firm ended the 2013/14 financial year with a 7 per cent increase in turnover to £268.6m, up from £250.3m (8 July 2014). Its 8 per cent increase at half-year point echoes the 8 per cent rise in half-year revenue experienced in the first half of the 2013/14 financial year, taking it to £130.6m.

The full-year 2013/14 results were a turnaround for the firm, which saw revenue decline in 2012/13 from £251.7m to £250.3m and profit hover at the same level, £66m.

However Hoyland was circumspect about predicting similarly healthy results for the next six months of the year. 

He said: “You can see the risks – slowdown in China and Ukraine and Ebola, and those risks I think are quite significant so I’m not at all complacent about repeating this second half.”