Clifford Chance’s profit per equity partner (PEP) has for the first time topped £2 million, as the firm’s top line growth returned to normal levels following a pandemic-fuelled slowdown.
According to its financial results for the year ending April 2022, the firm’s PEP leapt by 10% from £1.85 million to reach £2.04 million, bettering rival Allen & Overy’s £1.95 million. Revenue too outstripped A&O’s, growing 8% to £1.97 billion.
Profits were also up, by 9%, reaching £783 million.
The largest chunk of revenue came from the U.K. where growth was up 7% to £687 million, with Continental Europe a close second. Growth in the Americas was modest, inching up just 5%, contrasting with A&O’s own U.S. growth which accounted for half of the firm’s overall income expansion.
However, its Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions each recorded a 14% jump on 2021—the highest growth rate of any region.
Since the introduction of the firm’s current strategy in 2015, revenues have increased by 46% and PEP by 82%, its statement shows.
While the percentage of banking clients, originally the firm’s most important client base, has decreased by 11%, the share of income derived from financial investors such as asset management companies, alternative investment funds, private equity and debt funds has increased by 10%, to represent 36% of overall revenue, amounting to £704 million.
The announcement of the firm’s financial results come just days after the firm announced an overhaul of its leadership group. The new appointments included the creation of two new roles, as well as demonstrated a focus on including leadership positions more internationally as opposed to simply in their London headquarters.
Commenting on the firm’s results, new global managing partner, Charles Adams, said: “We are seeing the positive outcome of our long-term strategic focus to diversify our client base, continually increase our market share and grow in priority geographies such as the Americas. These results are a testament to Matthew Layton’s leadership as the previous Global Managing Partner, as well as the energy, dedication, teamwork and phenomenal expertise of all our colleagues.”
Looking ahead, Adams acknowledged “a potentially prolonged period of uncertainty with geopolitical and economical factors” but was confident the firm was well-hedged to face the uncertainty.
“I am very confident we are emerging stronger and wiser for the year ahead. But it is critical we remain agile and ready to embrace change as well as act when needed.”