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Allen & Overy posts strong performance driven by growth across all regions

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Ballheimer Andrew
Andrew Ballheimer

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11 July 2019

Allen & Overy has announced strong results for the year ended 30 April 2019, with continued international growth in an uncertain geopolitical environment.

In summary:

  • Client revenue up by GBP75 million (5%) to GBP1.627 billion (USD2.129bn; EUR1.844bn)
  • Profit before tax is up 8% to GBP708 million (USD926m; EUR802m)1
  • Profit per equity partner (PEP) is up 1% to GBP1.66 million (USD2.17m; EUR1.88m)
  • Growth seen in all regions, with particularly strong growth rates in Asia and other emerging markets
  • International Capital Markets (ICM) and Corporate were standout practice areas
  • Multinational work continues to be a significant growth driver
  • Rapid growth in Advanced Delivery & Solutions and development of a strong client base

Commenting on the results, global managing partner Andrew Ballheimer said: "With growth in all regions, the business continues to perform strongly in an uncertain geopolitical environment. Last year built on our strong performances of the previous two years and the global growth which we are seeing is the result of our long-term international investment strategy, established to better serve our clients. Our lawyers around the world are helping clients face the combined challenges of increased regulation, disruption and the need for innovation."

"We have further invested in Advanced Delivery & Solutions which has seen another year of rapid growth. As we move forward in a volatile market, our focus remains on leading the industry in evolving new ways of supporting our clients and introducing cutting edge technologies, alongside building the culture of A&O to enable all our people to achieve their best."

Global growth with long-term investment paying off

Revenue grew in every region across A&O's global network, with particularly strong growth rates in Asia and other emerging markets, reflecting the long-term investment in its international platform. Multinational work continues to be a significant growth driver, with the firm's top 50 clients advised by an average of 23 A&O offices.

In terms of practices, globally, Corporate had a record performance last year, with particularly strong results from its Asia, Benelux and London practices. ICM also had a very good year, including growth in the CLO practice following recent investment in partners in the US and UK. Asia Pacific had a very strong year, seeing two recent partner hires to grow its India and US law practices.

The Banking practice continued to perform strongly across the board. Investment in leveraged finance saw a rise in the Debtwire League tables in the US, the regulatory practice in the UK continues to grow, and all of the asset, real estate and project finance groups continue to deliver excellent results, the latter performing particularly well in the UK, across Asia and in the US.

The Litigation practice is investing in response to client demand, including strengthening its investigations capability globally and developing a business and human rights practice to support a wider focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) driven issues.


Advanced Delivery & Solutions increasingly compelling to global clients

Advanced Delivery & Solutions businesses continued to grow with revenue increasing by over 20%. Last year the firm furthered its investment strategy with the launch of A&O Consulting, which together with the Markets Innovation Group (MIG), recognises that the complexity of challenges currently facing clients requires more ambitious, broader solutions, over and above incremental improvements to old ways of working. Subject matter experts from across the firm work with clients and industry groups to solve emerging challenges across a variety of sectors. In implementing this approach, Advanced Delivery & Solutions provides access to alternative resourcing teams, collaborative environments such as award-winning Fuse and market-leading technologies, whether licensed externally or developed in-house.


Empowering people through culture

A focus has been on building the culture of the firm to ensure the environment at A&O empowers the brightest and best talent to achieve their full potential, promoting a culture that values physical and psychological health in equal measure. A&O has engaged senior leaders to help create a more open culture where people feel they can speak freely on their mental health. A number of offices have introduced mental health champions and the firm is piloting tools to help people look after their mental health.

Diversity and inclusion is a strategic priority for the firm and further progress has been made in a number of areas this year. In particular, the firm's refreshed gender strategy, introduced in early 2018, is having a positive impact, with a greater proportion of women in the latest round of global partner promotions. There is also continued global momentum around LGBT+ as recognised by the firm's inclusion in Stonewall's Global Index 2018. A focus on race and ethnicity has seen a wide range of affinity group activity and the publication of perspectives from A&O people across the world.

A wider global community commitment

A&O continued its commitment to fostering a culture of pro bono and A&O people delivered more than 132 hours of pro bono and community investment work every day last year. The award winning partnership with War Child, which raised more than GBP1.5 million for the charity over the course of the two-year programme came to an end in 2018. The new global partnership is with Hope and Homes for Children, a charity working to end institutionalised care for children around the world. To date, the firm has raised GBP500,000 for the charity, with a target of GBP1 million by the end of the two years.


1.For the year ended 30 April 2018 profit before tax was reported on a normalised basis to exclude foreign exchange and exceptional items. There are no exceptional items or significant foreign exchange gains/losses for the year ended 30 April 2019 and the increase in profit before tax is calculated on a like-for-like basis with the previous year.
Allen & Overy is an international legal practice with approximately 5,500 people, including some 550 partners, working in more than 40 offices worldwide.
3. In this press release 'Allen & Overy' means Allen & Overy LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings.
4. The term 'partner’ is used to refer to a member of Allen & Overy LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications or an individual with equivalent status in one of Allen & Overy LLP’s affiliated undertakings.

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