Brexit boost not here to stay, warns outgoing Baker & McKenzie chairman, as firm reveals profits and revenue growth

 
Hayley Kirton
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Legal eagles have been in hot demand since June's Leave decision (Source: Getty)

It will be business as usual for lawyers before too long, warned the outgoing chairman of legal giant Baker & McKenzie, despite an uptick in work following the Brexit vote.

The figures

The firm, which also announced its results today, has reported revenue of $2.62bn (£2bn) for its year to June, up eight per cent on a reported basis or 16 per cent on a constant currency basis.

The lawyers also reported net profit of $904m, up 14 per cent on last year on a reported basis. Meanwhile, profits per equity partner grew to $1.3m, up 13 per cent on a reported basis.

The firm also appointed 150 new partners throughout the period.

Why it's important

The EU referendum didn't just deal the City a questionable hand on 24 June, as many firms had been feeling the effects of clients' cautiousness long before. However, people are now increasingly turning to legal eagles as they try to muddle their way through the red tape which Brexit has tangled.

Although Baker & McKenzie chairman Eduardo Leite, who told City A.M. he was "very pleased" with today's results, has certainly noticed business has started to boom at the firm, he warned the sudden demand would probably not be here to stay.

"Brexit has had an impact of growing the business but I think it's temporary," said Leite. "We should not expect that to last too long... the movements and the decisions are starting to be taken."

In the run up to the vote, Leite mentioned the firm "noticed the mood" with "many clients having a moment to pause and a wait to see what happens".

What Baker & McKenzie said

Leite added in a statement:

It remains a volatile global economy and our clients are increasingly looking for reassurance, particularly for their cross-border deals and matters. The recent result in the UK referendum will no doubt have some impact on transaction levels, particularly in Europe, but we believe with our full service offering and our diversified geographical footprint we are well placed to ride out any slow down. We anticipate another successful year in 2017.

Leite, who is handing over to Paul Rawlinson in October, told City A.M. he hoped his legacy at the firm would be more than financial success and people would remember the growth in diversity and the strengthening of the brand.

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