Multinationals post positive predictions for Australia after financial year results

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Three of the largest multinational firms have posted their financial year results ending 30 April 2014, and although results aren’t released on a regional level, representatives reveal that all is well in Australia.

Clifford Chance

The multinational has revealed the highest ever revenues reported by the firm, with all regions and all practices experiencing growth.
  • Revenues were £1,359 million (USD2,1751 million; EUR1,6171 million), an increase of 7% year on year.
  • Partnership profit was £459 million (USD735 million; EUR546 million), 14% higher than the previous financial year.
  • Profit per equity partner was £1.14 million (USD1.83 million; EUR1.36 million), 16% higher than the previous financial year.
Mark Pistilli, Sydney managing partner, told Australasian Lawyer that the results are highly significant and prove the firm and its people are agile enough respond to changes in markets and client needs to deliver strong results across the board.

He says the year has got off to a great start, and high activity levels are a good sign on Australian turf.

“We're seen continued growth year on year – in people, clients and revenues– since we launched in Australia in 2011, and last year was no exception. Last year got busier and busier, with our corporate teams working on four 'billion-dollar-plus' transactions since November last year.”  

“Litigation remains incredibly busy too – from traditional court matters to increasing amounts of regulatory-related work. Our finance practice saw deals increase steadily throughout the year, working on large transactions –  our ability to access best practice from the world's financial markets is increasingly attractive to clients here.”
Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Revenues were £800 million, up 5% on the previous financial year
  • Net income was £232 million, up 11% on the previous financial year
  • Profit per equity partner was £741,000, up 12% on the previous financial year
Joint CEO Mark Rigotti told Australasian Lawyer that this has been the first full financial year since merging in 2012, and the results show positive progress towards the firm’s vision of being a globally elite law firm.

“Disputes had a stellar year across all regions making a very strong contribution to our results and we saw a rebound in transactions in in most regions in the second half of the financial year,” he says. “We are not disclosing our regional or practice breakdowns, but our leading practices in Australia have built share in a tough market in the 12 months to 30 April. Other offices and regions which had a strong year include the London office; the Disputes team in Asia and pleasingly our new offices in Germany.”

Rigotti says that along with joint CEO Sonya Leydecker, he has a positive outlook for Australia with a strong start to the year in corporate transactions, including advising Woodside on the A$6.1 billion Shell exit and UGL in it’s a$1.215 billion sale of DTZ.
Allen & Overy
  • Revenue up GBP22.0 million (+2%) to GBP1.23 billion (USD2.08bn; EUR1.50bn)
  • Profit before tax up GBP35.4m (+7%) to GBP532.1m (USD896m; EUR648m)
  • Profit per equity partner up to GBP1.12m (USD1.89m; EUR1.36m) from GBP1.05m (+7%)
Wim Dejonghe, global managing partner, says the firm saw a very strong first three quarters, with some softening during the final quarter of last year.
“What has really delivered in terms of performance this year is our focus on ensuring our business model is flexible enough to deliver legal services in the way our clients want. This has resulted in an increasing return on our investment from our Legal Services Centre in Belfast,” he says.

“Over the past year the number of matters it has worked on has doubled – and we expect to see that growth continuing in the years ahead. During the year we also launched a new contract lawyer business, Peerpoint, which will provide even greater flexibility in dealing with the variable nature of peaks in client demand.”