White & Case prioritises London and US as revenue climbs 1 per cent

White & Case saw its global revenue climb 1 per cent to $1.52bn (£1.06bn) between 2014 and 2015, amid a 6 per cent rise in partner headcount.

The firm’s turnover rose from $1.5bn to $1.52bn last year, admitting revenues had been affected by the strength of the dollar against sterling and the euro.

London executive partner Oliver Brettle told The Lawyer: “We have substantial operations across Europe, Russia and South Africa and there have been huge currency movements. It’s had a negative impact on the dollar reported.”

The increase in revenue was reflected in the firm’s average profit per equity partner figure, which also rose 1 per cent from $2m to $2.02m. Meanwhile, revenue per lawyer dipped nearly 1 per cent from $800,000 to $795,000.

White & Case does not report individual office or regional results, but Brettle said the firm “continues to be strong in London, with more than 100 lawyers joining in the last three years”. In 2015, there was a 6 per cent increase in the total number of partners worldwide, as well as a 2 per cent rise in lawyer headcount to 1,914.

One of the main aims of the firm’s five-year strategic plan, which was announced in the autumn, concerns the further boosting of lawyer numbers in both London and New York.

“London and the US are the areas we’re targeting for further growth,”  Brettle added. “Of course we’re also investing in our wider network, but clients are increasingly demanding more and more in these areas. Our relative size in London is a hindrance at the moment.”

Earlier this year, White & Case announced it had established a new association in Saudi Arabia, while 2015 also saw the firm open an office in Seoul.

However, it closed up shop in Munich, with its 11-lawyer team being given the option to relocate to Frankfurt. White & Case saw multiple departures in Europe over 2015, losing four partners to Greenberg Traurig and Baker & McKenzie in Warsaw, as well its 50-strong Budapest office to Dentons in April.

White & Case revealed at the end of last year it was thinking about opening a shared services centre, although Brettle said the firm is still considering its options.