Allen & Overy rakes in 1bn despite crisis

LEGAL giant Allen &amp; Overy (A&amp;O) has today revealed it raked in revenues of &pound;1bn over the last financial year, 7 per cent higher than last year, although its profits per partner fell amid a &ldquo;challenging&rdquo; business environment.<br /><br />The firm, which in February revealed a 450-job cut to align itself with the shrinking size of the financial sector, said its average profits per equity partner were 9 per cent over last year at &pound;1m.<br /><br />A&amp;O said it drew 50 per cent of its income overseas last year and foreign currencies have become more valuable as the pound has plummeted. <br />Restructuring costs of &pound;46m helped to depress the profit figures, the firm added.<br /><br />&ldquo;This has been an exceptionally challenging year for businesses everywhere &ndash; including ours.<br /><br />We have not been immune to the impact of the global recession,&rdquo; said A&amp;O managing partner Wim Dejonghe.<br /><br />He said A&amp;O performed particularly strongly in Western Europe and the Middle East, thanks to strong trading conditions and the relative strength of currencies in those areas compared to the pound.<br /><br />The results, which follow recent statements from three fellow &ldquo;magic circle&rdquo; legal powerhouses, mean the City&rsquo;s top four legal firms all raked in at least one billion in fees last year despite the financial crisis.<br /><br />Despite the revenue boost Allen &amp; Overy has not overtaken Clifford Chance in the legal league &ndash; the former biggest legal firm by revenues this month reported a 5 per cent fall in revenues to &pound;1.26bn taking it behind Linklaters and Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer.<br /><br />Linklaters&rsquo; place as the UK&rsquo;s biggest legal firm is now sealed &ndash; it generated a giant &pound;1.3bn income in the year to the end of April.<br /><br />The fifth &ldquo;magic circle&rdquo; giant, Slaughter and May, is not a limited liability partnership, and so is under no obligation to report its results.