Report reveals leading firm still in revenue decline

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Law firms enjoyed an 18 percent growth in revenue overall in 2014, but survey singles out one law firm in revenue decline.
While the legal sector had a strong 2014, enjoying 18 percent growth in revenue overall, the latest IBISWorld list of the Top 1000 Australian companies has highlighted the declining revenues of one major firm.
Although it is not the only law firm to have experienced a decline in revenue in the previous year, the report singled out King & Wood Mallesons, which recorded a 0.5 percent drop in revenue 2013-14. The firm sits at 815 on the new list – 27 places lower than the previous year.
King & Wood Mallesons has suffered from declining revenue over the past five years due to a decrease in commercial transactional work, but the report observes that firm’s latest figures represent a slowdown in revenue decline – the result of increasing commercial transactional activity and internal restructuring, which saw the firm shed 101 employees last financial year.
The average revenue growth for Australia’s top 1000 companies was 7.5 percent, down from 14.6 percent in the previous year, but overall the legal sector bucked the trend, enjoying an 18 percent jump in revenues.
The report said growth in the legal sector is largely due to the strong performance of ASX-listed firm Slater & Gordon, which recorded growth of 40.4 percent in 2013-14 due to rapid expansion in both Australia and the United Kingdom.  The firm’s UK operations accounted for approximately 44 percent of its revenue in 2014.

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