Firm outraged by falling revenue claims

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A major firm that was singled in out in a report earlier this week as having the highest decline in revenue among the big eight, has questioned the accuracy of the data used to compile the report.

The IBISWorld Top 1000 Australian companies report highlighted King & Wood Mallesons as having the most significant drop in revenue for the legal sector in the2013-14 financial year and said that the firm had had experienced declining revenue over the past five years.  

Managing partner Sue Kench said the data reported in the list is not consistent with other surveys of the big firms.  She also said that the firm’s position in the market is fairly consistent with its peers.

“We do work for our clients and therefore if the general economy suffers downturn and structural adjustment then we’re no different,” she said.  “Every law firm would have suffered declines in those years following the GFC. Yes we did so that general feeling in the survey would be correct.  What is not correct is the relativities across those law firms.”

Kench observed that political instability has resulted in uncertainty in the market, and that revenue growth at the moment is deal dependant.  With confidence expected to pick up again, she predicts firms will see a more optimistic end to the financial year.

“Business fundamentals across the country are fair and reasonable; the issue we have at the moment is the political volatility,” she said.  “We would like to think that the confidence is regained and the economy tries to rebalance itself, you would expect to see growth.”

Other firms fared slightly better on IBISWorld list, with Herbert Smith Freehills the top ranked firm at number 603, the same spot as the previous year.

Allens has crept up by 10 spots to 689th position, up from 699 the previous year.  Minter Ellison has also moved up slightly, from 779 to 774th spot. 

Clayton Utz and King & Wood Mallesons both moved down a few spots with Clayton Utz going from 756 to 797, and King & Wood Mallesons finishing up at 815 from 788 the previous year.