Akin Gump defies annus horribilis with a 19% improve in metropolis income amid a restructuring growth
It is often said that the legal industry excels in extreme market conditions, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s 2020 financial results are evidence that the firm’s London office is once again proving to be bullish due to an outstanding series of restructuring issues.
Revenue in the city rose 19% from $ 125.1 million last year to $ 149.2 million, meaning the London office has increased revenue 55% since 2017, just 1%. They reflect the wheelhouse of the office for restructuring following the 2014 takeover of 28 partners, taken over from the unfortunate Bingham McCutchen by James Roome, a veteran of the celebrity restructuring.
Global performance also surpassed the 6% increase last year to $ 1.135 billion. Gross sales were $ 1.2 billion – an increase of 6.5% from 2019. Financials were consistently strong. A profit per equity partner (PEP) of $ 3 million signaled a 16% increase from the PEP value of $ 2.6 million in 2019.
Revenue per lawyer (RPL) increased 8% from $ 1.25 million a year ago to $ 1.35 million.
Sebastian Rice, partner in charge of the London office, told Legal Business: “The financial restructuring has paved the way and played an important role in the performance of this team which has done very high quality work. Corporate was busy with partners who joined in late 2019. We only made one side adjustment in 2020 so we were able to fully integrate the 2019 settings so they are ready to go right out of the box. ‘
Rice noted an impressive list of mandates from across the London office, including: advising a group of senior secured creditors on the financial reorganization of Travelex, led by partner Liz Osborne; Acting on behalf of Premier Oil creditors on Chrysaor merger and US $ 2.7 billion debt restructuring led by Barry Russell and Lois Deasey; and advised Coller Capital on the reorganization of Permira’s fourth fund, valued at more than $ 800 million, led by Mary Lavelle.
Rice called the US $ 2.5 billion IPO and Nasdaq listing of Royalty Pharma plc, advised by Harry Keegan in London and Stuart Leblang and David Antheil in the US, as a “marquee affair”. He also noted a victory in successfully defending Robert Foresman, vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank, in litigation resulting from an investment in a consortium led by Mark Dawkins bidding for assets in the Yukos bankruptcy.
After an expansive 2019 with nine side hires, the London office only added one new partner last year in the form of esteemed leveraged finance partner Amy Kennedy, who joined from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in March 2020.
Rice is confident about the company’s performance but puts it in the context of major upheaval amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We were lucky with how things turned out in the company, but obviously not how the world is at the moment. Following the strategy and focusing on our core strengths, sticking to them very carefully and not growing for the sake of growth, has been a big part of our success. We feel confident that we have the right mix of practices and that we have what we need to help customers respond to the challenges and opportunities that arise. ‘
He recognized global chairman Kim Koopersmith for promoting a corporate culture of collaboration, her focus on diversity and inclusion, and her early investments in remote working in leading the company through challenging times.
Conclusion Rice: “We got used to a completely different reality and adapted to working from home, but people were put under considerable pressure because schools were closed, elderly relatives had to be looked after or lived alone. This presents us with great challenges and we have invested a lot in supporting our employees. We can’t meet customers, it’s a different way of working, but I’m incredibly proud of how the company has adapted. ‘